As launch customer Qatar Airways prepares to receive new Airbus A350s next year, the Arab operator will train using an operations department at the manufacturer’s Toulouse factory in southwest France. Until then, Airbus plans to conduct flight-test activities to mirror airlines operations at that facility.
Airbus began the 2,500-hour flight-test program for its new A350XWB when the new long-range widebody took off for the first time at almost exactly 10:00 a.m. local time in Toulouse, France, on Friday. The eagerly awaited first flight over southwestern France lasted slightly more than four hours and the twinjet, powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engines, safely touched down back in Toulouse at 2:05 p.m.
The 2013 Paris Air Show–the 50th since the biennial event started in 1909–opens on Monday with its exhibitor count at a 10-year high of 2,200 companies from 44 countries. Much of the pre-show excitement this week has been built on expectations that Airbus might take the opportunity to give its new A350XWB airliner a high-profile public debut.
Gore Design Completions of San Antonio, a seasoned and major player in the cabin completion and refurbishment industry, has been sold to MAZ Aviation, a Middle East aviation consulting firm based in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
On time, on spec, on budget is the motto of Zurich-based SR Technics (Booth 943), according to Jean-Marc Lenz, senior v-p, aircraft services. The company, wholly-owned by Mubadala Aerospace in Abu Dhabi, may be gearing up for global expansion, but the core of SR Technics is Swiss and for the moment, that core is in Zurich, according to Lenz.
One of the largest aircraft on display here at EBACE is a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 operated by Athens-based Amjet Executive (Booth 819), which has its charter business located here in Geneva. The aircraft is fresh out of the workshop having undergone a major overhaul that has turned an airliner workhorse into a VVIP transport that is fit for a head of state.
Boeing has started discussions with airline and leasing customers about technical, pricing and schedule aspects of the proposed 777X widebody, the company confirmed last week. It said it will decide whether or not to formally launch the program based on the market’s response.
Russia’s aircraft interiors industry achieved 15-percent growth in revenue last year, much of it from work on business and private aircraft. According to the country’s Association of Aviation Interiors Companies, its 17 members account for 90 percent of completions work for indigenously produced aircraft.
Lufthansa Technik said today at ABACE that it is the market leader of narrowbody and widebody VIP completions for Asian customers, having outfitted 16 of 21 bizliners based in the region. “Asia has one of the highest growth rates for the VIP aircraft market,” according to Lufthansa Technik senior vice president of marketing and sales Walter Heerdt. In China alone, the Hamburg, Germany-based company has completed a dozen bizliners, with five outfitted narrowbodies delivered last year. Heerdt said Lufthansa Technik will hand over four more completed bizliners this year in China.
Lufthansa Technik (Booth H108) proved here yesterday that it is the market leader of narrowbody and widebody VIP completions for Asian customers, having outfitted 16 of 21 bizliners based in the region. “Asia has one of the highest growth rates for the VIP aircraft market,” according to Lufthansa Technik senior vice president of marketing and sales Walter Heerdt.