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What Was The Boeing 747 ASB?

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The Boeing 747 family has proven to be a very diverse line of aircraft. In terms of passenger variants alone, the US manufacturer has produced six variants. These have ranged from the original 747-100 to the next-generation 747-8. The only short-fuselage version has been the 747SP, whose suffix stands for Special Performance. However, did you know that Boeing also proposed another shortened version? This is the story of the 747 ASB.

Boeing 747SP
The 747 ASB would have had the same short fuselage as the 747SP. Photo: Tomás Del Coro via Flickr

What was the Boeing 747 ASB?

The Boeing 747 family as a whole had already been in service for more than a decade and a half by the time it announced its plans to develop the 747 ASB in 1986. It had intended for this aircraft to challenge a pair of larger single-deck widebodies that were also in development at the time. These were the Airbus A340 and the McDonnell Douglas MD-11.

The ASB suffix stood for Advanced Short Body. As the name suggests, it would have featured the same short fuselage as the existing 747SP, which had entered service a decade beforehand. The ‘Advanced’ nature refers to the fact that it would have used the more sophisticated technology found on the 747-400. The -400 entered service in 1989.

Pan Am Boeing 747SP
The first short-fuselage jumbo (747SP) entered service with Pan Am in 1976. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

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In terms of specifications, Boeing reportedly planned for its 747 ASB to have 295 seats. As we shall see, this figure is slightly higher than that of the aforementioned 747SP. Its planned range was an impressive 8,000 NM / 15,000 km. However, it never came to be.

Ditched in favor of the 777

For better or worse, the 747 ASB never saw the light of day as a production aircraft. The project lasted just two years as a concept, before Boeing canceled it due to a lack of interest from the airlines that it hoped would be its customers. However, the aircraft that Boeing elected to develop instead proved a great hit among carriers worldwide.

Thai-rehab-objection-getty
Boeing developed the 777 instead. The aircraft has sold nearly 1,700 units. Photo: Getty Images

Dropping the 747 ASB project prompted Boeing to instead focus on developing a single-deck twinjet to compete with the A340 and MD-11. This resulted in the 777 family, which has proven very successful. It has comfortably outsold these competitors, with Boeing having produced 1,662 examples to date. United launched the 777 commercially in 1995.

747SP – the short-fuselage 747 that made it

While the 747 ASB never reached production, we have touched upon the fact that another short-fuselage jumbo did. Of course, this was the long-range 747SP. This aircraft admittedly didn’t prove as popular as other 747 variants, with just 45 examples being built. However, the aircraft nonetheless has an interesting legacy and back story.

Iran Air Boeing 747SP
The 747SP allowed Iran Air to directly link New York and Tehran. Photo: contri via Flickr

Specifically, the 747SP came into being thanks to demand from Iran Air and Pan Am regarding a route between New York and Tehran. The airlines wanted Boeing to produce an aircraft that could make the trip non-stop, which the original 747-100 could not.

Boeing shortened the 747-100 by nearly 15 meters to create the 747SP, which entered service in 1976. It had a range of 5,830 NM /10,800 km, vs 4,620 NM / 8,560 km for the 747-100. However, its capacity was generally around 90 seats lower (276 vs 366). Nonetheless, its curious proportions make it a bucket list sighting for many avgeeks even today.

Did you know about the story of the Boeing 747 ASB? Would you have liked to have seen it be produced alongside or instead of the 777 family? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/what-was-the-boeing-747-asb/

Aviation

Game on as Virgin sends Qantas’ market share below 70%

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Virgin and Qantas shot together (Seth Jaworski)

The reborn Virgin Australia has knocked Qantas’ post-COVID domestic market share down from 74 per cent in December to 69 per cent in March.

The decrease, revealed in the latest ACCC report monitoring network expansion, came alongside Virgin increasing its share from 24 per cent to 28 per cent, with Rex holding steady at 2 per cent.

Today’s figures are hugely significant because Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has repeatedly insisted his business would take at least 70 per cent of the domestic industry when the pandemic recedes.

With Virgin also recently expanding its fleet and staffing levels, Joyce’s prediction now looks uncertain.

Today’s ACCC report is the fourth into the aviation industry in response to a request by Treasurer Josh Frydenburg in June last year.

It shows that 18 per cent of Australian domestic passengers flew on routes where there was a choice of three airline groups, compared with the pre-pandemic figure of 1.5 per cent. That number is expected to have increased since March due to Rex’s expansion.

“Passengers flying Melbourne–Gold Coast, Melbourne–Adelaide and Sydney–Gold Coast now have a choice of four airlines, as Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin and Rex are all operating on the routes,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

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“The impact of increased competition can be seen on all of Rex’s new intercity routes, including Sydney–Melbourne where airfares fell to their lowest level in a decade following Rex’s entry.”

The investigation also revealed total passenger numbers in March 2021 were 55 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers, up from 41 per cent in December 2020.

“Prior to the recent Victorian outbreaks, the domestic airline industry had experienced relatively fewer and less significant disruptions for a number of months, and the combination of cheaper airfares and growing consumer confidence to travel interstate was critical to the recovery,” Sims said.

Coincidently, Qantas on Thursday announced it would increase its capacity to 107 per cent of pre-COVID levels and Jetstar to 120 per cent.

The move has been made possible because the airline group negotiated a new deal to utilise up to 18 of Alliance’s E190s, up from an initial 14. This then allowed it to shift its larger 737s to other domestic routes.

Finally, Jetstar will temporarily redeploy three A320s from Jetstar Asia in Singapore to increase its capacity in Australia, alongside the six A320s already on loan from Jetstar Japan.

Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said the new strategy was to “think creatively” about how the business uses its fleet.

“Victoria represents about 20 per cent of our total network and with restrictions in Melbourne easing and as borders start to reopen, we expect to see a quick rebound in travel demand just as we have in other cities when lockdowns ended,” said Joyce. “Our forward bookings certainly suggest that’s going to be the case.”

The news marks the latest development in the apparent second “capacity wars”, as airlines look to expand their networks in a world with fewer border restrictions but no international travel.

In May, Virgin said it would hire an extra 250 staff, including pilots, ground staff and baggage handlers, in addition to the 150 new cabin crew roles unveiled last month.

The airline made the announcement alongside revealing plans to launch five new services and significantly increase frequency across its network, including by 30 per cent on the ‘Golden Triangle’.

Meanwhile, Rex said it would rival Virgin and Qantas to fly Melbourne–Canberra from 10 June using one of its new 737s. The move has been delayed due to Victoria’s current lockdown.

It follows last month’s launch of the Sydney-Canberra service, where Rex now operates seven return flights each weekday, alongside flights to the Gold Coast and Adelaide, as well as Sydney and Melbourne.

The new “capacity wars” have seen Rex and Qantas engage in a war of words, which has included Joyce mocking Rex’s “empty aircraft” and Rex deputy chairman John Sharp branding his rival “technically insolvent”.

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Source: https://australianaviation.com.au/2021/06/game-on-as-virgin-sends-qantas-market-share-below-70/

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Aviation

Game on as Virgin sends Qantas’ market share below 70%

Published

on

Virgin and Qantas shot together (Seth Jaworski)

The reborn Virgin Australia has knocked Qantas’ post-COVID domestic market share down from 74 per cent in December to 69 per cent in March.

The decrease, revealed in the latest ACCC report monitoring network expansion, came alongside Virgin increasing its share from 24 per cent to 28 per cent, with Rex holding steady at 2 per cent.

Today’s figures are hugely significant because Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has repeatedly insisted his business would take at least 70 per cent of the domestic industry when the pandemic recedes.

With Virgin also recently expanding its fleet and staffing levels, Joyce’s prediction now looks uncertain.

Today’s ACCC report is the fourth into the aviation industry in response to a request by Treasurer Josh Frydenburg in June last year.

It shows that 18 per cent of Australian domestic passengers flew on routes where there was a choice of three airline groups, compared with the pre-pandemic figure of 1.5 per cent. That number is expected to have increased since March due to Rex’s expansion.

“Passengers flying Melbourne–Gold Coast, Melbourne–Adelaide and Sydney–Gold Coast now have a choice of four airlines, as Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin and Rex are all operating on the routes,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

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“The impact of increased competition can be seen on all of Rex’s new intercity routes, including Sydney–Melbourne where airfares fell to their lowest level in a decade following Rex’s entry.”

The investigation also revealed total passenger numbers in March 2021 were 55 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers, up from 41 per cent in December 2020.

“Prior to the recent Victorian outbreaks, the domestic airline industry had experienced relatively fewer and less significant disruptions for a number of months, and the combination of cheaper airfares and growing consumer confidence to travel interstate was critical to the recovery,” Sims said.

Coincidently, Qantas on Thursday announced it would increase its capacity to 107 per cent of pre-COVID levels and Jetstar to 120 per cent.

The move has been made possible because the airline group negotiated a new deal to utilise up to 18 of Alliance’s E190s, up from an initial 14. This then allowed it to shift its larger 737s to other domestic routes.

Finally, Jetstar will temporarily redeploy three A320s from Jetstar Asia in Singapore to increase its capacity in Australia, alongside the six A320s already on loan from Jetstar Japan.

Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said the new strategy was to “think creatively” about how the business uses its fleet.

“Victoria represents about 20 per cent of our total network and with restrictions in Melbourne easing and as borders start to reopen, we expect to see a quick rebound in travel demand just as we have in other cities when lockdowns ended,” said Joyce. “Our forward bookings certainly suggest that’s going to be the case.”

The news marks the latest development in the apparent second “capacity wars”, as airlines look to expand their networks in a world with fewer border restrictions but no international travel.

In May, Virgin said it would hire an extra 250 staff, including pilots, ground staff and baggage handlers, in addition to the 150 new cabin crew roles unveiled last month.

The airline made the announcement alongside revealing plans to launch five new services and significantly increase frequency across its network, including by 30 per cent on the ‘Golden Triangle’.

Meanwhile, Rex said it would rival Virgin and Qantas to fly Melbourne–Canberra from 10 June using one of its new 737s. The move has been delayed due to Victoria’s current lockdown.

It follows last month’s launch of the Sydney-Canberra service, where Rex now operates seven return flights each weekday, alongside flights to the Gold Coast and Adelaide, as well as Sydney and Melbourne.

The new “capacity wars” have seen Rex and Qantas engage in a war of words, which has included Joyce mocking Rex’s “empty aircraft” and Rex deputy chairman John Sharp branding his rival “technically insolvent”.

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Source: https://australianaviation.com.au/2021/06/game-on-as-virgin-sends-qantas-market-share-below-70/

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Aviation

Indian Airlines Slowly Begins Recovering From Second Wave

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As the worst of the second wave passes India, airlines have slowly begun ramping up schedules. This week saw daily domestic flights rise to over 1,000 for the first time since May. Airlines have also seen ticket bookings increasing, hopefully kicking off another recovery for the beleaguered industry.

Bangalore Airport IndiGo Getty
Airlines might quickly reach the government’s reduced capacity limits as a domestic recovery begins. Photo: Getty Images

Green shoots

According to data from RadarBox.com, Indian airlines have been ramping up flights since the start of June. Traffic bottomed out in mid-May, with all airlines only operating 777 daily domestic flights during this period. This was a drop of 64% compared to February 2021 traffic and 70% relative to pre-pandemic levels.

However, the worst seems to be over for Indian aviation. Since 28th May, daily flights have slowly been increasing. As of today, airlines are operating 1,060 daily flights, a 36% increase from the lows of the second wave. If all goes well, airlines could reach the government-imposed 50% capacity cap by the end of the summer.

As airlines hit the 1,000 flight mark, passenger confidence seems to be quickly rising domestically. Graph: RadarBox.com

India’s biggest airline, IndiGo, has confirmed the recovery of passenger traffic. In an interview, CEO Ronojoy Dutta said about passenger numbers,

“It [traffic] bottomed out on May 18 and at that point we had gone down from 1,200 departures to about 400 departures. That is how bad it was. Since then, we have started recovering. From May 18 to June 6, the numbers (of passengers) are picking up nicely.”

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

International remains weak

While domestic traffic continues its upward climb, international traffic continues its downward spiral. Nearly every major market has banned or restricted travel from India, resulting in airlines scaling back their schedules drastically. From a peak of 600 daily international flights in late March, airlines are only operating 294 daily flights today.

With countries like the UAE, UK, and US all banning most travel from India, traffic continues to fall. Graph: RadarBox.com

Concerningly, traffic continues to fall every week as travel restrictions continue to drag on. As cases in India fall to their lowest point in months, airlines will be hoping to see border controls slowly be eased to allow in Indians. However, the threat of new strains means that it could still be weeks or months before such a recovery begins.

Bleeding

As airlines continue to struggle with a fraction of passenger traffic, losses continue to mount. Low-cost carrier SpiceJet did not pay employees their full salaries for May, “deferring” it due to a major cash crunch. Similarly, GoAir and SpiceJet entered an informal agreement to combine flights in case of low loads, an unprecedented move.

SpiceJet 737
Indian airlines are quickly facing cash shortages as the second wave drags on. Photo: Getty Images

As cases fall, airlines are desperately hoping for a certain degree of “revenge travel” as people step out for the first time in months. However, any such travel will depend on local restrictions and the lifting of onerous testing requirements by states. For now, airlines are preparing for another rough year as COVID-19 pummels the industry again.

What do you think about the future of India’s aviation recovery? Let us know in the comments.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/indian-airlines-domestic-recovery/

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Aviation

Indian Airlines Slowly Begins Recovering From Second Wave

Published

on

As the worst of the second wave passes India, airlines have slowly begun ramping up schedules. This week saw daily domestic flights rise to over 1,000 for the first time since May. Airlines have also seen ticket bookings increasing, hopefully kicking off another recovery for the beleaguered industry.

Bangalore Airport IndiGo Getty
Airlines might quickly reach the government’s reduced capacity limits as a domestic recovery begins. Photo: Getty Images

Green shoots

According to data from RadarBox.com, Indian airlines have been ramping up flights since the start of June. Traffic bottomed out in mid-May, with all airlines only operating 777 daily domestic flights during this period. This was a drop of 64% compared to February 2021 traffic and 70% relative to pre-pandemic levels.

However, the worst seems to be over for Indian aviation. Since 28th May, daily flights have slowly been increasing. As of today, airlines are operating 1,060 daily flights, a 36% increase from the lows of the second wave. If all goes well, airlines could reach the government-imposed 50% capacity cap by the end of the summer.

As airlines hit the 1,000 flight mark, passenger confidence seems to be quickly rising domestically. Graph: RadarBox.com

India’s biggest airline, IndiGo, has confirmed the recovery of passenger traffic. In an interview, CEO Ronojoy Dutta said about passenger numbers,

“It [traffic] bottomed out on May 18 and at that point we had gone down from 1,200 departures to about 400 departures. That is how bad it was. Since then, we have started recovering. From May 18 to June 6, the numbers (of passengers) are picking up nicely.”

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

International remains weak

While domestic traffic continues its upward climb, international traffic continues its downward spiral. Nearly every major market has banned or restricted travel from India, resulting in airlines scaling back their schedules drastically. From a peak of 600 daily international flights in late March, airlines are only operating 294 daily flights today.

With countries like the UAE, UK, and US all banning most travel from India, traffic continues to fall. Graph: RadarBox.com

Concerningly, traffic continues to fall every week as travel restrictions continue to drag on. As cases in India fall to their lowest point in months, airlines will be hoping to see border controls slowly be eased to allow in Indians. However, the threat of new strains means that it could still be weeks or months before such a recovery begins.

Bleeding

As airlines continue to struggle with a fraction of passenger traffic, losses continue to mount. Low-cost carrier SpiceJet did not pay employees their full salaries for May, “deferring” it due to a major cash crunch. Similarly, GoAir and SpiceJet entered an informal agreement to combine flights in case of low loads, an unprecedented move.

SpiceJet 737
Indian airlines are quickly facing cash shortages as the second wave drags on. Photo: Getty Images

As cases fall, airlines are desperately hoping for a certain degree of “revenge travel” as people step out for the first time in months. However, any such travel will depend on local restrictions and the lifting of onerous testing requirements by states. For now, airlines are preparing for another rough year as COVID-19 pummels the industry again.

What do you think about the future of India’s aviation recovery? Let us know in the comments.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://simpleflying.com/indian-airlines-domestic-recovery/

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