SunExpress will look to diversify after fleet grows to 150: chief
April 18, 2024
Once its fleet size hits 150 aircraft, all-Boeing operator SunExpress will need to look to "diversify" it, according to the chief executive of the Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa joint venture airline. Speaking at the UK Aviation Club on 17 April, Max Kownatzki said that once the Turkish airline has taken delivery of its existing order commitments with Boeing into the next decade SunExpress will need to diversify into a "multi-fleet operation" to "keep it in balance". Asked if this meant the carrier could look to order Airbus units, he said: "Right now we're at 77 aircraft in the summer peak this year. That's the size of an airline where I think a single fleet makes sense. With 166 aircraft we're shooting for in 2035, that may change and then it's important to basically not be dependent on one single aircraft manufacturer." Having engine choice and availability is "even more critical" than aircraft manufacturer concentration, he says, which makes diversification a pressing factor. SunExpress talks to Airbus but has no orders or commitments to disclose with them, according to Kownatzki. His airline ordered 40 737s, split between the -800 and -8 Max variants in 2014 and topped this up with an order in November 2023 for 90 737 Max narrowbodies, which included 28 Max 8s and 17 Max 10s, plus options for an additional 45 Max jets. It currently has 74 aircraft on order and 45 options, fleets data shows. Kownatzki says SunExpress is expecting to take delivery of five Max units in 2024 and does not expect to see any delays to these, which he says is important because the carrier has long-term commitments to its tour operator bookings. SunExpress is talking to Boeing about a further five deliveries in 2025, according to Kownatzki. Any delays, however, could be offset by extending expiring leased aircraft, he adds. But, Kownatzki says, the challenge is ensuring that the Max jets arrive in the first half of 2025. This is important to cater to the carrier's traditional high summer season market. If deliveries are pushed from February to October, for example, Kownatzki says it will "hurt" the carrier's revenue.

Delta and Aeromexico grow codeshare amid wait for final DOT order
April 18, 2024
Transborder partners Delta Air Lines and Aeromexico have added to their codeshare a daily route connecting Boston and Mexico City while awaiting a final order from the US Department of Transportation that will determine the fate of their joint co-operation agreement. The route, operated by Aeromexico, launched on 22 March. The Mexican carrier is using Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft for the flights, Cirium data shows. The DOT on 26 January issued an "order to show cause" that, if finalised, would give the carriers until late October 2024 to "wind down" their immunised joint venture. It noted in its order that actions taken by the Mexican government regarding operations at Mexico City's Benito Juarez International airport are "fundamentally out of compliance with the existing bilateral air service agreement and international norms governing capacity management at airports". Delta and Aeromexico say in an objection submitted to the DOT on 23 February 2024 that they "strongly object" to the department's 26 January tentative dismissal of the two carriers' application seeking renewal of antitrust immunity granted in 2016 for the operation of a transborder joint venture. They argue that, if finalised, the order "would punish the [joint venture] partners and the communities they serve [and] erode competition in the transborder US-Mexico market". The US major told Cirium on 17 April that during the interim following the filing of its objection on 23 February, "nothing has changed here in that we don't know if and when DOT will issue a final order". Delta adds that more than 250 letters from governors, mayors, large corporations, and Hispanic organisations in the USA have been sent to US Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg alerting him to the "devastating effect" the unwinding of the transborder partnership would have on consumers, businesses, and "especially Latino-American families". Aeromexico and Delta disclosed in October 2023 that they intended to expand their codeshare in 2024 with 17 new routes from seven airports in Mexico to nine destinations in the USA.

Lufthansa to debut 'Allegris' on A350 flight to Vancouver in May
April 17, 2024
Lufthansa Group will launch its new long-haul experience "Allegris" cabin product aboard an Airbus A350 flying from Munich to Vancouver on 1 May. The group says Toronto is the second destination which will be served alternately with Vancouver on selected flights in the first few months. It adds that with further A350s delivered, the Allegris cabin will also be used on flights to Chicago and Montreal this summer. Lufthansa plans to equip over 80 new aircraft such as Boeing 787-9s, A350s and 777-9s with its new long-haul product Allegris. It notes that its 747-8s will also receive the new product. Around 27,000 new seats will be installed with the business class seats manufactured by Stelia, Collins and Thompson, premium economy class seats by ZIM and economy class seats by Recaro. The group will invest €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) in product and service improvements until 2025. Lufthansa notes that the new Allegris experience allows its passengers to create their own individual travel experience – with choices in seats, meal


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