Out on the NBAA static display Comlux Aviation is showcasing an upgraded addition to its charter/management fleet in the shape of an Airbus A318 Elite featuring performance- and appearance-enhancing polished wings slats. The Switzerland-based business aviation services group has now certified the modification in partnership with Belgian aerostructures specialist Sonaca and is offering it to other Airbus Corporate Jetliner operators.
In what might prove the biggest cross-border airline merger ever between two Latin American airlines, Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM plan to form the world’s 10th largest carrier (in terms of passenger numbers) under a non-binding memorandum of understanding signed August 13.
French operator Air Austral and Gulf carrier Qatar Airways are among several airlines revealed this week as previously unidentified Boeing customers. Both have announced earlier orders for two 777-200LRs, each deal speculatively valued at $501 million.
First came the Middle East carriers on Monday, then yesterday it was the turn of Asian and Latin American airlines to keep the Farnborough airshow cash registers ringing with deals done covering roughly $6.5 billion in new business for Airbus.
New competitors in the single-aisle airliner market have driven Airbus to look beyond current technologies to identify the required characteristics for an A320-series replacement to enter service in 15 or more years.
AMAC Aerospace is stepping up its expansion plans and expects to open its second hangar at Basel’s EuroAirport this summer. The 90,500-sq-ft structure will be able to accommodate aircraft up to size of a Boeing 747, and the company already plans an extension to handle the Airbus 380.
Chile’s LAN Airlines has reached an agreement with Boeing to advance the start of delivery of ten 787-8 Dreamliners it has ordered by three years, from 2014 to the first half of 2011, the airline announced yesterday. Under the new schedule, LAN would become the first airline in the Western hemisphere to take delivery of the type.
In an deal valued at $500 million, Turkish Airlines has ordered V2500 SelectOne turbofans to power its A320-family aircraft for which is has placed 20 firm orders and taken options on 10 more. Engine maker International Aero Engines (IAE) is to make deliveries in the 2011-2013 time frame. The firm order covers powerplants for a mix of six A319s and 14 A321s. IAE is a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney.
Middle East Airlines (MEA) has placed a contract for International Aero Engines to support the V2500 engines that power its Airbus A320 fleet. The long-term deal covers turbofans on six aircraft covered by firm orders and three more that the Beirut-based carrier has optioned. The operator took delivery of the first of these V2500 SelectOne-powered aircraft in January 2009.
Air New Zealand has ordered 14 Airbus A320s to replace its existing domestic fleet of 15 Boeing 737-300s. Valued at slightly more than $1 billion at list prices, the contract calls for deliveries to start in January 2011 and continue until 2016 to coincide with the expiration of 737-300 leases. ANZ has chosen IAE V2500 engines to power the A320s.