Monday, 31 December 2012

Faulty Brakes May Have Caused Russian Plane Crash

Faulty brakes may be to blame for the Red Wings airliner sliding off the runway and crashing onto a highway near Moscow, killing five people, a member of the crash investigation team said.
Investigators said they were examining the black boxes to try to determine the cause of Saturday's crash, which cracked the wings off the Tupolev-204 plane and split the fuselage into three pieces.
If they find bad brakes were at fault, it would match a warning issued to the state-owned Tupolev by Russia's aviation authority to fix problems with the brakes that may have caused a Tu-204 with 70 people onboard to go off a Siberian runway on December 21.
Any sign that the catastrophe during peak holiday travel could have been avoided will worsen concerns over the country's poor air-safety record, despite President Vladimir Putin's calls to improve controls.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Four Dead In Russian Airliner Crash Landing

A Russian airliner flying without passengers broke into pieces after it slid off the runway and crashed onto a highway outside Moscow upon landing on Saturday, killing four of the eight crew on board and leaving smoking chunks of fuselage on the icy road.
The crash during peak travel ahead of Russia's New Year's holiday, which runs from Sunday to January 9, cast a spotlight on the country's poor air-safety record despite President Vladimir Putin's calls to improve controls.

The Red Wings Tu-204 involved in the fatal crash.

Television footage showed the Tupolev Tu-204 jet with smoke billowing from the tail and the cockpit broken clean off the front.
Some witnesses told state channel Rossiya-24 they saw a man thrown from the plane as it rammed into the barrier of the highway outside Vnukovo airport, southwest of the capital, and another described pulling other people from the wreckage.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Alitalia Denies Tie-up With Italian Rail Company

Alitalia, still reeling from financial troubles in 2008, denied media speculation about a possible tie-up with Italian state rail operator Ferrovie dello Stato.
"Since rumours continue to appear on the front pages of newspapers, we are forced to utterly and strongly deny any idea of an agreement between Alitalia and Ferrovie dello Stato," Alitalia said in a statement. "No such plan is being considered."
On Sunday Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that Ferrovie dello Stato was considering investing in Alitalia as part of an eventual turnaround plan that would involve an industrial partnership with Air France-KLM.
Alitalia returned to profit in the third quarter after reporting losses in the first half, but it is losing ground to high-speed train operators such as Ferrovie dello Stato and private newcomer Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori.

Saudi Awards Qatar And Gulf Air Local Licenses

Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Civil Aviation has awarded carrier licenses to Gulf Air and Qatar Airways, the Saudi state news agency reported on Friday, the first foreign airlines to win such a license in the kingdom.
The license, which 14 companies had applied for, is to operate both local and international flights, GACA has previously said.

Until now only the national carrier Saudi Airlines and budget airline National Air Services have serviced a domestic market of around 27 million people.
With Saudi Arabia's price cap on domestic flights, private airlines have struggled with their profit margins.
Saudi Airlines, which is undergoing a slow privatisation process, receives fuel at subsidised prices unlike private carriers, allowing it to offset the limits of the ticket cost ceiling.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Flights Cancelled As Snow Hits US Northeast

A powerful winter storm responsible for wind, snow, tornadoes and a flurry of traffic accidents battered the US Northeast on Thursday, with hundreds of flights cancelled.
A Southwest Airlines jet skidded off the runway on Thursday at Long Island MacArthur Airport, about 50 miles (80 km) east of New York City, as it taxied for takeoff, Suffolk County police said.
None of the 134 people aboard Tampa-bound flight 4695 was injured, police said.
"It's been undetermined at this time if weather was a factor," a police spokeswoman said.
The storm dumped a foot (30 cm) of snow on parts of the United States with the heaviest snow falling across northern New York and into northern New England, the National Weather Service reported.
The service issued coastal flood advisories from New York's Long Island to southern Maine and winter storm warnings for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and New England.
Airlines cancelled 548 flights on Thursday after 1,500 US flights were cancelled on Wednesday, according to FlightAware.

Aeromexico Confirms Order For Six 787s

Aeromexico, said on Thursday it has confirmed an order for six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, part of an order valued at around $11 billion announced in July.
The first delivery is expected next summer. Aeromexico said the purchase of four additional 787s has not yet been finalized.
Earlier this year Aeromexico placed an order for up to 100 new planes: 90 737 MAX 8s and 10 787-9s. In November, it finalized an order for 60 of the 737s, with an option for the remaining 30.
Aeromexico, which went public last year, is betting that Mexico's economy will remain robust in the coming years. Aeromexico's operations got a big boost following the 2010 demise of debt-laden rival Mexicana.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Two Dead As Plane Misses Runway

Two people were killed and 10 wounded in northeast Myanmar on Tuesday when a passenger plane missed an airport runway in heavy fog and landed in a rice paddy, state television said.
The pilot of the Air Bagan plane touched down beyond Heho airport in Shan state, killing one passenger and a motorcyclist on the ground, MRTV said.
MRTV had earlier reported the dead passenger was an 11-year-old boy but the airline later confirmed the deceased was a female tour guide.
Four foreigners -- two Americans, a South Korean and a Briton -- and the pilot were among the injured. The plane was carrying 63 passengers, 51 of whom were foreigners.
Air Bagan is one of five airlines operating domestic routes in Myanmar.
Owned by Tay Za, a local tycoon blacklisted by the United States for his alleged links to a former military regime, Air Bagan was the country's first privately run carrier when it was established in 2004.

Kingfisher Files Revival Plan With Air Regulator

Grounded Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines has filed a revival plan with the country's airline regulator, a senior government official said, in an effort to renew its operating license before it expires at the end of the year.
Kingfisher, which has not flown since October, has estimated debts of USD$2.5 billion and owes money to banks, airports, tax authorities, plane leasing companies, and its staff.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India's aviation regulator, which suspended Kingfisher's license to fly after months of cancelledflights and staff walkouts, has demanded a turnaround plan before the airline is permitted to fly again.
The DGCA wants all creditors to agree to the revival plan submitted by Kingfisher, and has not decided on its course of action, said a government official who has direct knowledge Of the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Lufthansa cuts down India flights

Lufthansa has cut down its flights to India in the Christmas week as business travel slows down during this period. The German airline has 46 weekly flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Bangalore.

Mumbai and Delhi are connected to both Frankfurt and Munich with daily flights while the other cities have flights only to Frankfurt. The airline's website does not display direct flights on Delhi-Munich and Mumbai-Frankfurt routes from Tuesday till January 1. On certain dates, both the flights from Mumbai and Delhi have been cancelled.

The airline did not respond to an email query on the issue but sources said the decision to cancel the India flights was taken some time last month after the winter schedule was finalized. "Booking is always low during this period," the source said.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Dubai November Passenger Traffic Up 10 %

Passenger traffic at Dubai Airport rose 10.0 percent in November from a year earlier to 4.88 million people, boosted by increasing flows from western Europe and India, Dubai Airports said on Monday.
Traffic in the first 11 months of this year climbed 13.1 percent to 52.36 million passengers. The airport says it is the world's fourth busiest hub for international passengers.
A new section of the airport to handle Airbus A380 superjumbos is due to open in early 2013, increasing the airport's annual capacity to 75 million passengers from 60 million. Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths said in a statement that the additional capacity would be welcome.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Flights Cancelled As Storm Hits US Midwest

The first major winter storm of the year hit the US Midwest on Thursday, causing cancellations at Chicago airports.
Due to low visibility, airlines at Chicago's O'Hare Airport were reporting delays of up to 90 minutes and cancelled more than 200 flights. At Midway Airport airlines cancelled 150 flights, with Southwest Airlines cancelling all flights after 4:30 pm.
In Chicago, rain was expected to change to snow Thursday night, with wind gusts of as much as 50 miles per hour, the NWS said.

Portugal Postpones TAP Airline Sale

Portugal said on Thursday it would postpone its long-awaited sale of debt-laden airline TAP after rejecting the sole bid by Colombian-Brazilian entrepreneur German Efromovich, but it still plans to beat its asset disposal target.
The TAP sale formed part of a privatisation plan required by Portugal's EUR€78 billion (USD$103 billion) European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout.
However, Efromovich's offer for the flag carrier, which is weighed down by an estimated EUR€1.2 billion of debt, would have only reaped EUR€35 million for the state coffers.
"This decision does not compromise the government's privatisation programme, which is still expected to surpass the target in terms of proceeds," Treasury Secretary Maria Luis Albuquerque told a briefing.
The TAP sale would be relaunched "at an opportune moment", she said.

Bombardier Gets More C-Series Good News

Shares of Bombardier rose on Thursday after its new C-Series jet received its second dose of good news in as many days when Latvia's airBaltic firmed up a tentative order for 10 of the narrow-body planes.
The announcement came hot on the heels of news late on Wednesday that an airline based in the Americas had signed a letter of intent to buy 12 C-Series jets, with options for another 18 aircraft, ending a five-month order drought for the 110- to 149-seater plane.
Orders for the new C-Series, Bombardier's bold USD$4 billion bet on its biggest plane yet, have been slow, standing at only 148 some 18 months ahead of the aircraft's entry into service.
The tentative order from the unnamed Americas-based airline was positive as it is the first commitment from a customer since Bombardier announced last month that it was delaying the C-Series' inaugural flight by six months, National Bank Financial analyst Cameron Doerksen said.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Canada Introduces Air Ticket Price Transparency

Canada has introduced new rules requiring airlines to advertise the total ticket price -- including all taxes, charges and fees.
Print advertising, billboards and online ads will also be required to state the cost of the taxes and fees included in the actual airfare.
The new rules introduced by Canada's federal government will give passengers the opportunity to compare like-for-like fares for Canadian carriers.

Court Approves American Air Deal With Pilots

The parent company of American Airlines received court approval on Wednesday for a new collective bargaining agreement with its pilots that will allow the bankrupt company to cut costs as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy.
AMR also received approval from the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan to eliminate lump-sum payments of benefits upon retirement for pilots, which the airline said could trigger a run on the plan soon after the bankruptcy.
The new collective bargaining agreement was opposed by two small groups of pilots, including former TWA pilots who believed they were losing protections they had negotiated when American Airlines bought part of their former airline out of bankruptcy.
"Bankruptcy brings with it many hardships. The sacrifices of the pilots here along with the sacrifices of the other employees are one of those hardships," said Judge Sean Lane on Wednesday as he approved AMR's requests.
AMR is pushing to emerge from bankruptcy as a standalone company, but its pilots' union favours a merger with US Airways Group.
AMR filed for bankruptcy in November 2011 to cut the highest labour costs in the industry.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Lufthansa Brings the 747-8 Intercontinental to LAX

Lufthansa is now flying the Boeing 747-8I to LAX from Frankfurt. Photo by Brandon Farris / Lufthansa is now flying the Boeing 747-8I to LAX from Frankfurt. Photo by Brandon Farris /

This week Lufthansa Airlines (LH) upgraded its Frankfurt (FRA) to Los Angeles (LAX) route by swapping it from the 747-400 to the 747-8 Intercontinental. Los Angeles becomes the second US Destination to be served by the aircraft, fourth overall and first destination on the west coast. Lufthansa is currently the only 747-8I operator in the world

“The selection of Los Angeles for our new flagship aircraft demonstrates the market’s critical importance for Lufthansa, which has had a presence in Southern California since 1960,” said Juergen Siebenrock, Vice President, The Americas for Lufthansa. “The FRA-LAX route connects the world’s two largest and most influential consumer markets for entertainment products- Hollywood and Germany. LAX is also an active gateway for pharmaceutical, IT, automotive industry and defense contractor industries, all of which are important customer segments for Lufthansa.”

When I arrived at LAX, you could tell that there was excitement in the air. At the LH ticket counter there was a gigantic sunrise colored Boeing 747-8I model. Standing next to the model were some people from Boeing. They joked and gave me a hard time about my LH A380 tag on my bag from the A380 launch last year at San Francisco — oh well.

After I received my badge I was allowed to proceed to TSA where, even though we weren’t flying, they still wanted to put everyone through the body scanner. I politely opted out where I was able to enjoy a nice pat-down.

Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8I at LAX. Photo by Brandon Farris / Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8I (D-ABYA) at LAX. Photo by Brandon Farris /

At Gate 123, where the event took place, Lufthansa put on an amazing spread for everyone to snack on, from roast beef to smoked salmon, pretzels and little cookie airplanes that said Lufthansa 747-800. During the celebration, we received word that the aircraft was running a little late due to snow in Frankfurt, but nothing could wipe off the smile off my face.

As soon as stepping outside, we all looked up and noticed that the 748 was on downwind to land and at around 13:10 PST she touched down in LAX for the first time. Applause broke out from all of the VIP’s on hand while other members of the media clicked away as D-ABYA, named “Brandenburg,” threw her reverse thrusters on and came quickly to a halt. As she taxied to the gate, the LAX fire department completed a water canon salute and after parking at the gate, we headed back inside to listen to some of the invited guests speak.

After the speeches, it was time to board the plane. My heart raced with excitement as this was only the second 747 that I have ever stepped foot on. Once on board we were told we had about 7 to 10 minutes before they had to prepare the aircraft for its departure. It was a little bit of a mad rush to get through the airplane, I sadly missed the first class cabin, but managed to get upstairs which was one of my goals. Sadly the flight deck door was closed, so I wasn’t able to see the all new advancements.

The 747-8I adds an extra 18 seats for the daily flight that will help increase capacity by 17% overall. First class is configured 1-1 with the exception of the last row that is 1-2-1, business class is 2-2-2 and coach is 3-4-3. The new product on the LH 747-8I is the business class lie flat seat; there are 92 of these on board the -8.

“We integrated our customers very closely into the development of our new Business Class so we would be able to offer a product that was totally in line with their wishes and requirements,” said Jens Bischof, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board.

The aircraft generates a 30% smaller noise footprint that the 747-400 and brings double digit improvements in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions per passenger. This makes it one of the industry’s most fuel-efficient aircraft and key to Lufthansa’s commitments to sustainable reduction of carbon emissions. The 747-8I fuselage is 253ft 2in long which is 18ft 4in longer than the 747-400. This allows LH to carry 26% more cargo volume.

 The aircraft also features an all new state-of-the-art wing for the 747 with improved aerodynamics and raked wing tips: all new fuel efficient General Electric GEnx-2B engines that contribute to a reduction in fuel burn, emissions and noise and thus giving customers the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large passenger airplane: and fly-by-wire technology.
It was hard getting off the plane, but I hope to be back on one soon enough.

Written By

Thursday, 13 December 2012

London Heathrow Cancels Flights

London's Heathrow airport cancelled 60 flights on Wednesday due to heavy fog, causing delays at Europe's busiest hub.
"There is poor visibility so the number of flights that are landing and taking off at the airport have been reduced as a precaution," a spokesman for Heathrow said. "The problem is expected to ease later this morning".
The problem is exacerbated because Ferrovial's Heathrow is operating at close to full capacity, the spokesman added. Britain's coalition government blocked the airport's expansion in 2010.
Some flights at London's City Airport and Manchester airport in northwest England have also been cancelled.

Delta Buys Virgin Stake To Boost London Access

Delta Air Lines agreed to buy a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic, creating a joint venture that would expand Delta's access to London's Heathrow Airport and increase competition in thelucrative transatlantic market.
The partnership would let both carriers offer more flights at Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, where landing-slot constraints have limited their growth. It also gives Delta the ability to attract corporate passengers as it competes with United and American airlines.
Delta and Virgin said their agreement would generate new revenue and leverage Virgin's strong luxury brand. The venture also will be "very positive and accretive for our long-term partners... KLM, Air France and Alitalia," Delta chief executive Richard Anderson said, referring to the European airlines with which Delta already has partnerships.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Lufthansa Cabin Staff Accept Pay Deal

A fierce wage dispute at German carrier Lufthansa has finally come to an end as cabin crews agreed to a wage deal brokered by an arbiter. The flight attendants accepted a lower pay raise in exchange for job guarantees.
In a ballot on Tuesday, some 85 percent of the participating Lufthansa cabin staff had voted in favor of 3.95 percent higher wages for the next two years, the UfO labor union announced Tuesday.
The pay hike falls short of a 5 percent increase originally demanded by the UfO union, which represents most of the Lufthansa's 18,000 flight attendants, but includes a non-layoff guarantee for cabin staff until the end of 2014.

New Dubai Airport To Open End Of 2013

Dubai's new Al Maktoum Airport, which began cargo operations two years ago, expects to open its long-delayed passenger terminal by the end of 2013, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said on Tuesday.
Sheikh Ahmed is president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai Airports.
"We will look to open passenger terminal by end of next year," he told reporters. "Hopefully before the next Air Show in Dubai, we will open passenger terminal."
The Al Maktoum airport, part of the Dubai World Central logistics complex, was originally due to open for passenger traffic in March last year.
The massive new airport is designed to handle 160 million passengers as Dubai attempts to take advantage of its central location between continents.

Kingfisher In Stake Sale Talks With Etihad, Others

Kingfisher Airlines said on Tuesday it was in talks with Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways and other investors about taking a stake in the grounded and indebted Indian carrier.
Kingfisher shares rose near to their daily limit of 5 percent after a local newspaper reported that Etihad was close to buying a 48 percent stake in the carrier for a little over INR30 billion rupees.
"We would like to clarify that the company is in discussion with various investors, including Etihad Airways, for equity investments in the company," Kingfisher said in a statement.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Turkish Airlines Seals $5 Billion Boeing 777 Deal

THY Turkish Airlines has firmed up an order worth USD$4.7 billion at list prices for 15 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, marking the biggest order by value in the airline's history, Boeing said on Monday.
The order, for a deal tentatively announced in October, includes options for a further five 777-300ERs, Boeing said in a statement.
The deal almost doubles the number of net orders in 2012 for Boeing's most profitable plane as the US company closes out a strong year dominated by sales of smaller 737 jets.
Turkish Airlines is the world's fastest-growing carrier and a key battleground for the world's dominant plane makers.
Its chief executive said earlier this year the airline was also studying the purchase of the latest design of medium-haul jets offered by Airbus and Boeing.
Boeing sold record numbers of 777 aircraft in 2011 but sales of the company's premium wide-body plane have slowed in 2012 as the civil aerospace cycle slows. As of December 4, the US manufacturer had sold a net total of 17 777s this year.
Boeing is weighing options for a refreshed design of the 777 to counter the future A350-1000 from Airbus.

Virgin And Delta Planning Transatlantic Joint Venture

Virgin Atlantic will form a joint venture on transatlantic flights with Delta Air Lines if the US carrier buys Singapore Airlines' 49 percent stake in the UK airline, a source close to Virgin said.
The source said Virgin founder Richard Branson was not immediately looking to sell any of his 51 percent stake in the UK airline and was "concentrating on working with Delta" which is closing in on agreeing a deal to buy Singapore's stake.
Delta and Virgin plan to set up a revenue-sharing deal on flights between Britain and the US, which would involve a code-share agreement, allowing both to sell flights on the other airline and share revenues from ticket sales, the source said.
The joint venture could eventually lead to the pair sharing costs and bringing their prices and schedules into line, the source added.

Branson Plans To Keep Control Of Virgin Atlantic

Richard Branson said he planned to keep control of Virgin Atlantic and IG boss Willie Walsh was misguided for saying the brand would be ditched by US suitor Delta Air Lines.
"Rumours have been spread in the press that I am planning to give up control of Virgin Atlantic and, according to Willie Walsh... that our brand will soon disappear. This is wishful thinking and totally misguided," Branson said on Monday.
Delta is in talks with Singapore Airlines about buying its 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic, which Branson set up in 1984.
IAG chief executive Walsh told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that Delta's main interest in Virgin Atlantic was its lucrative slots at London's Heathrow Airport and the US carrier would not want to keep the Virgin brand.

Iberia Unions Call Off December Strike

Unions at Iberia on Monday called off a six-day strike planned for December, despite their continuing disagreement with the management of the company over massive job cuts.
"We've decided to call off the strike because of the dates and because we don't want to harm passengers when Iberia bears an exclusive responsibility," a spokesman for the USO (Union Sindical Obrera) union told reporters.
"Until January, depending on whether disagreements persist, we will study new actions."
The strikes had been set for December14 and the five days from December 17 to 21, in a key period for holiday travel.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Aero Wins Best West African Airline Of The Year 2012

LAGOS: Aero, the leading e-airline in West Africa has won the Best West African Airline of the Year 2012 Award at the West African Tourism and Hospitality Awards (WATHAWARDS) held on the 30th of November 2012, at Golden Tulip Hotel and Conference Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.
Aero’s win of the award confirms the airline’s decision to offer services in the Nigerian market to the highest international standards.

In the words of Adedayo Adesugba, the President of the Awards group, he said: “The West African Tourism and Hospitality award is formed to recognize organizations and individuals in the Tourism & Hospitality Industry, and as a platform for acknowledging and rewarding creativity among all the participants and operators within the West African region.

Commenting on the award, the Managing Director of Aero, Mr Obaro Solomon Ibru, said: “We are delighted to have won the West African Airline of the year award. We will, however, not relent in our efforts but we will continually look at new and exciting ways of meeting and even exceeding the flying expectations of Nigerians.”

Aero has grown to be one of the most reputable regional carriers in West Africa operating over 50 flights with a fleet of modern 737s and Bombardier Dash 8. The airline operates flights to major domestic destinations including Accra, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Warri, Owerri, Uyo, Benin, Enugu and Kano, with plans to open more routes within Nigeria.

Aero also offers reliable helicopter service solutions which cover the oil and gas industry, ad-hoc spot charters, search and rescue, aerial photography and medical evacuations. We have the capacity, skills and experience to deliver personalized services 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Germanwings to take over nearly 30 Lufthansa A320s

Lufthansa will move 52 aircraft to its low-cost subsidiary Germanwings for the planned transferral of its decentralised European network next year.
Starting 1 July, Germanwings will gradually take control of Lufthansa's continental routes outside its main hubs in Frankfurt and Munich over a two-year transitioning period.
The equipment transfer will cover 29 Airbus A319s and A320s from Lufthansa's mainline fleet and 23 Bombardier CRJ 900 regional jets. The latter are - and will continue to be - operated by Lufthansa's regional subsidiary Eurowings, however.

This would be around 20% of Lufthansa's passenger volume, while Germanwings is expected to generate around €1.8 billion ($2.3 billion) in revenues, roughly 10% of the mainline carrier's turnover.
Germanwings fleet will thus grow to around 90 aircraft, with the number of travellers set to increase to around 16 million a year.
The group will invest around €30 million in repainting the aircraft and adapting the cabins of Lufthansa aircraft to the low-cost subsidiary.
Germanwings employs Lufthansa's slim economy class seat, which was introduced to increase capacity in the mainline carrier's European fleet two years ago.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Boeing 787's Two Days Of 'Headaches'

Airlines flying Boeing's new 787 Dreamliners need to take extra steps to ensure the planes don't have engine failures or fires because of a manufacturing fault in the fuel line, the US FAA said.
Improperly assembled parts in Boeing's newest jet could cause the planes to run out of fuel, experience "engine power loss or shutdown, or leaks on hot engine parts that could lead to a fire," the Federal Aviation Administration said in issuing a formal rule requiring US carriers to inspect the fuel systems.
The fuel issue first emerged on Tuesday, the same day a United Airlines 787 flight with 184 people aboard had to make an emergency landing due to an electrical problem.
While the combined episodes gave Boeing a painful black eye, several analysts said the issues posed little long-term risk for the plane maker, which is accelerating production and designing several new derivative jets to better compete with Airbus.
"There are an awful lot of new features, new technologies and new manufacturing techniques that have produced an enormous number of teething problems, but so far no show stoppers," said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with Teal Group. "We're seeing headaches, not heart attacks."

Thursday, 6 December 2012

FAA Orders Boeing 787 Inspections

On the same day that one of its new 787s made an emergency landing because of a mechanical problem, Boeing said US regulators had ordered the entire fleet of 787s to be inspected for a possible fuel line problem.
The twin mechanical issues, while not necessarily uncommon, were yet another headache for Boeing, a company still working to overcome the negative perception of production problems that delayed delivery of the 787 by 3-1/2 years.
Its latest problem involved a brand new United Airlines 787 Dreamliner with 184 people aboard, which was forced to make an emergency landing in New Orleans due to an undefined mechanical issue.
Boeing also said on Tuesday the US Federal Aviation Administration was requiring inspections of all 787s in service to confirm that fuel line connectors had been properly installed.

China Southern Seals Airbus A330 Deal

China Southern Airlines, the country's largest carrier by fleet size, has agreed to buy 10 Airbus A330-300 aircraft for about USD$1.9 billion, to be delivered from 2014 to 2016.
The deal is the second involving Airbus and a Chinese airline since the European Union agreed on November 12 to "stop the clock" on plans to force non-EU airlines to adopt its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
China Eastern Airlines, one of the country's top three carriers, said in late November it had agreed to buy 60 Airbus A320s for about USD$5.4 billion.
Chinese airlines have been buying aircraft from Airbus and rival Boeing over the past few years as more Chinese travel.
China Southern said in a statement that the new aircraft would be funded through internal resources and loans from commercial banks and that the list price of an Airbus A330-300 aircraft was USD$188 million, though airlines usually pay a lower price.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Lufthansa to cut cost at long-haul business

German flagship airline Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) said it needs to cut costs at its profitable long-haul business to cope with rising fuel prices and stiff competition from Gulf carriers.

Lufthansa said in an employee newsletter distributed on Monday that it aims to reduce unit costs at its long-haul business by 10 percent by 2015 and by 20 percent by 2025, compared with 2011.

"Lufthansa is booking increasingly large declines in income on long-haul routes, even on trunk routes such as Beijing of Shanghai," it said.

The new savings project, dubbed SPRINT, is part of a company wide plan to improve annual earnings by 1.5 billion euros ($1.96 billion) by the end of 2014.

Lufthansa has already frozen investments, announced job cuts and is combining its loss-making European short-haul unit with its low-cost carrier Germanwings.

SPRINT will focus on lowering fuel expenses and re-negotiating pricey contracts with suppliers but will also examine possible measures related to infrastructure, crew, fleet planning, cabin layout and ground processes, Lufthansa said.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Lufthansa extends inflight broadband services

Lufthansa is continuing to roll out its FlyNet broadband Internet service across its intercontinental network. 
From mid-December onwards, satellite coverage for the high-speed FlyNet system will be generally available across Lufthansa’s entire long-haul network, with the exception of China and South Africa.
Two years after the launch of FlyNet, it is now able to offer inflight broadband connectivity on a record 80 aircraft in its long-haul fleet, thus making it the largest broadband Internet-enabled long-haul fleet in the world. 
One of the major features of the FlyNet system, now available on most aircraft and preinstalled on the next Boeing 747-8s due for delivery in March, is live sports broadcasting which means passengers can watch live coverage of Formula One races, the NFL Super Bowl, Wimbledon, the French Open tennis tournament, the Ryder Cup, the US Open golf, and many other major sporting events.

Delta To Buy Virgin Atlantic Stake

Delta Air Lines has held talks to buy the 49 percent stake in British carrier Virgin Atlantic that is currently held by Singapore Airlines, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
Delta, the second-largest US airline after United Continental, has been looking to acquire a stake in Virgin Atlantic for more than two years in an effort to expand its access to London's Heathrow airport, the sources said.
Previous deal talks broke down over price and other issues, and there is no guarantee that the recent discussions would result in a pact, the people said. News of Delta's interest in Virgin was first reported by the Sunday Times of London.
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