MH17 Has Caused Airlines to Move Ahead of Regulators

And so it has come to this. In a heightened new sense of aviation security, airlines have vaulted ahead of regulators in the calculus of flying near war zones. You can’t outsmart crazy. Israeli airline El Al flies its regular schedule. A Delta flight from JFK heading to Tel Aviv flips a U-ey midair and…


WestJet Adds New Destinations and Seasonal Routes

WestJet says its strategic plan is to liberate Canadians in smaller communities from the high cost of air travel. They say it’s been doing that fortune-cookie maxim for 18 years. Mostly in western Canada, in the beginning, which is why they’re called WestJet. David Neeleman was one of the founders of WestJet in 1996, probably…


Airbus Outsells Boeing at Farnborough Airshow

There’s more demand for Airbus and Boeing aircraft than production rates can handle. At last week’s Farnborough International Airshow, Airbus and Boeing increased their backlogs with $115.5 billion in combined jet deals. In the new order category, Airbus beat rival Boeing, amassing more than twice as many orders and commitments. Airbus said its orders and…


Is a Nerve Agent the Best Way to Rid Airports of Birds?

Those tarmacs spooling off into the horizon are like a tranquil river whose course is predetermined. Unless there are birds, which is unsettling if you dwell on them too deeply. It’s a big enough issue that the FAA is evaluating portable radar systems for tracking birds. United Airlines took a hit last week when news…


Why Didn’t Malaysia Air Avoid Eastern Ukrainian Airspace?

Here is what we know. Let’s slow it down to 14 frames a second. Downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was in Ukrainian airspace used by airlines every day. Flight plans aren’t something you dream up on a cocktail napkin. It’s not map-in-hand exploration. Singapore Airlines and Air India were just minutes away. Malaysia’s flight plan…

Airplane in the sky

Leasing Companies Buy 400 Aircraft at Farnborough Airshow

There’s always another story to top the last one. In a professional world dominated by middle-aged men, on the second day of the 2014 Farnborough Airshow, eight leasing companies ordered more than 400 aircraft at list prices valued at around $35 billion. One leasing company, Netherlands-headquartered AerCap, who ordered 50 A320neos bringing their total commitments…


Can Malaysia Airlines Survive Another Tragedy?

It’s not good for any airline. It’s not good for aviation. Period. But the shooting down of a passenger-filled Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine could hardly have come at a worse time for Malaysia Airlines. There isn’t even a runner-up. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 departed Amsterdam just after noon local time on Thursday, expecting to…

Boeing 737 MAX 8

Boeing Adds Seats to 737 Max 8

There was a time when hell was a stylish shoe. Now it’s the new variant of the 737 Max 8. Boeing says they’re adding 11 knee-scrapping seats, shoehorning us to a place where physical experience is the only reality. I find the skinny woman in the crowd and invite her to sit down. That’s what…


Farnborough Airshow Sales

For the most part, aircraft age quickly and die young. The revolving door is spinning them out. Orders for the 20-year-old A330 would have dried up by 2016. With a longer view, Airbus waited until this week’s Farnborough International Airshow to announce a revamped A330-800neo and A330-900neo. The talking points include a 14 percent reduction…


How’s the Dreamliner Doing?

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner has been around for three years. It was supposed to be the next-generation aircraft for next-generation passengers. Its appeal lies in fuel-sipping economics. Punching below its weight and making new routes profitable. Avoiding hubs. Flying non-stop at near capacity to new markets. How’s the Dreamliner doing? The Centre for Aviation asked the question….

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