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Aviation News for the Week of September 11, 2016

This week in aviation news: Hong Kong Airlines places order for A330s, Singapore Airlines to allow A380 lease to expire, Turkmenistan Airways narrowly avoids suspension


On Thursday, China’s Hong Kong Airlines placed an order for nine Airbus A330-300 widebody aircraft in a deal worth an estimated $2.3 billion. "Today's announcement underscores our plan to operate an extensive regional network in Asia," said Zhang Kui, President, Hong Kong Airlines. "The A330’s flexibility also allows us to further deploy these aircraft to some long haul routes in the future, and we are going to operate the all-new A350 XWB in 2017 which will open a new chapter of our international operations." Hong Kong Airlines currently operates an all-Airbus fleet of 38 airplanes, including both passenger and freighter aircraft and 22 A330s. Airbus’ A330 family has achieved over 1,600 orders to date, carrying 277 passengers in a standard configuration and boasting a range of 6,350 nautical miles.    


Singapore Airlines announced that it will not be renewing its lease on its first A380-800, which will expire in October 2018. The aircraft is on a 10-year lease from Germany-based Dr. Peters Group. Singapore currently operates a total of 19 Airbus A380s, nine of which are on lease. A further five are currently on order from Airbus. Four more aircraft of the same type and year of manufacture have leases set to expire soon, but a decision on those lease agreements is pending. The A380 is Airbus’ largest aircraft and has achieved 319 orders since its launch in 2007.


Turkmenistan’s flagship carrier has narrowly avoided suspension from operating in Russian aerospace for failing to pay $220,000 in debts to Rosaviatsa, Russia’s air traffic control agency. The Ashgabat-based airline operates flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg, and flies several routes over Russia. Turkmenistan Airways had requested an extended deadline for the payment originally due August 27, which it failed to meet. On Wednesday, Turkmenistan received notification that it would be prohibited from operating in Russian aerospace if it failed to complete the payment by September 19, but proceeded with the payment in full on Thursday. Founded in 1992, Turkmenistan Airways operates a total of 33 aircraft flying to 23 destinations. 

Aviation News for the Week of September 4, 2016

This week in aviation news: Bombardier revises 2016 C-Series delivery schedule, Vietjet places order for 20 Airbus A320s


On Tuesday, Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier announced that has cut CSeries delivery projections for 2016 by nearly half, due to ongoing issues with the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney engines. Bombardier had originally planned for 15 deliveries of the CS100 this year, but now expects to deliver only seven. The engine issues have been attributed to delays in parts manufacturing of the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney 1500G geared turbofan engines. The first CS100 aircraft was delivered to Air Swiss in June while the larger member of the C-Series family, the CS300, is scheduled for its first delivery by the end of this year as planned. “We are working very closely with Pratt & Whitney to quickly address this supplier ramp-up issue and to ensure we have a strong supplier base to support our long-term growth objectives,” Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said. “We are very confident in our production ramp-up plan, including our ability to meet our production goal of 90 to 120 aircraft per year by 2020.” Bombardier Commercial Airplanes lowered its projected net profit for this year but still expects to fall into its lower guidance range, estimating approximately $17.5-16.5 billion in profit. Related issues with Pratt & Whitney’s engine production has caused extensive delays on deliveries of Airbus’ new A320neo aircraft.


Vietjet has placed an order for 20 A320 family aircraft, consisting of 10 A320neos and 10 A320ceos. A Vietnam-based low-cost carrier, Vietjet began operations five years ago and its fleet includes 40 A320 family aircraft. The deal was finalized in conjunction with French President François Hollande’s official state trip to Vietnam last week. Hollande witnessed the signing of the agreement, along with President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang. “We are pleased to sign our latest purchase agreement with Vietjet,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO. “Vietjet is benefitting from the very significant economies that come from operating a single aircraft family. For busier routes the A321 combines higher capacity with the lowest operating costs in its class, offering unbeatable efficiency. Airbus and Vietjet also finalized an agreement to provide training and maintenance for the aircraft at Vietjet’s new facility in Ho Chi Minh City. Including this order, Vietjet has placed orders for a total of 119 A320 family aircraft.

Aviation News for the Week of August 21, 2016

This week in aviation news: engine malfunction on Southwest 737 forces emergency landing, Rolls-Royce wins $1.5 billion order from China Eastern Airlines, Lufthansa Technik and China Airlines expand component services partnership


An engine failure forced an Orlando-bound Southwest Airlines flight to make an emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida on Saturday morning. The aircraft took off from New Orleans and had reached cruising altitude when the incident occurred. Passengers described a loud boom, smoke coming out of the Boeing 737’s left engine, and metal debris from the damaged engine flapping in the wind. The aircraft was diverted and all 99 passengers and five crew members were safely evacuated from the aircraft. The NTSB is investigating the incident.


On Wednesday, Rolls-Royce reported that it will equip 15 China Eastern Airlines Airbus A330 aircraft with Trent 700 engines in a deal worth an estimated $1.5 billion. 51 of China Eastern’s A330s currently in operation are powered by Trent 700 engines. Paul Freestone, Senior Vice President, Rolls-Royce, said: “China Eastern operates one of the world’s largest A330 fleets, and we are honored they have selected the Trent 700 again, as it continues to respond to Chinese demand with new levels of service.” Rolls-Royce will continue to offer engine maintenance and support for the aircraft as part of its TotalCare service. The U.K.-based engine manufacturer reports that the Trent 700 delivers superior fuel burn, lower emissions, and is quieter than its competitors.


Lufthansa Technik, the maintenance, repair, and overhaul service for Lufthansa Group, announced an expanded partnership with Taiwan-based China Airlines this week. The long term agreement for component services will support China Airlines’ fleet of Airbus A350s in maintenance, reliability monitoring, reliability enhancement programs, and logistic services. The agreement will also include AOG fleet support using Lufthansa Technik’s worldwide network.  C.J. Huang, Senior Vice President at China Airlines said: "After a long selection process we came to the conclusion that Lufthansa Technik could offer us the high level of performance and reliability that we are in need of for the component support of our new A350 fleet. We believe partnering with Lufthansa Technik is a win-win strategic move and will further strengthen the collaboration between China Airlines and Lufthansa Technik." Currently, Lufthansa Technik supplies materials for China Airlines’ A330 and A340 long-haul fleets.

Aviation News for the Week of August 14, 2016

This week in aviation news: GECAS arranges sale and leaseback with Qatar Airways, Boeing delivers ANA’s 50th 787, Qatar Airways flight makes emergency landing after bird strike


On Tuesday, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) finalized a sale and leaseback agreement with Qatar Airways for five new Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The aircraft will be utilized to expand the carrier’s rapidly growing fleet, which currently consists of 190 aircraft flying to more than 150 destinations around the world. The Airbus A350-900, the first member of the A350 XWB to enter service, is the middle-sized member of the Airbus A350 XWB family. The A350 XWB, standing for “extra-wide body,” is Airbus’ newest family of long-range, wide-body aircraft, and reports increased efficiency compared to its predecessors. The A350-900 carries 325 passengers in a three-class configuration, and boasts a range of 8,100 nautical miles. The XWB family has achieved a total of more than 800 firm orders with 30 deliveries of the A350-900 to date.


On Thursday, Boeing delivered All-Nippon Airlines’ (ANA) 50th 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft during a ceremony at Boeing’s manufacturing facility in Everett, Washington. Headquartered in Shiodome City, Japan, ANA operates more Dreamliners than any other carrier in the world, totalling 11% of 787s currently in operation and an estimated 125,000 flights. The 787s will be used to expand ANA’s long-haul global routes from Tokyo to Cambodia this year and to Mexico City by next year. ANA became the 787’s launch customer when it placed the first order in 2004, and became the first carrier to operate the aircraft in 2011. The 787 “Dreamliner” is Boeing’s largest aircraft, and has received over 1,100 orders since its launch in 2004.

A Qatar Airways Airbus A330 was forced to make an emergency landing in Istanbul after a likely bird strike caused flames to shoot out of the aircraft’s left engine. Shortly after takeoff, the Doha-bound aircraft was diverted over the nearby Marmara Sea and then rerouted back to Ataturk Airport, where all 298 passengers and 14 crew members were evacuated safely. Mehmet Kirazoglu, a witness on the ground, reported that following a strange sound overhead the aircraft’s left engine could be seen ablaze. “When we looked up we saw that a Qatar plane’s left engine was flaming out. It turned round towards the sea, I suppose it drained its fuel. Afterwards we learnt it landed safely,” Kirazoglu said. One of the Middle East’s largest carriers, Qatar Airways’ fleet consists of 190 aircraft flying to over 150 destinations worldwide.


The Summer 2016 edition of the Airliner Price Guide is now avaliable! 

Aviation News for the Week of July 31, 2016

This week in aviation news: Emirates 777 crashes on runway in Dubai, PEMCO delivers 100th 737-300 freighter converted aircraft, HNA Group obtains Azul Airlines stake, Allegiant Air orders A320ceos


On Wednesday, Emirates flight 521 crash-landed on the runway at Dubai International Airport, resulting in several minor injuries among passengers. While all 300 passengers and crew members on board were evacuated from the Boeing 777-300 safely, a firefighter was killed battling the resulting flames. Although the investigation is ongoing, images taken of the destroyed aircraft show that the landing gear may have collapsed, causing the airplane to skid across the runway and burst into flames. The airport was closed for approximately six hours following the incident, resulting in numerous delays and cancellations. Boeing reported that, under the direction of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, it will support the investigation lead by the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority, serving as technical advisor.  


On Tuesday, cargo conversion company Pemco World Air Services (PEMCO) reported the delivery of its 100th 737-300 freighter converted aircraft. The aircraft was converted for Chinese delivery services company S.F. Express. The aircraft is PEMCO’S 16th 737-300/400 conversion for S.F. Express’ parent company S.F. Airlines, and three more deliveries are planned for later this year. VP of SF Airlines Liang Xi said, “Since inducting the first B737 Classic in 2011, SF now operates 13 Classics all converted under PEMCO’s STC. We’re very grateful for PEMCO’s excellent STC program and continued support. By the end of the year, we expect the B737 Classic to surpass the B757 to become the largest SF fleet.” PEMCO began converting Boeing 737-300s in 1991, and has delivered the converted freighters to customers worldwide, including China Postal Airlines EMS, Kahala Aviation, Swiftair, TNT Express, and Yangtze River Express Airlines.


HNA Group, headquartered in Haikou, China finalized a $450 million deal last week for a 23.7% stake in Brazil’s Azul Airlines. The part owner of Hainan Airlines, HNA Group also has stakes in Africa World Airlines, Aigle Azur, Comair and MyCargo Airlines. The deal will result in HNA Group gaining three seats on Azul’s board of directors. HNA Group Vice Chairman and CEO Adam Tan said, “In addition to bringing more choice and convenience to Hainan Airlines’ customers traveling to and from Brazil, we view Azul as a strong and lasting partner for HNA to explore further expansion and capital investment in Latin America. We look forward to working together to create a seamless travel experience between Latin America and China and to deliver further choice, value and excellence to worldwide travelers through our future cooperation.” Azul Airlines accounts for a third of Brazil’s air transport market, operating more than 800 flights daily to 109 destinations. Its fleet of 149 aircraft consists mostly of Embraer E195s and ATR72-500/600s.


Last week, low-cost, Las Vegas-based carrier Allegiant Air signed a firm agreement for 12 Airbus A320ceos, the “ceo” standing for current engine option. The airline’s first purchase of brand new aircraft, the deal signifies Allegiant’s forthcoming shift to an all-Airbus fleet. The aircraft will be installed with CFM56 engines, and will see delivery through 2019. Maury Gallagher, Chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company said, “As we continue to transition to an all-Airbus fleet, this purchase will allow us to accelerate that process, reduce complexity in our fleet and provide our passengers with an ever-improving experience.”

Aviation News for the Week of July 24, 2016

This week in aviation news: JetBlue orders additional A321 neos, Embraer launches Phenom 100 EV, Air France flight attendant strike affects thousands, Malaysia Airlines places 737 MAX order

On Tuesday, Airbus announced that JetBlue had expanded an original order for A320 family aircraft, adding 15 more A321ceo and 15 A321neo aircraft. “Airbus has been our partner since the beginning, and we are proud that our partnership continues today,” said Robin Hayes, president and CEO, JetBlue. “The A321 is an incredible aircraft that is delivering results for our business. We intend to deploy many of these aircraft to expand our successful Mint experience and our west coast presence.” In a press release, Airbus announced that many of the aircraft will arrive from Airbus’ new manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama. JetBlue’s fleet currently includes 160 A320 family aircraft, and Airbus’ current backlog of 116 JetBlue aircraft consists of 25 A320neos, 31 A321ceos, and 60 A321neos. The A321neo, the largest member of the A320neo family, is expected to hold 206 passengers in a two-class configuration, while boasting a range of 4,000 nautical miles. Like the rest of the A320neo family, the aircraft will see 20 percent fuel burn savings by 2020. The A321neo is expected to achieve certification and begin deliveries later this year.  


Embraer Executive Jets announced the launch of the next generation of its Phenom 100 executive jet at EAA AirVenture held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this week. The Phenom 100 EV features a new avionics suite with a Prodigy Touch flight deck and modified Pratt & Whitney engines, offering greater speed and improved hot and high performance. The aircraft will begin deliveries in the first half of 2017. “The Phenom 100 revolutionized the entry-level segment when it set new standards for comfort, performance, and operating costs,” said Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. “The new Phenom 100 EV will deliver even greater performance and operational capability while preserving its low operating and maintenance costs.” Embraer’s Phenom 100 EV boasts a four-occupant range of 1,178 nautical miles, and 100 jets are currently in operation around the world. 


Strikes by Air France flight attendants last week caused upwards of 900 cancelled flights affecting approximately 150,000 passengers. The strike began when two prominent Air France unions issued a call to strike between July 27 through August 2. Workers are seeking an extension of a labor contract on rules, pay, and promotions that expires in several months. Reports say that Air France management hopes to extend the contract by 17 months, while workers are demanding an extension of between three and five years. The strike is occurring at the height of summer holiday travel, creating chaos at the nation’s airports, railways, and on the roads. Negotiations are reportedly stalled and the strike could potentially be extended.


Boeing and Malaysia Airlines announced an order for 25 737 MAX 8 aircraft, previously attributed to an unidentified customer, and valued at approximately $2.75 million USD. The agreement also includes purchase rights for 25 additional 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 airplanes. "This deal is a game-changer for Malaysia Airlines with much lower costs and greater efficiency which we will pass on to our loyal customers with lower fares," said Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew. "With the 737 MAX's longer range capabilities, we will be able to connect our passengers to more destinations, in greater comfort and with superior economics." Bellew cited Malaysia Airlines’ goal to extend its network across Southeast Asia over the next decade, and the 737 MAX’s role in that expansion. 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. 

Aviation News for the Week of July 10, 2016

This week in aviation news: orders and commitments results from the Farnborough Airshow 


The biennial Farnborough Airshow was held last week in Hampshire, England, where orders and commitments were announced by the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers. In total, competing manufacturers Boeing and Airbus reported 182 and 279 orders and commitments worth approximately $26.8 and $35 billion, respectively.


One of the most notable announcements of the week was an order by AirAsia for 100 LEAP-powered A321neos, the largest member of the A320neo family and AirAsia’s first order of the variation. The narrowbody aircraft seats 185 passengers in a standard two-class configuration or up to 220 passengers in a single-class layout. Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer said, “the A321neo will help us to meet ongoing strong demand as well as further reduce our cost per Available Seat Kilometer across the group, which will translate to lower air fares for our guests. We would like to congratulate Airbus for producing the state-of-the-art A321neo aircraft that meets our requirements for efficient operations.” 


Mumbai-based low-cost carrier GoAir also secured an order for A320neo aircraft by doubling a 2011 order, bringing its new order book total to 144. At list prices, the order is worth approximately $7.7 billion. GoAir is the first customer to utilize Airbus’ Spaceflex configuration, seating 186 passengers in a high-density layout. The A320neo is Airbus’ newest family of medium-range, narrowbody aircraft. The aircraft comes in three size variants, seating between 100 and 240 passengers while boasting the latest in passenger comfort, avionics, and efficiency. To date, the A320neo family has received over 4,500 orders since the project’s launch in 2010.     


Although Boeing’s order book lagged behind Airbus’ throughout the week, it still managed to achieve large orders for its aircraft. Among them, Air Europa confirmed an order placed for 20 737 MAX 8s, previously attributed to an unidentified customer. The airline is the first Spanish operator to order the MAX. "The 737 MAX will complement Air Europa's growing fleet and is the perfect aircraft for our short-haul operations across Europe to feed our long-haul network from hubs in Madrid and Palma," said Juan José Hidalgo, president, Globalia, the parent company of Air Europa. "This aircraft will play a major role in growing our business in the years to come and we look forward to becoming an all-Boeing carrier following recent orders for the 787 Dreamliner and 737 MAX."


Boeing also announced a commitment for 30 737s from unidentified Chinese customer, specifically a mix of 737 Next-Generation and MAX aircraft worth around $3 billion at list prices. "The agreement demonstrates the confidence the market has in the 737 family of airplanes," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "The new airplanes will bring the leading edge of passenger comfort, efficiency and reliability in the single-aisle market to our customer.” 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.

Aviation News for the Week of June 26, 2016

This week in aviation news: First Bombardier CS100 delivered to Swiss International, Dassault Falcon 8X receives EASA and FAA certifications, COMAC achieves first commercial flight and announces upcoming widebody project, Cessna delivers 7,000th Citation to NetJets

Bombardier achieved an enormous milestone this week with the delivery of the first CS100 aircraft to launch operator Swiss International Air Lines. The aircraft is expected to enter service on July 15. “A new aircraft program like the C-Series aircraft comes around once in a lifetime and it’s a proud achievement that belongs to many,” said Rob Dewar, Vice President, C-Series Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “This first delivery is the culmination of hard work, collaboration and dedication by thousands of employees, partners and suppliers, and I’m thrilled to applaud them today as we celebrate the flawless delivery of the first CS100 aircraft to our valued customer - SWISS.” SWISS plans to replace its aging fleet of Avro RJ100s with C-Series aircraft. The 110-seat CS100 is the smaller member of Canadian manufacturer Bombardier’s C-Series family. Equipped with Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, the CS100 delivers a 20% fuel burn advantage over its competitors, is the quietest in-production commercial aircraft in the 100-150 seat variation, and boasts a range of 3,300 nautical miles.


French aircraft manufacturer Dassault aviation achieved victories this week with the upcoming Falcon 8X’s certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). "Not only did we develop a Falcon which is exactly in line with the needs of our customers in terms of range, comfort and operational flexibility, but we also did so in record time and with an unparalleled process to ensure aircraft reliability and maturity", said Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO. The aircraft will now undergo final entry-into-service preparations before its first delivery, scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year. The Falcon 8X is the updated version of the Falcon 7X. It boasts a range of 6,450 nautical miles and a 13 meters of cabin space, compared to 11.91 meters on the Falcon 7X.


Chinese manufacturer COMAC’s regional ARJ21 aircraft completed its first commercial flight this week, a two-hour long Chengdu Airlines flight carrying 70 passengers from Chengdu to Shanghai. The aircraft’s progress has been marred by significant delays, as its entry-into-service occurred approximately ten years behind schedule. The ARJ, short for “Advanced Regional Jet” is COMAC’s first aircraft to reach the delivery stage. The aircraft was manufactured in part to eliminate some of China’s reliance on Western manufacturers. To date, the ARJ21-700, the smaller of the two ARJ variants, has achieved approximately 300 orders, holds 90 passengers, and has a range of 1,382 nautical miles.


COMAC also made preliminary arrangements this week to produce a widebody aircraft with Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, signed during Russian president Vladamir Putin’s visit to China. The joint venture will cover the design, manufacture, marketing, and sales support of an unspecified number of widebody families, expected to have a capacity of between 250 and 300 seats. Airbus and Boeing are currently the world’s only manufacturers of commercial aircraft of that size.  


Cessna delivered its 7,000th Citation aircraft this week, with a delivery of the Citation Latitude to NetJets Inc. The aircraft is the first of a total order of twenty-five placed by NetJets in 2012. “The Cessna and NetJets relationship extends more than 20 years and our newest certified business jet is a perfect fit for their operations,” said Scott Ernest, President and CEO, Textron Aviation, NetJets’ parent company. “The Citation Latitude’s performance and value proposition equates to increased productivity for NetJets’ owners, while giving them large-cabin amenities at a midsize cost. We are thrilled the aircraft has become one of the fastest selling aircraft in NetJets’ history.” The Citation Latitude, which achieved its first delivery last year, has a maximum range of 2,850 nautical miles with a maximum cruising altitude of 45,000 feet. 

Aviation News for the Week of June 19, 2016

This week in aviation news: Forecast International predicts decreased backlog for Airbus and Boeing, Air Lease Corporation Board names new CEO, Southwest Airlines delays giant MAX order, Brexit throws future of U.K. aviation into question

Forecast International has released newly accumulated data suggesting that the massive backlogs accumulated for Airbus and Boeing aircraft will decline this year. Washington-based Boeing is planning on raising its 737 production rates over the next few years, from 42 at present to 47 and 52 per month in 2017 and 2018. Airbus’ current backlog totals 6,759 compared to Boeing’s 5,762, most of which are for the A320 and the 737, respectively. "An important question for the industry is whether the massive backlogs peaked in 2015 or will continue to grow throughout 2016," said Kasper Oestergaard, Forecast International's European correspondent. "The industry is off to a slow start in 2016, but orders have been strong in April and May."


Air Lease Corporation (ALC) announced that John L. Plueger will become its next President & CEO, while founder and current CEO Steven Udvar-Házy will become Executive Chairman, effective July 1. Mr. Plueger is ALC’s current President & COO and a member of its Board of Directors since March 2010, shortly after its founding. ALC currently owns 268 aircraft on lease to 88 customers worldwide, and reports a total of 386 Boeing and Airbus aircraft scheduled for delivery over the next eight years. “John and I have worked together for over 30 years and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished in six short years at ALC and look forward to continuing to partner with John in my new role as Executive Chairman,” said Udvar-Házy. “In this role, I will continue to work closely with our airline customers, OEMs and financiers to modernize and grow airline fleets and make ALC the premier leasing company in the world.”


Southwest Airlines has announced that it will push back the delivery of 67 Boeing 737 MAX 8s by up to six years, from between 2019 and 2022 to between 2023 and 2025. The new delivery schedule will postpone the $1.9 billion order and allow the airline to invest in technology upgrades to improve flight operations in the near future. The Dallas-based carrier will also expedite delivery of six 737-800s from 2018 to 2017 in order to proceed with retirements of its oldest 737s. “It has nothing to do with the MAX. The MAX is a fabulous airplane and we will fly it in 2017,” Southwest Airlines Chief Financial Officer Tammy Romo said. “It really is shells, or the number of aircraft.” Southwest is the world’s largest operator of Boeing’s 737, and currently has a total of 200 MAX family members on order.


Britain’s decision to exit the European Union (EU) last week has sent world financial markets into a tailspin, and created uncertainty in business sectors around the world. The aviation market is not an exception, as IAG’s shares on Friday dropped by 25%, EasyJet by 18.5%, and Lufthansa by 10%. While the long-term effects of Brexit are yet to become clear, many aviation analysts have contributed projections. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has predicted a 3-5% decrease in U.K. passenger traffic over the next four years. FlightGlobal also noted the likelihood of IAG giving more preference to its hubs in Dublin and Madrid, and invest more of its resources in developing Aer Lingus, Vueling, and Iberia as its primary EU operators over British Airways.  

Aviation News for the Week of June 12, 2016

This week in aviation news: Update on search for EgyptAir flight 804, DOT approves Cuba flights, 800 jobs to be cut at Lufthansa Cargo, Airbus to build helicopters in China


Significant amounts of wreckage from crashed EgyptAir flight 804 has been located in the Mediterranean Sea. The aircraft’s black box, consisting of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) were also found. However the FDR unit is severely damaged, according to investigators. The Cairo-bound flight crashed on May 19, leaving all 66 passengers and crew members on board presumed dead. The 2003 Airbus A320 took off from Charles de Gaulle when, at 37,000 feet and 3 ½ hours into the flight, the aircraft made a series of sharp turns before rapidly descending and disappearing from radar at 10,000 feet. Investigators hope that findings from the aircraft’s black boxes will lead to information as to what caused the crash.


The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved regular service to Cuba by U.S. carriers for the first time in 50 years. American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines will begin operating flights to Cuba starting later this year. Part of President Obama’s plan to restore U.S.-Cuban relations, the approved flights will begin with American Airlines flights from Miami to Cienfuegos and Holguin on September 7. Travelers hoping to visit Havanna will have to wait until later this summer for approval, as the number of applications for flights exceeds the current mandate of 20 daily flights.     


Frankfurt-based cargo airline Lufthansa Cargo has announced that it will cut 800 jobs in hopes of saving approximately €80 million. Deutsche Lufthansa expects to account for approximately 500 of the total cuts, a majority of which will consist of early retirements. Last fall, Lufthansa Cargo announced its C40 cost-cutting program in order to battle overcapacity in the freight market and a 40% drop in earnings from the previous year. Commenting on the announcement, Lufthansa Cargo said: “These job cuts will be as socially acceptable as possible. Working with our co-determination partners, we will prepare the implementation of these cost measures over the coming months and provide our company with a new, leaner organisational structure which is based on our customers’ needs.” The notice comes a week after LSG Sky Chefs, Lufthansa’s catering business, announced 2,400 possible cuts over the next five year


Airbus will begin assembling helicopters in China, according to an agreement finalized early last week. The assembly lines are part of a deal made with a group of Chinese businesses who ordered 100 H135 helicopters, worth nearly €1 billion with support. The factory, located in Qingdao, will produce around 36 helicopters per year, and is expected to begin operations in 2018.  "With the further opening up of the Chinese skies and the increasing growth in the civil and parapublic segments, China is gearing up to be the biggest market for helicopters in years to come," Norbert Ducrot, head of Airbus Helicopters China and North Asia region, said. The helicopters are expected to see delivery over the course of the next 10 years. 

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