Eurocopter is still talking to the Romanian privatization agency, AVAS, about taking over 65 percent of helicopter and light aircraft manufacturer IAR Ghimbav. The state-owned company is based in Brasov. AVAS rejected the helicopter manufacturer’s December bid, a decision Eurocopter challenged. In April AVAS said Eurocopter failed to meet some key criteria, including the commitment to invest.
Aviation International News » June 2007
French-based engine maker Turbomeca has chosen Monroe, N.C. for its new parts factory. Dubbed Turbomeca Manufacturing, it will initially produce parts for the Arriel 1E2 turboshaft engines that power the U.S. Army’s UH-72A, the military version of the Eurocopter EC 145 twin. The Safran subsidiary won a $2.5 million grant from the North Carolina Economic Investment Committee.
Turbomeca is endeavoring to improve product support after customers voiced dissatisfaction, notably about parts availability. The French-based turboshaft engine manufacturer ranked last among engine manufacturers in AIN’s 2006 product support survey, with an average 5.17 for parts availability.
Eurocopter is to issue a Service Bulletin that should solve a fleet-wide problem with the EC 145’s tail-rotor controls. In April, the FAA had issued an airworthiness directive (AD) calling for inspections and possible part replacement. The AD followed an in-flight incident that caused severe vibrations.
MD Helicopters (MDH) last month dismissed as ill-founded “rumors” circulating that the company is for sale.
To ensure their continued survival in the face of reduced income per passenger, regional operators sometimes seek solace in the arms of major carriers, which then might have to re-learn the realities of the regional game. For Portuguese flag carrier TAP Portugal, consideration of short-haul equipment and service costs has become a new experience as the major prepares to complete its acquisition of regional operator Portugalia Airlines.
Availability of in-flight entertainment (IFE) ranks among the top factors that influence the loyalty of passengers, who have become increasingly aware of their travel “experience.” Even on short- and medium-haul flights, customers have come to expect such conveniences as feature films, communications links and interactive services such as e-commerce or games, Embraer airline market senior product strategy manager Claudio Camelier told attende
Current and future airplane use, fleet complexity and increased competition all will influence decisions about new aircraft by short-haul airlines, according to Jurgen Hild, head of regional partner management at German flag carrier Lufthansa.
In the wake of a first quarter that saw his airline’s operating margins cut by more than half from a year earlier, ExpressJet CEO Jim Ream didn’t see much point last month in revealing traffic figures for the company’s new branded operation. But in case anyone held out hope that things went better than expected, Ream didn’t just let the omission speak for itself. “The markets are thin,” he said.
U.S. and European aviation authorities agree that air traffic will double, possibly even triple, by 2025, and air traffic managements worldwide are busy devising solutions to meet this challenge, with new technologies and new procedures expected to be introduced gradually in the next several years.