Aviation News – Aviation Voice https://aviationvoice.com Fri, 10 Jul 2020 13:18:21 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Boeing 777X to Miss Its Planned Entry into Service Next Year? https://aviationvoice.com/boeing-777x-to-miss-its-planned-entry-into-service-next-year-2-202007101618/ Fri, 10 Jul 2020 13:18:21 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=210257 Reading Time: < 1 minute While Boeing continues testing its 777X aircraft program, some airlines raise doubts over its entry into commercial service in 2021, as it is currently planned. The concerns have been expressed by the largest customer for the type, Emirates, which, according to Bloomberg, expects the first delivery no sooner than 2022. In the interview with Bloomberg, […]

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While Boeing continues testing its 777X aircraft program, some airlines raise doubts over its entry into commercial service in 2021, as it is currently planned.

The concerns have been expressed by the largest customer for the type, Emirates, which, according to Bloomberg, expects the first delivery no sooner than 2022.

In the interview with Bloomberg, Adel Al Redha, the Gulf carrier’s chief operating officer, revealed that the company, which has a total of 115 jets on order, is even considering the option of swapping some 777X for 787 Dreamliners.

Therefore, the representative of Emirates said that the airline will discuss its possible plans with Boeing.

Nevertheless, the planemaker is further progressing with a testing program. Recently, Boeing has tweeted a video of its third 777X test aircraft running the engines and said it is preparing for a flight in the upcoming weeks.

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Boom to Roll out Its Supersonic Jet Demonstrator in October https://aviationvoice.com/boom-to-roll-out-its-supersonic-jet-demonstrator-in-october-2-202007101448/ Fri, 10 Jul 2020 11:48:43 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=210252 Reading Time: < 1 minute Boom Supersonic has revealed that it will roll out its jet demonstrator, XB-1, already on 7 October, 2020. The XB-1 will demonstrate key technologies for Overture, Boom’s commercial supersonic airliner. The demonstrator features such critical technologies as advanced carbon fiber composite construction, computer-optimized high-efficiency aerodynamics, and an efficient supersonic propulsion system. XB-1 is the first […]

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Boom Supersonic has revealed that it will roll out its jet demonstrator, XB-1, already on 7 October, 2020. The XB-1 will demonstrate key technologies for Overture, Boom’s commercial supersonic airliner.

The demonstrator features such critical technologies as advanced carbon fiber composite construction, computer-optimized high-efficiency aerodynamics, and an efficient supersonic propulsion system.

XB-1 is the first step in bringing supersonic back to the world,” said Blake Scholl, Boom founder and CEO. “With XB-1, we’re demonstrating that we are prepared to bring back supersonic.

We’re ensuring that the supersonic future is safe and environmentally and economically sustainable. We’ve learned that the demand for supersonic has grown even faster than we anticipated.”

XB-1 is the first aircraft program to announce a 100% carbon-neutral flight test program. XB-1 will begin its test program later this year and is slated for first flight in 2021.

Boom’s commercial aircraft, Overture, will be the fastest and most sustainable supersonic airliner, flying twice as fast as any commercial airplane today.

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Airbus Sees Slight Increase in June Aircraft Deliveries https://aviationvoice.com/airbus-sees-slight-increase-in-june-aircraft-deliveries-2-202007091040/ Thu, 09 Jul 2020 07:40:40 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=210246 Reading Time: < 1 minute At this time, every improvement, even the tiniest, is worth a great deal. Airbus has reported that it succeeded in handing over 36 commercial aircraft in June 2020. It is 12 planes more than in May, and 22 aircraft more than in April. The trend of increase seems to by steadily positive, although highly impacted […]

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At this time, every improvement, even the tiniest, is worth a great deal. Airbus has reported that it succeeded in handing over 36 commercial aircraft in June 2020. It is 12 planes more than in May, and 22 aircraft more than in April.

The trend of increase seems to by steadily positive, although highly impacted by the crisis provoked by the pandemic. Comparing the numbers for the six months of 2020 and 2019 the drop is more than obvious.

In course six months of a challenging year of 2020 Airbus delivered 196 aircraft, meanwhile for the same period in 2019, the amount reached 389 planes.

In terms of orders, in June the planemaker recorder no new bookings. For the first half of 2020 the company reported 365 gross aircraft orders. Considering all the cancellations, therefore, the number of net orders resulted in 298. In H1 of 2019, Airbus had 389 net aircraft orders.

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Avolon Cancels Order for Additional 27 Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft https://aviationvoice.com/avolon-cancels-order-for-additional-27-boeing-737-max-aircraft-202007081230/ Wed, 08 Jul 2020 09:30:03 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=210240 Reading Time: < 1 minute Even though Boeing is close to re-certification of its troubled 737 MAX aircraft, the recent series of orders’ termination seems to continue further. This time aircraft leasing company Avolon has announced about the cancellation of commitments for 27 aircraft of the type. This cancellations come in addition to 75 dropped bookings for the 737 MAX […]

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Even though Boeing is close to re-certification of its troubled 737 MAX aircraft, the recent series of orders’ termination seems to continue further. This time aircraft leasing company Avolon has announced about the cancellation of commitments for 27 aircraft of the type.

This cancellations come in addition to 75 dropped bookings for the 737 MAX in the Q1 2020. The measures taken by Avolon are also aimed at adapting operations to the new market environment.

“Decisive measures to strengthen our capital position included the opportunistic buy back of US$639 million of our unsecured bonds at a discount to par, in so doing reducing our near-term debt maturities. More significantly, we have reduced our near-term commitments by over 140 aircraft since the start of the year,” said Dómhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon.

Although Boeing has already completed certification flight test and is anticipating ungrounding of the type, the lengthy stop in 737 MAX services is having grave impacts on orders.

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Lufthansa Group Cuts 100 Aircraft; Halts Germanwings https://aviationvoice.com/lufthansa-group-cuts-100-aircraft-halts-germanwings-2-202007081102/ Wed, 08 Jul 2020 08:02:25 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=210233 Reading Time: < 1 minute The second wave of restructuring measures implemented by the Lufthansa Group has been revealed. Among the key decisions: Group’s fleet reduction by 100 aircraft and suspension of Germanwings operations. Across all its business units, Lufthansa Group confirmed having a calculated personnel surplus of at least 22,000 full-time positions. This includes leadership and administration positions as […]

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The second wave of restructuring measures implemented by the Lufthansa Group has been revealed. Among the key decisions: Group’s fleet reduction by 100 aircraft and suspension of Germanwings operations.

Across all its business units, Lufthansa Group confirmed having a calculated personnel surplus of at least 22,000 full-time positions. This includes leadership and administration positions as well.

Nevertheless, workforce reduction is not the only measure to save costs and reduce further expenses. Major tidying has been initiated in the Group’s fleet. In the recent statement, it was announced that the Group is eliminating 100 aircraft and shutting the operations of Germanwings.

At Lufthansa alone, 22 aircraft have already been phased out ahead of schedule, including six Airbus A380, eleven Airbus A320 and five Boeing 747-400 aircraft.

“The financial planning up to 2023 provides for the acceptance of a maximum of 80 new aircraft into the Lufthansa Group carriers’ fleets. This will reduce the investment volume for new aircraft by half,” the Lufthansa Group said.

The restructuring program called “ReNew” is scheduled to run until December 2023. This also includes restructuring programs that are already underway at the Group’s airlines and service companies.

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Abu Dhabi’s First Low-Cost Carrier to Start Operations in a Week https://aviationvoice.com/abu-dhabis-first-low-cost-carrier-to-start-operations-in-a-week-202007071647/ Tue, 07 Jul 2020 13:47:47 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=210228 Reading Time: < 1 minute On 14 July, 2020, the first Abu Dhabi’s low-cost airline – Air Arabia Abu Dhabi – is expected to take off for the inaugural flight to Alexandria. The new carrier will start operations with two Airbus A320 aircraft based in Abu Dhabi International Airport. Air Arabia Abu Dhabi is the joint venture between Etihad and […]

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On 14 July, 2020, the first Abu Dhabi’s low-cost airline – Air Arabia Abu Dhabi – is expected to take off for the inaugural flight to Alexandria. The new carrier will start operations with two Airbus A320 aircraft based in Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi is the joint venture between Etihad and Air Arabia aimed at offering greater convenience and direct access to the UAE’s capital.

“We are delighted to announce the launch of the first flight of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. While the global aviation sector continues to witness unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic, this step is a testament to the strength of the UAE aviation sector and our commitment to its long-term prospects,” said Adel Al Ali, Group CEO of Air Arabia.

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Air France and HOP! to Cut Over 7,500 Jobs in Three Years https://aviationvoice.com/air-france-and-hop-to-cut-over-7500-jobs-in-three-years-202007071540/ Tue, 07 Jul 2020 12:40:37 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=210220 Reading Time: < 1 minute At Air France and HOP! harsh cost-saving measures have also been inevitable. Both carriers are adapting to the new environment with tailored strategic solutions for the upcoming future. Workforce cuts are unavoidable.  In a statement the airline reveals that during three months of the turbulence, its “activity and revenue fell by 95%, and at the […]

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At Air France and HOP! harsh cost-saving measures have also been inevitable. Both carriers are adapting to the new environment with tailored strategic solutions for the upcoming future. Workforce cuts are unavoidable. 

In a statement the airline reveals that during three months of the turbulence, its “activity and revenue fell by 95%, and at the height of the crisis, the airline was losing 15 million euros per day”.

The 7 billion euros loan from the French State “will enable the Group to withstand the crisis in the short term”. However, additional actions have to be in place as well.

Therefore, predicting a slow recovery to the pre-coronavirus levels, Air France and HOP! are forced to review its businesses and implement some critical changes to secure future operations.

“The transformation is mainly based on changing its domestic business model, reorganizing its support functions and continuing to reduce its external and internal costs,” Air France says in a statement.

One of the most painful changes is related to workforce organisation. As to Air France, a reduction of 6,560 jobs by the end of 2022 and as to HOP! a reduction of 1,020 jobs over the next three years is expected.

Air France and HOP! are working together with the unions to implement plans that give priority to voluntary departures, early retirement arrangements and professional and geographical mobility.

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ATR Aims to Validate Its Aircraft Type Certification in China https://aviationvoice.com/atr-aims-to-validate-its-aircraft-type-certification-in-china-2-202007071120/ Tue, 07 Jul 2020 08:20:54 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=210214 Reading Time: < 1 minute ATR is making efforts to clear way for its aircraft to enter China. The France-based planemaker has announced about the progress of the certification process of the ATR 42-500 with modification 5948, also known as the ATR 42-600, in China. A three-hour certification flight test took off and landed in Toulouse in the beginning of […]

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ATR is making efforts to clear way for its aircraft to enter China. The France-based planemaker has announced about the progress of the certification process of the ATR 42-500 with modification 5948, also known as the ATR 42-600, in China.

A three-hour certification flight test took off and landed in Toulouse in the beginning of July, 2020. The flight was operated by the ATR crew with the active involvement of the Chinese and European airworthiness authorities.

This type certification is a critical step in order to begin ATR aircraft deliveries to the Chinese customers. The ATR type certification validation in China is expected to be reached in autumn 2020.

Following the issues created by the recent crisis, regional aircraft have attracted a way more attention from the airlines worldwide. These smaller, 100-seat-below, planes are considered to be an efficient match for a decreased number of passengers and local routes.

ATR provides in a statement that China is also determined to boost its regional connectivity with regional planes, “representing only 2.5% of the overall Chinese fleet, compared to a worldwide average of 25%”.

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Ryanair and BALPA Agree on 20% Pay Cut for UK Pilots https://aviationvoice.com/ryanair-and-balpa-agreed-on-20-pay-cut-for-uk-pilots-202007031426/ Fri, 03 Jul 2020 11:26:26 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=210208 Reading Time: < 1 minute Ryanair and the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), a trade union for UK pilots, have reached a four-year agreement on 20% pay reduction (to be restored over four years). Along with salary cuts, under the agreement, accepted by 96% of Ryanair’s UK pilots, come productivity improvements on rosters, flexible working patterns and annual leave to […]

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Ryanair and the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), a trade union for UK pilots, have reached a four-year agreement on 20% pay reduction (to be restored over four years).

Along with salary cuts, under the agreement, accepted by 96% of Ryanair’s UK pilots, come productivity improvements on rosters, flexible working patterns and annual leave to minimise UK Pilot job losses.

“This agreement gives Ryanair a framework to flex its operation during the Covid-19 crisis and a pathway to recovery when the business returns to normal in the years ahead,” the airline said in a statement.

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INTERVIEW | Crisis Hit Vietnamese Aviation Differently. Why? https://aviationvoice.com/interview-crisis-hit-vietnamese-aviation-differently-why-202007031252/ Fri, 03 Jul 2020 09:52:53 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=210143 Reading Time: 8 minutes Before the coronavirus hit, Vietnam, with a population of nearly 96 million people, was one of the most dynamically growing markets on the globe. Over 100 million visitors came to explore Vietnam in 2019 alone. None denies the fact that this market will be further expanding and booming. The way aviation in Vietnam has gone […]

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Before the coronavirus hit, Vietnam, with a population of nearly 96 million people, was one of the most dynamically growing markets on the globe. Over 100 million visitors came to explore Vietnam in 2019 alone.

None denies the fact that this market will be further expanding and booming. The way aviation in Vietnam has gone through the peak of the crisis and how it is managing to get back to normal operations now is rather impressive.

However, keeping in mind that the outdated future forecasts have lost their relevance and new numbers are impossible to determine, we will skip the statistics part. The full impacts of the pandemic are not clear yet.

To discover the situation through the eyes of those running busy in Vietnam, to get familiar with the challenges and opportunities from the local source securing the region with a sufficient number of competent pilots, we have decided to talk to the Managing Director of BAA Training Vietnam, Vytautas Jankauskas.

Vytautas Jankauskas, Managing Director of BAA Training Vietnam

During the coronavirus peak in the middle of March – the beginning of May, Europe saw most of the aviation paralysed. What was the situation in Vietnam?

In Vietnam the situation was not that desperate; I would dare to say. By locking its borders, Vietnam also halted the international movement and forced Vietnamese airlines to cut their capacity and review schedules. So, from this perspective aviation in Vietnam also faced a hit.

However, there are two sides of the same coin. What prevented Vietnamese aviation from a total stagnation was a very well-developed infrastructure of domestic connection.

Definitely, with quarantine restrictions and travel limitations, local services were also reduced. But not for too long, as until the middle of June almost all Vietnamese carriers succeeded in restoring their pre-coronavirus flight volumes.

The possibility to re-launch almost 100% of domestic flights highly depends on travellers willingness to get back to flying. In other regions, people tend to avoid air travel. In Vietnam the situation appears to be different?

No doubts, flights were restored considering the demand and thanks to the people who confidently returned to intercity flying as soon as the government gave the green light. If airlines in a lot of countries are struggling with filling their planes with passengers, in Vietnam passenger load factors are currently reaching nearly 70%.

Huy Thoai / shutterstock.com

For example, before the crisis budget carrier Vietjet operated approximately 500 flights per day (both international and domestic). In the beginning of June, meanwhile, the airline performed about 300 daily flights. And mainly these were local services, although some international all-cargo and repatriation flights were done as well.

The newcomer on the Vietnamese market, Bamboo Airways, had nearly 140 flights a day before the coronavirus hit. In the beginning of summer, the airline restored about 60% of their services. In Vietnam planes are flying full, I could confirm it also from my own experience.

What makes the Vietnamese choose planes over other means of transport? Are the costs of flying in Vietnam different from, for example, in European countries?

Vietnam has a very strong domestic market. People here are used to local flights to save time spent on travelling by car or bus. Regarding the flight ticket prices, I could say that recently, after the coronavirus, we have noticed one interesting tendency. If in Europe or other countries airlines are increasing costs of flying, in Vietnam the situation is different.

To collect as many cash as possible, Vietnamese airlines are fiercely competing on ticket prices. For example, if you look for the economy flight with Vietnam Airlines days before the departure and find the spare seat, it could cost the same amount as the ticket for the flight with Vietjet airlines, which is not a national carrier, compared to Vietnam Airlines, but a low-cost airline.

The strategies of our carriers are rather aggressive. The companies are making all the efforts to have a sufficient number of passengers to minimise cash flow problems and maintain all the slots for future flying.

Vytautas Kielaitis / shutterstock.com

Talking about pilot training. How did the coronavirus situation impacted the operations of BAA Training Vietnam? What was the demand for training during the peak period? Has the coronavirus crisis brought something new into the training preferences?

In terms of training, I could say that, luckily, we did not feel a huge difference before, during and now after the pandemic. At least yet. Maybe we have less foreigners for type rating studies, but this is rather because of the locked borders, and not a change in preferences.

People from Thailand, Korea or Malaysia are not allowed to enter Vietnam. In these markets we have some airlines and private students interested in our simulators and training programs. But at this moment there is no possibility to enter Vietnam.

However, we are glad to see local candidates actively deciding on type rating courses. In June we welcomed the first post-coronavirus group of six students for Airbus A320 type rating course. The next group of six is planned for July. So, we keep up our work on delivering quality training.

Also, we already see the demand for recurrent training hours growing. The airlines are operating, and pilots are on duty; therefore, they need to maintain their proficiency and keep licences valid.

If earlier our main clients Vietjet and Bamboo Airways booked some hours not only in Vietnam, but at the training centres outside the country, now, with the borders closed, all the training is done inside the country. And we see the demand for recurrent pilot training gradually growing.

Although we did not see any significant changes, I could highlight one interesting tendency, but it is related to Type Rating Instructor’s (TRI) training.

Has the crisis changed pilots’ view on the instructing activity? Are there enough instructors to satisfy the demand?

Most of TRIs are active airline pilots. This means that they perform duties at airlines, and when not flying – provide training to students. Just as an additional activity.

The thing is that before the crisis, the occupation of a TRI was not very popular among pilots. When a pilot earns enough money, one better has some good rest in between flights than works extra hours instructing at a training centre. It is reasonable.

However, during the peak of the coronavirus, the situation changed and even enabled us to supplement the pool of our instructors with additional experienced professionals. To explain the case, I will give you some details on the way BAA Training Vietnam operates.

We run our aviation training business on a separate compound occupying 18 ha of land. On this area, we have not only our training centre but also living apartments for students who undergo training. By being relatively separated from the big city and having our people away from the coronavirus danger, we were allowed to continue our operations even during quarantine.

We did not stop operations, and our TRIs were busy with delivering training to the students without any interruptions. This, in turn, attracted the attention of other pilots who had no flying at that time. As you know, rumours are spreading at the speed of light.

What did we do then? We gathered those instructors, took to our compound, accommodated them in one of the villas and allowed them to successfully provide type rating training to our students.

And now we actively do TRI training to secure future instructors with the necessary qualifications to teach. As the current chain of events shows, it is a very wise plan B for pilots to have instructing as an additional source of income.

In Europe it is noticeable that interest in pilot’s profession is a bit lower due to the lack of job opportunities in the nearest future. What are the prospects in Vietnam for pilots?

In Vietnam we do not feel a significant decrease in the interest of becoming a pilot. The reason, most probably, also hides in the market.

Even the facts that all Vietnamese airlines succeeded in surviving the darkest times of the coronavirus hit and relatively soon restored all domestic services, prove that pilots will be on demand and the profession would not be lost.

I firmly believe that at this point speaking about the market growth would be rather a speculation than calculated estimation. The impacts of the crisis provoked by the coronavirus pandemic are impossible to fully determine; thus, the upcoming couple of months will hopefully allow us to make more accurate forecasts.

Aviation in Vietnam has a lot of potential for development. This is one of the reasons BAA training has stepped into this market and established a training centre in this country.

As for now, Vietnamese airlines, most probably, will work to secure liquidity, manage their fleets and adjust operations to the current demand, with a very close focus on the local air travel.

Also worth highlighting that Vietnam is getting ready to open its borders for international travel. Although the concrete dates and guidelines have not been released yet, sooner or later, the country will be open again. This, in turn, means that the capacity will be further growing with a corresponding demand for First Officers and Captains to handle it.

Will Vietnamese airlines keep growing, as planned before the coronavirus hit?

Some of the Vietnamese carriers are further determined to grow their fleets with additional planes yet this year. Some airlines are in talks with Airbus and Boeing on the deferral of aircraft deliveries until further dates.

Vietjet has just recently confirmed its plans to add 12 additional aircraft (Airbus A320 family) until the end of the year. Meanwhile Bamboo Airways still maintains the plan to operate 40 aircraft by the end of 2020. Also, new domestic routes are being opened in Vietnam during the post-coronavirus period.

Huy Thoai / shutterstock.com

Not to omit the fact that later this year or in the beginning of 2021 Vietnam is set to clear for take-off a new airline Vietravel. We are currently in negotiations with this new company on the training contract. As for now, the airline plans to commence operations with five Airbus A320 aircraft.

Before the coronavirus, Vietnam was one of the most rapidly growing aviation markets on the globe. Definitely, after the crisis, the growth numbers would not be that impressive, but still they will be increasing. Not only domestic flying will be thriving but also international travel and cargo operations.

What are the plans of BAA Training Vietnam?

Our main plan – to keep preparing as much competent pilots as we can. Of course, now all the future full flight simulator (FFS) capacity increases would be tailored to the needs of the market.

Now we have two Airbus A320 FFS fully ready for training. At our training centre, we have two additional spots prepared for the placement of additional FFSs. BAA Training is planning to allocate two new FFSs here in Vietnam; however, now we are assessing the market and demand to decide on the type of simulators and the date for them to arrive.

Next year we also plan to acquire and install Door and Slide Trainer. So, the plans are here, the resources to deliver training are also here; all we need now is a more or less stable situation in the world and open borders.

I genuinely believe that if these two conditions are at least partially improved, we would have quite a good year of 2020. In terms of business, of course.

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