After 12 long years of nothing promising for harmonizing Southeast Asian trade relations, there was a surprise development in the closing days of 2013 when a trade agreement was finally struck in Bali. Not glamorous, and focused largely on streamlining mundane processes that can impede cargo as it travels across borders, the agreement nevertheless holds considerably promise in terms of the growth of air travel and cargo.
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines
Southeast Asia benefits from having one of the fastest growing economies in the world, driven by the expansion of the trade and tourism sectors.
India has lifted restrictions on the Airbus A380 airliner to land at four Code F compliant airports, the country’s Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) announced Monday. But while the industry has applauded the move, the government has not made it an effortless exercise, as major carriers wanting to fly their A380s to India run short on service entitlements.
Airbus has decided to bring an A350 XWB flight-test airplane to the Singapore Airshow next month, marking the first “full” display of the model at an international airshow. Plans call for flight-test airplane MSN3 to appear on static display on February 11 and 12. Airbus also expects the airplane to participate in the flying displays on both days.
A United Airlines Boeing 777 turned back to Newark International Airport 45 minutes after departure on January 16 after five flight attendants were injured following an encounter with severe turbulence. The cabin crew had just begun service activities at the time the turbulence hit. No passengers were injured as all were still belted in their seats following the takeoff.
Another incident involving the main lithium-ion battery in a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 just prior to its scheduled departure from Tokyo on Tuesday has prompted an internal investigation at JAL, raising new questions about the integrity of a system redesign devised to mitigate the possibility of fire propagation.
The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said 2013 was the safest year ever for its member companies. The group says the three accidents involving Western-built commercial aircraft last year resulted in 24 fatalities, about half of what AAPA members experienced over the past five years.
The Malaysia-based group attributes the accident reductions to “regulatory and industry efforts to continuously improve safety performance by the introduction of enhanced technology, new designs and strict certification standards to aircraft over the years.” AAPA director general
Resolved on tapping the booming Central Asian market, global alliances SkyTeam, OneWorld and Star Alliance have approached Kazakhstan national carrier Air Astana with offers to join their ranks. In response, the airline recently commissioned U.S.-based Seabury Group to prepare a report on whether it should enter an alliance “and which one, because all alliances want us to join them,” Air Astana president Peter Foster told AIN in Astana recently.
A December 15 Air France flight was held on the ground in Venezuela after French intelligence officials received a credible tip that a bomb would be detonated when the flight was over the Atlantic between Caracas and Paris. An extensive search of the Airbus A340 found no explosive devices and the flight was allowed to proceed.
Boeing has delivered the first 747-8 with performance-improved GEnx-2B engines as part of the airplane’s performance improvement package (PIP), the company announced Wednesday. A Cathay Pacific Airways 747-8 Freighter was the first of the jumbo jets delivered with the PIP engines.