EASA Releases Formal Opinion on Safe Small Drone Operating

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has released the first formal Opinion on the safe operating of small drones in Europe and which will become an important stepping-stone to the building of a wider regulatory framework and a means to keep drone operations safe. This Opinion will act as a platform on which the European Commission can adopt regulatory proposals later on in the year. The European Commission has already chaired a meeting with EU Member States on February 21. According to EASA’s Executive Director Patrick Ky, “This regulation will enable the free circulation of drones and a level playing Read more

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Record U.S. Passenger Numbers Recorded – Satisfaction Levels Drop

While a record number of U.S. passengers were recorded in 2017, an increase of 4.5% compared to 2016 figures, the resultant increase in volume has seen a drop in the level of satisfaction experienced by passengers. The result of an annual Air Travelers in America Survey has revealed that of those passengers questioned, only 81% were satisfied with their overall experience, down from 85% recorded in 2016. This drop is not seen as surprising given an increase in crowding at airports and on flights, mainly due to an improved economy and low fares. All age groups and household income bands Read more

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Newly Branded Air Italy Aims to Become New Italian Flag-carrying Airline

Sardinia-based airline Meridiana is aiming to become Italy’s premier airline under a new name, Air Italy. The airline acquired the smaller Air Italy in 2011 and will adopt its name and fly as a new Air Italy. Alitalia, Italy’s previous flag carrier, went into administration in May last year and is now being auctioned off in parts to other European airlines. Meridiana is part owned by Qatar Airways (49%) and Alisarda S.p.A which originally owned the Sardinian airline Alisarda, which in turn merged with Spanish carrier Universair in 1991 to form Meridiana. The new Air Italy has put in place Read more

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GE Exploring Sale of Gas Turbine Business

Subsequent to last month’s indication from General Electric Company’s (GE’s) new CEO, John Flannery, that he was exploring the possibility of breaking up the company, sources are indicating that the sale of its industrial gas turbine business is being seriously considered. The possible sale of the industrial gas turbine business, which would include the Jenbacher and Waukesha engines, has come about through last year’s 45 percent plummet in profits for the division. Sources, which have asked not to be identified, have confirmed that Citigroup Inc has been hired by GE to prepare a sale process for the business, though a Read more

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Ban on Smart Luggage Implemented by U.S. Airlines

Six weeks after United States’ carriers announced a unilateral ban on smart luggage, this has now been implemented luggage where the lithium-ion batteries have not been removed prior to transportation. Airlines, including Delta, American and United, will not allow so-called smart luggage to be transported on their aircraft where the component battery cannot be removed. This follows a continued trend within the airline industry where lithium-ion batteries are seen as a fire risk when the outer casing has been punctured, the battery remains connected to a device, or when closely packed together in numbers. Many of the airlines have had Read more

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Airlines Under Pressure from Higher Wages and Increased Fuel Costs in 2018

Investors will be keeping a keen eye on how airlines approach the dual problems of rising fuel costs and labor costs this year. Last December the International Air Transport Association (IATA) highlighted these two elements, which are airlines’ highest expenditures, as the major challenge for 2018. In 2016, labor costs accounted for 22% of airlines’ costs and fuel 21%. For 2018, predictions reveal an expected 30.9% cost for labor and 20.5% for fuel. With the fluctuating nature of fuel prices, back in 2013 those figures were 33% for fuel and 18% for labor. It should also be noted that labor Read more

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Bombardier-Airbus deal slows down C-Series orders

The head of commercial sales at the Canadian plane and train manufacturer Bombardier has admitted to there being a “bit of a pause” in orders being placed for the C-Series jet while waiting for completion of the recent partnership deal with Airbus. It was in October the deal for Bombardier to sell a majority stake in the C-Series program to Airbus was struck, but until regulatory approval has been obtained the two companies are unable to coordinate sales campaigns for the 110-130-seat jets. Colin Bole, Bombardier Head of Commercial Sales, said the long-term sales prospects for the C Series had Read more

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Singapore Airshow 2018

The sixth Singapore Airshow will start on Tuesday, February 6 and will run until Sunday, February 11. Originally called the Changi Airshow, the bi-annual Singapore Airshow is now held adjacent to Singapore’s Changi International Airport, at the Changi Exhibition Center which offers approximately 42,500 square meters of indoors space and over 100,000 square meters of external exhibition area. More than 80,000 visitors are expected to attend over the six-day period. Singapore Airshow is Asia’s largest and one of the most important aerospace and defense events, ranking in size only behind Le Bourget in France and Farnborough in the U.K., while Read more

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Spirit AeroSystems reports full-year 2017 revenue of US$7.0bn

Spirit’s fourth quarter 2017 revenue was US$1.7bn, up 9% from the same period of 2016, primarily driven by higher recurring and non-recurring activity on the Boeing 737 program, higher production deliveries on the 787 program and increased defence-related activity, partially offset by lower production deliveries on the Boeing 777 program. Revenue for the full year increased 3% to US$7.0bn, primarily due to higher recurring and non-recurring activity on the Boeing 737 program, higher production deliveries on the Airbus A350 XWB and A320 programs and increased defence-related activity, partially offset by lower production deliveries on the Boeing 777 program and decreased Read more

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European Commission’s fines for air freight cartel formation upheld by EU Court of Justice

The EU Court of Justice has upheld the March 2012 decision of the EU Commission to fine a number of freight forwarding companies over cartel charges, dismissing an appeal lodged by companies located in Europe, Asia and the Far East. In a statement, the EU’s top court said: “The Court of Justice rejects all the arguments put forward by those companies and upholds the amount of the fines imposed,” The original fines of €169 million (US$ 203 million) related to a period of time between 2002 and 2007 when these companies participated in a number of agreements and concerted practices Read more

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