Browsing Tag: Boeing 737 MAX

Over the past week I have been receiving many different press releases from Boeing – most of which I wanted to share, but haven’t had the time to give them the attention that they deserve. To make sure that they all get a little attention, I decided to do this round up to touch base on what’s going on with Boeing. There are a few more story lines that I hope to go into a bit more detail over the next few days, but for now…

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8. Photo by Boeing.

HI RES (click for bigger): Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8. Photo by Boeing.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES BECOMES LAUNCH CUSTOMER FOR THE 737 MAX
On December 13th, Boeing announced that Southwest airlines placed an order for 150 of the 737 MAX and would become the launch customer the new version of the 737.

“Southwest is a special Boeing customer and has been a true partner in the evolution of the 737,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh. “Throughout our 40-year relationship, our two companies have collaborated to launch the 737-300, 737-500 and the Next-Generation 737-700 – affirming the 737 as the world’s preferred single-aisle airplane. As launch customer for the 737 MAX, Southwest, Boeing and the 737 continue that legacy.”

The firm order is Boeing’s largest in both dollar value and the number of aircraft ordered.

“Today’s environment demands that we become more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, and as the launch Customer of the Boeing 737 MAX, we have accomplished both,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO. “We are teaming up with our friends from Boeing to lead the industry in a way that makes both our shareholders and our Customers proud to associate with Southwest Airlines. Today’s announcement will allow us to maintain our position as a low-cost provider in the years ahead.”

VIDEO: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max. Computer generated by Boeing. Thanks to Robert for pointing this out.

Air New Zealand's first Boeing 777-300ER at Paine Field. Photo by AirlineReporter.com.

Air New Zealand's first Boeing 777-300ER at Paine Field. Photo by AirlineReporter.com.

BOEING 777 NOW HAS 330-MINUTE ETOPS
On December 12th, Boeing announced that its 777 received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly up to 330-minutes away from an alternative airport.

“Boeing twin-engine jets have flown more than 7 million ETOPS flights since 1985, and more than 120 Boeing operators fly more than 50,000 ETOPS flights each month,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager 777 program. “This is the logical continuation of the Boeing philosophy of point-to-point service. Passengers want to minimize their overall travel time. This is one more step in that direction.”

To date, the 777 has flown more than 2 million ETOPS flights since June 1995 and 93% of 777s are flown on ETOPS routes.

“What this means is that the airplane is able to fly a straighter route between the city pairs and that’s good for the environment,” said Capt. David Morgan, chief pilot for Air New Zealand. “Less fuel is burned and less carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. It’s also good for customers because flights are potentially shorter and passengers could arrive sooner at their destinations.”

CHECKING IN WITH THE DREAMLINER WORLD TOUR
Boeing’s third Dreamliner, ZA003, is taking a six month journey around the world. Its first stop was in Beijing, China with different stops with-in China from December 4th to 11th.

“This great day demonstrates our partnership with China in pursuing aviation excellence,” said Marc Allen, Boeing China president. “Chengfei, Hafei and Shenfei — as exclusive and single-source Boeing suppliers — have made a great contribution to the success of the 787 program, producing the rudder, wing-to-body fairing, and vertical fin leading edge. We want to thank them for their role in making today possible.”

On the 11th, ZA003 flew over to Africa and became the first time a 787 has landed in that continent. From the 11th to the 14th, the 787 hung out in Nairobi and allowed Ethiopian Airline employees the chance to see the new aircraft they should be taking delivery of soon. ZA003 will remain in Africa until the 16th of December before flying to the Middle East with a stop in Doha to visit Qatar Airways.

At this point, Boeing has not announced future destinations, but I would imagine that ZA003 will continue to head west.

Graphic showing the record breaking Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight. Image is from GE. Click for larger.

Graphic showing the record breaking Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight. Image is from GE. Click for larger.

THE 787 DREAMLINER BREAKS WORLD RECORDS
While ZA003 is traveling the world, ZA006 went and set some new world records. The 787 Dreamliner recently established two new records for speed and distance for the aircraft’s weight class.

From Boeing’s press release, “The sixth 787, ZA006, powered by General Electric GEnx engines, departed from Boeing Field in Seattle at 11:02 a.m. on Dec. 6 and set the distance record for its class (440,000-550,000 lbs.) with a 10,710 nmi (19,835 km) flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh, with credit for 10,337 nmi (19,144 km). This record had previously been held by the Airbus A330 based on a 9,127 nmi (16,903 km) flight in 2002.”

“Following an approximately two-hour stop for refueling in Dhaka, the airplane returned to Seattle on a 9,734 nmi (18,027 km) flight. The airplane landed at 5:29 a.m. on Dec. 8, setting a new record for speed around the world (eastbound) with a total trip time of 42 hours and 27 minutes. There was no previous around-the-world speed record for this weight class.”

Go Dreamliner go!

OTHER BOEING HEADLINES RECENTLY:
* FedEx announced order for additional 767 and 777 Freighters
*  Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Receives FAA Certification
* Ethihad Airways Orders 10 787-9 Dreamliners
* Boeing to Build New Everett Delivery Center at Paine Field

American Airlines Boeing 767

American Airlines Boeing 767

AMERICAN AIRLINES FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
I am going to take a wild guess that probably most of you have heard the news that American Airlines has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. There are all sorts of stories out there, so I am not going to re-hash it all. The bottom line is I think this is a great opportunity for American to take a huge leap forward from being an old, out dated (in more than one way) legacy airline to being a slim-lined and successful carrier. Can they do it? I am not fully sure, but either is anyone else, so we will have to see how it will work out. I think that the airline was already on the correct path and this will allow them to speed up the process a bit.

Out of all the stories I have been reading on this, I would highly suggest checking out these two for more information: Brett Snyder’s story on CrankyFlyer.com and Terry Maxon who writes the Airline Biz Blog, via The Dallas Morning News.

United Boeing 757 and Continental Boeing 737 at LAX in August 2010.

United Boeing 757 and Continental Boeing 737 at LAX in August 2010.

UNITED AND CONTINENTAL AIRLINES GET ONE OPERATING CERTIFICATE

How do two merging airlines know when they are only one? The answer is not easy. It mostly depends on who you are and how you interact with the new airline. Yesterday, United announced that the post-merger airline was approved by the FAA to run under one operating certificate. Previously every Continental flight also had a United flight number. Now there will only be United flights and pilots will refer to all flights as “United,” to air traffic control even if it is an old Continental route.

“I would like to thank the teams at United, Continental, the FAA, the Department of Transportation and the many regulatory authorities around the globe who put tremendous time and effort into our achieving a single operating certificate,” said United’s president and chief executive officer, Jeff Smisek in a press release. “While we have much work ahead of us as we integrate these two great carriers, this is a significant milestone.”

Even though there is one operating certificate, passengers will still need to go to each individual airline’s website to book flights, change seats and check flight status. United is expecting to have only one system during the first quarter of 2012 and at that point, on the most part, Continental will cease to exist and the two airlines will function as one.

Boeing 737MAX. Photo by Boeing.

Boeing 737 MAX. Photo by Boeing.

BOEING TO BUILD THE 737MAX IN RENTON, WASHINGTON

Being based in Seattle, I was very excited to hear that Boeing will be building their next, next generation 737 MAX in Renton, WA (just south of Seattle). Boeing and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) have not always had the best relationship and it is nice to see that an agreement was reached. The union members still need to ratify the deal next week, but a four year contract and a $5000 holiday bonus should sweeten the deal. This agreement should also end the National Labor Relations Board lawsuit against Boeing for opening a 787 Dreamliner factory in South Carolina.

Previously, it would seem obvious that Boeing was to continue to build the 737 in Renton, but with the recent 787 factory being built in South Carolina, nothing was impossible. Boeing and the union conducted secret talks almost a year before the current contract was to expire and this agreement comes ten months before the old contract expires. This is great and a big round of applause for Boeing and IAM for making this happen.

Read more about the deal from Dominic Gates on the Seattle Times.

American Airlines Photo by Caribb