Monday, 30 January 2012

Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes its first official visit to Ireland ©


“The all-new 787 Dreamliner continues to generate tremendous enthusiasm everywhere it flies’-Scott Fancher GM & VP 787 Program 

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its first official visit to Ireland when N787BX Boeing 787-86Q c/n 40692 Boeing Company using call sign ‘Boeing 787’  touched down at Dublin Airport at 2030 hours on the 25th of January as part of the second segment of the Dream Tour.

The tremendous enthusiasm was witnessed at Dublin Airport as many people made the trip to the airport to witness the arrival and the departure, many airport staff toured the aircraft in the hangar.

The aircraft was parked on stand 86R on the North West end of Pier D on arrival before being towed to Hangar 6 where it would remain for the duration of its stay, show casing the aircraft to delegates from the Air Finance Conference.

The Dream Tour saw the aircraft visit Wichita on the 20-23rd to visit Boeing 787 partner Spirit AeroSystems and Boeing employees and on the 23rd to the 25th to visit Hamilton Sunstrand, then to Dublin in visit airline customers, financiers, leasing companies and other stakeholders to coincide with the 14th Annual Air Finance Conference in the Four Seasons Hotel. The next stop on the tour after Dublin was Huntsville ,Alabama to visit a Boeing plant.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been a regular visit to Ireland having made transit stops in Shannon en route from Air Shows in Europe returning to its Seattle base, with the first visit having taken place on the 28th of July 2010.


Boeing 787 Dreamliner IrelandVisits:

N787BA Boeing 787-86Q c/n 40690 Shannon Airport 19th August 2011(Farnborough).
N787BX Boeing 787-86Q c/n 40692 Shannon Airport 28th July 2010 (MAKS Moscow).
N787BX Boeing 787-86Q c/n 40692 Shannon Airport 17th November 2011 (Dream Tour
N787BX Boeing 787-86Q c/n 40692 Dublin Airport 25-27th January 2012 (Air Finance Conference).


On the 12th of December Etihad Airways who operate 10 weekly services on the Abu Dhabi to Dublin route using Airbus A330-200s announced it placed an order for 10 additional Boeing 787-9s plus 25 purchase rights for a total of 41 aircraft making them the largest operator of the type in due course, as they take delivery of the aircraft between 2014-2019. The airline announced that Dublin would be one of the initial destinations for the new aircraft. 

The Dublin visit coincided with a number of major developments in the Dreamliner Programme on the 21st of January as the aircraft embarked on the Dream Tour ANA Airlines introduced the type on its first long-haul commercial service between Tokyo Haneda and Frankfurt operating three times weekly.

ANA stated the customer satisfaction has been high with the aircraft having entered service in November on two routes with 96.3% reliability operating with a load factor of 88%, which is 12% above the average compared to other aircraft carrying 100,000 passengers since they have entered service. 

On the 25th of January the aircraft made its debut in insurance programmes also with its 2011 Financial results Boeing announced that it planned to increase production of the Boeing 787 from 2.5 per month to 3.5 by Q2 and five per month by the end of the year with the new assembly line at Charlestown to be on stream for deliveries from Q2. The company stated it planned to deliver 35 to 43 Boeing 787s in 2012.

On the 27th of January the day of departure from Dublin it was announced the Dreamliner was honoured with the ‘Aircraft of Legend’ award by the Living Legends of Aviation Organization.

The Boeing VP Chief Project Engineer 787 Program Mike Sinnett stated ‘It is recognition of the expertise, skill and dedication that has gone into the creation of this airplane and an inspiration we’ll always keep in front of us-it’s something to continue to live up to’ 

The European 787 Dreamliner Order Book:
Air Berlin: 10 Boeing 787-9s
Air France: 25 Boeing 787-9s + 25 Options
British Airways: 24 Boeing 787-8/9s+ 18 Options + 10 Purchase Rights
Icelandair: 1 Boeing 787-8
Norwegian Air Shuttle: 6 Boeing 787-8s +2 leased from ILFC due for delivery in 2012
LOT Polish Airlines: 8 Boeing 787-8s
Thomsonfly: 8 Boeing 787-8s + 13 Options  
Virgin Atlantic: 15 Boeing 787-9s + 8 Options

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has a very healthy backlog with 870 firm orders from 59 customers valued at $170 Billion, with five aircraft delivered to ANA. The year has started strong for the Dreamliner with Air France confirming an order for 25 Boeing 787-9s on the 10th of January and on the 12th of January a un-identified customer ordered 10 Boeing 787s.

The Boeing connection with Ireland is strong with Ryanair currently operating 275 Boeing 737-800s with a further 30 deliveries outstanding to complete its order, also Aer Lingus operated many Boeing types from the Boeing 707/720/747-100/737-200/300/400/500 from the 1970s through to 2005 when it phased out the Boeing 737-500 from service having opted for the A320 family for its short-haul operation.

Aer Lingus and Ryanair are not customers for the Boeing Dreamliner, both are currently evaluating the Boeing 737 Max which will adapt features of the Dreamliner, as fleet replacements for their A320 Family and Boeing 737-800s.


I enclose links of interest on 787:

All Things 787


787 Dreamliner


Boeing's New Airplane-787 Dreamliner


I am looking forward to the return of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the skies over Dublin hopefully the wait won't be too long!.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 30th January 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Round Up of Dublin Boeing 787 Dreamliner Coverage ©

A Round up of the coverage of the first offical visit of N787BX Boeing 787-86Q Dreamliner c/n 40692 Boeing Company to Dublin Airport 25-27th January 2012, touching down in Dublin at 2030 on the 25th of January from Rockford and departing at 1453 on the 27th of January to Hunstville on the 2nd leg of its Dream Tour.

12th January

Boeing Announces Second Segment of 787 Dream Tour

23rd January:

Boeing Dreamliner to Visit Dublin Airport

Boeing Dreamliner comes to Dublin

Boeing 787 Dreamliner to visit Ireland

25th January:

Boeing Dreamliner to swoop in on Dublin Airport tonight

Boeing on ‘Dreamliner’ Tour to Dublin

Boeing 787-800 Boeing Co Dublin 25/1/2012 1st visit of B787 to Dublin

Boeing 787 Dreamliner first ever landing in Dublin Airport

26th January:

Six One News: Boeing 787 'Dreamliner' on display in Dublin Airport

To Ireland! My symbolic first 787 flight

27th January:

Already legendary

Dream machine: Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes Irish debut

You're really flying now . . . jet brings travel into 21st century

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Named ‘Aircraft of Legend’

Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Dublin

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 29th January 2012  All Rights Reserved. 


Friday, 20 January 2012

European Airlines Cost Pressures grows ©

The year has begun with enormous cost pressures in the airline sector as legacy carriers continue to evolve their business models to ensure competitiveness and long-term viability, the transformation phase is far from over, in fact it is only has just beginning as personnel costs increasingly coming into focus to close the cost gap with LCC’s and Middle East competitors, in an uncertain economic environment, as recession looms.

Air France announced on the 13th of January a new transformational plan which will freeze pay and cut personnel costs by €1 Billion and it plans to increase productivity, as the carrier aims to return its short and medium haul network to break-even within three years (Bloomberg 13th January). The carrier has yet to outline the shape of its short-haul network where it has indicated routes will be axed, but has responded to the LCC threat with a new production platform using A320s at regional bases in Bordeaux and Marseille.

Since Mid-December unions at Iberia Airlines have been protesting over the IAG plan to set up a new in-house Low Cost Carrier Iberia Express to enable the carrier compete effectively against LCC’s Easyjet and Ryanair in the Spanish market. The Iberia Airlines Chairman Chairman Antonio Vazquez stated the new division is crucial to end losses on the short-haul network, as crews will be on similar conditions to those in Vueling Airlines, while the unions want to extend their employment guarantees until the end of 2015 (Bloomberg 13th January).

Lufthansa is set to announce its new cost reduction program in the first quarter to follow its 2011 Climb program; however the carrier has already had a skirmish with its unions over the crewing arrangements using its subsidiary AviationPower GmbH for its New Berlin Brandenburg Airport Base which will open on the 3rd of July (Bloomberg 5th January), while it has transferred its EU flights at its Stuttgart Base to its low cost subsidiary Germanwings.

SAS Airlines has announced it is to lay off 300 indirect administration staff as part of its ‘4Excellence Plan’ aimed to reduce unit costs by 3-5% annually, also the carrier has re-positioned Blue1 to become a feeder carrier into its Copenhagen and Stockholm Hubs (CAPA 4th January), while it is to strengthen co-operation with Star Alliance Singapore Airlines at Copenhagen after signing an MOU on the 12th of January for joint code-sharing flights (Airline and Destinations 12th January).

The end game of the evolution of the short and medium haul which will be adversely impacted by the response of the unions and the fallout from the recession and the lingering effects of the sovereign-debt crisis will zap any prospects for growth curbing demand for air travel. Therefore it is essential for carriers to protect their competitive position.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 20th January 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

2012 The Year of European Airline Consolidation ©

This year is certain to be one of consolidation in the European airline sector as the industry is continually being buffeted by events as the European debt crisis continues with record unemployment levels and austerity depressing demand across the EU, the new EU ETS Scheme took effect from the 1st of January, and the evolving situation in the Middle East over the Iran nuclear program. These events are likely to accelerate the pace of the consolidation in the sector, as airlines grapple with rising costs and slowing demand.

The cornerstone of the re-structuring of the European airline industry begun with the winter schedule, as many airlines adopted their strategies to evolve with the rapidly changing market conditions, to focus on their core market strength, which is creating new market opportunities for LCC carriers, to fill the gaps.

Ryanair has first mover advantage to seize the market gaps having announced new bases in Billund as Cimber Sterling re-focuses on the domestic and regional market, and in Paphos taking advantage of the new Cyprus government route incentive scheme and the re-structuring of Cyprus Airways.

On the 22nd of December Air Baltic announced it was re-focusing its Riga Hub to focus on Eastern Europe and the Nordic market with a reducing its fleet from 33 to 24 aircraft, announcing plans to phase out its 2 Boeing 757-200s and 5 Fokker F50s, the Boeing 737 Classic fleet to be replaced by A320s or B737NG’s (Aviation Week 22nd December)

Its Nordic neighbour Danish carrier Cimber Sterling announced on the 14th of December it would be adopting a new strategy to focus on domestic and regional traffic within Scandinavia deepening co-operation with its sister company Skyways to operate Regional Jets (CRJ/ERJs), while disposing its fleet of Boeing 737-700s (Reuters 14th December).

CSA Czech Airline announced that it was transferring flying from the parent company to its CSA Holidays Airlines subsidiary with 11 ATR72/A320s in order to reduce costs (ATW 8th December), while Malev Airlines was given a loan of $21 million by the Hungarian government pending the sale of the airline to a strategic investor, while the Serbian government announced it will be downsizing JAT Airways after being unable to attract an strategic investor, interestingly Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines signed a co-operation agreement to share aircraft and routes on the 19th of September.

In the Med Cyprus Airways announced it was returning its two A330-200s to ILFC replacing them with A321s while enhancing co-operation with Olympic Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways, Air Malta announced a re-structuring plan on the 18th of December.

The turbulent market conditions have impacted on major EU Carriers with Air France-KLM after reporting a small Q3 profit of €95 million down 95% year on year the carrier is expected to announce a new cost reduction strategy in early 2012 to follow the ‘Challenge 12’ program. The Air France-KLM subsidiary Martinair exited the passenger market after 60 years at the end of October phasing out its Boeing 767-300s to focus on cargo operations, also Lufthansa is expected to announce a new cost reduction plan in early 2012 which the Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz described as ‘The new and constantly changing environment’ (CAPA 19th December).  

The European Consolidation process began in earnest on the 19th of December when Etihad Airways announced that it would be increasing its stake in Air Berlin from 3.3% to 29%, strengthening the position of the carrier in the market, this was followed on the 22nd of December with the announcement Lufthansa reached agreement to sell BMI Airlines to the IAG Group which will strengthen the position of the IAG Group amongst the three European mega-carriers enabling the carrier to grow its long-haul network.

It will be an interesting year as Etihad Airways looks for further acquisition opportunities in the EU, recently media reports suggested Qatar Airways is interested in acquiring up to 49% of Spanair, while SAS Airlines denied it was in talks with the airline. As part of the EU/IMF plans in Ireland and Portugal the government shares have been earmarked for disposal to raise cash, also CSA Czech Airlines and Malev Airlines are seeking strategic investors, while Alitalia Airlines may yet merge with Air France-KLM.

The market place stress is further evidenced by Flybe announcing a profit warning yesterday stating UK domestic demand is weak and it is unable to increase fares (Bloomberg 10th January), to reduce dependence on its home market, it continues to seek opportunities for M&A in the EU to build on the launch of Flybe Nordic.

The question that has to be asked is who will be next in line to consolidate?

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 11th January 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Irish Airlines Report December Traffic ©

Aer Lingus announced that it carried 638,000 passengers in December up 13% with a load factor of 68.4% down 6.2%. The airline carried 64,000 long-haul passengers down 5.9% with a load factor of 69.5% down 7.1% on capacity up 5.6%, and it carried 574,000 short-haul passengers up 14% with a load factor of 67.7% down 5.5% on a 22.8% increase in capacity.

Aer Lingus Regional carried 64,000 passengers up 30.6% and in 2011 it carried a total of 790,000 passengers up 84.1%.

The Aer Lingus traffic stats where impacted by year-year on comparison due to December 2010 Snow impact which adversely impacted operations, and exclude traffic carried on the United Airlines Joint-Venture route Washington Dulles to Madrid.

Interestingly Aer Lingus carried a total of 9.755 million passengers in 2011 up 0.5% which is a positive development given the extremely difficult conditions in its home market.

Ryanair announced that it carried 4.8 million passengers in December down 5% with a load factor of 79% down 1% and it carried a total of 76.4 million passengers in 2011.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 9th January 2012 All Rights Reserved.