Airline operator Firefly has welcomed its first ATR72-600 (9M-FIA), a more eco-friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft, to its existing fleet.
The first ATR72-600 was received at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang and the airline was expected to receive 20 more deliveries starting this month and for the next six years.
The ATR72-600 used significantly less fuel. It had 50% less carbon emissions than other regional jets. The new aircraft also featured the latest innovations with the award-winning Armonia cabin which was designed by world-renowned Italian design house Giugiaro Design, equipped with new slim-line seats with soft leather, larger overhead bins and LED lighting.
Firefly is the second ATR-72-600 operator in Malaysia after Malindo Air who had received its first ATR-72-600 on May. Both airlines are operating their respective ATR-72-600 from Subang Skypark.
Following launch of the A330/A340 programme in 1987, first flight of the baseline A330-300 took place in 1992, and the type entered service with Air Inter two years later. Cathay Pacific received its first aircraft in 1995 and has since placed a total of nine follow-on orders, taking the Hong Kong-based group's total firm commitments to 54 aircraft, of which 44 have been delivered, including today's landmark handover.
Total A330-family orders stood at 1,252 at the end of June. The bulk of these are accounted for by the -300 and the reduced-capacity, longer-range -200 passenger models. The rest is made up of -200F freighters, VIP ACJ330s and military MRTT tanker/transports.
Airbus head of twin aisle product marketing Crawford Hamilton says the A330 has continued to sell in significant numbers even since the launch of the Boeing 787, logging 800 additional commitments since the new-generation US competitor twinjet entered the market 10 years ago. The A330 operator base stands and 101 and the production rate is running at 10 per month, with a further increase under study, says Hamilton.
Qatar chief executive Akbar Al Baker made the announcement with other Oneworld member airline chief executives in New York on 8 October.
"Alliances are playing an increasingly important role in the airline industry today--and that will continue long into the future," he says. "Qatar Airways has carefully reviewed its strategic options and it is very clear that joining Oneworld is by far the best way forward."
Al Baker says that the airline will expand and add destinations in cooperation with its new Oneworld partners. In the USA, he notes that the carrier will launch service to American's hub at Chicago O'Hare in April 2013 but declines to comment on whether it is planning service to American's hubs at either Dallas-Fort Worth or Miami.
"We carefully assessed all potential options in the region," says Bruce Ashby, chief executive of Oneworld, at the event. "This detailed analysis indicated clearly that Qatar Airways is the best overall fit for Oneworld and can deliver the biggest benefits to the alliance."
He says that Qatar will increase the alliance’s market share in terms of revenue passenger miles in the Middle East to 10% from 4%, between Asia and Africa to 15% from 5%, between Asia and South America to 10% from 5% and between Asia and Europe to 21% from 7%.
The airline brings 15 new destinations and three new countries to the Oneworld map.
Qatar's entrance into Oneworld could raise pressure on the Gulf's two other major unaligned carriers,Emirates and Etihad. Etihad has recently signed a codeshare deal with Air France and KLM, both SkyTeam members. Emirates has remained outspoken as an opponent of the three global airline alliances, but recently announced a wide-ranging partnership with Qantas Airways, a Oneworld member.
Airframer ATR has finally entered the Japanese market with Link, a new regional carrier that will commence service in 2013.
The agreement for three ATR 72-600s, which will be leased to Link, was announced at the Japan Aerospace show in Nagoya.
Link, which was formed in April 2012, plans to operate the turboprop aircraft on services between major and local airports in Japan as well as short-haul international routes.
"Today is a really important day for ATR," says ATR's chief executive Filippo Bagnato. "We are entering a new and huge market which may bring us substantial commercial opportunities in a country with some 130 million inhabitants."
Qatar Airways hopes to conclude an order with Bombardier for the CSeries in the near future, says chief executive Akbar Al Baker.
"CSeries is an aircraft of great interest to us," he said on the sidelines of the ceremony announcing Qatar's proposed entry into the Oneworld alliance in New York on 8 October. "We hope that in the not to distant future we will be sitting down with Bombardier and concluding a deal."
He said the airline was interested in the CSeries but had to delay negotiations due to being "very busy", in May.
Qatar is interested in the aircraft for both its own fleet and for that of its leasing company.
The Gulf carrier was expected to sign to become the CSeries launch operator two years ago, but Al Baker's concerns about the maintenance costs of the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines delayed a final decision.
Qatar subsequently ordered the Airbus A319neo, but insists that order has not lessened its interest in the CSeries. Last May, Al Baker said he would make a decision on the CSeries within six to 12 months, a timeframe that begins in November.
The CSeries is still scheduled to complete its first flight by the end of the year, but Bombardier executives say a minor delay of up to a few months is possible. Bombardier says first flight is a critical milestone for potential customers, exceeded in significance only by first delivery at the end of 2013.
Thai Airways will take delivery of its first Airbus A380 today and has announced the routes on which it plans to deploy the aircraft.
The Star Alliance carrier will first operate the A380 on one of its daily services on the Bangkok-Hong Kong and Bangkok-Singapore routes from 6 October to 14 December.
On 15 December, the aircraft will then be deployed on a daily Bangkok-Frankfurt service.
Thai expects to receive its second A380 in November, says a spokeswoman.
In 2013, the A380s will be deployed on flights to Tokyo Narita from 16 January, to Paris on 16 February, to Osaka Kansai on 16 August and to Sydney on 16 September. All of the four services will be operated daily, says the airline.
Thai Airways International has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380, becoming the ninth airline to operate the type.
The aircraft was handed over to Captain Montree Jumrieng, executive vice-president technical, Thai, at a special ceremony in Toulouse on 27 September.
Thai has a total of six Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered engines on order, configured in a three-class layout to seat 507 passengers.
The carrier will inaugurate commercial service with the A380 in early October on the Bangkok-Hong Kong and Bangkok-Singapore routes. As more aircraft are delivered, it will begin service to Frankfurt at the end of the year, followed by Tokyo and Paris early in 2013 and Osaka and Syndey in late summer.
Brazilian low-cost carrier Gol has placed an order for 60 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, to be delivered from 2018.
The new aircraft will help the airline renew its fleet, says the carrier, which adds that it will be theSouth American launch customer for the 737 Max. Gol is an all-737 operator.
"The decision to order the Boeing737 Max is in line with our commitment to maintaining a modern and safe fleet that will allow us to sustain our competitive advantage in the future," says Gol chief executive Paulo Kakinoff. "The new aircraft will have one of the best cost-benefit ratios in the market due to its unique operational economy, so it is also fully compatible with our low-cost model."
Noting its relationship with Boeing, the airline says it is working with the airframer to launch a 737 Max short field performance aircraft. The airline had previously worked with Boeing to develop a 737-800NG to operate on short runways, and received the first of that aircraft type in 2006.
Gol operates 100 737s, comprising the -700 and -800 variants, Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows. It holds orders for 92 additional 737-800s.