26.07.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-07-28 - News in BriefNews in Brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> Boeing has signed a commercial contract with the government of Germany for the production of Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions (LJDAM) and integration support on Tornado aircraft, marking the first international sale of the LJDAM weapon system. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

LJDAM consists of the standard JDAM guidance tailkit and a Precision Laser Guidance Set (PLGS) kit that acquires and tracks laser target signals. The weapon is designed to accurately and effectively engage both stationary and fast-moving targets. The tailkit and laser guidance set are attached in the field to convert 500-pound bombs into precision laser-guided munitions. Delivery of the kits is expected to begin in mid-2009. The order includes options for additional kits in 2009.
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An American Airlines 767-300ER equipped with Aviation Partners Boeing Blended Winglets took to the skies for the first time at 1:50 p.m. central time Sunday July 20th. The newly modified aircraft flew a ferry flight from Kansas City, Missouri to San Bernardino, California where it will undergo two months of certification and winglet performance flight testing. The Blended Winglet installation, along with necessary wing and aircraft systems modifications, was performed by American Airlines employees at their Kansas City Maintenance Base. The 11 foot tall (3.4m) Blended Winglets are manufactured for Aviation Partners Boeing by GKN Aerospace, based on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. The wing modification kit was manufactured by the team of LMI Aerospace, Contour Aerospace, and Honeywell Consumable Solutions. FAA and EASA certification of 767-300ER Blended Winglets is anticipated for November of this year with entry into revenue service following in December. "The 767-300ER Blended Winglet program launch has been our most successful to date," says Aviation Partners Boeing's President and CEO, John Reimers. "We are four months away from expected certification and already have firm commitments for over 130 systems from 10 different airlines. As a result, we are currently sold out of 767-300ER Blended Winglet Systems through November of 2009."
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Boeing and the government of Qatar signed an agreement on July 21 for the purchase of the C-17 Globemaster III airlifter to provide new strategic-airlift mobility capabilities for the Qatar Armed Forces (QAF). Qatar will sign a Foreign Military Sales agreement for contractor logistics support with the U.S. Air Force. "The QAF is very pleased to be acquiring C-17s," said H.E. Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Ali Al-Attiyah, chief of staff, Qatar Armed Forces. "The C-17 Globemaster III is a world-class strategic and tactical airlifter that has proven itself repeatedly around the world. This agreement marks a new era in Qatar's ability to provide strategic airlift in support of our military and humanitarian operations."
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The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)  handed over the first European Single Production Organisation Approval (SPOA) certificate to Airbus. This "single" certificate replaces the previously existing national Production Organisation Approvals issued by the French, German, Spanish and UK National Aviation Authorities (NAAs). While the Agency is responsible for the certification of production organisations located outside the European Union, it can, as in this case, approve European organisations on request of EASA Member States. "Issuing a Single Production Organisation Approval certificate to Airbus is of great value for the manufacturer. It is the proof that EASA and the National Aviation Authorities work hand in hand and support each other", said Patrick Goudou, EASA's Executive Director. The EASA POA confirms an organisation's ability to manufacture aviation products according to European safety standards. It also verifies that a global quality framework for the management, responsibilities, procedures and resources has been established.
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Bombardier Aerospace and Parker Aerospace announced that Parker has been selected as the exclusive supplier for a period of ten years of fly-by-wire flight control systems for all new Bombardier widebody aircraft programs requiring this technology. Parker Aerospace will develop a complete, state of the art generic fly-by-wire system from stick to surface, that will then be customized and manufactured for each aircraft program, starting with the CSeries. Parker estimates that this has the potential to generate revenues of US $3.5 billion over the life of the programs. "This approach to the design, development and manufacture of a system that can be applied to a number of aircraft programs will provide us with increased reliability, reduced development cycle, and an overall improved value proposition," said Francois Caza, Vice President and Chief Engineer, Bombardier Aerospace. "Through this arrangement we will be able to simplify and improve our service and support structure."
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GE-Aviation has been selected by AgustaWestland to provide the Integrated Cockpit Display System on 70 Future Lynx and 30 Merlin Capability Sustainment Plus (MCSP) aircraft for the UK Ministry of Defence. The contact is valued at more than $55 million over the next ten years with production deliveries commencing in early 2009. The integrated cockpit display system utilizes the latest technology including a smart 10" x 8" Integrated Display Unit (IDU), flexible & adaptable Remote Interface Unit (RIU) and 2 nd Generation Integrated Standby Instrument System (ISIS). GE's Cockpit Display System on the Future Lynx and MCSP enhances operational efficiencies through commonality with other MOD and AgustaWestland cockpit display suites such as the AW101 and Super Lynx 300.
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Hawker Beechcraft Corporation announced it has been awarded a defense contract by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) with an estimated value of $48 million. The contract is for six modified Beechcraft King Air 350 turboprops to replace six of their current UC-12 aircraft. The Beechcraft King Air family, which has been in USMC service for more than 20 years, is the world's best selling turboprop line of all time and the King Air 350 is the flagship aircraft in the line. Included in the contract are options allowing for replacement of the remaining UC-12 aircraft in their fleet. The contract comes as part of the fiscal 2007 and 2008 defense bills passed by Congress.
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Boeing announced that DIRECTV Inc. has taken on-orbit delivery of the DIRECTV 11 satellite, which will continue to expand DIRECTV's industry-leading lineup of high-definition television channels and services to millions of households in the United States. Sea Launch launched DIRECTV 11 March 19 on a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket from the launch services company's equatorial launch site in the Pacific Ocean. (Boeing is a 40 percent partner in Sea Launch.) The newest spacecraft in DIRECTV's fleet will begin transmitting additional national high-definition signals for the nation's leading satellite TV provider, and expand DIRECTV's HD platform to up to 150 national channels and local HD channels in well over 100 markets by this fall. DIRECTV 11 is the fourth Ka-band Boeing 702 satellite built for DIRECTV at Boeing's satellite manufacturing facility in El Segundo, Calif. The facility encompasses approximately 1 million square feet and is the largest state-of-the-art dedicated satellite factory in the world.
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Contrary to news reports, NASA has not officially or unofficially been discussing the purchase of H-II Transfer Vehicles (HTV) -- uninhabited resupply cargo ships for the space station -- from the Japanese Space Agency, or JAXA. NASA is committed to domestic commercial cargo resupply to the space station and does not plan to procure cargo delivery services from Japan. As part of our original agreements as compensation for common system operating costs NASA has limited cargo capability on the Japanese and European cargo vehicles. NASA has recently issued a request for proposal for the cargo needs of International Space Station beyond those supplied by our current international agreements. NASA has chosen to depend on commercial resupply of cargo delivery to the station.
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AgustaWestland announced that the Qatar Armed Forces has signed a contract for 18 AW139 medium twin helicopters. These aircraft will be operated by the Qatar Emiri Air Force supporting various government agencies to perform several roles including utility, troop transport, search and rescue, border patrol, special forces operations, law enforcement and homeland security. The contract value is in excess of €260 million and includes crews training and initial spares package. This contract marks the continued success of the AW139 in the Middle East market with over 100 units now sold in the region. This order increases the sales total to more than 370 helicopters ordered by over 100 customers in nearly 40 countries. Additionally, this order further expands the success of the military-configured AW139 in the market having already been ordered by the Irish Air Corps and the UAE Armed Forces. An Irish Air Corps' AW139 helicopter was recently showcased in the AgustaWestland static display at Farnborough International Air Show 2008. 
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Copa Airlines, a subsidiary of Copa Holdings Boeing announced Copa's order for two Boeing 737-800 aircraft for delivery in 2010 and 2011. The new order continues Copa Airlines' fleet expansion plan and reflects an increase in its orders for Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft from seven to nine, with options for future orders.
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The air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and the civil aviation and military authorities of the six States, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland have carried out a detailed feasibility study on the creation of a socalled Functional Airspace Block (FAB). The study shows that a FAB Europe Central (FABEC) will provide considerable improvements in the efficiency of air traffic services. According to the study, safe and punctual air traffic control services in a growing market will be possible in the future if air traffic control is no longer organised mainly across national borders. All partners from the six States (States, military and ANSPs) welcomed the results of the study. The States are now analysing the study with a view to deciding on the creation of a legal basis for a common FABEC. They also have to decide how the military should be involved. The implementation requires a dual approach: the States are scheduled to sign a Declaration of Intent in November 2008. To create the final institutional basis, a Treaty is expected to be signed in 2010. In parallel, the ANSPs have already begun to initiate activities which can be undertaken within the current legal framework and are in line with a possible common airspace. To combine these activities a common project was launched. Officially launched in November 2006, the detailed FABEC Feasibility Study has provided an ambitious range of cooperation initiatives. Up to 240 experts shared their expertise and created, over a period of 18 months, a common perspective on the future of air navigation services in a high-density area with the hubs of Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels and Zurich. FABEC also promises to be a cornerstone of the Single European Sky (SES), the initiative launched by the European Commission and enshrined in EU legislation since 2004.
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Cessna has achieved European Aviation Safety Agency certification to deliver Caravan models with Garmin G1000 integrated avionics as standard equipment. Cessna earned Federal Aviation Administration certification for the upgraded configuration and began deliveries in April. "We took a record 272 Caravan orders in 2007, and orders continue to be brisk this year," said John Doman, Cessna vice president of worldwide propeller aircraft sales. "We have significantly increased production rates, and we're looking forward to starting deliveries of the upgraded Caravans in Europe." Cessna customers now will find the G1000 package on every aircraft ranging from the Skyhawk single-engine piston through the Citation Mustang entry-level business jet.
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The advanced Aerial Refueling Boom System (ARBS) for Northrop Grumman Corporation's KC-45 Tanker has performed multiple aerial contacts with an operational Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, confirming its ability to support large aircraft in U.S., NATO, and allied air forces. The test mission fulfilled several key flight and program milestones for the KC-45's all-electric, fly-by-wire Aerial Refueling Boom System, including sustaining one of the tanker-to-receiver aircraft contacts to simulate large offloads. The continued successful testing of the ARBS is further indication of the boom system's maturity and readiness for the U.S. Air Force's next generation KC-45 Tanker. The July 18 test used the exact ARBS configuration proposed for the KC-45. It was controlled by a former U.S. Air Force boom operator. The KC-45's all-electric ARBS provides highly accurate, reliable in-flight refueling, with a maximum nominal fuel flow rate of 1,200 U.S. gallons per minute. Because this boom has the largest envelope of any available in the industry, both the AWACS crew and the boom operator were impressed with the relative ease and efficiency of the refueling operation -- which replicated conditions of operational mission scenarios with the KC-45 boom and the large receiver aircraft. This follows previous in-flight evaluations that confirmed the ARBS' excellent handling qualities with large receiver platforms along with smaller and faster combat aircraft that has included the F-16, F-1, F/A-18 and C101 in previous testing.
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Lars Prahm, Director-General of EUMETSAT, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman & CEO of Arianespace, signed the launch Service & Solutions contract for the MSG-4 meteorological observation satellite in Kourou, French Guiana, during an informal meeting of European space ministers. The MSG-4 satellite is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2013 by an Ariane 5 or Soyuz launcher, from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport, in French Guiana. This is the tenth satellite for which the intergovernmental organization EUMETSAT has chosen an Ariane launch. Arianespace has already launched the MSG-1 and MSG-2 satellites, and will launch MSG-3 in 2010. Built by Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, southern France, MSG-4 will weigh about 2,000 kg at launch. It will have 12 channels, and is capable of transmitting images every 15 minutes. MSG-4 will ensure the continuity of European meteorological services, and will provide the data needed for weather forecasting and climate/environment monitoring in Europe and neighbouring continents.
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At 16:40 on July 9, 2008, Ukraine International Airlines operated its inaugural flight number PS4998 of its new Boeing 737-300SF freighter that was ordered earlier this year. The first flight to Vienna International Airport (VIE) was operated jointly with Austrian Airlines and returned to Ukraine with 17 tons of cargo. This aircraft marks a major change in capacity and flexibility as in the past the majority of cargo operations were on older aircraft many of which are now unable to fly into the EU due to new noise and emissions standards.
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The Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) Space Segment team has completed a successful demonstration of its new-generation High Power Hall Current Thruster (HPHCT) electric propulsion system designed for use on the U.S. Air Force's TSAT constellation. TSAT will provide thousands of military users with wideband, highly mobile, beyond line-of-sight protected communications to support network-centric operations for the future battlefield. Developed by Lockheed Martin and Aerojet, the Hall Current propulsion technology provides significantly improved fuel efficiency over conventional chemical propulsion systems. The Hall Current Thruster system will be used for both orbit transfer, as well as on-orbit station keeping. Aerojet has over 30 years of experience developing and supplying the electric propulsion needs for critical military, civil and commercial satellites.
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Adaptive Materials' solid oxide fuel cell systems recently powered AeroVironment's PUMA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on a hand-launched test flight. In its first PUMA test flight, Adaptive Materials' fuel cell system provided enough power for a test flight lasting more than seven hours. Throughout the seven-hour flight, Adaptive Materials' fuel cell system also provided power for PUMA to carry and run two stationary surveillance camera systems. "The fact that Adaptive Materials powered PUMA with our solid oxide fuel cell system is an accomplishment, but the real achievement is that we provided enough power for a long duration flight that stayed on course in 20 MPH wind while carrying a heavy sensor package," explained Adaptive Materials' chief business officer Michelle Crumm. "Mission capability is dependent on a UAV's flight time as well as its ability to carry and use sensor packages. Adaptive Materials' fuel cell system delivers the power needed for UAVs to achieve mission capability to support soldiers in the field." Most of PUMA's test flight, powered by Adaptive Materials' fuel cell system, was conducted under the control of autopilot. The UAV was hand launched and achieved a pilot-controlled landing at the conclusion of its test flight.
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Top leaders from aerospace companies in the United States and Europe agreed to close collaboration on ethical business practices as well as efforts to improve aviation's impact on the environment after meeting at the Farnborough International Airshow on Tuesday. The CEOs of some of the largest and most influential aerospace companies on both sides of the Atlantic also discussed efforts to improve the export control systems during the face-to-face meeting. The leaders agreed to use the separate business ethics regimes in place in the U.S. and Europe as a starting point for efforts to exchange good practices internationally. The two sides agreed to hold an international forum on business conduct each year to mark progress and plan strategy. The two sides reiterated their commitment to improve upon their excellent record of environmental stewardship within the industry worldwide. Building on cooperation through international bodies working on the issue of reducing carbon emissions, they agreed to organize an environmental summit in Paris this fall to coincide with an annual European industry conference. The two sides also concurred that aerospace, as a truly global industry, should support open and fair markets, and work together to achieve that goal.  The meeting featured Ake Svensson of Saab leading the European delegation and Clay Jones of Rockwell Collins heading the U.S. group. Other participants were Allan Cook of Cobham and Denis Ranque of Thales on the European side and Robert Stevens of Lockheed Martin and William Swanson of Raytheon for the U.S.
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Continental Airlines, United Airlines and eight other Star Alliance member airlines filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for Continental to join the group of nine carriers that already hold antitrust immunity. Approval by the DOT would enable Continental, United and the other immunized Star Alliance carriers to work closely together to deliver highly competitive flight schedules, fares and service. Additionally, Continental, United, Lufthansa and Air Canada have requested DOT approval to establish a trans-Atlantic joint venture to create a more efficient and comprehensive trans-Atlantic network for the carriers' customers, offering customers more service, scheduling and pricing options and establishing a framework for similar joint ventures in other regions of the world. The DOT has approved more than 20 applications for antitrust immunity in the past, including the recent approval of immunity for six-way alliance activities in trans-Atlantic markets for the SkyTeam carriers Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Northwest Airlines. The DOT ruling allowed Delta/Air France and Northwest/KLM to consolidate their alliance activities.
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Airbus, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and the Safran Group announced the launch of the AEROFUND II equity fund, capitalized at 75 M€ intended for the French aeronautical sector. The signature of the memorandum of understanding took place on the Airbus A380 Jean Luc Lagardère assembly site in Toulouse, in the presence of Luc Chatel, French Secretary of State in charge of Industry and Consumer Affairs and Government Spokesman, and Dominique Bussereau, French Secretary of State in charge of Transport. The equity fund's objective is to support the development of the small and medium-sized subcontracting companies of the aeronautical sector. Additionally, it aims to accompany the growth and emergence of companies capable of becoming essential partners in the industry. This announcement comes at a time when the aeronautical sector must face the many challenges generated by a weak dollar, the significant investments required by the current and future programmes and the plans for ever-increasing production ramp-up.
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NASA and industry engineers have successfully completed the first drop test of a drogue parachute for the Ares I rocket. The drogue parachute is designed to slow the rapid descent of the spent first-stage motor, cast off by the Ares I rocket during its climb to space. The successful test is a key early milestone in development and production of the Ares I rocket, the first launch vehicle for NASA's Constellation Program that will send explorers to the International Space Station, the moon and beyond in coming decades. The drogue parachute is a vital element of the Ares I deceleration system and will permit recovery of the reusable first-stage motor for use on future Ares I flights.
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Boeing is helping Aeroflot Cargo improve its operational efficiency and adapt to growing market demands by providing three leased MD-11 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCFs). The companies joined in celebrating the freighters' recent entry into service at a ceremony marking Aeroflot Cargo's new fleet and the resulting operational improvements at the carrier's facility at Frankfurt-Hahn airport. Boeing Capital Corporation, the company's aircraft financing arm, structured the deal and Boeing conducted the modification work at subcontractor facilities in Europe. Aeroflot Cargo, which operates four DC-10 freighters, is leasing the three MD-11BCFs on a multi-year basis. "We are confident that the MD-11F, as a proven, reliable and highly demanded freighter, will deliver long-term efficiency for our network," said Aeroflot Cargo General Director and CEO Oleg Korolev. "Boeing's world-class customer service offers support from the first contact and delivery through the refresh of airplanes to keep our planes earning revenue."
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Boeing announced that Raytheon has joined its EP-X industry team. EP-X is a manned airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting aircraft that will replace the U.S. Navy's EP-3 signals intelligence (SIGINT) platform.  Raytheon, also a member of Boeing's P-8A Poseidon industry team, will be responsible for EP-X sensor integration and multi-intelligence integration and play a significant role in core mission systems. Raytheon joins Argon ST, a leading designer and developer of SIGINT sensors and information operations systems, on the Boeing EP-X team. The Navy awarded Boeing a $1.25 million EP-X concept refinement contract in February. Since then, Boeing and Argon ST have been defining program requirements and developing initial system concepts. As prime contractor for P-8A, Boeing plans to draw on that program's logistics, maintenance, support, training and other relevant data for EP-X.
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Air Canada announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with Continental Airlines, the fourth largest carrier in the United States, to provide customers an enhanced travel experience through access to a broader network and seamless services provided in cooperation by the two carriers. "This is an exciting opportunity for Air Canada and Continental Airlines to develop a deeper relationship that will be of great benefit to our customers," said Ben Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. "Through cooperation with Continental, including a proposed codesharing arrangement, we will be able to offer customers traveling to the United States a vast array of enhanced travel benefits including more choice of destinations, new routings, expanded frequent flyer benefits and lounge access for eligible customers. At the same time, we will be able to realize greater efficiencies so we can compete more effectively. It is one of the many innovative ways we are responding to the high cost of fuel, by working with alliance partners for the benefit of our customers."
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The US Air Force flew its first operational MQ-9 Reaper mission from here July 18, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. The integration of the Reaper into theater-flight operations significantly enhances the strike and close-air-support capabilities of airpower forces in Iraq. The Reaper has a unique combination of long loiter times and large payloads, integrating and synchronizing with other air assets in the complex battlespace facing commanders. "The Reaper gives the joint warfighting tremendous airpower to bear on hostile forces who do not want the mission we share with the government in Iraq to succeed," said Lt. Gen. Gary L. North, the Combined Force Air Component commander.
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The Navy and its industry partners, Raytheon and Boeing, marked the 100th delivery of the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar at a celebration in Forest, Miss., July 1. Two F/A-18 Super Hornets present at the event showcased the radar used by the Navy's F/A-18 Hornet, Super Hornet and the EA-18G Growler. The technology will support the Navy's mission and define its combat capability and the viability of the warfighter in the future. "This milestone proves the importance not only of developing a revolutionary and viable solution but of teaming closely with our customers to ensure they receive exactly what they need to keep our aviators safe," said Dr. Tom Kennedy, vice president for the Tactical Airborne Systems group at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. The APG-79 AESA synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has a higher success rate than previous radar technologies. AESA's open systems architecture incorporates commercial off-the-shelf components and is anticipated to be more affordable and require maintenance only every 10 to 20 years.
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For Germany's leading engine manufacturer, the air show in Britain's Farnborough is paying dividends. MTU Aero Engines CEO Egon Behle was pleased to announce orders worth around 500 million euros. "The volume of these orders underscores the continuing high demand of airlines worldwide for advanced fuel-thrifty aircraft," he said. Among the orders received for the V2500 engine, MTU benefits from engine sales as well as maintenance contracts for MTU Maintenance Hannover and other MRO affiliates: Ten customers ordered new engines and placed maintenance contracts, among them US Airways, Wizz Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Shanghai Airlines and Hainan Airlines as well as aircraft leasing companies AWAS and Aviation Capital Group. MTU is a partner in the V2500 consortium International Aero Engines (IAE), holding an eleven-percent stake in the engine powering the A320 family of aircraft.
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Austrian Chief Executive Officer Alfred Ötsch said the following about the current traffic result: "We achieved a passenger record of more than 5.2 million passengers carried in the first half-year, and also held the passenger load factor overall stable at 74.0% despite the challenging surrounding conditions. The current crisis in the aviation industry, high kerosene prices and slower demand are having their effect on us too and selective capacity adjustments and seasonal reductions will be implemented in the coming months. Against the background of these developments, however, it is to our benefit that markets in Central and Eastern Europe and the Levant and Middle East are more robust and less harshly affected by the slower economic cycle. Should the aviation crisis worsen, however, we shall be forced to take further measures." The first half-year overall was influenced by various special effects. The first quarter was burdened by the early Easter holidays in March. While it proved possible to make this up in April, May was marked by a large number of holidays, the effect of which is normally then made up in June. This year, however, normally strong business traffic and conference tourism was hindered by the European Football Championship in this month. In addition to this, demand in the tourist sector was weaker than usual. The long-haul segment was also influenced negatively by the sub-prime crisis in the USA and the current tighter visa requirements for Chinese travellers in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Beijing. The Austrian Airlines Group carried approximately 4.1 million scheduled passengers in the short- and medium-haul segment in the first half-year, 6.1% more than in the comparison period in 2007. Revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) on these scheduled services rose at the above-average rate of 8.0%, while scheduled capacity (measured in available seat kilometers or ASK) increased by 5.7%. The passenger load factor in this segment reached 67.0%, rising by 1.4 percentage points compared to the figure for 2007. 
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SWISS acquired Zurich-based Servair Private Charter AG. Servair will henceforth be operated as Swiss Private Aviation AG, a fully-owned subsidiary of Swiss International Air Lines AG. The new acquisition should establish the SWISS Group in the business aviation sector and provide a platform for operating the Lufthansa Private Jet fleet.  SWISS Private will be based at Zurich Airport and will provide specialist services in the aircraft management and commercial charter fields. With demand for executive charter flights currently showing sizeable growth, SWISS has decided to enter this segment through SWISS Private, and will use its new subsidiary to offer aircraft management services to private clients and companies. The new activities envisaged include providing assistance and advice on procuring and introducing new executive jets, planning and performing flight operations, recruiting and supplying crews, handling, catering and arranging the requisite maintenance, repair and overhaul services on the customer's behalf. "The business aviation sector is expanding faster than general market growth, and is clearly more downturn-resistant, too," explains SWISS CEO Christoph Franz. "We want to enter this market with SWISS Private. As a result, our future customers in this business segment will enjoy all the strengths and benefits that SWISS can offer as an industry leader in safety and reliability terms." Swiss Private Aviation AG also provides a new platform for operating the Lufthansa Private Jet (LPJ) fleet, which has been entrusted to the care of SWISS's Swiss European Air Lines subsidiary. From spring 2009 onwards, the LPJ fleet should be operated under SWISS Private's air operator's certificate. Lufthansa will retain commercial responsibility – including product design, marketing, distribution and customer management – for the LPJ fleet.
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Boeing recently delivered to Cargolux Airlines International its 16th and last 747-400 Freighter with a ceremony at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of Cargolux taking delivery of its first Boeing 747 Freighter. The airplane, dubbed "City of Contern," was delivered before a contingent of official representatives from the commune of Contern, Luxembourg, as well as Luxembourg-based media. Cargolux is the launch customer for the 747-8, and will take delivery of the first of its 13 Boeing 747-8 Freighters in 2009.
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British Airways announced that it has completed the purchase of French airline L'Avion, which will be integrated with British Airways' new subsidiary OpenSkies. This agreement was initially announced on July 2, 2008. Full integration of L'Avion with OpenSkies is slated for early 2009. OpenSkies recently launched daily flights between Paris Orly Airport and New York John F. Kennedy Airport. L'Avion operates two Boeing 757 aircraft between Paris Orly and Newark Airport. The combined airline will operate up to three daily flights between Paris Orly and the New York area using Boeing 757 aircraft. "We are very pleased about the completion of this deal and excited to begin the integration process," said Dale Moss, Managing Director of OpenSkies. "This is an ideal combination of two companies that share a focus on delivering an unparalleled experience on the transatlantic journey. With L'Avion providing increased access to Paris-Orly, greater scale and a deep and talented employee base -- coupled with the backing of British Airways -- we will present an even stronger and more vibrant competitive choice across the Atlantic."
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Air Berlin has received consent from the Federal Air Transport Authority to carry out test flights for the satellite-supported approach navigation system GBAS (Ground Based Augmentation System). The GBAS system has been installed in the Boeing 737NG-new deliveries by Air Berlin Group since June 2007 in addition to the currently used approach system ILS (Instrument Landing System). GBAS evaluation approaches on which both systems are used simultaneously are being planned for the ground stations in Berlin and Malaga, which are equipped with GBAS. GBAS is more favourably priced than ILS in terms of the purchase price and maintenance of the ground stations and will in the future enable a more precise and effective approach procedure. This will consequently enable an improved attainable airspace utilisation over airports and kerosene can be saved and noise reduced in the flight approach areas. Above all GBAS is presently being used in USA. No other airline in Europe apart from Air Berlin is currently using it.
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