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.
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines
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.
In a serious blow to Boeing, Japan Airlines (JAL) has signed a purchase agreement covering 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s worth $9.5 billion at list prices. The deal, which also includes options on another 25 of the mostly composite widebodies, marks the first order from Japan for the A350 and Airbus’s first-ever order from JAL.
ATR has reached an agreement to place as many as 35 ATR 72-600s with Garuda Indonesia, the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer announced Tuesday. The deal involves firm orders for 25 airplanes, some of which will come via lease through Denmark’s Nordic Aviation Capital. The parties expect deliveries to start in November and extend over a period of three years.
Ellen Saracini, widow of 9/11 United Airlines Flight 175 captain Victor Saracini, told AIN she does not believe that the airline her late husband flew for is doing all it can to prevent another 9/11-like cockpit takeover. Saracini was invited to Chicago on September 4 to discuss (with United vice president of corporate safety Michael Quiello) the company’s use of secondary cockpit barriers to prevent a potential breach. United Airlines currently maintains the largest fleet of aircraft already equipped with secondary barriers.
Norwegian Air Shuttle removed from long-haul service one of its two Boeing 787s over the weekend following a series of technical problems, the latest involving a hydraulic pump. Following the incident in Thailand, Norwegian flew the airplane from Bangkok back to its base in Stockholm, where a team of Boeing engineers has begun to work on it. A Norwegian spokesman would offer no time estimate for a return to service.