It’s Rewind Time!

As 2019 comes to a close, people look back on the year and what it had to offer. Aviation is at the forefront of human progress, and just like that, it makes progress rapidly. Each passing year, new events unfold and most of them further the cause of aviation. (mind you, Greta Thunberg)

In any case, 2019 has been a roller-coaster for aviation. We will look at the major events and happenings to have our own Aviation Rewind for 2019.

Aviation still a safe mode of transport:

Miracle on the Cornfield

According to Aviation Safety Network (ASN), 2019 has been the third safest year in all of aviation history, despite two major commercial aviation accidents. The first one and very impactful one was that of Ethiopian 737MAX crash in the March of 2019. The other one is the latest Bek Air Fokker 100 crash. All in all, a total of 14 crashes have occurred this year, resulting in 267 fatalities. The 2nd safest year was 2013 with 224 deaths. The safest year of all time so far was 2017; only 13 fatalities. Each crash however, teaches very important lesson (Boeing learned that the hard way in 2019). The conclusion? Aviation is still the safest mode of transport available. 2019 has been safe. And we hope 2020 makes a new record.

Honorary mention in safety:

Ural Airlines Flight 178, an Airbus A321 lost power in both engines after take-off due to a bird strike and crash landed in a cornfield. All 233 people on board survived. Miracle on the cornfield?

Airline Graveyard:

2019 has been the death of many carriers unfortunately. Small and large, both kinds fell. We saw the demise of Jet Airways, India. France took quite the beating as two of its carriers fell. XL Airways and Aigle Azur both went bankrupt back to back. Adria of Slovenia also fell shockingly. Perhaps the saddest demise was that of Thomas Cook. The bankruptcy of Thomas Cook prompted the biggest civilian repatriation effort in the history of mankind. Which itself, is a 2019 highlight for the UKCAA. There are other airlines that fell or went into financial pits. Read a complete list here.

Expanding kingdoms:

Not all was doom and gloom. The existing airlines made leaps in expansion and some massive orders were seen. With the next generation of airplanes being put into service to rapidly replace the older ones. The Middle Eastern Giants Emirates and Qatar saw new orders and deliveries. British Airways got its A350 and so on. At the Paris and Dubai air shows this year, multi-billion dollar deals were seen. The Paris Air Show ended with more than 800 orders and deals worth $60 billion. The Dubai Air Show closed at $54 Billion worth of orders. With airlines dying, the present are ever growing. Some of the older ones are not only surviving but thriving, as KLM Dutch celebrated its 100th Anniversary.

Airbus vs Boeing

Always the hot topic, always the drama. Airbus vs Boeing has always been a close affair. The two aerospace giants always lock horns. Statistically, Boeing always has a slight lead and remains on top of the commercial aviation world. This year, not so much.

The 737MAX

With the Boeing 737MAX grounded, and the 777X program taking some hits, Boeing ultimately fell behind this year. Finally, Airbus has been able to take a definitive lead from Boeing.

The A320neo series became the knight in shining armor for Airbus as it took down Boeing’s 737MAX in terms of orders and even absolute number of deliveries since the birth of both aircraft. The 737 series was the most popular jet in aviation history. The A320 now overtook it with overall orders, despite it being launched 20 years later than the 737.

Another huge setback for Boeing has been Qantas’ preference of the Airbus A350 instead of the 777X for Project Sunrise, as was recently announced.

A320 and A220; Cousins?

In the A320neo family, one that hit the real jackpot is the A321XLR variant. It secured so many orders, that Airbus was not even ready for it. Other than the A320 family, the Bombardier manufactured turned Airbus brand, the A220 has found success as well.

Boeing aimed at flying the 737MAX by the end of this air, but that has past and now production has been temporarily halted for the MAX as well. 2021 is going to be a year of reclamation for Boeing as it seeks to restore its reputation.

For Airbus, it is smooth sailing into the new year, with it only having to worry about delivering the airplanes on time. Note that 2019 was also the 50th anniversary for the European giant. Let’s see if Airbus manages to keep its lead in 2020.

With that, Team Aviation Geeks wishes the World of Aviation a very happy new year. Clear skies and happy landings!

 

 

 

 

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