Boeing 737 Max Planes Could Take Six Months to Fix, Cost More Than $500 Million, Analysts Say
Boeing could need between three and six months to fix and install new software on its 737 Max aircraft, following the move by the U.S. and other countries to ground the planes this week. The repairs could cost Boeing at least $500 million and delay deliveries of new planes on order, analysts estimate.
President Trump grounded all of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft in the U.S. Wednesday, after the crash involving one of the planes Sunday in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board.
US lawmakers call for FAA oversight review in wake of MAX grounding
Refined satellite tracking data combined with some non-defined physical evidence from the wreckage of the Ethiopian Airlines crash site prompted Canada, then the US to ground the Boeing 737 MAX.
The morning of March 13, Canada’s transport ministry announced that country’s grounding. Three Canadian airlines—Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing—have MAXs in their fleets.
Hours later the same day, the US abruptly changed course when President Donald Trump announced the US was also grounding the MAX—the last country to do so.
UK, US sign aviation agreement for ‘no-deal’ Brexit
A series of bilateral aviation safety agreements reached by the US and UK governments would ensure that cooperation on air travel and aviation safety remains mostly unchanged in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit. The agreements guarantee there will be no change to maintenance oversight, with the US and UK continuing to accept each other’s aviation maintenance approvals.
North Atlantic space-based aircraft surveillance begins in March
Air navigation service providers (ANSP) in the UK and Canada later this month will start a joint trial of space-based surveillance of aircraft flying over the North Atlantic, a capability that will deliver immediate safety and capacity benefits for oceanic travel.
UK NATS will begin tracking aircraft over the eastern half of the North Atlantic the night of March 27, using the Aireon system of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) receivers carried by Iridium Next satellites.
Embraer posts 2018 net loss, Boeing deals may slip to end of year
Embraer delivered 90 commercial aircraft last year, the manufacturer confirmed March 14, in line with what the company advised in January, but its financial results for 2018 and expectations over closing two Boeing mergers left analysts and investors underwhelmed.
Boeing quietly unveils 777-9
Boeing quietly debuted the 777-9, the first member of the 777X family, to employees at an event closed to the media at Everett, Washington, on March 13. The official unveiling, which was overshadowed by the grounding of the 737 MAX fleet in the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash, marks the prelude to an intense series of ground tests in the run-up to first flight.
UK start-up promises hybrid-electric regional flight by 2025
A UK start-up has declared its intention to fly by 2022 an 18-seat hybrid-electric aircraft – with certification following by 2025.
The concept features a turboprop engine generating electricity to drive a ducted, contra-rotating pusher prop fan with vectored thrust, and a high-lift, triple-box wing for use in passenger and freight roles.
'Multiple errors' contributed to fatal Teterboro Learjet crash
US accident investigators have determined that the fatal crash of a Bombardier Learjet 35A at Teterboro airport on 15 May 2017 was caused by the aircraft stalling at low altitude after the pilot failed to perform a go-around when the approach became unstable.
The accident was due to a number of errors and misjudgements made by the crew before and during the flight, as well as a lack of safety oversight by the charter operator, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said at a public hearing in Washington DC on 12 March.
P&W Singapore shop completes first PW1000G overhaul
Pratt & Whitney’s Singapore engine shop, Eagle Services Asia (ESA), has delivered its first PW1000G-series geared turbofan after completing overhauls.
P&W did not disclose the operator of the engine, which was inducted into the facility in January.
Norwegian to seek compensation from Boeing on 737 MAX grounding
Norwegian Air Shuttle will seek compensation from Boeing over the MAX grounding, CEO Bjorn Kjos said.
Nations and regions around the world have been grounding the 737 MAX, following the March 10 crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 near Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board. The Ethiopian MAX crash came just over four months after a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crashed off the Indonesian coast Oct. 29, 2018.
Lufthansa Group’s 2018 net profit down 7.6% on higher fuel costs, expenses
Lufthansa Group recorded a 2018 net profit of €2.2 billion ($2.5 billion), down 7.6% from €2.3 billion in 2017.
Revenues grew 6% to €35.8 billion ($41 billion) in 2018; its adjusted operating profit declined by 4% to €2.8 billion. The company incurred €850 million in higher fuel costs and around €500 million in extra expenses because of cancellations and delays.
Ethiopian Airlines’ crash aircraft recorder examinations to start Friday
French air accident investigation agency BEA has received the flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) that were recovered from the Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash site.
A BEA spokesman told ATW March 14 the so-called “black boxes” arrived at 1pm local time, four days after the March 10 crash.
SWISS 2018 operating profit up 16% on traffic growth, fuel-efficient aircraft
Lufthansa Group subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) posted a record operating profit of CHF636 million ($645.9 million) for 2018, up 16% from CHF548 million in the previous year.
The carrier’s total annual revenue rose 7.1% to CHF5.3 billion, compared to CHF4.9 billion in 2017. The revenue gains were boosted by traffic growth and the introduction of more fuel-efficient aircraft into the fleet, the airline said.
Lundgren: EasyJet ‘not desperate’ for Alitalia deal
EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren is continuing to weigh the merits of a joint Alitalia investment with US carrier Delta Air Lines, but he said the UK LCC is “not desperate” for a transaction to materialize. In February, easyJet confirmed it was in talks with Delta and Italian railway company Ferrovie dello Stato over a possible joint investment in Alitalia.
Asia-Pacific carriers scramble to replace grounded MAXs
The global grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is causing major operational headaches for many Asia-Pacific airlines, as they scramble to adjust their schedules to replace MAXs.
Several Asian carriers have MAX family aircraft in their fleets—in some cases just a handful, but still proportionally significant. Airlines have had to cancel some flights and reshuffle their fleets to cover for the MAXs.
Turkish Airlines to move to new Istanbul Airport April 6
Turkish Airlines has confirmed it will transfer operations from its current hub at Istanbul Atatürk Airport to the new Istanbul Airport on April 6.
The new airport, which began partial operations Oct. 29, 2018, had planned to be completely open March 3.
United debuts premium 767 on London flight
United Airlines will introduce its first Boeing 767-300ER with an expanded business class cabin on flights to London Heathrow today.
The first reconfigured aircraft (MSN 29238) is scheduled to operate UA110 departing Newark Liberty for London at 19:10 on 14 March, the Chicago-based carrier's website shows.
ANALYSIS: Azul expects to close Avianca Brazil deal quickly
Azul expects to conclude a planned acquisition of Avianca Brazil's assets "relatively quickly", stressing that the proposed deal will benefit both Avianca Brazil customers and industry capacity.
"The process should run relatively quickly," Azul chief executive John Rodgerson told analysts on an earnings call on 14 March. He notes an upcoming Avianca Brazil creditors meeting later this month, which will kick off a months-long process for Azul to complete the deal.
PICTURES: BA’s original Negus scheme set for final 747 retrojet
British Airways has confirmed speculation around its fourth and final retro-livery, revealing that a Boeing 747-400 will be painted in the airline’s original red, white and blue Negus design dating from 1973.
The 747-400 (G-CIVB) is currently at Dublin for painting into the first version of the Negus livery featuring full “British airways” titles, which was employed until 1980.
Ryanair resurrects Buzz brand for Polish airline operation
Ryanair is to resurrect the ‘Buzz’ airline brand later this year, using it for its newly-established Polish operation Ryanair Sun.
The airline says it will rebrand Ryanair Sun, which was set up last year, with the new identity being introduced from autumn.
China Eastern looks to base 200 aircraft at Daxing
China Eastern Airlines plans eventually to station 200 aircraft at the new Beijing Daxing International Airport that is scheduled to open this year, chairman Liu Shaoyong said.
The company is assuming it will take 40% of traffic at Daxing, Liu notes that, given the airport’s intended capacity of 72 million passengers a year in 2025, the forecast market share implies 28.8 million passengers for China Eastern.
Development of Abha Airport announced in line with Saudi 2030 Vision
To accommodate the expected increase in passengers travelling to the Middle East, the General Authority of Civil Aviation Saudi Arabia (GACA) have announced the development of Abha Airport.
The Minister of Transport and the Chairman of the General Authority for Civil Aviation, Dr. Nabil Bin Mohammed Al Amoudi, has announced the strategic plans for the transport projects in the Asir region, which includes air transport projects in the region.
Fraport reports continued positive trend in passenger traffic
Despite aircraft movements climbing 4.7 per cent, air cargo traffic fell by nearly 3.4 per cent for the same period last year for Frankfurt Airport according to Fraport.
In February 2019, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) welcomed more than 4.5 million passengers – an increase of 4.3 per cent year-on-year. During the first two months of 2019, FRA achieved passenger growth of 3.3 per cent.
US Army starts manned-unmanned demo for future rotorcraft
The US Army launched a manned-unmanned aircraft teaming demonstration programme on 14 March which is intended to help rotorcraft pilots better coordinate with autonomous drones in combat.
Called the Advanced Teaming Demonstration Programme (A-Team), manned-unmanned teaming systems that are engineered could be installed on the service’s new Future Vertical Lift aircraft.
US Air Force sees F-15EX as cheap and quick fix
The US Air Force (USAF) is requesting funds from Congress for eight Boeing F-15EX fighters instead of more of its favoured aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter, in a move aimed at cutting costs.
Over the past year and a half, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have come up with the idea as a means to quickly and cheaply replace the USAF’s ageing F-15C fleet, which will be ready for retirement in the 2020s, says a source familiar with discussions around the Pentagon's force planning.
USAF wants $35 million to continue light attack tests
The US Air Force is requesting $35 million from the US Congress to continue its light attack experiment in 2019 with the purchase of several aircraft from Sierra Nevada-Embraer and Textron.
Reportedly, the service plans to buy three Sierra Nevada-Embraer A-29 Super Tucanos and three Textron AT-6B Wolverines, although Air Force Chief of Staff Gen David Goldfein said in testimony to the US Senate Appropriations Committee on 13 March that price negotiations are still underway.
The most nerve-wracking of airline duties: the flight engineer's job on a proving run flown by two chief pilots.
On This Day
1. What is a deceleron?
2.When air traffic control advises pilots of other traffic, many pilots advise the controller that the traffic is not in sight using the colloquial and unofficial phrase "no joy." From where does this expression originate?
3. The Waco CG-4A glider was used during World War II (especially during the Normandy invasion) as a cargo and troop carrier. Why was it referred to as a "flying coffin"?
4. Almost all general aviation piston engines have a wet sump, a built-in oil reservoir, instead of an external or separate oil tank. How can you determine by looking at the oil dipstick of a wet-sump engine the minimum oil quantity with which the engine can be operated safely?
5. True or False, James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle was the first solo pilot to perform a blind takeoff and landing using only cockpit instruments and radio aids.
6. True or False, Two Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses took off from Hilo, Hawaii, on August 6, 1946, without anyone on board. Both landed safely at Muroc Dry Lake, California.