Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 51,028
2014: 363,407
Total: 972,628

Opinion: A Passenger Terminal at Paine Field? Finally!

While KPAE will have Boeing heavies gracing its skies, it is about to get smaller, scheduled, visitors.  Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

While KPAE will have Boeing heavies still, it is about to get smaller, scheduled visitors – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Snohomish County was going to get a passenger terminal one way or another. American development corporation Propeller Airports has been granted a long-term land lease, to the tune of an eventual $25 million, to construct a two-gate terminal at Paine Field (KPAE). This is the airport, as most of you probably know, where Boeing builds the 747, 767, 777, and most 787s.

The airport will be operated as a public-private partnership between Propeller Airports and Snohomish County. Paine Field currently operates with a total of 305 daily movements (very few of them are actually Boeing’s). The airport has been described as operating at a mere 45% capacity. This terminal will likely kick that up an additional 5%, better translated as an additional sixteen aircraft movements.

No matter how close to residential areas the airport is, the public good and possible economic development for Snohomish County outweigh the complaints of ever-quieter airliners landing at Paine field.

Continue reading Opinion: A Passenger Terminal at Paine Field? Finally!

OPINION: Why Passengers Should Care About Open Skies

An Emirates 777-31H/ER sits in a delivery stall at the Boeing Facility at Paine Field. Photo  - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

An Emirates 777-31H/ER sits in a delivery stall at the Boeing Paine Field – Photo – Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

It’s that time again. Time for me to give you some of my personal thoughts on a topic. Some might call it a rant.

You know the time when an American aviation lobby group decides that there’s just too much competition in the world? Not only is it the “Big Three” themselves, but also an aviation lobbying group backed by them. Combined, these companies and interest groups can bring a lot more lobbying firepower to the table.

Their argument, as is everyone’s against someone who does business differently than them, is the old fallacy of “if their costs are lower than ours, it must be the result of either unfair trade practices or shady accounting.”

This time, the argument is about how Gulf airlines Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways may have received launch subsidies. Indeed, the argument goes further and states that they are continuing to receive subsidies to fuel their current expansion and operation.

Continue reading OPINION: Why Passengers Should Care About Open Skies

Can the Bombardier CSeries Survive?

The CS100 during test flights - Photo: Bombardier

The CS100 during test flights – Photo: Bombardier

Bombardier’s in a bad way lately. Their stock has hit some heavy chop, recently dropping 32% in a three-day period. There’s a margin warning. The company is pricing in a “bankruptcy scenario”. On top of that, the stock fell 11% after they announced the removal of their troubled CEO.

The company is ridiculously leveraged. The cost of a credit default swap on Bombardier has risen 500 basis points. There are even serious questions regarding the company’s liquidity.

The Learjet 85 - Photo: Bombardier

The Learjet 85 – Photo: Bombardier

This whole mess started when the company announced that it was “pausing” its advanced, composite, Learjet 85 for an indefinite period of time due to lack of demand. Now, canceling a business jet should not result in massive investor panic and questions over the viability of a commercial program. The problem is, Bombardier finances a lot of its projects off of the revenue generated by its business jet division and debt. The CRJ and Q400 program, along with trains, are relatively low margin.

There’s a reason investors are starting to, in the words of one firm “[give] up hope.”

Bombardier is suspending its shareholder dividends and working on raising an additional $2.1 billion in capital.

The thing is, in the paraphrased words of Richard Aboulafia at the Teal Group, these moves display a startling amount of intelligence and transparency. The question is, is it too late for Bombardier?

Continue reading Can the Bombardier CSeries Survive?

Looking Back at Soviet Air Defenses & the Aircraft that Served

A Tu-128 at the Central Aviation Museum of Russia. Photo - Maarten Dirkse

A Tu-128 at the Central Aviation Museum of Russia – Photo: Maarten Dirkse

Before I get into the aircraft I want to discuss today, there is an important matter of Soviet Military organization that I see misconstrued often. During the Soviet times, the VVS (Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily or Military Air Force) was not responsible for matters of air defense.

This was the auspice of the PVO, sometimes also abbreviated as V-PVO (or sometimes PVO strany). PVO is a Russian abbreviation that literal translates to anti-air defense; strany is Russian for country (sometimes nation). So PVO strany was responsible for the anti-air defense of the nation. They were considered the third-most important branch of the Soviet Armed Forces (behind the RVSN and Ground Forces). While the PVO was merged into the VVS in 1998, their legacy lives on; Air Defense Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of every April.

This, if it was not obvious yet, is a story about an aircraft that served with the PVO. Some would say, the most unusual of them as well.

Continue reading Looking Back at Soviet Air Defenses & the Aircraft that Served

7 Steps to Write a Meaningless, Yet Viral, Aviation Story

Are you ready to hit the big time (and the big bucks) as an aviation writer? Photo -D Ramey Logan

Are you ready to hit the big time (and the big bucks) as an aviation writer? – Photo: D Ramey Logan

You may think that it’s easy to come up with great content for AirlineReporter. Go to a new country! Fly on a new aircraft! Attend a media event and report on an advancement in aviation technology! All those things are hard – they also aren’t things you can do all the time. We aviation writers have a system for making great content that is guaranteed to get us not only respect, but also hopefully some views. My peers are going to despise me for sharing this insider’s guide to making viral aviation content, but I don’t care about them – the world has to know.

Here are my seven easy steps to create a viral aviation news story that’s ready for stardom!

Continue reading 7 Steps to Write a Meaningless, Yet Viral, Aviation Story