American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX-caused cancelations to June 5

American Airlines said Sunday it is extending the cancelations through June 5 from the earlier timeframe of April 24. (AP)
Updated 08 April 2019
0

American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX-caused cancelations to June 5

  • The airline acknowledged in a statement that the prolonged cancelations could bring disruption for some travelers
  • The Boeing-made MAX jets have been grounded in the US and elsewhere since mid-March, following two deadly crashes

WASHINGTON: American Airlines is extending by over a month its cancelations of about 90 daily flights as the troubled 737 MAX plane remains grounded by regulators.
American said Sunday it is extending the cancelations through June 5 from the earlier timeframe of April 24. The airline acknowledged in a statement that the prolonged cancelations could bring disruption for some travelers.
The Boeing-made MAX jets have been grounded in the US and elsewhere since mid-March, following two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Airlines that own them have been scrambling other planes to fill some MAX flights while canceling others.
American Airlines Group Inc., the largest US airline by revenue, has 24 MAX jets in its fleet. The Ft. Worth, Texas-based airline said it is awaiting information from US regulators, and will contact customers affected by the cancelations with available re-bookings.
Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration said last week the company needs more time to finish changes in a flight-control system suspected of playing a role in the two crashes. That means airlines could be forced to park their MAX jets longer than they expected.
American said Sunday that by canceling the flights in advance, “we are able to provide better service to our customers with availability and re-booking options,” and to avoid last-minute flight disruptions.
American’s reservations staff will contact affected customers directly by email or phone, the airline said. “We know these cancelations and changes may affect some of our customers, and we are working to limit the impact to the smallest number of customers,” the statement said.
Boeing said Friday that it will cut production of the MAX jet, its best-selling plane, underscoring the mounting financial risk it faces the longer the airliner remains grounded.
Starting in mid-April, Boeing said, it will cut production of the plane to 42 from 52 planes per month so it can focus on fixing the flight-control software that has been implicated in the two crashes.
Preliminary investigations into the deadly accidents in Ethiopia and Indonesia found that faulty sensor readings erroneously triggered an anti-stall system that pushed down the plane’s nose. Pilots of each plane struggled in vain to regain control over the automated system.
In all, 346 people died in the crashes. Boeing faces a growing number of lawsuits filed by families of the victims.
The announcement to cut production came after Boeing acknowledged that a second software issue has emerged that needs fixing on the MAX — a discovery that explained why the aircraft maker had pushed back its ambitious schedule for getting the planes back in the air.


Singapore luxury apartment sales surge to 11-year high

Updated 20 September 2019

Singapore luxury apartment sales surge to 11-year high

  • Sales of such apartments also exceeded the numbers racked up for each full year from 2011 to 2018, the consultants’ analysis of transaction data shows

SINGAPORE: Sales of Singapore apartments worth at least S$10 million ($7.3 million) have hit an 11-year high, fueled by increased demand from Chinese millionaires seeking safe-haven assets, say property consultants OrangeTee & Tie.

Investors have long viewed Singapore as an island of stability that attracts the super-rich from its less developed Southeast Asian neighbors, as well as multimillionaires from mainland China.

In the first eight months of 2019, 68 condominium units in the wealthy Asian city-state were sold for S$10 million and more, the highest tally since the corresponding period of 2008.

Sales of such apartments also exceeded the numbers racked up for each full year from 2011 to 2018, the consultants’ analysis of transaction data shows.

Some buyers may have sought an alternative to rival financial hub Hong Kong, hit by protests, while others may have shifted funds from China after its yuan currency was devalued in a trade war with the US, an OrangeTee expert said.

“This may explain why we have observed more foreign buyers, especially mainland Chinese, coming into Singapore lately,” said Christine Sun, its head of research and consultancy.

Mainland Chinese are the biggest group of foreign buyers of Singapore luxury homes.

In Singapore’s prime districts, Chinese citizens bought 76 apartments worth more than S$5 million from January to August, versus 75 purchases by Singaporeans, data until Sept. 19 show.

Expensive apartments in premium neighborhoods are mainly bought by foreigners, because at such high prices Singaporeans have the option to buy landed property, such as bungalows and mansions.

Singapore does not allow foreigners to buy landed homes, except for those on the resort island of Sentosa.

“We do see that even though the stamp duties have increased .... we are still seeing people putting big money on these apartments, predominantly it is more for stability than anything else,” said Boon Hoe Leong, chief operating officer of high-end realtor List Sotheby’s International Realty.

He was referring to measures Singapore adopted last year to cool its real estate market, such as hiking additional stamp duties for foreign buyers to 20 percent from 15 percent.

“They are parking their money here — they know that the Sing dollar won’t depreciate overnight,” he added.