The business aviation lobby broadly welcomed the European Commission’s sudden suspension of the application of its controversial emissions trading scheme (ETS) for flights in and out of the European Union (EU). The move seems to head off the immediate threat of a trade war with major powers such as the U.S., China, Russia, India and Japan but, significantly, ETS will still apply to intra-EU flights, regardless of whether or not the operators involved are based in the EU.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
Bahraini flag carrier Gulf Air last week signaled a major shift in its fleet plans, affecting orders with both Boeing and Airbus. The airline has already signed so-called amendment agreements with the manufacturers “to reduce long-term liability and meet future strategic needs.”
Gulf Air said negotiations with the airframers date back to last year, as high fuel prices, a general slump in air traffic and so-called regional developments forced the airline to suspend service to a number of destinations in a bid to preserve its ongoing viability.
Bombardier and China’s Comac announced last week at Airshow China in Zhuhai the successful conclusion of the first phase of their collaboration covering program commonalities between the Canadian company’s new CSeries airliner and the Comac C919 narrowbody.
The Boeing 737 Max program has reached the development stage known as “firm concept,” following months of study into changes to the original design needed to effect a 13-percent operation cost improvement over the existing 737NG.
Boeing has agreed to help Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic) to expand the state-owned company’s ability to supply interiors commodities such as passenger seats, galleys, lavatories and in-flight entertainment systems for commercial airplanes.
Comac has received 50 more commitments for its new C919 narrowbody airliner. Three contracts announced on the first day of Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai call for 20 each of the twinjet to go to Chinese carriers Joy Air and Hebei Aviation, with 10 more signed for by leasing group Gecas. But the first flight of the C919 now seems likely to be pushed back again due to a new delay with Comac’s ARJ21 regional airliner development.
Bombardier now sees China as second only to North America in terms of anticipated regional airliner sales. Andy Solem, the Canadian airframer’s vice president for China and North Asia, told a November 13 press conference at Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai that it sees demand for as many as 2,200 single-aisle airliners [100 to 149 seats] in the Chinese market over the next 20 years.
Boeing employees last week rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner built at the new production rate of five airplanes per month, the company announced today. The 83rd Dreamliner ever built, the airplane marks the passage of yet another milestone in Boeing’s quest to raise its production rate to 10 per month by late 2013.
Delayed delivery of certain critical components leading to a need to “reharmonize” integration tasks has forced Bombardier to delay first flight of its new CSeries CS100 until at least the end of next June, roughly six months later than the most recent target. If all goes according to the latest plans, the smaller of the two-variant narrowbody series will consequently enter service in the middle of 2014.
The timeline for the larger of the pair–the CS300–remains unchanged, added Bombardier, meaning it still expects that airplane to enter service by the end of 2014.
Bombardier’s new CSeries CS100 will not fly until at least the end of next June, roughly six months later than the most recent target, according to the latest schedule published by the Canadian airframe maker. If all goes according to the latest plans, the smaller of the two-member narrowbody family will consequently enter service in the middle of 2014.