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Only 3% Of American Airlines’ Summer Capacity Will Be Atlantic & Pacific Markets

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American Airlines has had to pivot its network planning massively, with limited historical data to help guide those changes. With most long-haul international markets closed, American’s team has spent the last year refocusing and refining its plans. This summer, only 3% of the airline’s system seat capacity will be deployed in the transatlantic and transpacific network, according to the airline’s executives.

American Boeing 777-300ER
With much of the world closed off for long-haul international travel, American is altering its route network away from long-haul flying. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Low long-haul international capacity

Speaking on American’s first-quarter earnings call, Robert Isom, President of American, stated the following:

“Our operation has been much more challenged in the Atlantic and Pacific as those markets have yet to fully reopen. And, as a result, in our peak schedule, seat capacity in those parts of our network will only be 40% of what it was during the same period in 2019. Our Atlantic and Pacific networks will constitute just 3% of our system seat capacity in the summer peak. We expect to bring these markets back slowly and only when demand conditions warrant.”

American Boeing 777W
American Airlines has historically been a large transatlantic operator. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

This is an astonishing display of how impaired capacity is. Traditionally, American flew heavy schedules to London-Heathrow, where its partner British Airways has a massive hub, including multiple daily flights from hubs like Dallas and New York. To the Pacific, American has flown to Tokyo and Hong Kong with multiple daily flights. This summer, Hong Kong will not see any service from American Airlines, and cities like London will see far reduced service.

Redeploying capacity in other markets

Mr. Isom stated the following on its international plans:

“We expect to operate 80% of our international seat capacity compared to 2019 in our peak. Our organic network in the Americas creates more unique choices for customers and more profitability for the airline. As such, in our summer peak, our Latin American network is expected to be the same size as it was in 2019. Our short long-haul Latin America network will constitute approximately 12% of our system seat capacity in the summer peak.”

American Airbus
American Airlines has grown its short-haul international market. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Vasu Raja, Chief Revenue Officer, added the following:

“Of note, the way we get to 80% is that we are envisioning a long-haul business which will be, come our peak summer schedule in July, 40% of its 2019 size. But a short-haul international business, which will be north of that, something like 20% larger than what it was in 2019”

Near-field flights to cities in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America have done very well for American. The carrier is adding new flights and capacity in markets like Colombia. It continues to plan for widebody short-haul flying from its hub in Miami to cater to higher demand in those markets. Many of these countries were also some of the first to open up for American tourists. With much of Europe and long-haul South America closed for leisure travel, customers are willing to fly a little closer to home.

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American Airlines
Several short-haul markets will receive widebody service this summer. Photo: Getty Images

Domestic is getting a boost

Roughly 85% of American’s summer network will be deployed on domestic routes. This is a significant amount of capacity and a large part of its pointing widebody aircraft that are now free on domestic routes. Miami is getting a significant amount of widebody love this summer, with all flights to Los Angeles and New York, among others, operating entirely on Boeing 777s.

During its peak, American expects to fly robust domestic networks, as Mr. Isom stated:

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“When compared to 2019, we expect to find 90% of our domestic seat capacity during the summer peak and 100% in DFW and Charlotte.”

American Getty
Major hubs like Dallas and Charlotte are coming back stronger for American. Photo: Getty Images

Dallas and Charlotte have received new domestic widebody routes, such as a new Charlotte to Honolulu link. In contrast, Dallas has seen increased widebody service to hubs like Los Angeles and Miami.

Long-haul international capacity will come back. American plans to bring it back slowly and, until it comes back, operating as much domestically and on short-haul international capacity as it can to make up for that loss in revenue. Higher margins and greater opportunities to hit profitability will come when American can bring back more of its long-haul flying back. Contingent on border reopenings, American is looking forward to the day when it can turn again toward more long-haul international peak summertime flying.

Are you surprised to see how much American has cut its international long-haul flying? Let us know in the comments!

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/american-summer-long-haul-capacity/

Aviation

India’s GoAir Renames Itself Go First With IPO Coming Soon

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Indian budget carrier GoAir has renamed itself as Go First, as it looks to become the country’s first ultra-low-cost carrier. The name change also comes a day before the airline began the process to go public and raise fresh funds. Let’s find out more about Go First and its business strategy.

GoAir A320
GoAir plans to change its business model as it looks to raise fresh funds on the market in the coming months. Photo: Airbus

New brand

GoAir made a splash yesterday when it put out ads in major Indian newspapers announcing its new name: Go First. The branding change also comes with a new livery, which will see a sunrise-themed blue tailfin. All of these changes have been made to mark GoAir’s shift from a low-cost to ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC).

But what exactly does that mean? As India’s first ULCC, Go First will have the chance to define the term in India. However, the focus will be heavy on reducing fares, offering point-to-point flights, and slashing services or making them paid wherever possible.

Go First A320
A render of the Go First livery on an Airbus A320neo. Photo: Simple Flying

The man leading the transformation of GoAir none other than Ben Baldanza, the CEO who led Spirit Airlines to its successful ULCC shift. If history is any indicator, expect everything from hand luggage, seat bookings, and printed boarding passes to become paid at Go First.

But why are these changes being made right now, amid India’s devastating second wave which has deeply hurt carriers?

Eyes on the IPO

Earlier today, news broke that GoAir had formally filed to hold an IPO for the Wadia Group-owned airline. The carrier wants to raise as much as ₹3,600 crores ($490.2 million) by selling shares later this summer. The filing is the first step of many before GoAir is actually listed on the market.

The decision to go public has been rumored for months now and was recently confirmed by the carrier as well. However, the outlook on airlines has shifted in the last two months as India battles its second wave, which has sent passenger numbers plummeting once again.

GoAir A320 engine Getty
GoAir has been privately held since its founding over 15 years ago, with an IPO planned several times without success. Photo: Getty Images

For Go First, the IPO will be a much-needed capital injection and reduce dependence on the Wadia Group. The carrier’s debt total has risen dramatically due to the crisis, forcing it to restructure and take fresh loans in March.

Significant changes?

The Indian domestic market is dominated by low-cost carriers offering the lowest prices possible. This dynamic has also resulted in a low-profit, high volume industry, with airlines perennially struggling. GoAir’s decision to rebrand as a ULCC and cut fares even more could force other airlines to respond in kind, triggering another price war.

However, it is yet to be seen what firm changes Go First will make to its operating model. Many elements of an ultra-low-cost carrier were adopted by Indian carriers years ago, leaving limited options for airlines to reduce airlines. Keep your eyes peeled for what the newly-christened Go First has in store for the market.

What do you think about Go First and its plans? Let us know in the comments!

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/goair-name-change-go-first/

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Qantas’ Cosmic Supermoon Flight Sells Out In 2.5 Minutes

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Earlier this week, Qantas raised the bar on its now-regular scenic flight adventures and began promoting a two-and-a-half-hour flight out of Sydney to view a supermoon event in late May. If it sounds like fun and you are keen to go, the bad news is Qantas sold out the flight in two and a half minutes. Qantas has also closed the waitlist.

qantas-supermoon-flight-sells-out
Qantas sold out its scenic supermoon Dreamliner flight in two and a half minutes. Photo: Getty Images

The latest in a long line of successful scenic flights for Qantas

Departing early evening on May 26, Qantas plans to send one out of its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners out of Sydney and east across the Pacific. The Dreamliner will climb to 40,000 feet to capitalize on dark and clear night skies. Qantas notes in addition to watching the rising of the supermoon, that evening also happens to be a total lunar eclipse. The airline says that is a highly unusual double act.

Passengers will be suitably lubricated by a pre-flight cocktail party and cosmic cocktails. They may even learn something. A professional astronomer will be along for the ride and providing some inflight insights.

This sortie to check out the southern hemisphere night sky follows a series of highly successful scenic flights for Qantas in the past year. That included a seven-hour marathon overflying much of Australia and a weekend to Uluru. More recently, there was a seafood lunch on an island in the Whitsundays. All of the flights quickly sold out.

Blocked seats and presales to premium passengers limit the number of seats available for general sale

The Qantas 787-9 normally accommodates 236 passengers across three cabin classes. But fewer seats were available on the supermoon flight. Qantas blocked off the middle seat blocks in the economy and business class cabins. The ‘E’ seats in the premium economy cabin were also blocked from sale.

The number of seats available to the general public reduced further after Qantas offered its most elite frequent flyers early access. The airline’s best customers weren’t shy about taking up the offer.

According to keen Qantas watchers on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum, around 55 seats were left for public sale at midday Sydney time on Wednesday. Qantas confirmed to Simple Flying those remaining seats sold out by 12:03 Sydney time.

I jumped on at the strike of 12, and there was barely anything left. There was just one window seat in Y left, second last row. But by the time I had got to checkout, my seats were bumped,” posted one member on the forum.

My experience too,” posted another member.

qantas-supermoon-flight-sells-out
Qantas is taking off to view the supermoon event on May 26. Photo: NASA

Some handy revenue as Qantas capitalizes on demand for scenic flights

Qantas began waitlisting hopeful would-be passengers, but the demand was so high, that waitlist has now closed as well. The airline was selling economy class tickets from US$385, premium economy class tickets from US$694, and business class tickets from US$1158. Note the word “from.” Qantas was charging a premium for a window seat – and that’s fair enough.

But with 24 seats initially available for sale in both the business class and premium economy cabins, and 112 seats initially up for grabs in the economy class cabin, Qantas pocketed over US$87,500 from ticket sales.

To date, Qantas has been operating many of these flights largely on a cost-recovery basis. The airline is keen to keep planes and crews in the air and the Qantas brand firmly in the spotlight. But as the popularity of the supermoon and previous scenic flights attests, there is a lot of demand out there for this kind of flight. It’s an interesting, albeit niche, way for the airline industry to do business in the future.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/qantas-supermoon-flight-sells-out/

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Eviation Is Closer To Launching Commercial Electric Airplane Service — Alice Gets An EPU

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Eviation Aircraft, which is developing and manufacturing efficient electric aircraft with the goal of making electric aviation a competitive and sustainable alternative to the current aircraft we have today, is one step closer to launching commercial electric flights. I has taken delivery of its first EPU (electric propulsion unit) for its first aircraft, Alice.

Eviation Alice electric airplane, courtesy of Eviation.

Inside shots of Eviation Alice electric airplane in Vannes on June 6th, 2019. Photo © Jean-Marie Liot / Eviation.

The Alice is an all-electric aircraft that is able to fly 9 passengers for up to 440 nautical miles. The Alice uses an EPU from magniX, a company that is on a mission to lead the commercial aerospace and defense industries. How it’s doing this is by providing high-performance, reliable, and environmentally friendly propulsion solutions. The EPU used by Alice is one such solution. These magniX EPU systems have been powering aircraft in flight since December of 2019, and are currently in the process of gaining FAA Part 33 certification in 2022.

Ganzarski (left) and Bar-Yohay (right) shake hands as the electric propulsion units are delivered to Eviation’s facility in Arlington, Washington.

Members of magniX and Eviation during the delivery of the electric propulsion units.

Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay shared his thoughts about the milestone. “The magniX delivery is one of the key milestones in getting emission-free, low-cost, all-electric aviation off the ground with the first flight of Alice,” he said. “After many successful flights and tests of the magniX EPUs, we’re confident the system will propel us to bringing Alice to market and delivering a sustainable, scalable mobility solution that will revolutionize passenger and cargo flights.”

Eviation Alice electric airplane, courtesy of Eviation.

Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX, also added his thoughts. “The Alice is the epitome of the future of air transportation. All-electric by design, taking advantage of light-weight powerful and reliable propulsion systems,” said Ganzarski. “Together, we will enable a great flying experience – zero emissions, quieter, lower cost, all from and to airports closer to more communities.”

Eviation has plans to start a robust flight testing and certification program. Currently, the company operates in the U.S. and Israel and is a member of the General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association (GAMA).


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/05/13/eviation-is-closer-to-launching-commercial-electric-airplane-service-alice-gets-an-epu/

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Brace: Qantaslink Dash 8-400 Makes Emergency Landing In Brisbane

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On Thursday, sixty-four passengers and crew on a QantasLink Dash 8-400 service into Brisbane got a scare during a full-scale emergency landing. With the pilots flagging a “potential issue” with the landing gear, emergency vehicles waited at Brisbane Airport, and passengers instructed to “stay down” and “brace now.”

qantaslink-emergency-landing
VH-QON, the QantasLink Dash 8-400 involved in Thursday’s scare at Brisbane Airport. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons

The QantasLink Dash 8-400 was operating QF2420. That flight is the breakfast time flight between Newcastle’s Williamtown Airport and the Queensland capital of Brisbane. Normally, it’s a pleasant 611-kilometer flight up the New South Wales coast. On Thursday’s flight, the pilots received an indication in the cockpit about a potential issue with the landing gear.

According to The Aviation Herald, the plane was at 1,800 feet mean sea level and tracking into Brisbane’s runway 19L when the cockpit alert came up, causing the go-around.

The Dash 8 went out to circle Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands for around one hour while the pilots worked on the problem. The pilots attempted a manual gear extension, but the manual extension did not stop the cockpit alert.

“The pilots followed standard procedures and required checklists for this type of event,” a Qantaslink spokesperson said.

qantaslink-emergency-landing
Source: FlightRadar24.com

Passengers warned to “brace” and “stay down”

The pilots were unable to confirm the landing gear was locked down. They decided to shut down the second engine and began an ILS approach into Brisbane Airport’s runway 19R. Brisbane Airport scrambled its emergency response vehicles.

As the flight made its final approach into Brisbane Airport over Moreton Bay, footage posted online reveals the flight attendant repeatedly instructing the passengers to “brace, brace” and “heads down” and “stay down.”

“We were reasonably certain the landing gear was down and locked – we could do that visually, and in other ways, the procedure to be followed has to be followed,” QantasLink CEO John Gissing later told Brisbane’s Channel 9 News.And that’s exactly what we did.”

“Our engineers have inspected the aircraft and identified that the alert in the cockpit was due to a faulty sensor, and the landing gear was operating normally through the flight.

Footage posted online by passengers showed a smooth touchdown, the landing gear securely locked in, and a cabin full of very relieved passengers and crew.

“I was getting a bit concerned at the end,” one passenger said when safely collecting his bags in Brisbane’s terminal.

QantasLink calls the incident a false alarm. However the airline admits it would have raised blood pressure levels in the cabin. QantasLink apologized for the concern caused and thanked passengers for their co-operation.

Both passengers and QantasLink praised the pilots and flight attendants for handling a very stressful situation well.

“They did a great job handling the situation and were able to call on the extensive training they receive,” Mr Gissing said.

“We’re all here, it’s all good, the Captain did a good job,” one laidback and safely landed Queenslander said.

VH-QON operated Thursday’s QF2420 flight. The Dash 8-400 is 12.9 years old and operated for Qantas by subsidiary company Sunstate Airlines. It is one of 48 Dash 8s flying for QantasLink. As you’d expect from an airline with an exemplary safety record, this is the first recorded issue concerning the plane.

VH-QON remains on the ground while Qantas engineers conduct a full safety and maintenance inspection.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/qantaslink-emergency-landing/

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