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Aviation round up

Aviation round up

Etihad finalizes agreement with Virgin Blue, DAE cancel 32 strong Boeing order, and Executive Abu Dhabi airport reports travel is up, up, up…

February 6, 2011 4:30 by

It is been a while since Kipp has done an aviation round up; seeing as it is a pretty slow news day with only a little happening in the world (Egypt excluded, of course), it seems like it would be a good day to end our hiatus from all things aviation.

So, do you want the good news or the bad news first? Seeing as we have three main updates, we’ll do good news, bad news, good news. Typically enough, the good news come from the Capital, and the not-so-good news from poor old Dubai.

Etihad finalizes Virgin Blue agreement:
Etihad and Virgin Blue have finalised their code-sharing partnership this month. As part of the agreement, V Australia, a subsidiary of Virgin Blue, will start launching non-stop flights to Abu Dhabi on February 24 and will use the capital as an “international hub.” In addition, as part of the agreement, Etihad will now sell tickets on V Australia flights to and from Abu Dhabi as well as other Virgin Blue flights within Australia and New Zealand. The new agreement means that together, Etihad and Virgin Blue total destination count is raised to more than 100.
Etihad for one, is thrilled about their latest partnership: James Hogan, Etihad chief, told The National: “This is just the beginning. We hope to expand the partnership over time, providing greater benefits to travellers by growing competition and opening new routes.” Nice one, Abu Dhabi.

DAE cancels Boeing order:
But now, on to the bad news. Ok, maybe not bad news, but the not-so-good news comes from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, which recently dropped its plans to buy 32 Boeing 737 jets, valued at Dh8.4 billion. DAE lease planes out, in case you were wondering. But as disappointing as the news is, it is far from unexpected. Analysts in the industry had speculated that the announcement was due, after all last year DAE had cancelled plans to buy 50 jets from Boeing and Airbus worth about $8bn. The ambitious plans for the now cancelled orders were made during the 2007 Dubai Airshow, when things were much rosier and demand for jets presumably grew on trees.

Commercial aviation up at Al Bateen:
So back to the good news, then, and Abu Dhabi once again. Gulf News reports that the exclusives Al Bateen Executive Airport, operated and managed by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), is boasting a 36 percent increase in commercial aviation last year over 2009. “Al Bateen Executive Airport has come a long way since it began operating as a commercial business aviation airport in 2008. The year-end performance report for Al Bateen Executive Airport indicated that the airport registered 7,970 commercial aircraft movements in 2010,” said Steve Jones, General Manager of Al Bateen Executive Airport.

So what have we learned? Well, perhaps that it’s a good time to be an operator in the region, but not such a good time to be leasing out planes to them.

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