United Arab Emirates national carrier Etihad Airways celebrated its fourth birthday last week by introducing an interline agreement with Australian operator Virgin Blue that connects its 45-destination network with 22 Australian cities through Brisbane and Sydney. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad will increase frequency to Sydney from one daily flight to 11 flights a week next March; it flies to Brisbane three times a week.
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Goodrich Corp. (Stand W436) opened its new maintenance and repair facility in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone (JAFZA) just over three weeks ago. This Wednesday during the Dubai Air Show, the aerospace systems and services supplier will host an opening ceremony for customers, senior executives and other guests.
N3 Engine Overhaul Services–a joint venture between Rolls-Royce (Stand W206) and Lufthansa Technik (Stand C518)–opened officially in September. It is the latest in a global network of Trent engine overhaul facilities.
Boeing has pushed back by three months production of the first 747-8, the latest iteration of its venerable flagship, citing a need to avoid “operational risk” as it switches from the manufacture of the current 747-400 model. The move will provide additional time for completion of engineering work for the new variant.
With a characteristically nimble response to market demand, Emirates Airline hastily re-scheduled an announcement here yesterday of more than $30 billion worth of aircraft orders to accommodate the presence of Dubai ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
With construction under way on the new Dubai World Central airport, the existing Dubai International Airport (DXB) is continuing to grow, as planned, to allow it to be capable of handling 68 million pasengers in 2010, although current projections foresee an actual throughput of 50.8 million at that time (see chart). Here at the Dubai Air Show, the airport authority is unveiling a new logo and name.
All jetliners might look alike to anyone who thinks that an airplane is an airplane is an airplane. And, yes, to the casual observer there is great similarity between Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s, and much in common between A330s and 777s. Even the mighty new A380, with its low, swept wings and four underslung engines, follows established trends apart from a full-length upper deck–and that also has been tried before.
Thales Aerospace hopes a proactive approach to customer services will help it both win repeat business for its avionics and in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and sustain the investment needed to develop new products.
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.
Introduction of A380 flights is being seen by Airbus as a precursor to “a new wave of orders” for the airliner. The European airframer’s Asia Pacific executive sales vice president, Edouard Ullmo, said earlier this year there likely would be a hiatus as prospective A380 operators considered the aircraft’s initial operations with Singapore Airways (SIA) before choosing between it and the Boeing 747-8I (or the smaller 777).