2019 in aviation

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Events[edit]

January[edit]

Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher died at 87 on January 3
3 January
Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher dies at 87.[1]
10 January
Air France ends its Joon brand, began in December 2017, and will reintegrate its aircraft and crew.[2]
Boeing delivers the first 767-based KC-46A Pegasus Tanker to the U.S. Air Force.[3]
11 January
UK regional operator Flybe acquisition is proposed for £2.2 million cash by Connect Airways, a joint company of Virgin Atlantic (30%), Stobart Aviation (30%) and fund manager Cyrus Capital (40%).[4]
14 January
A Saha Airlines Boeing 707 crashes at Fath Air Base in Iran, killing all but one of the 16 people on board.[5]
16 January
Airbus breaks ground for a new A220 final assembly line (FAL) in Mobile, Alabama, a $300 million investment after the $600 million previously committed for the A320 FAL, to begin deliveries in 2020.[6]

February[edit]

On 14 February, Airbus announced the end of A380 production in 2021
4 February
Germania Fluggesellschaft, its sister maintenance company Germania Technik Brandenburg and Germania Flugdienste files for insolvency and end flight operations.[7]
6 February
Bombardier Aerospace launches the CRJ550 variant of the CRJ700, with an order for 50 from United Airlines, with 50 seats in three classes to comply with US pilots' scope clauses.[8]
14 February
Airbus announces that it will end production of the A380 in 2021 after Emirates decides to replace its last orders for 39 planes by 30 A350s and 40 A330neos.[9]
16 February
British Midland Regional Limited, operating as Flybmi, ceases operations and files for administration; Flybmi operated 17 regional jets to 25 European cities, employed 376 employees and carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights in 2018.[10]
19–21 February
The British Royal Air Force stages flypasts of Tornado aircraft to mark their withdrawal from its service.[11]
20–24 February
Aero India is held in Bangalore.[12]
23 February
During approach to Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, a Boeing 767 freighter, Atlas Air Flight 3591, crashes into Trinity Bay in Texas, killing all three people (2 crew members and one passenger) on board.[13]
26 February – 2 March
Avalon Australian International Airshow is held in Geelong, Victoria.[12]
26 February
The Boeing–Embraer joint venture is approved by Embraer's shareholders.[14]
27 February
VietJet Air purchases 100 Boeing 737 MAX for $12.7 billion at list prices, including 20 MAX 8s and 80 larger MAX 10s, during the 2019 Hanoi Summit.[15]
28 February
British Airways parent International Airlines Group orders up to 42 Boeing 777-9Xs (18 firm and 24 options), valued at up to $18.6 billion, to replace its Boeing 747-400s with 30% better fuel cost per seat.[16]

March[edit]

5 March
The Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie, a stealthy unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator for the US Air Force Research Laboratory, makes its first flight at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.[17]
10 March
Shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashes near the Ethiopian town of Bishoftu, killing all 157 people on board.[18]
13 March
The Boeing 737 MAX is grounded worldwide, prompted by similarities between the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes.[19]
The Boeing 777-9X prototype is rolled-out in a low-key employees-only event.[20]
21 March
The first flight of the Sikorsky–Boeing SB-1 Defiant high-speed compound helicopter takes place in West Palm Beach, Florida.[21]
25 March
During Chinese leader's Xi Jinping state visit to France, China Aviation Supplies Holding Company commits to 290 Airbus A320 and 10 Airbus A350, worth $34 billion at list prices before discounts,[22] though this general terms agreement does not necessarily correspond to 300 new orders.[23]
27 March
Cathay Pacific takes over LCC rival Hong Kong Express Airways for HK$4.93 billion ($628 million), to close by the end of 2019; HK Express operates 23 Airbus A320 on 25 routes from Hong Kong to Japan and Southeast Asia.[24]
28 March
WOW air ceases its operations and cancel all flights.[25] WOW air operated transatlantic services via its hub at Keflavík International Airport.[26]
30 March
The Ilyushin Il-112, the first military transport plane designed in post-Soviet Russia and capable of carrying of up to 5 tonnes, performs its first flight.[27]

April[edit]

The Scaled Composites Stratolaunch made its maiden flight on 13 April
2–7 April
Sun 'n Fun is held in Lakeland, Florida, USA.[12]
8 April
Six years after its launch, the five-seat Flaris LAR01 makes its first flight at Zielona Góra Airport in western Poland powered by a single Williams FJ33 turbofan, targeting Polish S-1 experimental aircraft certification by the end of 2019 to start deliveries to local customers and EASA CS-23 certification aimed for the end of 2020.[28]
9 April
The United States Government threatens to place tariffs on European Union products over improper Airbus subsidies.[29]
10 April
Guillaume Faury is appointed Airbus Chief Executive Officer, replacing Tom Enders.[30]
10–13 April
AERO Friedrichshafen is held in Germany.[12]
13 April
After more than a year of ground testing, the Scaled Composites Stratolaunch air-launch carrier completes its maiden flight from Mojave Air and Space Port in California: the largest aircraft by wingspan.[31]
17 April
The Indian carrier Jet Airways suspended operations until further notice.[32]
24 April
United Airlines officially unveiled a new livery.[33]
The Airbus ACJ319neo, which is the corporate jet version of the A319neo, completed its first flight.[34]

May[edit]

Airbus celebrated on 29 May the 50th anniversary of the partnership launching the A300 (pictured)
May
British forces first deploy Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter jets operationally, from RAF Akrotiri on Cyprus in Operation Shader reconnaissance activities.[35]
3 May
The Airbus CityAirbus makes its first flight unmanned.[36]
Miami Air Flight 293, a Boeing 737-800, overshoots the runway at Jacksonville Naval Air Station with no loss of life.[37]
5 May
Aeroflot Flight 1492, a Sukhoi Superjet 100, bursts into flames while making a emergency landing at Moscow-Sheremetyevo airport; 41 were reported dead out of the 78 occupants.[38]
11 May
Bristow Helicopters parent Bristow Group enters Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, affecting North America operations, but leaving overseas operations unchanged.[39]
13 May
WestJet receives a C$3.5 billion buyout offer from Onex Corp, the private equity firm of billionaire Gerry Schwartz.[40]
16 May
Air Canada bids C$520 million ($387.5 million) to buy Canadian tour operator Transat AT, leisure carrier Air Transat's parent company.[40]
20 May
The 12,000th Airbus, an A220, is delivered to Delta Air lines.[41]
21–23 May
EBACE is held in Geneva, Switzerland[12]
24 May
Avianca Brazil operations, under bankruptcy protection since December 2018, are suspended by Brazil’s civil aviation authority ANAC.[42]
29 May
Airbus celebrates the 50th anniversary of its original partnership agreement launching the A300, with a flypast over Toulouse of its aircraft including the A220, A320, A330neo, A350 XWB, A380 and BelugaXL, along with the Patrouille de France.[43]

June[edit]

On 14 June, Roger Béteille, one of the founders of Airbus, dies at 97
3 June
Longview Aviation Capital establishes De Havilland Canada to take over the Dash 8 programme from Bombardier Aerospace, reuniting all DHC aircraft under their historic name.[44]
9 June
United Technologies and Raytheon announce their proposed merge to form a $74 billion per year aerospace and defense company, providing aircraft engines, parts, avionics, interiors, missiles and technology; the deal could close in the first half of 2020.[45]
13 June
Mitsubishi Aircraft re-brands its Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) as the SpaceJet: the MRJ90 becomes the SpaceJet M90; the SpaceJet M100 is a 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) shorter derivative seating 76 to meet US scope clauses, 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) longer than the cancelled MRJ70.[46]
Daher, the manufacturer of the SOCATA TBM high-speed single turboprop, is to buy US Quest Aircraft, builder of the Quest Kodiak utility single turboprop, from Japanese Setouchi Holdings, its owner since 2015: the acquisition should close by the end of the year.[47]
14 June
Roger Béteille, one of the founders of Airbus and initiators of the A300 project, alongside Henri Ziegler and Felix Kracht, dies at 97.[48]
17 June
Paris Air Show opens in Le Bourget, France.[12]
The Airbus A321XLR is launched at the Paris Air Show, with deliveries expected from 2023. It will offer 4,700 nmi (8,700 km) of range and feature a new permanent Rear Centre Tank (RCT) for more fuel, a strengthened landing gear for a 101 t (223,000 lb) MTOW, and an optimised wing trailing-edge flap to preserve take-off performance.[49]
18 June
Partners on the E-Fan X demonstrator, Rolls-Royce plc announces its acquisition of Siemens' electric propulsion branch, to be completed in late 2019, employing 180 in Germany and Hungary.[50]
19 June
At the Paris Air Show, International Airlines Group signs a letter of intent for 200 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 10, valued at more than $24 billion at list prices, expressing its confidence and expecting a successful return to service after the Boeing 737 MAX groundings; IAG operates almost exclusively Airbus A320 family narrowbodies, and wants to spur competition in its fleet by operating the MAX at least in its low-cost affiliates Vueling and Level, being also the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia.[51]
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service names four suspects in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17: Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko.[52]
23 June
The Paris Air Show ends with 866 aircraft commitments totalling $60.9 billion (130 firm orders, 562 LoI/MoU, 119 options and 55 options on LoIs): 388 for Airbus including 243 A321XLRs and 85 A220s, 232 for Boeing including 200 737 MAXes for IAG, 145 for ATR and 78 for Embraer; 558 narrowbodies, 62 widebodies, 93 regional jets and 153 turboprops.[53]
25 June
Bombardier Aviation sells its remaining airliner programme, the CRJ series, to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, in a deal expected to close in the first half of 2020 subject to regulatory approval, and refocuses on its business jet programmes.[54]
28 June
Gulfstream announced its G600 type and production certificates from the FAA, before first deliveries later in the year.[55]

July[edit]

11 July
At 73, Norwegian Air Shuttle chief executive Bjørn Kjos steps down from his role after 17 years, having transformed the operator from a small regional airline to a pan-European budget carrier and launched transatlantic low-cost long-haul flights.[56]
17 July
Textron suspends the Cessna Citation Hemisphere business jet development as its Safran Silvercrest turbofans did not meet objectives.[57]
22–28 July
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is held in Wisconsin, USA.[12]

August[edit]

15 August
Ural Airlines Flight 178 lost power to both engines after a bird strike shortly after take-off from Moscow–Zhukovsky. The Airbus A321 made an emergency landing in a corn field; all 233 people on board survived, drawing comparisons with the "Miracle on the Hudson".[58]

September[edit]

2 September
French carrier Aigle Azur files for bankruptcy and is placed in receivership.[59] All flights cease on 6 September;[60] the airline's 9,800 annual slots at Paris–Orly attract numerous takeover bids.[61]
11 September
A successor to the Helios Prototype developed by AeroVironment for its HAPSMobile joint venture with Softbank, the Hawk30 High Altitude Pseudo Satellite makes its first flight from the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.[62]
12 September
Embraer delivers its first E195-E2 to Azul Brazilian Airlines through lessor AerCap, configured with 136 seats in a single class.[63]
13 September
Airbus delivers the 9,000th A320-family aircraft to Easyjet.[64] Airbus continues to increase production rates and expects to reach the 10,000 milestone early in 2021.[65]
19 September
XL Airways France is placed under legal receivership due to financial difficulties, ticket sales ceased immediately, and flights are suspended from 23 September.[66]
23 September
The Thomas Cook Group, including Thomas Cook Group Airlines, is placed in compulsory liquidation. All flights ceased with immediate effect, triggering the UK's largest peacetime repatriation operation for 150,000 stranded passengers.[67]
Textron Aviation announces the FAA Type Certification for its Cessna Citation Longitude, after 6,000 flight hours, 11,000 test points and a 31,000 nmi (57,000 km) world tour.[68]
24 September
Bombardier announces the Transport Canada Type Certification of the Global 5500 and 6500, before entry-into-service later in 2019 and FAA/EASA approval.[69]
30 September
Adria Airways files for bankruptcy and ceases all operations, after temporarily suspending most flights the previous week.[70]

October[edit]

2 October
Peruvian Airlines suspends all operations due to the Peruvian Customs Tax Court seizing their bank accounts after failing to pay fuel costs.
A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress operating under the Collings Foundation for their ‘Wings of Freedom’ tour crashed upon landing at Bradley International Airport
4 October
Ukraine Air Alliance 4050, an Antonov An-12 operating a cargo flight from Vigo, crashes on approach to Lviv Airport, Ukraine killing 5 of the 8 people on board.
9 October
ATR launches the STOL variant of its ATR 42, the -600S, capable of operating from 800 m (2,600 ft) runways with up to 42 passengers, with certification expected for the second half of 2022 before first delivery.[71]
22–24 October
NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) is held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.[12]

First flights[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Niall O'Keeffe (10 Jan 2019). "Air France set to close Joon". Flightglobal.
  3. ^ "U.S. Air Force Accepts First Boeing KC-46A Pegasus Tanker Aircraft" (Press release). Boeing. Jan 10, 2019.
  4. ^ David Kaminski-Morrow (11 Jan 2019). "Virgin Atlantic and Stobart link up to take over Flybe". Flightglobal.
  5. ^ "Boeing 707 crashes into Iran home". 2019-01-14. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
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  9. ^ "Commercial Aircraft Airbus and Emirates reach agreement on A380 fleet, sign new widebody orders" (Press release). Airbus. 14 February 2019.
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  64. ^ @Airbus (Sep 13, 2019). "8,997 – 8,998 – 8,999 – 9,000! 👏 Proud to deliver the 9,000th #A320 Family aircraft to our friends at @easyJet" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  65. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David (17 September 2019). "A320 family embarks on approach to 10,000 deliveries". Flightglobal.com.
  66. ^ Wert, Jakob (19 September 2019). "XL Airways France suspends ticket sales". International Flight Network.
  67. ^ "Thomas Cook collapses as rescue talks fail". BBC News. 23 September 2019.
  68. ^ "Cessna Citation Longitude business jet receives FAA Type Certification" (Press release). Textron Aviation. September 23, 2019.
  69. ^ "Bombardier's Global 5500 and Global 6500 Jets Awarded Transport Canada Certification" (Press release). Bombardier. September 24, 2019.
  70. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David (30 September 2019). "Adria Airways ceases operations and files for bankruptcy". Flightglobal.com.
  71. ^ "A brand new addition to the ATR aircraft family - the ATR 42-600S!" (Press release). ATR. 9 October 2019.