As oil and gas wells overflow in Kazakhstan, Air Astana–the national carrier of the newly enriched former Soviet republic–is looking deep into Asia to expand its network. Its inclusion on the European Union blacklist, which frustrates its ambitions to expand west, lies at the heart of its strategy. Air Astana’s discussions over a code-share partnership with Royal Jordanian, which follows an analogous strategy, is no coincidence.
Alaska Airlines has placed a firm order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 17 MAX 9s and thirteen 737-900ERs, the Seattle-based airline and Boeing announced today. Worth $5 billion at list prices, the contract covers the largest order in Alaska Airlines’ history and raises the carrier’s firm order count for 737s to 75.
Fokker Services Asia has agreed to join ATR’s maintenance, repair and overhaul network. The company has just opened a new facility in Singapore and will use this to support Southeast Asian operators of ATR’s twin turboprop regional airliners.
ATR has some 250 aircraft operating in the Asia Pacific region and another 80 on order. It is expected to announce more new business from the region at the Singapore Airshow today.
Boeing predicts the Asia-Pacific region will require more than 400,000 new commercial airline pilots and technicians over the next 20 years to support airline fleet modernization and the rapid growth of air travel. The 2011 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook calls for 182,300 new pilots and 247,400 new technicians in the Asia-Pacific region through 2030.
International Aero Engines (IAE) will begin to consider a “SelectThree” variant of its established V2500 turbofan around the end of 2011 as a potential follow-on to the SelectTwo version unveiled earlier this year and launched by Middle East operator Gulf Air.
China Airlines Opts for V2500 Engines
South Korea’s Jeju Air has placed an order with Honeywell to replace the wheels and brakes on its Boeing 737s. The terms of the contract have not been disclosed, but as part of the agreement the U.S. manufacturer also will provide spares for up to 15 of Jeju’s 737s.
AirAsiaX has placed firm orders for 10 Airbus A350-900 airliners. The Malaysian carrier will use the new widebodys to connect its Asian hub in Kuala Lumpur with cities in Europe and Australia. The value of the deal was not confirmed but at list prices it would be approximately $2.4 billion.
ATR landed a firm order yesterday for a pair of new ATR 72-500s from Vietnam Airlines, bringing to 16 the number of the 68-seat turboprops the Asian customer has ordered since 2001. During yesterday’s signing ceremony, the airline also accepted delivery of its fourth ATR 72-500 and the first in its new livery.
As part of the launch of its “new reality” simulator and services portfolio, Thales assembled a high-level panel of simulation and training industry professionals to discuss the challenges facing their industry as a result of falling margins, increasing overhead and more aggressive competition.