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Could Boeing and Airbus Make Too Many Jets?

The aircraft giants’ demand forecasts for the next two decades see little damage from the pandemic, underlining the risk that they overproduce.  Amid widespread shortages, one thing in overabundance may be planes.

On Saturday, on the eve of this week’s Dubai Air Show, Airbus  unveiled its latest projections for global aircraft demand. The European plane maker expects the commercial aircraft market—which it shares with its American rival Boeing BA -1.97% —to require 39,020 new planes from 2021 to 2040. This is only 0.5% smaller than the 20-year figure it predicted in 2019, even though many airlines fear Covid-19 will have a permanent impact on business travel. By contrast, Airbus believes jet deliveries will return to their pre-Covid trend with a two-year lag, thanks in part to more freighter sales.

The outlook was more conservative than some analysts expected, but it was hardly conservative. Last month, Boeing similarly trimmed its 20-year delivery forecast by 1%. This seems modest, especially since the U.S. plane maker’s projections are always higher, coming in this time at 43,610 aircraft.

Boeing and Airbus both trust that replacement of older jets will offset lower fleet growth following the pandemic. Replacement demand makes up 46% and 40% of their estimated future deliveries, respectively, compared with 44% and 36% in their 2019 outlooks. This makes sense, as carriers will want younger planes to cut carbon emissions and entice premium passengers back. This battle arguably began in June, when United Airlines announced its largest aircraft order ever.

Excerpt from WSJ
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Airbus Wins First Order for New Freighter as Air Cargo Booms

Order from Air Lease for seven cargo variants of A350 marks Airbus’s push into market long dominated by Boeing

SE booked its first order for a newly launched wide-body freighter, pushing into a market dominated by rival Boeing Co. at a time when air cargo is booming.

The deal is for seven freighter variants of Airbus’s A350. The jet maker announced the plane in July, opting to launch it without any customers. The company said at the time that airlines and specialist cargo operators had asked it for a new freighter.

Shipments of medical supplies and personal protective gear gave cargo an early-pandemic boost, bolstered by a lockdown-fed boom in e-commerce. More recently, manufacturers around the world have turned increasingly to airfreight to bypass snarled ports, packed ships and trucking shortages that have delayed cheaper cargo delivery by land and sea.

Two of the world’s largest container shipping companies, A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S and CMA CGM SA, have ordered new Boeing 777 freighter jets this year, citing the need to have air-cargo options for customers.

Excerpt from WSJ
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United Airlines Is Fined $1.9 Million for Runway Delays

The airline faced a similar fine in 2012 over the Transportation Department’s tarmac-delay rule

The Transportation Department said it fined United Airlines Holdings Inc. UAL 0.86% $1.9 million for violating the department’s rule prohibiting long tarmac delays, the largest fine it has issued for such violations.

The department on Friday said its Office of Aviation Consumer Protection found that between December 2015 and February 2021 the airline allowed 20 domestic flights and five international flights to remain on the tarmac at various U.S. airports for lengthy periods without providing passengers the opportunity to deplane. The delays affected 3,218 passengers, the agency said.

A United spokesman said the 25 flights were out of nearly 8 million flights operated by United and United Express during the time frame. Since 2015, the company has implemented a diversion-monitoring system that identifies available airports for a flight affected by weather, and it has invested in ground-service equipment, he said.

“We remain committed to fully meeting all DOT rules and will continue identifying and implementing improvements in how we manage difficult operating conditions while maintaining the safety of our customers and employees,” the spokesman said.

Excerpt from WSJ
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New FAA Technology Aims to Speed Takeoffs of Planes Idling on Runways

Aviation regulator plans to roll out tools meant to cut down delays before departure

The top U.S. aviation regulator is betting a new suite of software will help ease a longtime frustration for airline passengers: being stuck on a plane that is waiting to get to a runway for takeoff.

The Federal Aviation Administration plans to deploy in the next several years new software at airports that is meant to make it easier to calculate when a plane can travel out to a runway and depart, agency officials said Tuesday.

At Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, the system reduced delays by more than 900 hours in all during a four-year testing period, or an average of 15 minutes of wait time each for around 3,600 departing flights, according to the FAA. Carriers also saved on fuel and lowered carbon emissions by avoiding idling, the agency said.

The FAA plans to incorporate the new tools into a system for managing plane traffic at airports the agency had developed as part of its efforts to modernize air transportation, officials said.

Excerpt from WSJ
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