Lion Air, Indonesia’s largest domestic carrier, is expanding its routes and training facilities, having ordered 20 Cessna 172s and one Boeing 737-900ER simulator, its third, to shore up an impending need for pilots. The budget carrier has placed orders for more than 500 narrowbodies with Boeing and Airbus; it currently has a fleet of 96 aircraft.
Three of the four shareholders of the defunct Spirit of Manila Airlines (SMA) plan to relaunch and rebrand the Filipino carrier next year. According to Aldo Lance Lopez, an original stakeholder in SMA who expects to hold a 20-percent stake in the new low-cost carrier (LCC), the existing investors hope to add a foreign partner.
This marks the second attempt to relaunch the carrier. The first effort, launched last year, fizzled when a potential foreign investor pulled out after negotiations ended in a stalemate.
Etihad Airways will take a 49-percent stake in Serbian national airline JatAirways under the terms of a deal with the government of Serbia announced Thursday that includes the award of a five-year management contract to Etihad. The deal also calls for Abu Dhabi-based Etihad to match a $40 million capital injection in the airline by the Serbian government with a loan facility that would convert into equity on January 1 of next year.
Malaysia-based low-fare carrier AirAsia plans to phase out its foreign pilots as part of the carrier’s goal to employ an all-Malaysian workforce and to cut costs. The exercise would happen gradually with the expiration of the pilots’ respective contracts.
The European Commission (EC) wants to impose tighter guidelines restricting state aid for airports and airlines in the European Union (EU). In a consultation document launched on July 3, the EC proposed that all publicly funded aid for airports must end after a 10-year transitional period and that it restrict funding in the meantime to only smaller, regional airports. The same guidelines subject to industry consultation through September 25 would also limit start-up aid for airlines.
Six months after promising a thorough overhaul of its business and having suffered the “most challenging” period in the 10 years since its re-branding from the former British European Airlines, UK regional Flybe reports a “re-energized commercial performance.” In the 12 months leading to March 31, the airline saw losses grow more than five-fold, to £40.7 million ($62 million), driven by increased fuel charges, passenger taxes–which accounted for around 18 percent of its UK-generated ticket revenue–and the costs of restructuring, including the elimination of 490 jobs.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has become the Philippines’ first and only carrier removed from the EU air safety black list, an operating ban imposed three years ago within the 28-state European Union (EU).
As predicted, most airliner makers went home from last week’s Paris Air Show with yet longer backlogs of orders. Factoring in all the provisional sales (those covered by options, letters of intent or a memorandum of understanding), manufacturers announced something like $170 billion in new aircraft and engine business at Le Bourget.
Boeing has shifted its 737 Max schedules to reflect first delivery of the Max 8 to Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017, as early as six months ahead of the original plan, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president and general manager Scott Fancher revealed here in Paris yesterday. As a result, schedules for the Max 9 and Max 7 would also shift by at least a quarter. The company expects the program to reach firm design configuration in July. “The risks are understood, they’re being managed effectively and we have no serious technical issues to deal with,” said Fancher.
UK airline easyJet placed conditional orders with Airbus on Tuesday for 100 new A320neos and 35 Sharklet-equipped A320s worth $12 billion at list prices. The A320s are scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2017, while the A320neos will be delivered from 2017 to 2022, according to the announcement at the Paris Air Show.
EasyJet said 85 of the aircraft will be used to replace aging aircraft as they leave the fleet over the next nine years; the remaining aircraft deliveries will support the carrier’s strategy of increasing its seat capacity by 3 to 5 percent annually.