MIAMI – 2020 has been a crazy year for the aviation industry. Massive news was constantly being announced from January onward, and our team of writers were hard at work covering all the content. Writers also had the freedom to work on projects expanding beyond news and developed interesting and informative articles.  

Today, we will take a look back at the top 10 articles of 2020. These articles were selected based on creativity, writing and the featured news. I do wish the list could be longer to showcase all of the amazing articles from this year, but we had to narrow it down to a select few.

Let’s get started!

#10 Embraer Unveils New Turboprop

  • Written By: Andrea Ongaro

In 2020 having the announcement of a new aircraft design was fantastic news. On October 30 Embraer, a world leader in commercial, military, and executive aircraft manufacturing, presented a new turboprop aircraft for the first time.

Entry into service is scheduled for 2027. Embraer’s goal, with this new turboprop, is to try to counter sales of the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 than those of the ATR 72. Read the full article.

#9 KLM Celebrates 101st Birthday

  • Written By: Mandolin McAbee

In 2020 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL) celebrated its 101st birthday. The flag carrier of the Netherlands is the world’s oldest airline still operating under its original name. It reached a significant milestone last year when it turned 100 years old.

KLM was founded on October 7, 1919, by a group of investors. The Airline was designated  as “royal” to confirm the growing importance of civil aviation after World War I (WWI). The first flight was operated by an Airco DH.16 biplane from London to Amsterdam on May 17, 1920. Jerry Shaw piloted the aircraft which carried two journalists as passengers. Read the full article.

#8 A Look at the Antonov AN225

  • Written By: Jamie Clarke

Due to the high cargo demand of medical transportation in 2020 we saw the return of the super jumbo AN225. Back in the 1980s Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov Design Bureau was tasked with producing an aircraft that could carry the Russian space shuttle, the Buran, for the Soviet Space Program.

The Antonov 225 Mriya – Mriya translating to the term ‘dream’ – was built for this task. The Antonov 225’s first flight was on December 21, 1988 where it flew from Kiev on a 74-minute test flight. Read the full article.

#7 A Farewell to the Delta 777

  • Written By: Kendrick D’lima

The COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the globe in the past 10 months. Its greatest impact has been on the travel industry, specifically commercial aviation. In addition to many airlines going bankrupt and shutting down, airlines have chosen to expedite the retirements of entire fleets due to the sharp decrease in demand for air travel.

On October 31, 2020, Delta Airlines officially retired their remaining Boeing 777 aircraft from service. Delta’s 18 Boeing 777s had a great lifetime of service to Delta Air Lines. Although their time was cut short, the memories from each of their 133, 694 flights will make a lasting impression on the airline forever. Read the full article.

#6 FAA Issues First Airworthiness Certificate for Boeing 737 MAX

  • Written By: John Huston

To go along with much of the year’s drama, Boeing was hard at work fixing issues with their 737 Max aircraft in order to get its recertification to fly. On November 18 the FAAlifted a 20-month-old grounding order on the 737 MAX.

Commenting on the certificate was FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsfrord who said “We expect to have a sufficient number of inspectors on hand to meet Boeing’s planned delivery schedule for the foreseeable future.” Read the full article.

#5 Delta Retires MD-88, MD-90

  • Write by: Helwing Villamizar

The 777 was not the only aircraft Delta Air Lines (DL) retired during 2020. Along with the Boeing wide body the MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft  were retired earlier than previously planned. The carrier accelerated the retirement schedule of both aircraft as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The retirements not only meant the end of the noisier “Mad Dog” MD models but also the end of the McDonnell Douglas name, the company acquired by Boeing in 1997. Read the full article.

#4 Boeing Celebrates Maiden 777X Flight

  • Written By: Enrique Perrella, James Clarke, Chris Sloan, Brandon Farris 

Following two days of weather-related setbacks, the largest twin-engine commercial aircraft officially took off on its maiden flight at the beginning of 2020.

The Boeing 777X departed for a three-hour, fifty-one-minute test flight after wowing the world with an impressive takeoff. Read the full article.

#3 British Airways to Retire First Boeing 747

  • Written By: James Field 

In August British Airways announced that it would retire the remaining 31 Boeing 747-400 aircraft from its fleet. This event marked one of the more significant and saddining stories of the 2020 year.

Al Bridger, British Airways’ Director of Flight Operations commented on the retirements saying “All of us at British Airways and so many of our customers will have fond memories and special moments from our travels on the iconic jumbo jet.” Read the full article.

#2  Coronavirus Dwindles Aviation Industry

  • Written by: Sofia Marrero, Helwing Villamizar

It wouldn’t be a 2020 review without mentioning the effects of COVID-19 on the aviation industry. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, scheduled flights and services around the world have been suspended, causing not only a historic low in passenger demand but also significant consequences in airlines’ budgets across the globe.

Starting the second month of the year, scheduled frequencies to the Asian country dropped by 24% in light of a worsening of the outbreak. As we all know this was only the beginning of the situation, and we all hope the industry can continue to recover into the future. Read the full article.

#1 Last Convoy Marks the End of the A380

  • Written By: Braxton Cook

And finally the top article of 2020. On June 18th the last shipment of outside parts for the Airbus A380 super jumbo made its way from a pre-assembly plant in Saint-Nazaire, France, to the Airbus facility in Toulouse. For residents of the sleepy little town of Levignac, France, watching trucks carrying massive chunks of fuselage for the world’s largest airliner squeeze down the town streets out their front windows has been commonplace for the last 16 years.

Although the A380 hasn’t officially disappeared from the skies this article showed the connection between manufacturer, aircraft and the local community. If you didn’t get the chance to read it I would highly recommend you check out this incredible story. Read the full article.

So, there you have it, the top 10 articles of 2020. Thank you all for your tremendous support of Airways this year! We are excited to continue bringing you aviation content for 2021, as we hope to see the industry grow again.

Let me know in the comments what your favourite articles, or news stories were from this year? On behalf of the Airways team, happy holidays! 

Featured video: Liam Funnell