Publicly owned Air Arabia, the region’s largest low-cost carrier, operates 16 Airbus A320s, has ordered another 44 and plans to open a third operating hub in Alexandria, Egypt, in early 2010, perhaps at the beginning of the northern summer season in late March.
Continued eastward migration of low-cost carriers (LCCs) from North America and Europe to regions such as the Middle East and Asia arguably has established the credibility of this air transport business model.
Embraer sees Arab operators of its 64- to 114-seat E170/175 and E190/195 regional jets (E-Jets) as providing a good example of what it views as the “right-sizing” of passenger services. By matching capacity to demand such carriers can enhance yield through increased flight frequency rather than continuing possibly marginal operations with larger single-aisle aircraft such as Airbus A320s, Boeing 737-500s and McDonnell Douglas MD-90s.
Republic Airways plans to ground the last of nine remaining Boeing 717s it acquired with its purchase of Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines by November 3 and replace them with Embraer E190s flown by “non-legacy” pilots. At press time Midwest’s ALPA-represented pilots and the Teamsters-represented pilots at Republic failed to reach a deal to merge their seniority lists, leaving the last 68 Midwest pilots out of work.
Online charter broker Virgin Charter stopped “active operations” on Friday according to a company statement.
Boeing has landed a firm order from low-fare carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle for six new 737-800s, the manufacturer confirmed today. Norwegian Air Shuttle now accounts for firm orders for 48 Next-Generation 737s from Boeing and another 22 airplanes from leasing companies.
Switzerland’s regional scheduled airlines seem relatively well prepared to face a passenger slump expected to last through next year. After a frantic build-up period in the early years of the current decade, followed by a shakeout, the four majors appear entrenched in their respective markets.
The FAA today approved a plan that would require Southwest Airlines to replace unapproved parts installed on about 50 Boeing 737s–roughly 10 percent of its fleet–and for the aircraft to undergo inspections until the airline completes the fixes. The airline already has replaced parts on 30 other airplanes.
An ATR 72-212 operated by Thailand’s Bangkok Airways crashed into a disused ATC tower on August 4, killing the aircraft’s captain and injuring the copilot and six passengers. According to the operator, the airliner had been landing on the resort island of Koh Samui in heavy rain and wind when it skidded off the 4,724-foot runway.
Bombardier Aerospace has lost its firm order for 15 CRJ1000s from MyAir after Italy grounded the airline and suspended its license to fly on July 24. The Italian civil aviation authority said months of financial troubles had made MyAir’s services unreliable and that it would not allow it to resume operations until it presents a viable financial plan.