Weekly News 26/02/18 – 04/03/18
Record profits for the IAG Group in 2017
International Airlines Group (IAG), bringing together British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and Level, displays for 2017 an operating profit up 18.9% to exceed 3 billion euros and expects to do even better this year.
The annual financial results presented on February 23, 2018 by the British group show a net profit of 2.021 billion euros (+ 3.5%), on a turnover up 1.8% to 22.972 billion euros (and 1.6% for the only passing activity). The operating profit should improve in 2018 without any more precision, IAG announcing, on the other hand, a share buyback plan of 500 million euros.
At the current fuel price and exchange rate levels, IAG expects its operating profit for 2018 to “show an increase” over 2017. Passenger unit revenues and unit costs excluding fuel “should ‘improve at constant exchange rates’. But the announcement of a strong expansion in terms of capacity + 6.7% against + 2.6% in 2017) has not pleased investors: the action of the group has lost more than 5% on Friday the 23rd.
Lufthansa has to review its new livery
The airline Lufthansa will revise its new livery presented three weeks ago, the blue appearing almost black at night or when the weather is bad.
Revealed three weeks ago after thirty years of stability, the new livery of the German national company had shocked some by the disappearance of yellow in favor of a single dark blue. But according to airliners.de, this blue now poses a problem for Lufthansa management, mainly on the vertical drift: “in the test environment” in full sun, it appears too dark and almost black at night or in bad weather, even “during the winter months” when the light is dim. A spokesman told the site that the effect was noted during landing in New York and Hong Kong, where the first Boeing 747-8i with the new livery was deployed.
A team of Lufthansa will, therefore, work in the coming weeks to find a shade of blue “perceived as blue even in unfavorable light conditions”; a complicated process according to the spokesperson. Only three aircraft have been repainted so far: the 747-8i, an Airbus A321 and a Bombardier CRJ900; the company had planned to repaint 40 aircraft by the end of the year (and its entire fleet in seven years), including A380 as suggested by an image she posted on social networks.
First 737 MAX 8 for Icelandair and Aeromexico
The Boeing 737 MAX 8s joined the fleet of two additional airlines, Icelandair in Iceland and Aeromexico in Mexico, the latter having just completed its last flight in B777.
Icelandair, based at Reykjavik-Keflavik airport, officially took possession on February 28, 2018, of the first of 16 reconditioned single-aisles ordered in 2013, one of the expected nine 737 MAX 8s. The aircraft with an incomplete livery is configured to accommodate 16 passengers in Business class, 12 in Premium and 126 in Economy, while the configuration in 178 seats of the seven future 737 MAX 9 is not yet known (the company has rights purchases for eight additional MAXs). The flight to its base is not planned for a week, and this is where the cabins will be installed.
Aeromexico also celebrated yesterday the delivery of its first 737 MAX 8, out of a total of 60 MAX 8 and MAX 9 ordered firm in 2012 (with purchase rights on 30 others). This single-aisle aircraft, configured to accommodate 16 passengers in Business Class and 150 in Economy, will be used by the Mexican national airline “to expand its network across the Americas”. “We are very proud to be one of the first airlines in Latin America to operate this aircraft, which will enable us to achieve operational efficiencies that translate into multiple benefits for our customers, both in terms of onboard experience and options to reach their destination, “said Andrés Conesa, CEO of Aeromexico in the Boeing’ statement.
First Airbus A350 ULR and Embraer E2 certified
The first Airbus A350-900 Ultra Long Range (ULR) came out of the FAL Toulouse on Wednesday, its entry into service is scheduled for the fourth quarter at the airline Singapore Airlines which has ordered seven. In Brazil, the Embraer E190- E2 has been certified by the Brazilian, European and American authorities; he will fly to Wideroe at the beginning of April.
On February 28, 2018, Airbus released a photo of the MSN216, the first A350-900 in a very long-range version, coming out of the final assembly line without its engines but with the new winglets at the end of the wing. The first “intensive” ground tests will be conducted before the installation of its Rolls Royce Trent XWB, says the European aircraft manufacturer in its statement. Then a “short” flight test program will be conducted to certify the changes from the original model, presumably starting in April, before an expected delivery at the beginning of the fourth quarter at Singapore Airlines. The A350-900ULR will be able to cross 9,700 nautical miles, or 17,964 km, and fly for more than 20 hours; compared to the “classic” A350-900, it has an MTOW up to 280 tonnes and a fuel capacity of the ULR of 17%, to 165,000 liters, without installation of additional tanks through a ” modified fuel system “.
In Brazil, Embraer announced yesterday that its E190-E2 had received its type certification from the European EASA, the US FAA and of course the ANAC in its home country. Obtained 56 after the launch of the modernization program of the E-Jet family, this certification paves the way for a delivery in April to the Norwegian company Wideroe. It has ordered three configured to accommodate 114 passengers in one class, with purchase rights for a “flexible mix” of twelve E175-E2, E190-E2 and E195-E2 “which will give it the opportunity to grow with aircraft from 80 to more than 130 seats, in order to meet demand with aircraft of suitable capacity. The E190-E2 features new Pratt & Whitney PW1900 engines geared turbofan, and a completely new wing and landing gear. Compared to the first-generation E190, 75% of the aircraft’s systems are new.