Lufthansa Technik (LHT) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Oman Air to create the maintenance specialist’s first joint venture in the Middle East, with plans for building a hangar at Muscat airport. Operations are expected to start in 2012, when the hangar will be able to accommodate two widebody and two narrowbody aircraft. Some 300 technicians are to work there.
Maximus Air Cargo announced yesterday that it is joining forces with Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Airports Co. (ADAC) to launch “Care By Air,” a humanitarian effort that will provide cargo space at cost for relief aid to disaster-stricken areas of the world. Supporting members include the United Arab Emirates’ Red Crescent and the United Nations World Food Program, and more are expected to join soon.
Al Ain-based Horizon International Flight Academy, which has assembled a fleet of nearly 30 aircraft since it was established in 2002, is looking for growth opportunities.
Lufthansa Systems is here (Stand A220) promoting its software programs for airline operations such as scheduling, crew management, flight planning, and weight and balance. The Middle East region currently accounts for 10 percent of the company’s sales, a proportion that is increasing, Stefan Auerbach, senior v-p for Europe, Middle East and Africa sales told AIN. A sales announcement is expected here tomorrow.
Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways expects to make a profit this year, even though it reported a $7.6 million first-half loss. “We are going to be profitable for the full year,” said chief executive Stefan Pichler, who joined the airline in June from a position as chief commercial officer at Virgin Blue. The low-cost carrier plans to open a second hub in 2010, having dropped routes to Beirut, Delhi, Mumbai, Salalah and Sanaa this year.
Airbus’s new A330-200F freighter flew for the first time today, officially marking the start of a 180-hour flight-test and certification campaign with a four-hour test mission over Toulouse, France. This milestone flight conforms to a schedule that calls for first delivery of the first production example to launch operator, Etihad Crystal Cargo, next summer.
It might seem only months since Airbus launched the mighty A380-800, but the double-deck, quad-aisle superjumbo marked the second anniversary of its first commercial flight on October 25 and will soon have entered service with five airlines on many of the world’s most important routes.
Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) will take a central role in maintaining General Electric engines–including those ordered by Etihad Airways here at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. ADAT, which is part of the Mubadala group, has also entered into an agreement with International Aero Engines (IAE) to become the first IAE-approved shop for V2500-A5 and V2500 SelectOne engines.
Etihad Airways has completed engine selections for the massive aircraft orders it revealed at last year’s Farnborough airshow, in deals now totaling $14 billion in estimated value. As indicated at the time, it has opted for General Electric GEnx-1Bs for the 35 Boeing 787-9s it ordered, having already confirmed that it would use GE90-115Bs to power the 10 Boeing 777-300ERs.
Qatar Airways signed a firm contract yesterday for 24 Airbus A320-family aircraft in a deal that included the conversion of an option the operator placed during last year’s Farnborough air show for four A321s. Qatar expects to take delivery of the first of those airplanes this coming November, while yesterday’s new order for 20 A320s gets filled through the end of 2012.