• Dinner with Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury (with tie) at Airbus Innovation Days 2019. Clockwise: Guy Norris (Aviation Week), Julie Kitcher (Airbus), David Flynn (Australian Business Traveller), Endau Analytics, Hu Tao (XinHua), Stefan Schaffrath (Airbus), Tom Ballantyne (Orient Aviation), Karen Walker (Air Transport World), & Jon Ostrower (The Air Current). Pic/Mei Kuan
    Aviation

    Eat, Play, Laugh

    Dennis Muilenberg and Guillaume Faury may be the fiercest of rivals in the aviation industry, but they are of one mind when it comes to safety. Both believe that safety is at the heart of the companies they lead, Boeing and Airbus, respectively. Airbus CEO Faury dismissed any notion that the European consortium is benefitting from the crisis that Boeing is currently facing with the grounding of its B737 MAX after two crashes. “Safety is paramount in this industry,” Faury stressed to journalists and analysts during an Airbus event in Toulouse in May. Trust of the people and passengers is very important.” In two public statements made on 19 March…

  • MAB CHIEF IZHAM ISMAIL SHARING A LIGHT MOMENT WITH MALAYSIAN PM MAHATHIR MOHAMAD DURING LIMA 2019. MAHATHIR IS ALSO THE HEAD OF KHAZANAH NASIONAL, THE NATIONAL AIRLINE’S SOLE INVESTOR. SCREEN GRAB TAKEN OFF MALAYSIA AIRLINES’ TWITTER ACCOUNT.
    Aviation

    Investors “stupid” to invest in Malaysia Airlines, says its CEO

    Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) managing director Izham Ismail is either confused or crafty. In interviews he gave to the Malaysian media recently the CEO of MAB said he would be happy to receive investors, be they foreign or local. “I welcome strategic investors as they will help the airline navigate during this challenging market,” Izham told the New Straits Times. On the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting (AGM) in Seoul over the weekend, he emphasised the need for MAB to have partners that not only bring money to the carrier but “new culture” too. But then he remarked: “Do we sell a hundred percent shares…

  • SCREENSHOT OF NARESH GOYAL FROM JET AIRWAYS’ WEBSITE
    Aviation

    Naresh Goyal: Kid in the candy store

    In an interview with CNN in 2005 the founder of Jet Airways, Naresh Goyal, was asked what he wanted people to remember him by when he is no longer around. “I want people to remember that this Indian guy did something for the country, he did something for the society, he created something, he created an institution, where my family and my friends and the country can be proud of,” was Goyal’s answer. He may have spoken too soon. On 17 April Jet Airways suspended all flights both domestic and international after 25 years of flying. The airline was forced to ground its entire fleet having failed to raise INR4 billion (USD57.2 million)…

  • THE RAIN VORTEX AT JEWEL, CHANGI AIRPORT’S LATEST STAR ATTRACTION. PIC/SHUKOR YUSOF
    Aviation

    What’s it really like at Jewel?

    Water plays an important role in Singapore. In many parts of Southeast and East Asia, water equates to wealth, to the extent that money and water are somehow intertwined; how a country manages its water resources is a reflection of how it manages its finances. Amongst the Chinese, water denotes luck and fortune, and thus water elements that are sited properly in one’s abode is considered auspicious, likely to bring prosperity and success. In the heart of Singapore, there already exists a Fountain of Wealth, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest fountain. It is believed you’ll be blessed with good luck if you walk around it…

  • ENTRANCE TO THE AIRBUS FACILITY IN TOULOUSE. PIC/SHUKOR YUSOF
    Aviation

    Advantage Airbus (in Asia, at least)

    Guillaume Faury is taking on the role of Airbus’s new CEO at a time when the European consortium’s rival Boeing is sapped by a series of negative events recently. Will it make Monsieur Faury’s job any easier? Nothing is easy in the aviation business, a dog-eat-dog world marked often by many unpredictable, unforeseen occurrences. The latest problem bugging Boeing is one example. If a week is a long time in politics, the past month must have been an eternity for Boeing. On 10 March an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302, a B737 MAX 8 with 157 people on board, crashed six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa. There were no survivors.…

  • MALAYSIAN PREMIER MAHATHIR MOHAMAD EXAMINING A MODEL OF THE EMBRAER E190-E2. ON 26 MARCH HE WILL OPEN LIMA2019 WHERE THE REAL E190-E2 IS ON STATIC DISPLAY.
    Aviation

    Plane politics

    Tun Mahathir Mohamad recalled one occasion when, as Malaysia’s then prime minister in March 2003, he went on a three-day state visit to Brazil to promote bilateral ties and trade between the two nations. He had previously visited South America’s largest economy in 1991. He remembered fondly this particular visit, especially his trip to Sao Paulo where he swung by the Embraer factory, the home of the aircraft manufacturer, at Sao Jose dos Campos. Recounting the tour, the PM said: “I was impressed. I suggested to Ananda (Krishnan, Malaysia’s richest man), to take a stake in it (Embraer). But it didn’t happen…” There are a few things in life Malaysia’s then fourth…

  • BLAST FROM THE PAST: A B777-200ER IN MAS COLOURS. PIC/SHUKOR YUSOF
    Aviation

    MAS 1 Outsiders 0

    Congratulations, Malaysia Airlines (MAS)! Against the run of play, MAS has scored a beguiling, sensational goal against the opposition, also known as the “Outsiders”,  comprising Malaysians critical of its shabby financial performance over the past two decades. “Malaysia Airlines scores 2-year partnership with FAM” reads one headline, referring to the flag carrier’s latest collaboration with the Football Association of Malaysia. Amidst uncertainty over its own future – Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had said his government would even consider shutting the airline as losses mount – MAS has pulled a rabbit out of the hat. There was no mention of the amount involved in MAS sealing this partnership with the FAM. The other sponsors…

  • A MALAYSIA AIRLINES AIRBUS A350-900. PIC/KC SIM
    Aviation

    MAS-placed pride

    “In reality there is, perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride…” – Benjamin Franklin   You’re not a Malaysian, and you’re certainly not a patriotic Malaysian, if you don’t have pride. More specifically, pride in the national carrier: Malaysia Airlines (MAS). This past week every man and his dog gave their take on why MAS is so depleted (of money and ideas), how best to save the moribund national airline and how, as Malaysians, we must always maintain its pride. Many Malaysians are indoctrinated from young with the belief the world owes them a living. Many thus grow up with a sense of self-entitlement.…

  • AIRBUS AIRCRAFT AWAITING DELIVERY AT TOULOUSE BLAGNAC. PIC/SHUKOR YUSOF
    Aviation

    Airlines face challenging 2019: IATA

    In its latest Airlines Financial Monitor, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that airlines worldwide face uncertainty particularly from volatility in oil prices and the global economy. Read the entire report here. In terms of the energy market, IATA said investors were unsure if this is “good or bad for airline earnings”. The trade association, comprising 290 (mostly flag) carriers, noted there was week-to-week swing in the market. Cuts by some OPEC countries and sanctions on Venezuela have pushed crude prices higher. The recent collapse of Flybmi, a regional carrier based in the UK, is a sign that airlines are sometimes at the mercy of external factors that are…

  • THE FIRST A380. MSN1, REGISTRATION F-WWOW AT CHANGI AIRPORT SINGAPORE IN 2005. PIC/AIRBUS
    Aviation,  Economics,  Featured

    Airbus A380: We told you so – 11 years ago!

    “When love breaks down The lies we tell They only serve to fool ourselves” Prefab Sprout, from the 1985 album Two Wheels Good, When Love Breaks Down How unromantic can the Europeans be? Airbus has chosen to end its love affair with the A380 on, of all days, Valentine’s Day. Outgoing CEO Tom Enders announced the demise of the A380 and at the same time diverted our attention to Emirates’ order for 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 planes. All it took were six paragraphs to admit the failure of the USD15 billion programme and an assurance the superjumbo “will still roam the skies for many years to come…” According to Airbus the last…

  • AN AIRBUS BELUGA ARRIVING AT AN AIRFIELD NEAR BROUGHTON, NORTH WALES. PIC/SHUKOR YUSOF
    Aviation

    Airbus’ Brexit ultimatum

    In a letter (click here) to Britons on January 24, Airbus CEO Tom Enders issued a warning to the denizens of the British Isles. There was one topic that was making the German, a fearless former paratrooper and staunch European, worried. “Brexit,” he wrote, “is threatening to destroy a century of development based on education, research and human capital.” The United Kingdom has the second biggest aerospace sector in the world, after the United States. In 2016 turnover was over GBP30 billion (USD39.5 billion), including at least GBP27 billion in exports. Britain has the third largest aviation network globally, behind the US and China. By 2050, some 450 million passengers…

  • AIR ASTANA EMBRAER E190-E2 WITH A HAND PAINTED SNOW LEOPARD ON ITS NOSE
    Aviation

    Like the snow leopard, Air Astana is a rarity

    Our plane, a Boeing B767-300ER, passed over the Karakoram mountain range in mid-afternoon as it headed towards Tajikistan, en route to Almaty. The map on the screen in front indicated that K2, the world’s second highest peak, was somewhere below us. Taking in spectacular views of snow capped mountains and vast steppes is but one of the many highlights when flying on Air Astana , the relatively young (it made its maiden flight in May 2002) flag carrier of Kazakhstan. In an industry littered by airlines that struggle to excite and enthral, let alone make money, it’s always nice to meet a company that’s doing something different, something daring and make a…

  • FLIGHT INFORMATION REGIONS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA (GRAPHIC COURTESY OF THE STRAITS TIMES)
    Aviation

    Flight Information Regions: what the Malaysian transport minister needs to know

    The day before he is to chair the first national aviation council meeting in Putrajaya on Wednesday morning (Dec 5), transport minister Anthony Loke saw it fit to announce Malaysia’s plans to take back control of airspace that Singapore has managed since 1994. The main contention for this move, according to Loke, was because Singapore had decided to use a new instrument landing system (ILS) at Seletar Airport in January 2019. Malaysia said this would violate its sovereignty. Singapore responded swiftly and categorically to the transport minister’s remarks. Read it here. This latest spat comes amidst recent reports that Malaysian low-cost carrier Firefly, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines Berhad, had to suspend flights from Seletar…

  • A QATAR AIRWAYS A350 BOUND FOR SIN FROM DOH WITH FEWER THAN 100 PASSENGERS ON BOARD IN EARLY OCTOBER. PIC/SHUKOR YUSOF
    Aviation

    Pain in airline industry just starting…

    Latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for September 2018 indicate a slowdown in the worldwide growth of passengers. Read the entire report here. Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPK), which measures passenger demand, grew 5.5% year-on-year but the rate at which demand is rising has slowed considerably. In August the RPK was 6.4%. One of the factors that have contributed to the slowdown, according to IATA, is weather (including hurricanes and typhoons). But there are other reasons that will ensure the airline business will stay volatile for the rest of 2018 and into the first quarter of 2019. These are firmer crude oil prices and the on-going trade spat between…

  • Aviation

    Aviation safety is paramount

    This is a chronology of accidents and incidents involving PT Lion Mentari Airlines, better known as Lion Air, since 2000. 2002 Jan. 14, 2002 Lion Air flight # 386 involving a Boeing B737-200 crashed on take-off at Pekanbaru Airport (Sultan Syarif Kassim II International Airport). No fatalities. 2004 Nov. 30, 2004 Lion Air flight # 538 involving a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 overran the runway in bad weather and crashed onto a cemetery in Surakarta (Adi Sumarmo International Airport). The captain, a flight attendant and 23 passengers were killed. Investigations concluded hydroplaning caused the accident. 2006 Mar. 4, 2006 Lion Air flight # 8987 involving another MD-82 crashed landed at Surabaya International…