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Aviation Industry
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
News round up

After a much appreciated display at OR Tambo International Airport (or whatever name it goes by these days) in December, it has transpired that FedEx has cancelled its order for ten A380 Freighters and replaced it with 15 Boeing B777s. This is rather bad news for Airbus as the A380F has only got 15 other orders, and the whole programme may go drainwards.

Then Virgin has postponed its order for six A380s which tit was due to pick up in 2009. Virgin wants to delay until 2013 by which time the design will be proven.
It can’t be doing Airbus much good having these overt shows of distrust. It has already set about reducing the subcontractors from some 3 000 to 500. And on top of that, rising costs have moved the break-even point from 270 frames in 2005 to 420.

Air Zim avoids the UK

Well maybe that’s a bit harsh. Actually what has happened is that Air Zim has suspended all flights to Heathrow because it is terrified that the Brits will snaffle their aircraft to set off against the airline’s debt of nearly US$3m. The Euros got a court award empowering them to seize the aircraft to satisfy a debt over four years old – and we all know that the Blair government (if it can be called that these days) does everything the Brussels Sprouts decree, no matter how stupid.
Mark you, the UK Transport Committee in Parliament has issued a stinging report on the Euro Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) saying it is “an accident waiting to happen, with lamentable problems of governance, management and resources.”

US courts do it again

A pilot’s family has been awarded US$10,5m mostly against the Experimental Aircraft Association following a crash on 7th July 1999 at Arlington WA.
The pilot of an RV6-A who had minimal experience had turned out of an excessive rate of climb and crashed. Onlookers stated that the Fire tender arrived within 60 seconds and the NTSB averred this in its report. Notwithstanding all this, the court found that the fire engine had taken over five minutes to arrive and then found the EAA liable for the injuries. I don’t know why the NTSB bothers to issue reports: the courts just seem to ignore them.
The bottom line is that aviation insurance premiums will climb steadily to pay for these outrageous awards until no-one can afford to fly. By Henry Tours

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:20.4 1st May, 2007
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