The refurbishment of a government Airbus A330-200 (used mainly for the president) ran €33.2 million (about $46 million) over budget, according to a recent report from the “Cour des comptes,” the French equivalent of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Replacement of the engines and interior upgrades are listed as the primary reasons for the cost overrun.
The Air France KLM Board of Directors approved the group’s planned firm order for 50 long-haul aircraft, consisting of 25 A350 XWBs and 25 Boeing 787s. Plans call for the contracts, still subject to the conclusion of negotiations with the manufacturers, to include options on another 35 of the Airbus models and 25 Boeings.
The French pilots’ union, SNPL, has withdrawn its participation in the ongoing investigation of Air France Flight 447 (AF447), the Airbus A330-200 that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in June 2009.
Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance launched a new international training package here this week, combining the resources from AFI KLM E&M centers in Paris and Amsterdam with those of its subsidiaries and partners Regional (Clermont-Ferrand), Brit Air (ICARE Flight Training Center, Morlaix), KLM UK Engineering (Technical College, Norwich) and AFMAé (Apprentices Training Center, Paris).
Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) is to set up a new $64 million engine test cell facility at Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport. The very big engine maintenance offering will be operational in 2012 and complements the company’s recent investments in the Constellation building at Paris Orly Airport, and an electron-beam welding machine at Amsterdam Schipol Airport in Holland.
Sunaero (Hall 4 Stand B133), a French company specializing in the detection and prevention of fuel leaks in aircraft, has come to the Paris Air Show convinced that its niche activity will carry it on a wave of business growth over the next decade. The Lyon-based firm claims that the process it has developed since 1992 provides the most reliable way of protecting against leaks while minimizing aircraft downtime.
Alongside preparations for the re-engined A320neo, Airbus is continuing A320 product development, according to A320 family chief engineer Wolfgang Engler. Some 23 years after A320 MSN0005 pioneered the type’s airline service with Air France, the manufacturer claims a 99.7-percent “operational reliability” for the most recently delivered 250 aircraft.
Both Airbus and the French BEA (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses) have denied reaching any conclusions about the June 1, 2009, crash of Air France Flight 447, following reports in the French media that Airbus advised its customers that investigators had found no technical faults with the accident aircraft, an A330-200 that crashed into the South Atlantic on June 1, 2009, implying human error.
The fourth campaign to find the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 has finally yielded positive results, as crews who resumed search operations on March 25 identified large aircraft subassemblies off the Brazilian coast on Sunday. All 228 aboard the Airbus A330-200 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris died when it crashed on June 1, 2009.
A fourth search campaign to find out what happened to Air France Flight 447 on June 1, 2009, has begun off the Brazilian coast in the South Atlantic Ocean. Wreck-location operations will take place from the Alucia, a ship with three small, unmanned submarines onboard that left the harbor of Suape, Brazil, on March 22. All 228 aboard the Airbus A330 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris died in the crash.