Global offshore helicopter service provider Bristow Group is making a $250 million minority interest investment in VIH Aviation unit Cougar Helicopters. Bristow said it expects to complete the transaction by year-end, subject to Canadian regulatory approval. As part of the deal, Bristow will acquire various Cougar operating assets, including eight Sikorsky S-92As and Cougar’s Canadian passenger and maintenance facilities at St. John’s, Labrador, and Halifax. The purchased aircraft and facilities will then be long-term leased back to Cougar.
Eurocopter, which is nearing completion of a new development center in Donauwörth, Germany, that will house 900 engineers, has begun building another development center in Marignane, France. Employees currently based in Ottobrunn will move to the new German facility next spring. In Marignane, the project includes the construction of a “Helicopter Zero” building, with test benches integrating various helicopter systems to be delivered in April. New construction will start in July, with the goal of accommodating 1,000 people in “plateau” concurrent engineering.
Bombardier Aerospace has opened a new regional support office in Moscow. The RSO, operated by Bombardier Aerospace Services Russia, will serve as a regional support hub for the growing number of commercial aircraft customers in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It complements Bombardier’s customer services expansion strategy and is the 11th regional support location to open outside North America in the past four years.
Amac Aerospace has been granted Boeing 747-400 and 747-8 Part 145 approval. It allows the MRO provider to offer base and line maintenance services for the aircraft with no restrictions. The company also recently announced Amac Aerospace Basel has received UAE CAMO approval authorizing it to provide continuous airworthiness management services on UAE-registered aircraft.
Pattonair has opened a European Hub in Derby, UK, where the Pattonair Group head office is located. It will serve as a central hub for all of the company’s European operations. Pattonair’s supply chain services include kitting, line feed, distribution, aftermarket and MRO, consultancy, reverse logistics, warehouse management and supplier management. Customers include large global aerospace OEMs and Tier 1, 2 and 3 manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce, Goodrich Actuation Systems and Parker Aerospace.
Armenian airline Armavia is set to resume operations with Sukhoi’s Superjet 100 after the first full production example of the new narrowbody (S/N 95007) left Zhukovsky airfield near Moscow to be delivered to the carrier’s headquarters at Yerevan’s Zvatnots Airport on October 2.
Air cargo will grow by an average of 5.2 percent annually over the next 20 years, according to Boeing. The U.S. airframer’s World Cargo Forecast 2012/13, published on October 3, predicts that the global freighter fleet will expand to nearly 3,200 aircraft by 2031. Boeing’s forecast is based on the assumption that worldwide gross domestic product will nearly double over the 20-year forecast period.
GE Aviation is currently gathering hardware for the assembly of the first Passport engine for the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 program. Assembly of the first full engine will begin by year end, according to Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation’s Business and General Aviation organization.
Finding a pricing floor for many models has been as elusive as the search for Atlantis, but recent market action is giving hope to underwater sellers. The typical summer plumping of inventory never occurred this year, setting the stage for what could be an active wave of buying in the final quarter.
NextGen is such a vast project, with so many interdependencies–where even if System A is complete and ready to go, it needs Systems B and C before it can be placed into service, and they now won’t be ready for another year or two–that predicting completion dates is a risky business. And predicting the final costs of uncompleted items could be even chancier.