The Star Alliance has set a new target of 2015 for Air India to join its ranks following a unanimous vote by member airlines to restart the process of integrating the Indian flag carrier. The alliance suspended integration in 2011 on grounds that Air India had “not met minimum joining conditions agreed in December 2007.” With signs of stability and fleet rationalization, however, Star has agreed to give Air India a second chance.
Open Travel Alliance
Bell Helicopter will build its new short light single (SLS) helicopter at Lafayette Regional Airport in Louisiana, the company announced last month.
Rockwell Collins completed its acquisition of communications and systems integration specialist Arinc late on Monday. The avionics group, which paid The Carlyle Group $1.4 billion for Arinc, said that the integration of its new division should be complete within six to nine months. “With this move we take a major leap forward to realizing our vision of providing a richer set of seamless information management solutions that encompass the aircraft and ground-based systems,” said Rockwell Collins CEO and president Kelly Ortberg.
Riding the favorable winds of increasing passenger traffic, slightly better fuel prices and revenues from ancillary services such as baggage fees, the world’s airlines should post record absolute profits in 2014, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). But some parts of the air transport system, particularly cargo and business-class passengers, remain at pre-recession levels.
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.
Patrick Cau, a German citizen and former United Airlines flight attendant, has been sentenced to 18 months in a U.S. federal prison for making eight false bomb threats against United Airlines flights. Cau was fired by the airline about a year before the first threats began surfacing from a variety of U.S. cities in late 2012. Cau must also pay nearly $314,000 in restitution to both his former employer and the Los Angeles Police Department for expenses related to the threats.
Trip support group United Aviation Services (UAS) has boosted its international network with a new U.S. headquarters established in Houston and the launch last month of a trip management system. The Dubai-based company has signaled its intent to roll out more flight-support offices in other parts of the world.
American Airlines and US Airways announced they expect to complete their merger on December 9 following Wednesday’s approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York of a lawsuit settlement reached between the airlines and the U.S. Justice Department.
Last week’s decision by the U.S. Justice Department to drop its lawsuit to block the merger of AMR and US Airways Group didn’t come without conditions, but antitrust experts and analysts for the most part agree that it came as a resounding victory for the airlines. Largely left intact by the deal reached between Justice and the airlines, the merger would close in December, creating the largest carrier in the world.