Last week’s ILA airshow in Berlin did little to bolster backlogs of airliner orders, beyond the pair of ATR 72-600s that the regional aircraft maker sold to Austrian carrier InterSky. The $47 million deal will see the first of the 70-seaters delivered in December and the second in March.
The so-called Arab Spring political upheaval across North Africa and parts of the Middle East has also been a significant disruptor of airline business in the region. The most seriously impacted were Libyan carriers Afriqiyah Airways and Libyan Airlines, which had aircraft destroyed or damaged by NATO air strikes against the former government of the late Col. Muammar Gaddafi.
No one can say where, when or how the rolling political crisis in North Africa and the Middle East will end, but it already seems clear that it doesn’t spell good news for the air transport industry.
Airlines from fast-growing new markets in the Middle East and Russia once again boosted dwindling aircraft sales yesterday here. Airbus cashed in to the tune of up to $4.5 billion with four contracts calling for up to 56 new jets.
Gulf carrier Qatar Airways kicked off the near frenzy of transactions with a memorandum of understanding covering the purchase of four A321s, plus options on a further two.
Italian civil aviation authorities suspect fuel starvation or contamination for the crash of a Tunisian ATR 72 off the northern coast of Sicily on Saturday. The accident claimed at least 13 of the 39 occupants, three of which remain missing.
Italian authorities strongly suspect that fuel starvation or contamination caused the crash of a Tunisian ATR 72 off the northern coast of Sicily on August 6, and have placed under investigation the chief pilot, a fuel depot manager and the driver of the tanker truck that fueled the airplane in Bari, Italy. The accident claimed 16 of the 39 occupants.