Kabul-based Ariana Afghan Airlines has agreed to lease two Boeing 757-200s from Boeing Capital and to buy four 737-700s. Following a formal signing of contracts here in Dubai, the 757s will be delivered this month, while the 737s are slated for delivery from 2009. The 757 deal includes training of flight- and cabin-crew, as well as maintenance staff and engineers.
Boeing Business Jets is ready to offer a BBJ 3 based on the biggest and longest-range member of the new generation 737 family, the 737-900ER, and is about to convene the first 787 completion center conference to address requirements for VIP versions of the 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing’s ability to use the same engine for the 737-900ER as it uses on the standard -900 undoubtedly helped the company justify its investment in the project, but that doesn’t mean the newest 737 won’t benefit from new powerplant technology.
Five years had passed since Boeing added a new member to the 737 family, leaving many wondering whether engineers in Seattle had finally stretched the airframe’s capabilities to its practical limits. Then came the July launch of the 737-900ER, and suddenly it seemed clear that the market hadn’t yet gotten its fill of arguably the most commercially successful civil airplane line ever conceived.
Boeing subsidiary Alteon Training has begun building regional training center here in Singapore. Located near Changi Airport, the new training facility will have the capacity to train 6,000 pilot and flight attendant students annually.
In an unprecedented move, Pratt & Whitney is to manufacture components for an engine it competes with, the CFM56, in order to capitalize on the lucrative spares market for the General Electric/Snecma powerplant.
CFM International is on track to offer major performance and emissions improvements to operators of the CFM56 following completion of an extensive flight test program of its Tech Insertion package. Based on developments from the Project Tech56 program, the upgrade will provide Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 operators with longer time on wing, 5 percent lower maintenance costs and up to 20 percent lower emissions of oxides of nitrogen.
Fast-growing Indian carrier SpiceJet is increasing fleet capacity by more than 2,000 seats with the planned $700 million conversion of options held on 10 Boeing 737-800s, of which five will be taken as 215-passenger -900ERs. The aircraft, which will be delivered over two years beginning October next year, will bring SpiceJet’s fleet to at least 15 aircraft. In addition, the low-cost operator has taken options on a further 10.
Two Indian airlines have between them chosen General Electric CF6-80E1, GEnx and GE90-115B engines worth more than $2.5 billion to power new Boeing aircraft while a third has opted for GE/Snecma CFM56-5Bs to power its new Airbus A320s.
Snecma Services is looking forward to establishing a new CFM56 engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) shop in India. The expected rapid growth of the Indian air transport market is calling for setting up such a facility by 2008. Currently, there is no CFM shop in the country and the French-based company maintains its customers’ engines in Europe.