Thursday, 20 November 2008

Qantas Jets Crash

Qantas planes collide

Two Qantas passenger jets have had an accident on the ground in near Melbourne according to reports.

Two Boeing 747's were damaged whilst being towed at the Avalon airport, which is Qantas' maintaince base which is located outside of Melbourne.

Ironically, one of the jets was the same jet that was involved in a mid-air explosion in July over the Phillipines. A major hole was ripped in the fuselage during that incident.

Local TV reports have shown footage of one of the jets with the nose caved in, allegedly after hitting the left hand wing of the other plane.

Qantas has said that maintenance staff involved have been suspended in light of the situation.

This accident is the latest in a string of unforunate events that affected Qantas, which is bringing their safety record into question.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

TV viewers’ vote BA as their favourite airline

Viewers of the BBC consumer affairs show Watchdog have voted British Airways as their favourite airline.

In a survey of the most loved and hated airlines, BA beat Easyjet, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic into the number one spot for most loved.

Over 25,000 took part in the survey, and over half chose BA for its customer service and on-board facilities.

Over 2,300 viewers also voted BA into the least favourite carrier category.

The least favourite airline was Ryanair, with more than double the amount of votes of BA. Viewers stated that customer service and delays and cancellations were the reason Ryanair scored so low.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Iberia profits down 98 per cent

Iberia profits down 98 per cent

Iberia has reported a 98 per cent drop in half-year earnings on the back of high fuel prices and the global economic slowdown.

Operating profit at the Spanish carrier for the months of January to September dropped to 8.2 million euros ($10.35 million) and net profit fell to 51.1 million euros compared with 223 million euros a year ago.

Analysts have complimented Iberia on a strong balance sheet but say that, like other airlines, it faces strong economic headwinds and limited benefits from falling oil prices due to its hedging.

The airline also reported its traffic and capacity statistics for October, which showed an 8.6 per cent drop in passenger traffic.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Bank warns of recession into 2009

Bank warns of recession into 2009

The UK probably entered a recession in the middle of 2008 and is likely to continue to contract well into 2009, the Bank of England has said.

In its quarterly inflation report, the Bank warned that the economic landscape had changed dramatically since August.

It said that the UK economy could shrink by two per cent over the next year, much worse than its previous forecast.

Bank governor Mervyn King said: “[It is] very difficult to know precisely how long we'll be in recession. I think we probably are in recession now.

“This is a difficult and unprecedented time, but we will come through this. We will come out of recession and get back to a period of low and steady inflation and economic growth.”

Germany has also confirmed that it has entered a recession after government figures showed the country’s economy contracted by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter.

And in further bad news for the economy, BT says it expects to have cut 10,000 jobs by the end of the March.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Cathay Pacific confirms freeze

Cathay Pacific confirms hiring freeze

Cathay Pacific Airways has confirmed a hiring freeze for the airline and its unit, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines, as part of its cost-cutting measures to deal with reduced demand.

Cathay Pacific chief executive Tony Tyler recently said in a staff newsletter the hiring suspension took effect at the end of October. He added the airline aims to adjust its operating plan for next year in anticipation of a weak market for air travel.

However, he said: “I remain unashamedly optimistic about the future of aviation in Asia – just think of the potential in China and India alone.”

The airline’s plans to cut costs include the removal of five Boeing 777-200 passenger aircraft from service over the next two years, as well as returning two of Dragonair’s Airbus A330 aircraft to their owners when the leases expire in June.

Tyler said the removal of the 777-200s, which include the first ever 777 ever built, will help Cathay Pacific simplify its fleet structure, adding “if we do manage to sell them, the cash will come in very useful.”

Monday, 10 November 2008

Strike delays Boeing 787 launch

Strike delays Boeing 787 launch

Boeing has delayed the first flight of its 787 aircraft until 2009, previously scheduled for the end of 2008.

It is the fifth substantial delay to the Dreamliner’s first flight, which was originally planned for summer 2007.

Boeing has blamed the delay on a 58-day machinists’ strike, which finally ended on Sunday.

It also blamed a problem with the installation of the fasteners that hold the aircraft together.

A company spokesman said that inspections had found about three per cent of the fasteners on the four test jets had been incorrectly installed by suppliers, either by being placed too far apart or too close together.

A new launch timetable will be announced once the problems have been fully assessed.

The project has been plagued by delays due to problems with supplier and shortages of parts.

Some airlines have been told they will have to wait two years longer for their aircraft than had originally been promised.

The Dreamliner is a key plank of Boeing’s strategy and is the first airliner to be made from a mixture of carbon fibre and plastic.

The materials make a lighter and more fuel-efficient than other aircraft, and allows it to travel further without refuelling.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Cathay Pacific expects disappointing 2008 results

Cathay Pacific expects disappointing 2008 results

Cathay Pacific Airways has said it expects “disappointing” 2008 results from weak passenger revenue and substantial losses from fuel hedging contracts.

The Hong Kong based airline said yesterday the recent decline in fuel prices has resulted in HK$2.8 billion (£227.6m) in mark-to market losses on its fuel hedging contracts.

The loss amounts to about 40 per cent of its 2007 net profit of HK7.02 billion (£570.7m), but the actual loss for this year will depend on the movement of fuel prices.

“Corporate travel volumes in all classes are of concern as corporate clients begin to impose stricter travel polices on their employees,” Cathay Pacific said.

The company reported a first-half net loss of HK$663 million (£53.9m), its first since 2003, compared with a net profit of HK$2.58 bn (£209.7m) a year earlier.

But despite fears of a global recession next year, analysts said they expect Cathay Pacific to benefit from a sustained decrease in fuel prices and improved demand for passenger services to China.

UBS analyst Damien Horth said he believes Cathay Pacific’s acquisition of China-focused Hong Kong Dragon Airlines in 2006 has “materially improved the competitive position of the Hong Kong hub, relative to previous downturns”.