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Airline Restructuring

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Ethiopian Airlines (ET) is on a roll with is domination of the African skies as it takes equity positions in many new state owned airlines, the latest being tiny Eritrean Airlines (1 x ACMI leased B737-500), now that peace has come at least between the two neighbours. Ethiopian Airlines has for years had minority ownerships in ASky of Togo (40%) and Malawian Airlines (49%), but now it has gone on a binge of ownerships and partnerships from new national carrier start-ups and existing state carriers like Zambia Airways II (45%) to Guinea, Ghana, Chad, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, DRC and now possibly newly announced Nigeria Air. As Africa’s biggest and best managed airline (private and state owned) in Africa, ET is well positioned to dominate the continent with its equity and partnership ‘alliance’ strategy. Helping local airlines like Malawian Airlines (ex-Air Malawi) is very good, but when you start controlling a dozen plus airlines, it begins to be worrying, competition is being limited, and that is something Africa needs more of, not less. Now, new start-ups that plan to compete with Ethiopian, especially in long-haul, like Air Tanzania and Uganda Airlines and to a lesser degree for now, Senegal Airlines II face a mighty competitor that is going to pull traffic from all corners of Africa, N.A., Europe, Middle East and Asia with 100+ aircraft through Addis Ababa, and the small carriers will find it very hard to compete on costs, price, schedules, network to service. It is a very tough business to be entering today.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     Ethiopian Airlines confirms it is eying stake in Eritrean Airlines   Avitrader – July 20, 2018       Tomas’s Comment:   This peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, (a country of 5.5 million people) is good news for sure, the first flight in years … Continue reading

EC approval of Ryanair and LaudaMotion deal, where Irish Rynair is buying 75% of LaudaMotion (up from existing 24.9%) sparks war of words with Lufthansa, which was forced to drop its bid for NIKI in December, 2017 after the EC’s Directorate General for Competition warned that the tie-up would have harmed passengers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. NIKI was part of airBerlin and had been kept going through a combination of as much as 10 million euros ($12 million) in weekly support from Lufthansa and a 150 million-euro government loan granted to Air Berlin in August to prevent a wholesale grounding of flights. Lufthansa was successful in acquiring some other Air Berlin assets, including multiple aircraft, crew and slots, as well as regional air carrier LGW, subject to conditions set by the EC to avoid competition “distortions”. These included a reduction of Lufthansa’s project acquisition of slots at Dusseldorf airport and the transfer of 11 aircraft to LaudaMotion.

    Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/         EC approval of Ryanair/LaudaMotion deal sparks war of words with Lufthansa   19 July 2018 by Naomi Smith – Getting The Deal Through           Lawyers from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton have helped Ryanair win unconditional … Continue reading

Two of Europe’s biggest regional airlines, Air Nostrum and CityJet aim for closer cooperation , with a combined fleet of 88 aircraft and up to Euro 700 million in revenue from wet lease and franchise contracts they are out to conquer the regional market in Europe? Yet they are both over dependent on 1 major customer each for their survival, CityJet on SAS and Air Nostrum on Iberia Regional, they both have a large fleet of what I call “loser” aircraft programs as CityJet has 7 (+8 on order) of the 95 passenger Russian Sukhoi SSJ100’s, the ONLY operator in Western Europe, and only the 2nd western airline to operate it commercially (after Mexico’s Interjet), its cheap and it is about to get the boot from LH’s Brussels Airlines for poor dispatch reliability! Air Nostrum has 27 of the 60 delivered (just 68 ordered in 8 years of production) 100 passenger CRJ1000’s (a 18.2 meter stretch of the 1970’s CL-600 Challenger business jet), that airlines just don’t want or need, it is a very long tube from the back, and noone is buying it, airlines know best as to what is good and bad, it is why aircraft orders say novels about any aircraft no matter what an OEM says or thinks!

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     July 17, 2018   100 passenger CRJ1000 of Air Nostrum (Spain)   95 passenger Sukhoi SSJ100-95 of CityJet (Ireland)       Tomas’ Comment:   Interesting development, but no surprise, CityJet has been looking to buy other other operators as it looks for M&A … Continue reading

The Caribbean wide aviation reform (aka “Bang On” to some) which targets air service liberalization for better connectivity, high air ticket taxes and high airport charges, which are all holding back the development of a profitable Caribbean air transport system today. The Bahamas alone can have a $415 million gross domestic product (GDP) expansion and the creation of over 16,000 jobs. It estimated that air arrivals to this nation would increase by 1.058 million or 42 percent above baseline, with the majority – 901,035 – coming from abroad and representing the high-spending stopover tourists the Bahamas is targeting. None of this is new, it is old hat for decades, we need new young politicians to step forward and push for REAL changes, instead of talking about them over and over again! Time for big political change like in Barbados 2 months ago! out with old inept ‘dinosaurs’ politicians and in with the new young visionaries that want to make real changes for the betterment of the good people of the Caribbean, no more excuses. Money losing state owned inefficient airlines need to kick the addiction of using public money to stay afloat, swim or sink and make room for private capital to takeover from where the state has failed for 50+ years in the region!

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/       ‘Bang On’ Over $415m Aviation Boost For GDP As of Wednesday, July 11, 2018 – Tribune 242 – By NEIL HARTNELL           #Research showing The Bahamas will enjoy a $415m economic boost if it participates in Caribbean-wide aviation reform … Continue reading

The national flag carrier of Fiji is Fiji Airways, whose history goes back to 1951, and which was until May 2012 known as Air Pacific, and from 2012 it has become a very profitable airline national airline under 2 excellent previous airline executives, American CEO’s Dave Pflieger (Ex-CEO Hawaiian Airlines and after Fiji Airways he went on to Silver Air, Island Air and now RAVN Alaska), German Stefan Pichler (Ex-CEO Thomas Cook AG, Ex-COO Virgin Australia, Ex-CEO Jazerra Airways, Ex-CEO airBerlin and now CEO Royal Jordanian) and now highly regarded and talented South African CEO Andre Viljoen (Ex-Comair, SAA, Ex-CEO Air Mauritius). Fiji Airways has grown its fleet to 12 jets (6 x A330-200, 1 x A330-300, 1 x B737-700, 4 x B737-800 and 6 on order, 1 x A330-300 and 5 x B737-8’s). The airline is part of the Air Pacific Group, which also owns 100% of Fiji Link (1 x ATR-42-600, 2 x ATR-72-600, 3 x DHC-6-300’s to be replaced by 4 x Viking Air’s Series 400 Twin Otters), with the Government of Fiji owning 51% of Air Pacific Group, 46.32% owned by QANTAS and 2.68% ownership spread out between Air New Zealand and the Governments of the Pacific island states of Kiribati, Tonga, Nauru and Samoa.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     FIJI AIRWAYS, THE LITTLE AIRLINE WITH A BIG HEART   Written by Tom Ballantyne July 14, 2018 – June 2018 edition of Australian Aviation.       It’s the little airline with a big heart. In the South Pacific, where history suggests financial success … Continue reading

The Chairman of Estonia’s Nordica resigns. Remember this was the airline that took over Estonian Air routes the very day Eastonian Air shut down (November 8, 2015) as per European Commission orders to give back to the Estonian people the Euro 85 million in illegal aid that was used to keep the struggling national airline alive as it distorted competition. With no money to give back, Estonian Air had to shut down, just like Hungary’s Malev (February 3, 2012) and Cyprus Airways (January 9, 2015) for using illegal state aid. The Estonians learned from the Malev and Cyprus Airways EC ruling on how to circumvent EC rulings, and Nordica (Nordic Aviation Group) was readied and waiting in the wings for 2 months before the EC Ruling with Euro 72.7 million in new Estonian state aid for a “new” state airline. Now it has 18 aircraft (6 x ATR-72-600, 2 x CRJ700 and 10 x CRJ900) and is 49% owned by LOT. Has Nordica and Estonia circumvented EC rules? did they find a way to beat the EC and just let the old national airline collapse and start a new one with no repercussion? You know, all EU states should get out of the airline ownership business, airlines today need to swim or sink and state aid distorts competition, especially with private airlines who need make a return for their shareholders. Time for the EU states to get out of the airline business finally! No more public money for EU airlines, that is what the EC should be aiming for now.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   Chairman of the Management Board of Estonian airline Nordica submitted his resignation   July 14, 2018 –  The Nordic Times       Jaan Tamm, Chairman of the Management Board of Estonian airline Nordica, submitted his resignation to the Supervisory Board of Nordic Aviation Group … Continue reading

Smart way for Estonia to avoid illegal state airline support? On November 8, 2015 state owned Estonian Air was forced to shut down after the European Commission declared it cheated with state aid to stay afloat and that it return Euro 84.9 million. Estonia knew this decision was coming and had already decided that the country must have a Estonian airline at all cost and two months before the closure it set up two new public aviation companies, Nordica and OU Transpordi Varahaldus, with Euro 72 million allocated by the state, and screw the EC, they were going to use state aid for another state owned airline to distort and compete with other EU based airlines? Ho wcan the EC allow this, should the Hungarian and Cypriot Governments have put up new money again for a new state airline when Malev and Cyprus Airways was forced into bankruptcy for illegal state aid? The EC needs to get its act together, the Estonians laughed in their face, and started flying their new state owned airline Nordic Aviation Group, the same day estonian Air stopped flying! What was the point? and what is the lesson for other EU state airlines, and where it the protections for privately owned airlines against state owned airlines like SAS, LOT, airBaltic, Croatian Airlines when the EC rulings are circumvented?

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     This article was written and first published on gediminas.ziemelis.com on 13th February 2018   Smart way for Estonia to avoid illegal state airline support?         Tomas’s Comment: A sad story on how the European Commission failed privately owned airlines in the … Continue reading

There is good news and there is bad news out of Surinam Airways (SLM), first the good news, long time CEO Robbi Lachmising is gone and hopefully more executives will go at the top, as really little has been done to turnaround SLM, a drain on public funds, and not the driver of economic and tourist development a national airline should be. The new CEO is Greg Lau and the new CFO is Steve Silos, and they are not from the airline industry and what I know, they are not political appointees of President Desi Bouterse’s NDP (National Democratic Party), unlike the previous CEO. This is all good, a fresh set of eyes, ears and ideas is finally running the show at SLM, and hopefully ready and willing to look at new business models and strategies, beside the one that has changed very little since independence on November 25, 1975. The bad news, is really not that bad, it is just another loss for the last fiscal year 2017-2018 of $US 3.0 million, which seems better, but in light of a small fleet of 3 aircraft (1 x A340-300, 1 x B737-700 and 1 x B737-300) it is just another indication SLM needs a major overhaul of its business, fleet and staff, as +/-800 employees for 3 aircraft is at least 4 times what it should be, to be efficient and competitive with any airline in the Caribbean Basin.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   SLM suffered losses of US $ 3 million JULY 9, 2018 – Armand Snijders       Tomas’s Comment:   I know SLM pretty well, I was first there in the early 1980’s and I love the place and its people, the last time I … Continue reading

Possibly the ‘WORST AIRLINE’ in the world today financially, South African based Fastjet Group (once a LCC with 3 x A319’s, ex-Fly540), now just a point to point regional 2 x E190’s, 3 x ERJ145’s. Just received $10 million from shareholders to stay alive, after losing $48 million in 2016 on revenues of $68.5 million (-70% loss margin), and in 2017 it lost $24.5 million on revenues of $46.2 million (-53% loss margin) while it received $72.8 million in new investment in the same year along on top of its $35.2 million in debt. With cash balance down to $3.3 million on June 18, 2018 it was on the verge of collapse, having “burned” $16.7 million in 6 months and the investors have saved its ass again, but WHY? This fastjet has lost $303.4 million since 2012 on revenues of $308.1 million (-98% loss margin), and retained earnings at the end of 2017 were at a negative $338.5 million? its yield ($/RPK) is lower than its CASK, for a 108% breakeven load factor? Yet more money is forthcoming? as are 3 new ATR-72-600s’ to add more capacity and it wants to buy South Africa’s regional airline, Federal Air (aka FedAir, runs 18 x CE-208’s to Beech 1900D’s)? WHERE is the light at the end of the tunnel for this LOSER?

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   July 9, 2018     Tomas’ Comment:   So Fastjet gets another $10 million? this is the troubled airline that lost a ridiculous $48 million in 2016 on revenues of $68.5 million (-70% loss margin), then came in a new team in August 2016 and … Continue reading

RIP: Latin American Wings (LAW) operating 5 x B737-500’s on niche routes out of Santiago, Chile from January, 2016 is out of business and will not fly again as investigation revealed serious breaches in it operations.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   CLÉMENT CHARPENTREAU -Aerotine News Hub- 26th June 2018         LAW (Latin American Wings) operated 5 x B737-500’s from Santigo, Chile to Caracas, Miami, Lima, Mendoza, Punta Cana and Port-au-Prince, and will not fly again as investigation reveals serious breaches in its operations. The … Continue reading

Fastjet hits back at media for being to harsh on it, yet while no one can be as bad as Fastjet was in 2016, with an operating loss of $US 63.9m (yes, -48% operating loss margin) operating 3 x A319’s, things have not changed much since August 1, 2017. The airline received $US 72.8m in new investment in 2017 and had an operating loss of $25.3 million and in that 18 months it has burned it all away with a smaller fleet (3 x ERJ-145, 2 x E190)? yes it reduced expenses, off course with smaller aircraft, but burning cash at $4.0m a month one has to really ask is this ‘new’ business model any better? as load factor is 71% and revenue per seat of just $60.90 means its yield is way too low, again another carrier offering LOW FARES, but NOT a LOW COST CARRIER! and PRASK is well below CASK, and they want more money? seriously?

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/       Tomas’ Comment: They can paint a rosy picture, but it has been under a turnaround since August, 2016, so 22 months of restructuring they should be further along in their recovery, but they are not and yes they have down-gauged to much smaller … Continue reading

Air Transat to lease seven new A321neos from AeCap for delivery between 2010 and 2022 to replace its A330’s to lower costs per seat.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     Airline Economics Daily – June 28, 2018     Air Transat has signed an agreement with AerCap for the long-term lease of seven new Airbus aircraft: two A321neos and five A321neo LRs (long-range). These aircraft will be delivered gradually between 2020 and 2022 and … Continue reading

SUMMARY: NO surprise! Fastjet of South Africa is on the brink of failure, without a cash immediate injection, as cash on hand is down to $US 3.3m, this airline’s LCC business model with A319’s was broken for years, then they abandoned the model for regional jet flying with 3 x ERJ-145’s and 2 x E190’s. With operations in Mozambique (under Solenta Aviation Mozambique), South Africa (“branding licence”? with Federal Airlines), Tanzania (Fastjet Tanzania 49% owned) and in Zimbabwe (FastJet Zimbabwe 49% owned) and still cannot make money, share price fell 70% today, and yet still the airline is valued at $US 29m seriously?

SEE:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   Fastjet warns it cannot continue without equity raising Airline Economics Daily – June 27, 2018 Tomas’s Comment: This is a sad story, the LCC model was a disaster, in 2016 it lost $US 48m on $US 68.5m in revenue? a -70% loss margin? what kind of business is that? They found a … Continue reading

SUMMARY: The Etihad Airways “Equity Alliance Strategy” was a disaster just like the 1990’s Swissair “Hunter Strategy” which bankrupted Swissair in 2001, now Etihad has to dig itself out of a mess and right size its business, which means less aircraft, which is bad news for Boeing’s B777X order book, but with just 25 orders out of a total of 326 its a small hit, the big hit will be on Etihad which now has to be thinking of joining Emirates and flyDubai under one Group ownership, that will take some soul searching and loss of pride in Abu Dhabi, but it makes sense for the future of Etihad.

SEE:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   Etihad B777-300ER     $6 Billion Order Loss For Boeing? Jun.18.2018 – Seeking Alpha -Dhierin Bechai         Tomas’s Comment: Etihad Airways has 8 x $394.8 million B777-8’s on order and 17 x $425.8m B777-9’s on order since November, 2013 when life was good for Etihad Airways, and ordering 25 … Continue reading

Surinam Airways must ‘think Big’, with a Big vision for the future beyond just Suriname, too many small national carriers think ‘small’ and never achieve their full potential, sticking to old tried ways without much success, yet look at the success of COPA (Panama), Norway Air Shuttle (Norway), Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopia), Ryanair (Ireland) to Singapore Airlines (Singapore), think Big, plan Big, act Big and do Big things and you become Big in time, step by step. But if you think small, plan small, act small you will always remain small and insignificant and most likely, not profitable.

Surinam Airways must ‘think big’, says aviation expert Published on January 23, 2017 by Caribbean News Now by Ray Chickrie Email To Friend    Print Version  By Ray Chickrie PARAMARIBO, Suriname — In his assessment of Surinam Airways (SLM) (3 x B737-300’s and 1 x A340-300), aviation expert Tomas Chlumecky has called on the airline to “get out … Continue reading

UPDATE: Transwest Air is now a fully owned subsidiary of WestWind Aviation, now there is only 1 large regional airline in Saskatchewan, and 80% owned by 2 First Nations economic development corporations (EDC’s). These First Nations EDC’s now pretty much own ALL airlines in Canada’s north, usually through Aboriginal economic development corporations (EDC’s), with a few family and corporate hold outs in the Northwest Territories, especially at Yellowknife (Summit Air, Discovery Air-Air Tindi/Great Slave Helicopters, Buffalo Airways) and in Fort Smith Northwestern Air Lease Ltd. Is this a good thing or a bad thing where First Nations own all air services in Canada’s north ? Is this the only viable exit strategy available in the north or are there “pressures” to sell to local First Nations ? and Can the EDC’s create long term financially sustainable airlines ? First Air (Makivik Corp.) and Canadian North (IDA), have tried to merge several times but each time it has failed, even though it makes lots of economic sense to do it, or is more cooperation among the EDC’s needed, like the recent cooperation between Air North and First Air ?

As to my blog of August 21, 2016, the Transwest Air deal is done and it is now a fully owned subsidiary of WestWind Aviation, which itself is owned 55% by the Athabasca Basin Development (ABD) and 25% owned Prince Albert Development Corporation (PADC), in short 80% First Nation owned with 20% owned by the … Continue reading

UPDATE: Canadian regional airline consolidation continues as the once fragmented industry starts to consolidate around a single provincial operator. After 11 months under Canada’s CCAA (+/- Chapter 11 bankruptcy/reorganization), Quebec based regional airline, Pascan Aviation is acquired by 2 senior executives in a management buyout (MBO). Meanwhile Saskatchewan based WestWind Aviation, fresh from its acquisition of Osprey Wings last November, looks to takeover its main local competitor, Saab 340 operator Transwest Air, itself the product of two old local airlines and their pioneers (Athabasca Airways of Floyd Glass and La Ronge Aviation of Pat Campling) coming together in 2000, leaving WestWind Aviation a monopoly in Saskatchewan, much like Manitoba with Perimeter Airlines, Calm Air, Keewatin Air and Bearskin Airlines, all under one ownership. Times are changing for regional airlines in Canada, as the second generation of airline owners retire or sell of the businesses that their fathers and mothers built from scratch, usually with nothing more than a single Cessna 180 aircraft. Sad to see the old names disappear, it is the “circle of life”, but the legacies of our Canadian aviation pioneers will always remain with us.

UPDATE: As I wrote this, I found out that WestWind Aviation (80% First Nation owned) has bought Transwest Air for an undisclosed amount, now only 1 airline exists in Saskatchewan, like it or not.   This is my follow up to the January 5, 2016 article “Consolidation in the Canadian Regional Airline Industry”, as the … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Once infamous Wasaya Airways is out of bankruptcy proceedings after owing $35 million, and now looking to become the 1st commercial operator of the $US +/- 28 million Airbus C295W aircraft to serve the 12 First Nations of Northern Ontario that own 100% of the airline. Under new President and CEO Michael Rodyniuk, the once poorly run airline finally has potentially a ” bright” future ahead. But what does a Northern Ontario First Nations airline need 5 x C295W’s costing $US +/- 140 million ? there are much cheaper options, especially when cargo does not care what aircraft it flies in. Recent addition to Wasaya Airways Board is Stephen Smith, the once high flying airline executive at Air Toronto, WestJet and Air Canada, a much needed boost to the Board that oversaw lots of mismanagement and chaos over the past 10+ years. Why would any regional airline become the first and only commercial buyer of any aircraft ? What about support for a high utilization operation ? what about resale value one day ? what about certification ? the price ? military maintenance program ? especially when you can get good used ATR-72 freighters ? and when will Canada stop operating 40+ year old B737-200’s and HS 748’s ? as for a modern country we operate older aircraft fleets than many third world nations. Lastly, with only 9 x HS 748’s left in Canada and 15 at best in the world, it will be sad to see the old workhorse fade away after 55 years after production began.

In June, Airbus demonstrated its C295W transport plane to Northern Ontario based First Nation owned Wasaya Airways (“it is bright” in oji-cree), which comes just as the airline gets creditors approval for its $C 35 million debt restructuring plan, giving just 10% of unsecured debt value to its long list of creditors. The airline has … Continue reading

PRESENTATION: Finding the elusive sustainable airline business model in the Caribbean, a large graveyard for regional airlines for decades. The region has a great deal of potential, but government taxes (up to 100% of net ticket price) play havoc with passenger demand, poor intra regional connectivity and government protection for state subsidized airlines (LIAT, Caribbean Airlines, Bahamasair, Cayman Airways) limits any real competition. Time for real Open Skies, allowing freedom to serve any route by appropriately licensed carrier, and governments to get out of the airline business, and stop taxing airline tickets to the point where tourist traffic is 1/3 of what it was 10 years ago, the whole idea is to get tourist to the islands and then tax them, rather than tax them to death on airline tickets as they then chose other destinations to travel to, its all backwards. LIAT flies 35% of its routes on money losing “social routes” with ATR-72/42’s, time to get small regionals with 15-19 passenger turboprops to compliment and even replace LIAT services on money losing routes, frees up ATR capacity for money making routes and reduces or eliminates loses on “social routes”. Time for a more intelligent approach on air transport and air connectivity in the region, where tourism is still struggling after 8 years, and it is tourism that drives the economies in the Caribbean.

I attended the Carib Avia’s 1st annual Caribbean Aviation Meetup between June 14-16, 2016 in Roseau the capital city of the beautiful Commonwealth of Dominica, and attached is the 2 hour presentation from the Conference. The Presentation covers airlines that have gone bust, regional aircraft, multi-government owned airlines, airline business models, regional airline valuations to … Continue reading

UPDATE: VLM Airlines says NYET to the once planned 14 x Russian Sukhoi SSJ-100’s SuperJet’s, due to potential certification and geopolitical risks, which I have been talking about for some time. It took a new CEO Hamish Davidson to see things clearly, the SSJ-100 program is in BIG trouble, 102 manufactured and 35+ “white tails” sitting and waiting in the cold for a buyer or lessee, basically any airline with a pulse and in desperate need of 80-90 seat regional jets. The aircraft are going to Russian airlines off course and then to very financially weak and desperate airlines outside of Russia like Thailand’s Kan Air, which recently was one of 4 airlines in Thailand identified by it’s CAA as having safety concerns due to high debt loads. While another SSJ-100 customer, Bek Air (Kazakstan) sues it’s CAA because it does not want to undertake a compulsory IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) ? Other than InterJet (Mexico) the foreign customers of the SSJ-100 have been very weak airlines most have gone bankrupt operating the SSJ100 or just waiting for the SSJ100 to arrive, not sure which is worst, either way, financial condition of the operating carrier is obviously not a major criteria at SuperJet International. The list of failed Sukhoi “customers” is pretty long for a 5 year old program, from Armavia (Armenia), Moskovia (Russia), Air Armenia, Sky Aviation (Indonesia), Lao Central Airlines (Laos) Kartika Airlines (Indonesia), while Blue Panorama (Italy) just cancelled it’s order. Airline executives should not take big risks with their airlines, the SSJ100 has many risks, political, economical, customer perception to operational. Finally, Russia’s Prime Minister Medvedev “wonders whether it is 2016 or 1962 ?” as the “New Cold War” is on according to him, meanwhile many Europeans wonder if it is not 1938-1941 all over again with 3 internationally recognized independent countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) now having had part of their territory annexed by force in the past 20 years by Russia, who is next ? Estonia ? Latvia ? Lithuania ? it is time for tougher economic sanctions on Russia that include Sukhoi and it’s commercial aircraft program, the SSJ-100, wake up Europe, because it is 1938 all over again, will history repeat itself ?

In a smart move, Begium’s VLM Airlines is backing away from its planned acquisition of 14 x Sukhoi SSJ-100-95LR Superjets (4 lease options + 10 purchase rights), due to certification concerns and geopolitical issues between the West and Russia. This is what I have been talking about in my previous articles on the SSJ-100, the … Continue reading