Associated Air Center (AAC) delivered its first green Airbus A330-200 VVIP widebody completion last month. The project for a prominent, undisclosed customer included a fully customized cabin with full front and rear galleys and a stand-up shower. The equipment installed at the company’s Dallas facility included a high-speed connectivity satcom, high-definition in-flight entertainment, sound insulation throughout the cabin and a complete zonal drier and humidification system.
AAR has secured multiple contracts for work to be done at its newest maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Lake Charles, La. These contracts, including agreements with two major U.S. carriers, represent a milestone for the repair station, which began operations at this location a year ago. With these commitments, AAR’s Lake Charles MRO has begun supporting a customer mix of major U.S. carriers, leasing institutions and private operators covering widebodies such as the Airbus A330 and A340 and Boeing 767 and 777.
Announcing a record statutory after-tax loss of A$2.8 billion ($2.6 billion) on August 28, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said that the Australian flag carrier has “come through the worst” as it navigates an aggressive cost-cutting program announced in February 2014.
Airbus is working hard to complete the A350 flight-test campaign, which it hopes to close by the end of August in preparation for formal European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) airworthiness approval in September. By early last week, the five A350 test aircraft had logged 2,189 hours during 516 flights that involved more than 1,360 take-off/landing cycles.
This year, L-3 Aviation (Chalet A10-15) should generate more than $500 million in sales, according to Ralph DeMarco, v-p of marketing and sales. The five divisions include Aviation Communication and Surveillance Systems (ACSS) in Phoenix, Arizona, which is an L-3 and Thales joint venture; L-3 Aviation Recorders in Sarasota, Florida; L-3 Avionics Systems in Grand Rapids, Michigan; L-3 Display Systems in Alpharetta, Georgia; and L-3 Electronics Systems Services in Canada.
Rolls-Royce (Hall 4 Stand H3) is maintaining a continuous effort to improve in-service Trent performance, both for production engines and as retrofits. The newest version of the Trent 1000–the TEN for the Boeing 787-8,-9 and -10–is to be certified next year.
Prospects for the much-anticipated launch of the Airbus A330neo appeared to be strengthening on the eve of the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow. While the European airframer was officially remaining tight-lipped on plans for the re-engined model, this has done little to dispel Reuters and Bloomberg reports of a launch announcement this week, citing sources close to the program. In particular, Hawaiian Airlines confirmed that it is actively considering the A330neo as a possible alternative to the A350-800.
Airbus DS is at an advanced stage of selling A330 MRTTs to three more countries. Qatar has selected to buy two pod/boom-equipped aircraft, while India has selected the A330 with Rolls-Royce engines and a pod/FRU tanking configuration. Airbus has finalized negotiations, including offset packages, and has pre-signed the contract. A signature is hoped for before the end of the year.
Airbus Defence and Space Military Aircraft (Outdoor Exhibit 13) has announced that it will begin deliveries of an improved version of the A330 multi-role tanker transport in late 2017. The initial A330 MRTT Enhanced aircraft will be the first of six that were ordered by Singapore earlier this year. Subsequent production aircraft will all be of the new version.
SriLankan Airlines appears poised to expand its reach into the neighboring Indian air transport market after becoming the 14th member of One World alliance late last month. The move is a boost to a country trying to bounce back after a 25-year civil war and also makes SriLankan the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to gain admission into a global airline alliance—ahead of rival operators in the far larger Indian market.
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