Ural Works of Civil Aviation (UWCA) of Russia and Diamond Aircraft Industries (DAI) of Austria signed an agreement on Monday at the Paris Air Show to design and produce a series of diesel-powered 19-seat utility airplanes in Russia. The companies estimate that demand for these aircraft in Russia currently exceeds 200.
Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe revealed this week that the company is exploring the idea of an Optional Manned Gripen (OMG). While believing that manned operations will still be needed for at least the next 40 years, Buskhe also recognizes that many “dull and dangerous” missions could be performed better by an unmanned aircraft. Using an OMG for such roles rather than acquiring another type of aircraft would, in essence, halve the logistics costs. OMGs could perhaps operate in a formation under the control of piloted aircraft.
Boeing and Ryanair reached terms on the U.S. manufacturer’s largest ever firm aircraft order from a European airline yesterday. The deal, worth $15.6 billion at current list prices, calls for delivery over five years of 175 new Boeing 737-800s starting in September 2014. The order stands to raise Ryanair’s fleet count to more than 400 by the summer of 2018 from about 300 today.
The search for the world’s most famous missing pilot has gotten strange.
CIT Aerospace placed a firm order for 30 Boeing 737 Max 8s here yesterday. The order, worth some $3 billion at list prices, calls for delivery to the airline’s lessors in 2019 and 2020.
Appearing with Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner, CIT Transportation Finance president Jeffrey Knittel said he hasn’t yet placed any of the airplanes, but that he harbors no concerns about placing all 30 over the next few years, well ahead of first delivery. “We don’t anticipate any issues,” said Knittel. “The interest level should be very high.”
Airbus notched up firm orders for a further 55 examples of its now-flying A350 XWB airliner yesterday here in Paris, with Air France-KLM and Singapore Airlines signing major deals. The European airframer now has 668 firm orders for the A350. And, for good measure, Airbus also managed yesterday to close a major fleet-upgrade MoU with Sri Lankan Airlines.
The 2013 Paris Air Show is on track to be the one of the highest-value air shows ever in terms of new business announcements. A brief analysis by AIN showed that by the end of yesterday sales on the civil side alone had already topped $165 billion. This total covered airliners, helicopters, business aircraft and engines, but excluded any associated service contracts. It included a lot of as-yet unconfirmed options and commitments, but AIN did exclude any previously announced business (where the customer identity had simply been confirmed).
Turning heads at Le Bourget whenever it takes to the skies is Kamov’s Ka-52 helicopter. Its co-axial rotor blades and comprehensive weapons suite mark it out from the herd and, amazingly for a helicopter, it even has ejection seats. With the Ka-52 now in Russian army service and being touted for export, the design bureau is busy working on a maritime version for the Russian navy.
Airbus introduced C4you, a new customer care center for its private jet customers that provides dedicated access to an experienced team co-located within Airbus’s Airtac center in Toulouse. Customers will have access to technical advice on both their airframe and their cabin through a single point of contact and will also be able to benefit from packaged services such as arrangements to implement service bulletins.
A new firm order for seven E190 airliners from Venezuela’s Conviasa led Embraer’s commercial activity here yesterday. The deal involved a conversion of options from an order placed in July 2012 and raised Conviasa’s firm order count to 13 E190s. It still holds options for another seven.
Embraer also identified Japan Airlines as the customer for an order for four more E170s. With that deal, JAL has now placed firm orders for 15 E170s.