Airbus delivered the 500th A321 ever produced to Air France during a ceremony held last Friday at the manufacturer’s Hamburg, Germany delivery center. The largest member of the A320 family, the A321 seats 174 passengers in the two-class layout chosen by France’s flag carrier. The airline also served as the type’s launch customer when Airbus delivered the first A321 in 1994.
It took all the resources it could reasonably muster, but Airbus managed to reach its target of delivering 12 A380 aircraft last year when on December 30 it handed over to Emirates Airline that carrier’s fourth superjumbo.
Air France and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on September 8 inaugurated a new terminal designed to consolidate traffic operated by the flag carrier’s three regional subsidiaries and increase handling capacity of flights involving five European countries that do not require passport controls with France.
The 2003 Paris Air Show, held June 15 to 22, opened against a backdrop of bitter transatlantic political disputes over France’s opposition to the U.S.-led Iraq War and the future of the Middle East. It ended with carriers from that region providing the whole aerospace industry with a welcome financial shot in the arm by placing multi-billion-dollar orders for new airliners.
Boeing will resume flight-testing of its Model 777F cargo aircraft “as soon as possible,” the manufacturer said after the freighter’s first flight on Monday was curtailed by problems unrelated to aircraft performance.
Air France Industries is set to deliver its first completed Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) this month, with a second aircraft to leave its Toulouse, France completions center during the first quarter next year. Both ACJs are for undisclosed customers.
Compagnie Corse Méditerranée (CCM) Airlines, the French regional airline that specializes in routes between France and Corsica, wants to buck a trend established by small French regional airlines by loosening its relationship with Air France.
The 2001 Paris Air Show was no epic in terms of new models unveiled and mega-developments launched. It was nonetheless an exceptionally businesslike event, achieving a record tally for announced sales of some $40 billion. Even so, this grand tally was somewhat down from the $52 billion sales bonanza at last year’s Farnborough Air Show and some chose to interpret this as evidence of the long-anticipated cooling in demand.
British Airways (BA) flew a modified Concorde to Shannon, Ireland, on August 7 before conducting refresher crew-training operations last month. As many as 35 takeoffs and landings were to be flown as the airline prepared for a possible resumption of scheduled services, perhaps before next month.
As one French regional airline bites the dust, another is ready to take its place, operated by the company’s former pilots. R-Lines has been placed into “legal observation,” which means it will almost certainly be declared bankrupt at the beginning of next month following its failure to meet its debt obligations.