Connect with us

Aviation

The Mystery Of Fly Armenia’s ‘Missing’ Boeing 737 Now In Iran

Avatar

Published

on

A Boeing 737-300 operated by Fly Armenia has vanished in Iran. The aircraft was supposed to be heading to Ukraine for maintenance ahead of its entry into service with the airline. It deviated from the planned flight path and declared an emergency over Iran; it has not been seen since.

Fly Armenia 737-300
The 737-300 had previously operated for GetJet Airlines as LY-EWE. Photo: Andrzej Otrębski via Wikimedia

Where did the 737 go?

On February 19th, a Boeing 737 operated by Fly Armenia left its storage in Tallinn, Estonia, to undergo maintenance ahead of entry into service. The 737-300, registered EK-FAA, departed Tallinn just after 08:00 GMT; its destination, according to Armenian authorities, should have been Hostomel in Ukraine, where it would be brought into shape and returned to the airline at a later date.

But the plane did not fly to Hostomel. Instead, it headed south to Varan, Bulgaria, where it landed at just after midday. That in itself is bizarre, given that Bulgaria, as well as Romania and the Baltic states through which the aircraft passed, are in the EU. The EU has banned Armenian aircraft from flying through its airspace since June last year.

Also bizarre is the lack of tracking data. Searching for the aircraft on various tracking websites under its registration brings up nothing. However, Plane Finder allows for searching via HEX code, a unique number relating to the tracker fitted inside the aircraft, which in this plane’s case is 600011. That shows its trip down to Bulgaria clearly tracked.

Photo: Planefinder.com

Only one subsequent flight is tracked by that HEX number. The following day, a plane with the same transponder left Bulgaria at 09:25 GMT, and flew southeast. A lack of ADB-S data coverage over Turkey meant it was only partially tracked, but the parts available show it was not headed for Hostomel, or to its home in Armenia.

Photo: Planefinder.com

The last little sliver of tracking data we have is that the plane entered Iranian airspace at around 11:43 GMT that day. It has not been seen since.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests!

Armenian authorities report a hijacking

On February 23rd, Armenpress reported that the Civil Aviation Committee of Armenia was contacted by its counterparts in the UAE and informed that the plane had been hijacked. However, other sources stated that there had been a problem in flight, and that the plane had landed in Tehran as an emergency.

A former government official, Hakob Tchagaryan, told the publication,

“The plane took off from Tallin, Estonia, and according to the flight plan it was to land in Yerevan. But instead, a decision was made mid-air to fly to the Emirates for technical maintenance. And due to technical problems, it landed in Tehran.”

Fly Armenia 737-300
Hijacked, emergency landing, or something else? Photo: Bene Riobó via Wikimedia

While the reason for landing in Iran is unconfirmed, the plane has not taken off since. It is not even known for sure which airport it landed at. Both Mehrabad and Imam Khomeini are potential locations, but with limited tracking in that geography, the final destination is inconclusive.

A plane for Caspian Airlines?

Investigations are reportedly ongoing into where exactly this aircraft is and what has become of it. However, reports in PanARMENIAN.Net this week paint a different picture of the fate of the Boeing 737.

The publication states that analyst and expert on US foreign policy Suren Sargsyan claims the aircraft was sold or given to Iran deliberately. Sanctions on Iran prohibit it from purchasing aircraft with US-manufactured parts, making it difficult to obtain new metal for its airlines.

According to Scramble, Iranian media is reporting that a new Boeing 737-300 has arrived for Caspian Airlines, and will be joining the fleet very soon. This would make it less of an emergency or hijacking and more of a delivery flight. Further, the publication says that Fly Armenia’s second aircraft, a 737-400 registered EK-FAB, will also join Caspian Airlines’ fleet soon.

Fly Armenia 737-400
The airline’s only other plane is a Boeing 737-400, which Iranian media is reporting will end up with Caspian Airlines. Photo: Fly Armenia

Interestingly, Fly Armenia has removed the 737-300 from its fleet list. The website currently only lists the 737-400 as its aircraft. The company was formed in 2019, but only received its operating license in July 2020. It acquired its first aircraft in November 2020, but has only undertaken cargo flights to Moscow due to the COVID situation.

If the aircraft’s ’emergency landing’ was indeed a means of getting a new plane into Iran, it wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened. In 2015, a similar tactic was used to acquire a fleet of widebody aircraft for Mahan Air.

Four Airbus A340s were bought by Al-Naser Airlines in Iraq, and the airline decided to fly all of them to Kazakhstan for maintenance on the same day. All four A340s declared an emergency above Iran and landed in Tehran, subsequently joining the fleet of Mahan Air.

What do you think happened to Fly Armenia’s Boeing 737?

Checkout PrimeXBT
Source: https://simpleflying.com/fly-armenia-missing-boeing-737/

Aviation

How Will Volaris Use Its 100 Strong Aircraft Fleet This Year?

Avatar

Published

on

Advertisement:

This week, the Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris announced the leasing of an additional eight A320neo aircraft to its fleet in 2021, on top of the three aircraft from its purchase order with Airbus. This way, Volaris plans to close the year with a fleet of at least 98 aircraft.

Volaris
Volaris will receive 11 A320neo aircraft in 2021. Photo: Volaris

Volaris is already planning where it will deploy this additional capacity. During the World Aviation Festival today, Volaris’ CEO, Enrique Beltranena, discussed the plans for this year and how the low-cost carrier is seizing the gap in the market left by Grupo Aeromexico and Interjet.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Taking advantage of favorable leasing conditions

Volaris finished 2020 with a fleet of 86 aircraft. It consisted of six A319, 64 A320s, and 16 A321s. It offered an average of 188 seats per aircraft, and 35% of the whole fleet was NEO.

In February, we reported that Volaris expects to receive up to 98 new aircraft between 2021 and 2028. While its Airbus order still stands, now, the airline is leasing new planes to accelerate the growth of its fleet.

In a statement, the airline said,

Advertisement:

“Volaris has been able to take advantage of the favorable leasing market conditions under which these aircraft can be added to the fleet, all on long-term leases. Our competitors have been scaling down, and this has represented an unprecedented opportunity for Volaris to add additional healthy capacity.”

The low-cost operator continues to play aggressively in the current environment. There was a moment last year when Volaris seized 50% of the domestic market share in Mexico. While that percentage has reduced to the low forties, it shows how Volaris uses the crisis to consolidate.

Advertisement:

By December, Volaris may have the largest fleet in Mexico. It plans to operate 98 aircraft, while Aeromexico currently has 106 planes, and plans on reducing its fleet. Photo: Getty Images.

Where will Volaris deploy the airplanes?

In 2020, Volaris launched many new routes, including two domestic and seven international in the last quarter alone.

Both Volaris and Viva Aerobus are filling the gap left by the unofficial cease of operations of Interjet. Plus, they’re also benefitting from the leisure and Visiting Friends, and Relatives (VFR) market’s quick recovery.

Now, the question is, where will Volaris deploy its recently leased capacity? Beltranena said,

Where are we going to put that extra capacity? Clearly in the loopholes that were made (after Interjet’s exit and Aeromexico’s Chapter 11). As a result of that, we might add some capacity in Mexico City. But markets like Tijuana, Guadalajara, and Cancun are requesting capacity, and those markets to the US with solid VFR markets are also requesting capacity.”    

Volaris Getty
Volaris is using its extra capacity in Mexico City, Tijuana, Guadalajara, and Cancun. Photo: Getty Images

Mexico’s lost capacity

In 2020, Mexico lost 34% of all its commercial airplanes due to the COVID-19 crisis, said Beltranena. The country went from having 355 aircraft to less than 225 nowadays, which has become Volaris and Viva Aerobus’ opportunity.

For instance, Grupo Aeromexico reduced the size of its fleet by rejecting the leases of 25 aircraft. Only one of those planes was a widebody (a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner). The 24 remaining were Embraer E170 and Boeing 737 NG.

Meanwhile, Interjet’s story was even worse. Interjet went from having a fleet of 88 aircraft (66 Airbus and 22 Sukhoi) to four operational airplanes by December. Then, the airline stopped flying on December 11 and won’t resume operations any time soon (maybe ever).

Then again, one’s crisis is another’s benefit; Volaris and Viva Aerobus have shown that. The two low-costs now control two-thirds of the domestic market. They’re also increasing their presence abroad with new routes to the US and even launching flights to South America.

What do you think of Volaris’ aggressive plan? Let us know in the comments. 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/volaris-100-strong-aircraft-fleet/

Continue Reading

Aviation

How The De Havilland Comet Kickstarted The Jet Age

Avatar

Published

on

Advertisement:

Next year will mark seven decades of commercial jet travel. The de Havilland DH.106 Comet entered service with BOAC on May 2nd, 1952, and went on to revolutionize the whole aviation market. There were great expectations with the plane, and even though the program wouldn’t last so long, it helped pave the way for a new age in the aviation industry.

De Havilland Comet 1
It will soon be 70 years of commercial jet aviation. Photo: Getty Images

New requirements for a new era

The Brabazon Committee was formed in 1943, which had the task of determining the United Kingdom’s aviation needs after the end of the Second World War. The group felt that the country needed a pressurized transatlantic mail plane. The desire was to transport 2,200 lb of payload at a cruising speed of 400 mph.

At the time, it was believed that jet engines consumed too much fuel and were unreliable. Jets were deployed in World War II but were yet to be entered into passenger service. However, de Havilland had faith in the technology.

Overall, Sir Geoffrey de Havilland used his experience and reputation to get the project off the ground. Thus, the first commercial jet airliner in the world took to the skies for the first time on July 27th, 1949, which was also Sir Geoffrey’s 67th birthday. Moreover, chief test pilot John Cunningham was also celebrating his birthday that day.

Test Flight of De Havilland Comet 1 Prototype
The Comet 1 had a range of 1,300 NM (2,400 KM) and could reach speeds of 400 kn (740 km/h). Photo: Getty Images

Plenty to be excited about

There were several benefits to be had with the aircraft. It was approximately 50% quicker than its piston counterparts at the time. Flights from London to Tokyo were taking up to 86.5 hours during this period, but the Comet only took 36 hours. There were also several other advantages across the board.

“The DH106 Comet was only 93 feet in length, almost 15 feet shorter than its main competitor the Douglas DC6B. It carried fewer people although this was in a significantly more spacious environment and BOAC opted to install 36 reclining ‘slumber-seats’ with 45-inch (1,100 mm) centres thus allowing for greater leg room in front and behind. Air France chose 11 rows of seats with four seats to a row installed,” BAE Systems shares.

Advertisement:

“In the BOAC configuration, the large window and table seating gave a feeling of comfort and luxury, highly unusual for passenger air travel of the period. Other luxuries included a galley, serving hot and cold food and drinks, plus a bar and even separate men’s and women’s toilets. The structure also provided space for emergency situations including life-rafts, stored in the wings near the engines, and individual life-jackets were stowed under each seat.”

BAE Systems also notes that the Comet was notably quiet compared to other aircraft on the scene. The plane offered “vibration-free flying” due to the difference that a jet engine would make compared with a propeller vehicle.

Advertisement:

De Havilland Comet
The quietness of the Comet’s four ‘Ghost’ turbojet engines was highly praised. Photo: Getty Images

Initial glory

Over 30,000 passengers were transported in the first year of service. Moreover, at least eight flights with the aircraft took off from London weekly. These operations headed to the likes of Colombo, Johannesburg, Singapore, and Tokyo.

Key operators of the Comet series included:

  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • Air France
  • BOAC
  • BEA
  • East African Airways
  • Olympic Airways
  • United Arab Airlines
  • Union Aeromaritime de Transport (UAT)
Photo Flight of DeHavilland Comet 3 Jet Transport
The type flew at higher altitudes and great speeds than any other commercial plane previously in service. Photo: Getty Images

Significant concerns

Despite the revolutionary achievements, the plane’s early operations didn’t go so smoothly. There was a series of crashes that resulted in the being grounded multiple times in the mid-1950s. Notably, the issues with the plane became a national concern. Even Winston Churchill, the UK’s prime minister, expressed that finding a solution to the mystery of the accidents was a high priority. Overall, the world had its eyes on the British aviation industry.

Advertisement:

Despite the extensive testing, which saw a Comet being submerged repeatedly underwater, and the improved construction that followed, the Comet 1 and its successors, the Comet 2 and 3, would not serve another passenger. The Comet 4 would see some success with a handful of airlines, but by this time, the rest of the industry caught up with the jet trend.

De Havilland Comet Fuselage Parts
Recovered pieces of a de Havilland Comet that crashed near the island of Elba after leaving Rome. Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

In total, including prototypes, 114 units of the type were built between 1949 and 1964. The plane had swiftly been overtaken by competitors in the passenger realm. However, it wasn’t until 1997 when it was finally retired for the last time. This final aircraft was the Royal Air Force’s Comet 4C XS235.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Advertisement:

The one that kicked it all off

Altogether, the de Havilland Comet was the aircraft that kicked of a new era in the industry. The jet age has brought countless new opportunities within the travel industry. The increase in speed and lower costs that came with the jet enabled the wider society to hit the skies for the very first time. This age may have lasted until now, but following Comet’s introduction, it was a genuine craze around the world.

The likes of Boeing and Douglas soon introduced their own here with the 707 and DC-8, respectively. These American manufacturers became powerhouses in the field in subsequent decades. Meanwhile, the Comet never managed to make a comeback following the series of tragedies that occurred following its entry into service.

Lufthansa, Boeing 707, Scrapped
Boeing took the jet game by storm following the launch of the 707 and subsequent jets, such as the 727 and 737. Photo: Getty Images

The damage was simply done, and others filled in the gap. Nonetheless, the initial breakthrough of the Comet and the should not be forgotten. Perhaps it was just introduced slightly too early for the industry. Regardless, it was the jetliner that started it all.

What are your thoughts about the de Havilland DH.106 Comet? What do you make of the plane’s impact over the years? Let us know what you think of the aircraft and its operations in the comment section.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/how-the-de-havilland-comet-kickstarted-the-jet-age/

Continue Reading

Aviation

Banning Short Haul Flight Could Destroy Electric Flight Innovation

Avatar

Published

on

Advertisement:

Speaking as part of the World Aviation Festival’s Sustainability Panel on Wednesday, KLM’s Vice President for Sustainability, Karel Bockstael, commented on the forthcoming short-haul flight ban that will impact sister carrier Air France. While he stated that we are all in a battle against climate change, he also cautioned against measures that could potentially disrupt innovations in sustainable flight in the long term.

KLM embraer 195 e2
KLM’s VP of sustainability cautions against banning short-haul flights at the cost of long-term innovation. Photo: KLM

Alternative guidance needed in the long term

Earlier this month, French lawmakers voted in favor of a bill set to ban flights on routes where there are available train connections in under two and a half hours. The new law was first introduced as part of the environmental strings attached to the government’s aid package to its flag carrier.

Mr Bockstael generally applauds objective regulations that are compatible with fighting climate change. However, he also said that it must be made sure that long-term innovation will not suffer in the process when it came to banning short routes.

“Of course, we understand that trains replacing flights in the current situation might be a good solution. (…) On the other hand, especially on short routes, we must make sure that we are not destroying any innovation, because on the short routes we expect that we will have electric flight and hydrogen flight,” Mr Bockstael said, adding that in the long term alternative guidance would be needed.

Widerøe-All-Electric-Planes
Electrical aircraft being tested today are all intended for the short-haul commuter market. Photo: Rolls-Royce

Routes to deploy upcoming models are crucial

Most electric aircraft currently in the pipeline to enter service within the decade are constructed for the short-haul commuter market. While 20 years from now you may be able to buy a ticket for a 100-seater electric aircraft, there is still some way to go in terms of batteries and capacity.

However, to get there, it must first be profitable for companies to make and market their predecessors. They must also be able to funnel money back into R&D. Governments must also provide incentives to assist in the decarbonization of aviation. This is unlikely to occur if there are no routes on which to deploy electric planes with commercial success.

Advertisement:

Yesterday, we reported that Norway’s Green Party is also in favor of banning shorter services, despite the country’s reliance on regional connectivity. They also suggest introducing individual flight quotas.

Infrastructure essential for hub carriers

Of its own accord, KLM has already introduced an air-to-rail service, where travelers connecting to Brussels from Schiphol disembark the aircraft and board a train for their last leg of the journey. Or vice versa if they are heading in the other direction.

Advertisement:

Trains and aircraft working together are entirely dependent on good infrastructure. Especially for hub carriers such as Air France and KLM, the offers need to be comparable so as not to create an uneven playing field.

KLM refueling Schiphol
KLM is betting big on SAF and has already introduced an air-to-rail initiative between Amsterdam and Brussels. Photo: KLM

Corporate clients have their own value chain

KLM is betting big on biofuel for its sustainability targets. It is doing a good job at selling the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), which is still two to four times more expensive than traditional jet fuel, to its corporate and cargo clients.

“You have to remember that our business customers, our corporate customers, they also have their own enterprise responsibility in terms of decarbonization. So in the value chain, we see that especially on the business to business, there’s a lot of interest, and also readiness to pay a premium also up to the level of SAF.”

What do you think of restrictions on short-haul flights? Are they a temporary good solution or a potential long-term innovation disruptor? Leave a comment below and let us know. 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/short-haul-electric-flight-innovation/

Continue Reading

Aviation

JetBlue Invests In Hydrogen Powered Flight

Avatar

Published

on

Advertisement:

JetBlue today revealed a sizable investment in the realization of hydrogen-powered flight. The US hybrid carrier’s technology venture subsidiary invested $20.5 million into Universal Hydrogen, which hopes to make hydrogen flight a reality.

JetBlue, Universal Hydrogen, Investment
JetBlue is investing in a hydrogen-powered future. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Across the globe, airlines are acutely aware of their need to increase the sustainability of flight while cutting emissions. As such, many airlines have committed to net-carbon zero goals by 2050. However, many such technologies remain a long way off and will need significant investment now to really get off the ground. One avenue being explored by several unrelated parties is the possibility of hydrogen-powered flight.

JetBlue’s hydrogen investment

JetBlue today revealed the part that it is playing in securing the next generation of aircraft power. The airline invested $20,500,000 into Universal Hydrogen through one of its subsidiaries. But who is Universal Hydrogen? According to JetBlue, the company is seeking to build a fuel distribution network.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

However, while traditional jet fuel relies on pipes, fuel trucks, and refillable fuel tanks, Universal Hydrogen has a different idea in mind. The company is seeking to create a process where newly produced hydrogen would be placed directly into modular capsules. These would then be transported to airports using existing freight networks. The empty hydrogen capsules would be replaced by full ones at the airport, like changing the batteries in your TV remote.

JetBlue, Universal Hydrogen, Investment
The investment was worth $20.5 million. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

The company also wants to retrofit 40-60 regional aircraft to run on modular hydrogen. It hopes to fly the first commercial flight with such an aircraft in 2025 and even suggests that operating costs would eventually be cheaper than their kerosene-based siblings.

Advertisement:

Commenting on the investment, Jim Lockheed, Investment Principal at JetBlue Technology Ventures, said,

“Our investment in Universal Hydrogen is highly aligned with JetBlue’s environmental objectives, and this partnership allows the airline a seat at the table in the fast-developing hydrogen for aviation sector and provides valuable insight into the options, progress, and viability of hydrogen to help decarbonize aircraft operations.”

A long way off?

As mentioned, Universal Hydrogen wants to begin operating commercial hydrogen-powered flights in just four years. However, some feel the technology may take quite a bit longer to be scaled up and rolled out across the board.

Advertisement:

JetBlue, Universal Hydrogen, Investment
Last year JetBlue revealed it was the first US airline with 100% carbon neutral domestic flights. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying.com

Speaking last week, British Airways CEO Sean Doyle suggested that it will take until 2050 for emission-free flight technologies such as hydrogen to really get off the ground. In the meantime, Doyle revealed that sustainable aviation fuels would be vital in reducing the industry’s environmental impact.

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) are another avenue being explored by JetBlue. In August last year, JetBlue revealed that it had become the first US airline to achieve carbon-neutral flying on all of its domestic flights, thanks in part to SAFs, but also through carbon offsetting.

What do you make of JetBlue’s investment in hydrogen-powered flight? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/jetblue-hydrogen-powered-flight/

Continue Reading
Esports5 days ago

Apex Legends Season 9 will add new hero, fix Banglore bugs

Esports5 days ago

Code S: Trap & Zest advance to RO8, playoff bracket set

Blockchain3 days ago

Mining Bitcoin: How to Mine Bitcoin

Fintech4 days ago

Fintech offers brokers better commissions after BID

Esports4 days ago

OWL 2021 Power Rankings – #9 Guangzhou Charge

PR Newswire3 days ago

Hello Pal Signs Definitive Purchase Agreement to Acquire Interest in Dogecoin/Litecoin Mining Assets

Blockchain5 days ago

Stanislovas Tomas im Interview: „NFTs können unsere Gesellschaft verändern“

Esports4 days ago

xQc Banned From NoPixel GTA RP Server Once Again

Esports4 days ago

CDL Challengers Elite Stage 3 Preview

Coinbase hourly chart
Blockchain3 days ago

Coinbase Addresses Future Revenue Concerns With Plans to Become Crypto’s Amazon

Esports4 days ago

Three takeaways from the SWT Japan Ultimate Online Qualifier

Esports4 days ago

Twitch streamer Lando Norris takes Italian F1 Grand Prix podium

Esports4 days ago

Cloud9 Perkz says Kassadin can’t ever be balanced in LoL

Esports5 days ago

Dota 2: DPC Weekly Recap — SEA Apr 12-17, 2021

Blockchain3 days ago

Did Coinbase Insiders Really Cash Out? It’s Complicated

Esports4 days ago

Valorant: Meet the top 4 EU teams qualified for VCT EMEA Stage 2 Challengers Final

Fintech4 days ago

HashChing acquires Mystro to further expand its offering to mortgage brokers

Esports5 days ago

Nigma make impressive debut versus Team Secret in Europe Season 2 DPC league

Nano Technology3 days ago

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2021 Second Quarter Results

Esports5 days ago

Was Jake Paul’s first-round knockout of Ben Askren rigged?

Trending