News Item A-1: Air Canada (ACN) introduced Shannon (SNN) to its network on June 1, adding a 4x-weekly service to the West Ireland airport from Toronto Pearson (YYZ). This new (ACN) Toronto service reflects the growing tourism and business links between this half of the island and, not least thanks to the fact that Toronto is a hub airport, Canada. (ACN) will operate the 5,116 km sector using its fleet of 737 MAX 8s, with no other carrier presently linking the 2 airports.
Along with this new service, (ACN) the Star Alliance (SAL) member has also inaugurated flights to Dublin (DUB) and Tokyo Narita (NRT) from Montreal (YUL) this 1st week of the month. Flights on the 10,351 km route to Tokyo launched on June 1, with (ACN) planning to serve the sector daily on its 787-8s. Services to the capital of Ireland commenced the following day, with (ACN), like its Toronto to Shannon route, scheduled to offer 4x-weekly flights on the 4,767 km city pair using its 737 MAX 8s. Neither of the routes launched from Montreal will face direct competition. (ACN), the Canadian flag carrier already serves Dublin on its mainline product from Toronto Pearson, while Tokyo Narita is served from Calgary and Vancouver, while (ACN) also flies to Tokyo Haneda from its Toronto hub.
News Item A-2: Delta Air Lines (DAL) expanded its transpacific partnership with Korean Air (KAL) on June 14 as (DAL) announced a new nonstop route between Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA) and Osaka, Japan’s Kansai International (KIX) starting in 2019.
(DAL) will code share the flight with (KAL) as part of the joint venture (JV) partnership launched between the airlines in May. (DAL) plans to fly the route with a Boeing 767-300ER equipped with 25 lie-flat seats in Delta One, 29 “comfort plus” seats and 171 main cabin seats.
Concurrent with the Osaka route announcement, (DAL) said it had “made the difficult business decision” to end its nonstop Seattle to Hong Kong flights, with the last flight out of Hong Kong set for October 4. (DAL) service between the 2 cities will continue, but will be offered via Seoul-Incheon (ICN) on Korean Air (KAL).
The new Osaka route follows on (DAL)’s plan to launch nonstop flights in 2019 between Minneapolis/St Paul International (MSP) and (ICN); as with Osaka. The (MSP) to (ICN) flights will take advantage of the (DAL) – (KAL) (JV), as the 2 SkyTeam (STM) alliance founding member airlines are co-located in the newly opened Terminal 2 at (ICN). The new Minneapolis route complements 3 existing USA to Seoul nonstop routes (Seattle, Detroit and Atlanta). (DAL) said it will utilize a “newly refreshed” Boeing 777-200ER on the (MSP) to (ICN) route, with 28 Delta One suites including a full height door, 48 premium select cabin seats and 220 main cabin seats.
(DAL) – (KAL) code sharing ramped up following the (JV) partnership announcement. According to (DAL), 132 (DAL)-operated flights from Seattle, Atlanta, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, Chicago and Dallas were coded with (KAL) flight numbers in May, adding to 164 existing (KAL) code share markets on (DAL) in North America from (DAL) hubs in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York (JFK). In June so far, 66 additional markets from Detroit, Portland, Seattle and Atlanta have become North American code shares, and (KAL)’s code was added to 5 (DAL)-operated flights from Japan to the same USA airports. The new additions expand on 36 existing code share routes with Asia.
News Item A-3: “Boeing Wins Big Freighter Jet Order as FedEx Bets on Continued Air Cargo Recovery” by Dominic Gates, Seattle Times Aerospace Reporter, 2018-06.
(FED) ordered 12 777Fs, for delivery between fiscal 2021 and 2025. While that’s too late to help fill out empty delivery airplane slots on the assembly line in Everett between now and the introduction of the new 777X model in 2020, it will help bolster production in the early, slow-production years of the 777X.
In addition, (FED) ordered 12 767F freighters for delivery between fiscal 2020 and 2022, vindicating Boeing’s decision to increase production of that jet by 20% from 2.5 to 3 jets per month beginning in 2020. The combined 767 and 777 order for 24 wide body airplanes is valued at $6.6 billion using Boeing’s list prices. However, market pricing data indicates that the real value, after standard discounts, is no >$2.8 billion. The April move to hike the 767 production rate was triggered by a strong recovery in the air cargo market over the past 2 years. Boeing is well placed to take advantage because it enjoys a monopoly in mid-size and large cargo aircraft with its 767, 777 and 747 freighter jets. Rival jet maker Airbus focuses on passenger planes almost exclusively and offers no competition for any of those cargo planes. The boost from FedEx follows 1 from rival package carrier (UPS), which in February ordered 18 jumbo jet 747-8F freighters plus 4 767Fs. Amazon (AZO), which has acquired 40 used 767Fs for its Amazon Air service, is considered a potential future customer for new 767s.
The (FED) order brings (TBC) to >50 wide body freighters sold so far this year, compared to 11 sold in all of last year.
Recent fears of a potential trade war between the USA and major trading counterparts (including China, the European Union (EU) and Canada) have raised concern that the air cargo recovery could falter. Indeed, the most recent monthly data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicates a slowdown. Last year, air freight demand worldwide grew +9%. In February, the growth rate was +7%. In March, it slowed to 2%. Still, the (FED) order is a vigorous bet by (FED) that global trade will not be restrained long-term. David Cunningham, (CEO) of FedEx Express called the order “another positive step in our fleet modernization program as we add more efficient, lower emission aircraft to our global fleet.”
News Item A-4: Vietnamese startup carrier, Bamboo Airways (BOO), has announced its commitment to purchase 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
(BOO) aims to launch operations in 2019. According to Boeing, (BOO) airways completed the deposit requirement in mid-June to reserve the 20 787-9s. The 787s “are tentatively scheduled to deliver from April 2020 through 2021,” said Boeing (TBC). “We are excited to introduce these new 787-9 into our fleet as we prepare to launch long-haul operations to international markets,” said Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of the (FLC) Group, owner of Bamboo Airways (BOO). “Our long-term vision is to connect Vietnam to key markets within Asia, Europe, and North America and the capabilities of these new state-of-the-art 787-9s will help us achieve our goals,” he said.
(BOO), the new Asian carrier is giving the Boeing 787 program an impressive boost of sales. On top of the 83 firm orders Boeing has managed to book in 2018 so far, it is very likely that the number will continue to climb past the 200 mark after the Farnborough Air Show in July. The potential clients looking to firm up their commitments are Emirates (EAD), Hawaiian (HWI), Ethiopian (ETH), United (UAL), and now Bamboo (BOO) with its 20 airframes.
News Item A-5: “Say Hello to the 737 MAX by Southwest Airlines” Airways Magazine, July 2018.
On Tuesday afternoon, June 26, Southwest Airlines (SWA) flew home the 1st of 9 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes that they’ll put into service October 1, making them the 1st North American airline to receive the new and improved plane. As the largest operator of 737s worldwide, (SWA) was instrumental in turning the 737 into Boeing’s all-time bestseller. So fittingly, (SWA) was the 1st airline to place an order in 2011: 200 airplanes and the option to purchase 191 more.
As the “launch customer,” (SWA) had every intention of being the 1st to receive and the 1st to fly the new plane, but in January of this year, Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) announced they’d be the 1st to fly the airplane.
Not so fast, Norwegian (NWG). In March, Malaysian carrier Malindo Air (MXD) (a subsidiary of Lion Air (MLI) emerged and said they would be the 1st to operate the 737 MAX, and that claim held true. (MXD) took delivery of their 1st 737 MAX 8 at the Seattle Delivery Center May 16, and the plane entered commercial service May 22. (NWG) wasn’t too far behind when they took delivery of 2 737 MAX 8s 2 months later, but not without a series of delays. And even though (NWG) was the 1st in the USA to operate the 737 MAX, (SWA) will still be the 1st American airline to fly the 737 MAX when they begin service this fall.
But being surpassed by the other carriers wasn’t the 1st problem (SWA) faced with the 737 MAX. Back in April 2016 (>4 years into ongoing negotiations between (SWA) and their pilots (FC) union, (SWA) decided to retire the 737-300 fleet by the 3rd quarter 2017 due to uncertainties around (FAA) pilot (FC) training requirements for the old 737-300s and the new 737 MAX fleet. Just 2 months later, (SWA) announced they would delay a $1.9 billion order consisting of 67 737 MAX 8 airplanes by upwards of 6 years. Even with postponed deliveries, and even though an airline (or 2) came from behind and took the “first to fly” crown from (SWA), the 1st 737 MAX painted in airline colors wore none other than the red, yellow and blue (SWA) livery.
News Item A-6: Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air (GUL) inaugurated its double daily service between Bahrain International Airport and London Heathrow (LHR). (GUL) deployed its newly acquired Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to fly this important route. (GUL) (CEO) Krešimir Kuko revealed that “passenger feedback on our inaugural London Heathrow (LHR) 787 Dreamliner service was overwhelmingly positive. As we introduce our newest airplane on Gulf Air (GUL)’s (LHR) route and meld cutting-edge technology and infrastructure with traditional warmth and hospitality, your roles are more critical than ever in making lasting, positive experiences for our passengers,” the (CEO) told his Staff.
The 787-9 seats 282 passengers in a 2-class configuration, featuring 26C seats in Falcon Gold Class as well as 256Y seats in economy, representing a +30% increase in (GUL)’s capacity. (GUL) welcomed its 1st Boeing 787-9 back in April 2018. (GUL) rapidly deployed the 787-9 on long-haul routes.
News Item A-7: “Norwegian To Fly Gatwick to Tampa; New Winter Additions” by Airways, June 2018.
Norwegian (NWG)’s impressive growth continues with the addition of new long-haul routes from its European bases. (NWG) has unveiled its international winter 2018 schedule, which starts on October 28 and ends on March 31 next year. The 1st new route announced as part of the winter’s network is a new flight from London Gatwick (LGW) to the city of Tampa (TPA) in Florida. The flights will begin on October 31 this year on a 2x-weekly service with (NWG)’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) said that (NWG) “continues to offer customers increased choice, flexibility, and value throughout winter 2018 and we are pleased to welcome Tampa, Florida as a new destination to our network.” From (LGW) alone, (NWG) operates 13 long-haul routes. And from the winter season onwards, 11 of those routes will be to the USA when the (TPA) flight begins.
* Norwegian under (IAG)/Lufthansa (DLH) Watch
The UK is a crucial market for Norwegian (NWG), carrying 5.8 million passengers each year from London Gatwick (LGW), Edinburgh and Manchester to 50 destinations worldwide. Out of the 5.8 million passengers carried, 4.6 million of them are from (LGW) alone. (NWG)’s growth (and adjustment on some routes) shows that it has the required demand for sustainable growth. The fact that its presence in London is growing in importance, it is more likely to see (IAG) placing a higher bid in the near future. The owners of British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Aer Lingus (ARL), and Vueling (VUZ), might be the perfect fit for (NWG)’s future endeavors. But should (NWG)’s financial conditions improve, the bidding war between (IAG) and the Lufthansa Group might intensify in the upcoming months.
News Item A-8: “Jet Airways Announces Induction of Boeing 737 MAX 8 Airplanes” by (FE) Bureau, Financial Express, June 29, 2018.
Full-service carrier Jet Airways (JPL) announced the induction of the latest variant of the Boeing 737 single-aisle airplane, the 737 MAX 8, with the 1st flight scheduled to take off from Mumbai and fly to Hyderabad on July 1.
(JPL), the Naresh Goyal-promoted airline, the 2nd largest in the domestic market, announced a new order for the Boeing 737 MAX airplane, taking its total to 225 such airplanes. It is believed that (JPL) will have a mix of 737 MAX variants (-9 and -10 in its fleet as it takes the future deliveries).
The 737 single-aisle airplane has been (JPL)’s workhorse ever since (JPL) started operations in 1994 and is also commercially the most produced airplane from USA airplane maker Boeing (TBC)’s stable, with the 737 MAX 8 being its latest offering to the commercial airlines. (JPL)’s large order size on the single-aisle airplane type is indicative that it is planning to increase its network in SE Asian markets, the Middle East and also a part of the African region, as the airplane can easily fly up to 3,500 nautical miles, making these regions within its easy flying range, a clear advantage over the 737NGs that Jet Airways (JPL) currently has.
“The 737 MAX is a critical part of our strategy. The induction of this fuel-efficient airplane will enable us to meet our strategic ambitions of growth, enhance our operations reliability and reduce costs,” said Jet Airways (JPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vinay Dube. The 737 MAX 8 borrows a lot from the latest technology that Boeing offers to airlines on its state-of-the-art new airplane, the 787 Dreamliner. The aerodynamics and wing design technology gives to this airplane’s fuel efficiencies of up to 15%, great savings for airlines, more so in the current environment, where fuel costs are at an all-time high, and is the single largest component leading to Jet (JPL)’s (Q4) FY18 losses of >`1,036 crore. It is fitted with the (CFM) (LEAP-1B) engine with ultra-light fan blades that gives more engine efficiencies and performance to this airplane. In terms of passenger comfort, a 737 MAX is +40% more silent than the other airplane types, translating to a quieter and comfortable flying experience. (JPL) has improvised its cabins a lot to offer to passengers more comforts like extra storage in cabin bins, improved in-flight entertainment systems, better cushioned seats with a pitch varying from 40″ to 29 to 1″ in its 2 class configuration of Premiere and Economy with in-built (USB) ports, and laptop chargers.
News Item A-9: “Boeing Reveals Hypersonic Passenger Plane That Could Travel Between London and New York in Just 2 Hours” by Mark Prigg, “The Daily Mail,” June 26, 2018.
Boeing (TBC) has revealed a radical concept for a hypersonic passenger plane. The unnamed concept, revealed at the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics conference in Atlanta, shows a Concorde SST-like design. The Mach 5 passenger transport would be capable of crossing the Atlantic in 2 hours or the Pacific in 3. The concept is provisionally aimed at a passenger capacity larger than long-range business jets, but smaller than Boeing’s 737, with potential entry into service from the late 2030s onward, according to Aviation Week. Flying at Mach 5, and with a projected cruise altitude of 95,000 ft, the vehicle would travel at >2.5 times the speed and 30,000 ft higher than the supersonic Anglo-French SST Concorde, which was retired in 2003.
Boeing (TBC) claims it will allow passengers to commute between London and New York by buying same-day return flights, even across the Pacific. ‘Building the future at (TBC) requires looking decades ahead at what could be possible, and innovating now to make it happen.’ ‘We’re excited about the potential of hypersonic technology to connect the world faster than ever before,’ said Kevin Bowcutt, Senior Technical Fellow & Chief Scientist of hypersonics.
‘Boeing (TBC) is building upon a foundation of 6 decades of work designing, developing and flying experimental hypersonic vehicles, which makes us the right company to lead the effort in bringing this technology to market in the future.’ Although Bowcutt can’t speculate when hypersonic flight for global travel will be a reality, he said it’s possible a hypersonic passenger vehicle could be airborne in 20 to 30 years. The plan forms part of a broader Boeing program expected to include a reusable hypersonic demonstrator in the near term. This vehicle, if sanctioned, would be used to prove a wide range of airframe systems and propulsion technologies for multiple applications, and could be flown as early as 2023 or 2024, said Boeing (TBC) Chief Scientist for Hypersonics, Kevin Bowcutt.
‘You have to do these kinds of studies now to know where we have to push the technology and where we have to advance things,’ Bowcutt told Aviation week. However, he added the military could have access to the technology far sooner. ‘Technologically, we could have an [operational military] hypersonic airplane, such as an (ISR), flying in 10 years. ‘But there’s a lot that goes into a commercial airplane, including the market, regulatory and environmental requirements, so it will happen when there is a convergence of those things.’
This has been submitted by Peter A Ansdell, retired Boeing Management employee of many years. Peter has offered this for your reading enjoyment by his efforts as the Founder and Managing Director of his website: http://www.7jetset7.com which he tries to keep readers up-to-date on world jet aviation progress, including current jet airline operators, cargo jet operators, worldwide jet airplane manufacturers, industry control bodies, e.g. (IATA) , (FAA), (CAAC) , space exploration advances, prominent parts manufacturers, with a focus on aviation safety, and new developments. Its all our future. Please help to nurture and assist with its advancement.
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