To meet a perceived shortage of capacity and to increase customers’ choices, Airbus expects by year-end to complete qualification of a fifth center to complete corporate and VIP interiors for its jetliner products.
PrivatAir, the Geneva-based specialist for large executive aircraft charter, announced that it was at an advanced stage of evaluation of additional large aircraft for executive charter. Included on its possible shopping list are the new Airbus 350 and Boeing 787 airliners, which are expected to be on the market at the beginning of next decade.
Austrian charter operator Jet-Alliance (Booth No. 132) yesterday signed a firm order here for a CFM56-5-powered Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ). It will augment the almost 40 aircraft available from the Viennese company by providing long-range, large-cabin capacity, chief executive Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer told EBACE Convention News.
The Nordam Group (Booth No. 954) has hired Terry Gray as director of engineering and program management at its Interiors and Structures Division. Gray will be responsible for current and future programs planning as Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Nordam moves forward with engineering-driven manufacturing programs. Gray will report directly to Gary Ball, vice president and general manager, Interiors and Structures Division.
Emirates-CAE Flight Training here announced the signing of three contracts for its training center in Dubai. Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo Airlines will train its Airbus A320 pilots there (it last year ordered 100 A320s), so will oil producer Saudi Aramco for its Bell 412 helicopter pilots. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), too, has chosen the Emirates-CAE joint venture to train its Boeing 777 flight crews. PIA operates five 777s.
Boeing’s booming airliner programs are boosting the stock values of its suppliers and making them much more visible. As a consequence, first and second tier suppliers are increasingly likely to find themselves takeover targets, according to mergers and acquisitions expert Michael Richter.
EADS has found a solution to save 650 out of 1,050 jobs at the Bordeaux facility of its Sogerma Services subsidiary. France-based TAT group, which now operates its maintenance, repair and overhaul business under the Sabena Technics brand, is taking over the site’s maintenance activity. This will account for 500 employees. EADS will keep the aerostructures activity–another 150 jobs.
Described as a “sunrise platform” by Marc Lindsley, Northrop Grumman’s director of business development for the Airbus A330-based KC-30 program, the aircraft is perceived to be a worthy successor to the KC-135, which will still be around for many years. He points to the success of the A330 in winning both the Australian and UK air force tanker competitions in which a transport capability was an important requirement.
Companies within the McKechnie Aerospace group exhibiting in Hall 4 Stand G14 here at Farnborough International serve to highlight the complexity of modern airliners and just how important the smaller suppliers can be. For example, Hartwell–a member of its Structures group–has concluded an agreement with Aircelle to design and build a new fully remote, engine nacelle latching system for the Airbus A380.
Airbus’ confirmation that it is to go ahead with the A350 XWB, requiring much higher thrust engines than the original A350, has put the cat among the pigeons in the U.S. engine industry, with General Electric and Pratt & Whitney apparently poles apart on what they will offer.