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.”
The Dubai Air Show last week brought a welcome breakthrough for Bombardier’s efforts to build a sound base of sales for its new C Series airliner. Turkey’s Atlasjet signed a letter of intent (LOI) for 15 of the CS300 version. According to Chet Fuller, Bombardier sales vice president, the agreement could be firmed up by year-end.
For ATR, 2011 is already a record year for sales of its regional airliners, but the European manufacturer could have more business to announce soon.
ATR opened a new pilot training center in Paris last month. Based near Charles de Gaulle International Airport, the center features a new ATR 72-500 full flight simulator (FFS) developed and manufactured by Thales. ATR has established the new center in partnership with SIM Aéro Training, which will house the simulator and all the other teaching tools put in place by ATR, in addition to providing technical support.
ATR collected orders for a total of 19 new ATR 72-600s from two customers last month, one of which also announced plans to lease another nine of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M-powered turboprops.
ATR celebrated its second major order in as many days today, as EVA Air subsidiary UNI Air signed a contract with the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer to buy 10 ATR 72-600s during a ceremony at its home base in Taiwan. ATR plans to start delivering the airplanes during the third quarter of 2012.
The effort by UK low-fare regional Flybe and Finnair to break through European structural barriers to consolidation took the form of an agreement last month between the airlines to jointly acquire Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA), a Finnish regional carrier owned by Finncomm Oy. The companies plan to create a new joint venture called Flybe Nordic AB, 60 percent owned by Flybe and 40 percent by Finnair.
The effort by UK low-fare regional airline Flybe and flagcarrier Finnair to break through European structural barriers to consolidation took shape last week with an agreement to jointly acquire Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA), a Finnish regional carrier owned by Finncomm Oy. The companies plan to create a new joint venture called Flybe Nordic, 60-percent owned by Flybe and 40 percent by Finnair.
ATR has gained EASA certification for its new ATR 72-600 following nearly two years of flight testing, the Franco-Italian manufacturer announced on May 31. A more powerful and capable version of the 72-500, the new 68-seat turboprop flew more than 150 hours during 75 test flights. The company plans to deliver the first production airplane to Royal Air Maroc early this summer, likely during a ceremony at the Paris Air Show.
Paris Air Show organizers promised a feel-good factor from this year’s event, staged at Le Bourget Airport from June 20 to 26, and clearly they were in the know as to the deluge of new business coming their way. Airline bosses pitched up in the French capital with seemingly open checkbooks to order well over $100 billion worth of new aircraft and engines.