Primera Air (Iceland) has ordered eight Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft and signed a lease agreement for eight more from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). The airline has also acquired purchase rights for four additional 737 MAX 9s.
Primera Air intends to use the airplanes to commence flights between Europe and North America. They will be fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks to increase range so that aircraft are able to connect Europe and the US east coast non-stop. The company says that the MAX 9 has lower costs per seat than widebody airliners operated on transatlantic services.
The airline currently flies a mix of nine Next-Generation 737-700s and 737-800s to more than 70 airports in Europe. It is part of the Primera Travel Group that operates travel agencies and tour operating companies in Scandinavia, Iceland and Estonia.
Boeing has now accumulated orders for more than 3,700 737 MAX aircraft to 87 customers worldwide.
IndiGo, India’s biggest passenger airline, has selected the ATR 72-600 to build up an ambitiouis regional network.
The ATR production line. (Photo: ATR)
ATR says the carrier has signed a ‘term sheet’ with IndiGo for 50 ATR 72-600 aircraft, with the flexibility to reduce the number of aircraft based on certain conditions. Deliveries are expected to begin by the end of 2017.
IndiGo’s plan coincides with the launch of the Indian Government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme ‘UDAN’, aiming to boost economic development, employment and tourism by connecting small and remote cities. The airline will play a key role in these regional developments.
India’s domestic market currently represents around 100 million passengers annually and is steadily growing by more than 20 percent a year. India is expected to become the world’s third largest market by 2020. Under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, one hundred new airports will be created within the next two to three years. Airlines receive financial support and other incentives to make air travel affordable.
The COMAC C919 passenger jet has successfully completed its first flight today, from Shanghai’s Pudong International airport, where the final assembly line of the aircraft is located.
The COMAC C919 takes off.
The aircraft was in the air for around eighty minutes and performed well according to COMAC.
The C919 is intended as a competitor of the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. With up to 176 passengers it has about the same capacity as its Western counterparts and it is fitted with Western engines (CFM Leap-1C turbofans), systems and avionics.
The entry into service of the C919 is planned for 2020 and the first operator will be China Eastern Airlines.
COMAC says it has firm orders and other commitments for a total of 570 C919s, mainly from Chinese airlines and lease companies.
Low-cost carrier WestJet (Canada) has announced the definitive purchase of 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The airline also took options on 10 additional aircraft.
Impression of the Boeing 787-9 in WestJet livery. (Image: WestJet)
The aircraft on firm order are to be delivered from early 2019 until the end of 2021. WestJet also announced that it has selected the General Electric GEnx-1B turbofan to power its 787s.
WestJet started widebody flying in 2016 with a small number of Boeing 767-300s to Hawaii and London Gatwick. The airline now wants to increase its international presence with more destinations in Europe and flights to Asia and South America.
As part of the deal, WestJet has converted firm orders for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into options for the 2022-2024 period.
China Southern Airlines has signed a firm order for 20 Airbus A350-900s.
China Southern already operates a large number of Airbus aircraft, including the A330. (Photo: airlinergallery.nl)
Airbus will deliver the aircraft to the airline in the years 2019-2022. China Southern currently operates one of the largest Airbus fleets in the world with more than 300 European jetliners in service, comprising the A320, the A330 Family and five A380s.
With this latest order, Airbus has recorded 841 firm orders for the A350 XWB.
Low-fare carrier WOW air (Iceland) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo.
The first Airbus A320neo in WOW Air livery. (Photo: Airbus)
The aircraft is on lease from Air Lease Corporation. WOW air is an all Airbus operator with currently twelve aircraft in its fleet.
The aircraft has a single-class cabin layout with 180 seats and is powered by two CFM engines.
Asiana Airlines (South Korea) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, becoming the twelfth airline to operate the newest Airbus type.
Asiana’s first Airbus A350-900. (Photo: Airbus)
Asiana’s A350-900 is configured with a three-class layout with 311 seats: 28 in business class, 36 in ‘Economy Smartium’ and 247 in the main cabin.
The airline has ordered 30 A350s and will initially operate the aircraft on flights within Asia. From the third quarter of 2017, the carrier will deploy the aircraft on long-haul routes to Europe and the US, beginning with services from Seoul to London and San Francisco.
Airbus has officially delivered the first A321neo. The first user of the re-engined A321 version is Virgin America, an all-Airbus operator.
Virgin America’s first Airbus A321neo. (Photo: Airbus)
The first delivery aircraft is powered by two CFM International LEAP-1A engines for lower fuel consumption and less CO2 and NOx emissions. The engines also produce less noise: Airbus claims that the A321neo generates only half the noise footprint compared with ‘previous generation aircraft’. The A321neo is the largest member of the A320neo Family and so far Airbus has orders for 1,300 units.
Virgin America currently operates 63 Airbus A320 family aircraft, a mix of A319ceo and A320ceo. The A321neo becomes the largest aircraft in Virgin America’s fleet, seating 185 passengers in a three-class cabin. Virgin expects to begin commercial service with the new aircraft on 31 May, with an inaugural flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
Silk Way (Azerbaijan) has ordered 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
The order is not completely new, it was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on the Boeing Orders and Deliveries website.
The Silk Way Group includes 23 companies, including passenger and cargo airlines. It currently operates seven Boeing airplanes: two 767-300 Freighters, three Boeing 747 400 Freighters and three Boeing 747-8 Freighters.
The Boeing 737 MAX 9 has completed its first flight yesterday, 13 April 2017, in the skies above Puget Sound. It is the second version of the new 737 MAX generation that spreaded its wings, after the 737 MAX 8.
The Boeing 737 MAX 9 during its first flight. (Photo: Boeing)
The first flight took 2 hours and 42 minutes. The aircraft began its flight from Renton Field in Renton, Washington, at 10:52 a.m. local time and landed at 1:34 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field.
It was piloted by Boeing Test and Evaluation Captains Christine Walsh and Ed Wilson. The aircraft performed tests on flight controls, systems and handling qualities.
The 737 MAX 9 offers a maximum seating capacity of 220 passengers and a range of 3,515 nm (6,491 km). It is fitted with latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B turbofan engines and advanced winglets. The MAX 9 replaces the 737-900.
Boeing claims that the 737 MAX 9 is on schedule at the beginning of its flight-test and certification programme. Customer deliveries are to begin in 2018.
So far Boeing has orders for over 3,700 737 MAX aircraft of all versions, by 86 customers worldwide. More than 400 are of the MAX 9 version.