Following years of growth, which recently has outpaced the U.S. and Europe in the aftermath of the global economic downturn, 2014 has proven so far to be a bit of a corrective period for business aviation sales throughout Brazil and Latin America. Despite weakening performance in some areas, however, OEMs remain bullish about long-term demand for their business aircraft offerings.
Airbus Defence & Space announced a repeat order from Egypt for eight more C295 transports, and one from Brazil for three C295s configured for search-and-rescue. The company will be offering C295s with a winglet option beginning next year, although it did not say whether the newly ordered aircraft would be so configured. Airbus has received orders from 19 countries for more than 140 C295s.
Airbus has begun airline crew training for its A350XWB customers about six months ahead of the new twin-aisle twinjet’s entry into service, scheduled for late this year, according to chief test pilot Peter Chandler, who flew the aircraft on its maiden flight in June 2013. He reports that the training syllabus has been developed and that the first A350 pilot course was under way last month, with access to a full flight simulator. Launch customer Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines have received demonstration flights.
Bombardier Aerospace delivered the first “enhanced” CRJ900 to American Airlines regional subsidiary PSA Airlines on June 5. Based in Dayton, Ohio, PSA plans to start operating the jet under the American Eagle brand “later this summer.” Formerly a US Airways Express subsidiary, it now flies 35 CRJ200s and 14 CRJ700s primarily out of Charlotte, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Airbus Corporate Jet Centre has added new contracts in 2014 for its cabin and airframe services for Airbus Corporate Jet aircraft. Two Asian customers have appointed ACJC as their continuous airworthiness management organization (CAMO) for the outfitting phase of their ACJs, while an eastern European government operator of two ACJ319s has extended its VIP Pass contract for another year. The VIP Pass was introduced in 2009 as a total support package covering CAMO services, maintenance checks and component support.
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.
Speaking Wednesday at the 39th annual Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford called for a fundamental shift in the “model” on which pilot unions negotiate for compensation, characterizing the imbalance of pay between first officers and captains as irrational and counterproductive.
Alaska Airlines was the most fuel-efficient U.S. carrier for domestic operations in 2011 and 2012, according to a nonprofit organization’s analysis. Allegiant Air and American Airlines were the least fuel-efficient carriers during the survey period, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) says in a study released on April 30.
China’s great need for airline pilots is well documented, not least by Boeing, which last year estimated that the country’s fast-expanding air transport industry will need some 77,400 pilots through 2032 (plus 93,900 mechanics). According to the airframer, that represents around 40 percent of the overall requirement across the Asia Pacific region over the same period.
Hong Kong-based aircraft management company Metrojet (Booth H418) provided an update here at ABACE 2014 on three joint ventures it announced at last year’s expo that launched its current growth initiatives. “We built a very strong presence in Hong Kong, and now we’re ready to go from local to regional,” said Metrojet CEO Björn Näf.
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