Spanish and Irish authorities have asked Ryanair flight operations to explain why three of the airline’s Boeing 737s requested and received landing priority in July after running low on fuel approaching Valencia Airport in eastern Spain. The Ireland-based low-cost carrier says that thunderstorms forced all three aircraft to divert from Madrid and that each of them ran short of fuel after holding for more than an hour. Although no one was injured, Ryanair officials reported the incidents to Spanish and Irish aviation regulators, prompting the investigation.
Ancillary revenue collected by airlines for products and services ranging from checked bags and extra legroom to co-branded credit cards continues to grow in size and importance to the industry. Fifty world airlines that disclose proceeds from such activities reported $22 billion in ancillary revenue last year, marking a 66-percent increase over 2009 results, according to a new report.
The decline of India’s Kingfisher Airlines, whose fleet has shrunk to 18 aircraft from 66, hasn’t only served to push air fares upward due to declining capacity in a high-demand market. At the same time it has reduced business for suppliers and airline service providers, such as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) groups.
Europe’s regional airlines continue to struggle against European Commission (EC) bureaucrats who do not appreciate their value or the problems poor legislation and punitive taxation cause, or that they enable European economic prosperity. This was the central message from the “Regions at Risk” conference held by the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) in Porto, Portugal on April 18 and 19.
South Africa’s low-cost carriers have fallen into disarray as rising fuel costs and overcapacity take their toll on a domestic industry now hit by a spate of airline management resignations. Rodney James stepped down as CEO of OneTime airline, along with executive director Michael Kaminski, the company said March 13, without giving reasons for the departures.
In a reversal from an earlier policy, which gave state-owned Air India preference over bilateral aviation agreements for international routes, the Indian government will now open access to private airlines.
Singapore Airlines’ latest low-cost venture–Scoot–is evaluating Boeing 787s and Airbus A350XWBs as it plans to more than triple its fleet to 14 aircraft by 2015. The medium- to long-haul carrier will launch services in June with four Boeing 777-200s acquired from its parent, SIA.
After an eventful 2011 that saw double-digit growth in passenger and aircraft numbers, Singapore is working to improve Changi Airport’s customer experience and global connections. “Despite continuing economic uncertainty and environmental factors, we continue to develop the hub,” according to Changi Airport Group (CAG) chief executive Lee Seow Hiang.
IndiGo, India’s largest budget carrier with a fleet of 48 Airbus A320 airliners, has awarded SriLankan Engineering its largest contract for maintenance of 26 C-checks through 2012. This is the fourth consecutive year IndiGo has outsourced to SriLankan and it is the largest overseas outsourcing of maintenance, repair and overhaul work by an Indian carrier. The contact has been awarded at a time when onerous taxes appear to be making Indian MRO providers uncompetitive.
AirAsia X, the Malaysian budget long-haul affiliate of Air Asia, is consolidating business in its core markets of China, Australia, Japan and Korea, according to CEO Azran Osman-Rani, who was speaking to AIN at the Low Cost Airlines World conference in Singapore last week.