Large crowds gathered at Heathrow on February 18, to watch the much-anticipated arrival of a British Airways Boeing 747 painted in the iconic design of its predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).
The aircraft entered the IAC paint bay at Dublin Airport on February 5, where it was stripped of its current British Airways Chatham Dockyard design before being repainted with the BOAC livery which adorned the BOAC fleet between 1964 and 1974.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “The enormous interest we’ve had in this project demonstrates the attachment many people have to British Airways’ history. It’s something we are incredibly proud of, so in our centenary year it’s a pleasure to be celebrating our past while also looking to the future. We look forward to many more exciting moments like this as our other aircraft with heritage designs enter service.”
The BOAC livery will remain on the Boeing 747 until it retires in 2023, to allow as many customers as possible to have the chance to see it. By this time, British Airways will have retired the majority of its 747 fleet, replacing them with new state-of-the-art long-haul aircraft. This includes taking delivery of 18 A350s and 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the next four years – which feature new cabins and are more environmentally efficient – as well as another 26 short-haul aircraft, all part of the airline’s £6.5bn investment for customers.
On November 8, Bombardier released its third quarter 2018 results, which included several announcements. One of the more notable announcements, is the plan to cut 5,000 jobs over the next twelve to eighteen months. According to the company's press release, "Bombardier also launched a new enterprise-wide productivity program to further streamline, lean out and simplify the Company. The initiative includes two actions. First, with the heavy aerospace investment phase successfully completed, Bombardier will right-size and redeploy its central aerospace engineering team. Key engineering team members will be redeployed to the business segments, with the largest group moving to Business Aircraft, to ensure they have all the necessary capabilities for future business jet development programs.
"Bombardier will also establish a new Advanced Technologies Office (ATO), which will be led by François Caza, who has been appointed Bombardier’s Chief Technology Officer. The ATO will focus on systems design and engineering, including applying experience from Bombardier’s aerospace programs to its rail transportation business.
"In addition to right-sizing and redeploying central engineering, Bombardier has launched a company-wide restructuring initiative focused on optimizing production and management processes, flattening management structures and further reducing indirect costs.
"Collectively, these actions will result in a reduction of approximately 5,000 positions across the organization over the next 12 to 18 months, leading to annualized savings of approximately $250 million at full run rate, which we expect by 2021. Bombardier anticipates recording a restructuring charge in 2019 of approximately the same amount as special items."
Also in the press release, "On November 7, 2018, the Corporation entered into a definitive agreement to sell its activities consisting of flight and technical training for Bombardier Business Aircraft carried out principally in training centers located in Montréal, Québec, and Dallas, Texas to CAE, a long-time Bombardier training partner. This transaction provides Bombardier’s Business Aircraft customers the benefit of CAE’s training expertise, while Bombardier focuses on aircraft development and services. Concurrently with the sale, Bombardier and CAE have entered into an agreement to extend their Authorized Training Provider (ATP) relationship whereby CAE will prepay all royalties under the agreement. Combined, the total value of both transactions is $800 million, including $645 million for the sale of the training activities. Net of fees, liabilities and normal closing adjustments, we expect net proceeds of approximately $650 million. Closing of the sale transaction is expected by the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals."
The release also addressed the sale of the Q400 programme to Longview Aviation Capital Corp., "On November 7, 2018, the Corporation entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of the Q Series aircraft program assets, including aftermarket operations, to a wholly owned subsidiary of Longview Aviation Capital Corp., for gross proceeds of approximately $300 million. The agreement covers all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 Series 100, 200 and 300 as well as the Q400 program operations at the Downsview manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. The transaction is expected to close by the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Net proceeds for this transaction are expected at approximately $250 million net of fees, liabilities and normal closing adjustments."
On November 8, Longview Aviation Capital Corp., parent company to Viking Air Limited, agreed to acquire, through an affiliate, the entire Dash 8 programme, including the 100, 200 and 300 series and the in-production Q400 programme from Bombardier Inc. Also included as part of the transaction are rights to the de Havilland name and trademark in an all-Canadian transactions. Once completed, Longview will become North America’s largest commercial turbo-prop aircraft manufacturer.
“The Dash 8 turbo-prop is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of specialized aircraft including the Twin Otter and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 series of water bombers,” said David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “We see enormous value in the de Havilland Dash 8 programme, with these aircraft in demand and in use all around the world.”
As part of the agreement, Longview will receive all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 programme. Upon the closing of the transaction, Longview will also assume responsibility for the worldwide product support business – covering more than 1,000 aircraft either currently in service or slated for production.
Longview will continue to independently operate the programme at the original de Havilland manufacturing site located at Downsview, Ontario upon closing of the transaction. The Downsview site was sold by Bombardier earlier this year but, under the terms of a lease with the new owners and a license from Bombardier, production will remain on-site until at least 2021. As part of the transaction Longview also looks forward to welcoming Bombardier employees currently associated with the production, support and sales of the Dash 8 programme.
“We are committed to a business-as-usual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft,” added Curtis. “With the entire de Havilland product line reunited under the same banner for the first time in decades, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers and employees upon close of the transaction to determine what opportunities lie ahead.”
Longview and Bombardier will work closely in the period until the closing of the transaction to ensure a seamless transition for employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders with no interruption in production, delivery and support of the aircraft.
This transaction builds on Longview’s established track record of acquiring and successfully operating significant aircraft manufacturing, parts and serving programmes including the Twin Otter programme and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 waterbomber series.
The transaction is subject to typical closing conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals. The sale and transaction are expected to close by the second half of 2019.
On 26 October, Delta Air Lines became the first U.S. carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A220 aircraft. On hand for the delivery ceremony at the aircraft’s assembly line in Mirabel were members of the A220 team as well as government officials and executives from Delta, Airbus, Bombardier and Investissement Quebec.
Delta’s A220 will enter service in early 2019, making Delta the fourth global airline to operate the aircraft previously known as the Bombardier C Series. The C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) welcomed Airbus as lead partner earlier this year, prompting the change of name to the Airbus A220. Delta is the largest A220-100 customer, with a firm order for 75 aircraft.
Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus’ commercial aircraft business, said, “We at Airbus are dedicated to providing our customers the right products for a marketplace that needs modern, efficient and passenger-friendly aircraft – and the remarkable A220 certainly delivers. When a great airline like Delta puts a new aircraft into service as a platform for their outstanding passenger service, the entire industry takes note. The A220 team is gratified by the confidence that the Delta family has placed in this excellent, Canadian-born aircraft.”
The A220-100 delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency. It brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft.
With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.
As of the end of September, Delta was operating a fleet of 235 Airbus aircraft, including 182 A320 Family members, as well as 42 A330s and 11 A350 XWB, or eXtra Wide Body aircraft. The airline has more than 275 additional Airbus aircraft on order. Next year, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to operate the new Airbus A330neo.
Airbus has revealed the A220 at a ceremony held at its Henri-Ziegler Delivery Centre, near Toulouse. Witnessed by Airbus employees and members of the global news media, the A220-300 landed directly from painting, wearing its new Airbus name and colours.
The A220 family comprises two models, the A220-100 and A220-300, formerly Bombardier Inc.’s C Series (CS100 and CS300). The aircraft are fully optimized for the 100 to 150 seat market and complement Airbus’ existing best-selling A320neo family.
“Everyone at Airbus has been looking forward to this historic moment. Today, we are thrilled to welcome the A220 to the Airbus family and are honoured to see it wearing its new Airbus colours for the first time,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus President Commercial Aircraft. “I pay tribute to all the women and men at Bombardier and the supply chain who have strived over the past years to bring this fantastic aircraft to the world. The A220 now enters a new phase in its career with all Airbus’ ressources behind it to further its commercial success worldwide."
Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We are enthusiastic about incorporating the A220 in the Airbus Family. I have received positive feedback from customers, and this contributes to my optimism that within the Airbus network, we will make the A220 a great commercial success."
Yesterday, new ultra-low fare airline Swoop received its first Boeing 737-800NG. The airline is currently preparing for its launch of operations on June 20, 2018. The unveiling of Swoop’s livery has been much anticipated, prompting Swoop to share a first look teaser image on social media last week. Emblazoned with the eye-catching magenta Swoop logo, and magenta accented tailfin and winglets, this is the first of six Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to be delivered this year. Several more milestone announcements, from Swoop’s official uniform unveiling to the launch of a range of international destinations, will be made in the near future.
“The delivery of our first aircraft is yet another exciting milestone as we begin the final countdown to Swoop’s operational launch,” said Steven Greenway, Swoop President and CEO. “The phenomenal team at Swoop has been working tirelessly towards our first flights and everything is “GO” for Swoop to take to the skies on June 20.”
Swoop will operate a modern, fuel efficient fleet of Boeing 737-800NGs. This aircraft type will fit into Swoop’s ultra-low-cost business model, which aims to optimize efficiency while minimizing maintenance and operating costs. With 189 seats, including 39 with extra legroom, the aircraft interior is outfitted with amenities, including in-seat power, fully adjustable headrests, WiFi connectivity and in-flight entertainment.
For further information, visit FlySwoop.com
The Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB, MSN 216, has successfully completed its first flight. The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines in second half 2018.
The aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines has embarked on a short flight test programme to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will extend its range capability to 9,700 nautical miles. These changes include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 litres, without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.
With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tonnes, the Ultra Long Range A350 XWB is capable of flying over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.
Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.
The A350 XWB is an all new family of widebody long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The A350 XWB features an Airspace by Airbus cabin offering absolute well-being on board with the quietest twin-aisle cabin and new air systems.
At the end of March 2018, Airbus has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.
Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. The carrier has already taken delivery of 21 A350-900s.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts global industry net profit to rise to $38.4 billion in 2018, an improvement from the $34.5 billion expected net profit in 2017 (revised from a $31.4 billion forecast in June).
“These are good times for the global air transport industry. Safety performance is solid. We have a clear strategy that is delivering results on environmental performance. More people than ever are traveling. The demand for air cargo is at its strongest level in over a decade. Employment is growing. More routes are being opened. Airlines are achieving sustainable levels of profitability. It’s still, however, a tough business, and we are being challenged on the cost front by rising fuel, labor and infrastructure expenses,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“The industry also faces longer-term challenges. Many of them are in the hands of governments. Aviation is the business of freedom and a catalyst for growth and development. To continue to deliver on our full potential, governments need to raise their game—implementing global standards on security, finding a reasonable level of taxation, delivering smarter regulation and building the cost-efficient infrastructure to accommodate growing demand. The benefits of aviation are compelling—2.7 million direct jobs and critical support for 3.5% of global economic activity. And the industry is ready to partner with governments to reinforce the foundations for global connectivity that are vital to modern life,” said de Juniac.
Passenger numbers are expected to increase to 4.3 billion in 2018, while the cargo business continues to benefit from a strong cyclical upturn in volumes, with some recovery in yields.
The biggest challenge to profitability in 2018 is rising costs, particularly in terms of oil prices, labour costs and overall unit costs.
All regions are expected to report improved profitability in 2018 and all regions are expected to see demand growth outpace capacity expansion. Carriers in North America continue to lead on financial performance, accounting for nearly half of the industry’s total profits. Airlines in this region are forecast to generate the strongest financial performance with net profits of $16.4 billion in 2018 (up from $15.6 billion in 2017). Market conditions are expected to continue to be strong, with announced capacity growth (3.4%) likely to be slightly less than our traffic forecast of 3.5%.
North American airlines have generated more than half of the industry’s profits produced in the past three years, but rising cost pressures have slowed further improvements. Low hedging ratios mean rising fuel prices have hit this region first and labor cost pressures have been an issue, though the expectation is that this pressure will diminish in 2018.
On March 25, Boeing and Singapore Airlines celebrated the delivery of the first 787-10 airplane, the newest and largest member of the Dreamliner family. About 3,000 people marked the milestone at Boeing's facility in North Charleston, South Carolina, where the latest 787 model is manufactured.
Like the other 787 Dreamliners, the 787-10 is designed with strong, lightweight composites, the most advanced systems, and comfortable cabin features. The 787-10, though, features a longer fuselage which allows it to carry about 40 more passengers or a total of 330 seats in a standard two-class configuration.
With the additional capacity, the 787-10 provides airlines the lowest operating cost per seat of any widebody airplane in service today.
"It is an honour for us to be the world's first airline to take delivery of this amazing aircraft," said Mr. Goh Choon Phong, chief executive officer of Singapore Airlines, the 787-10 launch customer. "The 787-10 is a magnificent piece of engineering and truly a work of art. It will be an important element in our overall growth strategy, enabling us to expand our network and strengthen our operations."
Goh added that "the 787-10 underscores Singapore Airlines' longstanding commitment to operate a modern fleet, and marks the start of a new chapter in our shared story with Boeing."
Singapore Airlines – through its subsidiary Scoot – already flies the 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliners. With today's delivery the group will be the first to operate all three Dreamliner models. Singapore Airlines has 68 additional Boeing widebody jets on order, including 48 additional 787-10s, and 20 of the new 777-9s.
"This is a big day for all of us at Boeing and for our global supplier partners. We are thrilled to deliver the first 787-10 Dreamliner to Singapore Airlines, one of the world's leading carriers. And we are honored by Singapore's partnership and trust, as reflected by their repeated orders for the Dreamliner," said Kevin McAllister, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive officer. "The 787-10 will extend the Dreamliner effect that we are seeing across commercial aviation as the 787's superior passenger experience and unmatched fuel efficiency helps airlines open new routes and achieve significant fuel savings and emission reduction."
The 787-10's superior performance and high commonality with its Dreamliner siblings have attracted strong interest from around the world, including in Asia where the jet can connect all points within the region. The 787-10 also offers Asian operators the flexibility to fly to Europe, Africa and Oceania.
Singapore Airlines plans to puts its 787-10s into scheduled service in May, with flights from Singapore to Osaka, Japan and Perth, Australia. Prior to the introduction of these services, the aircraft will be operated on selected flights to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur for crew training purposes.
Thousands of Boeing employees gathered at the company's Renton, Wash. factory today to celebrate the 10,000th 737 to come off the production line. With this airplane, a 737 MAX 8 for Southwest Airlines, the 737 has broken the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the most produced commercial jet aircraft model.
"This incredible milestone is a testament to the work we do every day to build the most reliable and efficient single-aisle airplane in the world," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Kevin McAllister. "It represents more than 50 years of success and achievement on the part of thousands of Boeing employees past and present, our supplier partners, and our airline customers around the globe who put their confidence in the 737."
The 737 previously held this GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title in 2006 for the 5,000th airplane to come out of the Renton factory, a mark that took almost four decades to reach. Due to growing market demand and higher production rates, the 737 program reached the 10,000th airplane milestone only 12 years later.
"The speed at which Boeing achieved this new milestone is very impressive," said Michael Empric, official adjudicator for GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS. "We are excited to once again recognize the 737 and the important role it plays in commercial aviation."
Boeing will increase 737 production from the current rate of 47 airplanes per month to 52 airplanes per month later this year. The 737 program has more than 4,600 airplanes still on order fueled by sales of the newest version of the 737, the 737 MAX.
• A 737 takes off or lands every 1.5 seconds
• On average, more than 2,800 737s are in the air at any given time
• More than 22 billion people have flown on a 737
• The 737 has flown more than 122 billion miles, the equivalent of 5 million times around Earth