A December 15 Air France flight was held on the ground in Venezuela after French intelligence officials received a credible tip that a bomb would be detonated when the flight was over the Atlantic between Caracas and Paris. An extensive search of the Airbus A340 found no explosive devices and the flight was allowed to proceed.
Rolls-Royce Trent 500
Airbus Corporate Jets is launching its new Gala cabin concept for the ACJ330/340 wide-bodies here at MEBA 2012. The choice of Dubai for the announcement should come as no surprise: the Middle East represents the most important market in the world for wide-body business and VIP aircraft.
Airbus has manufactured its last A340 following an extended period of extremely slow sales for the four-engine widebody. A EADS spokesman today confirmed the “termination” of the program, as revealed today in the company’s third-quarter earnings report. The decision resulted in a “positive one off” of €192 million ($263 million), according to the report.
CFM International, the GE/Safran partnership that developed the CFM56 high-bypass turbofan, is celebrating its 36th anniversary with a record 500 million engine flight hours in service. The CFM56 powers Boeing BBJs and Airbus ACJs as well as thousands of Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s and A340s. CFM International has delivered more than 21,000 engines since the first entered service in 1982.
Rolls-Royce has secured another airline for its growing list of TotalCare maintenance contracts, this time with Thai Airways International in a deal covering its Trent 500 engines that power the carrier’s Airbus A340s. The 10-year agreement works on a dollar-fee-per-flying-hour basis. Rolls-Royce says that 80 percent of new Trent orders have included TotalCare deals.
Airbus believes it is close to correcting a fuel management software glitch that contributed to a Virgin Atlantic Airways A340-600 diversion earlier this year. In related work, Airbus also has begun a fleet-wide retrofit program that should eliminate false fuel system fault messages.
In an unprecedented move, Pratt & Whitney is to manufacture components for an engine it competes with, the CFM56, in order to capitalize on the lucrative spares market for the General Electric/Snecma powerplant.