This week in aviation news: Galaxy Note7 banned from all U.S. flights, GE announces successful ground tests for GE9X engine, EgyptAir purchases eight 737NGs, Bombardier announces further job cuts as part of turnaround plan
On October 15, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an emergency order that banned all Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones from all passenger or cargo transport aircraft coming to or from the United States. Previously, passengers had been instructed to power off their Galaxy Note7s, which contain a defect causing them to overheat and in some instances catch fire. “We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.” Following suit, airlines and transportation authorities around the world put similar mandates in place the following week. The phone is now officially classified as a hazardous material, and thus banned from both checked and carry-on baggage.
On Wednesday, GE Aviation reported the successful competition of the first ground tests of its GE9X engine, which will be the world’s largest commercial aircraft engine once it hits the market in 2018. Intended for installation in Boeing 777X aircraft, GE reports that the engine has achieved 167 hours, 213 cycles and 89 starts to date and will begin in-flight tests next year. "This engine is living up to our expectations, and we are extremely pleased with the results," said Ted Ingling, general manager of the GE9X program at GE Aviation. "During ground testing at GE Aviation's Peebles Testing Operation, the first GE9X engine performed flawlessly, providing the Engineering team with 1,200 individual data streams that reaffirmed the design. We look forward to the next phase of testing for the engine program." The engine is in the 100,000 pound thrust class with a 134-inch fan. GE reports that approximately 700 orders have been placed for the engine to date.
EgyptAir has reported its purchase of eight Boeing 737 Next-Generation aircraft sponsored by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, in a statement announced on Thursday. The airline, Egypt’s flagship carrier, will receive the first aircraft in February 2017. “This new agreement, which implies adding new eight Boeing Next-Generation 737s to our fleet, will commemorate the mutual effort gathering both Boeing and EgyptAir, which dated back since 1969. The delivery of this new order will help us maintain EgyptAir’s global flight schedule and continue to deliver a consistently great performance for our customers,” EgyptAir chairman and CEO Safwat Musallam said. EgyptAir reports that its fleet currently includes 20 737NGs.
This week, Bombardier announced that it will cut approximately 7,500 jobs over the next two years in a plan that will save approximately $300 million. Consisting of approximately 10% of its global workforce, Bombardier said that the positions would mainly come from administrative and other non-production departments. “After successfully de-risking our business last year, our focus has shifted to building a clear path to profitable earnings growth and cash generation. The actions announced today will ensure we have the right cost structure, workforce and organization to compete and win in the future,” said Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. “We are confident in our strategy, our leadership team and our ability to achieve both our 2016 goals and our 2020 turn-around plan objectives.” In February, Bombardier announced plans to lay off 7,000 people in 2016.