IndiGo, India’s largest budget carrier with a fleet of 48 Airbus A320 airliners, has awarded SriLankan Engineering its largest contract for maintenance of 26 C-checks through 2012. This is the fourth consecutive year IndiGo has outsourced to SriLankan and it is the largest overseas outsourcing of maintenance, repair and overhaul work by an Indian carrier. The contact has been awarded at a time when onerous taxes appear to be making Indian MRO providers uncompetitive.
In the operations center at the Rolls-Royce factory in Bristol, UK, it is well past midnight, but engineers are still manning some of the dozen consoles, standing by to receive queries, consult databases and dispense their technical expertise to operators of the company’s military engines anywhere in the world.
Azul (full name Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras) has confirmed options for 10 Embraer 195 jets valued at $478 million at list prices, close on the heels of ordering 11 only four months ago. This takes the total airplanes ordered by the Brazilian low-cost carrier to 62 (57 E195s and five E190s). A smaller order for two Embraer E-175, placed by Belavia of Minsk (in Belarus), was also announced.
A flurry of commercial activity in steamy Singapore yesterday marked a busy opening day for the 2012 airshow. Kicked off by the conversion to firm status of a record commitment for 201 Boeing 737 MAXs and 29 737-900ERs placed last November by Indonesia’s LionAir, the day would prove very lucrative for both Western OEMs and a relative newcomer from China.
Viking Air (Chalet CD39) revealed here at the show yesterday that it had sold eight of its new $7 million Twin Otter Series 400 turboprops. Two will go to Papua New Guinea’s OK Tedi Development Corp., while the other six will go to Turkey’s Seabird Airlines as the floatplane variant. Viking launched the new DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 production program in 2007 and now has an order backlog worth $350 million.
Hawker Beechcraft has sold a pair of Hawker 900XP midsize business jets to Jakarta, Indonesia-based Lion Air, with options for two more. The airline says it intends to use the jets to meet growing demand for executive charter services throughout Asia. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in the second and third quarters of this year.
Brazil’s Embraer (Chalet CD51) announced here yesterday that China’s Minsheng Financial Leasing (MSFL) is to purchase three of the company’s flagship Lineage 1000 bizjets, which are based on its best-selling E-Jet airliner family (the E190). According to Ernest Edwards, president of Embraer Executive Jets, the first jet may be delivered as soon as the first quarter of 2012.
A new UAV design on display here is Elbit’s Hermes 900, the bigger cousin of the popular Hermes 450. The family genes make the Hermes 900 particularly attractive to operators of the Hermes 450–a roster that includes Singapore–as it employs the same ground control stations and maintenance processes.
With service entry for its new AW189 and AW169 models looming large over the next couple of years, AgustaWestland is scrambling to ensure that operators can get their flight crew type rated in good time. At its main training academy in Sesto Calende, a major extension is under construction to house no fewer than nine full-flight simulators and six training devices for the new aircraft.
AgustaWestland and Honeywell have introduced a new “Phase 7” version of the Primus Epic avionics suite for the AW139 rotorcraft. The upgrade, which will be available soon for new-build aircraft as well as for retrofit, marks a step-change in the manufacturer’s approach to developing the cockpits of its growing family of aircraft.