Live Coverage of the Royal International Air Tattoo 2017

The Royal International Air Tattoo is arguably the world’s biggest military airshow. It is hosted each year, at RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom. This year, it runs from the 14-16th of July.

However, as aircraft arrive from around the world, and depart after the show, we will provide live updates on aircraft movements and important information relating to the show.

In addition to this, our author Avineesh Suppiah will be attending the airshow over the coming weekend, to provide us with up to date reports. We hope you enjoy our live coverage 🙂

©Royal International Air Tattoo

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Wrap-up of the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow

Sunday was the last day of the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow, which has brought us a lot of news from all aspects of the aviation industry.

Have a look at some videos from the Airshow and some pictures


This article will cover all the big orders that manufacturers, like Airbus and Boeing, have received with some photos from the airshow and a short interview to the Boeing Communications Manager for the UK and Europe, Katerina Giannini.

First off let’s start with the orders this year at Farnborough. Many aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, ATR displayed their aircraft at FIA16 in hope of securing as many orders as possible.


Airbus took the top spot for order value, sealing orders for 279 Aircraft valued at $35billion comprising of 187 firm orders worth $22.6 billion, and commitments (eg. MoUs) for 82 aircraft worth $8.7 billion.

Asian Budget Carriers splashed the cash with the largest orders for Airbus Aircraft including 100 A321neos from AirAsia, a MOU for 72 A320neos from GoAir, an order from Synergy Aviation for 62 A320neos for Avianca’s Fleet Renewal and Germania ordered 25 A320neos. Also Norwegian and ALAFCO converted some orders for A320neos into orders for A321neos.

In the widebody segment Airbus won firm orders for 14 aircraft worth $3.4 billion comprising two options for A330-300s from IAG, an order for up to four A330-900s from ARKIA Israeli Airlines and an order for 8 A350-1000s from Virgin Atlantic. In addition to these new widebody orders, the show also saw  the launch order from DHL Express for the A330-300 Passenger-To-Freighter conversion programme, in partnership with EFW and ST Aerospace.

Unfortunately, however, Airbus received no orders for the A380 and announced that it would be reducing the deliveries per year to 12 by 2018.

Airbus A380 Image copyright: Avineesh Suppiah

John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer, said: “Our orders this week at Farnborough confirm a buoyant industry in which we have once again surpassed our competitor. In addition, airlines upsizing to the A321neo shows that this aircraft is the undisputed ‘middle-of-the-market’ champion.”


Boeing trailed behind at 182 aircraft worth $26.8 billion including some important deals but only 20 Firm Orders, these being an order from Volga Dnepr’s Air Bridge Cargo division for 20 747-8s, which will keep the production line for the Queen of the Skies going.

Boeing also received several orders for their Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which debuted at FIA this year: Xiamen Airlines announced a commitment for thirty 737 MAX 200s, Donghai Airlines announced another one for tweet-five 737 MAX 8s , the TUI Group placed an order for ten more 737 MAX 8s, Kunming Airlines announced a commitment for ten 737 MAX 7s and Air Europa was revealed to be an undisclosed customer for twenty 737 MAX 8s.

Boeing received more orders than Airbus regarding wide body aircraft, having received orders/commitments for twelve 787-9 Dreamliners (an order for six from Ruili Airlines, a commitment for five from Donghai Airlines and one order and one option from the TUI Group)  and the order for the twenty 747-8Fs we have talked about above.

Boeing also received some orders from the UK Ministry of Defense. These orders include: an order for 50 Apache AH-64E helicopters and an order for nine P-8A Poseidons.

Boeing P-8A Poseidon Image copyright: Avineesh Suppiah

Interview to Boeing’s Communications Manager for UK and Europe 

On Saturday at FIA16, Avineesh Suppiah and Jake Butler interviewed a Boeing employee, Katerina Giannini, Communications Manager for UK and Europe, on how the Trade Show and Centennial Anniversary was for the company. Katerina said it was “an honor to be part of the centennial,” and that it was very “significant that the company celebrate the event, especially when they are at the very top of their game.”

Also, Katerina commented on the orders this year for Boeing saying “the deals for the 737 MAX, 747 and P-8A were very important to the company.” When asked about the competition between Airbus and Boeing, the two largest aerospace companies, she commented “It’s a very vibrant industry with healthy competition and focus on customers and innovation currently.” Finally, we asked Katerina about the 777X and whether it would be a suitable competitor for the A350 and A380. “We are focusing on making the aircraft light, quiet and efficient,” she said, “it could definitely be a strong competitor for Airbus’ next generation aircraft.”

Other Manufacturers


Comac announced commitments for ninety ARJ21 jets from two Chinese lessors. The first of the two commitments includes a tripartite collaborative framework between Coman, China Aircraft Leasing (CALC) and Friedmann Pacific Asset Management. Under this deal, CALC will buy sixty ARJ21-700s to support Friedmann’s newly bought Indonesian airline, that will base its fleet around the Comac regional jet. The second deal was signed by AVIC Leasing, which signed a commitment for thirty ARJ21s.

Mitsubishi Aircraft

Mitsubishi has attracted its first European order from Swedish lessor Rockton, which signed a Letter of Intent which includes a firm order for ten MRJ90s and ten additional options.


Four carriers have placed commitments with Embraer for a total of twenty-five E-Jets, most of them are for the re-engined version, the E-jet E-2. That includes Arkia’s tentative deal for six E195-E2s and Indonesian regional Kalstar’s firm orders for five of the type.

Nordic Aviation Capital has ordered four E190s and Japan Air Lines has converted a previous option for an E170 to a firm E190 order.


Bombardier has received an order for three Q400s from Canada’s Porter Airlines.

A list of all the orders from this year’s Farnborough Airshow, courtesy of

  Photo gallery 


The US DOT awards eight US carriers Havana traffic rights

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) says it has reached a tentative decision on allocation of its Havana traffic rights with eight US carrier: Alaska Airlines laska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, jetBlue Airways, Southwest, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines are among the successful applicants.

Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the US and Cuba in February this year, each country may operate up to twenty daily return flights between the US and Havana and up to ten daily return flights between the US and each of Cuba’s nine international airports, other than Havana, for a total of ninety daily return flights.

“A dozen US airlines applied for the chance to operate scheduled passenger and cargo service to Havana,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “Collectively, the airlines applied for nearly sixty flights per day to Havana, exceeding the twenty daily flights made available by arrangement between the two governments. The Department’s principal objective in making its proposed selections was to maximize public benefits, including choosing airlines that offered and could maintain the best ongoing service between the US and Havana.”

As such, following the allocation of non-Havana frequencies last month, the DOT broke down its allocation of the twenty remaining Cuban daily frequencies as follows:

  • Alaska Airlines: a 1x daily Los Angeles Int’l-Havana service using B737-900(ER) equipment;
  • American Airlines: a 4x daily Miami Int’l-Havana service using B737-800 equipment and a 1x daily Charlotte-Havana service using A319-100 equipment;
  • Delta Air Lines: a 1x daily New York JFK-Havana service using B757-200 equipment, a 1x daily Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson-Havana service using B757-200 equipment, and a 1x daily Miami Int’l-Havana service using B737-800 equipment;
  • Frontier Airlines: a 1x daily Miami Int’l-Havana service using A320ceo and A320neo equipment;
  • jetBlue Airways: a 2x daily Fort Lauderdale Int’l-Havana service (except Saturdays) using A320/321 equipment, a 1x daily New York JFK-Havana service using A320/321 equipment, and a 1x daily Orlando Int’l-Havana service using A320/321 equipment;
  • Southwest Airlines: a 2x daily Fort Lauderdale Int’l-Havana service using B737-800 equipment and a 1x daily Tampa Int’l-Havana service using B737-800 equipment;
  • Spirit Airlines: a 2x daily Fort Lauderdale Int’l-Havana service using A319 equipment;
  • United Airlines: a 1x daily Newark-Havana service using B737-800 equipment (with one additional Saturday-only flight) and a 1x weekly Houston Intc’l-Havana service (Saturdays only) using B737-800 equipment.

Applications from Dynamic International Airways and Eastern Air Lines were rejected on the grounds that neither have completed the necessary licensing steps to conduct scheduled flights. Eastern is currently only allowed to operate passenger charter flights and while Dynamic is permitted to operate scheduled interstate and foreign flights, the DOT has yet to effect those scheduled certificates.

An application from Silver Airways was rejected on the grounds that its proposed use of smaller Saab 340B equipment would be an inefficient use of the limited and in demand Havana slots. A proposal from Sun Country Airlines was rejected on the grounds that it did not adequately prove how its less-than-daily service proposals at Fort Myers Southwest Florida and Minneapolis/St. Paul would be more beneficial than proposals from other carriers for a more frequent operation.


The US Congress takes steps to stop the Iranian aircraft deals

This week, the US House of Representatives has approved two amendments that if passed into law, could force the termination of multi-billion deals that Airbus and Boeing have signed with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Image copyright: Sri Ramami Kugathasan on

In January this year, Airbus and sister company Avions de Transport RĂ©gional announced a MOU with Iran Air for up to 158 aircraft, Boeing has recently announced a MOU for 109.

However, some in the US Congress have expressed their concerns about the possibility for Iran to use these civilian aircraft for military purposes.

Of the amendments, both of which were passed by voice vote, #45 prohibits the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) from using funds to authorize a license necessary to allow aircraft to be sold to Iran, while #46 ensures Iran will not receive loans from any US financial institutions to purchase militarily-fungible aircraft (i.e. civilian aircraft that can be used for military purposes) by prohibiting OFAC from using funds to authorize the financing of such transactions. 

Though Airbus is not a US-based firm, its aircraft do incorporate US technology and are therefore subject to Washington’s export laws.

Thomson Airways receives its first 787-9

On June 29th, Thomson Airways has taken delivery of its first of four B787-9s on order from Boeing following the arrival of GTUIJ at Manchester Int’l. The aircraft is wearing the TUI livery. The remaining three are expected to be delivered by June 2019.

The UK leisure operator plans to use the twin jet on short-haul flights from Manchester to Malaga on July 1 initially, before starting to use it on long-haul flights to Montego Bay, still from Manchester, on July 15.

American Airlines outlines initial B787-9 ops in mid-Q4

American Airlines says it will start revenue operations with the 787-9 during the last quarter of this year.

The Dallas-based operator said in an announcement that the type would make its debut on November 4 with flights from Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) to Madrid Barajas (MAD) and SĂŁo Paulo Guarulhos (GRU). The aircraft will feature a total of 285 seats, 30 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 234 in Economy Class.

Accoridimg to Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries, American has 22 B787-9s on order. It has taken delivery of 17 of the 22 787-8s it has on order.

AirAsia places a major order for 100 A321neos

Today AirAsia has signed a major firm order with Airbus for the purchase of 100 A321neo aircraft. The deal was signed at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow by AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes and Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Brégier.

Image copyright: Airbus

The contract marks the first order placed by AirAsia for the largest model in the best-selling A320 Family. Seating up to 240 passengers in a single class layout, the A321neo will enable the airline to increase capacity while benefitting from the lowest operating costs in the single aisle category. 

The contract marks the first order placed by AirAsia for the largest model in the best-selling A320 Family. Seating up to 240 passengers in a single class layout, the A321neo will enable the airline to increase capacity while benefitting from the lowest operating costs in the single aisle category. 

Today’s announcement sees the total number of A320 Family ordered by AirAsia rise to 575, reaffirming the carrier’s position as the largest airline customer for the Airbus single aisle product line. To date, over 170 A320s have already been delivered to the airline and are flying with its units in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines. 

Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer said. “AirAsia Group currently operates close to 1,000 flights per day to more than 120 destinations in 24 countries. We recorded a robust load factor of 85% in the first quarter of 2016, up 8 percentage points from the same period last year, and we are confident of maintaining this momentum going forward. The A321neo will help us to meet ongoing strong demand as well as further reduce our cost per Available Seat Kilometre across the group, which will translate to lower air fares for our guests. We would like to congratulate Airbus for producing the state-of-the-art A321neo aircraft that meets our requirements for efficient operations.” 

Fernandes added, “The A321neo will be operated on our most popular routes and especially at airports with infrastructure constraints. It will allow us to bring higher passenger volumes with the same slots, therefore providing immediate benefits to the airports. These include, among others, more efficient operations, higher revenues from passenger service charges, and more airport retail purchases. We will also continue to maintain our 25-minute turnaround with two- or three-step boarding where permitted to ensure on-time performance.” 

“We are extremely pleased to receive this additional order from AirAsia,” said Fabrice BrĂ©gier, President & CEO, Airbus. “This is another strong endorsement for largest member of our single aisle family, which is now the clear market leader in the 200 plus seat category. We look forward to see A321neo flying in AirAsia colours and contributing to the airline’s continued success as one of the world’s leading low cost carriers.”