Economic growth, aviation deregulation, a growing middle class and aggressive tourism marketing continue to drive business in the regional markets of Asia-Pacific, where well entrenched budget carriers such as Malaysia’s AirAsia and Indonesia’s Lion Air face increasing competition from new low-cost startups. In neighboring India, three of every four airline seats now belong to budget carriers.
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines
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.
Singapore Technologies (ST) Aerospace booked almost $600 million worth of new work during July-September this year, following receipt of business valued at $480 million and $430 million in the first and second quarters of 2013, respectively.
The Middle East is sitting at the end of the air transport rainbow, if Airbus forecasts are to be believed: its share of global traffic will expand faster than that of any other geographical area, increasing by one half in the next 20 years.
Airbus cited sleep-study results in calling on airlines to set an 18-inch minimum seat width standard for long-haul flights. Organizations representing the airline industry said seating options should be left to individual carriers.
In what might seem a 180-degree heading change, Airbus confirmed the possibility of a second stretch of its A350XWB that could help fill a gap between the largely composite-bodied twinjet and the A380 superjumbo.
On July 10 the European Commission updated its list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. Following safety improvements in its home nation, Philippine Airlines became the first airline from that Southeast Asian country to be removed from the so-called blacklist and allowed back into European skies (having been banned in 2010). Venezuelan airline Conviasa, banned last year, also was removed from the list.
SkyTeam reports solid progress in Garuda Indonesia’s preparations to join the alliance in March next year, when it expects the Manila-based airline to become the only Indonesian carrier affiliated with a major international grouping. Garuda’s enrollment would make it the 20th SkyTeam member and the tenth from Asia.
The former Spirit of Manila Airlines’ hopes of securing an air operator certificate (AOC) for a relaunch and rebranding in the first quarter of next year has run into turbulence following investors’ failure to secure the necessary funding from a Filipino financial consortium.