There Is Interest For The Airbus A220 In China

During its media briefing call yesterday, Airbus talked about the future of the Airbus A220 in China. While…

There Is Interest For The Airbus A220 In China

During its media briefing call yesterday, Airbus talked about the future of the Airbus A220 in China. While the aircraft currently has no customers in the region, Airbus is confident that there is a clear market for the short-haul jet. Let’s find out more about the A220 interest in China.

The A220 has found strong success in North America and Europe but is still catching on in the rest of the world, including China. Photo: Airbus

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The Airbus A220 family has been quite successful in recent years, bringing over 600 orders and over 150 deliveries. However, most of this success has been restricted to the US, Canada, and European markets, which account for over 60% of orders (including even lessors). Indeed, the only East Asian operator of the jets is Korean Air, which flies 10 A220-300s.

This absence extends to China, the world’s second-largest and rapidly growing aviation market. Currently, China’s domestic market is dominated by narrowbodies like the 737 and A320, with fewer regional jets in action. However, Airbus sees a market for the A220 in the country, with CCO Christian Scherer saying,

“Well there has been expressions of interest for the A220 in China and by the way, a good portion of the fuselage was built in China. So yes there is interest for the A220 in China, particularly in the regions of China that are outside of the mainstream routes.”

Airbus A220-300
China has a diverse aviation market that includes many regional and low-density routes across the country. Photo: Airbus

Considering China plays a substantial role in the manufacturing of the A220 could be another boost for carriers. However, the assembly of the aircraft remains limited to Airbus’ Mirabel facility in Canada and the new line in Mobile, Alabama, in the US.

Potential customers

While most will only be familiar with China’s big three and a handful of other carriers, the country is home to nearly three dozen airlines. This means Airbus has a wide potential market base to choose from, especially for airlines that aren’t centered around the busiest hubs of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and others.

However, there could be a potential hurdle to the A220: the COMAC ARJ21. This Chinese-made regional jet carries anywhere from 90 to 105 passengers in a one-class layout, close to the A220-100’s offering. While its range is substantially lower at 1,200-2,000nm (compared to 3,450nm for the A220), the planes can serve similar routes.

The ARJ21 family is fairly close to the A220 in specifications and could prove to be a challenge. Photo: Getty Images

However, for airlines looking to fly longer or thinner (lower demand) routes, the A220 is the superior choice. Considering China’s vast landscape and hundreds of smaller cities, there could be a major market for the efficient aircraft. Moreover, with the domestic market in China bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels, new aircraft orders could be on the horizon.

Production going up

As Airbus sees an aviation recovery come together, the company is ramping up production too. The manufacturer will make six A220s per month in 2022 and 45 A320s monthly by the end of the year. If the A220 sees more orders, this figure could jump to 14 monthly planes by the middle of the 2020s. For now, keep an eye out for new customers for the A220 family.

What do you think about the future of the A220 in China? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Southwest Airlines Cancels About 500 Flights Over Computer Glitch

Computer problems have caused extensive delays and cancelations at Southwest Airlines for the second day in a row.…

Southwest Airlines Cancels About 500 Flights Over Computer Glitch

Computer problems have caused extensive delays and cancelations at Southwest Airlines for the second day in a row. On Monday, Southwest delayed 1,415 of its scheduled flights. On Tuesday, the airline canceled 494 flights and delayed 1,562 scheduled flights. Southwest Airlines says operations are now returning to normal.

Southwest has experienced delays and cancelations for two days in a row. Photo: Ontario International Airport

Weather data outage causes problems on Monday

On Monday, a nationwide weather data outage at Southwest’s third-party weather provider caused extensive problems across the Southwest network. The outage occurred around 21:00 local time. As a result, weather data needed to fly aircraft safely could not be transmitted. By midnight, Southwest was on top of the problem.

“While the vendor worked to restore connectivity, we implemented a ground stop to protect the safety of our crews and customers,” said a statement issued by Southwest Airlines on Monday. Passengers traveling on other airlines, including Delta and Alaska, were also impacted by the outage.

Social media was flooded with tales of unhappy passengers stranded on planes and in airports while harried Southwest employees did their best to defuse tensions.

A problem with weather data delayed Southwest flights on Monday evening. Photo: Denver International Airport

Further computer problems for Southwest Airlines on Tuesday

In a further stroke of bad luck for Southwest Airlines, another round of IT problems crippled the airline on Tuesday afternoon. Southwest attributed this to “technical issues.” However, the issues were substantial enough for the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a temporary nationwide stop at Southwest’s request, grounding the airline. The FAA says a reservation computer issue was behind the request. That stop was lifted after about 45 minutes.

In another statement issued on Tuesday, Southwest Airlines said it was “in the process of investigating the root cause of each event to determine the reason behind the technology issue.”

A spate of high-profile cyberattacks has recently shut down some key pieces of infrastructure across the United States. To date, airlines have proved relatively immune to this threat. On Tuesday evening, Southwest indicated it was getting on top of the computer issue.

“We are in the process of resuming normal operations after a system issue this afternoon that created flight disruptions throughout our network,” the airline said on social media. “We know many Customers still require assistance and are working to address those concerns as quickly as possible.”

Airlines, including Southwest, have become more and more dependant on IT to run flight operations. Photo: Denver International Airport

Passengers left stranded and unhappy

Southwest’s call for patience from passengers caught up in the delays and cancelations left many unimpressed. Passengers on planes and left stranded in airports overnight flooded social media with complaints.

“Been a long-time customer and Southwest frequent flyer. It’s never been this bad. Been flying all day and just heard my next flight is delayed by three hours,” posted one passenger.

“We have been sitting on the tarmac for two hours. We missed our connecting flight. This is the last time we fly Southwest,” says another.

“Are you paying the $90 for the hotel that we booked? You canceled our flight?”

Computer problems at airlines are not new. Problems with IT systems often see airline staff having to manually check-in and board passengers. Doing so was once the norm in airports but now causes extensive delays. However, airlines have become increasingly dependant on software running normally to operate.

“Every organization is a software organization,” says Jonathan Knudsen, Senior Security Strategist at Synopsys. “Every organization in every industry depends on software for critical business functions.”

Early on Wednesday, Southwest already has 64 flights canceled or roughly 1% of the airline’s scheduled flights. In its statement, Southwest Airlines is advising wait times on their customer care line are longer than normal and is encouraging passengers to use self-service options online.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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