A German court has denied Lufthansa’s plea to forcibly end the latest strike by its pilots over a retirement benefits dispute, virtually ensuring that the airline must move ahead with plans to cancel the majority of short- and medium-haul flights to and from Frankfurt and suspend almost all long-haul traffic from that hub. The airline expects to operate about half of its planned short- and medium-haul flights from Munich during the strike period thanks to regional subsidiary Lufthansa Cityline, while roughly half of its mainline flights from Munich continue under a special flight plan published Monday afternoon.
Lufthansa Technik is offering a new “Executive Shuttle” VIP interior concept for Airbus and Boeing narrowbodies. The concept, which offers configurations varying from 20 to 52 passengers for the A320 family and 20 to 56 passengers for Boeing’s 737, offers a variety of cabin designs within a “manageable budget.”
The German company’s creative design department has developed 20 different cabin layouts for both aircraft families, from “an all-business/first-class configuration to more sophisticated versions with sleeping options, meeting and dining areas or private rooms.”
Airbus unveiled here at NBAA 2014 a new VIP widebody cabin concept, Summit, for the A330-200, featuring a floor plan with an executive configuration in the front of the cabin and airline style seating in the rear. The Summit is intended to appeal to customers, such as governments, that need to transport both a few passengers in VIP accommodations along with a larger group, such as a trade delegation and journalists. However, Airbus (Booth 5099, static display) believes Summit may also be popular with private buyers in the Middle East who often travel in a similar manner.
Bombardier unveiled its new Challenger 650 here at NBAA 2014 in Orlando, Fla. The Montreal-headquartered airframer (Booth 281) is refreshing its classic, 10-passenger Challenger 600 series with redesigned cockpit and cabin interiors and optimized GE CF34-3B MTO turbofan engines that will provide additional takeoff thrust on a limited basis to facilitate shorter takeoff distances, greater payloads and more range from “challenging” airports during high/hot operations. Planned maximum range of the new model is 4,000 nm (with six passengers and standard NBAA IFR reserves).
Honda Aircraft (Booth 5062) is ramping up production and expanding facilities at its Greensboro, N.C. headquarters as it prepares for certification and first deliveries of the $4.5 million (2010$) HondaJet HA-420 early next year, the company announced yesterday at NBAA 2014. It has also established the Honda Aviation Finance Co. and, as of today, started accepting loan applications from qualified HondaJet customers in the U.S. The first production HondaJet is on display at the Orlando Executive Airport NBAA static display.
BendixKing is showcasing its AeroVue integrated flight deck retrofit for King Air turboprops and its AeroWave satcom system for piston aircraft, turboprops and light jets, here at NBAA 2014.
AeroVue, a lower-cost derivative of parent company Honeywell’s Primus Apex system, is a complete glass-panel retrofit built around three 12-inch LCD screens. It includes a flight management system, autopilot, synthetic vision and Honeywell’s INAV functionality with electronic chart displays, as well as Internet connectivity via AeroWave 100.
In December the Comlux group is set to begin the expansion of the completions hangar at the Indianapolis, Ind. headquarters of its Comlux America division. The investment, announced at last year’s NBAA show, represents a leap of faith on the part of a company that believes rising demand for VIP completions of larger Airbus and Boeing aircraft will offset the relatively sluggish narrowbody sector.
Ten years on from NBAA’s 2004 show when Aerion first shared its dream of building a supersonic business jet, the company believes it is at last poised to turn this into reality with its new partner Airbus.
Dassault is preparing to fly two new Falcons–the Falcon 5X twinjet and the Falcon 8X trijet, both large-cabin business aircraft–in the first half of 2015. Five test aircraft are thus expected to grace Dassault’s Istres, France ramp by the end of next year. The 5,200-nm Falcon 5X was announced at the 2013 NBAA show and the 6,450-nm Falcon 8X a few months later at EBACE 2014.
In a deal that could be a preview for the red-hot helicopter leasing market, GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas, Booth 2631) announced October 13 that it plans to acquire helicopter leasing firm Milestone Aviation Group for $1.775 billion. The deal is expected to close next year.
Gecas, the U.S. and Irish commercial aircraft financing and leasing business of GE Capital, has a fleet of approximately 1,600 owned and serviced aircraft with more than 230 airlines. Gecas also provides spare engine leasing, aviation consulting services and spare parts financing and management.
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