Boeing delivered a bullish market forecast for airplane sales in the Asia-Pacific region on February 10, citing strong anticipated economic and passenger growth over the next 20 years. The manufacturer expects that the region’s gross domestic product will grow at 4.5 percent annually over the next two decades, fueling annual passenger traffic growth of 6.3 percent and cargo growth of 5.8 percent.
Southeast Asian carriers VietJetAir and Myanmar Airways maintained the region’s strong growth-curve yesterday, announcing new airliner deals worth almost $7.4 billion. At the Singapore Airshow, Vietnam’s VietJetAir gave Airbus a $6.4 billion contract covering firm orders for 42 A320neos, 14 A320ceos and seven A321ceos.
New relationships are changing the Asia Pacific’s airline landscape as it enters a new stage of maturity with once-fierce opponents forming partnerships for reciprocal gains. Overcapacity in fleet numbers has fueled competition and compelled budget carriers to look at cooperation initiatives despite the budget airline industry’s penchant to avoid complexity.
A video showing lightning striking a Copa Airlines jet parked at the gate clearly demonstrates why all aircraft fueling ceases when thunderstorms are near. Pay particular attention to the small manhole cover near the front of the aircraft that goes flying toward a ground tug shortly after the strike.
Wholly owned American Airlines regional subsidiary American Eagle Airlines will change its name to Envoy this spring, the company announced last month. It said the move stems from the need to eliminate confusion between the company’s current name and American Eagle, the regional flying brand under which all of American’s 10 regional affiliates will eventually operate.
Air Line Pilots Association union leaders and American Eagle management reached an agreement in principle last month that would guarantee the 60 Embraer E175s ordered by American Airlines go to the wholly owned regional carrier. In return, Eagle pilots would have to forego any pay raises until 2018 and accept increases to their contribution to their health insurance premiums starting next year.
Year-end 2013 financial results from the newly reconstituted American Airlines Group have quickly established that the long-awaited merger of AMR Corporation with US Airways has resulted in a carrier more viable than the sum of its previously separate parts.
Abu Dhabi state-owned carrier Etihad Airways announced a code-share agreement with JetBlue Airways on January 22 that would extend its reach into the U.S. market if the Department of Transportation (DOT) approves. A week earlier, Etihad said that it will double its flights between Abu Dhabi and New York City by introducing a second daily service.
Riding the favorable winds of increasing passenger traffic, slightly better fuel prices and revenues from ancillary services such as baggage fees, the world’s airlines should post record absolute profits in 2014, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). But some parts of the air transport system, particularly cargo and business-class passengers, remain at pre-recession levels.
American Airlines and US Airways announced they expect to complete their merger on December 9 following Wednesday’s approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York of a lawsuit settlement reached between the airlines and the U.S. Justice Department.