In late October Air Seychelles announced its purchase of three 19-seat Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400s as part of a plan to renew its domestic fleet for services between Mahé and Praslin, as well as other islands in the archipelago, including Bird, Denis and Frégate. The airline expects to take all three turboprops by mid-2015 but holds an option for earlier delivery if aircraft become available. It now operates one Viking Twin Otter Series 400 and three aging de Havilland Canada-built Series 300s, all of which it plans to replace with the newly ordered airplanes.
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.
Exeter, UK-based Flybe plans to slash another 500 jobs as part of a continuing cost-cutting exercise centered on removing excess capacity and improving worker productivity. The announcement follows an earlier round of cuts that saw Flybe shed 590 jobs this year. The company employed some 2,700 people at the end of September.
Despite Indonesia’s apparent ambivalence toward an open skies policy among the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Garuda Indonesia continues to prepare for its home country’s full participation in the accord when it takes effect in January 2015. Most recently, on November 25, the Indonesian flag carrier introduced a new sub-brand called “Explore” ahead of a December 3 launch into service of its first ATR 72-600.
Expectations of a late-2013 surge in new airliner deals were handsomely surpassed at last month’s Dubai Airshow (November 17-21), with aircraft orders (including the engines that will power them) exceeding a record-breaking $200 billion mark, as of press time. But business aviation also put on a strong showing, accounting for roughly a third of the 150 or so aircraft occupying a packed static display at the biennial event’s new Dubai World Central (DWC) site. The impressive purpose-built show venue closely replicates the appearance of the long-standing site at Dubai International Airport.
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.
Delta Air Lines plans to begin distributing Microsoft Surface 2 tablet computers to its Boeing 757 and 767 pilots beginning in January. Pilots will use the computing device as an electronic flight bag (EFB) to store electronic charts and documents, reducing weight and improving workflow on the flight deck, the airline said. Delta joins other U.S. carriers that have incorporated tablet computers in their flight decks. Delta is the first major airline to select Microsoft’s Surface 2; other carriers, including United, Alaska and American, have selected the Apple iPad.
Lack of infrastructure and regulatory cohesion challenge the growth of the Asia-Pacific region’s airlines, said Andrew Herdman, president and director general of the 15-airline Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). Herdman and other industry officials warned of rising air traffic congestion at AAPA’s 57th Assembly of Presidents, held November 14 and 15 in Hong Kong.
UAE national carrier Etihad Airways unveiled its first branded regional airline operation–Etihad Regional–at the Dubai Airshow yesterday. Etihad is launching the regional operation after acquiring a 33.3-percent stake in Swiss carrier Darwin Airline.
Atlantic FuelEx has been appointed as a member of the steering committee of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO). The Dubai-based company is the first fuel reseller to be appointed to the group, which is focused on improving the reliability and quality of fuel supplies to carriers in the region.
Two UK airports announced earlier this year the creation of a National Aeronautical Centre (NAC) for the testing of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), the first such nongovernment venture in Europe. West Wales Airport at Aberporth and Newquay Airport in Cornwall, southwest England, have linked up to jointly offer to UAS developers (Unmanned Vehicles area, Stand 645) their facilities and runways, along with access to large offshore testing areas.