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Aviation Industry Updates: July 20, 2021

By July 20, 2021July 27th, 2021Industry News

Delta Air Lines Starts Rebuilding Fleet | Stark Contrast From United’s Strategy

  • Delta Air Lines has already started reactivating Boeing 717s and Boeing 767-300ERs as part of its fleet rebuild. These two fleets, which the carrier is viewing as very flexible, are signs of the carrier’s optimistic view of recovery.
    In the second quarter, the airline grew its operating mainline fleet by 18 jets as it recovers from one of the worst years in history.

  • The return of the Boeing 767-300ERs represents the carrier’s positive outlook on the return of international traffic. The airline has started retrofitting the planes with a new premium economy product while doing some cosmetic and comfort touch-ups in business class and economy. These retrofits come at a cost, which Delta views as worth incurring if it can make more money in the future deploying them internationally.
  • The two domestic narrowbody types Delta has taken delivery of are Airbus A220s and Airbus A321s. The Airbus A220, which Delta first ordered when it was the Bombardier CSeries, has been a key aircraft for Delta, which has deployed the jets to the competitive Texas market.
  • The regional fleet did not go untouched. The carrier brought back six 50-seater CRJ200s, added two CRJ900s, and added five Embraer E175s. The only reductions in the carrier’s regional fleet were the Embraer E170s. Delta only has 15 of these aircraft under contract with Republic Airways. This was down slightly from the 18 jets it had on contract at the end of the first quarter.
  • At the end of the day, Delta has started rebuilding its fleet. After a year of over 200 aircraft retirements, the airline is now building back a more streamlined and more fuel-efficient fleet. As the 717s and 767-300ERs come back, other retired types – such as the Boeing 777 – are not going to be as lucky.

Simple Flying

United Airlines Buying 100 Electric Planes | Marketing Ploy Or Serious Venture?

KEY POINTS:

  • United Airlines announced that it has invested in Swedish electric aircraft startup Heart Aerospace. As part of the investment, the airliner agreed to buy 100 ES-19 electric planes from the company once their aircrafts meet United’s safety, business and operating requirements.
  • The investment is part of the airline’s plan to reduce greenhouse emissions by 100 percent by 2050—without relying on traditional carbon offsets.
  • Mesa Airlines, which is partnering with United to bring electric planes into commercial service, has also conditionally agreed to add 100 ES-19s to its fleet.
  • Once operational, United says the electric aircrafts could potentially fly as many as 100 of United’s regional routes. “We expect the short-haul regional air travel market to play a key role in the evolution of the electric aircraft,” United exec Michael Leskinen said in a statement. “As battery technology improves, larger-gauge aircraft should become viable but we’re not going to wait to begin the journey.”

Robb Report

Delta Application Updates | NGPA Up In The Air Briefing

KEY POINTS:

  • Addendum has changed. EVERYONE must update their addendum or their application is incomplete.
  • Delta split their 2-day interview process; the first portion will be remotely proctored within a given window. Successful applicants will be invited to Atlanta to meet with panel, complete MMPI, and meet with a psychologist. Their panel will ask a mix of questions to get to know the candidate. No sim, but they may be asked about specific scenarios. There is no longer a job knowledge test. It was completely removed. The first round of virtual assessment invitations went out last week and they will send out on-site invites in the next day or so.
  • They anticipate hiring 1000 pilots between now and Summer 2022.
  • All previous CJO holders will have a class date by this fall.
  • Retiring military members are encouraged to apply soon and make sure date of availability is accurate.
  • Now paying for new hire hotels.

NGPA Delta Revisit Watch The Full Webinar

Private Flying Breaks Records | Wheels Up Shoots For The Stars

KEY POINTS:

  • As the company’s stock rose 16.31%, closing at $11.50, Dichter, the founder and CEO, was already teasing the next trend, space tourism, and trying out the moniker, Space Up.
  • June had more private flights in the U.S. than any month since October 2007. WingX reported that private jet flights over the July 4th holiday were 44% ahead of 2019’s pre-pandemic levels. A survey earlier this month of subscribers to Private Jet Card Comparisons, a buyer’s guide where I am editor, showed 69% of current private aviation users plan to fly more post-Covid than before. Only 3% said they would fly less.
  • Speaking from the board room of the New York Stock Exchange, Dichter says spiking demand won’t be an issue for Wheels Up. It uses 170 owned and leased aircraft, another 170 it manages for owners and charters when they aren’t using them, plus a partner network of operators that fly 1,200 more private planes. The model offers the flexibility to expand capacity as needed.
  • While respondents to the Private Jet Card Comparisons’ survey say they plan to stay clear of chaotic airline flights as much as possible, nearly 20% experienced service lapses on their private flights in recent months as the system has been stretched.
  • For today, Dichter said, “This is the American dream.” However, the biggest challenge for Wheels Up and other players could be hanging onto current customers. Across the industry, one in five jet card users switched programs in the past 18 months.

Forbes

Weekly TSA Numbers

07202021 TSA Numbers