All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines have grounded their entire fleets of Boeing 787s following an emergency landing this morning by an ANA Dreamliner in western Japan.
In seeking to consummate its proposed strategic alliance with Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways aims to head off the challenge posed by the formidable pairing of British Airways and American Airlines. So who did Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson recruit to succeed retiring CEO Steve Ridgway? Why, naturally, a senior American Airlines executive in the shape of senior vice president for customers Craig Kreeger, who assumes his new role from February 1.
Bristol Flying Center (BFC), the aviation services provider at the UK’s Bristol Airport, has completed an expansion after its parent company signed two handling contracts, one of them with a regional airline that handles Airbus corporate business. The FBO expects to see its annual passenger numbers increase 1,700 percent as a result of the agreements, which take effect this month. The company has completed two new passenger lounges and a separate crew lounge, along with new security screening facilities and redesigned reception areas in its 6,500-sq-ft terminal.
Virgin Group boss Richard Branson insists that Virgin Atlantic’s brand will remain intact well into the future following Delta Air Lines’ planned purchase of Singapore Airlines’ 49-percent stake in the UK carrier. “First of all, ignore the press speculation, the British Airways speculation,” said Branson via a video feed from his Caribbean retreat on Necker Island during last week’s announcement. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Tough economic times are resulting in innovations by carriers in the Asia Pacific region looking beyond traditional business models through strategic realignments and new product offerings. Recent ground-breaking deals include Virgin Australia selling a 10-percent stake to Singapore Airlines (SIA) and buying 60 percent of Tiger Airways; the new partnership between Emirates Airline and Qantas; and Etihad Airways purchasing a 10-percent stake in Virgin Australia.
A “comprehensive” plan unveiled Friday by International Airlines Group (IAG) to save its Iberia subsidiary from financial ruin calls for the company to cut 4,500 jobs, cut network capacity next year by 15 percent and eliminate 25 airplanes from the fleet.
The outspoken chief executive of Qatar Airways, an increasingly influential player in the world airline market, blamed the long-running battle over airline participation in Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) on the former leader of the association that represents world airlines.
Striking pilots and engineers of India’s Kingfisher Airlines have accepted a three-month portion of their eight months of unpaid salaries and agreed to return to work, even as management struggles to get its suspended Scheduled Operator’s Permit reinstated. Still, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh warned that paying salaries alone would not guarantee that Kingfisher would fly again. “I think the Kingfisher problem is much bigger; even if they pay the salaries today, are they going to take off and fly? I don`t think so,” he said.
As oil and gas wells overflow in Kazakhstan, Air Astana–the national carrier of the newly enriched former Soviet republic–is looking deep into Asia to expand its network. Its inclusion on the European Union blacklist, which frustrates its ambitions to expand west, lies at the heart of its strategy. Air Astana’s discussions over a code-share partnership with Royal Jordanian, which follows an analogous strategy, is no coincidence.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is trying to understand how a military air traffic controller allowed a Qantas-Link Boeing 717 inbound to Darwin carrying 115 passengers to fly through the altitude of a Qantas Boeing 737 that just departed that same airport with 155 people on board. Darwin is a joint-use military/civilian airport. The 717’s Tcas system alerted the crew to the other aircraft, which the pilot reported passed about 800 feet beneath him. That same captain said the other aircraft looked as if it had passed much closer to his 717 than 800 feet.