737-800 engine issues
Storage-related corrosion of Boeing-supplied valves on certain CFM56 engines is being linked to four engine shutdowns, pushing regulators to order inspections before the 1,140 aircraft are returned to service after extended downtime.
“Corrosion of the engine bleed-air fifth-stage check-valve internal parts during airplane storage may cause the valve to stick in the open position,” the FAA said in an emergency airworthiness directive issued late July 23. “If this valve opens normally at takeoff power, it may become stuck in the open position during flight and fail to close when power is reduced at top of descent, resulting in an unrecoverable compressor stall and the inability to restart the engine.”
While the issue is serious it’s not considered difficult to fix, although ideally a replacement part will be needed. In the meantime, until inspections and where needed, a fix is applied its advised aircraft should not fly.
RyanAir “40 MAX200 by summer ’21”
RyanAir is saying that by the start of the summer 2021 season on March 29 2021 its should have taken delivery of as many as 40 737MAX-200’s, the 199 seat version designed to push occupancy to the maximum while keeping it one seat below the point it needs another member of cabin crew.
The airline expects to reap the rewards of greater economies and maximised passenger numbers. That is of course, providing the Covid pandemic has retreated to a point its no longer a concern (which without a vaccine seems increasingly unlikely).
The volatility of the situation continues to be emphasised as the UK put Spain back on the 14 day self quarantine list for those returning from holiday in the country. Over 1.8 million brits had booked holidays out to the end of August in Spain. Tui and others immediately cancelled all flights to the country, but Ryan unapologetically carries on flying and says it won’t give refunds to anyone who cancels.
TAP Portugal says it will be back to 40% of its 2019 operations by the end of September – as many as 700 flights per week. Like many airlines its pushing to make everything seem as normal as possible, but at the same time there is the looming risk of what looks increasingly like a rash of Covid break outs in key areas around Europe, although authorities are treating them with speed and efficiency gained from round one of the pandemic.
While everyone wants the airlines to get back to normal, flexibility and readiness to act is everything, when every day brings uncertainty and a new challenge.
Singapore Airlines has used an unspecified number of A350-900’s and 787-10’s as collateral for US$540m loan to sustain its operating liquidity. The amount would suggest around 4-5 aircraft have been effectively mortgaged to help keep the company afloat.
SpiceJet has been designated as an authorised carrier by the Indian Government for flights to the UK at Gatwick and the United States.
The move means the airline can begin low cost long haul flights between the countries, both of which it has Air Services Agreements with.
The airline currently has no long haul aircraft, so would either have to lease or buy in what it needs to make operations viable.
Vistara has taken delivery of its first A321neo with business class lay flat seating.
Despite cutting back its new aircraft intake, its still got at least two A320neo and one 787-9 to accept in 2020, but this is the first aircraft with a fully flat business class offering, something of novelty amongst the new era Indian airlines.
Where most Indian airlines are after providing a low cost operation, Vistara is very much looking at the premium market, serving Indias bourgeoning middle class.