ON THE BOEING FRONT
Boeing to Open Fourth 737 Production Line In Everett
Boeing plans in 2024 to expand its 737 Max production footprint by opening a new production line at its facility in Everett, supplementing the three 737 lines at its original 737 assembly site in Renton. Stan Deal, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, disclosed the plan in a January 30th e-mail to staff, saying the move will give the company four 737 production lines when the Everett line goes live, expected in the second half of 2024.
“To be clear, we are not taking the 737 out of Renton, just adding capacity to capture customer demand, especially for the newer models like the Max 8-200 and the 737 Max 10”. Deal’s message says “Given the proximity to Renton, Everett is great fit, with availability of highly skilled workers and factory space. This undertaking is significant,” Deal’s note says.
“ In addition to preparing the facility, we have begun the process of notifying our suppliers, customers, unions and employees as we take the necessary steps to create a new line. We are methodically working through all our checks and balances, keeping safety and quality top of mind.”
Deal cites demand for the 737 Max8-200s and the Max 10s for driving the expansion. The Max 8-200 is a high-capacity, 210 passenger variant of the baseline Max 8; while the 737 Max-10 is the largest variant of the Max family, with capacity to carry 230 passengers. The Max 10 is not yet certificated but Boeing aims to clear that milestone by early 2024.
Source: Boeing, Picture Boeing
Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries in January
Boeing handed over 38 aircraft to customers in January, a month during which the company’s deliveries are typically slower than during other periods, Boeing reported on February 14.
The delivered aircraft included 35 737 Max, among them jets received by lessors AerCap, Air Lease and Avalon Aerospace Leasing and by carriers including Copa Airlines, FlyDubai, Ryanair, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.
Boeing’s January deliveries also included three 787s one -10 to KLM and one-9 each to Lufthansa and Qatar Airways.
The company’s 38 deliveries last month compare to 69 aircraft (including 54 737s) it delivered in prior month, December 2022.
Also in January, Boeing bolstered its backlog with new orders for 55 aircraft, including 33 737 Max, 7 787s and 15 767-based KC-46 aerial refueling tankers.
Japan’s Skymark Airlines placed four of the 737 Max orders, Germany’s TUI Travel ordered another four and unidentified customers ordered the remaining 25, Boeing says.
On the negative side, unnamed customers cancelled orders in January for 39 737 Max, leaving Boeing’s net orders for the period to 16. By comparison, Boeing landed 203 net new orders in December 2022 and 55 in January 2022.
January’s changes, combined with accounting adjustments, left Boeing on January 31 with 4,585 aircraft in its backlog, including 3,634 737s, 121 767s, 313 777s, 516 787s and one 747. ( it delivered the final 747 in February closing out the 747 production program.) Boeing’s backlog is up by 269 aircraft from one year ago.
ON THE AIRBUS FRONT
Qatar Airways & Airbus Reach Settlement in Legal Dispute
Qatar Airways and Airbus have reached a mutually agreeable settlement in relation to their legal dispute over A350 surface degradation and grounding of A350 aircraft. The details of the settlement are confidential and the parties will now proceed to discontinue their legal claims. The settlement agreement is not an admission of liability for either party.
Qatar Airways is to reinstate in full its remaining orders for 23 Airbus A350s as well as 50 A321neos, which had been cancelled during its legal dispute with Airbus. But while A350 deliveries are likely to resume this year, FlightGlobal understands, the A321neos will be pushed back to 2026.
While Qatar’s production slots have been protected to a degree, the interruption to the carrier’s order, single-aisle manufacturing capacity constrained, and the popularity of the A321neo has resulted in less flexibility for reinstating the agreement.
Sources: Airbus, FlightGlobal, Picture Airbus
Airbus Orders and Deliveries In January
Airbus has recorded net orders for 36 aircraft all single-aisle models for the first month of the year.
Airbus listed orders for a dozen A320neo family jets from Uzbekistan Airways and a dozen A220-300s for Delta Air Lines.
It also revealed an agreement for 12 aircraft, six A321neos and six A320neos from an undisclosed customer.
Airbus rounded off January orders with a single A320neo for Middle Eastern lessor DAE Capital.
It did not list any firm agreements for long-haul aircraft types.
Airbus delivered 20 aircraft over the month, comprising 18 single-aisle jets plus an A350-900 for Starlux Airlines and an A330-900 for Virgin Atlantic.
Both of the widebodies have been delivered via US leader Air Lease.
StandardAero Completes Western Jet Aviation Acquisition
StandardAero closed on the purchase of Van Nuys, California, based Gulfstream maintenance specialist Western Jet Aviation. The acquisition is StandardAero’s 12th since 2015 and adds significant Gulfstream airframe MRO capability. It has more than 120,000 sq ft of hanger, shop, ramp, and office space on a 10-acre facility, nearly 100 personnel, and Western Jet’s avionics and interior shops.
The move also marks a return to the West Coast for StandardAero, which previously operated an MRO facility at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) but closed it in 2018. ”When we departed LAX, we’d been looking for a location on the West Coast,” said Colleen Back, StandardAero senior commercial director, airframe, who is heading up the integration effort for the acquisition.
“ Van Nuys is one of the busiest business aviation airports in the country, and this will add a large Gulfstream footprint to the company”. Western Jet founder and owner Jim Hansen said the sale of his company, which he opened in 1999, was bittersweet, but he is excited about the opportunities offered by StandardAero. He has worked at Nuys Airport for the past 50 years, starting as a mechanic for the Jet Center and other companies before opening Western Jet. Hansen plans to stay with StandardAero as an executive consultant.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Axes SpaceJet Program
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries confirmed the cancellation of the SpaceJet regional airliner program, nearly two and a half years after suspending development.
In discussion of its first quarter to 3rd quarter financial results, the company cited an insufficient initial understanding of the complex type certification process for commercial aircraft and inadequate financial resources to continue long-term development as the main “lessons learned” from the 15-year exercise.
The Company also said it failed to confirm the viability of resuming program activity since its suspension in October 2020, due to four main reasons. The first involved further technical revisions necessary to resume prolonged development and need for decarbonization solutions. Second, the company said it ran into difficulty gaining the necessary cooperation from global partners. Third it also cited little progress on scope clauses in the U.S.; the airplane’s biggest target market but one in which the maximum takeoff weight of the larger of the two SpiceJet derivatives the M90 exceeded the limits specified by language in the pilot union contracts of most regional airlines’ major partners.
Fourth reason it cited pilot shortages, which MHI said adds to the uncertainty of regional jets’ business viability.
Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries,Picture Mitsubishi Heavy industries
OTHER AVIATION NEWS
Avolon Delivers 5 New Boeing 737 Max-8s to Akasa Air
Aircraft Leasing company, Avolon, has delivered five new Boeing 737 Max 8s aircraft to Akasa Air, India’s newest airline. Paul Geaney, President and chief commercial officer at Avolon commented: “ We are excited to support new entrants to the markets it is a pleasure to have completed this transaction to lease five new narrowbody aircraft to Akasa. We congratulate Akasa on their successful launch and look forward to building on our strong relationship with them.”
Bhavin Joshi, co-founder and senior vice president leasing and procurement at Akasa Air said: “ Since our launch last August we have rapidly added capacity, new routes and welcomed one million passengers to our unique offering. We are delighted to join hands with Avolon and will continue to invest in new technology aircraft that can offer superior reliability and carbon efficiency.”
Sources: Akasa/Avolon, Image Akasa/Avolon
KlasJet Expands Wet-lease Fleet With 737-800s
Baltic corporate charter specialist KlasJet is expanding its fleet of Boeing 737s to underpin passenger wet-lease operations ahead of the summer season. It is introducing eight 737-800s which will be configured with 186 to 189 seats, in an all economy layout.
Vilnius-based KlasJet is aiming to reach a fleet of 15-800s by the end of this year and expand its passenger wet-lease fleet to 35 within five years. “We see a very strong need for wet-lease in the market right now and it’s expected to grow,” says KlasJet deputy chief Lukas Petrauskas.
The airline has pointed out that lower supply of Boeing jets this year could constrain capacity for carriers expecting deliveries for the peak season. The company, part of Avid Solutions Group, already has several older-variant 737s a mix of -300s and -500 which are configured with low-density seating.
It recently disclosed that it was reinforcing its business charter fleet with a 23-seat BoeingBBJ2 from April this year, which would be stationed in Dubai.
KlassJet is aiming to offer 737 capacity to carriers affected by lower delivery rates.
Source: Avia Solutions Group, Picture KlasJet
CFM Aims to Deliver 1,700 Leap Engines in 2023
Safran is confident that 1,700 CFM International Leap-series narrow body engines can be delivered in 2023, a 600 unit increase on 2022 despite ongoing supply chain disruption. Last year, CFM shipped 1,136 leap power plants, up 34% on 2021’s 845 engines.
But the Safran_GE Aerospace joint venture expects to raise output further, by around 50% over the course of 2023 to match growing demand from Airbus and Boeing. However, supply constraints in 2022 caused CFM and rival Pratt & Whitney to miss delivery targets to the airframers. Consequently, Airbus failed to reach its delivery goal for the year.
Nonetheless, Safran believes its 2023 output forecast is attainable. ”We are confident on 1,700 we have discussed it with our partner GE and we are confident we should be able to be around there,” says chief executive Olivier Andries. ”This is meeting our two airframers’ demands.”
Both Airbus and Boeing plan to increase production of their respective A320neo and 737 Max narrowbody families in 2023. The Leap-1A is on option on the Neo, while the -1B variant is the exclusive power plant on the Max.
Andries, briefing analysts on Safran’s full-year results on February 17, said “that overall supply chain situation has not eased, it has improved a bit on propulsion.”
Source: Safran, Picture Safran
- Norwegian Air agreed with Air Lease to lease six additional Boeing 737 Max 8 with delivery well ahead of the Northern hemisphere summer season.
- Boeing has agreements to purchase 5.6 million gallons ( 21.2 million liters) of blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced by SAF producer Neste, to support its U.S. commercial operations through 2023.
- SmartLynx Airlines has agreed to take a pair of 737 Max jets from lessor SMBC Aviation Capital.
- Alaska Airlines unit Horizon Air operated the last of its De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s flights on January 8.
- GE Aerospace received an order of GE Aerospace and CFM International engines, including 800 Leap engines, 40 GEnx-1B and 20 GE9X engines with long-term service contracts to power the recent Boeing order from Air India.
- Scoot has committed to taking nine Embraer E190-E2 jets from lessor Azorra, making it Southeast Asia’s first E2 family operator.
- Emirates is preparing for the introduction of its Airbus A350 and Boeing 777X fleets with a new pilot-training facility in Dubai. The facility, to be sited next to its current training center, is scheduled to open next year.
Sources: Tata advanced systems, Alaska Airlines, Norwegian, Boeing, GE Aerospace, FlightGlobal
Final Boeing 747 Departs Everett for Its New Home
The final Boeing 747 to be built left the airframes’s Everett, Washington, plant on February 1, closing a five decade long era for the company. The aircraft with the registration number N863GT, which was delivered to cargo carrier Atlas Air Worldwide on January 31, left its parking position at precisely 7:47 local time, and received a water cannon salute as it taxied to runway 16R at Paine Field, north of Seattle.
It lifted off from the airfield at 8:19 local time, and headed southeast for Atlas hub Cincinnati. Before it left the Seattle area, however, it performed one final fly-by over the factory complex which has produced 1,574 of the type since 1969.
But while the events over the past two days mark the end of a successful chapter in Boeing’s history, the youngest 747 airframe will likely fly for the next 40 years, says Atlas Air chief executive officer Jon Dietrich. Atlas was the customer for the final airframes that Boeing produced.
“There’s no specific replacement to the 747-8 and that’s why we are so excited to take the last four,” Dietrich said. Atlas now operates 56 of the type in its all Boeing fleet.
Source: Boeing, Atlas Air, Picture Atlas Air
OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS
Air India Orders 250 Airbus Aircraft and 290 Boeing Jets
The order aims to both modernize and expand the airline’s fleet with the objective of creating a larger and premium full-service carrier that will cater to the growing travel demand in the region. Deliveries are set to start commencing with the first A350-900 arriving by late this year.
“Airbus has been a longstanding partner of Air India, and these new aircraft will play an important part in Air India’s comprehensive transformation and growth strategy,” said Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD, Air India.
“ A core element of this transformation is a significant expansion of our network, both domestically and internationally, coupled with elevation of our on-ground and onboard product to world class standards. This order marks the start of a new chapter for both Airbus and Air India.”
Air India has also selected Boeing’s family of fuel-efficient aircraft to expand its future fleet with plans to invest in 190 737 MAX, 20 787 Dreamliner and 10 777X aircraft.
The agreement between Boeing and Air India includes options for 50 additional 737 MAXs and 20 787-9s. When finalized, this will be the largest Boeing order in South Asia and a historic milestone in the aerospace company’s nearly 90-year partnership with the carrier.
Air India has also contracted with Boeing Global Services for lifecycle support services, including digital solutions, spare parts and landing gear exchange programs, pilot and maintenance technician training, aircraft modifications and other services.
Sources: Airbus, Boeing, Air India, Picture Boeing
Researched and Compiled by :
Ed Kaplanian Commercial Aviation Advisor
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor: Lee Kaplanian