The chasm separating the realm of full-size airliners and regional airplanes has claimed another victim, swallowing the Boeing 717 as surely as it did the Fokker 100 and British Aerospace 146/Avro RJ. So who, you ask, would dare tempt fate again? All signs point to Canada’s Bombardier.
Airbus A320 family
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.
Just before the 2003 Paris Air Show, the long-running saga of the Airbus Military A400M finally resulted in a definitive launch for the project, when seven European nations signed up to purchase 180 of the military transports.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia-based National Air Services (NAS) has ordered five Airbus A318 Elites, a 15-seat, luxury version of the 100-seat-class airliner. In an announcement made during the first Middle East Business Aviation Conference here in Dubai yesterday, the operator also optioned five more of the twinjets.
Having been selected by Boeing to provide zonal-drying equipment for the new Model 787 airliner, Sweden’s CTT Systems (Stand W607) is keen also to supply humidification kits for the aircraft, which has a large element of carbonfiber-reinforced plastic composites material in its airframe. Although the U.S.
About one jetliner in 10 sits in storage, awaiting either permanent retirement or a change in economic or competitive conditions that warrants a return to service. Despite the airline market’s recovery in the past 12 to 18 months, the number of inactive aircraft has stayed essentially stable since soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. just over four years ago.
German marketing specialist Inviseo has launched a new plan to raise cash for airlines. The idea involves using the bottom of the backrest tables in commercial airplanes for advertising. When in the upright position, the seatback displays guarantee intensive exposure to consumers throughout a flight. The firm has developed a table that can display printed media and meets all safety standards.
Airbus’ solid sales showing at this year’s show continued yesterday with Kingfisher Airlines’ announcement that it would take another 30 Airbus A320-family jets starting in 2008. Meanwhile, almost simultaneously back in Toulouse, the company announced a deal with TAP Portugal for 10 A350s and seven A330-200s, scheduled for first deliveries in 2013 and 2007, respectively.
Boeing’s ability to use the same engine for the 737-900ER as it uses on the standard -900 undoubtedly helped the company justify its investment in the project, but that doesn’t mean the newest 737 won’t benefit from new powerplant technology.
New aircraft orders placed this year from Air India and Indian Airlines should ensure that the government-owned carriers can compete against promising new domestic and international operators on the subcontinent. But strong growth in passenger traffic as well as flights has put increased pressure on congested facilities.