Riding the favorable winds of increasing passenger traffic, slightly better fuel prices and revenues from ancillary services such as baggage fees, the world’s airlines should post record absolute profits in 2014, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). But some parts of the air transport system, particularly cargo and business-class passengers, remain at pre-recession levels.
October airline traffic statistics published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week showed substantial growth in virtually every region of the world, as global revenue passenger kilometers rose 6.6 percent compared with the same month a year earlier and 5.2 percent over September’s results. Even the cargo market resumed its fragile recovery in October, generating a 4-percent increase in freight ton kilometers.
Talks between Cambodian telecommunications, banking and property tycoon Kith Meng and Philippine Airlines (PAL) over a new Cambodian flag carrier called Cambodia Air have intensified following their failure to realize plans to close on a deal on October 15.
On April 25, PAL’s board agreed to acquire a 49-percent stake in Cambodia Air, now solely owned by Meng’s company, Inter Logistics (ILC).
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.
Boeing and Turkish Airlines on Tuesday completed a firm order for forty 737 MAX 8s, ten 737 MAX 9s and twenty 737-800s, valued at $6.9 billion at list prices. The deal, originally announced as a commitment last month, includes options for another 25 MAX 8s and amounts to the largest Boeing order in Turkish Airlines’ history.
Airlines are benefitting from growing capital market support for new aircraft financing, with this source of funding expected to account for as much as 15 percent of all transactions this year, according to Boeing Capital. A few years ago, capital markets accounted for barely 2 to 3 percent of aircraft financing.
As oil and gas wells overflow in Kazakhstan, Air Astana–the national carrier of the newly enriched former Soviet republic–is looking deep into Asia to expand its network. Its inclusion on the European Union blacklist, which frustrates its ambitions to expand west, lies at the heart of its strategy. Air Astana’s discussions over a code-share partnership with Royal Jordanian, which follows an analogous strategy, is no coincidence.
Alaska Airlines has placed a firm order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 17 MAX 9s and thirteen 737-900ERs, the Seattle-based airline and Boeing announced today. Worth $5 billion at list prices, the contract covers the largest order in Alaska Airlines’ history and raises the carrier’s firm order count for 737s to 75.
Fokker Services Asia has agreed to join ATR’s maintenance, repair and overhaul network. The company has just opened a new facility in Singapore and will use this to support Southeast Asian operators of ATR’s twin turboprop regional airliners.
ATR has some 250 aircraft operating in the Asia Pacific region and another 80 on order. It is expected to announce more new business from the region at the Singapore Airshow today.
Boeing predicts the Asia-Pacific region will require more than 400,000 new commercial airline pilots and technicians over the next 20 years to support airline fleet modernization and the rapid growth of air travel. The 2011 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook calls for 182,300 new pilots and 247,400 new technicians in the Asia-Pacific region through 2030.
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