The Boeing 737 MAX has achieved first flight. A 737 MAX 8 flight test aircraft, powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines, took off from Renton, Washington, at 9:48 am local time Jan. 29 in rainy conditions.
Czech Travel Services leases 737 MAX 8s
Czech leisure carrier Travel Service is aiming to operate 40 Boeing 737 MAX 8s by 2025 and has just leased a further 16 aircraft, increasing its total commitment to 25 of the type.
Boeing delivers the 8,888th 737
Boeing delivered the 8,888th 737 to come off the production line to Xiamen Airlines. The 737-800, features a special livery commemorating the airplane's significance. With this delivery, Xiamen Airlines has now expanded its fleet size to 133 Boeing airplanes, including 17 737-700s, 106 737-800s, 4 757-200s and 6 787-8s.
Dragonair rebrands as Cathay Dragon
Hong Kong-based Dragonair (right tail) is being renamed Cathay Dragon (left tail) in an effort to align itself more closely with parent Cathay Pacific. Its aircraft will be repainted with a livery design similar to Cathay Pacific’s. However, the two airlines will continue to be operated separately under their own licenses.
United Airlines said it has reached an agreement to acquire 40 new Boeing 737-700s, which will be used to replace a portion of the carrier’s domestic capacity now being operated under contract by regional airlines.
Gulf air orders large Airbus, Boeing aircraft
Bahraini flag-carrier Gulf Air has announced major new and adjusted orders, as expected, at the Bahrain International Air Show. The new deals will see the airline expand again in coming years after a period of retrenchment. Photo: Rendering of A320neo in Gulf Air livery
Lufthansa takes delivery of first A320neo
Lufthansa Group has taken delivery of the first Airbus A320neo following a delay from the re-engined narrowbody’s planned end-of-2015 delivery schedule.
Bombardier ramps up CSeries production
Bombardier has begun the ramp-up to full CSeries production, after completing the structural build of Swiss International Air Lines’ first CS100, which is scheduled for delivery in 2Q 2016.
Cargo carrier Atlas to acquire Southern Air
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has agreed to acquire Southern Air Holdings for $110 million in an all-cash transaction.
United CEO Munoz discharged from hospital after heart transplant surgery
United CEO Oscar Munoz and part of his medical team on Jan. 11 on his discharge from the hospital following a heart transplant Jan. 6: (Left) Dr. Allen Anderson, medical director, Center for Heart Failure, Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, Northwestern Medicine; and (Right) Dr. Duc Pham, director of the Northwestern Medicine Heart Transplant Program
TAP Portugal rebrands Portugalia regional as TAP Express
KLM Cityhopper, KLM’s Dutch regional subsidiary, has confirmed options for two additional Embraer E175s. The original contract, covering 17 firm orders (15 E175s and two E190s) and 17 E175 options, was announced in March 2015. Options for 15 aircraft of the same model still remain.
Airbus annual press conference
Airbus logged three firm A380 orders in December 2015 to an undisclosed customer, but the manufacturer declined to comment on whether they are destined for Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA). Speaking at the manufacturer’s annual press briefing in Paris, Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Brégier said: “We have three new A380 orders. The customer has asked to remain undisclosed, but it is a firm order.”
ANA celebrates 100,000th 787 flight
ANA celebrates 100,000th Boeing 787 Dreamliner revenue flight. ANA was the launch customer for the type in 2011.
Malaysia Airlines suspends Paris, Amsterdam routes; to retire 777-200ERs
Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) has confirmed the suspension of its Paris and Amsterdam routes will allow it to retire its remaining Boeing 777-200ERs, and that many of the pilots from this fleet will also be leaving the airline.
Air China buys six 777-300ERS worth more than $2b
Air China has ordered six Boeing 777-300ERs, worth $2.051 billion at list prices, according to a statement released by the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The new aircraft, which will be used for international expansion, are scheduled to be delivered between 2016-2017. The deal is subject to Chinese government approval.
BOC Aviation places A320neo, ceo order
Singapore-based leasing company BOC Aviation (BOC) has placed an order for 18 Airbus A320neos and 12 A320ceos, valued at more than $3 billion at list prices.
Air France retires 747
Air France will end more than 40 years of Boeing 747 operations with a final commercial flight from Mexico City to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on Jan. 10. The French flag carrier will conduct two tribute 747 flights over France and several landmarks on Jan. 14 to and from Paris CDG.
First Concorde test pilot dies
Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Getty Images
The industry is mourning the loss of the former test pilot, Andre Turcat, the first pilot to fly the Concorde, who passed away on Jan. 4 at age 94 at his home in Aix-En-Provence. Photo: From left, Test pilots Andre Turcat with Brian Trubshaw in front of a Concorde supersonic airliner in Bristol, England, Dec. 9, 1968.
Bombardier delivers first Q400 combi to Ryukyu Air Commuter
Bombardier delivered the first Q400 passenger-cargo “combi” to launch customer Japan’s Ryukyu Air Commuter (RAC). The combi can carry up to 9,000 lb. of cargo and 58 passengers. Okinawa-based RAC, which is a member of Japan Airlines Group, received its first Q400 combi on Dec. 31, 2015, kicking off deliveries from its five-aircraft order.
Linda Blachly is Senior Associate Editor for Air Transport World and Aviation Week. She joined the company in July 2010 and is responsible for producing features for Air Transport World’s monthly magazine and engaging content for the aviationweek.com. She is based in the Washington DC office.