Also, In the Skies: 8 Hot Aviation Happenings in Week 18

This week’s hot aviation news included fresh competition in the air.

This weekly post is my ‘round tuit’. Included are aviation stories which caught my eye and others which I couldn’t cover in-depth during the week, but thought Flight Chic readers would want to know about.

 

1. COMAC C919 takes off!

The successful first flight of the C919 narrowbody aircraft, built by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC), is a huge aviation milestone.

The narrowbody aircraft market is sure to get heated. With Airbus and Boeing citing large demand in Asia for A320 and 737 family aircraft in this market, it makes sense that China would want to keep a share of that market home grown, and orders may extend beyond the wall.

We have entered a new competitive landscape.

COMAC clearly wanted to prove the viability of the aircraft to the world and it succeeded. What happens next will be worth watching, but it’s safe to say that the narrowbody market just got even more interesting.

2.  IATA Reports on strong 1st Quarter for airlines.

Strong traffic demand continued throughout the first quarter, supported by a combination of lower fares and a broad-based upturn in global economic conditions. The price of air travel has fallen by around 10% in real terms over the past year and that has contributed to record load factors. We will have to wait another month to see the impact of the laptop ban on demand,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

March 2017
(% year-on-year)

World share¹

RPK

ASK

PLF
(%-pt)²

PLF
(level)³

Total Market

100.0%

6.8%

6.1%

0.5%

80.4%

Africa

2.2%

4.9%

1.9%

2.0%

69.4%

Asia Pacific

32.9%

10.7%

8.0%

1.9%

80.7%

Europe

26.4%

6.0%

5.3%

0.5%

81.4%

Latin America

5.2%

7.8%

5.3%

1.9%

80.2%

Middle East

9.6%

4.7%

9.3%

-3.2%

73.2%

North America

23.7%

3.2%

3.3%

-0.1%

83.6%

   ¹% of industry RPKs in 2016   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level

3. Hawaiian Airlines Gets Gorgeous-er!

Hawaiian Airlines launched an updated brand identity inclusive of the new livery, graphics, logo, and redesigned Pualani: the brand’s beloved icon. As her first redesign in 15 years and one of the first female icons painted on a commercial airline, Pualani evolves at pivotal moments in the airline’s ever-changing phases of growth.

The updated re-design was released on Lei Day. Hawaiian culture remains the bedrock of this 88-year-old airline. In fact, the creative consultancy that worked on the new identity spent a year studying the airline’s history and immersing themselves in the Hawaiian culture in order to get the redesign just right.

4. U.S. Airlines can now be sued for delayed luggage.

Baggage handling just got more critical for U.S. airlines. Good thing they’re on the right track.

5. Are you afraid of flying? Royal Jordanian tackles discrimination in the skies.

I can’t say enough good things about this Royal Jordanian commercial. The airline has been courageous in drawing attention to problems in the air with changing policies abroad. It was first to alert of changes to visa policy in the U.S. for passengers from some predominantly Muslim countries, and first to give the world a heads-up about the problematic electronics ban.

6. Finnair trials biometric check-in.

7. Delta and Aeroméxico sign sponsorship with Mexican national football team.

The sponsorship promises to deliver premier fan experiences, community engagement and unique online content.  With over 140 million loyal MNT fans living in México and the United States, MNT plays an important role in the Hispanic culture and provides a natural platform to celebrate the start of the joint co-operation agreement between Delta and Aeroméxico once the JCA becomes effective.

Delta and Aeroméxico will serve not only as the team’s official airlines, but the global sponsorship will include an array of promotional assets around all games in Mexico, Mexico hosted games in the U.S. as part of the annual MNT U.S. Tour, and at World Cup qualifiers and international exhibitions played in both countries.

“This sponsorship is historic both for Delta and Aeroméxico, as well as for the Mexican National Team.  We are delighted to be working with a team that resonates so well with our employees and customers on both sides of the border,” said Steve Sear, Delta’s President — International and E.V.P. — Global Sales.  “There could not be a better way to celebrate our two airlines coming together to build our transborder partnership between the U.S. and México when the JCA becomes effective.”

“For Aeroméxico, as the flag carrier of Mexico, it is a pleasure to be part of this sports deal. This sponsorship reflects the importance of the Mexican National Team for the country and our upcoming partnership with Delta. We are excited to launch this new sponsorship and look forward to the benefits it will bring to our customers and employees,” said Anko van der Werff, Chief Revenue Officer at Aeromexico.

8. This story of the Hindenburg disaster is a very interesting AvGeek read.

Make the most of your week 19!

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