Friday, 22 July 2011

Interview: David Cush, Virgin America CEO

Virgin America tempers 2012/13 delivery schedule over fuel concerns

Virgin America will consider postponing up to 13 Airbus A320 deliveries previously slated for the latter half of 2012 and the first half of 2013, CEO David Cush has told this news service. The US low cost carrier, which has rapidly expanded its fleet to 39 jets since launching in 2007, is “still in a growth trajectory” and remains on-track to reach 111 aircraft by 2019, Cush said.

“We have significant flexibility on the size of our fleet over the next 24 months,” the CEO told Aviation Exchange. “We have not entered into agreements for aircraft that had been contemplated for the second half of 2012 [six jets] and first half of 2013 [seven jets] and, therefore, have the fleet size flexibility necessary to make adjustments.”

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Interview: Titus Naikuni, Kenya Airways CEO

Consolidation on the cards as Kenya Airways launches ten-year plan

Kenya Airways is open to the prospect of merging with "like-minded carriers" in order to deliver on its ambitious ten-year growth plan, CEO Titus Naikuni has told Aviation Exchange. The industry veteran, who was last month appointed to IATA's 31-strong board of governors, said that closer cooperation with partners is a logical next step as codeshare agreements had fuelled the airline's rapid expansion.

"Kenya Airways sees benefits in consolidation with like-minded carriers," he told this news service. "This should come progressively, perhaps through cooperation initially."

Friday, 1 July 2011

Setting the record straight

Full article in JPG format: page 56/57 & page 58

If there’s one thing that haunts Gulf airlines as they continue their indomitable march along the path of expansion, it’s the ever-present suspicion that they – unlike rivals in Europe and beyond – somehow enjoy unfair competitive advantages at their home bases.

Accusations typically centre on supposed government subsidies and access to cheap fuel. Despite opening its accounts to auditors PwC, Dubai-based Emirates has never fully shed this reputation. But its latest attempt is the most comprehensive to date, ushering in the services of research firm Oxford Economics, an affiliate of Oxford University, to set the record straight once and for all.

The findings of the consultancy, whose clients include numerous governments and central banks, go beyond affirming the primacy of air connectivity in the Gulf. They conclude that Emirates' growth has its roots in operational efficiency, open competition, acute market awareness and benign geography...