Biman Bangladesh Airlines, which has operated at a loss since 2008, expects to break even in the current 2013/14 financial year and to return to profitability the following year after cutting its losses from $75 million in 2010/11 to $25 million in 2011/12. At a press briefing in New Delhi last week, the Asian carrier’s CEO, Kevin Steele, announced plans to rationalize and double the size of its fleet from eight to 16 aircraft to allow it to expand its route network with new services such as Dhaka-New York starting next April.
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.
The partial shutdown of the federal government in the U.S. might delay deliveries from Boeing’s 787 plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, because the Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t yet granted the manufacturer authority to assign FAA certification duties to designated company employees.
Ryanair said it will appeal Wednesday’s ruling by a provincial court in France that imposed fines and damages totaling €8 million ($10.8 million), the majority of which relate to alleged non-payment of French social insurance and state pension contributions for Ryanair crews flying to and from Marseille from 2007 to 2010.
ATR has reached an agreement to place as many as 35 ATR 72-600s with Garuda Indonesia, the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer announced Tuesday. The deal involves firm orders for 25 airplanes, some of which will come via lease through Denmark’s Nordic Aviation Capital. The parties expect deliveries to start in November and extend over a period of three years.
As fuel price increases have encouraged airlines to fly larger aircraft on short-haul routes, Austria’s Salzburg Airport has found itself handling far fewer flights even as passenger traffic has shown a slight increase. Over the past two years, traveler numbers have increased by about 2.5 percent, while movements at the airport–named for Salzburg-born composer W. A. Mozart–have fallen by 15 percent.
Increasing competition and pressure on costs has led to some deep restructuring of European airlines, with an attendant move to higher-capacity aircraft and absorption of many regional carriers into national carriers.
Norwegian Air Shuttle removed from long-haul service one of its two Boeing 787s over the weekend following a series of technical problems, the latest involving a hydraulic pump. Following the incident in Thailand, Norwegian flew the airplane from Bangkok back to its base in Stockholm, where a team of Boeing engineers has begun to work on it. A Norwegian spokesman would offer no time estimate for a return to service.
The effects on demand of a recent oil price spike associated with the crisis in Syria and weaker-than-expected growth in several key emerging markets have prompted the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to adjust its airline industry profit outlook for 2013 downward by $1 billion, to $11.7 billion. Still, 2013’s performance should prove considerably better than that of 2012, when the industry turned a net profit of $7.4 billion.
Prominent aviation industry figures fear that a list of priorities developed to keep the NextGen ATC modernization effort on track during a time of funding pressure and ongoing “sequestration” budget cuts in the U.S. could undermine the ambitious, two-decade effort.
The recent global financial recession notwithstanding, long-term airline traffic growth will average 4.7 percent per year, while cargo traffic grows at a slightly higher annual rate, 4.8 percent, according to the latest 20-year market forecast published by Airbus. However, the company projected a marked disparity between traffic growth in “advanced” and “emerging” markets. COO for customers John Leahy noted a divergence in gross domestic product GDP trends between the groups since 2000.