Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today there will be “no time limit” in the search for a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that has been missing since March 8. On March 28, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) announced that the search area for Flight 370 had been refined to a new location nearly 700 miles north of the earlier search region of the southern Indian Ocean.
Qatar has announced a raft of orders for new equipment worth around $23 billion, covering vehicles, vessels and aircraft, plus associated systems and weaponry. The announcements were made on March 27, which was the last day of the Dimdex show in Qatar’s capital Doha.
Japan’s ANA Holdings on March 27 said it will place firm orders for 70 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft, including the new Boeing 777-9X, additional 787 Dreamliners and new Airbus A320neos. ANA valued the order at $16.6 billion at list prices, the largest aircraft order in its history.
DAC International has received FAA parts manufacturer approval (PMA) for its electronic flight bag system, comprising the receiver processor unit, display and tray assemblies.
After 14 months of research into the design, manufacture and assembly processes behind the Boeing 787, the FAA, working closely with Boeing’s technical experts, has concluded the aircraft was soundly designed and meets its intended safety level. The FAA determined that the manufacturer and the agency had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recommended that Boeing address four “issues” related to manufacturing and supplier quality in a new report released on March 19. The report details the results of a joint review of the Boeing 787’s design manufacturing and assembly processes ordered after the January 2013 lithium battery fire aboard a Dreamliner parked at Boston Logan Airport. The review team also made recommendations for improved, “risk-based” FAA oversight to account for new business models.
Talk of production “bubbles” again colored the discourse at the March 16 to 18 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas 2014 conference in San Diego, even while OEMs in attendance insisted that record backlogs fully justify their planned rate increases. Manufacturers highlighted a strong backdrop for aircraft demand fueled by aging replacement needs, a 20-seat increase in the capacity of narrowbodies since 2007, emerging-market long-term capacity requirements and the global expansion of low-cost carriers, according to a research note from Sterne Agee.
Australia’s Defence Materiel Organization awarded Boeing Defense Australia a five-year contract extension valued at AUD $901 million ($819 million) to maintain Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) E-7A Wedgetail airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. Nearly half, or AUD $443 million, of the money will be spent in Australia, Defense Minister David Johnston said.
Airbus and Boeing released their outlooks for the Indian airliner market over the next two decades at the India Aviation show in Hyderabad this week, with both OEMs estimating different figures.
India’s SpiceJet has confirmed an order for 42 of Boeing’s new 737 Max 8 narrrowbodies. The $4.4 billion deal was previously logged as being for an unidentified customer by Boeing and was announced on Wednesday at the India Aviation show in Hyderabad, and includes changes to previously announced business.