Aviation News Spotlight Summer 2017

Welcome back to J&K Connectors! Our News Spotlight Series is back in action this summer, keeping you in the loop with the latest and greatest news and updates in aviation. Here’s what’s new this summer:

Hotter Temperatures May Be a Detriment to The Aviation Industry in Coming Years

Rising temperatures around the world may make it more difficult for planes to take off in the coming years, according to a recent study from the Columbia University Earth Institute. Planes projected to take off at the hottest parts of the day may need to unload up to 30 percent of their weight including fuel, cargo, or passengers in order to fly safely in the heat, or wait until the temperatures to takeoff.

As temperatures around the world have have gone up nearly one degree Centigrade (1.8 Fahrenheit) over the last 20 years, we may already be starting to see this problem in action. Earlier this summer, American Airlines canceled more than 40 flights out of Phoenix, Ariz., temperatures of nearly 120 degrees made it too hot for small aircrafts to take flight.

The “Case of the Shrinking Airline Seats” Continues to Unfold

As the average American continues to grow in size, airline seats have been getting smaller and smaller. According to nonprofit advocacy group Flyers Rights, the issue with small seats isn’t just with discomfort but with safety for passengers onboard.

According to Bloomberg News, the U.S. Court of Appeals in our nation’s capital has recently ordered aviation regulators to consider implementing base standards for minimum airplane seat size.  

Flyers Rights says the average airplane seat width has shrunk an average of 1.5 inches over the last decade, and the distance between seat rows has shrank about four inches.

Boeing Expects India to Order Over 2,000 Aircrafts Over Next Two Decades

In one of the highest-ever economic forecasts from one of the world’s most populated countries, Boeing recently said its expectations for various Indian airlines to order as many as 2,100 new aircrafts over the next two decades. If these forecasts hold true, that would mean nearly $300 billion dollars in revenue for Boeing.

The high population, favorable exchange rates, low fuel prices and high load factors are all reasons for this projected uptick in sales according to Dinesh Keskar, the senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales at Boeing.

An eight percent uptick of passenger growth from South Asia is also predicted over the next 20 years, highlighting that market as a huge opportunity for growth in the aviation industry.

Solar Eclipse Spikes Sky High Sales Window Seats

While many airlines compete with better food options or more leg room, Southwest Airlines has found an entirely different stream of revenue this summer. On August 21, the airline will be capitalizing on the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in nearly 100 years, highlighting their flights that will feature the best views and serving “cosmic cocktails” while onboard.

The airline CEO Gary Kelly says they are simply “making people aware” of open seats on planes which would be ideal for viewing the solar eclipse.

Southwest Airlines is promoting a number of flights that will cross through the eclipse pattern, all taking off between 9:00 and 10:20 a.m. These flights include morning flights from Portland to St. Louis, Denver to St. Louis, Seattle to st. Louis, and Denver to Nashville.

At this time, the airline doesn’t plan to create additional flights for the sole purpose of seeing the eclipse, but may consider adding additional flights if there is enough demand for them.

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