Finnair modernisation to take fleet to 100 aircraft
November 13, 2019
Finnair is aiming to increase its fleet to more than 100 aircraft under a six-year development plan which will focus on achieving a sustainable, profitable growth path. It is aiming to increase its short-haul fleet from 61 aircraft – comprising 37 Airbus single-aisle jets and 24 regional aircraft – to around 70 by 2025. Finnair will also expand its long-haul fleet from 22 aircraft to about 30. It operates eight Airbus A330-300s and 14 A350-900s. Chief executive Topi Manner, during a 12 November briefing, said the carrier was embarking on a new phase of development, amounting to a "notable shift" from its previous accelerated growth. "We've been delivering on growth and the balance sheet," he says. "We still have an opportunity to improve our profitability." Manner says the airline is to "double down" on its strategy of serving European-Asian routes via Helsinki, by focusing on increasing frequencies to major high-yield Asian cities rather than adding new destinations. Chief commercial officer Ole Orver says the airline needs both additional long-haul and short-haul aircraft to ensure sufficient connectivity, particularly given that the carrier is building up a fourth connection bank to increase flexibility at Helsinki. He says the airline will have some 20 additional aircraft by 2025. It will concentrate initially on renewing the older single-aisle fleet, but will need more widebodies as well. "I have a plan where to allocate each and every one of those [extra] aircraft," says Orver. "I have a backup plan for each widebody as well. We think our plan's solid."

Source: FlightGlobal

Tailwind and poor braking present before ERJ-145 excursion
November 13, 2019
Preliminary indications suggest the Envoy Air Embraer ERJ-145 which suffered a runway excursion at Chicago O'Hare had landed with a tailwind in gusting conditions. Braking action before the touchdown on runway 10L was "medium to poor" up to the N3 taxiway – just over halfway along the runway – according to tower controller transmissions to the crew. The ERJ-145, arriving from Greensboro on 11 November, had already executed a go-around about 25min earlier. A SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ700 immediately preceding had similarly gone around, telling the controller that it was due to braking action, and diverted to Green Bay. Braking action at that point was given as 'medium'. But the ERJ-145 crew opted to make a second approach to runway 10L. The tower controller gave the runway visual range as 4,000ft according to communications archived by LiveATC. Meteorological data indicates freezing conditions, light snow, and winds from about 350° at 17kt, gusting to 25kt, which would have presented a tailwind component. The ERJ-145 slid off the runway, coming to rest with its right wing in contact with the snow. Chicago tower declared the runway closed, informing personnel that they "had an aircraft go off the runway". American Airlines, on whose behalf flight AA4125 was operating, states there were 38 passengers and three crew on board.

Source: FlightGlobal

Qantas aims for 'net zero' carbon emissions by 2050
November 12, 2019
Qantas has become the second major carrier group to announce a target of "net zero" carbon emissions by 2050 as part of "a major expansion of the airline's commitment to a more sustainable aviation industry". In adopting that CO2 goal, the Australian operator joins pan-European group IAG, which unveiled its "Flightpath net zero" plan in October. Towards its "net zero" aim, Qantas announced on 11 November that it will offset all growth in domestic and international CO2 emissions from 2020. That will put the operator's policy in line with the first, voluntary stage of ICAO's global carbon offset scheme, CORSIA, which is due to begin a year later in 2021 but only applies to international flights. Qantas will also immediately double the number of flights where carbon emissions are offset, by "matching every dollar spent by customers" through the optional offsetting scheme available to passengers when they book tickets. It hopes that in doing so, more passengers will be encouraged to offset their flights, beyond the current level of around 10%. Qantas will meanwhile invest A$50 million ($34 million) over the next 10 years to "help develop a sustainable aviation fuel industry", progress on which is currently stymied by high costs at the point of purchase for airlines, it suggests. Qantas claims that "sustainable fuels" could cut CO2 emissions by 80% versus traditional jet fuel. Much debate exists, however, around the appropriate way to measure the environmental benefits of such initiatives. The group also highlights the introduction of more fuel-efficient aircraft, such as Qantas's Boeing 787s and Jetstar's Airbus A321neos, as important steps towards emissions reduction. "We recognise that airlines have a responsibility to cut emissions and combat climate change," states Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce. "We've already made some good progress, especially by investing in newer aircraft that have a much smaller carbon footprint.

Source: FlightGlobal


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