Both local and Western companies are enjoying a strong market for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in the Middle East, due to increased airline activity and military aircraft fleets.
The variety of types and average size of business and private aircraft is changing here in the Middle East, with new customers increasingly willing to fly in medium-sized jets that would have seemed out of the question in this market a few years ago.
Blue skies over the Atlantic may look a little greener over the next few years as the U.S. and European Union member states work together to reduce aviation’s environmental impact.
European authorities apparently do not share the qualms the Federal Communications Commission and FAA have about the in-flight use of personal cellphones. At the Paris Air Show in June, mobile telephony service provider OnAir announced that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the airborne GSM equipment that supports OnAir Services for use on the Airbus A318.
The Air France-KLM Group revealed itself yesterday as the customer that placed a previous order for nine Boeing 777-300ERs and seven 737-700s. Air France will add the 777s to its existing fleet of 46 of the type, while KLM replaces older 737s and expands its European short-haul operations. KLM plans to align the interior specification and operation of the -700s with its low-fare affiliate, Transavia.
Boeing has released half of the defined design for the 777F cargo aircraft to its factories and suppliers to begin manufacture of tools, parts and assemblies. The large twin-engine freighter is said to be on track to meet Boeing’s performance commitments. Launch customer Air France, which ordered the aircraft in May 2005, expects to receive the first of five examples in the last three months of next year.
Delivery of the 561st Airbus A300 next month marks completion of the European manufacturer’s long march to becoming a successful competitor to its U.S. rival, Boeing, in the commercial aircraft market. It has developed, certified, marketed and completed profitable production of its initial design and embarked on a successor project.
Three years after they merged, Air France and KLM say the combination has paid off. At a press conference to announce the 2006-07 result here in Paris last month, chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta reported strong increases in revenue and income. The joint French/ Dutch operation is profitable, and the share price has risen 70 percent this year. “By every standard, it’s been successful,” added vice chairman Leo Van Wijk.
A Fokker 100 flown by Air France subsidiary Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne crashed immediately after takeoff on January 25 in Pau, southwest France. All four crewmembers and 50 passengers in the 100-seat jet evacuated safely, but one person on the ground was killed. The accident occurred at 11:28 a.m. local time, as the aircraft was departing for Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.
For those in the U.S. who fail to appreciate fully how the rest of the world has suffered from the effects of 9/11, consider this: since that infamous day no fewer than 18 air transport operators have disappeared in France alone. So how can a small airline born during this volatile period survive? Twin Jet, based in Aix-en-Provence, France, thinks it has found the answer.