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Aircraft News - Asia / Pacific.

New York (USAsian Network Business & Industry - Aircraft News Asia / Pacific) May 27, 2012

AEA calls for urgent action on Single European Sky The Assn. of European Airlines (AEA) has renewed its call for the continent's states to implement the Single European Sky (SES) system to improve air traffic control. Europe currently has a patchwork of air navigation service providers, resulting in inefficiencies in routing aircraft. The European Union (EU) has talked about implementing SES for many years but individual countries have dragged their feet, airlines have complained. "We welcome the [European] CommissionOs efforts to push through the SES, but we are furious that the largest EU member states are simply not delivering," Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz said Thursday at the AEA PresidentsO Assembly in Brussels. The AEA represents 34 of the continent's carriers. "This fragmentation is ridiculous and unacceptable," Franz said. "The Commission must stand firm, rejecting every national performance plan that falls short of the EU-wide target." Implementing SES and more direct routings would save European carriers some 10%-15% on their fuel bills, Franz said at a press conference. The AEA estimates this would save 16 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and some U3.7 billion ($4.68 billion) annually. Last month, EuropeOs SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) Joint Undertaking began a study to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into non-segregated airspace in a SESAR air traffic management scenario. May 24, 2012

Air India Air India pilot strike overshadows 787 delivery. Indian flag-carrier Air IndiaOs long-haul flights on international routes continued to be crippled as the pilot strike enters the 15th day, overshadowing the carrierOs Boeing 787 delivery later this month. Pilots from the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) have hardened their position and so has the government. The minister for civil aviation Ajit Singh invited the airlineOs other 13 unions to a meeting but refused to talk to the striking pilots group. More than 100 pilots have already been sacked. The pilotsO sickout is a result of the government of IndiaOs decision to merge IndiaOs two public sector airlinesNIndian, which ran domestic and regional routes, and Air India, which operated medium- and long-haul international flights. Though the airlines were merged by government diktat four years ago, they remain deeply divided. Both had completely different pay scales, promotion policies and work cultures. Air India was started by the Tata group in the 1932 and later nationalized by the government. Indian was formed by merging half a dozen small domestic carriers that operated in the 1950s. Despite the merger, employees in almost all sections continue to work as if they belong to two separate carriers. In what may seem like a bizarre situation to outsiders, pilots from the AI part of the airline are objecting to the managementOs decision to send their brethren from Indian for flight training on the 787. Pilots from IPG said if pilots from the other group are allowed to fly the 787s, they will lose out on growth opportunities. The loss-making airline is shrinking its fleet and is likely to lease out more aircraft as it struggles to stay afloat. The strike has cost the airline about $40 million so far. The government has appointed a committee, led by retired judge DM Dharmadhikari, to evaluate the salary structures of employees and suggest a new parity structure. Discussions continue with the unions to bring in a new common structure so employees will have similar conditions of employment. May 23, 2012

Air India, Boeing Air India Wants Compensation Before 787s. State-owned Air India will not take delivery of any 787 Dreamliner aircraft from Boeing until the two parties agree on a compensation package for a delay, India's civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said. The loss-making Indian carrier, which was supposed to take delivery of the first of 27 787s by the end of May, is seeking nearly USD$1 billion in compensation for the delayed aircraft. Air India is studying all legal options including arbitration in case the two parties fail to reach an agreement, Singh said, while declining to say how much compensation Air India was seeking. May 25, 2012

Air Lease, Southern Air Holdings Aircraft News. Air Lease Corp. (ALC) has executed transactions covering 11 twin-aisle aircraft and two single-aisle aircraft. It purchased eight new Boeing 787-9 aircraft for lease to Vietnam Airlines (delivering in 2017 and 2018); purchased one 777-300ER from Macquarie Aviation on long-term lease to Emirates; one incremental Airbus A330-200 on long-term lease to KLM (delivering 2013); one A330-300 on long-term lease to Sichuan Airlines (delivering in 2013); a four-year extension from Sichuan on one A319 on lease from ALC; and one Embraer E-190 leased to LAM (delivering in 2012). Southern Air Holdings has taken delivery of its fourth Boeing 777F, for use on its new round-the-world service, Hong Kong-Los Angeles-Leipzig-Hong Kong. Novus Aviation has purchased a new Boeing 777-300ER, leased to Emirates. It is the second new aircraft delivery for Novus Aviation this year, following its acquisition of a new A330-300HGW leased to Malaysian Airlines. May 24, 2012

AirAsia, Airbus AirAsia is considering additional A320s to fill gap until A320neo arrives. MalyasiaOs fast-growing low-cost carrier AirAsia is considering ordering more Airbus A320s until its A320neo aircraft arrive, where he took delivery of the carrierOs 100th A320. AirAsia ended last yearOs Paris Air Show with a massive order for 200 A320neos, which should be available from 2015. Fernandes said he Ohas a sense to advance our orderO but questions whether to buy or lease more A320s Obecause I donOt think our 175 aircraft are enough until the neo comes,O Fernandes said. In December, AirAsia will take delivery of an A320 manufactured at the Chinese Airbus facility in Tianjin, becoming the first non-Chinese carrier to receive an A320 from this facility. Fernandes confirmed the airline will do a come-back to Europe when the A350-1000 arrives in 2015. OHopefully it is not delayed,O he said. AirAsia transports about 33 million passengers annually, has a 80% load factor and added 12% capacity last year. It operates 720 daily flights within the system excluding Air Asia X the airline said. Regarding growth opportunities, AirAsia will add flights to Jeddah, and to Libya, Egypt, or Baghdad. May 25, 2012

AirAsia, Airbus Thai AirAsia IPO to double fleet size. The impending listing of Asia Aviation, a holding company that owns 51 percent of Thai AirAsia (TAA), on the Stock Exchange of Thailand will help raise the proceeds to double TAA's fleet size and grow its network, according to a report in The Edge Financial Daily. The Asia Aviation IPOs is expected to take place in July. Media reports, quoting a filing with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission, said the company may raise MYR460.5 million ringgit (USD$150 million) from the issuance of 750 million new shares representing a 15.46 percent stake. May 22, 2012

Boeing Boeing S.C.Os first 787 completes test flight. Boeing announced that the first 787 built in its South Carolina facility for launch customer Air India completed a five-hr. test flight Tuesday. The production flight tested the controls and systems in all stages of flight as the crew checked the functionality of onboard systems at high and medium altitudes. They also checked backup and critical safety elements including cabin pressurization, avionics, and navigation and communications systems. In addition, they shut down and re-started each engine during flight, according to Boeing. "The airplane performed exactly as we expected," pilot Tim Berg said. Boeing said the aircraft will fly to Ft. Worth, Texas to be painted with AIOs livery before returning to South Carolina for a mid-2012 delivery. May 25, 2012

Jet Airways, Airbus India's Jet Airways is expected to order more than 100 narrow-body aircraft for up to USD$3.75 billion in 2012/13 as it grabs market share from its troubled rivals. The airline is understood to be actively evaluating Airbus's narrow-body A320 aircraft, and is likely to lease up to 10 A330s to support expansion of its European network, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said in a report. "In my estimate, at the current price and without taking into account the list price, the actual price for the order could be USD$3.5 billion to USD$3.75 billion," Kapil Kaul, regional head of CAPA, told reporters. India's aviation sector has been beset by high costs of fuel and airport charges and heavy debt, with all carriers except unlisted Indigo Airlines posting losses in the fiscal year that ended in March. With two debt-ridden carriers, Kingfisher Airline and Air India, curtailing most of their flights Jet stands to benefit the most, CAPA said. Kingfisher, owned by flamboyant drinks baron Vijay Mallya, has been struggling to pay off a USD$1.3 billion loan and has slashed the number of its daily flights. State-owned Air India, which survives on government bailout, has cancelled most of its international flights because of a continuing strike by its pilots. "Kingfisher's dramatic contraction from 66 to 16 operational aircraft, of which half are regional ATR aircraft, has left the domestic business market open for Jet Airways," CAPA said. The disruption at Air India's long-haul routes has driven North American and UK traffic to Jet, it said. Jet and other private carriers such as SpiceJet and unlisted Go Air and Indigo are likely to post a combined profit of USD$200 million in the fiscal year ending next March, the consultancy said. However, losses at Kingfisher and Air India will keep the industry in the red to the tune of USD$1.3 billion to USD$1.4 billion in 2012/13, compared with a total industry loss of USD$2 billion in the previous year, CAPA said. May 23, 2012

Lion Air, Boeing Lion Air near to deal for 10 Boeing 787s. Indonesia's Lion Air is close to signing a deal for 10 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner passenger jets, with a total list price of USD$1.9 billion, as the budget carrier aims to tap the long-haul market. Two sources involved in the deal told reporters that Lion Air prefers the newer carbon-composite 787 to the Airbus A330. The deal is expected to be signed in Jakarta on June 8 as Lion Air celebrates its 12th anniversary. Such a move by Lion Air would put more pressure on Garuda Indonesia and Malaysia's AirAsia because it would be able to serve a broader range of destinations. Lion Air's founder and chief executive Rusdi Kirana said in February the Indonesian low-cost carrier was in negotiations with Airbus and Boeing to buy Airbus A330s or Boeing 787s. One of the sources said the 787 would help Lion Air's marketing campaign with an image of fuel efficiency and the latest technology. "Dreamliner is a new design, it is based on the latest technology, while the A330 is basically an old (design)," said one of the sources, who declined to be identified because of the confidentiality of the talks. If the financing terms from both manufacturers are equal, he said, Lion Air would choose the 787 over the A330. A deal would mean Boeing had managed to keep Airbus away from its top customer. Lion Air recently signed a record order for USD$22.4 billion worth of Boeing 737 single aisle jets. May 25, 2012

Malaysia Airlines, Airbus MalaysiaOs first Airbus A380 ready for final system checks. Malaysia AirlinesO first Airbus A380 returned to Toulouse Thursday following completion of interior furnishing and cabin system tests in Hamburg, Airbus announced. The aircraft is now stationed at the Airbus flight line for final system checks prior to the start of the customer acceptance process and delivery at the end of the month. MAS will become the eighth operator of the A380 and will launch commercial service between Kuala Lumpur and London July 1. The carrier has ordered six 494-seat A380s with a premium three-class layout. The MAS A380 fleet will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. May 22, 2012

Mitsubishi Aircraft Mitsubishi Aircraft confident about revised MRJ program schedule. Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. (MITAC) said it is confident the issues that forced it to delay the first flight of the MRJ, originally slated for the current quarter, are being resolved and will enable it to stick to a new schedule that calls for first flight to occur in the fourth quarter of 2013. Speaking to reporters at the Regional Airline Assn.Os (RAA) annual convention in Minneapolis Tuesday, MITAC director-marketing Yugo Fukuhara said two issues primarily drove the decision to push back first flight to late next year and first delivery to the third quarter of 2015. One involved suppliers, primarily Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Onot in full compliance with production procedures.O The second issue, he explained, occurred during the type certification process when Omore documentation was required unexpectedly.O He said MITAC has made sure MRJ suppliers are now in compliance with the proper procedures and has worked out how to overcome the documentation shortfall. OWe are very confident in the new schedule and we do not want to repeat a change in schedule,O Fukuhara added. MITAC has 65 firm orders for the MRJ from three customers. It has started to build the first flight test aircraft, and plans to have five flight test aircraft in the MRJ testing program. OOur minimum target on [total lifetime] MRJ sales is 1,000 aircraft,O Fukuhara said. OWe are very confident we can sell more than 1,000 worldwide.O May 24, 2012

Qantas Airways Qantas Restructures Airline Into Domestic, International Units . Australian Qantas Restructures Airline Into Domestic, International Units airline Qantas is splitting itself into two units, domestic and international, according to press reports. That means that QantasO strong domestic network will not be undermined by its struggling international operations, which could boost the price of the domestic operation. The split will create four separate business units: Qantas International, Qantas Domestic, Jetstar Group and Qantas Frequent Flyer. Jetstar is QantasO low-cost carrier, which has captured 20 percent of AustraliaOs domestic market. Bruce Buchanan, head of Jetstar, is leaving the company. Simon Hickey, who had overseen the frequent-flyer unit, will head international operations. Lesley Grant will take over the frequent-flyer program; Lyell Strambi, the current Qantas group executive, will take over Qantas Domestic, and Jayne Hrdlicka, now head of strategy and technology, will head Jetstar. Qantas faces the same problems as the rest of the industry: high oil prices and increasing competition. May 22, 2012

Qantas Airways Qantas to consolidate maintenance facilities; cuts 500 jobs. Qantas (QF) will consolidate heavy maintenance work into Brisbane (BNE) and Avalon (AVV), the Australian carrier said in a statement. The move ends TullamarineOs (MEL) role in QFOs heavy maintenance, resulting in a loss of 500 jobs. The company said there is not enough heavy maintenance work to justify three separate facilities. New technology and incoming modern aircraft means there will be a further 60% reduction in heavy maintenance requirements over the next seven years, it added. Heavy maintenance on Boeing 737 aircraft will move from MEL to BNE along with 767 aircraft and Airbus A330s. AVV will continue to maintain 747s. OIt will also conduct some work on 737s and 767s, some aircraft reconfiguration work and remain available for one-off maintenance tasks,O it said. QF CEO Alan Joyce stressed QFOs commitment to being the only major airline in the world to do heavy maintenance at its own facilities in Australia while pointing out the costs. OLike the manufacturing industry, aviation maintenance is a labor- and capital-intensive sector. Our cost base in heavy maintenance is 30% higher than that of our competitorsNwe must close this gap to secure QantasO future viability and success,O he said. May 22, 2012

Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce Announces New 10-Year Agreements for T56 Authorized Maintenance Centers. Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, today announced a new ten-year agreement covering its global network of T56 engine Authorized Maintenance Centers (AMCs). Approximately 6,500 T56 engines are in service globally, powering aircraft including the C-130 Hercules and the P-3 Orion. Members of the AMC network are authorized by Rolls-Royce to perform overhaul and repair on all T56 Series military and commercial engines. Each AMC has decades of experience maintaining T56 engines, demonstrating technical expertise and dependable support to T56 operators. The Rolls-Royce AMC global network has been serving T56 customers for nearly 20 years and the new agreements will be in place until 2021. Paul Craig, Rolls-Royce, President Defence Services, said, OThe global services network demonstrates the continued commitment by Rolls-Royce to provide customers with the highest standard of support. Wherever T56 operators are around the world, they can find a Rolls-Royce Authorized Maintenance Center to provide the quality engine support they need to enable them to deliver their missions.O The AMC network includes: Standard Aero (Canada); Samsung Techwin (Korea); Vector Aerospace (UK); Turbopower (US); STA Engines (Singapore); Airod Techno Power (Malaysia); OGMA [ETH] Industria Aeronautica de Portugal (Portugal); Segers Aerospace (US) and Hellenic Aerospace Industry (Greece). Additionally, Rolls-Royce operates two T56-501D Factory Maintenance Centers -- Rolls-Royce Engine Services Oakland (US) and Rolls-Royce Brazil. Notes to Editors: 1. Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. 2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in more than 80 countries. 3. Annual underlying revenues were [pounds sterling]11.3 billion in 2011, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at [pounds sterling]62.2 billion at 31 December 2011, providing visibility of future levels of activity. 4. Rolls-Royce employs over 40,000 skilled people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers. 5. In 2011, Rolls-Royce invested [pounds sterling]908 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions. 6. Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which connect the companyOs engineers with the forefront of scientific research. 7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills. 8. The Rolls-Royce T56 engine has been in production for 58 years, holding the record as the longest-running continuous production engine in the large turboprop class. More than 16,500 T56 engines have been produced, on aircraft including C-130 Hercules, C-2A Greyhound, E-2C Hawkeye and P-3 Orion. Rated at 3,250-5,800 shaft horsepower, the T56 engine is in use in 70 countries around the world, powering military and commercial aircraft, and has amassed 225 million operating hours. May 23, 2012 2154-2260

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Publication:USAsian Network News & Business & Industry News
Article Type:Company overview
Geographic Code:90ASI
Date:May 28, 2012
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