Volume 2 Issue 9 September 2015

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Spirit AeroSystems Celebrate the Completion & the Delivery of the First Boeing 737 Max Fuselage 

Spirit AeroSystems announced it has completed the first fuselage as well as other components for the first Boeing 737 MAX.  Spirit delivers approximately 70 percent of the 737 structure to Boeing including the fuselage, pylon, thrust reverser and engine nacelle at its Wichita, Kansas facility and the wing leading edges at its Tulsa, Okla. facility.

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The first 737 MAX fuselage has arrived at the Renton  site on Friday, August 21st.

Assembly of the first MAX is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2015 with the first delivery to customers scheduled for the third quarter of 2017.

The new 737 MAX will deliver 20 percent increased fuel efficiency to airlines versus the original Next-Generation 737. Boeing has already booked more than 2,800 firm orders with 58 different customers.

Source: Spirit AeroSystems/Boeing

Delta Retired  the Very First Boeing 747-400 Built for A Commercial Airline 

The wide body passenger jet (tail number N661) flew its final flight from Honolulu International Airport to Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

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While it was the first 747-400 Boeing built for Northwest, it was the third to fly for the carrier because Boeing held on it for longer testing.

The Boeing 747-400 was the biggest model of the 747 family when it was released and is the best-selling aircraft Boeing jet.  Boeing sold the first ones for about $150 million each.

Delta’s 747-400s were inherited by Delta, when the two airlines merged. It carries 376 passengers and cruise at about 560 mph, with a range of 7,400 miles.

Since it was delivered to Northwest Airlines it logged more than 61 million miles, enough to make 250 trips from the Earth to the moon.

It will move to Atlanta’s Delta Museum in early 2016.

Source: Minneapolis Biz Journal/Ed’s Research

 

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

A350-900 Makes Moscow Debut as Aeroflot Continues Review

Airbus has debuted the A350-900 at the 12th Moscow air show (MAK-2015) at least three years ahead of the first delivery to the type’s only customer in Russia.

Airbus A350 test pilot Frank Chapman piloted the A350-900-MSN-001 from Toulouse,France landing on August 24th at the Ramenskoye airport that hosts the biannual air show.

The A350 arrives in Moscow as Russian customer Aeroflot continues to evaluate several details about its original order, including the timing and number of deliveries and current mix of 14 A35-900s and eight A350-800s.

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Airbus cancelled the A350-800 program last year, Aeroflot remains one of the few customers that have not decided what to do with its order. But Aeroflot has vowed not to cancel the A350-900 order in full. Last year, Aeroflot expected to take delivery of the A350-900s between 2018 and 2020, but not does not discuss a timetable for the aircraft.

Supporting the carrier’s decision likely figured large in Airbus’ decision to bring the A350-900 to MAKS for the first time.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus

 

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

Comac Working Toward November ARJ21 First Delivery Chengdu Airlines

Comac is working toward an internal target to deliver its first ARJ21-700 to launch customer Chengdu Airlines on November 28, 2015.

The  date holds significance for the Chinese airframe since it marks the day the indigenous regional jet took its first flight back in 2008.

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The Plan is for Comac to deliver two regional jets to Chengdu Airlines this year, which will then be put into commercial passenger service next February.

Vice Chief Designer at Comac said Comac is still working on making changes to the ARJ21 despite receiving type certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China(CAAC) last December.  He adds that while these issues do not relate to the safety of the aircraft, they could affect the operational efficiency of the jet.

Examples include changes that need to be made to improve how the aircraft’s anti-icing system functions in the event of a single-engine operation, as well as to the warning system to help enhance pilot’s operational awareness and help them better anticipate possible flying situations.

Source : Flightglobal/Photo Comac

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 

WestJet Adds First Widebody to Fleet with Delivery of  Boeing 767-300 ER   

WestJet has taken delivery of its first Boeing 767-300ER, adding a wide body aircraft to its fleet for the first time.

 WestJet-Boing-767-300ERW

The Calgary-based low-cost carrier (LCC) has operated an all 737 fleet since its founding in 1996, and in 2013 launched a Bombardier Q400 regional subsidiary called WestJet Encore.  The airline is slated to take delivery of four 767-300ERs over the next eight months, with the fourth expected to arrive just before it launches 767 flights to London Gatwick in May 2016.

The first has arrived at WestJet’s base in Calgary and will be used on flights between Toronto and Calgary for several months, the carrier said.

The next two 767s will arrive this fall,and WestJet will launch 767 flights between western Canada and Hawaii and between Toronto and Montego Bay for its winter schedule in December.

The airline’s 767s will seat 262 passengers, including 24 in premium economy, but will have no first or business class seats.  The aircraft will be able to fly up to 11 hours.

Source : ATW/WestJet

Alaska to Take First 737 MAX 8 in 2017

Alaska Airlines 737-MAX8 Artwork K65759

Alaska Airlines plans to take delivery of its first Boeing 737 Max 8 early in late 2017.

The Seattle-based carrier will take delivery of its first 737 Max about six months after launch customer Southwest Airlines takes its first aircraft, says its vice-president of capacity planning  John Kirby at the Boyd International Aviation Forecast Summit in Las Vegas.

“Boeing has indicated that it maybe ready a little early,” says Kirby.

Alaska previously anticipated its first 737 Max 8 in 2018.  The airline has firm orders for 37 737 Max aircraft, including 20 737 Max 8s and 17 737 Max 9s.

Alaska operates a fleet of 143 737s, including 27 737-400s, 14 737-700s,61 737-800s and 41 737-900ERs.

Source : Flightglobal

 

 Vietnam Airlines Drops its A380 Order

The Vietnamese government has dropped all plans to confirm options on four Airbus A380s it signed up for in 2009.

The Vietnamese flag carrier Vietnam Airlines cited “increased pressure of arranging capital for aircraft purchases” as a key factor, along with slow progress on the planned Long Thanh International Airport at Ho Chi Minh City-the only Vietnamese airport with enough capacity to handle A380 aircraft.

Vietnam Airlines also has reportedly scaled down its original plan to boost fleet size to 150 aircraft over the next five years, and will instead grow to just over 120 aircraft.

The airline which is scheduled to take delivery of eight Boeing 787-9s and 10 Airbus A350 XWBs up to 2019 said that “ the world economic situation is more difficult,” and “fierce competition in the aviation market place” were both reasons for opting out of the A380 deal.

This latest cancellation comes as an added blow for Airbus’s A380 program,which has seen several cancellations in Asia, including a significant six- aircraft order from bankrupt low cost carrier Skymark Airlines.

Source : ATW

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • Jet2 Budget carrier Jet2 has signed an order with Boeing for 27 737-800 aircraft. The deal marks the carrier’s first direct order with Boeing.
  • Emirates takes delivery of the 65th A380. Emirates A380s serve 34 destinations and has a further 75 on order.
  • Philippine Airlines is considering the acquisition or lease of eight 787 Dreamliners or Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has switched an order for six Boeing 787-9s to the larger 787-10 to better fit with its network plans.

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  • Norwegian will lease two additional Boeing 787-9s, due for delivery in summer 2017, which it will use to extend its long-haul network.
  • China’s Bohai Leasing is in exclusive talks to buy Irish aircraft leasing firm Avolon for USD$2.64 billion, after raising its offer to put it ahead of a rival bidder.
  • Tyler  IATA  CEO and director general Tony Tyler will retire in June 2016 after serving five years in the position. Tyler’s retirement was announced on Aug.28 and the search for his successor has begun.
  • Malaysia  Airlines has been granted an air operator’s certificate (AOC) by the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation under its new name Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB).

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  • Mitsubishi Regional Jet( MRJ) test flight is scheduled for the latter half of October, Mitsubishi Heavy industries has announced.
  • Emirates and Boeing celebrated the simultaneous delivery of three 777s- two 777-300ERs and one 777 Freighter – marking the entry of the 150th 777into Emirates fleet.
  • Austrian Airlines  Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines is preparing to receive the first of 17 modified Embraer E-195s.
  • BoraJet Airlines Turkish regional carrier has taken delivery of three Embraer 195s from the Regional aircraft Group of GECAS, the leasing and financing division of GE.

 

Air Cargo

Air China Cargo Began Freighter Service to Canada 

Air China Cargo began its first scheduled freighter service between China and Canada on the 3rd of September, when Air China Cargo 777F touched down at Edmonton International Airport by the traditional gun salute, commemorating the carrier’s first scheduled stop at the western Canadian airport.

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Air China Cargo will serve Edmonton six times each week, with a Shanghai-Edmonton-Dallas-Edmonton-Shanghai routing.

This is the first Freighter route between mainland China and the Canadian province of Alberta, and a key step in connecting the two economies. It’s also the only freighter service between Alberta and Texas.

Edmonton estimates that this new service will boost the GDP of the region by $31 million per year. Edmonton is situated near two business centers-the Nisku Business Park and the Leduc Business Park.  It will provide opportunities for cargo businesses to work with Air China Cargo as well. The airport is also near major highways for easy truck transport.

Source : Air Cargo World/Air China

 

MILITARY NEWS

 

Northrop Delivers the 150th KC-10 Extender Aircraft to the US Air Force 

KC-10 Extender

Northrop Grumman has delivered the 150th KC-10 Extender air-to air refueling tanker aircraft to the US Air Force after providing major improvements.

The aircraft received product reliability improvements as part of its CF6-50 engine overhaul program,offering a 15-year high in engine fleet performance.

Northrop Grumman Technical Services weapon systems operations director Matt Emerson said : ”The delivery of the 150th KC-10 depot aircraft contributes to the critical mission requirements of the United States Air Force by ensuring that the KC-10 is operational when the customer need it.”

“ The aircraft was accepted with zero defects,further contributing to the company’s proven track record for helping the Air Force achieve the KC-10’s highest fleet mission capable rates in more than 16 years.”

The KC-10 Extender can refuel aircraft midair while transporting personnel,equipment and patients on overseas deployments and aeromedical evacuations.

Source : Airforcetechnology.com

 

  US Navy Orders 13 P-8As, with Four for Australia

Boeing has secured a $1.49 billion contract from the US Navy for 13 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, including the first four examples for the Royal Australian Air Force.

The deal covers nine aircraft for the USN and four for the Royal Australian Air Force, the company says.

“By working together since the early stages of the P-8A development, the US and Australia have created one airplane configuration that serves the need of both countries,” says Capt. Scott Dillon, the former’s P8 program manager.  ”The Us and Australian P-8As will be able to operate with each other effectively and affordably for decades to come”, he adds.

In early 2014, Canberra approved an A$4 billion ($2.9 billion) allocation to acquire eight of the 737-derived aircraft, with options for four more.  This allowed Boeing to place long lead-time orders for parts for the first four aircraft.

The P-8A will replace the RAAF’s fleet of Lockheed Martin AP-3C prions currently in their fleet.

Source : Boeing

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Volume 2 Issue 5 May 2015

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Just Patented a “Cuddle Chair” that Could Revolutionize How People Sleep on Airplanes

You know that moment when you are deep into a long distance journey and you just cannot get comfortable enough to sleep? And you’d do just about, or pay just anything for some sort of bed, or sleep support for even a few hours.

Getting quality sleep on a plane can be a great challenge especially when you are stuck in the cramped quarters of economy class. But now upright sleeping seat patented by Boeing may just change things.

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Though officially known as the “transport vehicle seat back with integrated upright sleep seat the “cuddle Chair”. The chair features a cushion, headrest, and strap system that could be a crucial development for forward-leaning sleepers, who would no longer have to suffer the indignity of snoozing on their tray table.

As  airlines seek to fit as many people as possible into planes, manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus have had to explore some truly unorthodox seating mechanisms.

Source : Business Insider

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT 

Airbus Upbeat on Jet Market, Still Studying A380 Upgrade

Airbus sees continued strength in the aircraft market and may increase production of its most  popular jets above planned rates if the trend continues, the head of the European plane maker said On Friday April 17th.

Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of Airbus Group’s passenger jet division, predicated that Airbus would recapture the global crown from Boeing as deliveries of its new A350 model pick up while adding that market share was secondary to profitable growth.

Airbus expects to deliver 15 of the A350 planes this year told a group of journalists in Paris.

He reiterated that Airbus would not abandon the A380 after a period of weak orders, but would take careful look at the business case for the A380neo upgrade requested by the model’s biggest airline customer Emirates.

Airbus continues to expect more orders than deliveries in 2015, he also told members of the French AJPAE aerospace press association.

Source : Airbus/Yahoo Finance

BUSINESS/REGIONAL NEWS

MRJ First Flight Delayed Again

Mitsubishi Aircraft says the latest slip in the first flight schedule of its MRJ regional jet does not represent “major trouble” in the program.

In response to queries from Flightglobal, the Japanese manufacturer explains that in ground tests conducted thus far, ”a bug” has occurred in a portion of its software. Design changes also had to be made to some system parts.

As a result Mitsubishi has pushed back the first flight of its regional jet to September or October of 2015, from the second quarter.

In January, Mitsubishi started full-scale tests and also performed a first engine run on MSN 10001. It has since performed various ground tests including functional and performance tests for devices of its avionics, hydraulics, air conditioning, lighting and landing gear systems. It has also conducted vibration tests, electromagnetic tests, safety tests and taxi tests.

Source: Flightglobal/ Mistubishi Aircraft

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) to Buy More than 100 Aircraft

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The board of the Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has decided to increase the operations of the company under its five year plan from 2015-2020 by purchasing more than 100 new aircraft.

The airline is Saudi’s national flag carrier and director general Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said the plan is meant to strengthen operational efficiency as part of the continuous modernization of the fleet.

The airline previously ordered 90 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus and all but 12 have not been delivered according to a senior official under the condition of anonymity.

Jasser said the arrival of the aircraft within its growing domestic passenger requirements and expand the airline’s international operations.

The five-year plan includes the empowerment of the airline staffs and modernization of the airline infrastructures and strategic units.

The board noted that one of the challenges facing the company is the disruptions of its operations by sandstorms. Airlines have been obliged to delay or postpone their scheduled flights when airports are hit by it due to passenger and aircraft safety.

Many airports are affected by it in Saudi Arabia. Measures to reduce the effects of weather changes were discussed by the board.

Source: Middle East Confidential

 

Spains Air Europa Details Boeing 787 Plans

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Spanish carrier Air Europa has launched scheduled flights between Madrid and Miami with its first Boeing 787 as it prepares to take 22 of the new twin jets.

Privately owned Air Europa is bringing in 22 787-8s and 787-9s to completely replace its Airbus A330 long-haul fleet. The airline has acquired the aircraft through two commitments, one for eight aircraft and a follow-on order for further 14, which was announced in January of this year.

Juan Jose Hidalgo, president of Air Europa parent company Globalia corp., previously said

the aircraft will grow the business by around 50%.

Air Europa’s first four 787s will arrive by the end of 2016, doubling to eight aircraft by 2018. ”The airline will have a total of 22 Dreamliners all operational by 2022, completely replacing its long-haul fleet of A330s,” Air Europa said in a statement.

It has been configured with 252 seats, including 18 in business and 21 in Air Europa’s newly introduced premium economy cabin. Air Europia, which has a hub at Madrid Barajas, serves 36 destinations in Europe and the Americas.

Source : ATW/picture Boeing

GTF Leads Pratt to Shift Business Model to Aftermarket Focus

With 80% of the more than 6300 geared turbofan (GTF) engines sold by Pratt and Whitney covered by a long-term maintenance service contract with the engine manufacturer, Pratt is shifting its commercial business model.

The PW1100G powering the Airbus A320neo will launch the GTF family of engines into the market when the re-engined narrow body enters service later this year.

But the transition to the GTF is about much more for East Hartford, Connecticut-based Pratt than the engine’s geared architecture that promises to provide a significant fuel burn improvement. ”We’re transitioning from a purely transitional market to a service market”. Pratt

president-aftermarket Mathew Bromberg told reporters during a briefing in East Hartford.

The sale of the engine is merely the starting point. Pratt now has long-term service agreements on about half of its in-service commercial aircraft engines, but in the future the vast majority of its engines-particularly in the GTF family- will be under such contracts. Pratt will collect “a staggering amount of data” from in-service GTF engines and use this information to manage engine performance for its airline customers, Bromberg said.

Source : ATW/Pratt&Whitney

ANA Reveals Star Wars Livery on Boeing 787-9

All Nippon Airlines (ANA) has unveiled a new “ Star Wars” livery on its latest Boeing 787-9 that marks the start of a five-year tie up with The Walt Disney Company (Japan).

Painted with the iconic R2-D2 character, the plane’s design was unveiled to fans of the popular science fiction franchise in the United States on April 16th.

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yourfile

ANA says the “Star Wars” painted aircraft will take to the skies in the third quarter of 2015, but the routes it will operate on have not yet been determined.

“We’re proud of the innovative R2-D2 design, and we look forward to witnessing the first-ever flight of a passenger aircraft featuring “Star Wars” character. We’re confident that “Star Wars” fans around the world will absolutely love the design,” says Kayleen Walters, vice president of marketing at Lucasfilm Ltd.

The launch of “Star Wars” livery also follows ANA’s earlier announcement that it will launch a Tokyo Narita-Houston service from june 12th, making the carrier’s tenth North American destination.

Source : Flightglobal/ANA Photo.

 

LATEST NEWS IN BRIEF  

  • United Airlines has converted 10 firm orders for the Boeing 787 to the 777-300ER. The 777-300ER order is valued at $3.3 billion at list prices.
  •      yourfile
  • LAN CHILE has inaugurated its Boeing 787 service from Chilean capital Santiago to Auckland  in New Zealand.

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  • Boeing Business Jets announced that the company is studying offer ability of a BBJ Combi, allowing  customers to have a split configuration of both passengers and cargo at the same time.
  • Azul Brazilian Airlines has renewed a maintenance agreement under which ATR will provide full aftermarket support to Axul’s fleet of nearly 60 ATR aircraft.
  • QantusLink will create a Boeing 717 heavy maintenance base in Canberra, creating up to 40 engineering jobs in the Australian capital.
  • Airbus has selected Korean Air Aerospace Division to supply the new Sharklet wingtip for the A330neo.
  • EasyJet took delivery of its 250th Airbus A320 family aircraft.
  • Airbus announced that it has surpassed 1,500 A330 orders with recent orders from Turkish Airlines for four A330-200Fs and ALC for 25 A330-900neos.
  • KLM has taken delivery of its 24th Boeing 777-300ER at Amsterdam Airport from Everett, Washington.
  • UTC Aerospace Systems was selected by Qatar Airways to supply wheels and Duracarb carbon brakes for 43 Airbus A350-900s.
  • Emirates Airlines announced a $9.2 billion order for Rolls- Royce engines as power plant to equip 50 Airbus A380s.
  • Air Tahiti Nui (ATN), the major carrier of French Polynesia, has confined its order for two 787-9s.
  • Air Lease Corp. announced a long-term agreement with Aeromexico for one new Boeing 787-9.This aircraft is from ALC’s order book with Boeing is scheduled for delivery in the fall of 2016.
  • GE Aviation announced the GE90 engine, which was the first jet engine to utilize composite fiber polymeric material on the front fan blades 20 years ago.

 

AIR CARGO

Cathay Pacific Issues Latest Ban on Lithium Batteries 

Cathay Pacific joined Qantas, Delta, United and Virgin Australia in banning the shipment of lithium-ion batteries on either freighters or in the bellies of passenger aircraft. The rule only applies to batteries being shipped in bulk, not those that are being used in laptop computers, mobile phones or similar devices.

747-400 BCF First Flight Takeoff

747-400 BCF First Flight Takeoff

Cathay’s cargo director, James Woodrow, made the announcement to his staff in the carrier’s monthly newsletter. Woodrow is also the chair of IATA’s cargo committee, where lithium batteries, and their safe transport, were discussed in March at the World Cargo Symposium in Shanghai, and viewed as an industry challenge. The international Coordination Council of Aerospace industry Associations, which represents Boeing and Airbus, called for stronger packaging and handling regulations for batteries being shipped on freighters.

Tests performed by the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) concluded that lithium batteries consistently discharge explosive gases when they overheat or short-circuit. The build-up of gases, mostly hydrogen, can lead to explosions or fire. It’s common for tens of thousands of batteries to be packaged into one shipping container.

Source: Air Cargo World/Cathay Pacific

                         Atlas Airs First Quarter Figures Soar From Extra Charters

That which did not sail by sea was sent by air in the first quarter of 2015, and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings was there to reap the benefits. The Purchase, New York based charter airline and aircraft lessor reported net income of US$29 million in the first quarter of 2015, compared to $7.9 million during the same period in 2014. This is almost quadruple year-over-year results.

Atlas Air 747-8F Artwork

Atlas Air 747-8F Artwork

While commercial cargo demand was clearly boosted by the long-running port congestion problems on the West Coast of the United States in January and February, which led to spike on charter activity. Atlas also said it benefited from a major automobile recall and “better-than expected military cargo and passenger demand.”

The company reported free cash flow of $80.2 million in the first quarter, compared with $36.9 million in 2014.Operating income for the quarter also more than doubled to $57 million, year-on-year. ”We are off to a very good start in 2015 and look forward to a strong year,” said William J.Flynn, president and CEO.”As a result, we now expect our full-year results to increase significantly compared with 2014.”

Atlas said it expected airfreight demand to continue at between 4 and 5 percent, per year, through 2016,and commented that its customers are also performing at above market levels.

Source:   Air Cargo World/Atlas Air/Atlas Air Picture

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com