Airlines, Airports and Airliners 30 November 2023

Compiled by Willie Bodenstein

This Week in Airlines, Airports and Airliners

IATA - Strengthened global framework for accelerating aviation's decarbonization.

ICAO conference kicks off in Dubai to accelerate global aviation's transition towards cleaner energy sources.

South African Airways (SAA) will suspend service to Malawi (Lilongwe and Blantyre), due to the recent economic challenges in Malawi.

European air fares rising slower than inflation.

Deutsche Aircraft takes part in Aero Asia 2023.

Ethiopian Airlines agrees to landmark order for up to 67 Boeing jets.

New Zealand airline academy places ten aircraft order with Tecnam.

Korean Air partners with LX Pantos to increase sustainable aviation fuel usage for cargo flights.

Worldwide incidents and accidents.

Bonus Video - Yak 55 Russian Aerobatic Monster


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) looks forward to governments delivering the supportive policies needed to enable aviation's decarbonization, as agreed at the Third Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) hosted by The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Dubai.

CAAF/3 delivered critical agreement on: A global framework to promote Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production in all geographies around the world. The aim is that aviation fuel in 2030 is 5% less carbon intensive than fossil fuel used today by the industry.
Acknowledging that certain States have the capacity to progress as a faster pace, and that others do not.

Capacity building, a "Finvest Hub", and voluntary technology transfer, are all among the measures put forward to ensure that all countries can partake in a global SAF market.

The need for a solution that can foster a global SAF market while enabling airlines to claim the environmental attributes of their SAF purchases against their decarbonization obligations, based on a global and robust SAF accounting framework.

"Governments have understood the critical role of SAF to achieve net zero emissions for aviation by 2050. The CAAF/3 results add a vision on the shorter, 2030, time horizon that is ambitious. To that end, the CAAF/3 agreement signals to the world in no uncertain terms the need for policies that enable real progress. There is no time to lose. IATA now expects governments to urgently put the strongest possible policies in place to unlock the full potential of a global SAF market with an exponential increase in production," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.

Demand Signal and Policies to Support SAF Production
This is necessary because airlines' demand for SAF, in line with their commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, vastly exceeds the availability of SAF today, which is limited to 0.2% of airlines' jet fuel consumption in 2023. Airlines have sent major demand signals to the SAF production market:

All SAF produced in 2022 was bought, at an additional cost to the industry of around USD 500 million, as SAF is priced at a significant premium over the price of jet fuel.

There are increasing examples of airlines vertically integrating into the supply chain, with some committing equity and risk capital into SAF projects.

Airlines have entered into forward purchase agreements for SAF worth around a total of USD 45 billion, well in excess of today's SAF availability.
"We need to see governments acting on the CAAF/3 declaration with policies that expand SAF production in all its shapes and forms. Despite unequivocal demand signals, the SAF production market is not developing fast enough. We need SAF everywhere in the world, and to that end, the right supportive policies - policies that can stimulate production, promote competition, foster innovation, and attract financing - must be put in place today," said Walsh.

IATA calls on governments to adopt policies to maximize SAF production globally by:

Enabling producers to take fullest advantage of local feedstock availability
Enacting positive - not punitive - policies

Balancing existing and future potential policy support across different energy sources and preferably strive to Favor renewable energies and ensure SAFs' fair share of the latter

Recognize that the road to success in to transform aviation and achieve reaching net zero carbon emissions is a collective responsibility.

"The goal is maximizing SAF production everywhere with positive, not punitive, policy measures. Airlines are ready with open arms to catch the resulting SAF production. While airlines are at the sharp end of decarbonization, they cannot bear the burden alone. CAAF/3 has again made it clear that aviation's decarbonization will require the wholehearted and united efforts of the entire value chain and governments as we all focus on net zero by 2050. To be perfectly clear, where government money leads, private money will follow. It is absolutely essential that governments play their part, and we will certainly play ours", said Marie Owens Thomsen, IATA's Senior Vice President Sustainability and Chief Economist.


Well over a hundred countries and one thousand delegates are convening in Dubai this week to firm up their collective commitments to boost global aviation's transition towards Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), Lower Carbon Aviation Fuels (LCAF), and other cleaner energy sources.

"CAAF/3 convenes just over a year after States' landmark decision on the long-term global aspirational goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050," emphasized ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano in his opening remarks to the event. "This agreement through ICAO is a testament to our ever-progressive efforts to bring about coordinated action on cleaner aviation fuels and energy sources, which presently hold the greatest potential for us to take urgent action on aviation decarbonization."

During 2023, ICAO conducted outreach activities and consultations to collect views among States and stakeholders on their expectations on a global framework that would facilitate the scale up in the development, production and deployment of aviation cleaner energies. Financial institutions and fuel producers were also consulted on the required actions to boost investments in aviation cleaner energy.

The third ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) will present a unique opportunity to consider a clear and robust global framework to respond to those expectations and build market confidence. Key elements of this framework include a collective Vision for the clean energy ambition, harmonized regulatory foundation, supporting implementation initiatives, and concrete means to facilitate financing so that "No Country is left behind"

"While cleaner energy in aviation is advancing at an unprecedented pace, and ICAO is closely monitoring progress through its Tracker Tools and the LTAG Stocktaking process, substantial investments and financing in this field is still required. Countries have been clear that they expect ICAO to take the leadership role in bringing them together to agree on key priorities needed for the transition to cleaner energy to take place, and to provide a platform where they can develop the effective partnerships needed with the air transport, energy, and finance sectors to make sustainable aviation a global reality," commented ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar.

The five-day Conference will be continuing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates until 24 November, and its results will send a strong message to the international community regarding the determination of ICAO and its Member States in addressing the impact of aviation on the global climate.


In an industry alert last week, SAA mentioned that it was monitoring the situation of substantial devaluation of the Malawian Kwacha, acute foreign currency shortages, and the escalation of blocked funds, closely before making the difficult decision to cancel its route to Malawi. The suspension of services to Malawi is effective from Thursday, 30th November 2023.

SAA's Chief Executive Officer, Prof. John Lamola, says SAA's decision to cancel the route is a carefully considered risk management intervention in response to Malawi's current economic challenges.

"This move should not be interpreted as a step back from the airline's commitment to serving the people of Malawi and promoting trade links between South Africa and Malawi. As the new leadership of SAA - and as a small but growing airline - we cannot commit to routes that are not financially sustainable.

"SAA values its relationship with the Malawian market and thanks its customers for their understanding and continued support during these challenging times. We will continue to closely monitor the situation. We remain open to resuming the route to Malawi as soon as the situation warrants the substance of financially efficient operations from this route," added Lamola.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data showing that travellers in Europe are benefiting from air fares that are undercutting inflation, as the market continues its post-COVID recovery.

Latest traffic figures show that European carriers sit just 3.6% down on the 2019 peak. Europeans are traveling despite the inflationary environment: In June, average air fares in Europe were around 16% higher than pre-pandemic. However, that is lagging the average consumer prices index for the EU, which in June stood at 20% over pre-pandemic.

"European air travel is continuing to recover strongly and is on track to exceed the 2019 benchmark in 2024. The competitiveness of Europe's air transport market is holding air fare inflation at 16%--four percentage points below the rises that we have seen in the broad consumer price index. Considering the extreme volatility of jet fuel prices and increases in workforce salaries this is a significant achievement and stands in contrast to the continually increasing charges being pushed by our infrastructure suppliers," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.

Recently the UK CAA approved an increase of 56% to London Heathrow's charges, and an increase of 26% for NATS, the UK's air navigation services provider, despite its service failure this summer. Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, which has also suffered service failures, has been granted an increase of 37%.

Regulators play a crucial role in generating the conditions under which airline competition has been able to thrive. European regulators can take credit for ensuring a light-touch consumer regulation which has enabled airlines to create tremendous consumer choice and flexibility by unbundling the travel package. And the European slot regulation has created a balance between consistent schedules while increasing accessibility for new entrant airlines.

It's equally important for regulators to recognize where they could enhance competitive conditions. Two key areas are:

Stronger regulation of monopoly infrastructure providers, to bring charges down.

Reform of consumer protection regulation EU261, to ensure more consistent application of its aims, and a fairer sharing of accountability across the aviation value chain.

"The recovery of Europe's air transport market is bringing with it even more competitive market conditions. Consumers will see that with more routes and more airlines to choose from. In total, last year saw 20 new airlines born in Europe. This is important because a more competitive air transport market will make Europe a more competitive place to do business," said Walsh.

The data was released at the Wings of Change Europe (WOCE) event, held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with KLM as lead sponsor, on 14-15 November. WOCE is a flagship industry event for Europe, where aviation leaders, regulators, and subject matter experts come together to discuss air transport's top issues.


Deutsche Aircraft has made its debut at one of China's prominent aviation events, Aero Asia 2023, which takes place from 23-26 November. As regional flights play a vital part of the transportation network in China, the German aircraft manufacturer aims to provide sustainable regional connections with the D328® legacy aircraft and the new D328eco™, the 40-seater sustainable turboprop. According to market forecasts, the Chinese aviation market will require 20% of the world's commercial aircraft in the next 20 years.

The outstanding flight characteristics and versatility of the D328eco allows it to access destinations with short and unpaved runways, in a variety of weather conditions. This will open up new route possibilities for businesses and people who rely heavily on regional aviation across China. The D328eco will also facilitate sustainable regional flights with the lowest fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on the market. This aircraft is designed to operate on 100% SAF Power-to-Liquid (PtL), which can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 95%.

An integrated Garmin Companion™ flight deck, brand new PW127XT-S engines and a comfortable and quiet cabin make the D328eco turboprop ahead of its time: an innovative and robust aircraft which offers maximum comfort for passengers and flight crew. These features set the D328eco apart as the most efficient, modern and sustainable regional aircraft in its class.

Ryan Ding, China Regional Director at Deutsche Aircraft shares his insights on the Aero Asia airshow. "The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is trying to encourage general aviation operators with a maximum limit of 30 passengers to handle short regional routes. This is a perfect match for our D328® legacy aircraft as well as our D328eco in the next phase," he says.

"Aero Asia is a great opportunity for us to introduce the D328eco regional turboprop to the Chinese market while building solid relationships with industry partners. Deutsche Aircraft are pleased to be in Zhuhai to witness the latest developments in China's aviation industry. Additionally, with the launch of our official WeChat account and Chinese website, we will become more accessible to the market."


Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Ethiopian Airlines today announced the carrier has agreed to order 11 787 Dreamliner and 20 737 MAX airplanes with an opportunity for 15 and 21 additional jets, respectively. The agreement, signed by Ethiopia's national carrier at the Dubai Airshow, represents the largest-ever purchase of Boeing airplanes in African history.

"We are pleased to announce that Ethiopian Airlines has reached a deal with Boeing to place a firm order for 31 ultra-modern airplanes, with opportunity for 36 additional jets," said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew. "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 airplanes."

Ethiopian is ordering the 787-9 variant, part of a Dreamliner family that reduces fuel use and emissions by 25% compared to the airplanes it replaces. The carrier is also adding the 737-8 model, which reduces fuel use and emissions by 20% and creates a 50% smaller noise footprint compared to the airplanes it replaces. Both families bring better environmental performance and passenger comfort to their respective markets.

The new commitment positions Ethiopian Airlines to further strengthen and diversify its fleet, which currently includes more than 80 Boeing jets. Ethiopian operates Africa's largest Dreamliner fleet with a mix of 787-8s and 787-9s. The new 737 MAX order, which will grow the airline's backlog for the fuel-efficient jet to 50, will be posted on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website when finalized.

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines also agreed to work together to provide cabin modification services for the carrier's existing 787 Dreamliners. The comprehensive retrofits will enhance the passenger experience with advanced in-flight entertainment and new seats in all cabins, including lie-flat business-class seats from Boeing 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. "Ethiopian was the first African airline to take delivery of the 787, and the Dreamliner family continues to play an integral role in its long-haul fleet. With their decades of experience operating our single-aisle and widebody jets, we appreciate Ethiopian Airlines' confidence in our products and the strength of our relationship after more than 75 years of collaboration."

The 787-9 can fly 296 passengers 14,010 km (7,565 nautical miles), in addition to carrying substantial cargo. Since revenue service began in 2011, the 787 family has launched more than 380 new nonstop routes around the world.

The 737-8 carries up to 210 passengers depending on configuration and offers a range of up to 6,480 km (3,500 nautical miles).

Boeing's Commercial Market Outlook forecast for Africa projects the continent will need 1,025 airplanes over the next two decades; more than 70% of commercial deliveries are expected to be single-aisle jets. Africa's overall air-traffic growth is forecast at 7.4% through 2042, third-highest among global regions and above the global average growth rate of 6.1%.


Tecnam and New Zealand Airline Academy Limited (NZAAL) announced today a firm order for 10 Tecnam aircraft, consisting of eight single engine P2008 JC Night VFR, one single engine P-Mentor IFR trainer with RNAV capability and ballistic safety parachute, plus one multi-engine P2006T Premium edition aircraft. The first of these, the Tecnam P2006T aircraft, is flying direct from the factory in Capua, Italy to the NZAAL base in Oamaru, New Zealand. The remaining nine training aircraft are scheduled for delivery starting in the 2nd quarter of 2024.

New Zealand Airline Academy Limited (NZAAL) is a New Zealand based award-winning flight training organization, holding certifications under Part 141 of the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand and Part 141 of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.

As an exclusive cadet pilot training provider for Air India's group AIX Connect (formerly Air Asia India), NZAAL is strategically located in the picturesque locale of Oamaru, North Otago. Three towered airfields with instrument approaches are in close proximity to the base airfield with many more coastal and mountain airfields offering challenging and varied weather conditions that create real-world flying conditions for cadets.

Established in 2018, by two seasoned aviation professionals, NZAAL started flight training with one Tecnam P2008. Five years later, this ten aircraft expansion will take their Tecnam fleet to a total of 24 aircraft and overall fleet total to 26 aircraft including two P2006T Twin advanced Multi IFR trainers a tribute to the two Directors of NZAAL who embarked on their commercial pilot training journey in New Zealand over sixteen years ago.

"It is great to see the growth of NZAAL. They have developed an almost perfect business model for a flight school that is a paradigm for the region and the world. This model is based on the Tecnam fleet. And we are very proud of this, because our vision for 75 years has been exactly this: the production of simple but modern, safe and economically attractive aircraft for every flight school." Said Walter Da Costa, Chief Sales Officer of Tecnam.

NZAAL's inception was propelled by a keen insight into the shortcomings of traditional flight training organizations across New Zealand who had persisted with legacy (old) trainers.

In response, the academy spearheaded a paradigm shift by introducing top-tier training programs utilizing state-of-the-art Tecnam glass cockpit aircraft. This innovative approach ensured a seamless transition for students from training aircraft to the sophisticated cockpits of contemporary jets.

Setting itself apart as the sole fixed-wing training provider in New Zealand employing touch screen glass cockpit aircraft throughout the training spectrum, NZAAL proudly boasts cutting-edge technology. These modern aircraft feature four levels of terrain alerts, synthetic vision, moving map displays, and advanced traffic awareness (ADS-B in & out). Beyond honing skills in situational awareness and airmanship, NZAAL's philosophy is deeply rooted in prioritizing student safety through the integration of the latest market-available technology.

New Zealand Airline Academy, established by aviation professionals who have more than three decades of experience helping international students chose the right program and training. The management team consists of people who have done extensive research, before choosing New Zealand for their own training.

Keeping in mind the huge growth in the field of aviation and the demand for quality pilots, NZAAL have been sub-contracted to deliver Commercial Pilot Training for International students by New Zealand's National Trade Academy.


Korean Air has partnered with LX Pantos, a global logistics company, to expand the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on cargo flights to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Korean Air headquarters on November 20, attended by Jaedong Eum, Senior Vice President and Head of Cargo Business Division at Korean Air, and Keun Taek Oh, Vice President and Head of Air Freight Business Unit at LX Pantos.

In September, Korean Air launched a cargo SAF program for air cargo customers and forwarders to make customized contributions to reduce their carbon footprint. As the inaugural partner for this program, LX Pantos has partnered with Korean Air to contribute to the global aviation industry's net-zero carbon emissions goals.

Both companies have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the cargo industry and foster awareness of SAF usage within Korea. LX Pantos will purchase SAF for Korean Air's cargo operations, and Korean Air will share the amount of carbon emissions reduced accordingly.

"We are delighted to welcome LX Pantos as our first partner in the joint initiative for the future of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Together, we hope to cooperate closely to expedite the commercialization of SAF, a common goal in the aviation industry, and enhance awareness of SAF utilization in the Korean market," said Mr. Eum.

"Decarbonizing the air logistics industry is a key survival factor for the future," said Mr. Oh. "LX Pantos will strengthen its ESG activities and take a leading role in creating a sustainable logistics environment through cooperation with Korean Air on SAF."

Korean Air is working to establish the infrastructure for SAF usage in the domestic aviation sector. In September 2022, the airline signed an agreement with Shell to purchase SAF at major airports in Asia Pacific and the Middle East from 2026 to 2031. Korean Air is also conducting six test flights using SAF from September to November this year, and will share the test flight results with the government. The government aims to set SAF blending ratios and quality standards based on the outcomes of these test flights.

USA, SE of Las Vegas, NV: S Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4, diverted to Las Vegas-Harry Reid International Airport, NV (LAS) due to an on-board small electrical fire. The incident aircraft resumed service about six hours after landing.

Thailand, Bangkok: Thai Lion Air Boeing 737-8GP, suffered engine surges after take-off from Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport (DMK). The captain told passengers that he suspected that a bird had been ingested by the no.2 engine, because they had flown through a flock of birds. The flight crew shut down the engine was and safely landed back at DMK, 30 minutes after take-off.

USA, near Las Vegas, NV: Delta Air Lines flight DL2580, a Boeing 737-932ER, was on the RNDRZ arrival to runway 26L transition and requested to descend to 10,000 feet for a pressurization issue. ATC inquired if they were on oxygen, and the pilot replied affirmative. During read-backs with the controller the pilot was having issues with responding due to oxygen and ATC declared an emergency for DL2580. The flight landed at 05:40 UTC and the pilot clarified that both the cockpit and cabin were on oxygen.

Netherlands, Eindhoven Airport: A Transavia Boeing 737-82R, was struck by an ambulant high loader while parked on the apron at Eindhoven Airport (EIN). The fuselage skin of the airplane was reportedly punctured.
The aircraft was grounded and all passengers had to disembark.

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