Welcome to the newest installment of “The easy Report”! To keep you updated, as usual, we will be summing up select news from the aviation world, with many useful links!
In a press release on March 4, Gulfstream announced that its G280 has met the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s new Stage 5 standards for noise limits for subsonic aircraft, a sign of its continuous commitment to the future of the G280 program, in terms of safety, performance or noise emissions.
In addition, in a press release on March 25, Gulfstream marked the 100th customer delivery of its next-gen G500 and G600 jets, which entered service in September 2018 and August 2019 respectively. The G500 and G600 have achieved more than 60-speed records and a combined total of more than 35’00 hours and more than 13’000 landings, to date.
In a press release on March 10, Textron Aviation announced that the Beechcraft King Air 260 has achieved Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification, paving the way for customer deliveries to begin in the coming weeks. The Beechcraft King Air 260 twin turboprop is simply an updated version of the popular King Air 200 series announced back in December 2020. To elevate the flying experience for both pilots and passengers, the King Air 260 now features state-of-the-art technological advancements in the cockpit, in addition to enhancements in the cabin.
In a press release on March 4, Boom announced that American Express ventures made a strategic investment in Boom Supersonic. Boom supersonic is currently developing Overture, a USD 200 million supersonic airliner that will make air travel faster and more sustainable. It is predicted that Overture will begin commercial flights by 2029. In a statement, the CEO of Boom Supersonic stated that the year 2021 is pivotal for Boom, as it prepares to fly the supersonic demonstrator XB-1 or baby boom, and accelerates the development of Overture.
The aviation industry continues to demonstrate its long-term commitment to sustainability!
In a press release on March 15, Air Canada announced its commitment to reducing 20 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 30 percent of GHG emissions from ground operations by the year 2030, in order to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. To meet its new goal, Air Canada is targeting fleet and operations, innovation, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and clean energy, and carbon reductions and removals.
In other sustainability news, according to a press release on March 11, Widerøe is joining Rolls-Royce and Tecnam partnership to launch an all-electric passenger-carrying aircraft for the commuter market in Scandinavia. The world’s first zero-emissions aircraft is expected to start commercial service in 2026, according to the three companies. On a side note, Norway has committed to making all domestic flights zero-emissions by 2040. Currently, Widerøe alone flies 400 flights per day, 75 percent of which are less than 275 km. In addition, Norway’s extensive network of short take-off and landing airports is ideal to implement zero-emission technologies.
Some good news for starters, air travel has in fact began to pick up! In March, US air travel actually hit a pre-pandemic high! Despite ongoing recommendations by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention to avoid traveling, US airlines began to witness high numbers of air travelers. On March 21, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened more than 1.5 million passengers.
On March 10, US lawmakers passed the USD 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a pandemic relied plan including billions for US airlines, airports, aviation manufacturers, and maintenance providers whose employees were laid off or at risk of being laid off over the last year due to the impact of the pandemic.
However, unfortunately, in its annual report published on March 4, Lufthansa group revealed that it plans to reduce its total-in-service fleet by 650 aircraft by 2023. The airline also revealed in the report that last year, the number of employees fell by around 28’000. The CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa said the group is considering grounding all aircraft within its fleet that are 25 years or older. He also expects passenger traffic demand to start picking back up in the second half of 2021.
The aviation world continues to go digital in the COVID-19 era!
Digital health credentials will indeed play a major role as international borders reopen and travel restrictions are being lifted progressively. Technology can securely, conveniently, and efficiently help travelers and governments manage travel health credentials.
This month, Qantas tested its first customer trial of the CommonPass digital health app on an international flight from Frankfurt to Darwin. The smartphone app CommonPass serves as a digital means of verifying COVID-19 test results and vaccination information to border or health officials and airline staff. In a press statement, the CEO of Qantas Group revealed that in the longer term, the company would like to integrate the technology with the existing Qantas app so that customers can manage all parts of their journey in one place.
In the US, in a press release on March 10, it was revealed that Delta Airlines will start using tap-to-pay technology to enable contactless payment for all onboard purchases starting March 16, as more food and beverage options introduced again. Delta is also testing digital seatback menus on some international flights, in effort to expand the feature across its entire fleet.
It was revealed in a press statement on March 5 that Europe and US leadership have agreed to suspend tariffs imposed in the ongoing Airbus and Boeing trade dispute for an initial period of four months, both on aircraft and non-aircraft products.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published an investigative update on the United Airlines Flight 328 engine failure, revealing more detailed facts gathered to date in the investigation on the matter. On February 20, United Airlines flight 328 experienced a failure of the right Pratt & Whitney PW4077 engine shortly after takeoff. The aircraft sustained minor damage, and no injuries were reported.
The founder of Norwegian Air Shuttle is leading the launch of a new low-cost airline, Norse Atlantic Airways, along with a team of investors, a new low-cost airline with more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft.
During Gogo’s March 11 fourth quarter 2020 earnings call, the company’s CEO revealed to investors that the in-flight-connectivity (IFC) service provider would delay the deployment of its 5G network to 2022.
That’s all for now, peeps!
Until next week!