Airbus reports no downturn in orders for its bizliners this year. “Our market is not affected,” said François Chazelle, vice president Airbus executive and private aviation, at a press conference here yesterday. “We could sell more aircraft, if it weren’t for the limited capacity at the completion centers, especially with our widebody aircraft.
Airbus A320 family
Lufthansa Technik, one of the world’s largest centers for interior completion and refurbishment of narrow- and widebody aircraft is expanding in a move designed to increase its capacity in the face of growing market demand.
At a press conference here yesterday, chairman August-Wilhelm Henningsen went into some detail regarding Lufthansa Technik’s recent growth in the U.S. and Switzerland.
Airbus (Booth No. 4776) announced here at the NBAA show that it has received 23 orders so far in 2008, including 14 for single-aisle models (five A318s and nine ACJs) and nine for widebodies (eight A350s and one A340). Many of these orders came from undisclosed customers, but Airbus did reveal the names of several buyers, including Jet Alliance (one ACJ and two A318 Elites) and Saudi Arabia-based MAZ Aviation (six A350s).
Snecma remains “very satisfied” with the performance of its Silvercrest core engine demonstration program despite its failure to secure a launch platform for the new-generation turbofan.
British air-taxi operator start-up FlairJet last month announced plans to start operations next May with a pair of Embraer Phenom 100s. It will lease the very light jets from an undisclosed Embraer customer in Europe that has 10 Phenom 100s on order. FlairJet has placed an order for one Phenom 100, which is scheduled for delivery in 2012. The company also has an option for another.
Germany’s DC Aviation, in a bid to become Europe’s largest operator of private jets, last month took delivery of a new Gulfstream G450, bringing its fleet to 31 business jets, ranging from the Learjet to the Airbus A319 ACJ. Delivery of the G450 follows the Stuttgart-based company’s May announcement that three Airbus A319 ACJs will join the fleet within 12 months. A total of 12 new aircraft will be added to the fleet this year.
India’s Kingfisher Airlines announced it will launch its first international service on September 3 between Bangalore and London Heathrow Airport. Kingfisher will serve the route with a new Airbus A330-200, the first of 10 on which it holds delivery positions. Indian law requires that an airline operate domestically for five years before authorities consider it for an international air transport license.
Airbus has inked a contract with Honeywell to upgrade the wingtip navigation lights on the A320 family with light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Intended to last 40 times longer than standard halogen lighting, the LEDs will be added to the production line starting next March. Honeywell’s LED wingtip bulbs last about 20,000 hours each, compared with 500 hours for a halogen bulb.
Swiss aircraft charter and management group Comlux Aviation is stepping up its efforts to become a full-service business aviation service group with the creation of new aircraft sales and completions divisions. The Zurich-based company has taken a
40-percent share in the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre in Toulouse and is establishing operational bases in Malta and Kazakhstan.
The 2008 Farnborough International airshow (held from July 14 through 20) largely confounded widespread predictions that provide clear evidence of an industry heading into a downturn. A fresh wave of airliner orders, mainly from carriers in the fast-growing Middle Eastern and Asian markets, bolstered Airbus and Boeing, along with their phalanx of global suppliers.