By Alex Macheras
At ICAO, the United Nations agency for civil aviation, Salvatore Sciacchitano has won the election to become the next president of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council. Sciacchitano was elected by the overwhelming majority of ICAO’s 36-member governing body on Monday (November 25) and will lead the organisation on a three-year mandate, effective January 1. He succeeds Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, who has held the post since 2014.
President-elect Sciacchitano’s win of the ICAO election has been applauded around the globe. Italy’s candidate is a veteran aviation industry professional, and will become the first European president in 75+ years. In the race for the presidency, Italy beat the United Arab Emirates, who were hoping to take the top spot of the UN for aviation organisation. The next president’s expected focus areas include aviation climate change goals, ensuring the freedoms of the air, and aviation safety/security.
Elsewhere, Turkish airline AtlasGlobal has announced it is ‘temporarily suspending’ operations from 26 November 26 to December 21. The airline operates a fleet of 18 Airbus A320, A321, and A330 aircraft. It’s worth highlighting that it’s not common for an airline to ever return after ‘temporary suspensions’ of this nature (due to financial issues) meaning Turkey could be set to lose AtlasGlobal by the end of the year if the company were to declare bankruptcy.
In Britain, Tunisair faces having its slots at London Heathrow Airport (highly sought after by airlines) revoked, following constant flight delays and heavy disruption.
Norway‘s government has passed a legislation requiring jet fuel suppliers to blend 0.5% of biofuel into their fuels, effective January 2020.
Air France has now retired its first of ten Airbus A380 aircraft. The French flag-carrier plans to phase out its entire Airbus A380 fleet by 2022. The upcoming end of A380 production will mean that, for the first time since the late 1980s, Airbus will produce only twin-engine commercial jets.
In Spain, a high court has characterised Ryanair onboard hand-luggage charges as abusive, adding that it “curtailed the rights that the passenger has, recognised by law.”
Meanwhile, Air Senegal has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for eight Airbus A220-300 aircraft, and European low-cost carrier easyJet confirmed the company will offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for every single easyJet flight, effective immediately — at no extra cost to passengers.
The Federal Aviation Administration has said it expects that there will be more than 450,000 drones in the sky this year, a total it originally predicted for 2022.
Finally, India’s national carrier, Air India, will have to shut down if a renewed attempt to sell the debt-laden airline fails to find a buyer, the country’s aviation minister says.
n The author is an aviation analyst. Twitter handle: @AlexInAir
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