Even though the year ended with doom and gloom, the Indian air transport sector couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to 2012 with its largest budget carrier, IndiGo, signing a memorandum of understanding for the biggest commercial aviation deal in history valued at approximately $15.6 billion. The deal, which was subsequently firmed up, called for 180 of Airbus’ A320 family narrowbodies. This topped an earlier order by the carrier for 100 aircraft and seemed a clear indication that the Indian market is back on track after suffering severe losses during 2008- 2009.
Even as Asia Pacific airlines survived a testing 2011, overcapacity as a result of increased fleet orders is still concerning investors, who are already less willing to finance procurements in the current debt-laden environment. This was the message from Sydney-based thinktank, the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) at the Low Cost Airlines Asia summit here in Singapore last week.
Global Aviation Holdings, the largest commercial provider of charter lift to the U.S. military, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization February 5 in New York. The company cited reduced rates paid by the military, the end of the war in Iraq, the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and decreased demand for commercial cargo services as driving its decision to seek relief from creditors.
Low-fare carrier Spirit Airlines continued its public criticism of new U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) passenger-protection rules, drawing a rebuke from a U.S. senator. The airline also faced a new fine from the DOT over its handling of complaints lodged by passengers with disabilities.
One of the pillars of modern aviation safety, cockpit resource management was introduced to commercial aviation more than two decades ago. Among other things, CRM was meant to draw the curtain on the era of the submissive copilot and flight engineer cowed by an overbearing “gear up, shut up” captain.
New provisions to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) passenger-protection rule become effective January 24 and 26, among them a requirement that airlines and ticket agents include all government taxes and fees in advertised ticket prices.
Calgary, Canada-based low-fare airline WestJet yesterday confirmed that it considering the launch of a new short-haul, regional airline as early as next year, using a fleet of some 40 “smaller” turboprop aircraft.
Indian budget carrier IndiGo has called for an upgrade of the archaic 1982 Air Safety Circulars (ASC) of the subcontinent’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It recommends that the DGCA adopt the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) April 2010 circulars, tailored to India’s specific requirements.
Mexican low-fare carrier Volaris has signed a purchase agreement for 30 Airbus A320neos and 14 A320s, Airbus announced today. The deal amounts to the largest single commercial aircraft order ever by an airline in Mexico, according to Airbus. Volaris, also the first airline in the country to order the A320neo, plans to announce its engine selections for the aircraft at a later date.
AirAsia X, long-haul subsidiary of Malaysia’s AirAsia, the largest Asian budget carrier, plans to withdraw 11 weekly services to Mumbai and Delhi in India and 10 weeklies to its only European destinations—Paris and London—from its Kuala Lumpur hub.