WELCOME TO AVIATION ANALYTICS
- On Monday 21st October, a bag was being loaded onto a Volaris flight at Chicago Midway Airport, when the bag suddenly exploded. The local bomb squad was called in. - No injuries have been reported, and the aircraft, an Airbus A319 remains undamaged.
An officer from the Chicago Police have reported that the explosion may have been a mobile phone battery or battery charger, which would most likely have been a lithium battery, since most explosions are caused by these batteries.
- On Tuesday, aviation regulators in South Africa have instructed carriers in the region to ground some of their aircraft. - The two main carriers that are affected by the instructions are South African Airlines and Comair. South African Airlines have been preparing to operate a different schedule to avoid routing the aircraft that have had to be recalled. - "SAA understands that the inspection conducted by SACAA was in accordance with its regulations and a necessary exercise to ensure compliance and safety."
- American Airlines has recently been trying to gain a partnership with a European airline, notably Vueling, which is owned by IAG, who also have majority shares in British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus. - This American Airlines and Vueling codeshare is a sensible move, seeing that American Airlines is part of OneWorld, which is an Airline Alliance consisting of British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Finnair, Qantas and many other global airlines. - The codeshare will give American Airlines two gateway's through to Spain, in Madrid (Iberia) and Barcelona (Vueling). - American Airlines would also like to codeshare with Vueling's hub in Rome, which could help American run short-haul flights within Europe.
- American Budget Airline Spirit has been planning to move its Headquarters to Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
They have a brand new $250million campus, which is close to Fort Lauderdale International Airport, which will include Spirit's corporate offices, as well as crew training systems such as flight simulators.
CEO Ted Christie became CEO just 7 years ago, and since has expanded Spirit massively, expanding its fleet of just 35 aircraft, to 140, with plans to operate more than 300 aircraft by 2025.
- Founded in 1920, Qantas will be celebrating it's Centenary next year, and with multiple other airlines, such as KLM and British Airways celebrating their 100 years of operation really went and celebrated. - Although their centenary isn't for another 13 months, Qantas has already started making it a big deal, with their Project Sunrise flights taking off last week, to them revealing their special centenary livery, although it is not obvious to be seen at the moment, so let us know in the comments below what you think they will do?
- The biggest Airline Alliance in the world oneWorld has been eyeing up the African continent, and has announced that in 2020, the Maroccan national carrier Royal Air Maroc will be joining the alliance, but what will this mean for oneWorld?
Passengers at Royal Air Maroc can now start earning reward miles within oneWorld airlines, and oneWorld can now expand into the African continent. However, with the news of RAM joining the force, LATAM has announced that it will be leaving the alliance, resulting in no presence in South America.
- Finnair and Fiji Airways have confirmed their codeshare between Helsinki and Nadi, and many other destinations. - Finnair's AY code will be added to flights to Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo Narita, San Francisco and Los Angeles flights from Nadi, while Fiji Airways' FJ code will be added to flights from Helsinki to Singapore. - Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair said:
"We are excited about this cooperation with Fiji Airways and are delighted to offer this wonderful new destination in the South Pacific to our customers. - This cooperation is unique as it will allow Finnair customers to purchase around-the-world routings under Finnair's code for the very first time, using a combination of gateways in Asia and on the US West Coast. We would also like to warmly welcome Fiji Airways' customers to enjoy the wonders of Finland and the Nordics."
- Thai Airways is based in Bangkok, and is one of the largest premium carriers in South East Asia alongside Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines. - The airlines faces difficulties and pressure from low cost carriers in the region, especially on routes to China, Vietnam and Hong Kong. It has been struggling to make a profit year to year, and the president of Thai Airways stated:
"The competition is very fierce this year, THAI is really in a crisis. Next year it must do its best. If staff are still unaware and do nothing, they will not have enough time to fight back. Today very little time remains, today there is no comfort zone. Everyone will die if the vessel sinks."
The airline has already started to cut back on costs, such as storing food, and reducing perks and bonuses to management and staff. - It would be a great shame to see a carrier such as Thai Airways disappear this year, or next. I really do love their A380!
- Air France flight AF-136 from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Chicago O'Hare was diverted en-route to Shannon in Ireland due to the crew onboard finding an unattended mobile phone. - When the aircraft arrived in Shannon, they removed the mobile phone from the plane, and checked the rest of the aircraft for any other suspicious items on board. The aircraft was then refuelled and went back on its way to Chicago, with the flight being delayed by three and a half hours.
- Saudia Arabia Airlines flight SV-885 from Guangzhou, China to Riyadh, Saudia Arabia faced engine troubles over Myanmar. The flight crew reportedly shut down the right hand engine on the Boeing 787, where the aircraft requested to divert to Dhaka in Bangladesh and was granted permission, landing there safely 75 minutes later. - A Boeing 777 was sent to Dhaka to pick up the passengers, and take them back on route to Riyadh. The Boeing 787 used originally is still in Dhaka, which has resulted in Saudia Arabia Airlines cancel flights that were scheduled with that aircraft.
The cause for the loss of engine is still unsure, though it is thought to be just the powerplant that had failed.
- Gulfstream has unveiled its brand new flagship at the NBAA-BACE at Las Vegas Henderson Executive Airport on the 22nd October, with Qatar Executive being the launch customer of the aircraft.
The G700, has been named the "Largest airplane we've ever built. It will have the widest, tallest and longest cabin in the industry. The G650 set the bar, and the G700 is another game-changer."
- Boeing has announced that it will be cutting its 787 Dreamliner production numbers to 12 aircraft a year.
Earlier this year, Dennis Muilenburg announced that they will be increasing production to 14 a year, from 12, but that has since again decreased. Boeing has recently secured orders of $5billion, consisting of twenty 787's for Korean Air, eight 787's for Air New Zealand, and six 777 freighters for China Airlines.
Russian Airline Aeroflot recently also removed an order of twenty-two 787's, with a order of about $5.5billion.
In Boeing's earnings report, they stated:
"Our top priority remains the safe return to service of the 787 MAX, and we're making steady progress... We've also taken action to further sharpen our company's focus on product and services safety, and we continue to deliver on customer commitments and capture new opportunities with our values of safety, quality and integrity always at the forefront."
New Planes & Old Planes:
- Norwegian Airlines is planning to sell five Boeing 737-800's, which will boost the airline with a cash inflow of $50 million. The aircraft will be sold to China Aircraft Leasing.
- Middle Eastern Airlines has set out it's timeline of Airbus A321neo deliveries, and is going to be the launch customer of the Airbus A321XLR. The airline will introduce nine A321neos in 2020, and two more in 2021, and has also set its eyes on having its order of four A330s to be delivered in 2021.
- TAP Air Portugal has announced that it will be phasing out its Airbus A340's sooner than expected. They are taking delivery of the Airbus A330neo, and the last planned flight of the A340 within TAP Air Portugal will be the Lisbon to Luanda flight on Saturday 26th October.
- With announcing Virgin taking over Flybe very soon, Virgin Connect has expressed interest for larger aircraft to be introduced into the fleet very soon. The airline has expressed that Virgin Connect will feed into Virgin Atlantic's operations, and the airline stated "there will be more choice for customers through improved connectivity between UK regional airports and Virgin Atlantic's extensive long-haul network, particularly at London Heathrow and Manchester airports."
- Fiji Airways' first Airbus A350 has emerged from the Airbus factories.
The airline planes to use their Airbus A350-900s on their Nadi to Sydney routes starting in December, and their second delivery of the aircraft will be from Nadi to Los Angeles starting in January 2020.
- Aeroflot's first Airbus A350 has also emerged from the factory, with operations to start in early 2020, on a Moscow to New York route starting in March. Other A350's will be used on their Moscow to Beijing and many other routes in the future.
- Low Cost Carrier Spirit has announced a massive order of over 100 aircraft from the Airbus A320neo family, on-top of a recent order of 55 A320neos.
New Routes & Old Routes:
- French carrier La Compagnie has started to offer flights to Las Vegas within the 2020 timetable.
The airline operates Business class only flights, and these Las Vegas flights will only be operating from Sunday 5th January to Saturday 11th January 2020, with a stop in Iceland for refuelling.
- RwandAir's new Guangzhou route has been performing "Beyond Expectations", since it was launched in June 2019. The route is operated three times a week, has been reported to be very popular.
"While it's too early to say whether we will add additional capacity with increased services to Guangzhou, our first destination in China, we're delighted by the initial response from customers."
- Canadian carrier WestJet has announced new routes for their Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2020.
Toronto to London Gatwick twice daily, daily Toronto to Calgary, daily Vancouver to London Gatwick, 4 times a week Calgary - Paris, twice daily Calgary to London Gatwick, 3 times a week Calgary to Dublin.
- Air New Zealand has sadly announced the stopping of its fifth freedom flights from Los Angeles to London, which is estimated to stop in October 2020. Instead of the iconic fifth freedom flight, Air New Zealand will now be operating a direct service from Auckland to New York.
The London to Los Angeles route has been operating for 36 years, and the flights are scheduled until October 2020.
Research & Development:
- Following last week's Project Sunrise flight by Qantas, the flight touched down in Sydney after 19 hours and 16 minutes in the air from New York. The research flights have been key for Qantas to start planning how to treat passengers throughout these flights, but has hinted that these Project Sunrise flights will not start until about 2023. - The aircraft required to operate the route will not be available until 2023, with Airbus offering Qantas the use of Airbus A350-1000 for the flights, while the Boeing 777X is another contender for the routes.
Airbus A350-1000 is already in production and in the air, however the Boeing 777X are still in production and not released for its customers yet.
Alan Joyce, the CEO of Qantas stated that: "The plan we're working towards is making a decision on the business case by the end of this year, and it will likely be flying from 2023 when the aircraft are available."
Well, I hope you guys found this edition interesting!
If you have any suggestions, topics to cover or any other feedback, feel free to comment or contact me privately!