Support for UAVs: Innovate Washington, an arm of the State, is promoting sites in Washington as test sites for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). There are 37 states seeking to become test sites for UAVs.
The Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance on April 30 issued an endorsement of the plan.
Boeing’s Insitu unit builds UAVs and is headquartered in Washington.
Qatar’s CEO on 787: Akbar Al-Baker, the outspoken CEO of Qatar Airways, was remarkably quiet during the three-month grounding of the Boeing 787. He’s usually a pain in the rear to a number of OEMs with his public criticism. He’s back in the news today. He says Boeing will compensate Qatar for the grounding and adds he thinks the grounding was an over-reaction to Social Media coverage of the JAL and ANA events. He said the evacuation of the ANA 787 was “unnecessary,” according to the news report.
Retry on Boeing apology: Seems we linked a Wall Street Journal article to the posting on Boeing’s apology in Japan for the 787 problems. Let’s try this one again: Here is the story we meant to link.
More on 747F crash: Flight Global’s air safety expert weighs in the the video of the National Air Cargo crash.
About those change fees: Last week we reported from the US Airways Media Day and among the topics was that of change fees. US Airways matched United Airlines to charge $200 if you change your ticket. Here’s an article about how to deal with these fees.
Here’s another article about change fees, and how they’ve soared in recent times. If you think fees in the US are bad, look at the table and note in particular Ryanair’s fees–this carrier is notorious for charge for everything, and at steep prices, something subject to this funny video:
Why are fees becoming so prevalent? Because this is where airlines are largely making their profits. US Airways said last week it expects to earn $600m from fees this year. This is more than its entire profit from 2012. This means airline operations lose money and profits come from the fees.
Also on US Airways: we also reported last week about some outstanding labor issues between the IAM at US Air and the TWU and American Airlines. An agreement over the weekend was reached about merging these two workforces under one union banner, according to Terry Maxon at the Dallas Morning News.
Ex-Members Rap FAA, NTSB: We bet they won’t be invited to a reunion. James Hall and John Goglia, former members of the National Transportation Safety Board, had harsh words to say about the FAA, Boeing and the NTSB over the certification of the Boeing 787 and the subsequent fix. Hall said the FAA needed to recertify the airplane, not just the battery.
Ethiopian Airlines resumed service with the 787 over the weekend, while Japan’s ANA engaged in a proving flight. This Wall Street Journal article (via Google News, so everyone should be able to read it) references additional measures required by Japan.
There’s a lot of news happening today and tomorrow.
NTSB Hearing: The NTSB hearing on the Japan Air Lines Boeing 787 battery fire is today and tomorrow. This can be followed live (and later archived) here.
Boeing Earnings Call: This is Wednesday, April 24. This can be followed here. Expect a fair amount of discussion about the impact of the 787 battery issues on earnings. Ordinarily we’d have our usual live running coverage but instead we will be at the…
US Airways Media Day: This airline has an annual media day and it was scheduled for today a long time ago. We’ve been a regular at this, and due to the pending American Airlines merger, apparently there is going to be big press demand: they had to move the venue from headquarters to a hotel location in Scottsdale. We’ll have several updates throughout the day.
787 Update: LOT Polish Airlines expects to return its two 787s to service in June; Ethiopian this month; the Japanese airlines could return the airplane to service this month but ANA plans up to 200 test flights first, so this will slip to May and perhaps June. It’s unclear when Japan Air Lines plans a return-to-service (RTS). Qatar Airways wants to RTS this month. United Air Lines appears planning next month.
How Alabama won Airbus: Bloomberg News has this story detailing how Alabama persuaded Airbus to located an A320 plant in Mobile, after losing the tanker competition.
ANA to conduct 787 test flights: The Japanese airline, which currently has more Boeing 787s than any other carrier, will conduct up to 200 test flights before returning the 787 to service, according to this Reuters report.
Odds and Ends: ANA resumes 787 pilot training; Cash impact on 787; UAL, DAL miss profits; Mile High Club
ANA pilot training: ANA, the carrier with the largest fleet of Boeing 787s, has resumed pilot training for the aircraft, says Reuters. The article has a fair amount of detail about progress in the effort to return the 787 to service.
Cash impact of 787: UBS issued this note yesterday (April 1):
- See 787 as $6B cash drag in 2013: Even assuming battery issue is resolved and Boeing is able to hit its 787 delivery guidance at 60+, we still see 787 as a ~$6B cash drag in 2013 with ~$7B inventory build more than offsetting ~$1B advance draw. Our cash flow forecast assumes Boeing learns like it did on 777 and is worse than Boeing’s guidance for a similar 787 inventory build in 2013 as in 2012 ($5.7B).
- Cash drag could be much worse if battery issue lingers: As long as 787 remains grounded, Boeing is faced with the choice of either slowing production or building physical inventory. Every missed 787 deliveryrelative to Boeing’s >60 forecast adds $100-120M to our baseline forecast for a $6B 787 cash burn.
United, Delta miss profit forecasts: This isn’t good news: United Airlines and Delta Air Lines missed their first quarter profit targets on rising fuel costs. United’s profits have been hit-and-miss since the merger between legacy UAL and Continental Airlines. Delta has been more consistently profitable.
Next up, of course, is the union between American Airlines and US Airways. We’ll be going to the latter’s media day later this month, and obviously there will be much to talk about this year. CNBC has this profile on Doug Parker, the CEO of US Airways and the incoming CEO of the new American.
And finally: So much for the Mile High Club.