Boeing finding homes for ‘terrible teen’ 787s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Asia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, North America, USA | Posted on 03-03-2015


Ethiopian 787 (c) Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

Boeing is making progress on finding homes for the early Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which have been sat in storage at its Everett Paine Field manufacturing site since the early days of the aircraft.

These particular aircraft were built shortly after the prototypes began flying, with Boeing seeking to catch up on the delays it had incurred. The aircraft were completed, and most had the basic liveries of the airlines who had ordered them applied. But then they didn’t go anywhere.

When I visited Paine Field in early 2012 there were a number of these aircraft scattered around, painted in the colours of Royal Air Maroc, ANA All Nippon Airways, Air India and others.

Since these aircraft were among the first 20 built (hence the nickname ‘terrible teens’) they also incurred vital modifications which were necessary as a result of testing on the prototypes and first delivery aircraft. Notably, there were problems with electrical fires and the strength of the wing assemblies.

All future Dreamliners were built with fixes for these problems, but for the terrible teens a process of modifications took place to make them airworthy; this in turn added extra weight to the airframe and they incurred a range penalty of around 1,000 miles.

Naturally the planned operators of these aircraft demanded newer airframes, leaving the early examples looking for a new home.

Terrible Teen 787s at Paine Field

Terrible Teen 787s at Paine Field

But now Boeing seems set to announce where they’ll be heading. Since the backlog for orders is so great, taking a terrible teen will be a way to jump the queue for any airline – especially those who don’t mind the range restrictions so much, and would prefer to pay a reduced price tag, which presumably is the case for the unwanted aircraft.

Last week it was confirmed that Air Austral would be taking two of the aircraft, to operate from Reunion Island.

Now it looks like Ethiopian Airlines will take up to eight examples.

Garuda Indonesia and Malaysia Airlines have been approached to take some of the jets, according to ch-aviation, and it seems likely Rwandair will take two of the Royal Air Maroc candidates.


5 new cockpit videos from Justplanes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Ethiopia, France, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, Norway, Spotting Equipment Reviews, Spotting Videos, Switzerland, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 05-01-2014


Justplanes really are the best in the business when it comes to cockpit recordings, with such a wide ranging back catalogue.

JustPlanes thiopian 787

I thought I’d bring you details of a few recent additions to their collection which have caught my attention.

1. Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Join the world’s most advanced airliner on flights from Addis Ababa to destinations across Africa, Asia and Europe. 8 flights included.

2. Norwegian Boeing 787-800
Fly Norwegian’s 737s on routes across Scandinavia and mainland Europe, including a flight to the most Northerly airport in the world!

3. Air Canada Boeing 767-300
Fly long haul and short haul in Air Canada’s 767s, including a trip to Hawaii, and the famous landing at St. Maarten as seen from the cockpit!

Just Planes SWISS

4. Air France Boeing 777-200ER
Follow the pilots of this state-of-the-art aircraft in a flight from Paris to New York JFK. It covers everything from the moment they arrive at the airport, including planning and pre-flight, to the charts, cockpit instruments, approach, landing and all the outside cockpit views.

5. Swiss Airbus A340-300
Like the Air France 777 example above, this one follows the pilots through every aspect of their flight both on the ground and in the air, as they take an A340 from Zurich to San Francisco. Fascinating documentary and cockpit views.


Ethiopian Dreamliners to Brazil

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Brazil, Ethiopia, South America | Posted on 18-05-2013


Ethiopian 787 (c) Konstantin von WedelstaedtEthiopian Airlines will commence Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Brazil from July.

The fairly complex service will route Addis Ababa – Lome – Rio de Janeiro – Sao Paulo

This will be the first Dreamliner service to Brazil, and operates 3x weekly from 1st July.

Three new Qatar Airways destinations

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Asia, Ethiopia, Middle East, North America, Philippines, Qatar, USA | Posted on 06-05-2013


Qatar 777 (c) Qatar AirwaysQatar Airways has announced it will commence flights from its Doha base to Philadelphia, Addis Ababa, and Clark in the Philippines.

The link to Philadelphia will be flown by a Boeing 777-300 aircraft, and comes after previous rumours suggested Atlanta, Boston or Detroit would be the next US destination. The route is expected to start in summer 2014.

The route to Clark – an alternative to Manila Airport in the Philippines – is in competition with Emirates who operate a daily service from Dubai.

Ethiopian Dreamliner return to service on 25 April

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Ethiopia | Posted on 18-04-2013


Ethiopian 787 (c) Konstantin von WedelstaedtEthiopian Airlines plans to return its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to service on 25 April on the Addis Ababa – Dubai route.

The type has not received the all clear from the FAA yet following the much-publicised battery problems, however Ethiopian is confident approval will be given to return their aircraft to service next week.

Following the Dubai route, Ethiopian will resume Dreamliner service to other destinations from Addis Ababa on the following dates:

Harare & Lusaka – 1 May
Washington Dulles – 4-17 May only
Mumbai – 16 May
Frankfurt – 15 June
Johannesburg – 16 June

Ethiopian’s expansion plans

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Dubai, Ethiopia, Middle East, Qatar, Spotting News | Posted on 20-08-2012


Ethiopian Airlines 757

As Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft this week – only the third airline to do so – it has outlined plans to expand its fleet and home base dramatically over the coming years.

The airline has 14 aircraft due for delivery this year, including more 787s, as well as Boeing 737-800s, Dash 8 Q400s, and Boeing 777 freighters.

Ethiopian has also announced it is considering purchasing either 737 Max or Airbus A320neo aircraft as part of its intentions to increase its fleet to 120 aircraft by 2025.

To complement these plans, Ethiopian Airlines is hoping to make its Addis Ababa Airport base a worldwide hub along the lines of those in Dubai and Doha, where passengers would arrive from one side of the world and transfer to flights heading to the other side of the world.

Ethiopian’s unique selling point is its strong coverage of emerging markets in Africa, which the Middle Eastern carriers have been slower to reach.

Whether this happens is still very much up in the air, as most consider Addis Ababa to be inferior to many Western and Middle Eastern hub airports, and Ethiopian’s existing fleet of Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft are starting to look long in the teeth.