Volume 4 Issue 9 The Kaplanian Report September 2017

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Urals Boeing Plant to Triple Partners’ Titanium Capacity 

Shipments of Russian-made aerospace parts will exceed $1billion after the new Urals Boeing Manufacturing (UBM) plant begins operations next summer.  Sergei Kravchenko, Boeing president for Russia and CIS, told reporters during a briefing in Moscow a day ahead of the July 18th to 23rd MAKS 2017 airshow.

UBM, a joint venture between the U.S. airframes and Russia’s Roster Corporation officially launched operations in 2009, but the demand for more titanium parts prompted the partners to invest in a second plant to triple the capacity.

The new plant opens “just in time”, said Kravchenko, considering the 18 to 24 month lead time for major 777X parts.

Russian output grew quickly as Boeing 787 production rose from an initial two to 12 per month.  Each Dreamliner coming off the production line uses 56 parts made of Russian titanium, weighing a total weight of 22 tons, including heavily machined components from UBM and raw material supplied directly by Rostec’s VSMPO-Avisma company.

Financial restrictions have proved most damaging, because they make it harder for Russian airlines to buy Boeing aircraft. ”We continue materializing all we had agreed before, but the political instability restricts our ability to launch larger economic projects that would benefit both sides,” he said. ”I want to see sanctions removed.”

Nevertheless, Kravchenko expressed optimism about the potential of Boeing Global Services(GBS).” Kravchenko said “Stan Deal, GBS president and CEO, asked for my assistance…and I shall be working for him while keeping the current position,” he added.

Kravchenko said he sees the recent achievements of Russian airlines – most notably Aeroflot – in the area of digitization as a major contribution to the new division to provide round-the-clock support for airlines. Boeing plans to take advantage of the time zone difference between Moscow and Seattle, employing engineers in those respective cities “as though in two shifts”.

“This way, we can get airline’s requests for services fulfilled quicker and in a more efficient manner,” concluded Kravchenko.

Source : Air Transport

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Delivers Its 100th A350 XWB

Airbus has delivered its 100th A350 XWB, just some 30 months after the first delivery in December 2014.  The 100th aircraft delivered is an A350-900 for China Airlines.

“The 100th A350 XWB milestone comes as we reach our fastest wide body production ramp-up on track to meet the target of 10 A350 deliveries per month by the end of 2018,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus COO and President Commercial Aircraft.

“China Airlines is happy to be receiving the 100th A350XWb,” said Nuan-Shuan Ho, Chairman of China Airlines. To date, the A350 has been delivered to 14 airlines worldwide and is flying with an outstanding operational reliability rate of 99%. ”This is a remarkable statistic at this early stage of the program,” Fabrice Bregier adds.

The A350-1000 is the new member of the A350 XWB family and benefits from its high level of commonality with the A350-900. Scheduled for Type Certification and first Customer delivery in the fourth quarter of 2017, the A350-1000 is currently performing an intensive flight test campaign.

As of July 26, Airbus has recorded a total of 847 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide.

Source : Airbus/Airbus Picture

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

   Embraer Lauds Services In Q2 Results

Embraer saw a 30% increase in second-quarter sales, due in part to improved revenue from services – an increasingly important business line for the world’s major aircraft manufacturers.

The Brazilian company’s second-quarter revenue rose to $1.77 billion, on factors including higher services sales and increased commercial deliveries.

Embraer delivered 35 commercial aircraft during the quarter, versus 26 in last year’s equivalent period.  It also delivered 24 business aircraft, and noted that its executive jets division had recorded a double-digit growth in services revenue.

Boeing is also pushing its aftermarket product: First-half earnings for its services division unit were up 11% to $674 million and Boeing expects the unit’s operating margin for the full year to breach 13.5%, up from a previous forecast of 12.5%-plus.

And while Embraer’s 2Q trading statement is unclear about services’ contribution to higher revenues within its commercial aircraft division, the manufacturer does offer a full suite of services, including maintenance, modifications, field support, training and materials.

In the first half of 2017, Embraer had invested almost $24 million in parts for its pooling program.  The company also invested in its E2 aircraft program, which is currently running four E190-Es and one E195-E2 prototypes.  The E190-E2, which has 83 firm orders, completed its wing bending test in May and is now more than halfway through its test campaign.

(It is interesting how airframers are now putting more emphasis on the services side of their businesses. As a former spares executive in the car industry and heavy duty Truck industry, I am elated to see the expansion of this business, which handled correctly can generate more profit for airframes)

Source : Embraer/ Embraer Picture

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 

 ALC Looks to Accelerate Boeing Deliveries As Airbus Delays Mount

Air Lease is looking to accelerate some of its Boeing deliveries to offset delays to certain Airbus aircraft in 2018, as it questions the stability of both airframers’ supply chains.

Delivery delays of Pratt &Whitney powered A320neo family aircraft and Rolls Royce- powered A330-900neos continue and are

“sliding right” month-by-month in 2018, says  John Plueger, chief executive of the Los Angeles-based lessor, during a second quarter earnings call on August 3rd.

Steven Udar-Hazy, chairman of All, calls the delays to the A330neos the “Rolls Royce Situation”, during the call. He adds that the aircraft has not even begun flight tests.

As a result of the delays, the lessor is looking to accelerate some of its Boeing deliveries into 2018 and may temper its aircraft sales program, says Plueger.

The lessor has yet to determine the full impact of the delays on deliveries from its order book and to its sales program, says Plueger when asked by Wall Street analysts.  He adds that it is receiving updates from Airbus on a weekly basis and hopes to have some clarity by the end of summer.  ALC attributes the delays to supply chain issues, particularly with engines, that are impacting Airbus and, to a lesser extent, Boeing.

“We don’t have the production delay problems with Boeing that we have with Airbus,” says Udvar-Hazy, when asked about possible acceleration of Boeing deliveries.” It just seems Boeing has its programs under control,” he adds.

Source : Flightglobal/ALC

 

Norwegian Has Performed Its First Commercial Transatlantic 737 MAX 

Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian Shuttle has performed its first commercial transatlantic flights using the Boeing 737 MAX, with two aircraft now in revenue service.

The first Norwegian 737 MAX transatlantic sector was operated July 15 by aircraft named “Sir Freddie Laker,” who is widely recognized as long a long-haul, low-cost pioneer.  The Skytrain executive started long-haul, low-cost flights between London Gatwick and New York in 1977,  with fares starting at $77.

Norwegian’s 189-seat 737 MAX operated between Edinburgh and Hartford, Connecticut; followed by a second rotation from Edinburgh to Stewart International in New York.

The 737 MAX offers longer range compared with older narrow bodies, opening up smaller transatlantic city pairs at an affordable cost and fare price.

Norwegian will take delivery of six 737 MAXs this summer, joining the two it already has in service.

Source : Flightglobal/Norwegian/NorwegianPicture

 

  LOT Polish Airlines Completes Initial Phase of Long-Haul Renewal

LOT Polish Airlines has taken delivery of the final aircraft of its batch of eight Boeing 787-8s, as the Polish national carrier eyes the arrival of the larger-9 model next year.  CEO Rafal Milczarski credits the twin-aisle aircraft as being a factor in the airlines financial turnaround.

The eighth 787-8 will largely be used to increase frequencies on LOT’s Asian routes, notably to Tokyo (from 3X-to 4X-weekly) and Seoul (from 3X-to %X-weekly) beginning this month.  The enlarged fleet will also begin %X-weekly services from Warsaw to Newark Newark, replacing a Boeing 767-300 leased from Portuguese leasing and charter specialist EuroAtlantic Airways.

The final 787-8 will also allow for potential new long-haul services to be launched, even before the arrival of a batch of four 787-9s next year.  That will be used to inaugurate the recently announced Budapest-New York JFK and Chicago O’Hare routes from May.

On the short-haul front, July also saw the deliveries go four 737-800NG completed, while in November, LOT will be one of the early operators of the 737 MAX 8.

  Source : ATW/Picture Norwegian

 

LATEST NEWS

  • Air Lease Corp has finalized an order with Boeing for 12 737 MAX aircraft previously announced at the Paris Air Show.  The agreement also includes two new orders for the 787-9 Dreamliner.

  • Avolon Irish lessor delivered one Boeing 737 Max 8 to Indonesia’s Lion Air.  This is the fourth Avolon aircraft on lease to Lion Air.
  • ICBC, Chinese lessor, has been identified as the customer behind an order for 20 Airbus A320neo placed at the end of 2014.
  • ALAFCO secured a loan from Stellwagen Finance for the first Airbus A320neo for lease to Air India.
  • GE Aviation earned $1.49 billion on $6.53 billion sales in 2Q17 vs $1.35 billion on $6.51 billion in 2Q16.
  • Meggitt aviation component and systems maker has landed a deal with Boeing to provide the airframe with integrated standby flight displays (ISFD) for the 777X.
  • Flydubai Dubai based low-cost carrier (LCC) has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8, becoming the first Middle Eastern carrier to operate the type.

  • Singapore Airlines has dropped its short-haul low-cost carrier (LCC) brand Tingerair, merging the airline into mid-to long-haul LCC Scoot.
  • Saudi Aramco has taken delivery of three new Boeing 737-800s in as many months.

  • New England Patriots has acquired two former American Airlines Boeing 767-300ERs for travel to out-of-town games.  The 767s are owned by a company called Team 125 Inc, operated by New England Patriots LLC and financed by Kraft Group, a company let by Patriots owner Robert Kraft.  The aircraft will be configured in an all-first class configuration and will operate out of TF Green airport near Providence, Rhode Island.
  • BOC Aviation firmed its commitment to order 10 737 Max 10s made at the Paris  Air Show in June.

 

AIR CARGO

Volga-Dnepr Weighs in With Vision for a Larger An-124 

Volga-Dnepr Group has outlined its principal requirements for a future freighter to replace the Antonov An-124-100.

During the MAKS air show in Moscow in July, it outlined its vision of a successor to the Ukrainian outsize-cargo aircraft, developed in the 1970s as a military transport.

“In our view, a new freighter should be 35% to 40% more efficient economically and capable to carry a payload of up to 170t for at least 8,000km to 10,000km (4,300-5,400nm)”, say technical director Viktor Tolmachev.  “This would enable the operator to transport even bulkier cargos on longer-haul routes across the oceans and continents.”

The cargo variant of the An-124 entered commercial service with Volga-Dnepr Airlines in October 1991.  Since then the freighter has undergone several enhancements and modifications, the latest is the-100M-150, fitted with Western avionics and capable of flying 2,430nm with a payload of 150t.

Volga-Dnepr currently uses a dozen An-124s, of which 10 were built 22-27 years ago.

Source : Flightglobal/ Volga-Dnepr Picture

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News                         

One-Stop OEM Shopping?

The aviation aftermarket is being jolted by some bold moves from OEMs that could challenge conventional business models.  Or is this simply part of the next wave of consolidation?

Take Boeing Avionics.  The OEM announced on July 31, that it is setting up the avionics unit to develop avionics for both commercial and military platforms.  That means it will compete against some of its Tier 1 suppliers – such as Honeywell, United Technologies Corp. and Rockwell Collins. The latter “saw its share price whacked on the Boeing Avionics news,” says Robert Stallard, an analyst at Vertical Research Partners, who points out Rockwell Collins stock “has since rallied.”

A few days later, on Aug. 4, reports started swirling that United Technologies might purchase Rockwell Collins. Keep in mind Rockwell Collins just finished acquiring B/E Aerospace, the cabin interior product and services company, on April 13th. It had expanded its interiors portfolio and established natural synergies and complementary services in areas such as cabin management, connectivity and communication.

Now that some OEMs aim for more aftermarket revenue, it’s not surprising that they seek greater in-house capabilities for an expanding market, which Aviation Week forecasts to reach $74.3 billion this year.

Expect the market to continue expanding through the year. In Vertical Research Partners’ assessment of the global aerospace and defense market’s second quarter, released Aug. 7, it says the aerospace market grew about 7% slightly higher than the 5% in the first quarter.

While all this is emerging, Stallard also sees “a potential shift in the balance of power between the aircraft OEMs and their suppliers,” some of which “are struggling to keep up with the relentless price and efficiency demands of Boeing and Airbus.”

Source : MRO-Network

 

 MRO Short News

  • Jet Yard was selected by Delta Material Services to perform part outs in Marana, Arizona.
  • ATR extended its global maintenance agreement with Stobart Air for 17 Air aircraft.
  • Czech Airlines Technics was selected by KLM low-cost carrier Transavia for Boeing 737NG maintenance.
  • Zodiac Seats US was selected by Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair to supply Z110 economy seats for Boeing 737 MAXs.
  • Ducommun has a Boeing contract to supply aluminum fuselage skins for the Boeing 737-800BCF.

 

September Puzzler        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August Puzzler Answer :  Allegiant Air the fleet is so old that its most numerous airplanes are McDonnell Douglas MD-80s and -90s, which ceased production 17 years ago. Allegiant also operates a pair of Boeing 757s (out of production since 2004) and about somewhat younger dozen Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft.

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

Volume 2 Issue 4 April 2015

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing ecoDemonstrator 757 Flight Tests Focus on Aerodynamic Efficiency

Boeing has begun several months of flights with ecoDemonstrator 757 to evaluate new technologies to improve commercial aviation’s efficiency, reduce noise and carbon emissions. Boeing is collaborating with TUI Group and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on ecoDemonstrator 757 tests.

The 757 flight tests continue the ecoDemonstrator Program’s multi-year effort to accelerate testing, refinement and use of new technologies and methods that can improve aviation’s environmental performance.

“The ecoDemonstrator 757 furthers our commitment to accelerate innovative technologies for current and future airplane programs.” said Mike Sinnett, vice president of Product Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.” The Boeing ecoDemonstrator program is focused on putting new, more environmentally efficient technologies and airplanes in the hands of our customers sooner.”

757 EcoDemo

On the left wing, Boeing will evaluate technologies to reduce environmental effects on natural laminar flow as a way to improve aerodynamic efficiency. As an example, the ecoDemonstrator 757 will test a Krueger shield that can protect the leading edge from insects.

On the right wing, NASA  will test bug-phobic coating to reduce the residue left by bug strikes on the leading edges of aircraft wings; the goal is to enable more drag-reducing laminar flow over the remainder of the wing.

On the vertical tail, NASA and Boeing are testing active flow control to improve airflow over the rudder and maximize its aerodynamic  efficiency.

TUI Group, the world’s largest integrated tourism group, is collaborating with Boeing as way to reduce carbon emissions.

Source : Boeing/TUI Group/Photo

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus Celebrates Delivery of its 9,000th Aircraft 

240x170_1427100935_VietJetAir_first_A321_Delivery_Ceremony_in_Hamburg

Airbus has celebrated the delivery of its 9000th aircraft at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany on March 20th 2015.The aircraft is the first A321 to be delivered to Vietnamese carrier VietJetAir and will join the carrier’s all Airbus A320 Family fleet flying on its Asia-Pacific network.

VietJetAir first took to the skies at the end of 2011 and now operates a fleet of 22 A320 Family aircraft on a network covering Vietnam and a growing number of destinations across Asia. The A321 delivered is the first of seven ordered by the airline as part of a major aircraft acquisition plan for up to 100 A320 Family aircraft announced in 2014.

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Since delivering its first A300 in 1974, Airbus has developed a comprehensive product line. Today this includes the single aisle A320 Family and the A330 twin Aisle, the A350XWB and the world’s largest aircraft the A380.

Source : Airbus/Airbus Photos

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

Bombardier to Use Additional  CSeries Aircraft

The fifth and final test vehicle for the initial CS100 version of Bombardier’s CSeries airliner has begun flying, but additional aircraft will be used in the test program in a bid to meet the target of certification toward the end of this year.

Aircraft FTV5, the first CSeries fitted with a finished interior, made its first flight from Mirabel, near Montreal,on March 18. A second followed March 19.The aircraft is being used to test passenger-related systems.

cs100-taxi-trials-courtesy-bombardier

CSeries testing has passed the 1,200 hour mark, but the total now includes flying FTV7, the first test vehicle for the stretched CS300, which made its first flight from Mirabel in February. Bombardier has said certification is expected to take around 2,400 hr.

To meet its certification target this year, Bombardier plans to use the first production CS100 in the flight-test program.

The first CS300 will also be used to fly test points for the smaller CS100, said Rob Dewar, vice president for the CSeries program. This is because of the high degree of commonality between the versions.

Firm orders for the CSeries still stand at 243 aircraft, but total commitments including options are now 603. This  includes a letter of intent to purchase 20 CS100, with options for another 20, for the new airline Flymojo announce by the Malaysian government on March 17.

Source: Flightglobal/Ed’s Research

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Air Madagascar Re-Fleets with ATR

Air Madagascar has ordered three ATR 72-600 turboprops in a deal worth approximately $77 million, and is leasing two more of the type from Ireland based Elix Aviation Capital.

The first of the two leased aircraft was formally delivered on March 11th, with the second due to next month. The Three purchased from ATR will be delivered from 2017.

Pic-15-ATR-Air-Madagascar

The arrival of the aircraft will enable Air Madagascar to renew and expand its fleet of  ATRS, which currently consists of one ATR 42-500 and two ATR 72-500s,significantly increasing seat capacity on the carrier’s main domestic routes on the Indian Ocean island nation.

images

Air Madagascar transports nearly 600,000 passengers annually, with 75% of those on its regional or domestic network. The carrier is long standing ATR customer, having introduced its first of the type, an ATR 42-300,in 1996 and introducing the -500 since 2005.

Source: Elix Aviation Capital

Singapore Airlines Looks to Buy Korean LCC Jeju Air

Singapore flag carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) has been in talks to buy around 20% of Korean low-cost carrier(LCC) Jeju Air in the lead up to its initial public offering later this year.

jeju-air-boeing-737-800-rf

In a statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange, SIA confirmed ”that discussions have taken place on possible equity investment in Jeju Air.” SIA added that further public announcements could be on the way.

The deal would give SIA Group considerably more access to expanding Korea-China market, where full service carriers are seeing high levels of competition from other LCCs such as Air Busan, Eastar, Jin Air and T’Way.

SIA started talks to buy into Jeju Air with its parent Aekyung Group late last year, prior to the LCC’s plan to go for a Q4 2015 IPO to raise $180 million for expansion of its fleet and network, principally deeper into China’s second tier cities. Late last month, Jeju Air introduced a new 3 weekly Daegu-Beijing service using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Source : ATW

GE Honda Aero Engines Receives US Approval for HF120 Production 

Honda-Aero-Engines-HF120-0914a

GE Honda Aero Engines has cleared a key milestone for its HF120 turbofan, which powers the HondaJet light twin-engined business jet, with the US Federal Aviation Administration granting production approval for its new manufacturing plant in Burlington, Massachusetts.

This validation comes more than two years after the 2,095 lb thrust engine, developed by GE Aviation and HondaJet,secured US approval. It allows the company to build the powerplant to type design specification without FAA oversight.

The $4.5 million HondaJet is the first platform for the HF120, although it has also been selected by US engineering company Sapphire for its Cessna CitationJet upgrade program.

images

HF120 production was initially performed at Ge’s Lynn, Massachusetts, facility before its transition to Burlington late last year. The 2,000 square feet plant has capacity to build 500 engines a year. It will also carry out engine maintenance, repair and overhaul work.

The HondaJet is scheduled for certification and service entry in the coming weeks. The six-seat aircraft is being assembled in nearby Greensboro, North Carolina.

Source : Flightglobal/GE Aviation

Mangoes Anyone? 

Does-anyone-else-squeeze-lemon-juice-over-their-mangoes-Ive-been-loving-this-combination-lately

This past December, LAN Cargo set a new monthly record for the transportation of mangoes from Peru to Europe, shipping 525 tons of the tropical fruit using two 767 freighters.  The mangoes were flown from Lima to Sao Paulo, there operations teams at Guarulhoes ensured that the cold chain was maintained before onward shipping to Europe.  LAN is responsible for transporting approximately 35 percent of Peruvian mangoes to Europe.  Expect tropical salads to be a big hit this year on Parisienne cafes.

Source:  Air Cargo World

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Rockwell Collins was selected by China Eastern Airlines to supply avionics, including Head-up Guidance System for its 20 Boeing 737NG starting in 2016.
  • Avolon delivered the first of four Boeing 787-9s to Virgin Atlantic, which has a further line in its fleet.
  • Boeing Shanghai Aviation has signed a maintenance agreement with Russia’s Transaero   Airlines for its Boeing 767s.
  • Swiss International Airlines (SWISS) has announced a commitment to purchase three additional 777-300ERs. The order will be posted on Boeing’s Order and Deliveries website when finalized.
  • ANA finalized an order for three 787-10 Dreamliners on March 2nd..  The order was announced as a commitment in January of this year.
  • Turkish Airlines has placed a firm order for four additional Airbus A330-200 freighters that will be operated by its Turkish Cargo business.
  • The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has placed a firm order for 30        Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) ARJ 21-700 regional aircraft.
  • Vietnam Airlines’ first Airbus A350-900 aircraft has left the paint shop, revealing a new livery for the  carrier.

 yourfile

  • Qantas’s first 747-400 has flown into retirement after completing an historic ferry flight to Illawarra Regional airport on March 8th.
  • Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC)  is going to deliver 44 Sukhoi Super Jet 100 jets in 2015.
  • BAE was selected by Boeing to supply the final piece of the revamped fly-by-wire control system on the 777X currently in development.
  • Air Tahiti Nui (ATN), the major carrier of French Polynesia, has decided to order four Boeing 787-9 aircraft to replace its fleet of Airbus A340-300.
  • Pilatus Aircraft recently delivered its 1300th turboprop PC12 to Surf Air,a private air travel club based in California.
  • Gulfstream on March 12th, the National Aeronautic Association announced GulfStream will be awarded the 2014 Robert J.Collier Trophy, ‘For the development of the Gulfstream G650 business Jet, which strengthened business aviation through significant technological in aircraft performance, cabin comfort, and Safety.”

 

AIR CARGO

EVA Refleets as Martinair Defleets

In the Netherlands, it appears that time for talking has ended, as Air France-KLM has taken the axe to subsidiary carrier Martinair. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Taiwan based EVA Air is looking to the future, with plans to place an order for five 777Fs.

images

The disappearance of Air France, KLM and Martinair as major players in the main-deck freight business has been underway for some time now, effectively since the Air France/KLM merger. At a press conference in mid-March, Air France-KLM announced massive job cuts at Martinair, saying that

330 employees, including 110 of the carrier’s pilots, would be let go. On the fleet side, all six Martinair’s MD-11Fs will be retired, leaving Air France-KLM with two 777Fs based in Paris operated by Air France and three 747-400Er based in Amsterdam.

EVA-747-400F-1024x768

In Taiwan EVA Air  reported strong growth in both cargo traffic and cargo revenue this year, while the carrier plans to reduce the number of freighters in its fleet, it has also made a decision to refleet with new production 777Fs. Eva Chairman Chang Kuo was recently quoted in China Times as the first phase of a massive fleet renewal will involve replacing its eight 747-400 freighters with five new 777Fs. There has been no announcement about the timing of the order but recent reports in China Aviation implies that it will be sooner, rather than later.

Source: Cargo Facts/China Times

                 Northern Air Cargo a Niche Air Cargo Carrier

As a docent at the Museum of Flight in Seattle located at Boeing Field I thought I knew most airline liveries, however, while on duty as a docent the past few weeks I kept seeing one of Northern Air Cargo planes parked not far from Clay Lacy’s hanger on the field and asking myself who is Northern Air Cargo and decided to investigate and discovered that Northern Air Cargo is the cargo carrier that assists the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race called “The Last Great Race” that has been held in Alaska since 1973.

Just like those early mushers, Northern Air Cargo (NAC), Alaska’s largest all-cargo airline, also delivers goods in support of that race that celebrates their arduous journey. This year the ceremonial start was held on March 7th in downtown Anchorage, as usual, but the actual race started in Fairbanks due to lack of snow. NAC was there in its 33rd year of ferrying about 75 tons of dog food, sleds, kennels, snow machines, chain saws, camera equipment, plywood, heaters, propane tanks, perishables and general gear to support the mushers and their dogs.

The carrier uses a 737-200 freighter and a 737-300 freighter for the race, operating one flight a day, three or four days a week, to drop supplies at three hub locations along the trail-the towns of McGrath, Unakakleet and Nome, where the race ends.

APIN321DLappANC

No stranger to flying in sub-zero conditions, NAC, founded in 1956, flies to 14 points in western and northern Alaska. One of NAC’s largest customers is the Red Dog Mine, a zinc-lead mine in Northwest Alaska near Kotzebue, which NAC has been servicing for 20 years. The oil companies that are active in Prudhoe Bay, at origination of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, are also frequent customers.

Interesting discovery on my part. I also discovered that NAC is also tied to freight routes in much warmer-even tropical climates. When Hawaii’s Aloha Airlines went bankrupt in 2008, Saltchuk Resources, which bought NAC in 2006, bought the air freight portion, Aloha Air Cargo, based in Honolulu, which is predominantly inter-island service, with one weekly frequency between Los Angeles and Hawaii. using a 767-300 freighter.

Dave Squire is the chief operating officer for both NAC and Aloha Cargo in Hawaii which make up the vast majority of Northern Air Service’s business. The company also keeps a couple of aircraft in Laredo, Texas, for expedited on demand charters, mostly carrying auto parts between the U.S. and  Mexico. Approximately 68 percent of cargo on NAC carriers freight and 32 percent is mail.

Source:   Air Cargo World/Ed’s Research

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

                                                              Commercial Aviation Advisor  

                                                              Contacted@kaplanianreport.com