At a press conference in Doha for the unveiling of the first Airbus A350 in January, Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker was asked about the safety standards of Asian airlines since three aircraft from the region had crashed in one year.
With his typical directness, Al Baker’s response was swift. “There was only one crash in 2014. One aircraft was shot down—that is not a crash—and the other aircraft is missing and we don’t know what happened,” he said.
The loss of Indonesia AirAsia QZ8501, an Airbus A320, could bring significant changes to Indonesian – even regional – commercial flight regulations.
“In my opinion, the industry is not healthy,” Indonesian Minister of Transport Ignasius Jonan said.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) will cut as many as 90 captains over age 62, which is in line with new retirement criteria to alleviate staff surplus, as the carrier faces increasing costs and strong regional competition.
Indonesia AirAsia, the operator of the Airbus A320 that crashed into the Java sea Dec. 28, was not licensed to fly the route Sundays, the day it crashed, resulting in a route suspension by Indonesian authorities.
French safety bureau BEA (Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la sécurité de l'aviation civile) is to join the search efforts for black box flight recorders from the missing Indonesia AirAsia A320 in the Java Sea.
Bodies of passengers and debris have been located in the Java Sea, close to the last reported position of AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 that disappeared Sunday, southwest of Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.
Qatar Airways, which took delivery of its first Airbus A350 XWB this week, could be looking to Singapore for one of its destinations for the new aircraft.
A source at Qatar, which has a total of 80 A350-900 and -800s on order, said the launch schedules from Doha to Qatar could soon be followed by Doha-Singapore service, as the aircraft “would be perfect for this route.”