Tim Hepher
For Tim Hepher's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Boeing 737 Max airplanes on the tarmac at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington, in 2019
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 10, 2024
How production pressures plunged Boeing into yet another crisis
Soul-searching about quality controls and plunged Boeing into its second safety crisis in five years.
A Boeing 737 Max 7 during an FAA evaluation flight at Boeing Field in Seattle in September 2020
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 3, 2024
How a roller-coaster week left Boeing's credibility on the line
The tumult is not over. U.S. investigators are soon expected to release a preliminary report on the Jan. 5 Alaska Airlines blowout.
Curbs on Boeing production in the wake of a mid-air blowout is adding to pressures forcing airlines to fly older planes for longer.
Feb 2, 2024
Boeing 737 Max crisis adds to high demand for older planes
Curbs on Boeing production in the wake of a mid-air blowout are adding to pressures forcing firms to fly older planes for longer.
Grounded Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 airplanes on the tarmac at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Monday
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 11, 2024
Boeing's latest Max problem creates more headaches for airlines
Alaska Airlines and United Airlines together have 70% of the Max 9 planes in service and have canceled hundreds of flights.
Friday's mid-air panel blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight left a gaping hole on the 737 Max 9 plane.
Jan 10, 2024
Boeing CEO admits mistakes, says mid-air blowout 'can never happen again'
Dave Calhoun tells employees that the probe on loose parts and broader checks of systems and processes will be done with 'complete transparency every step of the way."
A Japan Airlines (JAL) passenger plane burns on the tarmac at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Tuesday.
Jan 3, 2024
Runway safety concerns in focus as Japan probes Tokyo crash
The collision of two airplanes at Haneda Airport comes just weeks after the global airline industry heard fresh warnings about runway safety.
The Safran logo outside the company's headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris
BUSINESS / Companies
Oct 6, 2023
Hunt for suspect jet engine parts spurs call for regulation
False documentation could allow the sale of old or unsafe aircraft parts as new, raising safety concerns
After enjoying robust demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, air cargo firms are now reeling from overcapacity.
Aug 19, 2023
Air travel boom creates crosswinds for air cargo
Passenger jets grounded during the pandemic are flying again and transporting goods, upping the competition with dedicated air freighters.
Japan Times
Dec 7, 2022
China's aviation comeback stokes tensions over access to Russian airspace
Western carriers haven't had access to Russia's air corridors since the Ukraine invasion triggered Western sanctions and retaliatory bans by Moscow.
Japan Times
Jul 23, 2022
Aviation nurses a nasty headache as travel recovers from COVID-19
The aviation industry has turned the page on an unprecedented pandemic shock u2014 only to face mounting worries over supply chains and reminders that its future hinges on decarbonization.
Japan Times
Jul 15, 2022
Britain and Japan aim to merge Tempest and F-X fighter programs, sources say
It would be the first time Japan has sought a non-U.S. partner for a large military program and the first major collaboration between Tokyo and London.
Japan Times
Jun 20, 2022
Europe's summer of discontent reveals travel sector labor crisis
Leading operators have flagged thousands of job openings across Europe, but the industry says European aviation as a whole has lost 600,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Mar 1, 2022
Russia sanctions snarl flights, compounding airline industry woes
The EU, U.K. and Canada have all banned Russian flights from their airspace, though the U.S. has yet to follow suit.
Japan Times
Jun 15, 2021
Europe and U.S. nearing jet subsidy pact under China's shadow
The United States and Europe are closing in on a deal to end a 17-year-old dispute over aircraft subsidies and end tariffs.
Japan Times
Jun 10, 2021
Airbus tells EU hydrogen won't be widely used in planes before 2050
Airbus officials say the research will, in any event, seed disruptive technology likely to play a role in the next generation of airplanes.
Japan Times
May 27, 2021
Pressure grows for sensitive Belarus air safety probe
A probe would not take place entirely behind closed doors, as the United States and Poland would be accredited.
Japan Times
May 15, 2021
Luxury jet-makers battle over lucrative spy plane niche
From the South China Sea to the Middle East, nations are eyeing "special mission" business jets capable of looking or listening at potentially lower costs than converted military planes.
Japan Times
Jun 26, 2019
Canada's pain Japan's gain as Mitsubishi buys CRJ jet
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., which agreed Tuesday to buy Bombardier Inc.'s loss-making regional jet program, plans to exploit the Canadian company's support network and global customer list to rejuvenate its delayed efforts to conquer the jet market.
Japan Times
Mar 20, 2019
Cockpit voice recorder of doomed Lion Air jet depicts pilots' frantic search for fix, sources say
The pilots of a doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 Max scoured a handbook as they struggled to understand why the jet was lurching downward, but ran out of time before it hit the water, three people with knowledge of the cockpit voice recorder contents said.
Japan Times
Feb 28, 2019
With first launch in space-based internet project, Airbus and OneWeb aim for new satellite era
A rocket carrying six satellites built by Airbus SE and partner OneWeb blasted off from French Guiana on Wednesday, the first step in a plan to give millions of people in remote and rural areas high-speed internet beamed down from space.


Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves