Boeing Begins Build On New Zealand’s First P-8A Aircraft

Sailboat at sea, aerial view

On March 17, 2022, Boeing P-8A team members and Spirit AeroSystems employees have laid the keel beam for New Zealand’s first P-8A.  This process, also ‘keeling’, was done at the Spirit AeroSystems facility where all Boeing 737 fuselages, nacelles and pylons are designed and built.  Keel is an important production milestone during the build of any ship or aircraft and represents the cornerstone of this latest P-8.

Rosemary Banks, New Zealand’s ambassador to the United States, was on hand to witness the keeling and said, ”Today’s keeling ceremony is the beginning of a new era for New Zealand’s maritime patrol and response capability.  Our four P-8A Poseidons will better equip our defense forces to extend their reach into the Pacific and beyond, working with our partners and friends.”

An aircraft keel runs the length of the fuselage belly.  Due to the innovative in-line approach to the build of commercial derivative aircraft pioneered on the P-8A, the keel beam on a P-8A is different from the typical 737 keel beam.  The P-8 keel includes unique aspects of the P-8 configuration, such as the integration of an internal weapons bay.

The panel and other fuselage components will be completed on Spirit’s existing 737 production line.  Spirit will ship the P-8A fuselage to Boeing Commercial Airplanes facility in Renton, Washington, for final assembly.  After that, Boeing Defense, Space & Security employees will install mission systems and complete testing prior to delivery to New Zealand later this year.

In total, four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will eventually replace New Zealand’s current fleet of six aging P-3K2 Orion aircraft, providing advanced capabilities to maintain situational awareness in neighboring waters on and below surface of the ocean.

Source: Boeing, Picture Boeing

                                    Boeing March Orders and Deliveries

Boeing did land notable sales in March.  Those included new orders for 47 737 Max; among them 32 jets ordered by lessor Air Lease, 14 ordered by unidentified customers and one Boeing Business Jet(BBJ), also ordered by an unnamed buyer.  Additionally,Boeing took orders for six 777Fs from DHL in March.

Boeing delivered 41 aircraft in March, including 37 737 Max, one Boeing Business Jet, two 737NG-based P-8 surveillance jets to the US Navy, one P-8 to South Korea’s Navy, one 767F to FedEx, one 767-based KC-46 tanker and one 777F to China Airlines of Taiwan.

Source: Boeing



                       A380 Testbed Conducts Flights with Wholly-sustainable Fuel


Airbus has used its A380 test aircraft, MSN1, to carry out a flight using wholly-sustainable aviation fuel. The aircraft flew from Toulouse on March 25 with one of its Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines powered by 100% sustainable fuel. The duration of the flight was around 3 hours.

The aircraft was supplied with 27t of the fuel by Total Energies.  It was produced near LeHavre and sourced from hydro-processed esters and fatty acids free of aromatics and sulphur, primarily consisting of used cooking oils well as other waste fats.

Airbus conducted another flight with the same aircraft, operating Toulouse-Nice on March 29, to assess the performance of the fuel during take-off and landing.

This is the third Airbus aircraft type to fly on 100% SAF over the course of 12 months; the first was an Airbus A350 in March 2021, followed by an A319neo single-aisle aircraft in October 2021.

Source: Airbus,Picture Airbus

                             Airbus March YTD Orders And Deliveries

Airbus lost a fifth of outstanding orders for its A330neo long-haul jet in March.  The plane’s largest customer went through restructuring, but it won sales elsewhere for more than 100 of its smaller jets.

AirAsia X cancelled 63 of the A330-900 version of the A330neo an upgrade the long-established A330 widebody models as well as 10 smaller A321neo aircraft.

On April 8 Airbus said it had sold a total of 253 jets in the first quarter or a net total of 83 after cancellations.

Source: Airbus       



                         Bombardier Delivers 100th Global 7500 to Vista Jet


On March 29th, Bombardier celebrated the delivery of the 100th Global 7500 during a ceremony at its Laurent Beaudoin Completion Center in Montreal.   The milestone aircraft was handed over to  VistaJet, which now counts 10 of the 7,700nm twinsets in its fleet and expects to have 17 of them by year end.

“I am thrilled to celebrate the 100th delivery of the global 7500 with our valued customer, VistaJet,” said Bombardier chairman and CEO Eric Martel.

“VistaJet recognized early on that this aircraft would transform the business jet industry and the enormous success of Bombardier’s Global 7500 in transforming the private aviation industry.  I would like to thank our teams in Montreal, Toronto, and Wichita for designing, building, and testing this amazing feat of technology.”

VistaJet founder and Chairman Thomas Flohr said his company will continue to expand its Global 7500 fleet to meet the growing demand for ultra-long-range flights.

“Our enhanced product offering on board the Global 7500 also guarantees that our clients, whether business or leisure travelers, are given the best and most seamless flying experience,” he added.

“We look forward to welcoming more members and supporting the business world as our growing fleet of Global 7500s opens a new era for long-haul private travel.” 

Source: Bombardier, Picture Bombardier

                     FlyExclusive to Purchase Up to 30 Citation CJ3+ Twinjets


Exclusive Jets, operating as FlyExclusive, has entered an agreement with Textron Aviation to purchase up to 30 Cessna Citation CJ+ light twinsets, The Wichita airframer announced on April 6th.  Under the agreement, charter operator flyExclusive expects to take delivery of the first five CJ3+3s in 2023, with an option to purchase more of the type for deliveries through 2025.

According to Textron Aviation, the order is expected to support flyExclusive’s Jet Club, partner, and new fractional program. The Kinston, North Carolina-based Part 135 operator is one of the largest Citation operators in the world.  Fly Exclusive’s fleet of 85 light, midsize, super-midsize, and large-cabin jets include CitationXs, Svereigns, ExelXLSs, CJ3, and Encores.  The list price of a CJ3+ is $9.91 million without customization.

Source: Textron Aviation,Picture Textron Aviation                                                                


GE Aviation Achieves 400 Million Flight Hours & 37 Years On-Time-Delivery


GE Aviation recently achieved 400 million flight hours and 37 years of onetime delivery of their navigation database to airlines globally.

GE’s navigation database (NDB) provides worldwide coverage and access to more than 18,000 airports.  Each NDB is customized for the customer and allowed the ability to include their own tailored terminal procedures and company routes from GE navigation database and test them against (flight Management  systems) FMS  flight planning and predictions software.  GE’s experts provide 24 hour per day, seven days a week customer service.

GE’s flight management system (FMS) assists military and airline flight crew in managing and optimizing a flight from takeoff to landing.  Included in GE’s FMS advancements are the TrueCource providing connectivity and new software architecture allowing FMS functions to be developed as modular components for ease of update.

“We are grateful to have the dedicated team, technology and experience to enable us to produce and make 150,000 navigation database deliveries to our airline customers,” said Jeremy Barbour, general manager, Connected Aircraft for GE Aviation.

“This support of our flight management system portfolio provides a range of capability and functionality for an airline’s navigation data requirements.” 

GE Aviation’s flight management software provides increased situational awareness and operation efficiencies on more than 14,000 aircraft – including Airbus A320/330/340/A330 MRTT, Boeing 737(all variants), P-8, E-6B, USAF E-4, C-130, LM-100J and KC-46 certified their flight management system in 1984.

Source: Ge Aviation, Picture GE aviation 

             Avelo Airlines And Collins Aerospace Sign Comprehensive Wheel And Brake Agreement

On March 31, 2022, Avelo Airlines and Collins Aerospace announced an agreement to retrofit Avelo’s fleet of Boeing Next-Generation(NG) 737 aircraft with new wheels and carbon brakes.  The comprehensive agreement includes wheel and carbon brake maintenance services and logistics support for the new airline.

“Collins’ broad capabilities made them the right partner for Avelo,” said Avelo Airlines Head of Technical Operations Gary Martin.

“Delivering a reliable, on-time experience for customers is a top priority.  Avelo’s partnership with Collins ensures we will continue to live up to that commitment.”

Collins’ 737NG brake features the company’s advanced DURACARB carbon friction material that delivers an average of 35% longer brake life over competing carbon materials, allowing for decreased maintenance time and increased cost savings.  Collins wheels and Carbon brakes have been selected on more than 3,000 737NG and 737 MAX aircraft to date.

Avelo currently operates six 737NG aircraft.  Three 737-800s serve the airline’s West Coast network based at Los Angeles’ most popular airport Hollywood-Burbank Airport(BUR).

Additionally, three 737-700s serve Avelo’s East Coast network based at Southern Connecticut’s most convenient airport Tweed-New Haven(HVN).Avelo expects to take delivery of nine additional 737NG aircraft this year, expanding the airline’s fleet to 15 airplanes by the end of this year.

Source: Avelo Airlines, Picture Avelo Airlines

Southwest Airlines Opens New Technical Operations Hanger Facility at Denver International Airport


Southwest Airlines opens new $100 million ,130,000 maintenance hanger at the Denver International Airport.  The new facility was unveiled at a grand opening celebration on March 24, 2022, attended by over 300 people, including Southwest CCO Mike Van de Ven, Denver Mayor Michal Hancock, and Airport CEO, Philip Washington.

The new technical operations center can house up to three Boeing 737 inside with an apron area for an additional eight outside.  The facility was designed to support variable technical operations and network fleet management.

The airline is one of the largest employers in the city with nearly 5,000 based in Denver.  In addition, Southwest will begin moving into the first of 16-gate expansion on C concourse in the next few months.  Once completed, Southwest will have the ability to use up to 40 gates, the most gates it has at any airport it serves.

Source: Southwest Airlines,Picture Southwest Airlines

                    Joramco Announces Maintenance Agreement with Ryanair

Joramco, the Amman, Jordan, based maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) provider and the engineering arm of Dubai AeroSpace Enterprise(DAE) announced on April 13, 2022, a 5-year heavy maintenance a agreement with Ryanair.   It will see the airline utilizing up to 6 heavy maintenance bay slots at its facility in Amman.  Ryanair uses a mix of internal facilities and external suppliers to conduct its heavy maintenance and this agreement will ensure its requirements are more than met as it grows its fleet to over 600 aircraft over the coming years.

Commenting on the deal, Joramco’s Chief Executive Officer, Fraser Currie said:  “We are delighted that Ryanair has selected Joramco to be its trusted MRO provider as Ryanair grows its fleet.  This long term partnership is a result of Joramco’s world-class expertise and efficient services.  This growth comes after completion of another successful winter season with Ryanair.  This deal is a significant factor in its strategic growth and rod map which is expected to see an increase in Joramco’s footprint.”

Speaking on the impact of this announcement, Ryanair’s Director of operations, Neal McMahon, said: “Our 5-year growth plan will grow our fleet to over 600 aircraft and we are pleased to extend and enhance our agreement with Joramco who have been providing ad-hoc maintenance for our fleet for the past 3 years.  This agreement will allow Ryanair to utilize up to 6 heavy maintenance slots, with aircraft coming in nose to tail for the next 5 winter seasons”.

Source: Joramco



  • BOC Aviation repossesses a Boeing 747-8 freighter leased to Russia’s AirBrideCargo flown to California from Hong Kong.  A U.S. judge signed an order allowing the lessor BOC Aviation Ltd to repossess it.
  • Turkish Airlines will begin uninterrupted service to Istanbul on the 27th of this month from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Turkish to SEA

  • Air Lease, one of the world’s leading aircraft lessors, has ordered another 32 Boeing 737 Max, the deal includes 737 Max 8s and Max 9s.
  • Eurowings Lufthansa Group’s low-cost unit has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo.
  • BOC Aviation lessor based in Singapore placed an order for 80 Airbus A320neo-family jets, the largest single order placed by the company.
  • Air Canada is acquiring 26 Airbus A321XLRs, emerging as the undisclosed customer behind an order for six of the jets in the airframes’s backlog.

Air Canada

  • flydubai, the Dubai-based airline, has been recognized at this year’s Aviation Achievement Awards in two categories.  Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer was named CEO of the Year and the carrier was awarded Low-Cost Airline of the Year.
  • Air Tahiti Nui will begin flying to Seattle-Tacoma beginning on October 4, 2022, in partnership with Alaska Airlines.

Air Tahiti

Sources: Boc Aviation, Air Canada, Air Lease, Turkish Airlines, FlightGlobal, Air Tahiti Nui


A.P. Moller- Maersk Launches Maersk Air Cargo In Response to Customers, Global Air Cargo Needs

Maersk logo

On April 8, 2022, A.P Moller—Maersk announced Maersk Air Cargo as the company’s main airfreight offering serving the logistics needs of its clients with integrated logistics.

At the same time, Maersk chooses Denmark’s second largest airport, Billund, as its air freight hub for Maersk Air Cargo with daily flights creating several jobs in the region.

The new air freight company is the result of existing in-house aircraft operator, Star Air, which has transferred activities into Maersk Cargo, the new carrier supporting existing and new customers and and Maersk’s end to end logistics.

The process of transferring activities has received excellent support from customers, suppliers, employees and the Danish Civil Aviation Authority.

Maersk last operated from Island in 2005.  From the continent, Maersk Air Cargo will progressively deploy and operate a controlled capacity of five aircraft-two new Boeing 777Fs and three Boeing 767-300 cargo aircraft.  Three new Boeing 767-300 freighters will also added to the US-China operation, which will be initially handled by a third-party operator.  The new aircraft are expected to be operational from the second half of this year and onwards up to 2024.

Billund Airport looks forward to welcoming Maersk Air Cargo, which will also support the growth of the West Danish business community.

Source: Maersk Air Cargo

                               Air France-KLM Firms order for A350 Freighters


Air France-KLM Group has firmed its tentative order for four Airbus A350 freighters, a deal originally disclosed in December last year.

The aircraft are intended to provide additional cargo capacity at Air France, already an operator of A350 passenger variant.  Air France-KLM is taking up to eight A350Fs, of which four are the of the subject of the firm order.

Air France-KLM brings to four the number of firm customers for the A350F, alongside Air Lease, Singapore Airlines and CMA CGM, and takes the number of jets on order to 22.

Middle Eastern operator Etihad Airways has also signaled that it will acquire the cargo model.

Source: Air France-KLM,Picture Airbus

                                        Other Noteworthy News

                 Clamor for China Eastern Crash Theories Is At Odds with Reality

Few incidents prompt greater focus on the airline industry than a fatal air crash.

Following the tragic loss of a china Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 on Monday, March 21st, the scrutiny-informed or otherwise-has been intense, in general and particularly on social media.

The internet is awash with theories regarding the cause of the crash, notably including those carelessly based on imagery from computer reconstruction of an incident that happened 25 years earlier.  During such times, the commentators worth listening to tend to be those urging people to wait for further evidence to emerge.

So far, aside from flight-tracking data, the few fresh details released via official channels include acknowledgements of failed attempts by air traffic control to contact the aircraft as the incident occurred and of the damaged cockpit voice recorder being recovered.

One certainty is that in China’s huge aviation market, the incident marks the first fatal crash since 2010. And within the wider context of airline safety, the crash has occurred in an industry that has a remarkable safety records was reflected in IATA’s recent summary of 2021 data.  None of that is, of course, any comfort to those who have lost love ones in this crash.

As ever, commercial’s aviation license to connect the world is contingent on it doing everything within its power to establish why catastrophic incidents have occurred, before acting promptly on any recommendations.  The first part of the process may take some time.

As investigators continue their work, many commentators will already be tired of having to post out that the crash is unrelated to safety issues with the 737 Max program.  The requirement to do so undeniably reflects that the latter Program and Boeing’s reputation are still very much in the public consciousness, even as hundreds of Max jets fly without fanfare in markets around the world.

On the latter point, it is not unreasonable to question whether this crash might further extend the long wait for Max jets to fly again in China, on the ground of optics alone.

Source: This article was quoted in its entirety from FlightGlobal written by Lewis Harper on 24 March 2022



Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@yahoo.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian