India’s next government needs to press ahead with the development of domestic air routes, according to a new report published by consultants KPMG last week. India’s Five-Year Plan for the period 2012 to 2017 included a policy to improve flight connections between second- and third-tier cities, but progress all but stalled due to the political inertia that has gripped government ahead of elections to be held in April and May. At the same time, the recent downgrading of the country’s aviation authorities to Category 2 by the U.S. FAA has compromised India’s ability to develop further international air service.
Air Transport and Cargo
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Now 10 days after the transponder from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 stopped transmitting over the South China Sea, the search for the missing Boeing 777 has expanded to involve 25 countries and cover an area spanning a million square miles. The expansion of the search came in reaction to evidence that the airplane’s satcom system continued to transmit for several hours after Malaysian military radar lost contact with the airplane some 200 miles northwest of the island of Panang off the Western coast of the Malay peninsula.
Airbus and Boeing released their outlooks for the Indian airliner market over the next two decades at the India Aviation show in Hyderabad this week, with both OEMs estimating different figures.
More than 1,000 delegates attending the March 11 to 13 IATA World Cargo Symposium in Los Angeles heard a downbeat assessment of prospects for air freight from FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith and IATA chief economist Brian Pearce, both of whom talked of long-term structural challenges.
Honeywell Aerospace signed agreements with two Indian airlines on the second day of the India Aviation show in Hyderabad. The first memorandum of understanding involves Air India agreeing to evaluate its SmartRunway/SmartLanding avionics system. The second was signed with GoAir, which has agreed to help with the development of the EGTS electric taxiing system jointly designed by Honeywell and Safran.
The prolonged search for the Boeing 777-200 operated as Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 brought attention to onboard data transmission systems that report an aircraft’s position and other information in real time. Such a system could help track an aircraft that disappears from radar coverage.
Simferopol International Airport has sent a letter to Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) notifying it that the Crimean gateway will allow no service to or from Kiev, forcing UIA to cancel all flights between the cities until at least March 18. On Wednesday a UIA spokesperson told AIN that the airport has banned all flights into and out of Simferopol except for those to and from Russia.
As the search for the presumed wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 entered its fourth day Tuesday, questions mounted about why security or immigration officials did not intercept the two Iranians who boarded with stolen Austrian and Italian passports.
The Qantas Sale Amendment Bill, which serves to repeal part of the Qantas Act and effectively removes restrictions on foreign ownership and stipulations affecting Qantas’ business operations, passed Australia’s Lower House of Federal Parliament on Thursday by a vote of 83 to 53.
The Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan plans to launch a domestic airline, Air Kazakhstan, in early 2015 with a fleet of 10 new Bombardier Q400 twin turboprops.