Tuesday, 8 July 2014

MH370: The Forgotten Flight

The missing Malaysian Boeing 777 in happier times

It is 121 days since the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. After a fruitless search, there is no trace of the aircraft. Searching has been wound up whilst "private contractors" are being sought through a tender process to resume the search. It is still hard to imagine that in the year 2014, such a mystery can occur. Not to mention the numerous, some very laughable theories that have emerged.

To this day, no one can even be sure that the search effort was even taking place in the right area. The Southern Indian Ocean was the site for the search. I still wonder what the families of those on board are still enduring whilst the rest of the World appears to have forgotten about the fateful flight. I am still puzzled by the mystery like all of us but, I do not understand why searches are not ongoing. Surely the Government's of China and Malaysia owe it to their citizens to continue the search and get to the bottom of what happened once and for all. That is of course, if no cover up is taking place. Those who have read my previous article on this topic will know that I am very sceptical about what took place and what is known. Events like this usually reek of lies and deception. I feel that this is no different. Some sort of hijacking still, in my mind at least, appears to be the obvious cause of the disappearance.

 I only hope that I can bring some further news about the resolution of the mystery before this year is out. With the black box flight recorder now long gone, I highly doubt that I will. It may be years before we ever know what really took place to cause such a mystery, if even we ever know. First thing is first though. We need to find the aircraft to at least give some sort of closure to the loved ones of those on board.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Chanting Passenger Forces Flight To Turn Around

Officials say a man who was loudly chanting on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Hawaii made the other passengers uncomfortable and prompted the crew to return and drop him off with law enforcement at Sea-Tac Airport.

Airlines spokeswoman Nancy Trott says the captain made the right decision for safety Wednesday night.

Trott says the man was removed without incident about 9:30pm. Flight 877 resumed with 178 passengers and landed at 1:16am local time Thursday at Kona.

Trott didn’t know what the man was chanting or why. She says the crew tried to reason with him without success.

Sea-Tac spokesman Perry Cooper says the man was not arrested. He was taken back to the terminal with the suggestion he rebook his travels on another carrier.

Monday, 9 June 2014

How Much Do Airlines Really Make Per Passenger?

Around $US746 billion ($805 billion) is expected to be spent this year on global air travel, a record 3.3 billion passenger journeys will be taken and 1400 new aircraft help will whisk them across the skies.
But among these impressive figures there is a much smaller one that airlines are really taking note of: $US5.42 ($5.85) That’s the average profit made by airlines for each passenger they carry.

“With a net profit margin of just 2.4 per cent, airlines only retain $US5.42 per passenger carried,” said Tony Tyler CEO of International Air Transport Association (IATA) at the group’s 70th AGM in Doha, Qatar.
“There is a mismatch between the value that the industry contributes to economies and the rewards that it generates.” According to recent figures from IATA just two years ago the average post-tax profit per passenger was only $2.21, so things are improving for the industry. The industry is expected to make a post-tax profit of $19.4 billion this year, up from $11.4 billion last year and a record amount.

However Brian Pearce, chief economist for IATA cautions that’s because of the total revenue and not a record in terms of profit margin.“It’s always very cyclical,” he says. “If you look at the last 20 years the average net profit margin for airlines in terms of revenue is zero.” It’s remarkable that the industry is making any profit at all, added Pearce, given record high fuel prices over the last few years.“A 2.4 per cent (profit margin) and people would laugh at you in other industries,” says Willie Walsh of International Airline Group.

“There’s something wrong with this industry where we as the providers of this service almost feel are embarrassed to talk about profitability and some people that buy our products don’t believe we should be allowed to make a profit — it’s madness.”

For others at the sharp end of the industry, the quest for profits is an ongoing battle.“We’re the wrong part of the food chain,” says JetBlue Airways CEO David Barger. “Airports and financiers, you look at the profit margins of them versus to airlines. But we recognise we’re the wrong part and you have to be innovative.”

Pearce suggests that if fuel prices — one of the biggest costs to airlines — were to fall, then because of the keenly competitive nature of the industry it would be the customer that would be the beneficiary.
Even with high fuel prices IATA forecasts that on average fares this year will fall by around 3.5 per cent.

The profits the industry has made are mainly because of cost-cutting in the industry through improved efficiency and consolidation, plus the way that airlines package their products, most notably through giving passengers more choice in what kind of options they want with a flight. That also gives airlines other ways to make a few dollars with ancillaries like baggage charges or seat preferences.

Yet the lament from Tyler and IATA remains that airlines and those in the commercial aviation industry are still hampered by high taxation and low profitability. “Airlines can operate profitably and provide fantastic value of service. The one principle (that governments should have) is treat airlines like any other industry,” says Tyler.