While talk of lawsuits might sound premature while the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 continues, law firms have already begun the chase for compensation for those who now seem certain to have lost loved ones.
Air Transport and Cargo
News and issues relating to international air transport and cargo carriers, national airlines and regional airlines, including aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
Japan’s ANA Holdings on March 27 said it will place firm orders for 70 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft, including the new Boeing 777-9X, additional 787 Dreamliners and new Airbus A320neos. ANA valued the order at $16.6 billion at list prices, the largest aircraft order in its history.
An extension of the contract to maintain the A320 final assembly line in Tianjin, China, by another 10 years led a series of agreements Airbus entered with Chinese partners on Wednesday that also marked the end of a bitter trade dispute over Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
GE Aviation announced on March 26 that it will break ground this year on a new $100 million assembly plant in Lafayette, Ind., to produce Leap engines for narrowbody airliners as part of its CFM International joint venture with France’s Snecma. It expects the plant will create 200 jobs by 2020.
Five-month-old Indian regional airline Air Costa plans to start international operations once India lifts its rule that limits new carriers to domestic services during their first five years of operation. Ahead of that revision, the carrier, which ordered a mix of 50 Embraer E190-E2s and E195-E2s at the Singapore Air Show in February, has applied for a national permit to fly pan-India, Vivek Choudhary, chief commercial officer and vice president of corporate finance of parent company LEPL Projects, told AIN.
Malaysian authorities have concluded that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, far from any land mass that could have presented the crew with a chance to land, according to a statement issued Monday by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. New satellite data confirms the conclusion, said Razak during a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur.
Talk of production “bubbles” again colored the discourse at the March 16 to 18 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas 2014 conference in San Diego, even while OEMs in attendance insisted that record backlogs fully justify their planned rate increases. Manufacturers highlighted a strong backdrop for aircraft demand fueled by aging replacement needs, a 20-seat increase in the capacity of narrowbodies since 2007, emerging-market long-term capacity requirements and the global expansion of low-cost carriers, according to a research note from Sterne Agee.
Demand for air travel in the U.S. grew slowly in 2013, a year that started “with a good deal of uncertainty that never really let up,” the Federal Aviation Administration states in its latest 20-year aerospace forecast. Nevertheless, the U.S. airline industry posted a fourth straight year of profits, thanks to changes it implemented after the 2008 global recession. The biggest change is that airlines have shifted from efforts to increase their market share to improving shareholder returns, the FAA said.
India’s next government needs to press ahead with the development of domestic air routes, according to a new report published by consultants KPMG last week. India’s Five-Year Plan for the period 2012 to 2017 included a policy to improve flight connections between second- and third-tier cities, but progress all but stalled due to the political inertia that has gripped government ahead of elections to be held in April and May. At the same time, the recent downgrading of the country’s aviation authorities to Category 2 by the U.S. FAA has compromised India’s ability to develop further international air service.
Now 10 days after the transponder from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 stopped transmitting over the South China Sea, the search for the missing Boeing 777 has expanded to involve 25 countries and cover an area spanning a million square miles. The expansion of the search came in reaction to evidence that the airplane’s satcom system continued to transmit for several hours after Malaysian military radar lost contact with the airplane some 200 miles northwest of the island of Panang off the Western coast of the Malay peninsula.