Southwest Airlines formally launched (15-May-2013) the Boeing 737 MAX 7 aircraft powered by the LEAP-1B engine. This is the third member of the 737 MAX family. The airline converted an existing order for 30 737NGs to the MAX 7 variant. The LCC also exercised options to add five more Next-Generation 737-800s to its fleet. Southwest originally launched the LEAP-1B engine on the 737 MAX in 2011 with an order for 150 firm aircraft. This new order takes the airlines total firm fleet to 360 engines. The new aircraft are scheduled to begin delivery in 2019. Southwest also has options for 150 additional LEAP-1B-powered 737 MAX aircraft. The LEAP-1B engine achieved a major milestone in Apr-2013 when CFM concluded design freeze. Parts manufacturing for the LEAP-1B engine will then accelerate through year end, leading to build-up of the first engine in early 2014. The LEAP-1B is on schedule for CFM flight testing in 2015 and engine certification in 2016. The 737 MAX is scheduled to enter service in 2017. Southwest is CFM's largest commercial customer, operating a fleet of more than 600 CFM56-powered 737s. With the MAX 7 conversions and exercised options for 737-800s, Southwest’s unfilled orders consist of 180 737 MAX airplanes and 137 737NGs. The 737 MAX now has orders for 1315 aircraft. [more - original PR - CFM] [more - original PR - Boeing/Southwest]
Southwest Airlines formally launches Boeing 737 MAX 7, converts 30 737NG order to MAX 7 varient
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Bombardier C Series: record orders in 2016 as both variants finally enter service
The first commercial flight of the Bombardier CS300 on 14-Dec-2016, operated by airBaltic from Riga to Amsterdam, will be a major milestone for the Canadian manufacturer's new C Series aircraft programme. Three CS100 aircraft are already in service with SWISS, so the airBaltic flight will mean that both variants of the C Series are finally in commercial operation.
The programme is Bombardier's first wholly new aircraft development, aimed at the 100 to 150-seat market segment and offering advantages of fuel efficiency, cabin space, noise and emissions. Bombardier once targeted 2013 for entry into service, but has been dogged by problems and delays. In 2015, Bombardier seemed to have overstretched itself. The C Series received no new orders during the year and Bombardier was forced to seek investment from the Province of Québec to rescue the programme.
In 2016 the company has recovered to win a net 117 new orders, its highest annual total, bringing the programme total to 360. However, competition is cut-throat, with Airbus, Boeing and Embraer all having new developments of existing products in the same space as the C Series. Bombardier's breakthrough orders from Air Canada and Delta in 2016 required heavy price discounts.
European airline seat capacity growth accelerates - perhaps too quickly: Outlook for winter 2016/17
The summer 2016 season came to an end on 29-Oct-2016. Adjusting for an extra week relative to the previous summer, it produced seat growth of 6% for capacity to/from/within Europe, matching the rate of growth in summer 2015, but higher than the 10-year average rate of 4% and higher than any other summer since 2010.
Current indications from data filed with OAG are that Europe will also experience accelerating capacity growth in the winter 2016/2017 season, which runs from 30-Oct-2016 to 25-Mar-2017. Adjusting for the season being shorter by one week relative to last winter, total seat growth in Europe is set to reach 7%, compared with 6% growth in winter 2015/2016 (and 6% growth in summer 2016). This is higher than the 10-year average rate for winter of 3% and the highest winter growth since 2007/2008.
On routes to all but one region from Europe, seat growth this winter will both be faster than last winter and higher than its 10-year average. The one exception is Europe to Middle East, the fastest-growing region, where capacity growth will remain at 10%. This report presents analysis of this winter's seat growth for Europe by region and by airline group.