Boeing says it can squeeze another 600 nm of range out of the new 777-200LR by adding three fuel tanks, giving the world’s longest-range commercial airliner the ability to fly in revenue service as far as 10,000 nm.
With the new Airbus A380 expected to begin operations in little more than ten months’ time, service-support companies are beginning to position themselves to offer maintenance and spares provision for the giant airliner.
Three years had passed since Boeing sold any passenger-carrying 747s when the company surprised the pundits last November by launching the 747-8 on the strength of a pair of orders from two cargo carriers.
Boeing subsidiary Alteon Training and Australian flag-carrier Qantas plan to offer third-party training services under a letter of intent signed here yesterday. The training will be offered at the two companies’ training centers in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Qantas expects the arrangement will permit it to make better use of its facilities and simulators in the latter two cities.
Pressure from a growing chorus of free market proponents has Qantas scrambling to prepare for a likely “phased” introduction of open skies with Singapore. But Australian prime minister John Howard’s apparent sensitivity to the flagcarrier’s concerns about government subsidies has no doubt buoyed spirits as it engages in a war of words with Emirates Airline over that Dubai-based carrier’s designs on more access to Australia.
Boeing employees who remember the sorry state of the airline industry and, frankly, their company during the last Asian Aerospace exposition in 2004 should savor this moment. A more rapid and complete recovery from the depths of fiscal malaise and corporate disfunction seems hard to imagine.
Saudi Arabia’s new low-cost carrier Sama last month became the latest operator to sign up for one of the integrated airline solutions (IAS) contracts offered by SR Technics (Hall 4 Stand B8). The five-year, $121 million deal will see the maintenance, repair and overhaul group provide full technical support for Sama’s fleet of Boeing 737-300s, including engineering and technical services, component support and logistics management.
One of the recurrent themes at the Toulouse workshop was the inability of ATC services to provide operators opportunities to use the navigation performance of modern aircraft. Boeing’s John Ackland and Thomas Fixy of the EADS/Airbus/Thales Air Traffic Alliance took the stage to spell out a joint position on RNP.
At one time or another most pilots have thought about how neat it would be to chop the throttles at FL300 or above and not touch them again until the airplane was on final. At one time that seemed impossible, but not anymore. UPS and Qantas have flown more than 200 such procedures successfully.
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