KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, in partnership with the Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey christened the first in a series of biofuel-powered flights between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on March 8.
Air France unveiled the name of a new regional airline in late January that it plans to form through the merger of its Brit Air, Régional and Airlinair affiliates. Plans call for the airline–dubbed HOP!–to launch operations this summer, operating point-to-point flights within Air France’s domestic network from Paris Orly and connecting service to Paris Charles de Gaulle.
The Regional Aircraft Division of BAE Systems has won a contract with Eastern Airways of the UK for its rate-per-flying-hour aircraft spares support service. The three-year support deal covers 16 Prestwick-built Jetstream 41 turboprop airliners. BAE Systems has provided support for Eastern Airways’ Jetstream 41 operation for the past 11 years.
Israel’s Xsight has developed its new FODetect system to help airport managers keep runways clear during rainstorms or even in the middle of the night. Using a small swiveling radar transmitter and sensor unit installed near the runway’s edge, the FODetect beams sweeps the runway as often as every 30 seconds and, like traditional radar, highlights–both visually and aurally–objects as tiny as a rivet that may have fallen unnoticed from vehicles. The operator watching the FODetect screen will also see a high-resolution image of the object that caused the alarm.
A French appeals court has overturned the manslaughter verdict against Continental Airlines resulting from the July 2000 crash of an Air France Concorde soon after takeoff from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). The initial ruling held Continental liable for the accident on the grounds that maintenance errors caused a 16-inch piece of titanium to fall from one of the U.S. airline’s DC10s during its takeoff roll just moments before the Concorde.
Embraer delivered 55 jets in the second quarter, composed of 35 airliners and 20 executive jets. Of the business jets, Embraer shipped 17 light jets and three large jets. Total deliveries for the first six months reached 89 aircraft–56 commercial and 33 executive jets–13 more than for the same period last year.
The decline of India’s Kingfisher Airlines, whose fleet has shrunk to 18 aircraft from 66, hasn’t only served to push air fares upward due to declining capacity in a high-demand market. At the same time it has reduced business for suppliers and airline service providers, such as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) groups.
French executive charter operator Masterjet has signed an agreement with AFI KLM Engineering & Maintenance to use its Vipjetsuite cabin interiors services. The Air France KLM airline subsidiary provides a range of MRO services, including cabin modifications. “They have always been able to meet our deadlines in a highly efficient and effective manner,” said Nuno Perestrelo, maintenance and engineering director at Masterjet.
A plan by American Airlines to increase annual revenues by $1 billion by 2017 centers largely on the ability to add large regional jets to fill a capacity gap between 50 and 140 seats more completely, according to an internal letter outlining the company’s post-bankruptcy business plan sent to all AA managers on May 7.
Embraer’s backlog for commercial airliners fell to its lowest level in more than five years, following a first quarter in which it delivered 21 E-Jets but sold only 12. As of March 31, its firm backlog stood at $14.7 billion, compared with $15.4 billion at the end of last year. The value of its backlog has fallen from a high of $21.6 billion in the third quarter of 2008.