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.
The spike in global oil prices brought about in no small measure by the unrest in the Middle East has driven the price of jet-A above $3 a gallon, prompting airlines throughout the world to adjust their air fares in an effort to compensate. According to the Air Transport Association, $3 jet fuel would raise U.S. airlines’ 2011 fuel bill by some $15 billion. Last year’s fuel bill for U.S. airlines totaled $38.8 billion.
Airbus’s first firm order for A380s from a Japanese customer last week not only added a significant tally to its backlog, but it might have represented a watershed event in the company’s efforts to loosen Boeing’s stranglehold on the lucrative market.
SuperJet International has secured another key export order for the SSJ100 airliner, while acknowledging that certification of the type has stalled once again. Sukhoi now expects Russian approval for the 100-seater at the end of January–a month past the most recent slipped deadline of December 28.
Indian discount airline Indigo will become the launch customer for the Airbus A320neo, the European manufacturer announced today. Already the largest low-fare carrier in India, Indigo signed a memorandum of understanding covering 150 A320neos and another 30 standard A320s. The parties haven’t yet announced an engine selection.