Controllers at Memphis International Airport started sending text messages to FedEx Express pilots in mid-January under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Data Communications (data comm) effort to replace voice communications for routine ATC instructions. Testers plan to expand the data comm trial to include United Airlines, FedEx and UPS aircraft at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey this summer.
FedEx Express, a division of FedEx, and its founder Fred Smith are the recipients of the NBAA’s Al Ueltschi Humanitarian Award, presented at yesterday’s opening ceremonies. For more than 30 years, NBAA said, FedEx has been the leading aviation sponsor of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, which travels the world with dedicated eye care professionals and aviators to give the gift of sight to people in developing countries.
Following up on Boeing’s recent bullish 20-year forecast for freighter aircraft demand, CEO Jim McNerney acknowledged that the market for freighters looks soft in the near term. Nevertheless, during the company’s third-quarter earnings call last Wednesday he noted that the company has “pretty much” filled all of next year’s delivery slots for its newest freighter–the 747-8F–and that, in the long term, the case for a robust freighter market remains “compelling.”
Air cargo will grow by an average of 5.2 percent annually over the next 20 years, according to Boeing. The U.S. airframer’s World Cargo Forecast 2012/13, published on October 3, predicts that the global freighter fleet will expand to nearly 3,200 aircraft by 2031. Boeing’s forecast is based on the assumption that worldwide gross domestic product will nearly double over the 20-year forecast period.
Last year commercial airline Volga-Dnepr had revenues of $1.741 billion and generated a net profit of $59.3 million. At the same time, its debts rose to $186 million and, by the company’s estimates, are expected to increase by a further $250- to $300 million during 2012 as Volga-Dnepr borrows more capital money for its Boeing 747-8F acquisitions.
An All Nippon (ANA) Boeing 767 was substantially damaged, possibly after a windshear encounter, during a hard landing June 20 on runway 16 Right at Tokyo-Narita Airport (RJAA). The aircraft had just arrived from Beijing-Capital Airport (ZBAA) with 193 people on board.
Lufthansa Technik and Global Aviation Holdings, a provider of passenger and cargo charter, have extended their existing cooperation for Global’s wholly owned subsidiaries World Airways and North American Airlines.
The two companies have signed a maintenance contract for up to nine World Airways MD-11s and a support contract for North American’s five Boeing 767-300ERs. Both contracts are for five years.
What did last week’s Singapore Airshow tell us about the state of air transport in the Asia Pacific region? Apart from highlighting Indonesia as being a pocket of pent-up demand for fleet modernization, the honest answer is not very much.
Global Aviation Holdings, the largest commercial provider of charter lift to the U.S. military, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization February 5 in New York. The company cited reduced rates paid by the military, the end of the war in Iraq, the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and decreased demand for commercial cargo services as driving its decision to seek relief from creditors.
The Cargo Airline Association (CAA), representing air cargo carriers in the U.S., has sided with the FAA in a lawsuit brought against the agency by UPS pilots over its flight crew member duty and rest rule, issued December 21.