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Aircraft insurance has perhaps one of the highest rates in terms of non-life, and for a good reason. When an accident happens, the claim doesn’t just account for the parts damaged—or in some case, even the whole aircraft—it must also consider for the people hurt or killed in the incident, as well as the allowance needed in case legal settlement is required.

For some time, however, general aviation coverage has offered relatively cheap premiums, which has been an inviting catch-on for some aviation companies. But while it might seem like a good business move at first, over time, it’s become more evident that the practice isn’t as sustainable as initially thought. And the rising insurance rates seem to reflect just that.

That being said, let’s take a look at the state of aircraft insurance and what it means for the industry moving forward.

A preflight crew completes an inspection of a TF/A-18 Hornet aircraft parked on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69). An NAN-2 is parked on the flight line. Towards the 5-30% increase

While aircraft insurance’s shift to the hard market might seem a little abrupt at a glance, it’s actually a move that’s been speculated on for some time now. In a report by AIN Online, part of this is attributed to an increase in general aviation accidents over the past two years. And in a segment that’s enjoyed low premiums for the past decade or so, the costs incurred have caught up to the coverage provided.

To cope up with these losses, insurance rates have hiked up to as much as 5-30% over the span of a few months. But while it might seem like a lot, the report notes that such a hike is standard, being a way the insurance market corrects itself.

That being said, this might not bode so well for aircraft operators, who could expect their insurance rates to go higher during renewal. And with aviation being one of the safest industries worldwide, some might feel the burden of this rise more than others.

However, the raise might not necessarily be all bad.

A potential benefit to the industry?

While operators might feel the brunt of these increases at first, over time they might prove beneficial to the industry as a whole. While the industry enjoyed the benefit of low-cost premiums for over a decade, it’s ultimately proved insufficient and unsustainable for the long run, which could cause complications if more accidents pile up over the years.

But while it might not be obvious on an individual scale, the benefits of higher insurance rates are more evident when looking at the industry as a whole. One might find it similar to the phenomenon of herd immunity—with more airlines and aircraft protected from any untoward incidents, the less likely it is for them to be left vulnerable when such events arise.

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Within the past few years or so, private jet company JetSuite® has made leaps and bounds with its aviation services, from scoring a strategic investment from Qatar Airways to providing cheap routes to Vegas. And this year, the company plans to take it one step further with its new “growth campaign,” where it looks to take its brand and services to “an even more upscale audience,” according to Dallas News. 

But for those familiar with the company knows that this is all part of the plan. Over its ten years in existence, JetSuite has consistently committed itself to provide a “meaningful alternative” to the current slate of aviation options, ultimately aiming to shake up the marketplace with its efficient yet low-cost options. And despite its rocky beginnings—JetSuite began in 2008, at a time when the whole world was reeling from an economic crisis—the company was finally able to weather the turbulence during the past couple years.

One could say that this could be attributed to the launch of JetSuiteX, where the company focused on the short-haul market of fewer than 500 miles between major cities, allowing them to drive down costs and cut down the time spend at the airport. And while their one-way fares might be higher than your typical commercial flight, JetSuiteX makes up for it in service and convenience. But that doesn’t mean the company is throwing the gloves on its private jet business just yet. On the contrary, it’s planning to ramp up it even further, focusing on its ability to provide a luxurious experience for its more lucrative clients—including its jet card program.

That being said, how does its program stack up against similar offerings? Using the following criteria, we examine it further:

  • Type offered. Jet cards usually come in two kinds: aircraft-dependent and deposit-dependent. Some providers offer both. That said, this aspect is something you might want to look into if you’re more concerned about the aircraft you’ll be flying in or just the amount you’ll need to pay for a certain number of flight hours.
  • Price inclusions. It’s hard to make comparisons without talking about how much membership costs. More than knowing the price, however, is what the price includes—whether it covers necessary expenses or if it contains any unneeded inclusions. This is especially crucial if you’re flying on a budget.
  • Services included. Finally, when purchasing a jet card, you want to make sure you’re getting a bang for your buck, especially when it comes to the services and amenities. Here, we detail what each program includes so you can see if they’re up to par with your traveling style.
Type offered

JetSuite’s jet card program leans more towards the deposit-dependent kind, as you may be able to choose the aircraft type of your liking as long as it stays within your deposit limit. The membership level comes in four deposit amounts:

  • $50k
  • $100k
  • $200k
  • $400k
Price inclusions

Within these deposit amounts, you are able to lock in the hourly rates per aircraft and pay less than non-members. The jet card program currently accommodates three aircraft types: the Phenom 100, the CJ3, and the E135. Hourly rates are as follows:

Phenom 100
  • $50k membership: $3,550.00
  • $100k membership: $3,450.00
  • $200k membership: $3,350.00
  • $400k membership: $3,250.00
CJ3
  • $50k membership: $5,050.00
  • $100k membership: $4,950.00
  • $200k membership: $4,850.00
  • $400k membership: $4,750.00
E135
  • $50k membership: $7,700.00
  • $100k membership: $7,600.00
  • $200k membership: $7,500.00
  • $400k membership: $7,400.00

It’s important to note that the hourly rates do not include FET or airport fees. That said, the fees may vary per airport requirements, and may include landing, parking, or repositioning fees. Fortunately, however, members do not have peak-day surcharges or restrictions, while non-members might need to pay a $300/hr surcharge.

Services included

All this considered, what additional services can you get when you avail of JetSuite’s membership program? For one, the company’s full suite of amenities across all services, including short flight times, one-way flight deals for as low as $536, free wi-fi, and an array of complimentary snacks and drinks. Aside from this, you can also get the following perks:

  • Priority booking up to 90 days in advance;
  • Leg change fee is waived for changes made within 48 hours, as long as re-booking occurs within 3 hours of original departure;
  • Grace period up to 30 minutes, with the option to purchase 15 more minutes for $200.
Conclusion

All this considered, JetSuite’s jet card program indeed manages to shape up as an affordable and convenient alternative for travelers who need to get somewhere quick yet comfortably. While it might be a tight ride if you’re sharing a trip with other members, the program nonetheless keeps to the JetSuite promise and is a wonderful treat for those wanting to try out private air travel for a special occasion.

Learn more about jet card services with us

With more jet card programs on the rise, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to look at each option as they come. After all, we believe the best choices are the most well-informed ones. That said, head on to our website and sign up with us now for more information.

Disclaimer: Jettly is in no way affiliated with JetSuite. JetSuite is a registered trademark of JetSuite and JetSuite Air.

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Around late September of this year, Bloomberg reported that “more than half of domestic flights were on regionals this year,” perhaps due to major US airlines pushing to “boost the reliability of their regional partners” more this 2018. The article followed the first report by the US Department of Transportation to include details on regional airlines, a part of the industry that had for decades been previously absent from these reports. And as larger commercial airlines make use of regionals to fulfill a good portion of their flight schedules, it effectively gives a fuller picture of the industry at large.

Here, it becomes more apparent that the regional airline industry plays a more significant role than conventionally expected. As they mostly assist larger carriers, they play an essential role in filling up the capacity for smaller cities littered across the country. And even if commercial airlines come to a halt in the following years, regional airlines will nonetheless continue to be of service to these communities regardless.

With that being said, looking into this portion of the industry becomes quite crucial, particularly for those who want to break out in it. But what issues plague this essential part of the industry, and how will these issues play out in the long run? We examine them further.

Why scope clauses matter

For those who aren’t familiar with scope clauses, Courtney Miller—Director for Lessor Sales at Bombardier Aerospace—defines it as the “definition of a scope a bargaining agreement will have between a company and its represented employees.” When looking at it through the lens of the airline industry, this includes the following:

  • Definitions of what work airline pilots would perform;
  • Exceptions where airlines can make use of non-represented pilots.

The latter, in particular, is often accredited for the promulgation of the regional airline industry, as it allowed larger airlines to make use of local flyers when the need had arisen. And at times, top airlines would utilize these regionals more than their mainline pilots, which would often create tension between the two factions.

But while it may be a contested subject, the scope clauses don’t seem to be going anywhere, according to a report by AIN. If anything, with the consolidation of other airlines, it’s only further reinforced—and along with it, so are regional fleets projected to grow more.

The problem of pilot shortage

Previously, we had talked at length about the issue of pilot shortage and how it affects regional airlines. And indeed, the odds don’t seem to be in their favor, as various segments of the aviation industry seem to compete for the same talent pool—with most looking to turn to the commercial sector for their benefits and security.

To counteract this, then, regional airlines are then challenged to become more palatable to first-time pilots, whether it’s by upping the pay or even funding training. And with partnerships with larger commercial carriers in tow, hopefully this might be the added boost they needed.

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Austria in December is a marvelous place. With beautifully snowy mountains, wintry forests, and tranquil waters, it’s somewhere you can find reprieve in the midst of the potentially harsh cold. The country, after all, is known for its old-world allure—with architecture preserved from the 17th century and landscapes that would appeal to any romantic soul.

Salzburg, in particular, looks spectacular as it glimmers with its snow-banked rivers and decorated alleyways. And fortunately, it’s all walkable—perfect for those who like to simmer in the moment and take things slow. A good number of great things in life are free, after all, including the most luxurious of moments.

While taking in Austria’s splendor, one thing you can do to further your experience is to stay somewhere that encapsulates the experience. And Hotel Goldener Hirsch is a perfect candidate. Here’s why:

A piece of Austria in the details

When you arrive at Hotel Goldener Hirsch, you might find yourself doing a second take. The exteriors of the hotel, after all, seem to blend seamlessly with the rest of its surrounding buildings, and intentionally at that. After all, its structure was meant to emulate an Austrian country house— striking a balance between an immersive experience and a luxurious one.

The Telegraph’s review of the hotel takes note of its more excellent details—from its old stone arches and wood finishes, to its hand-carved reception desk. That being said, there’s an unmistakably cozy vibe to every area that is both classy and grounded, a gem among other high-end institutions. It’s the type that brings you into the moment of where you are, dazzling not with stylistic flourishes but with its own natural charm. If anything, you feel more at home when you enter it—and in turn, it inspires you to learn more about it and the city it lives in.

A hub for good eats and great places

The hotel is located in Salzburg, and if the city rings a bell, it’s for a good reason. For some, Salzburg is known as the hometown of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, perhaps the most prolific of classical composers. For others, it might be better known as the impetus for The Sound of Music, where the real-life Von Trapp family lived. Beyond all this, however, it’s ultimately a city of culture, home to UNESCO world heritage and various cultural events and festivals, most notably the Salzburg Festival.

Salzburg, then, is a dream for those who travel for culture. And fortunately, when you stay at the Hotel Goldener Hirsch, everything is just a walk away—or even at the comfort of your own staying quarters. Here are a few things you can enjoy while there:

  • Dine to your heart’s delight. Fortunately, when you stay at the Hotel Goldener Hirsch, you’re at the behest of some of the best food in town. For breakfast, head to the buffet on the first floor for some local treats, like the Palatschinken as well as some cheeses and bread. Then, for supper, you can either try out the s’Herzl—a 250-year-old restaurant that served many an internationally-acclaimed musician and actor—or the Goldener Hirsch, a gourmet establishment that makes the most of local ingredients.
  • Visit the landmarks. As mentioned, one great thing about the hotel is that it’s near some famous spots and landmarks. After fueling up, you can opt to head towards some of them, like the Hohensalzburg Castle or even Mozart’s birthplace.
Head to the Hotel Goldener Hirsch now

Thinking about spending the winter in Salzburg? You’ve got the accommodation—now let us handle the transpo. Submit your flight request now.

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During the early years of aviation, pioneers were mostly concerned with getting aircraft off the ground based on trial and error, and often by imitating examples in nature. For a while, this method had made some leaps and bounds in developing the craft, as different people and societies took their own sojourns and approaches to the problem. From gliders to hot air balloons, to kites, these attempts were successful in their own little ways, but all still seemed to be missing a valuable piece to the puzzle.

Eventually, the focus shifted to the creation of operational fixed-wing aircraft, as it became evident that it was the missing link aviation needed. But while the trial-and-error method also helped it grow in leaps and bounds, to indeed progress, it needed to have something more stable to keep it going—such as the principles of flight.

A good portion of the development of fixed-wing aircraft could be attributed to Sir George Cayley, an English aviator who is often called the Father of Aeronautics. One of his most prominent of works, however, is his work on the principles of flight—weight, lift, drag, and thrust—where he realized how the configuration of the four could spell the difference between a successful or unsuccessful flight.

But who is Sir George Cayley, and how did he come to this discovery? We take a look into the man and the reputation that precedes him:

Photo: Dave Gunner, for ruby “The threshold of every man’s door”

Sir George Cayley, much like his fellow pioneers, had been interested in flight very early on in his life. Born in 1773, Cayley was the son of Thomas Cayley—the 5th Baronet of Cayley—and Isabella Seton, a woman of independent thought. Cayley’s mother was a dominant figure in his life, according to The Royal Society; an influence which might’ve lent to Cayley’s innovative approach to problem-solving in his later years.

He eventually became a pupil of George Walker, a renowned mathematician. Through him, Cayley was introduced to mathematical ideas considered high-end at the time, as well as concepts in navigation and mechanics. It was also here that he learned about the importance of experimentation and attention to materials, all who would contribute to his own attempts in aviation. Flight, in particular, was a key focus of his, as he believed that “the ability to navigate ‘the ocean that comes to the threshold of every man’s door’ was a most important goal,” according to The Royal Aeronautic Society.

On the principles of flight

While directly emulating the birds did not bode well for pioneer aviators, the endeavor was not a hopeless one altogether. It was by observing them, after all, that Cayley began to formulate his principles of flight. He looked at how their wing sizes and body weight worked together to keep it in the air, using the crow as an example. As for the importance of drag, he looked at the trout and how its streamlined shape helped it efficiently swim upstream.

Eventually, by constructing machines with these characteristics, he realized that a sound engine was the missing piece to the question of flight—a discovery that would ultimately propel future aviators to build on it further. But nonetheless, while the technology was not yet available at the time, he was still able to create successful gliders out of the principles he had discovered: principles which future generations would continue to use to this day.

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If you’ve heard of Private Jet Services® (also known as the PJS Group), it’s probably because they’ve been on the move as of late. 2018 seems to be a busy year for the group, who had been ramping up on their private jet services.

The company has been noted for its high-profile clients and high-volume missions for some time now, as the company has focused on tours, roadshows, and campaigns for the most part. Owner and founder Greg Raiff himself has had experience with group travel since his Middlebury College days—the bulk of his primary market coming from the annual spring breakers. One could say that their jet card service seems like the perfect step forward.

The jet card service, which was established in 2014, has attracted a strong following for its impressive offerings. The offering boasts of guaranteed availability and fixed pricing for its one-way trips, while its recent developments also offer something for potential clients to look forward to. For one, the company had expanded its lifestyle partnerships, allowing them to provide customers with a travel experience that feels more curated, intimate, and luxe. For another, it’s also announced that it would continue to not have fuel surcharges—a nice respite for potential flyers who are worried about added costs.

But how well does PJS’ jet card program fare among other similar programs? We take a look at it through the following criteria:

  • Type offered. Jet cards usually come in two kinds: aircraft-dependent and deposit-dependent. Some providers offer both. That said, this aspect is something you might want to look into if you’re more concerned about the aircraft you’ll be flying in or just the amount you’ll need to pay for a certain number of flight hours.
  • Price inclusions. It’s hard to make comparisons without talking about how much membership costs. More than knowing the price, however, is what the price includes—whether it covers necessary expenses or if it contains any unneeded inclusions. This is especially crucial if you’re flying on a budget.
  • Services included. Finally, when purchasing a jet card, you want to make sure you’re getting a bang for your buck, especially when it comes to the services and amenities. Here, we detail what each program includes so you can see if they’re up to par with your traveling style.
Type offered

For the most part, PJS’ jet card program is more aircraft-dependent, as its offerings depend on the aircraft you want to get. Aside from this, however, customers are also given a choice whether to avail of a Priority Jet Card or an Elite Jet Card for the aircraft type they choose. The differences can be summed up in the following:

  • Priority Jet Card. Aircraft for this option are mostly older types, often manufactured before the year 2000. But while the fleet is older, this doesn’t mean that they are any less reliable. This only means that you get to pay less for the same sense of security.
  • Elite Jet Card. Aircraft for this option are mostly newer types, often manufactured during or after the year 2000. But while this option might be a little more costly, you also get the convenience and efficiency of service these aircraft types offer.
Price inclusions

Another advantage PJS has over other programs is the variety of hour increments their jet cards offer. Suitable for all types of travelers, the program comes in 25, 50, and 100-hour increments, while providing limited ed 15 and 20-hour programs. Recently, the group also revealed its 10-hour card offering, making the program more affordable for first-time private air aficionados. Here’s a breakdown of rates:

Light Jet
  • Priority: $4,890.00
  • Elite: $5,490.00
Mid-size
  • Priority: $6,650.00
  • Elite: $7,355.00
Super Mid-size
  • Priority: $8,995.00
  • Elite: $9,700.00
Heavy Jet
  • Priority: $ 11,050.00
  • Elite: $13,005.00

The hourly rates are inclusive of fuel and taxes, although if you need de-icing, you might have to pay extra. But this might not be a bad thing—the add-on price means that you pay less unnecessary fees.

Services included

As mentioned beforehand, PJS jet card enjoys all the benefits of the group’s other services. This includes:

  • Discounts with various luxury brands, such as Todd Reed and Peter Millar;
  • All-inclusive pricing;
  • A curated luxury travel experience care of Cuvee;
  • Liability insurance for up to $600M;
  • And only 20 peak days, including a 10-hour to 7-day lead time reservation.
Conclusion

While the program is still reasonably young, it’s nonetheless proved its mettle thanks to its affordability and dedication to a luxe travel experience. And as a lot of its perks can benefit group travelers, it’s a great go-to if you’re looking to book a flight with friends or colleagues.

Learn more about jet card services with us

With more jet card programs on the rise, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to look at each option as they come. After all, we believe the best choices are the most well-informed ones. That said, head on to our website and sign up with us now for more information.

Disclaimer: Jettly is in no way affiliated with Private Jet Services. Private Jet Services is a registered trademark of Private Jet Services and PJS Group.

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In the past few aircraft features, we’ve been looking into the evolution of Beechcraft’s King Air series, starting with the BE100 to the BE300. We covered how the BE100 was initially a creation of necessity, as Pratt & Whitney Canada—who supplied the PT-6A engines used for the series—had been hit by a strike in the mid-70s.

Eventually, the aircraft proved its dues, and in time it would spur other successful models down the like, such as the BE200 and the BE300. The BE200, not surprisingly, became a commercial hit, and as we had mentioned previously helped in the proliferation of corporate travel. It would also serve as the model for some of Beechcraft’s later models, such as the BE300. The BE300, just like the BE100, would also be a creation of circumstance, this time around being influenced by the new FAA certification criteria in the 1980s.

That being said, one could say that the King Air series is a shining example of resilience and innovation; particularly in the trickiest of changes in the aviation industry. This legacy is maintained with the King Air BE350, one of the latest in the line.

But what, exactly, does the BE350 bring to the table? We find out.

Updated engines and capacity

Like its predecessors, the BE350 is an aircraft that knows its strengths and improves on them further, starting with its engines and capacity. As a “worldwide mission enabler” according to BizAv India, the aircraft boasts of better performance from its Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67As, as well as a maximum takeoff weight of 17,500lb.

The PT6A-67As give the BE350 a better performance on the field and during the climb, cruising at a maximum speed of 320 knots and climbing at a rate of 2700 fpm. The aircraft also deals well with operations that require a higher altitude and hotter environments, allowing for a maximum gross weight takeoff of 2,700lb when at sea level.

An all-around aircraft ready for any mission

Beyond being an inevitable upgrade from its predecessors, however, these new changes also enable the BE350 to withstand the environmental stressors from a host of special purposes. With capabilities ranging from passenger transport, cargo, or air ambulatory services, the aircraft is a reliable beast that will ensure you meet your objectives as much as it can.

In particular, with its newest iterations—such as the 350ER and the 350i—the model has been keen on drawing more audiences with its enhanced performance and abilities. Last October, for instance, Defense Industry Daily had noted that the Canadian Government had requested the purchase of three King Air 350ERs, taking note of its ability to conduct various operations, such as ISR, SAR, transport, and monitoring. The 350i, on the other hand, has been noted for its improved payload and range, while keeping things quiet on the passenger side.

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Finland is a country that looks like a fairytale. And during wintertime, the snow amplifies the effect, transforming an already picturesque area into a wonderland. From the fields of white to the frosty trees, Finland becomes the epitome of holiday bliss, with every angle the stuff of one’s Christmas dreams.

No place in Finland embodies this as well as Rovaniemi, aptly called the “Official Hometown of Santa Claus.” But while the story of how it came to be known as such is said to be economical in nature, it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch—every aspect of the Lapland capital appears to resemble the North Pole quite nicely, which is perfect for those looking to live out their childhood dreams.

That said, if you’re looking to celebrate the holidays in Santa Town, you’re in luck—this Finnish city is chock-full of events that are sure to bring out your inner child while you’re there. To keep things brief, however, we’ve pared it down to a couple of things you might enjoy:

Indulge in all things St. Nick

Rovaniemi hosts a ton of activities that’ll help you get into the spirit of Christmas. That being said, head on to the Santa Claus Village for a truly magical holiday experience. As for what you can do there, the Visit Rovaniemi site offers a few suggestions:

  • Head to Santapark. Ever wondered how Santa spent his days? Here’s your chance to know. Head on to Santapark near the Arctic Circle and indulge in all its wintry wonders, from the breathtaking ice caves to St. Nick’s cozy cavern. You might also get the opportunity to bake gingerbread cookies with elves and have your own sleigh adventure!
  • Pass by Elf’s Farm Yard. For something a little more folksy, Elf’s Farm Yard offers some fun outdoor activities perfect for those who love winter’s comforts. Cross the Arctic Circle with traditional wooden skis, or meet some cute farm animals in the area’s petting zoo. For added measure, you can also have a picnic around a campfire with some elven-made treats from the elf store.
Photo: Visit Rovaniemi Spectacles of sight and sound

Aside from exploring Rovaniemi’s picturesque views, you can also check out the bevy of events the city has to offer. From fantastic music-and-dance numbers to intimate theater shows, December hosts a ton of exciting happenings for those who want to spread Christmas cheer another way.

That said, here are a few events that might suit your fancy:

  • Christmas Story. Following the journey of Nicholas, a young orphan, Rovaniemi Theatre’s Christmas Story is a heartwarming rendition full of song and dance. Watch it with the whole family for a dose of Christmas spirit.
  • Concert at the Lapland Music Institute. Sometimes to learn about an area is to listen to its music, and fortunately, the Lapland Music Institute hosts a free concert all throughout December—just check a date that’s suitable for you.
Have your own winter excursion now

Looking to relive your childhood dreams this Christmas? Then Rovaniemi is the place for you. Submit a flight request now, and we’ll take you one step closer to achieving that goal.

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Recently, news of the tragedy that struck Indonesian airline Lion Air has made ripples across various media outlets, as flight JT 610 crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff.  From heartbreaking news about those who were left behind, to pieces looking into what might have caused the crash, flight JT 610 has become a precautionary tale of sorts for those in the industry, another point worth improving on. But with surprising revelations following reports on what might have caused the crash, it’s gone beyond the realm of cautionary tale and into something more deeper.

That being said, we take a look at what these new findings can teach us, and what they mean for the aviation industry at large.

Aerial view of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta (edited horizon). The view taken in 2 January 2010 from Garuda Indonesia airplane during take-off. The architecture reflect Indonesian vernacular architecture of Javanese Joglo roof with Pendopo as gate lounges (waiting hall) surrounded with tropical gardens. A problem that goes beyond airline control

Part of what makes the JT 610 crash so shocking is that, on the surface, everything seemed to be going fine. For the most part, Lion Air had made all the right moves: both its pilots had flown well over the required flight hours (with 11,000 hours total between the two), there were no weather issues on the horizon, and they had been using the 737 MAX 8, one of Boeing’s newest and most advanced aircraft.

The Indonesian LCC, after all, had been undergoing a facelift for its image after being placed on the EU blacklist in 2007, which included the rest of the 51 Indonesian carriers. All the effort eventually paid off, and in 2016 Lion Air was finally taken off the blacklist.

Such preparations, unfortunately, could not prevent the tragedy from happening, but they do pose a critical realization. Aside from fending off potential mishaps, proper preparation also helps eliminate other possible causes and pinpoints what might have actually occurred during the time of the accident—particularly if it’s something that is beyond the airline’s control. Doing so could also shed light on what the industry at large can improve on, which is particularly important to one where safety and security are at high priority.

A new feature turned fatal flaw

One of the key findings that have come in during the past few days is that the plane had an automated anti-stall system that the pilots were not aware of. NBC reports that Indonesian officials surmise that the crew might have faced a situation which was allegedly not covered in the flight manual, while two US pilot unions have noted that without the correct inputs, the plane could “become uncontrollable.” The system, known as the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS), can lower the airplane’s nose when it is at risk of stalling.

Before this, many had speculated that the crash might have been spurred by “potential maintenance problems” observed the night before, which included a faulty angle-of-attack (AOA) sensor. There is also speculation that the crash might have stemmed from a combination of the two: that the AOA might have sent incorrect data to the MCAS, prompting it to lower the nose accidentally.

With these developments in mind, the question now is this: why was this new feature not appropriately communicated? And how can we stop similar tragedies from happening?

As Boeing’s investigation into the matter continues, we hope that it may continue to shed light into what might have happened and what will be done to ensure it does not happen again. But for now, hopefully, the incident may prompt more airlines and manufacturers to continually evaluate themselves and push for ways to keep our skies safe.

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It’s been two weeks into November, and there have been some exciting developments happening in the industry—mainly, in the Asia-Pacific region. And with more flyers coming from the area, it’s not hard to see why. The BBC reported earlier this year that Asia was the “most dominant region for air travel,” spurned by “growing incomes, a burgeoning middle class and peaking working-age populations.” And with more travelers in a region, the more activity there is in their airports—along with more opportunities for their airlines to grow.

It’s something that’s been felt over the past few weeks, with various Asia-Pacific airlines renewing their fleets and a mature northeast Asian market being targeted for crossover narrowbodies. That said, we take a look at these developments and what they might mean for this growing region.

Photo: Z3144228 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64987858 Various Asian airlines renew fleets as older types continue to age

Recently, more and more Asia-Pacific airlines have pushed for the renewal of their fleets and are leaning more towards widebody orders, according to Aviation Week. Four airlines, in particular, have undergone exciting developments during the past weeks:

  • Thai Airways. For some time now, the Thai airline has grappled with the issue of delaying retirement for some of its 20-year-old fleets due to a number of factors. For one, engine issues in the Boeing 787s have caused the airline to ground some of its aircraft for maintenance, causing it to operate on an extremely tight schedule. For another, plans to place an order for more orders have been delayed due to a government request to review the acquisition plan once more, according to Air Transport World. Nonetheless, it hopes to finally retire it 747-400s by 2020, although its schedule for its 777s might take a little longer than planned.
  • Malaysia Airlines. Meanwhile, Malaysian Airlines is currently looking to replace its A330s, having signed an MOA with Boeing to place an order for its 787-9s. However, with the memorandum lapsing early this year, the carrier has been reassessing its options for widebodies.
  • Korean Air. Like Malaysian Airlines, the carrier has also been looking into options to replace its aging Boeing 777s, including the Boeing 777x and the Airbus A350, according to Aviation Week. Aside from these, it also looks to bulk up a bit on its 787s as another replacement option, adding onto the two deliveries made within this year.
  • Japan Airlines. While the airline is looking to decide on its 767 replacements in 2020, Japan Airlines has nonetheless already placed an order for some Airbus A350-900s to replace some of its aging 777s in the meantime.

East Asia targeted by crossover jet manufacturers

On another front, more crossover narrowbody manufacturers have been looking to East Asia as a key market, particularly Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Aviation Week notes that each country has a “propensity to travel,” particularly for business reasons, notes that the shift to East Asia could be spurred by the “increasing demand for low-cost travel.”

And with more segments coming up in each region, so have more opportunities for these aircraft to pick up on new orders.

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