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Aviation Industry Updates: September 13, 2022


American CEO: We Can Become A Much Larger Airline

  • American Airlines’ CEO, Robert Isom, has expressed his desire for the airline to continue to grow. Speaking at the Cowen Global Transportation & Sustainable Mobility Conference on Wednesday, Isom said, “we actually have the assets in place to fly a much larger airline.”

  • When it comes to appreciating the sheer scale of American Airlines, the numbers speak for themselves. Over 161 million passengers flew with the airline in 2021 (down from a pre-pandemic peak of over 200 million), and at the last count, more than 120,000 employees worked for the carrier worldwide.
  • American Airlines is well-known for being the world’s largest airline when it comes to fleet size too. The airline boasts a staggering 920 aircraft in its fleet, including 303 Boeing 737-800s and 218 Airbus A321s. Its long-haul flights are operated by the Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-8, and Boeing 787-9.
  • American Airlines also currently has 188 aircraft on order, including 50 game-changing Airbus A321XLRs, which are expected to be delivered from 2024. While some of these deliveries will be to replace older aircraft in the fleet, Isom evidently hopes that they will also be used to grow the airline further.
  • Isom’s wishes are clear. It remains to be seen, however, whether the desired growth will take place, and if so, how long it will take.

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United Stock Jumps On Q3 Revenue Forecast


  • United Airlines Holdings (UAL) shares moved higher Wednesday after the carrier lifted its third quarter revenue growth forecast amid a big decline in jet fuel costs and improving travel demand.
  • In an investor update filed with the Securities and Exchange, United said it sees third quarter capacity trending "higher than originally expected" at levels that only 10% to 11% lower than in the pre-pandemic period of 2019.
  • Strong demand and more aggressive pricing, however, will mean operating revenues are likely to be 12% higher than in the third quarter of 2019, United Airlines said.
  • With global oil prices at a seven-month low, United said its third quarter fuel costs will average around $3.83 per gallon, down from the near record high of $4.18 per gallon tallied over the three months ending in June.
  • That should help margins improve to around 10.5% when compared to 2019 levels, the carrier said. CEO Scott Kirby told investors in July that he was "as confident as ever' that United would meet its 9% adjusted pre-tax margin target next year.
  • United Airlines shares were marked 2% higher in early Wednesday trading to change hands at $37.38 each.
  • United said at the time that it expects the ongoing travel boom to "more than offsetting economic headwinds — leading to expected revenue and earnings acceleration in the third quarter," but won't increase capacity as it works to build staffing levels and keep a lid on costs.

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United Threatens to End JFK Airport Service Without More Flights


  • United Airlines Holdings Inc. threatened to suspend service at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport unless federal regulators review runway use and allow the carrier to increase daily operations.
  • The airport’s total flight capacity hasn’t changed since 2008, despite a widening of runways and other infrastructure improvements, United told employees in a memo about its plan Tuesday. The airline, which has two daily flights between Los Angeles and JFK, and two shuttling back and forth to San Francisco, said it would suspend operations at the end of October without more slots.
  • “That would obviously be a tough and frustrating step to take and one that we have worked really hard to prevent,” the carrier said. United resumed service at JFK in 2021 and said it has made repeated requests to the Federal Aviation Administration to expand operations.
  • While JFK may be able to handle some additional takeoffs and landings, if more flight volumes were added to the New York area -- already one of the most congested in the US -- it would cause additional tie-ups in the region, said a person familiar with the situation who asked not to be named discussing the issue.


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Rolls-Royce Pulls Out Of Boom’s Supersonic Jet Program


  • Rolls-Royce is pulling out of Boom’s supersonic jet project, two years after signing a collaboration agreement.
  • “We’ve completed our contract with Boom and delivered various engineering studies for their Overture supersonic program,” Rolls-Royce said in a statement to AeroTime.
  • “After careful consideration, Rolls-Royce has determined that the commercial aviation supersonic market is not currently a priority for us and, therefore, will not pursue further work on the program at this time."
  • As part of the collaboration agreement, both companies have worked together to identify a propulsion system that would complement Overture’s airframe.
  • "We are appreciative of Rolls-Royce’s work over the last few years, but it became clear that Rolls’ proposed engine design and legacy business model is not the best option for Overture’s future airline operators or passengers. Later this year, we will announce our selected engine partner and our transformational approach for reliable, cost-effective and sustainable supersonic flight," Boom outlined in a statement.


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