TSA continues to dispute reports of longer security wait times
The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) pushed back again on Jan. 9 against reports that the ongoing partial federal government shutdown has led to increased wait-times at airports, saying that call outs and resignations have so far had a “minimal” impact on operations.
New Canada drone safety rules require registration, pilot certification
Transport Canada on Jan. 9 announced new rules governing the use of small unmanned aircraft, or drones, that introduce basic and advanced categories of drone operations, both requiring owners to register their aircraft and obtain a pilot certificate.
The new rules, which become effective on June 1, apply to recreational, commercial and academic operators of drones weighing from 250 grams to 25 kg. (0.55 lb. to 55 lbs.). Operators flying outside parameters of the rules will need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC).
Boeing reveals ultra-efficient airliner concept
Boeing has unveiled a refined design for its Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) ultra-efficient airliner concept. The 737-class aircraft, with a 170-ft.-span low-drag wing, is designed to fly at Mach 0.8, a typical airliner cruise speed and faster than previous versions of the design.
Airbus delivers more aircraft, receives fewer orders in 2018
Airbus set a new company record last year, at 800 commercial aircraft deliveries, while orders slowed down compared to 2017.
The Toulouse-based manufacturer thus narrowed the gap with US-based Boeing in deliveries, as the latter handed over 806 aircraft. A factor was Airbus’s greater order tally in 2017. However, in 2018, Airbus’s 747 net orders trailed Boeing’s 893.
Airbus begins hiring Mobile-based A220 production workers
Airbus has started hiring factory workers at its planned Alabama A220 assembly site in advance of a goal to begin production there later this year.
In what Airbus calls a "first wave" of hiring, the company has started recruiting aircraft structure and installation mechanics, aircraft electricians and aircraft cabin furnishing installers, Airbus says.
Airbus removes 10 A380s from order backlog
Airbus has removed orders for 10 A380s which had previously been allocated to an undisclosed customer.
The revision, disclosed in the airframer’s full-year activity figures for 2018, brings the total number of orders for the double-deck aircraft down to 321.
Airbus adds nearly 400 orders in final weeks of 2018
Airbus’s order rush in December centred heavily on single-aisle activity, with two undisclosed orders alone accounting for 147 A320neo-family aircraft.
One of these orders unveiled by Airbus in its final 2018 figures amounted to 80 A320neos, while the other, for 67 jets, comprised 17 A321neos and 50 A320neos.
Late Airbus surge takes full-year net orders to 747
Airbus took net orders for 747 aircraft last year, managing to double the net figure of 380 it had achieved by the end of November.
The airframer nevertheless lost out to rival Boeing both in terms of net orders – the US company reached 893 – and deliveries.
Virgin Atlantic pilots to appeal court ruling prohibiting strikes
A union representing pilots at Virgin Atlantic is attempting to overturn a court injunction won by the UK carrier last month, which prevented industrial action from taking place in the run-up to Christmas.
The Professional Pilots’ Union (PPU), which represents about 30% of Virgin Atlantic’s pilots, had planned to carry out a Dec. 22-25 strike, as well as two further four-day stoppages up to Jan. 7, to protest the airline’s refusal to recognize the UK long-haul carrier. However, Virgin won a High Court injunction Dec. 20, prohibiting the industrial action.
Chinese airlines improve on-time performance in 2018
On-time performance in Chinese commercial aviation leapt 8.5 percentage points to 80.1% in 2018, the best result in eight years, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said.
The country completed nine commercial airports in 2018, including replacements for old facilities, CAAC said in an annual progress report issued Jan. 7. The national airport total rose to 235 from 229.
Hainan Airlines evaluates joining alliance by 2022
China’s Hainan Airlines is assessing its chances for joining an alliance by 2022, managers have told staff members.
Work is underway to evaluate the prospects and how to achieve them within three years, according to a management document distributed to staff and seen by ATW. A spokesperson for the company said no information was available on which alliance the HNA carrier could join.
Germania examines financing options in wake of ‘major burdens’
Berlin-based Germania is considering financing options to ensure its short-term liquidity needs in reaction to rising fuel prices, a weakened euro and delays in bringing aircraft into its fleet.
“We are focusing on the central question of how we can continue to be effective in a market environment dominated by airlines under larger corporate structures,” the privately owned airline said in a statement. “Nevertheless, there are no restrictions on our flight operations and all Germania flights continue to be operated as planned.”
Vietnam startup Bamboo Airways secures AOC
Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways received an air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) on Jan. 9, a day before the planned unveiling of its first Airbus A321neo.
The startup airline had initially announced that it would begin operations in October and December 2018 but was postponed twice because of delays in the issuance of AOC.
Government committee to decide future of SriLankan Airlines
The Sri Lanka government has appointed a committee to recommend how to restructure SriLankan Airlines, in the latest attempt to revise the strategy of the financially troubled carrier.
Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena has appointed five members to the committee, which will be headed by state minister Eran Wickramaratne. A statement from the president’s office said this committee has been tasked with presenting recommendations in two weeks.
Delta orders 15 more A220s
Delta Air Lines has ordered 15 more Airbus A220 aircraft, bringing to 90 the total of the type the Atlanta-based carrier has on order.
Delta placed its initial order for 75 A220-100s in 2016. The additional orders are the airline’s first for the -300 model. Delta also converted earlier A220 orders to the larger -300, bringing to 50 the number of A220-300s on order.
KLM sees strong passenger traffic growth in 2018
Full-year traffic figures released by Air France-KLM show a continued discord between the carriers’ individual performances as the smaller Dutch unit experienced the strongest growth while the French arm’s figures were negatively affected by strikes and anti-government protests.
Gulf Air plans to become ‘boutique carrier’
Bahraini flag carrier Gulf Air intends to pursue a new course as a “boutique carrier” as it tries to carve out a market niche for itself in the increasingly crowded Gulf marketplace.
The airline is in the middle of a major re-fleeting exercise, introduced a new business-class product in 2018 and has previously said it plans to extend its route network over the next few years, with the possibility of flying to the US for the first time.
Airbus confirms MEA order for A330-900s
Airbus has confirmed Lebanese flag-carrier Middle East Airlines as a customer for four A330-900s.
But its overall A330neo backlog has fallen by four aircraft after the airframer trimmed the number assigned to undisclosed customers.
FlightGlobal had previously disclosed that MEA was intending to acquire four A330-900s.
PICTURES: Air Dolomiti unveils new livery on E195
Italian regional carrier Air Dolomiti has unveiled a new livery that more closely aligns its branding with that of its parent company.
The Lufthansa Group carrier displayed the scheme on one of its Embraer 195 jets.
China Eastern parent takes 7% stake in Juneyao Airlines
Juneyao Airlines has completed the transfer of a 7% stake to China Eastern Airlines' parent company, China Eastern Air Holding.
In a Hong Kong stock exchange disclosure, China Eastern states that the transaction closed on 8 January.
Security staff at three German airports to strike over pay
Flights in Germany face further disruption this week because of planned strike action by security staff at three of the country’s airports.
Security employees at Cologne-Bonn, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart airports will strike for a full day on Jan. 10, the Verdi union said. This follows a 4-hour strike by security personnel on Jan. 7 at Berlin’s Tegel and Schoenfeld airports, which resulted in delayed flights and cancellations.
DXB: Green light for growth
Dubai Airports CEO, Paul Griffiths, talks to Joe Bates about the growth and development of Dubai’s airport system and some of the opportunities and challenges going forward.
When Paul Griffiths became CEO of Dubai Airports in late 2007, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority president and CEO and chairman of the Emirates Group, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, asked only one thing of him, to never constrain the growth of the aviation sector in the Emirate.
Passenger numbers at London City Airport up by 6.4 per cent in 2018
Passengers at London City airport reached a total of 4.87 million in 2018, a 6.4 per cent increase on the previous year.
London City Airport has published its official annual passenger figures for 2018, showing that the number of passengers using London’s most central airport during the year totalled a record-breaking 4,800,190.
Canberra confirms sale of 25 Hornets to Canada at A$95 million
Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) has confirmed a deal to sell Canada up to 25 surplus Boeing F/A-18 A/B “Classic” Hornet fighters.
“Defence can confirm that under the current arrangement, if the full scope of aircraft is acquired, the sale price is worth up to A$95 million ($68 million) and includes a range of spare parts and equipment as agreed with Canada,” says the DoD.
One can get a proper insight into the practice of flying only by actual flying experiments. . . . The manner in which we have to meet the irregularities of the wind, when soaring in the air, can only be learnt by being in the air itself. . . . The only way which leads us to a quick development in human flight is a systematic and energetic practice in actual flying experiments.
- Otto Lilienthal, 1896.
On This Day
General Aircraft Trivia
1. What is or was the Lufberry circle?
2. Elvis Presley was one of the first entertainers to own a “business jet.” What type of aircraft did he own?
3. True or False. The magnetic north pole is in constant motion and currently is moving toward the southeast at 20 kilometers per year.
4. True or False. The Boeing 314 Clipper, a 1936 flying boat used by Pan American Airlines, had a 14-seat dining room, a promenade deck on which passengers could stroll during flight and a honeymoon suite in the aft fuselage.
5. A pilot is flying a typical light airplane with a normally aspirated engine at a given gross weight. Which – if any – of the following indicated airspeeds vary (varies) with density altitude?
a. Best-glide speed
b. Best-angle-of-climb speed
c. Best-rate-of-climb speed
d. Wings level, 1-G stall speed.