Today’s trending aviation news comes courtesy of China Eastern Airlines (MU), Air Canada (AC), Boeing, Airbus, and Korean Air Lines (KE).
Trending Aviation News – February 6, 2015
China Eastern Airlines
China Eastern Moves Forward Boeing 777 Toronto Service to May 2015 – Toronto (YYZ) has been chosen to be the next city to be given the Boeing 777-300ER treatment from this SkyTeam alliance airline based in Shanghai (PVG). This widebody aircraft will replaced the Airbus A340-600 currently used between the two cities. The first flight is scheduled for May 1, 2015. Below is the flight facts and path for this route:
Additionally, here is a promotional video of the 777-300ER:
With 2 engines, the Boeing 777-300ER is more fuel efficient than the 4-engined Airbus A340-600. MU improved the onboard with bigger seats, better in flight entertainment system and WiFi on board.
MU’s main competitor here is Air Canada (AC) which also uses a Boeing 777-300 for the route with 342 seats (42 International Business Class and 300 Economy Seats). MU benefits from offering a First Class product but lacks behind by having a 10 seat abreast in Economy Class.
Air Canada Reports Record January Load Factor with Record Traffic Results – With newer aircrafts and more routes introduced, Air Canada reported growth for January 2015.
Air Canada noted growth in all regions except for its Pacific operations where it was affected by Chinese New Year falling in January 2014. With lower oil prices, moving to newer jets to better balance supply and demand, and transferring more operations to the low cost subsidiary Rouge, Air Canada should be able to obtain higher yields and report a successful quarter ahead.
(Airbus / Boeing) Airbus and Boeing January 2015 O&D Roundup – Both manufacturers received 5 orders and delivered 36 / 49 aircrafts respectively.
Airbus has a head start in February 2015 with a larger order from Avianca for 100 A320 family aircrafts. With oil prices at a multi year lower, some airlines might defer ordering newer more fuel efficient jets if yields are within acceptable range. This is something Boeing and Airbus would monitor. There is an expectation that growth from the Middle East and Asia will continue. Also, decisions to replace Boeing 757s might be imminent from US based airlines.
Korean Air Lines
Prestige Suites – Korean Air Lines (KE) introduced a new Business Class seat called Prestige Suites. The seat has been installed on an Airbus A330 for flights between Seoul (ICN) and Guangzhou (CAN), Singapore (SIN) and Hanoi (HAN). KE will progressively install these seats on future plane deliveries (6 Airbus A330s and 12 Boeing B777-300ERs, ten B747-8s and ten B787-9s).
Below is a picture of the new seat:
What makes the design unique is that all passengers will have access to the aisle. With the privacy screen fully extended, it gives the passengers an enclosed feeling perfect for single travellers. The seat also features a pitch of 74″ and width of 21.6″. It will include a 15″+ HD AVOD screen and the usual AV power / USB slots.
KE, a customer of Sogerma, may be using the Club 180(R) seat as a base for this new improvement. Sogerma’s competitor B/E Aerospace also has a similar product called Apex (R). This newer design provides airlines an option to have a higher density 2-2-2 configuration on widebodies (Boeing 767, 777, 787, Airbus A330, A350, A380) for their international operations without sacrificing aisle access (which is one of the chief improvement feedback on Business Class seating).