A Look Back At The Biggest Aviation Stories 2018

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.

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.

The Delta A220 delivery press conference in Quebec.

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:

Boeing 797 vs Airbus A321XLR

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.

A Look Back At The Biggest Aviation Stories 2018

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.

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).

IAG norwegian takeover
IAG CEO Willie Walsh has given Norwegian a year to decide on a takeover. Photo: Stuart Bailey

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.

JetBlue Hawaiian
Southwest will begin flying to Hawaii very soon. Photo: Southwest Airlines

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.

Gatwick Drones
Thousands had their Christmas break ruined as a result of the drone sightings. Photo: Gatwick Airport

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!