The relationship between the world’s third-largest aircraft maker and China grew closer with the announcement here yesterday of a long-term investment commitment between Bombardier Aerospace and China’s state-controlled aviation manufacturing consortium, Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I).
Embraer is here at Le Bourget exhibiting a 170/175 regional airliner, its super-midsize Legacy 600 executive jet and scale models of its new four-seat Phenom 100 very light jet and nine-passenger Phenom 300 light jet. Production rates and deliveries of its regional jets and Legacy (the 100th twinjet was delivered in March) are picking up following difficulties with suppliers, and activity continues in China.
SATA Air Acores, the carrier that provides interisland transport in the Azores, has leased a third ATP twin-turboprop from BAE Systems Regional Aircraft to boost its fleet to five. Also, on June 15 the airline celebrated its 60th anniversary of scheduled operations.
Having passed responsibility for an engine for the planned Bombardier C Series 110- to 149-seat jetliner to its U.S. parent, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) says time devoted to the exercise has not been wasted. Rather, it is contributing to work on a 10,000- to 14,000-pound-thrust design–dubbed X10–aimed at a future generation of large business and corporate jets.
Bombardier has assembly plants in Wichita, Toronto and Montreal and manufacturing plants in Montreal, Belfast in the UK, and Querétaro in Mexico. But Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier president and chief operating officer, dismisses the notion that manufacturing in high-cost economies is an anachronism.
Current and future airplane use, fleet complexity and increased competition all will influence decisions about new aircraft by short-haul airlines, according to Jurgen Hild, head of regional partner management at German flag carrier Lufthansa.
German police arrested AvCraft Aviation CEO Ben Bartel last Wednesday at Frankfurt International Airport for tax evasion. Bartel, architect of a failed attempt to resurrect Germany’s Fairchild Dornier from bankruptcy, allegedly evaded €7 million ($8.53 million) in taxes through a fictitious transaction in the Cayman Islands.
As Bombardier prepares a financial foundation for the proposed launch of a new 115-seat jet, the Canadian company fired the opening salvo in what appears likely to degenerate into a new war of words over government support of aircraft programs.
AvCraft CEO Ben Bartel in late January announced the restart of Dornier 328JET production at the company’s plant in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, just outside Munich. Headquartered at Leesburg, Va., AvCraft one year ago acquired production rights for the 328/328JET and its corporate version, the Envoy 3, as well as for the stretched 428JET that might be developed later.
Bombardier acknowledged in late January that it has held “exploratory discussions” about collaboration in the turboprop market with Russian aircraft maker Aviacor, but it stopped short of confirming reports that it will transfer Q300 turboprop production to the underused factory, now owned by Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element holding company.