Airline News January 2005.


Civil helicopter deliveries, which began rising in 2003 and registered further gains in 2004, will remain relatively flat during the next ten years, according to Forecast International's World Commercial Rotorcraft Market. Current shipments are receiving a major boost from the piston- powered Robinson Helicopter models, the two-seat R22 and the four-place R44. However, that annual output, which totaled fewer than 1,250 shipments in 2004, will fall off gradually through 2011 before rising to about 1,000 deliveries in 2013. Eurocopter is forecasted to maintain strong dominance of the turbine-powered helicopter segment, while Bell Helicopter's long-awaited strategic plans are finally coming into focus. The company is developing a Modular Affordable Product Line (MAPL) of light singles and twins spanning the five- to eight-seat-capacity range. Meanwhile, Taiwan's Aero Industry Development Corp. (AIDC) has proposed a linkup with Enstrom Helicopter, a development that could ultimately see the government of Taiwan taking a stake in the US company.

Jan 22, 2005

Busiest Airport battle, the world's that is, will not be resolved until early February when Atlanta, currently number one, and Chicago O'Hare publish their official figures likely to be 5% above last year's 79m and 68m respectively. In the meantime O'Hare has come in with an astonishing 992,471 aircraft movements in 2004, whilst Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson saw 962,460 flights. Whilst not officially published yet Heathrow is likely to have moved around 67m passengers through the present four terminals and 475,000 landings and take-offs. In terms of international flyers it is still well in the lead.

Jan 7, 2005

Christmas holidays anything but smooth for US air travelers. US airlines managed to get through the second half of the Christmas holiday travel period without any major disruptions, unlike the first half, which was plagued by severe problems at US Airways and Comair, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.Operational breakdowns at both carriers created headaches for thousands of travelers and have prompted a formal investigation by the US Dept. of Transportation to understand "what happened, why it happened, and whether the carriers properly planned for the holiday travel period and responded appropriately to consumer needs in the aftermath."The problems began shortly before Christmas when a large snowstorm hit the US Midwest, forcing many airlines to delay or cancel a number of flights. While attempting to recover, US Airways was hit by a staffing shortage that resulted in more delays, cancellations and lost baggage, primarily at its Philadelphia hub, the scene of similar difficulties earlier in the year. The airline attributed the situation to what it described as a record number of flight attendants and baggage handlers calling in sick, but the affected workgroups said it was the result of poor planning by management and a lack of sufficient employee reserves.Trouble for US travelers continued on Christmas Day when Comair canceled its entire flight schedule after its crew scheduling system failed. The Delta Connection carrier normally operates around 1,160 daily flights to 119 cities and did not resume flying its full schedule until Dec. 29 2004.Heading into the New Year weekend, US Airways asked unscheduled employees to volunteer without compensation at its hub airports to smooth operations and try to win back customer goodwill.

Jan 5, 2005

Air Berlin

Air Berlin will begin a thrice-weekly service from Leipzig to London Stansted Feb. 4 2005.

Jan 4, 2005

Air Canada

Air Canada will introduce nonstop service to Beijing from Toronto, the first direct link between eastern Canada and mainland China. It will begin operating four nonstops a week beginning June 2. The airline expects this route to be as popular with U.S. and Latin American residents as its Toronto-Hong Kong service has been since it started in August. It also will be switching aircraft on the Vancouver-Shanghai route from 189-seat 767s to 282-seat A340s due to high demand, beginning June 1 2005. "China is the fastest growing aviation market in the world," said Montie Brewer, president and CEO.

Jan 18, 2005

Air Tahiti Nui

Air Tahiti Nui has become a preferred supplier of Ensemble Travel. The airline will launch service to New York-Kennedy from Papeete, Tahiti, on July 4. Two of those three weekly flights will continue on to Sydney. "Tahiti is quickly becoming a more popular destination not only for honeymooners, but also for those travelers looking for an exotic, get- away-from-it-all experience," said Jack Mannix, president and CEO of Ensemble. The addition of the airline to Ensemble's list of preferreds also complements the land suppliers it has in the region.

Jan 19, 2005


AirAsia will commence service between Singapore and Jakarta through its sister airline AWAIR Jan. 19. AirAsia has a 49% stake in Jakarta-based AWAIR, which was re-launched in Dec. as a low-fare, no-frills carrier to serve domestic and international routes. It presently operates flights to Medan and Balikpapan from Jakarta and expects to receive its second 737-300 Friday. Besides Singapore, its first international destination, it will introduce two new domestic services Jan. 9--Bali with two daily flights and Surabaya with one.

Jan 6, 2005


AirBaltic will launch thrice-weekly nonstop flights between Riga and Barcelona Girona March 24 2005.

Jan 5, 2005


Airbus dubbed 2004 "another landmark year" in which it once more maintained its lead position over Boeing in terms of both orders and deliveries.Airbus delivered 320 aircraft, exceeding early-2004 expectations that deliveries "at best" would equal 2003's total of 305. Turnover from deliveries in 2004 was estimated at slightly more than eur20 billion ($26.56 billion). The deliveries comprised 233 A320 family aircraft, 12 A300-600Rs--all freighters, 25 A330-200s and 50 A330-300s and A340s of all types.Last week, Boeing announced that it delivered 285 aircraft consisting of 12 717s, 202 737NGs, 15 747s, 11 757s, nine 767s and 36 777s.In terms of orders, Airbus also maintained its lead with 370 new firm orders, up from 284 new firm gross orders in 2003. The 2004 total comprised 279 A320 family jets; two A310s/A300s, both believed to be freighters; 79 A330s/A340s and 10 A380s. During the year the company registered four cancellations, reducing its net order figure to 366. This compares with net orders for 272 jets received by Boeing, which increased its 2004 net order book by 14% over 2003."These results are very encouraging and confirm that the market is slowly recovering from the downturn of the first half of the decade," President and CEO Noel Forgeard said. He added that he expects deliveries to top 350-360 this year, which would best the 2001 record of 325 and surpass Boeing, which expects to deliver 320 aircraft in 2005. On the other hand, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy predicts the level of orders will fall to 300-350 units owing to cyclicality of the market.Airbus also said it outperformed its prediction "of getting one additional customer per year for the A380 in the period prior to its delivery," with Etihad Airways placing an order for four (ATWOnline, July 21) and Thai Airways International signing up for six. At year end, firm orders for the A380 totaled 139 from 13 customers.Forgeard reiterated that other negotiations are ongoing. "I don't think we'll have too many difficulties in gaining at least two more new [A380] customers this year," he said. The A380 is being "revealed" officially next Tuesday.

Jan 13, 2005

Airbus, Boeing

Aircraft production and sales showed an upward trend during 2004 with Airbus now firmly established as the number one manufacturer delivering around 315 units. The combined Toulouse and Hamburg plants expect to top 350 in 2005. Boeing delivered 285 aircraft in 2004 and expects to reach 320 in 2005. The split in terms of aircraft types makes for interesting reading. Airbus produced 230 of its 320 series whilst Boeing turned out 202 'new generation' 737's.

Jan 7, 2005

AirTran Airways

AirTran Airways said the Boeing Company's Jan. 14 2005 announcement to discontinue Boeing 717 aircraft production will have no negative financial impact or any effect on AirTran's growth plan. The questionable status of the 717 program was one factor in AirTran Airways' July 2003 decision to order 100 Boeing 737-700s. The airline currently has 79 Boeing 717s in its fleet, 70 of those owned by and leased from Boeing. An additional six 717s are scheduled for delivery to AirTran during 2005, but Boeing is committed to continue production and deliveries through 2006, and will provide long-term support for the aircraft.

Jan 13, 2005

AirTran Airways

AirTran Airways will launch four daily nonstop flights from Indianapolis to Atlanta May 4 using a 717 in a two-class configuration. The airline will begin daily nonstop service between Indianapolis and Orlando June 7 2005.

Jan 12, 2005

AirTran Airways

AirTran Airways announced Jan. 12 2005 that it had signed an agreement with Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida that allows AirTran customers to book Disney vacations by visiting the airline's Web site or calling its toll-free number. The agreement covers all of the airline's flights into Central Florida, where AirTran says its service has doubled since 2000. Upon booking a flight, customers are then offered a number of Disney options. Low-cost air has proliferated in Florida in recent years, and one Disney official, Director-Destination Sales Trisha Warne, praised the agreement as an important extension of the company's product. For more information, call 800-AIR-TRAN or visit

Jan 11, 2005

AirTran Airways

AirTran Airways announced that the airline's pricing department checked the 713 markets in which AirTran Airways...

To continue reading