Here is our rolling report with short aviation news for the month of March 2022:
28 – Boeing has named Ted Colbert (picture) as the new President and CEO of its Defense, Space and Security business unit. Colbert succeeds Leanne Caret, who will be retiring after 35 years with Boeing. Colbert has been President and CEO of Boeing Global Services since October 2019 after joining the company in 2009. Under his leadership, the unit has seen strong growth of its Boeing Converted Freighter program. He will be succeeded at BGS by Stephanie Pope, who has been acting as vice-president and Chief Financial Officer at Boeing Commercial Airplanes since 2020 under Stan Deal. She has been at BGS as vice president and CFO until 2017.
25 – Airbus has tested pure sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) on its A380 flying testbed MSN001. After months of preparations, the aircraft did a 3 hours 2 minutes flight over France on March 25, using 100 percent SAF on one of the four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. The SAF was made from HEFA, Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids, and provided by Total Energies. A second flight was done off-coast Nice on March 29. The test program is to help to certify pure SAF. Current regulations restrict the use to only fifty percent SAF. Airbus has already tested pure SAF on an A350-900 in March 2021 and an A319neo in October 2021.
18 – Delta Airlines is the first US carrier to announce a corporation with Airbus on its long-term hydrogen strategy. The US airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding that covers working together on the research and development of hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft and the required ecosystem. Delta will offer its expertise on fleet, network, and operational requirements. The partnership builds on Delta’s Flight to Net Zero efforts, while Airbus is working on the ZEROe-project since late 2020. The European airframer has similar partnerships with airlines like easyjet, SAS, and Air New Zealand.
17 – UK regional airline Flybe has selected Belfast City Airport as the second base to relaunch its operations. Earlier, it has selected Birmingham. The carrier will start selling tickets on March 22 and disclose more details of its network then, but the new Flybe plans to build back a strong domestic network. The original Flybe went bankrupt in March 2020, but the sale was completed in April 2021 thanks to an investment from Cyrus Capital. The airline wants to grow its fleet to 34 De Haviland Canada Dash 8-400s.
16 – Malaysian long-haul, low-cost airline AirAsia X has completed all formalities for its debt restructuring. The carrier lodged a so-called sanction order with the Malaysian Registrar of Companies that includes the restructuring of RM 33 billion ($7.8 billion) in debts that was approved by its creditors last November and the High Court in December. Shedding its debts, the airline is now ready to prepare for a capital investment for which it has planned a rights issue. AirAsia X has been hit particularly hard during the pandemic as most of its long-haul routes fell by the wayside. Cargo has been “a strong lifeline”, but the airline is working on a recovery that covers both passenger and cargo markets.
9 – From the Airbus orders and deliveries scheme of February, it becomes clear that Kuwait Airways has made some changes to its unfilled orders. It has reduced its commitments for five A350-900s to just two and swapped them for three A330-900s, bringing them to seven. Kuwait already operates two -800s with two more on order. The airline also ordered three A321neo, with the backlog now showing nine.
8 – Deutsche Post DHL Group has placed an order for six Boeing 777Fs. The logistics company already has a fleet of fifteen of them, but the new order will take its fleet to 28 777Fs. The new aircraft are for growth as well as for replacement of older types.
4 – UK leisure airline Jet2 Airways has selected the CFM LEAP-1A to power the 36 Airbus A321neo’s it ordered in August 2021. The order also has options for another 24 aircraft, but CFM says that the engine order will be for 150 LEAPs for up to 75 aircraft. The deal includes a long-term service agreement. Jet2 surprised a few with the A321neo order as it has been a long-term Boeing customer, operating a fleet of 75 737-800s.