This week Boeing announced some significant changes within the company. Because of it’s importance, IFExpress  focused on those changes for this week’s edition; however, we will continue coverage from APEX Expo in the next issue!


Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg Announces Changes to Sharpen Company Focus on Product and Services Safety

The actions follow recent recommendations from the Boeing Board of Directors that were the result of a five-month independent review of the company’s policies and processes for the design and development of its airplanes by a specially appointed committee, initiated by Muilenburg following the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 737 MAX accidents. Recommendations from the Committee on Airplane Policies and Processes—supported by extensive outreach to internal and external experts—focused on further improving safety throughout the company and the broader aerospace ecosystem.

“Safety is at the core of who we are at Boeing, and the recent 737 MAX accidents will always weigh heavily on us. They have reminded us again of the importance of our work and have only intensified our commitment to continuously improve the safety of our products and services,” said Muilenburg. “My team and I embrace our board’s recommendations and are taking immediate steps to implement them across the company in partnership with our people, while continuing and expanding our ongoing efforts to strengthen safety across Boeing and the broader aerospace industry. We thank our board and the committee members for their thorough work and ongoing support. Boeing is committed to always being at the forefront, proactively leading and advocating for continuous improvements in global aerospace safety.”

In addition to the previously announced permanent Aerospace Safety Committee of the Boeing Board of Directors, Muilenburg shared that Boeing is standing up a new Product and Services Safety organization that will further strengthen the company’s safety-first focus. This organization will unify safety-related responsibilities currently managed by teams across several Boeing business and operating units.

The team will be led by Vice President of Product and Services Safety Beth Pasztor, who will report jointly to the Boeing Board of Directors Aerospace Safety Committee and Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief engineer and senior vice president of Engineering, Test & Technology. The organization will bring together teams across Boeing—and external talent where needed—to elevate awareness and reporting of, and accountability for, safety issues within the company, further improving enterprise-wide product and services safety .

Pasztor, a 34-year Boeing veteran, previously served as vice president of Safety, Security & Compliance for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, where she was responsible for integrating product safety and regulatory compliance actions and initiatives.

The organization is responsible for reviewing all aspects of product safety, including investigating cases of undue pressure and anonymous product and service safety concerns raised by employees. Pasztor also will oversee the company’s Accident Investigation Team and safety review boards, in addition to the enterprise Organization Designation Authorization—the company’s engineering and technical experts who represent the Federal Aviation Administration in airplane certification activities.

With input from the specially appointed committee, Muilenburg also announced that engineers throughout the company, including the new Product and Services Safety organization, will report directly to Hyslop, whose focus will be on health and capability of the Engineering function and related needs of the company. This realignment will help strengthen engineering expertise, encourage a company wide approach to meeting customer, business unit and operational priorities, and further emphasize the importance of safety. It also places an even greater emphasis on creating professional growth opportunities for engineers across the enterprise.

“These changes will enhance our team and amplify our focus on safety, while benefiting our customers and operational performance, and intensify our focus on learning, tools and talent development across the company,” said Muilenburg.

The company also is establishing a Design Requirements Program to strengthen a culture of continuous improvement, learning and innovation; enhancing the Continued Operation Safety Program to raise visibility and transparency of all safety and potential safety reports; partnering with commercial and defense customers, and other stakeholders, to ensure flight deck designs continue to anticipate the needs of future pilot populations; and expanding the role and reach of the company’s Safety Promotion Center to reinforce Boeing’s long-standing safety culture.

Concurrently and in addition to the board’s recommendations, Muilenburg announced further steps Boeing is taking to strengthen how it manages safety across the company and its supply chain, focusing on operational excellence, investing in its people and, in partnership with others across the aerospace community, working to improve global aviation safety.

That includes expanding company wide use of a comprehensive safety management system and safety review boards to standardize safety policy and objectives, share best practices, manage risk, assess performance, increase visibility and further strengthen the company’s safety culture. An anonymous reporting system, born in Commercial Airplanes and expanded across the company, is encouraging employees to bring forward potential safety issues that will be reviewed by the Product and Services Safety organization. Also, safety review boards have been expanded and are now led by senior company leadership, including Boeing’s chief engineer and business unit CEOs, resulting in enhanced visibility. Early gains and lessons learned are being applied—today—across a range of development and established programs. Additionally, investments in enhanced flight simulation and computing capabilities have increased the company’s ability to proactively test a wide range of scenarios, resulting in improved product safety. For example, over the past several weeks, software engineers have run 390,000 flight hours on the 737 MAX—the equivalent of flying 45 years. Advanced R&D efforts in future flight decks also are underway, leveraging leading-edge work in human factors science and design.

“At this defining moment, Boeing must take an expanded leadership role with a heightened focus on safety — and reach even higher,” said Muilenburg. “In addition to our focus on a common safety management system, we’re creating new leadership positions with the authority, accountability and transparency needed to make measurable progress; addressing the growing need for talent, pilot and maintenance technician training, and STEM education; as well as investing in areas such as product design, future flight decks, infrastructure, regulation and new technologies. We will have more to share on these additional efforts soon.

“Ensuring the safety of the flying public, pilots and crew is our top priority as we work to return the 737 MAX to service,” he continued. “We’ll keep learning from the recent accidents, share what we learn with the broader aviation community, and emerge better and stronger as a company and industry.”

MORE BOEING NEWS

Boeing and Air New Zealand finalized an order for eight 787-10 Dreamliner airplanes valued at $2.7 billion at list prices. The carrier, recognized for its long-range flights and global network, will integrate the largest Dreamliner model into its world-class fleet of 787-9 and 777 airplanes from 2022 to strategically grow its business. The airplane deal, announced in May as a commitment, includes options to increase the number of aircraft from eight up to 20, and substitution rights that allow a switch from the larger 787-10 to smaller 787-9s, or a combination of the two models for future fleet and network flexibility. Powered by a suite of new technologies and a revolutionary design, the 787-10 set a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics when it entered commercial service last year. The airplane allows operators to achieve 25 percent better fuel efficiency per seat compared to the previous airplanes in its class. Air New Zealand was a global launch customer for the 787-9 and today operates 13 of the Dreamliner variant. With another 787-9 on the way and the 787-10 airplanes in the future, the airline’s Dreamliner fleet is on track to grow to 22. The new Dreamliner aircraft will replace Air New Zealand’s fleet of eight 777-200ERs. Air New Zealand’s widebody fleet also includes seven 777-300ERs. Air New Zealand utilizes a number of Boeing Global Services solutions, including Airplane Health Management and Maintenance Performance Toolbox. These digital solutions provide maintenance data and decision support tools that enable aircraft maintenance teams to increase operational efficiency.


PANASONIC & AEROMOBILE
Panasonic Avionics Corporation subsidiary, AeroMobile, and leading integrated UAE telecommunications operator du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company(EITC), have partnered in an agreement that will enable du’s subscribers to enjoy inflight mobile connectivity at a better price. Recognizing a desire for its customers to stay connected when they travel, the new partnership will expand on du’s popular international roaming plans– ‘Roaming data bundle on preferred networks’ –which currently enable subscribers to use their phones in 86 different countries for the same price as being at home.

The international roaming bundles will now include AeroMobile’s inflight mobile services, which will enhance the experience of traveling even further. Subscribers will be able to browse the internet and stay connected, send and receive texts, listen to voicemail, and make and receive calls on AeroMobile equipped aircraft at no extra cost, provided customers have the eligible roaming data package active. As well as empowering du subscribers on their journeys, business customers can also benefit from always-on connectivity with Inflight roaming on their travels. This service is available to post-paid customers and will enable du subscribers to enjoy more value, simplicity and convenience when traveling abroad than ever before.


SITAONAIR
SITAONAIR and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the potential for a world-first space-based Very High Frequency (VHF) solution. The space-based VHF voice service, which would be the first of its kind, would use VHF radio relay installed onboard satellites. Its key benefit would be to enable Direct Controller-Pilot Communication (DCPC) in areas of airspace which are geographically remote, such as oceanic regions, or where it is not cost-efficient to provide and maintain terrestrial VHF and HF services. When used in combination with air traffic surveillance systems, the service has the potential to drastically improve airspace capacity and efficiency, complementing existing automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), satellite communications (SATCOM) Voice and automatic dependent surveillance-contract/controller-pilot data link communications (ADS-C/CPDLC) technologies. CAAS is already embarking on technical studies into space-based VHF in the Singapore Flight Information Region (FIR), focusing on medium earth orbit (MEO) and low earth orbit (LEO) satellites used as relay stations for voice and, if feasible, data communications. SITAONAIR will support the initiative by contributing to various studies around the enablement of dual mission voice and data capability in areas that may benefit from ACARS Datalink services. Initially, SITAONAIR will engage with the industry to focus on the implementation of High Altitude Pseudo Satellite- (HAPS)-based platforms which would hover around 60,000ft above the earth’s surface, in the stratosphere. This interim solution would deliver value in high-traffic routes and regions, paving the way for space-based VHF once available satellites are launched.


AIRBUS

  • Airbus signed a cooperation agreement with Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, to cooperate on developing a Skywise Data Centre in China. Skywise is Airbus’ open data integration platform driving digital collaboration across the aerospace value chain. Skywise helps airlines to better optimize their internal operations, to save on costs and to support safety. By partnering with Alibaba Cloud, and utilizing the local data center, Skywise will provide tailored services for Chinese domestic airlines, as well as features and tools for data compliance required for Chinese airlines to join the platform. Since the beginning of 2019, Airbus has begun to provide advanced analytics services to Chinese domestic airlines through Skywise. To date, Spring Airlines, Yunnan Hongtu Airlines and Zhejiang Loong Airlines have connected to Skywise. To date, more than 90 airlines have been connected to the Skywise platform for a variety of data analytics applications, with nearly 7,000 aircraft connected to the platform.
  • Air France has taken delivery of its first A350-900. The first jet out of a total order of 28 was handed over to Anne Rigail, Air France Chief Executive Officer and Benjamin Smith, Air France-KLM Group Chief Executive Officer, by Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer during a ceremony held in Toulouse, France. Air France will deploy the A350-900 fleet on its transatlantic and Asia routes. The Xtra WideBody aircraft features a comfortable three class layout with 324 seats including 34 full-flat business, 24 premium economy and 266 economy class seats. Fully in line with Air France’s commitment to the environment, the all-new A350-900 will provide a 25% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions.
  • Airbus Services launched a new Structure Training offer focusing on composite materials that is now available for customers worldwide. New generation aircraft featuring advanced materials require new skills for damage assessment, inspection procedures and repair activities. To answer these challenges and meet the EASA recommendations, Airbus Services proposes a modular approach and learning path per job profile on the A350 XWB. This tailored approach will be extended to other aircraft types from 2020.

OTHER NEWS

Chicago, USA | April 5, 2019– As we work closely with customers and global regulators to return the 737 MAX to service, we continue to be driven by our enduring values, with a focus on safety, integrity and quality in all we do.

We now know that the recent Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents were caused by a chain of events, with a common chain link being erroneous activation of the aircraft’s MCAS function. We have the responsibility to eliminate this risk, and we know how to do it. As part of this effort, we’re making progress on the 737 MAX software update that will prevent accidents like these from ever happening again. Teams are working tirelessly, advancing and testing the software, conducting non-advocate reviews, and engaging regulators and customers worldwide as we proceed to final certification. I recently had the opportunity to experience the software update performing safely in action during a 737 MAX 7 demo flight.  We’re also finalizing new pilot training courses and supplementary educational material for our global MAX customers. This progress is the result of our comprehensive, disciplined approach and taking the time necessary to get it right.

As we continue to work through these steps, we’re adjusting the 737 production system temporarily to accommodate the pause in MAX deliveries, allowing us to prioritize additional resources to focus on software certification and returning the MAX to flight. We have decided to temporarily move from a production rate of 52 airplanes per month to 42 airplanes per month starting in mid-April.

At a production rate of 42 airplanes per month, the 737 program and related production teams will maintain their current employment levels while we continue to invest in the broader health and quality of our production system and supply chain.

We are coordinating closely with our customers as we work through plans to mitigate the impact of this adjustment. We will also work directly with our suppliers on their production plans to minimize operational disruption and financial impact of the production rate change.

In light of our commitment to continuous improvement and our determination to always make a safe industry even safer, I’ve asked the Boeing Board of Directors to establish a committee to review our company-wide policies and processes for the design and development of the airplanes we build.  The committee will confirm the effectiveness of our policies and processes for assuring the highest level of safety on the 737-MAX program, as well as our other airplane programs, and recommend improvements to our policies and procedures.

The committee members will be Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., (Ret.), former vice chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, who will serve as the committee’s chair; Robert A. Bradway, chairman and CEO of Amgen, Inc.; Lynn J. Good, chairman, president and CEO of the Duke Energy Corporation; and Edward M. Liddy, former chairman and CEO of the Allstate Corporation, all members of the company’s board. These individuals have been selected to serve on this committee because of their collective and extensive experiences that include leadership roles in corporate, regulated industries and government entities where safety and the safety of lives is paramount.

Safety is our responsibility, and we own it. When the MAX returns to the skies, we’ve promised our airline customers and their passengers and crews that it will be as safe as any airplane ever to fly. Our continued disciplined approach is the right decision for our employees, customers, supplier partners and other stakeholders as we work with global regulators and customers to return the 737 MAX fleet to service and deliver on our commitments to all of our stakeholders.


It is hard to believe but it has been 25 years since our first newsletter was sent out and we thank all of our readers that signed up, we thank all the folks we have interviewed, and we especially thank all of our sponsors – because it is the sponsors that provide you IFExpress news! So let’s embark on 2019 with the latest round of aviation news.

You will notice that this year’s aviation industry magazine, Aviation Week has voted Boeing’s Dennis A. Muilenburg as its 2018 Person of the Year. He is this week’s BUZZ because we thought our readers might like to a face with the name. The Aviation Week folks chose a person, in this case, who has had a major impact on the industry while at Boeing where he has been employed since 1985. After joining Boeing, he served in positions in commercial airplane and defense. He was promoted to vice president  of the company in 2015. Meanwhile in the Airplane Company, Jim McNerney restored order after inheriting a company that had been lumbered with negative politics that were accompanied by numerous Airbus wins. It took McNerney almost 10 years to steady Boeing and propel them into their recent growth. In February 2016 it was announced that Muilenburg would replace McNerney and Muilenburg would become the chairman of the board of directors. Congratulations Dennis!

Along another line, it looks like the 797 will be an airplane whose size fit holds 225 – 265, slotting it between the 737 and the 787/777X. The new jetliner will have a range of approximately 5,000 nm (9,260 km). We expect the plane to kicked off later this year. And, yes, our rectangle above is a drawing of the product in flight.


AIRBUS

  • AIR CANADA agreed to purchase four A321-200s (5681/5733/6210/6232) from WOW air for delivery in January 2019.
  • Moxy – The start-up U.S. airline code-named “Moxy” has signed a firm order with Airbus to purchase 60 A220-300 aircraft. Moxy is the new airline venture led by David Neeleman, one of the industry’s most innovative entrepreneurs and founder of JetBlue Airways. In addition to JetBlue, Neeleman also founded Azul Brazilian Airlines and is the controlling investor in the revitalization of TAP Air Portugal. Plans for Moxy, a low-cost airline were unveiled at the Farnborough International Air Show in July. “The A220-300 is the right airplane for a new airline that will be focused on passenger service and satisfaction,” said Neeleman. “With a low cost of operation and spacious cabin, the A220 will allow us to provide passengers with lower fares and a high quality, comfortable flying experience. The A220’s ability to operate profitably in thin, underserved markets across a broad spectrum of ranges is unique”. The order was completed the final week of December. Airbus will produce the A220-300 at a new U.S. assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama. Construction of that plant, to be located adjacent to the existing Airbus A320 assembly facility, will begin later this month. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose built for the 100-150 seat market; it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and true widebody comfort in a single aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3,200 nm (5020 km), the A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft. With an order book of more than 500 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.
  • JetBlue Airways – JetBlue Airways has firmed up an order for 60 A220-300 aircraft, the larger model of the new, industry-leading A220 series. JetBlue’s existing Airbus fleet includes 193 A320 and A321ceo aircraft in operation, with an additional 85 A321neo aircraft on order. The order was completed the last week of December. Airbus will produce the A220-300 aircraft at a new U.S. assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama. Construction of the plant, to be located adjacent to the existing Airbus A320 assembly facility, will begin later this month. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose built for the 100-150 seat market; it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and true widebody comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3,200 nm (5020 km), the A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft. With an order book of more than 500 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.

BOEING

  • Boeing delivered 69 737 airplanes in December and set a new annual record of 806 deliveries in 2018, surpassing its previous record of 763 deliveries in 2017. Even as Boeing delivered more jetliners, the company again grew its significant order book with 893 net orders, including 203 airplane sales in December. With a seven-year order backlog, Boeing increased production of the popular 737 in the middle of 2018 to 52 airplanes per month. Nearly half of the year’s 580 737 deliveries were from the more fuel-efficient and longer-range MAX family, including the first MAX 9 airplanes. At the same time, Boeing continued to build the 787 Dreamliner at the highest production rate for a twin-aisle airplane to support high demand for the super-efficient jet. The Dreamliner program finished with 145 deliveries for the year. Deliveries of various 777, 767 and 747-8 models rounded out the total of 806 airplanes for the year. 767 deliveries include the transfer of 10 767-2C aircraft to Boeing Defense, Space & Security for the U.S. Air Force KC-46 tanker program.
  • On the orders front, Boeing achieved sales success across its airplane portfolio with 893 net orders valued at $143.7 billion according to list prices. While growing the order backlog for nearly every program, the company showed particular strength in the twin-aisle category with 218 widebody orders last year.
  • The 787 Dreamliner extended its status as the fastest-selling twin-aisle jet in history with 109 orders last year or about 1,400 since the program launched. Highlights include Hawaiian Airlines switching from the Airbus A330 to the 787 and Turkish Airlines becoming a new customer. American Airlines and United Airlines added to the growing list of repeat Dreamliner purchases with 47 and 13 additional jets respectively. The 777 family continued its steady sales momentum with 51 net orders in 2018, driven by sales of the 777 Freighter to DHL Express, FedEx Express, ANA Cargo, Qatar Airways and other major freight operators. With additional sales in December, the 777 program exceeded 2,000 orders since its launch. The 737 MAX family also achieved a major sales milestone in December, surpassing 5,000 net orders with 181 new sales during December. For the full year, the 737 program achieved 675 net orders, including sales to 13 new customers.
  • GREEN AFRICA AIRWAYS, Nigeria agreed to order 50 737 MAX 8s, and option 50; it plans startup in 2019.
  • CHINA AIRCRAFT LEASING GROUP (CALC) agreed to order 25 737 MAXs for delivery starting in 2023, and option 25 more for delivery starting in 2025; deal increases its firm 737 MAX orderbook to 75. It is also committed for >215 A320s and 10 C919s.
  • FLYADEAL (Saudi Arabian Airlines) agreed to order 30 737 MAX 8s, and option 20; it will configure aircraft with 189 seats.
  • SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS signed MOA with Boeing that establishes (among other items) pricing terms for 737NG, 737 MAX, 767, 777F, 777-9 and 787 programs into next decade, investments for tooling/capital for 737 rate increases, joint cost reduction programs for 777X and 787, consent for acquisition of ASCO INDUSTRIES, plus release of liability for 737 disruption activity.
  • GOL completed sale/leaseback transactions with both Castlelake and Apollo Aviation Group for 13 737-800s that will be removed from fleet in 2019-2021 and replaced by 737 MAXs.

OTHER NEWS


OTHER STUFF, NON AVIATION