AeroBrief | Drunk pilot, new airline and costly, costly fuel
Up in the skies on November 13, 2018: After a one month delay, Vietnam’s newest LCC finally gets permission to fly. Financial struggles of Air Zimbabwe prompts the country’s government to call for investors, while another struggling carrier - Jet Airways - attracts airline-collecting conglomerate’s attention. However, not all airlines in India are doing well, as the national carrier gets one of its board members sacked for attempting to pilot a plane drunk.
Bamboo Airways gets permission to take off
Vietnam’s newest airline, Bamboo Airways, finally obtains a flying permit by the country’s aviation authorities. The airline says Ministry of Transport granted the permission on November 12, 2018 - over a month after initially expected launch date.
Bamboo Airways is Vietnam’s third low cost carrier, after Jetstar Pacific (70% owned by national carrier Vietnam Airlines) and VietJet – the fifth biggest LCC in Southeast Asia by fleet size
Rumour: Tata Sons eyeing Jet Airways
Tata Sons is engaged in active talks to purchase a controlling stake of Jet Airways, Reuters reports quoting four sources familiar with the matter. Tata Sons already have shares in two other major Indian carriers: Vistara and AirAsia India. Jet Airways, India’s second biggest airline by market share (2017/2018), is struggling to keep up with rising fuel prices and weakening rupee. In its 1Q 2019 financial report, released August 2018, the airline revealed $198 million net loss (after tax).
Rising oil prices cut into airlines profits
Singapore airlines has just reported a 44.1% profit drop in the first quarter of 2018-19 financial year, blaming a 40% increase in fuel prices. Similar results are expected by other major carriers, as airlines like Emirates already warning investors of the situation ahead of releasing their financial reports.
Struggling Air Zimbabwe up for sale
Zimbabwean government is calling potential investors to bid on struggling national carrier Air Zimbabwe. The airline reportedly has $300 million depts, and was recently (November 5-11, 2018) cancelling flights due to “operational challenges”. So far it is unknown if the carrier is to be privatized partially or in full.
Air India senior pilot and board member fired for failing alcohol test
Ministry of Civil Aviation fires Air India’s senior pilot and director of operations, India Today reports. The decision comes a day after his pilot’s license was suspended for three years by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for failing a breathalyzer test just before a Delhi-London flight on November 11, 2018. The pilot was also involved in a similar incident back in 2017. At the time, the pilot refused to take a breath test before - and after - a flight he piloted.