EADS incurred a further charge of €158 million ($202 million) during this year’s first quarter due to higher-than-expected costs associated with retrofit repairs to cracks in wing rib feet of Airbus A380s.
Business aircraft operators are beginning to follow the growing ranks of airlines that provide passengers with on-board connectivity for telephony, message and Internet-access services. Indeed, this sector now accounts for about 10 percent of Airbus/SITA joint venture OnAir’s 45 aviation customers, although not all clients have yet deployed the service.
German flag carrier Lufthansa took delivery of the first 747-8 Intercontinental airliner from Boeing in ceremonial fashion on May 1, then flew the so-called “Queen of the Skies” from Everett, Wash., to its base in Frankfurt after a touch-and-go landing in Hamburg.
Emirates Airlines has offered a unique proposal to the British CAA that might allow the carrier to land its A380s at London Heathrow Airport in the middle of the night, when traffic levels are minimal. The plan would require the giant aircraft to use much steeper approaches than normal and land farther down the runway, past the traditional touchdown zone.
The question of how London will resolve its looming airport capacity crisis just won’t go away, and the UK’s Conservative government appears to be ruing the day that it resolutely ruled out any question of allowing construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
Airbus logged its first corporate jet sale in Japan this week, adding a new customer and building its presence in the Asia-Pacific market. The aircraft, an Airbus ACJ318, will go to a customer whose identity remained undisclosed. “Our first Airbus Corporate Jet sale in Japan builds on the growing presence of our modern airliner family, as well as encouraging greater use of business jets to help grow what is, today, the world’s third-largest economy,” said Airbus COO for customers John Leahy.
The Airbus A380 has had its share of problems both before and since deliveries began in late 2007. On the same day last week, Tuesday, two airlines suffered flight-terminating mechanical problems with the world’s largest passenger airliner.
The repair bill for wing cracks first discovered in January on the Airbus A380 will come to about $135.5 million, according to EADS, Airbus’ parent corporation. Initial safety reviews concluded only a few A380s might be affected.
Whatever other problems Qantas may have had as an early operator of the Airbus A380, it appears to be benefitting from a new approach to the potentially vexed task of managing spare parts supply.
Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) has opened a third hangar in Manila for work on widebody aircraft. LTP, a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and the Philippine MacroAsia Corp., invested $30 million in the construction of the new 91,500-sq-ft hangar, which has a ceiling height of more than 100 feet, large enough for an Airbus A380. The new hangar offers space to work on one widebody and two narrowbody aircraft simultaneously.