Despite Indonesia’s apparent ambivalence toward an open skies policy among the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Garuda Indonesia continues to prepare for its home country’s full participation in the accord when it takes effect in January 2015. Most recently, on November 25, the Indonesian flag carrier introduced a new sub-brand called “Explore” ahead of a December 3 launch into service of its first ATR 72-600.
Air traffic controllers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) cannot carry out simultaneous dual-runway operations due to lack of so-called non-transgression-zone software, resulting in congestion in Malaysian airspace and a choke point for takeoff at KLIA. The airport’s pair of 13,000-foot-long runways can accommodate 32 arrivals and 36 departures per hour.
Airlines have lodged complaints about the excess fuel their airplanes burn while caught in departure queues, at times waiting for as long as 25 to 30 minutes before ATC can clear them for takeoff.
The bid by Malaysia’s AirAsia to launch a low-fare airline in India with the Tata Group has hit some unexpected turbulence as Singapore Airlines prepares to launch a joint venture with the very same investors.
The death knell for India’s Kingfisher Airlines sounded as lender banks took possession of the airline’s 25,850-sq-ft headquarters property in Mumbai on August 10. Carrying some $1 billion in outstanding debt, liquor tsar Vijay Mallya and his United Breweries Group have seen wholly owned Kingfisher accumulate $2.6 billion in losses since its launch in 2005. Most recently, it registered a loss of $188 million for the quarter running from April to June.
Three of the four shareholders of the defunct Spirit of Manila Airlines (SMA) plan to relaunch and rebrand the Filipino carrier next year. According to Aldo Lance Lopez, an original stakeholder in SMA who expects to hold a 20-percent stake in the new low-cost carrier (LCC), the existing investors hope to add a foreign partner.
This marks the second attempt to relaunch the carrier. The first effort, launched last year, fizzled when a potential foreign investor pulled out after negotiations ended in a stalemate.
Malaysia-based low-fare carrier AirAsia plans to phase out its foreign pilots as part of the carrier’s goal to employ an all-Malaysian workforce and to cut costs. The exercise would happen gradually with the expiration of the pilots’ respective contracts.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has become the Philippines’ first and only carrier removed from the EU air safety black list, an operating ban imposed three years ago within the 28-state European Union (EU).
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) open-skies agreement, to be implemented by 2015, will open up big business in the region for aircraft OEMs, according to Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Commercial Airplanes senior v-p of sales Asia-Pacific and India. The agreement is intended to boost connectivity and increase traffic growth by granting open market access to all international airports in Southeast Asia to airlines of the 10 Asean member states.
Malaysia’s AirAsia has unveiled plans to launch a new domestic airline in India by the fourth quarter of 2013. Under the terms of a deal announced on February 21, the largest low-fare carrier in Asia will hold a 49-percent stake–the maximum holding permitted by the Indian government for a foreign investor–in the new airline. AirAsia is partnering with major Indian industrial groups Tata (to carry a 30-percent stake) and Telestra Tradeplace (21 percent).
Airbus has landed a firm order for 58 A320neos and 17 A321neos from Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines, the manufacturer announced Tuesday. Pegasus, the second largest airline in Turkey, also reserved options on 25 more of the re-engined narrowbodies. The contract establishes Pegasus as a new Airbus customer and makes it the first Turkish airline to order the A320neo. It now flies more than 40 Boeing 737-800s.
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