Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways plans to spend $750 million on its workforce, fleet, in-flight service and planning and resourcing systems to support record-breaking airplane and engine orders placed at the last Farnborough and Paris Air Shows.
Lufthansa Technik (LHT) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Oman Air to create the maintenance specialist’s first joint venture in the Middle East, with plans for building a hangar at Muscat airport. Operations are expected to start in 2012, when the hangar will be able to accommodate two widebody and two narrowbody aircraft. Some 300 technicians are to work there.
A series of new deals involving customers from the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent have fattened Honeywell Aerospace’s already substantial order book. Here at the Dubai Airshow this week, the U.S. group (Stand A470) expects to announce some $500 million worth of new business, anchored by contracts involving some of Dubai’s closest neighbors.
Qatar Airways (Stand C130) is again at the Dubai Airshow on Emirates Airlines’ home turf evidently to remind its rival that it can’t have this prosperous territory all to itself. Along with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, the Doha-based carrier has adopted a very high profile as it seeks to take a share of the market to provide long-haul connecting service through its Gulf hub.
Gore Design Completions in San Antonio has secured major contracts for the completion of two Airbus A340-500s. The contracts were signed in late August and work has already begun on engineering and design. The first airplane is scheduled for delivery to Gore Design toward the end of summer next year and the second will arrive in early 2011. They will be the fourth and fifth A340s finished
by the company since 2008.
The FAA today issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) on Airbus A330s and A340s that requires replacing certain Thales Avionics pitot probes with certain Goodrich or newer-design Thales probes. The AD requires compliance within 120 days. It intends to prevent airspeed discrepancies, which could lead to disconnect of the autopilot and/or auto-thrust functions and consequent increased pilot workload.
Virgin Atlantic Airways announced today that it signed a $2.1 billion firm contract to buy six Airbus A330-300s and lease another four from Netherlands-based lessor AerCap. The airline said it has financed all 10 deliveries via AerCap.
Orders for more than 1,400 A330s and A340s has been the Airbus reward for 15 years of continuous innovation, including the introduction of A340-600-technology flight deck, cabin, systems and structures upgrades across the range in 2002-04.
Pratt & Whitney has (Hall 5 B20-B30) frozen the design configuration of the PW1000G geared turbofans for both the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Bombardier C Series after finishing the final phase of demonstrator testing this past spring on an Airbus A340-600 testbed in and around Toulouse, France.
Gore Design Completions (Booth No. 1051) delivered its first Airbus A340 completion earlier this month, to a Middle Eastern customer. The project, considered a VVIP interior, consisted of a partial reconfiguration and refurbishment of a commercial airliner.