The Kaplanian Report February 2020

On the Boeing Front

                 New Boeing 777X Completes Successful First Flight

On January 25, 777X took to the skies, entering the next phase of its rigorous test program.

Based on the popular 777 and with proven technologies from the 787 Dreamliner, the 777X took off in front of thousands, including this writer at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. It was 10:09 a.m. local time for a three hour, 51 minutes flight over Washington state before landing at Seattle’s Boeing Field.

The launch of flight-testing of the 777-9 provides the opportunity to examine how  its most significant changes  -the all-new carbon fiber wing- compares with that of its predecessor.

The new 777X family, of which the -9 is the first variant, features a larger wing with a span increase by 7m (23ft) over the 777-300ER, to 71.8m ( 235ft,5in).

This huge span is the reason for its most notable feature -folding wing tips- which is a first on a commercial aircraft.  When folded, the 777X span reduces 64.8m (212ft,8 in) to ensure airport compatibility.

Boeing describes the 777X wing as a “fourth-generation Composite” design, incorporating an “advanced hit-lift” system.  The wing’s trailing-edge system is similar to its predecessor’s, with some interesting changes.  The 777X (top) has garter span and greater revisions to tailing edge, compared with earlier-300ER design (bottom) as shown in pictures.

In addition the 777X -9 variant has 8% more belly-hold cargo capacity than the current production 777-300ER.  The 777-9 will be able to carry up to four more LD-3 containers than the 777-300ER, due to its length of 251ft, 9in (76.7 m).

The new plane’s cargo capacity is 7,707 cubic feet, while the -300ERs capacity is 7,120 cubic feet.

Source : Boeing/Picture Boeing



                            First Airbus BelugaXL Enters Service

Two months after the Airbus BelugaXL gained European Union Aviation Safety Agency(EASA) type certification, the OEM’s first whale-shaped oversized air transport entered service, the company announced on Monday, January 13.

Airbus plans to introduce a further five BelugaXLs by 2023, providing the European airframer the much-needed extra transport capacity it needs to support the ongoing production ramp-up of its commercial aircraft programs.

Like its predecessor, the BelugaST—also known as A300-600ST Super Transporter—the BelugaXL will carry complete sections of Airbus aircraft from different sites around Europe to the final assembly lines in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany.  Two Rolls-Royce Tree 700 turbofan engines suspended on underwing pylons power the aircraft.  It carries a range of 2,200 nautical miles(4,074 km) and a maximum payload of 51 tons.

Based on the Airbus A330-200 freighter, the BelugaXL incorporates several newly developed elements, including its lowered cockpits highly enlarged cargo bay structure, and a modified rear and tail section.

The XL allows for 30 percent extra transport capacity and carry two A350 XWB wings while the ST can carry only one.

Besides the new BelugaXL, Airbus’s current Beluga fleet consists of five STs.

Source : Airbus/Airbus Picture             



             Mitsubishi Upbeat on SpiceJet Despite Fresh Delays

Mitsubishi Aircraft remains optimistic about the future of its SpaceJet program despite another development delay, saying it now has a “ certificate design” that will enable M90 flight testing to commence.

“We have made significant changes to our organization and improvements in the way we do business,” the company says on February 6.  ”We have also made a myriad of changes to the design of our aircraft.”

At the Paris air show in 2019, Mitsubishi aircraft rebranded the MRJ as SpaceJet, cancelled development of the 69-seat MRJ70 and launched a new 76 variant the M100.   Meanwhile,M90 certification work has continued.

Mitsubishi Aircraft says its latest test aircraft, designated “10010”, puts the company on a path to certification.

“With the completion of aircraft 10010, we have a baseline certifiable design that will allow us to achieve certification and set the stage for the future of the Spacejet family of aircraft,” Mitsubishi Aircraft says.  ”However, as we evaluate the impact of all these changes, it has become clear that we will not achieve certification in FY2020.

Source: Mitsubishi Aircraft/Picture Mitsubishi Aircraft

               Boeing, Embraer Partnership Cleared by Brasilia 

Boeing and Embraer have secured approval of their planned partnership from authorities in Brazil.

The latest approval for the pair’s two proposed joint ventures comes from Brazil’s Council for Economic Defense(CADE).  It follows clearance from jurisdictions such as the USA, China, Japan, South Africa, Montenegro, Colombia, and Kenya.  Only the European Commission has yet to approve it .

“Boeing and Embraer welcome the unconditional approval of their strategic partnership by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) General-Superintendence(SG) in Brazil,” says Marc Allen, Boeing’s president of Ember partnership & group operations. 

The decision is final in 15 days, unless CADE commissioners request a review.As for the European Commission, discussions have been underway since 2018.

The pact envisages the two companies forming two joint ventures.One will comprise commercial aircraft and services, with Boeing holding 80% and Embraer 20%.

The other joint venture will develop markets for the Embaer’s C-390 Millennium tactical transport, in which Embraer will own 51% and Boeing 49%.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing 



          Credit Suisse Launches Aviation Financing Subsidiary 

Credit Suisse has launched an aviation liquidity subsidiary that aims to help actors in the aviation and air transport industry manage short-term transactions involving leased aircraft.

The company, to be called SCAL Aviation, will be headquartered in Dublin, the Swiss bank said on January 16.

SCALE will be an aviation conduit and liquidity provider for investors, aircraft lessors, airlines, and aviation manufacturers, facilitating aviation asset acquisitions, dispositions, capital markets financings, and investments.  Targeting short-term warehousing of aviation assets, SCALE will assist aviation industry clients with fleet transitions, financing, and ease of execution to provide greater execution certainty around portfolio trading activities.

The subsidiary will only deal in new or used commercial aircraft, not private jets, provide its services only on aircraft with lease attached, rather than speculative orders.

“SCALE is not an aviation lessor and will not be building long term investment portfolio of aircraft, the statement says.

Source : Credit Suisse

           ANA 321LR order Signals Change in Thinking on A321neo

All Nippon Airways(ANA) has placed its first orders for the A321neo Airbus Cabin Flex(ACF) version, which it will take as the A321LR extended range variant.  The decision is significant as the airline had previously retained its contract for the original A321neo cabin configuration.

The A321LR order has been placed by parent company ANA Holdings through a swap of two existing A320neo orders.  The A321LRs will be delivered in FY 2022 and 2023.

ANA was launch operator for the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered A321neo, taking its first in September 2017.  It now operates a fleet of 11 A321neos, all of which are built to the A321 original door configuration, with four cabin doors on each side.

The airline had a further 11 A321neos on backlog prior to the A321LR announcement, according to Cirium fleets data.  ANA has continued to take this original A321neo layout to retain fleet commonality, despite the introduction of the improved ACF version in July 2018.

Source : Flightglobal/Picture ANA

    Japanese Start-up Zipair Indicates Plans for Transpacific Flights

Japanese start-up Zipair is positioning itself as a mid-to long-haul carrier and has plans for transpacific flights.

The Japan Airlines subsidiary, which aims to operate a fleet of 10 Boeing 787s, notes the Dreamliner’s status as the best seller among major Japanese carriers.  As such, the ease of procurement and maintenance makes it a good choice for transpacific routes, the airline said during a joint media briefing with Boeing at the Singapore air show.

Zipair aims to be the first low-cost carrier to operate the sector, after it obtains ETOPS certification.  It meets the criteria on two of three fronts—maintenance and flight management, by virtue of tapping on JAL resources—and is working on pilot training.

Prior to that, the Tokyo Narita-based airline will launch in May, first with Bangkok flights, followed by a Seoul service in July.

Zipair says it aims to become a “new basic” class of carriers, one that sits between the low-cost and full-service categories that have the aviation industry “polarised”. “As a mid-to long-haul carrier, I don’t want our customers to feel exhausted by our flights,” says Zipair president Shingo Nishida.

Nishida tells Cirium that Zipair currently has two 787s transferred from JAL.  Its target of 10 787s by 2024 still holds and broadly, expects to receive two aircraft from JAL each year.

Source: JAL/Flightglobal/Picture Zipair



  • Engine Leasing Specialist Willis Lease Finance has ordered up to 60 CFM International Leap power plants for both the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 Max families.
  • Braathens Regional Airlines has axed a long-standing order for Airbus A220s, and plans to wet-lease Embraer 190s for regional jet operations.
  • Aerion Supersonic has selected several more suppliers of components for its in -development AS2 jet, which the company hopes will conduct a first flight in 2024.                        
  • Emirates has ordered two Boeing 777X full-flight simulators from training provider CAE, with first expected to arrive in 2021.
  • ATR delivered its first of two ATR 42-600s to Hokkaido Air Systems to replace its Saab 340s.
  • Air Canada took delivery of its first of 45 Airbus A220-300s from the Miracle A220 program facilities.
  • ANA’s third and final Airbus A380 rolled out from the airframes’s paint shop in Hamburg on January 24.                                                                                                                               
  • Scandinavian Airlines(SAS) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 as part of an extensive fleet modernization program.                                                                               
  • Congo Airways has signed a firm order for two Embraer E175 in a deal valued at $194 million based on list prices.  The agreement also includes purchase rights for a further two aircraft.                                                                                                                                   
  • Air Macau has accepted its first Airbus A321neo on long-term lease from Air Lease Corporation.

Sources : ATW, Flightglobal, Airbus, SAS, Air Lease, Air Canada, Emirates, ANA.



                      FedEx Takes First 767 at Higher Production Rate                                     

Boeing has delivered the first 767-300 Freighter to FedEx Express, built at the increased production rate.

Boeing has been producing the all-cargo twinjet at a rate of 2.5 aircraft per month but has increased this to three a month this year.  The 767s are built at Boeing’s primary wide body production facility in Everett, Washington.

To help improve efficiency as the rate increases, Boeing last year transferred assembly of the 767’s forward fuselage to Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita.

Spirit previously made sections of the 787’s forward fuselage and shipped them to Everett where the Section 41 was assembled.

The 767, which has been in production for almost four decades, has experienced increasing demand from cargo operators.  It is also being produced as the KC-46A military tanker for the USA and Japan.  The current backlog stands at 94 aircraft, comprising 54 freighters for FedEX and UPS, and 40 tankers.

Source: Boeing/Picture Boeing

   Lessor BBAM Orders Three Boeing Converted Freighters                                     

Aircraft lessor BBAM has ordered three 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters, Boeing disclosed.

Three of the lessor’s existing fleet will be converted, says Boeing.  BBAM manages 133 737-800s, as well as two 737-800BCFs operated by China Postal Airlines.

The Lessor bills itself as ”the only manager in the aircraft leasing industry focused exclusively on generating investment returns for third-party investors”.

Chief executive Steve Zissis states that the 737-800 is “an integral part of BBAM’s managed fleet of commercial passenger jet aircraft” and notes “strong interest from customers in the standard-body freighter”.

He adds: “We chose Boeing’s conversion program because we believe it maximizes the platform’s capability and reliability.”

Boeing says the 737-800BCF, which entered service in 2018, has won a total of 130 orders and commitments.

In its Commercial Market Outlook forecast, which has a 20-year span, Boeing predicts demand for 2,820 freighters, including 1,220 standard-body passenger-to-freighter conversions.

Source : Boeing/Picture Boeing     



Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact –

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

The Kaplanian Report – January 2020


              KLM Took Delivery of Two Boeing Aircraft In December

On December 19, KLM took delivery of its 31st 737-800 and last 737-800 from the production line.  It bears the name “Redcrested Pochard”, all 737s are named after birds; KLM has fifty two Boeing 737s in its fleet: sixteen 737-700s thirty one 737-800s and five 737-900s.

On December 21, KLM took delivery of its 4th 787-10 bearing the name “Snow drop”.   All KLM Dreamliners are named after flowers or flowering plants.  With the arrival of Snow drop, KLM has seventeen Boeing 787s in its fleet: thirteen 787-9s and four 787-10s.

Source: KLM Newsroom



     Airbus Delivers First A350s with Touchscreen Cockpit Displays

Airbus has commenced deliveries to airlines of the first A350s equipped with pioneering new touchscreen cockpit displays.

On December 18th, China Eastern Airlines took delivery in Toulouse of the first A350 equipped with the new devices.  To date, around 20 airlines have selected the option for their new A350s.  Airbus developed the systems with Thales, a French aerospace electronics maker.

Boeing is also working to introduce touchscreens into the Cockpit forward displays in its 777-9 and eventually 777-8.   Boeing said in 2016 its aircraft designer decided to introduce the touchscreens in the 777-9 and -8 cockpits to make it even more intuitive and easy for pilots.

Of the A350 cockpit’s six large screens, three can now become touch capable:  the two outer displays plus the lower-center display.  These displays now offer touchscreen capability for pilots when presenting Electronic Flight Bag(EFB) applications.  This new method of input complements the existing physical keyboard integrated into the retractable table in front of each pilot and also the keyboard and trackball “keyboard-cursor control unit” (KCCU) located on the center console.

Source : Airbus/Picture Airbus




                   Boeing Bullish Over BBJ 777-X Sales Prospects

Boeing stated in the recent Dubai Air Show that the interest in the VVIP airliner has been “strong”, particularly in the Middle East, and it hopes to secure the first sales for the latest wide body this year.

“ We have several exciting prospects for the for the BBJX from Governments, heads of state and very wealthy private individuals and expect this year be a very interesting year,” says acting BBJ president James Detwiler.

Like the commercial aircraft on which it is based, the BBJ 777X will be available in-8 and -9 variants, joining the 787-8/9, and 777-200LR/300ER in the BBJ Twin-aisle family.

Detwiler says the BBJ 777X is “far superior” to its predecessor, with GE aviation GE9X engines and a new, more advanced composite wing key to delivering” engined fuel efficiency”.

The -9 will be the first to market at the end of 2021.  Boeing plans to begin delivering the commercial variant that year.

Source : Boeing Business Jets

           Air Kiribati Takes Delivery of its First Embraer 190-E2

Air Kiribati, the flag carrier of the central Pacific island nation of the same name, has taken delivery of the first of two Embraer 190-E2 jets; giving the ability to significantly expand its footprint and directly connect parts of the far flung republic which comprises 32 atolls and one raised coral island across all four hemispheres.

The E-19-E2 aircraft will allow the airline to operate longer-haul domestic and international routes; including connections that had so far been beyond the reach of its fleet of two Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otters, one Bombardier Dash 8 and one Harbin Y-12.

With a maximum range of 2,850nm, Air Kiribati’s E190-E2, delivered on December 30, will be able to fly nonstop from the country’s capital Tarawa to Kiritimati(Christmas)Island.   An atoll belonging to the country, one of the most challenging routes in the Pacific. To date, the domestic flight from Tarawa to Kiritimati required an international stopover in Fiji.

In December 2018,  Embraer and Air Kiribati, signed a purchase agreement for two E190-E2 variant and took a purchase rights on two more with a total list price of $243 million.

Source: Embraer/Embraer Picture



                       Bamboo Airways Gains IOSA Certification

Vietnamese carrier Bamboo Airways received its Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification on the 3rd of January, nearly a year after launch.  This will pave its way to becoming an IATA member in the near future, the carrier says.

Bamboo Airways took delivery of its first 787-9 on December 22, 2019.  And passed the requisite safety audit that covers eight areas contributing to airline operational safety.  These are corporate organization and management systems, flight operations, flight dispatch, aircraft engineering and maintenance, cabin operations, ground handling, cargo operations, as well as operational security.

The Carrier launched in January 2019 and Cirium schedules data shows its first flight took off in March. It mostly services the domestic market but launched four international routes in October and November: from Cam Ranh to Seoul and Macau, and from Da Nang to Seoul and Taipei.

The carrier is targeting 30 aircraft by the first quarter of this year, including four 787-9s, and hopes to expand its network to 25 international routes within the year.

Source: Flightglobal/Picture Boeing

          Azerbaijan to Double Fleet with Airbus, Boeing Aircraft

The Azerbaijani government-owned carrier Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) will buy more than 20 new aircraft to develop its route network as plans continue to more than double its fleet.

To build up long-haul routes, AZAL has signed an agreement for two Boeing 777s, which will go into service in 2020-2021.

AZAL president, Jahangir Askerov, said the airline is ready to discuss the purchase of three more 777s, as well as Boeing 787s.  ”This will allow us to expand our long-haul flight geography,” he said.  The Azerbaijani carrier became the first operator for the later type in post-Soviet area in 2014.

AZAL is also in negotiations with Airbus for 10 A320neos to increase its narrowbody capacity.  The airline had initially planned to start receiving the same amount of Boeing 737MAX aircraft from the end of 2019, but deferred the deal to 2024 after the type’s grounding.

AZAL now operates 18 aircraft, including four A319s and six A320s, as well as two each A340-500s, Boeing 757-200s, 767-300s and 787-8s.

Source: Air Transport World/Picture Azerbaijan Airlines

        Royal Jordanian Ranked in AirlineRatings Top 20 Global Airlines List

Royal Jordanian closed 2019 with another positive record, according to an airline safety and product review website, listed Royal Jordanian (RJ) as one of the top 20 safest airlines in the world in its list of “Top Twenty Safest Airlines 2020”.    They were selected from a pool of 405 different airlines it monitors.

Among the top 20 safest airlines are four Arab Airlines: Etihad, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Royal Jordanian.   Australia’s Qantas topped the list, ranking 1st.

The Safety-rating system in this list was developed based on different factors, including airlines’ compliance with international regulations, the age of their fleet of aircraft, safety innovation, operational excellence and the utilization of new, more advanced, aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

RJ’s President/CEO Stefan Pichler said: “We are pleased with this rating among other big international carriers.  RJ has been known for its great record in safety and operations for the past 56 years’ result of the hard work of its employees, who are keen to maintain this high standard. We will continue the hard work to keep our high international position and improve our operations, products and services, thus making sure to always offer our passengers the best.”

Source: Arabian AeroSpace/Picture Royal Jordanian



  • Sun Country Airlines has signed a six year deal with Amazon to operate 10 Boeing 737-800F freighters for Amazon Prime starting this spring.
  • Singapore Airlines when Singapore Airlines has announced it will fold Subsidiary SilkAir into Singapore Airlines including its 17 Boeing 737-800s and six grounded Max 8s.SilkAir is currently transitioning to an all-737 fleet.  This entry was posted in Singapore Airlines and tagged 9V-MBN, Boeing 737 Max 8, MSN 44258, Singapore Airlines on December 20, 2019.                                                                                                      
  • Icelandair Cargo handles all shipments to and from Iceland for FedEx and TNT, following a new three-year agreement going into effect early this year.
  • Airbus plans to boost A320neo production at its Mobile, Alabama, site to seven aircraft monthly in 2021.
  • All Nippon Airways(ANA) will take delivery of its last of three Airbus A380s, which have been specially dedicated on its Tokyo-Honolulu routes.
  • BOC Aviation has placed an order for 20 Airbus A320neos, with at least committed to new customer Avianca.
  • Avianca Colombian airline has cancelled 20 Airbus A320neo purchase commitments and delayed Airbus deliveries of A320neos until 2025, making another step in the carrier’s financial transformation effort.
  • KLM Cityhopper firms up an order for Embraer E-195-E2 jets and adds six further aircraft.
  • Emirates retains 777-8s in revised 777x order, the airline is expecting to receive 101 777-9s and 25 777-8s.
  • Embraer E175_E2 made its inaugural flight from the company’s facility in Sao Jose dos Campos.  The maiden flight kicks of a rigorous 24-month flight test campaign.                     

Sources: Embraer, Airbus, Flightglobal, Emirates,Singapore Airlines

                                      AIR CARGO

                         Atlas Air Lands El Al As New Customer

El Al Israel Airlines is outsourcing operation of its main freight route between Tel Aviv and Liege, Belgium, to Atlas Air Inc. under unexpended charter arrangement.

Atlas, an aviation services company headquartered in Purchase, N.Y., said on January 7 it is leasing an El Al  Boeing 747-400 freighter, operating it with its crew and providing maintenance and insurance (ACMI) beginning this month.

El Al, a new customer for Atlas, is experiencing strong growth in demand across its freight network, according to the announcement.  The Israeli carrier sells space on the plane and covers expenses such as ground handling, landing fees and fuel.

No terms of the commercial cooperation were disclosed, but ACMI deals typically run for one to three years.

El Al opted for the turnkey”wet” lease with Atlas because in the past year it ended use of Boeing 747s in its own fleet and switched to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Source : Atlas Air Worldwide/Picture Atlas Air Worldwide



               China’s Bid to Challenge Boeing and Airbus Falters

Development of China’s C919 single-aisle plane, already at least five years behind schedule and going slower than expected, a dozen people familiar with the program told Reuters, as the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation(COMAC) struggles with a range of technical issues that have severely restricted test flights.

Delays are common in complex aerospace programs, but the especially slow progress is a potential embarrassment to China, which has invested heavily in its first serious attempt to break the hold of Boeing and Airbus on the global jet market.

The most recent problem came down to a mathematical error, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

COMAC engineers miscalculated the forces that would be placed on the plane’s twin engines in flight -known in the industry as loads- and sent inaccurate data to the engine manufacturer, CFM International, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters.As a result the engine and its housing may both have to be reinforced, the people said, most likely at COMAC’s expense-though another source denied any modification. 

That and other technical and structural glitches meant that by early December, after more than two and a half years of flight testing, COMAC had completed less than a fifth of the 4,200 hrs in the air that it needs for final approval by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, two people close to the project told Reuters.

COMAC did not respond to Reuters requests for comment for this story.  CFM, a joint venture between General Electric and France’s Safran, declined comment.

COMAC has still not finalized the correct calculations and data to send to the engine manufacturer, which are key to ensuring that the engine does not fail under heavy loads.

The engine miscalculation does not reflect a lack of theoretical understanding – China has been putting people in space for almost two decades.  But it does illustrate the national aerospace manufacturer’s lack of experience in designing and building commercial aircraft.

It also found a gearbox attached to the engine was vulnerable to cracking, which caused and engine to shut down during a test flight, three sources told Reuters, a problem that potentially affects all six C919 jets now invest flights.   Regular inspections of the gearbox to check for cracks and leaking oil have curtailed COMAC’s flight test program, they said.

The gearbox problem, discovered in 2018 and not previously reported, was due to unexpected vibrations, two sources told Reuters.  Engineers on the program have found ways to minimize the risk, the sources said.

The accumulation of problems has put COMAC significantly behind schedule, which will prove costly.  The C919 is designed to compete with the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo families.

Most industry forecasters now expect the prolonged cyclical boom in demand to fade this year’s business confidence wanes amid geopolitical tensions, meaning the plane that debuts in 2021 or 2022 will likely miss out on orders for years to come.

Source : Reuters       




Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact –

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 


The Kaplanian Report December 2019


           With Hushed Fanfare, Boeing Rolls out the 737 MAX 10

On November 22, Boeing quietly unveiled the first flight-test Max 10, a variant designed to compete closely with the Airbus A321neo. The first flight expects to be sometime next year. The aircraft, which is more than a simple stretch,  features a revised main landing gear design.

Boeing launched the Max 10, the largest variant of the Max line-up, at the Paris Air Show in 2017 as a competitor to the A321neo.  The Max 10 will be capable of seating up to 230 passengers, and is around 1.6m (5ft 3in) longer than the Max 9.   The longer fuselage potentially required taller landing gear to ensure the appropriate clearance between the rear fuselage and ground during take-off rotation.

However, a taller gear would have required extensive changes to items such as the main gear wheel wells Boeing incorporated a semi-levered main gear design.  This enables the gear to extend 241mm (9.5in) upon rotation during take-off run and provides the required clearance. A steel compressing mechanism called a “shrink link” pulls the inner cylinder as the gear retracts.

The design shown (see picture) is similar to the gear on the 777-300.  It preserves commonality within the Max family by allowing the landing gear to be accommodated into the same wheel well as other Max variants.

The muted debut was understandable, as Boeing continues to work trying to return its grounded existing MAX jets to service.  The newest MAX has more than 550 orders and commitments from more than 20 customers.

Source : Boeing/Picture Boeing



                      BelugaXL Receives EASA Type Certification

The BelugaXL has received its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), paving the way for entry-into-service by early 2020.

The aircraft is an integral part of Airbus’ industrial system and a key enabler for production ramp-up requirements beyond 2019. The BelugaXL allows for 30% extra transport capacity being seven meters (23.62 feet) longer than its BelugaST predecessor.

With the largest cargo bay cross-section, the BelugaXL can carry two A350 XWB wings compared to the BelugaST, which  can only carry one.  With a maximum payload of 51 tons, the BelugaXL has a range of 4,000 km (2200 nm).

The aircraft gets its stamp of approval following an flight test campaign that saw the BelugaXL complete more more than 200 flight tests, clocking over 700 flight hours.  In total, six aircraft will be built between 2019 and 2023, gradually replacing the current fleet of BelugaST transport.

Launched in November 2014,The BelugaXL is based an A330-200 freighters large re-use of existing components and equipment.  The Beluga XT is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.

Source : Airbus/Pictures Airbus       



                                   Pilatus Has Delivered its 1,700th PC-12

The all-metal PC-12 NG, the 1,700th, was handed over to one of Pilatus’s oldest and largest customers, Jefly.  The Luxembourg-based fractional ownership operator has the biggest inventory of PC-12s in Europe, with 40 aircraft in Service.

Pilatus says over 7 million flying hours have been logged by the worldwide PC-12 fleet to date; with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67 P-powered type deployed for range of roles including air ambulance, corporate and charters well as by owner flyers.

The Stans, Switzerland headquarterd airframer describes the PC-12 as a “reliable, efficient aircraft” that is flown by customers” who know they can depend on it for many years of excellent operation.”

Pilatus launched a third generation version of the 10-seat single in October, called the PC-12NGX.The aircraft features a number of enhancements over the NG model, including a PT6E-67XP turboprop engine featuring electronic propeller and engine control systems; a revamped cockpit with digital autothrottle, a redesigned cabin with a choice of BMW Designworks interiors and larger windows to deliver more natural light.

With European and US certification for the NGX already secured, Pilatus in now preparing the first examples for service entry early next year.

Source : Pilatus/Picture Pilatus                                                                



GE Aviation Fixed GE9X Problem That Delayed First Flight of 777X

GE Aviation completed the final tests on the GE9X, clearing the way for the 777X flight tests to begin.

It is solved.  It is fixed, and it’s fixed robustly,” GE Aviation’s (GE9X program manager, Ted Ingling, says of the GE9X stator vane problem that delayed the 777X’s flight test program.  “It is better to have found it in the factory than find it in the field.”

We fixed the assembly to make it more durable,” adds Ingling, “The performance and operational characteristics of the engine did not change.”  The 105,000 lb-thrust (467kN) GE9X is the only power option for both 777X variants-the 777-8 and larger 777-9.

GE Aviation is now completing certification testing on two engines.  One is undergoing an “endurance test”, which examines engine performance when operated for extended periods at “ redline temperatures and redline speed rotors”, says Ingling.

The other engine is being subjected to a “vibration endurance” test, during which engineers run it with rotor imbalances.  That test will help determine the engine’s ability to withstand such conditions and help establish procedures pilots will use to respond to issues.

GE Aviation had halted testing after discovering a problem with stator vanes at the front end of the GE9X’s high-pressure compressor. The issue eventually forced Boeing to delay the 777-9’s first flight from 2019 to its current expectation of early 2020.

“It’s a lesson learned for us,” Ingling says.  ”The unfortunate part of this learning was that it came late in the game.” The problem forced GE aviation to recall from Boeing four GE9X “compliance engines” — those used for 777X test flights.  Two of those engines are already on the wings of a test aircraft, Ingling says.

Source : GE Aviation/Picture GE Aviation


China Approved Boeing’s Proposed Acquisition of Embraer’s Commercial Division,  Removing Another Hurdle to a Deal.  Still Under Particular Scrutiny by European Regulators.

Embraer, confirms China has green lighted the transaction, which calls for Boeing to buy 80% of Embraer’s commercial aircraft unit for $4.2 billion.  The  Brazilian manufacturer would retain a 20% stake of the division, which Boeing intends to rename Boeing Brasil—Commercial.

“ We have received unconditional clearance to close our transaction from almost all jurisdictions, including the United States, China and Japan,” Embraer says in a statement.   “We continue to cooperate with the remaining jurisdictions as the assess our transaction and look forward to a positive resolution.”

The European Commission seems to be the sticking point.  Several weeks ago, Embraer executives announced the deal’s closing delayed to no sooner than March 2020, due to the Commission deciding to conduct a more thorough review.

The acquisition proposal calls for Embraer’s entire commercial aircraft business to transfer into Boeing’s control, including its hugely successful E-Jet program, commercial aircraft services and related engineering expertise.

Source : Flightglobal


 FAA Approves Boeing 737 Distress Tracking Device

On November 20th, aircraft tracking system provider Blue Sky Network  announced FAA certification for its autonomous distress tracking (ADT) device on Boeing 737 airliners.

Blue Sky Network said its HawkEye ADT, was granted approved model list supplemental type certificate(AML-STC) authorization for the 737 types; the first device to comply with an upcoming international recommended standard for autonomous distress tracking.

The HawkEye ADT automatically reports aircraft 4D Global Navigation Satellite system position data via Iridium modem for normal operations and defined distress anomalies.  The unit incorporates an altitude and heading reference system module that can autonomously determine a possible distress condition.

Position report messages are routed to an airline operations center using Blue Sky Network’s Sky Router aircraft tracking software platform.  The HawkEye ADT derives power from the aircraft’s electrical bus and contains a battery in the event of a power failure.

Source: Air Transport World/Picture Blue Sky Network




  • Bamboo Airways is set to take  its first Boeing 787-9 aircraft during this month from GECAS on operating leases.GECAS subsequently confirmed that the two aircraft would be transferred to the carrier from an existing lessee.

  • Emirates ordered 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to complement its 777-8 and 777-9 on order.

  • Condor German leisure carrier has reverted to a previous corporate logo for its fleet, distancing the airline from its collapsed former parent Thomas Cook Group.

  • Air Astana Kazakhstan’s flag carrier has signed a letter of intent covering 30 Boeing 737 Max jets which will be placed with newly launched low-cost unit FlyArystan.
  • KLM will say goodbye to the Airbus 330 fleet in the coming years at which time will only be flying exclusively Boeing aircraft.
  • Garuda Indonesia will lease two Boeing 737-800 converted freighters from GECAS from mid-2020.
  • Airbus has unveiled the first A220 painted in the colors of Air Canada, coming ahead of expected first delivery of the type to the carrier this month.
  • Binter Spanish regional carrier has received its first Embraer 195-E2 from the Brazilian manufacturer.

  • SAS Has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, one of eight of the twinsets the carrier has on order.

  • El Al Israeli airline has signed for the financing of its first Boeing 787-8, which was delivered during the month of November.



              Lockheed Martin Gained Certification for its LM-100J

Lockheed Martin gained US civil certification for its LM-100J commercial Freighter.  US Federal Aviation Administration approval was received on November 15, after 150h flight-test campaign, says Lockheed.

Cargo services provider Pallas Aviation will put the initial example of the LM-100J into service in the first quarter of 2020; following training of maintenance crews and pilots in Marietta, Georgia.

The LM-100J features new avionics an updated flight-management system and carbon brakes, among other modifications for the commercial market.

Lockheed delivered 115 of the earlier L-100 commercial freighters before production ended in 1992 and 35 aircraft remain in service, it says.  The company expects operators of those aircraft to make up a large portion of LM-100J’s future orders.

Lockheed has taken orders for five LM-100Js so far, including the two for Pallas.It forecasts total sales of up to 45 units.

Source : Lockheed/Picture Lockheed


Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

                          Boeing Global Services Aiming for “Good Growth”

Boeing Global Services (BGS) is continuing to outpace the market as it pursues a target of achieving $50 billion in revenues by 2025, according to the division’s new CEO, Ted Colbert.

However, achieving that target-which Colbert described aspirational- will not be done simply by chasing volume.

“ Part of our goal is to have good growth, profitable growth.  There are lots of opportunities that could allow us to have lots of revenue at low levels of Profitability.”

Services-which covers a myriad of areas; such as spares, MRO and training-is a relatively low-key sector but one that is rapidly growing in importance. Training, for example is taking center stage, given the huge numbers of new pilots that will be needed to fuel the growth in aviation-notably in Asia-over the next 20 years.

BGS estimates the Middle East market for services at $225 billion over the next decade.  Its presence in the region include a parts distribution center in Dubai.

Source: Arabian Aerospace.







Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact –

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 








The Kaplanian Report – November 2019


   Boeing Inks Digital Service Training Deals with Korean Carriers

Korean Air signed a 10-year agreement with Boeing for digital navigation services, as well as electronic flight bag(EFB) solutions offered by Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen.  The Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro EFB solution will offer pilots digital charting and navigation information.

The Partnership was inked on the sidelines of this year’s Seoul ADEX, and sees Korean Air and Jin Air renewing their contracts for pilot training services.  The five-year agreement covers both carriers’ Boeing fleet, such as the Boeing 737s, 777s and 787s.  Boeing Global Services did not indicate the value of these contracts.

Late September, (see October edition of for more details) the business unit clinched nearly $50 million worth of orders and contracts from Asia Pacific carriers, primarily for the digital products.

It has forecast that the Asia Pacific commercial aviation services market will grow by 5% per annum over the next twenty years and estimates the sector to be worth $3.4 billion by 2038.

Source : Boeing      



        A350-1000 to be Airbus’s Lead Candidate for Project Sunrise

Airbus is putting forward a longer-range A350-1000 as its lead contender for Qantas’s ultra-long-haul initiative, Project Sunrise, as the Australian carrier prepares to conduct test flights using Boeing 787-9s.

Qantas had requested submissions from both both Airbus and Boeing which would meet the challenging demands of Project Sunrise, which aims to provide nonstop services to Australian east coast cities from NewYork and London.

It is conducting three simulations of Project Sunrise routes- from London and New York to Sydney- using 787-9s on “repurposed” delivery flights in October, November and December, the carrier states.  The 787s will carry only around 40 people to ensure sufficient range.

While 787s are already used by Qantas on nonstop services between London Heathrow and Perth, Boeing is offering the 777-8 as its Project Sunrise candidate— although development of the long-range twinjet has been put on hold.

Airbus confirmed it is offering a version of the A350-1000 in the Qantas ultra-long -haul competition around its Project Sunrise initiative that would enable the airline to launch nonstop flights from Australia’s east coast to London and New York, among others.  “The airplane will be available in the timeframe required by Qantas at the end of 2022,” Airbus head of A350 marketing, Marisa Luisa Ugena said.

Source : Airbus/Flightglobal         



     Embraer’s E190-E2 Program Named 2019 PMI Project of the Year

According to the Project Management Institute, the world’s leading association for the project management profession, the E190-E2 was an extremely complex program.  It is a virtually new airplane, new production system, a new and more connected airplane and customer support, and a new global supply chain spread throughout the US,Brazil,Europe and Asia.

The PMI Project of the Year Award recognizes a large and complex project that best delivers superior performance in terms of project management practices, superior organizational results, and positive impacts on society.

The institute also highlighted Embraer’s challenge to bring a family of commercial aircraft to market on schedule and on budgets as well as exceeding performance targets.

“The E2 represents a new benchmark for crossover jets, and we are honored to receive this prestigious award, recognizing the excellence of all Embraer’s teams involved in the program,” said Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer’s vice president of strategy, innovation and former COO of Ember Commercial Aviation.

Source : Embraer    



Korea’s Carrier Air Premia has Committed to Acquire Five Boeing 787-9s           

Boeing did not specify a delivery timeline for the five aircraft; the commitment has yet to be finalized into a firm order.

At the start of the year, the Seoul-based carrier said that it plans to operate 10 787-9s over a five-year period, of which five would come from lessors.  In April it signed a lease agreement to take three 787s from Air lease.

“We are honored to welcome Air Premia as Boeing’s newest customer.    As new entrants in Asia continue to launch innovative business models and strategies for growth, we are excited that Air Premia have selected the 787-9 Dreamliner to power their future fleet,” says Boeing’s senior vice-president of commercial sales and marketing Ihsanne Mounir.

Air Premia plans to begin services in September 2020, starting off with services within Asia before expanding into long-haul routes in 2021.

Source : Boeing/Picture Boeing                                                                                                            

               Vietnam Airlines has Hit The 100-Aircraft Milestone                                   

Vietnam Airlines has hit the 100-aircraft milestone with the delivery of a Boeing 787-10, its third example of the variant.

The airline celebrated the arrival of the aircraft with a ceremony at Hanoi’s Not Bai International Airport, attended by deputy prime minister Truong Hoa Binh.

“ This opens up new development opportunities for Vietnam Airlines on its quest to leverage Vietnam’s aviation industry among leading airlines in the region and the world,” says company chairman Pham Ngoc Minh.  The airline has used the type between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, as well as on services to South Korea.

Cirium fleets data shows that Vietnam Airlines operates 53 Airbus A321s, 14 A321 neos, 14 A350-900s, 11 787-9s, three 787-10s, and five ATR-500s.  In October 2018, the airline operated 86 aircraft.

Source: Flightglobal/Vietnam Airlines                                                                                                    

Seattle’s AeroTEC inks Deal to Modify Qantas Boeing 747-400 into Rolls-Royce Testbed Aircraft

AeroTEC of Seattle has inked a deal with Rolls-Royce to convert a retired Qantas 747 into a testbed aircraft for evaluating new engines and engine technology.

Under the deal announced on October 15 at Moses Lake, Washington  Rolls-Royce has bought a retired Qantas Airways 747-400 airliner that flew passengers for more than 20 years as part of a $70 million investment in new engine technologies that will be tested at the former Air Force B-52 bomber base.

AeroTEC engineers and technicians will spend the next two years converting the 747 from a passenger jet with 364 seats to a state-of-art flying testbed equipped with instruments and systems that record measurements of in-flight engine performance.

Rolls-Royce took delivery of the Qantas 747-400 at AeroTEC flight test center in Moses Lake on Monday, October 14 after it flew from a storage facility in Southern California.

Gareth Hedicker, a Rolls-Royce director of development and experimental engineering said the collaboration with AeroTEC involves a “significant investment” that will transform the 747 into “ the jewel in the crown of our global test programs.”

Source: Rolls-Royce/picture Rolls-Royce    



  • Vietjet Vietnamese low-cost  carrier has placed a firm order for 20 Airbus A321XLRs, making it the first airline to operate the type when it enters service in 2023.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) has issued a proposed airworthiness directive(AD) for the problem-plagued Pratt& Whitney PW1100G engines that power Airbus A320neo-family aircraft.


  • Garuda Indonesia will lease two Boeing 737-800 converted freighters from GECAS from mid-2020.


  • Boeing Business Jets has taken two orders for BBJ 787-9s from a single unidentified VIP customer.

  • Ural Airlines has received its first Airbus A321neo, the third aircraft from the re-engined family to enter the Russian carrier’s fleet.

  • Cebu Pacific has firmed up its commitment to acquire 16 Airbus A330-900 aircraft, first made at the Paris air show in June.


  • GE Aviation delivers the first flight-ready GE-9X engine to Boeing paving the way for the Boeing 777-9 flight tests to resume.


  • Chinese MRO Firm Ameco will conduct the world’s first D-check on a Lufthansa Boeing 747-8.


  • Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (GAMECO) will open a Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) production line at its Guangzhou base. 


  • El Al Israeli Airline has flown its final 747 flight from Rome to Tel Aviv on November 3rd.


                  Lufthansa Cargo Orders Two 777-200FLR Freighters                               

Lufthansa Cargo has ordered a further two Boeing 777 Freighters as it accelerates the retirement of its remaining MD-11Fs.

The freighter operator says the latest order is part of a fleet modernization program that will see the carrier retire its 10 MD-11Fs by the end of 2020, four years ahead of a previous target.  The 777Fs will be based at the carrier’s hub in Frankfurt.

Lufthansa Cargo says the higher capacity and range of the new aircraft would allow it to achieve the same performance with fewer aircraft movements.

With a maximum capacity of 103t, the 777F  is around 20% more efficient than the MD-11F, which has a 93t capacity.  Range for the 777F is listed as 4,970nm (9,200km).

The airline currently operates seven 777Fs, alongside its ten MD-11Fs.   In addition to its own fleet,  Lufthansa Cargo can utilize the cargo capacity of four 777Fs operated by Aerologic, a joint venture between the German carrier and DHL.

Source : Lufthansa/Picture Lufthansa Cargo


Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

      Rolls-Royce Counts Cost of Failed 1000 TEN Redesign                                         

After some fumbled early communications, Rolls-Royce has been relatively open about the ongoing issues affecting its Trent 1000 engines.

Unfortunately, such transparency also serves as a reminder of how the manufacturer has consistently underestimated the scale of its problems.  In its latest trading update, Rolls-Royce predicts that Trent 1000 problems across all variants will cost about $3.1 billion (2.4 pounds) from 2017-2023, which is about 1billion pounds more than forecast a little over a year ago.

Having certified fixes for the durability problems affecting Package B and C variants of the Trent 1000, Rolls is now focusing on the newest iteration, the Trent 1000 TEN.

Ironically it was this engine, which share just 25% parts commonality with earlier builds, that was supposed to put Trent 1000 problems to bed; instead, its issues appear to be among the most serious.

The OEM had hoped to start retrofitting a redesigned high-pressure turbine blade for the TEN from 2020, only to announce the first week of this month that even the redesign “will not deliver a sufficient level of enhanced durability.”  Asa result it has penciled in the retrofits for early 2021.

According to Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East, the delay “will give our customers and ourselves a higher degree of certainty as we plan for the servicing of the fleet over the coming years.”

Source : Rolls-Royce/Picture Rolls-Royce





Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact –

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

The Kaplanian Report – October 2019


               Boeing Global Services Continues to Be On the Roll

Boeing’s services business has signed a series of orders and contracts from Asia-Pacific carriers, primarily for its digital products.

This comes on the back of a Boeing Global Services forecast projecting the Asia-Pacific commercial aviation services market will grow 5% annually over the next twenty years.  By 2038, it is estimated to be worth $3.4 billion.

Boeing announced that Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo signed a deal for crew and aircraft scheduling and management solutions offered by Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen.

Japanese low-cost operator Peach Aviation has signed for Boeing’s digital aircraft positioning products.  Chinese carriers, Shandong Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines, both renewed multi-year contracts for various Jeppesen products as well.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific and Philippine Airlines inked deals with Boeing for performance improvement packages for their Boeing 777-300ER fleets.

The second version of the packages feature aircraft modifications, associated retrofit parts kits and accompanying service bulletins.  These  will improve aircraft fuel efficiency, payload and range capability without requiring airlines to significantly change operational policies or procedures, says Boeing.

Lastly, Malaysia Airlines signed a consumables and expendables services agreement, allowing Boeing to provide supply chain solutions.

Source : Boeing



              Airbus Inaugurates Automated Fuselage Line in Hamburg                         

Airbus has inaugurated an automated fuselage structure assembly line for the A320 family of aircraft in Hamburg, the company announced on October 1st.

The new facility features 20 robots, new logistics concept, automated positioning by laser measurement, and digital data acquisition system.

For the initial section assembly, Airbus uses a modular, lightweight automated system called Flextrack, which employs eight robots and counter-sinking 1,100 to 2,400 holes per longitudinal joint.  In the next production step,12 robots, each operating on seven axes, combine the center and aft fuselage sections with the tail to form one major component, drilling, counter-sinking, sealing, and inserting 3,000 rivets per orbital joint.

Besides the use of robots, Airbus will implement new methods and technologies in material and parts logistics to aid production efficiency, improve ergonomics, and shorten lead times. The initiative includes the separation of logistics and production levels, demand-oriented material replenishment, and use of autonomous guided vehicles.

The Hamburg structure assembly facility carries responsibility for joining single fuselage shells into sections and final assembly of single sections to aircraft fuselages.  Mechanics equip aircraft parts with electrical and mechanical systems their delivery to the final assembly lines in France, Germany, China, and the U.S.

Source : ainonline/Picture Airbus             



              Flagship Cessna Citation Longitude Enters Service

Textron Aviation has announced the first deliveries of the company’s new flagship Cessna Citation Longitude super-midsize business jet, which it says signals the start of a new dimension in business travel.

“The newly certified Citation Longitude brings unrivaled technology to the business travel market, for both the passenger and the pilot, offering our customers the most efficient and productive super-midsize jet now in operation,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO.  ”We are thrilled to now transition this program into service.”

The Longitude features the longest maintenance intervals in its class—800 hours or 18 months—and is the most cost-effective aircraft in its category.

“The Longitude was designed around maximizing reliability and operational availability for our customers,” said Kriya Shortt, senior vice president, global Customer support.

Source : Textron Aviation/Picture Textron Aviation



   Aeroflot Announce Contract on 777 Passenger Cabin Modifications

Aeroflot and Boeing announced a contract to modify passenger cabins on 18 of the Russian flagship carrier’s 777-300ERs.

Boeing will perform engineering work and supply component kits for the planned cabin interior reconfiguration.

“It’s a great honor that a leading Russian carrier selected Boeing solutions,” said Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Global Services.  ”Aeroflot is an experienced 777 operator and we are pleased to provide them with the expertise that will support their implementation, long-term strategic growth and development plans.” 

Aeroflot is a member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance.  It serves 159 destinations in 54 countries.  Aeroflot’s 249-strong fleet is the youngest of any airline worldwide that operates more than 100 aircraft.  In 2018, Aeroflot carried 35.8 million passengers.

Source : Boeing/Picture Aeroflot

         Gulf Air Receives its Seventh 787-9 Dreamliner with New Livery

The airline received the aircraft at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC.In attendance at the event marking the arrival, which took place ahead of Gulf Air’s 70th anniversary, was the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, and Chairman of Gulf Air’s Board of Directors, HE Zayed, R. Alzayani and the United States Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur L.Ross.

Attendees toured the aircraft, which displayed a redesigned vintage of the Golden Falcon Locheed TriStar livery, representing the company’s iconic design from the 1970s.

Alzayani said: “It gives me great honor to reveal this special livery which would definitely resonate nostalgically with our global audience.The revival of this livery is a homage to our resilient national carrier as it celebrates being one of the first established carriers in the Middle East and how it continues to connect the Kingdom of Bahrain to the world”.

The new Dreamliner will join the fleet by the end of this month, increasing the total number of Dreamliners operated by the airline to seven aircraft following the delivery of three more by 2021.

Source : Arabian Aerospace

      Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Delays Entry into Service of A350-1000 Jets

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is delaying the entry into service of five Airbus A350-1000 jets as it strives to return to profitability after three consecutive years of losses.

The state-owned carrier has been downsizing its fleet and route network following a failed strategy to rapidly expand to compete with more established Gulf airlines like Emirates.

The Spokesman for the airline said the largest version of the A350 jet remained important to Etihad’s future plans, but did not say when the airline would start using it.  Airbus declines to comment, referring questions to Etihad.

Etihad has canceled billions of dollars in aircraft orders, including for 40 of the smaller A350-900 jets and two A350-1000s, as part of a five-year turnaround strategy started in 2016.  It has committed to take delivery of five A350-1000s from a current order of 20.

Etihad replaced the management who led the aggressive expansion strategy, which also included investments in airlines that later ceased operations due to their own financial turbulence.

Source : Reuters   



  • SpiceXpress has taken delivery of its first 737-800 Boeing converted Freighter (BCF)

  • Pegasus Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo on September 11, equipped with a 239-seat high-density cabin layout.

  • China’s AVIC begins first MA700 assembly; on September 27, aiming for first flight in 2020 and certification in 2022.
  • EasyJet UK budget carrier has emerged as the recipient of the 9,000th Airbus A320-family jet to undergo delivery to customers.
  • Turkmenistan Airlines buys a Boeing 777-200LR which is planned for delivery in January 2021.
  • Mongolian Airlines will receive its first Boeing 787-9 from Air Lease Finance in the Spring of 2021.
  • Saudia the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has welcomed its first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner with a special ceremony that included a water cannon salute at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport on Monday September 30.

  • Flydubai introduces Split Scimitar Winglets on its NG Boeing 737-800 fleet.

  • Boeing says it remains fully committed to the development of the ultra-long-range 777-8 variant despite its decision to shelve development to focus on recovering the schedule of the baseline 777-9.
  • ATR regional aircraft manufacturer, confirms it has received authorization from the board of directors for the launch of the ATR 42-600S.


Sources: Flightglobal, Boeing, Arabian Aerospace, World Airline News, Airbus.



           Express Cargo Operator Atran Adds Extra 737-800 BCF


Russian express airline Atran has added another freighter to its fleet as it continues adding capacity to cater for an e-commerce bonanza.

The addition of a second Boeing 737-800 BCF brings the Volga-Dnepr-owned airline’s fleet to six aircraft.

Atran has now taken delivery of three freighters this year and its fleet also includes four 737-400Fs and another 23t-capacity 737-800BCF.

The company says that the additional capacity will help it meet growing demand for e-commerce shipments, including mail, between China, Russia and CIS states.

The 737-800BCF is 19ft (6m) longer than the -400F variant and also has a wider cargo door.

Atran says that the “step-by-step” fleet expansion and addition of new destinations has allowed it to achieve a “more than 15-fold volume upsurge from China to Russia, eight fold increase of domestic traffic, and more than six-fold uptick from Europe to Russia.”

Source : Volga-Dnepr/Flightglobal/Picture Atran Airlines



                  Japan Airlines Strives for No Irregular Operations

Japan Airlines is a bit of a phoenix that has risen past adversity and now has an engineering division that is striving toward achieving the highest safety goals, what it terms zero, zero, 100 irregular operations and inflight shutdowns; zero flight squawks and 100% on-time departure. 

Since starting its zero, zero, 100 safety goals in 2017,JAL’s flight operations have improved. One big achievement is not having any inflight shutdowns in 2018 and none in 2019 as of this writing, says Yasuo Yoshida, VP maintenance, corporate planning and finance.  This is a first for JAL.

He also revealed that the airline’s on-time domestic and international on-time departure rate is more than 99.38%, as of August.

“We’d like to be first MRO” to reach the zero, zero, 100 goal, he says.  While he says some people think the airline’s goals are “far too high” or “may sound crazy”, he says they are largely driven by three detrimental things: the crash of  flight JA8119, a Boeing 747 that crashed in 1958 and resulted in 520 deaths; the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau issuing a “business improvement order” in 2005 after a series of three unsafe events: and the airline filing bankruptcy in 2010 after accumulating $264 trillion in debt.

“We had given so much trouble to society due to the accident and bankruptcy that we felt that we needed to give back,” says Yoshida. JAL, relisted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.




Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact –

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 





The Kaplanian Report – September 2019


                  GE Aviation is Recalling Four GE9X Powerplants From                  Boeing To Address A Previously Disclosed Engine Compressor Issue

News of the recall surfaced in a August 19 regulatory filing with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) by Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Airlines, which has applied the rights to fly the engines from Washington State to Ohio.

Ohio-based GE Aviation confirms it is shipping four “compliance engines” to its Ohio facilities.  Compliance engines are those that power 777Xs during flight tests.

Volga-Dnepr intends to transport the “GE9X engines, as well as ancillary parts and equipment”, back to GE Aviation within this month on Antonov An-124 freighters, according to its regulatory request with DOT.

Non-US airlines wishing to operate – intra U.S. flights – generally need exemptions from U.S. regulators.   U.S.-based airlines are unable to transport massive GE9X, which ship on a stand measuring roughly 8x4x4m (26x14x13ft) and weighing 36,000lb (16,300kg), Volga-Dnepr’s application says.

“Approval of the requested exemption is necessary to enable Volga-Dnepr to respond to an emergency created by unusual circumstances not arising in the normal course of business,”  GE says.  ”Failure to deliver the engines by air could delay testing, production and subsequent delivery of Boeing airplanes, which would cause financial harm to GE Aviation, Boeing and their customers”.

Boeing tells Flightglobal it is returning the first GE9X test flight engines to GE for retrofit.

Source : Flightglobal/GE Aviation/Boeing



               Airbus Eyes Toulouse for Further A321 Production

Airbus considers its factory in Toulouse the “front-running” location for the addition of A321neo manufacturing capacity. The European airframer continues to study where it should boost production of its largest narrowbody by 2022.

The deliberations come as the A321 continues to gain share in the overall A320 family backlog—it now accounts for 40 percent of all A320s on order—and Airbus considers what to do with manufacturing space that will be open with the end of A380 production in Toulouse in 2021.

Operations in China and the United States are also being considered as part of an A321 study that Airbus says will be complete this year.

But industry sources say Toulouse is all but certain the ninth A320-family assembly line because of shorter lead times and the availability of cavernous halls built for the A380. The A380 line is shutting down due to weak demand.

The 180-240-seat A321 is the longest version of Airbus medium-haul A320 family which competes with Boeing’s 737 in the busiest part of the jet market, worth $3 trillion over 20 years.

Source : Reuters/Photo Airbus          



Pilatus Clinched An Order From The Swedish Air Ambulance Organization            

Pilatus got an order from the Swedish air ambulance organization(KSA) for six PC-24s to be delivered in 2021.  The superlight business jets will be used by the Lulea-headquartered  operator to provide aeromedical services across the country.

The acquisition follows “an extremely intensive selection process”, says Pilatus.

Swedish air ambulance operates across the whole of Sweden and mutually owned and financed by all 21 of its regions.

“The highly selection process confirmed that the PC-24 is indeed the perfect aircraft for medieval missions,” says Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk.   He anticipates “further worldwide market potential” for the platform within this segment.

Pilatus says the PC-24’s pressurized cabin accommodates three beds and additional seats for medical personnel, while its large cargo door facilitates rapid loading and unloading of patients.

Source : Pilatus/Picture Pilatus Aircraft                                                                                                  

                    Embraer Delivers First E195-E2 To Brazil’s Azul

On Thursday, September 12, the first delivery of the Embraer E195-E2 marked the start of what the Brazilian manufacturer hopes will be a continued run of success in the segment of small narrowbody market up to 150 seats.  They also revealed a plan by JetBlue founder and Azul chairman David Neeleman, to launch another new airline, using E195s in the US.

The largest airplane ever built by Embraer, the E195-E2, goes to Brazil’s Azul at a time AerCap CEO Angus Kelly called a unique moment in the company’s economic and industrial history.  The country’s largest domestic carrier is embarking on the next phase of its rapid development.  Appearing with Kelly at Embaer’s manufacturing campus in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, Neeleman thanked  the leasing company executive “for his support and all his money.”  AerCap will lease roughly half of Azul’s E195-E2s, including part of the order for 51 so far publicized.

Azul plans to fly the first of 51 E195-E2s from its main hub in Campinas to Brasilia by the end of October.  An aggressive service entry plan will see a total of six airplanes arrive in Campinas by December.  Embraer plans to deliver 18 E195-E2s by the end of the year. 

Source : AIM/ Picture Embraer                                           


                                       GEnx Engine Celebrates 15 Years

The GEnx engine, the fastest selling wide body engine that GE Aviation has ever produced, marked its 15th year since its launch in April 2004.  With outstanding performance and utilization, the GEnx engine family has accumulated 25 million flight hours and 4 million flight cycles.

“ The GEnx began as a blank sheet design incorporating the advanced technologies and materials developed and tested after the GE90 engine entered service,” said Mahendra Nair, General Manager of the GEnx program at GE Aviation.These proven and matured technologies and materials combined to produce an engine that was 15 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor with reduced weight, improved performance and lower maintenance costs.

Key to GEnx engine’s are its high pressure compressor, lean burning combustor and lightweight durable composite materials.  With the highest pressure ratio compressor in commercial service today, the GEnx has the best fuel efficiency in its thrust class, enabling it to power many of the longest routes.

Customers prefer the GEnx engine, with more than 2,500 GEnx engines sold, solidifying it as the fastest selling high-thrust GE engine in history.

More than 1,700 engines are flying today with 60 operators of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners and 747-8 aircraft.

Source : GE Aviation


                    American Airlines Retired Its Final MD-80

American Airlines retired the last of its McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft on September 4th. The iconic airliner departed from Dallas-Fort Worth at 9:00am before landing at Chicago O’Hare at 11:35am.  The aircraft conducting the last flight was the last Md-80 to roll from the Long Beach assembly line.

American Airlines initially announced the retirement of all 26 of the models on June 24th on their website.  The last of these flights took place on the 4th of this month finishing its last journey.  The aircraft was then ferried to Roswell, New Mexico to join the other MD-80s.

Affectionally nicknamed ”Mad Dog”, the aircraft was launched by McDonnell Douglas in 1979. It was built as an upgrade to the manufacturer’s DC-9 which was operated in 1965. The MD-80 held between 130-172 passengers depending on its configuration.

Following McDonnell Douglas’ merger with Boeing, the MD-80s continued to be produced until 1999. Altogether, 1,191 of these models were produced.

American Airlines operated 360 of these over the decades.  Delta Air Lines and other operators still continue to use some of these airliners in their services.

Source : World Airline News/Ed’s Research/Picture American Airline

        Emirates Is Implementing Its Airbus A380 Retirement Plan

Emirates Airline is implementing its Airbus A380 retirement plan which will see its fleet size peak shortly before declining to around 90-100 aircraft by the mid-2020s.

The airline which took delivery of its first A380 in 2008, is to cut its orders for the type from 162 to 123 in the wake of Airbus’s decision to axe the program in 2020.  Cirium fleet data shows that the current stands at 112 aircraft.

“You’ll start seeing A380s coming out of our fleet for various reasons, and we’ve always said this,” Emirates Airlines president Tim Clark. “ These are being dealt with on a tail-by-tail, month- by-month basis under a retirement schedule that is well planned already.”

Two A380s have been withdrawn from service at Dubai World Central (DWC) airport and will be used as a spares source for the operational fleet, says Clark. So, the A380 will remain a major component of our fleet mix for the next 15 years at least.  Clark specifies that the Emirates-owned airframes can be used for spares support of its operational fleet. “What the lessors do with their aircraft is up to them.”

Source : Flightglobal



  • Turkish Airlines celebrates 787-9 inaugural flight from London to Istanbul.                         
  • KLM has formally transferred an order for seven Airbus A350-900s to its Skyteam and corporate partner Air France.
  • KLM has ordered another two pair of Boeing 777-300ER twinjets, Boeing has disclosed.  The order has previously been listed on the Boeing backlog but attributed to an unidentified customer.                                                                                                               
  • Amazon has bought a minority stake in Canadian freight cargo carrier Cargojet.
  • Egyptair has taken delivery of its first of 12 A220-300 aircraft on order, becoming the first A220 operator based in the Middle East and North African region.                                 
  • Tunisair Express and ATR have confirmed a firm order for three ATR 72-600s.                 
  • Mesa Airlines and Mitsubishi Aircraft have a memorandum of understanding covering a potential firm order for 50 SpaceJet M100 regional jets and purchase rights on another 50.                                                                                                                                                     
  • Singapore Airlines launches the first ever nonstop flight from Singapore to Seattle covering 8,010 miles in 15 hours and 50 minutes using the A350-900 on the route.         


    Qantas Freight Has Welcomed First of Two Boeing 747-8 Freighters                 

Qantas Freight has welcomed a new addition to its fleet with the first of two Boeing 747-8F freighter aircraft touching down in Sydney on Tuesday, August 27th.

The next generation freighters will be operated by Atlas Air, on behalf of Qantas.

Each aircraft offers 20 percent more freight capacity and space for seven extra pallets compared to the 747-400F.

Qantas Freight Executive Manager Paul Jones said the arrival of the 747-8F aircraft would better meet customer demand for freight capacity around the globe.

“More capacity and better reliability means we can continue to deliver for our customers in Australia and around the globe,” Mr Jones said.

These aircraft have a far better environmental footprint, producing less carbon emissions and offering greater efficiency, something that we know is really important to our customers.”

The two freighters will operate between Australia, China and the USA, with additional routes currently being explored.  The second 747-8F entered service later the same week.

While the aircraft will be painted in Atlas Air livery, the Qantas Freight logo will be displayed on either side of the nose and underneath the freighter’s nose cargo door. The 747-8’s iconic nose allows easier loading of oversized cargo and helps achieve faster turnaround times.

Source : Qantas/Picture Qantas                                                                                                              

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

                             Joramco Obtained Approval for Boeing 777                                       

This is the fourth EASA Part-145 approval obtained by Joramco since the acquisition by DAE, following earlier approvals for Boeing MAX, Airbus A320neo and Boeing 787.   Joramco currently holds 12 type approvals from EASA: 5 Airbus,5 Boeing and 2 Embraer.

Jeff Wilkinson, Joramco’s chief executive officer said: “Joramco has recently progressed further into the wide body market.  At the request of its existing loyal customer base, we have added the Boeing 777 capability to our extensive in-house portfolio.

Firoz Tarapore, chief executive officer of DAE said: “The addition of this approval further supports our ambition to continue to build a successful and meaningful services provider in the region.  The Boeing 777 is a highly popular long-haul aircraft both regionally as well as globally, and we are very pleased to be able coextend our skillset and service offerings to operators of this type from now on.” 

Source : Arabian Aerospace/Picture DAE                    



Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact –

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 



The Kaplanian Report – August 2019


Boeing Becomes Sole Provider of Aftermarket Parts for New Tecnam P2012 Traveller                                                                                                                                          

Boeing signed a multiyear agreement with Tecnam to be the sole provider of aftermarket spare parts and distribution services for the P2012 Traveller, Tecnam’s first commuter airline aircraft.

Boeing will assume distribution responsibilities, including forecasting, ordering and delivering all original equipment manufacturer(OEM) genuine replacement parts for the P2012 Traveller through its Aviall distribution network.

“We are thrilled to provide our industry leading distribution services for the new aircraft,” said William Ampofo, vice president, Business & General Aviation, Boeing Global Services.” Our global supply chain and agile distribution systems will keep these planes in the air for many years to come.”

The P20012 has completed European Aviation Safety Agency(EASA) certification and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification and is ready to be delivered to Tecnam’s launch customer, Boston based regional airline Cape Air.

Powered by two 375 HP turbo-charged Lycoming engines, the Tecnam P2012 Traveller features a modern design and state-of-the-art equipment.  The aircraft’s simple and easily accessed airframe and systems, fixed landing gear, robust interiors and easy to replace parts, result in high efficiency and low maintenance costs.

Tecnam currently utilizes Boeing’s navigation and charting data through an existing agreement with Jeppesen.

Source : Boeing/Tecnam/ Picture Tecnam



          A320neo Also Potentially Vulnerable to Pitch Up Scenario

Airbus has determined that the A320neo is potentially vulnerable to an angle-of attack protection weakness which could result in excessive pitch attitude under certain circumstances.

EASA stresses that the condition has never been encountered during A320 operations.

But it says that a “reduced efficiency” of the aircraft’s angle-of-attack protection under certain flight configurations, and in combination with specific commanded maneuvers from the crew, could lead to excessive pitch and higher workload.

The scenario has been uncovered during analysis and laboratory testing of the A320neo flight-control laws.

Airbus has developed temporary revisions to the A320neo flight manual to address the condition, and EASA has ordered operators to amend their manuals accordingly.

Both the CFM International Leap 1A and Pratt & Whitney PW1100G versions of the aircraft are effected.

EASA has opted for quick implementation of an airworthiness directive, requiring the changes within 30 days of 14 August, postponing the commentary period until after publication.

Airbus is working to develop a flight-control law amendment for the A321neo which will become available next year.

Source : Airbus/Flightglobal



   Bombardier’s Challenger 350 Has Hit its 300th Delivery Milestone                 

Bombardier’s Challenger 350 hit its 300th delivery milestone, five years after the first example of the super-midsize business jet entered service.

Launched in May 2013, the 10-seat aircraft is the second iteration of the Challenger 300, which Bombardier launched in 1999 as the continental business jet.  The model entered service four years later.

The Challenger 350 is powered by Honeywell HTF7350 turbofans, each producing 7,323 lb (32.57KN) thrust.  It has a maximum take-off weight of 18,430kg (40,600lb), while maximum range with eight passengers and two crew is 3,200nm (5,920km) at a long range speed of Mach 0.8.  The 27 million aircraft has a maximum speed of M0.82.

Recent enhancements include a combined Collins Aerospace head-up display and enhanced vision system; improved cabin soundproofing and updated cockpit aesthetics.  Also included are braking improvements and rudder control modifications that give the 350 up to 1500nm of additional range when departing from shorter runways.

The aircraft is now facing stiff competition in the segment from Embraer’s Praetor 600, which entered service in June, and the Cessna Citation Longitude, deliveries which are set to begin this quarter.

Source : Bombardier/Bombardier picture/Flightglobal .



                     FYI Purchasing Process of Commercial Jetliners

During the last Paris Air Show, a lot of orders where announced at the show – specifically Airbus aircraft.   However, when looking at the orders it is important to distinguish between what orders were firm and which are Letter of Intent and Memorandum of Understanding. In this article I will explain what the terms mean from the least committed to most.

  • Letter of Intent (LOI)

This will spell out the details of the intended sale and that discussions have already taken place between manufacturer and the airline covering price, deposit amount, terms of sale, it includes and expiration date for a proposed deal, giving the chance to withdraw if papers are not signed by a certain date.

No deposit is put down for a LOI.  However it is important to remember that a letter of intent is non-binding.

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

An agreement between two or more parties outlining the terms and details of an understanding, including each party’s requirements and responsibilities.

It is often the first stage in the formation of a formal contract and does not involve the exchange of money.

Here is where things get a little more complex, there are subtle differences between an LOI vs an MOU.  Investopedia states that the primary difference between the two is that a letter of intent is not binding while legal courts consider a memorandum of understanding legally binding.

  • Firm order

In a firm order a deposit is put down in the deal. However, there are still conditions in place that allow the buyer to back out.  If the buyer happens to back out then there are usually penalties.  Conversely, if the planes are late there can be a refund of deposits.

  • Options

Firm orders can include options.  Airlines will commonly obtain options from the aircraft manufacturer which allow the airline to delay the purchase of additional aircraft until market conditions justify the purchase.

( Recent example – China Airlines has converted three options for Boeing 777 Freighters to firm orders to replace its aging 747-400Fs)

Options also save the airline a position in the manufacturing queue, for a guaranteed delivery slot.  If the airline finally exercises its option(s), it can place its order without going to the end of the queue which would otherwise delay the delivery of the aircraft for years.

However, if future conditions do not justify expansion of the airline’s fleet, the airline is not under obligation to purchase the aircraft.

Source : Sherpa Report/Ed’s Research


                                             LATEST NEWS

  • De Havilland Canada delivered the 600th Dash 8-400 to Ethiopian Airlines.
  • Vietnam Airlines agreed to lease two Airbus A320-200neos from Air Lease Corp. for delivery in the second half of 2020.                                                                                          
  • Air France-KLM has signed for up to 120 Airbus A220-300s as part of a fleet renewal plan disclosed on July 30th.                                                                                                           
  • EgyptAir has taken delivery of its fifth 787-9 Dreamliner.  The fifth aircraft is more fuel-efficient and generates fewer greenhouse emissions than similarly sized aircraft.             
  • Air Asia receives its first A330-900 leased from Avolon will be operated by Malaysian carrier affiliate Air Asia X Thailand.
  • Virgin Atlantic became the second UK airline to take delivery of an Airbus A350-1000, following British Airways delivery of the airline first Airbus A350-1000 in July.
  •   Korean Air has finalized an agreement with Boeing to order 20 787 Dreamliners including 10 each of 787-10 and 787-9 models valued at $6.3 billion according to list prices.                                                                                                                                               



                  FedEx adds its First B767F to its European Network                                 

The express operator said the new aircraft can carry 41 tons, which is around 16% more than the A300F it replaces.  FedEx added that the new aircraft would also reduce fuel consumption by around 9% and also offered noise reduction.

The newly introduced aircraft operates five times a week and connects FedEx in Dublin, London Stansted, and Paris-Charles de Gaulle-one of the major FedEx hubs in Europe alongside Cologne & Liege.

FedEx began upgrading its fleet in 2007 and since then, 210 new aircraft have been introduced into the FedEx fleet which is now comprised of 679 planes.

Last year, the company ordered an additional 12 Boeing 777Freighters and 12 767 Freighters, which are more fuel efficient than the aircraft they will replace.

Source: Air Cargo News/ Picture FedEx B767F                                                                                     

China Airlines Has Converted Three Options for the Boeing 777 Freighters       

China Airlines has converted three options for the Boeing 777 Freighters into firm orders, more than two months after it first inked a memorandum of understanding to take the freighters.

The airline states in a stock exchange disclosure that the total transaction value is estimated to be $ 1.06 billion, or about $352 million per aircraft.

This follows the firming of orders for three 777Fs in late June.  China Airlines said then that the total transaction was around $1.06 billion.

The airline signed the memorandum of understanding with Boeing in May, in a deal comprising three firm-order aircraft and three options.  Boeing then acknowledged the deal during the Paris Air Show in June.

China Airlines will use the 777Fs to replace its aging 747-400Fs.  Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that the airline has 18 of those jets in operation, with three more in storage.

Source : China Airlines/Boeing/Boeing Picture/Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer                                            

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

                     Lufthansa Technik & GE Aviation Team Up on 777X                                 

Lufthansa Technik and GE Aviation have signed a cooperation agreement, further enlarging the German company’s collaboration for Boeing 777X MRO services.

As part of the deal, Lufthansa Technik will become GE’s authorized service provider for backup generator and converter systems, along with certain electrical load management system components on the new aircraft.

Joe Kriciunas, general manager of GE Aviation Electrical Power Systems commented:              ”Lufthansa Technik brings a breadth of engineering expertise and extensive experience in maintaining civil electrical generators, along with their global logistics network to provide seamless support tour mutual customers.”

Additionally, the German MRO provider will supply various 777X power component services, including original equipment manufacturer-approved repairs, warranty corrections and component modifications on behalf of GE aviation.

Georg Fanta, Lufthansa Technik’s vice president of aircraft component services added: “Together, we will generate additional customer value by combining GE’s vast experience in design and product engineering with Lufthansa Technik’s comprehensive strengths in repair development, MRO and the management and handling of valuable Assets.”

Source : Lufthansa Technik/Picture Lufthansa Technik



        Researched and Compiled by :   Ed Kaplanian                    Commercial Aviation Advisor                                                Contact –

         Editor:   Lee Kaplanian