Saturday 18 November 2023

Another SpaceX test fails.....

SpaceX's uncrewed spacecraft Starship, developed to carry astronauts to the moon and beyond, failed in space shortly after lifting off on Saturday, cutting short its second test but making it further than an earlier attempt that ended in an explosion.

The two-stage rocketship blasted off from the Elon Musk-owned company's Starbase launch site near Boca Chica in Texas, helping boost the Starship spacecraft as high as 90 miles (148 km) above ground on a planned 90-minute test mission to space and back.

But the rocket's Super Heavy first stage booster, though it achieved a crucial maneuver to separate with its core Starship stage, exploded over the Gulf of Mexico shortly after detaching, a SpaceX webcast showed.

Meanwhile, the core Starship stage boosted further toward space, but a few minutes later a company broadcaster said that SpaceX mission control suddenly lost contact with the vehicle.

"We have lost the data from the second stage... we think we may have lost the second stage," SpaceX engineer and livestream host John Insprucker said. He added that engineers believe an automated flight termination command was triggered to destroy the rocket, though the reason was unclear.

Ethiopian Airlines signs MoU for 11 Airbus A350-900s jets

Ethiopian’s flagship carrier, Ethiopian Airlines Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 11 additional Airbus A350-900s to be added to its existing fleet. The latest agreement takes Ethiopian Airlines’ total order book and commitment for the A350 to 33, including four A350-1000s.

Ethiopian Airlines currently operates a fleet of 20 A350-900s and with this commitment, it will confirm its position as Africa's biggest A350 customer.

The signing of the MoU took place at Dubai Airshow in the presence of Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew and Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew said, “We are excited to place this commitment for 11 Airbus A350-900s. As a customer focused airline, we are particularly excited for this fleet as it offers extra comfort to passengers with its features like the quietest cabin in its class and ambient lighting. We are keen to expand our fleet size, acquiring the latest technology aircraft to offer a convenient and memorable onboard experience to our esteemed passengers.”

RTX's Pratt & Whitney Canada to maintain PW980 auxiliary power units for Emirates' Airbus A380 aircraft

Comprehensive agreement underpins A380's importance within Emirates fleet in coming decade

           Pratt & Whitney, an RTX  business, has signed a 10-year agreement with Emirates to maintain and support the airline's 116 PW980 auxiliary power units (APUs) on its Airbus A380 aircraft.

"The PW980 is the largest APU in commercial airline service, and we understand its importance to the dispatch availability of the Emirates' fleet of A380 aircraft," said Irene Makris, vice president of Customer Service at Pratt & Whitney Canada. "Our maintenance and support program for APUs is instrumental in providing timely and effective maintenance planning and support. This support agreement will help ensure the continued success of Emirates' A380 operation for years to come."

The PW980 APU is a two-shaft gas turbine engine specifically designed for the Airbus A380 wide-body jetliner. Pratt & Whitney Canada manufactures a comprehensive portfolio of APUs for both military and civil/commercial aircraft applications. Operated by more than 700 different operators worldwide, Pratt & Whitney Canada APUs help power over 7,000 aircraft in operation.

Since its founding in 1928, Pratt & Whitney Canada engines have flown one billion hours. Read more about Pratt & Whitney's history of innovation here.

Volocopter completes first flight in New York City

Volocopter has completed its first flight test at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport in New York City with its crewed Volocopter 2X. 

With the iconic Lower Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, the Volocopter 2X electric air taxi flew in a smooth and quiet manner. Volocopter's multicopter design is particularly suited for urban missions, producing zero emissions in flight and little noise pollution in a busy metropolis like NYC.

As part of the public showcase, the City of New York outlined a new vision for the future of the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, seeking to reduce emissions, noise pollution, and improve the residents' quality of life. It aims to reshape heliports such as DMH to accommodate eVTOL aircraft to diversify the city's mobility options to reduce congestion, while still meeting the transport needs of one of the busiest cities in the world.

"The Adams Administration has been a leader in driving technology innovation and economic growth while simultaneously improving quality of life," said New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President & CEO Andrew Kimball. "EDC's new strategy for the Downtown Manhattan Heliport reflects these priorities while making it an industry leader in the embrace of eVTOLS – a quieter and greener helicopter alternative – while at the same time facilitating maritime freight with last mile e-bike deliveries that takes trucks off the roads."

SCAT Airlines orders seven 737-MAX 8

SCAT Airlines orders seven 737-MAX 8 aircraft to expand its 737 MAX fleet. The latest order will nearly double SCAT's 737 fleet as the airline looks to open new routes to European destinations.

"SCAT Airlines is the most dynamically developing airline in Kazakhstan, and it has the largest aircraft fleet in the country," said Vladimir Denissov, president of JSC SCAT Airlines, adding "Replenishing the fleet with seven more Boeing 737-MAX 8 will increase the airline's carrying capacity. It will also positively affect the timely execution of flight schedules. The company will get an opportunity to expand its route network and offer passengers even more travel destinations."

Based in Şhymkent, Kazakhstan, SCAT serves an extensive network of domestic and international destinations in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Central Asia. SCAT was the first airline in Central Asia to fly the 737 MAX and currently operates three 737-8 and five 737-9 aeroplanes. This order was previously unidentified on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website.

"This repeat order is a testament to SCAT's confidence in the value, performance and reliability of the 737 MAX family," said Brad McMullen, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. "We look forward to supporting their network expansion and continuing to play an integral role in their long-term success."

Thursday 16 November 2023

Emirates to order 90 Boeing 777 jets

Dubai-based mega-carrier, Emirates will order 55 Boeing 777-9 and 35 examples of the 777-8 jets, it was announced during the Dubai Airshow at a signing event attended by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group; and Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

In addition, Emirates updated its 787 Dreamliner order book to better align future capacity to demand. The airline is buying five more 787 jets – growing its 787 backlog to 35 – while converting 30 787-9s to 20 787-8 and 10 787-10 aeroplanes.

"Emirates is the biggest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft, and today's order cements that position," said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group. "We've been closely involved in the 777 program since its start up until this latest generation of 777X aircraft. The 777 has been central to Emirates' fleet and network strategy of connecting cities on all continents non-stop to Dubai. We are pleased to extend our relationship with Boeing and look forward to the first 777-9 joining our fleet in 2025." 

Boeing's relationship with Emirates dates back to the airline's first 777 order in 1992. Today, Emirates has nearly 150 777 jets in its fleet. Based on the most successful twin-aisle airplane ever, the 777, the 777X family is designed to maximize efficiency and environmental performance by 25%, while providing an exceptional onboard experience.

"This order is an incredible vote of confidence in Boeing's highly efficient widebody family and the versatility of our 777X and 787 airplanes to meet Emirates' needs for global long-haul travel," said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The 777-9 and 777-8 are the perfect airplanes to support Emirates' growth, improving environmental performance and unmatched payload capability along the way."

The 777-9 will be the largest and most fuel-efficient twin-engine jet in the world, with the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane. Opening new growth opportunities for airlines, the 777-9 seats 426 passengers in a typical two-class configuration, with a range of 13,510 km (7,295 nautical miles).

The 777-8 seats 395 passengers with a range capability of up to 16,190 km (8,745 nautical miles). The 777-8 also offers airlines more revenue potential through more payload and improved fuel efficiency on short and long flights.

Vmo Aircraft Leasing Completes Sale and Leaseback for One Boeing 737 MAX 8 Aircraft with SmartLynx Airlines

Vmo Aircraft Leasing, a global full-service lessor, announced today the successful execution of a sale and leaseback transaction for one Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft with Latvia-based operator SmartLynx Airlines (“SmartLynx”). The aircraft was delivered to the airline in late October.

“This transaction establishes a new partnership with one of Europe’s leading ACMI operators,” commented Peter Watson, Chief Commercial Officer of Vmo Aircraft Leasing. “We are pleased to partner with SmartLynx on this transaction and look forward to continued growth opportunities. We thank the whole SmartLynx team for enabling us to complete the deal quickly.”

“We at SmartLynx deeply value the partnership with Vmo, as it marks a significant step in enhancing our ACMI services. This successful sale and leaseback transaction for the 737 MAX 8 is a testament to our commitment to excellence and collaboration in the aviation industry. We appreciate the efficient and professional approach of Vmo's team, and we look forward to exploring further opportunities to strengthen our fleet and service capabilities together,” said Zygimantas Surintas, Chief Executive Officer of SmartLynx Airlines.

Cargojet to off load four Boeing 757 jets

Air cargo operator Cargojet is slimming down its fleet as it struggles to deal with a massive downturn in business despite recently giving shareholders a 10% increase in dividends. 

The Canadian carrier is cutting capacity and trying to preserve its strong cash flows by offering at least four of its converted Boeing 757 aircraft up for sale according to the airline's Chief Financial Officer Scott Calver during a third-quarter results call. 

The planes will continue to be available for other companies to lease until they are sold the airline confirmed. Earlier this year Cargojet sold one Boeing 777-300 aircraft for $36 million resulting in a loss on sale of $3.6 million. Two Boeing 777-300 hulls suffered significant damage due to severe hailstorms, the airline assessed the damage cost $13.8 million, for which the insurers paid  $12.2 million. Cargojet has also paused all planned conversions on 767s and 777s. 

After launching Cargojet 22 years ago as Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ajay Virmani will be stepping into the role of Executive Chairman effective January 1, 2024 and the Corporation has announced leadership appointments in a separate announcement. This strategic move reflects Dr. Virmani’s dedication to the company’s long-term success and the need to ensure a seamless transition in the leadership.

Dr. Ajay Virmani, who has served as the CEO since its inception in 2001, along with the team he built, has been instrumental in Cargojet’s remarkable journey from a start-up to Canada’s #1 cargo airline. Just last week Dr. Virmani was appointed to the Order of Ontario.  The Globe and Mail honored Dr. Virmani as the CEO-Strategist of the year in 2020. In 2004, Dr. Virmani was awarded the “Entrepreneur of the Year award” by Ernst &Younge. Recognizing his entrepreneurial and philanthropic contribution to Canada, he was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame with his own star in 2021. Cargojet and its leadership has also been recognized as the 50 Best Managed Companies by Deloitte’s and has been a consistent winner of Canada’s Best Cargo Airline award 21 years running.

Under Dr. Virmani’s visionary and entrepreneurial leadership, the company operates a fleet of over 40 Aircraft and consistently posted remarkable financial results. Cargojet has grown its revenues at 16% and EBITDA at 20% compound annual rate over the past 20 years. The world’s top courier brands, integrators, freight forwarders and E-Commerce platforms have partnered with Cargojet to fulfil their middle-mile air requirements. Cargojet’s shareholder have been handsomely rewarded with 18%* compound annual return since its IPO in 2005.

In Dr. Virmani’s new role as Executive Chairman, he will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the company’s future. He will focus on Strategy, Strategic Customer Partnerships, Acquisitions of major Assets including aircraft and Corporate Governance while also acting as a mentor for emerging talent. This transition allows Dr. Virmani to leverage his extensive experience and deep industry knowledge to guide the board and senior leadership team.

“Everything we have done at Cargojet has been against odds. Starting an airline after 9/11; Convincing global package delivery brands that it is more efficient to abandon their own aircraft fleets in favour of Cargojet’s network; Surviving the 2007-08 global financial crisis, and more recently tackling once in a 100-year pandemic.” said Dr. Ajay Virmani. “As I look back at the Cargojet journey, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to work with an amazing team of dedicated and hard-working professionals who have built Cargojet into Canada’s #1 Cargo Airline.  I am looking forward to the opportunity to continue to serve as Executive Chairman of this great team and help develop the next generation of leaders who will continue to beat the odds.” Concluded Dr. Virmani.

“We are extremely grateful to Dr Virmani for his vison, passion and contributions towards the tremendous success Cargojet has achieved. The transition to Executive Chairman by Dr. Virmani is a testament to his unwavering commitment to Cargojet, its excellent team and its potential. The Company remains committed to providing world class Cargo services safely while exceeding customer expectations,” said Paul Godfrey Interim Chair of the Board on behalf of all the Directors.

The Board of Directors and the entire Cargojet family extend their heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Virmani for his outstanding leadership as a Founder and CEO and they look forward to his continued guidance in his new role as Executive Chairman, confident that this transition will mark a new chapter in Cargojet’s ongoing success story.

flydubai puts in order for 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners,

The Dubai-based carrier to add 787-9s to its all 737 fleet to open new routes and serve more destinations

UAE budget airline flydubai has put in an agreement to buy 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners as the carrier wants to diversify its short and medium-haul 737 fleet with the introduction of widebody long-haul aircraft.  The agreement was during the Dubai Air Show.

"In 2008 when we placed our first-ever order for 50 Boeing 737 aircraft, we were confident of the vital role flydubai would play in supporting Dubai's aviation hub," said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai. "I am proud today to see flydubai evolve further, surpassing labels and challenging the traditional conventions around travel. Today's order reaffirms flydubai's commitment to enabling more people to travel across its expanding network. The highly fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner will allow flydubai to expand its horizon and cater to the growing demand on existing routes."

"Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at flydubai. We are committed to offering the right product at the right time to cater to the changing market and customer needs," said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai. "The Boeing 787 Dreamliner offers a perfect combination of operational excellence, fuel efficiency as well as passenger appeal."

The 787-9 can fly 296 passengers 14,010 km (7,565 nautical miles) in addition to more cargo. Since revenue service began in 2011, the 787 family has launched more than 380 new nonstop routes around the world. Half of all 787 Dreamliner flights are operated in short- and medium-haul markets below 5,000 km (2,700 nautical miles), demonstrating its versatility and efficiency across all network segments.

"The 787-9 is perfectly suited for the needs of flydubai as it looks to open up longer-range routes and add capacity across its network," said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "flydubai passengers will enjoy the Dreamliner effect, an experience like no other in the air, flying with more comfort and arriving at their destinations feeling more refreshed."

ATSG Delivers Boeing 767-300BCF to My Freighter

Air Transport Services Group subsidiary, Airborne Global Leasing has delivered a newly converted Boeing 767-300 freighter to new customer My Freighter Cargo Airlines of Tashkent, Uzbekistan under the terms of a multi-year lease.

“Through its LeasePlus+ service model, ATSG continues to provide unparalleled capacity opportunities to global air cargo customers,” said Paul Chase, chief commercial officer of ATSG. “This delivery to My Freighter expands that reach by building capacity in a region recognized for facilitating trade between Europe and East Asia.”

My Freighter has provided first-class charter air cargo services in Uzbekistan and Central Asia since 2019.

"We are very pleased to announce the start of our long-standing business partnership with Air Transport Services Group,” said Abdulaziz Abdurakhmanov, chief executive officer of My Freighter. “This partnership and addition of the Boeing 767-300BCF to our fleet will allow us to enhance our capabilities and provide our customers with an even more reliable and efficient service. We are confident that this collaboration with ATSG will bring mutual benefits and contribute to the sustainable growth of both our companies.”

“As ATSG continues to grow its LeasePlus+ model globally,” said Chase, “not only will we offer Boeing 767 and Airbus A321 freighters, but A330 freighters also will be available in 2024, supporting e-commerce and express customers in growing regions such as central and south Asia.”

Joby flies quiet electric air taxi in New York City

Joby Aviation confirmed this week it successfully performed an exhibition flight in New York City yesterday, marking the first-ever electric air taxi flight in the city and the first time Joby has flown in an urban setting.

The aircraft was flown on Sunday, November 12th, from the iconic Downtown Heliport in Manhattan, NY, where today, New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, announced the city’s intention to electrify the heliport, laying the groundwork for New York to become the global leader in the adoption of clean, quiet flight. Joby’s Manhattan flight and participation in the press conference – during which the aircraft is expected to fly again – follows several days of preparation flights at the HHI Heliport in Kearny, New Jersey.

“By electrifying one of the most famous heliports in the world, New York is demonstrating global leadership in the adoption of electric air travel. We’re grateful for the support of the city, and we’re honoured to be working with visionary partners like Delta Air Lines to bring our air taxi service to this market,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation. “We plan to make quiet, emissions-free flight an affordable, everyday reality for New Yorkers, while significantly reducing the impact of helicopter noise.”

Joby previously announced through its partnership with Delta Air Lines that it expects New York to be one of its early launch markets after receiving certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company plans to offer fast, quiet journeys using its piloted, four-passenger electric aircraft which has zero operating emissions. Joby’s aircraft is optimized for rapid, back-to-back flights and can fly up to 100 miles on a single charge, covering 99% of all trips taken today across New York City’s five boroughs. While travelling from Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) can take more than an hour by car, Joby expects the trip to take just seven minutes by air.

Emirates A380 fleet to ‘fly better’ well into the next decade.


                             Emirates, the world’s largest international airline and biggest A380 operator is doubling down its investments to maintain and improve operational efficiency, as well as maximise fleet performance and reliability of its double-decker fleet well into the next decade.

Significant investment deals signed at Dubai Airshow 2023 will see the A380 fleet continue to be a major part of Emirate's offering into the 2030s

The airline has signed agreements worth over USD $1.5 billion at the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow, with an expanded network of providers and partners to deliver superior aviation aftermarket and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services. 

Emirates will leverage, at scale, the expertise and capabilities of partners including Honeywell, Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Safran, Lufthansa Technik, OEM Services, Gameco, Haeco, and others to optimise its A380 fleet’s lifespan and unlock additional operational efficiency gains, all at its exacting standards. Emirates’ partners will provide a range of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services, parts provisioning, component repairs, and as well as technical support.

The work, already underway, is in line with the airline’s commitment to quality, and ensures customers can enjoy its signature onboard products and services for years to come. In parallel with the work being carried out to maintain its A380 fleet, the airline continues to progress with the largest known retrofit programme in the industry, worth USD $2 billion, which is poised to elevate the onboard experience even further.  

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The A380 has been and will continue to be very much part of the Emirates story. Its size and capacity has allowed Emirates to unlock growth at some of the world’s busiest airports, opened new opportunities for travellers, and substantially raised standards for passenger comfort. Our continued commitment to and confidence in the A380 are why we’re investing heavily to keep the fleet in optimal shape and pristine condition. The A380 will remain core to our network and customer proposition for the next decade, and we want to ensure our fleet is in tip-top shape.”

The growth of Indian aviation.....

As the aviation industry begins to take flight again after the static years of the pandemic, one country is striding ahead. Artemis Aerospace investigates India's rise to the skies.

Indian Aviation is growing at a rate not seen in the region before.
The announcement earlier this year that the Air India Group has ordered 470 aircraft set the aviation industry alight with interest and excitement. Speaking recently at an event to unveil Air India's new brand identity, CEO Campbell Wilson stated that the Group's ambitious expansion plans would mean taking delivery of a new aircraft every six days on average until the end of 2024. This staggering total comprises 250 from Airbus and 220 from Boeing, with a further option to buy another 370 planes. It's the largest aircraft order in aviation history and is worth $70 billion.

Air India was making a loss until a takeover by the Tata Group in January 2022. It encompasses Air India, Air India Express, AIX Connect and Vistara, and the new owners have embarked on an ambitious five-year consolidation and development process, with the aim to double market share on both domestic flights and international short haul.

As these figures demonstrate, the aviation industry in India is undergoing a transformation which is nothing short of dramatic; it now has the third-largest domestic market globally, second only to America and China. The route from Mumbai to Delhi is the third busiest in the world, and India's Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) reported that the industry handled around 200 million passengers in the financial year ending March 2023. There are currently 140 operational airports in India, with the government planning a further 200 over the next five years.

These are impressive statistics – but what has caused this unprecedented industry upsurge? As is usually the case, it's a combination of factors.

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Air Canada to add capacity to Asia in December

Photo Air Canada
Canada's leading international airline, Air Canada has confirmed this week that it will be boosting its Asia-Pacific network capacity from mid-December to the end of next summer 2024 as demand increases rapidly. 

"Air Canada's Asia services continue to reflect strong demand and we are boosting capacity to this geographic area as we deploy our international diversification strategy. This winter we are pleased to offer up to 57 flights per week between Canada and Asia, and up to 64 flights per week next summer. Air Canada will have up to double daily flights to Hong Kong and larger aircraft operating to Shanghai during the December holiday and Lunar New Year travel periods. Capacity to Japan increases by 96% this winter compared to last year. Next spring, seasonal Osaka flights resume earlier and larger aircraft will operate to Narita and Seoul," said Mark Galardo, Executive Vice President of revenue and Network Planning, at Air Canada.

"Our upcoming launch of our new route to Singapore and increased capacity on our successful Bangkok route underscores our continued commitment to investing in fast-growing markets in Southeast Asia. With the investments we have made at our global hub airports linking Air Canada's extensive North American network to our international flights, travelling between North America and Asia is convenient and compelling for leisure and business travellers alike. We look forward to welcoming customers onboard our flights," concluded Mr. Galardo.


Service Improvements

Vancouver-Hong Kong

  • 11 weekly flights Dec 13 - Feb 29, 2024 to support holiday and Lunar New Year travel
  • 10 week flights Mar 1 - Oct 26, 2024



  • Extended winter seasonal service, from Dec. 1 - May 5, 2024
  • 4 weekly flights increased to daily from Jan 8 - Feb. 28, 2024 winter peak



  • 4 weekly flights Dec 1 – Mar 30, 2024 upgauged to Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for holiday and Lunar New Year travel
  • 4 weekly flights operate with Boeing 787-9 all other times



  • 4 weekly flights launch Apr. 3, 2024



  • Seasonal flights begin earlier on May 1, 2024, three times weekly
  • Increases to four weekly flights beginning June 17, 2024



  • Daily flights upgauged to Boeing 777-300ER aircraft until April 30, 2024
  • Daily flights operated with Boeing 787-9 all other times



  • Daily flights upgauged to Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for full summer season



  • Daily flights upgauged to Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for full summer season



  • Daily flights upgauged to Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for full winter season
  • Daily flights operate with Boeing 787-9 all other times



  • Daily flights upgauged to Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for full summer
  • Daily flights operate with Boeing 787-9 all other times



  • Daily flights operate with Boeing 787-9 year-round


Air Canada's international services

Norwegian to launch 40 new routes for summer next year.

European budget airline Norwegian is to add a whole host of new routes to its schedule for summer next year the carrier confirmed this week. 

 A total of 40 new routes have been added to the programme with nine new routes from Norway, seventeen new routes from Denmark, nine from Sweden and two new routes from Finland. 

There will also be new point-to-point routes between Malaga-Munich, Alicante-Munich, Riga-Corfu, and Riga-Tivat in the summer schedule for next year which will mean Norwegian will be flying 332 routes to 123 destinations.  The new Munich-Malaga and Munich-Alicante routes will operate throughout the summer season, as will the routes Riga-Corfu and Riga-Tivat.

Magnus Thome Maursund, Chief Commercial Officer in Norwegian said:  “Launching these new routes expands our network and offers our customers more choice. From our bases in Europe, we are also starting new point-to-point routes. We are looking forward to a busy summer season and to welcoming our customers on board,”

Norwegian adds Basel, Lyon, Montpellier, Pristina, Zadar and Bari amongst other destinations to the summer programme. A new route between London Gatwick and Gothenburg will operate with four weekly flights from 2 May. The carrier expects to have a fleet of just over 90 aircraft for summer 2024. 

“Our exiting new destinations will take travellers to vibrant European cities and destinations with crystal clear waters and sandy beaches. Our job is to make sure we get our customers to where they want to go and that their journey is as pleasant and smooth as possible,” said Magnus Thome Maursund.

Ethiopian and Boeing working on deal for 31 aircraft - plus options.

At the Dubai Air Show this week Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to buy more Boeing jets to fulfil its long-term fleet goals.  The African carrier has confirmed it will order 11 787 Dreamliner and 20 737 MAX aircraft. Sources close to the deal say the airline is paying less than half the list price for each of the MAX aircraft, but the final Dreamliner price is still being negotiated. 

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr Mesfin Tasew said,  "We are pleased to announce that Ethiopian Airlines has reached a deal with Boeing to place a firm order for 31 ultra-modern aeroplanes, with the opportunity for 36 additional jets.  This order will enable us to modernize and increase our fleet in support of Ethiopian Airlines' growth plan and our Vision 2035 Strategy. Through this deal, we have solidified our decades-old exemplary business partnership with Boeing. The 787 Dreamliner and 737 MAX demonstrate Ethiopian Airlines' environmentally conscious decisions and its commitment to serve passengers with the latest technologically advanced aeroplanes."

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines also agreed to work together to provide cabin modification services for the carrier's existing 787 Dreamliners. The retrofits are designed to enhance the passenger experience with advanced in-flight entertainment and new seats in all cabins, including lie-flat business-class seats from Boeing's joint venture Adient Aerospace.

"Ethiopian Airlines continues its leadership as one of Africa's preeminent airlines with this landmark commitment to expand their 787 and 737 MAX fleets," said Brad McMullen, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing.

Air Samarkand gets ready for launch with the delivery of second aircraft.

 Airbus A321 arrives for Air Samarkand

Photo Air Samarkand
Air Samarkand continued its preparations for the launch of new services with the delivery on Saturday 11th November of a second aircraft, an Airbus A321.   

The Uzbekistan-based carrier welcomed the new arrival at Samarkand International Airport, a week after receiving its first A330-300 long-haul wide-body aircraft. By the end of 2023, the airline expects to receive and have up to five aircraft.   

The Airbus A321 is one of the most popular narrow-bodied airliners for short and medium-haul routes and is designed to carry 182 passengers in Economy Class and 12 in Business Class on routes with a range of up to 6,000 km. Air Samarkand will offer an Economy Class seat pitch of at least 31 inches (78.7 cm), providing comfort for even the tallest of passengers.   

The A321 aircraft, like others in the Air Samarkand fleet, is equipped with an in-flight entertainment system with built-in seat-back screens.   

A full-service carrier, Air Samarkand will provide hot meals on all flights, with pillows, blankets and other amenities provided to its customers.   

Air Samarkand will provide those living in one of the oldest cities in Asia and its neighbouring regions with the opportunity to travel direct to popular destinations – beginning with services to cities in Turkey, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. There will be further expansion into Europe over the next 12 months.   
Photo Air Samarkand

Air Samarkand will support the further development of the Samarkand region, which is a rapidly emerging tourist and business destination for visitors from all over the world. It forms an essential part of new infrastructure and amenities being developed in the ‘New Uzbekistan’, including the multi-faceted Silk Road Samarkand tourist centre – the first international tourism resort in Central Asia including four and five-star hotels. Neutral 


United introduces more tech innovations to save passengers time during the thanksgiving holiday season.

                        United is gearing up for a record-setting Thanksgiving travel season, with more than 5.9 million people expected to fly the airline between Nov. 17-29. Knowing that every minute will count for travellers eager to reunite with loved ones for the holiday, United's customer experience team has been working all year on industry-first innovations that help travellers skip lines, get through security faster, make tight connections and improve the overall travel experience.  

"This time of year is all about connecting with family and friends, and we're preparing to help all customers – whether they're a seasoned traveller or once-a-year passenger – get to their destinations on time," said Linda Jojo, United's Chief Customer Officer. "Nearly three-quarters of our customers travel with the United mobile app, and they tell us that they like the ability to skip many lines, enjoy prompt personalized service when they need it and appreciate the peace of mind they get from the information on the United app."

Since the start of the year, United has launched or enhanced dozens of new innovations in its mobile app, at its airports and onboard its aircraft to help travellers prepare for their trips – offering more transparency, saving time and reducing stress from booking to departure.

EGYPTAIR signs deal for 10 Airbus A350-900s to meet growing demand for air travel.

EGYPTAIR customers will soon be flying to destinations around the globe aboard new Airbus A350-900s, after the airline disclosed an order for 10 aircraft at the Dubai Airshow.

Once added to the fleet, the A350-900s will provide EGYPTAIR with 25% less fuel burn and, in turn, reduced emissions, while passengers enjoy the comfort of the Airbus AirSpace cabin, including a feeling of true spaciousness, wide seats, high ceilings and alluring ambient lighting.

The signing took place at the 2023 Dubai Airshow, in the presence of EGYPTAIR’s Chairman and CEO, Engineer Yehia Zakaria and Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer.

"EGYPTAIR is a key partner of Airbus in the Middle East and Africa. We take immense pride in this partnership aimed at furthering the aviation industry. Our focus lies in the enhancement of our fleet to embrace some of the most contemporary aircraft available,” says EGYPTAIR Chairman and CEO Yehia Zakaria.

Zakaria adds: "EGYPTAIR has firmed up an agreement with Airbus to procure 10 A350-900 aircraft, each boasting a capacity of 340 seats. These aircraft come equipped with cutting-edge technologies and Rolls-Royce XWB Trent engines, known for their modern design and reduced fuel emissions and consumption. As we tackle growing demand across our network, this aircraft is the optimal choice.

American Airlines unveils new international routes to enhance 2024 travels

American Airlines continues to build a network like no other with more nonstop international operations in 2024. Get ready to explore ancient ruins, mystical cenotes, diverse landscapes and white-sand beaches with new service to Tulum, Mexico (TQO), launching next spring. Separately, American has submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to become the only U.S. carrier flying nonstop between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Tokyo's Haneda Airport (HND).

“American continues to enhance our comprehensive global network with more nonstops to destinations our customers want to visit,” said Brian Znotins, American's Senior Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning. “With more flights to Tulum from the U.S. than any other airline, American will offer convenient nationwide connectivity to this popular vacation gem on the Riviera Maya.”

American applies to connect sister cities

American has submitted an application to the DOT to offer daytime service between JFK and HND. Pending approval, American's new service will operate year-round with one daily frequency. The new flight will complement existing frequencies operated by American's partner, Japan Airlines, providing more convenient arrival and departure times in New York City and optimal connections across Japan and Asia with one stop in Tokyo. American's application is the only accretive service between the United States and Japan proposed by a U.S. carrier.

“American looks forward to presenting our competitive application to provide new and enhanced service to Tokyo's convenient Haneda Airport,” said Molly Wilkinson, American's Vice President of Regulatory and International Government Affairs. “This will be the only nonstop service from JFK to Tokyo operated by a U.S. airline. Joining American's existing flights from Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles, JFK to Tokyo service adds an East Coast gateway for flights to Haneda, while offering the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. more options for travel to one of the most important business hubs in the world.”

Airbus and Mubadala sign agreement to mentor a new generation of Emirati aerospace engineers

        Airbus and Mubadala Investment Company have signed an agreement to provide internship opportunities for Emirati senior university students in engineering. Fatima Al Marzooqi, Director of Portfolio Emiratisation from Mubadala and Mikail Houari, President, Airbus, Africa and Middle East, signed the agreement at Dubai Airshow 2023.

Over the next three years, 12 Emirati engineering students will be hosted at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, where they will perform their internship under the supervision of Airbus experts and specialists.

Fatima Al Marzooqi, Director of Portfolio Emiratisation at Mubadala said: “Mubadala is delighted to support this important initiative which will not only bolster our future-focused knowledge-based economy in the UAE but provide an exceptional opportunity for Emirati students.” 

“We know that our most valuable asset is people and through this innovative partnership with Airbus we can help grow world-class talent. This leading internship is a significant milestone in our Emiratisation programme as we continue to support the UAE’s continued acceleration and transformation by fostering talent that can thrive in sectors vital for Abu Dhabi’s future growth and success.”

Mikail Houari, President, Airbus Africa and Middle East, commented: "For many decades, Airbus has worked closely with local and regional organisations to nurture, develop and inspire young talent. Ensuring youth have the right skills and knowledge supports the future growth and progress of the aviation and aerospace sectors. The industry is vital for long-term economic diversification and sustainable development of the region. We are proud to have signed this new partnership with Mubadala and we look forward to many years of collaboration to drive localization of our global expertise and support Emiratisation efforts.” 

Airbus has been present in the Middle East for more than fifty years, working with a wide range of governments and airlines. During the last half a century, Airbus has regularly collaborated with educational institutions and universities in the Middle East and Africa region to develop and implement programs that enhance aerospace and aviation related education. This includes skills enrichment for students and young professionals, innovation led research projects and scholarships for students. 

Airbus is committed to supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in the Middle East and Africa by sponsoring and participating in programmes that promote these disciplines. 

Since 2015, more than 5,000 students of all levels and entrepreneurs have participated in Airbus programmes in the region, gaining industry awareness, practical experience and support on developing their capabilities.

Arajet starts new route between Santo Domingo and Montreal

Arajet, the low-fare airline in the Caribbean, officially launched its second route in Canada, with direct flights between Santo Domingo and Montreal. This new route further expands the airline’s network of destinations and marks a significant step in connecting Quebec and Latin America.

Arajet offers the new route four days a week — Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays — departing from the Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) at 11:10 a.m. EST and from Santo Domingo to Montreal at 06:00 a.m.

Víctor Pacheco, Founder, and CEO of Arajet, emphasized the pride felt by the entire Arajet team with the launch of this new route in Canadian territory: "Arajet continues to change the history of commercial aviation, as the first and only Dominican airline to connect Montreal with Santo Domingo, the continent's new hub. Montreal travellers can now connect to Santiago in Chile, Medellin, Sao Paulo, Cartagena, Aruba, Saint Marteen, Kingston and Curacao, at the lowest market prices with the best onboard service in the region.”

“The Dominican Republic Embassy is thrilled to inaugurate this new air route by Arajet,” said Frank Hans Dannenberg Dominican Republic Ambassador in Canada. “This marks a significant step in the interconnection between Quebec, the largest French-speaking province in Canada, and Latin America, through the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo. It makes the mobility between the two regions more fluent and frequent, and strengthens the international relations between Canada and the Dominican Republic.”