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BA Plane In Possible Drone Strike At Heathrow

A British Airways A320 was hit by what most likely was a drone as it prepared to land at London's Heathrow Airport on Sunday. Police said the pilot of the BA flight from Geneva had reported that he believed a drone had struck the aircraft before it landed safely. Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch confirmed on Monday that it had launched an investigation into an incident involving an unmanned air vehicle and a passenger aircraft...


Indian Court Issues Mallya Arrest Warrant

An Indian court has issued a warrant for the arrest of tycoon Vijay Mallya, who has left the country with creditors stepping up pressure to recover about USD$1.4 billion owed by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The latest court verdict came after the Enforcement Directorate, a government agency fighting financial crime, accused Mallya's UB Group of using INR4.3 billion rupees (USD$65 million) of bank loans to Kingfisher Airlines to buy...


Norwegian Air Eyes More 787s After US Approval

Norwegian Air Shuttle will need to order more long-haul planes, with Boeing 787s the likeliest option, once its Irish subsidiary wins US approval to fly transatlantic routes. The US Department of Transportation said on Friday it intended to grant flying rights to Norwegian Air's Irish subsidiary. Norwegian Air, Europe's third-largest budget airline by passenger numbers after Ryanair and easyJet, can offer cheaper airfares than traditional...


Two Years On, MH370 Families Say Search Must Continue

The families of passengers lost aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 say the two-year search for the missing aircraft must go on beyond a June deadline, as new hope emerged last week of resolving the aviation mystery. Debris found off the African coast rekindled hope for many, prompting relatives such as Grace Subathirai Nathan to demand investigators go back over mistakes made early on. "A lot of it was based on calculations that had...


ICAO Toughens Aircraft Tracking After MH370

The ICAO has announced new requirements for the real-time tracking of civilian aircraft in distress, following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 two years ago. The ICAO's governing council approved proposals for planes to carry tracking devices that can transmit their location at least once a minute in cases of distress. Aircraft operators will have to ensure their flight recorder data is recoverable, while the duration of...


Two Years On, MH370 Families Say Search Must Continue

The families of passengers lost aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 say the two-year search for the missing aircraft must go on beyond a June deadline, as new hope emerged last week of resolving the aviation mystery. Debris found off the African coast rekindled hope for many, prompting relatives such as Grace Subathirai Nathan to demand investigators go back over mistakes made early on. "A lot of it was based on calculations that had...


United Announces Return Of CEO Munoz

United Airlines said its chief executive, Oscar Munoz, will return to the airline full-time on March 14. Munoz suffered a heart attack last October and has been on medical leave since then. The company had earlier appointed general counsel Brett Hart as acting CEO. Munoz has been taking active part in major decisions across the company and meeting employees and shareholders during his recovery, United said. Munoz took over as United's...


MH370 Families Sue Airline As Deadline Nears

The families of 12 passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 filed suits against the airline on Friday before a two-year deadline for legal action expires. MH370 disappeared en route to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 passengers and crew on board. Multiple suits have been filed in the United States, Australian, Chinese and Malaysian courts in the past few weeks and more are expected as the deadline approaches on...


Pakistan Senate Rejects PIA Airline Sale

Pakistan's upper house of parliament has rejected a bill to sell the cash-strapped national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines. Loss-making state enterprises drain about USD$5 billion from the state every year, around an eighth of the government's fiscal revenues of about INR4 trillion rupees (USD$38.2 billion) last year. The bill now goes to a joint session of parliament next week, where it is expected to pass, because Prime Minister...


Air France Plane Narrowly Avoids Drone

An Air France Airbus A320 narrowly avoided colliding with a drone while descending for an approach to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport last month, the French aviation investigation agency BEA said. The aircraft had been operating a service from Barcelona on February 19 and was flying at 5,500ft when the co-pilot saw the drone. He immediately disengaged the autopilot and carried out an avoidance manoeuvre while informing the captain of the...


Westjet Talking To Boeing, Airbus On 767 Replacement

WestJet Airlines has started talks with aircraft makers on replacements for its fleet of Boeing 767-300s, with delivery expected by the end of this decade. The airline is talking to Boeing and Airbus on options to replace the 767, an extended range aircraft that will serve Europe starting in May, chief executive Gregg Saretsky said. "At some point we will have to replace these 767s with next-generation wide-body aircraft," said...


Airbus May Shift More Production To A321s

Airbus may shift more of its narrow-body airliner production toward the A321, sales chief John Leahy said, as the model outsells Boeing's rival aircraft. The 185-seat A321neo has been winning more orders than the 178-seat Boeing MAX 9, putting pressure on the US plane maker which is considering building a new plane to compete with the A321. The A321 and its A321neo successor make up 34 percent of Airbus's narrow-body order backlog, but the...


FAA Orders Checks On Boeing Fuel Valves

The US FAA has ordered checks on fuel valves on a wide range of Boeing aircraft to ensure they are safe and replace affected valves that could cause possible fuel tank explosions. The airworthiness directive is effective April 5 and involves Boeing's 737, 757, 767 and 777 jets. The FAA estimated that the new directive would affect 2,140 planes in the United States. The new directive resulted from fuel system reviews conducted by Boeing,...


United Receives US DOJ Request About Mail

The US Justice Department has asked United Airlines for documents and oral testimony related to its contract to carry mail for the US Postal Service, the airline said in its annual regulatory filing. The US agency's investigation regarded "delivery scan and other data purportedly required for payment for the carriage of mail," the filing said. United, which received the civil inquiry last October 13, said it is responding to the Justice...


Bookings To Latin America Fall After Zika Warning

Airline bookings to parts of Latin America and the Caribbean have slipped globally since a US public health agency warned pregnant women against travel to areas where the Zika virus is spreading. Bookings to regions hit by the mosquito-borne virus fell 3.4 percent from a year ago between January 15, when the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory, and February 10, the travel data analysis company ForwardKeys...


Southwest Ground Staff Approve Wage Contract

Southwest Airlines ground staff narrowly approved a tentative agreement, which includes pay increases of more than 20 percent over the five-year life of the contract. Transport Workers Union Local 555, representing the airlines' 12,000 ground staff, said that 50.4 percent cast a "yes" vote for the contract. (Reuters)  


Nok Air To Cancel More Flights

Thai budget carrier Nok Air will cancel 20 domestic flights on February 23 even as it faces an investigation into earlier cancellations and the threat of having its license suspended. An official at the airline told Reuters news agency that passengers affected had been contacted and offered compensation or alternative flights. "These are normal cancellations and we informed passengers three days in advance, which is in line with the...


Meridiana Seeking Layoffs As Part Of Qatar Deal

Meridiana is asking unions to agree to 900 job cuts - nearly half its workforce - as part of a planned partnership with Qatar Airways. Sardinia-based Meridiana - owned by the Aga Khan is under a government-sponsored restructuring plan. The holding company behind Meridiana plans to complete a deal with Qatar Airways in the first half of 2016 after signing a memorandum of understanding earlier this month. Qatar Airways will invest fresh...


flydubai CEO Expects Difficult 2016

flydubai's chief executive expects another difficult year for the low-cost carrier as tough economic conditions put pressure on yields. The airline this month reported a 60 percent drop in 2015 net profit to AED100.7 million dirhams, blaming a stronger US dollar and tough market conditions. These factors pressured its overall yield and this is expected to continue in 2016. "This is going to be a difficult year because of the overall...


Bombardier Wins Air Canada CSeries Order

Bombardier received the first order in 16 months for the CSeries, overshadowing news of the plane maker's lower-than-expected quarterly results and plan to cut 7,000 jobs. The company said that it signed a letter of intent to sell Air Canada 45 CSeries aircraft, with an option for 30 more. The order, worth USD$3.8 billion based on list price, is the first for the CSeries since September 2014. The Quebec government, which gave Bombardier a...


Pratt & Whitney, VietJet Sign A320 Engine Deal

Pratt & Whitney has signed a USD$3.04 billion contract to sell engines to budget airline VietJet Air for Airbus A320-family aircraft. The engines will be installed on 63 A320 and A321 planes ordered by VietJet under a contract signed at the Singapore Airshow, the carrier said in a statement. VietJet, with a fleet of 34 A320 and A321s, has plans to buy or lease a total of 107 aircraft over the next decade, receiving 10 to 12 new jets a year....


Air France-KLM Returns To Profit

Air France-KLM returned to profit in 2015, helped by a drop in its fuel bill and growth in passenger traffic. The carrier had an operating profit of EUR€816 million (USD$909 million), compared with a loss of EUR€129 million in 2014. The airline forecast a reduction of between 0.8 and 1.2 percent in unit costs, "further significant net debt reduction" and free operating cash flow generation after disposals of between EUR€0.6 billion and...


Southwest Pilots Reject Tentative Contract

Pilots at Southwest Airlines have rejected a tentative contract with the US budget carrier. Some 62 percent of votes were against ratifying the contract, with 95.1 percent of the union's members voting, according to a news release from the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association. Talks have dragged on for more than three years, and in November 2014 the US National Mediation Board stepped in to oversee negotiations. In May, the union...


Lufthansa Cabin Crew Union Prepare For Strike

The main cabin crew union at Lufthansa dismissed an effort by management to avert a potential week-long strike by calling the airline's latest proposals a "PR stunt". Flight attendants' union UFO had said on Monday it would call for a strike on November 6-13 if Lufthansa did not put forward a serious offer by Thursday evening in a long-running row over pension costs and early retirement benefits. The airline earlier on Wednesday said the...


Air France Managers Flee As Meeting Turns Violent

Air France managers fled a meeting on Monday about mass job cuts after angry staff waving banners and flags stormed the room. The airline's human resources chief Xavier Broseta had his shirt ripped off and his tie hanging from his neck as he battled through crowds of workers, seeking to escape. Broseta and Air France chief executive Frederic Gagey had been outlining a drastic cost cutting plan, described by the company as "Plan B" after it...


Emirates Hints At No Dubai Airshow Orders

Emirates has indicated that it won't be announcing any big orders at next month's Dubai Airshow and said it wouldn't make a decision this year on whether to purchase Airbus A350 or Boeing 787. Tim Clark, the airline's president, asked whether any orders were likely to be announced at the air show which runs November 8-12, said the carrier was still taking delivery of planes announced at the last show in 2013. "We're still running the...


Wreckage Of Indonesian Plane Found

Indonesian authorities on Monday said they had found the wreckage of an Aviastar airline Twin Otter turboprop aircraft that went missing over Sulawesi island last week with 10 people on board. The plane was found in the Enrekang region, around 240 km (150 miles) from the port city of Makassar in South Sulawesi, MetroTV said. South Sulawesi police official Adex Yudiswan said that residents had found the plane. He gave no details about its...


Pilot Dies On American Flight To Boston

A pilot fell ill and died on an American Airlines flight from Phoenix to Boston on Monday, airline and police officials said. The Airbus A320, with 148 passengers and five crew members onboard, touched down at Syracuse Hancock Airport shortly after 7 am EDT, a spokeswoman said. "Medical emergency. Captain is incapacitated," the copilot told air traffic controllers, according to a recording posted on LiveATC.net. Asking for directions to an...


Several Parties Interested In Adria Air Sale

The Slovenian state investment fund SDH said several parties had shown interest in buying state-owned Adria Airways. The government plans to sell 91.6 percent of the carrier. "The bids will be examined with care while the sale process will continue," SDH said in a statement, giving no further details. In July, Slovenia announced that it was seeking expressions of interest in the purchase of Adria, one of 15 firms earmarked for sale in...


Air Djibouti Sets Sights On Air Freight

Relaunched national airline Air Djibouti, now managed by a company run by the frontman of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, is looking to remake itself as an Africa-wide air freight service. The return of Air Djibouti, which went bankrupt in 2002, is part of the Red Sea state's goal of becoming a major logistics hub. It is building four new ports, two airports, and a USD$3.5 billion free-trade zone set to be partially open by the middle of next...


Kenya Airways Gets USD$240 Mln In Loans

Kenya has provided a KES4.2 billion shilling (USD$40 million) loan to loss-making Kenya Airways, while African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has approved a USD$200 million bridging loan for the airline. The money is needed to support the carrier, which has not made a profit in three years because Kenya's tourism industry has suffered fallout from a number of Islamist militant attacks. The airline, part-owned by Air France-KLM, also has...


Lufthansa CEO Defends Hard Line On Strikes

Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr defended the airline's hard line on strikes after pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) threatened further walkouts in a row over retirement benefits and cost cuts. VC said that Lufthansa had rejected its offer of concessions in a long-running dispute that has seen a dozen strikes over the last 18 months and cost the airline hundreds of millions of euros. Walkouts could start any time and could hit...


Qantas Swings To Full-Year Profit

Qantas Airways posted a return to profit with underlying full-year profit of AUD$975 million (USD$716.4 million) after last year's record AUD$2.8 billion loss. The Australian flag carrier announced it will exercise options to buy eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and said it would return some funds to shareholders after tough cost-cutting and tailwinds from cheaper fuel costs led the company back into the black. "We are halfway through the...


India Hires Turnaround Expert To Fix Air India

India is betting on a former railway bureaucrat who styles himself as "Mr Turnaround" to fix the financial troubles of debt-burdened national carrier Air India, which last made a profit in 2007. Ashwani Lohani, whose past roles include stints at India's railways and a regional tourism board, will take over as chairman and managing director next week, an Air India spokesman said. He has a tough task ahead. Once India's biggest carrier, Air...


Australia Clears Qantas, China Eastern Alliance

The Australian regulator, the ACCC, reversed an earlier decision and cleared a code-sharing deal between Qantas Airways and China Eastern Airlines after the carriers agreed to increase flights between their countries by a fifth. The ruling enables the airlines to sell flights between several Australian cities and the mainland. It is likely to boost Australia's biggest tourism market and deepen ties between the two countries. "The ACCC...


Irish Court Grounds Congolese Plane Over Debt Row

An Irish court has grounded a plane owned by Democratic Republic of Congo's new national airline after plaintiffs sought its seizure to recuperate an outstanding debt from the government. Congo's government recently purchased two used Airbus A320s for the launch of Congo Airways, expected before the end of this year. The first of the airline's two planes, which are due to serve eight domestic destinations initially, arrived in the capital...


Victims' Families Reject Germanwings Compensation

Some of the close relatives of those killed in the Germanwings plane crash in March have rejected the carrier's offer of EUR€25,000 (USD$27,100) in compensation payments for their pain and suffering. A lawyer representing some of the German victims, Elmar Giemulla, said he had notified Germanwings earlier this week in a letter that the offer was inadequate. He added a low six-digit amount would be adequate compensation. Germanwings, a...


Russia Submits Draft UN Resolution On MH17

Russia is pushing for a greater United Nations role in an investigation into what caused the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 after dismissing a proposal by Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ukraine for a UN-backed tribunal. Led by the Dutch, the countries are conducting a criminal inquiry into MH17 and circulated a draft resolution to the UN Security Council earlier this month that would create a tribunal to...


Spring Air Reports First Half Earnings Jump

China's Spring Airlines announced a significant lift in half-year earnings, citing lower fuel prices and growing passenger numbers. First-half net earnings rose by between 130 percent and 150 percent from the CNY270.8 million yuan achieved in the same period last year. The airline plans to raise up to CNY4.5 billion yuan (USD$725 million) in private share placements to fund internet projects and the purchase of new aircraft. Spring said...


Ethiopian Air Looking To Double Fleet

Ethiopian Airlines is considering placing orders for Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier aircraft as it plans to nearly double its fleet to 150 by 2025. The state-owned airline is also in talks with Airbus to bring forward the delivery of 14 A350-900s to 2016-2017 from an original target of 2016-2018, Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam told reporters at the launch of the airline's first direct flight to Manila. "We have 76...


Jet Airways Flight Diverted After Bomb Threat

A Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Dubai made an emergency landing in Oman on Thursday after a bomb threat, the Indian airline and Omani authorities said. Oman's Civil Aviation Authority said all 68 passengers and crew were evacuated after the plane landed in the Omani capital Muscat but no explosives were found on board. Oman's Civil Aviation Authority said the plane landed in Muscat at 13:19 after a request for Jet Airways flight...


AirAsia Shares Rise After Indonesia Concerns Ease

AirAsia shares recovered from five-year-lows after the Indonesian government eased investors' fears that the Malaysian budget carrier's local affiliate could be grounded for a lack of funds. Days after several Indonesian officials named the airline as one of 13 carriers that must repair stretched balance sheets by July 31 or face closure, the transport ministry softened its tone, saying it would "help and support" the companies...


Poland's Enter Air Suspends IPO

Poland's biggest charter airline, Enter Air, has suspended its initial public offering due to weak market conditions. "The company's decision is caused by sudden and unforeseen changes in the economic situation in Europe that are rooted in, among other things, the crisis linked to Greece's financial situation, which translated into moods of uncertainty on financial markets in Poland and in Europe," Enter Air said in a statement. A new...


Malaysia Tells UN Of Push For MH17 Tribunal

Malaysia has told the United Nations Security Council of plans to push for a UN-backed tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing a passenger airliner last year in eastern Ukraine, though Russia described the move as premature, diplomats said. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down in July last year with 298 passengers on board, two-thirds of them Dutch. It crashed in territory held by Russian-backed separatists. Ukraine and...


Demand For Air Travel Accelerates In May - IATA

Global demand for air travel continued to rise in May, although there are storm clouds on the horizon, IATA said. Air passenger traffic in terms of revenue passenger kilometres rose 6.9 percent in May, against a 5.7 percent increase recorded for April, IATA said in its monthly passenger data release. "The financial crisis in Greece and recent weakness in regional trade activity in Asia-Pacific have the potential to dampen performance in...


Ryanair To Take Legal Action As Hertz Ends Partnership

Ryanair is to launch legal proceedings against US car rental firm Hertz after the two companies ended a long-running partnership in a dispute over how Ryanair sells its tickets. Ryanair said it had received notice on Thursday from Hertz "purporting to terminate Hertz's exclusive car hire supply agreement with Ryanair" and had instructed its lawyers to pursue Hertz for breach of contract and damages. The Irish airline said that Hertz had...


Jetstar Cancels Bali Flights Due To Volcanic Ash

Australian based Jetstar has cancelled several flights to Bali's Denpasar airport because volcanic ash from the Mount Raung eruption is drifting toward the airport. Late on Thursday Jetstar, a unit of Qantas Airways, cancelled nine flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Darwin and Singapore which were due to travel on July 2 and 3. The airline said it was closely monitoring the weather conditions and would provide further updates...


US Investigating Possible Airfare Collusion

The US Department of Justice is investigating whether US airlines worked together illegally to keep airfares high by limiting flights. The Justice Department wrote to major US carriers demanding that they detail decisions to limit the number of seats they offer, and what they've said about those plans to investors, securities analysts and the public. Airlines contacted have been asked to provide "available seat miles on a regional and...


Lufthansa Cabin Crew Say No More Talks

German cabin crew union UFO said it would not resume talks with Lufthansa after mediation failed in a dispute over pay and pensions, adding it would give an update on its next steps on June 22. Mediators had been expected to present a non-binding recommendation on June 20. "Both (mediators) have merely asked us to resume talks. UFO cannot consider this after negotiations have repeatedly collapsed," UFO said in a statement. While it did...


Delta, Southwest Threaten Lawsuits In Dallas Gate Spat

Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines have scheduled overlapping flights from identical gates at Love Field in Dallas, creating potential havoc for customers as a gate-sharing agreement between the carriers is set to expire and a court battle looms over slots at the airport. Southwest, which has 18 of 20 gates at the airport, agreed that Delta could use certain gates until July 6. Southwest plans to ramp up flights in August from Love...