Malaysia’s National Aerospace and Defence Industries (NADI) and Lion Air parent PT Lion Grup of Indonesia plan to establish a new low-fare airline in Malaysia named Malindo Airways, the new partners announced Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur. Scheduled to start flights next May out of Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s regional transit hub, Malindo would compete directly with AirAsia–the biggest low-fare carrier in the region–in its home market of Malaysia, as well as Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, India and Japan.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for liberalization of the Middle East market, including new freedoms for airlines to price services and more readily access capital at a time when the industry group claims excessive regulation has stunted the growth of vital players, especially in Saudi Arabia. “Who cares who owns an airline, if it is safe and provides efficient service?” said Hussein Dabbas, IATA’s regional vice president for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), speaking last week at a seminar in Dubai organized by Embraer.
At first glance, the proposed merger between EADS and BAE should not pose problems for competition regulators on either side of the Atlantic, from a defense perspective. There is very little overlap between the businesses. “It’s a great strategic fit,” one EADS official told AIN. However, that may not stop companies such as Finmeccanica or Thales from raising questions about the consolidation of first-tier defense contractors in Europe.
Grassroots representatives from NBAA, AOPA and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) have told U.S. lawmakers that user fees in any form would be “devastating” to the general aviation community. They were giving evidence at a hearing of the House Small Business Committee yesterday.
“The costs associated with user fees far outweigh any benefit to deficit reduction,” said NATA treasurer Marian Epps, whose family operates Epps Aviation in Atlanta.
While current private equity owners GTCR Golder Rauner and Platform Partners have yet to confirm reports that FBO chain Landmark Aviation is for sale, industry sources say that a deal for the services provider is close to being struck.
According to several insiders, the Carlyle Group investment fund manager–which owned the service provider (formerly known as Garrett/Piedmont-Hawthorne/Associated until its rebranding as Landmark) before its 2007 sale to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE)–will once again acquire the U.S.-based group.
Demand for charter flights dipped early this month, according to data from online charter portal Avinode. At 143.21, the company’s forward-looking demand index for the 30-day period from September 10 was 40 points down from where it was a month prior, seemingly showing the market cooling slightly at the end of the northern hemisphere summer season. However, the September 10 index was still almost 37 points higher than where it was 12 months earlier.
Avantair, the fractional-share operator of a fleet of 56 Piaggio Avanti twin turboprops, has adjusted its payscales to better match the rate of growth of management fees, company CEO Steve Santo told AIN. Management fees generally grow at the rate of the consumer price index (CPI), but raises during certain years were climbing faster than the CPI, making it difficult for Avantair to keep expenses in check.
FlightSafety International’s Bombardier Global 5000/6000 simulator its Learning Center in Columbus, Ohio, received FAA and EASA level-D qualification, a company spokesman told AIN. While the sim was installed primarily to train pilots at FlightSafety sister company NetJets, Global training will be available to all customers. Meanwhile, FlightSafety’s Embraer Phenom 300 sim is scheduled to be completed and qualified by year-end at the Columbus facility, though it will be used only for NetJets pilot training in the light jet.
NBAA will hold a business aviation regional forum next Thursday at Clay Lacy Aviation at Seattle Boeing Field. The agenda at the day-long forum includes a general session presented by NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, as well as sessions on upset recovery and stall prevention, paper to digital chart transitioning best practices, future air navigation systems and business aviation taxes. There will also be an exhibitor hall and aircraft static display area.
The Airports Council International-North America board of directors unanimously approved a resolution that calls upon the U.S. government to create “a national aviation policy that will provide the kind of long-term stability aviation needs to remain the nation’s gateway for economic growth and development.” The resolution calls for “flexible, adequate funding sources” for infrastructure improvements needed to ensure the safety and security of air travel.