Airbus has suggested civilian operation of the A400M airlifter for disaster relief flights. At a media briefing during the ILA Berlin airshow last week, Norbert Kolvenbach, vice president for public affairs Germany, noted that the aircraft is already certified by EASA. He floated the idea of a “supranational” operator, such as the United Nations. “The A400M could be interesting,” said Birgitte Stalder-Olsen, head of logistics for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), at the same briefing.
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 U.S. airline industry is in “survival mode” against competition from foreign carriers, some of which are using “extreme new measures” to gain access to Americans flying internationally, said the president of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). Lee Moak sounded the alarm during a May 29 press briefing that touched on the union’s hot-button issues, chief among them Norwegian Air’s application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for a foreign air carrier permit.
Low cost carrier Wizz Air is aiming to raise €200 million ($273 million) through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange next month. The 10-year-old company is seeking to expand its network, which currently consists of around 315 routes between 96 destinations in 35 countries, in order to challenge the continent’s leading budget carriers Ryanair and EasyJet. U.S. private equity group Indigo Partners, which is currently Wizz Air’s leading shareholder, is expected to reduce its equity holding through the share offering.
The Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) on Tuesday released the raw satellite data that it used as the basis for its March 21 announcement that Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 had crashed into the southern Indian Ocean after disappearing on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Thailand’s air transport market continues to suffer from mounting political turmoil in the capital city Bangkok. Widely known as “Shutdown Bangkok,” anti-government protests have closed major road intersections throughout the city, including key routes to both Don Mueang International Airport and Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
At face value, the recent acquisition of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) from Mubadala Development Co. by Etihad Airways is straightforward portfolio realignment between two state-owned entities in the United Arab Emirates.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) confirmed to AIN that it has a so-called “pass over” policy under which it reserves pilot jobs on its Airbus A380 fleet almost exclusively for Singaporean citizens. The policy means that a Singaporean pilot, irrespective of his seniority number, will be preferred for A380 vacancies over expatriate colleagues.
Lebanon’s inability to appoint a fully fledged civil aviation authority has led to failures to pass ICAO audits, but has not raised safety concerns about airlines operating within the country, a senior Lebanese civil aviation official told AIN recently in Dubai.
UK carrier EasyJet said it will apply new technologies, including operating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), to maintain its Airbus fleet. The airline is also developing 3D virtual reality and augmented reality technology, customized engineering applications and early fault prognosis. It is installing Panasonic Toughpad tablets in cockpits fleetwide.
Speaking Wednesday at the 39th annual Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford called for a fundamental shift in the “model” on which pilot unions negotiate for compensation, characterizing the imbalance of pay between first officers and captains as irrational and counterproductive.