A Commercial Aviation Consultancy

Ernest S. Arvai

The concept of a national carrier is becoming obsolete, as has been demonstrated by a number of European countries that have lost their national carriers, and a number that are hanging on for dear life through alliances with other carriers.  In today’s environment, in which Open Skies have largely replaced bilateral treaties, the notion of a national airline is less important than it once was.

Nonetheless, a national airline does tend to bring prestige, jobs, economic development, and many believe it can provide an advantage in attracting tourists and companies.   But if a national carrier is losing money, it cannot sustain itself for very long without government subsidies, which cannot last forever.

The Global Airline Competitive Environment has Changed

We’ve seen a consolidation of national carriers in many countries, and the loss of two in Europe, Malev in Hungary and Olympic in Greece.  Of course, locally-based low… Continue reading

Sources in both China and Russia indicate that the formalization of the long-discussed agreement to build a new widebody aircraft in China using Russian intellectual property will be approved later this month and finalized by the end of the year.

Under the agreement, Russia will supply the intellectual property from the Ilyushin IL-96 widebody jet, which will serve as the underpinnings for the design of a new aircraft, currently names the ShFS by UAC and expected to commercially be named the COMAC 929 in China.

The joint venture will be a 50-50 split, with a total investment of about $13 billion required. The agreement was forged in 2014 during Vladimir Putin’s visit to China.

The ShFS is expected in 2 models, a 300 and 400 seat model with a range of 2,700 nautical miles to serve internal markets within China and Russia. Roll out of the first flying prototype is… Continue reading

City Airways, based in Thailand, has signed an agreement with ICBC Leasing and COMAC for 10 ARJ-21 regional jets and 10 C919 narrow-body jets.  This international sale, to a customer currently operating 2 Boeing jets, indicates that COMAC will be aggressive, including leasing company financing support, as it markets its new aircraft internationally.   The impact of COMAC on international markets has begun.

City Airways operates domestically in Thailand and currently operates two Boeing 737s.


The ARJ-21 program is certified in China, and will deliver its first aircraft to Chengdu Airlines in November.  This regional jet will provide City Airways with additional capacity for its domestic network based in Bangkok and Phuket.  Delivery dates for the 10 aircraft were not specified.


The larger C919s on order will additional capacity on key routes as the airline grows.  The C919 program is currently under development, with the first… Continue reading

Boeing has begun production of the 737MAX aircraft, with the first aircraft entering the production line.  After deliveries of major components in August, production has officially begun and technicians have now joined the fuselage and wings of the first aircraft, which will be a 737-8 model.  In the photos below, the distinctive advanced winglets for the MAX are perhaps the most notable difference when compared with existing 737 models.

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