New Zealand Jet Fuel Rationing, Airbus Ops Challenges, and 3D Printing
New Zealand Rationing Jet Fuel to Airlines
Following the discovery of a contaminated batch of jet fuel, New Zealand, which imports all of its jet fuel into the country, now faces a shortage. Its next major shipment of jet fuel is not due to arrive until December 12, raising concern for airlines operating in the country, including Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines. The country is rationing fuel to 75% of normal distribution.
So far, no flights have been cancelled as a result, but airlines will be forced to find ways around the problem as December holiday travel ramps up. These may include flying with lighter loads -- which could require bumping passengers -- or making in-route fuel stops in Australia, which comes with regulatory and logistical challenges of their own.
Several US airlines also fly to Zealand and may be impacted, including American Airlines ($AAL), United Airlines ($UAL), and Hawaiian Airlines ($HA)
Airbus CEO outlines more details around current operating challenges
Following the company's announcement earlier in the week that it will not meet its 2022 production targets, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury provided additional insight into the operational difficulties the company faces.
Among these are what he says has been a slower than expected industrial recovery following the pandemic, supply chain disruptions beyond the company's core suppliers, and capacity reductions caused by recent COVID restrictions in China.
Further difficulties include energy shortages in Europe -- impacting Airbus' manufacturing capabilities -- and labor shortages in the US -- impacting those of major US suppliers.
US-based Boeing ($BA) faces many similar challenges.
Portuguese flag carrier TAP reduces service as cabin crews strike Dec 8-9
Portuguese union SNPVAC has already forced at least 360 TAP cancellations as the airline plans to operate at the "minimum services" required by Portuguese legislation.
Startup low-cost airline Breeze Airways announces eight new transcontinental routes.
Each of Breeze Airways' ($BREZ) new routes begin in March or May of 2023, and none of which are currently served by other airlines. All flights are currently bookable.
New 3D-printing company promises faster and more eco-friendly manufacturing
Novineer, a newly formed company launched out of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, plans to make production of aircraft and rocket parts faster and more environmentally friendly through the use of new design and simulation software. The company's founder, Dr. Ali Tamijani, claims the company will be able to produce designs that might otherwise take up to four days to complete, in as little as four hours.
IATA Predicts drop in air cargo traffic and revenues in 2023
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released predictions anticipating a 4.3% reduction in air cargo traffic next year to 57.7m tons, along with a 22% yields reduction. Though signs of decline, these reductions will still put 2023 air cargo well above 2020 figures. If true, major air cargo firms like FedEx ($FDX) and UPS ($UPS) will likely be impacted.