The Kaplanian Report – September 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

 Customers Harness Boeing’s Services Solutions to Support Operations and Growth

Boeing announced a number of services orders and agreements to support international customers, streamline their operations and enhance their future growth.

These supply chain solutions will simplify customers’ asset and maintenance management, inventory and operating costs, while improving parts availability.

The agreements for Boeing’s digital solutions will provide cost savings fleet-wide, enhance airline crew situational awareness and increase operational efficiency.

“As airlines and operators continue to respond to the current challenges facing the global air travel industry, our partners are moving forward, integrating creative solutions to continue connecting people around the world,” said Ted Colbert, president and CEO,Boeing Global Services.”  Boeing is working closely with our customers around the world, delivering the customized solutions they need to improve operational efficiency, support their fleets, and reduce their costs.”

Supply Chain agreements include:

-Alaska Airlines signed its largest consumable and expendable services agreement, with a multi-year agreement for solutions which include Tailored Parts Package and Quick Engine Change kits.  The agreement supports Alaska’s fleet of 737 airplanes and provides price and availability benefits that allow the airline to streamline its maintenance operations.  The Tailored Parts Package consists of 2,900 part numbers.  Throughout the term of this three-year agreement, Boeing anticipates the shipment of nearly 800,000 parts and four Quick Engine Chain kits, which will be used to configure spare engines to allow for quick return of an airplane to service when an engine needs to be repaired or replaced.

-ALL Nippon Airways, the largest airline in Japan, announced a partnership with Boeing Global Services to install a 787-9 galley facility in its new training center to enhance crew training opportunities. And also signed an agreement for ten Quick Engine Change Kits. 

Source: Boeing global Services

                    

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

    Airbus Completed Its Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off & Landing Project

Airbus completed its Autonomous taxi, take-off, and landing project that saw one of its A350-1000 XWBs perform normally pilot-flown maneuvers entirely on its own.

The project’s successful completion opens the door for fully autonomous flights as autopilot already handles most of the functions while airborne.

The common belief with airplanes is that they fly themselves after take-off thanks to autopilot, and pilots can sit back and relax for most of the flight.  But Airbus just took that idea to the next level after proving a passenger jet can perform complex maneuvers without any pilot input.

The European manufacturer just completed flight testing for its Autonomous Taxi, Take-off, and landing project after its flagship aircraft successfully navigated each phase of flight on its own as pilots simply watched.

Over 500 flights were conducted with the new Airbus A350-1000 XWB that utilized         “ image recognition technology” to essentially give the plane a pair of eyes.  The technology, integrated with the A350’s exterior cameras, allowed it to perform the phases of flight on its own, Airbus announced.

With Airbus proving that its jet can also land and taxi on its own, the door is now open to fully autonomous flights.

Source: Airbus/Picture Airbus           

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

            Textron Aviation Introduces the Beechcraft King Air 360 

Textron Aviation has ushered in the next generation of its King Air turboprop family with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER.

The updated turboprop offers the latest technological advancements in the cockpit, a redesigned cabin, and enhancements to passenger comfort.  The aircraft is currently in production with customer deliveries expected to begin in the Fall of 2020. 

The Cockpit is the new digital pressurization controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurization during both climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing overall passenger comfort.  The Pressurization gauges have been integrated with the powerful Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.

With seating for up to nine passengers, the latest King Air offers an even greater passenger experience than its predecessor. The aircraft features a cabin altitude of when compared to the King Air 350i.  The improved cabin altitude levels provide greater comfort to passengers, especially during longer flights.

The new turboprop twin models are priced at $7.9 million and $8.795 million, respectively.

Source: Textron Aviation/Picture Textron Aviation

              Gulfstream Opens New Farnborough Service Center 

Gulfstream Aerospace’s new service center at Farnborough Airport is now open and took in its first aircraft, a Middle East-based Gulfstream, for service.  The 225,000 sq m to 20,903 sq m facility can simultaneously accommodate up to 13 ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650 or G700s.

The Farnborough center is able to provide maintenance, repair, and overhaul services, as well as interior refurbishments and aftermarket modifications.  To complement the site, Gulfstream’s Field and Airborne Support Teams(FAST) continues to maintain a presence at London Luton Airport.

“Gulfstream Farnborough is already seeing great demand,” said Gulfstream Customer Support president Derek Zimmerman.  ”This opening marks the completion of another goal in our overarching strategy to enhance convenience and increase options for our customers.  The new facilities we are building can better accommodate more of the large-cabin Gulfstream aircraft our customers are flying.”

Source: Gulfstream Aerospace

                                                                   

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Israel Government Authority to Recommend El Al Control Permit for Rosenberg

Israel’s Government Companies Authority said it would recommend allowing Eli Rosenberg to buy control of cash-strapped El Al Israel Airlines.

Rosenberg in July offered to funnel $75 million into the airline in return for a 45% stake. He is the son of American businessman Kenny Rosenberg, who is CEO of New York-based nursing home chain Centers Health Care. 

The authority said it would allow control of Israel’s flag carrier with a stake of over $40% conditioned upon proof Rosenberg’s Israeli citizenship or regency.Israel would retain a golden share.

Israel’s finance and transport ministers also need to approve Rosenberg becoming the controlling shareholder.

El Al’s board had agreed to a bailout that could put the carrier back under state ownership after the coronavirus pushed it to the verge of bankruptcy.

The government has offered to back $250 million in bank loans while El Al must issue $150 million in shares, which the state will buy if no one else does.

The carrier’s unions have already agreed to a significant cost-cutting measures.

El Al, which has reported losses for two years running and racked up debt to renew its fleet, suspended flights when Israel closed its borders and furloughed most of its employees.

Source: Reuters/picture El Al

                Emirates Covers Customers from COVID-19 Expenses

Emirates will cover medical expenses of up to EUR 150,000 ($176,000) and quarantine costs of EUR 100 per day ($118.00 prepay for 14 days) should they be diagnosed with Covid-19 during their travel, while they are away from home.

This cover is provided by the airline, free of costs to its customers.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Group chairman and chief executive said: “Under the directive of his Highness Sheik Mohammed,UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Emirates is proud to lead the way in boosting confidence for international travel.  We know people are yearning to fly as borders around the world gradually re-open, but they are seeking flexibility and assurances should something unforeseen happen during their travel.”

He added : “Emirates has worked hard to put in place measures at every step of the customer journey to mitigate risk of infection, and we have also revamped our booking policies to offer flexibility.   We are now taking it to the next level, by being the first in the industry to offer our customers free global cover for Covid-19 medical expenses and quarantine costs should they incur these costs during their travel.  It is an investment on our part, but we are putting our customers firsthand we believe they will welcome this initiative.”

Emirates is the first airline in the world to offer free, global cover for Covid-19 related costs.

Source: Emirates/Picture Emirates

      Taiwan Parliament Passes Proposal To Rebrand China Airlines

Taiwan’s parliament passed a proposal on July 22nd to rebrand the island’s largest airline to avoid confusion with carriers on the Chinese mainland.

China Airlines (CAL) is frequently mistaken for Air China… the mainland’s national carrier…and there have long been calls to rename it or make it more clearly Taiwanese.

But the movement received fresh impetus during the coronavirus pandemic, which Taiwan has successfully tackled.

The self-ruled island has sent medical aid overseas as a diplomatic gesture of goodwill, often on China Airlines aircraft, sparking some public confusion abroad over where the shipments had come from.

The motion did not set a timeline for when the airline should be eventually renamed, saying it would require further discussion.

The name China Airlines is a throwback to the aftermath of the Chinese Civil War, when the defeated Kuomintang nationalists fled to Taiwan.

The Republic of China …Taiwan’s official name…set itself up as a rival to the People’s Republic of China.

Taiwan has since morphed into one of Asia’s most progressive democracies and a distant Taiwanese identity has emerged.

Source: AFP

                                Deferral to Cost Twice as Much

Fiji Airways will have to pay double the amount it owes over a longer period of time if it gets a deferral on a loan, says managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen.

He made the comment while addressing public assumptions on the airline’s cost-cutting efforts.  Mr Vijoen said requesting for a decal from their financier would put the airline in more trouble.

“The second myth that some people are saying is you solve the problem with a deferral,” said Mr. Viljoen.

“ The Banks come to us and say ‘ sure, you can have three months or six months but that’s it ‘, and when the six months is over you repay it together with the normal payments so you got double the payments to make.”  So the noose was loosened slightly for a few months and re-tightened again but now it’s tighter.”

He said the only way a deferral of payment work was if the airline was committed to a longer plan.

According to Mr. Viljoen, Fiji Airways cannot simply hand back leased aircraft.  He said binding agreements signed between the national carrier, leasing companies and financial institutions were a “noose” the airline could not “wiggle out of”.

Fiji Airways has recurring costs of $38 million a month, which includes lease and loan repayments.  Mr. Viljoen said if the airline defaulted on the repayment for one aircraft, it could go belly up.

Source: The Fiji Times

          

      LATEST NEWS

  • Cathay Pacific Airways will transfer a third of passenger aircraft from Hong Kong. The first batch of 12 aircraft will will go to Alice Springs in Australia for storage.

  • Kawasaki, Korean Air renew 787 aft wheel bulkhead contract with Boeing tier one supplier Kawasaki Heavy Industries 
  • Boeing has secured an A$287 million($205 million) sustainment contract for the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) fleet of 12 P-8A maritime patrol aircraft.
  • Vistara, a joint venture between TATA group and Singapore Airlines, took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo in New Delhi on July 24th.

  • KLM will retire its last three Boeing 747-400s in October.  In March KLM announced it would retire the seven total passenger airplanes that were in its fleet, a move prompted by the coronavirus crisis.

  • Boeing’s third 777X airframe has launched on its maiden flightless than a week after the airframer said its first delivery of the type would be pushed back to 2022.
  • Icelandair Group is cutting four Boeing 737 Max jets from its order commitment and revising deliveries of the remaining six as part of a final settlement with Boeing.
  • Cessna SkyCourier the second SkyCourier 408 completed its second flight which lasted one hour and 35 minutes, and reached a maximum altitude of 14,200 feet, and a maximum speed of 210kt (378km/h).

  • Boeings 737 Max backlog declined nearly 20% in the first seven months of 2020,   with the company stripping more than 850 jets from its books due to order cancellations and accounting adjustments.
  • Cathay Pacific appears to have converted a pair of Airbus A350-1000s to the Smaller-900 variant, the Hong Kong-based carrier’s half-year accounts indicate.

Sources: Boeing, Icelandair, Cessna, Cathay Pacific, KLM, Vistara.

AIR CARGO

         GECAS Cargo Tops Up Orderbook with More 737-800BCFs

GECAS(GE Capital Aviation Services) signed an agreement with Boeing converting 11 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter(BCF) options to firm orders and adding nine additional options to the GECAS Cargo order book.

This agreement marks a repeat order by the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric for the 737-800BCF, bringing their total order book for the type to 74(60 firm and 14 options) since the narrowbody conversion program was announced in 2015.  The 20 in this agreement are scheduled to complete conversions between 2022 and 2024.  To date, Boeing has delivered 23 of the converted 737-800BCFs to GECAS for its leasing customers.

“It is an honor to extend our strong partnership with GECAS as they place their third repeat order for the 737-800BCF.  GECAS is renowned for providing great freighter solutions and this order is another testament to the 737-800BCF’s ability to extend the life of an airplane and help cargo carriers reduce operating costs,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing, The Boeing Company.

Source: GECAS

             S7 Plans to Receive Two Boeing Boeing 737-800BCFs

S7 has signed a contract with GECAS to supply two Boeing 737-800BCF air freighters, the Russian air carrier said on Thursday August 13th.  These are the first airplanes fully focused on freight transportation only in the airline fleet.

S7 Airlines ”plans to receive two Boeing 737-800BCF aircraft in November 2020 and in January 2021.”  S7 Cargo, the master agent for sales of freight transportation by S7 Group of companies, will implement commercial management of cargo traffic, the company said .

“ The extra capabilities will be engaged in destinations with high demand and limited capabilities of freight compartments of passenger aircraft.  The wide geography of S7 Airlines’ flights, cooperation with leading logistical companies and branched network of agents enable us to carry various categories of goods and mail within short terms and support efficient loading of aircraft.  According to our estimate, new airplanes will enable increasing the volume of transported cargo and mail by 30%,” S7 cargo CEO IIya Yaroslavtsev said in a comment.

Source: Russian Aviation/ Picture S7

                OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

       Boeing Recognized for Sustainability Leadership

On August 13, 2020, Boeing received a 2020 Sustainability Leadership Award from the National Association of Manufactures.

The award recognizes the company’s innovative efforts to recycle aerospace carbon fiber, diverting waste away from landfills across the globe.

Since 2018, Boeing has partnered with UK based ELG Carbon Fiber to recycle excess aerospace carbon fiber.  Boeing collects the scrap material, which ELG then treats in a furnace to remove binding agents. The result of the process is clean material that can be sold to third parties to make products such as electronic accessories and automotive equipment.

“Boeing is demonstrating that you can be environmentally sustainable in a cost effective way,” said Bryan Scott, vice president of Environment, Health & Safety at Boeing.  ”We are the largest consumer of aerospace-grade composite and the only company able to recycle 100% of it.”

The carbon fiber recycling process has now been implemented at 11 of Boeing’s global airplane manufacturing sites.  Most excess carbon fiber comes from sites in Australia, the Puget Sound region of Washington state, and Salt lake City,Utah.

Boeing will train companies on the recycling process ,beginning with its supply chain.  “Creating commercially viable solutions for recycling carbon fiber composites is good for the industry and good for the environment”, said Tia Benson, director of advanced Materials and Product Development at Boeing.

Source: Boeing

 

                         

 

Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

The Kaplanian Report August 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

                    smart pipe’  Technology for New Boeing 777X

Inmarsat and Boeing are delivering digital aircraft transformation through innovative new ‘smart pipe’ technology on board the new Boeing 777X aircraft.

The new advance in communications technology provides fast and secure inflight broadband connectivity, from the cockpit to the cabin, allowing airlines to use multiple third-party applications at the same time.

The brand new infrastructure has been designed to independently allocate connectivity bandwidth to multiple applications. This enables airlines to unlock important operational benefits such as predictive maintenance, route optimization, modernised air traffic management and real time crew communications, while also offering enhanced passenger entertainment, including high-speed internet and live television.

This ‘smart pipe’ functionality means that applications delivered on two of Inmarsat’s award-winning satcom solutions-GX Aviation and SwiftBroadband-safety (SB_S)-are each able to have a unique service level agreement and guaranteed performance levels, independent of other applications that are also operating through the same terminal.

Phillip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Inmarsat’s GX Aviation and SB_S are already established as the aviation industry’s most advanced global connectivity solutions.”

“The results from initial tests for our ‘smart pipe’ are promising and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Boeing in preparation for the forthcoming entry into service of its new 777X aircraft.”

Source: Arabien Aerospace/Picture Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

       Airbus Concludes ATTOL with Fully Autonomous Flight Tests

In completing this project, Airbus has achieved autonomous taxiing, take-off and landing (ATTOL) of a commercial aircraft through fully automatic vision-based flight tests using on- board image recognition technology-a world- first in aviation.

In total, over 500 test flights were conducted.  Approximately 450 of those flights were dedicated to gathering raw video data, to support and fine tune algorithms; while a series of six test flights, each one including five take-offs and landings per run, were used to test autonomous flight capabilities. 

The ATTOL project was initiated by Airbus to explore how autonomous technologies, including the use of machine learning algorithms and automated tools for data labelling, processing and model generation, could help pilots focus less on aircraft operations and more on strategic decision-making and mission management.  Airbus is now able to analyze the potential of these technologies for enhancing future aircraft operations, all the while improving aircraft safety, ensuring today’s unprecedented levels are maintained.

Airbus will continue research into the application of autonomous technologies along  other innovations in areas such as materials, alternative propulsion systems and connectivity.  By leveraging these opportunities, Airbus is opening up possibilities for creating new business models that will transform how aircraft are developed, manufactured, flown, powered and serviced.

Source: Airbus/Picture Airbus            

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                         Bombardier Delivers 350th Challenger 350

Bombardier celebrated the 350th delivery of its super-midsize Challenger 350, a milestone reached some six years after the 3,200-nm-range twinjet entered service it announced July 9th.  The Canadian business aircraft manufacturer launched the model in 2013 as an upgraded version of the Challenger 300, with a new wing, more powerful Honeywell HTF7350 engines, larger cabin windows, and redesigned interior.

“The 350th delivery of a Challenger 350 aircraft, reached after only six years in service, speaks volumes,” said Bombardier Business Aircraft senior v-p of worldwide sales and marketing Peter Likoray.  ”This achievement shows the great confidence customers place in this aircraft and demonstrates Bombardier’s production proficiency and strong supplier base.”

As of May 31, the worldwide fleet of challenger 350s has logged more than 648,000 flight hours and more than 383,000 landings.

Source: Bombardier/Picture Bombardier

                 Air China Completes Its Maiden ARJ21 Service 

Air China has completed its maiden flight of a Comic ARJ21 on the domestic routing from Beijing to Xilinhot.

The Star Alliance carrier took delivery of its first of the regional jet on June 28 alongside China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines.

Last August, the three carriers announced on the same day deals to each purchase 35 ARJ21-700 regional jets from COMAC, with deliveries from 2020 through 2024.

The ARJ21 entered commercial operations four years ago after a lengthy development period and is China’s first domestically manufactured airliner.

Source: Comac/Picture Air China        

                                                             

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                          VIP RAF Voyager Ready for Global Role 

The Royal Air Force (RAF) Voyager “Vespina” has completed its refurbishment to provide a secure, cost-effective and suitably profiled transport for Government Ministers and the Royal Family. The aircraft now proudly displays the Union Flag alongside RAF markings and is ready to represent the UK across the globe.

The smart new paint scheme will promote the UK around the world while transporting Ministers, senior members of the Royal Family and their delegations on trade, diplomatic and other missions.

After weeks of work, the Voyager returned to RAF Brize Norton where it will operate alongside the rest of the RAF Voyager fleet. Alongside its VIP Role, the aircraft remains certified for its original use, including Air-to Air Refueling and personnel transport. It can fly from almost any airport across the world that can take an Airbus A330, and its range allows it to reach much of the world without costly and time-consuming refueling.

The aircraft, known as Vespina is also referred as’ZZ336’ which is its military registration number, was previously visually indistinguishable from the rest of the Operational Voyager Fleet. This external Paint Scheme will better reflect its VIP mission and Contribution to ‘Global Britain’.

Source: RAF News/Picture RAF

           British Airways Took Delivery of Its First Boeing 787-10 

On Sunday June 28, 2020, British Airways took delivery of the first of twelve Boeing 787-10 aircraft.

Aircraft G-ZBLA  landed at London Heathrow after being dispatched from Charleston, South Carolina .

The arrival of the Boeing 787-10 aircraft is some six months later than intended.

BA originally planned to take delivery of six Boeing 787-10s this year, with the first originally due in January and all twelve aircraft delivered by 2023.  The first route was due to be Atlanta, but this may change.

IAG has confirmed that, since Covid-19, it plans to defer the delivery of eleven new long-haul aircraft between now and 2022—some of these include planned deliveries to Iberia.

The Boeing 787-10 will take BA’s fleet of 787 family aircraft to 42. Compared to other Boeing 787 aircraft, the 787-10 is a larger aircraft, with length of 68 m(223 ft) compared to 57m(187ft) for the 787-8 and 63m(206ft) for the 787-9, but with the same height and wingspan.

Other airlines operating the 787-10 include Etihad, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines.

For BA, the Boeing 787-10 is configured in four classes with 8 seats in first Class, 48 in Club World (featuring Ba’s new Club Suite), 35 seats in World Traveller Plus and 156 seats in World Traveller.

Source: london travel.com/British Airways/Picture British Airways  

      LATEST NEWS

  • Sino-Russian CR929 Russia has disclosed that the Sino-Russian CR929 wide body program will make its first delivery in 2028-2029, with what appears to be another round of delays in the program’s production time line.
  • American Airlines’ pilot union is now reviewing Boeing’s latest 737 Max pilot training draft—a document the union describes as vastly more thorough than previous drafts.
  • Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Operators of Rolls-Royce powered Boeing 787s are set to be instructed to conduct inspections of Certain Trent 1000 low-pressure turbine discs, over a possible braking risk.
  • De Havilland Canada delivered the first of six Dash 8-400 aircraft to TAAG Angola Airlines, as it builds out its networks to the country’s smaller communities.
  • BOC Aviation has cancelled an order for 30 Boeing 737 Max jets, and intends to defer delivery of others.
  • Airbus delivered 196 aircraft over the first six months of the year, half the figure of 389 it had achieved at the same point in 2019.

  • FAA(the Federal Aviation Administration)  has completed three days of flight tests on the Boeing 737 Max ahead of possible recertification in the coming months.
  • China Southern Airlines launches ARJ21-700 service with an inaugural flight between Gangzhou and Jieyang, a city in eastern Guangdong province. 

  • Helvetic Airways has signed a commitment with Embraer to convert four of their remains firm orders to the larger E195-E2 aircraft.

  • Garuda Indonesia is in talks with Airbus to delay deliveries of four aircraft this year.The Indonesian flag carrier has nine A330neos on order that have yet to be delivered, according to the Airbus order book.

Sources: Airbus, Garuda, BOC Aviation, Embraer, De Havilland Canada, Rolls -Royce, Flightglobal.

AIR CARGO

        Sky Gates Airlines Grows Fleet by Adding a B747-400 Freighter

After launching services between Russia, Europe and the Far East at the end of last year; Sky Gates Cargo airlines is going to increase their freighter fleet with another Boeing 747-400 freighter.

The Boeing 747-400F is an ex-Cathay Pacific aircraft which is currently operated by Silk Way West Airlines who is the partner airline of Sky Gates.

Sky Gates is a Russian all-cargo airline with its European Hub in Maastricht serving Moscow and Novosibirsk on scheduled bases to and from the Fair East.

Senior vice president, Nidjat Babayev explains: “As a startup carrier we are happy to pursue our strategy in increasing our fleet step-by-step.  After having received the 2nd aircraft, the planning of a 3rd 747-400F will start.

“We are motivated by the support of our customers and we are convinced of the huge potential the Russian air cargo market will offer Sky Gates. Not only we do see high numbers of flown hours on our first aircraft, we already do have commitments on the 2nd aircraft.”

Source: Air Cargo Week

 OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

                          British Airways Retires Its Boeing 747s

On July 17th, British Airways said it has retired “with immediate effect” its 31 Boeing 747s, adding that the airplanes have “likely” flown their last commercial service.  The airline attributed the abrupt decision to accelerate the retirements to Covid-19 affects.

For over 50 years, Boeing’s “Queen of the Skies” has been the world’s most easily recognized jetliner with its humped fuselage and four engines.  But its days were already numbered before the pandemic struck earlier this year.

The move by BA comes after Australia’s Qantas Airways said in June it would retire its remaining 747 felt immediately, six months ahead of schedule.

BA’s predecessor airline BOAC first introduced the 747 on London-NewYork route in 1971 after one year delay caused with dispute with pilots over terms for flying the new jet.

Hugh Dibley, a former BOAC captain and racing driver who joined the airline in 1958, said the 747’s introduction marked a new era, but was beset with teething problems with its engines.

Landing and taxiing also took some getting used to, from the cockpit positioned almost 30 feet above the ground-or more when angling the nose higher just before touching the runway.

“It was a delight to fly as it was so stable.  The initial issue was its height from the ground.  It was like landing a block of flats from the 2nd floor,” Dibley told Reuters.

BA’s Jumbos are the 747-400 model, the most-sold version of the jet which was introduced in 1989.  After BA, only a handful of airlines including Rossiya Airlines and Air China continue to operate them, according to Cirium data.

Source: Reuters/Picture British Airways

 

 

                         

Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

 

 

 

The Kaplanian Report July 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

           CAAC Leading Industry’s Recovery: Boeing Executive

“The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is playing a leading role in guiding the recovery of China’s aviation industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic”, Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said Wednesday, June 10th.

“It’s important that we reassure passengers and crew through words and action that flying in an airplane is safe and secure.  China’s aviation sector is responding to this challenge,” Deal told Xinhua.  

“We commend the CAAC for taking a leadership role is putting in place protocols to curb the spread of Covid-119 and encourage the safe resumption of flying,” he said.

The industry at large appreciates the agency’s guidelines for airports, operators and crew members on easing the transition to regular commercial flights, Deal noted. 

It is encouraging to see ” domestic traffic in China” reach “70 percent of pre-Covid levels,”

he added.

The aviation industry is facing an unprecedented shock from the pandemic, the speed and scale of which have not been seen in more than a century.

“However, this is a resilient industry that will recover and grow again,” said Deal.

Boeing has launched its “Confident Travel Initiative” to explore technologies to further minimize air travel health risks and heighten public awareness of safeguards already in place.

In China, ”air traffic is beginning the long climb back to pre-Covid levels.  People need and want to fly.   We are working hard with our industry partners to make sure they can do so,” Deal said.

Source : Xinhua News Agency/Microsoft Azure Translator   

               

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

    Last A380 Convoy In French Village Spells End of an Aviation Era

The last convoy of outsize parts for the A380 airliner crawled towards an assembly plant in southwest France late Wednesday, June 17th, was applauded by residents and production workers as Europe’s Airbus prepares to build the last A380.

Trucks carrying three fuselage sections squeezed through the rural village of Levignac on their way to Toulouse, where the final A380 will be assembled before the model ends production in 2021, just 14 years after entering service.

Faced with weak sales of the four-engined airplane, beaten on efficiency by smaller jets like the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, Airbus announced the early halt last year.

One truck bore the sign “Goodbye Saint-Nazaire,” the name of the French plant where some sections are pre-assembled.

Airbus had bet billions on its vision of 555-seater jets, but without the A380, executives argued, Airbus would not have been able to knit a consortium of France, Germany, Britain and Spain into one European entity.

Source: Reuters/Picture Airbus           

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                                        Netherlands Air Force One

The Netherlands recently acquired a new VIP Boeing Business Jet 737 for top government officials to use.

The Dutch royal family as well as high-ranking officials such as the prime minister, use the aircraft for state business, including traveling overseas for state visits.

King Willem-Alexander, as a licensed pilot, frequently flies the aircraft and it was revealed the royal was flying for fun as a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines co-pilot for 21 years. The royal kept a low profile, never revealing his identity to passengers.

When KLM retired the aircraft he flew, a Fokker 70, it was time for the king to get upgraded to a larger jet: the Boeing 737.  Retraining on the new plane meant Willem-Alexander could fly the Boeing 737 from the manufacturer’s Boeing Business Jet facility in Seattle to the Netherlands.

Source : Business Insider/Picture Boeing Business Jet

                          Gulfstream to End G550 Production

Gulfstream is nearing the end of the line for its workhorse G550 with the announcement that it has taken the last order for the ultra-long-range twinjet.  Ending what will be an 18-year production run, final commercial version will be delivered to a customer in 2021.

After a program launch in 2000, the G550 entered service in 2003 with the debut of the airframes’s PlaneView flight dockhand.   Its design team earned that year’s Robert J. Collier Trophy for its technological innovations and safety enhancements.  The G550 has since been supplanted in the company’s product lineup by the G600, which entered service last year.

“The G550 set the standard for subsequent aircraft and the industry,” said Gulfstream president Mark Burns.  ”With more than 600 in service, the G550 has earned its place  as a leader in business aviation.”  With a range of 6,750 nm and high altitude capabilities, the up-to-19-passenger aircraft also saw use as a special mission platform.

Source: Gulfstream/Picture Gulfstream

                                                                 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                             Sabeti Wain Lets Passengers Sit Safely

Sabeti Wain Aerospace, which dominates the Middle East region with its aircraft seating covers, has developed a seat safety product for airlines to consider.

“The seat safety product is a clear plastic flat packed-so it can be stored in the cabin without taking too much room,” said Paymen Sabeti, director.

The product has been development following the current Covid-19 pandemic to offer safety and peace of mind for both passengers and airlines.

“The seat safety product can be attached behind the headrest on the seat and will over the sides and the top of the passengers head from the passenger sitting next to and behind.  It is priced to be affordable and purchased in large numbers for all economy seats in the cabin,” said Sabeti.

Sabeti said the company, which has a facility in Dubai, offers two options; plain plastic or with leather or fabric stitched to the sides and back.

Source: Sabeti Wain Aerospace/Picture Sabeti Wain Picture

                                KLM Trials Sustainable Taxiing

On May 27 KLM started taking part in a trial at Schiphol to test sustainable ways to taxi aircraft. The trial is being carried out with a Taxibot. This is a hybrid towing vehicle which, unlike the normal pushback trucks, is licensed to tow full aircraft to near the start of the runway, without the aircraft having to start its engines.

This is expected to reduce fuel consumption during taxiing by 50% to 85%.  Schiphol Airport has made Taxibot available to KLM, Transavia and Corendon to enable them to carry out joint research into more sustainable ways to taxi.

During the test, an empty KLM Boeing 737 was towed to the runway by the Taxibot. ”It’s important to find out how far we can cut CO2 emissions by using the Taxibot,” explained KLM’s project manager, Jeroen Jaartsveld.

We’d also like to know how long it takes to taxi with the Taxibot, what effect this has on aircraft engines maintenance, and how we might introduce sustainable taxiing with Taxibots on a large scale into Schiphol’s daily operations”.

KLM’s sustainability initiative, Fly Responsibly, launched last year, included a commitment to reducing carbon emissions caused by taxiing.

This will contribute to KLM’s ambition to cut its fleet’s total carbon emissions by 15% compared to 2005.

Source: KLM/KLM Picture

        S.Korea to Lease Korean Air’s 747-8i as New Presidential Plane

Both Korea signed a five year contract with Korean Air Lines Co. in May to lease a Boeing 747-8i jet as the next presidential plane, the defense ministry said.

Under a 242.3 million US dollars deal, the country’s No.1 air carrier will provide pilots, crew members, mechanics, as well as a back-up plane of the same type for the president’s overseas trips, according to the ministry.

The plane will enter service in November next year after going through remodeling work necessary inspection, it said.

The lease period for the current presidential jet, 747-400, was originally planned to expire in March after a five-year operation, but has been extended until October next year as the government failed to find a new contractor in time.

The new plane will be equipped with various security and communication devices, as well as hardware to improve its defense against outside attacks, such as missiles.

A ministry official said while a purchase option is not currently on the table, the government can consider buying when circumstances are met.

Source: Yonhap News 

      

LATEST NEWS

  • Southwest & JetBlue top annual list of most satisfying air carriers published by J.D. Power.                                                                                                                                                 
  • United Airlines delivered 7,500 face masks to front line employees at San Francisco International Airport and the airline’s San Francisco Maintenance Base that were made from 12,284 pounds of uniforms United upcycled.                                                                   
  • Rolls-Royce Deutschland has delivered the 8,000th engine manufactured at its Dahlewiz, Germany facility.The milestone engine, A BR725 powerplant, went to Gulfstream Aerospace and will be installed on a G650ER.                                                         
  • EasyJet has reached an agreement with Airbus to push back by five years the delivery of 24 aircraft.
  • Middle East Airlines(MEA) introduces a new livery with its first Airbus A321neo.  The company is also celebrating its 75th anniversary.
  • Textron Aviation has delivered the 250th Cessna Citation M2 entry-level jet on June 15 to Fast Rabbit Aviation in Seattle.

  • Qatar Airways has finally retaken delivery of its Boeing 787-9s.The four aircraft arrived following a period in storage at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville.

Source: Textron, Qatar, Rolls-Royce, United airline, Middle East Airlines

 

AIR CARGO

                      DHL Orders Freighter Conversion  of 767-300ERs

German express carrier DHL has contracted with Israel Aerospace Industries(IAI) to convert three Boeing 767-300ER passenger planes to all-cargo configuration.

The contract, which IAI stated also includes an option for DHL to have IAI to convert a fourth 767-300ER to freighter service.

DHL operates more than 260 aircraft with 17 partner airlines on more than 3,000 daily flights.

In February, DHL received the first of six new Boeing 777-200LR freighters scheduled for delivery this year.   The company ordered 14 777-200 LRFs in 2018, with four delivered last year and another four coming in 2021.

Source: DHL/Picture DHL

 

OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

                Alaska Airlines Advances Airbus A320 Retirements

Alaska Airlines is moving forward with plans to retire more Airbus A320s even as it ponders the shape its future fleet amid uncertainty over the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Seattle-based carrier is keeping plans to retire seven of its 49 remaining A320s in 2021, under an updated fleet plan released on Monday June 22nd.  In addition, Alaska will retire one 737-800 and hopes to take delivery of 15 737MAX 8s next year.

The move comes as Alaska continues to weigh whether to keep the A320s planned through around 2024, or accelerate their retirement due to the pandemic.

Alaska has retired 12 planes its 10 A319s plus two A320s so far in the crisis.  And while the update fleet plan does not show more aircraft retirements this year, the airline noted in a footnote that: “it is probable that the current outlook as stated will change significantly.”

The fate of the classic A320 jets that Alaska inherited from Virgin America has been questioned since their merger in 2016.  Alaska was an all 737 mainline operator for nearly a decade prior to the merger, something it touted by emblazoning the slogan “Proudly All Boeing” on the fuselage of its Boeing jets.

The 2021 fleet plan does not outline a long-term decision for Alaska. What it does do to paraphrase Deutsche Bank analyst Michael Linenberg, is confute to make the fleet decision “in real time.”

Earlier in June, Alaska president Ben Minicucci said the airline only plans to fly about half of what it flew in 2019 in August.   On the top that, Alaska will be 20% smaller in 2021 than it was last year with revenues down as much as 35%.

Source: Alaska Airlines/Ed’s Research

                         

 

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

 

 

Kaplanian Report – June 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

    Boeing to Model Potential Spread of Pathogens Inside Aircraft Cabin

Boeing appointed an executive on Thursday, May 14, to lead the company’s Confident Travel Initiative, the plan that intended to help people get back on planes.

Boeing named Mike Delany, currently vice president of digital transformation at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, to the role, which aims to “minimize air travel health risks” in a Covid-19 world.

“As air travel slowly begins to resume and restrictions ease around the globe, health and safety remain our top priorities,” said Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun in the company’s news release.  ”Mike’s deep technical expertise, leadership skills, industry knowledge and great passion for our customers make him uniquely qualified to lead this effort.”

Delany will work with Boeing customers to design and implement policies regarding facial coverings, plane cleaning, and temperature checks.  The checks will have to be completed before boarding, adding another level of complexity for travelers and airlines.

Boeing also referenced its commitment to air quality when announcing the new role.  All Boeing planes are equipped with high-efficiency particulate air, also known as HEPA, filters, ”similar to those used in hospitals and industrial clean room.”  The company says HEPA filters are better than 99.9% effective at removing particulates including viruses.

Air filtration helps, but it doesn’t eliminate the risk of disease transmission. Bacteria and viruses are viable on surfaces—such as seat-back pockets—for some time after being deposited by a cough or sneeze.

Boeing hopes modeling will predict how the virus might spread through aircraft with differing seating configurations.The company hopes to determine how variables such as coughing (with or without masks) and use of hand sanitizer might affect potential contagion.

“We are using science as opposed to anecdote…and emotionally-driven responses,” says Delany, who is also Boeing’s vice-president of digital transformation.

Source: Boeing/Barron’s/Picture Shtterstock

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                   Airbus Opens A220 Hanger in Mobile, Alabama

Airbus celebrated a pair of milestones at its commercial aircraft production in Mobile, Alabama; announcing the official inauguration of production activities in its newly built final assembly line hanger and the start of the first U.S.-built A220 for JetBlue.

The new 270,000-sq-ft hanger, capable of accommodating assembly of both A220-100 and A220-300 aircraft, has officially opened for business after an 18-month construction project.   It houses five primary assembly stations where workers attach major airframe component assemblies for a completed aircraft in a flow line process. Airbus began producing A220 aircraft in Mobile in August 2019, using space in an existing A320 final assembly line hanger, and newly built support hangers.  With the completion of the new hanger, the Airbus production site in Alabama has doubled in size.

Airbus recently welcomed the first component assemblies destined to become an A220 for JetBlue into the new hanger.  JetBlue will become the second customer that takes an A220 from Mobile, following Delta Air Lines.  JetBlue expects to take delivery of the first U.S.-made A220 during this year’s fourth quarter.

“The team is excited to start working in their new facility and welcome a new customer,” said Airbus president of A220 USA Paul Gaskell. “It’s a strong endorsement from JetBlue in this challenging time,” said Paul Gaskell, president of A220 USA and head of A220 Program in Mobile.

Source: Airbus/Airbus Photo

         

        REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                           Cessna SkyCourier Completes First Flight

The Cessna SkyCourier twin-turboprop prototype lifted off on its first flight Sunday morning May 17 from Beech Field at Textron Aviation’s east campus in Wichita. Piloted by senior test pilot Corey Eckhart and chief test pilot Aaron Tobias, the utility twin flew for two hours and 15 minutes.

“We were very pleased with how the Cessna SkyCourier performed throughout its first flight,” Eckhart said.”It was particularly impressive to see how stable the aircraft handled on takeoff and landing. The Cessna SkyCourier already displays a high level of maturity in its flight characteristics, especially for a first flight.”

“We were able to accomplish everything we wanted on this flight, and that’s an excellent start to the flight test program.”

With an initial order from FedEx for 50 copies of the high-wing airplane and options for 50 more, the SkyCourier is capable of flying 200 ktas powered by two 1,100-shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC turboprop engines driving 110-inch McCauley propellers.  It also features a Garmin G1000 NXi flight deck.

Configurable for both cage and commuter operations, the high-wing turboprop is designed to carry a payload of up to 6,000 pounds.  It is equipped with an 87-inch cargo door, a flat floor, and a nearly 70-inch tall and wide cabin to accept three standard LD3 air cargo containers.  In passenger configuration, it will have seating for up to 19 passengers, with a netted cabin area for luggage and equipment.  It also will be available in a mixed passenger/cargo combination.

Source: Textron Aviation

         Boeing Business Jets New Aircraft Development Continues 

As the 737 Max crisis rumbles on, Boeing says it is “staying close to VIP customers” on the re-engines narrow body.

Two examples of the BBJ Max 8 have been delivered green to date, and while Boeing is continuing to work on the -9 and -7 variants, it will not give a delivery timeframe for either model.

The pair were originally scheduled for certification and customer handover in 2020 and 2022 respectively.  Boeing records 14 orders for the CFM international Leap-1B-powered BBJ Max, most of them -8s- though Boeing Business Jet expects the shorter Max 7 to be the eventual favorite, owing to its 7,000nm(13000km)-range:360nm longer than the -8 and 675nm longer than the -9.

Boeing has also expanded its VIP wide body offering with the introduction in late 2018 of the BBJ777X.  The twin-aisle airliner is the updated version of the BBJ 777, of which Boeing has sold 13 examples to date.

Boeing describes the 777X as a “far superior offering”, with GE Aviation GE9X engines and a new, more advanced composite wing.

As of this month two Boeing BBJ Max 8s have been delivered.

Source: Boeing Business Jets/Picture Boeing

                                                                      

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Air France Terminates A380 Fleet with Immediate Effect

Air France has accelerated plans to phase out its Airbus A380 fleet and will retire the aircraft immediately rather than in 2022 as previously scheduled.

Air France grounded its A380s on March 16 as the coronavirus pandemic began to take a toll on operations, before ultimately suspending the majority of its scheduled passenger flights. Air France-KLM announced on May 20 the “definitive end” of the French carrier’s Airbus A380 operations.

“Initially scheduled by the end of 2022, the phase-out of Airbus A380 fleet fits in the Air France-KLM Group fleet simplification strategy of making the fleet more competitive, by continuing its transformation with more modern, high-performance aircraft with significantly reduced environmental footprint,” the group says.

Five of the Airbus A380 aircraft in the current fleet are owned by Air France or on finance lease.  A further four are on operating lease.  Air France-KLM says the impact of the A380 phase-out write down is estimated at $547 million dollars and will be booked in the second quarter of 2020 as a non-current cost/expenses.  The fleet is powered by Engine Alliance GP7200s.

In December Air France-KLM Group said it was ordering another 10 Airbus A350-900s, which would be used to replace the company’s A380s.

Source: Air France/Picture Air France

                                Delta to Retire Its 777 Fleet

Delta Air Lines will retire its Boeing 777 fleet by the end of 2020 as the coronavirus crisis continues to disrupt global travel, creating openings for airlines to permanently streamline fleets and save money by shifting to more-efficient aircraft.  The move will leave Delta with a single type of ultra-long aircraft: Airbus A350s.

The Atlanta-based airline has 18 777s, including 10 of the long-range 777-200LR variant, according to Cirium fleets data.  Nine of these are currently operating and nine are in storage.

Delta’s first 777s joined the fleet 21 years ago, and the airline says it will replace them with its next-generation A350-900s;  which burn 21% less fuel than the Boeing jets. Delta has nine  A350s in service, four in storage and 12 on order, according to Cirium.

In past weeks the airline used 777s for cargo and repatriation flights between North American and cities in Asia,Europe and Australia.

Source: Delta Air Lines/Picture Delta Air Lines 777-200LR

           Airbus and Rolls-Royce Have Axed the E-Fan X Project

Airbus and Rolls-Royce axed the e-FanX demonstrator programs year before the experimental hybrid-electric engine airliner was supposed to fly.  The E-Fan X program was launched to explore electric aviation and involved equipping a BAE Systems Avro RJ100 with a hybrid powertrain.  But Airbus chief technology officer Grazia Vittadini says the airframer is having to “ navigate the realities” of a world impacted by the corona virus crisis, and concentrate on priorities.

She says Airbus and Rolls-Royce have as a result “jointly decided” to “bring the E-Fan X demonstrator to an end”.  “As with all ground-breaking research projects, it’s our duty to constantly evaluate and reprioritize them to ensure alignment with our ambitions,” she adds.

“These decisions are not always easy.  But they are undoubtedly necessary to stay the course.”  Vittadini points out that the effort to decarbonize the aviation industry is “no small feat”, adding: “to achieve this, we need to re-focus all our efforts on technology bricks that will take us there.”  The E-Fan X, launched in 2017, was due to carry out its maiden flight in 2021.

Source: Flightglobal

   Mitsubishi Aircraft to Close all Non-Japan Locations, Shelves M100 

Mitsubishi Aircraft is closing all non-Japan locations and moving all Spacejet activities back to its headquarters in Nagoya, Japan, above coming in response to cost pressure amid the coronavirus aerospace downturn.

As part of the consolidation to Japan, the company will halt flight testing of its 90-seat SpaceJet M100 regional jet and suspend development of its 76-seat M100, Mitsubishi Aircraft says.

Most effected outside Japan is its operations in the US Northwest.  The Mitsubishi Aircraft U.S. headquarters in Renton will close, and flight test operations in Moses Lake will cease operations.

Mitsubishi Aircraft has not announced any change to a plan under which its parent Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will acquire Bombardiers’s CRJ program for $550 million.

Source: Mitsubishi Aircraft/Picture Mitsubishi Aircraft        

      

LATEST NEWS

  • BOC Aviation has signed a purchase-and-leaseback agreement with Southwest Airlines for 10 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
  • Emirates largest operator of the Airbus A380 axes the aircraft and seen cutting deliveries.
  • Boeing the U.S. Navy received its 100th P-8A aircraft from Boeing on May 14 as the global fleet, which also includes the Indian navy and the Australian and the U.K. airfares approaches 300,000 flight hours.

  • Lauda subsidiary of Ryanair plans to cancel all Airbus deliveries and replace them with ones from Boeing.

  • American Airlines is parking its fleet of Airbus A330-200s in storage until at least 2022, part of the airline’s broader effort to downsize in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
  • Air Lease Corp said it would reduce capital expenditure on new jets in a move likely to restrict its-near-term growth; but still support liquidity’s it faces demands from airlines for rental relief seen as crucial to their survival.
  • United Aircraft of Russia is set to begin mating the tail and engine pylons for the first llyushin ll-96-400M, which is undergoing assembly at the Voronezh-based VSO plant.

  • Saab Aircraft has secured an SKr1.6 billion ($ 165 million) order for an undisclosed number of its Saab 2000 Erieye airborne early warning control (AEW&C) system aircraft.

Source:  Air Lease, Emirates,Saab Aircraft,American Airlines, Ryanair, United Aircraft,Boeing

 

AIR CARGO

     Alaska Airlines Transports  First Copper River Salmon to Seattle

Alaska Airlines teamed with partners to fly the first catch of salmon from Copper River to Seattle on May 15th.  The first to enjoy the fish will be over 200 healthcare workers from the Swedish Medical Center-Ballard.

The first catch of fresh, sustainable Copper River salmon arrived in Seattle on an Alaska Airlines plane.  This is not new for the airline.  Some Alaskan communities rely on Salmon exports for economic success.  In Cordova, Alaska, over 50% of local residents work in the fishing industry.  Thanks to air travel, the fish can end up in markets less than 24 hours after being pulled from the water.

Managing director of cargo for the airline, Torque Zubeck, said the following:  “ Alaska Air Cargo has been a partner of the Alaska seafood industry.  Now more than ever we provide a critical service that directly impacts the economic vitality of the region.  In Cordova alone, more than half of residents are directly involved in the fishing industry or related business.”

Chef Douglas will feature the salmon donated by seafood processors and Copper River Marketing Association to create over 200 meals for Seattle-area medical professionals.  Alaska Airlines will send pilots, flight attendants, and management employees to be part of the efforts after carrying the fish on its planes.

Source: Alaska Airlines/Picture Alaska Airlines

                      OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

            The Planes in Spain Parked Neatly on the Plain

Dozens of passenger aircraft belonging to European carriers stand idled in neat lines in what has become a giant airplane parking lot amid the flat farmlands of eastern Spain.

Teruel Airport specializes in the storage and maintenance of aircraft, and business has boomed since coronaviris lockdowns globally forced airlines across Europe to ground fleets for several weeks.  There is no end in sight for many.

Planes showing the markings of commercial airlines including: British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France stand parked, buffeted by spring wind blowing across the plain.

“Teruel’s climate is dry-semi-desert with more than 250 days of sun per year,” said airport manager Alejandro Ibrahim.

“Also there is very little air traffic congestion which makes it the ideal place for plane preservation and maintenance.”

The airport currently hosts 95 wide-body aircraft, including eight of the world’s largest passenger airliners-the Airbus A380.  The number of planes arriving per week to be parked in the airport has doubled since the start of the pandemic.  The airport, owned by the local government, has not increased its rates since the beginning of the crisis, Ibrahim said.

The sudden stop to air travel has led airlines struggling to find space to store their planes. In Europe, some airlines have grounded their entire fleets and are storing their aircraft by parking them in airports, including on now-unused runways.

Source: Reuters/Picture spainsnews.com

                         

 

 

 Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kaplanian Report – May 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

                 Status of Boeing Strategy Concerning the 737 & 787

Boeing believes it will resume 737 Max deliveries in the third quarter of 2020, with chief executive David Calhoun saying the company is progressing well through certification work despite challenges posed by coronavirus.

“We currently expect the necessary regulatory approval to allow Max deliveries in the third quarter,” Calhoun says on April 29.  ”We are very confident that the process will conclude with the certification.”

Boeing is now working through what Calhoun describes as “a mountain” of documentation work.  He says the certification pace has been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced staff to work from home.

Boeing expects to resume 737 Max production this year at “low rates”.   It does not specify initial production volumes, but says production will “gradually increase” to 31 aircraft monthly in 2021, with additional increases to follow.

As to the 787, Boeing has no immediate plan to restructure its 787 manufacturing footprint despite announcing a major cut in production.  However, Chief Executive David Calhoun says Boeing will have time to review it manufacturing strategy in the coming years, as 787 production further declines.

On April 29 Boeing announced it will reduce 787 production from 14 aircraft monthly to 10 monthly this year-end then to seven monthly by 2022.

“Certainly, both lines will be running during the initial phase of reducing production to 10 787 monthly.”  Calhoun says.  ”We have not made any decision on the 787 production locations,” he adds of production requirements after 2020.

“We will have plenty of time to figure out exactly the way to go.”

Source: Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

  Airbus Sees More Pain in Commercial Market Through 3Q 2020

Airbus does not expect to have clear visibility of full short-to medium-term impact of the Covid-19 crisis until June.  In a briefing for financial analysts the morning of April 29 to announce diminished first-quarter results for 2020, Airbus indicated that it will likely defer decisions on steps to right-size the business for another two or three months.  This will allow more time to reassess the situation of its airline customers and also get more complete guidance from governments on steps to ease lockdown restrictions.

Group CEO Guillaume Faury told analysts that the greatest Covid-19 impact so far has been on its commercial aircraft business.  Its short-term reaction has been to scale back production rates by around a third to 48 units a month, including 40 A320s, 6 A350s and 2 A330s.  The A220 production line in Canada is expected to return progressively to a monthly output rate of 4 aircraft.

“The industry is now facing the gravest crisis in its history and we have a strong focus on matching production to demand and also cash containment,” Faury said.

Earlier in April Airbus announced that it is tapping government-backed payroll protection support schemes.  This has resulted in around 3,000 being furloughed on close to full pay in France and a further 3,200 in the UK.

Airbus is deferring further decisions on possible workforce reductions until June, when it expects to have a clearer idea of reduced demand for airliners.

Source: Airbus          

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

  Supersonic Jet Maker Aerion to Build Manufacturing Site In Florida

Supersonic business jet company Aerion will manufacture its in-development AS2 transport aircraft at a new facility in the Florida city of Melbourne, in the heart of the state’s aerospace cluster.

The company, currently based in Reno, intends this year to begin constructing in Melbourne a “global headquarters and integrated campus for research, design, build and maintenance” of the AS2, Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ office said on April 24.  Aerion’s media representative confirms the plan.

The $300 million project will create a facility called “ Aerion Park” in a region of Florida known as the “Space Coast”, says the governor.

The Company intends to begin manufacturing AS2 there in 2023, and the site will employ 675 people by 2026. 

“ Having evaluated a number of potential locations for our new home, we are excited to partner with Florida and Melbourne community to create a sustainable supersonic future,” says Aerion chief executive Tom Vice.  Aerion has said it hopes to complete first flight of the 12- passenger AS2 in 2024.

Source: Aerion/Picture Aerion          

                                                       

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

        AvioInteriors Seating Innovation Addresses Covid Concerns

Italian aircraft seat and cabin interior supplier AvioInteriors has released a concept for new seating solution designed to theoretically allow airlines to fill their middle seats amid Covid-19 concerns.  Calling it a “kit-level solution”, operators can install on existing seats to make close proximity safer, the company’s Glasssafe and Janus products feature transparencies to create an isolated volume around the passenger to avoid or minimize the spread of germs between occupants.

The Company can supply a Glasssafe retrofit kit in opaque material or with different degrees of transparency.   AvioInteriors designed the application with various executions and fixing systems that allow easy installation and removal and to allow for traditional seat-back magazine pockets and tables.

The Proposal for the second product, called Janus, features a center seat of a three-abreast layout positioned in the opposite direction, while passengers seated on the side seats, aisle, and fuselage continue to face in the forward direction.

As in the Glasssafe applications high shield that prevents breath propagation surrounds each Janus seat.  But another advantage of the Janus setup is the middle seat passenger has unobstructed access to both armrests.

If approved the AvioInteriors products would allow airlines to generate 33 percent more revenue if regulators call for middle seats to remain empty.  In fact, International Air Transport Association director general Alexandre de Juniac warned of the likelihood of higher airfares due to empty middle seat requirement.

Source: ainonline

              Southwest Delays Deliveries of 59 737 Max to Post-2021

Southwest Airlines, among the world’s top Boeing 737 Max customers, has pushed back deliveries of 59 Max aircraft in response to the travel downturn caused by the coronaviris pandemic.

Previously, Southwest anticipated receiving 107 Max jets from Boeing in 2020 and 2021, including 62 aircraft that had been scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 45 scheduled for 2021, securities filing shows.

The airline provides few details about how many 737 Max aircraft it intends to acquire in 2020 and 2021, other than saying it expects to receive less than 27 jets from Boeing this year.

Those 737 Max are aircraft Boeing manufactured for Southwest after regulators grounded the type in March 2019.  Boeing continued manufacturing the jets after grounding, storing the airliners until the grounding lifts.

Southwest is “still working on specifics of how many we want to take between now and the end of the year,” chief financial officer Tammy Romo says, during Southwest’s first-quarter earnings call on April 28.  “We have fleet flexibility.”

News of the deferrals came the day Southwest reported a first-quarter loss of$94 million, reflecting the collapse of travel demand during the pandemic.

While some Max customers have cancelled orders in recent weeks, Romo says Southwest still prefers to take new jets.”Our preference is to get new airplanes from Boeing,” she says.

Romo adds that “Max’s 14% fuel savings (compared to 737NGS) is still very meaningful and significant”, despite tumbling fuel prices, which have eroded the financial value of efficiency.

Source: Southwest/Flightglobal

                   Delta to Retire Its MD-88, MD-90 Fleets in June

Delta Air Lines will retire the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft earlier than previously planned, with both aircraft types exiting the fleet effective June 2020.

The accelerated retirement schedule of both aircraft is a result of the Covid-19 pandemic as the airline reduces capacity systemwide.

Delta cut its overall active fleet by about half, parking more than 600 mainline and regional aircraft in the last two months.

The 149-seat MD-88 was previously set to retire by the end of 2020.  As of February this year, prior to the coronavirus-driven fleet reduction, there were 47 MD-88s and 29 MD90s operating.  Both aircraft operated across much of Delta’s domestic network and have been workhorses for the airline.

Delta continues to evaluate its broader fleet plan and will consider additional aircraft retirement to focus on a modern, more simplified fleet going forward.

Source: World Airline News

                

LATEST NEWS

  • Airbus has backed out of a joint venture with Thai Airways to build a new MRO campus at Thailand’s U-Tapao airport.
  • El Al Israeli flag-carrier has reached a sale-and-leaseback agreement with an unidentified foreign company covering three Boeing 737-800s.
  • American Airlines sets a company cargo record on a Boeing 777-300, the flight on April 15 broke American’s all-time record for freight volume, removing 115,349 pounds(52,321 kilograms) of soybean seeds.On one of American’s cargo-only routes from Buenos Aires to Miami.

  • Lufthansa is prematurely phasing out six Airbus A380 as part of fleet cuts across the airline group.
  • Rolls-Royce says it is aiming to bring the number of Boeing 787s on the ground for Trent 1000 engine modification reasons down to fewer than 10 by the end of the second quarter.
  • Silver Air a private jet management and charter company has added a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) with unrestricted charter access based in West Palm beach, Florida.

  • Boeing conducted a successful first flight of its second 777X airplane. Designated WH002 the second of four 777-9 flight test vehicles.

  • Qantas is putting Project Sunrise on hold, citing the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on air travel.
  • United Airlines will sell and lease back 22 planes to Bank of China(BOC) Aviation.The deal involves six Boeing 787-9s and 16 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft.
  • German Government First A350 Airbus has transferred the first of three A350-900s for the federal German government to Hamburg for outfitting at the Lufthansa Technik facility on May 7.

Sources: United Airlines, Flightglobal, Boeing, Qantas, Rolls-Royce, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Airbus, El Al. 

 

AIR CARGO

                         Air Freight Market Goes Into Overdrive

Damian Brett, the editor of Air Cargo News, outlines how the freight sector has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

While passenger airlines have heavily reduced their services over recent weeks, the air cargo market has gone into overdrive as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The sector is managing a huge capacity crunch as airlines have largely stopped operating the bellyhold services which make up roughly 50% of cargo capacity.

Consultant Seabury estimates that at the end of March, cargo capacity was down by around 35% compared with the year-ago figure.

The drop-off in demand lags the capacity reductions, as a result, freight rates have taken off.

Numbers from Tac Index show that rates an services from China/Hong Kong to Europe increased by 156% from March 2 to April 6.

On China/Hong Kong to North America an increase of 90.5% as recorded during the same timeframe.

So what of the coming months? There are some early signs that the situation is easing as carriers have started to re-activate parked-up freighters aircraft, passenger aircraft are being utilized as ad hoc freighters and containership operations come into play.

Lufthansa Cargo chief executive Peter Gerber says that while it is impossible to predict what the future holds, it could be the case that there are several spikes in cargo demand over the coming months as production plants in various countries come back on line.

The prospect of this outcome was also posited by logistics and parcels giant Deutsche Post DHL in recent business performance update.

“While the development of the business situation in China has been quite promising in the last weeks, Europe and North America are still in an earlier stage of the pandemic,” DP DHL said.

Source: Air Cargo News/Picture Cargolux

 

OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

Lessors see no ( one-size-fits- all ) solution to help airlines through crisis

While aircraft lessors are agreeing to a number of rental deferral requests to help airline customers struggling through the coronavirus crisis, leasing executives stress there is no one size-fits-all approach being sought by airlines.

Speaking  on May 6 during the Leasing Leaders on Aviation Crisis webinar, organized by FlightGlobal in association with IBA Group.  BOC Aviation chief executive Robert Martin notes rapid funding action- including measures from governments-means some airlines have been more interested in, for example, sale-and lease-back activity.

“Clearly a lot of our customers were immediately hit and have asked for help, but it’s not one-size-fits-all,” he says.”  Some airlines didn’t need liquidity because they already have access to liquidity in other ways.  So actually they were more interested in doing purchase-and lease-back business, and we have done $5 billion of that since Covid started.”

“As we have addressed these issues, it’s clear to us you can tell the experienced airlines who have been through something like this before,” he says.  For example, editing the speed with which North American carriers acted to improve their liquidity and that Chinese carriers tapped their domestic bond market.

Another lessor leader panelist on the webinar, chief executive of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Firoz Tarapore, concurs that there is no single response.

In publishing its first quarter results, the lessor says that at the end of April, it had granted rent deferral requests from 25 customers – an aggregate rent totaling 5% of annual revenue. It is also evaluating rent deferral request from 33 customers, the aggregate rent deferral for which totals 10% of annual revenue.

“It’s been a deliberate and corroborative approach to make sure we carefully balance the needs of our clients and our own needs to make sure we are here for our other customers tomorrow.” said Tarapore.

Separately another aircraft lessor, Avalon, in reporting its first quarter results said it has received requests for payment relief from more than 80% of its current owned and managed customer base.

Source: Flightglobal.com/webinars

                         

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

Kaplanian Report – April 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

  Boeing Flies 737 MAX on Simulated Airline Runs Despite Shutdown                 

Amid signs that Boeing is hoping to resume production of the 737 MAX in May, the company says flight tests of the three current versions of the model, the -7 -8 and -9, are continuing despite the general shutdown of its Puget Sound facilities because of the coronavirus.

Although production of all aircraft has been temporarily halted across its northwest facilities, Boeing is still working to finalize changes to the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) flight control law in the MAX.

To evaluate the changes to the MAX, Boeing is conducting a flight test program called ”operate like an airline”, which closely resembles the function and reliability flights the company runs as a standard part of pre entry-into service checks for all new models.” We have been working with regulators to appropriately address all certification requirements and safely return the 737 MAX to service.  This includes operating flights of 737MAX 7, -8 and -9 aircraft to extend testing capacity and ensure a more complete representation of our customer’s diverse fleets and operations,” Boeing said.

On March 25, as part of the program, a 737-8 intended for eventual delivery to Southwest Airlines, was operated from Boeing Field to Spokane, Washington, while a 737-9 built for Alaska Airlines was flown from Seattle to Moses Lake.

“In each of the cases, a small test team on board exercised short-and long-haul engineering flights that will help satisfy specific test conditions for updated software. These are not certification flights,” the company added.

Source: Aviation Week/Picture Boeing

Boeing Wins $1.5bn Contract for 18 P8A Poseidons for South Korea, New Zealand and the US Navy

The US Navy (USN) has awarded Boeing a $1.5 billion contract for 18 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

The deal is for six aircraft for the South Korean navy, four for the Royal New Zealand Air Force and eight aircraft for the USN.  Boeing announced the orders on March 30.

New Zealand and South Korea are scheduled to receive their first aircraft in 2022 and 2023, respectively. 

The P-8 is based on the commercial 737-800. However the jet’s airframe has been ruggedized, a bomb bay has been installed to drop torpedoes and its wings have pylons for weapons such as a Harpoon anti-ship missiles.  The aircraft can also carry up to 129 sonobuoys.

The aircraft is primarily operated by the USN, which plans to order 117 examples in total to replace its aging fleet of Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. 

Other operators include the UK, Australia, India and Norway. 

In January of this year, the USN said in a request for information that it is interested in expanding the capabilities of the P-8A to include the ability to carry new anti-ship cruise missiles, bombs, sea mines and decoys.

Source: Boeing/Picture Boeing

                  

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                      Airbus Struggles to Lift Crisis-hit Jet Output                                        

Europe’s Airbus is grappling with labor and supply chain shortages and may only be able to restore aircraft production to some 10-20% of normal levels for now; because of partial shutdowns, industry and union sources said.

Worst affected are wide-body jets, demand for which is expected to come under pressure as the coronavirus crisis hits airlines worldwide, especially in the long haul Asia market.

The European plane maker, whose factories are spread across Europe, restored output at French and Spanish plants a week ago after a four-day shutdown.  On Monday, March 30, it announced a new closure of Spanish plants that make tail sections of Airbus jets.

Airbus said it would suspend most production in Spain until April 9 after the Madrid government tightened the Corona virus lockdown.  It has also said British and German wings production and assembly would stop for three weeks.

Especially badly hit are the tier-two and tier-three suppliers, which are sub-contractors to larger companies that deal directly with Airbus or its U.S rival Boeing.

France’s Safran, the world’s third largest aero supplier, said it continued to deliver engines to Airbus and had enough parts for 2-to-3 weeks, but its chief executive noted some problems further down its supply chain.

Airbus is also finding it difficult to make deliveries because of logistics of getting foreign pilots to France or Germany and the reluctance of many airlines to take aircraft as they face liquidity problems, industry sources said.

Even such as finding hotels are said to be a problem, forcing Airbus to look at using its own hotel and restaurant in its in-house academy known as Airbus University.

Source: Reuters/Picture Airbus             

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

           Embraer Sees Commercial Orders Deferred, Not Cancelled

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer says it has not had any order cancellations as a result of the current global coronavirus pandemic that has decimated the air transport industry.  However, it is seeing some customers ask for deferments of deliveries as airlines reduce capacity for an undetermined period.

“The discussion is dynamic,” says chief financial officer Antonio Carlos Garcia, who was named to his post in November and began in January. “All these discussions are regarding the delivery schedule, but no cancellations. The situation is really changing, we need to know for how long the capacity reductions will last in order to have an accurate assessment.”

Embraer’s revenues for the full year rose 9% to $5.5 billion, up from $5.0 billion in 2019.  The company reported an adjusted net loss of $218 million, more than three times that of a year earlier, as it took special charges and impairment costs, as well as costs in relation to the carve-out of its commercial division in preparation of a merger with Boeing.

The Company ended the year with a backlog of $16.8 billion, and says it received 60 new firm orders during the year from the likes of American Airlines, KLM, Azul and United Airlines.  Its new generation E2 jet backlog reached 153 firm orders and more than 570 commitments.

Chief executive Francisco Gomes Neto says that Embraer completed the carve-out of its commercial division in January, in anticipation of its planned merger with Boeing, which is expected to close later this year.  The transaction has been tied up in regulatory red tape in Europe and executives now expect it to take longer than the original June completion date. 

The European Commission’s in-depth review of the deal was prompted by concerns in the single- aisle aircraft market, particularly the 100-150 seat segment.  Recent trade squabbles between the United States and the European Union could also delay the transaction’s closing.

Source: Embraer/Flightglobal/picture Embraer   

                                                                 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                         Aircraft Storage Demand Still Fluid in Europe 

After having been thought for a few days to be on a strong upward curve, demand for aircraft storage during the COVID-19 crisis is still unstable, according to specialist Tarmac Aerosave.

“Stabilization is underway, but the situation is fluid,” company CEO Patrick Lecer said. Tarmac Aerosave has been freeing storage space at its sites in Tarbes and Toulouse Francazal, France, as well as in Teruel, Spain.But customer interest is lower than expected to materialize, Lecer noted.  

“We have seen a lot of requests’ lot of back and forth, a lot of uncertainties among customers,” he said.  And at times, carriers are realizing their needs are changing, Lecer explained. 

Overall, demand is for short term storage,” Lecer said. Tarmec has currently 170 aircraft in storage, up from 140-150 before the crisis. 

The company has increased the available space available to 230-250 aircraft depending on their size—a 20% expansion.”  We have rearranged some areas to be ready if demand actually grows,” Lecer said.

Source: aviation week/Picture Tarmac Aerosave/Tarmac Aerosave  

          Lufthansa Retires Big Jets, Says Rebound Could Take Years 

German airline group Lufthansa said it was permanently removing some of its large aircraft from service and reducing capacity for the long term. They are saying it will take years for demand for air travel to return to levels before the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday, April 7th, that it was retiring six Airbus A-380s, five 747-400s and seven A340-600 aircraft, a step that anticipates less traffic long term at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs in Germany.

The company was unable to say what eventually would happen to the planes given lack of demand for the aircraft at the moment; but it was clear they would notify for Lufthansa again.

At the same time Lufthansa will close its Germanwings low-cost airline as part of a broader overhaul including capacity cuts across the group, which also owns the Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Eurowings brands.

Source: Lufthansa

                Two Major 747-400 Operators Retire their Aircraft 

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines operated its last revenue flight, FLT KL686 from Mexico City to Amsterdam; it was operated with 747-400 PH-BFW on March 29. 

KLM introduced the first Boeing 747-200B in 1971 (PH-BUA) named “The Mississippi”, was delivered on January 16,1971.  On February 14, 1971, the 353-seat PH-Bua operated its first commercial flight to New York.  KLM was the first airline to put the higher-gross-weight Boeing 747-200B, powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines, into service in February 1971. 

The Boeing 747 was the queen of the KLM long-haul fleet.

Qantas Airways, due to the coronavirus and sudden downturn in travel, has decided to early retire its remaining Boeing 747-400ER.  Previously it was planning to retire the type in February 2021.

Qantas, like KLM, has been an operator of the Boeing 747 since 1971.  The first 747-238B(VH_EBA) named “Canberra”, was delivered to the airline on July 30, 1971, and arrived in Sydney on August 16, 1971.  The type was introduced on the Sydney-Melbourne-Singapore route.

Qantas has operated the 747-200B, 747SP, 747 Combi, 747-300,747-400 and the 747-400ER. 

Source: Ed Kaplanian archival collection

             El Al Completes Longest-Ever Flight from Melbourne 

                    

El Al Israel Airlines completed its longest-ever flight   -17 hours and 15 minutes- between Melbourne and Tel Aviv.  It carried 280 Israelis stranded in Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic and wanting to come home.  The Outward journey had taken 16 hours and 30 minutes.  The crew of 19, which included 8 pilots, did not leave the plane in Australia.

Any Israelis already holding an El Al ticket back to Israel were allowed to board for free, otherwise the fare was $2,480.

El Al had already planned to launch regular commercial flights between Tel Aviv and Melbourne , starting with a series of trial flights starting April 2.  But those plans have been put on hold due to the crisis.

Source: Globes,Israel business news/Picture El Al

LATEST NEWS

  • Kuwait Airways has cancelled 5 airbus A350-900s.
  • SaudiGulf  cancelled 16 Airbus A220-300 orders, these aircraft were initially ordered when A220 was known as Bombardier CSeries.
  • PNG Papua New Guinea carrier PNG Air will become the launch customer for the ATR42-600S short take-off and landing(STOL) regional turboprop, having signed a deal for three at the Singapore Airshow.
  • Batik Air has accepted its first Airbus A320neo equipped with CFM LEAP-1A power plants.
  • ACI Jet has established a California based Bombardier parts depot for Global and Challenger series business jets.  It has invested more than $1 million in parts inventory and established a new 5,000sqft. facility at the San Luis Obispo Regional Airport headquarters.
  • Lessor Avolon is cutting its delivery commitments over the next four years by over 100 aircraft, through a combination of cancellations and deferrals, plus the axing of 75 Boeing 737 Max jets.
  • EasyJet defers delivery of 24 A320s due for delivery in 2020-2022.   EasyJet’s fleet growth strategy envisaged taking delivery of 20 new aircraft in 2020, 12 in 2021 and two aircraft in 2022.  It will now receive no new aircraft in 2021 and has the option to defer a further five aircraft due in 2022.
  •  Delta Air Lines has taken over an order worth roughly $3 billion at list prices for 10 Airbus A350 jetliners from Latam Airlines Group.Airbus announced the cancellation of 10 A350 aircraft in a monthly order update for the month of March.It also announced a simultaneous order for 10 A350 aircraft from an undisclosed airline.

Source: ainonline, Flightglobal, Arabian aerospace,ACIJet,AirlinerWorld Reuters,Delta Airlines

AIR CARGO

                DHL Express Upgrades Fleet With More 777 Freighters

International courier company DUL Express has received the first of six new Boeing 777-200 LRF freighters scheduled for delivery this year as it ramps up capabilities to serve the rapidly growing e-commerce market.

The new aircraft arrived at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport(CVG), home to DHL’s U.S. operations, the company said Monday March 23 in a press release.  The new freighter will be operated by partner airline Kalitta Air on behalf of DHL aviation.

The DHL Express unit uses an assortment of in-house airlines and charter operators to provide airlift for Amazon’s Prime Air, which guarantees on-day delivery for more than 100 million items ordered online .

DHL ordered 14 777-200LRFs in 2018, with four delivered last year and another four coming in 2021 as part of fleet renewal to equip the fleet with more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft.  The Boeing 777-200LRF has the longest range—5,717 miles—at full payload (102 tons) of any wide body freighter and reduces emissions by 18%, compared with aircraft it is replacing.

DHL’s capital expenditure for the 777-LRFs is $4.7billion at list prices, according to Boeing; but airlines typically receive discounts for multi-plane purchases.  The order doubles DHL’s 777 Fleet.

Source: FreightWave, Benzinga /Picture Boeing

                          

 

 

 Researched and Compiled by : 

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor  

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian  

 

 

Kaplanian Report – March 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Asia Pacific Customers Finalize Agreements for Boeing Digital Solutions to Enable Growth

On February 12, 2020, Boeing announced orders and agreements that will enable growth for multiple Asia-Pacific airlines in a rapidly developing region.  These digital solutions lower costs across fleets for regional and international operators, enhance airline crew situational awareness and increase operational efficiency.

New digital solutions orders and agreements include :

  • Vistara, an Indian and a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore Airlines, signed an agreement for multiple services to support their entry into service of new 787-9 aircraft, including Boeing Maintenance Performance Toolbox and airplane Health Management tools.  Powered by Boeing Analytx, these tools provide real-time custom alerting, fleet data to enhance maintenance capabilities.  Vistera has signed a new five-year agreement to receive Jeppesen Crew Rostering and Boeing Alertness Model tools to improve operational efficiency and crew planning capabilities.
  • Air Tahiti Nui joins more than 100 international customers using Boeing Health Management by signing a multiyear agreement to access real-time maintenance and engineering data and support to enhance maintenance and operational decisions for their 787 fleet.
  • Bamboo Airways will integrate several digital solutions to support their new 787 fleet, with new agreements finalized for Jeppesen Flight Deck Pro electronic flight bag(EFB), Electronic Document Browser and Onboard Performance Tool capabilities. These digital tools enable flight crews to perform real-time weight and balance and takeoff and landing calculations to reduce maintenance costs, optimize payload capacity and streamline cockpit operations.
  • Sichuan Airlines has agreed to a multiyear contact for Jeppesen JetPlanner Pro services to enhance flight planning capabilities.  The tool generates optimized routes and efficient flight plans in complex airspace to achieve lower operating costs, using the industry leading flight planning engine.
  • Virgin Australia Group has signed a seven-year agreement with Jeppesen Flight Deck Pro electronic flight bag (EFB) and digital navigation chart services, to increase operational efficiency.

“We continue to work closely with our Asia-Pacific airline customers to understand their unique operating requirements, as they continue to expand in this dynamic region of the word,” said Ted Colbert, president and CEO,Boeing Global Services.

Source : Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

             A330-800 Receives Joint EASA and FAA Type Certification

On February 13th The A330-800 has received joint Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency(EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA).  The aircraft’s certification flight-test campaign was successfully performed by aircraft MSN1888, which completed the program in 370 test hours and 132 flights since its first flight in November 2018.

Certified initially with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 242 tons for a range capability of up to 7,500 nautical miles, the A330-800 will typically seat 220-260 passengers in three classes, or up to 406 travelers in a single-class-density configuration. To date, the A330neo Family has won 337 firm orders from 22 operators.

The A330 has received over 1,800 orders from 120 customers with 1,400 A330s currently in operations today.  The A330neo is the latest edition to the Airbus wide family, which also includes the A350XWB.

Source: Airbus/Picture Airbus             

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                  KlasJet Introducing New Boeing 737-VIP to the Middle East Market

From the end of March this year, KlasJet, a European private and business charter carrier, will be operating a newly refurbished Boeing 737-VIP aircraft from Saudi Arabia .

KlasJet operates the largest Boeing 737-VIP fleet in Europe and is one of the most distinctive aviation companies worldwide that offers a one of a kind fleet and high quality service.  Each aircraft is different, allowing customers to choose a jet according to their needs and offer flexibility of having a flight available whenever the client needs it, wherever.

KlasJet is based in Vilnius, Lithuania, their fleet is composed of Boeing 737-300s and 737-500s and Bombardier CRJ-100series.

In addition to unique high quality service, the company also has a major focus on comfort. Extra leg space, the best quality seats and a stress-free journey—all makes a big difference when it comes to good performance at work.  Since most of KlasJet clients are sport teams, diplomatic envoys and corporate travelers, all aircraft have been refurbished recently, to provide the maximum comfort.

“When flying for business purposes, extra time to prepare, strategize and do research is significantly important.” explained Igor Borzov, Vice President of KlasJet Sales for the Middle East.

Source : KlasJet/Picture KlasJet

                                                                 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

            Fuselage of First Airline A380 Recycled Into Identity Tags 

A German company is using recycled fuselage parts from the first airline-operated Airbus A380 to create collectable identity tags, following the parting out of the aircraft by Tarmac Aerosave.

The ex-Singapore Airline A380 is one of two aircraft the airline has retired that are being broken for spares by recycling specialist Tarmac Aerosave in Tarbes, France.

Germany’s Aviationtag has launched a special series of 7,000 identity tags manufactured from the outer skin of MSN003.   A380 MSN003 first flew from Toulouse on May 7, 2006, and was delivered to Singapore Airlines on October 12, 2007.  It operated the world’s first A380 passenger service on October 25, 2007, from Changi to Sydney.  Singapore Airlines retired the aircraft in October 2017 and it was parted out by Tarmac Aerosave last year.


“Each of the limited edition tags sports the aircraft type, registration number, edition number and size,” says Aviationtag.

Source: Aviationtag/Pictures Flightglobal                                              

             ANA Announces Commitment for 15 GEnx-powered 787s


All Nippon Airways has committed to placing firm orders for 15 Boeing 787s to be powered by the General Electric GEnx-1B and not the Rolls- Royce Trent 1000 that powers its existing fleet.  The order will comprise of 11 787-10s and four 787-9s, says ANA.  In addition,  it will obtain options for an additional five 787-9s.

The GEnx-1B decision is a major engine change for the airline.  Cirium fleets data indicates that ANA has 71 in-service 787s, all powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000.  The R-R power plant has had a troubled service life aboard the global 787 fleet.

Boeing says separately that “once the agreements are finalized, it will be ANA’s sixth order” for the 787.

Boeing adds that the deal is worth over $5 billion at list prices.  It also notes that of the four 787-9s in the order, three will come from Atlantis Aviation Corporation.  According to ANA, Atlantis Aviation is a special purpose company that is 100% owned by Japanese conglomerate Sojitz corporation.

Should the options be exercised, ANA’s fleet will grow to 100 examples.

The 787-10s will arrive in the fiscal year 2022-24 timeframe or between March 2022-25.  These aircraft will replace 777s now serving on domestic routes.  The 787-9, which are earmarked for international services, will enter service in the FY 2024-25 timeframe or between March 2024-26.

Source: Boeing/ANA

          American Airlines to Lease 22 787-8s from BOC Aviation

American Airlines has agreed to lease 22 Boeing 787-8s from BOC Aviation, the lessor discloses in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The aircraft, which are on long-term leases, will deliver in 2020 and 2021.

Boeing Capital Corporation (BCC) was originally going to buy the aircraft and lease them to American Airlines.  However, BOC Aviation says it has entered into an agreement with BCC and the airline to buy the aircraft from the Boeing Company and leave them to American Airlines.

BOC Aviation had a fleet of 523 aircraft owned, managed or on order aircraft as of December 31, 2019.  Among these are 15 787 family aircraft, of which 11 are owned, with one in its managed fleet & three on order.

Cirium fleets data shows that the lessor currently has one 787-8 in its in-service fleet, on lease to Kenya Airways, and 10 of the larger 787-9s.

Source: Flightglobal/BOC Aviation

                        Boeing Starts ‘ Air Force One ’ Modifications of 747-8

Boeing has begun modifications to the first of two commercial 747-8 airliners which are to be turned into US Air Force (USAF) VC-25B aircraft.

Known by its “Air Force ONE” call sign when the US president flies aboard, two VC-25B are to operate as the USA’s top executive transports for the next 30 years.  Modifications are being done at Boeing’s San Antonio,Texas, facility, says the USAF.

“The first phase of aircraft modification involves cutting large skin and structure areas in both the forward and aft lower lobes of the aircraft and then installing two newly manufactured super panels,” says the service.  ”The superpanels contain structural upgrades and cutouts for the VC-25B lower lobe doors, including internal airstrips for mission requirements.”

The USAF is working to replace its current fleet of presidential aircraft, two 747-200-based VC-25A aircraft delivered in 1991, with two 747-8s originally built for Russian carrier Transfer, which filed for bankruptcy 2015 before it could take delivery. The Commercial airliners need extensive retrofits to be transformed into the VC-25B configuration.

The Commercial 747-8s have been stripped of many of its typical components as well, says the USAF.

“Boeing prepared the two aircraft for modification start by removing the commercial interiors, engines, auxiliary power units, and numerous secondary system components,” says the service.

“Additionally, Boeing placed a sophisticated jacking and crib mechanism under each aircraft to reduce structural stress for the initial modification phases.”

The V-25B is to be retrofitted so that the president of the USA can run the federal government, including commanding and controlling the US military, while in flight.  As such, detailed information about the aircraft’s components and capabilities are classified or tightly controlled.

“The VC-25B modifications to the 747-8 aircraft will include electrical power upgrades’ mission communication systems, medical facility, executive interior and autonomous ground operations capabilities,” says the USAF.

Boeing was asked to replace the existing auxiliary power unit (APU), usually a Pratt & Whitney PW901A/c on the commercial airliner, with two APUs from unnamed sources. According to the book Air Force One by Robert Door, a second APU was installed on previous presidential aircraft to ensure they were “self-sufficient on the ground”.

The two VC-25B aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by December 2024.

Source: Flightglobal/Boeing/Picture Boeing   

      

LATEST NEWS

  • Joramco, the Amman, Jordan, based MRO, announces an agreement with the engineering arm of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise; has announced that it has entered into first maintenance agreement with the operator, Avion Express, one of the largest narrowbody ACMI operators.
  • Boeing has just conducted the first taxi test of its Boeing 737 MAX 10. in Renton, Washington.
  • Aeroflot took delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, making the Russian carrier the 30th operator of the type.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • European Aviation Safety Agency(EASA) UK government it will leave EASA on December 31, when the transition period ends for the country’s departure from the European Union (EU).
  • Boeing/Collins the downturn in aerospace stocks won’t holt Boeing and Collins Aerospace from investing in new commercial aircraft technologies.
  • SITA is accelerating innovation in air traffic control(ATC) communications as part of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program, alongside key industry partners including NASA and long-standing airline customer, Etihad.
  • AMAC Aerospace has announced that a Boeing BBJ 747-8 will undergo a re-configuration of the cabin and update of the whole interior to the latest level.                        

AIR CARGO

                         Air Cargo Essential to Fight Against COVID-19

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said it continues to support governments in their efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement, IATA said : “Since the crisis began, air cargo has been a vital partner in delivering much-needed medicines, medical equipment (including Spare parts?repair components) in keeping global supply chains functioning for the most time-sensitive materials.

This has been done through dedicated cargo freighter operations, utilization of cargo capacity in passenger aircraft and with relief flights to affected areas.

Air cargo is also instrumental in transporting food and other products purchased online in support of quarantine and social distancing policies implemented by states.

“The dramatic travel restrictions and collapse of passenger demand have severely limited cargo capacity.  IATA calls on governments to take urgent measures to ensure that air cargo will be available to support the global fight against COVID-19.”

Source: Arabian Aerospace                                                                                                                      

OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

                           The End is Near for the Airbus A380

The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger and most expensive airliner in the world. The aircraft has now been in service for more than a decade.

The A380 is too big, expensive, and inefficient for most operators.  Just over one year ago, Airbus announced it will end production of the A380 in 2021.  Meanwhile, the first few A380s have already been pulled from service, including a quiet retirement of an Air France jet in November 2019.

Things were much different back in 2007 when the Airbus A380 entered service to great fanfare. The gargantuan jet, dubbed superjumbo, was designed to take everything that made the Boeing 747 an icon and push it to the limits of modern engineering.

The A380 has not been the game changer Airbus had hoped it would become to help Airbus compete against the Boeing 747.  But in a cost-conscious market and with fluctuating fuel prices, the very attributes that made the plane stand out may have also doomed it.  Some say the A380 came two decades too late, while other say that with increasing airport congestion, the plane is ahead of its time.

Some industry observers, such as the Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia, have gone so far as to call it the biggest mistake in the history of Airbus.  According to Aboulafia, the A380 is a poorly executed aircraft designed for a market that doesn’t really exist. As a result, the $25 billion that Airbus spent on the A380 program could have been better used elsewhere, like on a rival for Boeing’s next-generation 777X or on a true replacement for the aging Boeing 757, Aboulafia told business insider.

“It’s painful, but in the long run, it’s best,” Aboulafia said regarding the end of the A380 production run.

The plane is a polarizing machine, with some viewing it as an eye-sore, and others as a testament to marvels of modern engineering. 

Source: Business Insider 

                   

 

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

 

The Kaplanian Report February 2020

On the Boeing Front

                 New Boeing 777X Completes Successful First Flight

On January 25, 777X took to the skies, entering the next phase of its rigorous test program.

Based on the popular 777 and with proven technologies from the 787 Dreamliner, the 777X took off in front of thousands, including this writer at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. It was 10:09 a.m. local time for a three hour, 51 minutes flight over Washington state before landing at Seattle’s Boeing Field.

The launch of flight-testing of the 777-9 provides the opportunity to examine how  its most significant changes  -the all-new carbon fiber wing- compares with that of its predecessor.

The new 777X family, of which the -9 is the first variant, features a larger wing with a span increase by 7m (23ft) over the 777-300ER, to 71.8m ( 235ft,5in).

This huge span is the reason for its most notable feature -folding wing tips- which is a first on a commercial aircraft.  When folded, the 777X span reduces 64.8m (212ft,8 in) to ensure airport compatibility.

Boeing describes the 777X wing as a “fourth-generation Composite” design, incorporating an “advanced hit-lift” system.  The wing’s trailing-edge system is similar to its predecessor’s, with some interesting changes.  The 777X (top) has garter span and greater revisions to tailing edge, compared with earlier-300ER design (bottom) as shown in pictures.

In addition the 777X -9 variant has 8% more belly-hold cargo capacity than the current production 777-300ER.  The 777-9 will be able to carry up to four more LD-3 containers than the 777-300ER, due to its length of 251ft, 9in (76.7 m).

The new plane’s cargo capacity is 7,707 cubic feet, while the -300ERs capacity is 7,120 cubic feet.

Source : Boeing/Picture Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                            First Airbus BelugaXL Enters Service

Two months after the Airbus BelugaXL gained European Union Aviation Safety Agency(EASA) type certification, the OEM’s first whale-shaped oversized air transport entered service, the company announced on Monday, January 13.

Airbus plans to introduce a further five BelugaXLs by 2023, providing the European airframer the much-needed extra transport capacity it needs to support the ongoing production ramp-up of its commercial aircraft programs.

Like its predecessor, the BelugaST—also known as A300-600ST Super Transporter—the BelugaXL will carry complete sections of Airbus aircraft from different sites around Europe to the final assembly lines in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany.  Two Rolls-Royce Tree 700 turbofan engines suspended on underwing pylons power the aircraft.  It carries a range of 2,200 nautical miles(4,074 km) and a maximum payload of 51 tons.

Based on the Airbus A330-200 freighter, the BelugaXL incorporates several newly developed elements, including its lowered cockpits highly enlarged cargo bay structure, and a modified rear and tail section.

The XL allows for 30 percent extra transport capacity and carry two A350 XWB wings while the ST can carry only one.

Besides the new BelugaXL, Airbus’s current Beluga fleet consists of five STs.

Source : Airbus/Airbus Picture             

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

             Mitsubishi Upbeat on SpiceJet Despite Fresh Delays

Mitsubishi Aircraft remains optimistic about the future of its SpaceJet program despite another development delay, saying it now has a “ certificate design” that will enable M90 flight testing to commence.

“We have made significant changes to our organization and improvements in the way we do business,” the company says on February 6.  ”We have also made a myriad of changes to the design of our aircraft.”

At the Paris air show in 2019, Mitsubishi aircraft rebranded the MRJ as SpaceJet, cancelled development of the 69-seat MRJ70 and launched a new 76 variant the M100.   Meanwhile,M90 certification work has continued.

Mitsubishi Aircraft says its latest test aircraft, designated “10010”, puts the company on a path to certification.

“With the completion of aircraft 10010, we have a baseline certifiable design that will allow us to achieve certification and set the stage for the future of the Spacejet family of aircraft,” Mitsubishi Aircraft says.  ”However, as we evaluate the impact of all these changes, it has become clear that we will not achieve certification in FY2020.

Source: Mitsubishi Aircraft/Picture Mitsubishi Aircraft

               Boeing, Embraer Partnership Cleared by Brasilia 

Boeing and Embraer have secured approval of their planned partnership from authorities in Brazil.

The latest approval for the pair’s two proposed joint ventures comes from Brazil’s Council for Economic Defense(CADE).  It follows clearance from jurisdictions such as the USA, China, Japan, South Africa, Montenegro, Colombia, and Kenya.  Only the European Commission has yet to approve it .

“Boeing and Embraer welcome the unconditional approval of their strategic partnership by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) General-Superintendence(SG) in Brazil,” says Marc Allen, Boeing’s president of Ember partnership & group operations. 

The decision is final in 15 days, unless CADE commissioners request a review.As for the European Commission, discussions have been underway since 2018.

The pact envisages the two companies forming two joint ventures.One will comprise commercial aircraft and services, with Boeing holding 80% and Embraer 20%.

The other joint venture will develop markets for the Embaer’s C-390 Millennium tactical transport, in which Embraer will own 51% and Boeing 49%.

Source : Flightglobal/Boeing 

                                                             

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

          Credit Suisse Launches Aviation Financing Subsidiary 

Credit Suisse has launched an aviation liquidity subsidiary that aims to help actors in the aviation and air transport industry manage short-term transactions involving leased aircraft.

The company, to be called SCAL Aviation, will be headquartered in Dublin, the Swiss bank said on January 16.

SCALE will be an aviation conduit and liquidity provider for investors, aircraft lessors, airlines, and aviation manufacturers, facilitating aviation asset acquisitions, dispositions, capital markets financings, and investments.  Targeting short-term warehousing of aviation assets, SCALE will assist aviation industry clients with fleet transitions, financing, and ease of execution to provide greater execution certainty around portfolio trading activities.

The subsidiary will only deal in new or used commercial aircraft, not private jets, provide its services only on aircraft with lease attached, rather than speculative orders.

“SCALE is not an aviation lessor and will not be building long term investment portfolio of aircraft, the statement says.

Source : Credit Suisse

           ANA 321LR order Signals Change in Thinking on A321neo

All Nippon Airways(ANA) has placed its first orders for the A321neo Airbus Cabin Flex(ACF) version, which it will take as the A321LR extended range variant.  The decision is significant as the airline had previously retained its contract for the original A321neo cabin configuration.

The A321LR order has been placed by parent company ANA Holdings through a swap of two existing A320neo orders.  The A321LRs will be delivered in FY 2022 and 2023.

ANA was launch operator for the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered A321neo, taking its first in September 2017.  It now operates a fleet of 11 A321neos, all of which are built to the A321 original door configuration, with four cabin doors on each side.

The airline had a further 11 A321neos on backlog prior to the A321LR announcement, according to Cirium fleets data.  ANA has continued to take this original A321neo layout to retain fleet commonality, despite the introduction of the improved ACF version in July 2018.

Source : Flightglobal/Picture ANA

    Japanese Start-up Zipair Indicates Plans for Transpacific Flights

Japanese start-up Zipair is positioning itself as a mid-to long-haul carrier and has plans for transpacific flights.

The Japan Airlines subsidiary, which aims to operate a fleet of 10 Boeing 787s, notes the Dreamliner’s status as the best seller among major Japanese carriers.  As such, the ease of procurement and maintenance makes it a good choice for transpacific routes, the airline said during a joint media briefing with Boeing at the Singapore air show.

Zipair aims to be the first low-cost carrier to operate the sector, after it obtains ETOPS certification.  It meets the criteria on two of three fronts—maintenance and flight management, by virtue of tapping on JAL resources—and is working on pilot training.

Prior to that, the Tokyo Narita-based airline will launch in May, first with Bangkok flights, followed by a Seoul service in July.

Zipair says it aims to become a “new basic” class of carriers, one that sits between the low-cost and full-service categories that have the aviation industry “polarised”. “As a mid-to long-haul carrier, I don’t want our customers to feel exhausted by our flights,” says Zipair president Shingo Nishida.

Nishida tells Cirium that Zipair currently has two 787s transferred from JAL.  Its target of 10 787s by 2024 still holds and broadly, expects to receive two aircraft from JAL each year.

Source: JAL/Flightglobal/Picture Zipair

       

LATEST NEWS

  • Engine Leasing Specialist Willis Lease Finance has ordered up to 60 CFM International Leap power plants for both the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 Max families.
  • Braathens Regional Airlines has axed a long-standing order for Airbus A220s, and plans to wet-lease Embraer 190s for regional jet operations.
  • Aerion Supersonic has selected several more suppliers of components for its in -development AS2 jet, which the company hopes will conduct a first flight in 2024.                        
  • Emirates has ordered two Boeing 777X full-flight simulators from training provider CAE, with first expected to arrive in 2021.
  • ATR delivered its first of two ATR 42-600s to Hokkaido Air Systems to replace its Saab 340s.
  • Air Canada took delivery of its first of 45 Airbus A220-300s from the Miracle A220 program facilities.
  • ANA’s third and final Airbus A380 rolled out from the airframes’s paint shop in Hamburg on January 24.                                                                                                                               
  • Scandinavian Airlines(SAS) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 as part of an extensive fleet modernization program.                                                                               
  • Congo Airways has signed a firm order for two Embraer E175 in a deal valued at $194 million based on list prices.  The agreement also includes purchase rights for a further two aircraft.                                                                                                                                   
  • Air Macau has accepted its first Airbus A321neo on long-term lease from Air Lease Corporation.

Sources : ATW, Flightglobal, Airbus, SAS, Air Lease, Air Canada, Emirates, ANA.

 

AIR CARGO

                      FedEx Takes First 767 at Higher Production Rate                                     

Boeing has delivered the first 767-300 Freighter to FedEx Express, built at the increased production rate.

Boeing has been producing the all-cargo twinjet at a rate of 2.5 aircraft per month but has increased this to three a month this year.  The 767s are built at Boeing’s primary wide body production facility in Everett, Washington.

To help improve efficiency as the rate increases, Boeing last year transferred assembly of the 767’s forward fuselage to Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita.

Spirit previously made sections of the 787’s forward fuselage and shipped them to Everett where the Section 41 was assembled.

The 767, which has been in production for almost four decades, has experienced increasing demand from cargo operators.  It is also being produced as the KC-46A military tanker for the USA and Japan.  The current backlog stands at 94 aircraft, comprising 54 freighters for FedEX and UPS, and 40 tankers.

Source: Boeing/Picture Boeing

   Lessor BBAM Orders Three Boeing Converted Freighters                                     

Aircraft lessor BBAM has ordered three 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters, Boeing disclosed.

Three of the lessor’s existing fleet will be converted, says Boeing.  BBAM manages 133 737-800s, as well as two 737-800BCFs operated by China Postal Airlines.

The Lessor bills itself as ”the only manager in the aircraft leasing industry focused exclusively on generating investment returns for third-party investors”.

Chief executive Steve Zissis states that the 737-800 is “an integral part of BBAM’s managed fleet of commercial passenger jet aircraft” and notes “strong interest from customers in the standard-body freighter”.

He adds: “We chose Boeing’s conversion program because we believe it maximizes the platform’s capability and reliability.”

Boeing says the 737-800BCF, which entered service in 2018, has won a total of 130 orders and commitments.

In its Commercial Market Outlook forecast, which has a 20-year span, Boeing predicts demand for 2,820 freighters, including 1,220 standard-body passenger-to-freighter conversions.

Source : Boeing/Picture Boeing     

                         

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

The Kaplanian Report – January 2020

ON THE BOEING FRONT

              KLM Took Delivery of Two Boeing Aircraft In December

On December 19, KLM took delivery of its 31st 737-800 and last 737-800 from the production line.  It bears the name “Redcrested Pochard”, all 737s are named after birds; KLM has fifty two Boeing 737s in its fleet: sixteen 737-700s thirty one 737-800s and five 737-900s.

On December 21, KLM took delivery of its 4th 787-10 bearing the name “Snow drop”.   All KLM Dreamliners are named after flowers or flowering plants.  With the arrival of Snow drop, KLM has seventeen Boeing 787s in its fleet: thirteen 787-9s and four 787-10s.

Source: KLM Newsroom

                    

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

     Airbus Delivers First A350s with Touchscreen Cockpit Displays

Airbus has commenced deliveries to airlines of the first A350s equipped with pioneering new touchscreen cockpit displays.

On December 18th, China Eastern Airlines took delivery in Toulouse of the first A350 equipped with the new devices.  To date, around 20 airlines have selected the option for their new A350s.  Airbus developed the systems with Thales, a French aerospace electronics maker.

Boeing is also working to introduce touchscreens into the Cockpit forward displays in its 777-9 and eventually 777-8.   Boeing said in 2016 its aircraft designer decided to introduce the touchscreens in the 777-9 and -8 cockpits to make it even more intuitive and easy for pilots.

Of the A350 cockpit’s six large screens, three can now become touch capable:  the two outer displays plus the lower-center display.  These displays now offer touchscreen capability for pilots when presenting Electronic Flight Bag(EFB) applications.  This new method of input complements the existing physical keyboard integrated into the retractable table in front of each pilot and also the keyboard and trackball “keyboard-cursor control unit” (KCCU) located on the center console.

Source : Airbus/Picture Airbus

           

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                   Boeing Bullish Over BBJ 777-X Sales Prospects

Boeing stated in the recent Dubai Air Show that the interest in the VVIP airliner has been “strong”, particularly in the Middle East, and it hopes to secure the first sales for the latest wide body this year.

“ We have several exciting prospects for the for the BBJX from Governments, heads of state and very wealthy private individuals and expect this year be a very interesting year,” says acting BBJ president James Detwiler.

Like the commercial aircraft on which it is based, the BBJ 777X will be available in-8 and -9 variants, joining the 787-8/9, and 777-200LR/300ER in the BBJ Twin-aisle family.

Detwiler says the BBJ 777X is “far superior” to its predecessor, with GE aviation GE9X engines and a new, more advanced composite wing key to delivering” engined fuel efficiency”.

The -9 will be the first to market at the end of 2021.  Boeing plans to begin delivering the commercial variant that year.

Source : Boeing Business Jets

           Air Kiribati Takes Delivery of its First Embraer 190-E2

Air Kiribati, the flag carrier of the central Pacific island nation of the same name, has taken delivery of the first of two Embraer 190-E2 jets; giving the ability to significantly expand its footprint and directly connect parts of the far flung republic which comprises 32 atolls and one raised coral island across all four hemispheres.

The E-19-E2 aircraft will allow the airline to operate longer-haul domestic and international routes; including connections that had so far been beyond the reach of its fleet of two Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otters, one Bombardier Dash 8 and one Harbin Y-12.

With a maximum range of 2,850nm, Air Kiribati’s E190-E2, delivered on December 30, will be able to fly nonstop from the country’s capital Tarawa to Kiritimati(Christmas)Island.   An atoll belonging to the country, one of the most challenging routes in the Pacific. To date, the domestic flight from Tarawa to Kiritimati required an international stopover in Fiji.

In December 2018,  Embraer and Air Kiribati, signed a purchase agreement for two E190-E2 variant and took a purchase rights on two more with a total list price of $243 million.

Source: Embraer/Embraer Picture

                                                                       

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                       Bamboo Airways Gains IOSA Certification

Vietnamese carrier Bamboo Airways received its Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification on the 3rd of January, nearly a year after launch.  This will pave its way to becoming an IATA member in the near future, the carrier says.

Bamboo Airways took delivery of its first 787-9 on December 22, 2019.  And passed the requisite safety audit that covers eight areas contributing to airline operational safety.  These are corporate organization and management systems, flight operations, flight dispatch, aircraft engineering and maintenance, cabin operations, ground handling, cargo operations, as well as operational security.

The Carrier launched in January 2019 and Cirium schedules data shows its first flight took off in March. It mostly services the domestic market but launched four international routes in October and November: from Cam Ranh to Seoul and Macau, and from Da Nang to Seoul and Taipei.

The carrier is targeting 30 aircraft by the first quarter of this year, including four 787-9s, and hopes to expand its network to 25 international routes within the year.

Source: Flightglobal/Picture Boeing

          Azerbaijan to Double Fleet with Airbus, Boeing Aircraft

The Azerbaijani government-owned carrier Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) will buy more than 20 new aircraft to develop its route network as plans continue to more than double its fleet.

To build up long-haul routes, AZAL has signed an agreement for two Boeing 777s, which will go into service in 2020-2021.

AZAL president, Jahangir Askerov, said the airline is ready to discuss the purchase of three more 777s, as well as Boeing 787s.  ”This will allow us to expand our long-haul flight geography,” he said.  The Azerbaijani carrier became the first operator for the later type in post-Soviet area in 2014.

AZAL is also in negotiations with Airbus for 10 A320neos to increase its narrowbody capacity.  The airline had initially planned to start receiving the same amount of Boeing 737MAX aircraft from the end of 2019, but deferred the deal to 2024 after the type’s grounding.

AZAL now operates 18 aircraft, including four A319s and six A320s, as well as two each A340-500s, Boeing 757-200s, 767-300s and 787-8s.

Source: Air Transport World/Picture Azerbaijan Airlines

        Royal Jordanian Ranked in AirlineRatings Top 20 Global Airlines List

Royal Jordanian closed 2019 with another positive record, according to an airline safety and product review website, AirlineRatings.com.

AirlineRatings.com listed Royal Jordanian (RJ) as one of the top 20 safest airlines in the world in its list of “Top Twenty Safest Airlines 2020”.    They were selected from a pool of 405 different airlines it monitors.

Among the top 20 safest airlines are four Arab Airlines: Etihad, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Royal Jordanian.   Australia’s Qantas topped the list, ranking 1st.

The Safety-rating system in this list was developed based on different factors, including airlines’ compliance with international regulations, the age of their fleet of aircraft, safety innovation, operational excellence and the utilization of new, more advanced, aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

RJ’s President/CEO Stefan Pichler said: “We are pleased with this rating among other big international carriers.  RJ has been known for its great record in safety and operations for the past 56 years’ result of the hard work of its employees, who are keen to maintain this high standard. We will continue the hard work to keep our high international position and improve our operations, products and services, thus making sure to always offer our passengers the best.”

Source: Arabian AeroSpace/Picture Royal Jordanian

           

LATEST NEWS

  • Sun Country Airlines has signed a six year deal with Amazon to operate 10 Boeing 737-800F freighters for Amazon Prime starting this spring.
  • Singapore Airlines when Singapore Airlines has announced it will fold Subsidiary SilkAir into Singapore Airlines including its 17 Boeing 737-800s and six grounded Max 8s.SilkAir is currently transitioning to an all-737 fleet.  This entry was posted in Singapore Airlines and tagged 9V-MBN, Boeing 737 Max 8, MSN 44258, Singapore Airlines on December 20, 2019.                                                                                                      
  • Icelandair Cargo handles all shipments to and from Iceland for FedEx and TNT, following a new three-year agreement going into effect early this year.
  • Airbus plans to boost A320neo production at its Mobile, Alabama, site to seven aircraft monthly in 2021.
  • All Nippon Airways(ANA) will take delivery of its last of three Airbus A380s, which have been specially dedicated on its Tokyo-Honolulu routes.
  • BOC Aviation has placed an order for 20 Airbus A320neos, with at least committed to new customer Avianca.
  • Avianca Colombian airline has cancelled 20 Airbus A320neo purchase commitments and delayed Airbus deliveries of A320neos until 2025, making another step in the carrier’s financial transformation effort.
  • KLM Cityhopper firms up an order for Embraer E-195-E2 jets and adds six further aircraft.
  • Emirates retains 777-8s in revised 777x order, the airline is expecting to receive 101 777-9s and 25 777-8s.
  • Embraer E175_E2 made its inaugural flight from the company’s facility in Sao Jose dos Campos.  The maiden flight kicks of a rigorous 24-month flight test campaign.                     

Sources: Embraer, Airbus, Flightglobal, Emirates,Singapore Airlines

                                      AIR CARGO

                         Atlas Air Lands El Al As New Customer

El Al Israel Airlines is outsourcing operation of its main freight route between Tel Aviv and Liege, Belgium, to Atlas Air Inc. under unexpended charter arrangement.

Atlas, an aviation services company headquartered in Purchase, N.Y., said on January 7 it is leasing an El Al  Boeing 747-400 freighter, operating it with its crew and providing maintenance and insurance (ACMI) beginning this month.

El Al, a new customer for Atlas, is experiencing strong growth in demand across its freight network, according to the announcement.  The Israeli carrier sells space on the plane and covers expenses such as ground handling, landing fees and fuel.

No terms of the commercial cooperation were disclosed, but ACMI deals typically run for one to three years.

El Al opted for the turnkey”wet” lease with Atlas because in the past year it ended use of Boeing 747s in its own fleet and switched to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Source : Atlas Air Worldwide/Picture Atlas Air Worldwide

 

OTHER NOTEWORTHY NEWS

               China’s Bid to Challenge Boeing and Airbus Falters

Development of China’s C919 single-aisle plane, already at least five years behind schedule and going slower than expected, a dozen people familiar with the program told Reuters, as the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation(COMAC) struggles with a range of technical issues that have severely restricted test flights.

Delays are common in complex aerospace programs, but the especially slow progress is a potential embarrassment to China, which has invested heavily in its first serious attempt to break the hold of Boeing and Airbus on the global jet market.

The most recent problem came down to a mathematical error, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

COMAC engineers miscalculated the forces that would be placed on the plane’s twin engines in flight -known in the industry as loads- and sent inaccurate data to the engine manufacturer, CFM International, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters.As a result the engine and its housing may both have to be reinforced, the people said, most likely at COMAC’s expense-though another source denied any modification. 

That and other technical and structural glitches meant that by early December, after more than two and a half years of flight testing, COMAC had completed less than a fifth of the 4,200 hrs in the air that it needs for final approval by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, two people close to the project told Reuters.

COMAC did not respond to Reuters requests for comment for this story.  CFM, a joint venture between General Electric and France’s Safran, declined comment.

COMAC has still not finalized the correct calculations and data to send to the engine manufacturer, which are key to ensuring that the engine does not fail under heavy loads.

The engine miscalculation does not reflect a lack of theoretical understanding – China has been putting people in space for almost two decades.  But it does illustrate the national aerospace manufacturer’s lack of experience in designing and building commercial aircraft.

It also found a gearbox attached to the engine was vulnerable to cracking, which caused and engine to shut down during a test flight, three sources told Reuters, a problem that potentially affects all six C919 jets now invest flights.   Regular inspections of the gearbox to check for cracks and leaking oil have curtailed COMAC’s flight test program, they said.

The gearbox problem, discovered in 2018 and not previously reported, was due to unexpected vibrations, two sources told Reuters.  Engineers on the program have found ways to minimize the risk, the sources said.

The accumulation of problems has put COMAC significantly behind schedule, which will prove costly.  The C919 is designed to compete with the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo families.

Most industry forecasters now expect the prolonged cyclical boom in demand to fade this year’s business confidence wanes amid geopolitical tensions, meaning the plane that debuts in 2021 or 2022 will likely miss out on orders for years to come.

Source : Reuters       

 

 

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

               

The Kaplanian Report December 2019

ON THE BOEING FRONT

           With Hushed Fanfare, Boeing Rolls out the 737 MAX 10

On November 22, Boeing quietly unveiled the first flight-test Max 10, a variant designed to compete closely with the Airbus A321neo. The first flight expects to be sometime next year. The aircraft, which is more than a simple stretch,  features a revised main landing gear design.

Boeing launched the Max 10, the largest variant of the Max line-up, at the Paris Air Show in 2017 as a competitor to the A321neo.  The Max 10 will be capable of seating up to 230 passengers, and is around 1.6m (5ft 3in) longer than the Max 9.   The longer fuselage potentially required taller landing gear to ensure the appropriate clearance between the rear fuselage and ground during take-off rotation.

However, a taller gear would have required extensive changes to items such as the main gear wheel wells Boeing incorporated a semi-levered main gear design.  This enables the gear to extend 241mm (9.5in) upon rotation during take-off run and provides the required clearance. A steel compressing mechanism called a “shrink link” pulls the inner cylinder as the gear retracts.

The design shown (see picture) is similar to the gear on the 777-300.  It preserves commonality within the Max family by allowing the landing gear to be accommodated into the same wheel well as other Max variants.

The muted debut was understandable, as Boeing continues to work trying to return its grounded existing MAX jets to service.  The newest MAX has more than 550 orders and commitments from more than 20 customers.

Source : Boeing/Picture Boeing

                    

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                      BelugaXL Receives EASA Type Certification

The BelugaXL has received its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), paving the way for entry-into-service by early 2020.

The aircraft is an integral part of Airbus’ industrial system and a key enabler for production ramp-up requirements beyond 2019. The BelugaXL allows for 30% extra transport capacity being seven meters (23.62 feet) longer than its BelugaST predecessor.

With the largest cargo bay cross-section, the BelugaXL can carry two A350 XWB wings compared to the BelugaST, which  can only carry one.  With a maximum payload of 51 tons, the BelugaXL has a range of 4,000 km (2200 nm).

The aircraft gets its stamp of approval following an flight test campaign that saw the BelugaXL complete more more than 200 flight tests, clocking over 700 flight hours.  In total, six aircraft will be built between 2019 and 2023, gradually replacing the current fleet of BelugaST transport.

Launched in November 2014,The BelugaXL is based an A330-200 freighters large re-use of existing components and equipment.  The Beluga XT is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.

Source : Airbus/Pictures Airbus       

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                                   Pilatus Has Delivered its 1,700th PC-12

The all-metal PC-12 NG, the 1,700th, was handed over to one of Pilatus’s oldest and largest customers, Jefly.  The Luxembourg-based fractional ownership operator has the biggest inventory of PC-12s in Europe, with 40 aircraft in Service.

Pilatus says over 7 million flying hours have been logged by the worldwide PC-12 fleet to date; with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67 P-powered type deployed for range of roles including air ambulance, corporate and charters well as by owner flyers.

The Stans, Switzerland headquarterd airframer describes the PC-12 as a “reliable, efficient aircraft” that is flown by customers” who know they can depend on it for many years of excellent operation.”

Pilatus launched a third generation version of the 10-seat single in October, called the PC-12NGX.The aircraft features a number of enhancements over the NG model, including a PT6E-67XP turboprop engine featuring electronic propeller and engine control systems; a revamped cockpit with digital autothrottle, a redesigned cabin with a choice of BMW Designworks interiors and larger windows to deliver more natural light.

With European and US certification for the NGX already secured, Pilatus in now preparing the first examples for service entry early next year.

Source : Pilatus/Picture Pilatus                                                                

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

GE Aviation Fixed GE9X Problem That Delayed First Flight of 777X

GE Aviation completed the final tests on the GE9X, clearing the way for the 777X flight tests to begin.

It is solved.  It is fixed, and it’s fixed robustly,” GE Aviation’s (GE9X program manager, Ted Ingling, says of the GE9X stator vane problem that delayed the 777X’s flight test program.  “It is better to have found it in the factory than find it in the field.”

We fixed the assembly to make it more durable,” adds Ingling, “The performance and operational characteristics of the engine did not change.”  The 105,000 lb-thrust (467kN) GE9X is the only power option for both 777X variants-the 777-8 and larger 777-9.

GE Aviation is now completing certification testing on two engines.  One is undergoing an “endurance test”, which examines engine performance when operated for extended periods at “ redline temperatures and redline speed rotors”, says Ingling.

The other engine is being subjected to a “vibration endurance” test, during which engineers run it with rotor imbalances.  That test will help determine the engine’s ability to withstand such conditions and help establish procedures pilots will use to respond to issues.

GE Aviation had halted testing after discovering a problem with stator vanes at the front end of the GE9X’s high-pressure compressor. The issue eventually forced Boeing to delay the 777-9’s first flight from 2019 to its current expectation of early 2020.

“It’s a lesson learned for us,” Ingling says.  ”The unfortunate part of this learning was that it came late in the game.” The problem forced GE aviation to recall from Boeing four GE9X “compliance engines” — those used for 777X test flights.  Two of those engines are already on the wings of a test aircraft, Ingling says.

Source : GE Aviation/Picture GE Aviation

 

China Approved Boeing’s Proposed Acquisition of Embraer’s Commercial Division,  Removing Another Hurdle to a Deal.  Still Under Particular Scrutiny by European Regulators.

Embraer, confirms China has green lighted the transaction, which calls for Boeing to buy 80% of Embraer’s commercial aircraft unit for $4.2 billion.  The  Brazilian manufacturer would retain a 20% stake of the division, which Boeing intends to rename Boeing Brasil—Commercial.

“ We have received unconditional clearance to close our transaction from almost all jurisdictions, including the United States, China and Japan,” Embraer says in a statement.   “We continue to cooperate with the remaining jurisdictions as the assess our transaction and look forward to a positive resolution.”

The European Commission seems to be the sticking point.  Several weeks ago, Embraer executives announced the deal’s closing delayed to no sooner than March 2020, due to the Commission deciding to conduct a more thorough review.

The acquisition proposal calls for Embraer’s entire commercial aircraft business to transfer into Boeing’s control, including its hugely successful E-Jet program, commercial aircraft services and related engineering expertise.

Source : Flightglobal

         

 FAA Approves Boeing 737 Distress Tracking Device

On November 20th, aircraft tracking system provider Blue Sky Network  announced FAA certification for its autonomous distress tracking (ADT) device on Boeing 737 airliners.

Blue Sky Network said its HawkEye ADT, was granted approved model list supplemental type certificate(AML-STC) authorization for the 737 types; the first device to comply with an upcoming international recommended standard for autonomous distress tracking.

The HawkEye ADT automatically reports aircraft 4D Global Navigation Satellite system position data via Iridium modem for normal operations and defined distress anomalies.  The unit incorporates an altitude and heading reference system module that can autonomously determine a possible distress condition.

Position report messages are routed to an airline operations center using Blue Sky Network’s Sky Router aircraft tracking software platform.  The HawkEye ADT derives power from the aircraft’s electrical bus and contains a battery in the event of a power failure.

Source: Air Transport World/Picture Blue Sky Network

         

      

LATEST NEWS

  • Bamboo Airways is set to take  its first Boeing 787-9 aircraft during this month from GECAS on operating leases.GECAS subsequently confirmed that the two aircraft would be transferred to the carrier from an existing lessee.

  • Emirates ordered 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to complement its 777-8 and 777-9 on order.

  • Condor German leisure carrier has reverted to a previous corporate logo for its fleet, distancing the airline from its collapsed former parent Thomas Cook Group.

  • Air Astana Kazakhstan’s flag carrier has signed a letter of intent covering 30 Boeing 737 Max jets which will be placed with newly launched low-cost unit FlyArystan.
  • KLM will say goodbye to the Airbus 330 fleet in the coming years at which time will only be flying exclusively Boeing aircraft.
  • Garuda Indonesia will lease two Boeing 737-800 converted freighters from GECAS from mid-2020.
  • Airbus has unveiled the first A220 painted in the colors of Air Canada, coming ahead of expected first delivery of the type to the carrier this month.
  • Binter Spanish regional carrier has received its first Embraer 195-E2 from the Brazilian manufacturer.

  • SAS Has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, one of eight of the twinsets the carrier has on order.

  • El Al Israeli airline has signed for the financing of its first Boeing 787-8, which was delivered during the month of November.

 

AIR CARGO

              Lockheed Martin Gained Certification for its LM-100J

Lockheed Martin gained US civil certification for its LM-100J commercial Freighter.  US Federal Aviation Administration approval was received on November 15, after 150h flight-test campaign, says Lockheed.

Cargo services provider Pallas Aviation will put the initial example of the LM-100J into service in the first quarter of 2020; following training of maintenance crews and pilots in Marietta, Georgia.

The LM-100J features new avionics an updated flight-management system and carbon brakes, among other modifications for the commercial market.

Lockheed delivered 115 of the earlier L-100 commercial freighters before production ended in 1992 and 35 aircraft remain in service, it says.  The company expects operators of those aircraft to make up a large portion of LM-100J’s future orders.

Lockheed has taken orders for five LM-100Js so far, including the two for Pallas.It forecasts total sales of up to 45 units.

Source : Lockheed/Picture Lockheed

 

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

                          Boeing Global Services Aiming for “Good Growth”

Boeing Global Services (BGS) is continuing to outpace the market as it pursues a target of achieving $50 billion in revenues by 2025, according to the division’s new CEO, Ted Colbert.

However, achieving that target-which Colbert described aspirational- will not be done simply by chasing volume.

“ Part of our goal is to have good growth, profitable growth.  There are lots of opportunities that could allow us to have lots of revenue at low levels of Profitability.”

Services-which covers a myriad of areas; such as spares, MRO and training-is a relatively low-key sector but one that is rapidly growing in importance. Training, for example is taking center stage, given the huge numbers of new pilots that will be needed to fuel the growth in aviation-notably in Asia-over the next 20 years.

BGS estimates the Middle East market for services at $225 billion over the next decade.  Its presence in the region include a parts distribution center in Dubai.

Source: Arabian Aerospace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian