Momentum in the air transport operational recovery in Tokyo following last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami could be difficult to maintain in the face of growing fears over radiation exposure from unstable nuclear reactors.
Tokyo Narita and Haneda airports partially reopened for some flights late Friday after a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake forced the busy facilities to shut down for most of the day, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
[UPDATED] An explosion occurred Monday at Moscow Domodedovo, Russia's busiest airport, leading to numerous casualties and at least some fatalities, according to widespread news reports from the Russian capital.
American Airlines on Friday filed an application with the US Dept. of Transportation for authority to launch Los Angeles-Shanghai Pudong service from April 5, 2011.
"These new flights would be the only nonstops between Los Angeles and Shanghai operated by a US airline," AA Senior VP-Government Affairs Will Ris said. "Los Angeles-Shanghai is the largest US-China market for air travel and we believe it is in the public's interest to offer more air service between the two cities."
Boeing early Friday confirmed ATW Daily News's report that it has been informing customers of a further three-month delay in 787 first deliveries. Kenya Airways Group MD and CEO Titus Naikuni told this website Thursday in Nairobi that Boeing had informed him of the delay (ATW Daily News, Aug. 27). The manufacturer said in a short statement that it "now expects delivery of the first 787 in the middle of the first quarter 2011." It had been targeting first delivery to launch customer ANA during the 2010 fourth quarter.
Japan Airlines' main lenders reportedly are not willing to provide the bankrupt carrier with further relief unless they see evidence that it is making strides in slashing costs, in particular by cutting back on international services.
Despite reporting a €763 million ($1.04 billion) net loss in 2009, reversed from a €1.57 billion surplus the prior year, Airbus parent EADS yesterday announced an increase in the monthly A320 family production rate from the current 34 to 36 in December thanks to "continuing demand" and a "record backlog."
The Airbus commercial unit posted an operating profit of €386 million excluding goodwill impairment and exceptional items, an 83.3% plunge from the €2.31 billion earned on a similar basis in 2008. Revenue slipped just 0.6% to €26.37 billion.
Optimism regarding the gradual recovery of India's commercial aviation industry was dampened yesterday in Hyderabad as the India Aviation show and conference opened amid concerns that a new 10% tax on domestic tickets could stifle growth.
On the bright side, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said the industry handled the recession "with composure" and that he has "cautious optimism" about 2010.