If you're really keen, there's a full list here. Look out for a couple of lesser-known names, like Airbus' Jenny Body and the UK director of civil aviation Jonathan Moor. If you don't like the choices, don't email me, write to the Queen.
Personally I think 'Sir David' trips off the tongue quite smoothly. Just a thought. Anyone?
While most of the attention in the aircraft business this week has been focused on the draft deal reached by the OECD on new financing terms for export credit, it appears controversy is brewing in the Caribbean over an ATR order Caribbean Airlines placed earlier this year.
Caribbean orders nine ATR 72-600s with Armonia cabins Mary Kirby, Philadelphia (27Sep10, 14:41 GMT, 282 words)
Trinidad and Tobago's Caribbean Airlines has ordered nine ATR 72-600 turboprops from the European airframer.
The $200 million deal will make Caribbean Airlines a new operator of the type, and among the launch customers for the -600 series' new Armonia cabin.
Italian design house Giugiaro Design developed the new cabin, which features cleanly-styled seats that have been ergonomically designed to ensure greater knee clearance; LED lighting and enhancements to the ceiling, side panels and overhead bins.
Caribbean Airlines' 68-seat ATR 72-600s will also arrive equipped with the aircraft's new avionics suite. Deliveries will begin in late 2011.
"With its fleet of brand new ATR 72-600s, this flag carrier will replace its current fleet of 5 Dash-8 300 aircraft, while adding new frequencies linking Trinidad and Tobago and surrounding destinations," says ATR in a statement.
"In addition, several of the new ATRs will be operated in the route network of Air Jamaica, [which was] recently acquired by Caribbean Airlines."
Since then Caribbean chief executive Ian Brunton has departed and now Bombardier is apparently protesting how the competition for the new order was handled.
Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday published this article today that has multiple references to a memo that Bombardier's Americas sales director Ross Gray sent to the country's Attorney General Anand Ramologan.
Among the issues highlighed in the Newsday piece are:
With respect to the procurement process, Gray said no Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued; no objective criteria was established regarding how competing offers would be evaluated; no time lines were established; preferential treatment/focus was given to ATR and by not running concurrent negotiations with ATR and Bombardier, CAL "likely did not achieve the most favourable terms and conditions possible." Gray claimed the evaluation process was also flawed because CAL had not given due consideration to where the aircraft would be operated and CAL was evaluating its jets and turboprops as separate fleets rather than as one integrated fleet. Gray said the chronology of events leading up to the signing of the US$200 million deal between CAL and ATR on September 27 started in March 2007. Gray disclosed that at that time, under the former PNM government, he made Bombardier's first presentation to CAL to purchase its Q400 turboprop plane.
"Up until November 2009, the pace of discussions with CAL was very slow with CAL showing little interest in replacing or augmenting the five Bombardier Q300s it currently operates." Gray said meetings with CAL were infrequent and virtually all the meetings "were at our own initiative" except for a meeting in February 2008 which was organised at the request of Manning "to discuss the proposed acquisition of a Global business aircraft by CAL for Manning's use." Gray said that meeting took place at the Prime Minister's official residence at La Fantasie in St Ann's.
He added there were subsequent meetings regarding the acquisition of a private jet for Manning but he was not involved in those talks. On March 18, 2008, the then PNM government announced it was scrapping plans to buy this jet from Bombardier.
Stating that CAL never replied to proposals which Bombardier made in November 2008 for five Q400 and eight C-series planes, Gray said Bombardier made another presentation in January this year to then CAL chairman Arthur Lok Jack and then CEO Capt Ian Brunton. Gray said Brunton advised him in November 2009 that CAL planned to make a decision to replace its Bombardier Q300 planes "with new turboprop aircraft in the next 12 months."
Bombardier states its correspondance "was confidential, and wasn't meant to be distributed. We're looking into how this happened". Additionally, the airframer says: "Any correspondence of this nature is written in good faith. There are times where we feel compelled to express concerns over a selection process that appears to fall short of providing a level playing field."
It's been a staple at Southwest's 39-year history. Keep it simple and cost effective by operating a single fleet type.
But that tune's being sung less and less by the carrier these days as it comes to the realization that the venerable 737 just can't make money in every market. It only takes a few seats just shy of its 122-seat 737-500s to open up more revenue-generating markets.
The carrier alluded to that when it opted to keep AirTran's 86 (soon to be 87) 717s after it firms up its acquisition of AirTran and gains a single operating certificate.
And now the carrier says it's not ruling out a fleet type beyond the 717. While Boeing and Airbus give mixed signals about new aircraft from Bombardier, Comac, and Sukhoi being threats to their current duopoloy, the playing field has definitely changed. Even Southwest places Bombarider's CSeries in the same company as the A320 and 737.
Here's what Southwest COO Mike Van de Ven had to say recently at the carrier's investor day:
"At some point in time a new airplane is going to come out, whether it's the CSeries or whether Boeing replaces the 737. And at some point in time, Airbus is going to replace the A320."
You can interpret this a million different ways, but it's interesting a top Southwest executive singaled out the CSeries by name alongside the narrowbody stalwarts.
Also a point to highlight is Van de Ven stresses Southwest needs to get adept at managing two fleet types and "better learn from it". He also states that while Southwest won't ever offer multiple fleet types, the carrier could eventually operate two or three.
And what will those two or three be? Let's see what happens as Southwest gets some operational experience with the 117-seat 717, and the timeframe of those aircraft coming off lease and the CSeries entry into service.
Meanwhile, to see what CEO Gary Kelly sings at home -- check out this video...>
One of the interesting takes from outgoing IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani's recent speech at the airline grouping's annual media day was a fact underlining the power of Asian carriers. While the top five carriers by revenues in 2009 in the Airline Business airline rankings comprised European and US carriers (Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, Delta, FedEx and AMR), Bisignani notes four of the five largest airlines in the world by market capitalisation are from Asia - Air China leading the way followed by Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and China Southern. This, together with Asia becoming the large domestic air market, underlines the growth of the region.
This is what Bisignani had to say:
"Rapidly developing markets are shifting the industry's center of gravity to the East. Traditionally intra-North America traffic was our largest market. In 2009, 655 million traveled within North America and 662 million within Asia. By 2014, we expect to see 3.2 billion people traveling. That is 800 million more than the 2.4 billion that will fly today. Of that 800 million, 360 million will travel within Asia Pacific.
We are also seeing big shifts in where the money is measured in market capitalisation. Today, the largest airline in the world is Air China at $20 billion, followed by Singapore Airlines at $14 billion, Cathay Pacific at $12 billion, China Southern at $11 billion, LATAM $15 billion (LAN 11 and TAM 4), and then Delta and Lufthansa at $10 billion each."
IATA estimates Asian carriers will have contributed around half the total industry profits this year and expects it do so again. For more on this, READ OUR 2011 FORECAST FEATURE.
When Finnair last repainted its fleet, and started featuring a stylised 'F' on the vertical fin, it quickly became apparent that the design wouldn't easily work on both sides.
Finnair awkwardly chose to preserve the symmetry and reverse the 'F' on the starboard, a decision which didn't go down well in all camps. Even then-chief executive Keijo Suila, when questioned about the backwards 'F', quietly admitted to me that he wasn't exactly a fan.
Like it or hate it, the 'F' logo hasn't been pulled over by the livery police. And much of the general chat in the spotter community suggests that, with the new colour scheme, more visual identity offences might have to be taken into consideration.
This has been on the cards for a while and was mentioned by bmi chief executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer when I interviewed him in the autumn. You can take a look at the full coverage here.
In rolling out the new brand logo, bmi says: "The airline undertook a strategic review of its brand when it became part of the Lufthansa family last year. The new logo offers bmi a much stronger identity by using the full name of British Midland International, rather than just bmi."
Malaysian low-cost carrier pioneer and founder of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, has picked up the Forbes Asia vote as businessman of the year (FULL DETAILS HERE).
Fernandes has also given an interview in the December issue of Forbes Asia magazine - you can read the full Forbes article here - but here's a small extract to give you a taster:
"It's a very depressing business, the airline business, with all the politics, all the rubbish, volcanoes," he says."But if I want to get a high,I just walk down to the terminal, and see the numbers of people who want to take photographs with me. It's not the vanity part. It's that we have genuinely changed people's lives by allowing them to travel. Regularly, an old man will come up to me and say, 'I never thought I would be in a plane before I died, but now I can be.' Or 'Now I can go home and see where I was born"
Asia's businessman of the year has also been giving Airline Business his personal reflections on the past 25 years of the sector and on the challenges ahead, as part of our 25th anniversary issue. Here's a small extract and you can READ HIS FULL CONTRIBUTION HERE:
"On 13 October, less than nine years after a dream called Air-Asia became reality, the 100 millionth "guest" was flown on our airline. It takes some getting used to, realising that the AirAsia team has truly given birth to a low-cost airline that has spearheaded a real change in the travel landscape of South-East Asia.
I never actually thought I had the balls to do it, especially in a region where low-cost travel just hadn't been invented and national carriers ruled the roost. When I look back at the AirAsia journey, I see how fine the line can be between brilliance and stupidity. So far, with a mixture of perseverance and stubbornness, we've managed to stay on the right side of this line."
IATA has confirmed that Cathay Pacific chief executive Tony Tyler has been nominated by its board of governers to succeed Giovanni Bisignani as director general and chief executive of the airline association (FULL ANNOUNCEMENT HERE). Tyler's appointment will be formalised at IATA' annual general meeting next June in Cairo and he will begin his duties at the start of July.
Tyler has been chief executive of Cathay Pacific since 2007, having first joined the carrier's parent company the Swire Group in 1977.
He will become IATA's sixth director general and chief executive since the association was formed in 1945 and takes over a much changed organisation since Bisignani beefed up IATA's role on taking the helm in 2002. The Italian announced he was stepping down at this year's IATA agm in Berlin and marked it by unveiling his ambitious Vision 2050 strategy (READ MORE DETAILS HERE)
Both the outgoing Bisignani and the incoming Tyler were among the 25 influential industry figures who contributed personal reflections on the past quarter century and the challenges ahead for the industry as part of this month's Airline Business 25th anniversary issue.
For all 25 anniversary leader perspectives, other industry contributions and our interactive timeline of the ups and downs of the past 25 years for the airline industry. visit our 25th ANNIVERSARY HOMEPAGE
With a third of the popular vote, Southwest Airlines founder and executive chairman Herb Kelleher has come of top of the Flightglobal/Airline Business poll as the most influential airline leader of the past 25 years.
It comes as little surprise to see Herb at the top of the poll. He is the father of low-fare carriers and someone who has had a massive impact not just on the US air transport industry since deregulation in 1978, but who has also inspired a new generation of airline leaders.
As part of Airline Business 25th anniversary issue we've been going through the archives and trawling our memories to produce a births, deaths and marriages section for the airline industry over the last quarter century. You can read our story here about the changing world order complete with a list of high profile comings and goings over that period.
We think we managed to get most of the major ones - but are there any big ones we missed? We'd love to hear from you on any others you think should be in there - one correspondent has already suggested Delta's acquisition of Western Airlines and American's acquisition of AirCal back in 1987, and more recently the merger between US Airways and America West in 2005. So I have put those ones in and welcome any other key mergers, births or airline failures from the last 25 years that should be in the list.
Catch up with all our 25th anniversary content, including our interactive timeline and reflections on the past quarter century and challenges ahead from 25 of the most influential airline figures who have helped shape the industry, at our special anniversary home page here
I was in sunny Ethiopia last week for the African Airlines Association annual general assembly. It was 23° out there - in sharp contrast to today's snowy London landscape. During the conference a charming story emerged, which I was told has been playing out for the last couple of years. I thought I'd share it with you.
We were welcomed by an address from Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Girma Wake, which went something like this: "The Boeing 787 has refused to come out of Seattle and our first 777-200LR was delivered mid-week. Boeing says there is a tradition: the mother should be allowed to leave the room before the child. Now that the 900th 777 has left, we have every hope that the 787 will follow the mother."
Ethiopian's 10 787s were due to start arriving back in 2008, making them two years late. There is no doubt that Ethiopian is annoyed with Boeing, despite their 50-year relationship. Wake continues: "When you've been married for over half a century, we [Ethiopian] won't ask you [Boeing] for a divorce because there is no chance that we want to end our marriage. We've been together for 50 years and have seen good and bad times together. The wedding took place 50 years ago, the marriage is still on, let's make sure the 787 solidifies [our relationship]."
But at the Airbus-sponsored farewell cocktail, the analogy continued. Airbus sales vice-president for North Africa Francois Cognard joked that it was "great timing on the part of Boeing" to deliver Ethiopian's first 777, just as the airline hosted the AFRAA meeting. He insisted that the AFRAA secretariat should commit to returning to Addis Ababa for their general assembly in 2017, when Ethiopian will take its first Airbus A350. He quipped: "By 2017, the energetic French mistress will be here."
I caught up with Cognard later, to compliment him on his speech. He said: "When I came to Ethiopia two years ago, everyone was talking about the long-married couple [Ethiopian and Boeing]. I wanted to introduce myself and make light of things, so I made a reference to Ethiopian needing a French mistress."