December roundup

December roundup

For those eagerly awaiting 2020s flight details, I’ve been holding on to see what developments there would be in the Boeing 737MAX saga. Major players in the flights to Rhodes and Kos markets, such as TUI Group, Norwegian, and Ryanair all have substantial numbers of 737MAX planes on order (and some delivered for TUI in particular). These are still unusable, and it now seems unlikely that they will be available for the start of the summer timetable. Indeed Boeing has just announced that they will stop production entirely in the New Year, and even when a fix for the design/software fault that caused the two catastrophic faults is approved, it will then need to be applied to the planes already built, and potentially pilots and engineers will need retraining. So over the Christmas period I’ll issue the flight tables with what the airlines say now, though bear in mind further changes, and subcontracting of flights to other airlines who do have enough planes, is likely.

Ryanair have a further problem in that they had ordered a variant of the MAX8 with 198 seats (as against the 737-800s  they currently fly which have 189) and there seems to be a real problem in getting safety certification for this variant, possibly connected with the design and capacity of the emergency exits.

Then there are the ferries.

Please don’t ask for the times of ferries after March 31st, as the ferry companies haven’t released these yet so nobody knows what they will be. On past performance times will appear for Blue Star in the next couple of weeks, and for Dodekanisos Seaways in the next 6 weeks. ANES will take a lot longer. Watch this space.

There’s some speculation on Symi about a new route (Kos-Tilos-Nissyros-Halki-Symi-Rhodes) that was approved by the Coastal Shipping Council last week. All I’ll say is, don’t hold your breath. In winter 2018, the government actually put a Tilos-Symi-Rhodes route out to tender as a subsidised service. Guess what, they either didn’t get any tenders at all, or the prices offered were way outside the budget, and the service never happened in 2019. The same procedure was gone through for summer 2016, 2017, and 2018, and it didn’t happen then either.

Again, if the new route does actually start, you’ll read about it here.

In the meantime, I’d like to wish all readers a very Happy Christmas, and watch out for mass updates before the New Year,

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