Virgin tops quality rating

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

WASHINGTON, 9 April 2014: Virgin America, JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines emerged Monday as the best-performing US air carriers in 2013, a year that generally saw improvements in air travel.

Overall, airline performance “was the highest since 1991,” according to the 24th annual Airline Quality Rating, compiled by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University.

There were fewer involuntary denied boardings and customer complaints compared to 2012, although performance dipped somewhat in terms of on-time arrivals and baggage handling, the study suggested.

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IATA calls for safety net

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 April 2014: The stubborn mystery of flight MH370′s whereabouts has paralysed efforts to diagnose what went wrong, prompting calls for new safety nets to ensure no airliner ever disappears again.

More than four weeks after the Malaysian Airlines jet vanished in an apparently deliberate diversion, investigators still lack the hard evidence required to dissect an air disaster and recommend change.

Signals detected in the Indian Ocean, where the plane is thought to have crashed, have raised hopes they may be from the plane’s “black box”, but authorities warned of the extreme difficulty faced in finding the recorders in the vast waters.

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Etihad checks out Alitalia

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

ROME, 9 April 2014: Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has completed its assessment of whether to purchase a stake in Italy’s debt-laden airline Alitalia and a draft deal could be imminent, an Italian minister said on Tuesday.

“The due diligence has been completed. The letters of intent are being drawn up in these days,” Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said at a Senate hearing.

Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore also on Tuesday cited informed sources as saying that Alitalia’s chief executive Gabriele del Torchio and Etihad chief James Hogan “could meet this week” to discuss the deal.

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MH faces long recovery time

April 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

KUALA LUMPUR, 8 April 2014: Malaysia Airlines, which was already haemorrhaging cash in the face of intense competition, has “got a lot of work to do” recovering from the disappearance of MH370, its CEO said Monday.

The flag-carrier airline has reported hefty losses for three years running, and MH370 now raises the spectre of a potential drop in bookings over safety concerns and possible huge payouts to passengers’ families.

“First and foremost, obviously this incident has affected the airline,” CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said during a regular MH370 press briefing in Kuala Lumpur.

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Ocean Shield picks up signals

April 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

PERTH, 8 April 2014: The hunt for missing Malaysian Flight MH370 could soon head to the ocean floor using an autonomous sonar vessel after possible black box signals were detected, the head of the Australian-led search operation said Tuesday.

A month to the day since the Boeing 777 disappeared, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston warned that hopes of finding surface debris were fading and that sonic “pings” detected by the Australian naval ship Ocean Shield were the best lead.

Houston told ABC radio Tuesday that once the position of the signals was pinpointed, autonomous underwater vessel Bluefin-21 would be deployed to the ocean floor to search for wreckage.

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Indian group wins Cebu project

April 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, Philippines

MANILA, 8 April 2014: A consortium that includes India’s GMR Group has won a 17.52-billion-peso (US$389.33-million) contract to upgrade the passenger terminal of the Philippines’ second airport, the Filipino government said Saturday.

The GMR-Megawide consortium has been awarded a 25-year concession to the Mactan airport that serves the central city of Cebu, the country’s second-largest metropolis after Manila, the transportation and communication department said.

“This project should have been done at least a decade ago, so there is no more time to waste,” the department’s spokesman Michael Arthur Sagcal said in a statement.

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MH370: Blame game begins

April 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

LONDON, 4 April 2014: Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, on Friday, accused the government of hiding information on missing flight MH370, telling Britain’s Daily Telegraph that the country’s radar system would have detected any change of course.

Anwar, who recently had his acquittal on sodomy charges overturned in what he claims is a political smear, said he was “baffled” why the sophisticated Marconi radar system that he authorised as finance minister in 1994 had failed to immediately detect the plane’s deviation.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 went missing in the early hours of 8 March during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 239 people on board.

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LH services back on Saturday

April 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

FRANKFURT, 4 April 2014: German airline Lufthansa, which is currently battling the biggest strike in its history, expects normal services to be up and running on Saturday, its chief executive said.

“Our aim is to be back to normal operations on Saturday,” CEO Christoph Franz told the mass-circulation daily Bild in an interview published Thursday.

However, “in isolated cases, there could still be a few anomalies for operational reasons,” he added.

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AoT eyes retail rentals

April 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

BANGKOK, 3 April 2014: Airports of Thailand PLC is adopting a plan turn its airports into mini cities and lifestyle centres to sustain long-term revenue growth.

AoT’s president, Makin Petplai, said that the initiative will attempt to create urban centres that are much more than just an airport. They  will offer a range of non-airport services and retail options to attract more consumers.

If it works non-airport-service revenue will increase to 60%, mainly earned on retail-space rentals. At present it represents just 40% of earnings with direct airline revenue still making up the bulk of turnover.

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Illegal guides tracked on GPS

April 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, Thailand

SAMUT PRAKAN, 2 April 2014: Samut Prakan Municipal Court says convicted illicit guides and chauffeurs who have a history of loitering around Suvarnabhumi Airport will be subject to electronic monitoring.

The Court recently approved the use of electronic monitoring tags for repeat offenders who were found guilty of illegal actions at Suvarnabhumi airport and continue to break law after earlier convictions.

The measure targets pickpocketing, theft, and those operating as illegal taxis  as well as non licensed  tour guides . Once convicted they will be ordered to wear ankle bracelets for the duration of their sentence.

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