United to halt flight operations at JFK
October 04, 2022
United Airlines is suspending its operations at New York JFK, citing its inability to successfully compete with airlines that have more slots than it does at that airport, particularly during the winter travel season. The Chicago-based carrier's inbound flights on 29 October will be its last at JFK before it begins what it says is a temporary suspension of operations. "Given our current, too-small-to-be-competitive schedule out of JFK – coupled with the start of the winter season where more airlines will operate their slots as they resume JFK flying – United has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend service at JFK," the US major stated on 30 September. United, which operates a New York City-area hub at Newark Liberty, had resumed flights at JFK in March 2021 after having ceased operations at the airport in November 2015. The carrier in October has 230 inbound and outbound flights scheduled at JFK. The US major has recently been seeking additional slots at JFK, and has asked the US Federal Aviation Administration to reassess the capacity distribution among airlines operating flights at the airport. "Our discussions with FAA have been constructive," United says. "It’s clear they are serious about operational improvements in the New York/New Jersey region, including JFK and EWR (Newark), which is important for all our customers. "However, it’s also clear that process to add additional capacity at JFK will take some time."

FAA restores Malaysia's category 1 safety rating
October 04, 2022
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has restored Malaysia's category 1 rating safety rating, paving the way for the country's airlines to expand services to destinations in the USA. "Under a Category 1 rating, properly authorised Malaysian air carriers are permitted to serve the United States and enter into code-share agreements with US carriers without limitation," the FAA states. The return to category 1 status follows "a thorough review of [Malaysia's] progress in improving its safety oversight processes". The FAA had downgraded Malaysia to a category 2 rating in November 2019, deeming it noncompliant with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) safety standards following an audit in April 2019. Countries are either listed as either category 1 or 2, depending on whether it meets ICAO safety standards. Malaysia's downgraded safety rating spurred American Airlines to unilaterally remove its codeshare on services operated by flag carrier Malaysian Airlines, which stressed then it still planned to place its code on American-operated services. AirAsia X, the only Malaysian carrier with scheduled services to the USA, welcomed the reinstatement. "The reinstatement is set to open more opportunities for its future medium to long-haul network plans especially to the US, and other Asian countries including Japan and Korea as they will grant the relevant regulatory approvals based on FAA standards," it says. AirAsia Aviation Group's group chief executive Bo Lingam states: "After an industry reset following the pandemic, this announcement could not have come at a better time as travel demand picks up. Category 1 safety rating will not only allow us to expand our future network plans but also stabilise the country’s aviation industry as a whole." AAX operates direct flights to Honolulu, Hawaii via Osaka, Japan. Data shows that AAX was the sole Malaysian carrier operating to the USA when it launched services between Kuala Lumpur and Honolulu in July 2017 until March 2020, amid the pandemic. It will resume eight weekly services on the route from February 2023. Malaysia Airlines exited the US market in April 2014, after it ceased its sole Los Angeles service. The carrier also previously offered flights to Newark Liberty International airport, but suspended the service from October 2009.

Korean Air signs SAF purchase agreement with Shell
October 03, 2022
Korean Air has signed a memorandum of understanding with energy company Shell to purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The MoU explores the supply and purchase of SAF from Shell at major airports in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East from 2026 for five years, the airline says in a release today. The airline will work with Shell and continue to expand cooperation with other global oil companies to secure SAF supply for other regions including Europe and the USA, it adds. Korean Air says it became the first Korean airline in November 2017 to use SAF on a flight departing from Chicago to Seoul Incheon. In February this year, the airline also started using SAF on flights from Paris to Seoul Incheon. Last year, the airline partnered with Hyundai Oilbank and SK Energy, to adopt SAF and carbon-neutral jet fuel, respectively. In February this year, Korean Air also signed a MoU with Incheon International Airport Corporation, Airbus, and Air Liquide to cooperate on supplying aviation hydrogen fuel and developing relevant infrastructure in South Korea.


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