Following a fierce bidding process, Jet Aviation’s Basel, Switzerland completion and refurbishment center has won a contract from Dubai Air Wing to outfit two Boeing 747-400s. The airline interiors of both airplanes will be removed and the airframes overhauled before installation of the new executive/VIP cabins. A Jet Aviation spokesman said the contract represents the biggest cabin outfitting order ever received by the center.
Since Connexion by Boeing was announced four years ago, the service has matured from tantalizing possibility to in-service reality.
Lufthansa Airbus A340-300s and -600s are already providing the service on the carrier’s Munich-Tokyo and Munich-Los Angeles routes, and the first Connexion-equipped All Nippon Airlines and Scandinavian Airline System (SAS) aircraft should be in service this fall.
It’s really, really big, and as an executive transport, the giant Airbus A380–unveiled in Toulouse, France, last month– will be the biggest and most complex challenge ever to roll into an independent completion center hangar to be outfitted for executive or personal use.
The FAA on Friday is expected to publish a widespread proposal that would require operators and manufacturers of airliner-size airplanes to incorporate technology to meet reduced levels of flammability exposure in fuel tanks (particularly center wing tanks) “most prone to explosion.” The rules would apply to new airframe designs, as well as some 3,200 U.S.-registered Airbus and Boeing airplanes with center wing tanks currently in operation.
As the Paris show opened, Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) announced a significant boost to the 747-400 freighter conversion program conducted by its subsidiary, Bedek Aviation Group. Rabobank of the Netherlands has become the first customer to choose Bedek for a full passenger-to-freighter conversion, with an order for two.
Everything is going very well with the Rolls-Royce Trent 900, which has logged more than 400 engine hours aboard the Airbus A380 since the very large airliner’s April 27 first flight, according to managing director (airline) Charles Cuddington. With almost 20 flights completed by the beginning of June, initial engine performance is said to be “better than spec,” reflecting earlier experience on the A340 flying testbed.
The General Electric GEnx turbofan is one of the two new engine families under development for the 787, but will be the sole option for the new 747, in a 66,500-pound-thrust version which is designated GEnx-2B67. It has the same core but a different fan and fan case.
As Airbus prepared to parade the A380 in Dubai, Boeing finally launched the Advanced 747 as a serious competitor. At a hastily called low-key unveiling in London last Tuesday, Alan Mulally, the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, announced orders for 18 B747-8 Freighters worth $5 billion from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA). Orders for the new passenger version will follow next year, he confidently predicted.
Pratt & Whitney has signed the biggest airline spare parts management deal in its history, in a $1.6 billion contract with United Airlines. More than 60 percent of United’s engines now come under P&W care.
In the last financial year Emirates Airlines boosted its profits by 49 percent, to a record $637 million on $4.9 billion in revenues, which is up 36 percent year-over-year. Passenger numbers increased from 10.4 million to 12.5 million and the average load factor rose from 73.4 percent to 74.6 percent. Many European and Asian routes drew average loads of more than 90 percent.