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.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways has decided to place a firm order for another 11 Boeing 787-9s, scheduled for delivery from Japanese Fiscal Year 2018 to FY2021. The order, worth $3.25 billion at list prices, raises ANA’s firm order count to the larger of the two Dreamliner types on offer to 30. The 787 launch customer has so far taken delivery of thirteen 787-8s and awaits delivery of 23 more.
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.
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.
With leasing companies taking positions on Boeing’s new 737 Max, the Asia-Pacific region holds the key to large narrowbody orders, according to Boeing’s senior vice president of sales for Asia Pacific and India, Dinesh Keskar. “We have three potential customers in India and more in Asia [that can take the Max] on lease or direct buy: Jet Airways, SpiceJet and even Air India Express,” he told AIN. “[The Max] can go 500 additional miles, which will be a big boon for the Asian market.”
Despite $1 billion in losses during the first half of this year stemming from fuel and other cost increases, major U.S. airlines have improved operational performance on several fronts, according to the trade group Airlines for America (A4A).
Qantas Airways’ August 23 cancellation of “firm commitments” covering 35 Boeing 787-9s previously slated for delivery beginning in 2014 demonstrates the need for an airframer to remain flexible in the face of changing industry demand. The sudden change, prompted by after-tax losses in the current financial year, also demonstrates the continued vulnerability of the airline sector to rising costs and uncertain demand.
Spanish and Irish authorities have asked Ryanair flight operations to explain why three of the airline’s Boeing 737s requested and received landing priority in July after running low on fuel approaching Valencia Airport in eastern Spain. The Ireland-based low-cost carrier says that thunderstorms forced all three aircraft to divert from Madrid and that each of them ran short of fuel after holding for more than an hour. Although no one was injured, Ryanair officials reported the incidents to Spanish and Irish aviation regulators, prompting the investigation.
Residual value guarantees, superior hot-and-high capabilities and “outstanding” launch customer incentives all contributed to a decision by Mexico’s second-largest airline to take a “calculated risk” on the Sukhoi Superjet 100, Interjet CEO Jose Luis Garza told AIN during a visit to New York last week.
Dassault Falcon has named Indian charter operator Taj Air as a Dassault Falcon authorized line service station at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. The facility, which is already operational, will provide scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and inspections for all Falcon 2000 models. Initially the facility will serve Indian-registered Falcons; EASA approval is expected early next year. The 35,000-sq-ft facility also offers 24-hour AOG assistance.