Newly merged divisions aiming to increase profitability and growth
Airbus Defence and Space may be a new brand, but the former defense and space businesses of EADS face a familiar problem: how to remain profitable when European defense budgets are in decline and export competition is intensifying. The combining of Airbus Military, Astrium and Cassidian took effect at the executive level on January 1. Three weeks earlier, a reduction of 5,800 jobs at the new combined division over the next three years was announced.
The flight-test of an experimental technology called Avoid, an infrared camera capable of detecting ash cloud particles before an aircraft might encounter them, has proved successful. Volcanic ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano grounded aviation across much of northern Europe for a week in 2010.
Flight trials of the BAE Systems Taranis UCAS technology demonstrator have started at the Woomera test range in South Australia. But neither the company nor its customer, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has made any announcement. The news emerged from a policy document on military UAS that the MoD submitted to the defense committee of the UK parliament.
The French Air Force accepted its first A400M airlifter on August 2, when an all-military crew flew the first production aircraft–MSN7–from Seville to its operational base at Orleans. The flight followed a July 31 declaration by the pan-European procurement agency OCCAR that Airbus Military had achieved the contracted specifications for the initial operating capability of the new airlifter.
European aerospace conglomerate EADS reported increased revenues and profitability for the first half of the year on Wednesday, driven mainly by its Airbus commercial aircraft business. The company said it will rebrand itself next year as the Airbus Group to emphasize the predominance of its commercial business.
Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways took the first step toward confronting the formidable threat of the recent British Airways-American Airlines pairing as regulators approved Delta’s acquisition of Singapore Airlines’ 49-percent stake in the UK carrier last week. The acquisition means that Virgin Atlantic and Delta have cleared a major hurdle in their effort toward forming a full joint venture, an antitrust review of which the U.S. Department of Transportation expects to complete during this year’s third quarter.
Airbus has awarded Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) a contract to supply composite rudders for the A330-200 and A330-300 long-range commercial jets. Under the terms of the deal, signed Monday at the Paris Air Show, TAI (Hall 4 E75) will serve as a single-source supplier through the life of the A330. Plans call for rudder manufacture to take place at TAI’s Ankara Kazan facilities in Turkey, from where the company already supplies Airbus A350 XWB ailerons and control surfaces for a number of commercial/military aircraft platforms.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s preliminary report on the May 24 incident involving a British Airways Airbus A319 at London Heathrow (LHR) appears to point to inadequate ground maintenance and pre-flight checking. In a special bulletin issued on May 31, the AAIB confirmed that the fan cowl doors on both engines had been left unlatched after maintenance. Just after liftoff, both engine cowlings separated from the aircraft, causing damage that eventually led to one engine fire and shutdown.
International Airlines Group (IAG) confirmed on Thursday that it has reached an agreement with Boeing that calls for the conversion of options on eighteen 787s to a firm order.
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