Irish low-cost carrier operates world’s largest Next-Generation 737-800 fleet
SEATTLE, April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Ryanair marked a milestone today with the delivery of the airline’s 400th Next-Generation 737-800.
The Irish low-cost carrier operates the largest fleet of Next-Generation 737-800s in the world.
“The Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with its industry leading technical reliability and seating capacity, has been the foundation upon which our successful and safe growth has been built upon, since we took our first delivery in March 1999,” said Ryanair’s Chief Operations Officer, Michael Hickey. “We are delighted to be now taking delivery of our 400th 737-800, which includes the new Boeing Sky Interior and slimline seats, offering extra leg room and an enhanced customer experience, as part of our ‘Always Getting Programme’.”
Ryanair pioneered the low-cost model in Europe more than 30 years ago, with the Next-Generation 737-800 providing the optimal platform for its continued growth. Ryanair is the largest Boeing operator in Europe with more than 1,800 daily flights carrying 106 million passengers annually to more than 30 countries.
“A key factor in Ryanair’s continued success is the outstanding economics of the Next-Generation 737-800,” said Monty Oliver, vice president, European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “This 400th 737 delivery is a special milestone for both our companies and we are honored that Ryanair continues to be an all-Boeing operator.”
Ryanair has more than 130 unfilled orders for Next-Generation 737-800s and is also the launch customer for the 737 MAX 200, the newest member of the 737 MAX family.
The Dublin-based carrier ordered 100 737 MAX 200s, a variant based on the successful 737 MAX 8, that can accommodate up to 200 seats, increasing revenue potential and providing airlines with up to 20 percent better fuel efficiency per seat than today’s most efficient single-aisle airplanes.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
SOURCE : Boeing Website
A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 has been sitting at Melbourne Tullamarine with its engines and landing gear covered up, windows blacked out and doors taped for the past 10 weeks.
The aircraft, VH-VUM, last flew on May 2, when it was ferried from Christchurch to Melbourne as VA9949.
Sister-ship VH-VUN has also spent considerable time on the ground at Melbourne Airport. The 737 was ferried to Tullamarine on May 8 and did not fly again until June 30, when it was went to Christchurch as VA9948 before returning to Melbourne on June 4.
A Virgin Australia spokesperson declined to offer any explanation for the aircraft being idle for the past 10 weeks.
But the airline was expected to give a fleet update at its 2014/15 full year financial results in August.
According to the Aussie Airliners’ website, VH-VUM was delivered to then Virgin Blue in 2007 on lease from CIT Leasing Corporation. It was involved in a 2012 incident where the aircraft flew untracked for 27 minutes between Sydney and Brisbane after air traffic control incorrectly thought the flight was headed for Newcastle.
Virgin still has 16 factory fresh 737-800s on order from Boeing, according to the manufacturer’s website, in addition to 23 737 MAXs expected to arrive from 2018.
Virgin Australia has retained the title of the nation’s most punctual airline for a fifth straight month.
Figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) showed Virgin led all airlines in March with an on time departure rate of 91.8 per cent, while its on time arrival rate was also an industry leading 90 per cent.
BITRE defines a flight as on time if it arrives or departs within 15 minutes of schedule.
Virgin, Australia’s second largest carrier, has had the highest on time percentage among all Australian airlines since November 2014.
Qantas, which led the on time stats throughout 2013 and most of 2014, was more than two percentage points adrift of its domestic rival in February with 89.3 per cent of its flights departing on time and 88.2 per cent reaching the arrival gate within 15 minutes of schedule.
Behind Qantas were Tigerair Australia (86.5 per cent for departures and 84 per cent for departures) and Jetstar (85.9 per cent on time departures and 86.5 per cent arrivals) .
Among the regional carriers, Regional Express (Rex) reclaimed top position in March with an on time departure rate of 88.9 per cent. Virgin Australia Regional Airlines was second at 88.8 per cent, with QantasLink third on 87.9 per cent.
The best-performing airports in March were Proserpine Airport, which had the highest on time departure rate of 97.5 per cent, and Ayers Rock Airport, which recorded the highest on time arrival rate of 96.6 per cent.
Darwin Airport was the only capital city airport to feature in the top 10 airports for on-time arrivals or departures. The Northern Territory capital was ninth in terms of on time arrivals with 92.3 per cent of flights arriving within 15 minutes of schedule.
Virgin Australia Regional 88.8
Virgin Australia Regional 86.6
The Qantas Boeing 737-800 ‘RetroRoo’ is notable for more than just itsfunky 1970s livery – it’s also the last of 75 Boeing 737-800s on the airline’s order book, leaving Qantas to ponder a next-gen replacement for its domestic workhorse in the form of the Boeing 737 MAX or the Airbus A320neo.
“At some point over the next few years we’ll have to consider what’s next” Qantas chief financial officer Gareth Evans told Australian Business Traveller on the sidelines of the RetroRoo’s delivery ceremony in Seattle.
Qantas enjoys a relatively young 737-800 fleet – “our oldest 737-800 is 2002 vintage, so it’s just middle age” Evan says – “but from a medium- to long-term perspective the next major decision for our domestic fleet is the 737 MAX or A320neo.”
Both the Boeing 737 MAX (below) and Airbus A320neo use high-efficiency engines with refined aerodynamics such as new wingtip designs to deliver fuel savings estimated at 13-15%, along with lower operating costs and reduced noise.
Virgin Australia has already made its call in favour of the Boeing 737 MAX, and has in fact brought forward the first delivery of 23 jets to 2018, whileAir New Zealand has chosen the A320neo to sharpen the Kiwi carrier’s competitive edge against Qantas on the trans-Tasman market.
“For Qantas we have to evaluate over the next couple of years what’s the right aircraft for domestic routes – is it the Neo or the MAX?” ponders Evans. “They’re both good aircraft, they’re the next step in terms of efficiency, particularly around fuel burn of the engines.”
Jetstar has already inked an order for 99 of the A320neo jets from 2016, although Qantas has not ruled out drafting some of the fuel-efficient aircraft into its own red-tail domestic fleet.
For now, following the late December retirement of its last Boeing 767-300, Qantas will enjoy a simplified domestic fleet comprising of the Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A330-200.
While the A330s will mainly feature on transcontinental flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Perth, they’ll also be seen more often on east coast routes such as Sydney-Melbourne where they will fill in for the 767-300.
“We will predominately have the A330-200s flying east-west but at the beginning and end of the day they will do some east coast ‘triangle’ sectors and then they will go on to Perth” Evans says.
This will let some east coast commuters spend those short flights luxuriating in lie-flat beds as the A330s are upgraded with the new Qantas Business Suite.
Australian Business Traveller visited Seattle as a guest of Qantas and Boeing.
Source : Australian Business Traveller
3:00 PM Friday Jul 5, 2013
Grant Bradley flies on South African Airways
The plane: A Boeing 737-800, one of the later models of this fabulous workhorse, but well worn.
Class: Economy, with a 3-3 seat configuration. In business, separated by a curtain, it’s 2-3 seat. There’s an 8kg limit on hand luggage but no sign of enforcement of that.
Price: Economy tickets on this popular commuter run go for a little under $200 for the two-hour flight.
On time? We pushed back eight minutes late on a glorious morning.
My seat: 22C, on the aisle. Older-style cloth seats, plenty of leg room though.
Fellow passengers: It was a Saturday so not the usual number of suits. The plane can seat up to 157, but was about two-thirds full. My neighbour one seat over, was Sam, who was very curious about New Zealand’s economy and did not have much time for Oscar Pistorius.
Entertainment: Flip-down screens showed short items with good-looking people apparently extolling the virtues of South Africa. No headphones were offered so it was hard to tell.
A glimpse of the sprawl of Johannesburg, the brown of the veldt, but little of Cape Town, which was being battered by the worst winter storm in years, making for an exciting landing.
Service: South African Airways has a reputation for keeping up staff numbers, so no shortage of personnel and they were very friendly.
Food: SAA is also clinging to the full service model, so a full breakfast of omelette, sausage, potato and tomato, with juice and coffee was served.
Toilets: Clean, fairly tight space.
The airport experience: OR Tambo in Johannesburg is very big and named after the exiled freedom fighter. In the apartheid era it was Jan Smuts Airport where All Black teams arrived to a taste of the fanaticism that would doom them to successive failures and where one infamously said he was looking forward to “scoring more off the field than on”. The security is formidable, heavy iron grilles, lots of guards and I was a bit of a shambles after 26 hours’ journey time, rumpled suit on top of other clothes, pockets full and inevitably triggering alarms and well deserving of closer inspection. One stern-looking guard undid my shirt buttons and, just as I was preparing for a fairly intimate frisk, did them up again – this time in the right order – turned my collar over my jacket, smiled, gave me two thumbs up and told me it was “a much better look”.
Would I fly again? Certainly, but I’d also love to make the two-day “reverse trek” to the Cape in a car.
• Business Herald aviation reporter Grant Bradley flew as a guest of SAA.
The New Zealand Herald