SkyTeam reports solid progress in Garuda Indonesia’s preparations to join the alliance in March next year, when it expects the Manila-based airline to become the only Indonesian carrier affiliated with a major international grouping. Garuda’s enrollment would make it the 20th SkyTeam member and the tenth from Asia.
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.
Billing itself as the fastest-growing airline in the history of commercial aviation, Etihad Airways keeps doing everything in its power to maintain momentum. Last week it announced the June 1 launch of nonstop flights to Los Angeles from Abu Dhabi, supported by the purchase of five Boeing 777-200LRs from Air India. By the end of the year, Etihad plans to expand its fleet to 87 airplanes, including the five Air India jets and 14 new widebodies delivered by Boeing and Airbus this year.
The former Spirit of Manila Airlines’ hopes of securing an air operator certificate (AOC) for a relaunch and rebranding in the first quarter of next year has run into turbulence following investors’ failure to secure the necessary funding from a Filipino financial consortium.
The long and ugly contract dispute between the pilots of Indianapolis-based Republic Airways and company management turned still uglier this week, as the Teamsters-represented group voted “no confidence” in COO Wayne Heller and his senior leadership team.
In a serious blow to Boeing, Japan Airlines (JAL) has signed a purchase agreement covering 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s worth $9.5 billion at list prices. The deal, which also includes options on another 25 of the mostly composite widebodies, marks the first order from Japan for the A350 and Airbus’s first-ever order from JAL.
Opponents of Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) seemed to have gotten the best of a deal reached at the general assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that should lead to a global market-based mechanism (MBM) for curbing aircraft emissions by 2020. On October 4, the assembly endorsed a plan agreed late the previous day by ICAO’s executive committee calling for a detailed plan for the cap-and-trade MBM to be agreed at the UN body’s next general assembly ahead of full implementation in 2020.
Emirates Airline has worked for more than two years to assist Boeing in the design of the 777X, the new airplane expected to begin replacing the phenomenally successful 777-300ER at the end of the decade, according to Emirates president Tim Clark.
The General Assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) took place in Salzburg last week with a mixed picture of how airlines are managing, particularly with continued pressure from low-cost-carrier growth and regulatory burdens. In the ERA’s view, Europe has a major problem with central politicians who seem unable to understand the value of regional aviation that local politicians in its many outer regions have little problem appreciating.
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.
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.