Monthly Archives: January 2022

Boeing launches the 777-8F with Qatar Airways launch order + 25 737-10 aircraft

Boeing today launched the new 777-8 Freighter and expanded its market-leading 777X and freighter families of jetliners with an order for up to 50 aircraft from one of the world’s largest cargo carriers, Qatar Airways.

 

Qatar Airways will be the 777-8 Freighter launch customer with a firm order for 34 jets and options for 16 more, a total purchase that would be worth more than $20 billion at current list prices and the largest freighter commitment in Boeing history by value. The order also supports hundreds of U.S. suppliers from across 38 states, will sustain more than 35,000 U.S. jobs, and provide the American economy with an annual estimated economic impact of $2.6 billion during the contract’s delivery period.

Featuring advanced technology from the new 777X family and the proven performance of the market-leading 777 Freighter, the 777-8 Freighter will be the largest, longest-range and most capable twin-engine freighter in the industry. With payload capacity nearly identical to the 747-400 Freighter and a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs, the 777-8 Freighter will enable a more sustainable and profitable business for operators.

At the White House, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, His Excellency Ambassador Sheikh Mishaal bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of the White House National Economic Council Brian Deese, and Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun joined the formal signing by Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, who reaffirmed the airline’s commitment to the 777X family with the record-breaking 777-8 Freighter deal. First delivery of the new freighter is anticipated in 2027.

Boeing is designing the 777-8 Freighter, the newest member of the 777X family, to maximize efficiency and environmental performance. The widebody family features engineering design improvements and innovative technologies, including a new carbon-fiber composite wing and new fuel-efficient engines. With a range of 4,410 nautical miles (8,167 km), the 777-8 Freighter has a maximum structural payload of 118 tonnes, allowing customers to make fewer stops and reduce landing fees on long-haul routes.

Boeing will build the 777-8 Freighter in its Everett, Wash., factory. The company has invested more than $1 billion into the Everett site to support 777X production and sustain thousands of local jobs for decades to come.

As part of today’s agreement, Qatar Airways will convert 20 of its 60 777X family orders to the 777-8 Freighter. Qatar Airways is also ordering two current 777 Freighters – Boeing’s best-selling freighter of all time – to capitalize on the buoyant air cargo market. Customers from around the world have ordered more than 300 777 Freighters since the program began in 2005.

Boeing and Qatar Airways also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a firm order of 25 737-10 aircraft and purchase rights for 25 additional airplanes. The total value of this 737-10 commitment is nearly $7 billion at current list prices. The largest model in the MAX family, the 737-10 seats up to 230 passengers in a single-class configuration and can fly up to 3,300 miles. The fuel-efficient jet can cover 99% of single-aisle routes around the world.

An international carrier with a passenger fleet including Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner airplanes and an all-Boeing cargo fleet of 747 and 777 freighters, Qatar Airways serves more than 140 key business and leisure destinations worldwide.

Pilots raise alarm at Qatar Airways for doctored hours, hidden fatigue

From Reuters:

“Pilots at Qatar Airways say the state-owned airline is under-counting their work hours and ignoring complaints of fatigue – a safety breach that hurts staff health and risks passenger lives.

The testimony demonstrates how worker abuse extends even to the Gulf nation’s high-skill industries, as Qatar Airways (QA) tries to minimize crew downtime.”

Read the full article:

https://www.reuters.com/article/qatar-airlines-fatigue-trfn-idUSKBN2K11CS

Ryanair reports a fiscal third quarter net loss of €96m as Omicron severely damages peak Christmas and New Year bookings and fares

Ryanair Holdings today reported a Q3 net loss of €96m, compared to a PY Q3 loss of €321m.  During this 3-month period:

Q3 31 Dec. 2020 31 Dec. 2021 Change
Customers 8.1m 31.1m +286%
Load Factor 70% 84% +14pts
Revenue €0.34bn €1.47bn +331%
Op. Costs €0.67bn €1.59bn +136%
Net Loss (€321m) (€96m) n/m
  • Ryanair’s CDP[1]climate protection rating improved from “B-” to “B.
  • Q3 traffic rebounded strongly by 286% from 8.1m to 31.1m.
  • Close in bookings and yields in Dec./Jan. badly damaged by Omicron restrictions.
  • UK CCFF £600m loan was repaid in Oct. (5 months early).
  • 41 B737-8200 “Gamechangers” delivered up to 31 Dec.
  • 720 new routes & 15 new bases were announced for FY22/FY23.
  • Fuel hedged well below spot prices (Q4 100%; FY23: H1 80% & H2 70%).
  • S.22 capacity on sale at 114% of S.19 (pre-Covid).
  • 5-year growth accelerates to 225m guests p.a. by FY26 (prev. 200m p.a.).

 

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, said:

ENVIRONMENT:

“Every passenger who switches to Ryanair from legacy airlines cuts their CO₂ emissions by up to 50% per flight. Over the next 5-years our traffic will grow by 50% to 225m p.a. This growth will be delivered on a fleet of new B737 “Gamechanger” aircraft, which offer 4% more seats, but burn 16% less fuel and reduce noise emissions by 40%.

Our work with the EU, fuel suppliers, and aircraft manufacturers to accelerate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply continues, in partnership with Trinity College Dublin.  Ryanair hopes to power 12.5% of our flights using SAF by 2030. Ryanair aims to cut CO₂ per passenger/km by 10% to less than 60 grams by 2030.  We are working with A4E and the EU Commission to accelerate reform of the Single European Sky, to minimize ATC inefficiency and delays which will significantly lower fuel consumption, CO₂ emissions and flight delays.

In Q3 Ryanair published our “Aviation with Purpose” sustainability report highlighting ambitious environmental and social targets over the coming years and mapping out Ryanair’s path to net carbon zero by 2050. Our environmental strategy, and progress to date, enabled CDP to upgrade Ryanair’s climate protection rating to B from B- in Dec. 2021. This is a significant advance towards our goal of an independent climate “A” rating within the next 2 years.

SOCIAL:

Our 5-year growth plan will create over 6,000 new well paid jobs for highly trained pilots, cabin crew and engineers all over Europe.  Last Oct. Ryanair invested €50m in a cutting-edge Aviation Skills Training Centre in Dublin and we plan to invest over €100m in 2 more, high skills, training centers (one possibly in Spain/Portugal and one in CEE) during this period. To facilitate this growth, Ryanair recently ordered up to 8 CAE full flight simulators (at a value of over $80m).  The first of these new sims delivers in FY23.

Following the success of our first Customer Panel meeting in Sept., the Panel will meet again in Madrid in the Spring.   We have implemented many of these customer suggestions, including a Day of Travel service in the Ryanair App to assist customers with live updates through every step of their Ryanair journey, a new Ryanair wallet for speedy refunds and an online self-service hub.  Our unbending commitment to delivering our customers the lowest fares, the most on-time flights, an industry lowest CO₂ emissions and friendly customer service has seen Ryanair record its highest ever customer satisfaction (“CSAT”) score of 89% in Q3. Our on-time performance in the 3rd quarter, including the busy Christmas/ New Year period, was excellent with almost 90% of all Ryanair flights arriving in “on-time”.

COVID-19 – RECOVERY:

We delivered a strong traffic rebound in Q2 (Sept. quarter) following the successful rollout of the EU Digital Covid Certificates (“DCC”) in July, and the relaxation of EU travel restrictions. Q3 got off to a good start with strong bookings for the Oct. mid-term break, and less confusion (in Oct.) about the UK Govt.’s absurd ‘traffic light’ system. Ryanair’s load active/yield passive recovery strategy saw Oct. traffic rise to 11.3m (84% load factor). Our Nov. load factor improved to 86% (10.2m guests), albeit at lower fares. The sudden emergence of the Omicron variant (late Nov.), and the media hysteria it generated in Dec., forced many European Govts. to reimpose travel restrictions in the run-up to Christmas, which significantly weakened peak (close-in) Christmas & New Year bookings and fares. As a result, Dec. traffic slowed to just 9.5m (with a lower 81% load factor), well behind the expected target of 11m guests.  Jan. capacity was cut by 33% on 22 Dec. which lowered the Jan. traffic target from 10m to between 6m-7m customers.  We hope that the rollout of booster vaccines across Europe in recent weeks, and growing evidence that Omicron is less virulent than other variants, will enable EU Govts. to remove travel restrictions and restore consumer confidence in inter EU air travel well in advance of Easter and peak S.22.

The Covid-19 crisis accelerated the collapse of many European airlines including Flybe, Norwegian, Germanwings, Level, Stobart and led to material capacity cuts at many others including Alitalia, TAP, LOT, SAS, etc.  The tsunami of State Aid from EU Govts. to their insolvent flag carriers (Alitalia, Air France/KLM, Iberia, LOT, Lufthansa, SAS, TAP and others) will distort EU competition and prop up high cost, inefficient, flag carriers for some years.  Ryanair was one of very few airlines during the Covid crisis to place significant new aircraft orders, to expand our airport partnerships and to secure lower operating costs so that we can pass on even lower fares on many new routes during the post Covid recovery.  Together with our airport partners, we are leading Europe’s traffic recovery and we plan to deliver accelerated traffic growth and jobs over the next 5 years.

GROWTH:

Over the past 9 months our Route Development team continued to work with like-minded airport partners to negotiate lower airport costs, recovery incentives and growth deals. In addition to 15 new bases (Agadir, Billund, Chania, Corfu, Cork, Madeira, Newcastle, Nuremberg, Riga, Stockholm, Venice (Marco-Polo), Venice (Treviso), Turin, Zadar & Zagreb), 720 new routes were announced and low-cost long term growth deals were extended in Stansted (to 2028), Bergamo (2028), Manchester (2028), East Midlands (2028) and Charleroi (2030).  Our Group has doubled its capacity in Rome (FCO), Lisbon, Vienna and we will base a record 33 aircraft in Dublin for S.22. Regrettably, our 5 aircraft base at Frankfurt Main will close in Mar. as Frankfurt’s price increases rendered it unable to compete with the many low cost airports across Europe and Germany (Nuremberg) seeking to accelerate traffic recovery and growth.

Up to the end of Q3, Ryanair has taken delivery of 41 B737-8200 “Gamechanger” aircraft and we hope to have over 65 new aircraft in our fleet for peak S.22 when our capacity will be approx. 114% of S.19 (pre-Covid) levels. These Gamechangers widen the cost gap between Ryanair and all other European airlines for the next decade.  Their operational reliability, fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions have so far exceeded guidelines, with universally positive passenger and crew feedback. Based on our 210 order book and available fleet capacity, the Ryanair Group plan to accelerate traffic growth over the next 5 years. From a pre-Covid annual traffic of 149m, we now expect to grow by 50% to over 225m guests p.a. by FY26 (previously 33% growth to 200m p.a.).

Q3 FY22 BUSINESS REVIEW:

Revenue & Costs

Q3 scheduled revenues increased 345% to €0.79bn as traffic recovered strongly from 8.1m to 31.1m guests (at an 84% load factor). Despite a strong start to Q3, especially the school’s mid-term break in Oct., the Omicron variant, and return of travel restrictions in early Dec., significantly damaged (higher yielding) close-in Christmas & New Year bookings. Ave. fares in Q3 were just €25 (down 24% on the same quarter pre Covid).  Ancillary revenue delivered a solid performance, generating €22 per passenger (+8%), as guests choose priority boarding and reserved seating.  Total revenues increased by over 330% to €1.47bn in Q3.

While sectors more than doubled (+220%) and traffic rose 286%, operating costs increased by just 136% to €1.59bn, driven primarily by lower variable costs such as airport & handling, route charges and improved fuel burn as more Gamechangers enter the fleet (offset by the higher cost of jet fuel). Lower costs, coupled with rising load factors, saw unit cost per passenger in Q3 (ex-fuel) reduce to €32, an excellent performance.

Our fuel requirements are almost fully hedged for Q4 FY22 (over 60% jet swaps at $580 per metric tonne, with caps hedging the balance at $750). H1 FY23 is 80% hedged (60% jet swaps at $620 and 20% caps at $715) and H2 FY23 is 70% hedged at $640.  Carbon credits are fully hedged for FY22 and 80% hedged for FY23 at €24 and €45 per EUA respectively (well below the current spot price of c.€85).  Ryanair’s very strong and sensible hedging policy will deliver significant savings for all our customers and shareholders at a time when many airline competitors have unwisely reduced or abandoned sensible hedging strategies.

Balance Sheet & Liquidity

Ryanair’s balance sheet is one of the strongest in the industry with a BBB (stable) credit rating (S&P and Fitch), almost €3bn cash (at 31 Dec.) and 90% of our B737 fleet unencumbered. In Oct. the Group repaid its UK CCFF £600m loan 5 months early.  During the Covid crisis, net debt has risen to over €2bn. We plan to reduce this net debt to zero as quickly as possible over the next 2 years.  Strong operating cashflows, offset by €0.8bn capex (mainly Gamechanger deliveries and aircraft deposits), drove a slight reduction in net debt to €2.1bn at 31 Dec. (31 Mar.: €2.3bn). The strength of Ryanair’s balance sheet ensures that the Group is well poised to capitalise rapidly on the many growth opportunities that exist in Europe into the post Covid-19 recovery in 2022 and 2023.

OUTLOOK:

The outlook for pricing and yields for the remainder of FY22 is hugely uncertain.  As announced on 22 Dec., our Jan. capacity was cut by 33% (reducing traffic from approx. 10m to between 6m-7m). While recent bookings have improved, following easing of travel restrictions, the booking curve remains very late and close-in, so Q4 traffic requires significant price stimulation at lower prices to quickly recover load factors which suffered steep declines due to the Omicron collapse in bookings over the Christmas/New Year period. Ryanair’s full year traffic forecast remains unchanged at ‘just under’ 100m passengers, but due to Covid uncertainty the FY22 net loss guidance remains within a wider than normal range of €250m to €450m. This outturn is hugely sensitive to any further positive or negative Covid news flow and so we would caution all shareholders to expect further Covid disruptions before we here in Europe and the rest of the world can finally declare that the Covid crisis is behind us.”


[1] CDP – Carbon Disclosure Project is an independent, non-profit, global environmental reporting organisation.

QANTAS expands pilot training with a new facility in Brisbane

QANTAS Airways has made this announcement:

Qantas has opened a new pilot training facility at Brisbane Airport, with the capacity to train up to 900 pilots a year.

Located adjacent to Brisbane Airport, the Qantas Group Flight Training Centre is home to four state-of-the-art aircraft simulators – Boeing 737, 767F and 787 Dreamliner and Dash-8 Q400 – as well as a Q400 flight training device, all used by pilots to complete their four annual sessions of simulator training and specialised training when moving to a new aircraft type.

The simulators were relocated from Sydney to make way for a major road project and were dismantled, transported by road and re-installed at the new Brisbane centre over a four month period.

With the majority of Qantas’ pilots based in the three eastern states, the Brisbane centre, along with expanded facilities in Melbourne and a new flight training centre to be developed in Sydney, will provide significant cost savings through training pilots at their home base.

The Brisbane facility will provide reoccurring training for the airline’s 500-plus Queensland-based pilots as well as pilots from other states and many of the new pilots who will join the Qantas Group in the years to come.

The facility also has a commercial dimension to it and will be open to other airlines in the Asia Pacific region to train newly recruited pilots, upskill pilots to new aircraft types and allow experienced pilots to maintain their ongoing training.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who was in Brisbane with Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick to formally open the centre, said it would improve the efficiency of the airline’s flight training function and added to Qantas’ sizeable footprint in Queensland.

“Training is a critical part of our business and the new Brisbane Simulator Facility will play a key role in helping us to maintain the highest standards of pilot skill and experience.

“Qantas’ very first flying school was set up in 1927 in a tin shed at Eagle Farm, so we’ve clearly come a long way since then.

The training facility will be staffed by 33 team members including 18 new roles for highly skilled simulator instructors, simulator technicians and support staff.

Queensland Treasurer and Minster for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said: “The Q in Qantas proudly stands for Queensland, as it has for more than 100 years since the company was founded in Winton in 1920.

“The industry has been impacted severely over the last couple of years by COVID-19, but as we unite and recover, it’s technology and facilities like this which will play a critical role in our economic recovery.

“This suite of flight training simulators reinforces Queensland’s pre-eminence as a destination of choice for the aerospace and aviation support industries.”

Construction commenced in March 2021 and the four simulators and flight training device are now active 24 hour a day, with up to 50 pilots and trainers using the centre each day.

China Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400F plows through baggage carts at Chicago O’Hare

Chicago O’Hare Airport was hit by a snowstorm on January 28. China Airlines Cargo’s Boeing 747-400F B-18715 was damaged while taxiing to the cargo ramp at ORD when the number 2 engine hit at least one baggage cart on Friday, January 28.

Video:

Kenya Airways to resume flights to Dubai

Kenya Airways Boeing 737-8Q8 WL 5Y-KYE (msn 35286) JNB (Ton Jochems). Image: 956614.

Kenya Airways (KQ) has announced the resumption of daily flights to Dubai effective January 31, 2022.

This follows the ease on travel restrictions that had been issued by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) on flights from Kenya and other African nations.

The lifting of the travel ban into and out of Dubai takes effect from January 29, 2022, 14:30hrs Dubai time.

It will impact flights traveling from Kenya, Congo Brazzaville, Congo DRC, Botswana, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Top Copyright Photo: Kenya Airways Boeing 737-8Q8 WL 5Y-KYE (msn 35286) JNB (Ton Jochems). Image: 956614.

Kenya Airways aircraft slide show:

Kenya Airways aircraft photo gallery:

 

Aeroméxico’s Plan of Reorganization is confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court

XA-SSS

Grupo Aeroméxico, S.A.B. de C.V. informs that the hearing to consider confirmation of the Joint Plan of Reorganization of the Company and its subsidiaries that are debtors in the Company’s Chapter 11 voluntary financial restructuring process has successfully concluded, and the Bankruptcy Court formally announced that it has confirmed the Plan.

January 28, 2022 represents the most important milestone to date for the Company’s restructuring process.  Aeroméxico will continue working with all its key stakeholders to swiftly emerge from Chapter 11, at which point the corporate resolutions adopted at the Shareholders Meeting held on January 14, 2022 will become fully effective.

Andres Conesa, Company’s CEO, stated “This is a very important day for the Aeroméxico Family. I want to thank all my colleagues for their hard work and dedication; I am very proud to be part of a great team of world class airline professionals. I want to thank our employees and Board for their invaluable support, and to all of our restructuring advisors who did an outstanding job helping us lead our beloved airline through these turbulent times. I want to express my sincere gratitude to Judge Chapman and her team who conducted this process in an exemplary way. Finally, I want to thank all stakeholders and the new investor group for having confidence in Aeroméxico and for giving us wings to fly even higher through the skies of Mexico and the world.”

Note: Under the plan, AM is expected to reduce its Embraer 170 and 190 fleet while increasing its Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 and 737-9 MAX 9 fleet.

Top Copyright Photo: AeroMexico Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner XA-SSS (msn 62147) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 954634.

AeroMexico aircraft slide show:

AeroMexico aircraft photo gallery:

Is a Boeing 777X freighter coming for Qatar Airways?

Qatar Airways is reportedly planning an order with Boeing for 50 new Boeing 777X freighters according to Bloomberg.

The unconfirmed deal is likely to be announced at a meeting between Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., on January 31, 2022.

The new Boeing 777X will be the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet, unmatched in every aspect of performance. With new breakthroughs in aerodynamics and engines, the 777X will deliver 10 percent lower fuel use and emissions and 10 percent lower operating costs than the competition. A true family, the 777X offers low-risk, profitable growth, industry-leading reliability and seamless integration with the 777 and 787 Dreamliner families for even more flexibility. But performance is just part of the story. With a spacious, wide cabin, new custom architecture and innovations from the 787 Dreamliner, the 777X will deliver the flight experience of the future.

Read more from Bloomberg Business Wire:

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/boeing-is-set-to-launch-its-first-new-jet-in-nearly-five-years-with-50-plane-qatar-deal-1.1715136

Airline Profile: Skybus (UK)

Skybus (UK) (Isles of Scilly) de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter G-CEWM (msn 656) LEQ (Wingnut). Image: 956604.

Skybus flights operate from Exeter, Newquay and Land’s End Airports and takes as little as 15 minutes to reach Scilly. There are stunning aerial views of the Cornish coastline whichever route you take, and when the islands come into view you’ll have a unique opportunity to see the Isles of Scilly from the air as you come in to land at St Mary’s Airport.

Flights leave year-round from Land’s End Airport (15 minutes). Cornwall Airport Newquay (30 minutes), and Exeter Airport (60 minutes) operating six days a week between March and October.

Skybus services from Exeter and Newquay connect with flights to London Heathrow and Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and more, as well as GWR rail services to local stations.

Isles of Scilly Travel’s dedicated Land’s End Airport is small and friendly with no long waits and helpful staff on hand to help you check in just one hour before your flight.

Enjoy a coffee and admire the sea views from full length windows looking out over the coast, with no need to worry about rushing or queuing in a busy terminal.

 

When you walk out to board your plane, you’ll be greeted personally by your pilot before enjoying a truly memorable flight.

The airline describes its history:

Skybus has been the Isles of Scilly’s own airline for more than 30 years. Having started with charter flights in 1984, we now provide a year-round, scheduled service to the islands from three airports; Land’s End, Newquay and Exeter. We have eight aircraft and, at busy times, operate more than 60 flights each day.

Top Copyright Photo: Skybus (UK) (Isles of Scilly Skybus) de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter G-CEWM (msn 656) LEQ (Wingnut). Image: 956604.

Skybus (UK) aircraft slide show:

Skybus (UK) aircraft photo gallery:

Alaska Airlines “West Coast Wonders” livery

2021 "West Coast Wonders (Orca)" special livery

Alaska Airlines has offered an explanation for the special “Orca” livery on N932AK. It is called a “West Coast Wonders” livery. Will there be more in this series?

From Alaska Airlines:

The West Coast Wonders aircraft is inspired by the beautiful places we fly to and encourages everyone to take action with us to protect our planet. The design for this Boeing 737-9 MAX honors the shores we call home and the natural life of the Pacific Ocean and West Coast waters. Alaska Airlines set environmental sustainability goals for 2025 and beyond “This indicates a link to an external site that may not meet accessibility guidelines.” to reduce our climate impact through carbon, waste, and water.

Did you know that orcas migrate each year between the Baja peninsula and Alaska? Many of our aircraft follow the same path!

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N932AK (msn 44089) (Orca) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 956598.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Boeing):

Alaska Airlines aircraft photo gallery: