Implementation of a new Brazilian requirement mandating the use of level-D simulators for renewing privately operated business aircraft type ratings has had to be postponed until next year due to a shortage of suitable training equipment in the country.
Airbus A320 family
The business jet fleet is projected to grow by 55 percent over the next 12 years–to nearly 31,000 aircraft from about 20,000 today–according to the International Bureau of Aviation’s Business Jet Asset Report 2013, released on Tuesday. Much of the new growth is expected to come from new deliveries, “Implying many business jet models have a solid future ahead of them,” the group said.
International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, has secured firm orders and options for up to 220 Airbus A320 family narrowbodies, of which it plans to assign 120 to its Barcelona-based low-fare subsidiary, Vueling. IAG said the new aircraft will allow Vueling to replace some of its existing A320s and expand its business.
An IndiGo Airlines employee at India’s Kolkata Airport (VECC) fell to his death onto the apron after accidentally walking through the open rear cabin doorway of a parked Airbus A320. The man’s job was to supervise aircraft cleaners and maintain a safe work environment. The airline normally places stairs or a jetway only for the forward door, while allowing the back door to remain open to ventilate the cabin, with yellow caution tape strung across the open doorway as a safety precaution. An IndiGo spokesman reported that the tape was in place at the time of the accident.
Aero engines continue to represent “a robust investment opportunity” for those trading in the market for leased spares, according to the International Bureau of Aviation (IBA). However, the UK-based consultancy’s 2013 Engines Value Book, published last week, shows significant variations in engine values and shifts in demand for leased powerplants.
ILFC, a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group and one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors, preaches diversification in terms of aircraft and engine purchases, geographical distribution of its fleet and in the forms of leasing and financial programs it employs. Its Airbus A320 orders, which number 769 following additions at last month’s Paris Air Show, perhaps best reflect the company’s philosophy, notwithstanding the calculated risk it took when it signed as the A320neo’s launch customer.
The second generation of Embraer’s E-Jet series of narrowbody airliners was officially launched and named E2 during last week’s Paris Air Show. Seven launch customers rallied for the christening party, supporting the Brazilian airframer with approximately $17.8 billion worth orders and commitments for up to 365 of the twinjets.
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has been busy announcing a procession of airframe and engine deals here in Paris. On Tuesday, the company announced it had signed for CFM International Leap-1A engines to power a further 20 Airbus A320neo jetliners. That brought the total backlog to 60 shipsets. With the aircraft scheduled to begin deliveries in 2016, the new order is valued at $510 million.
ST Aerospace announced that it has been awarded an exclusive component maintenance-by-the-hour contract worth $28 million by Spring Airlines Japan. This contract involves component repair management support for 22 of Spring Airlines Japan’s Boeing 737-800s.
Under the agreement, ST Aerospace will provide support for component repair and warranty management, as well as consignment and pool access to its global rotables inventory pool. It expects the new contract to take effect in the second half of 2013 and stretch over eight years.
SS White Technologies (Hall 6, A60), supplier of aerospace flexible rotary shafts, is providing its shafts to transmit power to activate the thrust reversal actuation systems on the nacelle of the Pratt & Whitney Pure Power engine for the Airbus A320neo. The company is also providing flexible shafts to activate bomb bay doors on the new Kawasaki P1 maritime patrol aircraft presently under development to replace the PC-3 fleet. The first two operational aircraft were delivered in March.