The Middle East is sitting at the end of the air transport rainbow, if Airbus forecasts are to be believed: its share of global traffic will expand faster than that of any other geographical area, increasing by one half in the next 20 years.
Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group of Fairfax, Virginia, wonders whether Emirates has bitten off more than it can chew with the A380. The lack of operating lessors is an indication of a weak-to-nonexistent secondary market. And Emirates’ insistence on low average fleet age–a year ago, its strategy officials were aiming for under six years–means that the airline could have to start offloading its earliest A380 components in the fleet as soon as next year.
Toronto-based Porter Airlines has joined the Regional Airline Association (RAA), the Washington, D.C. lobbying and industry advocacy group announced last month. With Porter’s enrollment, the RAA now counts 29 airline members.
Frontier Airlines has become the first Part 121 airline approved to use iPad EFBs running the ForeFlight Mobile app for all phases of flight, under FAA OpSpec A061. As is typical with commercial users of iPad EFBs, the FAA will not allow the Frontier pilots to turn on the own-ship position switch in ForeFlight Mobile. They will be able to use ForeFlight’s hazard and weather map overlays, en route charts, approach charts and airport diagrams as well as ForeFlight’s document-storage feature to access safety publications and other materials.
With business remaining relatively stagnant in Europe and North America, the business aviation industry is looking to other parts of the world for growth, and nowhere is growing faster than Africa. An economic explosion in the exploitation of oil/gas and mineral reserves is driving a need for a boom in corporate aviation, not only to support internal operations, but also to bring in the executives from overseas who represent a major increase in inward investment into the continent, especially from China.
When representatives from Europe’s regional airlines met in Salzburg last month at the annual general assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), they did so against a backdrop of red tape, high fuel prices, inefficient ATC and the ever growing threat from low-cost carriers and airports biased toward large aircraft. Nevertheless, the ERA was able to report that its members had managed capacity well to remain profitable, reacting to demand and becoming more efficient as signs of a return to growth become more evident.
A new study released last month by Newtown, Conn.-based Forecast International projects “restrained growth” in the regional airliner market over the next 10 years, stemming from such factors as major-airline consolidation. The study projects gradual and steady growth between 2013 and 2020, followed by a cyclical downturn in 2021 and 2022 that will negatively affect delivery numbers.
The Federal Aviation Administration has cleared airlines to allow their passengers to use portable electronic devices (PEDs) in all phases of flight, once they prove that their aircraft can tolerate electromagnetic interference. The process will vary among airlines, but many carriers should be able to demonstrate PEDs tolerance within several months, the agency said.
The debate rages on.
Should general aviation pay more toward the cost of the nation’s air traffic control system, especially if it would hasten the implementation of the NextGen air traffic control (ATC) system and depoliticize FAA funding? If so, is the current system of fuel and excise taxes the best way to do it?
Business aviation services group Comlux is expanding its aircraft completions activity to include widebody VIP aircraft like the Boeing 747 and Airbus A330. The strategic move was confirmed by the company’s board last month and comes at a time when its Indianapolis, Ind.-based Comlux America maintenance and interiors division is seeing a declining backlog of new green Boeing Business Jets and Airbus Corporate Jets.