Brian Straus

Articles by Brian Straus
ACI closes year with hopeful outlook, nod to Asia/Pacific excellence 

Airports Council International now expects airport traffic to increase 3%-4% this year following a 2.6% decline in 2009, and also announced that Incheon International again ranked at the top of its annual passenger survey.

AirAsia back in the black 

AirAsia earned a MYR549.1 million ($161.1 million) profit in 2009, reversed from a restated MYR496.6 million loss in 2008, as it opened four new bases and grew market share "in every market we serve," according to CEO Tony Fernandes.

Kingfisher to nest with oneworld 

Buoyed by Japan Airlines' decision to maintain its membership in the alliance and the US Dept. of Transportation's tentative approval of transatlantic antitrust immunity, oneworld yesterday announced that its Asian presence will be expanded further with the 2011 addition of India's Kingfisher Airlines.

Olympic, Aegean to create 'national airline champion' 

Unsuccessful in its bid to purchase Olympic Air from the Greek government last year, Aegean Airlines yesterday announced a merger designed to create "a national airline champion with enlarged presence in the European market as well as seamless coverage of even the most remote islands of our country."

Unsuccessful in court, BA cabin staff to announce strike plan 

British Airways flight attendants represented by Unite are expected today to announce their intention to strike in the wake of last week's UK High Court ruling permitting BA to enforce changes to their labor contract.

AI to reduce fleet 28% as condition of government bailout 

The Indian government yesterday announced final approval of an INR8 billion ($173.7 million) equity infusion into Air India parent National Aviation Co. of India, with the release of the funds "calibrated to the achievement of milestones laid down by the [cabinet]" including a 28% fleet reduction.

South Africa's Comair lifts profit, orders eight 737s 

Comair Ltd., which operates the South African regional franchise of British Airways and LCC kulula.com, reported a ZAR32.6 million ($4.2 million) profit in the fiscal semester ended Dec. 31, up 2.7% from ZAR31.8 million earned in the year-ago period, and said it has placed an order for eight 737-800s.

Royal Jordanian returns to black despite recession 

Royal Jordanian posted a JOD28.6 million ($40.1 million) profit last year, reversed from a JOD24.7 million deficit in 2008, as a drop in fuel costs and "capacity management" helped the carrier weather the global recession and its impact on demand.

RJ said the result "reflect[s] the airline's ability to make the best use of available resources, in spite of their limitations, and to continue its fleet modernization program and automate and facilitate travel procedures."

Slight slip in full-year profit doesn't halt growth at Air Arabia 

Air Arabia posted a AED452.2 million ($123.1 million) profit in 2009, down 11.3% from the AED509.7 million reported the prior year, as it continued to grow despite what it called "an enormously challenging period."

Revenue slipped 4.5% to AED1.97 billion and "cost of sales" was cut 3.5% to AED1.61 billion, the LCC said. Operating profit was down 14.2% to AED249.1 million from the AED290.2 million reported in 2008.

Copa doubles full-year profit 

Copa Airlines and Aero Republica parent Copa Holdings reported a $240.4 million profit for 2009, more than double the $118.7 million earned in the prior year.

The 2009 result included a $19.4 million charge related to the retirement of four MD-80s and Aero Republica's transition to an all E-190 fleet, as well as a $58 million noncash gain on the company's fuel hedges. Full-year operating revenue dipped 2.8% to $1.25 billion while operating profit slipped 0.3% to $223.3 million.

DOT requires US, DL to sell slots to receive okay for LGA/DCA deal 

The US Dept. of Transportation yesterday tentatively granted the slot swap transaction involving Delta Air Lines' Washington National slots and US Airways' New York LaGuardia slots but said the approval is contingent on the sale of 20 of the 125 LGA pairs and 14 of the 42 DCA pairs.

SAS loses $400 million in 2009, extends cost cuts 

SAS Group lost SEK2.95 billion ($400 million) in 2009, improved 53.7% from the SEK6.36 billion deficit suffered the year before, but the company felt additional cost cuts were necessary and extended its Core SAS cost reduction program by SEK2 billion to SEK7.3 billion.

Jazz returns to profit, orders up to 30 Q400s 

Jazz Air parent Jazz Air Income Fund yesterday announced a 2009 profit of C$92.6 million ($86.5 million), reversed from a C$9.4 million loss in 2008, and said it signed a letter of intent to purchase 15 Q400 NextGens plus 15 options for Air Canada's regional partner. Jazz Air parent Jazz Air Income Fund yesterday announced a 2009 profit of C$92.6 million ($86.5 million), reversed from a C$9.4 million loss in 2008, and said it signed a letter of intent to purchase 15 Q400 NextGens plus 15 options for Air Canada's regional partner.

Thai approves lease of 15 widebodies 

The Thai Airways board announced plans to lease 15 widebody aircraft over the next five years, requiring an investment of THB35.48 billion ($1.07 billion).

FAA seeks comment on new pilot certification proposals 

FAA yesterday published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comment on proposals to adjust certification regulations for FAR Part 61 and 121 pilots and "to gather information on whether current eligibility, training, and qualification requirements for commercial pilot certification are adequate."

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