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AvTalk Episode 96: Everything is strange and nothing makes sense

On this episode of AvTalk, the longest flight in the world is set to return soon, but with a few twists. European regulators are moving forward with recertification of the 737 MAX and Cathay Pacific closes its Cathay Dragon subsidiary. Plus, we discuss what’s keeping the avgeek in us going while we’re grounded.

Checking in on Steve

Last episode, Steve Giordano of Jet Test & Transport joined us for a fascinating conversation. He mentioned that after we recorded our episode he would be flying a 737 freighter to New Zealand.  Well, he did do that, but this happened along the way.

Singapore Airlines bringing back the world’s long flight—with a twist

Singapore Airlines will relaunch its Singapore-New York service next month, but will move the service from Newark Airport to JFK. Additionally, instead of the A350ULR with only business and premium economy seating, the route will be served by a standard A350, meaning passengers will have the ability to enjoy regular economy seating for nearly 20 hours. We discuss why Singapore is bringing the flight back and what’s driving the changes.

EU says 737 MAX recertification coming soon

The director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said last week that the 737 MAX is moving forward with recertifcation there and there would soon be an Airworthiness Directive available for public comment.

Cathay Pacific cuts thousands of jobs, closes Cathay Dragon

Cathay Pacific announced this week it will cuts nearly 6,000 jobs and close operations at subsidiary Cathay Dragon. Flights formerly operated by Cathay Dragon will be divided among Cathay Pacific and low-cost carrier HK Express. Cathay also said it is deferring deliveries of the 777X to “after 2025”.

US Department of Defense completes study of COVID transmission on aircraft

The US DOD and United Airlines performed a study on COVID transmission on aircraft and we discuss the results and why it still doesn’t leave us wanting to fly anytime soon.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

The Italian government has decided to create a successor airline to Alitalia. Beyond that, who knows what’s happening.

The rundown

Etihad flight 88 became the first Gulf-based airline flight to overfly Israel. Shortly after that, Etihad conducted the first passenger flight to Israel by a Gulf-based airline. Wizz Air has taken delivery of an ex-Qatar Airways Cargo A330F on behalf of the Hungarian government. Southwest is moving north and will start flights from Chicago-O’Hare and Houston (IAH) next year. Zip Air’s first passenger flight had 2 people on it. Airbus delivered the 1500th A330, an A330neo to Delta Air Lines. Airbus also delivered A320 family MSN 10,000 to Middle East Airlines and the first A220 assembled in the US, which happens to be the first for Delta.

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