Thales is opening a new facility in Singapore today that will employ more than 400 in activities encompassing its complete electronics and systems product portfolio. The France-based company also is set to announce a new long-term avionics spares and component maintenance deal with Hainan Airlines for the support of its Airbus A340-600 fleet.
Brazil’s Embraer has given itself until the middle of this year to reach an agreement with its Chinese partners on adapting its assembly line in Harbin to produce 70- to 110-seat E-Jets.
Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Company (HEAI) has reached an agreement with Hainan Airlines parent HNA Group to cut in half a firm order for 50 ERJ 145s assigned to Hainan subsidiary Grand China Express. As of April 30, the Chinese factory had delivered 12 ERJ 145s to Grand China under the terms of the original contract, signed in August 2006.
The first A320 aircraft assembled outside Europe at the Airbus Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin, China, completed its first flight on May 18, a little more than a month before scheduled first delivery to Dragon Aviation Leasing customer Sichuan Airlines. The milestone flight came amid aggressive moves to spark a recovery of China’s airline industry with direct government funding and loans.
Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Company (HEAI) has reached an agreement with HNA Group, owner of Hainan Airlines, to reduce the original firm order for 50 ERJ 145s to Hainan subsidiary Grand China Express from 50 to 25 airplanes. As of April 30, HEAI had delivered a total of 12 ERJ 145 jets to Grand China under the terms of the original contact, signed in August 2006.
Embraer delivered a record 204 airplanes last year, including 162 jets in the regional/commercial sector, leaving the company on what it hopes proves firm enough financial footing to readily absorb the economic “challenges” that lie ahead for this year.
Grand China Express (GCE), the country’s largest regional carrier, wants to be Asia’s biggest regional carrier. A subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, GCE has 38 aircraft serving 55 Chinese cities with more than 80 scheduled daily routes. “We aim to be the top player in Asia by 2012, grabbing 90 percent of the regional airline market,” said Chen Feng, chairman of Hainan Airlines, which ordered 50 E190s and 50 ERJ 145s for GCE in August 2006.
International Aero Engines has been awarded a follow-on order from Hainan Airlines for V2500 engines to power 13 Airbus A320s. Along with a long-term V2500Select aftermarket agreement, the deal is worth $350 million. The Chinese operator took delivery of the first of 20 V2500-powered A319s in June, becoming the latest Chinese airline to fly the Airbus narrowbody.
Chinese regional carrier Kun Peng Airlines has placed an order for five Embraer 190s in a deal that further sets the foothold the Brazilian manufacturer has gained in mainland China.
A virtually stagnant market for new commercial airplanes and a rapidly eroding capital base have convinced German airframe builder Fairchild Dornier to pursue a new “strategic” partnership with another large aerospace concern. “We are cash negative,” said company chairman Charles Pieper during a press briefing on the morning of Fairchild’s March 21 rollout of the 70- to 85-seat 728.