VIP cabins for narrowbody airliners have stuck to traditional approaches with little thought for the practicalities of aircraft. This is the basis upon which SR Technics (Booth 2425) set out to redefine the approach to cabin design based on what it sees as a changing customer base, with younger generations of travelers who are more casual and more tech-savvy.
Private charter operator Qatar Executive is set to open a new FBO at Doha’s Hamad International Airport shortly, having already moved its headquarters there. The company plans to strengthen its core Middle East, Far East and African markets next year, its new head, executive vice president David Edwards, told AIN.
Airbus has added Recaro and Sogerma passenger seats to the A350 supplier-furnished equipment catalog, which includes seats, galleys, cabin “monuments” and other items, but hopes to limit furnishing options to keep assembly lines flowing, officials said at the company’s unveiling of the airplane’s interior in Hamburg on April 7. It also emphasized increased width in the A350’s twin-aisle fuselage–thus boosting a claimed advantage over the competing Boeing 787–and confirmed that the twinjet will accommodate 10-abreast seating.
Bombardier Business Aircraft has two aircraft on display at Abu Dhabi Air Expo, both flying the colors of owners from the Gulf region. One is a Challenger 605, managed by Sharjah’s Gulf Wings and being shown on behalf of an unidentified Kuwaiti owner.
As the Airbus A350-900 twin-aisle twinjet makes its first full international airshow display here in Singapore this week, industry observers will be keen to understand the manufacturer’s plans for the smaller A350-800, which has seen a steady erosion of orders as customers have upgraded to the baseline model. With average aircraft seat capacity moving inexorably to the right, Airbus executives are also mulling a possible double-stretched variant beyond the longer A350-1000.
A leading Mubadala Aerospace MRO network member, SR Technics’ drive to expand out into the world is bearing fruit. Now able to claim 40 customers, among them operators as prominent as Singapore Airlines, EasyJet, Qatar Airways and South African Airways, the company is set on bringing its integrated MRO business to all points of the compass.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker believes the only way to solve the growing ATC congestion problems in the Middle East is to develop a single air traffic management system similar to Eurocontrol’s Single European Sky concept. Qatar is among several countries in the region searching for a congestion solution to support regional airline expansion plans.
Keen to show his airline can operate as a profitable carrier amid assertions that it survives on the largesse of its government benefactors, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker offered revealing insights at last month’s Dubai Airshow into some of the internal machinations and brinkmanship that shape aircraft purchase negotiations. The colorful and sometimes controversial Al Baker played coy about his interest in the 777X while fully intending to engage Boeing in serious negotiations that eventually led to a blockbuster sale.
Christopher Emerson, senior vice president of Airbus and head of product strategy and market forecast said that the number of aviation mega-cities will more than double in the next 20 years. This will require as much configurability in aircraft as possible, particularly between major city pairs, and he said that Airbus’s widebody family–the A380, the A350XWB and the A330–are the ideal match for long-haul trunk routes, long-haul developing routes and regional routes, respectively. “For us, our family completely matches the market,” Emerson said. “There is no gap.”
A series of blockbuster orders placed yesterday underlined Dubai’s status as capital of the commercial aircraft megadeal, chief among them being an order for 150 Boeing 777X aircraft placed by Emirates (termed a “commitment”)–effectively launching the new larger variant of the popular long-range twinjet. Emirates’s 777X order, which consists of 115 -9Xs and 35 -8Xs, was not entirely unexpected as the carrier played a leading role in defining the aircraft, but yesterday marked the largest product launch in commercial airline history (by dollar value) for any OEM.