flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith discusses the airline’s accomplishments in its decade and how it has succeeded at launching destinations that were not previously served from Dubai. flydubai, which turns 10 years old on 1-Jun-2019, has expanded its network to over 90 destinations, including more than 20 in the CIS. It recently became the first airline from the Middle East to serve Uzbekistan, which had been the last remaining Central Asian country not yet served by flydubai. Mr Ghaith talks about how flydubai has been able to overcome challenges in entering Uzbekistan and other CIS markets and how it has been able to grow to become one of the leading airlines in the region.

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Skyscanner announced (22-May-2019) a flight integration partnership with SpiceJet. The partnership will enable Skyscanner users to search for flights and view airfares with SpiceJet and provide passengers in India with direct booking access to services with the LCC. [more - original PR]

Assaeroporti reported (22-May-2019) the following traffic highlights for its Italian airports for Apr-2019:

  • Passengers: 16.1 million, +4.7% year-on-year;
  • Cargo: 89,093 tons, -6.3%;
  • Aircraft movements: 134,102, +3.0%. [more - original PR - Italian]

Thai Airways reported (22-May-2019) the following traffic highlights for Apr-2019:

  • Passengers: 1.6 million, -5.3% year-on-year;
  • Passenger traffic (RPKs): -5.7%;
  • Passenger load factor: 81.1%, +0.2ppt;
    • Domestic: 80.2%, +8.2ppts;
    • Regional: 79.4%, -0.7ppt;
    • Australia: 83.5%, +1.3ppts;
    • Europe: 82.8%, +0.5ppt;
  • Cargo: 46,990 tonnes, -18.4%;
  • Cargo load factor: 52.9%, -9.5ppts. [more - original PR]

India's Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) reported (22-May-2019) the following domestic traffic highlights for Apr-2019:

  • Passengers: 11.0 million, -4.5% year-on-year;
  • Passenger load factor:
    • SpiceJet: 93.7%;
    • GoAir: 90.8%;
    • AirAsia India: 84.4%;
    • JetLite: 79.1%;
    • Jet Airways: 76.3%;
    • Vistara: 84.6%;
    • IndiGo: 87.8%;
    • Air India (domestic): 81.2%;
    • TruJet: 72.6%;
    • Star Air (India): 53.5%. [more - original PR]

Brazil's Ministry of Tourism announced (22-May-2019) Brazil's Senate approved a bill allowing 100% FDI in Brazilian carriers. Minister of Tourism Marcelo Antonio stated: "As important or even more important than attracting international tourists is to create conditions for Brazilians to travel to domestic destinations". The bill includes imposing the return of a 23kg checked bag allowance. IATA stated: "IATA approaches with profound concern the risks this manoeuvre [imposing baggage allowance] represents to the Brazilian aviation". IATA argued that the allowance "chases away" international carriers' interest and "suffocates even more the commercial aviation potential". ABEAR (Brazilian carriers' association) stated: "The final version of the bill contradicts its initial objective of increasing competition in the sector". ABEAR argued that by reinstating the checked bag allowance, the bill "removes from the consumer the alternative to choose most accessible fare bracket… preferred option for two thirds of passengers since its implementation". [more - original PR - Portuguese - Ministry of Tourism] [more - original PR - Portuguese - IATA] [more - original PR - Portuguese - ABEAR]

ACC Aviation Group reported (21-May-2019) the Boeing 737 MAX grounding has "yielded opportunities for the MAX's predecessor", the 737NG. According to ACC, airlines have been forced to make certain spot fleet decisions over the past few months in order to mitigate the cost and risk of schedule disruptions for the peak summer season. ACC noted that of the 71 Boeing 737 MAX operators globally, 67 are also 737NG operators, making "migrating back to the NG... the most natural fit" and ensuring the 737 NG "has seen the bulk of action regarding capacity replacement for the MAX". Capacity replacements involving the 737 NG include:

  • SilkAir suspended the transfer of 14 737-800s to Scoot;
  • Norwegian delayed remarketing of its six 737-800s in addition to seeking to wet lease additional aircraft;
  • SpiceJet plans to lease 16 737-800s to help reduce the grounding impact and support expansion;
  • flydubai cancelled services and adjusted its schedule to minimise disruption while continuing to operate its fleet of 46 737-800 aircraft;
  • Go2Sky wet leased three 737-800s to LOT Polish Airlines. LOT also wet leased an additional two 737-400s, one 737-300 and one A320 to cover for its five grounded MAX aircraft. [more - original PR]

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