A Fokker 100 flown by Air France subsidiary Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne crashed immediately after takeoff on January 25 in Pau, southwest France. All four crewmembers and 50 passengers in the 100-seat jet evacuated safely, but one person on the ground was killed. The accident occurred at 11:28 a.m. local time, as the aircraft was departing for Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.
In early January, after years of controversy, the Brazilian government took delivery of a new head-of-state aircraft that will be used primarily to carry President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, his cabinet members and senior officials. The $56.7 million Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), named Santos Dumont after Brazil’s aviation pioneer, is replacing a geriatric Boeing 707 nicknamed Sucatão (the Portuguese term for “big heap of scrap metal”).
After returning to the business aviation industry in 2003, OceanAir Taxi Aeréo has expanded rapidly and now aspires to become one of the industry’s most important players in Brazil, with help in part from its partnership with Bombardier. “We spent much of last year getting organized, but we are now looking to this year as a year of consolidating our operations,” company director José Eduardo Brandão told AIN.
After a difficult year in 2003, Brazil’s largest executive charter company, TAM Taxi Aéreo Marília, saw better times last year, when its revenues increased to Real 105 million ($39.4 million)–up 15 percent from the previous year–with help from a recovery in the local economy. The increase in revenues was a result of growing demand on all fronts, including maintenance, aircraft sales and executive charter.
The Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) returns to São Paulo, Brazil, for the third annual staging of this groundbreaking event (March 31 to April 2). The show is organized jointly by ABAG, Brazil’s business aviation association, and the U.S. National Business Aviation Association.
At the Dubai Air Show last month, Tbilisi Aerospace Manufacturing (TAM) of Tbilisi, Georgia (the former Soviet Republic, not the Peachtree State), featured as part of its small stand a wall-size photograph of the twin-engine Maverick Jet kitplane.
Táxi Aéreo Marília (TAM) plans to transfer nearly all of its maintenance activity from São Paulo Congonhas Airport, Brazil, to the nearby Jundiaí Airport, where the company has already begun building a new hangar. The new facility is scheduled to open in midyear.
By the end of 2005, and perhaps even by the end of the show, Airbus expects to have booked commitments toward firm orders for 200 examples of the A350. This follow-on from the successful A330 twin-aisle twinjet, was launched less than seven weeks ago, and just 10 months after shareholders EADS and BAE Systems gave formal authority for the sales force to offer the aircraft.
Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing (TAM) has concluded an agreement with Oregon-based Epic Aircraft to license-build the Epic Jet and market it in East Europe. The all carbon fiber aircraft powered by two Williams FJ33 engines is scheduled to begin flight trials in the first quarter of next year, leading to certification in mid-2007.
In a deal three years in the making, the state-run airline Indian (formerly Indian Airlines) yesterday signed a firm order for 43 Airbus A320-family jets, marking the domestic carrier’s first fleet expansion in 15 years. Under the estimated $2.5 billion contract, deliveries will start in late October or early November and continue at a rate of one per month until March 2010.