European low-cost carrier Easyjet announced on the eve of the show that it will be the first airline to test the electric taxiing system that Safran and Honeywell are developing to save fuel (see page 58). With the first operational trials due to take place in 2013, Easyjet’s role will be to help establish whether the estimated savings can be realized. The system enables an aircraft to taxi without its engines, by using the auxiliary power unit to power electric motors in the main wheels.
European Low Fares Airline Association
Tough cost battles in the market segment where regional airlines and low-cost carriers converge are driving demand for Embraer’s E-Jet series, according to the Brazilian airframer.
The effort by UK low-fare regional airline Flybe and flagcarrier Finnair to break through European structural barriers to consolidation took shape last week with an agreement to jointly acquire Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA), a Finnish regional carrier owned by Finncomm Oy. The companies plan to create a new joint venture called Flybe Nordic, 60-percent owned by Flybe and 40 percent by Finnair.
In late April, scientists from Denmark’s University of Copenhagen and the University of Iceland in Reykjavik published the findings of an almost year-long study into last year’s eruption of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano.
Ryanair, at its annual general meeting today, called on the European Commission to end the ability of Europe’s air traffic control providers to strike, primarily by exposing them to competition under a market-based system.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary is pushing for single-pilot commercial aircraft operations.
Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) specialist SR Technics plans to build a new facility at Malta International Airport, with construction commencing soon, and to begin operating there in an existing hangar in the third quarter of this year. It hopes to benefit from lower labor costs in the region and from its location which gives the Switzerland-based group a foothold in the European Union.
UK carrier Easyjet is preparing to introduce a new cockpit system that could help its pilots avoid dangerous concentrations of volcanic ash. The Airborne Volcanic Object Identifier and Detector (Avoid) is a type of weather radar developed by Dr. Fred Prata of the Norwegian Institute of Air Research.
Embraer delivered two E170 regional jets to Bahrain’s Gulf Air during a ceremony at the manufacturer’s headquarters in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil, last month. The OEM handed over the aircraft in a two-class, 67-seat cabin configuration, as prescribed in a three-year lease agreement it signed with Gulf Air just after January’s Bahrain International Airshow. The deal includes a provision to extend the leases by another five years.
Boeing has landed a firm order from low-fare carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle for six new 737-800s, the manufacturer confirmed today. Norwegian Air Shuttle now accounts for firm orders for 48 Next-Generation 737s from Boeing and another 22 airplanes from leasing companies.