Friday, 21 December 2012

Turkish delights

Full article on

Though clearly not welcome news for Boeing, the decision by former customer Pegasus, Turkey's fast-expanding low-cost carrier, to select the Airbus A320neo for its fleet renewal—spurning the Boeing 737 MAX—will be neither surprising nor unduly alarming. True, Airbus has notched up 1,654 firm orders for the neo against 969 for the MAX. But Airbus had a nine-month head-start with its next-generation narrow-body aircraft. Looking at total orders across all types, Boeing is on track to outsell Airbus this year: the first time it has done so since 2006.

What is more interesting is the size of Pegasus's commitment—100 aircraft, comprising firm orders for 58 A320neos and 17 larger A321neos, plus 25 options. The airline's chairman, Ali Sabanci, describes it as "the biggest order in the history of Turkish civil aviation", which is no mean feat given the spending spree Turkey's flag-carrier has also embarked on...

Friday, 14 December 2012

Virgin and Delta: A heap of unanswered questions

Full article on

It may be coming late to the consolidation party, but Virgin Atlantic is confident that its new partnership with Delta Air Lines will deliver the same benefits that rival carriers have drawn from their "metal neutral" alliances. Quantifying the value of such alliances—where two or more airlines share revenue, and collaborate through cost-cutting and marketing initiatives—is tricky, but in the case of British Airways (BA) and American Airlines, which joined forces in 2010, it is clear that their combined 57% share of capacity between London Heathrow and America amounts to a giant slice of the transatlantic pie...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Interview: Thomas Wazinski, Gambia Bird CEO

Gambia Bird pins hopes on Nigerian progress

Gambia Bird is close to completing the first phase of its route roll-out, chief executive Thomas Wazinski tells Flightglobal, though the delay in launching Lagos flights has resulted in lower-than-expected average load factors on intra-African routes. While the fleet is unlikely to expand beyond two Airbus A319s in the near-term, he says neighbouring states have already approached the airline about possible alliances.

West Africa's newest flag carrier launched services on 22 October, initially connecting the Gambian capital Banjul with Dakar, Freetown, Conakry, Accra and Monrovia. Intercontinental services to London Gatwick and Barcelona followed shortly after, but flights to Lagos have been postponed for unspecified political reasons.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Air Arabia spreading wings

Full article in JPG format

When Air Arabia was founded in 2003, the low-cost carrier (LCC) model pioneered by European airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet was practically unheard of in the Middle East.

But in less than a decade, the Sharjah-based carrier has grown to serve more than 80 destinations with a fleet of 26 Airbus A320s. Though handicapped by heavily regulated skies, Air Arabia's dual focus on under-served eastern European markets and labour corridors with the Indian subcontinent is bearing fruit...