Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) confirmed its dispute with the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) is yet to be resolved. The dispute relates to landing rights at airports in both nations (Arab News, 13-May-2010). Low cost carrier’s SAMA and nasair are denied landing rights at Cairo International Airport, which Saudi Arabia states is a breach of their open skies policy. Only Egyptair is permitted landing rights. In return, Cairo Aviation and Air Cairo are awaiting approval to launch operations to Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt still to resolve landing rights
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Project Hope: Malaysia Airlines outlook hinges on spinning off new high-density A380 charter airline
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Malaysia Airlines is hoping to attract a combination of foreign and local investors to take control of the planned new airline and all six A380s. The group is calling the plan “Project Hope” – an appropriate name given its current predicament with the A380 fleet.
The flag carrier’s A380 operation has been highly unprofitable and the aircraft is too big for operation to London – its only remaining long-haul route. Malaysia Airlines is now committed to acquiring six A350s, which will be used to replace the A380 on London. As selling or subleasing the A380s is not possible given the virtually non-existent demand for the type, establishing a new charter airline is the only sensible option – although still with some risk, given the need to find investors.
MEGA Maldives Airlines Part 2: MEGA attempts to diversify beyond the China-Maldives market
MEGA Maldives Airlines is attempting to reduce its reliance on the China-Maldives market with new routes to India, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. By the end of 2016 MEGA plans to resume services from Male to Kuala Lumpur and Jeddah – markets it briefly served in early 2015 – and commence operations to India, with an initial service from Male to New Delhi.
The new services, along with other new routes which are under evaluation, are part of a revisited diversification strategy. MEGA currently only serves China, but since commencing operations in 2011 has experimented several times with other markets. MEGA, which operates the same number of aircraft and routes as three years ago, needs to diversify successfully to resume growth.
This is the second half of an analysis report on MEGA Maldives. The first half examined the recent contraction in the China-Maldives market and intensifying competition. This half will focus on MEGA's plans for entering other markets, and its previous attempts at diversification.