US figures; the Turks are coming; regulation in Bahrain; airline stocks continue to surge

Victoria
By Victoria April 2, 2013 12:31

US figures; the Turks are coming; regulation in Bahrain; airline stocks continue to surge

Saudi Prince, Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, chairman of Kingdom Holding, sold an A380 delivery slot that was placed back in 2007 recently, news that will be a blow to the companies that were hoping to gain from fitting out the aircraft.
Airfares are set to fall in the Middle East as Turkish Airlines launched its 220th destination with introductory round trip fares from Dubai and Abu Dhabi via Istanbul to Houston far below competing fares.

In Bahrain a new law designed to improve safety has been approved by the Kingdom’s Shura Council. The law, which has been brought further in line with the EU, demands closer scrutiny during aircraft inspections and the prevention of aircraft from taking off if they do not have the correct paperwork certificates stating they are suitable to fly.

The new regulations include some 143 articles related to the licensing of planes, responsibilities of captains, transfer of passengers and luggage and penalties for trespassing in the country’s territorial airspace without prior authorisation and all technical aspects. Parliament has already approved the new Civil Aviation Law, which will now go to King Hamad for ratification.

Before this law Bahrain was just 71% compliant with ICAO-quality criteria and this new law is designed to help the nation get back into the Middle East hub game. But buried in the text is a requirement of airlines/operators to make down-payments to authorities in the event of an accident if they are not found to be responsible and a court will later determine if the money should be used as part of a compensation package. This could be a problem. Civil aviation officials selected by the ministry will also be able to cancel licences of operators, captains, support staff and crew members in the event of “violations” being uncovered, jail terms of up to three years and fines are also mentioned.

Meanwhile the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported yesterday that US airlines carried 58.9 million scheduled passengers in December 2012, 0.3% fewer than in December 2011. The system-wide decrease was the result of a 0.7% decrease in the number of domestic passengers (51.2m) and a 2.3% increase in international passengers (7.7m)
The December figures mean that US airline passenger traffic was more or less flat in 2012 carrying 0.8% more total system passengers during the full year (736.6m) than during 2011. US airline domestic traffic for 2012 came in at 642.2m passengers, up 0.6% from 2011. However international traffic was impressive – some 94.4m passengers were carried which was up 2% from 2011 pointing to an improving outlook.
Domestic and system-wide load factors reached record levels for the month of December 2012. The domestic load factor in December was 81.5% from 81.2% the year before. 2012 showed a 0.6% increase in RPMs. Southwest carried more system and domestic passengers than any other US airline with United Airlines carrying the most international passengers. Delta carried more total system passengers in 2012 than any other airline.
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International saw more domestic passengers than at any other US airport and more international passengers used Miami than at any other US airport.

Victoria
By Victoria April 2, 2013 12:31
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