AirAsia, the largest low-cost airline in Asia, has placed a new order with Airbus for 100 more A320-family narrowbodies, Airbus announced Thursday. The contract covers another 64 A320neos and 36 current-generation A320s, raising Air Asia’s single-aisle order count from Airbus to 475.
Policy-making paralysis over much-needed reforms and liquidity concerns raised by the grounding of Kingfisher Airlines has deterred investors, vendors, lessors and suppliers from doing business in India’s air transport sector, according to delegates attending last month’s Asia-Pacific Airlines Association Assembly of Presidents in Kuala Lumpur. Association calculations show that average profits among Indian airlines amount to just $1 per passenger.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued certification of Airbus’s Sharklet wingtip device for CFM-powered A320 family narrowbodies, the manufacturer announced Monday. Airbus said it expects the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to issue its own approval “very soon.”
The Indian government has finally given in to demands to ease restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country’s struggling airlines. The unexpected September 14 announcement clears the way for foreign carriers to take up to a 49-percent stake in Indian operators, with the exception of government-owned Air India. However, industry and financial analysts indicated to AIN that they view the policy U-turn cautiously, warning that it won’t necessarily mean salvation for cash-strapped carriers.
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.
AirAsia is locked in negotiations with Airbus over an order for between 50 and 100 aircraft that the Malaysia-based operator wants to buy to fill gaps in its aggressive expansion plans before it takes delivery of its first new A320neo narrowbody in 2016.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a separation error between two Airbus A330s on March 30 in the far-northwest corner of the continent.
Airbus CEO and EADS boss-in-waiting Tom Enders said at the show yesterday that the Asia Pacific accounted for half of Airbus’s order intake in 2011. Enders was delivering an exceptionally optimistic outlook for the region during the company’s opening Singapore Airshow press conference.
AirAsia X, the Malaysian budget long-haul affiliate of Air Asia, is consolidating business in its core markets of China, Australia, Japan and Korea, according to CEO Azran Osman-Rani, who was speaking to AIN at the Low Cost Airlines World conference in Singapore last week.
Even as Asia Pacific airlines survived a testing 2011, overcapacity as a result of increased fleet orders is still concerning investors, who are already less willing to finance procurements in the current debt-laden environment. This was the message from Sydney-based thinktank the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) at the Low Cost Airlines Asia summit in Singapore last week.