Etihad Airways appears close to making a final decision as to whether or not to buy an equity stake in Alitalia. Speaking during a March 3 conference call about the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s latest quarterly financial results, CEO James Hogan confirmed that Etihad has entered the final stage of due diligence in evaluating the struggling Italian flagcarrier.
Officials from Etihad Airlines and the United Arab Emirates, where the carrier is based, are still investigating last week’s arson incidents aboard a Boeing 777 that departed Melbourne, Australia, for Abu Dhabi in which a number of smoke alarms were activated in toilets. Although no one was injured, Flight EY416 did make a precautionary landing in Jakarta, Indonesia, after smoke was detected pouring from two toilets aboard the aircraft. No one was arrested in Jakarta and the flight departed after a complete search of the aircraft, all passengers and all carry-on luggage.
Middle Eastern charter and scheduled service operator Rotana Jet plans to more than double its fleet by 2016. Speaking today at the Air Expo show at Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport, where Rotana Jet is based, the company said that over the next two years it will add at least seven more aircraft to the five it currently operates.
UK regional airline Flybe has raised almost $260 million in fresh capital through a share flotation launched February 20 in London. The company, which has been battling to rebuild its business model with an aggressive program of cost cutting, is issuing a total of up to 141.5 million new shares to raise £155.6 million. The offer price on February 20 was 110p per share, representing a 7.2-percent discount on the stock’s 118.5p mid-market price on February 19.
A leading Mubadala Aerospace MRO network member, SR Technics’ drive to expand out into the world is bearing fruit. Now able to claim 40 customers, among them operators as prominent as Singapore Airlines, EasyJet, Qatar Airways and South African Airways, the company is set on bringing its integrated MRO business to all points of the compass.
Abu Dhabi state-owned carrier Etihad Airways announced a code-share agreement with JetBlue Airways on January 22 that would extend its reach into the U.S. market if the Department of Transportation (DOT) approves. A week earlier, Etihad said that it will double its flights between Abu Dhabi and New York City by introducing a second daily service.
Airline industry groups complained that the omnibus appropriations bill that observers expect the U.S. Congress will pass this week does not prevent the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency from opening a controversial customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The Star Alliance has set a new target of 2015 for Air India to join its ranks following a unanimous vote by member airlines to restart the process of integrating the Indian flag carrier. The alliance suspended integration in 2011 on grounds that Air India had “not met minimum joining conditions agreed in December 2007.” With signs of stability and fleet rationalization, however, Star has agreed to give Air India a second chance.
The Obama administration and the U.S. Congress appear headed to a confrontation over the administration’s plan to open a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that many lawmakers and airline industry groups oppose. An opponent said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency plans to begin operating the facility on January 5.
Keen to show his airline can operate as a profitable carrier amid assertions that it survives on the largesse of its government benefactors, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker offered revealing insights at last month’s Dubai Airshow into some of the internal machinations and brinkmanship that shape aircraft purchase negotiations. The colorful and sometimes controversial Al Baker played coy about his interest in the 777X while fully intending to engage Boeing in serious negotiations that eventually led to a blockbuster sale.