The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts “the worst revenue environment in 50 years” in the airline business next year, according to a global market forecast the group released yesterday. In all, IATA sees a loss of $2.5 billion, led by a doubling in losses among Asia-Pacific carriers to $1.1 billion. Europe will rival Asia-Pacific’s bruising with a tenfold rise in losses, to $1 billion, according to the IATA report.
Fast-growing executive charter group VistaJet yesterday spelled out details of its new Flight Solutions portfolio. The Swiss-based group says that by operating closer to an airline business model it can radically change the economics of private aviation to make it a more viable option to a wider customer base.
VirginBlue has postponed the launch of its planned V Australia trans-Pacific services, scheduled for December 15, until at least February 28, because the machinists strike at Boeing will delay delivery of the first 777-300ER slated to perform the service.
If the drop in the number of attendees at last year’s annual NBAA Flight Attendant Conference was a result of economic uncertainty, then perhaps the increase in attendees this year suggests a market recovery. Few would be willing to publicly embrace such a notion, but the fact remains that the 197 attendees at this year’s conference in Philadelphia was a healthy increase over the 149 who turned the stiles last year in Nashville, Tenn.
No sooner had the ink dried on a report by the Institute for Policy Studies and Essential Action (IPS/EA) claiming super-wealthy private jet owners are enjoying tax breaks and luxury at the public’s expense than general aviation stood up to vociferously disagree.
European maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service providers expect a downturn in air transport, and analysts say consolidation in the support market will likely result from this trend.
Civil operations at Singapore Seletar Airport could be severely curtailed and business jet operations forced away altogether if several proposed initiatives are implemented by the local authorities. Most pressing is the imposition on the first of this month of Stage 3 noise restrictions, with no waivers for noncompliant aircraft, but other plans could limit operations even more.
Last month I participated in a panel discussion about maintenance of the airline fleet. For a long time the airlines have depended on certified repair stations to make repairs they couldn’t tackle because of a lack of facilities or required tooling.
The world’s airlines may have made $5.6 billion profit last year and achieved record load factors of 77 percent but Lufthansa Technik CEO August Wilhelm Hennigsen said here yesterday, “With fuel at $100 a barrel and the smell of recession coming from the U.S. the question is whether the industry will continue to grow.”
Attention Iron Chefs. Here’s a challenge for you. Try putting together those beautifully prepared and eminently eatable dishes in a kitchen the size of an apartment closet, with just enough counter space to open a can of soup. Or take a shot at whipping up a soufflé at 8,000 feet, or building an intricately stacked entrée at the same time you’re creating a sauce, grinding coffee beans and serving drinks to a dozen demanding passengers.