Lion Air: Passenger numbers fell less than 5 percent after deadly crash

The cause of the Oct. 29 crash into the Java Sea has yet to be determined. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 December 2018
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Lion Air: Passenger numbers fell less than 5 percent after deadly crash

  • “It was under 5 percent compared to the traffic at the same month last year,” said Lion Air CEO on November passenger numbers
  • He said Lion Air did not “clearly understand” whether the crash was responsible for the fall in traffic in November

JAKARTA: Lion Air said on Monday passenger numbers dropped by less than 5 percent in November compared to a year earlier, after one of its Boeing Co. 737 MAX jets crashed in late October killing all 189 people on board.
“There was a decline but it wasn’t too significant,” the airline’s CEO Edward Sirait told television network CNN Indonesia. “It was under 5 percent compared to the traffic at the same month last year.”
He said Lion Air did not “clearly understand” whether the crash was responsible for the fall in traffic in November, which he said was a low season for travel.
The airline, Indonesia’s largest, is privately owned and does not publicly release traffic statistics or financial results.
Sirait said last week Lion Air was considering canceling orders for 737 MAX jets but it had not yet made a decision.
Sources told Reuters that relations between the airline and Boeing had worsened in a spat over responsibility for the crash.
The airline has 190 Boeing jets worth $22 billion at list prices waiting to be delivered, on top of 197 already taken, making it one of the largest US export customers.
Bankers and some analysts say Lion Air and Southeast Asian rivals over-expanded and would be comfortable with fewer orders.
Boeing has declined to comment on contractual matters but industry sources say aerospace companies rarely leave room for unilateral cancelations except in exceptional circumstances.
The cause of the Oct. 29 crash into the Java Sea has yet to be determined.


Fujairah joins other ports, tightens exhaust rules ahead of 2020 regulations

Updated 23 January 2019
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Fujairah joins other ports, tightens exhaust rules ahead of 2020 regulations

  • Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulfur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent
  • Singapore, China and Fujairah marine sales volumes represent a quarter of global ship refueling, also known as bunkering

SINGAPORE: Fujairah in the UAE has become the latest major port to ban a type of fuel exhaust cleaning system to comply with a coming tightening in rules regarding global sulfur emissions, mirroring similar moves in Singapore and China.
Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulfur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now, forcing huge changes upon global shippers and also oil refiners.
Fujairah’s harbor master said in a faxed document seen by Reuters that the port “has decided to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in its waters ... (and) ships will have to use compliant fuel once the IMO 2020 sulfur cap comes into force.”
This follows top marine fueling port of Singapore announcing a similar move in November, while China banned the use of open-loop scrubbers from Jan. 1, 2019.
Singapore, China and Fujairah marine sales volumes represent a quarter of global ship refueling, also known as bunkering.
Impact for shippers
To comply with IMO 2020 rules, shippers can switch to burning cleaner but more expensive oil, invest in exhaust cleaning systems known as scrubbers that may allow them to still use cheaper high-sulfur fuels, or redesign vessels to run on alternatives like liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Scrubbers use water to clean up fuel emissions, preventing them from being released into the atmosphere.
Open-loop scrubbers are the cheapest option, but they have come under criticism as they wash heavy metals and sulfur from the waste water into seas instead of storing it for a controlled discharge in ports, as closed-loop scrubbers do.
Of the more than 2,000 ships that have so far opted to invest in scrubbers, around three-quarters have installed the cheaper, open-loop type, shipping sources estimated.
Closed-loop scrubbers, which store wash water for later discharge, are still accepted in most ports.
Despite the spreading bans of open-loop scrubbers, Douglas Raitt of ship classifier Lloyd’s Register said vessels can still benefit from such systems as they can pump out the waste water in open seas, outside a port’s jurisdiction.
“The benefits of open-loop scrubbers are largely realized in open water during transit from one port to the next,” he said.
Raitt said shippers, however, should consider alternative measures to prepare for IMO 2020, considering that when the new rules come into force refueling infrastructure will be mostly geared toward compliant low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) rather than high sulfur fuel oil (HSFO).
“Prevailing wisdom would be for operators opting for scrubbers to have a meaningful dialogue with their supplier base to secure HSFO post-2020 in ports of call,” Raitt said.