USAF adds 54 AESA radars to F-16 modernisation order
The $128 million contract adds to a similar order in November aimed at modernising the US Air Force’s fleet of multirole Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters.
Pacific Air Charters orders two Tecnam P2012s, takes 23 options
Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam has secured orders for two of its P2012 Traveller commuter aircraft from Hawaii’s Pacific Air Charters.
United Airlines invests $15m in carbon-capture company Svante
United Airlines is investing $15 million in carbon-capture technology firm Svante, which is researching how to convert carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Breeze to connect underserved West Virginia airport to ‘at least’ five cities
US discounter Breeze Airways plans to boost air service to the underutilised West Virginia International Yeager airport in Charleston by connecting it to at least five cities over the next two years.
Piper to deliver 55 new trainer aircraft to US flight school
Piper Aircraft has a deal to deliver a fleet of 55 new trainer class aircraft to Blue Line Aviation – a flight school headquartered in Smithfield, North Carolina – with options for a further 60 trainers.
Airline Business Podcast: Consolidation challenges, Riyadh Air, C-suite diversity
Graham and Lewis talk through the growing list of consolidation moves within the global industry, discussing why deals take such a long time to get over the line.
Canada moves towards replacing CP-140s with P-8As
Canada has moved closer to the possible acquisition of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for its Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) requirement.
Pentagon selects Australia’s Hypersonix for reusable hypersonic test platform
The Australian firm Hypersonix was selected by the US military’s technology accelerator to produce a reusable, low-angle vehicle capable of flight speeds at or above Mach 5.
Archer’s ‘Midnight’ aircraft completes wind-tunnel testing campaign
Electric air taxi developer Archer Aviation recently completed wind-tunnel testing of a scaled-down model of its in-development “Midnight” aircraft.
Unions form coalition against ‘unsafe’ single-pilot commercial flights
Pilots’ unions are putting their combined weight against single-pilot operation of commercial aircraft, calling concepts leaning more heavily on automation a “profit-driven scheme that poses a significant safety risk”.
Boeing tightens procedures to address bolt-torque issue at Renton 737 factory
Boeing recently found improperly torqued bolts in several areas of new-build 737 Max jets, indicating a quality problem similar to that revealed by the Federal Aviation Administration on 23 March.
Biden pick to lead FAA withdraws nomination after Republican criticism
Former Denver International Airport chief executive Phil Washington withdrew from consideration to oversee the US aviation regulator after being criticised by the opposition Republican party for lack of experience.
Lawmakers push for increased regulation of US carriers
Some US lawmakers and consumer advocates are calling for expansion of the US government’s role in overseeing airlines, while others are warning that regulatory expansion will only erode airline competition.
First flight of FARA prototypes slip to 2024 amid further engine delay
The US Army says GE Aerospace will not deliver the new Improved Turbine Engine until the autumn of 2023 – affecting the first flight of Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft prototypes being developed by Sikorsky and Bell.
GlobalX to operate nine weekly passenger flights from Miami to Cuba
US charter carrier Global Crossing Airlines (GlobalX) has signed a long-term agreement with tour operator Cubamax Travel for nine weekly passenger flights to two Cuban cities – Havana and Santa Clara.
Boeing and US Navy locked in dispute over lack of order for 20 F/A-18s
Congress has allocated funding for 20 additional Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets in the 2022 and 2023 defence budgets, but the US Navy wants Boeing to relinquish additional data rights on the type before it awards a production contract.
Bombardier lifts production and revenue targets
Bombardier has hiked its two-year revenue projections and now expects in the coming years to significantly increase the pace at which it delivers business jets.
Boeing donates $5.1 million to Embry-Riddle aviation safety centre
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has landed a $5.1 million donation from Boeing to support an aviation safety centre at the school’s campus in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Archer and United plan downtown Chicago-to-O’Hare air taxi route
US urban air mobility start-up Archer Aviation has added Chicago to its list of 2025 launch cities with an airport-to-downtown route planned to be operated by its in-development ”Midnight” aircraft.
Airline Business performance tracker: Americas Q4 2022
Key data from the most-recent Americas earnings period – the fourth quarter of 2022 – and the equivalent periods stretching back to the last pre-Covid year, powered by Airline Business Insight
Chinese airlines return more 737 Max to service as Boeing eyes delivery restart
Boeing’s 737 Max is making a slow but steady comeback in China, with carriers returning more of the jets to service and Boeing thinking about when it might restart deliveries to Chinese customers.
Losses on Boeing defence business expected to continue
The aerospace giant’s chief financial officer says while he is optimistic about returning Boeing’s beleaguered defence portfolio to profitability, the business will continue to post losses in the near term.
FAA allows airlines to temporarily return 10% of slots in Northeast USA
The Federal Aviation Administration will allow airlines operating out of four major airports in the Northeast US to leave up to 10% of assigned slots unused through the summer travel season due to staffing bottlenecks at air traffic control (ATC) facilities.
Boeing maintains 2023 delivery goals despite 787 halt and supply headaches
Boeing is sticking to its 2023 aircraft delivery goals despite hiccups early this year, including a weeks-long 787 delivery halt, a 767 quality issue and ongoing supply chain struggles.
Airlines welcome ‘crucial legislation’ that would raise US pilot retirement age
The latest effort by US lawmakers to allow commercial airline pilots to work until age 67 – rather than forcing them to retire at 65 – is drawing praise from airline industry groups.
Boeing executive defends ‘next decade’ timeline for launching new narrowbody
A top Boeing executive has reiterated that the company will wait until next decade to bring a new single-aisle jetliner to market, saying Boeing needs that much time to mature technologies.
Sea glider maker Regent secures investment from Lockheed Martin
Lockheed’s venture capital fund will make a “strategic investment” in Regent, which is currently developing an all-electric, wing-in-ground-effect maritime vehicle for commercial customers, potentially expanding the company into the defence realm.
FAA urges pilots review safety procedures to prevent airport accidents
The US Federal Aviation Administration is urging pilots and other airline workers to review safety protocols to prevent aircraft collisions during take-offs and landings.
JetBlue secures ‘commercially questionable’ slots in Amsterdam
JetBlue Airways has secured “commercially questionable slot times” at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport weeks after filing a complaint about the government of the Netherlands’ repeated rejections of its slot requests.
Court trial set for October in US case against JetBlue-Spirit deal
A US judge set an 16 October trial date for the federal government’s antitrust case against JetBlue Airways’ proposed acquisition of ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines.
Frontier plans to step up flights from Atlanta this summer
Frontier Airlines is planning a seasonal expansion of its Atlanta operations, which will become the ultra-low-cost carrier’s third largest operation by this summer.
Conair networks simulators to train co-ordination in aerial firefighting
Aerial firefighting specialist Conair Group has expanded a mission training system which networks simulators to allow pilots to practice and co-ordinate flights over wildfires.
Flydubai seeks approval for United Airlines codeshare in Gulf region
Middle Eastern carrier Flydubai is formally seeking authorisation for a codeshare arrangement with US carrier United Airlines.
Northrop will supply MESA sensors to planned USAF E-7 fleet
Northrop Grumman will provide its Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array long-range sensor for the fleet of Boeing E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control jets the US Air Force plans to purchase.
US military aviators see substantially higher rates of cancer than general population
A congressionally-mandated investigation found, when compared to the general population, US military aviation personnel see significantly elevated rates of cancer, including 87% greater incidence of melanoma for aircrew and 19% higher rates of brain and nervous system cancer for ground crew over a 25 year period.
WestJet to launch 737 freighter flights on 22 April
Canadian carrier WestJet intends to begin flying Boeing 737-800 cargi aircraft next month after having received the required regulatory approvals.
Norse Atlantic plans pivot to sun destinations next winter
In the coming northern hemisphere’s winter, Norse Atlantic Airways is planning to broaden its long-haul offer to sun-thirsty vacationers looking for a break from the cold, wet weather.
Investment group completes Atlas Air acquisition
An investment group led by Apollo Global Management has completed its acquisition of US cargo and charter airline Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, closing a deal announced last August.
‘Defies common sense': regional airline group fires back at ALPA pilot-shortage stance
The US Regional Airline Association (RAA) is pushing back against assertions made during a 16 March Senate hearing that the airline industry is not short of pilots.
Cost-cutting FedEx reduces flight operations amid ‘demand weakness’
FedEx is trimming its air delivery business to be “more agile and nimble” following a challenging fiscal third quarter.
Lockheed pleased with F-35 numbers in proposed US defence budget
The manufacturer of the advanced fifth-generation jet says the Pentagon’s current proposal for F-35 purchases in the next budget cycle would allow the company to meet its 2023 production target of 156 aircraft.
How SAF experimentation is fuelling change for military operators
Compared to commercial aviation, the defence sector has been trailing in taking action to mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions – but change is afoot.
Is Ukraine’s Western fighter request a flight of fancy?
Ukraine is trying to convince NATO nations that donated Western fighters would give Kyiv a decisive edge in its war against Russian invaders. We assess whether the proposal has wings.
Passenger demand steps up in encouraging start to 2023
Global demand for passenger travel has undoubtedly stepped up in the early months of 2023, as the recovery from Covid-19 continues.
FAA moves to require 25h of cockpit voice recording
The Federal Aviation Administration has moved to extend the required timeframe for cockpit voice recordings to be preserved in light of numerous recent serious runway incursion incidents in the USA.
Boeing resumes 787 deliveries but faces catch-up to meet 2023 delivery goal
Boeing’s most recent Dreamliner delivery pause came to an end on 15 March when the airframer handed over a 787-9 to German carrier Lufthansa.
Canada Jetlines exploring potential partnership with Qatar Airways
Start-up leisure specialist Canada Jetlines is exploring a potential partnership with Qatar Airways that could include non-stop flights between Toronto and Qatar’s capital city of Doha.
Avianca to launch routes from Boston and Orlando to El Salvador
Colombia’s Avianca will launch flights from Boston and Orlando to San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, bginning in June.
US Army advances five rapid prototype developers for RQ-7B replacement
Following a competitive evaluation by the US Army, AeroVironment, Griffon Aerospace, Textron, Sierra Nevada and Northrop Grumman have all received funding to support rapid prototyping of a replacement for the service’s RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle.
Why Western air forces are taking fresh aim at their ‘carbon problem’
The defence world is fast waking up to the profound influence climate change will have on warfare. How will this impact play out and can the sector manage its greenhouse gas emissions?
US releases video footage of Russian Su-27 colliding with Reaper over Black Sea
The US military has released video footage of a Black Sea incident during which a Russian air force Sukhoi Su-27 repeatedly harassed a US Air Force (USAF) General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper, culminating in a collision which resulted in the remotely piloted air vehicle’s loss.
Boeing sees shift in delivery finance mix as air transport market recovers
Boeing is expecting expanding use of export credit and debt to finance aircraft deliveries, as it predicts that recovering production and travel will drive the need for financing almost back to pre-crisis levels this year.
Flair sues lessor Airborne over ‘unlawful’ aircraft repossessions
Flair Airlines has taken lessor Airborne Capital to court over what it alleges were “unlawful and immeasurably destructive actions” relating to the repossession of four aircraft, as the airline stresses that it is “here to stay” despite the operational snags.
Air Canada pilots’ union to vote on combining with ALPA
The union representing more than 4,500 Air Canada pilots has reached an agreement in principal that would allow a combination with the much larger labour group, Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).
Avelo Airlines adding second 737NG to new base in Raleigh-Durham
Start-up discount carrier Avelo Airlines plans to add a second Boeing 737NG to its new operational base at Raleigh-Durham International airport in North Carolina.
US regulators approve deal to take Atlas Air private
US cargo carrier Atlas Air has received regulatory approval to be acquired by an investor group led by Apollo Global Management, which would de-list Atlas from the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Pacific Propeller wins ‘urgent’ overhaul work for USAF’s C-130H fleet
Washington state-based MRO provider Pacific Propeller International has received what it describes as an “urgent contract” from the US Air Force to replace propeller barrels on the service’s fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130H transports still equipped with a legacy propulsion system.
Airline Business Covid-19 recovery tracker: March 2023 update
Our regular examination of the latest global data for several key airline market indicators, including traffic and capacity in passenger and cargo markets, in-service and stored fleets, jet fuel costs, and share price trends for the world’s largest groups.
Pentagon and Lockheed resume F-35 deliveries following engine fix
The US military is accepting new deliveries of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters for the first time since December, when a previously unidentified engine issue caused the crash of an F-35B undergoing certification at the company’s assembly plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
US regional carrier Envoy Air expects six more Embraer 175s
American Airlines Group is assigning six more Embraer 175s to subsidiary US regional airline Envoy Air.
Beta to develop conventional electric aircraft amid eVTOL regulatory, infrastructure hurdles
Electric aircraft company Beta Technologies has shifted to pursue certification of a conventional fixed-wing electric aircraft – while still developing an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi.
DOT challenge to Spirit acquisition ‘unprecedented’: JetBlue chief executive
JetBlue’s chief executive Robin Hayes called the US Department of Transportation’s decision to get involved in its proposed acquisition of discount carrier Spirit Airlines “unprecedented”.
Boeing’s orders and deliveries slowed in February
Boeing’s commercial aircraft orders and deliveries slowed in February following a strong start to the year the previous month.
Southwest now expecting 10 fewer Boeing aircraft deliveries in 2023
Bob Jordan, chief executive of Southwest Airlines, reveals that the company is now anticipating 10 fewer aircraft deliveries this year than previously disclosed.
Airline Business Index shows global revenue surging above pre-Covid levels
The latest Airline Business Index shows the global airline industry’s revenue soared above 2019 levels in the final quarter of 2022, as the sector edged closer to its pre-Covid size.
Air Greenland’s retired A330-200 ferried to Arizona for spares supply
Air Greenland’s long-serving Airbus A330-200, one of the first of the variant to be delivered, has left the fleet and been flown to Arizona for parts supply.
United cuts Q1 earnings expectation due to ‘seasonality shift’ in travel behaviour
United Airlines has reduced its revenue expectations for the first quarter of 2023 due to a “seasonality shift” in post-pandemic passenger travel behaviour.
USAF favours P&W F-35 engine upgrade over adaptive-cycle engine replacement
Budget pressure and lack of buy in from other US military services led the US Air Force to abandon designs for an entirely new engine for its F-35A stealth fighters, and instead pursue a core upgrade of the existing power plant.
GlobalX to lease an additional A321F for rapidly expanding cargo operation
Aggressively expanding US charter operator Global Crossing Airlines (GlobalX) has disclosed an agreement to lease another Airbus A321 freighter, set to be delivered in December.
‘Not a forgings and castings issue’: GE Aerospace CEO addresses supply chain trouble
GE Aerospace chief executive Larry Culp is pushing back against the assertion that engine shortages are primarily why aircraft manufacturers continue struggling to ramp production of narrowbody jets.
Flair confirms lessor Airborne behind reports of aircraft repossessions
Canadian discount carrier Flair Airlines confirms that “unprecedented action” taken by aircraft lessor Airborne Capital has affected four of its Boeing 737s, amid reports the jets were seized.
Lockheed Martin delivers first ‘next-generation’ F-16 to Bahraini customer
Lockheed Martin has delivered its first Greenville, South Carolina-built F-16 to the Royal Bahraini Air Force, with the Block 70-standard fighter set to undergo further testing in the USA.
Canadian government approves WestJet’s acquisition of Sunwing
The government of Canada has approved WestJet’s acquisition of Sunwing Airlines and Sunwing Vacations following a thorough review.
US President Biden selects livery for ‘Next Air Force One’
US President Joe Biden has selected the livery of the “Next Air Force One”, the new VC-25B aircraft designated for presidential travel that is currently under construction, formally rejecting the colour scheme that had been chosen by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Archer Aviation achieved ‘significant milestones’ in 2022: CEO
Archer Aviation achieved “significant milestones” on its way to certification of its four-person air taxi Midnight, the company’s chief executive said on 9 March.
Aggressively expanding GlobalX posts $4.4m Q4 loss
Fledgling US carrier Global Crossing Airlines (GlobalX) lost $4.4 million during the fourth quarter of 2022 as it pursues an aggressive expansion plan.
GE Aerospace still eyeing post-reorganisation expansion: CEO
General Electric chief executive Larry Culp still expects engine maker GE Aerospace will expand into new aerospace segments following a reorganisation expected to wrap up next year.
Revenue surges as Air Transat posts C$57m loss in first fiscal quarter
Fiscal first-quarter revenue for Transat AT – parent company of Canadian leisure airline Air Transat – reached C$667 million ($483 million), more than triple the company’s C$202 million revenue during the same quarter in 2022.
Air Transat expects delivery delays for three Airbus A321LRs
Canadian leisure airline Air Transat now expects delayed delivery of three Airbus A321LRs as chief executive Annick Guerard said “the industry supply chain is experiencing sporadic difficulty”.
IAE marks 40th anniversary as V2500 production, maintenance work hums along
Forty years after its founding, IAE International Aero Engines is still producing V2500s, including turbofans for Embraer’s new C-390 military transport, and its maintenance shops are humming, supporting some 3,000 active V2500-powered Airbus A320ceo-family jets.
Boeing, Shield AI in pact to work together on future programmes
Boeing and artificial intelligence (AI) firm Shield AI have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on autonomy and AI on future defence programmes.
SpaceJet test aircraft demolished at Moses Lake
Wrecking crews dismantled one of Mitsubishi Aircraft’s SpaceJet prototype regional jets at Moses Lake on 8 March, physically and symbolically closing a chapter on Japan’s once-ambitious regional jet programme.
‘This is not Pepsi buying Coke’: JetBlue chief downplays DOJ lawsuit blocking Spirit deal
The US government’s lawsuit to block JetBlue Airways’ acquisition of competitor Spirit Airlines has prompted a range of strong reactions. But Robin Hayes, chief executive of JetBlue, has downplayed the legal action.
Delta Air Lines Airbus A350 jet appears to have been hit by gunfire in Santiago
A Delta Air Lines Airbus A350 appears to have been hit by gunfire during a failed armed robbery on the apron at Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez International airport.
FAA steps up hiring, Boeing oversight in response to 737 Max crashes
Acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration Billy Nolen testified on Capitol Hill that he “can say categorically” the Boeing 737 Max is safe – and his agency is also taking steps to ensure its certification process for future aircraft is as well.
US DOT fines Eurowings for holding passengers on aircraft for 5h after landing
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined Eurowings $225,000 for keeping passengers on an aircraft for more than five-and-a-half hours after it had landed in Fort Lauderdale from Germany.
American Airlines promises pilots significant pay raises
American Airlines’ chief executive Robert Isom has told the carrier’s pilots that the airline “is prepared to match” pay rates and profit-sharing scheme conditions that mainline peer Delta Air Lines’ pilots recently ratified in a new contract.
How the hydrogen revolution inspired engineer Danielle McLean
In 2018, Danielle McLean was studying for her Master’s degree while working as an aerospace engineer at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas. During a class about sustainable aviation, she had an epiphany.
Boeing to kick off production of MH-139A Grey Wolf
Boeing will start production of MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters following a contract award from the US Air Force.
Archer Aviation begins construction of manufacturing facility
Archer Aviation has begun construction on its manufacturing facility in Georgia.
Canada’s Cargojet squeezes C$2.6m profit in fourth quarter of 2022
Canadian operator Cargojet squeezed out a C$2.6 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2022 as expenses rose 30% over the previous year and global demand for air cargo trailed off.
Boeing confirms 767 and KC-46 ‘quality’ problem
Boeing confirms it has identified a “quality issue” affecting production of 767s and 767-based KC-46 military tankers, saying the issue requires it make fixes to production aircraft.
US government sues to block JetBlue’s proposed acquisition of Spirit
The US Department of Justice has sued to block JetBlue Airways’ proposed acquisition of rival discount carrier Spirit Airlines after months of scrutinising a deal that would eliminate a low-cost carrier from the market.
NTSB investigates runway incident involving American-Air Canada jets in Sarasota
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating yet another close call at a US airport, this time involving two passenger jets at Sarasota-Bradenton in Florida on 16 February.
Cargojet pushes back 777 freighter conversions citing slowdown risk
Canadian operator Cargojet is to defer freight conversion of several Boeing 777s and 767 in response to forecasts of slower global economic growth rates.
US Air Force Special Operations Command to operate MQ-9B SkyGuardian
The US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) has ordered three General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), the first sale of the variant in the USA.
Northern Pacific appears set to launch flights between Los Angeles and Las Vegas
US start-up carrier Northern Pacific Airways appears set to launch its first route between Ontario International airport in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and Las Vegas.
P&W lands new contract to support F135 production
Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has landed another contract, this one worth $5.2 billion, to support its production of the F135 engines that power Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Expanding WestJet plans to step up summer flight frequencies
Canadian airline WestJet continues plotting an “ambitious growth strategy” with an expanded summer schedule that includes greater flight frequencies to popular destinations in its network.
Rolls-Royce kicks off testing of replacement B-52 engine
Rolls-Royce has commenced testing in support of a re-engining programme for the US Air Force’s Boeing B-52H fleet.
‘It’s a big deal’: Universal Hydrogen chief on hydrogen-retrofitted Dash 8’s first flight
The first flight of a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300 powered partly by a hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion system is just the beginning of start-up Universal Hydrogen’s strategy to decarbonise airline travel.
Luxair to take four 737 Max 8s, including pair on lease
Luxembourg’s Luxair has ordered two Boeing 737 Max 8s and signed a deal to lease another pair of the narrowbodies, part of a plan to boost its summer capacity.
Hong Kong’s Greater Bay orders 15 Boeing 737 Max 9s and eyes 787s
Start-up Hong Kong carrier Greater Bay Airlines has ordered 15 Boeing 737 Max 9s and made a “commitment” to order five 787s.
US NTSB releases preliminary report on Austin near-miss
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a preliminary report of a near-miss involving a Fedex Boeing 777-300ER and a Southwest Airlines 737 in Austin last month.
US military orders fleet-wide F-35 retrofit to address F135 engine issue
The US government has ordered that all Lockheed Martin F-35s be retrofitted to address a “harmonic resonance” engine issue that forced the recent grounding of some but not all the fifth-generation fighters.
Universal Hydrogen completes first flight of hydrogen-powered Dash 8
Start-up Universal Hydrogen has completed first flight of a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300 powered partly by a hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion system.
AutoFlight flies Prosperity I eVTOL demonstrator on ‘record’ 135nm sortie
Air taxi developer AutoFlight has completed a long-distance flight of its newest demonstrator aircraft, a feat the company says proves the design’s viability and aids its path toward certification.
Dominican Republic’s Arajet applies to US DOT to launch routes to the USA
Arajet, a new low-cost start-up carrier based in the Dominican Republic, has applied to the US government to launch routes between the Caribbean country and the United States.
McKenzie succeeds Hyslop as Boeing’s chief engineer
Boeing’s head of commercial aviation engineering Howard McKenzie became the company’s chief engineer on 1 March, succeeding Greg Hyslop, who is set to retire in June.
Delta pilots approve new contract
Pilots at Delta Air Lines have approved a new contract that will give them a 34% pay increase by 2026.
Boeing lands $1.2bn contract to develop E-7s for USAF
Boeing will develop two new variants of its 737-based E-7 airborne early warning and control aircraft for the US Air Force under a newly disclosed contract worth up to $1.2 billion.
P&W starts modifying F135s to address issue prompting F-35 partial grounding
Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has started modifying engines in some Lockheed Martin F-35s to address an issue that left some of the fighters grounded in recent months.
Norse adds four new US routes from London Gatwick
Long-haul European discounter Norse Atlantic Airways plans to expand further in the coming months with flights from London’s Gatwick airport to another four US cities.
Boeing keen to avoid fixed contract challenges of the past
Boeing Defense, Space & Security is disinclined from entering fixed-price contracts for major programmes.
Boeing hands 787 to United but deliveries otherwise remain paused
Boeing has handed over a 787-10 to United Airlines but says its broader pause on deliveries of the widebody type remains in effect.
Aviation companies fight for female talent in ‘buyer’s market’
With women making up less than 5% of pilots and less than 3% of aviation mechanics, airlines and other aerospace companies came to Long Beach, California to search for talent at the world’s largest convention that aims to get more female workers into the industry.
Porter Airlines to support construction of new terminal at Montreal Saint-Hubert airport
Porter Airlines plans to expand at a secondary airport near Montreal that now has relatively few commercial flights.
Northrop Grumman pitches Advanced Hawkeye for NATO surveillance need
Northrop Grumman is offering its E-2D Advanced Hawkeye to meet NATO’s future airborne surveillance needs, having responded to a recent request for information from the alliance.
Pratt-powered A321XLR undergoes cold-weather testing in Canada
Airbus has carried out several days of cold-weather testing of the A321XLR, having flown one of the prototype twinjets to northern Canada.
Pilot shortage will erode US discounters’ low-cost edge: United executive
A shortage of pilots will increasingly erode the cost advantages long enjoyed by US discount airlines while improving the competitive position of giants like United Airlines.
Pentagon clears resumption of F-35 engine deliveries
The US government had paused delivery of the fighter’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, following the December crash of a Lockheed Martin F-35B in Texas during pre-delivery flight tests.
Oliver Wyman slashes 10-year fleet forecast amid production and labour issues
Three years have passed since Covid-19 flattened air travel, and the global fleet of commercial jets has still not quite recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
Boeing once again halts 787 deliveries, this time due to ‘analysis error’
Boeing has once again halted deliveries of its 787 Dreamliners due to what it calls “an analysis error” by one of its suppliers.
American’s Smith will succeed Parker as chairman of the board
American Airlines has named current board member Greg Smith as its new chairman, succeeding Doug Parker, who is retiring.
Avelo targets three more underserved US airports for nonstop service
Discount start-up Avelo Airlines is planning a springtime expansion of its national network with three new destinations in Colorado, Texas and Virginia, bringing the total number of cities it serves to 35.
Soon-to-be-acquired Atlas Air posts profitable Q4, but cargo demand slips from 2021
US air cargo company Atlas Air Worldwide made $126 million during its fourth quarter of 2022 and $356 million for the full year – “one of the best years in Atlas’ history”, chief executive John Dietrich said on 23 February. The freight hauler’s results were down from 2021, however.
Boeing to cease F/A-18 production by end-2025
On 23 February, Boeing disclosed plans to cease production of the venerable fourth-generation fighter in late 2025 after delivering the final jet to the US Navy.
Air Canada and United to offer more than 260 daily transborder flights from June
Star Alliance partners Air Canada and United Airlines are upping their offering between the USA and Canada during the upcoming Northern Hemisphere summer travel season.
F-35 carrier crash attributed to pilot error during high-g landing manoeuvre
A 2022 ramp strike aboard one of the US Navy’s aircraft carriers that resulted in the loss of an F-35C stealth fighter is being attributed to a mistake by the jet’s operator during a normal, but complex, landing procedure.
Pentagon confirms U-2 pilot’s ‘selfie’ with Chinese balloon
For the first time, the public is getting an aerial view of the mysterious Chinese balloon that transited North American airspace during the first week of February.
Will electric air taxis really soar over LA during the 2028 Olympics? Industry players bank on it
Some believers in emerging aviation technology have a futuristic vision of a highly connected fleet of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles in the sky above Southern California within five years. Type certification is the next big step.
Atlanta heads the pack as US airports lead traffic growth in 2022
Atlanta Hartsfield airport handled just under 94 million passengers last year, still short of pre-pandemic highs but enough to see it retain its crown as the busiest airport in the world.
Saab pitches GlobalEye for NATO AWACS successor deal
Saab is pitching a version of its GlobalEye surveillance aircraft as a potential successor for NATO’s aged fleet of Boeing E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.
Atlanta firm acquires ex-WestJet 737-600s for teardown
Seven WestJet Boeing 737-600s have been divested to a US-based firm which will tear down the aircraft for parts.
CRJ900 unexpectedly climbed and accelerated during cruise: safety board
Canadian investigators have disclosed that a Jazz Mitsubishi CRJ900 experienced an uncommanded climb and acceleration during a domestic service.
USAF commissions study of autonomous cargo jet feasibility
California-based developer of aviation safety technologies Reliable Robotics will prepare a feasibility assessment for the US Air Force examining the potential for autonomous, multi-engined transport jets, including automations of both flight and cargo operations.
Air Canada marks milestone in recovery, returns to profitability in Q4
Air Canada returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2022, reporting a C$168 million ($125 million) profit and marking a milestone in the flag-carrier’s long recovery from the Covid-19-related dropoff in air travel.
Chorus Aviation turns Q4 profit as longtime CEO Randell readies for retirement
Canada’s Chorus Aviation turned a C$45.9 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2022 amid major strategic and leadership transitions, including the looming retirement of longtime chief executive Joseph Randell.
US military to acquire up to 64 Beechcraft King Air 260s for training
The contract will see Textron Aviation deliver up to 64 of the twin-engined propeller craft to serve as pilot trainers for the US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Eviation close to naming new suppliers, prepping for 2025 kick-off of certification flight testing
Several months after completing first flight of its prototype electric aircraft, US developer Eviation is working to secure manufacturing partners and additional funding, while remaining on track to begin certification flight testing in 2025.
China sanctions Lockheed Martin and Raytheon over Taiwan arms sales
Beijing will prohibit the aerospace manufacturers from doing business in China and ban senior executives from entering the country, citing weapons sales to Taiwan.
BAE, Leonardo advance self-protection pact for international market
The US government has approved a joint effort to combine the self-protection capabilities of BAE Systems Inc’s AAR-57 common missile warning system and Leonardo’s Miysis directed infrared countermeasure technology.
How award-winning aviation mechanic Marissa Estebanez proves her capability
Award-winning young engineer Marissa Estebanez loves her role as an aircraft maintenance technician working in South Carolina, and hopes her journey will help inspire others to ‘go fix something’.
Challenger 600 flap tests ordered after uncommanded extension incident
Operators of Bombardier Challenger 600s are being instructed to carry out repetitive operational tests of the flap-control system following an uncommanded flap-extension incident.
Ameriflight strikes deal to purchase Sabrewing cargo drones
US cargo airline Ameriflight has continued showing interest in conceptual autonomous cargo aircraft by signing a letter of intent to purchase 35 vertical take-off and landing drones from California start-up Sabrewing Aircraft.
US lawmakers describe unknown objects as nothing new after classified brief
After receiving a classified briefing from US defence officials, members of Congress say the recently shot down unidentified aerial objects appear similar to hundreds of other unknown objects reported by American aviators in recent years.
JetBlue plans major operational expansion in South Florida
Seeking a stronger foothold in South Florida, JetBlue Airways plans to ramp up to more than 250 daily departures from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport by 2027, including flights to Europe.
FAA chief launches safety review following several recent close calls
The head of the US Federal Aviation Administration has initiated a safety review in response to several recent “close calls” involving large US commercial jets.
JetBlue complains to US DOT about rejected Amsterdam slot requests
JetBlue Airways has filed a complaint with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) against the government of the Netherlands for repeated rejection of slot requests at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
Artificial intelligence-controlled aircraft completes combat manoeuvres in USAF test
Two artificial intelligence “agents” developed by the US military completed 17h of flight tests in December, focused on execution of advanced fighter manoeuvres such as close-range dogfighting and beyond-visual-range combat.
US NTSB investigating United 777’s steep dive in December after Maui take-off
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened an investigation into an incident in which a Boeing 777 aircraft came within 800ft of crashing into the Pacific Ocean last December.
Canada searches remote far north for wreckage of unidentified object
Ottawa says it has deployed multiple aircraft to search the mountainous terrain of the northern Yukon for wreckage of the unknown object shot down by US F-22 fighters on 11 February.
Norse Atlantic starts reinforcing US network from London Gatwick
Transatlantic budget carrier Norse Atlantic Airways is to open two services between London Gatwick and Florida in May.
Boeing’s deliveries and orders slip in January after a strong December
Boeing’s aircraft deliveries and new aircraft orders slipped during January, down from higher figures posted by the company in the final month of 2022.
Air India to order 220 narrowbody and widebody jets from Boeing
Air India has agreed to place firm orders for 220 Boeing jets, including 190 737 Max, 20 787s and 10 777Xs.
FAA reviewed United aircraft safety incident in Hawaii
The Federal Aviation Administration says it has reviewed an aircraft safety incident from December in which a United Airlines aircraft sharply descended just after taking off from Hawaii.
Adjusted radar settings likely behind rash of USA’s unknown object detections
The Pentagon says it has been more closely scrutinising the airspace around North America after an incursion by a Chinese surveillance balloon, including increasing the sensitivity settings on radars that previously were not reporting small, low-speed objects.
WestJet to expand flying to USA and eastern Canada
Canadian airline WestJet plans to expand its connectivity from Calgary and Edmonton by almost 30% and 50%, respectively, over 2022 levels, beginning in April.
Fourth airborne object shot down after overflying ‘sensitive sites’
Another unidentified aerial object was shot down by an F-16 fighter aircraft near the maritime border between the USA and Canada on Lake Huron – the third unknown object and fourth overall to be destroyed in the past week.
US aerospace supply chain faces long climb back to health
Boeing’s aircraft production rates remain significantly depressed from last decade’s highs – reflecting an aerospace industry struggling to keep up and facing what insiders describe as a long, difficult climb back to normalcy.
US fighter jet shoots down third airborne object over North America
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered fighter jets to shoot down an unidentified airborne object, the third such object that has been downed over North America in one week.
US NTSB subpoenas American Airlines pilots involved in JFK runway incursion
US aviation accident investigators have subpoenaed an American Airlines flight crew involved in a near-miss at New York’s John F Kennedy International airport last month after attempting to interview the individuals three times without success.
US F-22s shoot down unidentified high-altitude object over Alaska
The Pentagon says at the direction of US President Joe Biden fighter aircraft shot down an unknown object off the coast of Alaska around 40,000ft, with military officials describing the craft as posing a hazard to commercial aviation.
Hawaiian Airlines pilots accept new contract with 32% pay raise
Pilots at Hawaiian Airlines have approved a new contract which will give them an average pay raise of 32% over four years.
Analysts diverge on optimum timeframe for next Boeing aircraft launch
Immediate action could help the airframer re-energise the company and claw back market share, according to some, but others argue the priority should be mending a strained balance sheet and troubled supply chain.
U-2 spy planes monitored Chinese balloon during USA transit
While the US military is keeping quiet about what measures it took during the recent balloon flyover, a senior American diplomat says high-altitude Lockheed Martin U-2 reconnaissance aircraft were used to collect information on the airship.
Airline Business Podcast: Do airline failures belie brighter outlook?
Graham and Lewis discuss the recent collapses of European carriers Flybe and Flyr, asking whether those developments belie a much brighter outlook for the industry in 2023.
Investors see value in airlines as 2023 outlook improves
Our latest airline share-price tracker reflects positive sentiment towards an industry that has plenty of reasons for optimism heading towards the northern hemisphere summer.
Lawmakers frustrated with Pentagon balloon response
Members of Congress are grilling US defence officials about the military’s response to a multi-day incursion into North American airspace by a Chinese surveillance platform, and many are not satisfied with the answers.
Mesa Airlines reports fiscal Q1 loss, braces for breakup with American Airlines
Mesa Airlines Group, parent of US regional carrier Mesa Airlines, reports a modest loss in the first quarter of its fiscal year as it prepares to separate from longtime partner American Airlines in favour of a new deal with United Airlines.
‘We messed up’: Southwest executive testifies on airline’s holiday meltdown
A Southwest Airlines executive faced grilling from Washington lawmakers regarding the carrier’s system-wide operational meltdown that resulted in the cancellation of 16,700 flights and stranded hundreds of thousands of air travellers at the end of 2022.
Bombardier targeting 15% more business jet deliveries in 2023
Bombardier expects to increase business jet deliveries by “a minimum of 15%” as strong demand for private flying drives the company’s resurgence.
Airline Business Covid-19 recovery tracker: February 2023 update
Our regular examination of the latest global data for several key airline market indicators, including traffic and capacity in passenger and cargo markets, in-service and stored fleets, jet fuel costs, and share price trends for the world’s largest groups.
Cirrus grounds its own SR22 and SR22T aircraft due to engine ‘issue’
Cirrus Aircraft, maker of high-performance single-engine aircraft, has grounded its SR22 and SR22T models after “an issue” was discovered with its Continental Aerospace engines.
Frontier reports $40m profit in Q4, capitalises on ‘strong leisure market’
Ultra-low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines reports a $40 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2022 as it continues to see strong demand for leisure travel.
Spirit names CFO Scott Haralson as executive vice-president following lacklustre Q4
Shortly after reporting a hefty fourth-quarter loss, Spirit Airlines has moved Scott Haralson into the role of executive vice-president and chief financial officer.
Canada Jetlines appoints Rossen Dimitrov to board of directors
Start-up leisure carrier Canada Jetlines has appointed longtime airline executive Rossen Dimitrov to its board of directors.
Leonardo to upgrade avionics on USA’s remaining C-27Js
The $91 million contract with the US Special Operations Command will provide an upgraded avionics package on the ageing Leonardo tactical transports, currently operated by the US Coast Guard and the US Army’s special operators.
How supply-demand crunch has given A380 a fresh lease of life
After initially looking as though the pandemic was going to bring an unceremonious end to several carriers’ Airbus A380 operations, a capacity shortage means the ultra-large jet will be flying far more widely this summer than previously expected
Everts seeks MD-88 converted freighter from Aeronautical Engineers
While US modification specialist Aeronautical Engineers’ recent activity has been primarily focused on Boeing 737-800 work, the company has received a request for an MD-88 cargo conversion.
FAA grants Universal Hydrogen special airworthiness certificate
Alternative propulsion developer Universal Hydrogen says the Federal Aviation Administration has granted it a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category, clearing the company to begin flight testing its demonstrator aircraft, a modified De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300.
Bombardier overhauls leadership structure, Martel remains CEO
Bombardier has made several significant shifts to its senior management structure, naming new executives to head sales, aftermarket operations, defence products and supply chain.
Textron Aviation rolls out ‘gravel kit’ for SkyCourier
Textron Aviation is now selling a “gravel kit” modification for Cessna’s newly certificated SkyCourier turboprop – an option intended to enable the aircraft to operate from remote, unfinished airstrips.
US DOJ decision on proposed JetBlue-Spirit tie-up expected within a month
Spirit Airlines is expecting a decision from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on its pending acquisition by rival low-cost airline JetBlue Airways within the next 30 days.
Production and supply chain trouble push Spirit AeroSystems to $546m 2022 loss
Spirit AeroSystems lost $546 million in 2022, reflecting an ongoing slump in aerostructures deliveries and a disrupted production system.
Global airline passenger traffic exceeded two-thirds of pre-Covid levels in 2022
Airline passenger traffic was just over two-thirds of 2019 levels last year, in a 12-month period marked by an initially strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic that then plateaued across the last few months of the year.
Spirit Airlines loses $271m in Q4, searches for ‘sustained profitability’
Spirit Airlines is still searching for “sustained profitability” after losing $271 million during the fourth quarter of 2022, compared with a $87 million loss during the same three months of 2021.
V-22s grounded over continued problems with hard clutch engagement
After the US Air Force and US Marine Corps failed to previously address the problem, the joint office overseeing the US military’s fleet of Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotors recommended a flight restriction on the problem-plagued craft over continued issues with hard clutch engagement.
USAF launches effort to develop stealthy air tanker
Formerly known as “KC-Z”, the programme now dubbed Next Generation Air-refuelling System seeks to deliver an air tanker capable of surviving in a contested environment by 2040.
FAA plans to fine Unted $1.15m for missed safety checks between 2018 and 2021
The Federal Aviation Administration plans to fine United Airlines $1.15 million after the carrier missed certain pre-flight checks pertaining to a fire warning system on its Boeing 777s during an almost three-year period –flying those aircraft in an ”unairworthy condition”.
NTSB chair to warn lawmakers of potential for ‘catastrophic’ runway accident
The warning from NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy will come during a House hearing three days after what appears to have been an incredibly dangerous runway incursion event involving Southwest Airlines and FedEx jets at Austin.
FAA approves US cargo operations for GlobalX
US carrier Global Crossing Airlines (GlobalX) has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin cargo operations with its Airbus A321F aircraft.
Not just a helicopter company: Bell makes a play for the future of vertical lift
The Textron subsidiary, which rose to 20th century prominence as the maker of the Vietnam-era UH-1 Huey and over a dozen commercial helicopter types, is envisioning a new future for itself pioneering the next era of vertical flight.
Global air freight demand dropped below pre-Covid levels in 2022
Demand for air freight dropped below 2019 levels last year, as the sector experienced a comedown from the highs recorded in 2021 but still benefited from strong yields.
USAF downs Chinese balloon off Atlantic coast
Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors from the US Air Force shot down the surveillance vessel on 4 February off the USA’s East Coast, with Washington denouncing the balloon’s presence as a violation of territorial sovereignty.
Pentagon tracking high-altitude Chinese spy balloon over USA
The US military says it is monitoring a large surveillance balloon travelling over North America that it believes originated in China.
Pilots seek to block Allegiant-Viva Aerobus joint venture
The union representing Allegiant Air’s pilots has come out against the carrier’s proposed joint business with Mexico’s Viva Aerobus, alleging that it is simply seeking access to cheaper flightcrew.
Air France to link Canadian capital with Europe
SkyTeam carrier Air France is to open the Canadian capital Ottawa’s only non-stop link to Europe, with a service from Paris Charles de Gaulle before mid-year.
US regional SkyWest loses $47m in final quarter of 2022
In what Skywest Airlines’ chief executive Chip Childs called a “noisy” fourth quarter of 2022, the regional US carrier lost $47 million, compared with a $4 million profit in the same three months of 2021.
Attorneys accuse Boeing of violating 737 Max settlement with Department of Justice
Attorneys representing relatives of 737 Max crash victims are arguing in court that Boeing violated its 2021 settlement with the US government by pleading not guilty last week to fraud charges.
Southwest names Lauren Woods as chief information officer to manage IT overhaul
Southwest Airlines has moved company executive Lauren Woods into the role of chief information officer to help manage the airline’s technology upgrades in the aftermath of its system-wide operational meltdown during peak of holiday travel.
Sun Country Airlines 'prudently' grows as it posts $17.7m Q4 profit
Sun Country Airlines was able to “prudently” grow its operations in 2022, achieving a modest profit for both the fourth quarter and the full year.
Porter launches ‘sister airline’ to operate new Embraer 195-E2s to the USA
Porter Airlines has launched a new ”sister” carrier – Porter Airlines Canada – with an eye on an expansion in the USA using its new Embraer E195-E2s.
Aurora and General Atomics advance in DARPA seaplane project
The aircraft manufacturers will develop designs for full-scale demonstrators under the ‘Liberty Lifter’ programme, which seeks to produce a heavy lift aircraft that can take-off and land without ground or ship-based infrastructure.
GA-ASI conducts first flight of Eaglet Air Launched Effect
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has operated the first flight of a new Air Launched Effect, the Eaglet, from a US Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned air vehicle (UAV).
Allegiant posts $53m Q4 profit thanks to ‘robust demand’
Allegiant Travel Company, parent of Allegiant Air, rode high demand for leisure travel to a profitable fourth quarter of 2022, capping a year marked by significant operational challenges.
Lawmakers from Sikorsky’s home state demand answers on FLRAA decision
Members of Congress representing Sikorsky’s home state of Connecticut want answers from the US Army as to how it selected the company’s rival for a procurement contract to replace the UH-60 Black Hawk – expected to be worth as much as $80 billion.
Boeing 747 Freighters will maintain value: Atlas Air CEO
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, the buyer of Boeing’s final four 747s, expects the jumbo jets will maintain their value over time – and plans to operate them for up to half a century.
Final Boeing 747 departs Everett for its new home
The final Boeing 747 to be built left the airframer’s Everett, Washington plant on 1 February, closing a five-decade-long era for the US airframer.
How Boeing’s ‘Incredibles’ crafted 747 as Queen of the Skies
While the 747 programme’s last delivery has closed a chapter of history for the Boeing type, it will always remain “Queen of the Skies”, according to Michael Lombardi, the company’s senior corporate historian.
De Havilland lands Dash 8 freighter conversion order from Peru’s ATSA
De Havilland Canada has landed an agreement to supply Peruvian airline ATSA with a Dash 8-400 F-LCD freighter, a heavily modified aircraft equipped with a large cargo door.
‘Magic here’: Boeing delivers final iconic Queen of the Skies
Current and former employees bid the iconic Boeing 747 a fond and tearful farewell, as the US airframer delivers its final “Queen of the Skies” to Atlas Air.
Hawaiian narrows Q4 loss, reports slow recovery in Japanese demand
Hawaiian Holdings, parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, reports narrowing fourth-quarter losses as demand for air travel to the Pacific archipelago has largely rebounded – except from Japan.
From freighters to Air Force One: how the current 747 fleet is deployed
After a production run totalling 1,574 aircraft, Boeing’s 747 remains in widespread use around the globe, with almost one-quarter of all delivered jumbos still operational.
Last of the jumbos: Boeing closes chapter with final 747 delivery
Boeing has delivered its final 747, closing a chapter on an aircraft that revolutionised travel, linked distant cities, made the world seem smaller and became a symbol of American industrial might and of last century’s jet-set culture.
ALPA-represented JetBlue pilots win 21.5% pay raise with new contract
JetBlue Airways’ pilots approved on 30 January a two-year contract extension that includes a 21.5% pay increase over 18 months.
Sikorsky moves toward annual CH-53K production rate of 24 aircraft
The US Navy declared the three-engined, heavy-lift rotorcraft ready for full-rate production in December and subsequently issued contracts to manufacturer Sikorsky to support assembly of 24 CH-53Ks yearly.
US start-up Natilus lands deal to sell in-development cargo aircraft to Ameriflight
US cargo airline Ameriflight intends to purchase 20 of a conceptual autonomous cargo aircraft being developed by California start-up Natilus.
Frontier Airlines to expand Puerto Rican presence in May
Frontier Airlines plans in May to add several new routes to Puerto Rico as part of an expansion that will see the airline launch its first flights to the US territory’s city of Ponce.
How the veteran 747 fell out of fashion as ‘big twins’ took off
Having changed the way the world flew, the four-engined jumbo eventually lost out to a new breed of more efficient airliners
Allegiant Air shuffles executive leadership team
Allegiant Travel Company has made further changes to its C-suite days after accepting the resignation of co-president and chief operating officer Scott Sheldon.
DARPA, Lockheed successfully test experimental hypersonic weapon
It was the second test flight of the scramjet vehicle known as the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, which Lockheed is developing in conjunction with the Pentagon’s secretive research branch.
LATAM, Delta plan to launch new route from Orlando to Bogota
LATAM Airlines plans to launch a new daily route from Orlando to Bogota, Colombia on 1 July as part of its recently approved joint venture with Delta Air Lines.
USAF orders more Boeing KC-46s, as inspectors identify more failings
The US Air Force placed an order worth $2 billion with Boeing for 15 new KC-46 air tankers, just as the Pentagon’s test office identified new faults with the troubled jet.
Boeing to open fourth 737 production line, in Everett
Boeing plans in 2024 to expand its 737 Max production footprint by opening a new production line at its facility in Everett, supplementing the three 737 lines at its original 737 assembly site in Renton.
Scott Sheldon steps down as president of Allegiant Air
Allegiant Travel Company, parent of Allegiant Air, has accepted the resignation of co-president and chief operating officer Scott Sheldon, prompting a reshuffling of the airline’s executives.
Why does United Airlines chief think competitors are ‘in denial’?
Having been outspoken on the path of the Covid-19 pandemic, United Airlines chief executive Scott Kirby is now suggesting his airline’s peers are misreading the industry’s route out of the crisis.
Start-up Electra Aero secures USAF funding for eSTOL development
US start-up Electra Aero has secured $30 million in funding through a US Air Force (USAF) programme to further develop an all-electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft.
Southwest end-year meltdown costs $800 million, leads to Q4 loss
Southwest Airlines lost $220 million during the fourth quarter of 2022 after it was battered by a system-wide meltdown during the busiest travel days of the end-of-year holiday season.
Gulfstream targets 20% bump in 2023 aircraft deliveries
Business jet maker Gulfstream aims to hike its aircraft deliveries by a fifth in 2023 after missing its delivery target last year amid regulatory and supply chain issues.
Alaska posts $58m full-year profit on record revenues
Alaska Air Group posted record full-year operating revenues of $9.65 billion in 2022 and a net profit of $58 million for the year.
Pilot shortages holding back American’s expansion
Pilot availability is still limiting the size of American Airlines’ operation, through the carrier says it has ramped pilot training to accommodate its planned 2023 fleet expansion.
JetBlue posts $24m profit in Q4 as travel spending outruns costs
JetBlue Airways posted a $24 million profit in the final quarter of the year as end-of-year travel spending rose to compensate for higher costs, especially for jet fuel.
Alaska follows Airbus A320 retirements with Dash 8 withdrawal
Alaska Airlines unit Horizon Air today operates the last of its De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s flights after Alaska earlier this month retired the last of its Airbus A320 fleet as part of its accelerated fleet transition announced last year.
JAL invests in sea-glider start-up Regent Craft
Japan Airlines Innovation Fund, the venture arm of the Japanese carrier, has invested in start-up sea glider developer Regent Craft.
American turns $127m profit in 2022 as soaring expenses eat into record revenues
American Airlines made a $127 million profit in 2022 as surging expenses offset what was a record year of revenue for the Fort Worth-based carrier.
Police UAV operator ‘saturated’ before collision with landing Cessna
Canadian investigators believe the police operator of an unmanned aerial vehicle became task-saturated, and unaware of a collision risk, before the craft was struck by a Cessna 172N flown by a student on a training flight.
Boeing still coping with ‘unstable’ 737 delivery pace
Boeing expects to deliver between 30 and 40 737s monthly in 2023 – and where it falls in that range will depend largely on its ability to fix supply and labour issues.
Hawaiian restores flights between Honolulu and Fukuoka, Japan
Hawaiian Airlines is reinstating more flights to Japan, its most important overseas market, as it rebuilds its network in the Asia-Pacific region after almost three years of coronavirus-driven restrictions.
Boeing’s truss-braced-wing demonstrator will ‘definitely’ inform next aircraft: CEO
Boeing chief executive David Calhoun insists future narrowbody commercial aircraft will benefit from technologies advanced as part of Boeing’s partnership with NASA to develop a truss-braced-wing demonstrator.
Boeing pushes back plan to bring 787 production to five monthly
Boeing has delayed until later this year a plan to bring 787 production to five aircraft monthly, citing a production slowdown due to a “supply constraint”.
Textron confident Bell’s FLRAA win will survive Lockheed challenge
The parent company of helicopter manufacturer Bell is confident the company’s win in the US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft contest will be upheld, amid a challenge from competitor Lockheed Martin.
Textron Aviation’s 2022 profit jumps as supply chain troubles disrupt production
Textron Aviation turned a $584 million profit in 2022, a year in which parts shortages held up production even as demand for new business aircraft remained strong.
Commercial and defence programmes push Boeing to $5.1bn 2022 loss
Boeing lost $5.1 billion in 2022 as lacklustre performance from its commercial aviation division combined with its defence business swinging into the red.
Lockheed’s first Greenville-built F-16 makes debut flight
Lockheed Martin has performed a debut flight with the first F-16 fighter built at its Greenville site in South Carolina: a two-seat, Block 70 example built for Bahrain.
Collins’ aircraft interiors business faces long road to recovery
Collins Aerospace’ aircraft interiors business is lagging the company’s broader recovery due to the slow return of demand for international long-haul air travel.
Flat sales in 2023, return to growth in 2024 for Lockheed Martin
Inflation and supply chain headwinds continue to challenge the defence manufacturer, but company executives say new contracts and better than expected defence funding in the USA will drive a return to growth in 2024.
Raytheon to combine military systems businesses and names Calio president
Raytheon Technologies has disclosed plans to consolidate two defence-focused divisions, reoganising its business into three divisions with Christopher Calio as its next president.
United takes 10% stake in Mesa Air Group, valued at $10.5m
United Airlines has taken a 10% stake in Mesa Air Group, the parent of Mesa Airlines, valued at $10.5 million.
Passenger fleet to grow by 22,000 aircraft by end-2041: Cirium
The global passenger fleet is forecast increase by around 22,000 aircraft – or 86% – between end-2021 and end-2041 to meet growing demand for air travel, according to Ascend by Cirium.
Raytheon reports sluggish defence growth despite high demand
The aerospace conglomerate reports strong growth in the sale of commercial aviation products, but says it still faces significant manufacturing headwinds in its defence portfolio.
Shortages of P&W engine components to continue through most of 2023
Availability of complex metal components used to produce aerospace turbofans will likely remain constrained through most of this year.
Norse Atlantic to open JFK service from fifth European capital
Scandinavian long-haul low-cost carrier Norse Atlantic Airways is to open services between Rome and New York JFK in mid-June.
GE Aerospace’s 2022 profit jumps as recovery continues
GE Aerospace’s 2022 profit jumped 66% year-on-year to $4.8 billion, partly reflecting a bump in revenue from commercial aviation parts and aftermarket services sales.
FAA certificates Britten-Norman’s BN2T-4S, nearly 30 years after UK approval
The Federal Aviation Administration has certificated Britten-Norman’s BN2T-4S Islander turboprop, a move that comes decades after European authorities greenlighted the type.
Sikorsky delivers 5,000th Black Hawk, with potential for new US orders
The milestone comes as the US Army is beginning its transition toward replacing the venerable UH-60 platform, which it has selected Bell to produce.
LOT, Smartwings also challenging US government’s 737 Max settlement with Boeing
A legal battle over Boeing’s 2021 settlement of 737 Max-related fraud charges continues playing out in US court, with two European airlines accusing Boeing of failing to abide by the deal.
Airbus to retrofit and upgrade nine A350 jets for Delta
Delta Air Lines has hired Airbus Services to retrofit and upgrade nine Airbus A350 aircraft that previously flew for LATAM Airlines Group.
US, Turkish defence officials meet for second round of F-35 discussions
Washington removed the NATO ally from the multi-nation Joint Strike Fighter programme in 2019, following Anakra’s acquisition of a Russian air defence system.
USAF launches AI-powered airlift planning competition
The Air Force Research Laboratory digital event invites researchers from around the world to improve the planning of airlift operations using artificial intelligence-driven algorithms.
Israeli firm to supply 777-8 freighter’s main cargo door
Israeli firm Elbit Systems is to supply the large main-deck cargo door for the Boeing 777-8 freighter, under an aerostructures agreement with the US airframer.
Delta to begin Los Angeles-Auckland flights in October
Delta Air Lines intends in October to begin flying for the first time between Auckland and Los Angeles, becoming the only US carrier connecting the two cities.
US judge faced with request to rescind Boeing’s immunity from 737 Max prosecution
A US Federal judge is faced with deciding whether to lift Boeing’s immunity from criminal prosecution related to two 737 Max crashes that killed 346 people.
FAA finds ‘unintentionally deleted files’ led to 11 January system outage
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has identified “unintentionally deleted files” as the likely reason behind a system outage that led to nationwide flight disruptions.
US federal judge orders Boeing arraigned for 737 Max crashes
A federal judge in Texas has lifted Boeing’s immunity from arraignment on criminal charges for two fatal crashes involving its 737 Max aircraft.
Spirit Airlines selling 29 Airbus A319s amid fleet renewal
Spirit Airlines has entered an agreement to sell 29 Airbus A319s to Gryphon Trading Company for $152 million to $201 million, depending on price adjustments in the deal.
Hawaiian Airlines’ pilots to vote on new contract
Hawaiian Airlines’ pilots have come to a tentative agreement with the airline on a new four-year contract.
Universal Hydrogen reveals video of fuel-cell test run on modified Dash 8
Alternative propulsion developer Universal Hydrogen recently completed “propeller runs” of its hydrogen-fuel cell powertrain integrated onto a regional aircraft.
Technical F-15 and F-16 documents leaked in online gaming forum
Military video game forum users posted apparently restricted documents pertaining to Boeing F-15s and Lockheed Martin F-16s.
P&W expands India presence with new Bengaluru engineering centre
Pratt & Whitney has opened a new engineering operation in the Indian city of Bengaluru as part of broader expansion in India by parent Raytheon Technologies.
Engineering change: Susan Ying’s remarkable career path to electric pioneer Ampaire
Susan Ying has transformed a series of unfortunate events – including losing all her possessions in a flood and a cancer diagnosis – into a stellar career that now finds her at electrification innovator Ampaire.
Delta pilots’ union to ballot members after agreeing new contract terms
Pilots at Delta Air Lines are to vote on a new employment contract after union leaders backed a tentative new agreement.
Aurora advances to second phase of DARPA ‘active flow’ flight-control experiment
The Boeing subsidiary is designing an aircraft for the US military that can fly without traditional mechanical control surfaces, as part of an attempt to increase aerodynamic performance.
Southwest pilots’ union president calls for vote to authorise strike
Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association (SWAPA), is calling for a vote to authorise a potential strike in the wake of the carrier’s operational collapse during the peak of holiday air travel.
US aviation lobby groups warn against introducing unleaded aviation fuel too quickly
Several aviation lobby groups say they support the introduction of lead-free aviation fuel, or avgas, but warn against moving too quickly to replace the leaded gas that is currently widely used in the USA’s piston aircraft fleet.
Ethiopian to launch Atlanta flights
Ethiopian Airlines plans to launch its first service to Atlanta this summer, with four flights weekly to the US city from mid-May.
Airline operating environment has changed ‘profoundly’: Kirby
United Airlines’ chief executive Scott Kirby believes the dramatic shift in operating environment for airlines following the Covid-19 pandemic requires new ways of doing business.
NASA partners with Boeing to develop $1.1b truss-braced-wing demonstrator
NASA has picked Boeing to develop a demonstrator of a truss-braced-wing narrowbody aircraft, part of a programme aimed at advancing technologies that could make the next single-aisle commercial aircraft 30% more efficient.
United plans to restore non-stop service to China
United Airlines hopes to soon restore non-stop service to mainland China after that country lifted all Covid-19-related travel restrictions earlier this month.
Stratolaunch completes second ‘captive carry’ test flight of hypersonic vehicle
The California-based hypersonic development firm is testing a two-aircraft system, in which the hypersonic vehicle is carried and launched from underneath a dual fuselage, high-wing jet.
Delta orders a dozen more Airbus A220s
Delta Air Lines has exercised options on 12 more Airbus A220-300s for delivery in 2026 and 2027.
Former head of Boeing defence wing joins Raytheon’s board of directors
As chief executive of Boeing Defense, Space & Security for six years, Leanne Caret oversaw significant contract wins for the aerospace giant using a bid strategy that has since generated billions in losses.
United reports first full-year profit since 2019
United Airlines earned a profit of $737 million in 2022, the first time since 2019 that it ended the year in the black.
Wisk Aero CEO Gysin retires, to be replaced by Brian Yutko
Gary Gysin, chief executive of Silicon Valley-based advanced air mobility company Wisk Aero, will retire on 1 Febraury.
US airlines request extension of slot waivers for flights to Asia
US airlines are requesting an extension of slot waivers for certain long-haul flights that have been in place since Covid-19 disrupted international travel in March 2020.
Southwest downplayed ‘serious issues with technology’ to shareholders: class-action lawsuit
A class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of shareholders of Southwest Airlines based on allegations that the company downplayed the potential for its ageing crew-scheduling software to derail its nationwide operations.
Virgin Atlantic fined $1m for operating Delta codeshare flights in Iraqi airspace
UK long-haul carrier Virgin Atlantic has been fined over $1 million by US regulators for operating several flights in restricted Iraqi airspace which were carrying the codeshare of its US partner Delta Air Lines.
Mexican start up Aerus intends to acquire 30 Eviation Alice electric aircraft
Mexican start-up airline Aerus has become the latest carrier to express interest in acquiring Eviation’s in-development all-electric commuter aircraft Alice.
Bombardier hit 2022 delivery target with 123 jets shipped
Canadian business jet maker Bombardier has met its revenue and aircraft-delivery targets for 2022.
US Air Force secretary stresses importance of advanced tankers, transports
The US Air Force (USAF) is serious about advanced designs for tanker and transport aircraft to address the emerging threats from near-peer adversaries.
NTSB and FAA to investigate runway incursion in New York
The US National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating a near-miss between two commercial aircraft at New York’s John F Kennedy International airport.
Talks on USA F-16 sale to Turkey move to Congress for next stage of review
The Biden administration is reportedly ready to approve the sale of 40 single-engined Lockheed Martin fighter jets, on the condition Ankara drops objections to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
NASA now eyes 2023 first flight for X-59, as supersonic projects face heat
NASA now expects its delayed X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology demonstrator aircraft will make first flight in 2023 following completion of still-outstanding system evaluations.
US lawmakers ’seeking answers’ for Southwest’s holiday ‘debacle’
Southwest Airlines is still in hot water, as 15 Democratic senators have signed a 13 January letter to CEO Bob Jordan demanding a detailed explanation of the carrier’s performance during the 2022 holiday travel period.
Delta’s Bastian calls for more funding for the FAA
Delta Air Lines’ chief executive Ed Bastian called on US lawmakers to increase funding to the Federal Aviation Administration after a collapse of a critical warning information system earlier this week briefly grounded thousands of flights.
Delta ‘not going to get ahead of ourselves’ on China routes: CEO
Delta Air Lines plans to hold back on restoring its flight network to China as it assesses demand following that country’s lifting of all Covid-19-related travel restrictions earlier this month.
Delta turns $1.3bn profit in 2022 as expenses balloon
Delta Air Lines’ profit surged in 2022 to $1.3 billion, up significantly year-on-year but still depressed from the Atlanta-based carrier’s profit in pre-pandemic 2019.
Newly reported UFOs display ‘unusual flight performance capabilities’: US intelligence
After analysing some 366 newly identified instances of unidentified aerial phenomena, US intelligence officials have determined roughly half to be normal aerospace clutter, while an unspecified number suggested unusual flight performance capabilities.
Air Canada shakes up senior management team
Lucie Guillemette plans to retire from her position as executive vice-president of Air Canada at the end of April, marking the end of a 36-year career with the carrier.
FAA’s technology breakdown renews calls to upgrade ATC system
The US Federal Aviation Administration’s IT breakdown that led to a 90-minute nationwide flight ban early on 11 January has renewed calls to upgrade to the country’s air traffic control system.
Airbus bests Boeing in 2022 orders and deliveries but both airframers take positives
For the fourth consecutive year, European airframer Airbus in 2022 delivered more aircraft and received more net orders than arch rival Boeing.
Canadian NOTAM system shutdown comes on heels of FAA outage
Canadian air navigation service Nav Canada reported an outage of its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system on the same day a similar shutdown of the US Federal Aviation Administration’s system prompted a nationwide take-off ban.
USAF completes largest-ever C-17 launch with rapid deployment of 24 aircraft
Two-dozen of the Boeing transport jets launched from Charleston, South Carolina before dispersing to drop paratroopers, refuel helicopters on the ground and distribute heavy weapons and communication systems at multiple landing sites.
US air travel system starting to recover following system outage: FAA
US airline flights are “gradually” recovering from a nationwide take-off ban prompted by failure of a Federal Aviation Administration computer system.
Runway slope obscured visibility during Toronto incursion
Canadian investigators have disclosed that a runway slope would have prevented the crews of two aircraft from seeing one another during a recent incursion incident at Toronto.
FAA computer issue prompts agency to temporarily ban US take-offs
The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered US flight departures halted until 09:00 Eastern time due to an outage of the system used by the FAA to distribute Notices to Air Missions.
Alaska Airlines plans to add 3,500 employees in 2023
Alaska Airlines plans to hire some 3,500 employees for a variety of roles in 2023 – including pilots, flight attendants and customer service agents – to keep pace with its rapidly growing fleet.
Spirit pilots approve new two-year deal with $463m pay gain
Spirit Airlines pilots voted on 10 January to approve a new two-year union contract that could be renegotiated if the airline’s pending acquisition by rival discount carrier JetBlue Airways collapses.
Boeing’s F-15EX proves full air-to-air capability with 12 underwing missiles
Recent weapons tests demonstrated that the F-15EX – the latest version of Boeing’s venerable air superiority fighter – can carry a full load of 12 air-to-air missiles.
Buoyant Boeing hits 2022 delivery target after strong December
Boeing ended up exceeding its twice-revised 737 delivery goal for 2022, shipping 387 of the narrowbody jets during the year, thanks largely to the rapid pace of deliveries in December.
Airline Business Covid-19 recovery tracker: January 2023 update
Our regular examination of the latest global data for several key airline market indicators, including traffic and capacity in passenger and cargo markets, in-service and stored fleets, jet fuel costs, and share price trends for the world’s largest groups.
Global demand for air cargo tailing off: IATA
Global demand for air cargo “softened” in November 2022, the most recent month of data, as carriers continued facing economic headwinds and the pandemic-related cargo boom lost steam.
Ottawa finalises terms for Canadian F-35 deal
Under the agreement with Lockheed Martin, Canada will purchase 88 F-35A stealth fighters for the country’s air force at a price of $14.2 billion.
FAA mandates 5G-tolerant altimeters, warns of ‘catastrophic incident’
The Federal Aviation Administration plans to require all transport aircraft have updated altimeters by February 2024, citing concern about a potential “catastrophic incident” caused by interference from new 5G networks.
Canadian and US airlines cancel flights to Mexico amid ongoing civil unrest
Canadian airlines Sunwing Airlines and WestJet cancelled flights to the western Mexican city of Mazatlan after civil unrest caused that city to close its airport.
American pulls out of three small markets, citing regional pilot shortage
American Airlines plans to terminate service to three small markets in the USA, citing a lack of pilots and low demand for the routes.
Southwest estimates loss of at least $725m from holiday meltdown
Southwest Airlines estimates losing between $725 million and $825 million due to its nationwide operational meltdown over the busy end-of-year travel period, and warned investors that it anticipates a net loss in the fourth quarter of 2022.
United and Emirates file codeshare request with US government
United Airlines and Emirates Airline have applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for approval to put their airline codes on each other’s flights as per an agreement the two carriers reached last year.
Archer teams with Stellantis to produce Midnight air taxi
Silicon Valley-based Archer Aviation has teamed with automotive company Stellantis to produce its prototype air taxi, Midnight.
FAA-formed panel set to begin evaluating Boeing’s safety processes
A 24-member panel formed by the Federal Aviation Administration will soon convene to begin evaluating the effectiveness of Boeing’s safety management processes.
Horizon Air names Jason Berry senior vice-president of operations
US regional carrier Horizon Air has appointed former Alaska Air Group executive Jason Berry as its senior vice-president of operations.
JetBlue plans new daytime flights from New York to London
JetBlue Airways plans to boost its North Atlantic operations by launching new daytime flights from New York to London – and an alternative to its transatlantic red-eyes.
Hawaiian Airlines orders two more Boeing 787 Dreamliners
Hawaiian Airlines has ordered two additional Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, bringing the airline’s firm order of the type to 12.
Air China, Hainan Airlines plan to expand schedules to USA
Air China and Hainan Airlines plan to expand their schedules between the USA and China after that country’s government relaxed Covid-19-driven entry requirements.
US takes steps to regulate wireless links used to control pilotless aircraft
The US Federal Communications Commission has revealed a plan to bolster the reliability of communication links between un-crewed aircraft and grounded-based aircraft operators.
US government supports unleaded fuel drive for general aviation with $10m in funding
The US government will support an industry-wide effort to make unleaded fuel for general aviation more available with $10 million.
US Navy to purchase two XQ-58 drones for ‘autonomous collaborative killer’ programme
The Air Force is already testing the Kratos XQ-58 as part of its Collaborative Combat Aircraft initiative – now the US Navy appears to be following suit.
Airline share prices weaker at end-2022 versus end-2021 despite demand recovery
Airline share prices ended 2022 down on the same point 12 months earlier, following a challenging year for wider economies around the world
GE Aerospace nears being standalone company following healthcare divestiture
GE Aerospace came one step closer to becoming a standalone public company on 3 January when parent General Electric divested its healthcare division.
Lockheed finalises contract for another 398 F-35s, misses 2022 delivery target
The $30 billion deal with the US government covers aircraft for the USA, Belgium, Finland and Poland, and comes as Lockheed missed its 2022 F-35 delivery target due to an ongoing pause in flight operations.
CommuteAir plans to upgrade avionics in fleet of ERJ-145s
US regional carrier CommuteAir plans on making a “significant new fleet investment” by updating the avionics in its ageing Embraer ERJ-145s with technology developed by Honeywell Aerospace.
United confirms it will park up to 38 Embraer E175 jets in favour of Mesa CRJ900s
United Airlines has confirmed that it will park up to 38 Embraer E175 jets in favour of operating Bombardier CRJ900 jets from regional partner Mesa Airlines so as not to run afoul of its contract with its pilots.
UAVs deliver cargo to US Navy ship at sea for first time
In what the service describes as a “first-of-its-kind mission”, multiple unmanned air systems moved low-weight cargo loads from shore to ships at sea.
Mesa Airlines finalises new deal with United, reports dismal Q4 results
Amid the upheaval of severing its contract with longtime operating partner American Airlines and finalising a new deal with United Airlines, US regional carrier Mesa Airlines reported a $115.6 million loss during its fiscal fourth quarter.
Southwest Airlines prepares to return to normal operations
Southwest Airlines plans to return to normal operations on 30 December following a disastrous end-of-year travel period in which the carrier has so far cancelled more than 12,000 flights over six days.
Sikorsky and Boeing will challenge FLRAA decision
The joint team led by Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky says it has filed an official protest of the US Army’s decision to select the Bell V-280 tiltrotor as the winner of the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft programme to replace the UH-60 Black Hawk.
Which airlines welcomed new aircraft types into their fleets during 2022?
A selection of the aircraft deliveries over the past 12 months that saw airlines welcome new types or variants into their fleets
Ethiopian inquiry rejects bird-strike theory for angle-of-attack sensor failure on crashed 737 Max
One of the aspects of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash which had remained unclear during the investigation was the cause of the original angle-of-attack sensor malfunction that initiated the accident sequence.
US to reinstate Covid-19 testing requirement for air travellers from China
Starting on 5 January, the USA will begin requiring a negative Covid-19 test or proof of recovery for international air travellers coming from China.
Canadian government ‘concerned’ with Sunwing meltdown
The Canadian government is criticising leisure specailist Sunwing Vacations after an operational meltdown left hundreds of passengers stuck when winter weather disrupted the carrier’s operations earlier this week.
Rolls-Royce lands US Navy order for 28 Osprey engines
The UK engine maker will produce 28 AE 1107C Liberty powerplants for the Boeing V-22 Ospreys operated by the US Navy and US Marine Corps.
How far through recovery are North American airlines?
A carrier-by-carrier guide to the progress North American airlines continued to make in their recovery from the Covid-19 crisis during the past year and a look at how much further they have to go in 2023.
US investigators dismayed as 737 Max crash probe skips analysis of crew's actions
US investigators have dissented over findings of an Ethiopian inquiry into the fatal Boeing 737 Max 8 crash outside Addis Ababa nearly four years ago, arguing that the conclusions focus on technical design issues and fail to take sufficient account of human factors and inadequate pilot responses to the loss ...
Southwest will ‘never again’ face nationwide operational meltdown: CEO
Southwest Airlines chief executive Bob Jordan spoke publicly for the first time about the company’s widespread operational difficulties during the busy end-of-year holiday travel period, promising that the airline’s passengers and employees will “never again face what’s happening right now”.
Southwest pilots ‘embarrassed’ for airline’s operational crisis
Southwest Airlines’ operational meltdown continued 27 December as it cancelled thousands more flights in what has been a calamitous holiday travel period for the Dallas-based discounter.
US airlines weigh their options on returning to China
US airlines are weighing options to return to Mainland China after that country said it would eliminate quarantine requirements and ease other Covid-19-driven restrictions for arriving passengers.
US Navy to purchase 26 TH-73As from Leonardo
The derivative of Leonardo’s TH-119 commercial helicopter is used for flight training by the US Navy, US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard.
US Navy approves full rate production of Sikorsky CH-53K
The King Stallion helicopter will replace the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion as the US Marine Corps’ heavy lifter.
Southwest cancels majority of flights in nationwide operational meltdown
Southwest Airlines is suffering a near collapse of its operations, cancelling the majority of its flights on 26 December following several days of extreme winter weather.
Tracking a strong end to 2022
The first set of data from The Airline Business 38 reflects the strong recovery being seen in markets around the world.
Congress passes spending bill, funding military and averting shutdown
The House of Representatives approved a spending package that includes $858 billion to fund the US military, averting a shutdown that would have affected numerous defence procurement programmes and regular operations.
Leidos wins $334m contract for multi-role hypersonic platform
The Virginia-based manufacturer will produce a “larger class” air-breathing hypersonic platform capable of performing multiple mission sets.
US airline operations continue to be hampered by ‘powerful’ winter storm
Passengers travelling on one of the busiest days of the year are still contending with brutal winter weather that has crippled numerous airlines’ and airports’ operations across the country.
‘Not going to drown in an inch of water’: Mesa CEO on breakup with American
The severing of regional US carrier Mesa Airline’s contract to operate on behalf of American Airlines in favour of a tentative five-year deal with United Airlines represents a significant shake-up in the regional airline industry. But accounts differ on how the relationship soured between Mesa and American.
Crashed Metroliner rolled after crew disengaged autopilot on approach: NTSB
US investigators probing the crash of a Fairchild SA227 Metroliner in Wisconsin have found the aircraft experienced an uncommanded roll after the crew disconnected the autopilot during approach.
Winter weather in USA prompts thousands of flight cancellations just in time for Christmas
The winter weather hitting the Midwest and Northeast USA continued disrupting the plans of holiday travellers on 22 December, forecast by the US Federal Aviation Administration to be the busiest during the holiday period.
Airline Business performance tracker: key data indicators from around the world
The Airline Business perfromance tracker features key data indicators from dozens of airlines around the world, drawing metrics from the most recent earnings season and comparing the figures with equivalent periods back to 2019.
Why sixth-generation combat aircraft programmes are flying high
A tantalising batch of next-generation combat aircraft programmes are powering up for the USA and multiple key allies – now it is critical that such efforts can deliver success.
Which firms are leading aviation’s decarbonisation charge?
The hype about electric, hybrid-electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft to help solve aviation’s carbon emission problem is huge, but how much progress is being made bringing them to market?
Porter Airlines takes first two of 50 Embraer E195-E2s
Porter Airlines received the first two of its 50-strong order of Embraer E195-E2s during a ceremony at Embraer’s headquarters in San Jose dos Campos on 21 December.
Congress proposes military spending plan with $7bn for aircraft procurement
A spending plan to fund the US government through September 2023 would provide roughly $7 billion for the acquisition of new defence aircraft and $45 billion to support the Ukrainian military.
Mexican start-up airline Aerus will launch with six Textron turboprops
Aerus, a start-up regional airline in Mexico, will launch operations with Textron Aviation’s Cessna SkyCourier and Cessna Grand Caravan EX turboprops.
Boeing resumes 777-9 testing after engine issue prompted flight-test pause
Boeing has resumed 777-9 testing after pausing flight tests earlier this year due to an unspecified issue with a GE Aerospace GE9X powerplant.
Pentagon taking unidentified aerial phenomena ‘seriously’
Government officials say a newly created office to investigate sightings of unknown aerial vehicles near US military aircraft has already received hundreds of reports, some of which they think pose a potential national security risk.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes shuffles executives in bid to shore up supply chain
Boeing has made several senior staff changes in its commercial aircraft division as part of an effort to help the company address nagging supply chain troubles.
Transair 737 ditching inquiry reveals pilots’ uncertainty over failed engine
Investigation details from the Transair Boeing 737-200 freighter ditching off Honolulu last year indicates uncertainty from the pilots over which of the aircraft’s engines had initially failed shortly after the jet took off.
Raytheon completes first test run of its Dash 8 hybrid-electric powerplant
Raytheon Technologies has successfully test-run a hybrid-electric propulsion system it is developing to power a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 regional airliner.
US airlines gear up for ‘major winter storm’ during busy year-end holidays
US airlines are expecting a “major” winter weather system to disrupt aviation across the country later this week, as millions of passengers are due to travel for year-end holidays.
USAF grounds B-2 fleet after emergency landing closes airfield
The US Air Force ordered its small fleet of strategic stealth bombers into a “safety pause” after one of the ultra-expensive aircraft was damaged during an emergency landing.
US spending bill set to include critical exemptions for Boeing Max 7 and Max 10
Boeing may be close to securing critical regulatory exemptions for its 737 Max 7 and 10 thanks to provisions slipped into a US government spending bill now working its way through Congress.
New technology additions will keep A330 MRTT ahead of the competition: Airbus
Airbus Defence & Space is furthering its pursuit of new technologies for use with the A330 multi-role tanker transport, as it eyes major additional sales opportunities for the type.
US airlines strive to solve pilot shortage crisis
While the USA has been grappling with a severe flightcrew shortage since before the coronavirus crisis, other regions too will be facing a dearth of candidates to fill their cockpits in the coming years. The global pilot shortage could make itself felt as early as 2023.
Mesa Airlines splits with American, strikes deal with United
Mesa Air Group, parent of regional carrier Mesa Airlines, disclosed 19 December plans to end its 30-year partnership with American Airlines in favour of a new, five-year agreement with United Airlines that is still to be finalised.
USAF commits nearly $4bn to operations at Greenland airbase above the Arctic Circle
Improvements to the joint USA-Canada Thule air base now allow the strategic far northern outpost to host fighter jets year round.
Flyr pursues US wet-lease and charters to offset quiet winters
Norwegian operator Flyr is applying to US regulators to operate services in the North American market.
20 injured as Hawaiian Airlines flight encounters ‘severe turbulence’
Almost two dozen people were injured when a Hawaiian Airlines flight encountered severe turbulence from a Pacific storm shortly before landing in Honolulu, the airline has said.
L3Harris Technologies to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.7bn
L3Harris Technologies intends to acquire propulsion systems expert Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings in an all-cash transaction valued at $4.7 billion, the companies said on 18 December.
Analysts view Boeing’s 2023 delivery goals as feasible, but scepticism remains
Boeing’s top brass stressed in November that the company’s 2023 goals include nursing its 737 Max programme to health and delivering more 787s – efforts intended to help Boeing again become a cash-generating engine.
Western defence procurement to soar in 2023
Generals, it is said, prepare to fight the last war. After nearly a year of intense fighting in Ukraine, military generals, and the public, have a glimpse of how the next war may look.
Supersonic civilian aircraft prospects dim as 2023 opens
2023 will mark the 20th anniversary of the final flight of Concorde, but a return to supersonic air travel still seems an uncertain prospect
No quick fix to aerospace’s supply chain and labour problems
The supply and labour troubles that hindered aerospace production this year seem poised to continue in the near term, with inflation and parts shortages expected to leave airframers and suppliers struggling again in 2023 to ramp production.
United places another bumper order under ambitious Kirby
United Airlines’ huge order for Boeing aircraft this week is another statement of intent from the carrier under the leadership of Scott Kirby.
Low-cost Avelo Airlines seeks to stand out with culture and routes to underserved airports
While some in the airline industry view the low-cost model as “doomed”, others believe courting cost-conscious leisure travellers is the best strategy now and for the future.
Congress directs investigation into drone swarm threat
Lawmakers in Washington want the US military to assess the danger posed by so-called swarms of cheap, commercially available drones and develop technologies to counter them.
Gulfstream flies business jet on 100% sustainable fuel
Gulfstream has flown a G650 business jet fuelled with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), a feat the Savannah company calls a first among business jet manufactures.
F-35B crashes during vertical landing in Texas, pilot ejects
A US government aviator ejected from a Lockheed Martin-owned F-35B at ground level following a failed attempt at vertical landing.
Congress moves to increase US stock of precision munitions
Citing diminishing stores of high-technical guided missiles following repeated arms transfers to Ukraine, lawmakers in Washington want to give the Pentagon more flexibility to increase the purchase of precision munitions.
FlightSafety agrees to support pilot training for Boom’s supersonic Overture concept
Boom Supersonic has landed another aerospace partner to assist with development of its ultra-fast aircraft, this time tapping pilot training company FlightSafety International.
Porter Airlines’ westward expansion to include routes to Calgary, Edmonton
Continuing the westward expansion of its domestic network, Porter Airlines said on 15 December it is adding Calgary International airport to its list of destinations.
US industry will suffer unless Congress grants Max 10 cockpit exemption: United CEO
United Airlines’ chief executive is warning that Boeing and broader US industry will suffer if the US Congress fails to exempt Boeing’s 737 Max 10 from a new cockpit-alert-system requirement.
On ‘road to recovery’, Canada’s Air Transat loses C$126 million in fiscal Q4
Transat AT, the parent company of Canadian leisure airline Air Transat, gained ground financially but still posted an loss of C$126 million ($92.2 million) in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter.
Water leak that affected 787 electronics prompts FAA call for inspections
The US Federal Aviation Administration intends to require that airlines inspect Boeing 787s for water leaks after several such incidents, including one involving water leaking into a jet’s electronics bay.
ASL to explore remote-pilot freighter potential with US autonomy specialist
Irish-based operator ASL Aviation Holdings is to explore concepts for autonomous aircraft operation, and their initial application to freighter aircraft, under a collaboration with a US specialist.
United plots 757 replacements with Boeing’s ‘NMA’ off the table
United Airlines faces an imperfect fleet trade off in the coming years due to lack of new-production aircraft with capabilities comparable to the airline’s ageing Boeing 757-300s.
United Airlines expects to carry 8.3m customers over the end-of-year holiday period
United Airlines expects to transport 8.3 million passengers during the end-of-year holiday travel season, almost 2 million more passenger than last year.
Delta targets nearly $46bn in 2022 revenue, predicts sustained growth
Delta Air Lines says it expects to reach $45.5-45.6 billion in revenue in 2022, almost as much as it earned in 2019, and raise that figure by 15-20% in 2023 as the carrier predicts a strong and long-lasting post-Covid-19 recovery.
United aims to leap past US competitors in post-Covid decade with ‘record’ 787 order
United Airlines views its new order for 100 Boeing 787s as a means to leapfrog US competitors through aggressive international expansion as the industry in the coming decade recovers from the Covid-19 downturn.
Pratt & Whitney ‘ramping’ for F-35 engine core upgrade to enter service by 2028
While a formal decision on addressing the stealthy fighter’s power and cooling constraints remains absent, engine-maker Pratt & Whitney says it is ramping a core upgrade programme for the F-35’s powerplant based on a recent preliminary support contract.
Airbus’ Acubed reveals latest version of advanced air traffic management simulator
Airbus Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) has revealed the latest version of its proprietary simulation tool, USim, which could be critical for understanding the future operations of automated aircraft “without the real-world consequences of system failures”.
Boeing's backlog ticks up with 18 more Max orders in November
Boeing padded its backlog with fresh orders for 737 Max and 767 freighters in November, and closed the month without logging any further cancellations.
Boom Supersonic picks trio of companies to develop ‘Symphony’ engine for Overture
Boom Supersonic’s Overture aircraft will be powered by a new propulsion system developed by Florida Turbine Technologies, GE Additive and StandardAero.
American names May to succeed Kerr as chief financial officer
Long-standing American Airlines chief financial officer Derek Kerr is to step down from 1 January and will be succeeded in the role by Devon May.
United hands Boeing order for 100 787 Dreamliners and 100 737 Max
United Airlines has ordered 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and taken options to purchase 100 more, in what it calls the largest-ever widebody aircraft by a US carrier.
USAF B-1 bomber unit prepares for B-21 Raider
The US Air Force’s 28th Bomb Wing, which currently operates the Boeing B-1B, will be the first unit to receive the B-21 stealth bomber later this decade.
USAF announces successful test of fully assembled hypersonic cruise missile
The AGM-183 Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon was delivered from Lockheed Martin in “all-up-round” form, meaning the cruise missile was fully assembled.
Airline Business Covid-19 recovery tracker: December 2022 update
Our regular examination of the latest global data for several key airline market indicators, including traffic and capacity in passenger and cargo markets, in-service and stored fleets, jet fuel costs, and share price trends for the world’s largest groups.
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes gets two-year contract extension
JetBlue Airways chief executive Robin Hayes has received a two-year extension on his employment contract, the airline disclosed in a 9 December filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Spirit Airlines pilots get 27% raise in new ALPA-negotiated contract
Spirit Airlines pilots won a 27% pay raise on 9 December in a tentative new deal reached between union Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and the airline.
American and JetBlue expand alliance amid looming antitrust decision
American Airlines and JetBlue Airways are expanding their operating partnership with 11 new routes from Boston and New York as a pending decision in a federal antitrust trial challenging their so-called Northeast Alliance (NEA) looms.
Aurora wins DARPA contract to develop ‘active flow control’ X-plane
The X-plane effort aims to produce an aircraft that uses so-called active flow control, rather than traditional aerodynamic control surfaces such as rudders and flaps, to improve flight performance.
Fewer A-10s but protections for F-22s, EA-18Gs and F-15s in US defence policy bill
If approved, the behemoth bill to fund the US military through 2023 would allow some reductions to the A-10 fleet, but prohibit retirements of many other types, including fighters, tankers and transports.
‘Small community air service will be a thing of the past,’ RAA warns policymakers
Warning of a potential collapse of air service to smaller cities and rural areas, the Regional Airline Association calls on US lawmakers to intervene amid “declining connectivity for American communities”.
Congress excludes Max 7 and 10 exemption from defence spending bill
Lawmakers have excluded from a defence spending bill a critical exemption Boeing is seeking for its 737 Max 7 and 10, leaving more questions about those jets’ certification path.
Saudia continues seeking new US cargo flights amid government negotiations
Jeddah-based Saudia’s lengthy effort to launch more cargo flights to the USA faces more delays amid apparent broader air-rights discussions between US and Saudi officials.
Porter Airlines to expand westward with Vancouver flights from February 2023
Canada’s Porter Airlines will initially fly its new Embraer 195-E2s from Toronto Pearson International airport to Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa, beginning in February 2023.
US FAA requires A321XLR fire resistance in vicinity of rear fuel tank
US regulators have laid out formal requirements for the Airbus A321XLR’s lower fuselage, in the vicinity of the rear centre fuel tank, to be resistant to fire penetration.
Razor-thin airline industry profit projection for 2023 reflects complex web of factors
It is not for nothing that IATA director general Willie Walsh described the challenges faced by airlines going into 2023 as “complex”.
B-21 test pilots discuss preparations for first flight
Loads calibration, structural strength evaluations and testing flight systems using a business jet are just a few of the tasks test pilots from Northrop Grumman and the US Air Force are undertaking in preparation for the new stealth bomber’s first flight.
US military to explore use of sustainable aviation fuel
A directive from Congress included in the 2023 defence spending bill would require the Pentagon to establish at least one refinery and production of a 10% SAF fuel blend by 2028.
Porter revamps fares and tweaks onboard product ahead of E-Jet arrivals
Canadian carrier Porter Airways has rolled out new fare bundles and several other product updates, including available fresh meals – changes the company says make its economy class the industry’s best.
FAA proposes rule changes to regulate air taxi operators
The Federal Aviation Administration has started the process of defining how it will regulate the new breed of in-development electric air taxis.
IATA forecasts global airline industry will return to profit in 2023
The global airline industry is forecast to achieve a net profit of $4.7 billion in 2023 as the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis continues, according to IATA.
WestJet to add first Asia route with Calgary-Tokyo flights
Canadian carrier WestJet is to launch flights from Calgary to Tokyo Narita next summer, marking its first destination in Asia.
‘Non-intrusive’ Hexwave detection system nears production after Toronto trials
Security specialist Liberty Defense is aiming to start delivering initial production versions of its Hexwave walk-through detection systems in the second quarter of next year, following testing at locations including Toronto Pearson airport.
Bell beats out Sikorsky to produce US Army’s new assault helicopter
The US Army’s Future Vertical Lift team has chosen Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor design over a coaxial type jointly bid by Sikorsky and Boeing.
Pratt & Whitney awarded preliminary contract for F-35 engine ‘enhancement’
A decision by the US Air Force on whether to completely replace the Lockheed Martin jet’s single engine or opt for a cheaper core upgrade to the existing powerplant remains unresolved.
Wrongly-refitted trim switch left pilots fighting to keep E175’s nose down
US investigators have determined that an Embraer 175 pitch-trim switch, inadvertently fitted upside-down, resulted in the crew’s experienced a serious flight-control incident on departure from Atlanta.
Northrop Grumman reveals B-21 test aircraft as stealth programme roars toward first flight
Northrop Grumman has unveiled the next-generation stealth bomber under development for the US Air Force.
Archer achieves ‘transition’ flight with prototype eVTOL aircraft Maker
Air taxi developer Archer Aviation has flown its first “full transition” from hover to forward flight with its two-seat prototype, Maker – a significant milestone in the start-up’s development of a bigger prototype, Midnight.
Honda Aircraft lands orders for 25 HondaJets from Volato
US business aviation company Volato has ordered 25 of Honda Aircraft’s recently updated HA-420 HondaJet Elite II.
Top US lawmakers to decide fate of 737 Max 7 and Max 10 regulatory exemption
One of two proposals to exempt Boeing’s 737 Max 7 and Max 10 from a year-end regulatory change could be included in a US defence spending bill lawmakers plan to finalise before year end.
Xwing seeks to build safety case for autonomous flight in trials with FAA
Autonomous aviation company Xwing is gearing up for a series of trials with US regulators that could represent a significant step forward for pilotless cargo operations.
Senator backs exempting Max 7 and 10 from cockpit-alert requirement: reports
A movement is afoot in Washington to grant Boeing an exemption needed to bring its 737 Max 7 and Max 10 through certification without equipping the types with a modern cockpit alerting system.
Fighter jets team with UAVs in airborne targeting demonstration
Four defence contractors, including General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Tactical Air Support and General Dynamics, collaborated to test a Lockheed Martin sensor system using teams of crewed and uncrewed aircraft.
String of fatal air tour crashes in Alaska prompts call for special FAA regulations
In response to a series of fatal aircraft crashes in Ketchikan, Alaska, US safety investigators are calling for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to create special rules to address flight safety hazards for air tour operators in the region.
Boeing halts 777-9 flight testing following GE9X engine issue
Boeing has halted its 777-9 flight-test programme due to a problem involving a flight-test aircraft’s GE Aerospace GE9X turbofan, prompting engine evaluations by GE.
Atlas Air shareholders approve acquisition by Apollo Global Management
US air cargo company Atlas Air Worldwide came closer to going private on 29 November as shareholders voted to approve a pending acquisition by an investor group led by Apollo Global Management.
General Atomics selected to design DARPA’s ‘Liberty Lifter’ seaplane
The manufacturer of unmanned air vehicles will receive nearly $8 million from the Pentagon’s research and development agency to design a heavy-lift seaplane that can operate without traditional aviation infrastructure.
NetJets orders four Bombardier Global 8000s
Fractional aircraft ownership company NetJets has ordered four of Bombardier’s ultra-long-range, newly rebooted Global 8000 business jets in a deal with a list-price value of $312 million.
Ottawa International to receive C$4 million taxiway upgrade
The hub of Canada’s capital city, Ottawa International airport, is receiving a nearly C$4 million ($3 million) taxiway upgrade from Transport Canada’s airport infrastructure fund.
US Air Force to buy 45 additional AESA radars for F-16 upgrades
The deal worth nearly $100 million is part of the USAF’s $6 billion effort to upgrade its fleet of the ageing Lockheed Martin single-engined jets.
Bombardier begins aircraft modifications for German signals intelligence effort
The Canadian airframer will specially modify three Global 6000 jets at its Wichita, Kansas hub in support of a Lufthansa Technik delivery to a German air force intelligence programme.
MSC Mediterranean launches air cargo operation with first Boeing 777 freighter
MSC Mediterranean Shipping stepped into the air cargo industry on 28 November as its operating partner Atlas Air took delivery of a Boeing 777-200 freighter, which Atlas will operate on behalf of MSC.
Twin Otter force-landed in swamp after crews failed to notice insufficient fuel
Lack of checklist discipline left the pilots of a De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter unware that the aircraft was carrying insufficient fuel, before it carried out a forced landing in a swamp while diverting.
How year of conflict affected World Air Forces inventory
Our annual World Air Forces directory – published in association with Embraer – details the military aircraft fleets of 162 nations, and analyses the main events of the last 12 months.
US Air National Guard recommends acquiring Leonardo's BriteCloud decoy
The US Air National Guard (ANG) has taken a significant step towards acquiring Leonardo’s BriteCloud 218 active decoy to protect its Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters, after issuing a so-called fielding recommendation.
SAS to open JFK link to complement Newark operation
Scandinavian operator SAS is to open a new connection to New York JFK, from its hub in the Danish capital Copenhagen.
One to go: Boeing left with single undelivered 747 after Atlas takes second-to-last
Boeing has delivered the second-to-last production 747 to Atlas Air, leaving the US manufacturer one jumbo jet away from closing out a production programme that has spanned more than five decades.
LATAM and Delta expand networks across the Americas as joint business takes off
LATAM Airlines Group and Delta Air Lines have unveiled a host of route expansions under a new joint venture approved by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) in September, adding a total of 23,000 additional seats weekly to the carriers’ current schedules between North and Latin America.
A220 autopilot directive followed ‘nearly catastrophic’ take-off incidents: FAA
US regulators have disclosed that two “nearly catastrophic” events were among 38 take-off incidents involving inadvertent Airbus A220 autopilot engagement, and are taking additional action to prevent a recurrence.
Canadian ULCC Swoop fined for failing to refund passengers for Covid-19 disruptions
Canadian ultra-low cost carrier Swoop was fined $175,000 in civil penalties by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for failing to provide timely refunds to passengers who had flights cancelled or significantly delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Archer’s Maker paves the way for production air taxi Midnight
As Archer Aviation’s first prototype “Maker” plies the pattern at Salinas Municipal airport, its successor “Midnight” waits for prime time in a hangar in Palo Alto.
Stratolaunch lands USAF support for hypersonic test vehicle
The company created by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen received a contract from the US Air Force Research Laboratory to support a 2023 flight test of Stratolaunch’s Talon-A hypersonic vehicle.
Thanksgiving travel surges on busiest day for US airlines
The surge in air travel for Thanksgiving is cresting for US airlines as more than 48,000 flights are scheduled for 22 November, the expected high point for the week, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration.
US Navy P-8s can now strike submarines from 30,000ft
Boeing in August began full-rate production of the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability, which will add precision-guided capability to the US Navy’s fleet of Boeing P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft.
Demand for US airline travel faded in October compared to 2019: Bloomberg report
US air travel bookings declined in October, with ticket demand falling “as consumers feel pinched”, according to a 21 November report from Bloomberg Intelligence.
US-European task force draws up roadmap to modernise aviation data connectivity
European and US regulators have set out proposals to modernise and harmonise aviation data connectivity, which currently relies on limited-bandwidth connections.
Private helicopter innovator Frank Robinson remembered as visionary
Pioneering helicopter engineer Frank Robinson – who greatly expanded access to rotorcraft by designing a series of light helicopters starting with the two-seat Robinson R22 – recently died in his home in Southern California. He was 92 years old.
USAF KC-46A completes record-breaking 36h endurance flight
The Boeing aerial refuelling jet’s 14,000nm flight path took it from the US state of New Hampshire to Guam and back, in what the USAF calls a “proof of concept” operation demonstrating long-range force projection.
GKN to open Texas additive-manufacturing development site
GKN Aerospace plans in 2023 to open a new site in Texas where it will develop additive-manufacturing processes for producing “large-scale” titanium aerostructures.
Gol chief leads the Brazilian carrier out of the pandemic while still piloting its 737s
Chief executive Celso Ferrer still makes time to fly Gol’s 737s as he navigates the low-cost operator out of the Covid-19 crisis and into a new group structure
A220 pilots warned of premature rotation risk if autopilot inadvertently engaged
Airbus A220 operators have been ordered to alert pilots to the possibility of premature rotation on take-off as a result of inadvertent autopilot engagement.
Air Canada invests C$6.75 million in carbon capture technology
Air Canada has invested C$6.75 million ($5.07 million) to support nascent technology that could potentially pull carbon from the atmosphere at an industrial scale.
Boeing reorganises defence and space division, cutting executives
Aerospace giant Boeing has consolidated its financially struggling defence division to four from eight units, a move intended to improve quality and stabilise production.
Airbus invests in Canadian firm working to pull CO2 from the air
Airbus has invested in Canadian firm Carbon Engineering to help fund development of technology that extracts CO2 from air, freeing it to be stored or used to produce fuel.
Archer unveils four-person 'Midnight' air taxi
Silicon Valley air taxi developer Archer Aviation has revealed its new aircraft called “Midnight”, which it plans to certify for commercial operations in 2024.
US FAA extending aircraft registration duration to seven years
US regulators are aiming to extend the duration of aircraft registrations to seven years, more than double the current three-year limit, in order to relieve administrative workloads.
Alleged Chinese spy gets 20 years for trying to steal GE Aerospace technology
An alleged Chinese spy has been sentenced to 20 years in US prison for attempting to steal GE Aerospace trade secrets related to composite materials.
US aerospace industry powers launch of NASA’s first Artemis moon mission
Numerous US defence contractors supplied critical components for Artemis I, including rocket engines, solid state boosters and the space capsule that will eventually carry human astronauts.
Frontier launches ‘all-you-can-fly’ pass for short-notice air travellers
US ultra-low cost carrier Frontier Airlines is offering a flat rate for unlimited flights between its destinations in the USA with a new annual subscription package.
JetBlue to launch Paris flights next summer from New York, then from Boston
JetBlue Airways plans to expand its European network beyond London next summer with new flights between New York’s John F Kennedy International and Paris Charles de Gaulle airports.
Airline Business Covid-19 recovery tracker: November 2022 update
Our regular examination of the latest global data for several key airline market indicators, including traffic and capacity in passenger and cargo markets, in-service and stored fleets, jet fuel costs, and share price trends for the world’s largest groups.
Sun Country plans to grow network with 15 new routes in summer 2023
In one of the ultra-low cost carrier’s largest-ever expansions, Sun Country Airlines plans to roll out 15 new nonstop routes next summer from its base in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
International carriers warn new 5G altimeter requirements could prevent US flights next year
Non-US airlines are struggling to complete radio altimeter retrofits ahead of looming deadlines established to prevent 5G interference, meaning some carriers’ flights to the USA could be restricted in 2023.
‘Lucrative time to be an airline pilot’: Three US regional airlines dangle hefty bonuses
With US regional airlines struggling to fill cockpit seats, Envoy Air, Piedmont Airlines and PSA Airlines are each offering $100,000 signing bonuses to attract qualified pilots.
Can Boeing clear its way to a brighter future?
Boeing aims by mid-decade to be delivering 800 aircraft and taking in revenue of $100 billion annually, though its ability to actually meet those goals remains uncertain due to unresolved troubles that have kept its 2022 targets out of reach.
US DOT fines six airlines and forces refunds
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined six airlines a total of $7.25 million dollars and forced them to refund more than $600 million to customers whose flights were disrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Archer will build ‘Midnight’ air taxi in Georgia
Silicon Valley-based electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) developer Archer Aviation has decided to build its manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia, about 77km (48mi) southeast of Atlanta, creating up to 1,000 jobs in the region.
Canada and India agree to unlimited passenger flights between the countries
Canada and India have agreed to an expanded air transportation agreement allowing designated airlines to operate an unlimited number of flights between the two countries.
US 'spaceplane' returns to Earth after 908 days in orbit
The US Space Force’s reusable spacecraft known as the Boeing X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle has now completed six missions, logging 1.3 billion miles flown and over 3,700 days in space.
Drone swarms, solar-powered UAVs and congested air space management: the US Army’s experiment in the desert
An annual series of experiments with new military technology, known as Project Convergence, seek to push the bounds of what a multi-national, Western fighting force can do on the battlefield.
WestJet lands slots to launch Calgary-Dubai flights in March 2023
Canadian airline WestJet looks poised to launch flights between Calgary and Dubai beginning in March 2023, after securing required landing slots at Dubai International airport.
American Airlines’ pilots encourage union APA to explore merger with ALPA
A group of pilots at American Airlines is lobbying for their union, Allied Pilots Association (APA), to explore a merger with much larger Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).
China’s ‘dismal’ performance weighs on global airline traffic recovery
The latest data from IATA shows how far China is lagging the recovery being seen in other markets around the world, as government policy continues to limit international and domestic travel.
Avelo Airlines to launch new base in Raleigh-Durham
US discount carrier Avelo Airlines plans to open a new operational base at Raleigh-Durham International airport and add six nonstop routes to Florida in February 2023.
Tropical Storm Nicole disrupts air travel in Florida
Hundreds of US flights have been cancelled as Tropical Storm Nicole pummels Central Florida with strong winds and heavy rain, disrupting operations at several airport and forcing a closure at Orlando International airport.
Archer and United plan 2025 launch of air taxi service in New York
Archer Aviation and United Airlines intend to launch their first airport-to-downtown urban air mobility (UAM) route in the New York City metropolitan area from 2025.
Canada Jetlines plans launch of first international flight from Toronto to Las Vegas
Start-up leisure carrier Canada Jetlines plans to roll out its first international route on 19 January with non-stop service from its hub in Toronto to Las Vegas.
Latest Airline Business Index shows Q3 revenue matched pre-Covid level
The latest Airline Business Index shows the global airline industry’s revenue during the third quarter of 2022 matched that seen in the same month of 2019, marking the first time any of the four measures have achieved that milestone since Covid-19 hit.
F-16 deliveries near resumption, as Bahrain’s lead Block 70 jet takes shape
Instead of dying out as Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II scoops up an increasing number of international orders, the manufacturer’s older F-16 is enjoying a late-life revival.
Republic Airways cuts 31 Embraer E175s from orderbook
Embraer has stripped 31 E175s from its backlog after US regional carrier Republic Airways apparently cancelled the orders.
Boeing lost no orders to cancellations in October, a first since July 2019
Boeing in October logged its first month in more than three years without a single cancellation and padded its backlog with orders for 10 787s and more than 100 737 Max aircraft.
How airline transatlantic capacity has returned, a year since US borders reopened
The reopening of few markets from Covid border restrictions was so eagerly awaited and hard campaigned for as routes across the transatlantic.
Porter expands in Ottawa to service growing fleet
Canadian regional carrier Porter Airlines is expanding with a C$65 million ($48.2 million) facilities upgrade at Ottawa International airport.
WestJet to use SAF for flights from San Francisco to Calgary
Canadian passenger carrier WestJet has committed to temporarily operating flights from San Francisco to Calgary using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Airline Business Podcast: Record revenues, cargo concerns, ICAO deal and Latin latest
Graham and Lewis discuss a strong third-quarter results season for airlines in Europe and North America, as constrained capacity met surging demand. They also examine the recent ICAO agreement on emissions and the latest in the Latin American airline industry
Kratos announces successful test of Valkyrie autonomous jet
The pilotless, jet-powered aircraft is being developed for the US Air Force’s Collaborative Combat Aircraft programme that seeks to pair conventional fighters with uncrewed platforms.
Why airline confidence is high despite headwinds
A quote from Lufthansa Group chief executive Carsten Spohr seemed particularly pertinent during the European airline results bonanza at the end of last week.
Turkish Airlines reports Q3 net profit of $1.5bn as passenger revenue surges
Turkish Airlines has reported a net profit of $1.5 billion for the third quarter of 2022, as capacity, traffic and yields – as well as costs – surged beyond pre-Covid levels.
Frontier Airlines eyes expansion in Dallas
Frontier Airlines plans to open a new crew base at Dallas-Fort Worth International airport in mid-2023 that would employ up to 120 pilots and 220 flight attendants.
Pilotless Black Hawk flies medevac, resupply missions in DARPA experiment
The Pentagon’s secretive weapons development office, working with helicopter maker Sikorsky, successfully modified a UH-60 Black Hawk to fly without pilot input.
Boeing scraps plan for services revenue to hit $50 billion this decade
Boeing has ditched a goal for its aircraft service division to grow its revenue to $50 billion annually in the coming years, saying doing so would lead to “indiscriminate” investment.
Boeing’s next new aircraft is years away but 787 updates are imminent: executives
Boeing’s product development timeline became clearer on 2 November when the company said it will soon reveal a higher-gross-weight 787, while indicating it will not launch a clean-sheet aircraft.
Atlas Air posts $60.1 million Q3 profit with acquisition looming
Third-quarter profits were down year-on-year for Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, the parent of cargo and passenger carrier Atlas Air, as the airline grappled with “operational disruptions”.
Labour and supply chain costs push Spirit AeroSystems to $128m Q3 loss
Aerostructures manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems sunk further into the red during the third quarter, as costs from its Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 programmes pushed the company to a $128 million loss.
Joby Aviation pushes back commercial service launch to 2025
Electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer Joby Aviation has pushed back the timeline for its vehicle’s entry into commercial passenger service to 2025.
Allegiant, hit hard by Hurricane Ian, reports third-quarter loss of $46.5m
Allegiant Travel Company, parent of Allegiant Air, reported a loss of $46.5 million in the third quarter as revenue – and costs – surged significantly.
Boeing rolls out plan to hike deliveries to 800 jets within several years
Boeing plans to significantly hike commercial aircraft deliveries in 2023, aiming to hand over up to 80 787s and 450 737s next year after overcoming nagging supply and labour problems.
Boeing pushes back 737 Max 7 and Max 10 certifications
Boeing has again delayed certification timelines for its two outstanding 737 Max variants, now estimating the Federal Aviation Administration will clear the Max 7 by early 2023 and the Max 10 by early 2024.
Bell delivers final Cobra attack helicopter to US Marine Corps
The H-1 programme, which encompasses the UH-1 utility and AH-1 attack helicopters and produced its first aircraft for the USA in 1959, will now be reliant on foreign customers for new sales.
5G may have caused dozens of troubling in-flight avionics failures
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) suspects new 5G cellular networks may have caused roughly 80 instances of aircraft system interference this year, with pilots reporting a range of malfunctions since the latest generation of mobile connectivity went live in January.
US DOT grants Canada Jetlines permission to fly to USA
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has tentatively granted Canadian discount airline Canada Jetlines a foreign air carrier permit, allowing it to operate routes to the United States.
United pilots vote down tentative contract
Nearly 10,000 United Airlines pilots seeking higher pay rejected a tentative contract that would have given them a 14.5% pay raise over 18 months.
Sun Country Airlines makes $10.7m profit despite Q3 headwinds
Sun Country Airlines posted a $10.7 million profit in the third quarter of 2022 despite higher operating costs and ongoing struggles to hire enough flight crews.
Aviation sector resilient in the face of computer chip shortage
While a global crunch in the supply of semiconductors has impacted other high-tech industries like automotive manufacturing and consumer electronics, the aerospace sector has proven less vulnerable.
Delta Air Lines pilots vote to strike
An overwhelming majority of pilots at Delta Air Lines have voted to strike after they did not reach an agreement with the airline’s management on a new contract.
Cargojet posts C$83.4m Q3 profit, boosted by e-commerce boom
With global demand for e-commerce driving revenue growth, Canadian operator Cargojet reported a third-quarter profit of C$83.4 million ($61.2 million) on 31 October.
KC-46 completes limited crew refuelling flight
The US Air Force is testing the concept of minimally-crewed flights to prepare for potential combat scenarios in which personnel may be unavailable.
US orders 737 Classic spoiler sensor check to avert split-throttle risk
Operators of certain older ‘Classic’ Boeing 737 variants are being instructed to conduct tests to check for potential spoiler sensor failure, which could escape detection by the autothrottle computer.
Production issues leading Textron Aviation to delay planned aircraft deliveries
Supply and labour shortages will likely force Textron Aviation to delay planned 2022 aircraft deliveries and leave it $300 million short on expected revenue.
Revenue surges but Air Canada loses C$508m in Q3
Air Canada’s revenue more than doubled compared with its third quarter of 2021 but the flag carrier still lost C$508 million ($373 million) in the three months ending 30 September.
Industry primed for e-commerce as Hawaiian signs Amazon deal
News on 21 October that Hawaiian Airlines has agreed to operate at least 10 Airbus A330-300 Freighters for Amazon comes as more airlines benefit from e-commerce demand.
Despite pilot shortage, SkyWest turns $48m Q3 profit
SkyWest made a $48 million profit in the third quarter despite its “crew imbalance” related to the global pilot shortage, chief executive Chip Childs said 27 October.
NTSB urges regulators to require immediate DHC-3 inspections following September crash
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is urging US and Canadian regulators to immediately require inspections of De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otters following a deadly September crash.
IAG shareholders agree to 50-strong 737 Max order
Shareholders of British Airways and Iberia parent IAG have approved the company’s plan to purchase 50 Boeing 737 Max, including the high-capacity Max 8-200 and the as yet uncertificated Max 10.
Riding strong demand, Southwest Airlines posts $277 million Q3 profit
Southwest Airlines reported a profit of $277 million in the third quarter thanks to “robust” demand for discount air travel, says chief executive Bob Jordan on 27 October.
Frontier Airlines turns $33m Q3 profit on strength of demand for leisure travel
Frontier Group Holdings, parent of Frontier Airlines, reported a profit of $33 million in the third quarter of 2022 – the second consecutive profitable quarter for the Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC).
Amid slow recovery, Spirit Airlines loses $36.4m in Q3
Buffeted by hurricane winds, higher fuel costs and operational constraints, Spirit Airlines reported a loss of $36.4 million in the third quarter of 2022.
Troubled fixed-price defence contracts drive $3.3bn loss for Boeing
The aerospace giant’s defence division received $2.8 billion in charges on five aircraft development programmes that Boeing bid using a competitive but risky pricing strategy.
Boeing cuts 737 Max delivery forecast as wait on Chinese carriers continues
Boeing’s chief executive is hopeful that China’s Covid-19 lockdowns – not US-China political friction – is the reason why Chinese airlines are still not taking delivery of new 737 Max. But he has no indication Chinese airlines are poised soon to start again receiving the Boeing narrowbody.
WestJet’s acquisition of Sunwing raises red flags from competition regulator
A Canadian business-competition regulator has raised concerns about WestJet’s proposed acquisition of rival Sunwing Airlines, citing a “substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the sale of vacation packages to Canadians”.
Gulfstream’s backlog growth slows but profits roll in
Backlog growth at General Dynamics’ aerospace business – which Gulfstream anchors – slowed in the third quarter of 2022 amid what an executive described as slightly cooling demand for business jets.
Gulfstream parent warns of FAA delays to G700 certification, still hopes for mid-2023 approval
General Dynamics still hopes subsidiary Gulfstream will have its in-development G700 certified by mid-2023 but now cautions that the resource-constrained Federal Aviation Administration could impact the timeline.
Commercial aircraft and defence divisions push Boeing to $3.3bn third-quarter loss
Despite recent positive momentum in its commercial aircraft business, Boeing lost $3.3 billion in the third quarter of 2022 as heavy losses in its defence unit took their toll.
Alaska orders 52 more 737 Max, preps to divest remaining Airbus jets
Alaska Airlines has ordered another 52 Boeing 737 Max jets and secured rights to purchase a further 105, aligning the airline’s future with the narrowbody as it aims to divest its remaining Airbus fleet next year.
Air Canada orders another 15 Airbus A220s
Air Canada has ordered another 15 Airbus A220-300s in a deal that brings the Montreal-based carrier’s total orders for the Canadian-built type to 60 jets.
Hawaiian Airlines loses $9.3m in Q3 as ‘international network is still rebuilding’
Hawaiian Holdings, parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, reported a third-quarter loss of $9.3 million as the carrier continues its pandemic recovery.
JetBlue squeezes $57m profit in Q3
Positioning itself to consume a rival low-cost airline amid concerns from federal antitrust regulators, JetBlue Airways has reported a $57 million third-quarter profit.
Raytheon logs declines in defence sales despite billions in backlog
Sales of avionics, jet engines and precision missiles all declined year-over-year, despite surging defence spending and billions of dollars worth of backlogged orders.
P&W’s commercial engine deliveries hit post-pandemic high in Q3 as profits soar
Pratt & Whitney delivered more large commercial aircraft engines in the third quarter of 2022 than in any period since early 2020, powering the engine maker to a $316 million quarterly operating profit, up 69% year on year.
GE Aerospace’s third-quarter profit surges on higher Leap deliveries and aftermarket bump
GE Aerospace’s third-quarter profit shot up more than 50% year on year in the third quarter of 2022 to $1.3 billion, reflecting a significant bump in engine deliveries and increasing demand for aftermarket services.
Northern Pacific upgrades terminal space in Anchorage ahead of 2023 launch
Start-up US airline Northern Pacific Airways has almost completed a $6 million upgrade of the terminal space it is leasing at Anchorage International airport in Alaska.
How US airlines are tackling pilot shortage crisis
The post-pandemic US pilot shortage has caused carriers to cut services, prompting initiatives intended to smooth new recruits’ path to the cockpit – but barriers remain.
Why aerospace must do more to get pilot mental health reporting on the level
When pilot Alan Smith took an anti-depressant medication after a stressful relocation to a new city, he had no idea what lay in store: a months-long odyssey that almost derailed his future career prospects and cost thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses.
Aeromexico’s Q3 revenue up from 2021
Newly restructured Grupo Aeromexico, the parent company of Mexico’s legacy carrier, Aeromexico, reports third-quarter profitability and a rebound from the lows of 2021.
Hawaiian to operate 10 A330Fs for Amazon, grants retailer ownership rights
Hawaiian Airlines has agreed to operate at least 10 Airbus A330-300 Freighters for Amazon and has granted the online retailer rights to own 15% of Hawaiian Holdings’ stock.
B-21 reveal date set for 2 December
The designer of the next-generation strategic bomber, Northrop Grumman, says it will unveil the new aircraft on 2 December in California.
US transportation chief squarely blames airlines for last summer’s operational meltdown
US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg is insisting that airlines, not the Federal Aviation Administration, are primarily responsible for last summer’s US air travel meltdown, saying airlines scheduled more flights than they could staff.
Lockheed Martin predicts F-35 production slowdown in 2023
Executives expect Lockheed will produce fewer of the advanced multi-role fighter next year, citing uncertainty over US orders and competing budget priorities.
Alaska Airlines posts Q3 profit despite higher fuel prices, new labour deals
Alaska Air Group turned a narrow profit in the third quarter, reporting income of $40 million for the three months ending 30 September.
Air Transat and WestJet link networks with regional Canadian airlines
Canadian passenger carriers Air Transat and WestJet have expanded their respective networks through codeshare agreements with smaller regional airlines.
Lockheed Martin F-35 crashes at Utah air base, pilot ejected
An investigation is under way into the crash at Hill AFB, which is home of the US Air Force’s F-35 flight-demonstration team and a combat fighter wing.
American earns nearly $500m in third-quarter profit
American Airlines turned a $483 million profit in the third quarter of 2022, more than double its profit in the same period last year and also up from the comparable 2019 pre-pandemic period.
JetBlue-Spirit deal approved by Spirit shareholders
Shareholders of Spirit Airlines approved on 19 October JetBlue Airways’ $3.8 billion bid to purchase the low-cost carrier, potentially signalling a dramatic shift in the North American discount airline market.
Canadian start-up Lynx Air charts course with new chief operating officer
Canadian start-up airline Lynx Air named Jim Sullivan as its new chief operating officer on 18 October as the company seeks to carve out a place among North American discount carriers.
Breeze adds flights to Cincinnati and Vero Beach as part of broader expansion
US discounter Breeze Airways plans to add two destinations to its network – Cincinnati and Vero Beach, Florida – in February as part of a broader cross-country expansion.
Greater harmonisation key to tapping Caribbean potential: Bahamasair chief
Bahamasair chief executive Tracy Cooper is calling for greater harmonisation efforts to ease travel within the Caribbean, particularly on intra-island services.
Spirit AeroSystems pushes business aviation credentials of Belfast plant
Aerostructures specialist Spirit AeroSystems is more familiar for its work on commercial airliners than business jets, but the manufacturer is here at the NBAA show to push its credentials in the sector, not least through the capabilities of its newly acquired site in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Honda Aircraft’s new CEO Yamasaki prepares for ‘next story’ with 2600 HondaJet
Honda Aircraft’s new chief executive Hideto Yamasaki arrives at NBAA in charge of a company he describes as poised to begin a second phase of expansion, one likely to be spearheaded by the development of a new and larger business jet.
FlyExclusive to become public company by joining with EG Acquisition
Private charter jet operator FlyExclusive is the latest aviation company hoping to benefit from a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
The AAM revolution is here. Will the public get on board?
If the vision presented by the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry becomes reality, revolutionary aircraft will soon fill the skies over cities, suburbs and rural areas. But AAM companies face a major challenge before taking off – earning the public’s trust.
Mexican antitrust authority approves Allegiant-Viva Aerobus joint venture
North American ultra low cost carriers Allegiant Air and Viva Aerobus were authorized 17 October by Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) to move forward with a proposed transborder commercial alliance.
Honda Aircraft reveals enhanced HondaJet Elite II
Honda Aircraft turned heads as the NBAA show opened by unveiling enhancements to its HA-420 HondaJet, with the Elite II variant gaining more range, a newly designed spoiler, and several cabin upgrades.
G700 and G800 make NBAA debut as Gulfstream returns to show following three-year break
US business-jet maker Gulfstream has roared back to NBAA after a three-year hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic. The company is making a splash this year, arriving at the show with all but one of its in-production and in-development business jets – the exception being its G400, which remains in early stages of development.
Avianca, Copa, United to pursue joint venture pact under new conditions
Colombia’s Avianca, Panama’s Copa Airlines and United Airlines will still pursue a long-awaited a three-way joint venture agreement (JVA), even though the framework and market conditions have dramatically changed since the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Norse Atlantic’s UK arm cleared to operate transatlantic routes
Norse Atlantic Airways has been granted authorisation to operate transatlantic services with its UK division.
Tamarack to offer winglet system on Ampaire’s hybrid-electric aircraft modification
Winglet maker Tamarack Aerospace has diversified its business by partnering with Ampaire, a Los Angeles company selling hybrid-electric modifications of several existing aircraft types.
Seaplane service from New York to DC area takes off
Tailwind Air launched passenger seaplane service between New York and the Washington, DC area on 14 October after tweaking its route in response to security concerns from federal regulators.
Archer Aviation set to unveil Midnight eVTOL in November
California-based Archer Aviation is formally to unveil its production Midnight eVTOL aircraft next month, ahead of its planned schedule.
US Air Force declares Sikorsky’s HH-60W Jolly Green II combat rescue helicopter operational
The new HH-60W Jolly Green II will replace the USAF’s HH-60G Pave Hawk fleet in providing aerial support to pilot recovery and medevac missions.
AviaAM becomes launch customer for Mammoth’s 777-300ER cargo-conversion programme
Cyprus aircraft finance company AviaAM Leasing has become launch customer for Mammoth Freighters’ cargo-converted Boeing 777-300ERMF, ordering six of the type.
ATP flight school orders 55 Cessna Skyhawks from Textron Aviation
US flight school network ATP has ordered 55 Cessna Skyhawks for use as flight-training aircraft.
Delta has ‘plan B’ in case Boeing 737 Max 10 misses critical FAA deadline
Delta Air Lines is still counting on the US aviation regulator to certificate the Boeing 737 Max 7 and 10 models without extensive and expensive cockpit modifications, even though those certifications are delayed and may miss a critical deadline.
NASA contracts with Xwing to develop safe autonomous flight systems
NASA has contracted with autonomous aviation company Xwing to support the development of safety systems for pilotless aircraft.
First signs of slowing air travel recovery momentum?
Amid so much economic and geopolitical uncertainty around the world, the first hints of a potential impact on travel demand were seen in the latest passenger demand data.
Delta tops record revenues in strong third quarter
Delta Air Lines reports being ahead of plan on profits for the year after posting record revenues of just under $14 billion for the third quarter.
SmartLynx ties up with US lessor Aero Capital on A321 freighter conversions
Latvian wet-lease specialist SmartLynx is establishing an Airbus A321 converted freighter partnership with US lessor Aero Capital Solutions.
Congress signals support for continued advanced-propulsion research funding
US lawmakers sent a letter to the Pentagon urging defence leaders to continue funding research into adaptive-propulsion jet engines, which are expected to power future military aircraft.
Republic Airways pilots secure major pay raise
Amid a broad surge in regional pilot pay, Republic Airways pilots represented by the Teamsters Local 357 union will receive a big rate increase.
Oneworld alliance moves headquarters to Fort Worth from New York City
The Oneworld airline alliance plans to move its global headquarters to Fort Worth, Texas from New York City in December 2022.
Flexjet plans to become public company in 2023
US fractional business aircraft ownership company Flexjet has jumped on the go-public bandwagon, revealing plans to sell public shares by merging with a so-called special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Surf Air strikes $450m financing deal with Jetstream Aviation Capital
US aviation company Surf Air Mobility has secured $450 million in financing over six years from Jetstream Aviation Capital to fund the planned growth of its fleet of turboprop aircraft.
US Air Force to test blended-wing logistics aircraft by 2027
The airframe concept proposed in the service’s recent climate action plan would serve as a refueller and cargo transport.
Cargolux firms order for 10 777-8 Freighters
Luxembourg freighter specialist Cargolux Airlines has ordered 10 Boeing 777-8 Freighters, finalising an agreement disclosed by the companies at July’s Farnborough air show.
United Airlines will introduce flights to Dubai, Stockholm and Malaga in 2023
United Airlines is expanding its transatlantic summer flying schedule in 2023 to include new destinations Stockholm, Dubai and Malaga, Spain, in addition to adding flights to six other European cities.
Boeing 747-400LCF Dreamlifter sheds wheel on take-off from Taranto
One of the modified Boeing 747-400s used by the airframer for 787 aerostructure transport has apparently suffered a landing-gear malfunction during take-off from Taranto.
Frontier unveils first A321neo and tweaked paint scheme, plans expansion
Frontier Airlines marked the delivery of its first Airbus A321neo on 11 October, with the carrier’s chief executive saying the jet will further strengthen Frontier’s cost advantage and let it expand to new destinations, possibly including those outside North America.
Delta Air Lines invests up to $200m in Joby Aviation electric air taxis
A new deal with US startup Joby Aviation could eventually make zero-emissions, last-mile air taxi services available to customers flying with Delta Air Lines through New York and Los Angeles.
Boeing reports improved order, delivery activity in September
Boeing in September ramped up its aircraft deliveries and logged a solid month of orders, handing over 51 jets, including seven 787s, to customers during the month.
Army delays Black Hawk replacement decision
Although the US Army previously planned to select a winner of the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft helicopter contest in September, programme officials say they are still working through the process.
NASA optimistic over power potential from solid-state batteries
US aeronautics agency NASA is progressing with solid-state battery designs which are capable of offering increased energy discharge while substantially reducing the weight of the casing.
GE begins assembling second Improved Turbine Engine for US Army
The T901 next-generation rotorcraft engine will ultimately power the US Army’s current fleet of utility and attack helicopters and its Future Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft.
American invests in Universal Hydrogen
American Airlines has made an equity investment in start-up Universal Hydrogen to help support the airline’s ambitious goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
SkyWest secures Brazilian state financing for the purchase of six E175s
Brazil’s economic development bank has agreed to provide US regional carrier SkyWest Airlines with R670 million ($128 million) in financing for the purchase of six Embraer 175 regional jets.
Airline Business Covid-19 recovery tracker: October 2022 update
Our regular examination of the latest global data for several key airline market indicators, including traffic and capacity in passenger and cargo markets, in-service and stored fleets, jet fuel costs, and share price trends for the world’s largest groups.
WestJet and Korean will codeshare on flights from Toronto and Vancouver
WestJet will begin adding its code to Korean Air flights from Toronto and Vancouver to Seoul, after the Canadian carrier decided to centralize its widebody flying from Calgary earlier this week.
More real world input required for loyal wingman development: think tank
A US airpower think tank has listed a set of priorities for the US Air Force (USAF) to consider as it embarks on the development of unmanned combat aircraft.
Hypersonic threats: Why Canada is doubling down on enhanced Arctic defence
Canada disclosed in June plans to spend nearly C$40 billion ($29.4 billion) over 20 years to enhance defence of its sprawling Arctic region, citing threats including those from “autocratic regimes”.
Mesa to sell 18 Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets to United
Mesa Air Group, the parent company of regional carrier Mesa Airlines, will sell 18 Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft to United Airlines for “approximately $50 million”.
Joby and Skyports partner to demonstrate air taxi ‘vertiports’
Electric air taxi developer Joby Aviation and air taxi terminal designer Skyports Infrastructure have partnered to study and demonstrate how such a terminal would actually work.
WestJet plans to consolidate Boeing 787-9 fleet in Calgary
Canadian airline WestJet will base all seven of its Boeing 787s at its Calgary hub as a part of a strategy shift which will see the carrier double its capacity in the city by the end of the decade.
US pilot union against exemption for Boeing 737 Max 7, Max 10 certification
Pilot union Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents pilots at American Airlines, opposes an equipment certification exemption for Boeing’s 737 Max 7 and Max 10 aircraft.
FedEx and pilots to pursue government mediation for contract negotiations
Pilots at Fedex Express and the company’s management will pursue federal mediation through the National Mediation Board (NMB) on their contract negotiations.
China’s AutoFlight opens US office and hires former Eviation boss
Chinese electric air taxi developer AutoFlight has opened a US operation and hired former Eviation chief executive Omer Bar-Yohay to lead it.
US Air Force grounds select C-130 transports over propeller cracks
The discovery of cracks in the propeller barrel assemblies on multiple C-130H models led Air Mobility Command to issue a no-fly order for roughly 100 aircraft.
Saab voices opposition to Canada’s F-35 decision
The Swedish manufacturer of the Gripen fighter says Canada failed to follow its own procurement rules in selecting the Lockheed Martin F-35 over Saab’s proposal.
US Army orders two more Block II Chinook heavy-lift helicopters
US Army has ordered two more examples of the updated Block II variant of the CH-47F tandem-rotor type, with long-lead funding for additional airframes.
Russian delegation falls short of votes needed for ICAO Council election
Russia has failed to secure election to the ICAO Council during a voting session at the organisation’s Assembly in Montreal.
Wisk unveils new air taxi design that will be certification suitable
Boeing-backed air taxi developer Wisk Aero has revealed an updated prototype that it calls a candidate for type certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Collins targets systems consolidation to meet Future Vertical Lift speed and range goals
The avionics manufacturer says the US Army’s next generation rotorcraft will need lots of multi-functional systems to shave off weight and drag.
FAA calls for ‘realistic’ 737 Max 7 timeline after Boeing misses paperwork deadline
Boeing was late in providing some 737 Max 7 assessments to the Federal Aviation Administration, cutting the agency’s available time to certificate the jet before a critical December deadline.
United to end service to JFK airport in October
United Airlines will stop flying to New York’s John F Kennedy International airport at the end of next month due to lack of slots.
US government approves Delta-LATAM joint venture
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has given its long-awaited approval of anti-trust immunity for the joint venture between Delta Air Lines and LATAM Airlines Group.
Spirit Airlines testifies ‘competition is harmed’ in American-JetBlue antitrust trial
A Spirit Airlines executive denounced the American Airlines-JetBlue Airways partnership in federal court on 30 September – just two months after Spirit agreed to be purchased by low-cost competitor JetBlue.
Use of ADS-B by flight-tracking websites spurs proposition to protect privacy
Security and privacy concerns arising from the ability to obtain, and freely share over the internet, ADS-B information transmitted by aircraft have been outlined in a paper to the ICAO Assembly.
US Navy issues long-lead contract for autonomous refueller programme
The Boeing MQ-25 Stingray aerial refueller is set to be the first carrier-based uncrewed aircraft.
WestJet orders 42 Boeing 737 Max 10s amid ongoing fleet expansion
Canadian airline WestJet is expanding its fleet of narrowbody passenger aircraft with an order of 42 Boeing 737 Max 10s, and options for 22 more.
Aer Lingus to open new transatlantic service to northern Ohio
IAG’s Irish carrier Aer Lingus is to open a new transatlantic route to the US city of Cleveland, on the lake Erie coast, in summer next year.
Discount Canadian carriers Flair Airlines and Lynx Air manoeuvre for market share
Low-cost Canadian carriers Flair Airlines and Lynx Air plan to expand operations next year as competition for the North American discount market heats up.
China Airlines finalises 787-9 deal with orders for 16 of the jets
Taiwan’s China Airlines has ordered 16 Boeing 787-9s and taken options to buy another eight, firming an agreement the airline disclosed in August.
US FAA sets out initial standards for eVTOL vertiport designs
US aviation regulators have unveiled design guidance for vertiports, as the aerospace industry progresses with multiple proposed eVTOL aircraft.
Alice’s first flight ‘executed flawlessly’ but battery challenges remain: CEO
Though Eviation cleared a major milestone with the 27 September first flight of its all-electric prototype aircraft, the company’s chief executive stresses that notable battery hurdles must still be overcome.
JetBlue CEO takes stand, defends ‘Northeast Alliance’ as antitrust trial starts
US government attorneys grilled JetBlue Airways chief executive Robin Hayes on 27 September, the opening day of the American Airlines-JetBlue antitrust trial in Boston.
Airports to close, airlines cancel flights as Hurricane Ian approaches Florida
As Florida braces for the impact of Hurricane Ian, numerous airports on the west coast of Florida will close completely, and airlines have pre-emptively cancelled hundreds of flights.
Gulfstream pitches G400 at large-cabin market ‘sweet spot’
Eyeing a lucrative gap in the market for a 4,200nm-range jet with large-cabin comfort, Gulfstream has embarked on its G400 development with lofty expectations.
Eviation’s Alice gets airborne for first time
The prototype took off from Grant County International airport on 27 September for the first time, a major milestone for a company that aims to have Alice carrying paying passengers within several years.
Southwest’s Van de Ven to step down from president and COO posts
Southwest Airlines’ president and chief operating officer Mike Van de Ven will be stepping down from both of his leadership posts in the coming months.
US DOT proposes rule on airfare transparency
The US government has announced plans to begin requiring both domestic and foreign airlines as well as ticket sellers to clearly post all extra fees prior to air transport ticket purchases.
Canada to drop all Covid-related travel restrictions
Canada will drop all Covid-19-related travel restrictions later this week, more than two and a half years since the beginning of the global pandemic.
Top US commander calls for adding 12 fighter squadrons to USAF
Mark Kelly, the four-star general in charge of Air Combat Command, says the USAF currently does not have enough multi-role fighter squadrons to meet the missions it has been assigned.
Why ICAO Assembly is crucial for aviation’s decarbonisation effort
Airlines and airports say governments must use the 41st ICAO Assembly – which begins this week in Montreal – to formally commit to targets that support the commercial aviation industry’s decarbonisation timeline.
How airlines’ environmental investments are already paying dividends
Despite their geographical and operational differences, US carriers United Airlines and JetBlue Airways, Norwegian regional airline Wideroe, and Spain’s Air Nostrum have a common goal: to be pioneers in sustainability.
Why Vertical Aerospace is still riding high as eVTOL sector matures
UK start-up Vertical Aerospace is among a small group of pioneers driving the development of eVTOL platforms for market entry later this decade – but can it maintain momentum?
Business aviation readies for its first NBAA Orlando gathering since 2018
An upbeat trend in business aviation usage is continuing as the community prepares for its annual US get together at the National Business Aviation Association’s BACE event in Orlando.
Business aviation’s new long-range leaders battle supply chain worries
Divergence between supply and demand has left manufacturers of large-cabin business jets with flush backlogs – and plenty of problems that need solving.
‘All of us are in the exact same spot’: regional airline CEOs on pilot shortage
Regional airlines like Cape Air, CommutAir and SkyWest Airlines are feeling the most acute effects of the USA’s pilot shortage.
United names Jonathan Ireland new head of finance
A new hand will guide United Airlines’ $40 billion operations and $5 billion capital budget, as the Chicago-based carrier named Jonathan Ireland senior vice president of finance on 23 September.
Raytheon-Northrop Grumman beat Boeing, Lockheed Martin in hypersonic missile contest
The pair were awarded a US Air Force contract to build the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile, a scramjet-powered munition capable of Mach 5 flight.
United grounds 25 Boeing 777s due to maintenance issue
United Airlines in recent days grounded more than two dozen Boeing 777-200s after missing required maintenance inspections.
Collins demos risk-assessment and uncrewed-wingman control software
The company’s Operational Reasoner algorithmic software is meant to help pilots of sixth-generation fighters assess the likelihood of mission success and more-seamlessly control uncrewed aircraft.
Royal Navy Wildcat cuts teeth during Arctic Thunder frigate sinking
The UK Royal Navy has performed the first firing of its Thales Martlet air-to-surface missile against a “realistic target at sea”, as part of a bilateral exercise also involving the Royal Air Force and US military.
A220-500 would turn twinjet into ‘powerful’ product range: Airbus chief
Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury has signalled to investors that a stretched A220 is necessary to turn the twinjet into a strong product family.
FedEx outlook fuels concern over air cargo prospects
The bleak economic outlook provided by FedEx at the end of last week served as a reminder to the airline industry that the Covid-era cargo boom is vulnerable to global uncertainties.
Regent achieves flying milestone with subscale seaglider model
Start-up seaglider developer Regent Craft’s sub-scale prototype achieved an important milestone last month on its journey to become a viable transport option along coasts or near large bodies of water.
United Boeing 777-200 suffers “hydraulic pump issue” after take-off
A United Airlines Boeing 777-200 experienced a “hydraulic pump issue” shortly after take-off from Newark’s Liberty International airport, forcing the aircraft to return and land.
New discount carrier Canada Jetlines makes first passenger flight
Startup airline Canada Jetlines completed its first passenger flight on 22 September, with its orange, white and blue Airbus A320 making the connection between Toronto Pearson International airport and Calgary International airport.
Mesa to acquire 29 Pipistrel trainers in creative bid to attract new pilots
US regional carrier Mesa Airlines plans to acquire 29 Pipistrel Alpha Trainer 2 aircraft, with an option to buy 75 more over the next year, to create an easier pathway for pilots to accumulate 1,500 flight hours.
How far have airlines climbed back from the crisis?
Revenues among leading operators jumped more than a third last year, while losses were stemmed after the heavy post-pandemic bleeding. However, it remains a lengthy road back to full recovery and the profitable heights the industry enjoyed before Covid hit
De Havilland plans new assembly site near Calgary, Dash 8 and Twin Otter reboot unsettled
De Havilland Canada has revealed plans to build a massive new manufacturing site near Calgary where it will assemble aircraft including its newly launched DHC-515 water bomber.
Boeing CEO still confident in Max 7’s certification in 2022
Boeing chief executive David Calhoun remains optimistic the Federal Aviation Administration will certificate the 737 Max 7 before year-end – and before a critical regulatory change.
USAF hopes for decision on F-35 engine this year
Chief of staff General Charles Brown says his service would like to reach a decision before January on whether the advanced strike fighter needs an entirely new powerplant or just an upgrade.
USAF adds first BACN E-11A from 2021 order
The US Air Force (USAF) has added the first E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) aircraft from a 2021 order for the Bombardier G6000 derivative.
National Airlines introduces ex-AirBridgeCargo 747-400ERF to freighter fleet
US operator National Airlines has introduced a Boeing 747-400ERF to its fleet, an extended-range version of the high-capacity freighter.
Airlines will need larger jets like updated A380: Emirates’ Clark
Emirates Airline president Tim Clark fears the industry’s shift away from the largest aircraft types could leave carriers short on seats in the coming decades, potentially leading to “enormously high fares”.
First B-21 roll-out planned for December
The US Air Force and designer Northrop Grumman plan to reveal the first of the service’s secretive B-21 Raider next-generation strategic bombers in December.
Boeing and Wisk outline their concept for air taxi flights
Boeing and partner Wisk Aero have broadly defined requirements they view as needed for the unmanned electric air taxi concept to become reality.
Swelling pilot pay could force US regionals to contract, impacting communities: CEOs
Higher pilot pay rates at regional airlines could become a problem as carriers seek to balance a pilot shortage with maintaining flights to smaller US communities.
General Atomics, Kratos highlight progress toward AI-driven combat aircraft
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and Kratos have highlighted progress with autonomous unmanned aircraft systems (UASs).
USAF clears KC-46 for global operations, troubles remain
The head of the US Air Force’s Air Mobility Command says airmen have developed workarounds for the problem-plagued refueller’s issues, calling the type “incredibly capable”.
Eviation’s Alice completes high-speed taxi test, ‘final’ step before flight
Electric aircraft developer Eviation has released video of its Alice prototype completing a high-speed taxi test ahead of its planned first flight.
US Air Force leaders stress importance of air dominance in countering rising threats
Speaking at the 2022 Air & Space Forces Association conference near Washington DC, US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and senior generals warned of the need to counter advancing authoritarian regimes – an uphill fight.
FAA denies Republic’s request to skirt 1,500h rule for new pilots
The FAA on 19 September shot down a request from Republic Airways that would have allowed some of its pilots to fly scheduled flights with only 750h of cockpit time.
Embraer and L3Harris join to offer ‘Agile Tanker’ to USAF
Brazilian airframer Embraer has partnered with US defence contractor L3Harris to offer a special “tactical tanker” version of its KC-390 military lifter to the US Air Force (USAF).
Switzerland signs contract to purchase 36 Lockheed F-35As
The government of Switzerland has signed a contract formalising its planned acquisition of 36 Lockheed Martin F-35As, a move following the country’s 2021 decision to acquire the US-made fifth-generation fighter.
Boeing still pausing 737 production as it works through supply troubles
Boeing is still periodically pausing 737 production due component shortages and other supply chain problems.
FedEx parks aircraft due to $500 million revenue shortfall
FedEx has temporarily grounded some of its cargo aircraft and reduced the frequency of freighter flights in response to a slowdown in global demand for package deliveries.
Canada Jetlines applies for permission to fly Florida routes
Canadian discount start-up airline Canada Jetlines has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for a Canada Jetlines applies for a foreign air carrier permit which would allow it to fly routes between Canada and the USA.
China sanctions heads of Raytheon, Boeing defence over Taiwan arms sales
The Chinese government in Beijing is levying sanctions on two American defence executives following recently announced sales of US arms to Taiwan.
Engine makers sound downbeat on supersonic, leaving Boom in a bind
In the wake of Rolls-Royce’s departure from Boom Supersonic’s Overture programme, three additional propulsion specialists have indicated they have no interest in developing powerplants for supersonic civilian aircraft, leaving fresh questions about who will supply the jet’s engines.
Chorus Aviation names new CEO as Joseph Randall steps down
Chorus Aviation chief executive Joseph Randell plans on retiring in early 2023 and is set to be succeeded by chief operating officer, Colin Copp.
US, allies could lose 900 aircraft in conflict with China over Taiwan: CSIS
A wargame developed by the Washington think tank indicates that the US military can preserve the island nation’s sovereignty in the face of a full-scale assault, but at great cost.
GlobalX signals intention to buy 50 electric Alice aircraft from Eviation
US carrier Global Crossing Airlines (GlobalX) intends to order 50 of Eviation’s in-development electric aircraft Alice.
United views Flydubai deal as crucial to broader pact with Emirates
United Airlines’ new codeshare deal with Emirates Airline includes a related agreement with Flydubai that United views as particularly valuable in expanding its international reach.
Sweden’s Heart Aerospace scales up to develop 30-seat hybrid-electric ES-30
Sweden’s Heart Aerospace will now build a 30-seat hybrid-electric regional aircraft called the ES-30, dropping previous plans for a 19-seater called the ES-19.
Porter enters sale-and-leasebacks for a dozen E195-E2s
Canada’s Porter Airlines has added more lessors to its fleet-sourcing for Embraer 195-E2 twinjets, with sale-and-leaseback agreements for a dozen aircraft equally split between TrueNoord and funds linked to Apollo and Merx Aviation.
United and Emirates strike broad partnership that will ‘terrify’ competitors
United Airlines and Emirates Airline have put aside a contentious trade dispute in launching a new partnership they say will dramatically expand their international presence to the detriment of competitors.
Top Aces’ private F-16 fleet wins USAF contract for adversary air
The Canadian company flies the world’s only fleet of commercially-operated F-16 fighter jets, which will now go head to head against US Air Force pilots in training.
Many countries have eased pandemic travel restrictions – but not Canada
For many global commercial air travellers, the rules that defined flying during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic are distant memories. But not for airline passengers flying in Canada.