eVTOL maiden flight, new execs, Air France strikes - Dec 21 Aero News
Israeli eVTOL startup conducts maiden flight
Israeli startup AIR has conducted the maiden voyage of its two-seater eVTOL commuter aircraft. This first flight was unmanned, but marks an important milestone for the company, which hopes to launch sales by 2024 at a base price of $150,000.
The vehicle is designed to go up to 100 miles per charge, flying at 1,200 feet above the ground at about 100 mph. The next phase of testing will be to include passengers onboard.
Boeing names new sales and supply chain executives
Boeing Commercial Airplanes ($BA) has named Ihssane Mounir as its new senior vice president of global supply chain. Mounir previously served a six year stint as the company's sales chief, who led the company through two major crises, including early 737 MAX crashes and subsequent groundings, as well as the COVID pandemic.
The company plans to utilize Mounir to oversee and restore a struggling global supply chain as Boeing seeks to meet resurging jetliner demand.
Boeing named Brad McMullen as Mounir's sales replacement in the vice president of commercial sales North America role. The company will also appoint Kim Smith to the new role of vice president of Boeing Global Services Total Quality.
FAA statistics may show new pilots supply stronger than demand
In light of an ongoing pilot shortage that has spanned more than a decade, the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) shared new FAA statistics that may indicate demand for new airline pilots will soon be met. The data shows pilot production is on the upswing - a trend particularly relevant in light of recent lobbying efforts to legalize single-pilot jetliners.
Strikes likely to disrupt Air France over next two weeks
Two Air France cabin crew unions have filed to strike from Dec 22 to Jan 2, at the peak of holiday travel. The French carrier says it remains committed to avoiding cancelations, but has so far failed to reach an agreement.
Delta poised to offer free WiFi on flights in 2023
Delta Air Lines ($DAL) plans to begin offering free WiFi to passengers beginning in 2023, making it the first major US carrier to do so. Most US carriers, including Delta, currently charge between $5-$10 for in-flight internet connectivity. As airline ticket prices and overal cost of living rises, Delta hopes the perk will convince travelers to fly with them, although this will likely prompt competitors American Airlines ($AAL) and United Airlines ($UAL) to offer the service for free as well in the near future.