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).
India’s fastest growing and most successful airline–budget carrier IndiGo–has become the first victim of an October ruling by the country’s aircraft acquisition committee governing the number and kind of aircraft imported by airlines to encourage regional connectivity to smaller towns. In November the committee, led by civil aviation minister Ajit Singh, cleared for import only five of the 16 Airbus A320-series aircraft Indigo wanted to acquire.
India lost 9 percent of its airline seat capacity as a result of Kingfisher suspending operations since October 1, 2012, when its 66-aircraft fleet was grounded, according to Dinesh Keskar, Boeing’s senior sales vice president for Asia Pacific and India.
Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, confirmed in a ruling last Thursday that airlines based in the EU carry liability for accommodation and other “necessary, appropriate and reasonable” costs incurred by passengers in the event of long delays, even for disruptions beyond their control.
Online charter booking portal Victor aims to increase available capacity almost tenfold. As of the end of last year, its site showed approximately 1,300 available private jet seats at any given time and it wants to boost this number to approximately 10,000 seats by the end of this year’s first quarter.
India’s business aviation sector is facing a new obstacle to growth, with civil aviation minister Ajit Singh now insisting on giving final approval for every aircraft imported into the country. Before October, aircraft acquisition requests from airlines, charter companies and private individuals were dealt with by senior government officials on the aircraft acquisition committee, which met each month to clear backlogged requests.
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.
Online booking portal Victor is aiming to dramatically increase available charter capacity almost ten-fold. As of the end of 2012, its site showed approximately 1,300 available private jet seats at any given time, and it wants to boost this number to approximately 10,000 seats by the end of this year’s first quarter. Victor allows members to book aircraft directly for what it guarantees are fixed, all-inclusive rates and then offers individual seats for sale to other members.
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.
AirAsia, the largest low-cost airline in Asia, has placed a new order with Airbus for 100 more A320-family narrowbodies, Airbus announced Thursday. The contract covers another 64 A320neos and 36 current-generation A320s, raising Air Asia’s single-aisle order count from Airbus to 475.