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777X - The White Elephant in the room

Let’s not make any bones about it, Boeing has had a rough 2019, and their year from hell just seems to be getting worse. The 777X, successor to the much exalted 777-300/200 series is facing roadblock after roadblock. The legendary GE90 powered the older generation of the 777 series while the GE 9X will power the 777X. The GE9X will be the largest turbofan engine ever built, by far. Issues have cropped up with the engine’s durability due to high exhaust temperatures. Certification is turning into a nightmare for GE, in turn affecting Boeing. Most recently, one of their cargo doors exploded outwards during the final phases of load testing. In this test, the wings are made to flex much much more than it would ever flex during a routine commercial flight. While the plane withstood all the forces and depressurisation, the cargo door gave way in the last minute, thus putting another spoke in the wheel. While this is not a very major issue, it is definitely a setback for Boeing and will lead…
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IndiGo's ENORMOUS aircraft order

IndiGo just announced they've placed an order of 300 jets with Airbus. Yes, you read that right, 300! Such orders are not very out of character as far as IndiGo is concerned. They have placed 3 such large orders in the past. One for 180 aircraft, another one for 250 and the latest one for 300! People might think this is mildly insane, but there's a method to their madness. These huge orders are availed at massive discounts by the airline. Also, IndiGo stands to make a ton of money by following the sale and leaseback model. In the SLB model, the airlines sells the aircraft that they have bought to a lessor, subsequently leasing the same planes from them. This boosts the balance sheet of the airline while reducing the debt on the books.

All the 300 jets are from the A320 family, with the A320NEO, A321NEO and the much exalted A321XLR populating the massive order. While the A320NEO and the A321NEO are common by now, what is intriguing is the inclusion of the A321XLR. The XLR give…

24 hours to hell and back - The fresh hell that is ultra long haul flying

Yes, 24 hours to hell and back is the name of a show by Gordon Ramsay, but it could also be the story of your next ‘ultra long haul’ flight. On the menu, we have several routes, the most noteworthy being Singapore-Newark, Doha-Auckland and the very ambitious ‘Project Sunrise’ of Qantas. Project Sunrise is Qantas’ ambition to operate the Kangaroo route non stop. To put it lightly, this is mildly insane. These are 21 hour flights, readers! Qantas should rename this as ‘Project Sunset’ in lieu of the sun setting on their passengers’ sanity. You may build a gym, spa, cafe or a golf simulator on board, but nothing will take away from the fact that you’re stuck in a metal tube hurtling through the sky for 21 hours. Too much is too bad, and in this this case, too much is simply terrible. Flying for this duration will LITERALLY kill you. Welcome to the world of deep vein thrombosis, dehydration and massive build ups of gas. Flatulence will be the new normal, and airborne microbes will be the …

Ethiopian Airlines adds its third destination in India - Bangalore

Ethiopian Airlines has been operating twice daily flights between their hub, Addis Ababa and the cities of Delhi, Mumbai for a while now. Yesterday, Ethiopian added a third Indian destination to their network - Bangalore. For over a year now, they were contemplating adding a flight to one of the major South Indian airports, which are Bangalore and Chennai. They have zeroed in on Bangalore, presumably due to better yields and more passengers connecting to other cities in North America and Africa. Starting October 27th, Ethiopian will will launch 4x weekly flights between Addis Ababa and Bangalore. It will be operated by a B737-800. The timings are as follows -


ET690 ADD2300 – 0800+1BLR 
ET691 BLR0230 – 0635ADD 
The timings of the flight have been optimized to facilitate major North American and African connections. The 737-800 is the medium haul workhorse of the Ethiopian fleet. It has 16 business class seats in a 2-2 configuration and 138 economy class seats in a 3-3 configuration. 

Ethi…

A sneak peek into the performance of some airlines at BLR

While most avgeeks have a general idea of how an airline is faring from a certain airport, it is very rare that we get to see specific numbers of Passenger Load Factor and cargo tonnage. In this blog, I will put out a few numbers for certain airlines operating out of BLR. This will give us a fairly decent
estimate of how well these airlines are doing. While we need the yield to numbers to perfectly ascertain the performance of an airline on a certain sector, we will discuss PLFs and cargo tonnage while assuming that yields are above average.

Let's go ahead and check out some numbers now! (All mentioned numbers are for May 2019)

1. British Airways - Historically, BLR has been a good market for BA. At one point in time, they even used to fly their 747-400s to BLR. While they seem to have taken the sector for granted by sending their rickety old 777-200ER, that doesn't seem to have affected passenger numbers.

Average arrival PLF - 85%
Average departure PLF - 94.88%

Average arri…

British Airways (fully) reveals new business class seat!

British Airways did a full reveal of their seat today and boy is it stunning! To say the least, it has been worth the wait. BA now has its sights on the Qsuites and the Delta One suites as well.

Everybody had low expectations to begin with, but BA has exceeded all expectations, and how! They have unveiled the 'Club Suite'. Yes, you read it right.  BA now has a business class seat with a door. It is basically a reverse herringbone seat, but an enclosed version as it has a door. There seems to be plenty of storage as well.

BA have certainly knocked it out of the park with this one. Initially only the A350 -1000s will have this, but eventually all their 777s will be retrofitted with this product as well.

With the launch of this product, BA is now amongst the few airlines that offer a suite with a door in business class, the other notable airlines being Qatar Airways, Delta, and JAL. Welcome to the suites club BA, you have been long overdue!

British Airways unveils new Club World (Business Class) seat

British Airways recently put out teasers of their new business class seat on various social media channels. As everybody keep saying, their current seat was path breaking when revealed in 2006. After a few years, reverse herringbone seats and staggered seats came along. These seats were in a 1-2-1 combination and gave all passengers direct aisle access which made flying long haul a breeze. After 8-9 years of massively disappointing business class flyers, the bosses at IAG and BA have finally decided to do something in the increasingly competitive business class world.


After checking out the teasers, I must say they look.......promising?




As is the norm with BA, blue seems to be the prominent colour. The contrast stitching looks very classy and the brushed aluminium finish on the table release only adds to that effect.




These seats will debut on BA's A350-1000 aircraft that are due for delivery soon.  If the vague pictures that BA have put up are anything to go by, the extremely lon…