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  

 

 

July 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

GE Starts 18-month GE9X Certification Program

GE Aviation has started the 18-month certification program for the GE9X engine that will power the Boeing 777X.

The first round of certification tests will take place in Peebles, Ohio. The certification testing is beginning on the second GE9X engine GE has built; ultimately, there will be eight certification test engines. The next two GE9X engines are currently being built. One of those two engines will be tested in flight on GE’s 747 flying testbed based in Victorville, California, in the second half of 2017.

GE aims to complete the certification program by the end of 2018. The 777X is slated to enter service in 2020.

The start of certification program follows more than a year of testing with the GE9X first engine to test (FETT).

“Historically, the first to test is not separated by the second engine by a year-plus,”

GE9X program general Manager Ted Ingling told ATW.  ”That was the intention, that we moved that first engine forward to allow us as a design team to validate the architecture of this new engine, learn, and adapt those learnings into the certification baseline.”

The second engine to test (SETT), which started for the first time on May 16, is the first GE9X certification engine and the first of a series to build to the full-up finalized production standard.

SETT, also known as GE9X test engine 002/1, is the first to incorporate all the design changes from lessons learned during the validation runs of the first engine. In addition, GE will build an engine for ETOPS extended-range certification testing that will be configured with a Boeing-provided nacelle and other external hardware.

From early 2018, GE will also deliver eight compliance engines, plus a pair of spares to Boeing for the four 777-9 flight-test aircraft. The Engine is now officially named the GE9X-105B1.

Source : ATW/GE Aviation/PicturesGE Aviation

            

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Beluga XL Begins to Take Shape

The first of Airbus’ five new Beluga XL air lifters began to take shape, initiating the creation of a new jetliner fleet to transport complete sections of the company’s aircraft from production sites around Europe to final assembly lines in France, Germany and Spain.

Beluga XL’s lower fuselage will be the same as the freighter version of the Airbus’ A330-200  jetliner and is to be built on the A330 final assembly line adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southwestern France.

Airbus has taken delivery of the nose section for its first Beluga XL transport aircraft. The nose and cockpit have been constructed by Stelia Aerospace at a French facility in Meaulte. Stelia says several of its production sites, including its Tunisian facility, contributed to the manufacture.

Airbus five Beluga XL twin jets will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.

The airframer is to introduce a series of individual paint schemes for its forthcoming fleet of the five Beluga XL transports, with the lead example featuring an aquatic design based on the white whale the aircraft is named after.

The first flight of the A330-200-based jet is due in 2018, Airbus confirms that each will bear a unique livery. The initial scheme was voted by employees, the airframe says. The Beluga XL will replace its fleet of A300-600ST outsized freighters from 2019.

Source : Air soc/Airbus/Flightglobal

                  

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

Deer Jet to Add Second Boeing 787 Dream Jet to its Fleet

Deer Jet announced the building of world’s largest Dream Jet fleet by adding a second one to its managed fleet and brings to Seattle, the birthplace of Boeing, the world’s first 787 Dream Jet for its first display in the US.

The showcase was held at the Museum of Flight. This was the sixth stop for the world’s first Dream Jet after Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, Dublin and Doha; part of the series of exhibitions “Dreams Encounter the World.”

Exclusively for the Seattle exhibition, A collection of Sculptures from artist Dale Chihuly, including its famous Cylinders, created from glass-thread drawings on vessels inspired by Native American textiles, added local style to the 787 Dream Jet cabin.

During the press conference which was held at the end of the display, Mr. Adam Tan, CEO of HNA Group, Deer Jet’s parent company, said:

“Along its 24 years of history, HNA Group has built many milestones for the aviation industry, once a regional airliner, now the 353th of the Global Fortune 500 list and the goal to become one of the top 10 largest enterprises in the world. The first 787 Dream Jet is a masterpiece, after its global success we are very pleased to add a second one as we decided to build the largest Dream Jet fleet in the world. It will also be managed by Deer Jet, the top private jet company in Asia. I believe this will provide the highest quality of premium business travel services to our worldwide high-end customers.”

During his speech at the press conference, Mr Kevin McAllister, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes added :

“Deer Jet is setting the standard for private charter travel, and Boeing is excited to be part of it with the 787, the most technologically advanced and ecologically efficient business jet on the market.”

Source : China Aviation Daily/Deer Jet/Deer Jet Picture

                                                                     

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Boeing Deal with Italian Export Finance Agency

SACE (CDP Group) and Boeing have entered into an important agreement that will support Italian exports in the aeronautical sector in the form of new aircraft delivery financing.

The agreement creates a shared platform for facilitating the financing of aircraft purchases of mutual interest each year, SACE will consider guaranteeing credit lines from third parties for the sale go Boeing aircraft (this year, up to 1.25 billion US dollars), in order to support Boeing’s contracts and subcontracts with Italian firms  specialized in precision aeronautical components. SACE’s commitment will be evaluated every year and adjusted accordingly to the supplies that Boeing will allocate to Italian companies.

“The agreement we are announcing strengthens our relationship with an international aerospace giant that has chosen Italy as one of its principal partners. Aeronautics has always been a strategic sector for our economy, where we can be even more incisive and more competitive in the international market”,  said Alessandro Decio, CEO of Sace CDP Group.

SACE said it will consider guaranteeing credit lines for airlines or leasing companies that buy Boeing aircraft. From 2015 to 2016, Boeing purchased 2.5 billion dollars of goods and services from Italian companies and, with a solid tie to the national economy, it has helped generate 12,000 jobs along the supply chain.

Source : SACE CDP Group

 

United Airlines to Offer LAX-Singapore 787-9 Service

United Airlines plans to introduce daily nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Singapore’s Changi Airport, effective October 27, subject to government approval.

According to  the Chicago-based carrier, the service will set the distance record for any airline operating a flight to or from the US, at 8,700 miles. (yet another milestone for the 787) Ed Kaplanian commented.

United’s existing service between San Francisco and Singapore started one year ago, June 1, 2016, and “holds the current record of the longest scheduled flight operated by any US carrier, at 8,446 miles,” the airline said in a statement.

Both routes will use 252-seat Boeing 787-9s with 48 Polaris business class seats and 204 economy seats, including 88 economy plus seats.

Flight UA 37 will depart Los Angeles at 8:55 p.m. daily, arriving in Singapore at 6:50 a.m. two days later (all times local). The return flight, UA 38, will depart Singapore Changi Airport at 11:00 a.m. daily, arriving at Los Angeles at 10:15 a.m. the same day. Flying times will be approximately 17 hours, 55 minutes westbound and 15 hours,15 minutes eastbound.

Source : United Airlines/ATW

 

Hainan Airlines to Add 13 787-9s and Six 737 MAX 8s

HNA Group subsidiary, Hainan Airlines, is raising funds to acquire 13 Boeing 787-9s and six 738 MAX 8s.

China’s Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed Hainan Airlines’ five year plan, paving the way for additional 19 aircraft. 

Under the strategy, the Haikou-based carrier will add seven Boeing 787-9s in 2018, followed by another six 787-9s and six 737 MAX 8s between January and August 2019. It currently has 10 787-8s and nine 787-9s in its fleet.

Hainan Airlines valued the order at about $4.19 billion and detailed plans to raise the money through a bonds issue.

The aircraft will be used to strategically grow its fleet and network, in a bid to boost profitability and competitiveness.

According to the carrier’s website, its current fleet of 179 aircraft includes Airbus A330s, Boeing 737s, 767s, 787-8s and -9s.

Source : Hainan Airlines/Boeing picture/ATW

            

LATEST NEWS

  • Iran Air has taken delivery of its first four ATR 72-600 turboprops. Earlier this year the carrier finalized a deal spanning 20 firm ATR 72-600s, plus options on another 20.
  • Arkia Israeli leisure carrier has unveiled a vibrant new livery as it prepares to modernize its fleet. 
  • EgyptAir has taken delivery of the fourth of nine Boeing 737-800 NGs, as part of a fleet modernization plan and expansion strategy.
  • Delta Air Lines placed an incremental order for 30 firm Airbus A321ceo aircraft.
  • EasyJet UK budget carrier EasyJet has opted to take the Airbus A321neo,by converting orders for 30 of the smaller A320neo which the airline has on order.
  • Kalitta Air took delivery of the first of two leased Boeing 747-400Fs from GECAS, adding capacity to Kalitta Air’s fleet of more than 15 wide body freighters.
  • Scoot Singapore-based low-cost carrier received its 14th Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the Boeing Everett Delivery Center on May 12. 
  • Airbus’ is nearing a major change in its sales organization as its current head of sales, John Leahy, has indicated he will retire soon.
  •  Ruili Airlines China’s low-cost (LCC) Ruili Airlines has agreed to lease three Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from AVIC International Leasing Co. in an effort to facilitate its international expansion.

 

AIR CARGO

Lockheed Martin’s LM-100J Commercial Freighter Makes First Flight

The first Lockheed Martin LM-100J commercial freighter aircraft achieved a critical milestone with the completion of its first flight in Marietta, Georgia. 

“I was proud to fly the first flight of our LM-100J.  It performed flawlessly, as is typical of our military C-130J new production aircraft,” said Wayne Roberts, chief test pilot for the LM-100J program. ”This new model will perform many commercial roles in the decades to come, like humanitarian service following natural disasters and others like nuclear accident response, oil spill containment, and firefighting. This aircraft will also enable remote area development such as mining, oil and gas exploration. This day marks the beginning of a tremendous commercial capability that only the LM-100J can deliver.”

This flight followed the same test flight route over North Georgia and Alabama that is used for all C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. The LM-100J will complete initial production flight tests and then begin Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certificate update test requirements.

Bravo Industries LLC, a Brazil-based firm, has agreed to buy 10 LM-100Js. Bravos Logistica division, which consists of Bravo Cargas and MRO, plans to operate the turboprop LM-100J for air cargo operations in Brazil.(Ed)

Source: Lockheed Martin/Picture Lockheed Martin

 

Russia’s AirBridgeCargo (ABC) Volume Up 17% In First Quarter 

Russia’s Airbridge Cargo carried 158.000 tons in 1Q 2017, up 17% year-over-Year, as a result of market growth and special products.  Load factor increased to 70% during the first months of the year, the carrier said in a statement on June 1.

The largest Russian cargo airline, which is part of Volga-Dnepr Group, continued to develop its network in Asia, launching a new route to Taipei in April. ABC provides Boeing 747F services to and from Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing and Zhengzhou.

According to ABC, high demand for exports from Europe enabled the airline to grow its tonnage from the region by 22% in Q1 2017; with growth on all its routes, notably to Asia, which recorded a 24% rise in tonnage over the same three months of 2016.

ABC’s services from North America also continued to grow, the airline said, and now operates up to 30 flights a week on its routes serving Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle.

The arrival of the airline’s 10th new Boeing 747-8 F in March increased its total 747 fleet to 17 aircraft, contributed a 7% increase in frequencies network-wide.

Source : ATW/Boeing ABC Cargo picture

 

MAINTENANCE, OVERHAUL, REPAIR NEWS 

  Qantas, Jetstar Sign Up for Boeing 787 Parts Support

Australia’s Qantas Airways and its Jetstar Airways low-cost subsidiary have entered into a long-term component services agreement with AFI KLM E&M to cover its Boeing 787 fleet.

The contract covers pool access, repairs and applies to eight future Qantas-operated 787-9s. They are expected to start entering its fleet late this year and eleven 787-8 currently in service with Jetstar.

AFI KLM E&M said the program aims to achieve maximum availability for supported fleet. It will see both airlines gain direct access to the aftermarket provider’s spare pool in Kuala Lumpur, with support from its global inventories and component repair shops.

AFI KLM E&M said the total number of 787s under its parts coverage program now stands at 193 across 15 different airlines.

Fabrice Defrance, senior vice president commercial AFI KLM E&M, said the new contract further strengthens its position in the Asia-Pacific region. It also grows ties with Qantas, as AFI KLM E&M already provides component support on its fleet of Airbus A330s and, through its Spairliners Subsidiary, coverage of its A380 fleet.

Source: mro-network.com/Qantas Picture

 

 MRO Latest News

  • Lufthansa Technik was selected by Madrid-based leisure carrier Wamos Air to provide Airbus A330 and Boeing component support.
  • StandardAero was selected to maintain PW 125Bs for six Fokker 50s for Belgium carrier VLM Airlines.
  • F&E Aircraft Maintenance expanded its GoldCare agreement with Boeing to provide 787 and 737 MAX line maintenance at Denver and Seattle.
  • Aeronautical Engineers finalized contract with Mexico-based Aeronaves for sixth/Seventh MD-80 freighter conversions for late this year; Commercial Jet will modify one each at Miami and Dothan.
  • SR Technics expanded its CFM56 component repair agreement with AerFin ,to include-5Bs and -7Bs in addition to -5Cs out of facilities in Zurich, Switzerland and Cork Ireland.
  • HAECO was selected by Panasonic as an authorized IFEC repair center in China.
  • Ameco delivered a converted Boeing 757 aircraft to China Postal Airlines. This is the sixth Boeing 757 aircraft delivered by Ameco Chengdu Branch since 2014, while another three 757s are in progress in its facility.

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

June 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

 Boeing Elaborates on 777-9 Design Details 

Boeing has published further preliminary details of the 777-9’s configuration, three years ahead of entry into service. It shows a slightly lower aircraft with an interior re-sculpted to carve out a precious 10.2cm (4in) of internal diameter.

A 79-page document posted on Boeing’s website offers the first detailed update on the larger 777X variant’s dimensions since a brochure version appeared in 2015.

Boeing released both documents to help airport managers prepare for the arrival of the stretched wide body with its extended wingspan.

Compared with the previous iteration, the update shows the 777-9’s designers have made a few minor tweaks.  For example, the height of the vertical tail above the runway is about 17 cm (6.6 in) shorter,while it remains nearly 1m (3.3 ft) taller than the height of the 777-300ER.

The most critical dimensions for the 777-9 remain unchanged, with a 2.9m (9.5 ft) longer fuselage and 7m (22.9 ft) wider unfolded wingspan compared to the 777-300ER.

The folded wingspan of the 777-9 measures 64.82m (212.7 ft), about 2,54cm (0,083 in), wider than the 777-300 ER. Boeing also has

worked to make the 777-9 more comfortable with a standard 10-abreast layout in economy class.

The 777-9 shares an external fuselage cross-section with the 777-300ER, but the internal sidewalls have been carved out by about 10.2cm (4.0in).

Boeing now lists the 777-9’s standard two-class cabin as accommodating 414 passengers, with a three-class cabin holding 349 seats.

Source : Boeing/BoeingPicture

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                        A330 First Flight Likely to Slip to September

Airbus will now perform the first flight of its A330neo “at the end of the summer”’, a significant delay over its previous timeline for the re-engined aircraft.  Speaking at an event in Toulouse, Airbus executive vice-president for programs Didier Evrard confirmed the slippage.

The initial Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine has successfully completed tests, he says: “We will install it during the summer and fly at the end of the summer.”

The maiden flight, he says, would likely take place around September rather than August, due to the lengthy summer break in France.

In the meantime, lessor SMBC Aviation Capital has ruled out interest in the Airbus A330neo. Instead they are focusing its energies on securing more sale-and-leaseback deals for the A350.

Although leaving the door open for the re-engined wide body, SMBC chief executive Peter Barrett says at the moment “it is not something we have considered”.

Source : Airbus/Flightglobal

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

Fourth MRJ Arrives in US; Mitsubishi                                Evaluating Flight Test Program

A fourth Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. MRJ90 flight test aircraft has arrived at Moses Lake, Washington.  The aircraft, which departed Nagoya, Japan, March 13, arrived April 1 at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake. It made stops in Guam, the Marshall Islands, Honolulu and San Jose, California.

The total flight distance flown from Japan was approximately 14,000 km (8,700 miles) and total time was 19 hr and 48 min.

The latest aircraft to arrive in Moses Lake was the last that had been designated to participate in US-based MRJ flight testing.  A fifth MRJ90 flight test aircraft is remaining in Japan, though the majority of flight testing is slated to occur in the US.

Source : ATW/Mitsubishi Aircraft

 

   Dutch to Replace Royal Transport with 737 BBJ

The Dutch transport minister has announced the purchase of a Boeing 737 business jet to replace the current Fokker 70 that is currently used to transport members of the nation’s Royal family and government officials.

Boeing will supply the airframe, while Fokker Technologies will provide the VIP interior.  The aircraft will have a capacity of 24 passengers: the same as the Fokker 70 in current use.  It will carry the registration PH-GOV.

The preliminary agreement has been signed and final contract was finalized in April. The purchase price is estimated at $98.7 million and anticipated delivery is in 2019.

One of the requirements for the new aircraft is that it should be able to reach parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands non-stop, including the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean.

Four responses were received following the release of a public tender last year, but none met all criteria leading the Netherlands to enter negotiations with Boeing over a BBJ acquisition.

One of the pilots for the new VIP transport will be King Willem-Alexander, who also has flown the Fokker 70. He will commence type rating training on the 737 this year.

Source : Flightglobal

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Gulf Air on Track for the First 787-9 Delivery

Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, is gearing up for the arrival of the airline’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.  It will be delivered in April 2018 and will operate the airline’s long haul routes, gradually replacing its Airbus A330s.

A total of 5 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will have entered Gulf Air’s fleet by the end of 2018, with an additional 2 aircraft arriving in 2019 and 3 arriving in 2020.

Gulf Air’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will offer 282 seats in a two-class configuration, with 26 Falcon Gild Class seats and 256 Economy Class seats.

“The 787 customer base is growing, not just globally, but in the Middle East as well with airlines such as Gulf Air taking delivery of the Dreamliner,” said Marty Bentrott,Vice President- Sales, the Middle East, Turkey, Russia and Central Asia.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes, ”We are confident that the 787-9 will help Gulf Air achieve a new level of efficiency and profitability, plus will contribute to their future growth and success.”

Source : Bizbahrain

WestJet to Purchase Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

On May 2, WestJet announced a definitive purchase agreement with The Boeing Company for up to 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. This agreement includes commitments for 10 Boeing 787-9 aircraft to be delivered between the first quarter of 2019 and December 2021; with options for an additional 10 aircraft to be delivered between 2020 and 2024.  The airline also announced it has selected General Electric’s GEnx-1B engine for the 787.

“We welcome WestJet to the Dreamliner family and look forward to the new destinations they will serve,” said Ray Conner, Vice Chairman of The Boeing Company. “WestJet, for its entire 21-year history, has been a loyal all-Boeing jet customer and we’re excited to see them expand their fleet with the 787.”

As part of the purchase agreement, WestJet is converting 15 firm orders for the Boeing 737 MAX that were to be delivered between 2019 and 2021 to options available between 2022 and 2024.

Source : WestJet

Oman Air Plans Major Aircraft Order                                         Even as Break-Even is Delayed

Oman Air Transport plans to move ahead with a multi-billion order for wide body jets early next year, even though it won’t now break even in 2017. The low oil prices curbs growth in the Persian Gulf.

The Carrier is now aiming to end losses by the end of next year, contingent on demand not deteriorating further, Chief Executive Officer Paul Gregorowitsch said in an interview on May 2.  While the Mideast carrier will also delay plans to expand to a 70 aircraft and 75 destinations to 2023, from 2020, it still plans to order 15 new wide body jets needed to replace older planes and add capacity, he said.

Further discussions will be held with manufacturers and leasing firms as Oman Air seeks to agree to terms to take either the Airbus A350 or the Boeing 787-9.

The 787 model has a slight advantage because the carrier already operates six Dreamliners, with the tally set to increase to 10 in 2018.

Oman Air will also go ahead with deliveries of the 20 Boeing 737 Max planes it has on order  as it leases out some of its current marrow body fleet to better Match seats to demand.

While the carrier is continuing to operate 10 Airbus A330s, which form the core of its wide body operations, those planes will be retired to make way for the new aircraft. Gregorowitsch said.  The upgraded A330neo isn’t of interest.

Source : Bloomberg

 

LATEST NEWS

  • Hawaiian Airlines has launched a companywide rebranding under which it will update its logos and repaint its fleet over the next several years.
  • Rossiya, the Russian carrier has unveiled a Boeing 777-300 with a specialized paint scheme, intended to draw attention to conservation of rare wildlife, including big cats.

  • Delta Air Lines added 10 Boeing 737-900ERs to its order book during the first quarter, bringing its total orders for the type to 130 aircraft.
  • Embraer delivered its 1,100th business jet on May 4. The milestone aircraft is the industry’s best selling Phenom 300, the customer is Net Jets.

  • Boeing has selected Ipeco to design and manufacture a High Comport Attendant Seat for the next generation 777X airplane.  This follows on from a contract awarded last year for the pilot and observer seating for the same aircraft.
  • UPS Airlines is adding its first used Boeing 767-300 freighters to its fleet, with expected entry into service in 2018.
  • SMBC Aviation Capital has placed a direct order from Boeing for three 737-800s, bringing its total owned, managed and committed portfolio for 737-800s to 198.
  • Avolon delivered one Airbus A320-200 aircraft to Batik Air.  This is the sixth Avolon aircraft on lease to Batik Air.
  • Asiana Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, which is on lease from Dublin based SMBC Aviation Capital.  The aircraft, part of a six A350 sale-and-leaseback deal is the first of the type to be operated by a Korean Airline.

  • Primera Air Scandinavian leisure carrier has placed an order for eight 737 MAX 9s, has taken purchase rights on four more.  They will lease another eight from US lessor Air Lease Corp.

 

AIR CARGO

        One of the Last Airworthy Boeing 747-200s                      Flies into Retirement

A Kalitta Air Boeing 747-200 delivers a soft puff of white smoke as the jet completes its second-to-last landing ever on Thursday April 20 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.  On Friday, April 21st, the jet and its crew shuttled the airplane back to Kalitta Air’s home base in Michigan, where the airplane was retired for good by the cargo carrier.

In a time when the iconic jetliner has been disappearing from fleets across the globe at an astounding rate, another 747 biting the dust may not seem particularly remarkable.  Yet this particular airplane stands out among the crowd: It’s one of the last airworthy 747-200s in commercial service. There are two others still in use as Air Force One.

“I tell ya, this is a nice airplane.It’s old school,” Captain Scott Jaykl says during a post-landing interview aboard the aircraft. “It’s a pilot’s airplane,” Jaykl says from the plane’s antiquated flight deck. ”You have manual control over everything.”

Built in 1987, Captain Jaykl’s jet was among the last “-200“ variants of the 747 to come off the assembly line.  The model was then replaced by the updated 747-400 in 1989, and the -200 variant, which debuted in 1971, ended production completely a few years later.

This specific aircraft was originally bought by United Airlines, converted to a freighter for Northwest Airlines in 2000, then transitioned to Kalitta and added to its fleet in 2010 according to public records.

Source : USA Today/Ed’s Research/Picture

 

 Cargolux And Emirates SkyCargo Ink                                                  a Memorandum of Understanding

Luxembourg all-freight operator, Cargolux and Dubai-based Emirates SkyCargo, have signed a memorandum of Understanding (MOU), paving the way for strategic cargo partnership

The partners said the agreement, which was signed at the Air Cargo Europe event in Munich, is the first of its kind in the air cargo industry between a mainline airline and a specialized freighter operator.

Under the cooperation, Emirates SkyCargo will use Cargolux’s nose-loading 747 freighters for heavy and outsized cargo, complementing its own fleet of 13 777Fs and two 747-400ERFs.  The two carriers will also further develop block space and interline agreements on each other’s network.

Emirates SkyCargo will launch flight operations to Luxembourg from this month, while Cargolux will step up its Dubai World Central frequencies to 3X-weekly. Both airlines’ cargo will be handled at the same facility in Luxembourg, Cargolux will be handled by Emirates SkyCargo at Dubai World Central.

Cargolux operates 14 747-8Fs and 12 747-400Fs, covering 90 destinations. ( five and a half years after the first GEnx powered 747-8F went into service.  Cargolux has become the first operator to fly 1 million operating hours with the new engine type so far, the carrier has experienced no engine-caused in-flight shutdown of a GEnx since its entry into service.) Ed

Source:  ATW

 

 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

Lessors Welcome New Engine Entrants

With next generation engine types, the CFM LEAP and the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan having a combined order backlog of nearly 20,000 units, engine lessors are anticipating greater numbers being brought into their portfolios over the next decade.

In a six person panel discussing the engine leasing market at Aviation Week Network’s Engine Leasing,Trading & Finance in London on May 10, lessors foresee opportunities around both the LEAP and the GTF.  While Pat Laffan, SVP structured finance at GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), says the company will focus on GE and CFM engine types in future; primarily in the sale and leaseback market.  They would also consider looking at other engine types should the returns be beneficial.

Julie Dickerson, managing director of Ireland-based Shannon Engine Support, a firm which doesn’t chase sale and leaseback deals, expects a greater focus on early year LEAP engines along with continuing with mature CFM56 types.

The widebody engine market also conjured up some interesting perspectives.  Having found success with sales and aftermarket coverage with the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine, Bobby Janagan, vice president and general manager at Rolls-Royce and Partners Finance, conceded associated costs with the engine type could be high. Nevertheless they were similar to those of another wide body engine type, the GE90.

Speaking from the perspective of an independent lessor on the XWB, Dan Coulcher, SVP & chief commercial officer at Willis Lease Finance Corporation, pondered if there would be a competitive aftermarket for the engine type powering the Airbus A350, which has been in service since 2015. He also says entry-into-service challenges around Pratt’s GTF are a concern for would be investors, due to questions over changes to bills of materials on the engine.

Source : MRO Network

                          MRO LATEST NEWS 

  • OEMServices has a 15-year Asiana Airlines contract to provide Airbus350-900 component support.
  • AFI KLM E&M extended component support deal with Malaysia Airlines for 54 Boeing 737NGs.
  • FL Technics signed a contract with Russia’s Nordavia to provide CAMO services for its Boeing 737CL aircraft.
  • Epcor was selected by Kenya Airways for APU support for Boeing 737NGs, 787s and Embraer E190s.
  • Airbus has a UPS contract to upgrade 52 Airbus A300-600Fs with new Honeywell avionics.
  • AerFIn agreed to acquire 15 Embraer E170s, plus spares inventory, from Saudia.

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com