Home' Asian Aviation : AAV_Dec2012.Jan2013.HighRes.pdf Contents 8 AsianAviation | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013
PASSENGER TRAFFIC SOFTENS AS CARGO PLUMMETS
NEWS IN BRIEF
AIR ASTANA will return its last two Fokker
50 turboprops to its lessor in January. The
airline has replaced its six-strong fleet of
the type with Embraer E-190s, all six of
which will be in service by mid-2013. The
Fokker 50s have been in service with the
airline for eight years, during which time
they completed 50,000 domestic flights,
flew 90,000 hours and carried 1.5 million
passengers, says Air Astana.
MALDIVIAN AIRLINES, the national carrier
of the Maldives, has become a new
operator of Airbus single-aisle aircraft,
putting an A320 into service on the Male-
Chennai route. The aircraft is also serving
Mumbai and Dhaka. The CFM56-powered
aircraft has been especially modified with a
three-class layout -- business, premium and
2012 has been a record-breaking year for
the Boeing 737, with 377 Next Generation
737s delivered during the year. The latest
delivery, of a 737-900ER to United Airlines,
topped the previous annual record of 376
deliveries which was set in 2010.
The 737 also made a new record for
net orders in a single year when it beat
the 2007 record of 846 orders, says the
manufacturer. This year's net year-to-date
orders -- comprising both the 737NG and
737 MAX -- total 1,031, primarily due to
the 737 MAX which has secured 969 orders
to date. This is the first time in the aircraft's
history that it has logged more than 1,000
orders in a single year, says Boeing.
The record was achieved thanks to
SilkAir finalising in November its order
for 54 737NGs and 737 MAX 8s worth
US$4.9 billion at list prices. SilkAir signed a
commitment for the aircraft -- 23 737-800s
and 31 737 MAX 8s -- in August. The order
is the largest in the airline's history.
Confirmation of the order comes as
Boeing reaches the firm concept stage
in the 737 MAX programme, with a
firm plan in place to incorporate all the
changes necessary to realise the promised
13% fuel-use reduction. These reductions
will be achieved through use of the CFM
International LEAP IB engine, a redesigned
tail cone and Advanced Technology
winglets, says Boeing.
The manufacturer has incorporated
"limited systems changes", including a
Honeywell electronic bleed air system and
Rockwell Collins large-format flightdeck
displays. Boeing has also defined the high-
speed aerodynamic lines for the 737 MAX,
further refining the geometric shape.
The 737 MAX remains on track for first
deliveries in 2017, with Boeing confident it
can start detailed design in mid-2013
-- Emma Kelly.
737 BREAKS RECORDS AS SILKAIR
CONFIRMS ORDER AND MAX FIRMS UP
Traffic figures from the International Air
Transport Association and the Association of
Asia-Pacific Airlines for the month of October
continue to show a softening of passenger
traffic growth, while cargo traffic is continuing
its downward spiral -- most notably in the Asia-
Overall, worldwide passenger demand
rose 2.8% compared to October 2011, says
IATA, but fell 0.5% compared to September.
Capacity increased by 2.3% for the year-on-
year, while load factor rose 0.4 percentage
points to 78.8%.
Asia-Pacific carriers experienced an increase
of just 1.4% in international passenger traffic
compared with October 2011, says IATA,
largely due to due to strong competition
in long haul markets and reductions in
international seat capacity by Indian airlines.
Domestic markets rose 2.1% for the month.
Weakness in India, Japan and the United
States -- the latter due to the impact of
Hurricane Sandy -- is in stark contrast to
strong growth in China and Brazil. China,
for example, experienced growth of 7.5%,
while Japan fell 0.5% and the Indian
market plunged 12.4% compared with a
AAPA members carried 17 million
international passengers in October, up
2.7% on a year ago, says that association.
In terms of revenue passenger kilometres
(RPK), international passenger traffic grew
For freight the picture is far less rosy, with
global demand down 3.5% compared with
the same month a year ago. Asia-Pacific
reported the steepest decline for any region
at 6.8% down, while capacity fell 4.6%.
AAPA members saw a 5.8% decline for the
month, while capacity was down 6.1%.
IATA notes that between September and
October, two-thirds of the fall in global air
freight volumes has come from Asia-Pacific
carriers, as demand for Asian exports
declined in the weak global economy. "The
rapid decline in freight traffic is outrunning
the industry's ability to respond," says IATA
director general Tony Tyler -- Emma Kelly.
SilkAir's order confirmation made 2012 a record breaking year.
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