Monthly News ~ February 2019
1) Atlas Air B767 crashes near Houston
A Boeing 767-300 BCF operated by Atlas Air for Amazon crashed yesterday in Trinity Bay, as it approached Houston, TX.
The Boeing registered N1217A, which connected Miami to Houston, disappeared from the radar screens at 12:45 pm (local time) while it was above Trinity Bay, 48 km southeast of Houston’s George Bush International Airport, said the FAA (Federation Aviation Administration). The three people on board, two pilots and a jumpseater died, according to the US authorities. The circumstances of the accident remain unknown for the moment.
2) Cathay Pacific back in the green
The airline Cathay Pacific will post “positive results” for 2018, returning in the green after a difficult 2017.
After the losses posted in 2017, the group’s Board of Directors based at the Hong Kong-Chek Lap Kok Airport announces positive results in 2018 “on the basis of a preliminary examination of the unaudited consolidated management accounts” for the year ended December 31, 2018. According to the information currently available to the Board, the latter is expected to record consolidated earnings attributable to shareholders of approximately HK $ 2.3 billion, compared to a loss of 1259 million of Hong Kong dollars over the 2017 fiscal year.
The Cathay Pacific Passenger business and its regional subsidiary Cathay Dragon benefited last year from increased capacity, a focus on service and improved yield management. Filling rates were maintained and yield improved despite the pressure of competition. Freight activity was strong. Capacity, yield and filling rate have increased. The restructuring, therefore, had, according to the group’s press release, a “positive impact”.
3) WestJet’s first B787 starts its commercial activity
The airline WestJet deployed for the first time in commercial service its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The Canadian company’s first 787-9, named in honor of its founder and president Clive Beddoe, flew on February the 20th 2019 from Toronto-Pearson Airport to its base in Calgary. The ten aircraft ordered by WestJet (plus ten options) are configured to accommodate 16 passengers in Business Class, 28 in Premium and 276 in Economy, or 320 seats in total. “The first commercial flight of the Dreamliner today is the culmination of years of effort,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, chief commercial officer at WestJet. “The future holds great things for the first 787 to propel WestJet to the international stage, whose tail number is 901”. The plane delivered in January, and since joined by a second before the delivery of the third in March; they will fly domestic flights during staff training and regulatory compliance, prior to the first international flight between Calgary and London-Gatwick on April the 28th. The Dreamliner is expected at Paris-CDG from May 17th, then in Dublin at the end of June. The delivery dates and routes of the following seven aircraft have not yet been announced; WestJet also has the option to purchase ten additional aircraft between 2020 and 2024.
4) Boeing celebrates the 50th anniversary of the B747
Boeing celebrates in February 2019 the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the 747-100, the first version of the jumbo. The opportunity for the American aircraft manufacturer to recall the story of the “king of the sky”, a real icon of civil aviation immediately identifiable thanks to its hump at the front of the fuselage, which took off for the first time on February 9th 1969 during a test flight.
The 747 is the culmination of the work of some 50,000 Boeing employees. Nicknamed “the Unbelievable”, these builders, mechanics, engineers, secretaries and clerks have made history in the aviation industry by building the world’s largest commercial aircraft in the late 1960s in just a few months in Everett.
On June the 28yh, 2014, Boeing delivered to Lufthansa the 1,500th aircraft out of its production plant of 747, an aircraft that will remain the first major carrier in history to break through 1,500 built units.
5) Hijack attempt on a Biman Bangladesh B737
A Boeing 737-8E9 from Biman Bangladesh Airlines made an emergency landing on February the 24th around 17:40 local time (11:40 UTC), in Chittagong, Bangladesh. According to media reports, an armed man tried to enter the cockpit.