Grand China Express (GCE), the country’s largest regional carrier, wants to be Asia’s biggest regional carrier. A subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, GCE has 38 aircraft serving 55 Chinese cities with more than 80 scheduled daily routes. “We aim to be the top player in Asia by 2012, grabbing 90 percent of the regional airline market,” said Chen Feng, chairman of Hainan Airlines, which ordered 50 E190s and 50 ERJ 145s for GCE in August 2006.
International Aero Engines has been awarded a follow-on order from Hainan Airlines for V2500 engines to power 13 Airbus A320s. Along with a long-term V2500Select aftermarket agreement, the deal is worth $350 million. The Chinese operator took delivery of the first of 20 V2500-powered A319s in June, becoming the latest Chinese airline to fly the Airbus narrowbody.
Chinese regional carrier Kun Peng Airlines has placed an order for five Embraer 190s in a deal that further sets the foothold the Brazilian manufacturer has gained in mainland China.
A virtually stagnant market for new commercial airplanes and a rapidly eroding capital base have convinced German airframe builder Fairchild Dornier to pursue a new “strategic” partnership with another large aerospace concern. “We are cash negative,” said company chairman Charles Pieper during a press briefing on the morning of Fairchild’s March 21 rollout of the 70- to 85-seat 728.
Doubts about the future of Embraer’s joint manufacturing venture with China’s AVIC II group were largely laid to rest by the time Harbin-Embraer Aircraft’s biggest Chinese customer, Hainan Airlines Group (HNA) subsidiary Grand China Express, took delivery of its first airplane last September.
The Greek government has conditionally accepted Axon Airlines’ bid to purchase a controlling stake in Olympic Airways, the country’s flag carrier. Details of the buyout likely will not surface for up to three months, while talks take place between Axon and the Greek government on such matters as the controversial planned downsizing among the company’s 6,000 employees.
The Harbin-Embraer Aircraft joint manufacturing venture on September 28 delivered the first of 100 airplanes to its biggest Chinese customer, Hainan Airlines Group (HNA) subsidiary Grand China Express.
ILA has doubled in size since it moved to Berlin Schoenefeld Airport from Hanover 10 years ago. Opening on May 6, this year’s event attracted 1,067 exhibitors from 40 countries (up from 941 at ILA 2000) and 340 aircraft. During the first three days 90,000 trade visitors attended the event, 6,000 more than expected.
A series of visits to Haikou, China, by AvCraft managing director Wolfgang Walter finally paid dividends last month, when Hainan Airlines placed a firm order for 20 Fairchild Dornier 328JETs. The contract, signed during a May 3 ceremony hosted by German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and attended by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, converted options on five airplanes to firm status and added a new order for 15 of the PW306B-powered jets.
China’s AVIC I announced a trio of orders for 35 ARJ21 regional jets during the Beijing Air Show last month. The largest of the three contracts–for 20 of the 70- to 90-passenger jets–came from Shenzhen Financial Leasing. The others involved a five-aircraft launch order from Shanghai Aviation Group and a 10-unit commitment from Shandong Airlines. AVIC I expects to fly the first prototype in 2006 and start deliveries by the end of 2007.