Tag Archives: Boeing 737-8 MAX 8

American provides an update on the Boeing 737 MAX

American Airlines made this announcement:

American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year. We are in continuous contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other regulatory authorities.

American is extending cancellations for the MAX through November 2. By doing so, our customers and team members can more reliably plan their upcoming travel on American. In total, approximately 115 flights per day will be canceled through November 2.

Our Reservations and Sales teams will continue to work closely with customers who are impacted by these cancellations.

Frequently asked questions

Question: My flight was previously scheduled on a MAX. Will it be canceled?
Answer: Not all flights that were previously scheduled on a MAX will be canceled, as we plan to substitute other aircraft types. In total, approximately 115 flights will be canceled per day.

Question: My flight wasn’t scheduled to be on a MAX. Why has it been canceled?
Answer: A flight that was not scheduled as a MAX flight might be canceled to enable our team to cover a MAX route with a different aircraft. Our goal is to minimize the impact to the smallest number of customers.

Question: How will customers know if they are impacted?
Answer: American’s Reservations team will contact affected customers directly by email or telephone. Customers who booked through a travel agent will be contacted by their agency directly.

Question: My flight was canceled and I don’t want to rebook. Can I get a refund?
Answer: Yes. If a flight is canceled and a customer chooses to not be rebooked, they may request a full refund by visiting aa.com/refunds.

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Southwest removes the Boeing 737 MAX from the schedule through October 1

Southwest Airlines has made this announcement:

Southwest Airlines continues to await guidance from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the impending 737 MAX software enhancements and training requirements. We are encouraged by the reported progress and proposed path forward for returning the aircraft to service, and we remain confident that, once certified by the FAA, the enhancements will support the safe operation of the MAX.

We previously revised our flight schedule by removing the MAX through Sept. 2 to offer reliability to our operation and stability for our Customers during the busy summer travel months. With the timing of the MAX’s return-to-service still uncertain, we are again revising our plans to remove the MAX from our schedule through Oct. 1.

By proactively removing the MAX from scheduled service, we can reduce last-minute flight cancellations and unexpected disruptions to our Customers’ travel plans.

American Airlines issues an update on the Boeing 737 MAX

American Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N326RP (msn 44456) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 945359.

American Airlines has issued this update:

Cancellations extended through September 3, 2019.

American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon. We have been in continuous contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other regulatory authorities, and we are pleased with the progress to date.

In April, American extended cancellations for the MAX through Aug. 19. We are now extending those cancellations through September 3. By extending the cancellations, our customers and team members can more reliably plan their upcoming travel on American. In total, approximately 115 flights per day will be canceled through September 3.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): American Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N326RP (msn 44456) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 945359.

American aircraft slide show:

Icelandair extends the grounding of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to September 15

"Látrabjarg", delivered on April 4, 2018

Icelandair has made this announcement:

Icelandair has made changes to its flight schedule until September 15, 2019 as it is expected that the suspension of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will last longer than anticipated.

To minimize the impact on its passengers, Icelandair has already added three leased aircraft to its fleet for the summer season. Furthermore, the Company is now working on the leasing of an additional Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

Icelandair will start implementing these changes in the next few days and Icelandair’s service representatives will contact the passengers affected.

With these changes, the total seat capacity from July 15  to September 15 will decrease by 5% from what the Company had estimated. However, following these changes the number of available seats during the period will still increase by 10% year-on-year. Icelandair’s emphasis will continue to remain on increasing the number of passengers to and from Iceland and as of today, the number of bookings by passengers traveling to Iceland during the period June-August has increased by over 30% compared to the same period last year.

The financial impact of the suspension of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is uncertain as the amount of compensation from the aircraft manufacturer is still under review.

Top Copyright Photo: Icelandair Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 TF-ICY (msn 44354) LGW (Antony J. Best). Image: 944339.

Icelandair aircraft slide show:

NBC Nightly News: American Airlines CEO commits to 737 MAX fleet once it’s fixed

American Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N316RK (msn 44450) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946586.

From NBC Nightly News:

By Jay Blackman and Michelle Cho

American Airlines, whose Boeing 737 MAX fleet was grounded, along with the rest of the worldwide Max fleet in the wake of two fatal crashes involving two carriers in Ethiopia and Indonesia, is committed to the planes once they are recertified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Watch the interview.

In an exclusive interview with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt, AA Chairman and CEO Doug Parker said that “there is an absolute fix” for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

“There’s one that we will all be comfortable with, or the aircraft won’t be recertified. And our pilots are gonna agree with that, or the aircraft won’t fly,” Parker said in his first television interview since the planes were grounded.

American Airlines’ fleet of 24 Boeing 737 MAX 8 was grounded by the FAA in March. American, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines are the only three airlines in the United States that operate the aircraft.

American has canceled all Boeing 737 MAX flights through August 19, approximately 115 flights per day.

In March, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane, crashed shortly after takeoff en route to Nairobi, killing all 157 on board, including eight Americans. Lion Air flight JT610, on a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashed after takeoff from Jakarta last October with 189 passengers and crew.

Investigators believe both crashes were caused by an anti-stall system called MCAS.

Parker admits restoring confidence in the flying public is a challenge, even after the plane is approved to return to flight.

“Accidents like this, tragedies like this, are you know horrific,” he said. “Now in our case, we’ve always believed that, that airplane with our pilots, with our training was an airworthy aircraft. But we’re not, we’re not, it’s not for us to decide whether or not the aircraft flies. It needs to be safe for everyone.”

The FAA has invited civil aviation authorities around the world to meet Thursday to discuss the agency’s safety analysis and plan to return the Boeing 737 MAX fleet to service. Parker said his pilots are heavily involved with discussions with the FAA about required training for pilots.

Boeing says it has completed the updated MCAS software for the 737 MAX but is yet to complete a test flight with FAA pilots on board.

“It’s incredibly important to us, that we get to a point where the entire aircraft aviation community feels comfortable that this airplane is ready to get back in the air. And when it is, we’ll be flying in it,” Parker said.

“If that airplane has been certified by the FAA, and it’s being flown by American pilots or Southwest pilots or United pilots, we all will know that it’s 100 percent safe to fly,” he said.

As one of the largest airlines in the world, American Airlines and its regional partner American Eagle, offer almost 6,700 flights to 350 destinations in more than 50 countries daily. The airline says it is investing in new planes, entertainment systems and satellite Wi-Fi, available soon on all domestic flights, that will allow everyone on the aircraft to stream live television.

“Now with satellite, which has much more bandwidth, allows everyone to actually have a new level of service. Customers that experience that don’t want to go back,” Parker said. “But in general, what our customers really, really value, always have and always will, is reliability. Aircraft that are ready to go on time and that arrive at their destinations on time, allow people to make connections.”

Parker said that American Airlines will continue to make the passenger experience a top investment.

“What you’re gonna see as we move forward is us competing much more on product, than you’ve ever seen before,” he said. “We’re in an arms race basically of airlines trying to figure out what we can do for our customers.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): American Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N316RK (msn 44450) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946586.

American Airlines aircraft slide show (Boeing):

Ryanair full year profit down 29% to €1.02 billion, will delay the delivery of its first MAX 8

Ryanair today (May 20, 2019) reported a full year profit of €1.02 billion (excluding Lauda). Strong traffic growth, up 7% to 139m, was offset by a 6% decline in fares. Strong ancillary growth (+19%) was offset by higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs.

Full-year Results (IFRS)* Mar. 31, 2018 Mar. 31, 2019 % Change
Guests 130.3m 139.1m +7%
Load Factor 95% 96% +1%
Revenue €7.15bn €7.56bn +6%
PAT €1.45bn €1.02bn -29%

* excl. Lauda €139.5m exceptional start-up loss (FY19).  Group traffic (incl. Lauda) was 142m

 

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“As previously guided, Ryanair (excl. Lauda) reports a full year after tax profit of €1.02bn.  Short-haul capacity growth and the absence of Easter in Q4 led to a 6% fare decline, which stimulated 7% traffic growth to over 139m (142m guests incl. Lauda).  Ancillary sales performed strongly up 19% to €2.4bn, which drove total revenue growth of 6% to €7.6bn.

 

FY19 highlights include:

  • fare fell 6% to just €37
  • Traffic grew 9% to 142m (incl. Lauda)
  • Ancillary revenue rose 19% to €2.4bn
  • end fleet grew to 455 B737 & 19 A320 aircraft
  • 406 new routes and 9 new bases launched
  • Ryanair Sun (Buzz) traded profitably in Yr.1
  • Purchase of Lauda completed in Dec. with an exceptional Yr.1 loss of €139m
  • UK AOC received in Dec.
  • Union agreements concluded in most major markets
  • Over €560m returned to shareholders via buybacks

Revenue

Revenues rose 6% to €7.6bn due to 7% higher traffic, a 6% cut in ave. fares to €37, while  Ryanair Labs continues to stimulate ancillary sales growth with spend per guest up 11% to over €17.  Priority boarding and reserved seat services grew strongly.  Ryanair Labs continues to improve our digital platform (website, app & 3rd party ancillary plug-ins).

 

Cost Leadership

Ryanair has the lowest unit costs of any EU airline, and the cost gap with EU competitors continues to widen. FY19 was a year of investment in our people, our support systems and our business as we grow to 200m guests p.a. by 2024.  Ex-fuel unit costs rose 5% (better than previously guided 6%) due to €200m higher staff costs (incl. 20% pilot pay increases) and €50m higher EU261 costs due to the repeated ATC staff shortage disruptions in FY19. As weaker European airlines are sold or fail, airports are competing to attract Ryanair’s efficient, high load factor, traffic growth.  Our airport costs are 35% lower than our nearest competitor. During FY19 our oil bill increased by €440m. We are 90% hedged for FY20 at $709 per tonne and 35% hedged for Q1 FY21 at $654.

 

Group Airlines

In S.2018 we launched Ryanair Sun (now rebranded “Buzz”), our Polish AOC, with 5 B737 aircraft offering charter flights to/from Poland.  Buzz has taken over Ryanair’s scheduled bases in Poland and will operate a fleet of 25 aircraft in FY20 (incl. 7 for charters).  The Buzz management team successfully delivered a modest profit in their first year of operations.

In December 2018, Lauda (an Austrian AOC) became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ryanair Group. We consolidated 3m customers in its first year of operations to March 2019 but suffered exceptional start-up losses of €139.5m, mainly due to the very late release of its S.2018 schedules, very low promotional fares, expensive short-term aircraft leases and an unhedged fuel position. Lauda enters its second year with a larger (lower-cost) fleet of 23 A320 aircraft, and a target of just over 6m guests p.a. They have signed agreements to grow this fleet to 35 x A320 aircraft for S.2020 and by year 3 (FY21) we believe Lauda will grow to carry over 8m guests p.a. and will be trading profitably.

Read more from the BBC: CLICK HERE

Higher oil prices and lower fares have seen a wave of EU airline failures including Primera (UK & Spain), Small Planet, Azur and Germania (Germany), Sky Works (Switz.), VLM (Belgium), Cobalt (Cyprus), Cello & Flybmi (UK) and WOW (Iceland).  Flybe (UK) was sold, while both Alitalia and Thomas Cook airline are currently for sale.

Ryanair closed unprofitable bases in Bremen and Eindhoven and we cut aircraft numbers in Niederrhein, Hahn and the Canary Islands. Norwegian has closed multiple bases (many where they compete with Ryanair), including Rome, Las Palmas, Palma, Tenerife, Edinburgh & Belfast, and they will cut their Dublin base from 6 to 1 aircraft in October. Wizz (Poznan), Lufthansa (Dusseldorf) and EasyJet (Oporto) have also announced base cuts and/or closures in recent months. We expect further consolidation and airline failures in winter 2019 and again into 2020 due to over-capacity, weaker fares, and higher oil prices particularly among those airlines who are significantly unhedged, or unable to hedge.

Boeing 737 MAX

We have delayed the delivery of our first 5 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to Winter 2019 (subject to regulatory approval by EASA). We continue to have utmost confidence in these aircraft which have 4% more seats, are 16% more fuel efficient and generate 40% lower noise emissions. They are hedged at an average €/$ rate of 1.24 out to FY24, and will deliver significant unit cost savings for the next 5 years, although the delayed deliveries in 2019 means that we will not see any meaningful cost benefit until FY21.

 

Balance Sheet & Fleet

The Group’s BBB+ rated balance sheet is one of the strongest in the industry.  Almost 95% of our 455 aircraft fleet is owned, with over 63% debt free. At year end the Group had €3.2bn gross cash. Ryanair generated almost €2bn net cash from operations in FY19, but spent over €1.5bn on capex (primarily aircraft, simulators, engines & hangars), returned €560m to shareholders in share buybacks, and repaid more than €400m of debt.  As a result, year-end net debt rose slightly to €450m.  We recently concluded a low-cost, €750m unsecured (5-year) bank facility.  This facility, coupled with strong operating cashflows, will fund this year’s peak capex of c.€2bn, maturing secured debt and other general corporate purposes.  We are also in advanced negotiations to sell 10 of our oldest B737s for over $170m before the end of March 2020.

 

Shareholder Distributions

The Board has approved a €700m share buyback which will commence later this week and run over the next 9 to 12 months.  We expect to split this approx. €500m/€200m between ADR’s and ordinary shares, although the Board has discretion to revise this allocation.  This latest buyback will bring to almost €7bn of the funds returned to shareholders since 2008.

 

FY20 Guidance

While we separately disclosed Lauda’s year 1 start-up loss as exceptional in FY19, their FY20 results will not be split out in the Ryanair Group income statement.  FY20 guidance is therefore for the consolidated Ryanair Group.

Our outlook for FY20 remains cautious on pricing. Traffic will grow by 8% to 153m. Assuming revenue per pax (“RPP”) growth of 3%, we are guiding broadly flat Group profits. This will range from €750m if RPP rises 2%, up to €950m if RPP rises 4%.  While H1 bookings are slightly ahead of last year, fares are lower and we expect this trend will continue through S.2019. We have zero H2 visibility.  Costs will increase as our full-year fuel bill jumps by another €460m.  Ex-fuel unit costs will rise by just 2%, mainly due to stronger sterling, the absence of Lauda prior-year cost comparisons for most of H1 and delivery delays of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft this year. This guidance is heavily dependent on close-in peak summer fares, H2 prices, the absence of security events, and no negative Brexit developments.”

Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. A new Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 (EI-HAW) for Ryanair at Renton.

Ethiopian Airlines pushes back on criticism of its pilots, states the Boeing 737 MAX has a problem

Ethiopian's first MAX 8, delivered on July 1, 2018

Ethiopian Airlines is pushing back strongly against criticism that its pilots were to blame for the tragic MAX accident.

The airline issued this statement:

Although we don’t want to comment on the investigation as it is still going on and we believe it is too early to comment, we would like to highlight some factual statements based on the preliminary report of the accident investigation.

Ethiopian airlines has the largest Aviation Academy in Africa with the most modern training devices and facilities of global standards which is accredited by all required national, regional and international regulatory agencies. Ethiopian Airlines is among the very few airlines in the world and the only one in Africa which has acquired and operates the Boeing 737 MAX 8 full flight simulator. However, it’s very unfortunate that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 simulator was not configured to simulate the MCAS operation by the aircraft manufacturer.

Ethiopian requirement for command position is over 3500 hours which is way above the FAA requirement of 1500 hours. In this case ET302 captain has a total of over 8000 hours of which 3445 hours is on Boeing 737NG. He was upgraded to commander position with over 6500 total hours. The First Officer was a graduate of Ethiopian Aviation Academy after successfully completing the required training per ICAO standards for the Commercial Pilot License and gone through the type rating training on Boeing 737NG and Boeing recommended and FAA approved differences training on Boeing 737 MAX 8 before he is assigned as co-pilot and he has exceeded the minimum ICAO requirement.

The preliminary accident investigation report, which has been conducted by a joint team from Ethiopia, USA, France and EASA, has made it abundantly clear that the Ethiopian Airlines’ pilots have followed the procedures of the aircraft manufacturer.

Any effort that is being made to divert public attention from the flight control system problem of the airplane is a futile exercise because it is not based on factually correct analysis.

The fact that the entire world have grounded more than 370 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes speaks loud and clear that the airplane has a problem.

It is important to refer to the safety recommendation part of the aircraft accident investigation preliminary report, which says:

SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS.
• Since the repetitive un-commanded aircraft nose down conditions are noticed in this preliminary investigation it is recommended that the aircraft flight control system related to flight controllability shall be reviewed by the manufacturer.
• Aviation Authorities shall verify that the review of the aircraft flight control system related to flight controllability has been adequately addressed by the manufacturer before the release of the aircraft to operations.

We would also like to focus on the following facts:
• The automated anti stall feature (MCAS) was not known by airlines and pilots until after the Lion Air accident.
Even after the Lion Air accident the bulletin released by Boeing and the FAA airworthiness directive did not mention MCAS at all.
It was a major failure that the MCAS was designed to be automatically activated by a single source of information (Only one angle of attack sensor).
• Although the pilots followed the procedures as stipulated in the bulletin and the airworthiness directive none of the expected warnings appeared in the cockpit which deprived the pilots of necessary and timely information on the critical phase of the 6 minutes flight.
• As per the preliminary report, there is no evidence of any foreign object damage (bird strike or any other object) on the angle of attack sensor.

Since flight safety is our collective priority and should not be compromised by any means and not a single life should be at risk, we strongly believe that the recommendations made by the preliminary report should be fully implemented.

Ethiopian Airlines would like to assure all concerned that it will continue to cooperate with the investigation authorities.

Top Copyright Photo: One of the grounded MAX 8s: Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 ET-AVM (msn 62446) DUB (Greenwing). Image: 942621.

Ethiopian Airlines aircraft slide show: