Sunday, April 28, 2019

Aviaco McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 (47642/749) EC-CGP "Juan Sebastian Elcano"

Taxies at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (LPA/GCLP) on what appears to be a gorgeous day sometime in February 1988.

(Photographer Unknown / Kodachrome K64 Slide)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Avianca Columbia MD-83 (49947/1900) EI-CCE

Turns onto Rwy 12 at Miami International Airport (MIA/KMIA) as it readies to depart in April 1992.

(Photographer Unknown / Kodachrome K64 Slide)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

Republic of Turkey Boeing 747-8ZV(BBJ) (42096/1468) TC-TRK

Captured at Hamburg (HAM/EDDH) prior to delivery.

(Photographer Unknown / Fujichrome Provia 100 Slide / Date Taken Unknown)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

TUI Airways Boeing 787-9 (62742/703) G-TUIM "Edie"

Delivered to the carrier on May 17, 2018 she performed her first flight (B1 Flight) on April 25, 2018 as N1005S from Everett-Paine Field (PAE/KPAE).

(Photographer Unknown / Fujichrome Provia 100 Slide / Location Unknown / Date Taken Unknown)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

Friday, April 26, 2019

SAS cancels 673 flights as pilots go on strike

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) was forced to cancel 673 flights on April 26 as 1,409 SAS pilots went on strike after an agreement could not be reached on predictable working hours and market-based salaries. More than 72,000 passengers were affected.

According to SAS, 70% of domestic, European and long-haul flights were canceled.

SAS pilots were from four unions: the Danish Pilots Association, the Norwegian SAS Flyers Association, Scandinavian Norway Flygerforening and the Swedish Air Line Pilots Association. The group represents 95% of SAS pilots in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Reuters reported that analysts at Sydbank expect the strike to cost SAS up to SEK80 million ($8.4 million) per day.

Flights operated by SAS Ireland and airlines that are SAS subcontractors, which make up approximately 30% of all departures, are not be affected by the strike.

The Star Alliance member said it wants to continue negotiations and reach an agreement to end the strike as soon as possible. Negotiations have been held in all three countries since March with the support of external mediators in the final stages.

SAS director of communications Karin Nyman said: “It is deeply regretful that the pilots’ strike will have a negative impact on our customers. SAS is prepared to continue to negotiate, but if the requirements [had been] met, they would have [had] very negative consequences for the company. Nonetheless, the pilot associations have chosen conflict.”

“The strike could have been avoided if SAS had shown willingness to meet us. Instead, we meet a SAS management who believes that their employees must accept deteriorated working conditions, unpredictable working hours and uncertainty for their own workplace,” head of the Norwegian SAS Flyers’ Association Christian Laulund said in a statement.

(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Skyservice USA McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 (46645/283) N571SC

Taxies towards a Rwy 24L departure at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) in November 1998.

(Photo by Michael Carter / Kodachrome K64 Slide)

Hawaiian Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 (46991/261) N35084

Rolls for takeoff on Rwy 27 at San Diego International Airport (SAN/KSAN) bound for Honolulu, Hawaii on December 21, 2001.

(Photo by Yoshihiro Kawada / Kodachrome K64 Slide)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

MASKargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11CF (48631/579) N275WA

Rests in the sun under simply gorgeous South Florida November skies at Miami International Airport (MIA/KMIA) in November 1998.

(Photographer Unknown / Kodachrome K64 Slide)

Michael Carter Slide Collection)

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Boeing takes on risk for excess 737 parts held at Spirit AeroSystems

A regulatory filing from Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita offers new details on how the risks and costs of its staggered 737 production plan with the Boeing Co. are being handled.

Boeing announced earlier this month that it would trim its production to 42 of the aircraft per month as it works to get its 737 MAX back in service following two deadly crashes of the jet in just over five months.

Spirit announced the same day that it had crafted a plan with Boeing to continue to build at the previous rate of 52 per month and store excess of the portions of the 737 it builds in inventory until Boeing was ready for delivery.

According to a notice filed Thursday by Spirit with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Wichita-based manufacturer will still be paid for any of work held in inventory as any excess shipments that Boeing requests be held at Spirit’s facilities will still be considered as delivered to the company.

Under normal operations, the fuselages Spirit builds for the 737 are considered delivered once they are loaded on the rail cars at its facility for shipment to Boeing’s assembly line in Renton, Wash. The point of delivery is what triggers Boeing's payment to the Wichita supplier for that shipment.

The agreement also stipulates Boeing will be the company taking the risk — at least primarily — should anything happen to those excess fuselages or other components that Spirit builds.

“(The) title to and risk of any loss or damage to excess shipsets will be transferred to Boeing except to the extent loss or damage results from Spirit’s fault or negligence,” the filing states.

Spirit, meanwhile, will cover any incremental costs associated with holding the excess inventory.

The filing also states that the companies have agreed to certain advance payments for material purchases, all of which are repayable.

The agreement also give Boeing plenty of time to continue to sort out its issues with the 737 MAX, as it runs through May 1, 2020 — a duration that could potentially allow for future holds to excess inventory if there are complications in the planned ramp up of 737 production later this year.

The 737 MAX has been grounded since the middle of March and deliveries of the new variant to airline customers have been suspended.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said this week that the company is progressing on the software upgrades it believes will give regulators the confidence to approve returning the troubled jet to service.

Additionally, suppliers both in Wichita and Seattle have reportedly been told that Boeing’s production ramp-up plans call for the rate to rise to 47 per month in June, back to 52 in July and then to the previously planned record-rate of 57 per month in September.

A representative from Spirit declined to comment beyond the filing. A Boeing spokesperson had not responded directly to questions about the agreement prior to publication of this story.

Not all of the 737s being built are the new MAX variant, though the model was expected to account for around 90 percent of 737 deliveries this year.

In addition to the full fuselages, Spirit also builds portions of the wing, engine pylons and nacelles, and thrust reversers on the 737.

Spirit is Wichita’s largest employer with more than 14,500 local workers, a number it has rapidly grown over that past year in large part to help meet the demand for Boeing’s narrow-body jet.

Work on the 737 spills out into Wichita's large supplier base, making it the single most important aircraft program to the city’s commercial aerospace industry.

(Daniel McCoy - Wichita Business Journal)

Southwest CEO calls Delta 'squatters' at Dallas Love Field

Southwest Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Kelly made his dislike for Delta Air Lines' presence at Dallas Love Field clear Thursday, comparing the Atlanta carrier to a squatter.

Southwest Airlines Co., Delta Air Lines and the City of Dallas have been wrangled in a lawsuit over Delta using Southwest gate space at Love Field for years. Southwest has been trying to get Delta off its gate, while Delta has refused to leave and instead requested eight additional flights out of Love Field.

"It’s like you having rented a house, and there’s a squatter in the house and you’ve got to get them out," Kelly told an audience at a North Dallas Chamber of Commerce event Thursday. "It’s really no more complicated than that."

This ordeal began years ago when Southwest reached a temporary agreement with Delta to fly five daily flights to Atlanta. But when the agreement ended, Delta didn't leave.

Southwest asked Dallas, which owns the airport, to get Delta off its gate. Fearing retaliation from whichever side ended up losing the disagreement, the city sued all parties involved and asked the court to decide what to do.

Nearly four years after the issue entered the courts, Delta is still flying its five daily flights out of the Southwest gate and said without court intervention, "Love Field will become Southwest Field."

"Only long term, meaningful competition provides the best options and fares for the citizens of Dallas," a Delta spokesperson said in response to Kelly's comments. "And to that end, we are pursuing our right to continue flying out of Love Field."

The lawsuit has taken several twists and turns since it started.

The court is mulling a proposal from the city that would force accommodation of Delta's requested eight additional flights on two Alaska Airlines, gates it says are being underutilized.

Unsurprisingly, Alaska isn't keen on the proposal. A few weeks after the city suggested the plan, Alaska announced a surprise expansion at Love Field that left no gate space available for Delta.

Southwest recently ramped up operations at Love Field and now flies 195 flights across its 18 gates. When Southwest announced the expansion, it said at the time it would add even more flights if not for the squabble with Delta.

"We are at capacity at Love Field," Kelly said Thursday. "We have 17 and a half gates that we're operating out of. It should be 18, if I didn't mention that earlier. It should be 18."

(Evan Hoopfer - Dallas Business Journal)

Valujet McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 (47378/508) N905VJ

Taxies at Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL/KATL) on a gorgeous day in Georgia.

(Photographer Unknown / Kodachrome K64 Slide / Date taken Unknown)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

Spanair McDonnell Douglas MD-82 (49661/1452) EC-EVY

Captured at rest at an unknown airport.

(Photographer Unknown / Kodachrome K64 Slide / Date Taken Unknown)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

Viking Hellas McDonnell Douglas MD-83 (49631/1596) SX-SMS

Rests on the ramp at unknown airport.

(Photographer Unknown / Fujichrome Slide / Date Taken Unknown)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

Friday, April 19, 2019

TranStar Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-82 (49125/1074) N935MC

Resting in the desert sun at Tucson International Airport (TUS/KTUS) in January 1988.

(Photo by Bob Shane / Kodachrome K64 Slide)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

Compass Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-83 (49938/1785) VH-LNH

(Kodachrome K64 Slide / Photographer Unknown / Airport Unknown / Date Taken Unknown)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

Volotea MD-95 (717-2BL) EI-EXJ ex Midwest Airlines N913ME

Captured at an unknown Airport in April 2016.

(Fujichrome Provia 100 Slide / Photographer Unknown)

(Michael Carter Slide Collection)

Friday, April 12, 2019

737 MAX crisis prompts Southwest pilots to question its all-Boeing fleet

In the wake of the two fatal 737 MAX crashes, the leadership of the Southwest Airlines pilots union raised a shocking question Friday in a note to its members: Whether Southwest, by far Boeing’s largest 737 customer, should remain an all-Boeing airline.

Southwest created the original low-cost carrier model for airlines, operating a uniform fleet of 737 jets and gaining economies that enabled it to challenge the big U.S. legacy airlines.

Buying from only one manufacturer has been a central tenet of Southwest’s business plan since founder Herb Kelleher bought his first 737s in 1971. Today, Southwest is the largest operator of 737s, with more than 730 in its fleet — including 34 MAXs currently stranded on the ground in Victorville, California.

That the pilot union of such a devoted and important customer is even raising the question of buying planes from another manufacturer is the latest disturbing development for Boeing from the MAX tragedies.

Whether it’s a serious proposal or just a reflection of anger at Boeing, designed to make the manufacturer take notice, it’s not a question anyone at Southwest could raise lightly.

If Southwest were to buy Airbus jets, shock waves would ripple from Dallas through Chicago to Seattle. It would not only hit Boeing’s business profoundly but would also have enormous cost implications for Southwest.

The airline declined Friday to comment on the pilot union memo, as did Boeing.

Jon Weaks, president of SWAPA, the Southwest Airlines pilots union, sent out the memo after a three-hour meeting with the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and some of his technical experts. The meeting, also attended by representatives from the other U.S. MAX operators, American and United, updated airline executives and pilots on the MAX crisis.

Among “numerous questions posed to SWAPA” following the crashes, Weaks wrote, his pilots as well as Wall Street analysts have discussed “the advantages and disadvantages of an airline having a single fleet and having aircraft from only one manufacturer.”

He also referred to Boeing’s size and enormous influence in the aerospace world “and the antitrust issues that accompany this long-overlooked issue.”

The letter reflected anger among pilots at the original design of the new flight control software on the MAX that has been implicated in causing both crashes and the lack of information about it before the first crash.

That software system — called Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS — was activated by a single faulty sensor and kicked in multiple times on both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights. On each jet, it repeatedly swiveled the tail and so pushed the airplane’s nose relentlessly down.

Prior to the first crash in October, MCAS was never mentioned in Boeing’s pilot training and wasn’t in the MAX flight manuals. The pilots at Southwest and American were particularly vocal in criticizing Boeing for that omission.

“Boeing will, and should, continue to face scrutiny of the ill-designed MCAS and initial non-disclosure of the new flight control logic,” Weaks wrote Friday.

Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines captain and spokesman for that airline’s union, the Allied Pilots Association, who also attended the FAA briefing, said American’s pilots share Weaks’ anger at the way MCAS was implemented and not disclosed to pilots.

He said Boeing is now working on and testing changes to the software “because the original software was designed in a hideous manner.”

“MCAS was a monster,” said Tajer in a phone interview after the meeting.

Questioning Southwest’s exclusive Boeing fleet was the most surprising issue Weaks raised in his memo, but not the only controversial one.

He also said the FAA should review the way it delegates oversight.

“Congress will have to debate their 2004 decision where they granted the FAA authority to expand the role of aircraft manufacturers … delegating much of the FAA’s regulatory oversight to the companies it oversees,” Weaks wrote.

However, he conceded this may be impractical.

The process of FAA delegating oversight to Boeing “may be too ingrained to reverse and further complicated because of the FAA’s budget and lack of available and qualified personnel,” Weaks wrote.

As for the outcome of the three-hour FAA meeting, Weaks said Southwest is “standing by for further guidance from the FAA” as that agency’s Flight Safety Board continues to evaluate Boeing’s proposed software fix as well as its proposed training course to bring pilots up to speed on the changes.

American’s Tajer said the meeting was headed by Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell along with a team of technical experts. The airlines sent pilots and flight operations technical staff, “the folks in the foxhole,” he said.

The meeting covered the public information on both crashes, then a review of the original MCAS design and the planned update Boeing is currently testing. Finally, they reviewed the computer-based pilot training program Boeing is planning to bring pilots up to speed.

Tajer said the atmosphere was very open, with all questions welcomed. But he said no timeline was indicated for getting the MAX back in the air.

“This is about getting it right,” said Tajer. “If and when this airplane flies again, ultimately my passengers are going to look at me, eye to eye, and say ‘Captain, Are we good?’ I won’t sign the log book until I can say, ‘Yes, sir. Yes, ma’am. I’m on this airplane with you.'”

(Dominic Gates - Seattle Times)

Friday, April 5, 2019

LAX plans concourse 0 and terminal 9 expansions

Los Angeles International airport has plans for two long-dreamed terminal extensions east of the existing complex, adding sorely needed gates to the congested facility.

The proposed "concourse 0" and "terminal 9" would add 21 domestic and international gates east of terminals 1 and 8, respectively, under the conceptual plans in the LAX Airfield & Terminal Modernization initial study that is due out today. The projects would replace existing remote bus gates on the west side of the airfield.

The facilities would "upgrade passenger processing capabilities and enhance the customer experience" in time for the Summer Olympics that Los Angeles will host in 2028, a spokesman for LAX operator Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) says.

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LAX is the second busiest airport in the USA, seeing a 3.5% increase in passengers to 87.5 million in 2018, airport data shows. Only Atlanta, with 107.4 million passengers, was busier last year.

Passenger traffic continues to grow. LAX saw departing traveler numbers increase on average 6% annually from 2013 to 2018, as a result the operator has committed to $11.9 billion in upgrades through 2024. These include a new remote concourse, as well as a number of airline-led terminal upgrades.

“Modernization of airports is going on around the country, particularly in airports as important as LAX,” American chief executive Doug Parker said at the ground breaking of American's $1.6 billion upgrade to terminals 4 and 5 in October 2018. “We know the way to deliver the customer service we want to deliver in the future is to modernize the airport.”

Concourse 0 would be built on what is an existing parking lot east of terminal 1. The roughly 69,213m2 (745,000ft2) facility would include 11 new gates, resulting in a net increase of nine gates after a reconfiguration of the terminal.

“The renderings bring a tangible visualization of the promise of more access at LAX for Southwest and our customers," says a spokesman for Southwest Airlines, which is the main tenant in terminal 1, citing the current terminal 1.5 project. "[We] now look for new ways to thoughtfully and responsibly add service to answer demand.”

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Conceptual rendering of concourse 0

The 12-gate Terminal 9 would rise east of Sepulveda Boulevard on land occupied by hangars and a regional concourse used by American. The 109,440m2 terminal would be connected by a bridge over the road to terminal 8, and include a new station on the airport's under construction automated people mover system.

Asset Image
Conceptual rendering of terminal 9

An American spokesman says the airline is working with LAWA on plans to relocate its regional facility that would be demolished to make room for terminal 9.

The report does not mention possible tenants for either facility. However, Southwest is a likely tenant for the concourse due to their location in terminal 1, and United Airlines executives have previously expressed interest in making terminal 9 a Star Alliance facility.

"We're going to wind up getting T9," United president Scott Kirby told LAX-based employees in September 2017.

United was immediately available for comment.

(Edward Russell - FlightGlobal News)

Is there another grounding on the way for Boeing?

Is there another problem on the horizon for Boeing?

Singapore Airlines has been forced to ground two of its ultra-modern Boeing 787-10 aircraft because of issues with the engines the carrier has confirmed.

The airline says that “premature blade deterioration was found on some engines” of the latest additions to its fleet, the Boeing 787-10. This unexpectedly early deterioration was found at recent routine maintenance inspections according to the airline, who instantly took the decision to ground the aircraft and wait for engine replacements.

Singapore Airlines said it was consulting with the makers of the engines, Rolls-Royce regarding the issues found as well as talking with the relevant aviation authorities on the next steps and any future precautionary measures needed. The aircraft are fitted with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines, which are the next generation of the Trent 1000 engines which have had premature blade cracking issues, the latest issues are of a similar nature.

The airline became the first carrier in the world to operate the Boeing 787-10 aircraft just over a year ago. This new issue with the engine parts is particularly worrying as SIA has ordered 49 of the type. "It is an honour for us to be the world’s first airline to take delivery of this amazing aircraft. The 787-10 is indeed a magnificent piece of engineering and truly a work of art." said SIA CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong at the delivery event on March 26th, 2018. So far SIA has been the largest customer for the 787-10.

The 787-10s feature SIA’s new regional cabin products, configured with 337 seats in two classes, featuring 36 Business Class and 301 Economy Class seats. The aircraft are usually scheduled to operate services to Bali. Bangkok, Delhi, Fukuoka, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Nagoya, Narita-Tokyo, Osaka, Perth and Taipei, Taiwan.

The airline said that it would operate replacement aircraft on the affected routes, however, some aircraft would be smaller and have less capacity which may mean some passengers have their travel plans altered. "We regret the inconvenience caused and sincerely apologize to customers whose travel plans are affected, and seek their understanding." an airline spokesperson said.

Rolls-Royce has issued a statement that stated it had "been sampling a small population of the Trent 1000 TEN fleet that have experienced a higher frequency of flights at the upper end of their operating range. This work has shown that a small number of these engines need to have their blades replaced earlier than scheduled."

"In anticipation of limited turbine blade life, our engineers have already developed and are testing an enhanced version of this blade. We will now work closely with any impacted customers to deliver an accelerated program to implement the enhanced blade and to ensure that we can deliver on our Trent 1000 TEN future commitments." The engine-maker says it regrets any disruption caused to airline operations but is it enough? Could these early cracking blades pose a potential danger, particularly to those airlines operating long-distance flights on the 787-10?

(Jason Shaw - AeroTime News)