GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services division is using big data techniques to help airlines to improve their profit margins with a particular focus on reducing fuel burn. “Fuel accounts for 40 percent of airline costs with around $215 billion spent on this each year,” said general manager Giovanni Spitale. “GE thinks that if machines can talk to each other using the industrial internet [a term coined by GE] we can make better sense of that [fuel consumption].”
Boeing plans to offer a “minor model” of the 737 Max 8 that would increase seating capacity from 189 to 200 seats and cut seat-mile costs by 5 percent.
Revealing the plans during a “roundtable” discussion on Sunday in London, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner told reporters that Ryanair “would be a candidate” for the new version and that the Max 8 would follow to market the second Max model, the 737-9, now scheduled for certification in the third quarter of 2018.
Chinese carriers have canceled several flights to Kota Kinabalu in response to poor market demand and safety concerns following a spate of kidnappings of Taiwanese and Chinese tourists in the east Malaysian state of Sabah since April.
On Friday, an Indonesian volcano–Sangeang Api–sent plumes of ash as high as 65,000 feet. The ash quickly began drifting southeastward toward the Northern Territories of Australia. Darwin Airport was shut down and airlines Virgin Australia and JetStar canceled a number of flights that could have brought aircraft within the vicinity of those clouds. Authorities expect the ash to dissipate this week as it moves further east, although the volcano is still erupting.
Low cost carrier Wizz Air is aiming to raise €200 million ($273 million) through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange next month. The 10-year-old company is seeking to expand its network, which currently consists of around 315 routes between 96 destinations in 35 countries, in order to challenge the continent’s leading budget carriers Ryanair and EasyJet. U.S. private equity group Indigo Partners, which is currently Wizz Air’s leading shareholder, is expected to reduce its equity holding through the share offering.
UK carrier EasyJet said it will apply new technologies, including operating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), to maintain its Airbus fleet. The airline is also developing 3D virtual reality and augmented reality technology, customized engineering applications and early fault prognosis. It is installing Panasonic Toughpad tablets in cockpits fleetwide.
The South Korean government has prohibited the country’s airlines from setting up low-cost joint venture operations with foreign carriers. This week’s order from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) came in response to demands by some local low-cost carriers (LCCs) that the domestic market deserves protection from foreign-backed competition.
U.S. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on Tuesday made his second appearance in three years at the annual Regional Airline Association Convention.
Indian airlines are facing stiffer competition and downward pressure on air fares with 40 new aircraft due to join the country’s fleet, taking the total capacity to around 400 jets by year-end. Existing carriers are now facing new competition in the shape of AirAsia India, which has just received its air operator permit (AOP) for domestic services.
Statistics released this week by Airbus showed that commercial aircraft bookings for 78 airplanes in April increased its net order total for the year to 142, while Boeing’s order total for the month stood at 70, raising its 2014 net total as of May 6 to 291.
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