Facing high costs and increased competition, Air France-KLM’s management must pick its battles. Having announced plans for up to 2,800 job cuts on September 18, the European airline this week deferred a decision on whether or not it will provide further investment to plug holes in the sieve-like balance sheet of Alitalia. It holds a 25-percent stake in the Italian carrier, and Italy’s government has indicated it would be willing to see the Franco-Dutch group increase that share to 50 percent.
American Airlines parent AMR and US Airways agreed to extend their merger deadline by about a month to allow for the antitrust case filed by the U.S. Justice Department to run its course.
World airlines collected $27 billion in revenue from products and services other than ticket sales last year, according to the latest annual report by research company IdeaWorks. The total came from data from 53 airlines that disclose ancillary revenue activity.
Ailing infrastructure in rapidly growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region has not kept in step with demand, creating huge challenges for airlines running out of pilots as fleets expand. Led by China and India, the region’s economies will grow 4.5 percent per year over the next 20 years, while Chinese airlines triple the size of their fleets, according to the 2013 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook on Asia-Pacific.
Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) is entering the business aviation market with plans to have some of the airliners it has on order for its lease portfolio outfitted with VIP interiors. For the most part, the aircraft to be offered for lease for private and corporate clients will be Russian-made airliners, such as the Tupolev Tu-204 and Antonov An-158, but IFC also has orders for new aircraft such as Sukhoi’s Superjet SSJ-100 and Irkut’s MC-21.
Growth in global airline traffic–both passenger and cargo–continued a positive trend during the month of July, as revenue passenger kilometers increased 5 percent and freight ton kilometers rose 1.2 percent over the same month in 2012, according to a pair of reports issued last week by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The European Regions Airline Association is preparing for a winter of intense lobbying as politicians in Brussels return to their desks this month. The ERA’s new director general, Simon McNamara, has identified new passenger rights rules, airport capacity shortages and constraints on state aid for airlines and airports as the main battleground issues the association hopes to resolve before the European Parliament elections in May next year and the subsequent appointment of new leadership at the European Commission (EC).
Low-cost carrier Ryanair has said it will appeal the UK Competition Commission’s August 28 ruling that it must reduce its holding in Ireland’s Aer Lingus from 29.8 percent to 5 percent.
The airline industry will need more than one million new pilots and technicians to operate and maintain new aircraft due for delivery over the next two decades, according to a new forecast from Boeing. The 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook, released on Thursday at the launch of 787 training at the U.S. airframer’s Miami Flight Services campus, projects a requirement for 498,000 new airline pilots and 556,000 new maintenance technicians by 2032.
Data released last week by UK air navigation service provider NATS appears to strengthen Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair in its ongoing campaign to refute accusations that its pilots are subject to undue operational pressure. The NATS data showed that while the all-airline average of carriers whose crews were responsible for altitude busts in Europe as a whole was approximately 6.71 per 100,000 movements, Ryanair pilots busted assigned altitudes only 0.94 times per 100,000 movements.