Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 243,450
2013: 330,818

Buy Wholesale products for your airline business on DHgate.com

Cathay Pacific Concludes 747 Service to North America

Cathay Cabin crew lined up to bid farewell to their North American 747 operations. Photo - Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay cabin crew lined up to bid farewell to their North American 747 operations – Photo: Cathay Pacific Airways

On August 13, 2014 Cathay Pacific Airways celebrated its last 747 flight of any sort to North America. This is an iconic moment, as Cathay Pacific has been flying the 747 to North America, starting with San Francisco, since 1986. That’s 28 years of daily 747s. Cathay itself has been in the commercial 747 business since August 3, 1979. The actual last 747 flight to San Francisco will take place on August 31.

Cathay Pacific's 747-400 Farewell luncheon took place in San Francisco Airport's museum.  Photo - Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific’s 747-400 farewell luncheon took place in San Francisco Airport’s museum – Photo: Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay was not going to let this event pass without fanfare. At San Francisco Airport, they hosted a luncheon to celebrate the 747’s service in Cathay’s fleet.

Continue reading Cathay Pacific Concludes 747 Service to North America

Why are Airlines Continually Ordering Larger Aircraft?

United recently switched their remaining 787-8s for 787-10s. This, however is a -9 Photo - Bernie Leighton

United recently swapped their remaining 787-8 orders for 787-10s. This, however is a -9 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Boeing sees a market for 36,770 new aircraft between 2014 and 2033; only 2,490 of them are in the “regional” category. They are also clear to not differentiate the single-aisle market by size, but other than in the “Very Large Aircraft” category (think 747 and A380), their forecast for total aircraft demand is very bullish.

With United Airlines converting seven of its eight remaining 787-8 orders to the largest Dreamliner, the 787-10, it is a situation reminiscent of Air Berlin, pending approval, switching their 787-8s to larger 787-9s.

Many airlines are trading 737-700s for larger 737-800s as they come off lease. Southwest, however, is more than happy to have them.  Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Many airlines are trading 737-700s for larger 737-800s as they come off lease. Southwest, however, is more than happy to have the smaller birds – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

This is not a trend I expect to stop. Right now, the 787-8 comprises 47% of the total order book. That is, of course, significantly higher than the 249 767-200s ordered in the 767 family (or ~20% of the total 767 passenger fleet produced).

The 737-7MAX  has garnered the fewest orders of  the family (55). On the Airbus side of the spectrum, the A350-800’s future hangs in a precarious balance. The A319NEO has only garnered a total order for 45 frames. The smaller the next-generation aircraft, the smaller the backlog. Or at least, that is what the evidence shows.

The reason, as always, comes down to the most important question an airline has to answer: “what makes the most profit?”

Continue reading Why are Airlines Continually Ordering Larger Aircraft?

The Pilatus PC-24 Rolls Out

The Pilatus PC-24 rolled out onto a Swiss flag. Photo - Pilatus

The Pilatus PC-24 rolled out onto a Swiss flag – Photo: Pilatus

On August 1st of this year, Pilatus’ clean-sheet jet aircraft, the PC-24, rolled out of the hangar with a procession of twenty-four horses leading the charge. The horse theme was chosen as this aircraft is being marketed as a “workhorse”.

A side on view of the Pilatus PC-24. Photo - Pilatus

A side view of the Pilatus PC-24 – Photo: Pilatus

The PC-24 may look like a standard medium-light jet (think smaller Cessna Citations if you are unfamiliar with the term), but that is where the similarities end.

Marketed as a “Super Versatile Jet”, the PC-24 is the only medium-light jet aircraft that can do what small turboprops can; for instance, land on unprepared airfields. It is also the only corporate-class aircraft that comes standard with a cargo door. Continue reading The Pilatus PC-24 Rolls Out

Flying on a Genex Antonov AN-26

EW-328TG, an AN-26V side-on. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

EW-328TG, an AN-26B side-on. Photo – Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Antonov’s AN-26 is not a passenger plane, not even close. The AN-26 stems from the passenger AN-24- except it’s an AN-24 with a retractable cargo door. Same Ivchenko-Progress AI-24VT engines, same Kuznetzov APU. Just a door and some bubble windows in the flight deck separate it from its more, passenger-appropriate, forerunner.

Boarding an AN-26B. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Boarding an AN-26B. Photo – Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The cargo ramp is actually relatively slippery, so one must pay close attention and walk up the net. That photo also illustrates the fact that the AN-26 is equipped with an overhead crane to make loading easier.

The seats are hard — hard and linear. There are four windows in reasonable shape, but they barely make the cabin lighter than a dim alley, but it’s the thought that counts. All this didn’t take away from the fact that I had the opportunity to fly in this Ukrainian-built aircraft.

Continue reading Flying on a Genex Antonov AN-26

Touring Air New Zealand’s Brand New Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

ZK-NZE, Air New Zealand's first 787 at the Everett Delivery Center. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

ZK-NZE, Air New Zealand’s first 787 at the Everett Delivery Center. It took 92.5 gallons of paint to create this special livery. Photo – Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

This morning I was able to take part in a Boeing media event involving a much heralded aircraft: Air New Zealand’s first 787-9. We’ve discussed what the cabin will look like before on the site, but it’s a lot different to see- and feel- it in person.

The tour commenced by taking a look around the airframe outside, but with the caveat that we had to stay within the gate lines of the delivery stall. This meant that I had to get creative with my angles. We could, however, also make use of the balcony of the Everett Delivery Center, which provided some great views.

Windscreen-level with a 787-9. Photo - Bernie Leighton |AirlineReporter

Windscreen-level with a 787-9. Photo – Bernie Leighton |AirlineReporter

The outside of this plane is amazing, but I was mostly there to check out what was on in the inside. After getting external shots, it was time to head onboard Air New Zealand’s brand new aircraft. A special moment for me as I’ve never even set foot inside a 787 Dreamliner of any flavor before.

Continue reading Touring Air New Zealand’s Brand New Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner