Hello and welcome to your preview of the September 2019 edition of Airliner World. The editorial team have compiled some of their highlights from the latest issue:
Grappling with the Grounding
Five months have passed since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX. As the type has earned the unfortunate distinction of becoming the longest grounded conventional airliner since the de Havilland Comet – surpassing the 787 Dreamliner’s 123-day embargo on July 15 – operators of the type have been scrambling to shore up capacity as the northern hemisphere’s summer season reaches its crescendo. In a special report, Airliner World’s Martin Needham investigates how several of the hardest hit carriers are trying to absorb the blow and lessen passengers’ woes as issues surrounding Boeing’s 737 MAX continue to keep Seattle sleepless.
Spirit In The Sky
There’s a strong argument that every airline passenger in North and even many parts of Central and South America should love Spirit Airlines, and yes, this includes those who have never stepped foot on board one of the carrier’s jets. Put simply, air travellers across the continent have Spirit to thank for many of the ‘fare wars’ sparked in recent years, as the established big names vie for a share of an increasingly competitive market. We analyse the company’s winning formula and look to the future of the ULCC market.
Journey to the Frozen Continent (pt 1)
Breaking up the journey between London and Antarctica for a few days in the Chilean capital before continuing to fly south, a fascinating and unmissable travel diversion presents itself for aviation fan Andrew Pearce. Located more than 2,000 miles (3,219km) and five hours away on a completely different heading is Easter Island – a prospect too tempting to refuse. Andrew shares with us his experience of flying to the rocky outcrop in the first instalment of this two-part adventure.
DC-10s: Taking the Interchange
Unable to compete with direct widebody links to Los Angeles, British Airways partnered with Air New Zealand to transform the Californian city into a half-way house. We look back at their 1970s ‘Through Service Agreement’, and discover how the City of Angels proved to be the perfect DC-10 pit-stop for the two flag carriers.
Cruising in Costa Rica
Elsewhere in this issue, Sebastian Schmitz travels to the Central American paradise of Costa Rica, where over a four-day period, he experiences nine flights with four different carriers and landings at eight airports. Although it is a relatively small country – is only slightly larger than Switzerland – Costa Rica’s roads are not always in the best of condition, while the topography can also be a challenge when travelling from one town to the next. We join the many tourists (and locals alike) who are electing to fly between A and B.
Entering the Charter Zone
Enter Air has grown to become Europe’s fifth largest charter airline and the tourism market leader in Poland – to name but two commercial achievements in just under a decade. Formed in October 2009, the carrier’s maiden flight took to the skies six months later on April 25 and today, the carrier offers aircraft seats to leading Polish and international travel agencies, flying to more than 30 countries from Iceland to Portugal and Kenya to the Cape Verde Islands. We reflect on its recent success and chart its possible expansion.
Fit for a (Future) King
A new name and a new training centre: L3Harris Technologies received a royal seal of approval for its new Crawley facility last month. Located close to London’s Gatwick Airport, the complex employs around 350 people and has been designed to meet the growing demand for new pilots, as well as addressing the worldwide shortage of commercial pilots. Airliner World was at the grand opening, which was held in the presence of His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.
For decades Singapore Airlines (SIA) has been a byword for pioneering long-haul international travel. Today, thanks to the ultra long-range variant of the Airbus A350-900, the carrier is able to link its Changi hub with New York/Newark Liberty with a single non-stop flight. Covering almost 9,000nm (16,668km), the service between the two megacities is a demonstration of how progress in aircraft design and engine efficiency can allow carriers to link destinations on the other side of the world. We sit down with the Capt Aloysius Wee, deputy chief pilot for SIA’s A350 fleet to learn more.
Pushing the Envelope
Think of test pilots and the mind conjures up Top Gun-esque images of flying suit-clad military aircrew walking in slow motion before strapping into fast jets and pushing them to their limits in a cacophony of jet noise. But the role is required in all areas of aerospace – including commercial aviation – and the risks taken in evaluating both new and old airliners are just as real as those encountered flying the latest fighters We speak to two aviators tasked with evaluating new and modified airliners in this special report.
Finally, we bring you our comprehensive coverage of worldwide news, alongside our regular sections covering the latest commercial aircraft acquisitions, up-to-date accident reports and developments from the world of aviation training and MROs.