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 



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