BAE Systems is making another push to promote executive and corporate shuttle applications for its out-of-production 146/Avro RJ series of regional airliners.
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.
Airbus To Test Medical Site for Cabins Airbus is preparing to test a dedicated medical area intended to accommodate all the equipment that airlines need for dealing with in-flight emergencies or when carrying sick or injured passengers. Airbus plans to evaluate the new unit, which can go virtually anywhere in the cabin according to airline preference, on the first cabin-fitted A380 development aircraft during route-proving flights.
An undisclosed Saudi Arabian company has ordered a VIP-configured Airbus A340-200. The aircraft, renowned as the world’s longest commercial airliner, is to be delivered green by the end of 2006 and sent for outfitting to an s-yet-unannounced completions center. Jeddah-based National Air Services will operate the A340 on behalf of he client. NAS already flies a fleet of VIP A320 jetliners, including one for the same customer.
The number of business jets registered in Middle Eastern countries has grown by about one-fifth over the past 10 years. By the standards of other still emerging markets like Europe (45 percent growth over the same period), the Middle East’s 18-percent fleet growth doesn’t inspire awe. It does, however, dwarf the 8-percent hike seen in Asia–a market over which most business aircraft makers salivate.
With local airline Emirates set to receive more than 40 Airbus A380s, not to mention those examples destined for neighboring competitors Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, this area will figure prominently in the operations of future very large airliners (VLAs), according to industry predictions.
Airbus is competing with Russia’s Ilyushin-Finance Co. (IFC) and Tupolev for a Syrian government tender to supply seven airliners to Syrian Air. When Syria issued the tender in February this year, the stated requirement called for four 185- to 225-seat narrowbodies as replacements for six Boeing 727s and three Tupolev Tu-154s, and three 280- to 320-seat widebodies to replace a pair of Boeing 747SPs.
Although very light jets (VLJ) will be operating at the same altitudes (including RVSM airspace) as and mingling with airliners and larger business jets, there is no requirement that the small jets be equipped with TCAS or TAWS because they do not meet the minimum seat configuration as spelled out in Parts 91 and 135.
On one thing Boeing and Airbus agree: the Asia/Pacific region will generate enough demand for their products to keep them busy building lots of airplanes over the next two decades. Both companies say they expect to see the vast area spanning from northeast Asia to New Zealand and across to India account for nearly as many aircraft deliveries as North America or Europe, and both expect China to lead the way.
High-end, Geneva-based cabin refurbishing specialist Burnet Interiors is boosting its skilled workforce from 18 to 25 to meet rising customer demand. Simultaneously, its 7,500-sq-ft facility on the northwest side of Geneva International Airport is growing by 15 percent, although the company would like to expand that as well.