The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is about to oversee tests of antimissile airliner protection equipment on board an American Airlines Boeing 767. By year-end, three aircraft are to be used for testing prototype equipment under development by Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as officials seek to resolve whether the systems can be sufficiently effective and affordable for mass deployment on civil airliners.
For many of the world’s airlines, the long and tiresome road to recovery has taken them through dips and valleys, hairpin bends and in some cases complete U-turns. Today, after seemingly negotiating much of the most difficult terrain, European airlines have caught a glimpse of the promised land over the horizon. So why, you ask, have the biggest airlines in the U.S.
The 1,050th and last 757 airliner took off from Boeing’s Renton, Washington assembly plant for delivery to Shanghai Airlines on April 28, some 23 years after the company ferried the first of the single-aisle workhorses to launch customer Eastern Airlines. But out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind for Boeing. Fifty-five operators still fly some 1,000 of the twinjets, many of which will need upkeep for decades to come.
Over the next five years Iran needs some 140 new airliners, half of which would replace a largely outdated fleet. Air transport demand continues to grow as the Iranian economy enjoys high oil revenues and 8 percent annual GDP growth.
Dubai-based Airbus subsidiary Total Airline Services Co. (TASC) recently completed a commercial audit of Middle East airlines and is currently working on cabin interior design and delivery for the entire Etihad Airways fleet.
Swiss-based independent maintenance organization SR Technics and Okay Airways, China’s first privately owned airline, have agreed to form a maintenance joint venture in Tianjin, China. The new facility will provide aircraft services, fleet technical management and component support for Boeing and Airbus aircraft operated by both existing airlines and new start-ups.
Hallelujah! Boeing and Airbus agree about something. The rival airframers both foresee a 20-year market in this region for 88 large airliners of Boeing 747 size or bigger. Outlining the U.S. manufacturer’s view of Middle East airlines’ demand for new aircraft until 2024, marketing vice president Randy Baseler said here at Dubai 2005 that operators would need 869 new aircraft.
Pratt & Whitney has signed the biggest airline spare parts management deal in its history, in a $1.6 billion contract with United Airlines. More than 60 percent of United’s engines now come under P&W care.
Business aviation, long a bastion from the sometimes unfathomable airline security rules, is now facing similar regulations in some European Union countries.
Next month will see the formal launch of Arabesk, a network of eight Arab and North African airlines aiming to pool their efforts to be more efficient. To this end, they will coordinate schedules to avoid costly duplication, reducing expenses by joint buying of aircraft, equipment, fuel, food and insurance, as well as managing supplies of spares and parts.