Irish-American aircraft lessor GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) is to acquire as many as 25 General Electric CF34-powered ARJ21-700ER regional jets from China Aviation Industry I (AVIC I) Commercial Aircraft Company (ACAC) for delivery from 2013 in a deal signed last month at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai.
Aviation International News » December 2008
Grand China Express (GCE), the country’s largest regional carrier, wants to be Asia’s biggest regional carrier. A subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, GCE has 38 aircraft serving 55 Chinese cities with more than 80 scheduled daily routes. “We aim to be the top player in Asia by 2012, grabbing 90 percent of the regional airline market,” said Chen Feng, chairman of Hainan Airlines, which ordered 50 E190s and 50 ERJ 145s for GCE in August 2006.
China’s Joy Air has ordered three Modern Ark 60 (MA-60) jets and is negotiating to buy 10 advanced MA-600s. Manufacturer Xi’an Aircraft International said the Civil Aviation Flight University of China has also ordered two MA-600s. Established in March this year, Joy Air is a joint venture of China Aviation Industry Corp. I and China Eastern Airlines.
Mitsubishi Aircraft is considering a stretched variant of its regional jet and is analyzing market demand. Senior executive v-p Junichi Miyakawa believes the basic MRJ model has potential to accommodate as many as 112 passengers. “We are looking to our customers to see the market requirement,” he said.
Embraer confirms that “at the present time” it has no large-airplane project. The Brazilian manufacturer concedes, however, that initiatives for joint ventures
or new products could arise later.
Piestany, Slovakia-based UTair Europe has announced “an expansion of its flight destinations and an increase in helicopter services” throughout Europe. It will thus build on momentum started by its two Mi-8Ts and two Mi-171s, which have been involved in a number of aerial work operations.
Bell 206B JetRanger, Longview, Wash., Oct. 10, 2008–The Northwest Helicopters JetRanger lost power while hauling tree limbs. The pilot attempted a power-out forced landing at the bottom of a steep ravine covered with 30-foot conifer trees. The pilot was seriously injured and the helicopter was substantially damaged.
European helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland and Russian conglomerate Oboronprom last month signed an agreement for a civil AW139 final assembly line near Moscow, less than six months after announcing the project’s outlines.
MD Helicopter MD 900, Weatherford, Texas, Oct. 8, 2008–The MD 900 experienced a violent yaw to the left while cruising near Weatherford with the autopilot on. The pilot regained control and continued to his destination, Grand Prairie Municipal Airport, without further incident. Investigators found that the vertical stabilizer control rod had separated from the actuator. No one was injured.