Qantas Airways’ August 23 cancellation of “firm commitments” covering 35 Boeing 787-9s previously slated for delivery beginning in 2014 demonstrates the need for an airframer to remain flexible in the face of changing industry demand. The sudden change, prompted by after-tax losses in the current financial year, also demonstrates the continued vulnerability of the airline sector to rising costs and uncertain demand.
AIN Air Transport Perspective » August 27, 2012
United Airlines has announced the first international routes for its soon-to-arrive Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The Chicago-based carrier, which is the North American launch customer for the 787, has said that it expects to place five 787s into service this year. It will take delivery of its first Dreamliner in late September.
The U.S. government should focus on more efficient aviation security during times of fiscal austerity, according to a new study by the nonprofit Rand research organization. The “Efficient Aviation Security” report, released on August 21, focuses on the costs and the benefits of aviation security in the U.S. in the post 9/11 era. “To make rational security decisions, the benefits of a measure (or group of measures) must be compared with its varied costs to determine whether those benefits exceed the cost,” the authors conclude.
UK airports group BAA has reluctantly abandoned any further legal challenges to the compulsory sale of London Stansted Airport mandated by anti-trust authorities. It is now open to offers for what is the UK’s fourth busiest airport, and low-cost carrier Ryanair has emerged as a leading figure among potential bidders. Ryanair confirmed on August 21 that it has been asked to join a consortium that would buy Stansted jointly, with its own stake not exceeding 25 percent.
Undaunted by the dominance of its Dubai and Abu Dhabi “big brothers” in the United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah is pressing ahead with plans to put itself on the air transport map. After a badly timed false start at the peak of the recent financial crisis, RAK Airways will have been back in business for two years by the end of 2012, and the emirate’s airport is drawing attention for its wide-open capacity and widebodies-welcome 12,332-foot runway.