Some 54 countries in Africa hold stakes in airlines and airports, but all must increasingly consider the invasion of their skies by international players, led by the likes of Middle East heavyweights Emirates and Qatar Airways.
Energized by the explosive growth in the Middle East air transport market, Qatar Airways has turned its attention to Scandinavia as it extends Boeing 787 services to Stockholm on August 1, to be followed a month later to both Copenhagen and Oslo.
Industry wisdom that civil aerospace is continuing its super-boom while defense prospects waiver was clearly confirmed in the headlines from last month’s Paris Air Show (June 17 to 23). The 50th staging of the biennial event was dominated by yet more airliner orders, plus breakthroughs in new aircraft coming to market and significant deliveries.
On its third test flight, the Airbus A350XWB flew past President Francois Hollande this afternoon on the final business day of the 2013 Paris Air Show. After two hours of cruise flight tests, the new aircraft made a curving descent toward Runway 27 for a single flyby.
Qatar Airways placed a firm order for a pair of Boeing 777-300ERs and signed a commitment for another seven on the opening day of the Paris Air Show. Boeing places the value of the nine airplanes at $2.8 billion, based on list prices. Also holding an outstanding order for seven 777s, Qatar Airways plans to increase the size of its present fleet of 35 Boeing 777s to 51.
General Electric GE90-115Bs power the 777-300ER. GE places the value of the engine commitment at $600 million.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker is upbeat on the market, having ordered nine Boeing 777-300ERs, valued at $2.8 billion (at list prices), of which seven are options. “When we say options, we always make them firm orders,” he said. “Options [simply] give us the flexibility of moving up delivery dates.”
Al Baker said the new aircraft would allow the airline to open new long-haul routes to the U.S. Two of the new jets will be delivered in early 2014.
Honeywell and Safran said they have completed the first major phase of testing of their electric green taxiing system (EGTS), which is installed on an Airbus A320 that will conduct daily demonstrations at the Paris Air Show through Friday. On Monday, the companies announced a memorandum of understanding with Air France to further develop the system. The agreement “will enable Air France to analyze the potential technical, operational and financial benefits of the EGTS,” according to the companies.
BOC Aviation (Hall 5, Stand D262) has grown from just another player in the aircraft leasing business to a prominent brand, and the world’s fifth largest aircraft lessor. Started in 1993 as Singapore Aircraft Leasing (Sale), it was acquired by Bank of China in December 2006 for $3.25 billion. In July 2007, its name was changed to BOC Aviation.
Airbus began the 2,500-hour flight-test program for the A350 XWB when the new long-range widebody took off for the first time at almost exactly 10 a.m. local time in Toulouse, France, on Friday. The eagerly awaited first flight over southwestern France lasted slightly more than four hours and the twinjet, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, touched down safely back in Toulouse at 2:05 p.m.
Airbus began the 2,500-hour flight-test program for its new A350 XWB when the new long-range widebody took off for the first time at almost exactly 10:00 a.m. local time in Toulouse, France on Friday. The eagerly awaited first flight over southwestern France lasted slightly more than four hours and the twinjet, powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engines, safely touched down back in Toulouse at 2:05 p.m.