Few segments of the completion and refurbishment industry are as busy as that of narrowbody and widebody cabin finish work, and Gore Design Completions (Booth No. 2289) is rapidly filling its interiors dance card.
Jet Aviation recently signed two letters of intent with customers for the interior completion of two Airbus A350-900 XWB (extra-widebody) executive/VIP jets.
Airbus reports no downturn in orders for its bizliners this year. “Our market is not affected,” said François Chazelle, vice president Airbus executive and private aviation, at a press conference here yesterday. “We could sell more aircraft, if it weren’t for the limited capacity at the completion centers, especially with our widebody aircraft.
Lufthansa Technik, one of the world’s largest centers for interior completion and refurbishment of narrow- and widebody aircraft is expanding in a move designed to increase its capacity in the face of growing market demand.
At a press conference here yesterday, chairman August-Wilhelm Henningsen went into some detail regarding Lufthansa Technik’s recent growth in the U.S. and Switzerland.
Call it the super-sizing of the large-cabin business jet. Orders for executive-configured airliners are far exceeding manufacturers’ projections.
“We’ve seen quite a jump in orders for these aircraft,” said David Velupillai, marketing director for Airbus’ executive and private aviation division. “We’ve sold a lot more than we expected.”
Greenpoint Technologies, like most of the narrowbody and widebody completion centers, is dealing with growing demand. The Kirkland, Wash.-based independent completion center (Booth No. 948) specializes in Boeing Business Jet interiors. It is scheduled to deliver one this month and will be replacing it with another in the first quarter of next year.
Airbus, to date, has sold more than 100 single-aisle airplanes in executive configuration, including its first double-deck A380 “Flying Palace” and, in the first deal of its kind in the Middle East (and the largest ever for Airbus corporate jetliners) six VIP-configured A350XWB Prestige aircraft based on the A350-900, the newest member of the manufacturer’s corporate jetliner family.
If there are any tears being shed by those in the completion and refurbishment industry these days, they’re most likely tears of joy. And the reason is simple: a backlog for new business jets is stretching well into the next decade. And based on the latest delivery numbers from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the trend isn’t expected to change dramatically anytime soon.
Accident investigators are eyeing the failure of an oxygen cylinder as the cause of an explosion that forced an emergency landing for a Qantas Boeing 747-400 flying from Hong Kong to Melbourne, Australia on July 24. Immediately after the explosion, the pilots took the widebody down to 10,000 feet, dumped approximately 50 tons of fuel and landed safely at Manila with no injuries to the 365 people on board.
The decades that preceded the 1970s were propelled by a lust for technological progress measured in speed, altitude and range. The 1970s marked a sea change for aviation, brought on largely by the rude realization that cheap and freely available
fuel could no longer be taken for granted. The commercial mission, which continues to this day, then became that of transporting ever more people on the least amount