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AvTalk Episode 182: Electricity in the Air

On this episode of AvTalk, American Airlines announces a major cabin refit and the end of international first class, the prices of flights departing from Russia explode after Putin’s announcement of the mobilization of reservists, and the manufacturers of electric aircraft are having a mixed week.

American Airlines unveils cabin refresh

American Airlines will revamp its premium cabins on long-haul aircraft, with an expected rollout in 2024. New business class suites and premium economy seats will be delivered first to the new 787-9 and A321XLR. American will also revamp its 777-300ER fleet, which means the end of international first class on America’s last major airline.

American CEO wants other users to contribute more to ATC

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said he wants other airspace users, such as business jets and rocket launchers, to contribute more to the air traffic control budget .

Flights from Russia are selling out

Finding a flight out of Russia on short notice was nearly impossible this week after Russia announced a mobilization of reservists. Flights that had seats available skyrocketed in price.

Boeing meets Chinese regulators on MAX

Boeing executives met with Chinese regulators a few weeks ago in China to discuss progress in restarting 737 MAX flights there.

Electrical progress, electrical peril

Electric plane maker Heart Aerospace is changing from a 19-seat all-electric plane to a 30-seat electric hybrid. This new design has already earned them investments and an order for 30 aircraft from Air Canada. In the United States, Eviation’s Alice electric plane could make its first flight as soon as next week, following a letter of intent for 50 planes from GlobalX. And the Larry Page-backed electric air taxi startup is shutting down.

FAA denies Republic’s 1,500-hour rule exemption

Republic will not be able to provide its pilots with an ATP restricted to 750 hours. The only surprise is how quickly the FAA rejected Republic’s request.

United forget to inspect some of their 777-200s

United failed to inspect some of the wing leading edge panels of its 777-200s, leading to flight cancellations earlier this week. The inspections are not related to previous Pratt & Whitney engine issues on these planes and United says most inspections are now complete.

Ethiopian Airlines pilot quits after leaving country

The captain of the Ethiopian Airlines flight that flew over Addis Ababa at 37,000ft because he and the first officer were asleep left the country later that day and resigned via email. The captain, who is a Bolivian national, flew on an Ethiopian Airlines flight out of the country later the same morning after waking up on the flight deck and then landing safely.

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Please click here for a transcript of this episode.