The sale of London Gatwick by UK airport operator BAA is up in the air after the last remaining bidder refused to budge from its original £1.4 billion ($2.29 billion) offer. BAA parent Ferrovial reportedly wanted £1.5 billion, but a consortium led by Manchester Airports Group and Canadian infrastructure fund Borealis declined to increase its bid, according to press reports.
The potential and timeline of biofuel came under intense scrutiny in late March with Boeing's self-confessed "born again" biofuel expert, MD-Environmental Strategy Billy Glover, talking up the prospects and stating he was "very confident" about plant-derived biofuels after recent flights. "We think it is quite reasonable that there will be commercial availability of some type in the next 3-5 years," he said from Geneva, where he attended the Aviation and Environment Summit.
What makes a great airline? Perhaps it is industry-leading operating metrics, or customer service on the ground and in the air that consistently earns the highest accolades from experienced international travelers. Perhaps it is flight attendants giving their time to learn sleight-of-hand tricks to entertain young travelers, or staff spending their weekends helping with humanitarian projects across the globe.
In the case of Asiana Airlines, ATW's 2009 Airline of the Year, it is these things and much more.
THE FIRST CONFERENCE to be held in the US devoted exclusively to airlines and the environment attracted a diverse audience committed to understanding and reducing the air transport industry's impact on the environment, from greenhouse gas emissions to deicing fluid. Held June 18-20 in Washington, Eco-Aviation was sponsored by ATW and Leeham Company.
CONFIRMING THE LONG-PREDICTED leveling off of the aircraft re-equipment cycle, the 2008 Singapore Airshow (Feb. 19-24) lacked the feeding frenzy of new orders that has characterized the air show circuit since the current cycle began in 2005. In fact, the biggest surprise at the spanking new exhibition
center came from the sidelines, not at one of the formal press conferences.
Australia's isolation, peculiar geography and demographywidely dispersed population centers along the coast separated by the vast outbackhave contributed to a culture of confident self-reliance and innovation. Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of aviation, where the country is a net exporter of leadership and expertise.
Part and parcel of this tradition is Airservices Australia, the government-owned corporation that provides air traffic management services.
A touch of class and a commitment by management and staff to invest in resources and service quality always have been the traits required to remain within the top ranks of the world's airlines. But today value and flexibility can be added to those requirements as an ever-more-informed public searches the Internet for the best travel experience at the least possible cost.
One good idea can propel a company to the top. Staying there, however, is another story. Companies that want to remain champions over the long term need to innovate and improve. They must constantly raise the bar, not only for their competitors but also for themselves. To stand still is to stagnate. That approach perfectly describes this year's Airline of the Year, Singapore Airlines.
"Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." Samuel Johnson's pithy observation resonates across time and distance as the recent history of our 2008 Phoenix Award winner, Malaysia Airlines, makes clear.
It is common knowledge that a rising tide lifts all boats, but does that hold true for much heavier equipment? In the spring of 1997, five visionary airlinesLufthansa, United Airlines, Thai Airways, SAS and Air Canadaopted to test those waters, announcing the formation of Star Alliance and setting out to prove that cooperation beyond bilaterals has a place in this most competitive of industries.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of safety in commercial aviation. Despite becoming a routine part of modern life, air travel is still a highly complicated technical exercise in which mistakes can and do lead to catastrophic accidents. Safety always must be the foremost concern of those employed in and around the industry and aviation regulatory agencies.
A NEW LOCATION AND A PURPOSE-built exhibition hall await visitors to this month's Singapore Airshow (Feb. 19-24).
This is the 14th edition of the biennial aerospace exhibition in the Lion City but the first that does not bear the name Asian Aerospace following a falling-out prior to the 13th Asian Aerospace in 2006 between former show organizers Reed Exhibitions, which owned the name, and the Singapore aerospace industry. Singapore Air Show and Events Pte. Ltd., a joint venture between the Singapore CAA and the Defence Science and Technology Agency, is orchestrating this year's event.
GREEN WAS THE THEME OF THIS YEAR'S PARIS AIR SHOW, as in both caring for the environment and the color of money, plenty of which changed hands during the weeklong event (June 18-24). CFM International took home top honors for the most environmentally clever stunt by featuring genuine grass on its engine display stand, while Airbus collected the most greenbacksstill the currency of choice for aerospaceby booking firm orders and commitments for a stunning 728 aircraft.
THE 47TH PARIS AIR SHOW (JUNE 18-24) arrives with the airline industry in better shape than at any time since the summer of 2001 and the commercial aerospace industry enjoying a third consecutive year of strong aircraft orders. Add to this the fact that the US government and military will be making their largest appearance at the biennial event since the US and France fell apart over the Iraq war and the result is that attitudes at Le Bourget should be upbeat.