A new regional airline, Air Kazakhstan is being established in the Central Asian republic and is expected to begin flying early next year. The state investment fund, Samruk-Kazyna and Air Astana will be partners in the formation of a new regional airline, to provide domestic feeder service to Air Astana’s operations. Air Astana ceased its regional operations last year when it retired a fleet of aging Fokker 50 aircraft, which has left a transportation gap in domestic service from airports too small to handle jets.
We continue to watch the three ongoing flight test programs with great interest. All three programs are showing progress. We will first deal with the three programs and then with each separately. Continue reading
The Singapore Airshow seems elegantly understated when compared with the brashness of Dubai, the bustle of Paris, or the more stoic nature of Farnborough. If Paris 2011 was the year of the neo, Farnborough 2012 the year of the MAX, Paris 2013 the year of the wide body, and Dubai 2013 the economic strength of the Middle East carriers, Singapore 2014 might be characterized as the quiet show.
The order books did not grow to the degree expected at the show, particularly for wide bodies. Expected orders from Singapore Airlines did not materialize, as sales campaigns could not be finalized in time for an air show announcement. Firm orders concluded at the show totaled 191 aircraft, as compared with 285 aircraft at the 2012 show, a drop of about 33%. But the value of those orders, buoyed by the 20 A380 sales (confirmation from an earlier… Continue reading
As of the third quarter 2013 there were 28,525 commercial aircraft in service. The table below illustrates the breakdown of this number. The shaded rows are OEMs that are no longer in the business of making commercial airliners. Continue reading
There are three new aircraft programs in flight test at the moment. Airbus’ A350XWB, Boeing 787-9 and the Bombardier CSeries. The chart below compares the progress in flight testing to date for the three aircraft. Clearly, the 787-9 and A350XWB are progressing at a much faster rate than the Bombardier CSeries, for which a delay of 9-15 months has been announced. Continue reading
Ethiopian Airlines likes to point out that it is Africa’s fastest growing airline. The company was an early adopter of the 787, and by all appearances is pleased with the aircraft. The fire at Heathrow was an odd event and the aircraft is repaired and back in service. In 2009 the airline also ordered A350-900s. Currently the airline has 61 aircraft in service; including seven 777s and five 787s. Besides an order for 14 A350-900s, it also has eight 787s plus seven 777 on order.
With these aircraft ordered and in operation, Ethiopian certainly joins a special club. In Africa, it is unique with these aircraft orders. Continue reading