This week in aviation news: CS300 entry into service scheduled for December, United Airlines announces order conversion plans, Peach Aviation orders Airbus aircraft, Mexico-city based Aeromar orders ATRs
Following the successful completion of its European route-proving flights, the first Bombardier CSeries 300 aircraft is scheduled to enter service with Riga-based airBaltic on December 14. “The historic first airBaltic commercial flight with Bombardier CS300 will link Riga with Amsterdam,” airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss said. airBaltic has a total of 20 of the 145-seat CS300s on order. The CS300 is the larger member of the Bombardier CSeries family, is the quietest in-production commercial aircraft of its size and boasts a range of 3,300 nautical miles. Bombardier also reports a 20% fuel burn advantage over its competitors.
United Airlines has announced plans to convert a major order for 65 Boeing 737-700s to 61 737 MAX aircraft and four 737-800s. Expected to save the company $1.6 billion in fuel usage over the next few years, the move is part of United’s long-term plan to improve revenue. "The realignment of our order book shifts our focus to ensuring our capital investments support earnings growth. We will continue to look at profitable opportunities in the new and used aircraft market to generate the highest ROIC," said Andrew Levy, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We have made important investments in our people and product this year, and will continue to make investments in the business to ensure increased profitability while maintaining a strong balance sheet." The 737-800s will be delivered next year, while the MAX aircraft will see delivery at an unspecified later date. The bestselling 737 MAX utilizes CFM International LEAP-1B engines and boasts a 20% fuel burn advantage when compared to the 737 Next-Generation. It has received over 3,000 orders to date, with deliveries expected to begin next year.
On Friday, low-cost, Osaka-based Peach Aviation announced an order for 10 A320neos and three A320ceos, a $1.4 billion dollar order in a traditional Boeing stronghold. Peach Aviation began operations four years ago, and plans to expand its current fleet size of 18 aircraft to 35 in the next four years to 100 in the long term. The aircraft are expected to see delivery by 2019. All Nippon Airways has a 39% stake in Peach Aviation, which plans to set up two new bases in Sendai and Sapporo in the next two years. The aircraft will be powered by CFM International’s CFM56 engines.
ATR has received an order from Mexico-City based Aeromar, including a firm order for six 72-600 aircraft and two 42-600s plus options for six 72-600s. Equipped with Pratt & Whitney 127M engines, the first of the aircraft will be delivered next month. The 42-600s will be configured with 48 seats, while the 72-600s will carry 72 passengers. The Mexico City-based airline currently has an all-ATR fleet size of 16, and operates flights through Mexico and the United States.