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Alaska Airlines Boosts 737 MAX Orders and Options to 120 Jets

A software error caused the grounding entire airline fleet

Alaska Airlines Boosts 737 MAX Orders and Options to 120 Jets

– ‘Transformative’ agreement gives leading U.S. airline scale and flexibility to grow as traffic returns

– Alaska says new order is a move toward a more efficient, all-Boeing mainline fleet

SEATTLE, Dec. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Alaska Airlines announced that the carrier is buying 23 more 737-9 airplanes, building on its original order and an agreement last month to acquire new 737-9s through lease. The new deal brings Alaska Airlines’ total 737 MAX orders and options to 120 airplanes, which will give the fifth largest U.S. carrier the scale, efficiency and flexibility to expand as air travel recovers.

“We are extremely proud to be announcing this transformative agreement with Boeing,” said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air Group. “We believe in this airplane, we believe in our strong partnership with Boeing, and we believe in the future of Alaska Airlines and the incredible opportunities ahead as we climb our way out of this pandemic.”

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Alaska Airlines, a longtime Boeing 737 operator, placed an order for 32 737-9 jets in 2012 as part of its fleet modernization program. The 737-9 is a member of the 737 MAX family that is designed to offer more fuel efficiency, reliability and flexibility in the single-aisle airplane market. Last month, Alaska Airlines announced it is expanding its commitment to the 737 MAX program by leasing 13 new 737-9s while selling some A320 jets it had taken on through its acquisition of Virgin America.

The new agreement announced today will add 23 firm orders for the 737-9 and more options for future purchases. In all, Alaska will have 52 options which, if fully exercised, would take the carrier to as many as 120 737 MAX airplanes. The airline said the deal moves it toward a more efficient, all-Boeing mainline fleet that will “enhance the guest experience, improve operational performance and support the company’s growth.”

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“We could not ask for a better partner than Boeing and we are delighted to be standing side by side with them as we work together to get our economy back on its feet,” said Tilden.

Alaska Airlines says the 737 – equipped with new, more fuel-efficient engines and improved aerodynamics – will use 20% less fuel and reduce emissions by 20% per seat compared to airplanes it replaces. The airline will configure the jet with 178 seats in a three-class configuration. The plane can fly 3,550 nautical miles, about 600 miles more than its predecessor. This additional capability will allow airlines to offer new and more direct routes to passengers. Every airplane will feature the new Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead storage bins.

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Learn more about Alaska’s confidence in the safety and certification of the MAX at alaskaair.com/737MAX.

Total orders: 68 737 MAX Aircraft

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Status Announcement Date Number of Aircraft
Existing Order October 2012 32
Separate Lease Agreement November 2020 13
New Order December 2020 23

Total options: 52 737 MAX Aircraft

Status Announcement Date Number of Aircraft
Existing Order October 2012 37
New Order December 2020 15
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He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

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Asia

Singapore Airlines emergency landing after severe turbulence

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 Aircraft lands at Singapore Changi Airport (Incident aircraft not pictured)

One passenger passed on, while dozens of passengers were injured when a Singapore Airlines Boeing B777-300ER aircraft experienced severe turbulence while en route to Singapore from London Heathrow Airport. The aircraft diverted to Bangkok, and landed at 3:45pm Local time on 21 May 2024 

The flight landed with 211 Passengers and 11 Crew members at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. According to the Airport Director Kittipong Kittikachorn at a news conference, there were 7 passengers who suffered serious injuries, while a number of other passengers suffered injuries of varying seriousness.

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It was also confirmed that the passenger who passed on was a 73 year old British Man. In a statement from Singapore Airlines ‘ As of 0505 hours Singapore Time on 22 May 2024, 79 passengers and 6 crew members from SQ321 remain in Bangkok’. In another statement, it was reported that a relief flight with 143 passengers and crew members arrived in Singapore at 0505 hours Singapore time on 22 May 2024.

According to aircraft tracking site FlightRadar24, the 16 Year Old Boeing B777-300ER aircraft descended sharply from 37,000 feet to 31,000 feet in a short time. It was also further reported by FlightRadar24 that the descent was commanded by Autopilot, instead of being caused by turbulence.

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Shortly afterwards, the pilot declared an emergency by squeaking 7700 on the transponder, indicating an emergency situation onboard the aircraft. The Boeing 777 aircraft then diverted to Bangkok, instead of continuing on its planned journey to Singapore. 

In view of this incident, Singapore Airlines mentioned in a statement that they are working with the relevant authorities on the investigation into this incident.

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The National Transportation Safety Board, a US Government investigative agency for civil aviation incidents, is sending an accredited representative and 4 technical advisors to support the investigation by Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB). TSIB mentioned in a statement that it ‘is in touch with its Thai counterparts and will be deploying investigators to Bangkok’. 

Boeing, the manufacturer of the Boeing B777 aircraft mentioned in a statement that they are in contact with Singapore Airlines regarding the ill-fated flight, and ‘stand ready to support them’. 

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This situation is developing, more details will be added when they become available. 

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Airlines

US DOT says Airlines must now pay automatic refunds for cancelled flights

US DOT says Airlines must now pay automatic refunds for cancelled flights

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a final regulation requiring airlines to quickly reimburse passengers with automatic cash refunds when owed, according to a statement made by the Biden-Harris Administration.

Under the new regulation, passengers will find it easier to get refunds when airlines dramatically alter or cancel flights, cause severe delays for checked baggage, or don’t supply the additional services they paid for.

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According to a statement from the Biden-Harris Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has published a final rule mandating airlines to promptly compensate customers with automatic cash refunds when they are eligible. The new rule would make it simpler for customers to receive refunds from airlines in cases when they drastically change or cancel flights, cause significant delays for checked luggage, or fail to provide the extra services they charged for.

Under the latest rule from the USDOT, passengers are guaranteed refunds in several scenarios:

  1. Canceled or Significantly Changed Flights: Passengers are entitled to refunds if their flight is canceled or significantly altered, including changes in departure or arrival times exceeding 3 hours domestically or 6 hours internationally, departures or arrivals from different airports, increased connections, downgrades in service class, or changes less accommodating to passengers with disabilities.
  2. Delayed Baggage Return: Passengers filing mishandled baggage reports can claim a refund for checked bag fees if their luggage is not returned within specific timeframes after flight arrival.
  3. Unprovided Extra Services: If airlines fail to deliver paid extra services like Wi-Fi, seat selection, or inflight entertainment, passengers can request refunds for those fees.

The final rule streamlines the refund process, ensuring it is:

  • Automatic: Refunds are issued automatically without requiring passengers to request them.
  • Prompt: Airlines must refund credit card purchases within seven business days and other payment methods within 20 calendar days.
  • In Original Form of Payment: Refunds are provided in the original payment method used for purchase.
  • Full Amount: Passengers receive full refunds minus the value of any portion of transportation already used, including government and airline fees.

Suggest banning family seating junk fees and ensuring that parents can travel with their kids at no additional cost. No airline promised to ensure fee-free family seating prior to efforts from President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg last year. Family seating is now guaranteed free of charge on four airlines, and the Department is working on a plan to eliminate family seating junk fees.

Propose to make passenger compensation and amenities mandatory so that travelers are taken care of when airlines cause flight delays or cancellations. 

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Middle East

British Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Abu Dhabi, After 4-Year hiatus

British Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Abu Dhabi, After 4-Year hiatus
Photo: Wikipedia

British Airways made its way back to Abu Dhabi, landing at Zayed International Airport. Following a four-year break in service, both crew and passengers were greeted with enthusiasm.

In the summer of 2024, British Airways plans to launch a daily route, utilising a Boeing 787-9, from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi. The new route enhances ties between the UAE and the UK and expands  vast worldwide network, catering to passengers who may be visiting friends and family or travelling for business.

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Arriving in Abu Dhabi at 08.30+1, flight BA073 to Abu Dhabi leaves London Heathrow at 22.25. Departing at 10.10 and landing at London Heathrow at 15.20 is the inbound flight (BA072).

The chief executive officer and managing director of Abu Dhabi Airports, Elena Sorlini, stated: “We are delighted to welcome British Airways to Zayed International Airport. Their daily schedule is expected to improve connectivity and stimulate travel and business.” Visitors may experience the dynamic capital of the United Arab Emirates like never before at our brand-new, award-winning, state-of-the-art terminal, where they will be welcomed with the best kind of Emirati hospitality.”

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Flight schedule:

London Heathrow (LHR) to Zayed International (AUH)All times are local
 
SeasonFlight numberDeparting LHRArriving AUHFlight numberDeparting AUHArriving LHR
Summer ‘24BA7322:2508:30+1BA7210:1015:20
Winter ‘24BA7322:2509:30+1BA7211:1015:20

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