Two and a half years after its first flight, the Airbus A380 airliner entered service late in October with Singapore Airlines (SIA). While SIA has received the only example of the super large airliner slated for 2007 delivery, next August Emirates Airline is slated to get the first of the 55 A380s it has ordered to date.
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines
The Federal Communications Commission has said it won’t continue exploring the feasibility of allowing passengers to use their personal cellphones to make calls in flight, basing its decision on concerns raised by cellular providers over possible airborne interference with ground networks.
The FAA now doesn’t expect domestic commercial air travel to return to pre-9/11 levels until 2006, and its earlier forecasts that U.S. airlines would be enplaning one billion passengers a year by 2010 have been pushed back to at least 2014.
Marking the first anniversary of the launch of its Hong Kong-based business aircraft charter network last month, Bombardier Flexjet Asia-Pacific believes it is the first in a market expected to skyrocket. “We think we have a winning program here,” said Flexjet Asia-Pacific general manager Gregory Kalinin.
Airbus and Singapore Airlines marked delivery of the first A380 today at the airframer’s headquarters in Toulouse, France, in front of 500 well-wishers, company executives, government dignitaries and likely a few skeptics.
Some charter companies are reporting new interest and bookings as a result of last month’s terrorist attacks. Demand is reportedly up in response to more time-consuming airline check-in security requirements, as well as the perception that charter will provide better security. One wire story said a charter service in Southern California reported a 110-percent increase in customer calls.
All Nippon Airways, the Japanese airline that became the launch customer for the new Boeing 7E7 in late April, just days later added a firm order for another four 74-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprops, bringing its commitment total to 12 airplanes. The contract signaled ANA’s third follow-on order for the big turboprops, after it signed for its first batch of four in October 2002.
For travellers with deep pockets or generous expenses allowances–or simply an interest in how the other half lives–Indian carrier Jet Airways is showing off here the first-class interior of a Boeing 777-300ER, with which it plies the Mumbai (Bombay)-London route. The cabin is outfitted with eight exclusive “suites,” each occupying more than 25 square feet of useable floor space that can be separated from prying eyes by sliding doors.
Record how long it takes to read this news item. By the time you finish reading, the world’s airlines will have spent hard-earned (or -borrowed) cash to acquire new equipment at the rate of about $8,745/second.
Simulators and other training aids from Thales are set to help carriers in India and the Asia Pacific region meet the demand for pilots to fly the large numbers of new aircraft they have ordered as well as supporting the introduction of the newest airliner models.