Updated: Dec 22, 2019
Demand for air travel continues to surge and with this comes the need for more aircraft. Airlines around the globe are fighting for market share, as losing, may force them into bankruptcy as we’ve seen with Jet Airways.
Hitting the headlines over the past few weeks was Virgin Atlantic and British Airways who both took delivery of their first Airbus A350-1000s. As of yet British Airways has taken delivery of one aircraft, G-XWBA and Virgin Atlantic with two, G-VLUX and G-VPOP. We attended the British Airways delivery event for its first A350-1000 and talked to the head of the carrier’s in-flight product to learn how it’s evolved over the years – read the full story here). The British flag carrier is expecting to take delivery of its second A350-1000. Virgin Atlantic took delivery of its second aircraft on August 29.
In other British Airways news, the carrier took delivery of another Airbus A321Neo on Friday (August 30) registered G-NEOV. British Airways is transitioning to a more modern fleet which is a testament to its commitment to innovation.
One of the more important deliveries of this week, was probably that of Kuwait Airways on Friday (August 30) with its first Airbus A320Neo (9K-AKL). This was part of an order for 28 new aircraft that Kuwait Airways would use to rejuvenate its fleet. The carrier expects to take delivery of its first Airbus A330-800Neo and A350-900 later this year.
One of the most interesting things in my personal view when it comes to aircraft deliveries, is how they actually arrive to their new base. For long haul aircraft though, it's never usually an issue - for example, when Turkish Airlines took delivery of another Boeing 787-9 this Wednesday (August 28), the aircraft (TC-LLF) flew directly between Boeing's Everett plant and Istanbul. For some aircraft however, the journey is much more difficult. Such is the case with regional aircraft like the ATR42. On Thursday (29 August), Afrijet took delivery of an ATR42-500 (TR-AFB) with the plane departing Malta, stopping in Cameroon, before finally arriving at Libreville International Airport. The aircraft was previously a Czech Airlines plane (OK-KFO).
However, another ATR42-500, this time a brand new one, faced a more treacherous journey. Departing Toulouse for Bogota, EasyFly's new HK-5331 stopped at Lanzarote, Praia (Cape Verde), Fortaleza & Cayenne airports before landing at its new base.
An airline that has really caught our attention, is Bamboo Airways. The airline expects to welcome up to 24 A321Neos in total, in addition to 20 787-9s. In the meantime, the airline has secured other aircraft to fill its schedule, including Airbus A319s. Note the airline took delivery of its first A321Neo in December last year on lease from Gecas. On the long haul side however, Bamboo Airways is still waiting on its 787 dreamliners. As such, it has leased a number of A330CEO aircraft. Among these is 2-RLAY, an A330-223 which was delivered on Friday (August 30) from Malta prior to painting.
In other news, Etihad Airways continues to struggle. It goes without saying that its financial situation is deteriorating, and following the demise of Jet Airways and Air Berlin and the bankruptcy of Alitalia, it's fair to say things haven't gone their way in terms of investments. Whether this is related to its financial situation is unknown, however the Middle-Eastern carrier has sent A6-AFD, an A330-343, to onward storage from Abu Dhabi to Teruel (Spain).
Meanwhile on the other side of the world, Delta Air Lines is flying high. Taking delivery of a whopping four aircraft during the past week, its fair to say Delta are enjoying the lucrative American market. The deliveries comprised of two A321-211s (N394DX and N395DZ delivered on Thursday and Friday respectively), an A330-941 (NEO) registered N403DX delivered on Thursday and finally an A220-171 delivered on Friday with the registration N122DU.
One in and one out - Brussels Airlines retired OO-SFY last weekend as part of the carrier's fleet replacement program. On August 26, OO-SFP was ferried to Woensdrecht (Netherlands) for cabin configuration following painting. It is set to be delivered shortly.
Airlines across the globe are growing and the need for capacity has never been more significant. While Lufthansa's CEO complained about overcapacity in Europe, airlines within the continent continue to grow. With capacity at airports becoming extremely limited, notably at major airports like London Heathrow or Frankfurt, can the industry continue to support such growth in the near future?
We'll be back next weekend for another Aircraft Deliveries Of The Week, stay tuned!