Shareholders in Jet Airways have approved an agreed sale of a 24% stake in the airline to Etihad Airways. However, the Indian airline has deferred seeking shareholder approval for a new set of “Articles of Association” as it awaits regulatory clarity on the issue, reports Reuters.
Indian media is reporting that the former chief financial officer of Qantas Airways, Gary Toomey, is in line to take over from Nikos Kardassis as CEO of Jet Airways following Etihad Airways’ acquisition of a 24% stake in the India airline.
None of the parties concerned have confirmed the rumours however.
South Korea’s first cargo only airline, Air Incheon, will begin services this year to smaller cities in China, where Samsung and Apple assemblers are increasingly locating their factories.
Air Incheon expects to receive its second leased aircraft – a 737-400 – in August which will be used on the China service.
Since its launch in March, Air Incheon currently transports mobile phones, garments and oil drilling equipment to Japan and Russia.
Fuel costs have impacted AirAsia quarterly profits and the carrier reported its first drop in profit in five quarters. Net income fell 39% to 104.8 million ringgit ($35 million) in the three months ended March 31, while revenue climbed 11% to 1.30 billion ringgit.
Fuel costs rose 18% in the quarter to 523 million ringgit, while aircraft lease expense climbed 11% to 44.7 million ringgit. AirAsia also booked foreign exchange loss of 37.7 million ringgit, compared with a gain of 88 million ringgit a year earlier.
AirAsia carried more passengers during the period however. Passenger numbers rose by 7% to 5.2 million in the period, with average fares increasing by 2%.
Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said the carrier has potential for “double digit” growth this year as AirAsia franchise expands.
The Indian Finance Ministry has questioned the rationale behind Air India’s plan to trim its 27,000-strong workforce by offering a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS). The scheme will cost Rs 1,200 crore, but the ministry has questioned whether it is necessary since 7,000 employees will retire from service over the next three years anyway, while 12,000 will be transferred to the ground handling and engineering subsidiaries, leaving 8,000 employees left at Air India over the next five years.
There is also the concern that rather than retain talented employees, they will migrate and the “deadwoods” would remain there till superannuation.
National air traffic control company Airways New Zealand is introducing a service fee for all general aviation that radios in when flying through controlled air space.
The new call fee will start at $1 from July 1 and will grow to $2 after a year and up to $3.55 in 2015. Pilots will be forced to pay the fee each time they land or pass through controlled air space.
The move is part of the state-owned enterprise’s wider plan to raise costs for its air navigation services by more than 15 per cent, or $70 million, during the next three years.
An airline lobby group that represents large commercial fliers says members, including Air New Zealand, will have no choice but to pass the increased costs on to passengers.
Local media reports are suggesting that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is considering more moves to free up the airline industry, including new rules to remove restraints on the establishment of subsidiaries or branch firms of domestic airlines.
CAAC has yet to confirm the speculation, however.
The ATSB is investigating an incident in which a Virgin Australia 737-800 was incorrectly flown toward its cruising altitude at a fixed mach value, causing the airspeed to decline toward a loss of control situation is under investigation by.
The ATSB states: “On 4 January 2013, a Boeing 737-8FE aircraft, registered VH-VUZ, was operating a scheduled passenger service from Launceston, Tasmania to Melbourne, Victoria. Soon after takeoff, the auto-flight system was selected to Level Change mode. In this mode, the aircraft climbed at a constant airspeed to about flight level 260, when the auto-flight system sequenced automatically to continue the climb at a constant Mach number. The flight crew, who were experiencing a relatively high workload at the time associated with the short sector, intended to switch to a different vertical mode during the climb that would have allowed the aircraft to accelerate in accordance with a programmed speed schedule. However, they overlooked that selection and unintentionally continued to climb in Level Change mode.
“As the aircraft continued to climb at a constant Mach number, the airspeed slowly reduced. The crew did not detect the reducing airspeed until the aircraft was approaching the minimum manoeuvre speed at about FL 350. In responding to the low speed condition and attempting to accelerate, the crew reduced the aircraft pitch attitude to the point that the aircraft entered a shallow descent. Soon after, the crew was able to establish an accelerated climb to the intended cruising level.
“The investigation is continuing with a focus on the human factors issues associated with auto flight system mode awareness. It is expected to be completed in November 2013.”
New start up Thai airline, a subsidiary of Lion Air, is moving closer to launch as Thai Lion Air has begun recruiting pilots, cabin staff and ground staff
Thai Lion Air intends to start its operation strongly with the deployment of up to six single-aisle twin-jet Boeing 737-800s and by using Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport as its base.
Korean Air has appointed Jason Kim as UK and Ireland Regional Manager, taking over from James Park, who has returned to the airlines’ head office in Seoul, Korea.
Kim, who is based at the company’s offices in London Piccadilly, has been with Korean Air since 1996 and was previously General Manager for Australia, based in Melbourne. Kim has prior experience working in the London office, having held the position of Deputy General Manager in February 2008. He will now be responsible for managing the airline’s UK operations.
Commenting on his new role, Jason Kim says: “Korean Air is one of the world’s top airlines, with a proud history of innovation and outstanding customer service and so I am delighted to be returning to London as Regional Manager. I very much look forward to working with the team in the UK and continuing to grow our global network.”