Germany’s DC Aviation, in a bid to become Europe’s largest operator of private jets, last month took delivery of a new Gulfstream G450, bringing its fleet to 31 business jets, ranging from the Learjet to the Airbus A319 ACJ. Delivery of the G450 follows the Stuttgart-based company’s May announcement that three Airbus A319 ACJs will join the fleet within 12 months. A total of 12 new aircraft will be added to the fleet this year.
Boeing faces a tough decision, now that the Pentagon has confirmed that bigger is better in the KC-X tanker competition. “We’ve now revised the language to make it unambiguous that we intend to provide consideration above threshold for fuel offload,” said U.S. director of defense procurement and acquisition policy Shay Assad. He spoke at a press briefing on August 6, to introduce the draft revised request for proposals (RFP).
European Aerospace and Defense Systems (EADS) is the world’s second-largest aerospace and defense company (after Boeing).
With the exception of Raytheon Aircraft and Embraer, jet manufacturers suffered significant delivery losses in this period. Shipments of new business jets in the first half of this year tumbled nearly 37 percent compared with the first half of last year, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
Airbus has inked a contract with Honeywell to upgrade the wingtip navigation lights on the A320 family with light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Intended to last 40 times longer than standard halogen lighting, the LEDs will be added to the production line starting next March. Honeywell’s LED wingtip bulbs last about 20,000 hours each, compared with 500 hours for a halogen bulb.
A new aftermarket support organization has been formed as a recommended solutions supplier for Airbus Spares Support and Services. Called the Blue Sky Alliance, the new group brings together Netherlands-based Avio-Diepen, Germany’s Interturbine Logistik and Satair of Denmark, which can provide a single point of contact for aftermarket space in all consumable material, expendables and standard hardware materials.
Recent industry scuttlebutt that Daher Aerospace will take a majority stake in EADS Socata is likely to be confirmed next month following “exclusive negotiations” between the two companies announced last month.
Swiss aircraft charter and management group Comlux Aviation is stepping up its efforts to become a full-service business aviation service group with the creation of new aircraft sales and completions divisions. The Zurich-based company has taken a
40-percent share in the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre in Toulouse and is establishing operational bases in Malta and Kazakhstan.
The 2008 Farnborough International airshow (held from July 14 through 20) largely confounded widespread predictions that provide clear evidence of an industry heading into a downturn. A fresh wave of airliner orders, mainly from carriers in the fast-growing Middle Eastern and Asian markets, bolstered Airbus and Boeing, along with their phalanx of global suppliers.
Early last month a Boeing 737-300 requiring an 8A check was the first aircraft to be towed into Ameco Beijing’s A380 hangar. A spokesman for the company said it is ready to support aircraft flying to the Olympic Games. The new hangar will simultaneously accommodate six widebody and four narrowbody aircraft, encompassing the spectrum of Boeing and Airbus airplanes, including the A380.