Home' Asian Aviation : AAV Feb 2015 Contents 8 AsianAviation | FEBRUARY 2015
Embraer has made a breakthrough in the
Indonesian market, with Kalstar Aviation
taking two E-195s on lease through Aldus
Aviation. The first was delivered in January,
with the second to arrive in March.
Kalstar Aviation’s main focus is Kalimantan
(Indonesian Borneo) and it also operates
Boeing 737 classics and ATR turboprops.
The Indonesian carrier said it would like
to invest in the new Embraer E2, ordering
“more than ten” units in the future if it
performs “as we expect”.
Senior executives of the carrier were
in Singapore to attend a presentation by
the Brazilian OEM on its new E2 family,
including a cabin mock-up.
CEO Andi Masyhur says that he is basing
his strategy on Brazilian carrier Azul Brazilian
Airlines, which operates ATRs, Embraer E-Jets
and Airbus aircraft. Asked whether Boeing
737s still feature in the airline’s fleet strategy,
Kalstar said, “No comment for now, [we’re]
still looking forward.”
Kalstar, which operates a domestic network
but has plans to restart international services,
will use the E-Jets on “medium” haul services.
While Embraer had a good year in the
Asia-Pacific last year, with major campaign
wins in India, China and Japan, it didn’t
manage a single sale in South-East Asia.
The Kalstar order marks only the second
E-Jet sale in the ASEAN region, with
Myanmar National Airlines (formerly
Myanma Airways) currently the only other
E-Jet operator in south-east Asia.
Embraer’s VP Asia-Pacific commercial
aviation, Mark Dunnachie, says that talks
with Indonesian carrier Sriwijaya Air are
“on going”, while other target markets
include the Philippines and Malaysia, where
the changes at Malaysia Airlines are seen
as an opportunity.
Vietjet Air’s managing director Luu Duc
Khanh indicated in January that the LCC
was talking to Embraer (as well as ATR and
Bombardier) about a regional aircraft order
Dunnachie says that Embraer will use its
own pilot pool to support Kalstar and added
that the OEM was looking to add to its MRO
network in the region to cater for an expected
increased market presence. — Colin Baker
Embraer makes Indonesian breakthrough
NEWS IN BRIEF
New CEO for Garuda
Garuda has appointed Arif Wibowo, the
head of its budget carrier unit Citilink, as its
chief executive to replace Emirsyah Satar.
MAS appoints new CEO
Outgoing Aer Lingus CEO Christoph
Mueller was appointed the new
CEO of Malaysian Airlines in mid-
December. Mueller’s appointment had
long been expected, and he will join
‘MAS NewCo’ at some point in the first
half of this year. — Colin Baker
Vietnam Airlines has raised pay for local
pilots after a mass sick leave protest at over
the New Year period.
Thanh Nien News reported the airline’s
director, Pham Ngoc Minh, as saying up
to 117 pilots asked for days off between
December 30, 2014 and January 4, 2015
citing health reasons.
“After that, 30 of them filed requests to
resign -- 90 percent of them were Airbus
pilots,” Minh told Thanh Nien News. “We
didn’t get a single resignation from our
Boeing or ATR 72 crews.” Rival VietJet Air
operates a fleet of A320s.
Minh indicated that Airbus 321 pilot
salaries would be raised from VND115
million (US$5,400) to between VND158.8
million to VND 177 million per month
in July this year. “This highlights the fact
that there is competition for pilots,” said
Andrew Herdman, director general of the
Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines, noting
that airlines have to pay the international
going rate when hiring international pilots.
Growth is fuelling this pressure.
Herdman likened it to the situation in
India a few years ago, where a massive
ramp up in fleet size saw pilot salaries
double in two-to-three years. Gulf carriers
poaching Asia-Pacific based pilots has
also made a “tremendous difference”,
Herdman says. — Colin Baker
Vietnam pilots win
pay increase after
mass sick leave
Indian LCC SpiceJet is in financial trouble,
with lessors demanding their aircraft back.
The fleet was grounded at one point in
December after oil companies refused to
refuel any of its planes.
The carrier’s parent company, Sun Group,
does not have the liquidity to support the
loss-making carrier and can do no more
than provide a guarantee for a bank loan,
according to Reuters.
The carrier operates a mixed Boeing
737 and Bombardier Q400 fleet, with 42
737MAX 8s and 15 Q400s on order.
SpiceJet is reported to have returned up to
20 aircraft to lessors in the last few months
as it couldn’t make lease payments. One
737 is sitting on the tarmac at Singapore’s
Seletar Airport. — Colin Baker
SpiceJet runs into financial difficulties
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