Hot topics

Avianca Brasil gives up 18 planes, cancels 1,045 flights

Avianca Brasil canceled more than 1,045 domestic flights this week because it has to return 18 aircraft to leasing agencies. Brazil's National Aviation Agency said the planes needed to be returned Monday to avoid affecting Holy Week holiday passengers. Avianca Brasil declined to say how many planes it has left. But local media reports that the airline has just 7 planes still in its fleet. Avianca Brasil filed for bankruptcy in December after failing to pay leases on its aircraft. The airline, formerly known as Ocean Air, has licensed the name Avianca since 2010 from Avianca Holdings. They are separate companies with the same owners: brothers German and Jose Efromovich. The latter is being investigated for allegedly failing to pay airport fees in Salvador airport in northeastern Brazil.
Read more...

Cathay Pacific cracks down on petty theft by cabin crew

A crackdown by Cathay Pacific Airways on flight attendants helping themselves to company supplies has sent shock waves through the cabin crew community after several were caught red-handed over the weekend. Such petty theft at the airline had long been treated as an unofficial perk, with staff taking home everything from cutlery and wine glasses to bottles of champagne and even pieces of bread, according to company and cabin crew sources. At least 6 employees – a mix of senior and junior crew – were Saturday placed under investigation awaiting possible disciplinary action, following spot checks at Hong Kong International. Sources said the theft of items that could have been used for future flights had cost the carrier “untold hundreds of millions” over the years.
Read more...

Jet Airways waits for a buyer as rivals muscle in on territory

A revival of Jet Airways is at risk as days roll by since its operations were completely halted. While the cash-strapped carrier awaits potential investors to pump in money, rivals are aggressively going after its most prized assets. A govt desperate to limit public backlash after flight ticket prices escalated is parcelling off landing and parking slots at congested airports. Lessors are also adding to the woes by allocating grounded aircraft to competitors. “It appears to me that lenders are not very confident of getting any serious bid,” said one consultant. “You cannot hold on to slots, and planes are not Jet Airways’ property. They have to find a buyer as soon as possible.” While the arrangement to give Jet’s landing slots and aircraft to rivals is temporary, the process to swap them again is complicated and is the domain of airports.
Read more...

JetBlue takes a gamble with plans for London-NY flights

As one airline with transatlantic ambitions came into land for the last time, another was making plans to take off — hoping to disrupt one of the world’s busiest and most important routes. JetBlue will take on incumbents such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines with its plans to fly between London and New York from 2021. It is also taking a big gamble as it prepares to enter a crowded and fiercely competitive market, which is littered with failures. Only weeks before JetBlue laid out its ambitions, Wow Air announced it would make no more flights across the Atlantic as it declared bankruptcy. As Wow’s example shows, there is a lot at stake for JetBlue. London Heathrow to New York JFK is “the highest capacity commercial long-haul route in the world”, according to one analyst.
Read more...

Boeing rejects claim of 'shoddy production' at Dreamliner factory

Boeing sharply denied published allegations Sunday that "shoddy production" and oversight at its North Charleston, South Carolina, factory threatens the safety of the company's long-haul 787. The report, published Saturday by The New York Times, comes as Boeing is the subject of multiple investigations into the certification process for the 737 Max series. Brad Zaback, site leader of the South Carolina facility and GM of Boeing's 787 program, said The Times distorted information and rehashed old stories "that have long ago been put to rest." Zaback said the company invited The Times to "visit Boeing South Carolina once they contacted us" but they declined. The Times said Sunday night that Boeing made its offer of a tour Friday and that the newspaper declined to delay Saturday's scheduled publication.
Read more...

United planned up to 110 737 Max flights by end-2019

United Airlines planned to operate up to 110 daily flights with the Boeing 737 Max by the end of year, more than double the number it flew when the type was grounded in March. The carrier, which operated 14 737 Max 9s when the type was suspended, has warned of a growing impact from the grounding that, to date, it has mitigated by swapping in spare aircraft and postponing non-essential maintenance on others to cover its 50 daily Max flights at the time. But with the grounding expected to stretch into the summer, United has removed the 737-9 from schedules through July and warned of a greater impact to passengers to come. "With 14 aircraft that was something that we could manage for a month or two," said COO Greg Hart. "But beyond that, it gets really tough to manage."
Read more...

Syria says it will allow Qatar airways to use its airspace

Syria's transport minister says Qatar Airways' request to fly through Syrian airspace has been approved. Airlines have avoided Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, causing long detours. Ali Hammoud said Monday that the measure will save Qatar's airline time and money. Qatar Airways did not immediately comment on the report. Hammoud said the detour around Syrian airspace had cost airlines up to 90 minutes. He said Syria agreed to Qatar's request because it has not stopped Syrian airlines from flying to Doha. In a diplomatic row with its Gulf neighbours, Qatar had been banned from flying over Saudi and Bahraini airspace, costing the carrier significant revenue losses. Qatar Airways has since been allowed over Bahrain because of waivers negotiated through the ICAO.
Read more...

Unlucky coin toss lands another Chinese airline passenger in trouble

A woman in southern China has been detained for flipping 6 coins at a plane to pray for a safe trip, in the fifth such incident this year. The passenger was seen on surveillance camera footage throwing coins just before boarding China Southern Airlines flight CZ8427 from Nanning to Bangkok Saturday. The airline said that the woman, a first-time flier, threw the coins to pray for blessings. The coins were all found and the flight took off after a delay of 78 minutes. “Please don’t be superstitious,” China Southern said. “Abide by aviation safety regulations when taking planes and don't throw things.” China has seen numerous such incidents since the first reported case in 2017, when an elderly woman threw a handful of coins at a China Southern Airlines plane.
Read more...

Airbus reports A220 integration on track

Integration of the former Bombardier CSeries program into Airbus is progressing well, the head of Airbus in Canada said. “We will deliver more aircraft in the second half of the year than we did in the first half as we continue to ramp up,” said Philippe Balducci, CE of the Airbus-led partnership that now builds the narrowbody airliner as the A220. “Our first focus was to preserve the operations to ensure continuity and make sure customers were not impacted. That has been successful,” he said. The next step was to begin the integration work to bring the A220 program into the Airbus family. All commercial activity, including marketing and sales, is now within Airbus and the transfer of procurement contracts from Bombardier is almost complete, Balducci said.
Read more...

Silver Airways begins ATR 42-600 flights

Silver Airways has begun flying its new ATR 42-600 aircraft within Florida, the first step in its plan to replace its fleet of Saab 340Bs and expand its network. The Fort Lauderdale-based regional carrier operated the first revenue flight between its base and Key West April 22. “The new ATR 600 series aircraft will be transformational for Silver Airways and is ideal for our short-haul domestic and nearby international operations,” says Steve Rossum, CE of Silver and Seaborne Airlines. ATR has delivered 3 ATR 42-600s to Silver with another 5 due this year, the airline says. Silver also plans to take up to 3 ATR 72-600s in 2019 pending regulatory approval. The carrier has commitments to purchase up to 50 ATR turboprops. It plans to eventually replace its fleet of 21 Saab 340B turboprops with ATRs.
Read more...

More hot topics…