Fleet mentions leads the way as Aerospace Technology lists the top five terms tweeted in commercial aerospace in Q1 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Fleet – 428 mentions

Retiring of fleets, ceasing operations and entering alternative streams such as administration, storing of wide-bodied fleets, replacement of fleets with rescue flights in response to the Covid-19 crisis, were some of the popular topics discussed in Q1 2020. For example, an article shared by Flightradar24, which tracks flights and air traffic in real time from around the world, details the retiring of 747 from service, with the KL686 flying between Mexico City to Amsterdam becoming the last KLM Boeing 747 passenger flight.

In another tweet, Delta Airlines, US, stored some of its wide-bodied fleet to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, with almost 24 aircraft going into storage since March. Airline Reporter, an airline industry news blog, also announced the gradual phasing out of Air France’s A380s.

In other news, Jason Rabinowitz, a researcher and airline flyer, tweeted on another airline having retired its A340 fleet, which is quickly becoming a dying breed.

2. Aviation – 371 mentions

The aviation industry’s response to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, by launching relief measures in the form of supplying medical equipment to vital cargo across the globe, deploying sensor and cybersecurity solutions, and carbon emission initiatives, were some popular topics discussed in this quarter. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a global trade association of airlines, the global fight for the global coronavirus pandemic is on with 185,000 pax flights suspended since Jan. However, officials cite the urgency of facilitating air freight and keeping the essential cargo flowing in order to save lives.

Steve Trimble, a defense editor, further tweeted on the US Army launching the Hades program that demonstrates an intelligence-collecting system with three powerful sensing capabilities in one year. SpeedBird, which provides aviation news, on the other hand, revealed that Rolls Royce faces a cash flow crisis with the decline in air travel due to the global pandemic.

In other news, Star Alliance, the world’s largest global airline alliance, shared an article on the Swiss International Air Lines, launched the new innovative A320neo aircraft to its fleet. The new aircraft is expected to be 20% less carbon emissions free, and with 50% less noise on taking off and providing more comfort to travellers.

3. Cargo – 278 mentions

The vitality of air cargo in providing full medical supplies in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, passenger aircraft being converted for cargo, were popularly discussed in Q1 2020. According to China Aviation Review, which provides news and analysis for the Greater China Region and the world, tweeted on A330 and 777-300ER, both passenger aircraft, being used as cargo planes to supply medical equipment to Prague, in Czech Republic.

Flightradar24, tracking global air traffic in real time, tweeted on two Austrian Airlines, Boeing 777 aircraft, transporting 130 tons of medical equipment each to Vienna. Likewise, United Arab Emirates closed all its passenger traffic, but continued to operate its cargo flights to tackle the global virus crisis.

In other news, Jason Rabinowitz, a researcher and airline flyer, discusses how Delta Airlines, in the US, has no dedicated cargo aircraft but converted all of its passenger planes to operate as cargo-only flights to provide medical aid and goods around the globe. The influencer noted that other Asian airlines also followed a similar strategy.

4. Fuel – 130 mentions

Technical glitches, fuel stops, long range fuel tanks, aircraft having to jettison fuel to reduce landing weight, innovations testing less fuel consumption and noise, were some popular topics discussed during the quarter. According to Flightradar24, the real-time air traffic tracker, shared an article on DL89 returning to LAX shortly after take-off due to an engine fault. The aircraft jettisoned fuel to reduce landing weight, while a number of people were evaluated as the fuel landed onto a school ground.

With respect to innovation, WestJet, an online provider of scheduled and charter air service, tweeted on the WestJet aircraft getting wing-tip extensions, first added in 2003 to its 737, 700, and 800 series aircraft. According to experts, aircraft wings helped in reducing fuel use by up to 2.7% on every aircraft.

In other news, Pratt & Whitney, the American aerospace manufacturer, shared an article on how new routes were opening with less noise and reduced fuel consumption. For example, Air Canada’s A220 was the first to enter into such a service with Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines. The engines are expected to reduce fuel consumption and ground noise in next-generation aircraft.

5. Coronavirus – 113 mentions

Grounding of carriers due to the dwindling demand caused by the virus pandemic, slashing fleet sizes, and the operation of cargo-only flights in response to the Covid-19 crisis, were some of the popular topics discussed in the quarter. For example, Airline Geeks, delivering the latest airline and aviation news around the world, shared an article on Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa having grounded its entire Airbus A380 fleet to fight the coronavirus fears.

Meanwhile, Simple Flying, which provides aviation news and insight, shared an article on how Singapore Airlines reduced its fleet size to just nine planes. The nation banned transit passengers, with only citizens and key workers allowed to enter Singapore.

In other news, China Aviation News, providing aviation news and analysis, shared an article on five Qatar Airways cargo planes having flown to China with approximately 300 tonnes of medical supplies to alleviate coronavirus in the country.

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