737 MAX grounding hits flydubai first half 2019 financial results hard

flydubia ©AirTeamImages

Dubai’s state-owned carrier, flydubai, has announced that the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX has put the carrier under unprecedented financial pressure, resulting in a January-to-June loss of US$53.6 million. Prior to the grounding, flydubai had anticipated expanding its current fleet of aircraft to 62, but instead this will only grow to 43 this year. flydubai is one of the largest 737 MAX customers with 14 of the currently grounded jets out of an existing order of 250. When the 737 MAX was first grounded, the airline’s chairman indicated that it would turn to Airbus for replacements. However, Chief Read more

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Aigle Azur, France’s second largest airline, closes down

Aigle Azur ©AirTeamImages

Having ceased all commercial operations and filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, leaving 19,000 travelers stranded, Aigle Azur, France’s second-largest carrier, has now closed down. Having immediately been put up for sale, those carriers who expressed interest in Aigle Azur included easyJet and Vueling, while confirmed bids to take over assets were received from Air France, Groupe Dubreuil (owners of Air Caraïbes and French Bee) and Lu Azur. While a joint bid between Air France and Groupe Dubreuil looked the most promising, legal problems relating to the conditions on which personnel would be transferred to a new owner were Read more

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Air New Zealand orders eight 787-10 Dreamliner jets

Air New Zealand orders eight 787-10 Dreamliner jets ©Boeing

Boeing and Air New Zealand have finalized an order for eight 787-10 Dreamliner airplanes valued at US$2.7 billion at list prices. The carrier, recognized for its long-range flights and global network, will integrate the largest Dreamliner model into its fleet of 787-9 and 777 airplanes from 2022 to strategically grow its business. The airplane deal, announced in May as a commitment, includes options to increase the number of aircraft from eight up to 20, and substitution rights that allow a switch from the larger 787-10 to smaller 787-9s, or a combination of the two models for future fleet and network Read more

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Struggling Adria Airways halts flights through cash crisis

Adria Airways ©AirTeamImages

Slovenia-based Adria Airways has been forced to temporarily suspend operations on all but one of its routes as a consequence of a lack of liquid funds. The announcement comes only a day after the U.K.s Thomas Cook ceased all flights and entered into compulsory liquidation. The carrier will continue to operate between Ljubljana in Slovenia, and Frankfurt, Germany. Adria Airways has indicated it hopes the suspension will last for no more than two days while it explores solutions with a potential investor. Slovenia media has reported the suspension of flights has affected many thousands of passengers and the current situation Read more

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Thomas Cook goes bust, ceases all operations – 600,000 travelers still to be repatriated

©Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook, the world’s first and oldest travel agent, has gone bust, ceased all operations, and entered into compulsory liquidation early on Monday Morning, U.K. time. The fallout has left over 600,000 travelers across the globe requiring repatriation. In the U.K. alone there are over 150,000 Thomas Cook customers currently on foreign shores. The majority of these British passengers will be repatriated as part of ‘Operation Matterhorn’ under the Air Travel Operators License (ATOL) a U.K. organization which ‘underwrites’ all package holidays sold by tour operators. However, this scheme does not cover those who only bought flight tickets. This is Read more

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SAS presents new livery for first time in 21 years

©SAS presents new livery

For the first time in 21 years, SAS has launched a brand new visual identity and revealed a new design for its aircraft exterior. The new livery is a modern take on classic Scandinavian design, and to highlight the future of SAS, the new Airbus A350, and A320neo – one the market’s most modern and fuel-efficient aircraft, will be the first to feature the new design. The roll-out of the new SAS livery will follow the normal maintenance program of the aircraft, meaning the existing fleet will be updated with the new livery in accordance with an already scheduled repaint Read more

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Virgin Atlantic looks to challenge IAG dominance – eyes up 80 new Heathrow slots

Virgin Atlantic ©AirTeamImages

Virgin Atlantic (Virgin) announced Wednesday, September 18, that it wants to add 80 new routes and 84 destinations to its current network once the third London Heathrow runway is completed, a major increase to its current 19 destinations. While the runway is not scheduled for completion until 2026, for Virgin to acquire the necessary additional slots, changes would have to be made to the current slot allocation system. While IAG dominates with over 55% of all Heathrow slots and no other airline owns more than 5%, the rules governing slot allocation are currently under governmental review. “Heathrow has been dominated Read more

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737 MAX software upgrade to be tested in simulator by new FAA chief

New Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Stephen Dickson is heading to Seattle this week to visit Boeing and fly in a Boeing 737 simulator. The simulator will incorporate Boeing’s latest software‘fix’ which will receive input from both angle-of-attack sensors in the 737 MAX’s MCAS anti-stall system. However, this is not part of any certification process which will be required by Boeing before the beleaguered aircraft can once again take to the skies. Neither the FAA nor Boeing have yet given any clear timeline for the likelihood of such an event. According to Reuters news agency, Boeing has said it planned Read more

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Weak pound allows Advent International to win US$5bn battle for U.K.’s Cobham

With the Brexit fiasco primarily responsible for a weak pound, U.S. private equity firm Advent International has taken advantage of the situation and snapped up Cobham, the U.K. firm renowned for its pioneering work on air-to-air refueling, for US$5 billion. The price agreed was at a premium of 50% of the average monthly share price over the last three months prior to the deal’s announcement. Cobham employs around 10,000 staff responsible for making its air-to-air refueling systems as well as communication for military vehicles. Today its technology is used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Eurofighter Typhoon, together Read more

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Cathay Pacific targeting costs cuts and no new hiring

Cathay Pacific Airways ©AirTeamImages

In an internal memo seen by Reuters news agency, Cathay Pacific is in the process of instigating cost-cutting measures to counteract the slump in demand from mainland China as well as the general lack of passenger numbers wishing to travel to the former British colony as a consequence of the civil unrest Hong Kong is currently experiencing. The flag-carrying airline has been hit harder than most major corporations operating in Hong Kong; passenger numbers for this August were 11.3 percent lower than for August 2018. According to the memo issued by the new Chief Executive, Augustus Tang, executives should examine Read more

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