Month: March 2011

Performance Improvement Package On Boeing 777-200/200ER/300

Airlines, Featured, Headline, Systems
United Airlines latest adoption of the Performance Improvement Package retrofit kit for its 52 Boeing 777-200 is adding to a list of 17 airlines combining 350 aircraft that will receive the upgrades. PIP has been initiated by Boeing in 2008 in order to allow 777-200. 777-200ER and 777-300 to benefit from advances in aerodynamics refinements introduced with the newer Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 737NG but not available on older 777-200, -200ER and -300 models. Introduced at a time when high fuel price is becoming the industry most pressing issue, the retrofit kit would in theory provide a 1% reduction in fuel consumption on a typical 777 trip along with lower emission of CO2 and NOx. Boeing has argued that an airline like United could save up to $200,000 per year with the new kit installed. ...

Air China Announces It Doubled Profit In 2010

Corporate News, Featured
Air China Limited was the latest airline today announce spectacular profits for the year 2010, almost doubling operating profit to RMB 10.93 Billion ($1.67 Billion) (98.65% improvement from 2009), with the board considering a RMB 12.01 billion ($ 1.83 Billion) (up 147.31%) overall dividend payment to shareholders. Very strong increase in domestic demand (46.67%) for passenger transportation had prompted the airline to increase capacity by up to 33.92% over 2009 while still retaining a very strong load factor at 80.03%. The group total revenue for the 12 month period ending December, 31st 2010 was RMB 82.49 Billion ($12.57 Billion) (60.50% increase from 2009) of which RMB 68.14 Billion ($10.38 Billion) were generated from the passenger business (up 59.59%) and RMB10.07 Billion ($1.53 Billi...
Japan Airlines Exit From Bankruptcy;Turning Around A Legacy Airline

Japan Airlines Exit From Bankruptcy;Turning Around A Legacy Airline

Analysis, Corporate News, Featured, Headline
Final judgment was entered today by the Civil 8th Division of Tokyo District Court sealing Japan Air Lines bankruptcy restructuring phase that was initiated in October 2009 as the debt ridden airline was struggling to continue operations. The final judgment emphasized that with the debtor had complied to the lump sum debt repayment option stipulated in the November 30th 2010 restructuring plan by discharging of 2/3 of monetary claims to creditors. The court-supervised corporate restructuring of Japan Air Lines was ended. JAL has been the latest example of legacy airline foray into bankruptcy restructuring proceedings as a way to regain control of its costly infrastructure. Legacy airlines can be characterized by their inability to operate a cost effective organization on par with low ...

Air France Expands New Business Class, Also Adds New Global Destinations

Airlines, Analysis, Featured, Headline
This is a follow up to an earlier December 11th 2010 post featuring Air France accepting its 200th Boeing aircraft, a 777-300ER, also marked entry in service of its new Business Class seat. The new seat would allow fully flat sleeping position along with a 15-inch In-Flight Entertainment system. The new 777-300ER was configured with 42 such seats out of the 383 total. The airline announced today that it had received very positive response by business flyers regarding its new Business class seat product introduced to the fleet last December. Our December 11th 2010 entry indicated that Air France latest delivery of a Boeing 777-300ER equipped with the new fully flat business seat was in continuity of the airline new re-branding effort initiated in 2009. With the addition to the fleet of two...

United Continental Installs Flat Bed Seats On Board Boeing 757-200

Airlines, Analysis, Corporate News, Featured, Headline
United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) announced March 23rd that it had completed installation of 180-degree BusinessFirst flat seats aboard all Continental Airlines Boeing 757-200. The new seats provide 6'6" accommodation in length (1.98 m) and 27" (0.68 m) in width with a full 180-degree reclining capability allowing passengers to lie flat. The BusinessFirst class offers additional amenities to passengers including Escents Aromatherapy' Amenity kit of exclusive aroma therapeutic bath and body products. In addition an In-flight entertainment system using a 15.4in touch screen is available with 40 feature films, 60 television shows, over 2,000 tracks of music, 20 interactive video games and more on Boeing 757. Each seat provides an entire connectivity suite for ipod and laptops with...

Australia Transportation Safety Board Investigates Fire On Board Qantas A330

Airlines, Featured, Headline
The Australian Transport Safety Board is investigating a latest incident on board a Qantas Airbus 330-200 en route to Manila from Sydney forcing the aircraft to make an emergency diversion to Cairns where it landed safely. The incident occurred during cruise when pilots noticed flames that had apparently ignited near the left hand windscreen. The pilots who were able to bring the small fire under control proceeded to divert the plane with its 147 passengers and 11 crew members on board to Cairns. The suspicions regarding the electrical nature of the fire were confirmed by the Australian Transportation safety Board investigating the incident, which it characterized as a 'arcing window heating circuit'. The aircraft involved in this latest incident was already at the center of an investigat...

R/UGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles Of Operation Odyssey Dawn

Defense, Featured, Headline, Systems
Up to 130 Tomahawk cruise missiles are reported to have been fired in three days of the current Operation Odyssey Dawn against integrated air defense targets in Lybia. We're analyzing the evolution in capabilities of a system that gained notoriety 20 years ago during Operation Desert Storm. The Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile (TLAM) is a tactical cruise missile that can be launched from a surface ship or a submarine. It is designated RGM-109 when launched from a surface ship and UGM-109 for submarine version. Tomahawks offer long range precision navigation capabilities and high targeting accuracy. With its relatively small size and low sea-skimming flight altitude, a Tomahawk typically takes full advantage of the earth curvature to stay out of range of ground and ship-based radars. T...

French Air Force Strikes In Lybia

Defense, Featured, Headline
Picture: Air defense Rafale patrolling. From a French Ministry Of Defense announcement confirming that French Air Force was involved in Operation Harmattan as of 1:30 pm local time. Operation Harmattan is putting in application UN security council's resolution 1973 for battle field air interdiction against Lybia's Colonel Gaddaffi air force.  The French air force is deploying 8 Rafale fighter jets, 2 Mirage 2000-5, 2 Mirage 2000 D fighter jets supported by 1 Boeing E3-F AWACS and 6 Boeing C-135 Tankers. Additionally the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle is set to leave France Sunday in order to join in the effort.

Lufthansa Profits 1.1 Billion Euros For 2010, Orders 30 A320neo and 5 Boeing 777F

Corporate News, Featured, Headline
(picture from Corey Barnes) Lufthansa AG announced its consolidated financial results for the year 2010 showing spectacular rebound on the year from 2009. Thus confirming that the industry had been on a path to recover fully from the recession began in 2008. The airline and its wholly owned subsidiary companies including carriers Swiss, Austrian Airlines, British Midland, German Wings, logistics specialist Lufthansa Cargo, Maintenance Repair and Overhaul provider  Lufthansa Technik, IT services provider Lufthansa Systems and caterer LSG Sky Chefs showed a combined workforce of 117,019 (0.4% less than in 2009). Operating profit of 876 million euros and net profit of  1.1 billion euro were realized thanks to a 17.5% growth in passengers carried worldwide with 22.8% for Middle East/Africa r

US Navy and Air Force Providing Heavy Lift Capabilities To Japan’s Relief Effort

Defense, Featured, Headline
The Department Of Defense announced that a total of 14 US Navy ships involving 17,000 sailors and marines were now operating under the disaster relief mission subsequent to last Friday earthquake and tsunami in Japan. A significant logistical effort was under way to deliver water and food while assets were also being provided to support the Japanese Self Defense Force. As of yesterday 113 helicopter sorties (including heavy lift CH-53 helicopters) and 125 fixed-wing sorties had participated in Search And Rescue  missions as well as the delivery of 129,000 gallons of water and 4,200 pounds of food according to Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan. The 7th fleet with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit now re-positioned west of the Japanese peninsula with USS Essex, USS Harpers Ferry and the USS Germ