Airbus has begun airline crew training for its A350XWB customers about six months ahead of the new twin-aisle twinjet’s entry into service, scheduled for late this year, according to chief test pilot Peter Chandler, who flew the aircraft on its maiden flight in June 2013. He reports that the training syllabus has been developed and that the first A350 pilot course was under way last month, with access to a full flight simulator. Launch customer Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines have received demonstration flights.
Thai Airways International
Thailand’s air transport market continues to suffer from mounting political turmoil in the capital city Bangkok. Widely known as “Shutdown Bangkok,” anti-government protests have closed major road intersections throughout the city, including key routes to both Don Mueang International Airport and Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Controversial low-fare airline Norwegian Air Shuttle on Wednesday announced it has signed agreements to lease three new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for its long-haul operation, in an interim move to shore up its fleet while it awaits U.S. Department of Transportation approval to fly more 787s to the U.S. under an Irish license.
Airbus is here at ABACE highlighting the cabin features of its ACJ319, which the OEM feels is particularly well suited to Asian needs. Approximately 25 ACJs (the ACJ319 being only one of the models Airbus is offering as a business jet) are based in the Asia Pacific region.
Leasing groups Amadeo and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) yesterday pushed the airliner orders tally for the 2014 Singapore Airshow close to $30 billion, with separate deals for up 60 new aircraft. Amadeo, which up until Monday this week was known as Doric Lease Corp., firmed up an order for 20 Airbus A380s that had been the subject of a memorandum of understanding signed at the last Paris Air Show in June 2013. Meanwhile DAE inked a $1 billion contract with ATR for up to 40 ATR 72-600s turboprops.
Asia Pacific governments have long considered development of their aerospace industries a prime opportunity for technology renewal and overall economic growth. Several big OEMs have answered the call to help, allowing countries such as Singapore and Malaysia to develop into some of the world’s most active aerospace manufacturing, services and technology centers. Others, such as the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, show particular promise due to their rapidly expanding economies and young, energetic populations hungry for jobs.
Airbus Military has embarked on a major program to assist the Indonesian aerospace industry expand its capabilities and to put the plane-maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI - Indonesian Aerospace) back on its feet after suffering heavy losses accumulated after the Asian economic crisis in the late 1990s. In October the two companies signed a teaming agreement defining the initiatives of the initial 18-month phase of the recovery plan, following a strategic collaboration agreement signed last July.
Business aviation activity is picking up in Thailand, with the Southeast Asian country enjoying a period of relative political stability after the recent general election. According to Bangkok-based bizav services group MJets, traffic levels at the capital’s Don Mueang Airport are about 20 percent higher than in 2010, with its FBO handling an average of 50 movements each month.
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) announced yesterday it has completed an agreement to lease six Boeing 787-8s and two new 787-9s to Thai Airways. The agreement also includes options on another two 787-9s.
All the leases cover a 12-year term. The agreement calls for Thai Airways to receive the eight 787s between 2014 and 2017.
ILFC stands as the largest customer for the 787, with 74 aircraft on order.
A UK court has ordered Bangladeshi carrier United Airways to stop trading under its current name after a June 24 ruling in London that it had illegally violated the trademark of U.S. giant United Airlines.
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