A new form of airline operations is taking shape in Russia with five carriers putting their operating plans under the control of a single management company, AiRUnion, that may end up in a merger--but may not as well. Initially a December 2004 joining of KrasAir, Domodedovo Air Enterprise, Omskavia and regional carrier Sibaviatrans, the grouping later induced Samara Airlines to enlist. The name AiRUnion was announced in August at the Moscow Aerospace Show MAKS-2005, Deputy Commercial Director Alexey Marchukov told ATWOnline.
Successful airlines around the world consistently teach five lessons, said Conor McCarthy speaking at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in Amsterdam.
McCarthy, MD of the Plane Consult consultancy, a veteran of Aer Lingus and Ryanair and a co-founder of AirAsia, said the primary rule is that the human factors in both internal company makeup and customer relations that make airlines successful are "absolutely identical regardless of where you go around the world. Don't listen to the argument, 'Oh, it's different here.'"
European regulators aim to stem the rising tide of low-cost competition with a slew of new laws and regulations designed to prop up tottering legacy carriers, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary charged yesterday.
Delivering the keynote address at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in Amsterdam, O'Leary pointed to the new passenger rights legislation, the proposed world development tax, restrictions on route development aid from regional airports, emissions trading for airlines and illegal state aid to carriers such as Alitalia as examples of how the EU is trying to hurt competition.
This works on several levels. Most obvious is the idea of the LCC as an eating machine, chewing up the competition. Another thought, equally applicable, is the need to move forward continually or die. This characteristic is not unique to LCCs, but it seems to be of greater importance to them.
Recently a groundswell of opinion has held that the LCC tide has peaked due to inter-LCC competition, aging workforces, aging fleets and reduced market opportunities. Geoffrey Thomas in last month's issue (8/05) presented this argument in fine detail.
Targeting what it sees as the changing needs of the short-haul operator market, International Aero Engines launched V2500 Select, a new maintenance program linked to a package of technology enhancements that promises to cut MRO costs 20%-30%, reduce fuel burn up to 1% and increase time-on-wing by 20% compared to current-standard engines.
Then, living is far from "easy." Instead you sit there fuming, wondering why there haven't been A) airport and airways capacity increases to get ahead of the traffic that everyone-literally everyone-knew was coming because we've already been here, or B) more effort put into making all-weather airports truly all-weather rather than losing a large fraction of capacity when conditions drop below VFR.
Arconics Aviation, a Dublin-based software developer, yesterday in Seattle announced the launch of its Manual Manager 1.0 graphical aviation document management package. The system automatically compares revisions in numerous manuals and operating procedure documents and either transmits the differences for automatic updating or presents them for a human editing process. The system is especially adept at simplifying the SGML updates issued by Airbus and Boeing, Arconics CEO Niall O'Sullivan told ATWOnline, and also will facilitate updating electronic flight bags.
Despite the fact that Airbus's current plan for the A350 is for a larger airplane than the 787, GE plans to use the same basic core/fan GEnx powerplant on both aircraft, said Tom Brisken, GEnx GM for GE Transportation. The GEnx-72A is planned to produce 72,000 lb. of thrust for the A350, at the high end of the 55,000-72,000-lb. range expected for the 787 family. While the GEnx currently is seen to have thrust growth capability to 75,000 lb., that estimate may move upward after the first examples are run next March, Brisken said.
It was pointed out at the recent Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva that ICAO has been active on all environmental fronts, its Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection progressing through a series of standards-setting meetings with more to come, the roadmap of future progress clearly delineated. It was just three months ago that ICAO adopted NOx standards taking effect in 2008 that are 12% more stringent than levels set in 1999.
Canada's Mechtronix, a recent entry into the ranks of full flight simulator manufacturers, is taking a different approach to the training market with its Non Zero Flight Time Simulator. The NZFT is a Level B+++ full motion simulator with a visual system that fulfills all recurrent training requirements and 80% of initial certification requirements, said Mechtronix President Xavier Herve.
Alteon is opening a new training facility near Singapore Changi, President Pat Gaines announced yesterday at the World Airline Training Conference and Tradeshow in Dallas. Set to open in the first quarter of 2006, the center will be able to train more than 6,000 pilots and flight attendants annually. "The three-story facility will house six full flight simulators and other advanced-technology training devices such as flat panel trainers," the company said.
Goodrich's campaign to grow through acquisition has produced a company of sufficient mass that in the current business climate, "there is lots of business to supply us with good organic growth," President, Chairman and CEO Marshall Larsen told this website.
On top of that introduction schedule, engine manufacturers are assuming that follow-ons to the single-aisle 737NG/ A320 twinjets will be launched around 2010 to be in the market in 2012. This is the big-number category, with hundreds pouring out of factories every year even in down times.
After numerous false hopes and blind alleys, the wonderful world of IT finally is moving into the airline maintenance world in a fully realized way, with proven technologies offering off-the-shelf solutions while communications advances make it easier still.
Harry Stripe from Northwest Airlines' line maintenance operation said at last month's Miami Aviation Symposium sponsored by Intel and Panasonic, "For ten or twelve years we've been walking down this path. Only in the last four or five years have we seen the tools we need."