More evidence of capacity constraint among U.S. airlines appeared in a recent quarterly earnings report from one of the fastest-growing carriers in the country. Virgin America, which has seen annual available seat mile (ASM) growth average 28 percent for the past three years, has reconsidered its fleet expansion strategy and said it would move to cut the number of airplanes it plans to add over the rest of the decade.
Decelerating growth at Virgin America has led the airline to reconsider its fleet-expansion strategy and move to cut the number of airplanes it plans to add over the rest of the decade. Under a revised agreement reached with Airbus, Virgin America’s order for current-generation A320s will shrink from 30 airplanes to 10, all scheduled for delivery in 2015 and 2016, the airline announced Friday.
As oil and gas wells overflow in Kazakhstan, Air Astana–the national carrier of the newly enriched former Soviet republic–is looking deep into Asia to expand its network. Its inclusion on the European Union blacklist, which frustrates its ambitions to expand west, lies at the heart of its strategy. Air Astana’s discussions over a code-share partnership with Royal Jordanian, which follows an analogous strategy, is no coincidence.
American Airlines said October 12 it will add the same safety locking mechanism to the seats on 49 of the company’s Boeing 767s that were used to secure seats aboard the 48 Boeing 757s the airline grounded last week. The airline plans to continue flying the 767s each day and repairing them at night when they undergo regular maintenance. The work is expected to take another 10 days to complete.
Ireland-based aircraft lessor Avolon is speaking out against what it characterizes as irresponsible speculation that the economic life of modern airliners has been significantly reduced by the dismantling (for parts) of a number of relatively young aircraft, such as the Airbus A318. In an October 2 webcast, Avolon CEO Domhnal Slattery and head of strategy Dick Forsberg presented the results of a study drawing on raw fleet data provided by consultancy Ascend, combined with its own 10-year projections.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways has decided to place a firm order for another 11 Boeing 787-9s, scheduled for delivery from Japanese Fiscal Year 2018 to FY2021. The order, worth $3.25 billion at list prices, raises ANA’s firm order count to the larger of the two Dreamliner types on offer to 30. The 787 launch customer has so far taken delivery of thirteen 787-8s and awaits delivery of 23 more.
A busy fortnight for the Boeing 787 program climaxed with the arrival of Air India’s first Dreamliner in Delhi last Saturday, just a week after the first of the new widebodies destined to enter service in the Americas went to Chile’s LAN.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has placed a firm order for 34 current-generation Airbus A321s, 10 A321neos and 10 A330-300s, Airbus announced today. A plan by the flag carrier to embark on a fleet renewal program calls for deliveries to start next year.
United Airlines has announced the first international routes for its soon-to-arrive Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The Chicago-based carrier, which is the North American launch customer for the 787, has said that it expects to place five 787s into service this year. It will take delivery of its first Dreamliner in late September.
Airbus plans to start building a new A320-family assembly plant in Mobile, Ala., next summer, the European airframer confirmed today, marking yet another expansion of its narrowbody production ambitions. Scheduled for completion at the beginning of 2016, the plant will produce between 40 and 50 A319s, A320s and A321s annually and employ 1,000, estimates Airbus.