With its rapidly growing route network, long-term expansion plans and emphasis on reduced operating costs, flydubai has to be considered a prime sales prospect for Boeing’s re-engined 737 MAX airliner.
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.
A five-year Qantas Airways plan to reduce dependence on domestic flights and business services and establish two Asian joint-venture partnerships aims to help the Australian carrier to stimulate overseas business. It will lay off 1,000 employees, defer deliveries of six Airbus A380s (and possibly some Boeing 787s), retire four Boeing 747-400s and replace two London services with British Airways code-shares beyond Bangkok and Hong Kong.
In a bid to resuscitate “steadily fading” overseas operations, Australia’s Qantas Airways plans to make 1,000 domestic jobs redundant, defer Airbus A380 (and possibly some Boeing 787) deliveries, retire some Boeing 747-400s, and replace some long-haul services with code-sharing flights.
Most major U.S. airlines stayed profitable in the second quarter despite dramatically higher fuel costs. Delta, United Continental, US Airways, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue all reported quarterly profit in earnings releases late last month. An exception was American Airlines, which reported a net loss of $286 million blamed in large part on fuel prices. The story sounded similar across the Atlantic.
Low-cost carrier Tiger Airways Australia has accepted that it could stay grounded throughout July as Australian safety inspectors continue to probe its operations. The grounding, which is costing the Singapore-based airline $1.6 million a week, claimed its first casualty with the announced departure of CEO Crawford Rix.
Airbus got a jumpstart on its goal of boosting the backlog for its new A320neo family of airliners to 500 orders by the end of this year’s Paris Air Show by signing a deal with Cebu Pacific earlier this week. The Philippines-based carrier has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for the purchase of 30 A321neos.
Alongside preparations for the re-engined A320neo, Airbus is continuing A320 product development, according to A320 family chief engineer Wolfgang Engler. Some 23 years after A320 MSN0005 pioneered the type’s airline service with Air France, the manufacturer claims a 99.7-percent “operational reliability” for the most recently delivered 250 aircraft.
Budget long-haul airline AirAsia X is eyeing a stock market listing and fleet expansion to spread its wings across the globe. The Malaysia-based carrier’s chief executive, Azran Osman Rani, has been in talks with institutional investors about a flotation in the next year or two to fund growth.
In late April, scientists from Denmark’s University of Copenhagen and the University of Iceland in Reykjavik published the findings of an almost year-long study into last year’s eruption of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano.