The Air France-KLM Group revealed itself yesterday as the customer that placed a previous order for nine Boeing 777-300ERs and seven 737-700s. Air France will add the 777s to its existing fleet of 46 of the type, while KLM replaces older 737s and expands its European short-haul operations. KLM plans to align the interior specification and operation of the -700s with its low-fare affiliate, Transavia.
The GE Aviation /Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance, which builds the GP7200 powering the Airbus A380 flying at the show, is ready to offer a powerplant solution for the A350XWB, if Airbus and GE fail to reach agreement.
Boeing has selected Crane Aerospace & Electronics (Hall 5, Stand A20) to supply tire- and brake-monitoring (TBMS) and AirWeighs onboard weight-and-balance systems for Model 777 aircraft. Deliveries of TBMS-equipped aircraft began last month, while AirWeighs, which is to be a standard production-line fit on 777F cargo variants, will enter service when deliveries begin in late 2008.
Boeing has released half of the defined design for the 777F cargo aircraft to its factories and suppliers to begin manufacture of tools, parts and assemblies. The large twin-engine freighter is said to be on track to meet Boeing’s performance commitments. Launch customer Air France, which ordered the aircraft in May 2005, expects to receive the first of five examples in the last three months of next year.
Aircraft leasing company General Electric Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) has converted options held on six GE90-110B1L-powered Boeing 777F cargo aircraft, bringing its 777 fleet to 39, of which 15 have been delivered. The latest order, which can be changed to cover passenger variants, brings GECAS 777F orders to 14 and its total Boeing fleet to 378.
The FAA last month issued a final rule on ETOPS (extended-range twin-engine operational performance standards) that allows operators of commercial aircraft–now including Part 135–to fly virtually anywhere (up to 240 minutes single-engine flying time from a suitable diversion airport), provided the aircraft is capable of protecting passengers and flight crew during an emergency diversion of any length.
Honeywell’s airline support and aftermarket business gained more momentum here Sunday when the Phoenix, Arizona-based company landed a deal to supply Air New Zealand with wheels and brakes for its entire fleet of Boeing 747-400s. In January 2004, Honeywell and Lufthansa embarked on an STC program to develop new carbon friction material for the 747-400 with tailored friction and wear properties.
General Electric Aircraft Engine Services’ facility at Nantgarw in south Wales is preparing to overhaul and repair the Engine Alliance’s GP7200 powerplant for the Airbus A380 super-large airliner. The program is part of a $10 million budget that will support infrastructure for the new engine over the next three to five years.
The Boeing 777-200LR, the world’s longest range commercial airplane, completed its first intercontinental flight last Friday as it arrived here at Le Bourget. Last week in Montreal, the second 777-200LR prototype launched its “Going the Distance” tour of more than 20 cities in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.
A huge commitment for Airbus A350s and Boeing 777s by Qatar Airways took top billing yesterday here in Paris. The Qatar announcement involved a total of 60 A350-800s and -900s along with a mix of 20 Boeing 777-300ERs, -200LRs and -200F freighters.