New aircraft orders placed this year from Air India and Indian Airlines should ensure that the government-owned carriers can compete against promising new domestic and international operators on the subcontinent. But strong growth in passenger traffic as well as flights has put increased pressure on congested facilities.
International Aero Engines will provide service support for its V2500-A5 powerplants fitted to 20 Jetstar Airways Airbus A320s, plus three spare units under a 10-year deal. The Australian low-cost carrier currently has 15 IAE-powered A320s in service and will have 23 aircraft by June 2006.
There is something wrong with the airline industry, according to Giovanni Bisignani, the director-general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). At the Asia/Pacific summit here in Singapore this week, Bisignani reported that airlines ordered a record number of new aircraft last year while collectively losing $6 billion nett (and U.S. operators $10 billion), out of an overall $42 billion global loss since 2001.
Aviation International News traveled from Delhi to Mumbai for the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) conference on Kingfisher Airlines, because at the time it offered the best schedule and most user-friendly Web site for buying tickets in U.S. dollars using a credit card. We paid $310 (or about INR 12,500) for the round-trip ticket.
Remember the days not too long ago, when any aspiring young computer whiz with a domain name and a smile could convince a venture capitalist to invest six or seven figures in his or her product-less Internet concept?
Emirates-CAE Flight Training here announced the signing of three contracts for its training center in Dubai. Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo Airlines will train its Airbus A320 pilots there (it last year ordered 100 A320s), so will oil producer Saudi Aramco for its Bell 412 helicopter pilots. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), too, has chosen the Emirates-CAE joint venture to train its Boeing 777 flight crews. PIA operates five 777s.
Hamilton Sundstrand (Hall 4 Stand F13) has announced the signing of a long-term maintenance agreement with low-cost carrier Ryanair. The contract covers test, repair and overhaul for the manufacturer’s products on the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737s. These include electric power and cabin pressurization equipment.
Saudi Arabia’s new low-cost carrier Sama last month became the latest operator to sign up for one of the integrated airline solutions (IAS) contracts offered by SR Technics (Hall 4 Stand B8). The five-year, $121 million deal will see the maintenance, repair and overhaul group provide full technical support for Sama’s fleet of Boeing 737-300s, including engineering and technical services, component support and logistics management.
The sales and marketing gurus at the world’s major business jet manufacturers have long counted Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America as “potential” growth markets–all while focusing their attention on the “real” markets for business airplanes, namely the U.S., Western Europe and the Middle East.
Throughout the world established airlines struggle to compete against start-up operators employing bare-bones business models or serving niche business markets. Trends in the UK illustrate the problems–and the opportunities–the situation presents British Airways and the likes of lean, young regionals such as Air Southwest and Eastern Airways.