Etihad Eyes Aircraft Purchases Amidst Industry Turbulence

Abhishek Nayar

08 May 2024

In a bid to expand its fleet amidst a turbulent aviation landscape, Etihad Airways has expressed interest in acquiring aircraft from Airbus and Boeing over the next five years. CEO Antonoaldo Neves revealed the airline's plans to boost its fleet to 150 aircraft, up from around 80 currently, with a strategic focus on flexibility and adaptability.

Growing Ambitions and Seeking Opportunities

Etihad Airways aims to add approximately 10-15 new aircraft annually over the next five years. While the majority will be sourced from existing orders for Airbus A320s, A350s, and Boeing 787s, the airline acknowledges the need to supplement its fleet through additional avenues.

In pursuit of this objective, Etihad is engaged in discussions with lessors and planemakers to secure additional jets. Neves emphasized the airline's interest in capitalizing on cancelled or rescheduled delivery slots, showcasing a commitment to strategic agility in fleet management.

Fleet Flexibility, Challenges and Opportunities

Neves articulated a preference for fleet flexibility, expressing reluctance towards large-scale orders that could potentially constrain future operational decisions. The CEO's philosophy underscores a strategic approach aimed at balancing growth aspirations with adaptability to dynamic market conditions.

The aviation industry grapples with significant challenges, including supply chain disruptions and production delays faced by Airbus and Boeing. Despite these hurdles, Etihad remains optimistic about its prospects, buoyed by recent initiatives from Boeing to address delivery date concerns.

Industry Evolution and Conclusion

Boeing's management overhaul and commitment to enhancing quality control underscore the industry's evolution towards prioritizing safety and reliability. Neves' positive impression of Boeing's initiatives reflects a broader sentiment of cautious optimism within the aviation sector.

Etihad Airways' strategic pursuit of fleet expansion amidst industry challenges underscores its commitment to adaptability and resilience. As the aviation landscape continues to evolve, the airline's emphasis on flexibility positions it to navigate uncertainties while capitalizing on emerging opportunities. With a balanced approach to fleet management and a keen eye on market dynamics, Etihad remains poised for continued growth and success in the global aviation arena.

With Inputs from Reuters

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FAA Investigates 787 Dreamliner Amid Allegations of Misconduct

Abhishek Nayar

08 May 2024

Boeing, one of the world's leading aerospace companies, is under intense scrutiny yet again as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launches an investigation into its 787 Dreamliner program. The probe follows allegations of misconduct by Boeing employees regarding crucial safety tests, raising concerns about the integrity of the aircraft's production process.

FAA Investigation Unveiled

The FAA disclosed on Monday its decision to initiate an investigation into Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program. The focus of the probe revolves around allegations that certain Boeing employees failed to conduct essential inspections to ensure adequate bonding and grounding where the wings join the fuselage of certain 787 Dreamliner airplanes. Moreover, there are suspicions that aircraft records may have been falsified, further exacerbating the severity of the situation.

Boeing's Response and Internal Oversight

In response to the allegations, Boeing has taken swift action, acknowledging the misconduct and promptly informing the FAA about the situation. Scott Stocker, who leads Boeing's 787 program, addressed the issue in an email to employees, admitting to violations of company policies regarding required tests. While Boeing asserts that the misconduct did not pose an immediate safety of flight issue, it is clear that stringent corrective measures are necessary to restore trust in the integrity of its production processes.

Broader Implications and Ongoing Challenges

The FAA's investigation comes at a challenging time for Boeing, as the company grapples with supplier shortages and production delays in its 787 Dreamliner program. A recent slowdown in production and deliveries underscores the complexity of the issues Boeing faces, with quality control and manufacturing practices coming under increased scrutiny.

Criminal Investigation and Prior Incidents

This latest development adds to Boeing's woes, as it navigates a criminal investigation by the Justice Department into a mid-air emergency involving a Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. The incident, which occurred on January 5, raised concerns about the adequacy of Boeing's safety protocols and documentation practices, with the National Transportation Safety Board highlighting key bolts missing from a plane delivered months earlier.


As Boeing confronts yet another setback, the aviation industry watches closely, emphasizing the critical importance of maintaining rigorous safety standards and upholding transparency in aircraft manufacturing. The outcome of the FAA investigation and Boeing's subsequent actions will not only shape the future of the 787 Dreamliner program but also influence broader perceptions of aviation safety and corporate accountability.

With Inputs from Reuters

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Can Spirit Weather the Storm? A Deep Dive into its Current Challenges

Abhishek Nayar

08 May 2024

Spirit Airlines, known for its ultra-low-cost model, is facing turbulent times ahead as it grapples with a myriad of challenges affecting its financial health and operational efficiency. Despite a surge in travel demand, the airline finds itself in the midst of significant headwinds, including grounded aircraft, overstaffing, and intense pricing pressures in key markets. This article delves into the various issues plaguing Spirit Airlines and explores the company's strategies to navigate through the storm.

Grounded Aircraft and Engine Woes

A critical blow to Spirit Airlines' operations stems from a snag with RTX's Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines, leading to the grounding of a substantial portion of its fleet. The airline anticipates that up to 40 aircraft will be out of service this year, with projections indicating an even more dire situation in 2025, with an estimated 70 jets grounded. This setback not only disrupts the carrier's growth trajectory but also exacerbates its financial woes.

While the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, has committed to compensating Spirit Airlines for the incurred losses, the impact on the company's earnings remains significant. Scott Haralson, Spirit's Chief Financial Officer, emphasized the gravity of the situation, acknowledging that the engine issues cannot be understated. The ongoing disruptions not only strain the airline's bottom line but also necessitate measures such as pilot furloughs and cost-cutting initiatives to mitigate the financial fallout.

Financial Strain and Debt Management

Spirit Airlines finds itself at a crossroads concerning its financial stability, compounded by looming debt maturities in 2025 and 2026. Despite constructive discussions with bondholders, concerns persist regarding the airline's ability to manage its debt obligations amidst a challenging operating environment. The postponement of aircraft deliveries, negotiated with planemaker Airbus, provides temporary relief but underscores the urgency of addressing underlying financial vulnerabilities.

To bolster its cash reserves, Spirit Airlines aims to capitalize on compensation for grounded aircraft, deferred jet deliveries, and targeted cost-saving measures, projecting an improvement of $450 million to $550 million in cash levels for 2024. However, the efficacy of these measures hinges on the airline's ability to navigate through the prevailing market dynamics and restore profitability.

Pricing Pressures and Market Dynamics

In addition to engine-related setbacks, Spirit Airlines contends with excess capacity in key markets, precipitating aggressive fare discounting to stimulate demand. The proliferation of leisure market capacity further intensifies pricing pressures, necessitating strategic route adjustments and capacity realignment to safeguard pricing power. Despite these efforts, the airline anticipates a decline in total revenue per seat mile and adjusted operating margin in the second quarter, reflecting the pervasive challenges confronting the industry.


As Spirit Airlines confronts a confluence of challenges ranging from grounded aircraft to financial strain and pricing pressures, its resilience and strategic agility are put to the test. The path forward entails decisive action to address operational inefficiencies, optimize cost structures, and fortify financial resilience. While uncertainties loom on the horizon, Spirit Airlines remains steadfast in its commitment to weather the storm and emerge stronger in the ever-evolving aviation landscape.

With Inputs from Reuters

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Indian Airlines Set to Dominate International Air Travel by 2028

Abhishek Nayar

08 May 2024

In a significant projection by CRISIL, Indian airlines are poised to soar to new heights in the realm of international air travel by the fiscal year 2027-28. With a forecasted surge in their market share to a staggering 50%, the report highlights the strategic maneuvers and inherent advantages propelling this growth trajectory.

Rising Share in International Passenger Traffic

CRISIL's report underscores the exponential growth trajectory of Indian carriers in the international arena. From a modest 43% share in the previous fiscal year, Indian airlines are anticipated to grasp up to half of the country's international air passenger traffic by 2027-28. This remarkable ascent is attributed to the deployment of additional aircraft, expansion of routes, and the superior domestic connectivity offered by Indian carriers compared to their foreign counterparts.

Strengthening Business Profiles

As Indian airlines carve a larger slice of the international travel pie, their business profiles are set to strengthen significantly. International air travel is deemed more profitable than the domestic segment, marking a lucrative opportunity for Indian carriers to bolster their financial standings and operational capabilities.

Post-Pandemic Paradigm Shift

The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed a paradigm shift in consumer behavior and spending patterns. With increasing disposable incomes, easing visa requirements, and a growing number of airports, Indians are exhibiting a burgeoning inclination towards international leisure travel. This shift, coupled with enhanced air travel connectivity, has propelled the resurgence of India's international passenger traffic, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Government's Tourism Hub Agenda

The government's concerted efforts to position India as a hub for tourism are expected to further augment inbound traffic. This strategic focus aligns with the overarching goal of bolstering the country's tourism sector and leveraging its rich cultural heritage and diverse attractions to attract global visitors.

Aircraft Expansion and Route Diversification

Indian airlines have embarked on an ambitious trajectory of expansion, with the addition of 55 new international routes over the past 15 months alone. These routes, spanning popular long-haul destinations in the United States, Europe, and Australia, aim to optimize flying time and enhance passenger convenience. Moreover, strategic partnerships and codeshare agreements with major global airlines facilitate seamless onward connectivity for passengers.

Inherent Advantages and Geographic Positioning

Indian airlines possess inherent advantages over their foreign counterparts, including superior domestic connectivity and the ability to offer end-to-end international connectivity from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Additionally, India's strategic geographic location lends itself well to air connections between the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific regions, positioning the country as a pivotal hub for international travel.

Investments in Fleet Expansion

To capitalize on the burgeoning international travel demand, Indian airlines are investing in widebody and long-range narrow-body aircraft for network expansion. The introduction of new international routes and long-haul non-stop flights to key destinations underscores their commitment to meeting evolving passenger needs and preferences.


As Indian airlines chart a course towards dominance in the international air travel landscape, their concerted investments, strategic partnerships, and inherent advantages position them as formidable players on the global stage. With a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14-15% in the international segment over the next four fiscal years, Indian carriers are poised to redefine the contours of international air travel and emerge as key catalysts in India's aviation growth story.

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Why Are AIESL Engineers Threatening to Strike Over Salary Delays?

Abhishek Nayar

08 May 2024

In a looming showdown between management and staff, a section of permanent engineers at the state-owned Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) has issued a stern warning: address our salary concerns or face industrial action. With tensions mounting, the question arises: why are these engineers considering such drastic measures?

The Grievances and A History of Discontent

The crux of the issue lies in the delayed implementation of revised salary payments. The forum representing approximately 1,700 staff members at AIESL contends that despite a wage revision agreement signed in January, their long-pending salary adjustments have not been honored. These engineers, encompassing aircraft maintenance engineers, service engineers, and allied cadre unions, have been vocal about their dissatisfaction, citing discrimination and unfair labor practices.

This discontent has been brewing for years, with the forum highlighting a lack of wage revision for over 15 years. The January agreement was seen as a watershed moment, aiming to resolve longstanding grievances and end protracted litigations. However, the failure to implement the agreement has reignited frustrations among the permanent employees.

Perceived Discrimination and Recent Developments

Adding fuel to the fire is the perceived preferential treatment towards contractual employees. The forum alleges that while commitments have been made to provide arrears to contractual staff, permanent employees continue to be sidelined. This perceived discrimination has further exacerbated tensions within the company.

The threat of industrial action comes less than three weeks after a warning of possible "industrial unrest" if the salary issues remained unaddressed. This indicates a growing sense of urgency among the affected engineers. Furthermore, the withdrawal of a strike by the union representing Fixed Term Employment (FTE) staff last month after reaching a settlement highlights the volatility of the situation.

The Path Forward and Final Thoughts

As the May 24 deadline approaches, the ball is in the court of AIESL management. Failure to heed the demands of the engineers could result in disruptions to operations, affecting not only AIESL's ability to serve its primary client, Air India, but also other airlines that rely on its engineering services.

The standoff between AIESL management and its permanent engineers underscores the challenges facing state-owned enterprises in addressing employee grievances. At stake are not just salary adjustments but also issues of fairness, equality, and labor rights. As both sides dig in their heels, the looming specter of industrial action raises questions about the future stability of the company and its ability to maintain essential aviation services. The resolution of this conflict will not only shape the immediate future of AIESL but also have broader implications for labor relations in India's aviation industry.

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Has SriLankan Revolutionized Aircraft Maintenance with AMOS NewGen MRO System?

Abhishek Nayar

07 May 2024

SriLankan Airlines has embarked on a significant modernization endeavor by integrating the AMOS NewGen MRO System, developed by Swiss-AS, into its aircraft maintenance operations. This strategic move reflects the airline's commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology to enhance efficiency and uphold safety standards in Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) activities.

A Game-Changing Collaboration

The collaboration between SriLankan Airlines and Swiss-AS signifies a pivotal shift in the approach to aircraft maintenance management. By leveraging the capabilities of AMOS, SriLankan Engineering aims to streamline processes, optimize resource utilization, and ultimately deliver superior service to its customers.

"The integration of AMOS is a transformative step for SriLankan Airlines. It's not just about upgrading our systems; it's about revolutionizing the way we conduct aircraft maintenance," says Arjuna Kapugeekiyana, Head of Engineering at SriLankan Airlines.

Transitioning to Advanced Technology

Transitioning from legacy systems to the advanced AMOS platform was a meticulous process that demanded extensive planning and execution. Over the course of several months, the integration of AMOS involved navigating the complexities of data migration and system implementation.

"This transition represents a significant milestone for us. It required meticulous planning and coordination to ensure a seamless integration," remarks Kapugeekiyana.

Realizing the Digital Vision

For SriLankan Airlines, the adoption of the AMOS NewGen MRO System represents a significant step towards realizing its digital vision. By embracing digitalization and automation, the airline aims to optimize processes, reduce operational costs, and enhance overall efficiency.

"Implementing AMOS is not just about adopting new technology; it's about transforming our entire approach to aircraft maintenance," emphasizes Chamara Perera, Group Head of Information Technology at SriLankan Airlines.

Sophisticated Features and Functionalities

The AMOS platform offers a comprehensive suite of sophisticated features and functionalities designed to meet the complex demands of modern aircraft maintenance operations. From inventory management to scheduling and tracking, AMOS provides real-time visibility and control over critical assets and resources.

"AMOS provides us with the tools we need to make informed decisions and optimize our maintenance processes," explains Kapugeekiyana.

Proactive Resource Planning

One of the key advantages of the AMOS system is its ability to facilitate proactive resource planning. By accurately forecasting manpower and material requirements, SriLankan Airlines can minimize downtime, reduce Aircraft on Ground (AOG) occurrences, and maintain optimal inventory levels.

"With AMOS, we can proactively plan our resources and ensure that we have everything we need to keep our fleet operational," says Kapugeekiyana.

Empowering Engineers and Technicians

The AMOSmobile/EXEC software extension empowers engineers and technicians at SriLankan Airlines by providing them with a user-friendly, mobile solution for managing maintenance tasks. With features such as electronic work instructions and digital sign-offs, the AMOSmobile app streamlines workflows, reduces paperwork, and improves collaboration across teams.

"The AMOSmobile app has revolutionized the way our engineers and technicians conduct maintenance tasks. It's made their jobs easier and more efficient," notes Perera.


The integration of the AMOS NewGen MRO System marks a significant milestone in SriLankan Airlines' journey towards digital transformation. By embracing advanced technology and innovative solutions, the airline is redefining the future of aircraft maintenance management, driving efficiency, reducing costs, and ensuring the highest standards of safety and quality. With the collective expertise and dedication of its team, SriLankan Airlines is poised to lead the way in shaping the future of aviation maintenance.