Two of the new breed of big regional jets from the Eastern Hemisphere reached some long-awaited milestones recently, namely the Russian certification of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 and the signing of the first firm order for the Mitsubishi MRJ by an airline based outside Japan.
Swiss aircraft services company Jet Aviation claims to have won the first contract for cabin completion of Boeing’s new 747-8. The Basel-based center’s in-house interior design studio was retained to design the cabin interior.
Embraer expects to achieve a commercial aircraft book-to-bill ratio of a little more than one this year, reflecting solid demand from an airline market that continues to show definitive signs of a sustained, if not robust, recovery.
Ovation Select, the cabin-management system from Honeywell, is nearing certification and the new cabin mockup, with production hardware and everything from HD monitors to iPad docks to surround-sound audio, was on display
at the NBAA Convention last month.
Although deliveries of smaller regional jets have dropped dramatically in the past few years, Forecast International expects growing numbers of jets to be delivered from 2010 through 2019. In its recent study, “The Market for Regional Transport Aircraft,” Newtown, Conn.-based Forecast International projects production of 4,016 regional turboprops and jets valued at $123 billion during the coming decade.
Mitsubishi has tried not to let lackluster sales tarnish an efficiently run development campaign for the MRJ regional jet, the first metal for which workers cut during a ceremony in Nagoya, Japan, last week. As promised, the program passed its detailed design reviews by the end of the summer.
Korean Air Lines is considering expanding its service on existing routes to China and Japan with 70- to 120-seat regional jets in two years. “We may inject the planes into routes operated by our budget carrier unit Jin Air as well,” said KAL chairman Cho Yang-Ho. KAL does not currently operate any regional jets; its smallest aircraft are 737-800s operated by its low-cost Jin Air division.
Bizliner Aviation has been formed to specialize in client and vendor support for owners and operators of bizliners, namely Boeing and Airbus single-aisle and widebodies, as well as others such as the Embraer Lineage. Currently there are more than 200 bizliners in service worldwide, with existing orders for more than 60 new aircraft, according to Bizliner Aviation’s director of aviation, Rodney Cook.
Brazil’s Embraer has given itself until the middle of this year to reach an agreement with its Chinese partners on adapting its assembly line in Harbin to produce 70- to 110-seat E-Jets.
Thus far, the bizliner completions sector has remained comparatively solid despite the effects of the recession on the rest of the industry. That relative immunity was most recently underscored by the partnership of London-based Andrew Winch Designs and Jet Aviation of Basel, Switzerland, which delivered a highly customized Boeing Business Jet for a private client.