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The airline business is competitive – more so than most other types of business.  It is also a complex business because its reach is global.  The airlines that have dominated the industry so far tended to be network, or legacy, carriers.  In some markets, where traffic volumes allowed it, low cost carriers (LCCs) managed to plant roots and thrive.

An early pioneer of low cost long-haul travel was Sir Freddie Laker’s Skytrain.  It was a brilliant idea.  Then came People’s Express.  Both failed.  The complexity of connecting people to fly across the North Atlantic worked if you lived in or near the two points being served.  Moreover, the ability to market tickets to travelers was difficult – you depended on travel agents.  They wanted a commission to make the deals, and LCCs didn’t have the margin to afford this sales channel. Today we have the Internet and the typical travel agent has been dis-intermediated.  Booking systems like the GDS’ are not critical.  An airline can distribute its products effectively from its own website. Continue reading

[Update: Each MAX seat will have both AC power (with an international outlet) as well as USB. No news on neo fleet yet]

American Airlines will not install seat-back IFE screens on its 737 MAX fleet. The first four MAXs are due later in 2017.  The airline plans to offer free entertainment via Wi-Fi (powered by ViaSat) which will enables passenger personal device connectivity. American will provide access to its movies and TV show libraries and live TV.  Not all the content access will be free, but some will be.

“We know in-flight entertainment is important to our customers, which is why we’ve committed to offering free, streaming high-quality movies and music, and to investing in fast satellite-based Internet access and power at every seat across our domestic fleet,” the airline said in an employee statement. They went on to say: “More than 90 percent of our passengers already bring… Continue reading

Last week it emerged that Boeing is now discussing a 737 MAX10 with customers on a serious level, and that its sales people have been given “authority to offer” the aircraft.  The model would be the fifth in the MAX range, augmenting the existing the MAX7, MAX8, MAX8-200, and MAX9.

The MAX10 has the following key changes:

  • 66 inches longer than the MAX9
  • Single class passenger capacity up to 230
  • Slightly higher MTOW
  • LEAP-1B Engine
  • Trailing-link main gear
  • Entry into service approximately 2020

Continue reading

Bombardier announced that its 2016 C Series deliver schedule will be delayed, while citing the statistics from the first two aircraft in service with Swiss.  The good news is that the two CS100 aircraft in service with SWISS have collectively flown nearly 400 revenue flights, and accumulated nearly 600 flight hours.   The bad news is that Bombardier stated engine delivery delays will cause delivery reductions from a planned 15 to only 7 aircraft in 2016.  Since the OEMs are paid their final installment on delivery of aircraft, it impacts revenues and cash flow. The company will deliver the third CS100 to SWISS next month and deliver the first CS300 to airBaltic in the fourth quarter.

The supply chain is under stress.  During the UTC media day event prior to the Farnborough airshow,  P&W pointed out their greatest concern was parts supply and the supply chain.  At that time, one official noted that P&W and CFM… Continue reading

We have posted a few stories about the single aisle bubble.  Now it seems there are cracks in delivery slots coming.

Michael O’Leary has an insatiable appetite for 737s.  If delivery slots open up, exploiting them will be a card Ryanair has played before.  “If additional slots became available in 2017 or 2018 we’d happily take them,” Mr O’Leary said in London. “If Boeing have more cancellations and all of a sudden instead of having oversold their order book they now have unplaced aircraft, I’m sure they’ll come back to us.”

That last comment is especially apropos.  Yesterday Qatar’s CEO Akbar Al Baker made a strong statement, again.  The threat to walk away from its A320neo order are strong words.  Qatar obviously needs single aisle aircraft to create feed for its growing longhaul network.  Earlier this year Mr Al Baker remarked about switching to Boeing’s… Continue reading

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