Even though sanctions imposed over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine appear not to immediately threaten airliner sales in Russia, the inclusion of certain Kremlin-controlled financial institutions and airlines on so-called “black lists” appears likely to alarm potential investors
Air Transport and Cargo
News and issues relating to international air transport and cargo carriers, national airlines and regional airlines, including aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
In moves that appear counter to the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), Zambia and the Ivory Coast have issued bans on air travel between their territories and three West African countries in which Ebola outbreaks have occurred. Meanwhile, Nigeria has suspended all flights by Gambia Bird Airlines into its airports, citing the carrier’s failure to take sufficient measures to contain the spread of the virus.
In a move to ensure the viability of Malaysia Airlines, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, has stepped in with $430 million rescue plan to delist the national carrier and take it private.
An Antonov An-140 operated by Iranian carrier Taban Air crashed on Sunday almost immediately following takeoff from Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport, killing 40 of the 48 people on board. The airplane, built in Iran under license by HESA and branded the Iran-140, took off at 9:45 a.m.
Russia has banned flights over its airspace by Ukraine’s airlines, forcing Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) among others to re-route to eastern destinations from Kiev.
“UIA is deeply concerned with destructive actions of the Russian authorities and their controversial stand on transit flights of Ukrainian airlines banned from transit over the Russian territory,” the airline said in a statement on August 8. The airline said the ban would increase its operating costs by 15- to 20 percent, as well as lead to flight delays.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice to Airmen (Notam) on Friday prohibiting U.S. carriers from operating in the airspace above Iraq because of fighting there between Iraqi security forces and militants associated with the Islamic State. The sweeping prohibition came after the Obama administration began humanitarian air drops to relieve refugees in northern Iraq and warned of air strikes against the advancing militants.
Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways and Alitalia signed an investment agreement on Friday that will see Etihad acquire a 49-percent stake in the troubled Italian flagship airline. The overall “transaction implementation agreement,” which the airlines valued at €1,758 billion ($2.35 billion), will recapitalize Alitalia with the aim of restoring it to profitability by 2017.
In the wake of recent airliner losses, carriers are bracing for substantial increases in insurance premiums when the main renewals season starts on November 1. Insurers have already made massive payouts for hull losses following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 en route to Beijing and the apparent shooting down of MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Other recent losses have included the crash of Air Algerie’s flight AH5017 in southern Mali and TransAsia Airways flight GE222 in Taiwan. Further unsettling the risk environment for air transport have been recent attacks on airports in Pakistan, Israel, Afghanistan and Libya.
The Federal Aviation Administration executive who leads the agency’s NextGen ATC modernization effort said the FAA will sign off in October on an industry-generated plan for achieving results in the next three years.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has instructed the country’s transport officials to draw up plans to block the use of Russian airspace by European Union (EU) airlines for flights to and from Asia.