Pressure from a growing chorus of free market proponents has Qantas scrambling to prepare for a likely “phased” introduction of open skies with Singapore. But Australian prime minister John Howard’s apparent sensitivity to the flagcarrier’s concerns about government subsidies has no doubt buoyed spirits as it engages in a war of words with Emirates Airline over that Dubai-based carrier’s designs on more access to Australia.
Singapore Air Show
The concern of some watchers is just what the end game is for China’s more than 15-year drive to modernize its defense industrial base. Part of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) goal is to keep generating revenue with the type of foreign arms sales that made so much money for it in the 1980s.
For the better part of the last 20 years an increasing number of defense policy makers and military analysts assumed that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was gradually replacing the Soviet Union (and later Russia) as the single largest potential adversary that the U.S. and other Western aligned nations would have to face in the 21st century.
Boeing is preparing to invest more than $100 million in a new MRO joint venture in Shanghai. The U.S. airframer will have a 50-percent stake, with the balance held by Shanghai Airlines and Shanghai Aviation Authority, according to David Wang, president of Boeing China.
Ameco Beijing–Air China and Lufthansa formed Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Corp. (Ameco Beijing) as a 60:40 joint venture in 1989. Its facilities at Beijing Capital International Airport include a four-bay hangar covering 334,000 sq ft, a 108,000-sq-ft paint hangar, 66,000 sq ft of component workshops and an engine repair and overhaul workshop and engine test cell covering another 280,000 sq ft.
SR Technics (Stand A726) is moving to establish a presence on the Chinese mainland. In recent months the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Okay Airways to form a maintenance joint venture at Tianjin, concluded a joint venture agreement with the Shanghai Foreign Aviation Service Corp. (Shanghai FASCO) and established an Asia/Pacific advisory board (APAB).
Rapid growth in the number of new aircraft being acquired by Chinese airlines, along with the announcement last August that United Airlines would send its Boeing 777s to Ameco Beijing for heavy maintenance over the next five years, suggests a busy future for the country’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry.
Aviation International News traveled from Delhi to Mumbai for the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) conference on Kingfisher Airlines, because at the time it offered the best schedule and most user-friendly Web site for buying tickets in U.S. dollars using a credit card. We paid $310 (or about INR 12,500) for the round-trip ticket.
Remember the days not too long ago, when any aspiring young computer whiz with a domain name and a smile could convince a venture capitalist to invest six or seven figures in his or her product-less Internet concept?
Since Snecma dropped the idea of taking a share in General Electric’s GEnx turbofan program the two long-time partners now find themselves competing in the regional jet engine arena.