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Looking ahead to 2013

by Matt Falcus

Get ready guys… it’s time for the obligatory posts at this time of year that look to the year ahead and all it’s likely to bring.

Here are a few aviation and airport related topics that are likely to dominate the headlines in 2013…


1. Airbus A350 First Flight
The date is not yet announced, but Airbus’ long-awaited next widebody, the A350, is expected to make its maiden flight from Toulouse, France, in Spring or early Summer 2013. We’ve already seen the first glimpses of the aircraft, so stay tuned for the official date of the first flight.

2. Boeing 787s Everywhere
2012 was the year of the 787 Dreamliner. They started flying with various carriers and making lots of ‘firsts’ around the world. I had the opportunity to visit the demonstrator aircraft at Heathrow as part of its World Tour. In 2013, we’re going to see a lot more airlines take delivery of the type, including Thomson Airways and British Airways in the UK, and Norwegian who will fly it on low-cost long-haul flights.

3. American Airlines New Livery
It’s been kept under wraps for a while now, but I think everyone know American Airlines will get a new livery soon. It’s new Boeing 777-300s were supposed to be the first aircraft to feature it, however the first example was delivered unpainted. Keep your eyes out as it’s likely to emerge soon in a new scheme.

4. The End of Passenger 707s
Saha Air in Iran fly the last Boeing 707 passenger services and enthusiasts have visited for many years for the chance to fly on one. But I genuinely believe 2013 will be the year they are retired for good. I may be wrong, but the airline has recently taken Airbus A300s as replacements, so the writing may finally be on the wall for the legendary airliner.

5. A Decision is Made about UK Airports/Runways
Here in the UK, tensions are running so high over the issue of extra runways for London airports, or the idea of a completely new airport built out to sea. Whilst I think it will be MANY years before we see anything appear, I think a decision has to be made in 2013 which will bring a solution.


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