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Update NEWS


NEWS Irish LCC Ryanair could put in an


order of 100 new aircraft for its newly acquired subsidiary, Laudamotion


Pakistan-India clash


The decision by Pakistan to close airspace over its country following a political dispute with India has badly impacted aviation. Problems originally began at the end


of February when a standoff between the two nuclear-armed countries led to a fighter jet being shot down from each side after the ongoing dispute over Kashmir flared up again. With Pakistan then closing its


Ryanair eyes Airbus A321s


Ryanair could soon buy about 100 Airbus A321s for its recently acquired subsidiary Laudamotion in a deal worth more than $6.5 billion. Michael O’Leary, the Irish LCC’s


CEO, told international news service Reuters that negotiations were in their early stages but if finalised, he would hope to split the deal with 50 firm and 50 optional orders. He added he is also interested in buying some of Boeing’s new 737 MAX 10 for Ryanair, although he said the price the price was currently too high. O’Leary said: “The next likely


follow-on order with Boeing would be the MAX 10 aircraft. We need to go up to 230 seats.”


He argued that having equipment


from both the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers could prove to be beneficial for the airline. O’Leary added: “We are committed


to being an Airbus customer through Laudamotion because in the future, as there are competition divestments or other M&A opportunities in Europe, some will be on the Airbus side and some will be on the Boeing side – we want to be able to do both.” The news came following Ryanair’s


completion of the acquisition of Laudamotion in January this year. Ryanair originally bought a 24.9%


stake in the Austrian LCC when it set up less than a year ago before increasing the stake to 75% in July.


IATA hails ‘healthy’ start to 2019


The new year has seen a strong start for aviation, with revenue passenger kilometres up by 6.5% in January. The figures released by IATA show this was the fastest growth in six months – capacity, in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs), rose 6.4% while load factor grew by 0.1 percentage point to 79.6% Despite the positive start, IATA


director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac warned the aviation industry not to see it as a sign to relax.


He added: “2019 has started on a positive note, with healthy passenger demand in line with the 10-year trend


Aviation saw a strong start in 2019


India and Pakistan are in dispute over Kashmir


line. However, market signals are mixed, with indications of weakening business confidence in developed economies and a more nuanced picture across the developing world.” International passenger demand


rose by 6% in January year-on-year, with Europe leading the growth at 7.7%, although the region’s economic situation – and Brexit, in particular – continue to cause alarm. Middle East carriers had the


weakest growth, with demand up just 1.5% compared to January 2018. Nevertheless, this still was improved over a 0.1% drop in traffic in December.


routesonline.com ROUTES NEWS 2019 ISSUE 2 9


airspace on February 27, not only were its own domestic and international flights impacted, but also airlines that fly over the country as the space remained closed at the time of writing.


At the time of going to press,


airspace for flights approaching from the east remained out of bounds. India, Malaysia and Thailand were the countries most affected, with service issues and detours of up to two hours required. A spokesperson in London’s High Commission for Pakistan was unable to confirm when the situation might be resolved.


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