Boeing will move “really fast” to return the Boeing 787 to service once the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approves the company’s proposal to solve the airplane’s battery problem, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner told attendees at the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation & Defense Conference in New York on March 4.
AIN Air Transport Perspective » March 11, 2013
Bombardier displayed its determination to cement the credibility of the new CSeries narrowbody last Thursday during a formal unveiling of the program’s first flight-test vehicle (FTV1) at its factory in Mirabel, Quebec. In the process, it issued a bold challenge to Boeing and Airbus with the launch of a higher-capacity CS300, capable of carrying as many as 160 passengers.
Commercial air travel in the U.S. grew only slightly last year, staying in line with the slow recovery of the overall economy. Domestic and international capacity expressed in available seat miles (ASMs), a measure of airline industry output, increased by just 0.1 percent, to 995 billion, following a 3.4-percent capacity increase in 2011. System wide, revenue passenger miles (RPMs) increased by 0.9 percent, to 822 billion, and passenger enplanements rose 0.8 percent, to 736.7 million.
The Indian government’s new budget, released on February 28, brought little relief for the country’s ailing air transport sector, although the industry awaits a possible announcement of some reduction in high aviation fuel taxes. In particular, the budget documents made no mention of hoped-for fiscal support for India’s emerging regional airline industry.
Sudden sandstorms in the Middle East’s deserts are just one of the problems complicating the task of the region’s maintenance providers. At the recent MRO Middle East conference in Dubai, delegates heard that airlines often need to delay or even cancel departures on short notice due to unforeseen maintenance needs caused by sand and dust. Engines, bleed-air systems and air-conditioning packs are especially vulnerable to the region’s hot and unpredictable conditions.