Southwest Airlines has converted an order for Boeing 737NG aircraft into an order for 30 737MAX 7 aircraft.
This shows Southwest’s ongoing commitment to the 737, which is the sole aircraft type in its fleet (split across classic and NG models), and also makes the airline the launch customer for the MAX 7 variant.
Southwest also exercised options to add five more Next-Generation 737-800s to its fleet. These airplanes, along with the 737 MAX 7s, are part of Southwest’s ongoing effort to improve fuel efficiency and profitability. The 737 MAX 7 supports Southwest’s expanding fleet modernization effort. Southwest is expected to take its first 737 MAX 7 delivery in 2019.
Qatar 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.
Boeing has given its new 777X the green light, meaning customers can now officially order the new type, which will put the manufacturer in competition with Airbus’ A350 variants.
Boeing’s 777 has been one of the world’s most popular long-haul aircraft since its introduction in 1995. The ‘X’ model is thought to include new engines, folding wingtips and technology used in the recent 747-8 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
“We are taking the next step when it comes to engaging customers on the 777X,” spokesman Doug Alder said. The company has “begun to discuss additional technical, pricing and schedule details with customers”, he added.
It is thought the 777X will enter service around 2020.
Last week marked the final flight in Europe of a BAC One-Eleven (1-11) aircraft, with QinetiQ’s (former Royal Aircraft Establishment) last flying example, ZH763, making the short journey from Boscombe Down to Newquay, in the south west of England.
The aircraft is to be preserved under cover as a fully serviceable exhibit, which will hopefully be seen moving around the airfield under its own power at special events held by its new owners, Classic Air Force, who have a number of serviceable historic aircraft.
As the type approaches its 50th anniversary, it is fitting to retire an example in this way, for future generations to enjoy.
Meanwhile, Classic Jet Tours in the USA are organising four enthusiasts flights on the last remaining operational 1-11 in the USA this October. The aircraft, N999BW, is operated in a VIP configuration by Jet Place Inc. These tours are likely to be the last chance for anyone to fly on a BAC One-Eleven, so if you’re interested make a booking at www.classicjettours.com and get down to Dallas Love Field.
If you want to spend time spotting at Atlanta Airport, most spotters know that the Renaissance Concourse is the hotel of choice, with its ideal position alongside the northern perimeter and rooms with balconies facing the action.
However, a lesser-known hotel which is usually much cheaper and still offers good views of aircraft can be found nearby.
This photo of BEST WESTERN PLUS Atlanta Airport-East is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has announced figures which make it one of the fastest growing commercial airports in the USA.
Formerly Williams Air Base, it opened as a commercial airport in 1994. Its new terminal was opened in the early 2000s with the introduction of flights by Ryan International. Whilst it would never seriously challenge Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (situated 27 miles to the west), it has established itself as a good alternative which is popular with low-cost airlines. Allegiant Air opened a focus city here in 2007, with McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and Boeing 757-200 aircraft operating flights to many US destinations.
The airport also has services from Spirit Airlines, and seasonal links to Denver with Frontier Airlines.
Recent growth at the airport has seen passenger numbers rise 45% to 1.39 million per year. This coincides with the decision to extend the terminal with the addition of two more gates. The Gateway 2030 project aims to construct a completely new terminal to the west, with 20 gates and a pier, along with the associated infrastructure, a hotel, offices and parking spaces.
Aside from passenger services, Phoenix-Mesa is a popular airport for flight training, and has a based FBO. It is also a service centre for Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft aircraft, which are regular visitors. The airport has three parallel runways.
Spotting at Phoenix-Mesa Gatway Airport
For the enthusiast, Phoenix-Mesa offers an interesting alternative to Sky Harbor and the various storage airports in the area. The best place to view movements is from the Flight Deck Cafe next to the General Aviation Terminal. There’s also a pilot shop here. The cafe has a viewing mound, and good photographs are possible in the afternoon and evening over the fence. This is a known place for spotters to congregate, so trouble from the authorities is unlikely.
I just stumbled upon an excellent video of the legendary US airline Braniff. Although a little grainy, the footage shows the airline’s famous ‘Big Orange’ Boeing 747, as well as a few of the carrier’s brightly-coloured Boeing 727-100s and -200s. Enjoy!
It’s a significant week for British Airways! I just hope the Dreamliner problems can be ironed out quickly so that the aircraft can be delivered as near as possible to the original schedule, which was July.
Porter Airlines of Canada has announced a significant order for Bombardier aircraft today.
The order sees the airline purchasing its first jet aircraft in the form of 12 C Series airliners, plus 18 options. The aircraft will be the CS100 series.
The order also includes purchase rights for a further six Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft.
Adding the CS100 jets to the fleet means the airline’s home base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will need to extend its runway by 168 metres at both ends to allow it to operate. Whilst the new aircraft is likely to match the noise emission levels of the Q400s currently operated into the airport by Porter, it anticipates opposition from neighbours to the downtown airport who oppose use of the aircraft and expansion of the runway.
The C Series aircraft will be delivered from 2016, and allow Porter to expand its network to Vancouver, Calgary, Los Angeles, Miami and Orlando.