Here is our rolling report with short aviation news for the month of May 2022:
25 – Airbus is to open a fifth Zero-Emission Development Center (ZEDC) as part of the ZEROe hydrogen project. The fifth center will be in Filton, making it the first in the UK. The other centers are in Stade and Bremen (Germany), Nantes (France), and Madrid (Spain). Filton will be responsible for developing the cryogenic fuel system, in which hydrogen is stored at -253 Celsius and then has to be heated for use in fuel cells or for direct injection into the (turbofan) engine. Airbus UK is benefitting from a £685 million government, three-year subsidy to the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) to develop zero-emission and low-emission technology for commercial aircraft. Airbus plans to launch the first ZEROe airliner by 2027 for entry into service around 2035.
25 – Ethiopian Airlines has confirmed an order for five Boeing 777F full freighters. The aircraft were already in the Boeing backlog for undislosed customers. The new aircraft complement the nine 777Fs that are already in the fleet and are to cater to growth in the air cargo business. The carrier still has to confirm a Memorandum of Understanding for five 777-8Fs that was announced in March. The freighter version of the 777X was launched in January with an order from Qatar Airways.
20 – The Italian financial police Guardia Finanza has confiscated four Sukhoi Superjet aircraft that were parked in Venice. The police has also blocked the ninety-percent share of Leonardo in the joint-venture with Sukhoi, Aero.de reports. The actions are part of the sanctions that have been imposed by the Italian government and the European Union on Russia following the war in Ukraine. The four aircraft, which are believed to be former CityJet aircraft that are in Venice since 2019, are valued at 146 million euros.
18 – Australian start-up Bonza has delayed its launch until September. The airline will take delivery of its first three Boeing MAX 8s only in July and August. “This is slightly later than first expected but gives us the clarity we need to map out the in-country process that starts once they touch down. In short, we’re making good progress and in the coming weeks I will provide further updates.“, Chief Commercial Officer Carley Povey says in a media statement, which was presented as an open letter to all Australians. Bonza will source its aircraft from its major shareholder 777 Partners. The airline’s initial plan is to operate to seventeen destinations and 27 routes.
17 – Not Lufthansa but Turkish Airlines is the airline that will purchase Airbus A350-900s that were originally ordered by Aeroflot. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said earlier that his airline was exploring options to source aircraft that were undeliverable to Russian airlines or lessors due to the sanctions that are effective since Russia started the war in Ukraine in February. He mentioned A350s were on his wish list, but it is Turkish Airlines that now has concluded a deal. In a one-liner on its website, Turkish says it will purchase six aircraft for delivery this year and in 2023. Initially, it wasn’t clear if these are the Aeroflot aircraft that have already been assembled, but the airline confirmed this later to the media. On May 20, one A350-900 was seen in Toulouse with a hybrid livery with a blue tail and ‘Turkish Airlines’ titles. Aeroflot had twenty A350s on order, of which seven were delivered until February 24. Turkish also has twenty on order and received six so far, having deferred deliveries during the pandemic.
17 – Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines will significantly expand their codeshare partnership. They will add 34 destinations to the existing 62 codeshare destinations. MAS will start a non-stop service from Kuala Lumpur to Doha on May 25, which will offer travelers the option to connect to 62 Qatar Airways destinations. Vice versa, Qatar customers traveling to Kuala Lumpur get access to 34 destinations of Malaysia Airlines in Asia. The new partnership should strengthen the position of Kuala Lumpur as a hub airport in Southeast Asia. The announcement follows a Memorandum of Understanding in February. The two airlines first started working together in 2001.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.