Jet Aviation has a long pedigree here in the Asian business aviation community, having established its handling and aircraft support operation at Singapore’s Seletar Airport 15 years ago. Last year, its aircraft management business in the region grew by 20 percent to a fleet of 24 aircraft, nine of which are based in Hong Kong. The Swiss-based group also manages aircraft for clients in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.
Low-cost carriers (LCCs) in the Asia-Pacific region have made “huge inroads in a relatively short time,” according to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA). This market penetration has occurred despite somewhat restrictive regulations in some places and government tendencies to favor full-service flag carriers.
This year will likely be an improvement on 2009 for airlines in this part of the world but it won’t mean a quick return to profitability, according to Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). But the substantial losses the group’s members have suffered in the last two years should at least be reduced, he told AIN in an interview ahead of this week’s Singapore Airshow.
Local low-fare airline Flydubai yesterday inked a pair of aircraft financing deals worth $160 million. Also here at the Dubai Airshow, it signed a contract with Goodrich to supply wheels and carbon brakes for its first 54 Boeing 737s.
Mubadala Breaks Ground on Airbus Deal
Lufthansa Systems is here (Stand A220) promoting its software programs for airline operations such as scheduling, crew management, flight planning, and weight and balance. The Middle East region currently accounts for 10 percent of the company’s sales, a proportion that is increasing, Stefan Auerbach, senior v-p for Europe, Middle East and Africa sales told AIN. A sales announcement is expected here tomorrow.
Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways expects to make a profit this year, even though it reported a $7.6 million first-half loss. “We are going to be profitable for the full year,” said chief executive Stefan Pichler, who joined the airline in June from a position as chief commercial officer at Virgin Blue. The low-cost carrier plans to open a second hub in 2010, having dropped routes to Beirut, Delhi, Mumbai, Salalah and Sanaa this year.
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.
AirAsiaX has placed firm orders for 10 Airbus A350-900 airliners. The Malaysian carrier will use the new widebodys to connect its Asian hub in Kuala Lumpur with cities in Europe and Australia. The value of the deal was not confirmed but at list prices it would be approximately $2.4 billion.