Increasing competition and pressure on costs has led to some deep restructuring of European airlines, with an attendant move to higher-capacity aircraft and absorption of many regional carriers into national carriers.
Ellen Saracini, widow of 9/11 United Airlines Flight 175 captain Victor Saracini, told AIN she does not believe that the airline her late husband flew for is doing all it can to prevent another 9/11-like cockpit takeover. Saracini was invited to Chicago on September 4 to discuss (with United vice president of corporate safety Michael Quiello) the company’s use of secondary cockpit barriers to prevent a potential breach. United Airlines currently maintains the largest fleet of aircraft already equipped with secondary barriers.
The effects on demand of a recent oil price spike associated with the crisis in Syria and weaker-than-expected growth in several key emerging markets have prompted the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to adjust its airline industry profit outlook for 2013 downward by $1 billion, to $11.7 billion. Still, 2013’s performance should prove considerably better than that of 2012, when the industry turned a net profit of $7.4 billion.
The recent global financial recession notwithstanding, long-term airline traffic growth will average 4.7 percent per year, while cargo traffic grows at a slightly higher annual rate, 4.8 percent, according to the latest 20-year market forecast published by Airbus. However, the company projected a marked disparity between traffic growth in “advanced” and “emerging” markets. COO for customers John Leahy noted a divergence in gross domestic product GDP trends between the groups since 2000.
The bid by Malaysia’s AirAsia to launch a low-fare airline in India with the Tata Group has hit some unexpected turbulence as Singapore Airlines prepares to launch a joint venture with the very same investors.
Facing high costs and increased competition, Air France-KLM’s management must pick its battles. Having announced plans for up to 2,800 job cuts on September 18, the European airline this week deferred a decision on whether or not it will provide further investment to plug holes in the sieve-like balance sheet of Alitalia. It holds a 25-percent stake in the Italian carrier, and Italy’s government has indicated it would be willing to see the Franco-Dutch group increase that share to 50 percent.
American Airlines parent AMR and US Airways agreed to extend their merger deadline by about a month to allow for the antitrust case filed by the U.S. Justice Department to run its course.
World airlines collected $27 billion in revenue from products and services other than ticket sales last year, according to the latest annual report by research company IdeaWorks. The total came from data from 53 airlines that disclose ancillary revenue activity.
Ailing infrastructure in rapidly growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region has not kept in step with demand, creating huge challenges for airlines running out of pilots as fleets expand. Led by China and India, the region’s economies will grow 4.5 percent per year over the next 20 years, while Chinese airlines triple the size of their fleets, according to the 2013 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook on Asia-Pacific.
Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) is entering the business aviation market with plans to have some of the airliners it has on order for its lease portfolio outfitted with VIP interiors. For the most part, the aircraft to be offered for lease for private and corporate clients will be Russian-made airliners, such as the Tupolev Tu-204 and Antonov An-158, but IFC also has orders for new aircraft such as Sukhoi’s Superjet SSJ-100 and Irkut’s MC-21.