ON THE BOEING FRONT
Boeing Enters 737 MAX MRO Agreement with Spirit AeroSystems
The agreement will enhance Boeing support for nacelle and flight control surface removals with more robust MRO footprint; while combining Boeing’s industry-leading asset pool with hands-on repair experience of Spirit AeroSystems.
“With this agreement, Boeing Global Services is strategically positioned to assist all 737 MAX operators by providing lease and exchange programs to respond quickly to unforeseen events,” said Mini Desai, Vice President of commercial spares and managed parts, Boeing Global Services.
“ Our business serves our customer base beyond the sale of aircraft, and now we can expand lease and exchange support for aerostructures with SpiritAeroSystems.”
“ Spirit is thrilled to be selected by Boeing Global Services as its global partner for 737 MAX aero structures repair, including Nacelle and Flight Control Services,” said Kailash Krishnaswamy, senior vice president of aftermarket services for Spirit.
“Over the last three years, we have expanded from a single MRO center in Wichita to five MRO centers on four continents, which will allow us to serve Boeing’s global customers locally. This strategic partnership will allow us to provide customized, high-quality MRO solutions at industry leading turn-around times for our customers’ 737 MAX nacelles and flight controls.”
Source: Boeing/SpiritAeroSystems/Picture Boeing
Boeing Orders and Deliveries for April
Boeing’s new orders in April included 44 737 Max, including six and nine orders by lessors AerCap and Aviation Capital Group respectively. Unidentified customers accounted for 28 of the orders, together with an order for 737-based Boeing Business jet from an unnamed customer. In addition Boeing took orders for two 777Fs from unidentified customer or customers.
Boeing delivered 35 aircraft in April, including 29 737s. The delivered 737s included one 737NG- P-8 military surveillance aircraft for the US Navy.
Customers that took MAX aircraft during April include 777Partners, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air Lease, Alaska Airlines, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, FlyDubai, Gol, China’s ICBC leasing, Lynx Air, Oman Air, Ryanair, Southwest Airlines and TUI.
Boeing also delivered one 747-8F to UPS, three 777-300ERs to Thai Airways (via lessor BOC Aviation) and two 767-based KC-46 tankers to the US Air force.
Boeing deliveries of 787 remain halted, a result of manufacturing quality problems.
ON THE AIRBUS FRONT
Airbus Tweaks A320 Software to Address Go-Around Pitch-Up Issue
Airbus has tweaked the flight guidance software for A320-family jets to address a pitch-up issue which could occur under certain circumstances on go-around.
The modification followed an incident involving an unstable approach by an A321neo during which a go-around was initiated with the autopilot engaged. According to the European Union Safety Agency, the resulting pitch-up attitude led the autopilot to disconnect. EASA says this was traced to the combination of take-off thrust being activated, with the autopilot engaged, and the jet in high-lift configuration, within 50s of full speed brake retraction.
EASA Points out that such a scenario was “never encountered” during actual operations. But it says that pitch-up situation could nevertheless result in higher workload at a critical point of the flight.
In May 2020 the authority issued a directive notifying crews, through a temporary flight-manual revision of the condition and adapting speed brake procedures.
Airbus has since developed new flight guidance software standards and issued installation instructions.
EASA is ordering the upgrade on the affected aircraft models, which include A319s and A320neo-family variants.
Source: FlightGlobal, Picture Airbus
Airbus Orders and Deliveries For April
Airbus’s single-aisle business was lifted by the order for 80 jets from Lessor BOC Aviation, although the drought of twin-mile activity was alleviated only slightly by Air France’s firming of four A350 freighters.
Air Canada and Iberia took four and two A321neos respectively, while an undisclosed customer has ordered six A320neo-family jets, including a pair of A319neos.
It delivered 48 jets in April that included five A350s and two A330s, plus four A220s and 37 from the A320neo family.
Platoon Aviation’s Fleet Grows to Four Pilatus PC-24s
German charter operator Latoon Aviation received its fourth Pilatus PC-24 at Aero Friedrichshafen, with the ceremonial handover taking place in the presence of officials from Pilatus and Air Alliance. The latter company is the authorized Pilatus sales center for Germany and Austria.
Hamburg-based Platoon Aviation, which has more of the Pilatus light twinsets on order, took delivery of its first PC-24 in the first quarter 2021.Its all-PC-24 fleet provides charter flights to a plethora of European destinations, including popular summer holiday destinations such as Olbia, Nice, Majorca, and Naples the company said.
“The PC-24 is at the cutting edge of technology and offers passengers the highest level of comfort, flat floorer high-quality workmanship of materials,” said Platoon Aviation managing director Deniz Weissenborn.
Platoon Aviation v-p of general aviation Ignaz Gretener said he is pleased with the rapid growth of the company’s PC-24 fleet.
Source: Platoon Aviation
Short Take-Off ATR 42 Variant Carriers Out Maiden Flight
Turboprop manufacturer ATR has conducted the maiden flight of a short take-off variant of its ATR 42-600 from Francazal airport near Toulouse.
The 30-to 50-seat, designated the 42-600S, is designed to operate to and from reduced-length runways.
ATR says the aircraft(F-WWLY) departed at 10:00on May 11th, and that sortie lasted 2h 15 min. It flew several parallel tracksuit various altitudes, just north of the Pyrenees mountain range.
“The crew on board performed a number of tests to measure the upgraded aircraft systems’ performance,” the company states.
Equipment including a new multifunctional computer, autobrake, and ground spoiler system well as adapted take-off capabilities, will be individually tested. ATR will fit a larger rudder, which will form part of the aircraft’s final configuration, towards the end of this year and enter the certification phase in 2023. Customers including airlines and lessors have so far committed to 20 of the short take-off and landing variant.
ATR claims around 500 airports worldwide have runways of 800-1,000m(2624-3280 t) which could support operations with the modified aircraft.
Source: ATR, picture ATR
OTHER AVIATION NEWS
SMBC Acquiring Goshawk To Create Lessor with Over 700 Aircraft
Japanese-owned SMBC Aviation Capital is to acquire fellow Irish-based lessor Goshawk Aviation under a transaction valued at $6.7 billion. It will create the second-largest lessor worldwide in terms of aircraft numbers, and the largest to be owned by Japanese interests.
SMBC will take over Goshawk following an agreement with NWS Holdings and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. It will acquire 176 owned and managed aircraft, giving SMBC a total of 709—although any Goshawk aircraft located in Russia will be excluded from the deal.
“Goshawk is a high-quality business with assets and people that complement our own,” says SMBC Aviation Capital chief Peter Barrett. He adds that the agreement is the “right transaction” for the company, enabling it to “better serve” its customers in a “ fast-evolving sector”.
Twenty-four new customer airlines will become clients of SMBC as a result of the deal.
SMBC Aviation Capital shareholder Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and leasing adds that it is” fully supportive” of the proposed acquisition, which will be financed by a combination of debt and equity.
It expects the transaction to close in the second half of this year. The combined entity, with total assets of $37 billion, will be based in Dublin and have a single corporate structure. Over 80% of the portfolio’s net book value will be single-aisle aircraft.
Goshawk confirms that its shareholders, NWS and Chow Tai Took Enterprise, have granted approval for the acquisition.
Source: SMBC Aviation Capital, Picture SMBC Aviation Capital
It’s the Wedgetail: Air Force to Buy E7 to Replace AWACS
The Air Force announced in late April it will replace part of the E-7 Sentry, or Airborne Warning and Control System fleet with Boeing E-7 Wedgetails.
In a release, the service said the decision to go with the Wedgetail was based on market research and that it is “the only platform” that could meet all of the Defense Department’s requirements for tactical battle management, command and control, and target tracking in time to replace the aging E-3, which dates back to the 1970s.
The Air Force plans to award a contract to Boeing in fiscal 2023 for the Wedgetail, which was developed by Australia for its air force.
The service’s proposed 2023 budget calls for retiring 15 E-3s, or about half the fleet, from Tinker Air Force base in Oklahoma. It would provide $227 million in research, development, test and funds for the replacement. The first rapid prototype E-7 would be delivered in 2027.
The Air Force said it plans to fund a second rapid Prototype aircraft in fiscal 2024 and aims to make a production decision the following year on fielding more Wedgetails. The release did not say how many Wedgetails the Air Force might eventually buy.
The E-7 is a heavily modified 737NG.
Royal Jordanian Achieves Full Compliance of 2022 IOSA
Royal Jordanian has renewed IATA’s Operational Safety Audit(IOSA) registration for the year 2022. RJ Vice Chairman & CEO Samer Majali said: “Obtaining the IOSA registration is proof of RJ’s continued work to comply with air safety standards and adherence to international practices. This is an achievement attained through the efforts of all employees working diligently to keep an exemplary record.”
The IOSA audit was conducted by a team of Auditors from AQS Audition IATA-accredited audit organization. The Audit was conducted against a checklist of over 900 safety standards and recommended practices for all the operational departments.
The Audit, which is effective until April 14th, 2024, covered several RJ operational areas, including Flight Operations, Engineering and Maintenance, Cabin Operations, Corporate Safety, Corporate Quality Management, Crew Training, Dispatch and operational control, Ground and Cargo Operations, Corporate Security and Human Resources.
RJ’s first IOSA audit was carried out in 2004-being the first airline in the region to obtain the IOSA registration at that time. According to IATA, 437 airlines are IOSA registered today.
Source: Royal Jordanian,Picture Royal Jordanian
- Texel Air Middle Eastern operator is ordering another pair of Boeing 737-800 converted freighters, having received the regions first example in January.
- EVA Air has ordered one Boeing 777 freighters the airline eyes opportunities in a buoyant cargo market.
- CMA CGM French logistics firm is to take up to a 9% stake in Air France-KLM as part of a new long-term partnership under which they will work together their respective air cargo capacity.
- United Airlines has received FAA approval to gradually return its 52 Pratt & Whitney-powered Boeing 222-200s to service.
- Lessor AerCap said it decided to stick to an order for up to 68 Boeing 737 MAX jets placed by General Electric’s GECAS leasing arm, even though it had the right to cancel it after acquiring GECAS.
- Indian Start-up Carrier Akasa Air has unveiled its first Boeing 737 Max in the airline’s livery. The orange-purple color scheme on the jet(VT-YAA) features a stylized A on the fin, with the design inspired by birds, an aircraft wing, and the sun.
- British Airways owner IAG has agreed to order 50 Boeing 737 Max jets. IAG will take delivery of 25 Max 8200 aircraft and a further 25 MAX-10. The deliveries are scheduled to take place between 2023-2027.
Sources: AerCap, CMA CGM, United Airlines, Texel Air,EVA Air,FlightGlobal,
Lufthansa Orders Seven Boeing 777-8 Freighters
Boeing received a welcome boost to its 777X program on Monday, May 9th, as Lufthansa Group placed an order for seven 777-8 Freighters scheduled for first delivery in 2027. Orders for two of the company’s present-day 777 Freighters and 787-9s accompanied the 777-8F deal, cementing Lufthansa’s commitment to Boeing widebody products. Lufthansa Group signed as launch customer for the 777-9 passenger airplane in 2013. The new deal for 787-9s brings the group’s order total for the Dreamliner family to 32.
The deals come about two weeks after Boeing confirmed it would delay the first delivery of the 777X until 2025; reassessing the time it would need to meet FAA’s stricter certification requirements. Originally expected to win certification in 2020, the 777X has suffered through no fewer than three major schedule delays.
“We continue investing in more fuel-efficient, quieter and more economical aircraft that emit significantly less CO2,” said Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Sphr.
“This enables us to drive our fleet modernization. By purchasing these State-of-the-art aircraft, we again underline Lufthansa Group’s ability to invest in and shape the future. Once again, we are taking the initiative and expanding our leadership role as well as taking responsibility for the environment—with premium products for our customers and a sustainable fleet.”
Source: Lufthansa, Picture Lufthansa
Ethiopian Airlines Emerges as Customer for More 777Fs
Ethiopian Airlines has emerged as the customer behind an order for five Boeing 777 freighters previously attributed to an unidentified operator. The African carrier is already a 777F operator, having previously ordered eight directly from Boeing.
Ethiopian Airlines chief Mesfin Tasew says the additional jets will enable the airline to meet “growing demand” in its cargo operation. While cementing our partnership with Boeing with new orders, the growth of our freighter fleet takes the capacity and efficiency of our shipment service to the next level,” he adds.
Ethiopian Airlines had recently signed a provisional agreement to acquire five Boeing 777-8Fs, based on the 777X aircraft family. “ We always strive to serve our customers with the latest technology aircraft the aviation industry could offer,” insists Tasew.
General Electric GE90 engines are fitted as standard to the 777F, while the -8F will be equipped with GE9X powerplants.
Source: Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines, Picture Boeing
OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS
Airbus and the Great Rate Wrangle
Faced with backlog for the A320 family that as the end of April was within touching distance of 6,000 aircraft, Airbus has a problem.
Sure, it is a problem born of success, but a problem nonetheless: how does it deliver all those aircraft to customers in a timely fashion?
If Airbus builds 50 of the aircraft per month, it would take almost 10 years to fight through the backlog, and even at rate of 65—to be attained by mid 2023—that only drops to seven and a half years.
While not all those orders will complete—there may well be further cancellations down the road—the broader air travel market, particularly for short-to medium-haul traffic is recovering.
Higher fuel prices are also driving a switch to new-generation aircraft that fly more frugally. And the febrile recovery in long-haul seems to be spurring demand for long-range narrow bodies such as the A321XLR.
Based on those metrics, Airbus clearly sees market demand as supporting its decision for even higher production rates. Accordingly it has taken the decision to advance the thrust levers, confirming a plan to take monthly output of the A320neo family to 75 aircraft or 900 per year by 2025.
But the airframes’s single-aisle backlog is lopsided these days: where once the A320 ruled, now the larger A321neo is King, almost 60% of the order book or 3,447 aircraft is for A321neos. This is a problem not all the airframer’s final assembly lines can currently build the largest of its family members.
Internal reconfiguration is under way to change that — along with a further expansion by mid-2025 at the company’s site in Mobile, Alabama— as is reshaping of Airbus’s aerostructures units in France and Germany to better support its own operation.
However, there are limits to what the airframer can do on its own-it needs the rest of the supply chain to move in lock-step with it in order to achieve those higher rates without encountering production snarls or shortages.
But the aerospace recovery is not uniform. The tier ones are mostly coping, but further down the supply chain there are companies that weathered Covid-19 less well. Shortages of staff, parts, castings and forgings for engines, notably and raw materials are all reported. On top of this, there is rising inflationary pressure.
Airbus says it has canvassed its supply chain about the future rate rise, but it remains to be seen how well it will cope; particularly as Boeing will also be increasing out put of its 737 Max family simultaneously.
The nightmare scenario is a return to the sight of gliders – completed aircraft without engines – cluttering Toulouse or Renton.
It is also worth remembering the fragility of the recovery Covid-19 has not gone away; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent problems rippling outwards; and sections in large parts of the global economy cannot be ruled out. Airbus’s suppliers will not thank it if output is accelerated, then sharply yanked back in the face of tepid demand.
In a sense, Airbus is damned if it does, and damned if it doesn’t: it cannot sit on that enormous backlog forever. But its bold move to push production to 75 jets per month is very clearly not without its fair share of supply chain risk.
Source: This article was quoted in its entirety from FlightGlobal and printed on 22 May 2022, Picture Airbus
Researched and Compiled by :
Ed Kaplanian Commercial Aviation Advisor
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor: Lee Kaplanian