South Korea has criticized a North Korea missile launch after the test rocket came close to a Chinese airliner flying with more than 200 passengers from Tokyo to Shenyang in China according to the BBC. China expressed concern and Beijing is seeking more information!
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
CNN examines the growing demand for air travel and raises the question of whether there will be enough flight schools and pilots to fly all of the new airplanes on order. There also will be a shortage of mechanics and ground crews.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Orange Air (flyorangeair.com) (Sanford, Florida) is a new paper airline that is in the process of obtaining its Air Operators Certificate (AOC). The airline on its website is advertising as “Coming Soon” although no announcement has been made. The would be airline has reportedly taken delivery of the former Spirit Airlines (N804NK) and Belle Air (ZA-ARD) McDonnell Doug;as DC-9-82 (MD-82) as N918AV (msn 49104). N918AV was ferried from Sanford to Opa-locka on January 30 with an Orange Air tail logo according to Skyliner.
Not all airports are equal according to Bloomberg Businessweek. In this article by Justin Bachman, the writer compares ticket prices and finds prices at major airline hubs are higher than non-hub airports.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
HK Express (formerly Hong Kong Express) (HK Express) (Hong Kong) which has been re-inventing itself as a low-fare airline, yesterday (January 21) unveiled a bold new look. The airline issued this statement:
HK Express held a press conference today to review HK Express’ business performance for 2013 and announce exciting new developments planned for Hong Kong’s one-and-only low fare airline, including its brand new logo and livery as well as the first new destination for 2014, Seoul.
“Since going on sale as an LCC last September, we’ve experienced overwhelming demand. The team is thrilled with the excellent sales performance. Almost 200,000 Guests have flown with HK Express already, with Tokyo and Osaka being the most popular destinations. Additionally, HK Express’ on time performance (OTP) is the best of all Hong Kong-based airlines, according to official independent statistics,” said Andrew Cowen, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of HK Express, before delivering the business strategy for 2014. “In 2014, we are planning on adding more than 12 new destinations to our network, offering our Guests the opportunity to travel to over 20 destinations across Asia with unbelievably low airfares. To cater for the increase in demand for our service, we’ll also be expanding our current fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft from five to 11 by the end of the year with an aim to recruit over 250 cabin crew and other key operational staff,” said Andrew.
At the press conference, HK Express announced its newest destination, the first of 2014 and one that is sure to prove popular with the people of Hong Kong, Seoul. From Sunday, March 30 HK Express will fly once daily from Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon International Airport, allowing Hong Kong residents to surf the Korean wave at the amazing prices for which HK Express has become known. Seoul has become one of the top destinations for Asian travellers eager to catch a glimpse of their favourite K-POP star, try some authentic Korean barbecue, visit some traditional temples or even indulge in some of Seoul’s world-famous shopping.
Another key highlight of the press conference was the announcement of the new livery and brand logo. HK Express might be recognisable by its incredibly low prices, but the familiar red and gold logo is stepping aside to make way for a funkier, fresher brand image that better
matches the airline’s new direction. A new logo and livery design were unveiled during the press conference, both of which incorporate elements of Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour immediately associating the airline with the city it’s proud to call home. The ‘H’ and ‘K’ of HK Express are extended to remind the onlooker of Hong Kong’s stunning skyline, which is graphically reinterpreted on the rear and tail of the plane, all in a vibrant violet and red that breathe energy and life into the branding.
Mr. Andrew Cowen, Deputy CEO of HK Express explained, “The new logo and livery design will be rolled out across all of our branding towards the end of March. We wanted to establish a new brand for HK Express to reflect and support the amazing transition that HK Express has undergone in the past year, and the fresh, youthful and dynamic sense that the new design inspires fits perfectly with our ethos as Hong Kong’s one-and-only low fare airline. We look forward to the adventure continuing in 2014 and beyond!”
The airline will hold a launch event for the new brand in late March to celebrate the arrival of the first new aircraft to Hong Kong.
HK Express commenced flights on October 27, 2013 from their home in Hong Kong, as Hong Kong’s only low fare airline. HK Express flies to Phuket and Chiang Mai in Thailand, Taichung in Taiwan, Kunming in Mainland China, Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Penang in Malaysia, Seoul in Korea (commences from March 30, 2014), and Tokyo-Haneda and Osaka Kansai in Japan.
All images: HK Express.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) (New York) has ranked the the largest nine U.S. major carriers in seven categories. Alaska Airlines was ranked best. United Airlines was ranked worst of the 9.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Miami International Airport (MIA) ended 2013 by reaching the 40-million passenger mark for the first time in the airport’s 85-year history and setting a new record for annual passengers for the fourth year in a row. Preliminary numbers show that the watershed moment for MIA came on Friday, December 27, just five days before the end of the year. Since 2010, when MIA hit the 35.7 million passenger mark for the first time, annual passenger traffic at the airport has increased by more than 12 percent.
Since December 1, more than 3.1 million passengers have travelled through MIA, including a new single-day record of 139,940 passengers set on December 21.
MIA continued to expand internationally with seven new foreign destinations in 2013: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Cozumel, Milan, Curitiba and Porto Alegre, all by American Airlines; and Calgary by Canadian carrier WestJet. MIA’s global route network will expand further with three new route launches scheduled in the first six months of 2014: Belem, Brazil; Brussels, Belgium; and Doha, Qatar.
Vote on your favorite MIA photo on the Miami International Airport Facebook page. Here is one of the entries:
What do 40 million passengers look like? The following facts offer some perspective:
In 2013, MIA moved the equivalent of Argentina’s entire population – or the combined populations of Florida and New York.
The Miami Heat would have to sell out every single regular season home game at the 19,600-seat American Airlines Arena for the next 50 years in order to match MIA’s 2013 passenger total.
Congratulations to the Miami Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) and the airlines serving MIA.
Video: Miam Aviation History 1920s to 1980s:
Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum (all others by MDAD). Miami International Airport’s well known MIA airport code embraces the initials of the airport and the first three letters of the city of Miami, a very unique combination in airport codes.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our loyal readers and supporters the best in holiday wishes for a successful and healthy 2014. Happy New Year to you and your family!
We thank you for your readership and contributions, especially news, photos, corrections and most importantly your friendship during 2013. Readership of the World Airline News soared by 20 percent this year. Viewership of our “new look” flagship AirlinersGallery.com photo library more than doubled in 2013.
For those who ordered our AG color prints and posters in 2013 we thank you for your financial support which makes all of this possible. In 2014 we will be introducing the AG Store which will bring you best in aviation books (including some new airline history and photo books not available anywhere else) and display models.
Bruce Drum and the AG Team
Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com.
Irkut Research and Production Corporation Antonov An-12 crashed in Russia last night (December 26). The An-12 was carrying aircraft parts from Novosibirsk to Irkutsk. The aircraft crashed at about 21:45 local time, (12:45 GMT) in the Batareinaya station of the East Siberian railway during the approach into Irkutsk according to the Voice of Russia.
The six crew members and three passengers died in the crash.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Story and Photos from New York Daily News: CLICK HERE
Belle Air (Tirana) ceased all operations yesterday (November 25). The private Albanian airline had launched operations on March 1, 2006 to seven airports in Italy. The company blamed the failure on the ”general economic situation, the decline of the purchasing power, recession in the markets it operates as well as from the freezing for over 18 days of its bank accounts”.
It is unclear if this suspension also includes the operations of Belle Air Europe (Prishtina).
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-233 F-ORAD (msn 558) taxies past the camera at Antalya, Turkey.
Aer Lingus Group (Aer Lingus) (Dublin) for the third quarter reported an operating profit of €94.9 million ($126.8 million) which is 4.4% ahead of last year.
Read the full financial report: CLICK HERE
Read the analysis by Irish Times: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus’ Airbus A330-302X EI-ELA (msn 1106) lifts off the runway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
US Airways (Phoenix) customers as of yesterday (November 7) can now use certain portable electronic devices (PEDs), including e-books, tablets and smartphones, during taxi, takeoff and landing while in “airplane mode” – a departure from the previous Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restriction on use below 10,000 feet. Customers on US Airways domestic mainline flights will now be permitted to use small PEDs during all phases of flight.
In approving the use of PEDs, the FAA ensured that all US Airways mainline aircraft are equipped to safely handle implementation of the new recommendations. US Airways continues to work with all partner airlines operating as US Airways Express to ensure timely implementation of their individual programs which require separate FAA approval.
Travelers should keep in mind the following details with regard to the new policy:
- The FAA’s new recommendations regarding onboard PED use apply only to domestic flights flown by US Airways mainline aircraft.
- Phone calls are not permitted once the main cabin door is closed or before a flight attendant makes an announcement upon arrival.
- Customers should adhere to all crewmember safety instructions and refrain from using PEDs during pre-flight safety announcements.
- During takeoff and landing, customers are now permitted to secure items lighter than two pounds by holding them (with the option of securing them in seatback pockets). PEDs heavier than two pounds must be secured for taxi, takeoff and landing in an overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of them.
- PEDs must be operated in “airplane mode” or with cellular services disabled.
- In-flight Wi-Fi is available on most aircraft once it reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet and an onboard announcement has been made.
US Airways’ adoption of the new policy is the latest step in the company’s effort to upgrade its customers’ in-flight experience. Earlier this year, the airline installed Gogo Wi-Fi In-flight internet on 270 Airbus A319, A320, A321 and Embraer 190 aircraft along with 58 Embraer 170 and 175 US Airways Express aircraft – outfitting 90 percent of the company’s domestic aircraft with wireless internet capabilities. US Airways’ Airbus A319, A320 and A321 planes are equipped with Gogo’s ATG-4 (air-to-ground) technology, which strengthens the wireless internet capacity and increases the available data rate for customers.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-211 N195UW (msn 3633) arrives at the Charlotte hub.
Delta Air Lines‘ (Atlanta) flight DL 208 with a Boeing 767-300 ER from Tokyo (Narita) to San Francisco yesterday (October 30) was forced to divert and make a safe landing at Cold Bay, Alaska (population 60) in the Aleutian chain of islands . The crew diverted due to a possible problem with one of the engines. Passengers and crew members were taken to a small community center where they waited for another aircraft. The long 10,000 foot runway was built by the military during the Aleutian campaign during World War II. The 167 passengers and 11 crew members finally made it to their final destination of San Francisco after another aircraft came to their rescue.
Read the full story from the Anchorage Daily News: CLICK HERE
SAS operates its last McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) flight, ending a long relationship with Douglas airplanes
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) operated and quietly retired their last McDonnell Douglas DC-9. The last MD-80 was operated on October 26, 2013 on flight SK403 from Stockholm-Arlanda to Copenhagen. This is the first time SAS will be without a Douglas aircraft in its fleet. SAS has operated every Douglas and McDonnell Douglas type since the DC-3 (except the DC-5 and the MD-11).
The last revenue flight (flight SK 403) was operated by McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) SE-DIR “Nora Viking” (msn 53004) between Stockholm (Arlanda) and Copenhagen on October 25. A special employee-only farewell flight was flown by DC-9-82 (MD-82) LN-RMM (msn 53005) on October 26 over Denmark.
DC-9-82s SE-DIR, OY-KHE (msn 49604) and LN-RMM all operated on the last day of revenue operations (October 25).
One of the aircraft will be donated to the SAS Museum outside of Oslo.
According to a Danish newspaper, the SAS MD-80s operated 3,134,900 flights with the 66 aircraft in the fleet. 2,977,195,000 km were flown since the type was introduced in October 1985.
All of the above information is from Airliners.net.
In other news, SAS recently finalized its Airbus long-haul order. On June 25, 2013, SAS and Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the order of 12 new long haul aircraft.
This month, SAS and Airbus signed the final long haul aircraft order agreement comprising 4 A330-300 Enhanced and 8 A350-900 plus 6 options for A350-900. The Airbus A330 will be delivered 2015/16 and the Airbus A350 will be delivered from 2018.
Copyright Photo: Moritz Riemer/AirlinersGallery.com. DC-9-82 (MD-82) OY-KHE (msn 49604) in the Star Alliance livery arrives at Copenhagen.
Boeing (Chicago) today (September 17) is planning to launch its new Boeing 787-9 from Paine Field in Everett, Washington. The company issued this short announcement concerning the first flight:
Less than 2 years after delivering the first Dreamliner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes is proud to introduce the second member of the amazing Dreamliner family. Sporting the new Boeing livery, the first 787-9 extends the efficiencies and innovations of this game-changing line.
Join us for the live webcast of the 787-9 Dreamliner First Flight.
September 17, 2013. Starting approximately 9:40 AM PST/4:40 PM GMT.
In other news, Boeing will expand its manufacturing site in Helena, Montana by nearly 50 percent to support demand for Boeing commercial airplanes and new work for the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.
Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney, joined by Senator Max Baucus and Governor Steve Bullock, made the announcement at the Montana Jobs Summit in Butte. The nearly $35 million expansion will add more than 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space, bringing the Boeing Helena facility to 167,099 square feet.
“Our further investment in Montana is testament to our Helena team’s ability to deliver on their commitments and establish themselves as a reliable, globally competitive supplier to our commercial airplane programs,” McNerney said.
Construction will begin this fall on the south side of the existing facility, with estimated completion by the fourth quarter of 2014. Boeing expects the expansion and increased work to add 20-25 people to the 144-person workforce.
“Boeing Helena has a great future ahead in support of unprecedented production rates,” said Eric Smith, director and site leader, Boeing Helena. “This expansion ensures we have the stable workforce, skills and now the manufacturing space we need to support production requirements and take on new production for the 787-10.”
Boeing Helena manufactures complex parts for the 737, 747, 767 and 787 models from hard metals like titanium. Combined with its supply network in Montana, Boeing contributes significantly to the state’s economy.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Bombardier Aerospace (Montreal) has announced that the first CSeries aircraft – Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) – has successfully obtained Transport Canada’s Flight Test Permit, thereby clearing the way for its maiden flight, expected in the coming weeks.
This follows a series of pre-flight tests including low-speed taxi runs. FTV1 will now proceed with high-speed taxi runs whereby the aircraft simulates speeds for flight take-off.
“Five years in the making and today, following receipt of Transport Canada’s flight test permit, we are very close to the CSeries airliner’s first flight – a historic moment for Bombardier and a game-changing moment for the industry,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The CSeries aircraft teams have spent the last few weeks completing rigorous exercises to ensure the integrity and maturity of the aircraft are absolutely in check with the flight crew’s requirements. Pending optimal weather, the CSeries aircraft will soon take to the skies.”
Bombardier will provide regular updates on the first flight timing via its website dedicated to the CSeries Aircraft First Flight www.cseriesfirstflight.bombardier.com, where the latest news about the program and its maiden flight will be posted. On the day of first flight, the event will be broadcast live on the site.
Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the 100 per cent new CSeries aircraft family combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements. Powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, the CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15 percent cash operating cost advantage and a 20 percent fuel burn advantage. With the extra capacity seating option, the CS300 aircraft’s productivity further improves, offering airlines an average of four percent additional cash operating cost advantage per seat. The CSeries aircraft’s clean-sheet design is ensuring that the aircraft will achieve greatly reduced noise and emissions, as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 nm (5,463 km). The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000 lbs. (5,443 kg) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category and will provide passengers with a best-in-class, widebody cabin environment in a single-aisle aircraft.
As of June 30, 2013, Bombardier had booked orders and commitments for 388 CSeries aircraft that included firm orders for 177 CSeries airliners.
Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CSeries CS100 (BD-500-1A10) “FTV1″ C-FBCS (msn 50001) parked at Montreal (Mirabel) now wears a full color scheme as it prepares for its first flight.
Today we have unveiled a refreshed “new look” AirlinersGallery.com Photo Library. The new look includes larger photos, more slide shows (every gallery features a slide show option) and a new folder system. Due to the expanding library, we adopted this new folder system to expand and better organize the galleries by the geographical areas and subjects.
Due to the new folder system, many of the galleries are now located in new folders. Some of the older photo and gallery links used on World Airline News in the articles of the past may no longer work properly. All links going forth in World Airline News and our other news blogs will use the new links.
To find an airline photo gallery please use the “Galleries” button above or go right to AirlinersGallery.com. To find a previous airline news article on World Airline News, please see the “All Previous Articles” section in the lower portion of the “Right Column” below right on this page.
We will be doubling the size of the AirlinersGallery.com photo library in the next two years with more airline galleries and many great new and old photos. Our intent is to have a gallery for every airline, past and present, with the best photography from the best photographers around the world.
Every image in the library is available as a color print (in many finishes and styles) or as a large poster. We also supply images to editors, publishers and advertisers around the world with our stock images.
Thank you for your support of the Airliners Gallery and the World Airline News.
Managing Editor-World Airline News
Boeing has completed the first 787-9 Dreamliner. The second member of the super-efficient 787 family rolled out of the Everett, Wash., factory today to the flight line, where teams are preparing it to fly later this summer.
At 20 feet (6 m) longer than the 787-8, the 787-9 will extend the 787 family in both capacity and range, carrying 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 km). The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8 such as its exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes — and passenger-pleasing features.
With the second and third airplanes in final assembly, Boeing and the 787-9 are on track. First delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand (Auckland) is set for mid-2014.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Copa Holdings, S.A. (Copa Airlines and Copa Colombia) has announced financial results for the second quarter of 2013:
OPERATING AND FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
- Copa Holdings reported net income of US$74.4 million for 2Q13, or diluted earnings per share (EPS) of US$1.68. Excluding special items, Copa Holdings would have reported an adjusted net income of $85.0 million, or $1.92 per share, a 45.3% increase over adjusted net income of US$58.5 million and US$1.32 per share for 2Q12.
- Operating income for 2Q13 came in at US$97.7 million, a 34.5% increase over operating income of US$72.6 million in 2Q12. Operating margin for the period came in at 16.5%, compared to 14.1% in 2Q12, as a result of lower unit costs.
- Total revenues increased 14.8% to US$592.0 million. Yield per passenger mile decreased 4.6% to 16.4 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) decreased 2.5% to 12.8 cents. However, adjusting for a 7.3% increase in length of haul, yields decreased 1.2% and RASM increased 1.0%.
- For 2Q13, passenger traffic (RPMs) grew 20.4% on a 17.7% capacity expansion. Consolidated load factor came in at 75.3%, or 1.7 percentage points above 2Q12.
- Operating cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 5.2%, from 11.3 cents in 2Q12 to 10.7 cents in 2Q13. CASM, excluding fuel costs, decreased 2.6% to 6.7 cents.
- Cash, short term and long term investments ended 2Q13 at US$848.7 million, representing 35.0% of the last twelve months’ revenues.
- During the second quarter, Copa Airlines took delivery of one Boeing 737-800 aircraft. As a result, Copa Holdings ended the quarter with a consolidated fleet of 86 aircraft.
- For 2Q13, Copa Holdings reported consolidated on-time performance of 89.3% and a flight-completion factor of 99.7%, maintaining its position among the best in the industry.
- On July 17, 2013, Copa Airlines announced it will begin nonstop service four times a week from Panama to Tampa, Fla., on December 16, 2013. Tampa will be Copa Airlines’ ninth U.S. destination and its 66th destination overall.
- On August 7, 2013, the Board of Directors of Copa Holdings resolved to change the Company’s dividend policy to increase the annual distribution to an amount equal to 40% of the prior years’ annual consolidated net income. In addition, dividends going forward will be distributed in equal quarterly installments during the months of March, June, September and December, subject to board approval each quarter. On August 7, 2013, the Board of Directors also approved dividend payments payable at the end of both 3Q13 and 4Q13, in amounts equal to 10% of the consolidated net income of 2012.
|Consolidated Financial &
|2Q13||2Q12||% Change||1Q13||% Change|
|Revenue Passengers Carried (’000)||1,861||1,658||12.2%||1,899||-2.0%|
|Load Factor||75.3%||73.5%||1.7 p.p.||76.9%||-1.6 p.p.|
|PRASM (US$ Cents)||12.3||12.6||-2.3%||13.5||-8.9%|
|RASM (US$ Cents)||12.8||13.1||-2.5%||14.0||-8.2%|
|CASM (US$ Cents)||10.7||11.3||-5.2%||10.9||-1.5%|
|CASM Excl. Fuel (US$ Cents)||6.7||6.9||-2.6%||6.5||3.3%|
|Breakeven Load Factor (1)||61.6%||63.0%||-1.4 p.p.||58.7%||2.9 p.p.|
|Fuel Gallons Consumed (Millions)||60.0||52.1||15.0%||60.1||-0.2%|
|Avg. Price Per Fuel Gallon (US$ Dollars)||3.08||3.32||-7.3%||3.34||-7.8%|
|Average Length of Haul (Miles)||1,868||1,740||7.3%||1,859||0.5%|
|Average Stage Length (Miles)||1,126||1,063||6.0%||1,123||0.2%|
|Average Aircraft Utilization (Hours)||10.9||10.6||3.1%||11.3||-3.5%|
|Operating Revenues (US$ mm)||592.0||515.8||14.8%||641.3||-7.7%|
|Operating Income (US$ mm)||97.7||72.6||34.5%||142.6||-31.5%|
|Operating Margin||16.5%||14.1%||2.4 p.p.||22.2%||-5.7 p.p.|
|Net Income (US$ mm)||74.4||32.0||132.6%||113.8||-34.6%|
|Adjusted Net Income (US$ mm) (1)||85.0||58.5||45.3%||124.4||-31.6%|
|EPS – Basic and Diluted (US$)||1.68||0.72||132.4%||2.56||-34.6%|
|Adjusted EPS – Basic and Diluted (US$) (1)||1.92||1.32||45.2%||2.80||-31.6%|
|# of Shares – Basic and Diluted (’000)||44,387||44,354||0.1%||44,387||0.0%|
(1)Breakeven Load Factor, Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted EPS for 2Q13, 2Q12, and 1Q13 exclude non-cash charges/gains associated with the mark-to-market of fuel hedges. Additionally, for 1Q13 excludes a US$13.9 million charge related to the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8V3 WL HP-1721CMP (msn 40362) prepares to touch down in Miami.
Would you like to be published in World Airline News? Our growing free online airline news website is looking for additional writers, i.e. “Guest Editors”, who would like to have their articles and stories published online. We cannot compensate you for your article but getting published in WAN is a great way to get noticed by a large audience and a rapidly growing readership.
We are looking for the following article ideas:
1. Travel adventures and your airline experiences: Tell us about how your last airline travel adventure went, good or bad (with photos). The longer the trip, the better. However small virtually unknown airlines in exotic locations are also wanted.
2. A new and innovative idea on how to improve airline service or airport operations.
3. An airline profile for a current or historical airline (with photos, or using our photos).
4. An article on a certain airliner type (your favorite airliner) (with photos, or using our photos).
5. What it is like to be a pilot, flight attendant, ramp worker, flight dispatcher, maintenance worker or manager etc. (tell us the inside story of your part of the airline industry).
6. A great video about flying, airline operations or working at an airport.
7 Or, any great idea you have for an entertaining article.
If you are interested, please contact:
World Airline News
An entertaining video brings the ultimate “downtown airport” to the streets to Buenos Aires (thanks to Phil Perry).
Air Tahiti (3rd) (Papeete) is getting ready to take delivery of its first ATR 42-600. The regional carrier in the Pacific is taking the opportunity to introduce this new livery.
Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. ATR 42-212A (ATR 42-600) F-WWLP (msn 1007) at Toulouse will become F-ORVB on the hand over this month.
Route Map: The airline has superimposed its extensive and far-flung French Polynesia network over the outline of Europe to give the observer a feeling for the size of the airline:
Beijing’s Capital International Airport was the scene of a small bomb explosion today. The small, home-made bomb, made from fireworks, was set off by a passenger in the Arrivals Hall injuring one person.
Read the full story from South China Morning Post: CLICK HERE
Hainan Airlines (Hainan Airlines Company Ltd.) (Haikou and Beijing) brought its first 787 Dreamliner aircraft to China on July 7 at 11 a.m., when the pictured 787-8 B-2722 (msn 34939) landed at Haikou Meilan International Airport.
Top Copyright Photo: Jim Arlow. B-2722 stopped at Seattle (Boeing Field) on its long journey between Charleston and Haikou.
The airline issued this statement:
With the delivery completed, Hainan Airlines becomes the second Chinese airline with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner as part of its fleet. At the welcoming ceremony, Hainan Airlines simultaneously kicked off the “Fly Your Dreams” program, during which the airlines will hand out hundreds of 787 Dreamliner air tickets to graduating college students and model workers as well as randomly selected romantically-engaged couples and ordinary citizens free of charge, providing an unparalleled flying experience for the lucky recipients.
Copyright Photo: Hainan Airlines. B-2722 in flight.
At 11 a.m., the long-awaited 787 Dreamliner aircraft appeared as a great majestic bird in the distance, grabbing the attention of all present. The golden yellow silhouette of the craft glistened against the azure blue of the sky moments before passing through the “water gate,” washing off the dust accumulated during 13 hours of flight. At last, the plane glided to a smooth stop on the spacious parking apron.
Copyright Photo: Hainan Airlines. B-2722 arrives in Haikou and group poses for this historic photo.
Captain Theodore V. Shropshire of Boeing said at the ceremony, “We are excited to witness the maiden flight of Hainan’s first 787 Dreamliner. Boeing remains committed to providing efficient and safe aircraft and technical support for Hainan Airlines. We look forward to more planes from Boeing joining Hainan Airlines’ fleet.”
Copyright Photo: Jim Arlow. Here is the cabin of B-2722.
Hainan Airline’s first two Boeing 787 Dreamliners will initially be used on three domestic routes: Beijing-Haikou and Beijing-Shanghai, and then, following a three-month trial operation along these routes, will become available for North America’s medium- and long-haul international flights including Beijing-Chicago (O’Hare), Beijing-Seattle/Tacoma and Beijing-Toronto (Pearson), further enhancing Hainan Airlines’ global competitiveness. Hainan Airlines’ first 787 will initially be used on the Beijing-Haikou route, sparking a tourism boom between Hainan and Beijing during the summer travel peak season.
Hainan Airlines celebrated its 20th anniversary this year while also launching the “Fly Your Dreams” program. The arrival of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft marked the start of Hainan Airlines’ journey to a new dream.
After the delivery ceremony, Liu Lu announced the start of the 2013 Hainan Airlines 787 “Fly Your Dreams” program. Lin Tao, Deng Xiaogang the leaders from the government of Hainan province and Li Xianhua, the CEO of HNA Group, stepped on stage and inserted a key into a globe, jointly launching the program.
Copyright Photo: Jim Arlow. Another view of the cabin of B-2722.
The program, broken down into five individual segments themed “Student Dream Comes True,” “Travel Dream Comes True,” “Romance Dream Comes True,” “Flying Dream Comes True” and “North American Dream Comes True” will send hundreds of free 787 flight passenger tickets to students from low-income homes who have participated in the recent college entrance exam; locally-based Party members who have performed “above and beyond”; model laborers; air travel aficionados; long distance couples; and ordinary citizens. The program will allow students to travel to their colleges, model laborers to visit Beijing, ordinary citizens to fulfill their dream of flying for the first time, air travel enthusiasts to experience the new 787 and long distance couples a chance to reunite. Passengers can participate in Hainan Airlines’ ” Fly Your Dreams ” program by visiting the company’s official website at www.hnair.com, following Hainan Airlines on the company’s official microblog on Weibo and its official chat account on China’s instant voice messaging app We Chat.
Afterwards HNA’s vice president Huang Qijun handed out the first batch of round trip air tickets between Haikou and Beijing to Hainan-based model workers, who will take the maiden voyage 787 flight to Beijing, realizing their travel dreams.
“Hainan Airlines’ first 787 Dreamliner will take its first commercial maiden voyage on July 11. The most important mission of this flight is for the airline to achieve its dream plan and realize that dream through the 787 Dreamliner, while providing a safe and comfortable onboard experience for each traveler achieving their own personal dream by being on the flight,” Liu Lu added.
A Boeing 737-800 made the airline’s first maiden flight between Haikou and Beijing 20 years ago, and now the airline has chosen another Boeing model, the new 787, to upgrade this route. The airline has continuously added aircraft, from a mere two when the route was first launched, to over 120 craft today. In those 20 years, Hainan Airlines has successively added over 100 Boeing planes to its fleet, becoming an important partner of Boeing in China. The Hainan Airlines’ fleet is now providing 500 routes connecting nearly 90 cities around the world. Hainan Airlines plans to upgrade the overall quality of the fleet through the introduction of more advanced models, expand the route network, consistently add routes to meet customer demand and help with China’s economic and social development as the airline and the country continue to modernize. The 787 Dreamliner addition to the fleet is another step in the airline’s efforts to perfect its five-star level of services and create the ideal flying experience for passengers through its advanced aviation technologies and design concepts.
Sixteen “787 Dream Angels” sporting Hainan Airlines’ grey uniforms made an appearance at the ceremony, and were awarded “Golden Wing” hair accessories by the company. The accessories each have the number “787″ embedded in the design, a design which looks like a pair of wings, representing the goodwill behind the realization of Hainan Airlines’ “Golden Dreams.”
The “Dream Angel” crew was selected from more than 3,000 Hainan Airlines crewmembers, and flew on the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner from Charleston, South Carolina in the U.S. to Haikou Meilan International Airport as the plane was being delivered. Each selected crewmember has clocked in thousands of hours of in-flight experience and was chosen for their excellent service skills. Hainan Airlines, by combining its special five-star services with the personalized design of the Boeing 787 aircraft, will enable passengers to partake of an onboard experience akin to a “golden dream.”
In the cabin of the Boeing 787, a flight attendant from the “Dream Angel” crew briefly introduced the customized design of the passenger cabin. With bright red, the representative color of the Chinese nation and its people, as the dominant color, the layout and design of the entire cabin demonstrates Hainan Airlines’ service positioning and brand image as the “The Beauty of the Orient.” The roomy cabin features 213 seats, the lowest number among all the 787 Dreamliners delivered into China. The 36-seat business class cabin is configured in a 2-2-2 layout, with full flat-bed seats and a wide 2.4-meter (95-inch) space separating each seat. The 177-seat economy class cabin with a 3-3-3 seating layout features upgraded seats providing a higher level of comfort. The entire aircraft is equipped with individual 15-inch in-flight entertainment screens and easy access to power supply ports. USB ports are provided in the business class cabin. The newly-designed and lavishly equipped lavatory facilities fully embody the quality goals of Hainan Airlines’ five-star services.
Meanwhile, Hainan Airlines has developed a set of brand new services for passengers on the Boeing 787 aircraft. During the first week following the maiden flight, every passenger will have the opportunity to enjoy special “Golden Dream” welcome drinks as well as “Dream Cookies” specially supplied for 787 Dreamliners. The cookies will also contain “fortune cookie” messages designed to amuse passengers. In addition, Hainan Airlines offers specially produced 787 Series postcards as part of the “Post Office in the Air” onboard service, enabling passengers to send their messages while airborne and to truly experience the fun of being in flight while partaking of Hainan Airlines’ five-star service.
AirlineRatings.com has cautioned travelers to steer clear of the LET410, Antonov An-12, Ilyushin Il-76, and CASA 212 aircraft which have the worst crash rate over the past 10 years.
AirlineRatings.com which rates 425 airlines for both safety and product has completed a comprehensive analysis of the crash records of 55 different aircraft in active service.
Editor Geoffrey Thomas said that AirlineRatings.com had only looked at the records for the last ten years as they were relevant to today’s travelers.
“The crash rates of aircraft that dominated the 1970s and 1980s but are no longer in passenger service are irrelevant today,” said Mr Thomas. “We only looked at aircraft that are carrying passengers in 2013.”
“We have used the Boeing database which is an industry standard and supplemented that with our own records and those of Aviation-Safety.net and Ascend,” he said.
The survey also ignores piston-powered planes and those smaller aircraft used mainly for charter work. ”Clearly flying on pure jet powered aircraft is far safer as seven out of the ten aircraft with bad crash rates are turboprops.”
“Aircraft such as the 777, A380, A340, 717 and 787 have never had a fatality,” said Mr Thomas.
However, Mr Thomas said that while some aircraft such as the Twin-Otter have a high crash rate it did not mean that it is a dangerous aircraft.
“It’s actually a great aircraft but you have to look also at which airline is operating them and how and where they are flying,” said Mr Thomas.
“For instance operating into mountainous regions in a third world country with limited navigation aids can be dangerous.”
|Worst Crash Rate||Fatal Crashes|
|Best safety record|
Air Zimbabwe (Harare) according to this report by the Mail and Guardian is trying everything to win back customers. The airline is cutting fare, slashing its workforce, looking for a new chief executive and planning to add four new aircraft. A new Airbus A320 has been added to the fleet for the Johannesburg route.
As previously reported, Air Zimbabwe started flying again in November 2012 on the the Harare-Johannesburg route four days a week and also operates domestic flights between Harare and Bulawayo three days a week.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
WestJet (Calgary) announced today that Transport Canada has issued an air operator certificate (AOC) for WestJet Encore, which launches service in Western Canada on June 24, 2013.
An air operator certificate is granted following an extensive application process whereby Transport Canada determines whether or not a company’s facilities and organizational structure, including properly licensed and qualified personnel, meet the applicable requirements. Transport Canada then determines the applicant has the ability to operate the service safely, properly and in accordance with the regulating standards and procedures detailed in the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
Top Copyright Photo: WestJet. The first, Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-FOEN (msn 4440), arrives at the Calgary base.
Bottom Copyright Photo: WestJet. A symbolic key was presented to the airline for the first delivery. The term “Q400″ is a marketing term. The aircraft are certified as DHC-8-402 aircraft.
Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. (New York) today announced plans to enhance its Boeing 767 Intra-Asia services and 747 trans-Pacific services starting in early June 2013.
One Boeing 767-300 freighter will operate between Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul (Incheon), while a second 767-300F will operate between Taipei, Nagoya and Seoul (Incheon). With other previously announced routes, this will allow seamless connections to and from the United States.
Polar also announced the addition of two weekly flights between Hong Kong and Cincinnati responding to the market’s demand for additional capacity.
Video: A Polar Boeing 747-400F video by Just Planes:
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Boeing (Chicago) has rolled out of the factory the first 787 Dreamliner to be built at the increased production rate of seven airplanes per month. The airplane, which rolled out earlier this week, is the 114th 787 to be built overall and the 100th 787 to be built at the Everett, Washington, factory.
Boeing’s 787 program is on track to achieve a planned 10 per month rate by year-end. The production rate accounts for airplanes built at the Everett Final Assembly facility, the Everett Temporary Surge Line and Boeing South Carolina.
To date, 50 787s have been delivered to eight airlines. The program has more than 800 unfilled orders with 58 customers worldwide.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Video: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Marco Finelli.
Boeing (Chicago) according to Reuters, is offering a new 777-8X model that would have a range of 9,500 nautical miles. The 777-8X is a proposed replacement for the current 777-200LR (Longer Range).
A 400 seat version, dubbed the 777-9X, is being offered to prospective airlines as a competitor to Airbus’ A350-1000.
Both models are being refined with input from the prospective airlines. The biggest customers will come from the Gulf region where range is important.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Boeing (Chicago) has started to offer to potential customers the newest version of the popular Triple Seven, dubbed for now the “777X”. The Boeing board of directors has approved the company to start taking orders for the new type per this article by Reuters. The new version will feature folding wingtips and new General Electric engines. The 777X will compete against the Airbus A350-1000.
Previously Boeing had issued this statement in March about the new 777X:
Boeing’s development study on improvements to the market-leading 777, known as 777X, will include GE as the engine partner on the twin-aisle airplane expected to enter service near the end of the decade.
“This decision to work with GE going forward reflects the best match to the development program, schedule and airplane performance,” said Bob Feldmann, vice president and general manager, 777X Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are studying airplane improvements that will extend today’s 777 efficiencies and reliability for the next two decades or longer, and the engines are a significant part of that effort. Our focus is on providing the most competitive offering to our customers in the large twin aisle market.”
The 777 is the unequivocal market leader in long-haul service, delivering proven performance, profitability and reliability to airlines around the world. The future 777 models, expected to enter service at the end of the decade, will include increased fuel efficiency, enhanced passenger comfort and increased range.
The development work on the next-generation 777 continues and includes 777 customers from around the world. “We have had strong and productive engagement with a broad set of customers in the marketplace to understand their future needs. We are pleased with where we are in the process,” Feldmann said. “We are aggressively moving forward on our plan and will continue to refine requirements with customers.”
The next step for 777X may include offering the airplane to customers and eventual launch as a committed airplane program.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Boeing (Chicago) could be facing additional challenges with the 787 as it begins to fly again. The NTSB continues its investigation of the Boston 787 fire. So far the cause the battery fire has not yet been determined.
Read the full story from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Arisara Petersen. Boeing 787 Flight Line Charleston, South Carolina (CHS).
Welcome to the AirlinersGallery.com Slide Show:
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) according to this report by Reuters is planning to conduct from 100 to 200 test roundtrip flights in May after corrections are made to the battery system before the Boeing 787 is returned to revenue service in June.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. The pictured Boeing 787-8 N787EX (msn 34488) was the first to wear ANA colors.
Boeing (Chicago) is aggressively moving ahead to make 787 battery system changes on a worldwide basis. Boeing has already dispatched teams to locations around the world to begin installing improved battery systems on the already delivered 787s. Kits with the parts needed for the new battery systems are staged for shipment and new batteries also will be shipped immediately. Teams have been assigned to customer locations to install the new systems. According to Boeing, airplanes will be modified in approximately the order they were delivered. ANA was the first to take delivery. Boeing has issued this statement:
With the FAA approval of the battery system improvements for the 787 Dreamliner by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clears the way for Boeing and its customers to install the approved modifications and will lead to a return to service and resumption of new production deliveries.
“FAA approval clears the way for us and the airlines to begin the process of returning the 787 to flight with continued confidence in the safety and reliability of this game-changing new airplane,” said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney. “The promise of the 787 and the benefits it provides to airlines and their passengers remain fully intact as we take this important step forward with our customers and program partners.”
The FAA’s action will permit the return to service of 787s in the United States upon installation of the improvements. For 787s based and modified outside the United States, local regulatory authorities provide the final approval on return to service.
Approval of the improved 787 battery system was granted by the FAA after the agency conducted an extensive review of certification tests. The tests were designed to validate that individual components of the battery, as well as its integration with the charging system and a new enclosure, all performed as expected during normal operation and under failure conditions. Testing was conducted under the supervision of the FAA over a month-long period beginning in early March.
“The FAA set a high bar for our team and our solution,” said McNerney. “We appreciate the diligence, expertise and professionalism of the FAA’s technical team and the leadership of FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood throughout this process. Our shared commitment with global regulators and our customers to safe, efficient and reliable airplanes has helped make air travel the safest form of transportation in the world today.”
Boeing, in collaboration with its supplier partners and in support of the investigations of the National Transportation Safety Board and the Japan Transport Safety Board, conducted extensive engineering analysis and testing to develop a thorough understanding of the factors that could have caused the 787′s batteries to fail and overheat in two incidents last January. The team spent more than 100,000 hours developing test plans, building test rigs, conducting tests and analyzing the results to ensure the proposed solutions met all requirements.
“Our team has worked tirelessly to develop a comprehensive solution that fully satisfies the FAA and its global counterparts, our customers and our own high standards for safety and reliability,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “Through the skill and dedication of the Boeing team and our partners, we achieved that objective and made a great airplane even better.”
Boeing also engaged a team of more than a dozen battery experts from across multiple industries, government, academia and consumer safety to review and validate the company’s assumptions, findings, proposed solution and test plan.
The improved battery system includes design changes to both prevent and isolate a fault should it occur. In addition, improved production, operating and testing processes have been implemented. The new steel enclosure system is designed to keep any level of battery overheating from affecting the airplane or even being noticed by passengers.
“This is a comprehensive and permanent solution with multiple layers of protection,” said Conner. “The ultimate layer of protection is the new enclosure, which will ensure that even if a battery fails, there is no impact to the airplane and no possibility of fire. We have the right solution in hand, and we are ready to go.
“We are all very grateful to our customers for their patience during the past several months,” said Conner. “We know it hasn’t been easy on them to have their 787s out of service and their deliveries delayed. We look forward to helping them get back into service as quickly as possible.”
Boeing has deployed teams to locations around the world to begin installing improved battery systems on 787s. Kits with the parts needed for the new battery systems are staged for shipment and new batteries also will be shipped immediately. Teams have been assigned to customer locations to install the new systems. Airplanes will be modified in approximately the order they were delivered.
“The Boeing team is ready to help get our customers’ 787s back in the air where they belong,” said Conner.
Boeing will also begin installing the changes on new airplanes at the company’s two 787 final-assembly plants, with deliveries expected to resume in the weeks ahead. Despite the disruption in deliveries that began in January, Boeing expects to complete all planned 2013 deliveries by the end of the year. Boeing further expects that the 787 battery issue will have no significant impact to its 2013 financial guidance.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. A close-up of Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N787BX (msn 40692) “ZA003″ test aircraft with probes for early testing.
Boeing (Chicago) has announced that it will adjust the production rate for the 747-8 program from two airplanes to 1.75 airplanes per month because of lower market demand for large passenger and freighter airplanes.
Boeing will continue to monitor market conditions and their effect on production rates moving forward. The company expects long-term average growth in the air cargo market to resume in 2014, and forecasts a demand for 790 large airplanes (such as the 747-8 Intercontinental) to be delivered worldwide over the next 20 years.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Boeing 747-8JK Intercontinental N6067E (msn 38636) climbs away from the runway at Paine Field near Everett.
Airbus (Toulouse) on April 8 ceremonially broke ground at its new A320 Family assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama. JetBlue Airways (New York) will become the first airline to take delivery of the first U.S.-built A320 in 2016.
Airbus issued this statement:
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new A320 Family final assembly line at Mobile, Alabama underscored how this new facility will further enhance Airbus’ presence within the key U.S. airline marketplace, while also broadening the company’s global footprint and providing additional flexibility to its worldwide industrial network.
At a capacity-crowd event attended by approximately 2,000 invitees, area residents and others, the final assembly line’s creation was hailed as a “game-changing” development in Airbus’ relationship with the United States – where it already is the largest export partner for the country’s aerospace industry, and has evolved as a major aircraft supplier to its customer airlines.
Outlining the new facility’s significance were guest speakers that ranged from the top executives of a major U.S. A320 airline operator and a key avionics supplier for Airbus to a young Mobile student who spoke about opportunities in her community that will be created with the final assembly line.
JetBlue Airways CEO and President David Barger gave his perspective on how Airbus’ $600 million investment in the new Alabama industrial site is viewed by its U.S. customers: “It demonstrates the level of Airbus’ commitment of being close to its important American operator base for A320 aircraft.” He also announced that JetBlue will receive the very first A320 from the Mobile final assembly line – which is targeted for delivery in 2016.
Another speaker was Clay Jones, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at U.S. avionics manufacturer Rockwell Collins, who described Airbus’ creation of the A320 facility in Alabama as a true industrial milestone for the U.S. aerospace sector. “Although this is a very special day for the people of Mobile, it is also a very special day for Rockwell Collins and all of the companies that support Airbus, because I believe it marks a transformation of Airbus as a valued trans-Atlantic customer into a closer industry partner,” he said.
Victoria Corob, a student at Clark-Shaw Magnet School in Mobile, spoke about the aspirations that many young people in the U.S Gulf Coast region may be able to realize as the result of Airbus’ new A320 facility. “Airbus’ growth here means that, if I keep working hard, I can achieve my dreams and might even be able to look forward to a future with an exciting and rewarding aerospace career…right here in Alabama,” she said.
The participants at t ceremony all agreed on the impressive size and scope of Airbus’ A320 Family final assembly line installation at Brookley Aeroplex, which located five miles from downtown Mobile. The facility will incorporate 53 acres (215,000 square meters) of buildings, aprons and roadways in a 116 acre site – with Airbus also holding option for future potential expansion on an adjacent 116-acre plot of land.
Mobile will join the three existing Airbus final assembly facilities that currently build A320 Family aircraft: its original location at Toulouse, France, which was supplemented by a site in Hamburg, Germany; and subsequently followed by the latest at Tianjin, China.
The benefits of Airbus’ strategy to be in close proximity with customers at key locations worldwide is illustrated by its experience in China, where the company’s presence – including the A320 final assembly operations at Tianjin that started in 2008 – has been accompanied by a more than doubling of its share in the fast-growing Chinese air transport market.
All four A320 Family final assembly lines will be kept busy for years, as Airbus has sold more than 9,400 of these single-aisle jetliners to date – with a current backlog of nearly 3,900 remaining to be delivered. The new Alabama facility will be able to build the A319, A320 and A321 – beginning with their ceo (current engine option) versions, then transitioning to the neo (new engine option) variants when these even more fuel-efficient aircraft enter production.
Currently, more than 800 A320 Family aircraft are operating in U.S. airline fleets, with 19 customers based in the country. During the next 20 years, the U.S. market will have an estimated sales potential for some 4,600 airliners in the category covered by Airbus’ A320 Family – making it the world’s largest such market.
The new Mobile final assembly line not only provides a strategically-located industrial facility in North America and a new aviation center of excellence for the U.S. Gulf Coast region, it also will generate increased work throughout the Airbus production and its worldwide supply chain.
Copyright Photos: Airbus.
Video: CLICK HERE
Boeing’s (Chicago) CEO Jim McNerney has urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) to allow the grounded 787 to return to airline revenue service following the changes that have been made to the battery system according to this report by Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Brandon Farris. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N787BA (msn 40690) is pictured flying a previous test flight.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced new, twice-weekly nonstop jet service between Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas (LIT) and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) beginning on June 6, 2013.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N422NV (msn 49381) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.
Boeing (Chicago) yesterday (March 25) test flew a 787-8 with the new lithium-ion battery system. The two-hour test flight was conducted from Paine Field near Everett, Washington.
According to Reuters, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has set a two-day forum for April 11-12 to examine the design and performance of lithium-ion batteries. The NTSB also plans to hold a separate hearing on the 787 battery later in April.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Boeing. The pictured 787-8 SP-LRC (msn 35980) destined for LOT Polish Airlines was the test aircraft.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) and Boeing (Chicago) are apparently at odds from a recent briefing on the 787 in Tokyo over some comments that were reportedly made by Boeing officials according to this report by the Seattle Times.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. All of the 787s are grounded except limited test aircraft. United’s 787-8 N20904 (msn 34824) is pictured at Los Angeles before the official grounding.
Boeing (Chicago) is now testing the 787 batteries to a new standard that it originally helped to develop but never used in the original certification testing according to this excellent report by Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. JAL’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JA822J (msn 34832) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita) when it was flying.
Boeing (Chicago) believes the grounded 787 could be flying “within weeks” with a fortified power pack that would eliminate the possibility of a battery fire according to this report by Reuters and statement by Boeing. This assumes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) will approve the final process and fix after testing which it has approved.
Boeing issued this statement as an update:
Boeing has announced that a comprehensive set of improvements that will add several layers of additional safety features to the lithium-ion batteries on 787 commercial jetliners are in production and could be ready for initial installation within the next few weeks. New enclosures for 787 batteries also are being built and will be installed in airplanes in the weeks ahead.
These improvements, which continue to undergo extensive certification testing, will allow operators to resume commercial flights with their 787s as soon as testing is complete and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other international regulators grant their final approval.
The improvements include enhanced production and operating processes, improved battery design features and a new battery enclosure.
“As soon as our testing is complete and we obtain regulatory approvals, we will be positioned to help our customers implement these changes and begin the process of getting their 787s back in the air,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “Passengers can be assured that we have completed a thorough review of the battery system and made numerous improvements that we believe will make it a safer, more reliable battery system.” Battery system changes include changes to the battery itself, the battery charging unit and the battery installation.
Earlier this week the FAA approved Boeing’s certification plan, which lays out the discrete testing to be done to demonstrate that the battery improvements address the conditions laid out in the Airworthiness Directive that has suspended 787 commercial operations.
Development Team Created Solution
The enhancements to the battery system address causal factors identified by the Boeing technical team as possible causes of battery failure. The technical team’s findings also were verified by an independent group of lithium-ion battery experts from a number of industries, universities and national laboratories.
“We’ve come up with a comprehensive set of solutions that result in a safer battery system,” said Mike Sinnett, vice president and chief project engineer, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We have found a number of ways to improve the battery system and we don’t let safety improvements go once they are identified. We incorporate them into our processes and products.”
Enhanced Production Controls and Operating Processes
The first layer of improvements is taking place during the manufacture of the batteries in Japan. Boeing teamed with Thales, the provider of the integrated power conversion system, and battery maker GS Yuasa to develop and institute enhanced production standards and tests to further reduce any possibility for variation in the production of the individual cells as well as the overall battery.
“We’ve all developed a better understanding of the sensitivities of this technology to variations during the manufacturing process,” said Sinnett. “And we all feel the need to increase monitoring of this process on an ongoing basis.”
Four new or revised tests have been added to screen cell production, which now includes 10 distinct tests. Each cell will go through more rigorous testing in the month following its manufacture including a 14-day test during which readings of discharge rates are being taken every hour. This new procedure started in early February and the first cells through the process are already complete. There are more than a dozen production acceptance tests that must be completed for each battery.
Boeing, Thales and GS Yuasa have also decided to narrow the acceptable level of charge for the battery, both by lowering the highest charge allowed and raising the lower level allowed for discharge. Two pieces of equipment in the battery system – the battery monitoring unit and the charger are being redesigned to the narrower definition. The battery charger will also be adapted to soften the charging cycle to put less stress on the battery during charging.
Improved Battery Design Features
Changes inside the battery will help to reduce the chances of a battery fault developing and help to further isolate any fault that does occur so that it won’t cause issues with other parts of the battery.
To better insulate each of the cells in the battery from one another and from the battery box, two kinds of insulation will be added. An electrical insulator is being wrapped around each battery cell to electrically isolate cells from each other and from the battery case, even in the event of a failure. Electrical and thermal insulation installed above, below and between the cells will help keep the heat of the cells from impacting each other.
Wire sleeving and the wiring inside the battery will be upgraded to be more resistant to heat and chafing and new fasteners will attach the metallic bars that connect the eight cells of the battery. These fasteners include a locking mechanism.
Finally, a set of changes is being made to the battery case that contains the battery cells and the battery management unit. Small holes at the bottom will allow moisture to drain away from the battery and larger holes on the sides will allow a failed battery to vent with less impact to other parts of the battery.
New Battery Enclosure
The battery case will sit in a new enclosure made of stainless steel. This enclosure will isolate the battery from the rest of the equipment in the electronic equipment bays. It also will ensure there can be no fire inside the enclosure, thus adding another layer of protection to the battery system. The enclosure features a direct vent to carry battery vapors outside the airplane.
New titanium fixtures are being installed in the electronics equipment bays to ensure the housing is properly supported.
“Our first lines of improvements, the manufacturing tests and operations improvements, significantly reduce the likelihood of a battery failure. The second line of improvements, changes to the battery, helps stop an event and minimize the effect of a failure within the battery if it does occur. And the third line of improvements, the addition of the new enclosure, isolates the battery so that even if all the cells vent, there is no fire in the enclosure and there is no significant impact to the airplane,” said Sinnett.
Testing to gain FAA approval of the battery enhancements has already started, with the FAA’s permission.
During engineering testing, which occurs prior to certification testing, the team demonstrated that the new housing could safely contain a battery failure that included the failure of all eight cells within the battery. The “ultimate” load is the equivalent of 1.5 times the maximum force ever expected to be encountered during a battery failure. The housing easily withstood this pressure and did not fail until the pressure was more than three times the ultimate load.
Through another test, the team demonstrated that fire cannot occur within the new enclosure. Its design eliminates oxygen, making the containment unit self-inerting. Inerting is a step above fire detection and extinguishing as it prevents a fire from ever occurring. The design also vents all vapors by venting directly outside of the airplane rather than into the equipment bay.
“We put this new design through a rigorous set of tests. We tried to find a way to introduce a fire in the containment but it just wouldn’t happen. Even when we introduced a flammable gas in the presence of an ignition source, the absence of oxygen meant there was no fire.
“We drew from the new industry standard, DO311, established by RTCA, to establish our testing plan,” said Sinnett. “These standards weren’t available when we set the testing plan for the baseline battery and they helped us ensure the new design is robust and safe. We intend to show, during certification, that the 787 battery meets all objectives of DO-311 and only deviates from specific requirements where the 787-unique items are not covered by the standards.” RTCA is a not-for-profit organization that serves as a federal advisory committee in establishing guidelines for the aviation industry.
Working towards Resuming Flights
“We are following all of the necessary protocols to get our new design fully approved and properly installed so that we can help our customers start flying as soon as possible. We’re simultaneously moving out on an effort to resume deliveries but completing our certification work and getting the delivered fleet flying again is our first priority,” said Conner. “Our customers and their passengers have been incredibly patient as we have worked through this process and we thank them very sincerely for their continued support and confidence in the 787.
“The more-electric architecture of the 787 brings real value not just to the airlines but to our industry. By reducing fuel use, we are reducing our environmental footprint. This battery technology is an important part of the more-electric architecture, which is helping us to cut fuel use by more than 10 billion gallons of fuel over the life of this program.
“New technologies require extra attention and hard work, but the benefits are real.”
Read the full Reuters story: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Now grounded, Qatar Airways‘ Boeing 787-8 A7-BCL (msn 38330) completes its final approach into Dubai International Airport.
Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) has committed for six new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. The prospective deal will have to be finalized into a firm order. Boeing (Chicago) issued the following statement this morning:
Boeing, the Lufthansa Group and Swiss International Air Lines announced a commitment today for six 777-300 ER (Extended Range) airplanes. The airplanes, valued at $1.9 billion at list prices, were selected for the airline’s long-haul fleet renewal. Boeing looks forward to working with Swiss to finalize the details, at which time the order will be posted to the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website.
The Boeing 777-300 ER is the largest long-range twin-engine commercial airplane in the world, seating up to 386 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a maximum range of 7,825 nautical miles (14,490 km).
On the financial side, the company issued this statement:
Swiss International Air Lines generated total income from operating activities of CHF 5,033 million in 2012, a 2% increase on the previous year (2011: CHF 4,927 million). But with the market environment still difficult, operating profit for the year fell 31% to CHF 212 million (2011: CHF 306 million). The CHF 27 million operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2012 was, however, an improvement on the CHF 18 million of the prior-year period. Swiss has also announced that its Airbus A340 fleet will be phased out from 2016 onwards. To this end, orders have been placed with Boeing for six Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.
Swiss International Air Lines generated total income from operating activities of CHF 5,033 million for 2012, a 2% increase on the CHF 4,927 million of the previous year. Annual operating profit declined 31%, however, to CHF 212 million. Swiss achieved an operating profit of CHF 27 million for the 2012 fourth-quarter period, a CHF 9 million improvement on the CHF 18 million of October-to-December 2011.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin. Swiss currently operates a fleet of 15 older and less fuel efficient Airbus A340-300s. The new additions will start to replace the older Airbus long-range fleet. A340-313X HB-JMK (msn 169) lands at San Francisco International Airport in the updated 2012 livery which features larger and bolder titles.
AirAsia Philippines (Angeles City, Pampanga-Clark International Airport) has agreed to acquire all of the shares Zest’s affiliate Asiawide Airways from Alfredo Yao, vice chairman of Export and Industry Bank Inc. and the Zest-O Corporation. This acquisition will give AirAsia 40 percent of the shares of Zest Air (Zest Airways) (Manila). In return, Yao will get a 15 percent share in closely held AirAsia (Kuala Lumpur) according to this report by Bloomberg.Each airline, both former competitors, will now operate separately but will be aligned with each other.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. AirAsia’s (AirAsia.com) (Philippines) Airbus A320-216 RP-C8191 (msn 4989) is seen at London (Gatwick) prior to the delivery.
Middle Copyright Photo Below: AirAsia. AirAsia and Zest Air officials celebrate the new association.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie. Zest Air’s (Zest Airways) Airbus A320-232 RP-C8994 (msn 743) climbs away from Taipei (TPE).