US Department of State announced (24-Jun-2019) the US and UAE held their sixth economic policy dialogue on 20-Jun-2019, during which delegations from the countries discussed civil aviation matters. Both governments reaffirmed their support for the US-UAE air transport agreement (ATA) of 11-Mar-2012 and the understandings in the record of discussion between the governments of 11-May-2018. According to the Department of State, the record of discussion "reinforced the principle of a fair and equal opportunity to compete in providing international air transportation governed by the ATA" and the parties "underscored the shared and ongoing commitment of the United States and the United Arab Emirates to fully maintain all aspects of their Open Skies relationship". Emirates, in a statement to CAPA, commended the Trump Administration for reaffirming its commitment to the ATA and commented: "This should end an unfortunate chapter in the mutually beneficial US-UAE aviation relationship that provides the US with a significant trade surplus, and supports hundreds of thousands of US jobs". The airline added: "For over four years, the three largest US carriers have waged a fictitious, unrelenting and malicious multi-million dollar protectionist lobbying campaign against US Open Skies policy and consumer choice. Over this time, these US carriers have taken their eye off the ball wasting tens of millions of shareholder dollars that could have been better directed towards the historic opportunity to reform the US air traffic control system or spent on improving their customers' travel experience". [more - original PR]
Privatisation will help drive and speed up innovation for Travelport believes President & CEO, Gordon Wilson. The acquisition, which was completed on 30-May-2019, occurred just days after CAPA met with Mr Wilson to discuss future plans for the GDS, get an update on its NDC offering and discuss the value it provides to agents and airlines all over the world.
Peach Aviation executive advisor Patrick Murphy, speaking at the CAPA LCCs in North Asia Summit, said (24-Jun-2019) the carrier will "grab the opportunity" with the A321LR, which will arrive at Peach in 2021. Mr Murphy said the A321LR is a "good airplane", but the "jury is still out" on the A321XLR and the carrier is "not interested in operating low cost long haul".
US Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced (24-Jun-2019) the US FAA will award USD495 million in airport infrastructure grants to 327 airports in the US under the Airport Improvement Programme (AIP). This is the second allotment of grants under the USD3.2 billion AIP. It includes funds for the following airports:
- Chicago O'Hare International Airport: USD65 million grant, to be utilised to cover costs associated with the development of runway 10C/28C and runway 9C/27C;
- Atqasuk Airport: USD20 million grant for runway, taxiway and apron rehabilitation works;
- San Diego International Airport: USD13 million grant to rehabilitate taxiways;
- Sarasota Bradenton International Airport: USD8.7 million grant for update to master plan, drainage improvement, taxiway rehabilitation works and aircraft rescue and firefighting facility works;
- Vail Eagle County Airport: USD4.7 million grant to develop deicing facility;
- Phoenix Deer Valley Airport: USD2.7 million grant for taxiway rehabilitation works. [more - original PR]
Brazil ANAC suspended (24-Jun-2019) Avianca Brazil's operational concession and commenced Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport slot redistribution procedures. ANAC commenced immediate redistribution of slots at São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport, Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport and Recife Guararapes International Airport. The redistribution process for Sao Paulo Congonhas will take special consideration to "the critical level of [market] concentration and the very high level of infrastructure saturation". Due to the mentioned reasons, ANAC will "commence a consultation process this week to hear interested parties about the distribution of slots". [more - original PR - Portuguese]
Eastar Jet chief executive officer/president Jong Gu Choi, speaking at the CAPA LCCs in North Asia Summit, said (24-Jun-2019) the carrier plans to introduce new medium haul routes as it expands its fleet. Eastar Jet plans to grow its fleet from 23 aircraft in 2019 to 60 by 2025 and expand its route network to 48 destinations over the same period.