Archive For The “Airlines” Category

Indian air travel disruption starts evolving

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That India is a market with a huge potential for air travel is by now well understood.  One of the key challenges has been to get people beyond “the last mile” – meaning finding a way to connect people from outlying areas that do not have a reasonable runway.  In many cases in India, the “last mile runway” is water.  In an earlier story we discussed the impact SpiceJet could bring to bear with deploying smaller amphibians.

Now we have news that the airline has undertaken its second phase of test flights using the Setouchi aircraft.

The concept of connecting the various outposts in India are government supported.  Successful tests by SpiceJet has the potential for an order of up to 100 aircraft.  In the US, the most extensive regional airline market in the world offers a guide to what could develop if the Indian market gets the same momentum.

The testing being undertaken by the airline and Setouchi should be watched closely.  Success will make a substantial impact; on the market, the OEMs and airline.

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Airbus A320neo Family Flight Ops Update Nov 2017

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In another periodic A320neo update, we have some new data.  We used FlightAware as our data source.

Starting off with the big picture.  The program has been dogged with engine issues.  The chart shows where the problem has been focused – Pratt & Whitney.  Pratt & Whitney has repeatedly said they have worked through their supply chain issues and engine fixes.  It would seem that the tough summer for Airbus and Pratt are moving towards a much better fall and winter.  Meanwhile, the data shows the CFM engine allowed the fleet to continue to build flight hours.

Next, let’s look at the fleet size in 2017. In January the fleet was close to even by engine types.  By November Airbus had delivered a lot of aircraft, 126 to be exact.  As we would expect, the LEAP-powered fleet grew faster than the GTF-powered fleet. The summer engine blues at Pratt & Whitney were surely miserable.  However,  post-summer, the GTF-powered fleet grow by ten each month from September. The LEAP-powered fleet started to grow by double digits in November.

When we look at flight hours by aircraft an interesting picture emerges.  The GTF-powered fleet saw a sharp rise in average hours per aircraft early in the year.   But then engine fixes became necessary, driving down hours until September.  The CFM-powered fleet saw a more steady monthly utilization between 120 and 150 hours per aircraft.  We find the area in the yellow circle especially interesting because this seems to support the more positive note coming from Airbus about the GTF and also supports Pratts’s contention that they have the worst behind them.

Next let’s take a look at the breakdown by airlines.  First the GTF-powered fleet.  There are three pricipal airlines that drive the flight hours, and two of those are in India.  Pratt has pointed out that this is a tough environment for the engine, what with pollution and dust.

As a support for this contention, we can look at the third biggest GTF-powered fleet at Lufthansa. The combination of a cleaner environment (and the backup from the superb Lufthansa Technik) ensured a very smooth operation.  Lufthansa is getting more hours per airframe than most airlines.  So the combination of the GTF and A320neo can work as promised.

Next let’s look at the LEAP-powered fleet.  First note how many more operators there are than for the GTF-powered fleet.  Airbus and CFM have six principal customers, twice that of the GTF fleet.  So the monthly hour accumulation will be faster for the LEAP-powered fleet.  The most active of the six are SAS, Pegasus and Frontier.  To CFM’s credit, there have been few interruptions. (Last week there were 31 separate occasions a Leap powered neo was down for at least one day)

Take a look at Frontier’s fleet as an example.  It also shows a reliable and steady state.

In conclusion we think the A320neo program may have seen the worst of the engine issues, especially with the GTF.  It appears that, looking at the most recent data, the A320neo fleet is working hard and delivering on its promise.

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Game theory – Delta Air Lines, Airbus and Boeing (and Bombardier)

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Richard Aboulafia, VP Analysis at Teal Group, shares his thoughts on what Delta’s team might be considering and pondering as they view the Airbus neo vs. the Boeing MAX.  And the shadow in the corner called C Series.

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Premium #254 – Holiday Travel: Fares, Bag Fees, and Heavy Loads

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Aircraft transactions through November

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We took a look at deals for the year through November and found a few tidbits that are interesting.  Please note these are transactions – new and previously owned aircraft are included.

November saw the highest monthly number of deals to date.  What were deals?  Here are the deals for the big four OEMs.

Looking at the top twenty most active airlines for the year, this is what we find. There were 2,906 deals through November.  Bankruptcies play a role obviously.  But there are some surprises here as some carriers tweaked fleets.

One airline that did not break into the top twenty is Amazon Prime Air which came from nowhere and completed 15 deals for 767Fs. At this rate they could be in the top twenty next year.

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WOW air discusses their growth and outlook

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We had a conversation with the airline’s VP Network Planning, Daníel Snæbjörnsson.

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