The Star Alliance has set a new target of 2015 for Air India to join its ranks following a unanimous vote by member airlines to restart the process of integrating the Indian flag carrier. The alliance suspended integration in 2011 on grounds that Air India had “not met minimum joining conditions agreed in December 2007.” With signs of stability and fleet rationalization, however, Star has agreed to give Air India a second chance.
Resolved on tapping the booming Central Asian market, global alliances SkyTeam, OneWorld and Star Alliance have approached Kazakhstan national carrier Air Astana with offers to join their ranks. In response, the airline recently commissioned U.S.-based Seabury Group to prepare a report on whether it should enter an alliance “and which one, because all alliances want us to join them,” Air Astana president Peter Foster told AIN in Astana recently.
A December 15 Air France flight was held on the ground in Venezuela after French intelligence officials received a credible tip that a bomb would be detonated when the flight was over the Atlantic between Caracas and Paris. An extensive search of the Airbus A340 found no explosive devices and the flight was allowed to proceed.
Investigators with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) focused on pilot training and knowledge of the Boeing 777-200ER autothrottle system during a day-long investigative hearing on December 11 into the crash of Asiana Airlin
The NTSB has a full line-up of experts poised to testify during testimony into the July 6 crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 at San Francisco. Discussions range from Boeing 777 cockpit design to Asiana’s pilot training and to an additional look into the effect of automation on human performance. The hearing begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow (December 10) and 8:30 a.m. on December 11 at the NTSB’s boardroom in Washington, D.C. The pilots of the flight are not expected to attend.
Strong wind accompanying record storms in Britain, which experts said produced the worst tidal surge in the North Sea for 50 years, forced several airline pilots to conduct go-around maneuvers as they attempted to land. One amateur video recorded two landing attempts (Emirates and Brussels Airlines) at Birmingham Airport in central England, where gusts exceeding 50 mph were reported.
Keen to show his airline can operate as a profitable carrier amid assertions that it survives on the largesse of its government benefactors, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker offered revealing insights at last month’s Dubai Airshow into some of the internal machinations and brinkmanship that shape aircraft purchase negotiations. The colorful and sometimes controversial Al Baker played coy about his interest in the 777X while fully intending to engage Boeing in serious negotiations that eventually led to a blockbuster sale.
AAR recently completed the first heavy maintenance check at its new maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, La. The work was performed on an Airbus A330. AAR occupies approximately 520,000 sq ft of service and administrative space at the facility, including eight hangar bays, seven of which can accommodate widebody aircraft. Construction of a 112,000-sq-ft hangar that can accommodate aircraft as large as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8 is under way and expected to be completed next summer.
Patrick Cau, a German citizen and former United Airlines flight attendant, has been sentenced to 18 months in a U.S. federal prison for making eight false bomb threats against United Airlines flights. Cau was fired by the airline about a year before the first threats began surfacing from a variety of U.S. cities in late 2012. Cau must also pay nearly $314,000 in restitution to both his former employer and the Los Angeles Police Department for expenses related to the threats.
EgyptAir plans to place major aircraft orders in the next two months, even as it watches losses mount since the momentous events that unseated former president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, its CEO said, speaking at the Dubai Airshow on November 19.