Iran Air Receives Maiden A330-200

As part of Iran Air’s fleet renewal program, the airline has received its first A330-200 (EP-IJA, MSN 1540) after being handed over at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on March 10.

 

A330-200_Iran_Air_02
© Airbus

 

 

According to IRNA News, the new aircraft was ferried from Toulouse to Tehran Mehrabad Airport on March 11, Iran Air expects a second A330 by the end of this month. The airline just received their first new aircraft in over 20 years, an A321-200.

Iran Air’s A330 is configured in a two-class layout, with 32 passengers in business and 206 in economy. The current generation A330 is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 772B-60 engines delivering 71,100 lbs. of thrust each.

The new widebodies will initially be used on the airline’s European network, then on flights to Beijing Capital and Kuala Lumpur Int’l airport.

The new order with Airbus includes 16 A350-1000s, 18 A330-900neos, 21 A330ceos, 24 A320neos, and 21 A320ceos totalling to 100 aircraft.

Singapore Airlines Will Order Boeing 777-9s and more 787-10s

Singapore Airlines has signed a Letter of Intent with Boeing stating that they will order 20 Boeing 777-9s and 19 Boeing 787-10s with six options for each.

Credits: Boeing

This order also allows for the ability to change 787-10 orders to other 787 variants. Singapore Airlines has a total of 30 787-10s due from  Boeing.

SilkAir, Singapore Airline’s regional subsidiary, has 37 737-8 MAX aircraft due. Scoot has also ordered eight 787-8/9’s.

Singapore Airline’s 777-9s are due in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the 787-10s are due in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Lufthansa Group CEO Opposes Berlin Tegel Airport

Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa Group has announced his support for having only one airport serving Berlin, Germany. Currently, Berlin is served by two airports: Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL, EDDT) and Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF,EDDB).

d-aixa-lufthansa-airbus-a350-941_planespottersnet_730740
Image copyright: Y. Panas

Once the Berlin Brandenburg Int’l Airport opens, Berlin Tegel Airport is scheduled to finally close. Berlin Schönefeld Airport will join Brandenburg to become one main airport serving Berlin.

Spohr comments on the airport, “Experience has shown that it is more efficient for all involved if all flight operations take place in one location. Otherwise the question quickly arises: Who flies from which airport?”.

Brandenburg Airport was initially scheduled to begin commercial operations in 2011, almost six years ago but has been delayed repeatedly due to engineering problems. The airport is now scheduled to open sometime in 2018. This latest delay is due to problems with sprinkler systems and automatic doors.

There are, however, people who want to keep Berlin Tegel in operation because one airport will not be sufficient to handle the 32.9 million passengers that the current two airports serve. Initially, Brandenburg will only be able to handle 27 million annual passengers.

Boeing Introduces New 737-10X MAX Variant

Just recently, The Boeing Company has announced a new variant of the 737MAX, the -10X.

df-737max_diagrams_new.jpg Boeing has been in talks with customers for this stretched variant which is a response to the Airbus A321neo. The -10X will have a stretch over the -9 of 66 inches which will enable an increased seating capacity of 189 passengers for a two-class configuration. For a single class configuration, seating is an impressive 230 seats.

Since the -10X is very similar to other variants of the MAX family, Boeing is able to keep development costs to a minimum while also having a faster developing time. The -10X has a scheduled EIS as soon as 2020.

The 737-10X will incorporate the same CFM LEAP-1B engines found on all other variants. In order to accommodate increased weight, Boeing will implement a trailing-link main gear which will shift the rotation point aft. This technology is somewhat derived from the 777-300ER and is sought to be less maintenance heavy.

Both Airbus and Boeing are competing for the Boeing 757 replacement market. The 757 is a benchmark because it has an excellent range of 4,000 miles with a seating capacity of 180 seats, which no airliner has beat thus far, regardless of Boeing canceling the program more than a decade ago.

[ACCIDENT] Turkish Cargo Boeing 747-400F Crashes in Kyrgyzstan

At 01:31 GMT, a Turkish Cargo Boeing 747-412F performing flight TK6491 from Hong Kong Int’l (VHHH) to Istanbul Int’l (LTBA) via Bishkek Manas Int’l (UCFM), crashed on go-around in Bishek, killing 32 people, 28 of which were on the ground, including 13 children. The aircraft (TC-MCL, MSN 32897, L/N 1322) was owned and operated by Turkish airline ACT Airlines.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Both Boeing and Turkish Airlines have tweeted about the accident:

UPDATE:

The aircraft, according to the Aviation Herald, has crashed while attempting a go-around. These are the METARs:

UCFM 160300Z VRB01MPS 0100 R26/0150N FZFG VV001 M09/M10 Q1024 R26/19//60 NOSIG
UCFM 160230Z VRB01MPS 0100 R26/0250N FZFG VV001 M09/M10 Q1024 R26/19//60 NOSIG
UCFM 160200Z VRB01MPS 0150 R26/0375N FZFG VV001 M09/M11 Q1024 R26/19//60 TEMPO 0100 FZFG
UCFM 160130Z VRB01MPS 0150 R26/0550 FZFG VV001 M09/M10 Q1024 R26/19//60 NOSIG  
UCFM 160100Z VRB01MPS 0050 R26/0300N FZFG VV001 M09/M10 Q1023 R26/19//60 NOSIG  
UCFM 160030Z VRB01MPS 0100 R26/0375 FZFG VV001 M09/M11 Q1023 R26/19//60 NOSIG
UCFM 160000Z VRB01MPS 0100 R26/0400 FZFG VV002 M09/M10 Q1023 R26/19//60 NOSIG
UCFM 152330Z VRB01MPS 0100 R26/0450 FZFG VV002 M08/M09 Q1023 R26/19//60 NOSIG
UCFM 152300Z 00000MPS 0100 R26/0375 FZFG VV002 M08/M09 Q1023 R26/19//60 NOSIG
UCFM 152230Z VRB01MPS 0100 R26/0375 FZFG VV002 M08/M09 Q1024 R26/19//60 NOSIG
UCFM 152200Z VRB01MPS 0100 R26/0375 FZFG VV002 M08/M09 Q1024 R26/19//60 NOSIG
UCFM 152130Z VRB01MPS 0150 R26/0450 FZFG VV002 M08/M09 Q1024 R26/19//60 NOSIG
UCFM 152100Z VRB01MPS 0100 R26/0400N FZFG VV002 M08/M09 Q1024 R26/19//60 NOSIG

The Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC, also known as MAK) announced they are going to investigate the crash stating there were 32 fatalities (including the crew and victims on the ground) when the aircraft crashed into the residential area. Accident Investigators from the NTSB/USA (representing the designer and manufacturer of aircraft and engines) as well as from Turkey (representing the operator’s state and registry state of the aircraft) are going to join the investigation.

The investigators have also announced they have retrieved one of the two flight recorders, not letting know if it was the CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder) or the FDR (Flight Data Recorder). The Government said rescue teams are searching for the second black box.

United Airlines Moves Boeing 747 Retirement

United Airlines has announced the moving of the last scheduled Boeing 747-400 flight, slated for the last quarter of this year. As stated in the past, the original phase-out was initially scheduled for 2018.

 

n128ua-united-airlines-boeing-747-422_PlanespottersNet_720229.jpg
© Harrison F.

 

“Today, there are more fuel-efficient, cost-effective and reliable widebody aircraft that provide an updated in-flight experiences for our customers traveling on long-haul flights. For these reasons, we’re saying farewell to the Queen of the Skies, which has been part of our fleet since we first flew the aircraft between California and Hawaii in 1970” said Scott Kirby, President, United Airlines.

Now with the new Boeing 777-300ERs and A350-1000s being introduced into the fleet, the Boeing 747-400 is no longer a cost-effective solution for United’s long-haul routes.

United currently operates 20 Boeing 747-400 aircraft on routes to various cities from the carrier’s San Francisco hub.

IranAir Accepts a New Aircraft After More Than 20 Years

After IranAir has made deals with Airbus and Boeing for receiving new aircraft, the airline has finally taken delivery of its first new aircraft after almost 20 years without receiving brand new aircraft.

 

d-avxf-iran-air-airbus-a321-211wl_PlanespottersNet_734634.jpg
© Maximilian Kramer

 

The aircraft is an Airbus A321-200, (EP-IFA, MSN 7418) and was accepted by IranAir on Jan. 7th, 2017. The A320 was manufactured in Hamburg, Germany and is scheduled to be ferried to Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France for a formal ceremony for the handover.

“The registration has been done, and the delivery should be by the end of the week,” said Reza Jafarzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization.

 

2017-01-08.jpg
© IranAir Homa

 

The 189-seat A321 will then be ferried to IranAir’s base in Tehran – Mehrabad International Airport (THR, OIII). A special ceremony will be held for the arrival of the new aircraft.

This is just the start of a new era for IranAir; sanctions have since been lifted to allow the airline to order and receive the necessary new aircraft for the aging fleet.

GECAS and Boeing Announce Orders for 75 737 MAX Aircraft

GE Capital Aviation Services, the aircraft leasing service from GE and Boeing have announced an order for 75 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Image copyright: Boeing
Image copyright: Boeing

“These new orders will enable GECAS to serve our clients’ needs – assisting in managing their fleets, transitioning aircraft and providing new equipment. Our customers want the latest technology and fuel efficiency, and the CFMI LEAP-1B engine on these aircraft deliver outstanding productivity and reliability in the single-aisle market” said Alec Burger, President, and CEO, GECAS.

About the Boeing 737 MAX

The new family of the Boeing 737- the 737 MAX aircraft consists of four new variants: the -7, -8, MAX 200, and the -9. Seating ranges from 138-220 seats across the line. The new 737 MAX is powered by the brand-new, fuel-efficient CFM LEAP-1B engine which produces up to 28,000 lbs. of thrust each. According to Boeing, the new Advanced Technology Winglet will provide an additional 1.5% fuel savings on top of the 10-12% improvement expected for the MAX. To date, the 737 MAX has a total 3,419 orders, making it the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history.

About GECAS

GECAS is a global leader in financing and leasing services for commercial aircraft, totaling about 50 years experience. The GECAS fleet consists of many aircraft which includes helicopters, freighters, narrowbodies, widebodies, turboprops, and regional jets. Services include operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, engine leasing, among other services for airlines. The company serves 270 customers in over 75 countries.

Air China Debuts “Fully Entrusted-No Baggage Claim” for Europe and the Americas

 

Beginning January 1, 2017, Air China passengers flying on routes from the Americas and Europe to Chinese cities going through Beijing will have the option to benefit from the new “Fully Entrusted-No Baggage Claim” service.

4uhKEQVo.jpeg

This new service can be seen as a pre-authorization from the origin airport where passengers give their consent or “entrust” their baggage to Air China who has the full ability to open checked baggage at Beijing for inspections by customs authorities. In order for passengers to utilize this new service, they must sign their luggage tag(s) to affirm their agreement with the process.

Once passengers arrive at Beijing Capital Int’l Airport, passengers can go through immigration without the normal process of picking up baggage and having it checked then. Overall, this new services is provided for the purpose of reducing the time passengers spend in customs zones making their travel experience that much better.

The First A330neo Revealed With New Livery

The very first A330neo, a -900 variant (MSN 1795) has recently rolled out of the paint shop with a brand new factory livery. This aircraft had entered the final assembly stages three months ago.

first_a330neo_paint_shop_rollout_1

“The next steps in the production will take place as planned before starting the ground tests and flight in 2017, ” says Airbus.

In order for the new A330 family to be certified, Airbus planned to build two testbeds of the A330-900 and another smaller variant, the A330-800. According to Airbus, the two variants have 99 percent of the components in common and will share the A330 commonality up to 95 percent which is a huge advantage to operators.

The delivery date of this first aircraft is not known, but it has been announced for Q4 2017 for launch customer TAP Portugal. Analysts say this will be pushed to March 2018 due to problems with the new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine.

According to Airbus, the new A330 will offer up to 14 percent in fuel savings compared to current members of the A330 family. This is attributed to the new Sharklet wingtip which is borrowed from the A350 XWB. These improvements also contribute to a total range increase of 400 nm while making the airplane more capable in terms of payload. Passengers will also notice quieter operations while airlines will notice a decrease in maintenance costs.

First_A330neo_Paint_shop_rollout_2.jpg

Other items that are borrowed from the A350 includes the new Airspace cabin which offers ambient LED cabin lighting and new entertainment systems. Another feature that is borrowed is the distinctive tinted windshield from the A350.

Like mentioned earlier, the A330neo will be exclusively powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 family which produce 68,000-72,000 lbs. of thrust while using ten percent less fuel than the current Trent 700 family powering the A330ceo. This engine is the seventh member of the Trent family, building on the Trent 700, Trent XWB, and Trent 1000 TEN.

trent7000-Cutaway-630px-tcm92-58937.jpg

As of November, the A330neo has a total of 186 orders for the two variants, the largest order being from Air Asia X with 66 A330-900s. Delta Air Lines and Air Lease Corp. have orders for 25 A330-900s, TAP Portugal with 14 A330-900s and Hawaiian Airlines ordering six A330-800s among other carriers with smaller orders.