David Neeleman’s new Brazilian airline venture appeared to have taken a giant leap toward fruition today, as Embraer announced that the JetBlue founder signed a contract to buy 36 of the 108- to 122-seat E195 jets and take options on another 20. The deal also secured purchase rights on another 20 airplanes, which, if exercised, would raise the total value of the orders to $3 billion.
The successor to Belgium’s Sabena Airlines unveiled its new name last month as talks continued between shareholders in Sabena regional subsidiary Delta Air Transport (DAT) and Virgin Express to save the country’s flag carrier from extinction. Shareholders chose the name SN Brussels Airlines mainly because it allows the financially strapped carrier to retain the Sabena logo and its SN code for flight numbers.
Demonstrating environmental responsibility while remaining operationally viable is the biggest challenge facing business aviation, according to the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA). But along with its European colleagues, the UK industry also faces potential difficulties with new security requirements covering border controls and the prospect of wider powers for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
ExecuJet Aviation has launched a new lease-based alternative to fractional ownership, block charter and traditional aircraft management. Simply Fly will see the Swiss group acquiring business jets, making them available to individual clients and operating them on a fully turnkey basis, covering crew, insurance, maintenance and handling. Customers will have exclusive use of an aircraft and a dedicated crew.
The Air Transport Association (ATA) contends that the recently issued DOT Inspector General report on National Airspace System usage proves the airline trade group’s assertion that business jets aren’t paying their “fair share.” ATA said the report’s findings “confirm what airlines have long been saying: that business jets are being subsidized by airlines and their customers.
Last month I participated in a panel discussion about maintenance of the airline fleet. For a long time the airlines have depended on certified repair stations to make repairs they couldn’t tackle because of a lack of facilities or required tooling.
The world’s airlines may have made $5.6 billion profit last year and achieved record load factors of 77 percent but Lufthansa Technik CEO August Wilhelm Hennigsen said here yesterday, “With fuel at $100 a barrel and the smell of recession coming from the U.S. the question is whether the industry will continue to grow.”
Many Singapore Air Show visitors are seeing the Airbus A380 paying for itself in commercial service for the first time as it lands and takes off here at Changi Airport. For at least another six months, Singapore will remain the only operating base for the world’s largest airliner and local carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) its only operator.
At a recent seminar on “mobility and sustainability” in air transport, held at EADS’s Astrium site in Bremen, company CEO Louis Gallois confidently dismissed fears relating to an economic downturn.
Airlines in the Asia Pacific region have become key global players and should have a greater say in industry issues, according to Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). “The growing influence of Asia Pacific needs to be matched by stronger engagement in key international policy issues,” he told AIN.