The FAA announced last week that it proposed fines against both Great Lakes Aviation and Southwest Airlines for unrelated FAR violations. The FAA claims that Great Lakes flew a Beech 1900 on 19 different occasions when the aircraft’s de-icing fluid was heated to temperatures exceeding the 180-degree limit that could possibly damage the aircraft. Southwest Airlines was accused of incorrectly wiring a windshield heater switch on a Boeing 717 and operating that aircraft on 1,140 passenger flights before the error was detected.
Strong wind accompanying record storms in Britain, which experts said produced the worst tidal surge in the North Sea for 50 years, forced several airline pilots to conduct go-around maneuvers as they attempted to land. One amateur video recorded two landing attempts (Emirates and Brussels Airlines) at Birmingham Airport in central England, where gusts exceeding 50 mph were reported.
October airline traffic statistics published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week showed substantial growth in virtually every region of the world, as global revenue passenger kilometers rose 6.6 percent compared with the same month a year earlier and 5.2 percent over September’s results. Even the cargo market resumed its fragile recovery in October, generating a 4-percent increase in freight ton kilometers.
Talks between Cambodian telecommunications, banking and property tycoon Kith Meng and Philippine Airlines (PAL) over a new Cambodian flag carrier called Cambodia Air have intensified following their failure to realize plans to close on a deal on October 15.
On April 25, PAL’s board agreed to acquire a 49-percent stake in Cambodia Air, now solely owned by Meng’s company, Inter Logistics (ILC).
Keen to show his airline can operate as a profitable carrier amid assertions that it survives on the largesse of its government benefactors, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker offered revealing insights at last month’s Dubai Airshow into some of the internal machinations and brinkmanship that shape aircraft purchase negotiations. The colorful and sometimes controversial Al Baker played coy about his interest in the 777X while fully intending to engage Boeing in serious negotiations that eventually led to a blockbuster sale.
Facing the prospect of increasing competition from European carriers, El Al Israel Airlines plans to launch a new low-fare brand named Up next March. Up will start by offering one-way introductory fares of $69 for departures from Israel to Prague and Budapest; and $99 to Berlin, Kiev and Larnaca, Cyprus.
India’s twice-bid reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH) competition has been delayed again. An oversight committee is now scrutinizing the latest bids to inquire into allegations of improper conduct by an army officer during flight trials of the finalists. The Kamov Ka-226T and Eurocopter AS550C3 Fennec are competing for an Army and Air Force requirement for 197 helicopters.
The U.S. Transportation Command (USTranscom) has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new contracts for companies providing helicopter support in Afghanistan. Recipients include AAR Airlift, $151 million; Columbia Helicopters, $87 million; Construction Helicopters, $33 million; and HNZ Group, $6 million.
Heli USA, the third largest helicopter tour operator in Las Vegas, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month in a move the company asserts was triggered by a commercial dispute with AgustaWestland over leased helicopters. Heli USA had stopped making lease payments after it claimed the Italian airframer failed to deliver a trio of helicopters with ordered equipment, including sightseeing windows and in-flight entertainment systems. Heli USA filed for Chapter 11 in a bid to stop AgustaWestland from repossessing the aircraft.
Honda Aircraft celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the HondaJet prototype’s first flight on Tuesday. “The proof-of-concept HondaJet first flight was a pinnacle moment,” Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino told AIN. “Our team had spent years researching and testing the advanced theories and concepts incorporated into the aircraft’s innovative design,” which includes its over-the-wing engine mounting.