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.
Singapore concluded bilateral “Open Skies” agreements (OSAs) with Denmark, Sweden and Norway late last month. The new deals will allow Singaporean air carriers to fly between Singapore and any destination in Scandinavia, via and beyond to any third country without any restrictions in terms of passenger capacity, service frequency or aircraft type. In return, Scandinavian airlines now enjoy the same rights into and through Singapore.
The meteoric development of India’s airline industry continues unabated as Air India extends its nonstop network to all corners of the globe with Boeing’s longest-range airliner. On February 8, Air India placed its fourth 777-200LR on a new direct route between Delhi and New York JFK Airport, and expected the imminent arrival of airplane No. 5 as we approached the start of this year’s Singapore show.
The age-60 rule for U.S. commercial pilots has been changed to age 65, which will allow the U.S. to be consistent with most of the aviation world. It will also help, in the short term, to mitigate the manpower problems facing commercial aviation. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy solution for the shortfall of certified maintenance personnel, as many of them already work past age 65.
The Bush Administration announced a new national policy last month that would encourage congested airports to vary landing fees based on the time of day and the volume of traffic. As a result, airports would be able to spread traffic more evenly throughout the day, the Transportation Department said.
As the industry prepares for a possible pilot shortage, an organization called the Professional Aviation Board of Certification (PABC) has its own plan to address the problem: create a more professional and robust pilot training system that targets pilots as they begin learning how to fly or transition into flying careers.
Although the market for charter and fractional ownership is still strong in the U.S., operators might soon face a shortage of qualified pilots and maintenance technicians.
The Air Transport Association (ATA) expects U.S. airlines to post a $3.5 to $4.5 billion net profit this year, following back-to-back net profits in 2006 and 2007. The past two years were the first consecutive profitable years since 1999-2000. According to ATA, whose members transport more than 90 percent of all U.S.
Cutting President Bush’s proposals to reduce taxes by some $726 billion; concern over ever increasing deficits that are now approaching a record $400 billion for this year; raising the government’s debt limits; and how much to spend to cover the cost of the war in Iraq, as well as other emergencies–these were the primary concerns of elected representatives as they tackled this session of the 108th Congress.