By the time you are reading this, 2018 will have closed for half of the world, bring the end to a year full of aviation highs and lows.
Here are some of the top stories that you might have missed from this year!
HiFly debuts the new A380
HiFly, the wet lease airline, revealed their new A380. The plane is the first A380 that is available for other airlines to straight up hire on the spot to fill in gaps in their service.
The plane also allows passengers to get a first class seat for only hundreds of dollars, not thousands, as they make use of their old Singapore Airlines fit out.
So far the amazing plane has flown around the world for a multitude of different airlines, most recently (and frequently) for Norwegian.
Flights in India for only 2 cents
India is still gripped by a price war unlike the world has ever seen. Passengers are finding that they can get a flight on one of the domestic carriers for as little as 2 cents as airlines struggle to cope with a sudden oversupply of planes.
This has lead to several airlines going bankrupt, seeking outside investment or most recently, being bailed out by the government.
Speaking on turbulence in Asia…
China becomes the big draw in the aviation world
China continues to dominate as the world’s biggest aviation market. This led to some progressive battles between Airbus and Boeing as they both try to win their business.
- Airbus makes the Boeing share price drop on rumors of poaching a lifelong Boeing customer.
- Boeing has opened a new customer fulfillment center in China
- China has started to buy up flight schools to beat the pilot rush
Whilst we are on the topic of Boeing vs Airbus
Airbus backs the A220 and delivers it to the market
Airbus has delivered it’s first game changer A220 to the American market, with Delta taking ownership late this year.
Some say that it is even better than the famous Boeing 737 (You can see our comparison here)
We even published a series of articles on which is better, which is perfect for a lazy afternoon:
- Airbus A330neo vs Boeing 787-9
- Airbus A321XLR vs Boeing 797
- Boeing 777X vs Boeing 747
- Airbus A220 vs Boeing 737
- Boeing 777X vs Airbus A350
- The one that started them all, Boeing 787 vs Airbus A350
Tragedy in the sky
We recently wrote a story about how 555 passengers lost their lives this year due to air crashes, and it’s important to remember the events that happened.
The biggest loss was the Lion Air flight JT610 in a brand new Boeing 737 Max 8, which crashed shortly after takeoff.
One other significant event was an Alaska Airline crewmember stealing a Q400 and crashing it into the sea outside Seattle.
The great airline losses of 2018
There have been some major airline bankruptcies this year that have stranded passengers at home and abroad.
- Privat Air went bankrupt, with pilots being informed mid-flight that they either turn around or continue on.
- Cobalt got shut down, with their planes being repossessed on the runway
- FlyBe looks for new owners, as it struggles to compete with Ryanair and other low-cost carriers.
- WOW Air is bought out by Indigo Partners, the owners of Frontier and Wizz. This new ownership would potentially allow passengers to fly from Latin America to Russia via Iceland, all ultra low cost.
But of course, let’s not forget Norwegian who has one more day to not make this list…
IAG still wants to buy Norwegian
Despite all the up’s and down’s of Norwegians performance, IAG (International Airlines Group, owners of Iberia and British Airways) still wants to buy them. This really goes to show how much they are hurting as Norwegian slowly expands into their monopoly routes (Such as the London to Rio route).
Qatar threatens to leave its air alliance, whilst China Southern actually does
Talk about having a big game with not much to show for it, Qatar has been threating to leave one world for ages. But it seems China Southern has beaten them to the punch and decline to continue their air alliance membership next year.Qatar’s relationship with some of the Oneworld members has been rocky for quite some time
On middle eastern airlines…
Emirates and Etihad come close to merging
The two giants Emirates and Etihad continue to dance around the subject of merging. Both the airlines are owned by rival ‘states’ of the UAE but have always sought closer cooperation when working abroad.Despite being denied by Emirates, an Emirates Etihad merger could be on the cards.
What would a merged airline look like? You can check out our article here.
Southwest promises Hawaiian flights but misses the delivery date
Southwest has been claiming they are bringing cheap Hawaiian flights for ages, but it seems they missed their window this year. The delay has been due to the FAA issuing a certificate for the airline to fly over the Pacific.
An airport was shut down by drones
Gatwick Airport, most recently bought out by a French company, was under attack by low flying drones over the runway. This lead to the airport being shut down for 3 days as police scrambled to find a solution to shooting them down.
In the end, the drones vanished as police arrested two suspects. But in a twist of fate, the police now admit there may have never been any drones at all…
Are there any major stories we have missed? Let us know in the comments and Happy New Year from Simple Flying!