European charter carriers are split on whether new aircraft types such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 are suitable to replace existing medium-range, large-capacity aircraft. Many want an advanced technology aircraft with performance similiar to that of the 757.


Delegates at last month’s International Air Carrier Association (IACA) annual general meeting in Palma, Majorca, clashed over the need for A350/787-style airframe and engine technology to be migrated into the 200- to 300-seat, medium-range airliners that make up most of Europe’s charter carrier fleet.

Colin Sharples, TUI UK’s director of industry affairs and the environment, said the biggest obstacle to charter airlines reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions was the lack of availability of modern aircraft. “We’re all flying 30-year-old aircraft because there’s nothing available,” he said.

Jeff Gazzard, director of the environmentalist lobby group Greenskies Alliance, said airlines must put pressure on manufacturers to develop “greener” types of aircraft for short-haul, high-density travel. But Sharples said Airbus and Boeing were “unwilling” to offer new designs, blaming lack of demand.

Simon Buck, head of industry affairs at the First Choice group, said its order for six 787-8s proved the twinjet’s suitability for the sector, whose typical routes from Europe are becoming longer than in the 1980s and 1990s. He said the high-density 787-3, to be used by Japanese carriers for domestic and regional services, should prove an even better replacement for the 757.

Also at the meeting, IACA widened its geographical reach beyond Europe, welcoming Tunisian carrier Nouvelair. Sylvane Lust, IACA director general, said the association was aiming to represent all “leisure carriers” rather than just traditional charter carriers.


Source: Flight International