Pakistani domestic air carriers face increased scrutiny from civil aviation officials following the fatal accident of a Bhoja Air Boeing 737-200 (Flight B4-231) on April 20. But some critics say this oversight is too little and too late.
Pakistan International Airlines
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has stepped up Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) checks of Pakistan International Airways, after uncovering 40 defects on a single Airbus A310 operated to Paris in August 2011. The European Union called the problem “systematic deficiencies” in PIA maintenance.
Industry pundits expect the mood at this year’s Paris Air Show (June 20-26) will be markedly more positive than what prevailed during the last show in mid-2009, at the low-point of the aerospace industry’s most recent downturn. The global economy might be experiencing a fair degree of trepidation, but aircraft makers–at least in the civil air transport sectors–are seeing significant increases in demand and are ramping up production again.
Hawker Beechcraft 1900, Karachi, Pakistan, Nov. 5, 2010–The twin turboprop, operated by JS Air Pakistan, crashed soon after takeoff on a charter flight from Karachi-Jinnah International Airport to an oil field in Bhit Shah, Pakistan. All 17 passengers and four crewmembers were killed and the aircraft was destroyed.
Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) is a little over a year away from completing certification of the new -600 version of its ATR 72 twin turboprop, with the smaller ATR 42-600 due to follow just a few months later in early 2011. Despite the slow sales environment in the air transport sector, the European airframer has been able to log 54 orders for the 70-seat ATR 72 and seven for the 50-seat ATR 42 from eight customers in seven countries.
The Dubai Air Show, held November 4 to 8, demonstrated an abundance of business-as-usual spirit when it opened its doors in the face of a worldwide security crisis and the intensifying war in Afghanistan just 500 mi away to the northeast.
Emirates Airline launched a new era in air travel last month when it flew its first Boeing 777-200LR from Dubai to São Paulo, Brazil. The trip marked the first time any carrier has linked all the world’s permanently inhabited continents with nonstop service from one hub.
The Boeing 777-200LR, the world’s longest range commercial airplane, completed its first intercontinental flight last Friday as it arrived here at Le Bourget. Last week in Montreal, the second 777-200LR prototype launched its “Going the Distance” tour of more than 20 cities in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.
Here at the Dubai 2005 show today, India’s Kingfisher Airlines is expected to order 20 ATR 72-500s, and to take options on an additional 15 of the 68-seat twin turboprop. The ATR 72s are to be delivered during a three-year period beginning next March and will be used to serve regional routes on the subcontinent.
Boeing says it can squeeze another 600 nm of range out of the new 777-200LR by adding three fuel tanks, giving the world’s longest-range commercial airliner the ability to fly in revenue service as far as 10,000 nm.
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