Royal Air Maroc (RAM) and Air France Industries yesterday signed a shareholder agreement to create a joint-venture MRO facility at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport. The companies will each own and operate an equal share of the operation. The companies expect to strengthen their respective positions in the European and African markets by providing a dedicated MRO service to support A320-family airliners.
Thales, Europe’s third largest civil and defense aerospace group, makes its first appearance at Le Bourget since it acquired a new shareholder and executive board last month.
The 2009 Asian Aerospace show in Hong Kong is set to achieve significant growth in visitor numbers with organizers reporting that pre-registrations are more than 100 percent up on the same period ahead of the inaugural show in 2007.
Managing aircraft programs is a complex process that should not be underestimated. This is one of the clearest messages to have emerged in recent years and is evidenced when one considers the 787 supplier issues, A380 wiring problems and A400M delays. It costs the industry vast sums of time and money.
GKN has selected Germany’s Brötje Aerospace to supply an advanced moving line assembly system that will mate wing trailing edge and main landing gear parts onto Airbus A350XWB all-composite rear wing spars.
Irkut Corporation is evaluating tenders from Western engine, avionics and systems suppliers for its proposed new MC-21 family of narrowbody airliners. The Russian airframer (Hall 4 Stand C114) wants the first of the new model to enter service in 2016, and it intends to offer variants with capacity of 150, 180 and 210 seats.
There is an upside to the decline in airliner orders, according to Airbus CEO Thomas Enders. “Airlines don’t like waiting seven years for delivery,” he explained at an EADS press conference in Paris on Saturday.
Defense ministers from the seven A400M partner nations are heading for Seville next week for a crucial meeting with the EADS and Airbus leadership. French Defense Minister Herve Morin urged the airframer to be “transparent and precise” about the extent of delays to the troubled European airlifter.
Six years ago, the team from Airbus Military promoting the A400M came to the Paris Air Show full of confidence and good intentions. Germany had just confirmed its order for 60, finally launching the program after years of negotiations. Italy and Portugal dropped out, leaving a total requirement of 180 aircraft for six European countries (seven, if you count Luxembourg taking one aircraft).
“Significant extra investment” is required by the UK government and industry if the country is to retain its position as an aerospace powerhouse, the Society of British Aerospace Companies warned just before the Paris Air Show opened. The SBAC has just released figures for 2008 that show sharp declines in both employment and research spending in the UK industry, but a significant shift toward export markets–particularly defense.