While crewmen work on a United Arab Emirates air force F-16E/F after a demo flight, in the background construction workers are busy erecting a series of new hangars for Emirates’ new Airbus A380s. In addition to the hangars, Dubai International Airport is adding a new terminal and concourses to handle 70 million passengers.
As Airbus prepared to parade the A380 in Dubai, Boeing finally launched the Advanced 747 as a serious competitor. At a hastily called low-key unveiling in London last Tuesday, Alan Mulally, the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, announced orders for 18 B747-8 Freighters worth $5 billion from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA). Orders for the new passenger version will follow next year, he confidently predicted.
Having been selected by Boeing to provide zonal-drying equipment for the new Model 787 airliner, Sweden’s CTT Systems (Stand W607) is keen also to supply humidification kits for the aircraft, which has a large element of carbonfiber-reinforced plastic composites material in its airframe. Although the U.S.
Goodrich Corp. has won a contract to supply wheels and brakes for Etihad Airways’ fleet of new Boeing 777-300ERs. Abu-Dhabi-based Etihad, which bills itself as the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, placed an order for five of the airplanes late last year. It plans to take the first airplane on January 6.
Airbus’ solid sales showing at this year’s show continued yesterday with Kingfisher Airlines’ announcement that it would take another 30 Airbus A320-family jets starting in 2008. Meanwhile, almost simultaneously back in Toulouse, the company announced a deal with TAP Portugal for 10 A350s and seven A330-200s, scheduled for first deliveries in 2013 and 2007, respectively.
EADS Sogerma Services has come to the Dubai airshow (Stand No. C206) with a new strategy that it hopes will balance its books after a period of losses. According to Bernard Pommier, vice president of corporate communications, the key to the future of the wholly owned EADS subsidiary lies with its decision to reposition from its traditional aircraft maintenance business.
In the last financial year Emirates Airlines boosted its profits by 49 percent, to a record $637 million on $4.9 billion in revenues, which is up 36 percent year-over-year. Passenger numbers increased from 10.4 million to 12.5 million and the average load factor rose from 73.4 percent to 74.6 percent. Many European and Asian routes drew average loads of more than 90 percent.
Emirates Airline is constructing a new engineering center, engine test facility and headquarters–all of which it expects to open by January 2007. The $353 million engineering center will sit on a 136-acre site on the north side of Dubai International Airport and rank as one of the biggest civil aviation maintenance facilities in the world.
Exactly 20 years old this past October 25, Emirates Airline expects to continue its prolific growth of the past two decades by taking delivery of an average of one new aircraft a month until 2012, more than doubling its present fleet of 81 airplanes.
Airbus To Test Medical Site for Cabins Airbus is preparing to test a dedicated medical area intended to accommodate all the equipment that airlines need for dealing with in-flight emergencies or when carrying sick or injured passengers. Airbus plans to evaluate the new unit, which can go virtually anywhere in the cabin according to airline preference, on the first cabin-fitted A380 development aircraft during route-proving flights.