Dynamic growth in emerging economies will be the principal factor driving commercial aircraft requirements in the coming 20 years, according to Airbus. Other major contributions will come from increased global urbanization and a doubling of middle-class populations. “By 2031 the number of ‘mega-cities’ will more than double to 92, and 90 percent of the world’s traffic will be between (or through) these points,” concluded the European airframer in its new 2012-31 market forecast, released in London on September 4.
Cathay Pacific Airlines has confirmed its plan to replace its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet with Airbus A350-1000s in a new $4.2 billion deal signed at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday. The Hong Kong-based carrier has placed new orders for 10 aircraft, and will convert 16 existing orders for the A350-900 into the larger variant.
Airbus could withdraw from a commitment to increase A330 production to 11 aircraft per month in two years’ time, if there is no change to the European Union (EU) emissions trading scheme (ETS), according to programs executive vice president Tom Williams.
Gama Engineering has introduced what it claims is “the first child’s seat certified for takeoff and landing on most business jet configurations.”
The firm, based at Fairoaks Airport in the UK, demonstrated the seat in a Challenger 300 at the EBACE show last month, noting that it is already in service with long-haul carriers Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific.
Ameco (Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Corp) Beijing has added a third international customer to its Chongqing outstation. Earlier this month the MRO provider entered into a contract with Finnair to support the airline’s four-times-weekly A330 flight to the airport. Ameco Beijing’s Chongqing facility also supports Qatar Airways and TNT.
The rebirth of the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (Abace) in Shanghai was, by common consent, a resounding success–especially considering the many challenges that organizer NBAA faced in running a modern trade show in China’s main business city. The March 27-29 event drew 156 exhibitors in a 43,000-sq-ft space provided by Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre at Hongqiao Airport. The static display was populated by some 27 aircraft and was overlooked by eight exhibitor pavilions occupied by companies too large to exhibit inside the main hangar.
Membership of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) has risen from 45 to 58 over the past year, with the most recent company to sign up joining just before yesterday’s annual general meeting held on the eve of the ABACE show in Shanghai. The new member is AIN, publisher of ABACE Convention News.
Last month FlightSafety International and Gulfstream Aerospace opened a new learning center in Hong Kong to serve Asian operators of the G450 and G550 jets. Equipped with a G550 level-D-qualified full-flight simulator that is convertible to a G450, the new facility expects to provide 250 “training events” this year, according to David Davenport, manager of FlightSafety’s Savannah learning center, a key player in defining the Hong Kong facility and its responsible manager now that it is up and running.
Flight Training Adelaide, which trains cadets for airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Qantas, QantasLink, JAL Express and J-Air, has ordered eight firm and 18 optional Diamond DA40 light single-engine aircraft for its Parafield, Australia base. The contract was signed with Diamond Aircraft in conjunction with Australian distributor Hawker Pacific, which will provide after-sales support.
Not without reason, China continues to dominate expectations for business aviation growth in Asia, but the continent as a whole presents a vast if complex opportunity for the industry.