Volume 5 Issue 6

On The Boeing Front

                              Boeing Celebrates Flyaway of First BBJ Max

On April 16, Boeing celebrated the flyaway of the first BBJ MAX airplane, from the air-framer’s  facility in Seattle on the first stage of its journey to becoming a fully outfitted BBJ Max 8.

The plane was flown to Delaware Coastal airport. Local company Aloft AeroArchitects will now install Its PATS auxiliary fuel tank, which will boost the aircraft’s range to 6,640nm (12,230km)—some 3,000nm more than the standard Max 8, which entered service in 2017, and 800 more than the BBJ2 which it replaces.

The green BBJ Max 8 is scheduled to arrive for outfitting in the fourth quarter at Comlux Completions in Indianapolis. The finished aircraft will be handed over to its undisclosed customer in the second half of 2019.

“We are excited to see the first BBJ Max come to life and fly through the development milestone,” says Boeing Business Jets president Greg Laxton. ”In the past few weeks, the airplane has achieved factory rollout, first flight, multiple certifications, and now flyaway,” he adds.

The BBJ Max 8 was launched in 2014 as the first member of the re-engined BBJ family. This will be followed by the BBJ Max 7 and BBJ Max 9.

Source : BBJ/Picture Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                          First A350-900ULR Starts Flight-Test Campaign

Airbus has conducted the maiden flight of its A350-900ULR, the heavier and longer-range variant of the twinge tailored to operate specialized long-haul routes. The initial aircraft, MSN216, departed the air-framer’s Toulouse headquarters on April 23rd.

It features three primary modifications, of which two will be applied to all new-build A350-900s.

Airbus has hiked the maximum take-off weight to 280t, and increase on the previous figure of 275t.It has also incorporated a series of aerodynamic changes which, it says, will contribute to a 1% fuel-burn saving.

These include a further slight twist of the wings taller winglet, trailing-edge extension and clean-up of the upper wing fairing. All these adaptations will become standard on the -900.

The ultra-long range-900ULR will have dedicated changes, primarily a higher fuel capacity. The center wing tank will not be increased in size but re plumbing of interior installations will provide access to another 24,000 liters ( 6,340 ) gallons of existing volume.

Airbus puts the reference range of the -900ULR at 9,700 nm compared with the standard 8,100nm of the basic -900. Singapore Airlines has ordered seven-900ULRs and is set to take delivery of the first -900ULR this year, although Airbus declines to narrow the handover window beyond a second-half timeframe.

The first A350-900 ULR) for Singapore Airlines has been revealed in the Airline’s livery following completion of painting in Toulouse.

The aircraft is now set to move to the next stages of production, including the installation of engines and cabin furnishing, before starting ground and flight tests.

The Aircraft is scheduled for delivery to Singapore Airlines after all the testing is completed.

Source : Airbus/Flightglobal/Picture Airbus

                    

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                              Pilatus Aircraft Has Delivered  its Second                                PC24 To Its US Dealer

Pilatus Aircraft delivered its second PC24 to its US dealer and maintenance provider Western Aircraft. The Handover  comes as the first production example enters service with fractional ownership company Plane Sense.

Pilatus plans to deliver 23 of the super tight business jets in 2018, from an order backlog of 84.

Western Aircraft says it has seen strong demand for the PC-24, ”With more than a dozen offers to buy the first aircraft”. Despite the demand Western plans the second aircraft to its inventory, where it will be used for ad hoc charter and for the coming year as a Company demonstrator.

PlaneSense, one of Pilates’s largest customers, has an order for six PC-24s, but is keen to acquire additional aircraft to bolster its fleet of 36 PC-12s.

Source : Pilatus                                                                                                                                          

                          American Orders 15 E175s and 15 CRJ900s

American Airlines has ordered 15 Bombardier CRJ900s and 15 Embraer E175 regional jets, deals with a combined list price value of roughly $1.4 billion.  Deliveries of the CRJ900s with 76 seats to American Subsidiary PSA Airlines will begin in the second quarter of 2019 according to Bombardier media release.

The Bombardier commitment, including an additional 15 CRJ900 options, has a value at list prices of $719 million. Bombardier stated that the aircraft will be outfitted with the Company’s new “Atmosphere” cabin, which includes overhead bins that can accommodate large roller bags.

Embraer will deliver the 15 E175s with 76 seats to American Subsidiary Envoy from March 2019 to November 2019, the manufacturer says.

That deal, including options for 15 more E175s, has a value at list prices of $705 million. It follows an order by American for 10E-Jets in October 2017.

Source : American/Bombardier/Embraer

                                                                     

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                       ANA Unveils the Features of The New Airbus A380s 

All Nippon Airways (ANA) three A380s will be exclusively introduced to the Tokyo-Honolulu service and each cabin is specially designed to meet the passenger’s needs on this route.

Honolulu is loved by many Japanese families, couples, newlyweds and Hawaii is a popular destination for their vacations and honeymoons. With this in mind, ANA aims to make their experience onboard more comfortable by strategically designing the cabin features in order to meet their unique needs while providing them with a once in a lifetime experience.                       In March 2017, ANA announced the special livery motif FLYING HONU. At the time, the design ANA introduced was blue, an homage to the Hawaiian blue sky.

Since then ANA announced two more colors, green and orange. The emerald green is inspired by the crystal clear waters of the Hawaiian ocean and orange is a reference to the beautiful Hawaiian sunset.

In order to make this triad, the FLYING HONUs, more familiar to everyone, ANA has created a character for each aircraft. The blue character is named “Lani” meaning sky, while the emerald green character is named “Kai” meaning ocean, and the orange character is named “Ka La” from the Hawaiian word meaning sunset.

The Cabin interiors have also been strategically designed in order for the passengers to feel the spirit of Hawaii from the moment they board the aircraft.

The walls and lights have been arranged in such a way as to illustrate Hawaii’s enviable blue skies, sunrises, sunsets, night skies and iconic rainbows.

Source : ANA/Worldairlinenews/ANA Pictures                                                                                     

                              Air Italy Displays Livery on 737 Max 8

Air Italy has unveiled the first aircraft featuring its new livery. The first 737 Max 8 has been painted with the scheme, which incorporates the maroon shade prominent in the branding of shareholder Qatar Airways.

Air Italy, formerly Meridiana, had only previously shown the livery as a digital mock up.

In March, the full-service carrier announced that it would be adding five A330-200s and three 737 Max 8’s to its fleet as the summer season commences.

The aircraft are being leased from 49% shareholder Qatar Airways as Air Italy embarks on a rapid short-and long-haul expansion program with Milan Malpensa as its focus.

Flights under the new brand name commenced on March 1st, operated with 737s and Boeing 767s still bearing Meridiana’s livery. Those aircraft will be phased out as the A330s and 737 Max 8’s enter the fleet.

In May 2019, the airline is set to begin receiving Boeing 787s, also leased from Qatar Airways. Air Italy will have a fleet 50 aircraft by 2022.

Source : Flightglobal/Pictures Boeing                                                                                                  

                                  Worries Over Low-Cost Correction

A period of good economic conditions has led to complacency among low-cost carriers that is ripe for a “correction”, in the view of former EasyJet chief executive Ray Webster.

Speaking at the Routes Europe conference in Bilbao on April 23, Webster—who was chief executive of EasyJet between 1996 and 2006—said that outlook for low-cost airlines was “quite worrying” as they were unprepared for future economic shocks.

A period of “very good” economic conditions has been punctuated by the lack of a “serious downturn or runaway fuel prices”, he states.

As a result, carriers have not been put under”pressure” and so have “incrementally added Costs” and lost efficiencies over time, while not experiencing the typical “ Peaks and troughs” of the market.

Webster forecasts that oil producers could raise prices, which would have a “dramatic” impact on airline bottom lines.

Source : Flightglobal     

      

LATEST NEWS

  • Southwest Airlines orders 40 more Boeing 737 MAX jets worth $ 4.68 billion.
  • Bombardier concluded a firm order with Ethiopian Airlines for 10 new Q400 aircraft, plus five options. Based on list prices, the order is valued at $332.
  • Qantas has firmed options on six additional Boeing 787-9s, once delivered, the new jets will take its 787 fleet to 14 aircraft and will be powered by GEnx engines.
  • Uzbekistan Airways finalized an order with Boeing for one Boeing 787-8, valued at $239 million at current list prices.
  • Primera Air European leisure carrier has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo is the first of three A321neos that Primera will lease from GECAS.
  • Taiwan’s Far East Air Transport will take the 11 Boeing 737 Max 8s it plans to acquire on operating lease.
  • Drukair of Bhutan has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for a single A320neo.                                                                                       
  • Lufthansa orders up to 16 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The orders include 12 A320 family aircraft and four 777s, two 777-300ERs for Swiss and two 777 Freighters for Lufthansa Cargo.                                  
  • British Airways has put its first Airbus A320neo into service with a flight to Lisbon, Portugal.                                                                                
  • Austrian Airlines modified its livery showing much larger Austrian titles on the fuselages well as red bleed from the flag scheme onto the aft fuselage on the first 777-200ER.                                                                                                                                                                                                

AIR CARGO

                            Boeing Delivers the First 737-800 Converted                                    Freighter

On April 19th Boeing announced the delivery of the first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter(BCF) to GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and the freighter will be operated by West Atlantic Group, based in Sweden.

West Atlantic will receive four 737-800 Converted Freighters within the next 11 months, once delivered, the company will operate 23 Boeing 737 freighter aircraft.                                                                                                  

“We are very proud to be the launch customer for the 737-800BCF, and pleased to supply this inaugural aircraft to West Atlantic,” said Richard Greener, GECAS’ Senior Vice President & Manager, Cargo Aircraft Group”.

Boeing’s Current Market Outlook forecasts over the next 20 years, customers will need more than 1,100 standard-body converted freighters.

Boeing has received 45 orders and commitments, from seven customers including: YTO Airlines, based in Hangzhou, China; China Postal Airlines based in Beijing, China: GECAS, based in Ireland; Air Algeria, based in Algiers, Algeria; LAS Cargo, based in Bogota, Columbia; Cargo Air, based in Sophia, Bulgaria; and an unannounced customer.

The 737-800BCF has 12 pallet positions which provide 4,993 cubic feet(141.4 cubic meters) of cargo space on the main deck of the 737-800BCF.this is supplemented by two lower-lobe compartments, combined providing more than 1,540 cubic feet(43.7 cubic meters) of space for revenue-generating cargo.

Source : Boeing/GECAS/Boeing Picture

       

            Brazil-Based Cargo Carrier Modern Logistics & Harley-Davidson                                                

In April of this year Brazil Cargo carrier and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson entered into a partnership that will help bikers get their motorcycles faster.                                                                                                 

Harley plans to increase output at its Manaus-area factory and use Modern Logistics’ road and airfreight network to transport bikes to 21 Brazilian dealerships.

The new bikes will be flown to Brasilia or Viacopos, and then trucked the rest of the way, reducing average delivery times by four days.

Modern Logistics uses 737-400SFs for the purpose.

Source : Air Cargo World/ModernLogistics Picture

   

  Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News

                                  Engine OEMs Transition From Old to New

Engine OEM representatives discussed navigating challenges around support and spares when transitioning from old to new engine programs at Aviation Week Network’s Engine Leasing, Trading &Finance event in London.

GE aviation, Pratt& Whitney and Rolls-Royce have expressed overall satisfaction with their new-generation engine programs despite some growing pains related to entry-into-service phase and the transition from older programs to newer ones.

In a panel on new engine programs held at the event on May 2, Paul Finklestein, marketing director at Pratt & Whitney, acknowleged the struggles encountered by Pratt & Whitney on the PW1100G greed turbofan(GTF) program over the past few years.

Currently in operation on around 150 aircraft comprised of Airbusa320neo, Bombardier Series and as of early-May, Embraer E190-E2 aircraft Finklestein said the modifications have smoothed over some of the challenges with the engine program.

Meanwhile, Brian Ovigton, engine services marketing director at GE Aviation, said the OEM experienced a relatively smooth entry-into-service (EIS) of its new engine type—the CFM LEAP family for the 737 MAX and the A320 new narrow bodies and the GEnx, an option for the 787 and the 747-8.Both engines have yet to experience AOG incidents, he said. 

Alastair Knox, head of aircraft transitions at Rolls-Royce, said the British engine makers “very pleased” with the results of the Trent XWB, found on the Airbus A350 aircraft and the Trent 1000 powering the Boeing 787. 

Despite Rolls-Royce’s satisfaction with new engine types, Knox said there are some challenges to consider dependent on the size of the carrier awaiting new models to enter their fleets.

Source : Aviation Week

 

                                  MRO LATEST NEWS

  • Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Celebrates a Milestone ( HAECO) Xiamen-based business unit has completed its 3000th maintenance check since it started operations in March 1996.To mark the occasion some of the firm’s staff posed in front of the milestone aircraft, Boeing 777-300ER before its redelivery to Cathay Pacific.                                                                                                                
  • Safran has an AirAsiaX contract to maintain Airbus A330 landing gear at Singapore through 2025.
  • GE Aviation Acquired a stake in Avionica as part of an agreement to form joint venture to provide wireless data collection and processing for connected aircraft.
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) will bring its Boeing 737-500 out of retirement in July as a dedicated maintenance training jet to help assure its maintenance technicians have the best tools for training and to ensure the highest level of quality maintenance. ANA is the first Japanese airline to incorporate a non-operating fully functional jet into its training program.                  

 

 

 

 

Researched and Compiled by :

Ed Kaplanian    Commercial Aviation Advisor 

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor:   Lee Kaplanian 

Volume 5 Issue 3 The Kaplanian Report


On the Boeing Front

                                              The 737 MAX Gains Momentum

On February 5th Boeing rolled out the first 737 MAX 7, the third member of the MAX family to come down the line in Renton.

The MAX 7 is slightly stretched compared to the 737-700, giving customers the capacity to fly 12 more passengers even farther. The airplane will have the longest range of any member of the MAX family at 3,850 nm. What’s most impressive about the MAX 7 is its ability to offer exceptional performance at high altitude airports and hot climate.

Global airlines holding orders for the 737 MAX 7, as of January 1, 2017 include Kunming Airlines of China for 10, Southwest Airlines for 30, WestJet of Canada for 23 and Jetliner of Canada for 5.

On February 16th the Boeing 737 MAX 9 has gained FAA certification, clearing the way for the second variant in the MAX family to enter commercial service.

The MAX 9 has a maximum capacity of 220 passengers in a single-class configuration, 10 more seats than the MAX 8.  The MAX 9’s maximum range of 3,335 nm is the same as the  MAX 8, although the -9 needs an auxiliary fuel tank to reach this range.

Boeing is now in the final stages of preparing the MAX 9 for its first delivery to launch customer Lion Air Group.

Finally, Boeing’s MAX 10 reached a major milestone as the MAX program completed firm configuration on the airplane.

Source : Boeing/Boeing Pictures

                     

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

                   Airbus Has Commenced the Maiden Flight of the A321LR 

Airbus has commenced the maiden flight of its new long-range A321LR, the aircraft having lifted off from Finkenwerder airfield in Hamburg. It took off from the plant as weather conditions, including an overcast sky and rain, cleared sufficiently for the test.

The test aircraft, powered by CFM International Leap-1A engines, has a new fuselage door configuration which will enable customers to fit up to 240 seats.

The configuration will become the structural standard for future A321neo production.

The aircraft will have a 97t maximum take-off weight and optional additional fuel tanks, giving it the capability of operating on long-range routes up to 4,000nm.

The initial test flight lasted 2h and 30 min.

Source : Flightglobal/Pictures Airbus

        

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

                         Dassault Receives Orders for 41 Falcons in 2017 

Dassault Aviation reports receiving orders for 41 Falcon Jets in 2017, up from 33 in the prior year; the termination of the Falcon 5X program resulted in three cancellations.

The French airframer delivered 49 business jets last year, up from a forecast of 45. Meanwhile, the company’s backlog decreased from 63 to 52 and some Falcon 5X cancellations have yet to be entered in the books.

The business jet market has yet to recover from the global financial crisis of 2008.

Source : BCA/Picture Dassault

 

                         Bombardier Enters Final Phase of Global 7000 Testing 

Bombardier has entered the final phase of a 14-month-old airworthiness campaign after the fifth Global 7000 business jet entered flight testing on January 30th.  The debut for flight-test vehicle (FTV) 5 keeps the program on track for gaining type certification in the second half of this year. 

Bombardier has now logged more than 1,300 flight hours in the Global 7000 test campaign and completed fatigue testing on a full airframe, the company says.

The 7,400nm (13,700km) range of a Global 7000 with eight passengers sits between the 7,000nm range of the G650 and the 7,500 range of the G650ER.

The Global 7000 offers more room, with a cabin about 2.5m (8ft 2in) longer than the Gulfstream models.

Source : Bombardier/Bombardier Picture/Ed’s Research       

                                                             

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

                               Spirit AeroSystems Ships 10,000 737 Fuselage  

A train carrying the 10,000th 737 fuselage left Spirit AeroSystems’ factory in Wichita, Kansas on February 13, the supplier says. Spirit AeroSystems builds 70% of the 737, including the fuselage.  

The milestone was announced on February 14 by Spirit AeroSystems senior vice president and chief technology and quality officer John Pilla, a speaker at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference in Lynnwood, Washington.

The milestone aircraft is a 737 Max 8 scheduled for delivery to Southwest Airlines, Boeing says.  

When that fuselage is integrated with wings, systems, engines and interiors in Boeing’s final assembly plant, the 737 will become the first aircraft of the jet age to achieve the 10,000th delivery milestone.

The first 737-100 entered service with Lufthansa 50 years and four days ago on February 10,1968. The type has progressed through four generations, including the original 737, classic, Next Generation and Max families. Southwest Airlines flew all variants with the exception of the 737-100.

Source : Flightglobal/Picture Spirit AeroSystems

Meridiana Relaunched As Air Italy   

Meridiana has been relaunched as Air Italy on February 19 in Milan by investors Qatar Airways and Alisarda. Akbar Al Baker pitches the “new airline” as a direct competitor to Alitalia, outlining a rapid expansion program involving several new domestic and international services. 

Air Italy will take 20 Boeing 737 Max 8s plus five Airbus 330s over the next three years, on lease from Qatar Airways “at market rate”. It will also take 20 787s, bringing its fleet to 50 aircraft. The airline will be based at Milan Malpensa airport.

The airline will offer business-class cabins along its economy offering. Qatar Airways took a 49% stake in Meridiana last year and the remainder is held by Alisarda.

Source : Flightglobal/Qatar Airways/Picture Qatar Airways

    Copa Airlines Plans to Expand Fleet in 2018 

Copa Airlines flag carrier of Panama plans to grow its fleet by 25% by 2020 with the first of 71 Boeing 737 MAX arriving in August of this year.

The airline should receive five 737 MAX aircraft this year, followed by 10 in 2019 and 22 in 2022, says Ahad Zamany, VP technical operations, speaking at the Aviation Week Network’s MRO Latin America event. The last of the 71 should arrive in 2025.  

Its Predominant fleet of 737-800s will cap out at 71 this year up from 69 in 2017.

To accommodate the expanding fleet, the Panama-based carrier broke ground on a new maintenance hangar in 2017 that should be finished in the fourth quarter of this year. 

Source : Aviation Week/Picture Copa Airlines   

 

LATEST NEWS

  • China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) placed an order with Airbus for 15 A320neos valued at roughly $1.7 billion.
  • Sichuan Airlines has ordered 10 Airbus A350-900s, on February 9; the aircraft will help facilitate a rapid international expansion plan.
  • Aviation Capital Group took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX in Seattle.The aircraft, a 737 MAX 8 variant on a long term lease to Aerolineas Argentinas.
  • BOC Aviation will lease seven Airbus A320neo aircraft to Chongqing Airlines, with all aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2018.
  • Oman Air has taken delivery of the first of 30 Boeing 737 Max 8s it has on order.
  • Qantas has released the first pictures of its latest aircraft to bear an indigenous-inspired livery, this time on its fourth 787-9 delivered on March 2nd.
  •   UPS  places an order for 14 Boeing 747-8Fs and four Boeing 767-300 Freighters.
  • Travel Service Airlines has received its first Boeing 737 Max 8, one of 10 the Czech airline is taking on operating lease from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS )
  • Lufthansa  Its new revised livery, first appeared on one of the fleets 747-8is
  • Subaru (formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries) has completed production of the first Boeing 777X center wing box at the company’s Hanada factory.

AIR CARGO

Southwest Cargo Set To Begin International Shipments in May

Southwest Airline announced on February 19th that it will roll out its new Southwest Cargo Suite(SCS) point -of-sale system this month and will begin international cargo shipments to destinations in Mexico in May.

The carrier will kick off its shipments to Mexico, with destinations including Mexico City, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, pending government approvals. Southwest Airlines senior director for cargo and charters, Wally Devereaux, stated at the Air Cargo 2018 conference.

The airline expects to add more routes in Mexico and the Caribbean through this year and build steadily on an international cargo business Southwest expects to be small — at first.

Southwest expects healthy trade units routes between the United States and Mexico, with northbound flights likely moving perishables to the U.S.,while flights to Mexico to transport a variety of cargo, including pharmaceutical products and e-commerce goods.

Source : Southwest Airlines

 

 MAINTENANCE, REPAIR AND OVERHAUL NEWS 

                                  GE Grows Parts Presence in Singapore 

GE Aviation plans to open a new GE9X components manufacturing facility in Singapore and will draw on ideas and concepts from its existing parts repair center in the city-state.

It will grow its engine components footprint in Singapore after announcing plans to establish a new center to manufacture parts for the GE9X engine powering the Boeing 777X.

Announced at the Singapore Air Show on February 5, the new 50,000 square foot facility located at the City-State’s Seletar Aerospace Park will specialize in high pressure compressor vanes for the wide body engine, which to date amassed 700 orders. In the Asia-Pacific region, Aviation Week’s 2018 Fleet & MRO Forecast has an order backlog of 82 units for the GE9X,a figure not taking into account this year’s Singapore Air Show.

With plans to implement digital and lean manufacturing concepts at the new facility, the engine maker said it will draw on ideas and concepts from existing Singapore repair center.

Investments at the component service center include research into new repair processes’ lean lab for advanced manufacturing and utilizing the latest robotic technologies to drive greater efficiencies. These Commitments were made in anticipation of growing regional demand from engine types such as the CFM LEAP, GEnx and the GE9X.  

Source : GE Aviation

 

                                     MRO LATEST NEWS  

  • Iberia Maintenance has signed a contract to inspect &repair the Rolls-Royce RB 211 535-E4 engines powering DHL Air UK and Blue Dart’s 757 aircraft fleet.
  • Tarmac Aerosave received a second ex-Singapore Airline’s Airbus A380 for storage at its Tarbes, France facility.
  • Triumph Aviation Services Asia was selected by Boeing to provide inspection, recertification and repair support on nacelle and flight control components in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • KLM UK Engineering has a Finnair contract for Embraer E190/Airbus A320 line maintenance at Edinburgh.
  • Spirit AeroSystems unveiled 20,000 sqft center of excellence at Wichita to focus on the fabrication of large, complex soft metal parts for fuselage, pylon and wing structures.
  • Safran Electrical & Power was selected by Boeing to equip its 2018 ecoDemonstrator (FedEX Express 777F) with an electrical channel that includes electric power generation and distribution systems, engine and aircraft wiring, and specific electrical loads (electric fans).

 

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact at  ekaplanian@msn.com

Editor –  Lee Kaplanian

 

Volume 4 Issue 4 April 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT 

The Boeing 777 Flies Seven of the World’s Ten Longest Routes

A new list of the world’s ten longest commercial airline routes shows the Boeing 777 maintains its strong position as the world’s favorite long distance aircraft.

The 777 flies seven of the routes and the Airbus A380 flies two. Two newer aircraft, the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350, both fly the 10th route between San Francisco and Singapore. United began service in June 2016 and Singapore followed in October. (this is according to OAG)

Looking ahead, Singapore Airlines has said it will begin a 9,534-mile, eighteen-and-a-half hour Singapore-Newark flight in 2018, using an Airbus A350-900ULR. Singapore previously operated the route with a four engine-A340, but discontinued it in 2013.  Also, in 2018, Qantas plans to operate a 9,009 mile, 17-hour Perth-London flight with a Boeing 787-900.

John Grant, OAG senior analyst, said the two new aircraft types will allow airlines to open more ultra-long-distance routes because the lightweight planes are smaller than their wide body predecessors, but still carry sufficient fuel for trips.

“As more extended range-second generation A350s and 787s come to production and are delivered in the next few years, it will allow airlines to operate more flights in these sectors,” Grant said.

Grant foresees that as airlines begin to operate more ultra-long flights, they may add more first class and business class seating, not simply to boost per-seat revenue, but also reduce the number of passengers and weight of aircraft.

Source : Forbes

        ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

 Airbus A350-1000 Undergoes Low-Speed Take-off  Tests 

Airbus has been carrying out low-speed take-off tests with one of the A350-1000 development aircraft as it heads towards certification later this year.

The first of three A350-1000 test aircraft (MSN59) has a tail bumper installed, enabling its rear fuselage to be dragged along the runway in trials to establish VMU minimum unstick speeds. The tests, which took place in early March at Istres in Southern France, help to verify slat and flap settings and performance criteria.

Airbus is working towards certification of the A350-1000 this year, to clear the way for deliveries of the stretched A350 derivative to begin in the second half of this year with Qatar as the first recipient.

The flight-test trials involve a trio of Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 powered A350-1000s. The third test aircraft (MSN71) recently returned from cold-weather trains in Iqaluit, Canada, where it was exposed to temperatures as low as -37 degrees Centigrade during an overnight soak. The aircraft subsequently undertook high-altitude take-off and landing tests at LaPaz airport in Bolivia.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus/Airbus Picture

                   

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

Third and Final Pilatus PC-24 Enters Flight Testing

Pilatus Aircraft’s PC-24 business jet has entered the final stages of its certification program, following the maiden sortie of its third and final test aircraft.

Pilatus describes the debut flight as another important milestone in the PC-24’s development. It comes 22 months after the arrival of the first prototype kick started the validation program. Aircraft PO2 joined the campaign in November 2015, and the pair have since logged more than 1,350 flying hours, the airframer says.

Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk calls the results of the flight-test campaign ”very encouraging” and says the data collected so far indicates that the jet, the company’s first, exceeds published performance figures. These include a maximum cruise speed of 425kt (790m/h), a maximum range with six passengers of 1,800 nm (3,330km), and maximum take-off weight of 8,850kg (17,650lb).

Pilatus has secured 84 orders for the PC-24, equivalent to three years of production and is planning to reopen the order book following certification. PO3 will make its public debut in May at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva. The PC24 was unveiled at the industry gathering in 2013.

Source : Pilatus Aircraft/Pilatus Picture

 

Embraer Rolls Out E195-E2 its Largest Jet Aircraft

Embraer’s second E-Jet E2 variant, the E195-E2, was rolled out on March 7, 2017, marking the unveiling of the largest jet aircraft ever produced in Brazil.

According to CEO John Slattery, he believes the aircraft will be strongly considered as a replacement by mainline airlines flying the Boeing 737s and Airbus A319s and low-cost carriers(LCC) seeking a cost-efficient option.

“The first prototype E195-E2 will be used for aerodynamic and performance tests”, Slattery said. The aircraft’s first flight is officially scheduled for the second half of 2017, but rollout is occurring ahead of schedule. “I would not be surprised if the E-195-E2 does enter into flight testing in the first half of 2017,” Slattery said.

Source : Embraer/Embraer Picture

                                                         

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

Argentine ULCC Startup Flybondi to Launch with Boeing 737-800s


Argentine ultra-low-cost carrier, (ULCC) startup Flybondi, has selected the Boeing 737-800 as its launch aircraft and ready to begin negotiations for up to 50 737 MAX 200s.

Giving a March 15 update, Flybondi said it had chosen the 737-800 over the Airbus A320 and honed its launch schedule to September.

The Startup had previously announced a start date in the second half of 2017.

“We are convinced the Boeing 737-800 is the right aircraft to develop the ULCC model in Argentina. We are very pleased with the level of support that Boeing has provided us with.” Flybondi CEO Julian Cook said.

The 737-800s, configured with 189 seats, were selected for their low operating cost. Flybondi also finalized the details of entry into service support agreement with Boeing.

No numbers were specified for the 737-800 acquisition, but Flybondi previously announced plans to operate four aircraft this year, adding six every year after that, to hit 30 aircraft by year five. Cook also said Flybondi will start negotiations for an order of up to 50 Boeing 737MAX 200s very soon.

Flybondi attracted seed funding from a series of well know veterans, including Ryanair board member and ex-COO Michael Cawley, ex-Air Canada CEO Montie Brewer and British Airways City Flyer Express founder Robert Wright alongside a group of Argentinian investors.

Source : ATW

 Southwest Unveils First 737 Max Routes

Southwest Airlines has unveiled its first Boeing 737 Max routes, as it prepares to take delivery of the re-engined jet that it was the launch customer.

The Dallas-based carrier will operate the 737 Max from October, with the inaugural flight departing Dallas Love Field at 7:00 for Houston Hobby. It will then continue to San Antonio before returning to Dallas.

The flight routing is similar to Southwest’s first flight back on June 18, 1971, – except the airline operated the 737-200 then and flown to Houston Intercontinental instead of Hobby. Southwest, along with United Airlines, were the first to operate the 737-200. However, in the case of Southwest, it continued to operate the 737 in all its variants.

Southwest says it will launch nine 737 Max 8 aircraft into operations on October, followed by the tenth about a week later. It will end 2017 with 14 737 Max 8 aircraft in its fleet.

The carrier will retire its remaining 737-300s from service before the 737 Max enters operations.

Source : Flightglobal/Southwest/Southwest Picture

 

 ANA Unveils Special Livery for its First A380

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has unveiled the livery that will adorn its first Airbus A380.

The ‘ Flying Honu ‘ livery , by Tokyo resident Chihiro Masuoka, was picked from an open design competition. It features the Hawaiian green sea turtle, which the airline says is a sign of prosperity and good luck.

The Star Alliance carrier says that it is moving ahead with the interior design of its A380s, which will offer new passenger services when it starts operation on the Tokyo-Honolulu route from the spring of 2019.

ANA has three A380s on order, which are due for delivery in May, June and September 2019 according to Flight Fleets Analyzer.

Source : ANA/ANA Picture      

LATEST NEWS

  • International Airlines Group(IAG) launched its long anticipated low-cost, long-haul carrier on March 17, naming it LEVEL. 
  • CDB Aviation Lease Finance Aviation announced an order for 30 737 MAX 8 airplanes, valued at $3.3 billion at current list prices.
  • Iran Air receives its first new A330-200, the first of 45 A330 family order, which was placed on December 2016.

  • KAIR Airlines New South Korean low-cost carrier has placed a firm order for 8 Airbus A320s and is aiming to launch operations in 2018.
  • Azul Airlines Brazil’s largest operator of the Embraer operator of the current generation Embraer 195, will be the launch operator of the re-engined E195-E2.
  • Aeromexico agreed to lease a second 787-9 from Air Lease Corp. for delivery in June 2018.
  • BOC Aviation took delivery of its 200th Boeing aircraft, a 737-800 for Malaysia’s Malindo Air.
  • Air Lingus will lease seven Airbus A321neos with 97-ton maximum take-off weight from Air Lease Corp.(ALC), with deliveries starting in 2019.
  • GreenPoint Technologies has secured a contract from an unnamed customer for the completion of a Boeing Business JET 787-9. The contract marks the first 787-9 completion project for the Kirkland, Washington-based company.
  • Gulfstream sells a G550 to Beijing 999 the Chinese medical evacuation provider Beijing Red Cross Emergency Medical Center (Beijing 999)
  • BOC Aviation Singapore-headquartered lessor has placed an order for 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

 

AIR CARGO

   Amazon Sends Cargo Started Operations to Lehigh Valley Airport 

Air Cargo traffic at an American airport once classed as an airfreight no-hoper, has since soared since Amazon’s new cargo airline Prime Air began operating flights out of Allentown, PA . (LVIA)

The significant increase in air cargo business resulted in handling of some 57,000 tons of cargo last year, dramatically raising the cargo status of the east coast airport.

The rise in volumes at LVIA is quite remarkable, given it was formerly dubbed as a non-hub by the Federal Aviation Administration.  It managed less than 0.5 percent of the annual passenger boardings of all commercial service in the USA.

Currently, Prime Air operates 40 freighters, including 767-300s, after entering into two separate leasing deals in 2016.  One with cargo lease firm Air Transport Services Group – the parent company of freight airlines ABX Air; the other with Air Transport International – and Atlas Air Holdings.

Atlas Air Worldwide will acquire an additional Boeing 767 passenger aircraft for freighter conversion as part of a contract with Amazon, bringing to 21 the number of aircraft earmarked for service with the online retailer.

Speaking on a full-year earnings call on February 23rd, Atlas chief executive William Flynn said the carrier has signed contracts with Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to modify the 767s.

Source : Air Cargo Eye/Ed’s Research

 

MAINTENANCE, REPAIR AND OVERHAUL NEWS

GE CF6-80’s Engine MRO Outlook Strong for a Few Years

The CF6-80’s longevity offers an interesting MRO lessons. Two of the big questions in commercial aviation today are “How long will low fuel prices continue?” and “What effect will they have on the longevity of mature equipment?”.  Only OPEC can answer the first question, but an analysis of the General Electric CF6-80 engine’s situation can provide a great deal of insight into the second.

This is because the GE engine first entered service in 1982, and is still flying on a wide array of senior and mid-life aircraft types. The 52,500-63,500-lb.- thrust CF6-80C2, for instance, is certified for the Boeing 747, 767 and MD-11; as well as the Airbus A300 and A310. Meanwhile, the 67,500-72,000-lb thrust CF6-80E1 has powered current engine options of the Airbus A330 family since 1994.

After a steady decline, the CF6-80C2 fleet stabilized in 2016,and 2,410 CF6-80C2 engines are in service, according to Aviation Week’s 2017 Commercial Aviation Fleet and MRO Forecast.

Most of the CF6-80C2s are flying on Boeing 767 and 747-400 wide bodies, which might offer a dim prognosis because some airlines are phasing out those types. Yet Aviation Week’s forecast data tells a different story, with usage of the CF6-80C2 projected to hold firm at least a couple of years. Subsequently, a slow decline is predicted, with the global CF6-80C2 fleet forecast to shrink by 8% by 2021.

MTU Maintenance is the biggest player in the CF^-80C2 aftermarket behind the engine’s manufacturers,GE Aviation.The German company completed 80 shop visits in 2016,up from 60 in each of the two previous years,and it expects demand to remain at least as strong in 2017.

Source : MRO-Network.com

 

MRO Latest News

  • UTC Aerospace Systems was selected by Lufthansa Technik to provide its Aircraft Interface Device (AID).  Lufthansa German Airlines has initially ordered AID for its Airbus A320 family of aircraft.
  • Ameco  plans to expand its component/landing gear maintenance business at Beijing/Chengdu.
  • GE Aviation selected Nantgarw, Wales, as its MRO facility for the GE9X jet engine.
  • Icelandair signed a TrueChoice Transitions agreement with GE Aviation for its custom-ordered CF6-80C2 spare engine.  This agreement follows a TrueChoice Transition agreement between Icelandair and GE, signed last year for the maintenance of CF6-80C2 engines that power the airline’s four Boeing 767s.
  • AFI KLM E&M has signed an Airbus A320 component support contract with Cambodia Angkor Air.

                      

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ed@kaplanianreport.com

                       

Volume 4 Issue 2 February 2017 The Kaplanian Report

ON THE BOEING FRONT

Boeing Selects CTT for 777X Humidification Systems

CTT Systems has been selected by Boeing to provide the humidification systems for flight deck,  crew rests and cabin zone A/B for the Boeing 777X aircraft.  CTT will be tier-1 supplier to Boeing and the CTT products will be offered as supplier furnished equipment in the 777X catalog.

CTT Systems AB, headquartered in Nykoping, Sweden and listed on the Small Cap of OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm AB, is the leading provider of aerospace products for active humidity control: inside the aircraft cabin-for increasing humidity-and in aircraft structures- for preventing condensation.

Selecting CTT enables Boeing to bring humidification capabilities and performance from the 787 to the 777X and migrate to premium passenger cabins (zone A and B). In total, the Boeing 777X aircraft can be equipped with five humidifiers.

The 777X will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine in the world, with 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs than the competition.

CTT’s humidifier maintains relative humidity in the human comfort zone, 20 percent Relative Humidity. A higher humidity on long-haul flights reduces dry air related problems (e.g. fatigue, jet-lag, red eyes, dry skin, spread of virus diseases) and improves wellbeing and sleep. The humidifier is baed on evaporative cooling technology and uses a method that effectively precludes the transfer of bacteria.

Source : Arabian Aerospace/Boeing

                      

ON THE AIRBUS FRONT

Airbus Prepares Beluga XL Core for Integration

Airbus has assembled the basic core airframe of the initial BelugaXL high-capacity transport designed to replace the A300-600ST logistics fleet.

The airframes, based on an A330-200 freighter with reinforcements, was assembled in December of 2016; but has yet to be mated with its nose or tail sections.

These sections will be added this year, the manufacturer states, as an 18 month integration process commences.  Beluga XL program head Bertrand George says the final integration will be “a series of small steps”.

“The Number of holes to be drilled and fasteners to be installed is far bigger than on any other Airbus aircraft”.  He says. “Sticking to schedule at each step is the key to being ready for first flight in 2018.”

Over the initial 12 months of the assembly, the airframe will be completed and fitted with mechanical and electrical components.  The final six months will involve transferring the aircraft to a new station for Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engine installation  and Ground testing.

Airbus is renewing the logistics fleet with five Beluga XLs to meet demand for A350 assembly. The Beluga XL will enter service in 2019.

Source : Flightglobal/Airbus

 

REGIONAL/BUSINESS JETS

 MRJ Delay Confirmed; System Revision Cited 

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the parent of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., has made official a further two year delay in the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) program.

Mitsubishi said on January 23, that the first delivery of the MRJ90 to Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) would be pushed back to mid-2020 from mid-2018; meaning first delivery will be nearly seven years later than what was planned in the program’s original timetable.

Four MRJ90 flight test aircraft are currently flying, with a fifth slated to join flight testing this year.

The Latest delay is necessary because of “revisions to certain systems and electrical configurations on the aircraft to meet the latest  requirements for certification,” “the design changes will not effect aircraft performance, fuel consumption of functionality of systems” Mitsubishi said.

MRJ certification is now targeted for the second half of 2019.The company aims to achieve world class commercial aircraft development through integrated work between global and Japanese experts.

Source : Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp./Photo Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.

 

OTHER AVIATION NEWS

 GE9X Spools Up for Second Test Phase

Testing of the largest turbofan aircraft engine in history will enter a new phase later this year. Until now, GE Aviation has used the first engine to test (FETT) to validate design and performance assumptions.

With the second engine to test now in final assembly, GE is poised to begin a one -year cycle of trials required to earn airworthiness certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Although based on the architecture of the GE90, the GE9X sets new boundaries for the industry in terms of size-notably its 134in (340cm) fan diameter-pressure ratio (a claimed 61.1 margin at top of climb) and application of new materials, including the spread of ceramic matrix composites (CMC) to turbine nozzle guide vanes and combust or liners.

It also improves on the strength of the carbon fiber construction of the fan blades, allowing GE to assign only 16 blades for each engine, despite a 6in wider diameter compared with the 22 fan blades found on the GE90.

Each new feature in the GE9X must be validated as being as safe or better than the proven engine technology already in service, while still meeting performance promises such as a 10% reduction in fuel burn against the GE90.

And it must be proved ready on a tight schedule: Boeing plans to begin deliveries of the first GE9X powered 777-9 by early 2020, which implies a system-level, Part 25 airworthiness certification in late 2019 and an engine-level, Part 33 certification in 2018.

Source : Flightglobal/GE Aviation

 

Southwest Jockeys with Norwegian for 737 Max Launch Title

Southwest Airlines chief executive Gary Kelly says the carrier will be the launch  customer of the Boeing 737 Max “regardless of when we take the first delivery”, even as Norwegian prepares to be the first operator.

Kelly cites the Dallas-based carrier’s extensive involvement with Boeing on the development and testing of the latest generation of the venerable narrow body, as the rationale behind his comment during a quarterly earnings call today.

Southwest is the launch customer of the Max, placing the first order in December 2011. Norwegian placed its 737 Max order a month later in January 2012.

Southwest reaffirms that it will not debut the 737 Max 8 on scheduled flights until the end of the third quarter, when all its 737-300 and -500 aircraft, or classics, are retired.  ”We don’t really need the 737 Max for flying until October 1,” says Kelly.

“Norwegian will now be the first airline to take delivery of the 737 Max, and will be the first airline in the world to operate this brand-new aircraft type,” spokesman for Norwegian says.

The jockeying between Norwegian and Southwest sets up a race between the two carriers to see who will take the first 737 Max, with the odds likely on the latter due to its placing the first order and heavy involvement in the program.

Lion Air, Norwegian and Southwest are all scheduled to take their first Max 8s in May, the Flight Fleet Analyzer shows.  In addition,China Eastern Airlines, FlyDubai and WestJet are scheduled to take their first of the type before the end of September.

Source : Flightglobal     

LATEST NEWS

  • Flynas, Saudi Arabia’s leading low-cost carrier, has signed an agreement with Airbus for 60 A320neo Family aircraft

  • Juneyao Airlines has announced an order for 10 Boeing 787-9s, comprising five firm orders and five options.  The aircraft will facilitate the Shanghai-based carrier’s rapid international expansion.
  • SpiceJet sealed a deal worth $10 billion with Boeing for 100 737 Max aircraft.

  • Air Baltic, the Latvian carrier has received its second Bombardier CS300 aircraft after becoming the launch customer for the larger CSeries variant.
  • Trade Air, the Croatian Charter, carrier received its first Airbus A320, a former SATA international example.
  • Delta Airlines has taken delivery of its first US-built Airbus A321.  The jet N314DN (c/n 7281),was delivered from Mobile, Alabama, plant to Minneapolis, St Paul last December.
  • Arik Air of Nigeria has scrapped a longstanding order for two Boeing 747-8Is, replacing it with a pair of Boeing 787-9s.
  • China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) signed a long term lease with Thai AirAsia for one Airbus A320, which is expected to be delivered this year.
  • Avolon, the Irish lessor, delivered one Boeing 737-800 to Malaysia-based Malindo Air. This is the forth Avolon aircraft on lease to Malindo.
  • Ukraine International Airlines has taken delivery of the first of six Boeing 737-800s, which are scheduled to join the fleet this year.

 

AIR CARGO

Crustaceans Crush 2016, Leading to 4.1 % Cargo Rise at Halifax 

Thanks to a booming year for lobster, Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) saw substantial cargo growth in 2016, processing more than 33,000 tons of cargo, up 4.1 percent over 2015.  An estimated US$187 million in seafood exports were shipped last year, an increase of approximately $40 million from 2015.  As demand for lobster and other high-value seafood grows in markets such as Asia, Halifax Stanfield International Airport expects continued growth in seafood exports.

Yangtze River Express Airlines was the latest cargo carrier to add services to Halifax Airport and take advantage of the lobster export season earlier this month.

The Chinese carrier operated five 747-400 F cargo flights between Canada and China since the first of the 2016 calendar year.

Passenger numbers were up as well, and bellyhold cargo is an important part of the story. Compared to the previous year, the 2016 passenger numbers were up 5.6 percent, said Joyce Carter, Halifax International president and CEO.  ”We are set to hit 4 million passengers in 2017.”

The airport is Atlantic Canada’s busiest full-service airport, with cargo connectivity to markets across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean Basin, Europe and Asia.  The airport processes cargo worth more than $447 million each year.

Source : Air Cargo World

 

  MRO NEWS

 GECAS Asset Management Services Aquires 737NG Inventory

GECAS Asset Management Services has entered an agreement with Air Berlin to acquire the airline’s entire inventory of 737NG spares including both rotables and expendables.

“Most components will be available for immediate shipment to our customers,” says Stefan Hayes, global commercial leader for GECAS Asset Management Services.

“We will soon have everything,nose to tail,that an operator of this popular aircraft type needs.This purchase represents an exciting opportunity for GECAS AMS to continue our relationship with Air Berlin while bolstering our 737NG stock and increasing our service capability.”

The material will be located at Asset Management Service’s warehouse locations in the U.S.,UK and Singapore.

Source : MRO network.com

    

Qantas Unveils $30 Million Maintenance Hanger for Its A380s   

636213810462889315-qantas-a380-in-new-lax-hangar                               

Qantas Airways unveiled a new $30 million hanger at Los Angeles International Airport, big enough to hold and perform maintenance on its A380s.

The hanger, the only facility in the U.S. designed specifically to hold the behemoth plane, was touted as signaling the airline’s commitment to Los Angeles as well to travelers making long-haul flights between the US and Australia.

“This is a win-win opportunity,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility on Friday, January 27th.

The Hanger is 480 feet by 370 feet and 12 stories tall, big enough to hold four passenger jets.The facility replaces a smaller 1950s-era hanger.

Qantas flies 40 flights per week between Los Angeles and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia, primarily using A380s and Boeing 747 jets.

Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce, said the new hanger will make maintenance 20% more efficient because it allows more planes to fit the facility at the same time.  When Qantas wanted to work on an A380 in the old, smaller hanger, most of the plane would not fit inside, he said.

Joyce said that Qantas also plans to rent out the facility to other carriers at LAX.

Source : Los Angeles Times/ Photo Qantas

                       

Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian

Commercial Aviation Advisor

Contact – ekaplanian@msn.com