In seeking to consummate its proposed strategic alliance with Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways aims to head off the challenge posed by the formidable pairing of British Airways and American Airlines. So who did Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson recruit to succeed retiring CEO Steve Ridgway? Why, naturally, a senior American Airlines executive in the shape of senior vice president for customers Craig Kreeger, who assumes his new role from February 1.
Styling itself as “Africa’s first pan-African low-cost carrier,” Fastjet certainly looks like an airline in a hurry. Having opened its base in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, only late last November, it now plans to launch operations in Kenya, Angola and Ghana this year, starting with five Airbus A319s it aims to acquire during the first six months of its expansion and 15 within a year. It also hopes to benefit from the wreckage of South Africa’s low-cost sector with its pending acquisition of defunct 1Time Airline.
Virgin Group boss Richard Branson insists that Virgin Atlantic’s brand will remain intact well into the future following Delta Air Lines’ planned purchase of Singapore Airlines’ 49-percent stake in the UK carrier. “First of all, ignore the press speculation, the British Airways speculation,” said Branson via a video feed from his Caribbean retreat on Necker Island during last week’s announcement. “I’m not going anywhere.”
The International Civil Aviation Organization officially recognized Airways New Zealand with its Trainair Plus quality-assurance certification as a source for air traffic services training. Airways New Zealand is the first ATC training organization in the region to receive the certification.
Tough economic times are resulting in innovations by carriers in the Asia Pacific region looking beyond traditional business models through strategic realignments and new product offerings. Recent ground-breaking deals include Virgin Australia selling a 10-percent stake to Singapore Airlines (SIA) and buying 60 percent of Tiger Airways; the new partnership between Emirates Airline and Qantas; and Etihad Airways purchasing a 10-percent stake in Virgin Australia.
A “comprehensive” plan unveiled Friday by International Airlines Group (IAG) to save its Iberia subsidiary from financial ruin calls for the company to cut 4,500 jobs, cut network capacity next year by 15 percent and eliminate 25 airplanes from the fleet.
The FAA wants to penalize US Airways $354,500 for operating a Boeing 757 on 916 revenue flights between August 3 and Dec. 3, 2010, when it was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. The FAA alleges that US Airways removed and replaced a leaking engine fuel pump on the aircraft on Aug. 3, 2010, and that the carrier failed to carry out FAA-required tests and inspections before returning the aircraft to revenue service. US Airways has 30 days to respond to the agency.
The outspoken chief executive of Qatar Airways, an increasingly influential player in the world airline market, blamed the long-running battle over airline participation in Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) on the former leader of the association that represents world airlines.
British Airways Engineering has entered into a partnership with the University of Glamorgan to offer a bachelor’s degree in aircraft maintenance engineering. The partnership will see University of Glamorgan students receive a B.S. degree in aircraft maintenance engineering, having also completed the industry-standard EASA Part 66 training under British Airways’ certification license.
Talks between US Airways and AMR over a possible merger involving bankrupt AMR subsidiary American Airlines have reached a formal stage, with the two companies beginning to exchange “certain confidential information” under the terms of a nondisclosure agreement signed August 31.