Last month Air France Industries opened an €84 million ($103 million) maintenance facility adjacent to Paris Orly Airport with a new work organization system to cater to the constant increase in third-party customers. While inaugurating the 441,000-sq-ft site, Air France chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta outlined AFI’s bold aim to improve performance by halving turnaround time and cutting production costs by 15 percent.
An optimistic Louis Le Portz flashed a broad smile as he contemplated the opening of this week’s Le Bourget salon just a few weeks prior to the event. He knows that his first stab as commissaire général, or commissioner, of the biennial Paris Air Show marks a recovery from four gloomy years of aerospace industry decline and a return to something resembling the conditions exhibitors enjoyed prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Boeing last month launched the much-anticipated 777 Freighter with five firm orders from Air France. Based on the 777-200LR, the 777 Freighter will fly as far as 4,965 mn with a full 229,000-pound payload, making it the world’s longest range cargo hauler.
CasaAero, a joint venture between Boeing’s Alteon training division and national airline Royal Air Maroc, celebrated the official grand opening of its facility at Aeroport Casa-Anfa last Wednesday. The partners are developing the facility in Casablanca as a regional center for commercial pilot training.
Boeing will deliver the first 777-200LR prototype tomorrow to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Boeing vice president of product development Dan Mooney confirmed here yesterday. Three weeks ago the world’s longest-range airliner received U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European Air Safety Administration approval after two flight test airplanes completed 886 flight hours on 328 flights, and 318 ground test hours.
Airbus has found a ready market for its latest corporate jet, and exclusive cabin outfitter Lufthansa Technik (Booth No. 744) is happily reaping the benefit of what appears to be a particularly promising new market niche for fast-turnaround completions using standardized components and cabin layouts.
First the good news, or at least the news that most people in the international aerospace and defense industry can agree on. Last month’s 46th Paris Air Show was the most dynamic and commercially upbeat gathering of the global business since the June 2001 show, which had been staged in what now seem like halcyon days just before 9/11 and the still-unfolding torment of what has followed.
In the little more than five years since its formation, Air France domestic partner Régional has evolved from three distinct, ailing French domestic carriers into a single, profitable regional operation and the second biggest French airline after the country’s flag carrier. Last September Régional announced plans to acquire six Embraer E190LR jets and place options on six more, making it the aircraft’s first operator in Europe.
Airlinair is one of those rare regional airlines that have thrived while maintaining a true regional identity, serving mainly French domestic routes and operating among secondary cities. The company, which operates only ATR turboprops, has gone from success to success, increasing its revenue every year since pilot Lionel Guérin founded it in 1999.
Irish regional airline CityJet in a little more than a month expects to place into service the first of 23 Avro RJ85s acquired in a $221 million deal to replace its present fleet of 20 BAe 146s. According to CityJet CEO Geoffrey O’Byrne White, the choice boiled down to the airplanes’ shared characteristics with the BAe 146, enhanced performance, better economics and, of course, the Avros’ comparative youth.
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