Airlines, Airports and Airliners 29 June 2023

This Week in Airlines, Airports and Airliners

Emirates Partners with African energy sector as the International Airline Partner for Energy week in Cape Town.

IATA launches program to improve aviation safety in Africa.

Strong recovery for Ethiopia's aviation sector post-COVID, clearing blocked funds is critical.

FAA safely keeps more airspace open during most Florida space launches.

Fiji Airways is best airline and staff in Australia and Pacific.

World-first research shows ways to reduce jetlag ahead of Qantas 'Sunrise' flights.

Bulgaria Air takes delivery of its first A220.

Air India firms up order for 250 Airbus aircraft, selects new services.

Airbus and STMicroelectronics collaborate on power electronics for aircraft electrification.

Air India finalizes order for up to 290 Boeing single-aisle and widebody jets.

Worldwide incidents and accidents

Bonus Video - Ford Tri Motor Flight 2013


The African Energy Chamber (AEC) ( is pleased to announce its partnership with Emirates, the world's leading international airline, as the official international airline partner for African Energy Week (AEW) - taking place 16-20 October in Cape Town. This collaboration markets a significant milestone in the airline's commitment to fostering sustainable development and promoting Africa's energy sector.

Demonstrating its confidence in the region's economic growth, particularly in the energy sector, Emirates returns as a travel partner for AEW, contributing to the calibre of this esteemed event. Emirates' extensive global network and exceptional service makes it the ideal choice for transporting participants to AEW. With flights connecting to a multitude of destinations worldwide, Emirates provides convenient and seamless travel options for delegates from around the world to convene at AEW 2023 in full force.

With its extensive global network and strong presence in Africa, Emirates is uniquely positioned to support and invest in the continent's energy ambitions. In its capacity, Emirates will extend exclusive discounts to delegates attending the event, further enhancing accessibility and promoting participation. As an airline partner, Emirates will offer discounted fares on Business Class and Economy Class return tickets, making it more convenient for delegates to travel to AEW and engage in Africa's premier energy event.

By providing exclusive fare reductions, Emirates aims to facilitate increased participation from industry leaders, policymakers and investors, fostering robust engagement and collaboration during the event. Additionally, Emirates' commitment to supporting AEW extends beyond its role as an airline partner. The airline recognizes the importance of connecting global stakeholders with Africa's energy sector, and through these discounted fares, Emirates contributes to promoting knowledge exchange, facilitating business opportunities, and driving sustainable development in the African energy industry.

"The Chamber is thrilled to have Emirates on board as a partner for African Energy Week. This partnership not only signifies the international recognition and importance of the event but also highlights the significance of the energy sector in Africa. With Emirates' support, we can further enhance the accessibility and reach of AEW, attracting key stakeholders and facilitating meaningful discussions on Africa's energy future. Together, we are fostering an environment of connectivity, investment, and sustainable development for the benefit of Africa and its people," states, NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC, adding that "Without the attendance of stakeholders, industry leaders, energy makers and delegates at such events, the opportunity for collaborations, signed deals, and the flourishing of Africa's energy sector is not possible. That's why the partnership with Emirates is of utmost importance as it enables us to bring people to these events."


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is launching the Collaborative Aviation Safety Improvement Program (CASIP) to reduce the accident and serious incident rate across Africa as part of the Focus Africa initiative.

Launch partners in the program are: The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), The African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Boeing, The Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA).

Together, the CASIP partners will prioritize the most pressing safety concerns on the continent and rally the resources needed to address them. The benefits of improving aviation safety in Africa will be spread across the economies and societies of the continent.

"Improving aviation safety will play an important role in Africa's overall development. Safe, efficient and reliable air connectivity is a major driving contribution to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. In that sense, CASIP will make it clear to governments across the continent that aviation must be prioritized as an integral part of national development strategies. With such broad benefits at stake, we hope that other parties will be encouraged to join the CASIP effort," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.

The starting point for safety improvement is the effective use of global standards for safety. At government level, a key indicator is effective implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS). Data for the year 2022 reveals considerable room for improvement with only 28 of 54 African states reaching an effective implementation rate for ICAO SARPS of 60% or higher.

In parallel, the CASIP partners will

Identify deficiencies in operational safety and implement corrective action plans
Provide safety training and workshops continent wide
Promote a data-driven approach to safety performance with emphasis on making safety data available to decision-makers and ensuring efficient accident/incident reporting
"Improving safety performance is a priority for Africa. And we don't need to reinvent the wheel to deliver the needed results. Collaborative safety teams in Latin America have demonstrated that safety improves when government and industry work together to implement global standards. By working together, the partners will pool resources to have a greater impact on areas where risk can be reduced, leading to measurable improvements in safety," said Walsh.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on the government of Ethiopia to act swiftly to clear the $95 million in airline funds blocked from repatriation to ensure the country's connectivity is not threatened. The ability to repatriate revenues is guaranteed in international agreements. All parties must abide by these agreements to keep the world connected by air.

Ethiopia's benchmark regional connectivity (within Africa) stands at 113% of pre-crisis levels according to IATA's Connectivity Index.
Passenger traffic originating from Ethiopia tracked at 19% above pre-crisis levels in the first quarter of 2023 (latest data). This is well ahead of Africa's overall passenger demand which stood at 8.7% above pre-crisis levels in the first quarter.

"The low allocation of USD to the aviation industry by the Ethiopian Government and Central Bank means that $95 million in airline funds are blocked in the country. This sends all the wrong signals and puts at risk the economic and social benefits that its global hub supports Ethiopia's development with. Ethiopia must follow the global rules that it benefits from. It's time for the government to work with industry to resolve this situation quickly," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.

"Ethiopian Airlines is performing very well. Our current performance, in all parameters, indicates that our success will continue strong. We have recovered well from the impacts of the pandemic. By the end of this fiscal year, we expect to generate USD6.1 billion, this is a 20% growth compared to our last year's performance. We will be transporting 13.7 million passengers which is also a 55% increase from same period last year. While our operations and milestones continue to be persistent, we still have challenges regarding expatriating our accumulated funds in various countries. As of today, we have more than USD180 million stranded in several countries. Transferring funds remains a critical challenge for airlines," said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mr. Mesfin Tasew.

Additional key priorities to support a strong aviation sector in Ethiopia include:

Implementing the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM): SAATM was the solution to unlocking travel within the African continent pre-pandemic. Twenty-three countries have signed the Memorandum of Implementation to date; however, none have ratified it. Full implementation of SAATM across the continent would generate significant economic benefits. In Ethiopia alone, it could create 21,000 new jobs and add $81.8 million to the GDP.

Fostering the growth of a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) industry: SAF will play the most significant role in reducing the aviation industry's carbon footprint, aligning with the industry's commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To help meet this goal we encourage the Ethiopian government to explore developing and incentivizing SAF production. The country has the potential to become one of the biggest SAF producers with unique feedstocks, vast land area, and significant solar potential - thus providing opportunities for both biomass feedstocks and renewable non-biomass feedstocks like solar and wind power-to-liquid (PtL) solutions.

" Ethiopia's aviation industry is set to triple by 2040, with an average 6% growth in passenger traffic over the next 17 years. The Ethiopian government is uniquely positioned to stimulate SAF production, a move that would not only support the forecast surge in air travel but also trigger substantial job creation and boost the local economy. Ethiopia has the opportunity to take the lead, and in doing so, construct an aviation future that is as sustainable as it is successful," said Walsh.


Thousands of passengers traveling to central Florida airports on dozens of commercial flights from the northeast will no longer experience delays or reroutes during a typical space launch.

Based on risk analyses conducted for every launch and working with the U.S. Space Force and space launch operators, the FAA determined the existing airspace restrictions for most Florida launches were too large and could be safely reduced.

More than 80 percent of the Florida launch trajectories are to the east and south. Sections of airspace to the north that had been traditionally closed for all launches can now remain open during most launches. Within this northern section is the busy overwater route from the northeast to central Florida airports in Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota, among others.

Busy route from the northeast U.S. to central Florida closes during all space launches.

Flights were re-routed to other busy routes resulting in arrival delays.

For a Typical Launch:
Up to 36 flights re-routed
Up to 4,300 passengers affected
Up to 300 minutes of delay
Up to 1,500 extra miles flown
Before image of busy space launch route

Busy route from the northeast U.S. to central Florida remains open during most space launches

Flights remain on efficient routes, avoiding additional delays.

For a Typical Launch:
NO flights re-routed
NO impact to passengers
NO delays
NO extra miles flown
After image of busy space launch route

Previously for a typical launch, up to 36 flights were rerouted to congested overland routes, slowing up to 4,300 passengers and resulting in upwards of 300 minutes of delay and 1,500 extra miles flown. These flights can now remain on their most optimal and efficient routes more frequently. For 10 of the 12 launches that have occurred to date since the change took effect in April, no flights on this route were rerouted.


Fiji Airways, Fiji's National Carrier has been recognised as the Skytrax Best Airline in Australia & the Pacific at the prestigious 2023 World Airline Awards, held last night at the Paris Air Show.

In 2022, Fiji Airways was ranked third in the region - behind Qantas (which has won the award for the last four years) and Air New Zealand. This year, we have leap-frogged our two largest competitors to be declared Best Airline in Australia & the Pacific.

This is the first time that the National Airline has won this accolade while also retaining the award for the Skytrax Best Airline Staff in Australia & the Pacific for the third year in a row.

Fiji Airways has also improved its ranking in the Global Top 100 airlines, leapfrogging from 36th in 2022 to 15th in 2023 to finish ahead of Qantas (17th), British Airways (18th) and Air New Zealand (19th).

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr Andre Viljoen says these are big wins for a small airline in a highly competitive region for commercial aviation.

"Our unwavering commitment to quality service delivery is reason that Fiji Airways is today the Best in Australia and the Pacific. We may not have as much resources as larger airlines, but we have the Fijian spirit of hospitality and care. As the National Airline, we embrace and champion these values in everything we do, and this sets us apart as an airline."

A high-level delegation from Fiji Airways was in Paris, France last night to receive the awards on behalf of the company.

"I want to congratulate all the employees of Fiji Airways for these two awards for without their hard work and consistency, we would not be where we are today. I am confident the organisation will put as much effort into all our future endeavours and strive for excellence," Mr Viljoen added.

"The fact that these awards are determined purely on guest feedback makes our two accolades all the more special. Our customers have consciously chosen Fiji Airways above all the other participating airlines in the region."

Travellers across the world voted in the largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to determine the award winners with more than 20 million entries, and more than 325 airlines featured in the final results.

Fiji Airways is committed to Working as One to Deliver Exceptional Fijian Experiences not just with our service standards on-board, but at every customer perception point.

The National Airline continues to innovate, and introduce new strategies to grow the company, increase revenue and expand our global network.


Research findings by Australian airline Qantas and the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre released today show it is possible to reduce the impacts of jetlag by reshaping the inflight travel experience

Different lighting and sleep schedules, mealtimes, and specific ingredients like chilli and chocolate during long-haul flights have been shown to contribute to improved traveller wellbeing. Movement and exercise are, unsurprisingly, a key element.

The world-first research was conducted during test flights for Qantas' Project Sunrise program, which will connect Sydney directly with New York and London for the first time from late 2025.

The airline has been working with the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre since 2015 when it first began preparations to launch Perth to London direct flights.

Qantas operated three Project Sunrise research flights from New York and London to Sydney in 2019 in partnership with Australian researchers to collect real-world passenger data.

Researchers travelled on the aircraft and monitored 23 volunteer customers who were fitted with wearable device technology during the 20-hour flights as they followed a specially designed menu, lighting, sleep and movement sequences. For more information and images, click here.

Initial findings, as yet unpublished, indicate that, compared to customers on a traditional inflight sequence of eating and sleeping, those on the tailored schedule experienced:

less severe jet lag (self-reported)
better sleep quality inflight
better cognitive performance in the two days after flight
The inflight trials involved tailored cabin lighting schedules to facilitate adaption to the destination time zone and integrating simple stretch and movement activities.

They also adjusted the timing of meal services to align the body clock and encouraged wake and sleep by using specific menu items including fish and chicken paired with fast-acting carbohydrates, as well as comfort foods like soups and milk-based desserts. The aim was to promote the brain's production of the amino acid tryptophan ('Tryp') to help passengers drift off more easily.

The specially designed Airbus A350s that Qantas will use for Project Sunrise flights include an onboard Wellbeing Zone informed by the research and unveiled today in New York, where passengers can take time out to stretch and do simple exercises onboard, guided by video screens.

Peter Cistulli, Professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Sydney said while the research was ongoing, there were clear signs that the interventions implemented during the trial flights reduced the impact of ultra long-haul travel.

"Now that we have the aircraft technology to do these flights, we want to make sure the customer experience evolves as well, and that's why we're doing this research and designing our cabins and service differently.

"Our A350s will have about 100 fewer seats than most of our competitors, which gives us room for more space in all classes as well as a Wellbeing Zone for Premium Economy and Economy passengers to stretch. People can choose how they spend their time but we'll make recommendations based on science around menu choices and best times to eat or rest. That extends to before and after the flight to improve how people feel when they arrive on the other side of the world.

Parallel research has been done to manage crew wellbeing on these flights, which also draws on experience from other ultra long-haul flights operated by Qantas.

Qantas is scheduled to take delivery of its first A350 in late 2025, with the Project Sunrise launch route between Sydney and New York expected to take off shortly after.

The aim of the research was to test strategies to reduce jetlag and promote inflight health.
Passengers were fitted with wearable device technology to track movement, sleep and light exposure.
Customers experienced a difference in food and beverage menus and service timings to encourage body clocks to adjust to the destination time zone.


Bulgaria Air, flag carrier airline of Bulgaria, has taken delivery of its first A220, on lease from Air Lease Corporation (ALC) (NYSE: AL), from the Airbus facility in Mirabel, Canada. The A220 will be flying on both regional and international routes across Europe. Bulgaria Air will lease a total of five A220-300s and two A220-100 from ALC.

The A220 is the latest-generation aircraft type from Airbus to join Bulgaria Air's fleet. The airline already operates seven A320 aircraft demonstrating the fleet complementarity between the A220 and the A320 Family. With a range of up to 3,450 nm (6,390 km), the A220 provides airlines such as Bulgaria Air with increased operational flexibility.

Bulgaria Air's first A220 configuration will comprise a total of 143 seats in dual-class, including eight Business class seats. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market and brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney's latest-generation engines.

The aircraft offers unbeatable comfort in a small single-aisle with the widest windows, largest seats and overhead stowage, as well as the widest and quietest cabin in its category.

The A220 supports Bulgaria Air's engagement towards the aviation decarbonisation journey

as it delivers up to 25% lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions per seat compared to previous generation aircraft, and 50% lower NOx emissions than industry standards. In addition, the aircraft noise footprint is reduced by 50% compared to previous-generation aircraft.

As of the end of May 2023, Airbus has received close to 800 orders from 30 customers for the A220, of which 265 have been delivered. The A220 is already in successful service with 16 airlines worldwide. To date, more than 90 million passengers have enjoyed the A220. The fleet is currently flying on over 1,100 routes and over 375 destinations worldwide.


Air India has firmed up its order for 250 Airbus aircraft and selected an Airbus maintenance and digital package to power the airline's transformation and growth strategy.

The aircraft order includes 140 A320neo and 70 A321neo single-aisle aircraft as well as 34 A350-1000 and six A350-900 wide-body jets. The airline had signed a Letter of Intent to acquire these aircraft in February 2023.

Air India will also be counting on Airbus to help ensure the highest level of fleet availability with the Integrated Materials Solutions (IMS) from Satair, an Airbus company. The Airbus-powered maintenance solution will ensure that every time the airline needs a rotable or a consumable part, it is readily available and stocks are automatically replenished. And in its transformation and digitalisation journey, Air India will be the launch customer for Airbus' Skywise Core X3, the latest and most advanced aviation analytics platform. This once again demonstrates the avant-garde cooperation between Airbus and Air India.

The purchase agreements for the aircraft as well as the Letters of Intent for maintenance and digital services were signed in the presence of N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons and Air India, Campbell Wilson, CEO & MD of Air India, Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, and Rémi Maillard, President and Managing Director, Airbus India and South Asia at the Paris Air Show 2023.

Campbell Wilson, CEO & MD, Air India, said: "Our ambitious fleet renewal and expansion programme will see Air India operate the most advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft across our route network within five years. We are proud to be working with all our partners, including Airbus, in this journey to rebuild a global airline which reflects India taking a more confident posture around the world."

"We are excited to be a key partner in the renaissance of the Flying Maharaja. Under the leadership of the Tata Group and a focussed new management, this is one of the most ambitious projects in the airline business today. We are proud that the efficiencies, comfort and range capability offered by our latest generation aircraft will contribute to the process, as Air India reclaims its rightful position as a world-class premium carrier. The Airbus services package is a perfect future-oriented choice that will form a core element of Air India's transformation," said Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International at Airbus.

The historic Air India order marks the entry into service of the A350 in India, the world's fastest growing aviation market. The all-new, long-range aircraft will help unlock the pent-up potential of India's long-haul market, its technology, reach and second-to-none comfort enabling new routes and passenger experience with better economics and enhanced sustainability. Alongside the A350s, the A320 Family fleets will be the efficient, versatile asset to continue democratising and decarbonising air travel in India - from domestic, regional, up to international levels. Deliveries are set to commence with the first A350-900 before the end of 2023.

The A350 is the world's most modern and efficient wide-body aircraft in the 300-410-seater category. The A350's clean sheet design includes state-of-the-art technologies and aerodynamics delivering unmatched standards of efficiency and comfort. Its new generation engines and use of lightweight materials delivers a 25 percent advantage in fuel burn, operating costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, compared to previous generation competitor aircraft.

The aircraft offers a 3-class configuration cabin that is the quietest of any twin-aisle and offers passengers and crew the most modern in-flight products for the most comfortable long-range flying experience.

The A321neo is the longest-fuselage member of Airbus' best-selling, single-aisle A320 Family, comfortably seating 180 to 220 passengers in a typical two-class layout, and as many as 244 in a higher-density arrangement. The A320neo has already set the standards as the world's most comfortable short-to-medium-haul aircraft that typically accommodates from 140 to 170 passengers, with a maximum capacity of up to 180 travellers. Its environmental performance allows for at least 20 per cent less fuel burn and CO2 emissions as well as 50 per cent noise footprint reduction, compared to previous generation aircraft.


Airbus, a global pioneer in the aerospace industry, and STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, have signed an agreement to cooperate on power electronics Research & Development to support more efficient and lighter power electronics, essential for future hybrid-powered aircraft and full-electric urban air vehicles.

The collaboration builds on evaluations already conducted by both companies to explore the benefits of wide bandgap semiconductor materials for aircraft electrification. Wide bandgap semiconductors like Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) have superior electrical properties compared with traditional semiconductors like silicon. They enable the development of smaller, lighter and more efficient high-performance electronic devices and systems, particularly in applications requiring high power, high frequency, or high-temperature operations.

The co-operation will focus on developing SiC and GaN devices, packages, and modules adapted for Airbus' aerospace applications. The companies will assess these components by conducting advanced research and tests on demonstrators, such as e-motor control units, high and low voltage power converters, and wireless power transfer systems.

"This collaboration with STMicroelectronics, a global leader in power semiconductors and wide bandgap technologies, will be key to support Airbus' electrification roadmap," said Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer. "Leveraging their expertise and experience in power electronics for automotive and industrial applications with our own record in aircraft and VTOL electrification will help us accelerate the development of the disruptive technologies required for the ZEROe roadmap and CityAirbus NextGen."

"STMicroelectronics is the market leader at the cutting edge of the development of innovative power semiconductors with higher-efficiency products and solutions based on advanced materials, such as Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride. We already have a strong, transformational presence in mobility and industrial applications, reinforced by a vertically integrated global SiC supply chain, to support our customers globally with electrification and decarbonisation," said Jerome Roux, President, Sales & Marketing, STMicroelectronics. "Aerospace is a highly demanding market with specific requirements. Cooperating with Airbus, a global leader in this industry, gives us the opportunity to define together new power technologies the industry needs to realise its decarbonisation goals."


Boeing [NYSE:BA] and Air India announced they have finalized an order for up to 290 new Boeing jets and expanded services. At the 2023 Paris Air Show, the companies held a signing ceremony to celebrate the historic purchase of Boeing's market-leading single-aisle and widebody jets to renew and expand Air India's fleet.

The order, which includes 190 737 MAXs, 20 787 Dreamliners and 10 777X jets with options for 50 737 MAXs and 20 787 Dreamliners, is Boeing's largest order in South Asia and highlights its 90-year partnership with Air India.

A comprehensive set of aviation services will also enable Air India to sustainably expand its operations in South Asia's rapidly growing aviation market.

Over the next 20 years, South Asia is expected to more than triple its in-service fleet from 700 to 2,300 airplanes to meet passenger demand.

The companies announced in February that Air India had selected these Boeing models to serve its strategy for sustainable growth.

Canada, London International Airport, ON: A WestJet Boeing 737 MAX 8, was hit by a fuel truck on the apron. The winglet was damaged .

India, near Delhi: An IndiGo Airlines Airbus A320-271N, suffered unspecified engine problems after take-off from Delhi. The flight returned and landed safely back at DEL, 42 minutes after take-off.

Lithuania, Vilnius Airport: A Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214, lost its left inner main gear tire while lining up on the departure runway at Vilnius Airport (VNO).

UK, Isle of Man-Ronaldsway Airport: A West Atlantic Boeing 737-322 (SF), suffered a failure in a hydraulic system after take-off from Isle of Man-Ronaldsway Airport (IOM). The aircraft returned and landed safely, 28 minutes after take-off. Due to loss of steering capability, the aircraft stopped on the runway. As it landed, a large amount of hydraulic oil was also deposited on the runway. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch was informed and the aircraft quarantined (not able to be recovered in case a full investigation is required) for review. With amount level of hydraulic oil on the runway and the quarantining of the aircraft, the evening's remaining flights were cancelled. The aircraft was released from quarantine at about 10.30 pm. The aircraft was safely removed off the runway for further recovery work when specialist parts can be transported from the UK). After the aircraft was removed, a team were deployed through the night to inspect the runway and clear up the extensive amount of oil, the runway reopened later.

USA, San Antonio International Airport, TX: A Delta Air Lines Airbus A319-114, was approaching the gate, or at the gate at San Antonio International Airport, TX (SAT), when a ground worker was ingested into engine no.1. The man was fatally injured.

Ford Tri Motor Flight 2013

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