For many of the world’s airlines, the long and tiresome road to recovery has taken them through dips and valleys, hairpin bends and in some cases complete U-turns. Today, after seemingly negotiating much of the most difficult terrain, European airlines have caught a glimpse of the promised land over the horizon. So why, you ask, have the biggest airlines in the U.S.
Swiss-based independent maintenance organization SR Technics and Okay Airways, China’s first privately owned airline, have agreed to form a maintenance joint venture in Tianjin, China. The new facility will provide aircraft services, fleet technical management and component support for Boeing and Airbus aircraft operated by both existing airlines and new start-ups.
In a surprise move, Saudi Arabia’s National Air Services (NAS), well known for its executive and VIP operations, yesterday unveiled plans for establishing a low-cost carrier. The airline should commence flights by next summer, Mohammed Al Zeer, president and CEO of NAS, announced during a press conference here at the Dubai airshow. The new domestic service is still to be named.
New aircraft orders placed this year from Air India and Indian Airlines should ensure that the government-owned carriers can compete against promising new domestic and international operators on the subcontinent. But strong growth in passenger traffic as well as flights has put increased pressure on congested facilities.
International Aero Engines will provide service support for its V2500-A5 powerplants fitted to 20 Jetstar Airways Airbus A320s, plus three spare units under a 10-year deal. The Australian low-cost carrier currently has 15 IAE-powered A320s in service and will have 23 aircraft by June 2006.
There is something wrong with the airline industry, according to Giovanni Bisignani, the director-general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). At the Asia/Pacific summit here in Singapore this week, Bisignani reported that airlines ordered a record number of new aircraft last year while collectively losing $6 billion nett (and U.S. operators $10 billion), out of an overall $42 billion global loss since 2001.
Aviation International News traveled from Delhi to Mumbai for the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) conference on Kingfisher Airlines, because at the time it offered the best schedule and most user-friendly Web site for buying tickets in U.S. dollars using a credit card. We paid $310 (or about INR 12,500) for the round-trip ticket.
Remember the days not too long ago, when any aspiring young computer whiz with a domain name and a smile could convince a venture capitalist to invest six or seven figures in his or her product-less Internet concept?
Emirates-CAE Flight Training here announced the signing of three contracts for its training center in Dubai. Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo Airlines will train its Airbus A320 pilots there (it last year ordered 100 A320s), so will oil producer Saudi Aramco for its Bell 412 helicopter pilots. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), too, has chosen the Emirates-CAE joint venture to train its Boeing 777 flight crews. PIA operates five 777s.
Hamilton Sundstrand (Hall 4 Stand F13) has announced the signing of a long-term maintenance agreement with low-cost carrier Ryanair. The contract covers test, repair and overhaul for the manufacturer’s products on the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737s. These include electric power and cabin pressurization equipment.