Tui Travel places £4 billion aircraft order

Tui Travel Plc, a travel company with its headquarters in Crawley, UK, has placed an order for new aircraft worth £4 billion.

The order is for 60 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and the company also has options on 90 more of the narrow-body type. The aircraft are due to be delivered between January 2018 and March 2023.

The new aircraft score over the company’s existing fleet on two of the key aviation requirements going forward, fuel efficiency and noise reduction. The technology used in the engines of the 737 MAX is claimed to provide a 13 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, and offer noise reduction in the region of 40 percent over current aircraft norms. From a competitive standpoint, Tui also expects that the aircraft will provide a lower per seat cost.

In a statement the company said, ‘In order to maintain cost competitiveness and support Tui Travel’s aim to minimise the environmental impact of its activities, the existing narrow-body aircraft will need to be replaced in the next decade.

‘The proposed transaction will ensure that the group has sufficient aircraft to fulfil its long-term plans and that the expected accrued value justifies the cost of the purchase.’

Peter Long, Tui Travel’s chief executive, said, ‘A major part of Tui Travel’s strategy is to provide our customers with unique holiday experiences they can only get from us. This multi billion-pound investment in the B737 MAX – representing the future generation of more fuel-efficient aircraft for our short and medium-haul programmes – will be a further driver in delivering this.

‘It comes as the first of our Boeing 787s touches down in the UK to commence replacement of our long-haul fleet with best-in-class aircraft. We are leading the way in redefining mainstream holidays, and putting our customers at the heart of everything we do is integral to our continued growth.

‘I can confidently say that being able to offer our customers the most advanced, comfortable aircraft, whether they are travelling with us to short or long-haul destinations, while reducing our environmental impact, will only strengthen our position.’


Boeing says 737 planes must be checked for fatigue cracks

Boeing is to advise airlines around the world to inspect older models of the 737 for fatigue cracks.

The US government is expected to order emergency inspections and safety regulators in other countries will make similar orders.

This comes after a Southwest Airlines plane had to make an emergency landing in Arizona on Friday.

A 5ft tear opened in the fuselage 20 minutes after take-off resulting in a sudden loss of pressure.

Luckily no-one was hurt and the plane landed at a military base.

The Texas based airline discovered the problem in the fuselage during an investigation following the incident.

A company spokesman for Boeing said: “Boeing is committed to ensuring safe flight and to supporting our customers.”

A directive is expected from the US Federal Aviation Administration instructing inspection of the fuselage in the older models of 737-300.

Over 900 of the aircraft are used world-wide, and the low operating costs of the 737s make them a favorite with low cost airlines.

But it is thought only 175 of the heavily used planes will need to be inspected.

Easy Jet operates 3 of the 737 aircraft and budget airline BMI baby uses 12.

BMI baby said it would be working with Boeing to see if action was required.

Boeing said: “The 737 … is based on a key Boeing philosophy of delivering added value to airlines with reliability, simplicity and reduced operating and maintenance costs.

“Advanced technology winglets allow airlines to save on fuel, extend its range, carry more payload and reduce engine maintenance costs.”

And Carolyn Corvi, head of Boeing’s 737 programme, added: “The newly redesigned 737s weigh less than the A320 and therefore require lower engine thrust.

“This means the 737s use less fuel, and have lower engine maintenance costs and lower navigation and landing fees.”

The fuselage is the main body of the aircraft that holds crew, passengers or cargo and often the engine.

Sarah Taylor