Qantas Airways’ August 23 cancellation of “firm commitments” covering 35 Boeing 787-9s previously slated for delivery beginning in 2014 demonstrates the need for an airframer to remain flexible in the face of changing industry demand. The sudden change, prompted by after-tax losses in the current financial year, also demonstrates the continued vulnerability of the airline sector to rising costs and uncertain demand.
The FAA has directed its investigators and staff to pursue stiffer penalties for people who purposefully point laser devices at aircraft. Shining a laser at an airplane can temporarily blind the pilots, resulting in a safety issue. The number of reported laser incidents nationwide rose to 3,592 last year from 2,836 in 2010.
AAR has signed a letter of intent with the city of Duluth, Minn., to reopen the maintenance facility previously operated by Northwest Airlines.
Aveillant, a spin-off company from France-based technology engineering specialist Altran, is developing a new radar designed to distinguish between aircraft and the rotating blades of wind turbines, eliminating the potential confusion wind farms could cause in ATC and allowing wind farms to be built closer to airports.
Three weeks of fruitless negotiations between Qantas and three of its employee unions have forced the government’s workplace labor tribunal to arbitrate new labor agreements. The Australian flag carrier has warned that the dispute could result in a dip in its profits for the last six months of 2011 of up to 66 percent.
Qantas Airways resumed revenue flights today after abruptly shutting down operations on Saturday in an effort to squelch labor unrest among its various work groups. The first flight took off from Sydney to Jakarta at around 3:40 p.m. Sydney time, shortly after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia issued its authorization on Monday afternoon. The flight stoppage disrupted the travel plans of close to 80,000 Qantas customers.
So often in the course of covering events, journalists hear statements that never make it into published accounts. Space is limited, time is limited, or the comment is peripheral to the rigid formula of news reportage—who, what, where, when and possibly, why.
Qantas and Airbus have converted a tentative commitment signed in August to firm orders for 78 A320neos and 32 standard A320s, the European manufacturer announced today. The deal for 110 A320-family aircraft ranks as the largest single order in Australian aviation history in terms of units, said Airbus.
A five-year Qantas Airways plan to reduce dependence on domestic flights and business services and establish two Asian joint-venture partnerships aims to help the Australian carrier to stimulate overseas business. It will lay off 1,000 employees, defer deliveries of six Airbus A380s (and possibly some Boeing 787s), retire four Boeing 747-400s and replace two London services with British Airways code-shares beyond Bangkok and Hong Kong.