Air cargo traffic is set to bounce back after enduring a lean period in recent years. This was the main conclusion of Boeing’s latest biennial World Air Cargo Forecast, published at the October 7 International Air Cargo Forum and Exhibition in Seoul, South Korea. The airframer predicts that air freight traffic will increase at an annual rate of 4.7 percent over the next 20 years, and is expected to double in volume by 2033.
Newly released results from Aviation International News sister publication Business Jet Traveler’s 2014 Reader’s Choice Survey reconfirm that those who fly privately do so primarily for efficiency, not luxury. Among the 1,200 business jet fliers who participated in the fourth annual BJT survey, “save time” again emerged as the number-one reason for using business aviation, followed by “ability to use airports that airlines don’t serve.”
Despite an estimated $535 million overage in aviation insurance claims this year stemming from a recent spate of foreign airline losses–including two fatal crashes involving Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777s and a rebel attack at Libya’s Tripoli International Airport that damaged 20 airplanes–Corporate Aviation Insurance Group president Matt Drummelsmith doesn’t expect any effect on insurance premiums for U.S.-based aircraft operators.
Speakers at this week’s European Regions Airline Association general assembly in Barcelona once again sent a clear message to legislators and regulators that the continent’s regional airlines cannot continue to absorb the costs of what they consider ill conceived and misguided rules. Highlighting his association’s close ties and mostly aligned positions on issues such as passenger rights legislation, International Air Transport Association director general Tony Tyler perhaps best reflected the collective sentiment when he told attendees that he has grown tired of even trying to fight for reform of foreign ownership rules, for example.
Europe’s regional airlines need to achieve further consolidation and move to a U.S.-style business model of cooperating directly with mainline carriers if they are ever to expect to return consistent profits. That was the assessment delivered to this week’s European Regions Airline Association general assembly in Barcelona by Braathens Aviation Group chairman Per Braathen. But he didn’t seem too confident that this change will come.
Qantas was criticized by an Australian senator and some airline employees last week for its plan to remove life rafts from more than half of its Boeing 737-800 fleet to save fuel. ICAO regulations do not require aircraft flying within 400 nm of land to carry rafts. The airline said it is also pulling the equipment to simplify flight operations.
The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) is opposing further increases to the UK’s air passenger duty (APD) tax that would steeply raise fees for business aircraft passengers. Though the proposed changes would simplify and reduce charges for scheduled airline passengers, the association charges that business aviation was “specifically targeted” to pay more.
Airbus predicted that the airline industry will need to spend $4.6 trillion on some 31,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years in its latest market forecast, released Wednesday.
Controversy continues to swirl in India over whether excessive spending by Air India on a fleet acquisition order in 2006 has led to its present financial difficulties. The clamor follows a book by former Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai titled The Diary of the Nation’s Conscience Keeper-Not Just an Accountant. The CAG acts as an independent authority established by the constitution of India to audit the expenditures of the government of India and its corporations.
Air France pilots on Saturday voted to continue striking until at least Friday, extending by another five days a walkout that has forced the airline to cancel more than half its flights over the past week. The point of contention centers on Air France’s stated plans to shift more capacity to its low-fare Transavia subsidiary, whose pilots work for significantly less pay than those of the main airline.