The ready availability of low-interest-rate financing for new aircraft has seen the average age of airplanes retired for parts decline precipitously, keeping companies specializing in so-called teardowns busier than ever.
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.
Air cargo traffic is set to bounce back after enduring a lean period in recent years. This was the main conclusion of Boeing’s latest biennial World Air Cargo Forecast, published at the October 7 International Air Cargo Forum and Exhibition in Seoul, South Korea. The airframer predicts that air freight traffic will increase at an annual rate of 4.7 percent over the next 20 years, and is expected to double in volume by 2033.
Despite ambitious plans to expand its international network and notwithstanding a high-profile launch of Jakarta-London services on September 8, Garuda Indonesia has decided to take a more conservative approach this year after posting a group operating loss of $234 million in the first half of the year, compared with a $10.92 million loss in the same period in 2013.
Silver Airways chief financial officer Sami Teittinen replaced Dave Pflieger as the airline’s CEO as of September 5. The switch came after Pflieger accepted Hawaii Island Air’s chief executive position, held by Paul Casey until October 1. Casey has agreed to serve as a senior advisor for Island Air’s board of directors.
Start-up carrier Cambodia Bayon Airlines in late August inked the largest-ever international contract for Xi’an Aircraft MA-60 turbopropsafter reaching terms on a deal with state-controlled aerospace conglomerate Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic). Valued at $450 million at list prices, the contract includes a firm order for two MA-60s and a letter of intent for 18 more over five years. Avic has received commitments for some 270 MA-60s, almost 100 of which it has delivered.
While greater safety in flight is always the trump card when it comes to weather radar performance, the core benefits of more modern systems can be measured in dollars and cents. Knowing early and with confidence precisely where heavy weather isn’t can save money by making dispatch and flight planning a lot more efficient and improving en route decision making for crews. That’s where Honeywell’s IntuVue 3-D weather system makes new and important inroads.
Speakers at this week’s European Regions Airline Association general assembly in Barcelona once again sent a clear message to legislators and regulators that the continent’s regional airlines cannot continue to absorb the costs of what they consider ill conceived and misguided rules. Highlighting his association’s close ties and mostly aligned positions on issues such as passenger rights legislation, International Air Transport Association director general Tony Tyler perhaps best reflected the collective sentiment when he told attendees that he has grown tired of even trying to fight for reform of foreign ownership rules, for example.
Europe’s regional airlines need to achieve further consolidation and move to a U.S.-style business model of cooperating directly with mainline carriers if they are ever to expect to return consistent profits. That was the assessment delivered to this week’s European Regions Airline Association general assembly in Barcelona by Braathens Aviation Group chairman Per Braathen. But he didn’t seem too confident that this change will come.
Making his first appearance at an European Regions Airline Association conference since assuming the top executive spot from the outgoing Filippo Bagnato, new ATR CEO Patrick de Castelbajac issued a predictably upbeat assessment of his company’s performance of late during a press briefing in Barcelona on October 1. Now holding, by its reckoning, an 80-percent share of the 70- to 80-seat turboprop airliner market, ATR expects a renewed emphasis on Europe following its encouraging sales over the past few years in Asia, whose operators now fly the highest numbers of the Franco-Italian turboprops of any region in the world.
Slovenia’s Adria Airways has seen a 20-percent decline in traffic on its Ljubljana-Moscow route due largely to the geopolitical upheaval in Eastern Europe. Now flying a pair of Airbus A319s, a single A320, six Bombardier CRJ900s and two CRJ200s, the airline expects a 10-percent increase in passenger traffic this year throughout its network. Unfortunately for CEO Mark Anzur, the airline’s only route into Russia has seen a precipitous decline since soon after the annexation of Crimea in March 2014.