Economic growth, aviation deregulation, a growing middle class and aggressive tourism marketing continue to drive business in the regional markets of Asia-Pacific, where well entrenched budget carriers such as Malaysia’s AirAsia and Indonesia’s Lion Air face increasing competition from new low-cost startups. In neighboring India, three of every four airline seats now belong to budget carriers.
Lack of infrastructure and regulatory cohesion challenge the growth of the Asia-Pacific region’s airlines, said Andrew Herdman, president and director general of the 15-airline Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). Herdman and other industry officials warned of rising air traffic congestion at AAPA’s 57th Assembly of Presidents, held November 14 and 15 in Hong Kong.
Saab’s Skeldar V-200 unmanned air system (UAS) has been undertaking anti-piracy patrols in the troubled waters off the Horn of Africa and southern Arabia. The rotary-wing, heavy fuel engine UAS has been flying from the Spanish navy offshore patrol vessel (OPV) BAM Meteoro, operating in concert with a manned helicopter to support the European Union’s Naval Force Somalia (also known as Operation Atalanta) anti-piracy mission. Saab earlier this year announced a contract to “deploy the Skeldar UAS for maritime operations,” but at the time did not name the customer.
Rockwell Collins (Stand 2659) announced at the Dubai Airshow several contracts with Middle Eastern airlines and business aircraft operators for avionics, in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and flight support services. Other agreements, with air forces and aircraft manufacturers, have been disclosed, too.
UAE national carrier Etihad Airways unveiled its first branded regional airline operation–Etihad Regional–at the Dubai Airshow yesterday. Etihad is launching the regional operation after acquiring a 33.3-percent stake in Swiss carrier Darwin Airline.
A series of blockbuster orders placed yesterday underlined Dubai’s status as capital of the commercial aircraft megadeal, chief among them being an order for 150 Boeing 777X aircraft placed by Emirates (termed a “commitment”)–effectively launching the new larger variant of the popular long-range twinjet. Emirates’s 777X order, which consists of 115 -9Xs and 35 -8Xs, was not entirely unexpected as the carrier played a leading role in defining the aircraft, but yesterday marked the largest product launch in commercial airline history (by dollar value) for any OEM.
More than three years after completion of its five-million-passenger-capacity terminal at Dubai World Central (DWC), passenger operations at DWC’s Al Maktoum International Airport finally launched October 27 with the arrival of Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air, Bahrain’s Gulf Air and Kuwait’s Al Jazeera Airways.
“We aspire to provide our exhibitors and visitors with a better experience at each subsequent edition of the Singapore Airshow,” says Jimmy Lau, managing director of show organizer Experia Events. “We also continue to demonstrate our relevance to the industry by anticipating market trends and introducing new features, enabling our exhibitors and visitors to tap emerging markets and be updated on the latest products and technologies.”
The adoption of Honeywell’s SmartPath precision landing system by Middle East airports is expected to gain momentum over the next few years, in response to the “phenomenal growth” of aviation in the area, according to SmartPath senior product manager Pat Reines–although the company is still waiting its first order from the region.
Atlantic FuelEx has been appointed as a member of the steering committee of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO). The Dubai-based company is the first fuel reseller to be appointed to the group, which is focused on improving the reliability and quality of fuel supplies to carriers in the region.