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.

February 12, 2014 - 9:00pm

A massive expansion of Changi International Airport will take place right next to the airshow site in Singapore. It includes a third runway and a fifth terminal, and will eventually double the hub’s capacity to 135 million passengers per year. The development forms part of a master plan that Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced last year.

February 12, 2014 - 7:07am
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise managing director Khalifa Al Daboos (left) with ATR chief executive Filippo Bagnato. (Photo: Mark Wagner)

Leasing groups Amadeo and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) yesterday pushed the airliner orders tally for the 2014 Singapore Airshow close to $30 billion, with separate deals for up 60 new aircraft. Amadeo, which up until Monday this week was known as Doric Lease Corp., firmed up an order for 20 Airbus A380s that had been the subject of a memorandum of understanding signed at the last Paris Air Show in June 2013. Meanwhile DAE inked a $1 billion contract with ATR for up to 40 ATR 72-600s turboprops.

February 12, 2014 - 7:01am
Mitsubishi MRJ90 (Photo: Mark Wagner)

Mitsubishi Aircraft executives here at the Singapore Airshow yesterday insisted that the four-times-delayed MRJ program has found its stride, notwithstanding recent concerns expressed by its largest customer, SkyWest of the U.S. During a program update at the Singapore Airshow, Mitsubishi Aircraft (Booth V87) director and head of sales Yugo Fukuhara reported that airframe manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will join the wings to the now mostly assembled first fuselage in April, followed by the tail “in a few months.”

February 12, 2014 - 4:00am
The Yak-130 trainer could find a role in counterterrorist campaigns.

Russia’s Irkut Corp. is well known in the Asia Pacific region because of the mighty vectored-thrust Sukhoi Su-30 series multirole fighters in service with Indian and Malaysian air forces, numbering about 200 aircraft. The maker also supplied Su-27UB operational trainers to China; and a number of Asian nations still operate swing-wing MiG-23U trainers and MiG-27 strike aircraft built at the corporation’s manufacturing site in Irkutsk city, western Siberia.

February 12, 2014 - 3:55am
Garuda hopes to increase the size of its fleet–which includes 25 ATR72-600s–from the 110 to 128 by year-end.

As Indonesia’s national carrier Garuda initiates efforts to enhance service through increased frequencies and destinations, in anticipation of its move to join the SkyTeam global alliance in March and the ASEAN Open Skies in 2015, it is looking at adding around 200 to 250 aircraft to its fleet between 2015 and 2025.

The carrier, which is to soon finalize its plans for a mix of narrow- and widebody aircraft, is expected to seek board approval this year to increase its fleet to 350 to 400 from its present 133 by 2025, CEO Emirsyah Satar told Reuters in Hong Kong.

February 12, 2014 - 3:44am

India’s newest domestic startup, full-service Delhi-based Tata SIA Airlines, could have an advantage over newcomer budget-carrier AirAsia India as the latter is forced to wait for its air operators permit (AOP), which has been delayed by the decision of the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to issue a public notice requesting comments. This could put on hiatus AirAsia’s plans of launching before summer.

February 12, 2014 - 2:50am

Low-cost carriers (LCCs) have succeeded in Southeast Asia more than in perhaps any other part of the world. Whereas LCCs carry around 26 percent of global traffic, in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines that figure has exceeded 50 percent. With China’s skies being opened to LCCs the expansion in the Asia Pacific region is set to carry on.

February 12, 2014 - 12:25am
A Jetstar Asia Airbus A320 sits on the apron in front of ST Aerospace’s facilty at Changi Airport, here in Singapore. ST Aerospace and Jetstar Asia have signed a three-year contract covering line maintenance of the carrier’s A320 fleet here at Changi Airport, supported by local base-maintenance facilities. A new narrowbody hangar can accommodate two A320s simultaneously and has increased ST Aerospace’s global hangar capacity to 38 widebody bays, 27 narrowbody bays and 24 general aviation bays.

The vibrant aerospace sector here in Singapore is perhaps best illustrated by the activities of Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aerospace, Booth G01/L01). Last week, the company celebrated a $20 million revamp and expansion of its original home at Seletar with an official opening.

February 11, 2014 - 5:00pm
China Southern Airlines now operates 20 Embraer E190s.

For Brazil’s Embraer, a lot has changed in the 13 years since it first laid brick and mortar in Asia. The world’s major airframe makers now consider the Asia Pacific region the biggest market for airliners in the world, and Embraer’s establishment first of an office in Beijing and later a joint-venture to build ERJ 145 regional jets in Harbin has proved prescient.

February 11, 2014 - 3:40am
ATR 72s are common among Asian airlines. In fact, ATR claims an 85 percent market share in Asia but has not sold any of its regional turboprops in China.

For Franco-Italian regional turboprop manufacturer ATR (Booth E01), the Asia Pacific region now takes top spot in its geographic sales rankings, but orders from China still seem to be eluding the company. Last year ATR saw orders and deliveries grow again, reaching record levels and steady profitability, but it has yet to convince shareholders Airbus Group and Finmeccanica to launch a new larger turboprop in the 90-seat category.

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