Kaplanian Report – February 2022

                                   ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Launches 777-8 Freighter to Serve Growing Demand for Cargo


On January 31, Boeing launched the new 777-8 freighter and expanded its market-leading 777X and freighter families of jetliners with an order for up to 50 aircraft from one of the world’s largest cargo carriers, Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways will be the 777-8 Freighter launch customer with a firm order for 34 jets and options for 16 more, a total purchase that would be worth than $20 billion at current list prices and largest freighter commitment in Boeing history by value.

Featuring advanced technology from the new 777X family and proven performance of the market-leading 777 Freighter, the 777-8 Freighter will be the largest, longest-range and most capable twin-engine freighter in the industry.

With payload capacity nearly identical two the 747-400 Freighter and 25% improvement infield efficiency, emissions and operating costs, the 777-8 Freighter will enable a more sustainable and profitable business for operators.

As part of the agreement, Qatar Airways will convert 20 of its 60 777x family orders to the 777-8 Freighter. Qatar Airways is also ordering two current 777 Freighters to capitalize on the buoyant air cargo market. Customers from around the world have ordered more than 300 777 Freighters since the program began in 2005.

Source: Boeing, Picture Boeing

                             ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                        Airbus to Lead Creation of Aircraft Lifecycle Center in China


Airbus has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tarmac Aerosave and the city of Chengdu to create the first sustainable aircraft lifecycle service center in China. The agreement will cover activities such as aircraft parking and storage, maintenance, upgrades, conversions, dismantling, and recycling services for various aircraft types.

The sides plan to sign a formal agreement on cooperation in mid-2022, in time to allow the start of operations at the end of 2023, subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

“This is another concrete contribution to the aviation industry’s quest for sustainability, supporting the principle of a circular economy in line with Airbus’ purpose to pioneer sustainable aerospace,” said Airbus Customer Services senior v-p Klaus Roewe.

“This unique center will support the expansion of Airbus’s aviation services while enabling the implementation of China’s Green Industry’ strategy.”

Tarmac Aerosave will bring 15 years of experience in aircraft dismantling to the project. Located in the same center, Airbus subsidiary Satair will acquire aging aircraft and distribute the resulting used parts to complete the full scope of lifecycle services. The facility will cover a surface area of 690,000 square meters and have a storage capacity of 125 aircraft.

Source: Airbus, Image Airbus             


                       Royaljet Group Expands Its Fleet with BBJ Acquisition

RoyalJet BBJ

RoyalJet has expanded its growing fleet with the acquisition of another Boeing Business Jet(BBJ). The purchase transaction was completed recently and the aircraft is currently undergoing technological and communications upgrades in Basel, Switzerland. It is expected to enter service with RoyalJet and be available for charter globally in April of this year.

Rob DiCastri, CEO of RoyalJet said “Fleet expansion, renewal and upgrade are integral elements of our ongoing customer experience transformation, allowing us to continue to provide an even more exceptional experience to our guests.” 

This Boeing Business Jet has 23 passenger VVIP interior with forward crew rest area for long journeys, and aft private master bedroom with private lavatory and shoer, and a mid-cabin open plan VVIP lounge. It has been finished with state of the art materials and custom configuration designed for functionality and maximum comfort and can sleep up to 12 in VVIP lie-flat seats and its queen sized bed.

This aircraft will also become the longest range BBJ in RoyalJet’s fleet, with auxiliary fuel tanks giving it the capability to fly non-stop for more than 12 hours and reach almost any destination globally with one short fuel stop. It will be the 14th aircraft in RoyalJet’s fleet, which will now include 11 BBJs— already by far the largest fleet of the type.

Source: RoyalJet, photo RoyalJet                                                                      



Czech carrier Smartwings has conducted a Boeing 737 Max service to Antarctica, landing the aircraft at the troll airfield on January 26. The airline says the Max 8 twinjet (OK-SWB) is the first from the re-engined family to arrive in Antarctica.  Troll station is sited on the edge of Antarctica closet to southern Africa.

Operated by the Norwegian Polar Institute, it has a 3,000m runway located at 1,232m altitude.

Smartwings says the aircraft departed Oslo, with a stop in the city of N’Djamena in Chad, before proceeding to Cape Town and then onwards to the polar region. 

“The runway surface was specifically prepared, the braking action measured by Norwegian Polar Institute prior to operation,” says the carrier. 

It adds that the crew comprising three experienced captains received continuous weather updates and report’s availability via datalink and satellite phone communications.  “The preparations took many months, the flight and landing went smoothly”, says Smartwings captain and flight director Tomas Nevole. Arctic survival training formed part of the preparatory work. 

Approval had to be obtained from Czech authorities to operate to trolls, it is an isolated airfield with no alternates. Smartwings says the aircraft was parked in Antarctica for 2 hours before taking off for the return journey. 

Sources: FlightGlobal,SmartWings,Picture Smatwings


                    ‘Fly Arna’ Armenia’s National Airlines Unveils Visual Brand Identity


The Armenian National Intersts Fund(ANIF) and Air Arabia Group, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) operator, revealed the visual brand identity of ‘Fly Arna’, Armenia’s national airline to be launched by their joint venture company.

The brand name ‘Arna’ is derived from Company’s official name Armenian National Airlines’ with ‘AR’ taken from Armenian, ’N’ from National and ‘A’ from Airlines. Chosen following a public competition, the name ‘Fly Arna’ was identified to be the most inclusive and reflective of the spirit of the joint venture company to transform the aviation sector of the country.

With its colors inspired by the Armenia flag, the ‘Fly Arna’ logo and brand identity was designed to reflect the young, modern and a value-driven national airline that strive to become the most accessible and sensible choice for air travel in Armenia and beyond.

David Papazian, CEO of ANIF, said: ‘Fly Arna’ s brand identity is truly reflective of the inspiring spirit and ethos of Armenia. Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said: “Fly Arna’s visual identity launch is an important progress in the journey towards the launch of the airline”.

‘Fly Arna’ follows Air Arabia Group’s successful low-cost model, taking Zvartnots/International Airport(EVN) in Yerevan as its base. The Airline Operation certificate (AOC) process has started and more details the launch date, fleet, and destination network will be announced in due course.

Source: The Armenian National Interests Fund, picture Fly Arna 

Ethiopian Resumes Boeing MAX Flights


Ethiopian Airlines has today (February 1) brought the 737 Max back into service, almost three years after a fatal crash of one of its aircraft prompted the global grounding of the type. The Star Alliance carrier had at the end of last year said it planned to return the type to service in February.

Ethiopian Airline chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam reiterates that the carrier’s decision to restore services with the Max comes after its recertification by regulators around the world and following the return to service of the type by 36 operators.

US regulators cleared the Max to fly again in November 2020, and Brazilian airline GOL was the first to bring the aircraft back into service the following month. China and Indonesian regulators, two of the jurisdictions to clear the type, have both now paved the way for the Max to return to service.

“In line with our initially stated commitment to become among the last airlines to return the Boeing 737 Max, we have taken enough time to monitor the design modification work and more than 20 months of rigorous recertification process. We have ensured that our pilots, engineers, aircraft technicians and cabin crew are confident of the safety of the fleet,” says GebreMariam.

Ethiopian notes the MAX has carried out more than 349,000 commercial flights and close to 900,000 total flight hours since the resumption of its operation a year ago.

The Airline executives and chairman, as well government officials and Boeing executives, were on board the first flight alongside customers.

Ethiopian Airlines has four Max aircraft in its fleet and further 25 on order-some of which will be delivered this year.

Source: Ethiopian,Picture Ethiopian


  • Cayman Airways takes delivery of its 4th Boeing 737 Max-8 on January 20th. The delivery flight was flown by Captain Perry Panton and first Officer Troy McCoy.

Cayman Airways

  • Lynx Air’s first painted Boeing 737 Max 8 has come out of the paint shop at Boeing pending delivery.
  • AJW Group an independent aircraft component parts, repair and supply chin solutions provider, and Honeywell, have announced a worldwide sole distributor agreement.
  • Caribbean Airlines has carried out its initial revenue flight with the fleet’s first Boeing 737 Max 8 on January 14, 2022.


  • US DOT has approved Scandinavian long-haul operator Norse Atlantic Airways’ application to operate scheduled and chartered service between Europe and the USA.
  • Southwest Airlines has selected Miami-based iAero Thrust to perform engine MRO and test services on CFM56 engines powering its Boeing 737NG fleet.
  • American Airlines Group said on Wednesday, February 2nd, it has agreed to by an additional 23 737 Max 8 aircraft from Boeing by exercising existing purchase options and deferring the delivery of some 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
  • Icelandair is to lease another pair 737 Max jets from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise to raise its capacity for the summer season.

Icelandic Air

Sources: AJW Group, Boeing, FlightGlobal, American Airline, Icelandair, Caribbean, Southwest Airlines


                           Airbus Slots A350F Between Twinjet Family’s Passenger Models


Airbus has confirmed that the A350 freighter will be 3m( 9 ft) shorter than the A350-1000 but 4m(13 ft) than the -900. The airframer puts the A350F’s overall length at 70.8m (232ft) compared with the 73.79m (242ft) of the -1000 ,but the wing span remains the same. Diagrams from Airbus indicate that the frame reduction is forward of the wing.

Airbus gives the range of the new freighter as 4,700nm (8700km) and confirms the maximum payload at 109t. The aircraft will have a maximum take-off weight of 319t, matching of the heaviest-1000 weight variant, and a maximum landing weight of 250t.

Its cargo hold will be capable of accommodating 30 AM containers or pallets on the main deck, plus 12 pallets of 40 LD3 containers on the lower deck.

Singapore Airlines, Air France, lessor Air Lease and cargo operator CMA CGM have all signed up either firmly or provisionally as customers for the new aircraft. They will be fitted with an aft cargo door and powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

“The A350 leverages all benefits of the A350 to help large wide body freight operators make a clean start towards a more sustainable and profitable future,” says Airbus.

Source: Airbus, picture Airbus

Qatar Cargo to Replace Entire ULD Fleet With Safran’s Fire Resistant Containers


Qatar Airways cargo announced that it is replacing its entire Unit Load Device (ULD) with fire resistant containers becoming the first carrier to do so.

This follows the International Air Transport Association(IATA) recent launch of its new industry certification—the Center of Excellence for Independent Validatars (CEIV) Lithium Battery—to improve the safe handling and transport of lithium batteries across the supply chain.

Qatar Airways has taken delivery of the initial batch of containers on September of 2021. The airline will replace its entire fleet of more than 10,000 ULDs with this unique container design, aiming to exchange 70% of the units during 2022, the airline said.

Safran Cabin’s newly developed Fire Resistant Containers are designed to resist a lithium-based fire for 6 hours, and are equipped with an innovative SEN (Secure, Ergonomic, and Non-Velcro) door made of high impact resistant materials and without the use of Velcro, making the container easy to maintain and optimizing the cost of ownership. Pascal Piveteau, EVP Cargo& Catering division from Safran Cabin welcomed the partnership with Qatar.

Sources: Safran Cabin, Qatar Airways, Picture Qatar

                                  China Airlines Orders Four More 777Fs

UT Air 737-800 air to air

China Airlines has placed an order for four additional Boeing 777 freighters, with deliveries slated to begin from 2023. The announcement will take the total number of 777Fs in the Taiwanese carrier’s fleet to 10 examples by 2024.

“The ongoing fleet acquisition program will boost operating performance by balancing network development and market movements against the aircraft replacement schedule,” states China Airlines, which also operates 18 747-400 freighters.

The airline took delivery of its first 777F in 2020, and now operates three examples. It states that two more are slated to be relived this year-end, another in 2023.

With passenger travel demanding the doldrums amid travel restrictions, China Airlines has pivoted to what it calls “cargo-centric business model”. In 2021, the airline mounted around 540 cargo flights a month, averaging 120 flights weekly.

Source: China Airlines, Boeing, Picture China Airlines


 Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@yahoo.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

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