The January 9 decision by Moody’s Investor Service to downgrade the credit rating of Qantas Airways to Ba2 (from Baa3) has prompted fresh calls for the Australian government to provide emergency debt guarantees for the country’s flag carrier.
Signaling another round of consolidation in the Philippine domestic air transport market, Cebu Pacific and Singapore-based Tigerair have entered into a strategic alliance calling for the Filipino budget carrier to acquire Tigerair Philippines (TAP).
Facing the prospect of increasing competition from European carriers, El Al Israel Airlines plans to launch a new low-fare brand named Up next March. Up will start by offering one-way introductory fares of $69 for departures from Israel to Prague and Budapest; and $99 to Berlin, Kiev and Larnaca, Cyprus.
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.
Last week’s decision by the U.S. Justice Department to drop its lawsuit to block the merger of AMR and US Airways Group didn’t come without conditions, but antitrust experts and analysts for the most part agree that it came as a resounding victory for the airlines. Largely left intact by the deal reached between Justice and the airlines, the merger would close in December, creating the largest carrier in the world.
More than three years after completion of its five-million-passenger-capacity terminal at Dubai World Central (DWC), passenger operations at DWC’s Al Maktoum International Airport finally launched October 27 with the arrival of Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air, Bahrain’s Gulf Air and Kuwait’s Al Jazeera Airways.
SR Technics (Stand 1906) has redelivered its 100th aircraft, an Airbus A319 belonging to easyJet, from its Malta MRO facility. The aircraft departed from Malta International Airport last week for London Gatwick after undergoing an immediate layover check (heavy maintenance). SR Technics started operations in Malta in 2010, and easyJet has been the facility’s main customer, along with Finnair, Portugal’s Orbest and France’s Aigle Azur.
When representatives from Europe’s regional airlines met in Salzburg last month at the annual general assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), they did so against a backdrop of red tape, high fuel prices, inefficient ATC and the ever growing threat from low-cost carriers and airports biased toward large aircraft. Nevertheless, the ERA was able to report that its members had managed capacity well to remain profitable, reacting to demand and becoming more efficient as signs of a return to growth become more evident.
The VivaAerobus Group has signed a purchase agreement for 52 Airbus A320 family jets, marking the biggest Airbus aircraft order by a single airline in Latin American history. The deal covers 40 A320neo and 12 current-generation A320, the first of which the airline plans to take next April. VivaAerobus, a Mexican low-cost carrier, has opted to announce the engine selection later.
Indonesia’s civil aviation authority plans to reduce the number of airlines operating in the country from 53 to 28 following the failure of most of its carriers to satisfy a minimum fleet-size requirement by January. The requirement calls for all airlines, including charter and cargo operators, to operate no fewer than 10 airplanes each, five of which they must own.
The ruling, introduced in 2009, originally called for implementation on Jan. 12, 2012. The government extended the deadline by another year when smaller carriers appealed for more time.