Updated: Dec 22, 2019
It’s no secret that airlines have been struggling over the past couple of weeks. As we reported, Norwegian Airlines has turned to bondholders for an extension on two bond repayments, for later this year. Additionally, France’s second largest airline, Aigle Azur, has ceased operations, and is now looking to secure a buyer. Despite the issues going on at some airlines around the globe, many are doing well. Today we’ll take a look at the thriving airlines in the east and the modernising carriers in the west.
To begin with, let’s take a look at the Aigle Azur catastrophe. On September 5, it was clear that, following a tough few months, the French carrier was to cease operations. While the airline awaits bids for the purchase of its company, its aircraft have been ferried to nearby airports for storage. The airline operated an extensive fleet of Airbus A320 and Airbus A330 aircraft. See the following list for information about the current status on some of its aircraft:
F-HBAP (Airbus A320-214): Ferried to Paris Orly prior to being returned to lessor
F-HBIB (Airbus A320-214): Ferried to Paris Charles De Gaulle prior to being returned to lessor
F-HBAO (Airbus A320-214): Ferried to Toulouse Francazal Airport for storage.
F-HBIX (Airbus A320-214): Ferried to Toulouse Francazal Airport for storage.
F-HAAF (Airbus A320-214): Ferried to Paris Orly prior to storage;
F-HAQD (Airbus A320-214): Ferried from Lyon to Châteauroux for storage;
F-HFUL (Airbus A320-214): Ferried from Paris Orly to Châteauroux for storage;
F-HTIC (Airbus A330-223): Ferried from Marseille to Châteauroux for storage;
F-HTAC (Airbus A330-223): Ferried from Paris Orly to Châteauroux for storage;
In other news, Egyptair (Express) became the first Airbus A220 operator in the Middle East region after it took delivery of SU-GEX on September 6. The aircraft then flew to Brussels, before continuing to Egypt. The aircraft is an Airbus A220-300 and makes Egyptair Express the second airline in Africa to operate the A220, after Air Tanzania. The aircraft will begin service with Egyptair Express shortly.
Indian low cost giant Indigo, has taken delivery of an Airbus A320-271N registered VT-IJP on September 3. The carrier has been growing significantly over the past few years, and following the bankruptcy of Jet Airways, capacity on high-demand routes has had to be filled. Growth within the Indian aviation industry has skyrocketed over the last decade. Despite this, financial results are getting poorer and poorer, as a result of heavy competition, rising fuel prices, limited capacity at airports among other things. India is a difficult market to operate it, and new start-airlines based in the country, may have difficulty growing.
On the other side of the world, American Airlines said goodbye to its final fleet of MD80s. The aircraft type, which totalled more than 200 at their peak with the American carrier, was retired on September 4. The final commercial service with American on their MD80 was from Dallas to Chicago as flight AA80. American Airlines isn’t the only airline to be retiring its fleet of MD80s however. Delta Air Lines is also retiring its fleet of regional jets as well – this week, the carrier retired N911DL and N906DL. Delta also retired an MD90 this week registered N950DN.
The MD80 series is a type that is slowly but surely becoming a rare sight. At the moment, it is most prominent in North America. In other continents, replacements have already been sourced, including the Airbus A220, Embraer E2 series among others. It’s always a shame to see an aircraft type go out of service, but it is of course inevitable, as aircraft technology continues to evolve.
Join us next Sunday for another Deliveries Of The Week!