Resolved on tapping the booming Central Asian market, global alliances SkyTeam, OneWorld and Star Alliance have approached Kazakhstan national carrier Air Astana with offers to join their ranks. In response, the airline recently commissioned U.S.-based Seabury Group to prepare a report on whether it should enter an alliance “and which one, because all alliances want us to join them,” Air Astana president Peter Foster told AIN in Astana recently.
Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC), Russia’s oldest and largest aircraft leasing company, is planning to procure Western aircraft types to help the vast country’s airlines to meet soaring demand. Airline traffic grew 13.4 percent in 2011 and has continued at a similar pace this year.
Mexican low-fare carrier Volaris has signed a purchase agreement for 30 Airbus A320neos and 14 A320s, Airbus announced today. The deal amounts to the largest single commercial aircraft order ever by an airline in Mexico, according to Airbus. Volaris, also the first airline in the country to order the A320neo, plans to announce its engine selections for the aircraft at a later date.
Austrian low-fare airline Niki in late November converted purchase rights into firm orders for another two Embraer E190s, deliveries of which the companies have scheduled for the first half of next year. A firm order for five airplanes announced during the Farnborough Airshow in July 2008 included purchase rights on another five jets–either E190s or E195s.
Dubai-based leasing company LCAL has opted to shrink the size of its order for 787 Dreamliners from 21 airplanes to five, Boeing confirmed today. The move comes a week after Russia’s S7 Group, parent of S7 Airlines, cancelled an order for 15 of the airplanes. Together, the contract cancellations/modifications lowered the size of the 787 orderbook from 910 to 879.
S7 Airlines announced here yesterday that it has signed a 13-year engine service per hour contract with Snecma Services covering its CFM56-5A engines. The new pact follows another signed two years ago. One of Russia’s largest domestic airlines, S7 Airlines bases its operation in Novosibirsk and has its largest hub at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow.
Airbus looked intent on making up for two years of persistent hits to its credibility virtually all at once yesterday with a nearly uninterrupted string of sales, order “commitments” and MoU announcements, led by firm orders for 80 A350 XWBs from Qatar Airways and 60 A320s from GE Commercial Aviation Service.
Sukhoi would have loved to announce an RRJ launch order from Aeroflot last month out from under the shadow of intrigue that seems to hang over every Russian aerospace project. But as so often happens in Russia, internal conflicts have a way of rising to the surface at the most inopportune moments.