The lawyer representing Air France in the June 1, 2009, Airbus A330 accident case has transmitted to the investigating magistrate in France a memorandum that endeavors to demonstrate the carrier did its best to rectify problems with its fleet’s pitot speed probes when they appeared in 2008. In the document, Airbus appears slow to answer Air France’s requests for fixing the issue.
Lufthansa Group’s Supervisory Board has approved the acquisition of 40 Airbus aircraft worth some $4.3 billion, the European airframer announced today. Planned to fly with Lufthansa and two of the group’s subsidiaries, the batch of airplanes consists of 20 A320-family jets and three A330-300s for Lufthansa, four A320-family aircraft and five A330-300s for Swiss and eight A319s for Germanwings.
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.
Petroleum Helicopters is negotiating a joint venture with Brazil’s TAM to support the growing Brazilian offshore market. The joint-venture company reportedly plans to begin operations by year-end with Sikorsky S-76s, while the longer-term plans include the addition of the larger S-92.
As Airbus considers an A320-replacement to compete against prospective single-aisle models from Boeing and emerging challengers from Russia and Asia, it is also looking at technologies that could contribute to even longer-term designs in a program dubbed “A30X.” Mindful that modern jetliners are expected to have working lives of at least 40 years, chief operating officer for customers John Leahy said Airbus needs “future technology for future
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.
Cessna said Brazil is its leading market for jets outside the U.S., with an in-country fleet of more than 200 Citations. The Mustang accounts for approximately 10 percent of the Citation fleet in Brazil, with 22 of the entry-level jets in the hands of Brazilian customers. The Citation Sovereign and XLS+ are also popular in Brazil, Cessna said.
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched investigations into two recent incidents in which airspeed and altitude indications in Airbus A330s might have malfunctioned, adding to the suspicion that an instrument failure could have led to the June 1 loss of an Air France A330-200 (Flight 447) in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 228 people.
Despite the fact that final assembly of the 4,000th example is now under way, the A320 single-aisle twinjet may be only at the midpoint of its production life, according to Airbus. Marketing vice president Colin Stuart has suggested that a 5,000th A320 could enter service in 2011.
Brazilian airline TAM’s Technological Center in San Carlos, Brazil, has received EASA 145 approval to maintain the Airbus A321 and A330. TAM Technological Center is now certified to perform maintenance on the Airbus line through the A330 as well as on the Fokker 100. Brazil’s government aeronautical materials department also has approved TAM Technological Center to maintain the presidential Airbus ACJ.