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.
Airbus has received a firm purchase order for 10 A320s from Yemeni flag carrier Yemenia, the European manufacturer announced today.
Airbus and Yemenia Airlines yesterday morning signed a memorandum of understanding covering 10 Airbus A320s, the first of which the official carrier of Yemen expects to arrive in Sanaa in 2011. On hand for the signing ceremonies, Yemenia board member Saleh Alawaji said the airplanes would replace some of the airline’s aging A310s and fill a gap in capacity while it waits for delivery of the first of 10 A350s by the end of 2015.
In the weeks following the June 30 crash of one of its Airbus A310s off the coast of the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean, Yemen flag carrier Yemenia became the poster child for questionable airline safety standards. The accident, in which 154 people died, provoked renewed calls for a global blacklist of operators deemed to be unsafe.
A Yemenia (Yemen Airways) Airbus A310-300 crashed into the Indian Ocean, just north of the Comoros Islands, shortly after 1:50 a.m. local time, Airbus confirmed this morning. Search crews reportedly have found a single survivor–a small child–as well as several bodies.
Bombardier Regional Aircraft’s Middle East sales force saw years of persistence bear fruit this month as the company landed a firm order for six CRJ900s from the Government of Iraq and another for eight CRJ700s from Yemen’s Felix Airways.
Next month will see the formal launch of Arabesk, a network of eight Arab and North African airlines aiming to pool their efforts to be more efficient. To this end, they will coordinate schedules to avoid costly duplication, reducing expenses by joint buying of aircraft, equipment, fuel, food and insurance, as well as managing supplies of spares and parts.