The governments of Australia, Malaysia and China jointly announced that Australia has awarded a contract to a private company to continue the search of the southern Indian Ocean sea floor for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The company plans to use two ships towing deep-water vehicles to conduct the search, which is expected to take up to 12 months.
Australian navy teams detected signals consistent with the frequency emitted by flight data and cockpit voice recorders some 900 nautical miles northwest of Perth in the Indian Ocean over the weekend, a development characterized by authorities as the best lead yet in the search for the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
After much delay Malaysian authorities have settled on an aviation policy and plan to announce details later this year.
The current political climate and government austerity measures in Malaysia mean that a number of programs for the Malaysian armed forces look likely to be postponed until the time frame of the 11th Malaysia Plan, which covers government spending for the period of 2016-2020. A combination of public dissatisfaction over the cutting of government subsidies and the government’s need to balance an increasing deficit has made spending on military procurement politically unviable at the moment.
While the U.S. and Europe remain the largest markets for business aviation, since 2008 the growth of business aircraft fleets in Africa, Latin America and Asia has been intense. “Malaysia, which has been experiencing a strong growth in demand for business travel for several years now, is trying to attract new MRO-related investments and the conditions for that seem to be more than favorable,” said Kestutis Volungevicius, head of FL Technics.
New York investment banking behemoth Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is placing a big bet on one helicopter services company supporting the offshore oil-and-gas industry. Last month KKR took a $200 million stake in Malaysia’s Weststar Aviation Services. Weststar provides offshore support to a variety of energy companies in the region, including Petronas Carigali, ExxonMobil, Carigali Hess, CPOC, Talisman, Petrofac, Newfield, Total, KPOC, Lundin, Schlumberger, Hess, Shell, Tullow Oil, Mubadala Petroleum, CGG Veritas and ConocoPhillips.
DayJet founder Ed Iacobucci died last Friday after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer. After he left Citrix Systems, the software maker that he co-founded, in the early 2000s, Iacobucci started laying the groundwork for per-seat, on-demand charter operator DayJet and placed an order for 239 Eclipse 500s in May 2005. DayJet started operations in October 2007 but ceased flying 11 months later.
The events in Sabah, Malaysia, this past March, when local forces conducted Operation Daulat used combat jets to quell the resistance of the Filipino gunmen on the island of Borneo, may have prompted a spate of arms sales to that country and her closest neighbors. The armed forces do have a big wish list for weapons, but procurement processes for the most expensive and longest-lead items are likely to be launched properly only after the general elections in Malaysia later this year.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has launched a campaign to convince new airlines to launch flights to six international airports in the country.
The strong business aviation presence at Malaysia’s LIMA air show held last month on the island of Langkawi was testament to the fact that the industry’s growth in the Asia Pacific region extends well beyond China.
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