Africa is often referred to as the last place for commercial aviation to exploit. Rich in resources, but poor in economics and politics, much of Africa is flown over. But this is changing as communications technology reaches everywhere, and people want access to the global economy and its promise of a better life, with improved health and modern lifestyle choices.
What does Africa’s commercial aviation look like? In terms of its aviation fleet size, the area is not well served. Its ratio of population to commercial aircraft actually isn’t too bad – but the areas that benefit are not widespread. The table compares Africa with some markets. Population numbers come from the CIA Fact Book. Continue reading
There have been many 737 operators, but few with the attachment to the 737 like Southwest Airlines. The following chart shows how attached they have become to each other. The recent bump in growth came with absorbing the 737 fleet from AirTran. Another airline closely associated with the 737 is Ryanair – but its fleet size is about half that of Southwest. Continue reading
As we get ready for the upcoming Paris show, both the big duopolies are doing their pre-show briefings. Typically the briefings focus on impending orders and what’s coming in terms of product innovation. The future is always more exciting, even if it doesn’t always pan out. But orders for future products do result, eventually, into deliveries, the more realistic metric of what is actually coming out of production line and entering service.
Orders are not unimportant, as they measure the success of programs, and set expectations around the industry for the success, or lack thereof, of an aircraft program. In the 1990s, Boeing won the majority of the orders between the two competitors, and led in deliveries from 1989-2002. Since then Airbus won the orders battle in most years, and was winning the delivery battle through 2011. But Boeing has out-delivered Airbus in recent years, increasing its narrow-body production rate – so winning the order battle doesn’t always mean you win the production battle in the short-term.
With that said, let’s take a look at what has actually transpired since the year 1974, examining actual aircraft deliveries. The following charts split deliveries into single-aisle and twin-aisle categories.
Israel Aerospace Industries launched a B737-700P2F conversion program through its MRO and conversion arm, Bedek Aviation Group. Alaska Airlines is the launch customer for the program with three firm orders plus an option. Bedek expects certification in mid-2016 with delivery of the first converted aircraft by the end of 2016. Alaska’s cargo fleet consists of one B737-400(F) and four B737-400(M)s used on flights throughout rural Alaska as well as to the mainland United States. With the earliest 737-700s now approaching the end of leases, the question of whether they can be re-leased in a market that seems to be moving upward in size is on the minds of lessors. With this, and competing P2F programs, they now have options.
This latest move by IAI in the P2F business highlights a few items: IAI continues to demonstrate its excellent capabilities, and long legacy in the P2F conversion market.… Continue reading