Tag Archives: Airlines (TRBC)

AirAsia CEO Fernandes and chairman step aside as Airbus bribery allegations probed

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – AirAsia Group (AIRA.KL) CEO Tony Fernandes and Chairman Kamarudin Meranun will step aside for at least two months while the airline and authorities investigate allegations Airbus paid a bribe of $50 million to win plane orders from the company.

FILE PHOTO: Founder of AirAsia X Tony Fernandes (R) listens to its chairman Kamarudin Meranun during the signing ceremony for the new Airbus A330-200s in Kuala Lumpur February 28, 2011. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad/File Photo

A committee comprising the non-executive members of AirAsia’s board will review the allegations and take any necessary action, Asia’s biggest budget airline said on Monday.

Fernandes, one of the aviation industry’s best known executives, and Kamarudin will remain advisers, however, “in view of the current difficult economic circumstances facing the airline industry”, the company added.

Senior company executive Tharumalingam Kanagalingam will be the acting CEO, with the changes effective immediately.

In a joint statement, Fernandes and Kamarudin denied any allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct as directors of AirAsia.

“We would not harm the very companies that we spent our entire lives building up to their present global status,” they said.

Shares of AirAsia and unit AirAsia X (AIRX.KL) fell on Monday after the allegations by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) came to light on Friday. AirAsia stock fell as much as 11% to 1.27 ringgit, their lowest since May 2016, while AirAsia X dropped 12% to an all-time low of 11.5 Malaysian sen.

Malaysia’s anti-graft agency is also investigating the allegations. AirAsia has said it never made any purchase decisions that were premised on Airbus (AIR.PA) sponsorship, and that it would fully cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Malaysia’s Securities Commission said on Sunday it would also examine whether AirAsia broke securities laws.

The allegations were revealed as part of a record $4 billion settlement Airbus agreed with France, Britain and the United States. Prosecutors said the company had bribed public officials and hidden payments as part of a pattern of worldwide corruption.

“This agreement and the contents were arrived at without any reference to us; neither were any explanations sought from us,” Fernandes and Kamarudin said in their statement.

“This is in clear violation of fundamental legal principles of fairness.”

Airbus said at the weekend it would not comment on the Malaysian investigations.

The SFO’s allegations concern a 2012 sponsorship agreement between the now-defunct Caterham Formula 1 racing team, founded by Fernandes, and Airbus’s then-parent, EADS.

The SFO said on Friday that between October 2013 and January 2015, EADS paid $50 million to sponsor a sports team which was jointly owned by two people described as AirAsia Executive 1 and Executive 2. It said Airbus employees offered an additional $55 million, though no payment was made.

Fernandes bought Caterham together with Kamarudin in 2011.

FILE PHOTO: Lotus (later Caterham) Formula One team principal Tony Fernandes poses with Air Asia flight attendants before the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang circuit outside Kuala Lumpur April 10, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Chong/File Photo

The SFO said Executives 1 and 2 were “key decision makers in AirAsia and AirAsia X, and were rewarded in respect of the order of 180 aircraft from Airbus”.

Analysts said the accusation against AirAsia comes at a particularly bad time as airlines grapple with a slowdown in business because of the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic that has killed more than 300 people in China and disrupted air travel.

TA Securities downgraded AirAsia Group stock to “sell” from “buy”.

Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Mark Potter

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Boeing expresses remorse over ex-pilot’s messages on 737 MAX software program

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The Boeing emblem is pictured on the Latin American Enterprise Aviation Convention & Exhibition truthful (LABACE) at Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil August 14, 2018. Image taken August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

(Reuters) – Boeing Co (BA.N) mentioned on Sunday that it regrets and understands issues raised by the discharge of a former Boeing check pilot’s inside immediate messages noting erratic software program conduct two years earlier than lethal crashes of its 737 MAX jet.

The world’s largest planemaker, plunged right into a contemporary disaster over the protection of the banned 737 MAX, additionally mentioned it was investigating the “circumstances of this alternate” and regretted the difficulties that the discharge of messages introduced for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA on Friday ordered Boeing Chief Govt Dennis Muilenburg to offer an “instant” clarification for the delay in turning over the “regarding” doc, which Boeing found some months in the past.

Reuters reported on Friday that Boeing turned over immediate messages from November 2016 between two workers that recommend the airplane maker could have misled the Federal Aviation Administration a couple of key security system on the grounded 737 MAX.

“We perceive solely the scrutiny this matter is receiving, and are dedicated to working with investigative authorities and the U.S. Congress as they proceed their investigations,” Boeing mentioned in its assertion on Sunday.

The assertion comes as Boeing’s board of administrators and prime executives from its airplanes division and provide chain met in San Antonio, Texas for beforehand scheduled conferences on Sunday and Monday.

The assembly comes as stress mounts on Chicago-based firm not solely from investigations into the 737 MAX following the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 individuals, but in addition from the monetary burden brought on by the jet’s security ban and continued excessive manufacturing.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Modifying by Steve Orlofsky

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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China’s indebted HNA group names chairman’s son as president: Caixin

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A HNA Group emblem is seen on the constructing of HNA Plaza in Beijing, China February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s indebted HNA Group has appointed its chairman’s son as president as a part of enterprise restructuring on the finance-to-aviation conglomerate, Chinese language monetary journal Caixin reported on its web site on Saturday.

Chen Xiaofeng, son of HNA Chairman Chen Feng, has been appointed president of the group, changing Zhang Ling, in accordance with Caixin.

HNA’s official web site named Chen Xiaofeng as president, in addition to a member of the board. Chen, a graduate of the College of Washington, can be chairman and CEO of HNA’s North American unit, in accordance with the web site.

Chen Feng has been HNA’s sole chairman after Wang Jian, the group’s co-chairman, died throughout a enterprise journey in France in July, 2018.

Since final 12 months, HNA has been ramping up gross sales of its property to stave off an intensifying money crunch as Beijing curbs abroad enlargement by personal corporations. By way of asset disposals, HNA is paring again an empire that when unfold from Deutsche Financial institution (DBKGn.DE) to Hilton Worldwide (HLT.N).

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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Southwest passengers get no damages for flights canceled by de-icer scarcity: U.S. choose

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(Reuters) – Southwest Airways Co (LUV.N) gained the dismissal of a proposed class-action lawsuit searching for damages for stranded passengers on a whole lot of winter flights it was compelled to cancel as a result of it ran out of de-icer fluid.

FILE PHOTO: A traveler checks her baggage on the Southwest Airways terminal at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photograph

U.S. District Decide Sara Ellis in Chicago dominated on Tuesday that Southwest’s ticketing phrases didn’t suggest that the Dallas-based service had a authorized obligation to all the time inventory sufficient fluid.

She additionally stated the phrases explicitly excused Southwest from legal responsibility, as a result of passenger security could possibly be jeopardized if planes that had not been de-iced took off in winter climate.

“Working out of de-icer implicates aviation security, no matter whether or not it was a foreseeable occasion,” Ellis wrote.

A lawyer for the plaintiff Brian Hughes, an Illinois resident, had no quick touch upon Wednesday. Southwest and its attorneys didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Hughes sued on behalf of Southwest passengers who incurred resort, meals and different prices due to flight cancellations at Chicago’s Halfway Airport on six days from Dec. 8, 2017 to Feb. 11, 2018.

He stated Southwest canceled 250 flights to and from Halfway on Feb. 11, together with his scheduled flight from Phoenix, as a result of it ran out of de-icer fluid, which no different service had performed.

Hughes stated was compelled to fly as a substitute to Omaha, Nebraska and keep in a single day, returning to Chicago on Feb. 12.

In searching for a dismissal, Southwest stated it couldn’t management the climate, and its passenger contracts allowed it to cancel flights due to dangerous climate “when vital or advisable.”

The case is Hughes v Southwest Airways Co, U.S. District Courtroom, Northern District of Illinois, No. 18-5315.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Modifying by David Gregorio

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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FAA chief to fulfill with Boeing officers, take a look at 737 MAX simulator

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Stephen Dickson plans to fly to Seattle this week to fly “newly configured” Boeing 737 MAX software program in a simulator and can go to with Boeing (BA.N) officers, the company stated Monday.

FILE PHOTO: A Boeing 737 MAX plane is seen grounded at a storage space in an aerial picture at Boeing Subject in Seattle, Washington, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photograph

Boeing plans to revise the 737 MAX software program to take enter from each angle-of-attack sensors within the MCAS anti-stall system linked to 2 lethal crashes that led to a worldwide grounding of the airplane in March. However it isn’t clear when it can conduct a key certification take a look at flight, a step wanted earlier than the FAA can return the airplane to service.

The FAA confirmed that Dickson, who took over as administrator in mid-August, has no agency timeline for the grounded 737 MAX to renew flights or when Boeing will flip over last documentation. The FAA stated Dickson additionally plans to go to with the FAA plane certification crew in Seattle.

Individually, a spokeswoman for Consultant Peter DeFazio, who chairs the Home Transportation Committee, confirmed that Boeing had declined his invitation to testify at an upcoming Home listening to.

“Boeing is working diligently and transparently with committees in each the Home (of Representatives) and the Senate to make sure that correct info is being shared and we’ll proceed to take action,” the corporate stated in an e-mailed assertion.

Boeing’s board is predicted to contemplate modifications proposed by a board committee later this week, folks briefed on the matter stated. Reuters reported in August that the committee overview would discover the corporate must reorganize its engineering reporting traces company-wide and guarantee increased rating officers, together with its CEO, get sooner suggestions about potential security considerations from decrease ranges of the corporate.

The modifications are supposed to spice up the transparency of engineering choices and speed up efforts to share security info as broadly and swiftly as attainable throughout Boeing’s world companies and factories, Reuters reported.

Boeing has stated it plans to conduct a certification take a look at flight within the “September time-frame” however Boeing Chief Government Dennis Muilenburg didn’t give a selected date when requested final week.

Federal prosecutors aided by the FBI, the Division of Transportation’s inspector basic and several other blue-ribbon panels are investigating the 737 MAX in addition to how the FAA certifies new plane.

Main U.S. airways have canceled flights into December because of the MAX grounding, together with American Airways Group Inc (AAL.O) and United Airways (UAL.O), whereas Southwest Airways Co (LUV.N) has canceled flights into early January.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Enhancing by Sandra Maler

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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Airbus, French exporters reel as U.S. tariffs loom in subsidy row

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PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Shares in Airbus (AIR.PA) and French luxurious items exporters fell on Monday because the European Union acknowledged it might face U.S. tariffs in a long-running dispute over plane subsidies, a part of an escalating tit-for-tat commerce row.

A brand of Airbus is seen on a flag at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac, close to Toulouse, France, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

The World Commerce Group has authorised a U.S. request to impose tariffs on European items within the newest chapter of a dispute over plane subsidies that might result in European reprisals, two folks acquainted with the case mentioned.

The scope of the choice, which had been extensively anticipated, is because of be introduced within the week of Sept 30.

The EU’s commerce chief mentioned the US was prone to impose tariffs “fairly quickly”.

The WTO has discovered that each Airbus and its U.S. rival Boeing acquired billions of {dollars} of dangerous subsidies in a pair of circumstances marking the world’s largest ever company commerce dispute.

The EU and United States are actually drawing up potential tariffs after the Geneva physique additionally discovered neither facet had adhered totally to its findings. However Washington is first in line to show this into precise tariffs as a result of its case is working 9 months forward.

Washington has sought permission to impose tariffs as much as 100% on European items value $11.2 billion a yr. These embrace plane and aerospace elements from Airbus host nations – Britain, France, Germany and Spain – as effectively a spread of products together with wine, cheese and luxurious items from throughout the EU.

Exports of Airbus industrial helicopters may be hit.

The ultimate quantity will depend upon WTO arbitrators who offered their findings internally final week.

Washington should then draw from a broader record of EU merchandise with a commerce worth of $25 billion a yr that it has tapped for attainable inclusion within the last record of any punitive tariffs.

Airbus jets and elements are prone to be hit first, regardless of the measurement of the authorised countermeasures, commerce sources mentioned.

Shares in Airbus, which depends on a circulate of elements to feed an meeting line in Alabama, and which additionally counts U.S. airways amongst its main clients for plane assembled at its most important crops in Europe, fell 3.2%.

Luxurious items group LVMH (LVMH.PA) – whose merchandise embrace Louis Vuitton purses, Moet et Chandon champagne and Hennessy cognac – fell 3.5%. The US represents slightly below 1 / 4 of group income.

Hermes Worldwide (HRMS.PA) fell 1.5%.

SHIFTING BLAME

The potential change of tariffs stems from complaints filed effectively earlier than the present spate of worldwide commerce tensions, however is coming to a head simply as world markets are taking fright at commerce friction dominated by a U.S.-China commerce struggle.

On the transatlantic entrance, tensions have been brewing for the reason that U.S. imposed metal and aluminum tariffs final yr, whereas the US has additionally threatened to impose automobile tariffs.

Each side within the plane dispute have tried to deflect blame for any additional escalation by accusing the opposite of ignoring makes an attempt to move off a commerce struggle via negotiation.

In June, two U.S. sources informed Reuters the US would doubtless be open to talks on an enforceable mechanism permitting Airbus to obtain authorities funding on industrial phrases whereas addressing disputed Washington-state tax breaks for Boeing.

U.S. officers later mentioned the EU had failed to point out any curiosity in talks.

The EU, nevertheless, mentioned on Monday it was Washington that stood in the best way of a negotiated settlement.

Commerce chief Cecilia Malmstrom mentioned the EU had requested the US in July to carry off commerce sanctions and search an settlement.

“Our view is that we have now sufficient tariffs on the planet as it’s … The U.S. president likes to make offers so we have now provided to attempt to make a deal to discover a negotiated answer,” EU Commerce Commissioner Malmstrom informed a briefing.

“To this point, sadly, the U.S. has not mentioned that they’re prepared to barter, a minimum of not till they’ve imposed their tariffs, which they’re prone to do fairly quickly,” she mentioned.

The EU commerce chief mentioned any EU-U.S. settlement may function a template for others to observe to create a degree enjoying area. “We additionally know different massive gamers on the planet, resembling Russia and China but additionally others, are additionally subsidizing their civil plane business,” she mentioned.

Western officers who’ve tried to discover a compromise up to now imagine any new funding settlement should set an instance for China, whose personal speedy aerospace progress with state backing is considered as a worrying menace by the 2 Western giants.

Extra reporting by Josephine Mason, Andrea Shalal and Stephanie Nebehay; enhancing by Jason Neely and David Evans

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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Boeing plane deliveries down 72% in August as MAX grounding weighs

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(Reuters) – Boeing Co (BA.N) handed over around a quarter as many planes in August as it did a year ago, pushing total deliveries so far this year down more than 40%, as the worldwide grounding of its best-selling 737 MAX jet enters its seventh month.

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is displayed on a screen, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Regular monthly numbers from the U.S. planemaker showed it delivered 18 aircraft in August, down from 64 in the same period, a year ago.

In the eight months through August, deliveries totaled 276 aircraft, compared with 481 last year.

Chicago-based Boeing has not delivered any of its 737 MAX aircraft since the single-aisle plane was grounded worldwide in March after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

U.S. airlines have removed the grounded jet from their flight schedules until December or early next year.

The planemaker has said it expects to receive certification from the Federal Aviation Administration by October to put the jets back in the air.

Boeing is still playing catch up with European rival Airbus SE (AIR.PA), which remains ahead with combined deliveries of 500 aircraft for the first eight months of 2019. Airbus delivered 207 of its A320neo jets, which competes with the 737 MAX.

Net orders after cancellations were a negative 85 aircraft so far this year for Boeing, compared with 95 for Airbus.

(Graphic: Airbus leads on deliveries, Boeing plays catch up png, here)

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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Ryanair Irish pilot union to decide on strike ballot next week

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FILE PHOTO: Passengers disembark a Ryanair flight at Dublin International Airport in Dublin, Ireland. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Members of Ryanair’s Irish pilot union are to decide next week whether to join British colleagues in holding a ballot on strike action, according to a memo distributed to members.

Ryanair pilots in Britain, the Irish airline’s largest market, last week announced a ballot that could lead to strike action in late August, citing disagreements over pay and conditions.

Ryanair pilots who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) will meet in Dublin on Tuesday to decide whether to hold a ballot for “industrial action up to and including strike action”, with voting to begin on or before Thursday, July 25, the memo said.

It did not say when possible strike action would take place.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, suffered a series of damaging strikes last year after the carrier bowed to pressure in late 2017 to recognize unions for the first time.

Management say significant progress has been made since, with collective labor agreements concluded with a number of pilot unions throughout Europe.

But IALPA said in the memo that management had failed to agree pay, terms and conditions for directly employed pilots. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) last week said issues included pensions, maternity benefits and a fair, transparent pay structure.

Ryanair, which says it offers better conditions than low-cost rivals for Boeing pilots, declined to comment on the union action.

On Tuesday, Ryanair said it had been forced to halve its growth plans for 2020 due to delays in the delivery of Boeing’s (BA.N) grounded 737 MAX jet and planned to start talks with airports and unions about downsizing or closing some operations from November 2019.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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