Airlines & Aviation 2020-

Written by  //  January 22, 2022  //  Aviation & Aerospace  //  No comments

Airlines in Europe say they are flying near-empty planes as omicron derails travel. They say E.U. rules mean they can’t stop.
(WaPo) As the omicron variant derails travel plans around the world, airlines say strict European Union regulations are forcing them to fly near-empty flights — unnecessary and environmentally harmful flights that they argue they need to fly to save their long-term takeoff and landing slots at European airports.
Airlines must use a certain percentage of their designated slots at airports to hold on to them. But low demand during the pandemic has led airlines to fly near empty flights, often known as ghost flights, to meet the requirements. Lufthansa, a large German airline, has said it canceled 33,000 trips, or 10 percent of its winter flights, because of low demand but still anticipates needing to fly 18,000 “poorly booked” flights to secure its slots.

Rolls-Royce’s all-electric aircraft officially becomes the world’s fastest
Rolls Royce has announced that its all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft officially became the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft. Two new world records set by the aircraft on 16 November 2021 have been officially verified by the World Air Sports Federation (FAI), which controls and certifies world aeronautical and astronautical records.
During the successful world-record runs, the company gathered important data for its future electric power and propulsion systems for all-electric urban air mobility (UAM) and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft. The company says the characteristics that air taxis require – such as the batteries – are very similar to what was developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation.’

5G Will Not Make Your Plane Fall Out of the Sky
(New York) by Thursday, the story had already fizzled. As commerce trundled along unfazed, several airlines un-canceled their flights and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that at least 78 percent of the U.S. commercial fleet would be unaffected in any way by the 5G rollout. Some observers went so far as to label the issue “incredibly dumb.” The main remaining question was why it had even turned into a thing in the first place.

18 January
AT&T, Verizon delay 5G rollout after U.S. airlines warn of massive travel disruptions
CEOs of the largest U.S. airlines say service could interfere with aircraft landing instruments
(AP via CBC) AT&T and Verizon will delay launching their new 5G wireless service near key airports planned for this week after the largest U.S. airlines said the service would interfere with aircraft technology and cause massive flight disruptions.
The decision came Tuesday as the Biden administration tried to broker a settlement between the telecom companies and the airlines over the rollout of the new 5G service, scheduled for Wednesday.
7 a.m
Explainer: Do 5G telecoms pose a threat to airline safety?
(Reuters) – The chief executives of major U.S. passenger and cargo airlines have warned of a “catastrophic” aviation crisis this week as AT&T (T.N) and Verizon (VZ.N) deploy new 5G services.
They said the new C band 5G service set to begin on Wednesday could render a significant number of aircraft unusable, causing chaos for U.S. flights and potentially stranding tens of thousands of Americans overseas.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned that the new 5G technology could interfere with instruments such as altimeters, which measure how far above the ground an airplane is travelling. Altimeters operate in the 4.2-4.4 GHz range and the concern is that the auctioned frequencies sit too close to this range.  More

2021

3 August

Eviation’s all-electric Alice eCargo jet.

DHL Express shapes future for sustainable aviation with the order of first-ever all-electric cargo planes from Eviation
– Companies take off together to electrify airspace
– Twelve zero-emission eCargo aircraft will form world’s first electric Express network
– First-ever fully electric plane “Alice” creates sea change in commercial aviation
– Alice’s first flight will happen later this year
Alice can be flown by a single pilot and will carry 2,600 lbs (1,250 kilograms). It will require 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and have a maximum range of up to 440 nautical miles (815 kilometers). Alice will operate in all environments currently serviced by piston and turbine aircraft. Alice’s advanced electric motors have fewer moving parts to increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs. Its operating software constantly monitors flight performance to ensure optimal efficiency.
The aircraft is ideal for feeder routes and requires less investment in station infrastructure. The Alice can be charged while loading and unloading operations occur, ensuring quick turnaround times that maintain DHL Express’ tight schedules. The logistics company plans to build several zero emission Alice feeder networks in the U.S., most likely starting in California.
DHL to deploy 12 redesigned Alice ePlanes from Eviation; testing begins this year
The Alice planes look almost identical, save for some missing windows and seats and an additional 100lbs capacity, to the passenger version of the Eviation Alice plane we’ve talked about in the past, amusingly calling it the “Tesla of Aviation.”

1 August
Can the ICAO Recover After Chinese Stewardship?
Brett D. Schaefer, Senior Research Fellow, International Regulatory Affairs and Danielle Pletka, Senior Fellow in Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
(The Heritage Foundation) Colombia’s Juan Carlos Salazar will have his work cut out for him when he takes over as Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO.

13 July
Association du transport aérien international
Montréal délaissé au profit de Genève
(La Presse) Trois ans après avoir annoncé qu’elle renforcerait ses activités à Montréal, l’Association du transport aérien international (IATA) revient sur sa position. Elle donnera moins d’importance à son bureau montréalais, siège social depuis sa fondation en 1945, au profit de son autre bureau principal, celui de Genève, en Suisse.
La perte de ses capacités se fera graduellement, mais de façon significative. Sans toutefois mettre en jeu le siège social de Montréal. « On ne va jamais fermer les portes de Montréal, comme on travaille notamment souvent avec des organisations telle l’OACI [Organisation de l’aviation civile internationale], affirme Markus Ruediger, porte-parole de l’IATA, en entrevue téléphonique. Mais on va réduire significativement le nombre d’employés. »

9 July
IATA to open Saudi office but denies it will be regional HQ
(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that global airlines industry body IATA had agreed to open a regional headquarters in Riyadh but the industry’s main trade association denied it would be a regional base in the latest evidence of sensitivities over the status of foreign business representation in the kingdom.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) late on Wednesday announced it had signed a “headquarters agreement” with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to open its “regional office in the kingdom”.
IATA, which represents some 290 airlines around the world, currently has its regional office in Jordan’s capital Amman.
Saudi Arabia is putting pressure on companies to move their regional offices to the kingdom, warning that from 2024 it would not award state contracts to those with regional headquarters elsewhere. read more

2020

22 September
IATA calls for COVID-19 testing at airports, says quarantine ‘killing’ industry
About 83% of air travellers from 11 countries said in an IATA poll they wouldn’t fly if there was a chance of being quarantined at destination.

17 September
John Cassidy: How Boeing and the F.A.A. Created the 737 MAX Catastrophe
The basic outlines of the Boeing 737 MAX tragedy are already well known—or should be well known. Even so, a detailed new report that the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released on Wednesday morning is a remarkable document. In two hundred and thirty-eight pages of clearly written prose, it goes a long way toward explaining not only what went so wrong at Boeing but what has gone badly askew with the American corporation in general, and with American governance.
… As is now standard in corporate America, Boeing’s top executives received vast compensation packages that were tied to the company’s profitability and stock price. In 2018 alone, Dennis Muilenburg, who was then Boeing’s chairman and chief executive, took home $23.4 million in compensation, including $13.1 million in profit-related incentive payments and $7.3 million in stock. The mind-set of prioritizing the bottom line and the firm’s stock price permeated the top management. As a reward for “keeping to the MAX’s production schedule, Boeing gave Michael Teal, the former Chief Project Engineer on the 737 MAX program, restricted stock options after the airplane’s first flight in 2016,” the new congressional report notes.

27 August
(The Independent) History’s most famous aircraft is disappearing from the skies. The Boeing 747, which democratised and romanticised air travel for those who could not previously afford it, is now destined for life as a cargo workhorse or museum exhibit. Hugh Morris looks back on the original jumbo jet’s colourful history.

20 August
American Airlines halts flights to 15 U.S. cities due to weak demand because of COVID-19
Airlines were getting subsidized to maintain service to certain markets but that cash is about to expire so AA is pulling out.
American Airlines will drop flights to 15 smaller U.S. cities in October when a federal requirement to serve those communities ends.
The airline blamed low demand during the coronavirus pandemic, which has triggered a massive slump in air travel. Airlines and their labour unions are seeking billions in taxpayer relief.

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