Southwest Airlines says it will be the first major airline to widely use a wireless, ground-support communications system to improve safety and operational efficiency during pushback operations. The airline plans to deploy the Flightcom pushback system for commercial aviation at 425 gates at 73 airports in the U.S. by the first quarter of 2012.
Three weeks of fruitless negotiations between Qantas and three of its employee unions have forced the government’s workplace labor tribunal to arbitrate new labor agreements. The Australian flag carrier has warned that the dispute could result in a dip in its profits for the last six months of 2011 of up to 66 percent.
Shares in cash-strapped Indian carrier Kingfisher Airline fell by almost 18 percent on November 18 as company chairman Vijay Mallya worked to secure new short- and long-term funding amid reports of further routes being cut and flights cancelled. On November 17, Mallya confirmed that he is negotiating with an undisclosed high-net-worth individual in India with a view to injecting approximately $250 million into Kingfisher.
The third Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrived this morning at Dubai International Airport for the Dubai Air Show, which officially starts tomorrow. This is the new model’s first appearance in the Middle East.
Although used in the flight test program, the aircraft has been outfitted with a posh interior to demonstrate the 787’s features.
Qantas Airways resumed revenue flights today after abruptly shutting down operations on Saturday in an effort to squelch labor unrest among its various work groups. The first flight took off from Sydney to Jakarta at around 3:40 p.m. Sydney time, shortly after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia issued its authorization on Monday afternoon. The flight stoppage disrupted the travel plans of close to 80,000 Qantas customers.
Airbus has closed on a firm order with JetBlue for 40 A320neo narrowbodies, the European manufacturer announced today. The order amounts to a conversion of a tentative commitment JetBlue and Airbus announced at the Paris Air Show in June.
Oman Air has yet to confirm definitively that it will take delivery of the six Boeing 787s it had agreed to lease from Aviation Lease and Finance Company (ALFACO). The Arabian Gulf carrier continues negotiations with Boeing over demands for compensation that it wants for delays in the delivery schedule for the new widebody.
Qantas and Airbus have converted a tentative commitment signed in August to firm orders for 78 A320neos and 32 standard A320s, the European manufacturer announced today. The deal for 110 A320-family aircraft ranks as the largest single order in Australian aviation history in terms of units, said Airbus.
Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet took delivery of its fourth Q400 NextGen on September 7 and planned to deploy it late last month along with three others it received starting in late August. A delay in clearance from the Reserve Bank of India forced a postponement of first deliveries from July to the last week of August.
Developments planned by Australia’s Qantas Airways and American Airlines demonstrate membership benefits for global alliance partners seeking to rationalize operations while improving competitiveness. The operators belong to Oneworld, whose members include British Airways (BA), Chile’s LAN, Iberia, and Japan Airlines (JAL), with Malaysia Airlines waiting in the wings.