London City Airport granted a £344m expansion

The decision, the Treasury said, would see the creation of 1,600 new jobs and potentially add £1.5bn to the UK economy by 2025.

The decision was take against the backdrop of local opposition on environmental grounds and furious debate over airport expansion in the South East.

While this investment will allow for more flights, the government is under pressure to make a decision on which major airport, between Heathrow and Gatwick, is to get a new runway,

The plans for the Docklands airport will allow for an extended terminal, a new aircraft taxiway and additional parking spaces at what the government call “one of the capital’s fastest growing airports”.

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, made it clear that the Brexit vote was a factor behind this decision.


Rome Ciampino to close for two weeks in October

Aeroporti di Roma (AdR), the firm responsible for managing Rome’s airports, has announced that Rome Ciampino will close to all traffic for a period of two weeks later this autumn.

Between October 14 and 29, sections of the airfield’s runway 15/33 along with various taxiways and junctions will undergo necessary maintenance work.

As sux, for the duration of the works, Wizz Air and Ryanair will shift the majority of their Ciampino operations to Rome Fiumicino Terminal 2.

Ryanair has announced that some routes may be cancelled over the period.

Ciampino’s cargo flights will be redirected to Fiumicino’s Cargo City while general aviation will be allowed to use Fiumicino, albeit only during non-peak hours.

Lufthansa in talks to acquire some of Air Berlin’s routes and aircraft

The Lufthansa Group has opened talks with rival carrier and Etihad Airways equity partner, Air Berlin, over the possible transfer of an undisclosed number of the latter’s routes to Eurowings.

Image copyright: Aero Icarus on wikimedia
The German Daily Handelsblatt says Lufthansa has focused on the acquisition of forty leased aircraft as well as routes that do not originate at either of Air Berlin’s main hubs (Düsseldorf and Berlin Tegel).

The talks are slated to end by October.

Air Berlin’s financial woes are no secret with it having reported a EUR446.6 million loss in 2015, deepened from a EUR376.7 million loss the year before. For the first quarter of this year, Air Berlin reported an improved financial net loss of EUR182.3 million (USD206.2 million), narrowed from a EUR210.1 million loss for the same period last year.

Delta Air Lines to build a new terminal at La Guardia

Delta Air Lines says it has partnered with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to replace La Guardia’s Terminals C and D with a new state-of-the-art facility.

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The project, approved last week by the PANYNJ, is part of a new lease agreement to be negotiated at the airport through 2050. As a part of this agreement, the PANYNJ has committed US$600 million to facilitate construction of the terminal and other supporting infrastructure.

“Replacing these outmoded terminals is a major step forward in our reimagining of La Guardia into a 21st-century, world-class airport worthy of the Empire Stare.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

La Guardia is a major hub for Delta, which has approximately 275 daily departures from terminals A, C and D.

As such, the carrier’s new terminal will consist of 36 gates located on four concourses connected by a centralized check-in lobby, security checkpoint and baggage claim.

Of the 37 gates, 33 will have access to dual taxi lanes, which will improve efficiency, reducing taxi time.

The terminal will feature a new, larger Delta Sky Club with a Sky Deck, wider concourses, larger gate hold rooms and more seating, as well as 30% more concessions space than the existing Terminals C and D. The facility will also offer direct access between the parking garage and terminal, improved roadways and drop-off/pick-up areas, and a curbside check-in bypass leading directly into the security checkpoint.

Construction will start once all regulatory approvals and final lease negotiations have been concluded.

Singapore Airlines’ Houston service changes from Q4

Singapore Airlines has announced it will switch the stopover on its Singapore-Houston service from Moscow Domodedovo to Manchester Int’l with effect from October 30 this year. The route will still be operated 5x weekly.

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The carrier said in a statement that with the launch of the new service, its existing Moscow-Houston and Munich-Manchester flights will be suspended, with effect from October 30 2016.

“Both Munich and Moscow will continue to be served, however, on a non-stop basis to and from Singapore,” it said. “Services to Munich will be operated daily, while services to Moscow will be operated 4x weekly.”

PIA Pakistan to use leased SriLankan A330s on premium services

PIA – Pakistan International Airlines says it plans to use wet-leases A330-300s to launch its new premium service operation on August 14 with flights to London Heathrow.

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Airline CEO Bernd Hildenbrand was recently in Colombo to discuss the previously reported move to source the aircraft from SriLankan Airlines, which has been struggling with surplus wide body capacity for a long time.

“With new aircraft, more professional crew and improved service standards, the new service aims at providing a different experience to passengers,” PIA said. “This service will go a long way in helping PIA regain its market share, both domestically and internationally.”

In the wake of a series of strikes related to the planned privatization of the troubled national carrier, the Pakistani government announced the plans to launch a new premium airline, Pakistan Airways, whose focus will be on international flights.

The Pakistani government is obligated to privatize the national carrier because of a US$6.67 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2013.

The plan was to dispose of at least 26% of the loss-making airline by Mary, but the date has now been pushed back to further on this year.

A local paper, The Nation, reports that PIA officials this week approached Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the possibility of an injection of PRK160 billion (US$1.5 billion) into the carrier to pay off debts owed to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PkCaa), fuel suppliers and airports in Jeddah and Riyadh.

The approach to the PM came after the government reportedly rejected the airline’s initial request for assistance,

Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines takes delivery of its first A320neo

On July 19th 2016, Pegasus Airlines has taken delivery of its first A320neo, TC-NBA (CN 7140) despite earlier reports claiming that it had chosen to defer the even in the wake of the failed military coup in Turkey.

In a low key event in Toulouse, the twin jet was handed over to the Turkish leisure specialist before heading off to its Istanbul Sabina Gökcen home base.

The aircraft is the first of 5 A320neos Pegasus Airlines has an order from Airbus.

Malaysia Airlines orders up to fifty Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft

Malaysia Airlines Berhad has ordered 25 Boeing 737 MAX 8 Aircraft at a list price of $2.75 billion with possible options for a further 25 more MAX 8s and MAX 9s in a deal valued at $5.5 billion. The order, which was previously attributed to an unidentified customer, was announced at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow Trade Show. Deliveries will commence in 2019.

Image Copyright: Boeing

Malaysia Air Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew told reporters on Wednesday that he sees “new growth markets in China, India and Pakistan” as he seeks to steer the airline toward profitability amid a 6 billion-ringgit ($1.5 billion) turnaround plan. The new planes may help cut Malaysia Air’s operating expenditure by about 15 percent, Bellew said. After passenger confidence took a dive two years ago after Flight MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014 and another was shot down over Ukraine four months later, the carrier is battling a slew of regional discount airlines to win back business.

The carrier has options to buy a mix of 737 Max 8 and 9 models, which, according to Boeing, have a list price of $110 million and $116.6 million each. Discounts are customary for large purchases. The Malaysian national carrier currently operates fifty-six Boeing 737-800s with an overall average age of 4.3 years.

An AirAsia A330 and a Jetstar A320 almost collided in the skies of Australia 

A Jetstar and an AirAsia plane came dangerously close to a midair collision after taking off from the Gold Coast.

It was reported that the AirAsia A330 performing flight D7206 on its way to New Zealand came within 152 meters of a Jetstar flight that was about to land.

The minimum vertical separation between two planes in Australia is 305 meters, the incident occurred north of Coolangatta airport, in Queensland.

The Jetstar pilots were forced to take evasive action as the AirAsia plane was about to cross its patch, putting the plane into a climb to avoid a catastrophe.

Image copyright: Jakkrit Prasertwit on wikimedia
A Jetstar spokesman told NewsCorp that the pilots of their A320, which is capable of carrying up to 180 passengers, took corrective action to restore the minimum safe distance between the two flights. The plane landed without further incident.

Image copyright: Allen Zhao on wikimedia
In a statement, AirAsia X said that its pilots had followed instructions from the Collangatta Air Traffic Control, prior to a near catastrophe, almost colliding with a Jetstar plane in Queensland on the 21st of July 2016.

The pilots of flight D7 206 had followed the instructions laid out by the airport’s ATC. “AirAsia X pilots on board flight D7 206 received clearance for take off at Coolangatta airport on 21 July 2016 and followed the flight path according to the heading and altitude instructed by Air Traffic Control,” said the airline.

The company also confirmed that their pilots received a warning from their TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System). “The crew responded immediately to the resolution advisory by reducing the vertical speed according to procedures that they are trained for. The aircraft continued its journey safely without any subsequent events,” said the statement.

Ethiopian Airlines to introduce the A350 on flights to London-Heathrow 

Image copyright: Airbus

From August 15th, Ethiopian Airlines will switch aircraft type on the Addis Ababa – London Heathrow route from the Boeing 777-200LR to their brand new Airbus A350 XWB.

The flights will follow this schedule, courtesy of

ET700 ADD0100 – 0650LHR 350 356
ET700 ADD0115 – 0705LHR 350 7
ET700 ADD0315 – 0905LHR 350 4
ET710 ADD1100 – 1700LHR 350 12

ET701 LHR2100 – 0630+1ADD 350 D