The entire 68-strong Airbus A380 fleet must be inspected for new cracks in wing-rib feet after the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) today extended an earlier requirement limited to 20 airframes.
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines
In what stands as approximately the 40th airworthiness directive (AD) affecting the Airbus A380, the EASA mandated inspections and possibly repairs on the double-decker’s wing rib feet last Friday after operators found cracks on several aircraft. The AD applies to 20 of the 68 A380s in service.
Airlines appear headed for another bumpy ride in 2012, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which last week slashed $1.4 billion from its forecast profits for member carriers.
Year-over-year business aircraft flying activity grew slightly by one percent, according to TraqPak data released this week by aviation services company Argus. The greatest growth during the past year was in the small-cabin-jet category, at 2.1 percent, followed by midsize cabins at 1.7 percent. Turboprop activity grew 1.1 percent, while large-cabin jets dropped by 2.8 percent.
The Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing major U.S. airlines, formerly known as the Air Transport Association of America, has changed its name to Airlines for America (A4A) to emphasize the industry’s role in connecting the U.S. to the global economy.
India’s Kingfisher Airlines is attributing the grounding of 15 aircraft and de-leasing of another two to “rationalization” of its network to counter deep financial losses. “The airline industry in India is going through a tough period due to high costs and lower yields,” said Kingfisher Airlines CEO Sanjay Aggarwal. “We are no exception. We are taking steps to improve our financial performance and are rationalizing network, dropping unprofitable flights and expediting fleet reconfiguration.”
Not without reason, China continues to dominate expectations for business aviation growth in Asia, but the continent as a whole presents a vast if complex opportunity for the industry.
Three weeks of fruitless negotiations between Qantas and three of its employee unions have forced the government’s workplace labor tribunal to arbitrate new labor agreements. The Australian flag carrier has warned that the dispute could result in a dip in its profits for the last six months of 2011 of up to 66 percent.
Few would argue against the proposition that Boeing has and will absorb a serious financial hit from the three years of delays and the unanticipated complications that arose from its attempt at a new approach to supply-chain management with the 787 program.
Qantas Airways resumed revenue flights today after abruptly shutting down operations on Saturday in an effort to squelch labor unrest among its various work groups. The first flight took off from Sydney to Jakarta at around 3:40 p.m. Sydney time, shortly after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia issued its authorization on Monday afternoon. The flight stoppage disrupted the travel plans of close to 80,000 Qantas customers.