27.01.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-01-27 - News in briefNews in brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> On the occasion of the ATR annual press conference, which took place in Paris, Stéphane Mayer, ATR CEO, announced orders for 113 new ATR aircraft in 2007, the record sales for a single year since the beginning of the programme.

This outstanding commercial success is coupled with a 2007 turnover of some US $ 1.1 billion dollars, a growth of 56 % compared to 2006 (US $ 700 million). "This commercial record of 2007 represents a real milestone in ATR's history, and, coupled with the announcement of the launch of the '–600 series aircraft, it makes 2007 a memorable year", stated Stéphane Mayer. "We are also proud of having almost doubled our deliveries in one year, and of having delivered the first turboprop aircraft equipped with In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) in the passenger cabin. Consolidating our success over the long term is a real challenge. We know that to maintain this success we must continue offering our customers the technological innovations and product improvements that make our aircraft the most cost effective in the market as well as to offer the high level of customer service they expect. This continuous improvement is our commitment to the market" ATR has booked orders for 113 new aircraft  and options for 26 aircraft. 74 out of the total order intakes come from new ATR customers. Some 52 % of the new ATRs orders of the year have been booked with carriers in the Asia Pacific region. In 2007 ATR has also expanded its commercial success to new markets such as the Philippines (10 new aircraft) and Malaysia (24), while consolidating its strong worldwide market share. ATR has delivered 44 new aircraft in 2007 versus 24 in 2006, thus representing a production increase of over 80 %. From the beginning of the programme, ATR has delivered 757 aircraft (397 ATR 42s and 360 ATR 72s) through 31st December 2007.
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Cessna delivered 1,274 aircraft in 2007 - including first deliveries of four models: the newly acquired (from Columbia Aircraft) Cessna 350 and 400 single-engine pistons, the all-new Citation Mustang entry level jet and the upgraded Citation Encore+ business jet. During the year, Cessna delivered 387 business jets, 80 turboprops and 807 piston aircraft. In 2006, the company recorded deliveries of 307 business jets, 67 turboprops and 865 piston aircraft. "From 2005 to 2007, our Citation deliveries increased by 130 jets, a 50 percent increase," said Jack J. Pelton, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna. "We're taking a smart approach, using the Textron Six Sigma program, in managing this growth to ensure our quality and customer support remains high and we maintain sustainable employment levels." The company plans to deliver 470 business jets in 2008. Cessna's revenues for 2007 were $5.0 billion, up from $4.2 billion a year ago. The company's backlog grew to an all-time high $12.6 billion and total employment grew to more than 15,000.
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Boeing and Spanish carrier Air Europa announced an order for eight Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners valued at $1.3 billion at list prices. The order, placed by Air Europa in 2007, previously was accounted for on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries Web site as an unidentified customer. Air Europa also acquired purchase rights for an additional eight 787s. Air Europa, based in Palma de Mallorca, is the first Spanish customer for the 787. "The 787 is the best solution that meets our requirements for a superior airplane that offers better efficiency, better environmental performance and excellent comfort for our passengers," said María José Hidalgo, managing director of Air Europa. "After further development of the 787 by Boeing, it became very clear to our pilots, our fleet planners and our accountants that the 787 would deliver the best economics while also offering superior satisfaction for our passengers. We look forward to making history as the first Spanish airline to fly this magnificent machine." Air Europa plans to operate the 787 on its long-haul routes to destinations such as Argentina, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
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Boeing and Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air finalized negotiations for up to 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in a deal that could be worth approximately $3.9 billion at list prices if all options are exercised. The agreement is for 16 787s on direct order with purchase rights for eight additional 787s. "As the cornerstone of our fleet, the 787 will help re-establish Gulf Air's predominance within The Gulf," said Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Naf. "Our goal is to increase the airline's efficiency and profitability, and we have selected the 787 to be the core of our fleet for the next generation to meet both our passengers' and our stakeholders' expectations."
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Boeing delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) its fourth C-17 Globemaster III during a ceremony at the company's Long Beach, Calif., C-17 manufacturing facility. "I am very pleased that our team has once again delivered to the RAAF a world-class airlift capability, on time and on budget," said Jean Chamberlin, vice president and C-17 program manager, to senior RAAF officials and more than 1,000 Boeing C-17 employees in attendance. "This is a great day for Boeing and demonstrates our commitment to design, build, deliver and support the world's greatest airlifter."
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Next summer, Lufthansa is opening a new route from Frankfurt to Bergen. The new Lufthansa service, which will operate twice daily, year round, will be launched on 30 March 2008, when the summer timetable goes into effect. Bergen is the third destination in Norway after Oslo and Stavanger to be served from Frankfurt by Germany's largest carrier.
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Vought Aircraft announced that it has signed a five-year contract with Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. to manufacture cabin structures for UH-60L, M and MH-60S variants of BLACK HAWK helicopters. The estimated contract value is approximately $600 million for deliveries through 2012. "We are extremely proud to support Sikorsky and the armed services by building airframe structure for this great helicopter," said Dennis Orzel, vice president, manufacturing operations for Vought. "With more than 450 Vought people working on the BLACK HAWK program, this contract is vitally important to our Dallas workforce."
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Kaman Aerospace announced that its Aerostructures Division has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation to manufacture cockpits for BLACK HAWK helicopters through 2012 at Kaman's Jacksonville, Fla., facility. The agreement calls for Kaman to supply cockpits for Sikorsky's UH-60M, HH-60M and MH-60S model BLACK HAWK helicopters.  The value of initial orders to Kaman is approximately $74.3 million.  The new multi-year agreement, if fully exercised, has a total potential value to Kaman of approximately $196.4 million. Kaman began manufacturing cockpits for Sikorsky in 2005 and has delivered 147 cockpits of various models, including UH60L, MH60S, S70A and UH60M models through November 2007.  In addition to cockpit structures, Kaman also installs all wiring harnesses, hydraulic assemblies, control pedals and sticks, seat tracks, pneumatic lines, and the composite structure that holds the helicopter windscreen.
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Berlin software provider PACE and Lufthansa's regional carrier Lufthansa CityLine introduced the new flight performance tool Pacelab CI OPS. The latest Pacelab product enables flexible cost index optimization at the flight planning stage and in tactical on-board flight management and was developed in close collaboration with experts of launch customer Lufthansa CityLine. The airline will use the software to improve the operating efficiency of its Bombardier CRJ fleet, with an expected annual reduction of fuel burn and emissions of CO2 and other pollutants of at least two percent. Cost index (CI) optimization aims to determine the optimum, or most economical, airspeed by counterbalancing time-dependent operating costs such as crew salaries, incremental maintenance and fuel costs. To tap the full savings potential of cost index optimization, Lufthansa CityLine will run the Pacelab CI OPS software on all future Electronic Flight Bags, enabling crews to dynamically update the initial planned cruise procedure as flight conditions change. In order to cover the widest possible range of scenarios, varying indices may be used in the calculation. In addition, Pacelab CI OPS will be used to generate first principle-based CI data for Lufthansa's operational flight planning tool "Lido OC".
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Boeing announced the selection of Telair International to supply the cargo-handling system for the new Boeing 747-8. The supplier will provide systems for the main deck and lower hold of the 747-8 Freighter, as well as the lower hold of the 747-8 Intercontinental. Telair International, based in Miesbach, Germany, will design and manufacture a cargo-handling system for the 747-8 that is similar to those found on many 747 fleets currently operating worldwide. This continuity will offer Boeing and its 747-8 operators the benefits that result from improved reliability of a mature product. The cargo-handling system features "intelligent" power drive units networked through a control system that allows them to communicate with one another. This enables a safe and non-labor-intensive loading and unloading of the airplane, as well as simplifying system maintenance.
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Kaman Aerospace that its Aerostructures Division has signed a seven-year follow-on contract with The Boeing Company for the production of wing fixed trailing edge assemblies on the Boeing 777 and 767 aircraft at Kaman's Jacksonville, Fla., facility. The agreement calls for Kaman to supply components for all configurations of the 777 and 767 at the Boeing annual production rates.
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The U.S. Navy is retrofitting 135 Super Hornets with Raytheons APG-79 active electronically scanned array radar. An initial contract worth nearly $55 million authorizes Raytheon to supply 19 AESA systems, spares and maintenance. This ensures Super Hornets manufactured before installation of the APG-79 will benefit from Raytheon's new advanced sensor technology. The APG-79 program is moving toward full-rate production in anticipation of delivering 415 systems plus spares to the Navy and 24 systems to the Royal Australian Air Force in coming years. Two AESA-equipped fleet squadrons are training for deployment expected in 2008. They are the Black Lions of VFA-213 at Naval Air Station Oceana and the Fighting Redcocks of VFA-22 at Naval Air Station Lemoore. AESA-equipped Super Hornets are also being added to two training squadrons so aircrews can learn how best to maximize the advanced capabilities of the APG-79.
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The Marines of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 arrived at Al Asad to support air operations in the Al Anbar province on Oct. 4, 2007. The 'Thunder Chickens' took over the entire range of combat medium lift assault support missions in support of Multi-National Forces – West from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 to include battlefield circulation, raid and Aeroscout operations, helicopter/tiltrotor governance,Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel alert and casualty evacuation alert, flying everywhere within MNF-West throughout the battlefield from Baghdad to Al Qaim providing an operational capability over distance and time that has effectively collapsed the battlespace. The squadron has completed more than 2,000 ASRs in the first 3 months of the deployment, keeping approximately 8,000 personnel off dangerous roadways and accruing approximately 2,000 flight hours. They have accomplished every mission and met every schedule while maintaining an average mission capable availability rate of 68.1%. The New River based MV-22 squadron has experienced a higher operational tempo while deployed, with the squadron completing missions and accumulating flight hours at a sustained rate well in excess of anything they've done before.
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Deutsche Lufthansa AG  and JetBlue Airways completed their stock purchase agreement transaction in which Lufthansa now holds a 19 percent stake in JetBlue. With the conclusion of the financial transaction, Lufthansa and JetBlue will begin exploring innovative commercial arrangements designed to benefit both airlines and their customers.
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Regarding the Boeing 777 crash at Heathrow, since the issue of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) 1st Preliminary Report on Friday 18th January 2008 at 1700 hrs, work has continued on all fronts to identify why neither engine responded to throttle lever inputs during the final approach. The 150 tonne aircraft was moved from the threshold of Runway 27L to an airport apron on Sunday evening, allowing the airport to return to normal operations. The AAIB, sensitive to the needs of the industry including Boeing, Rolls Royce, British Airways and other Boeing 777 operators and crews, is issuing this update to provide such further factual information as is now available. As previously reported, whilst the aircraft was stabilised on an ILS approach with the autopilot engaged, the autothrust system commanded an increase in thrust from both engines. The engines both initially responded but after about 3 seconds the thrust of the right engine reduced. Some eight seconds later the thrust reduced on the left engine to a similar level. The engines did not shut down and both engines continued to produce thrust at an engine speed above flight idle, but less than the commanded thrust. Recorded data indicates that an adequate fuel quantity was on board the aircraft and that the autothrottle and engine control commands were performing as expected prior to, and after, the reduction in thrust. All possible scenarios that could explain the thrust reduction and continued lack of response of the engines to throttle lever inputs are being examined, in close cooperation with Boeing, Rolls Royce and British Airways.  This work includes a detailed analysis and examination of the complete fuel flow path from the aircraft tanks to the engine fuel nozzles.
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Lockheed Martin reported that net earnings for the year ended December 31, 2007 were $3.0 billion ($7.10 per share), compared to $2.5 billion ($5.80 per share) in 2006.  Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2007 were $41.9 billion, a 6% increase over the $39.6 billion in the comparable 2006 period.  Cash from operations for the year ended December 31, 2007 was $4.2 billion, compared to $3.8 billion in 2006.  Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) was 21.4% for the year ended December 31, 2007 compared to 19.2% in 2006. "I'm very proud of our performance across the board in 2007," said Bob Stevens, Chairman, President and CEO.  "Our program execution was solid, we won important new business and we continued to shape a balanced business portfolio--all while achieving outstanding financial performance.  This success is a tribute to our dedicated and talented employees who understand the important challenges that face our customers."
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Hamburg International has signed a new firm order for a further two A319s while taking delivery of its first A319. The aircraft, powered by CFM-56 engines from CFM International, was handed over to the airline's management team Christoph von Saldern, Norbert Grella and Klaus Schlichtmann at a ceremony held in Hamburg. The aircraft provides a comfortable single-class configuration for 150 passengers. As part of its fleet renewal programme, Hamburg International has ordered 16 A319s in total. The independent charter airline operates on behalf of renowned tour operators and on an ad-hoc -flight-basis. Furthermore the carrier addresses substantial niche markets such as charters for executives and corporate flight operations. The airline intends to employ the A319s on routes to European cities as well as on dedicated international flights to Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
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TACA, a leading Latin American airline, has signed a firm contract for the purchase of 15 additional A320 Family aircraft (12 A320s and three A319s). The aircraft will be configured in a comfortable two-class layout. Engine decision has not yet been announced. TACA already successfully operates a fleet of 36 A320 Family aircraft (nine A319s, 23 A320s and four A321s) serving the whole American continent from Canada to Argentina and Chile. This highlights the A320 Family flexibility and efficiency to operate in very different environments.
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SAS has made a thorough technical examination of the landing gear on the Dash 8 Q400 aircraft that were taken out of service after the third accident involving this aircraft type in autumn 2007. "We are waiting for the Accident Investigation Board's final conclusion, and don't want to speculate about the reason behind the third accident. We can confirm, however, that our technical department has found problems in 63 per cent of the SSV valves on the inspected aircraft that we have permanently grounded after the accidents last autumn. SAS had no possibility of - and cannot be blamed for not - discovering these problems, or the undetected error that caused the first two accidents, in the course of its maintenance work", says Claus Sonberg, Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications in the SAS Group. The Danish Accident Investigation Board has previously concluded that a construction error in the actuators was the cause of the first two accidents involving a Dash 8 Q400. The Accident Investigation Board has not presented any conclusion on the reason behind the third accident, but has in a provisional report stated that the most likely reason is that an O ring came loose from the SSV valve in the hydraulics system in combination with the following fault-tracing. The SSV valve also has a construction error and is currently being modified by the supplier.
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Hans Peter Ring, CFO of EADS, was assuming the additional role of CFO of Airbus since the 31 October 2006. This combined responsibility was brought about when it became apparent, in the context of the announcement of A380 delays, that integration between Airbus and EADS, its mother company, needed drastic improvement. As he announced last week at the Global Investors Forum, this integration of the finance function has been achieved. Hans Peter Ring will be refocusing his time and effort on his role as CFO of EADS. As of 1st February 2008, he will hand over the Airbus CFO responsibility to his deputy at Airbus, Harald Wilhelm. Harald Wilhelm was previously Airbus Chief Controlling Officer.
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China Airlines, Taiwan's largest carrier, has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of 14 A350-900 and taken another six on option. The new generation medium capacity long-haul aircraft is being acquired by China Airlines as part of their future fleet modernisation programme. China Airlines intends to start using the all-new A350 XWB from 2015. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, especially developed for the A350XWB and will be fitted in a comfortable layout of 327 seats. The A350 will primarily be deployed on the airline's long-haul routes to Europe, Australia and the United States, enabling China Airlines to offer its passengers non-stop service on ultra long routes.
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Leading Brazilian carrier TAM Linhas Aéreas has firmed up its order for 22 A350 XWBs and for four additional A330-200s. The airline based in São Paulo has furthermore added another 20 A320 Family aircraft to the initial order. TAM, Airbus' biggest customer in the southern hemisphere, now has the largest A350 XWB fleet. This agreement raises the number of orders for the A350 XWB to 314 aircraft. With a fleet of 102 Airbus aircraft, including 15 A319s, 70 A320s, three A321s, twelve A330-200s and two A340-500s, TAM operates not only the largest Airbus Fleet in Latin America, but also comprising the most Airbus models of any fleet in the region.
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ATR and the Finish carrier Finncomm Airlines announced the purchase of 5 ATR 72-500s for a contract valued at over 90 US $ million. In 2005, Finncomm Airlines ordered 8 ATR 42-500s, plus options for 8 additional aircraft. In 2006 the airline converted 4 of the firm 42-500s into ATR 72-500s, and also announced the exercise of three of the options into firm ATR 72-500s. With today's deal, Finncomm Airlines completes the exercise of the remaining options and will become the largest operator of ATR 500s series aircraft in Europe, with 4 ATR 42-500s and 12 ATR 72-500s.
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The combined fleet of 135 in-service Eurofighter Typhoons and seven Flight Test aircraft accumulated over 35,000 flying hours by the end of December 2007. Since introduction into service in Spring 2004, the five customer Air Forces, including, since Summer 2007, Austria have achieved 30,650 flying hours. An amazing 50 % of this amount was flown in 2007, demonstrating the tremendous growth of the in-service fleet. The build up of flying hours in the Nations' Air Forces reflects the success of integrating the weapon system into their Armed Forces and, increasingly, highlights the importance of Eurofighter Typhoon for NATO air defence responsibilities. Following Italy and the United Kingdom, Germany has, from the beginning of 2008, commenced Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) operations with Eurofighter Typhoon at Neuburg. Spain is to follow soon.
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Thunderbolt Aerosystems announced the release of its THUNDERPACK, a personal propulsion system capable of sustaining flight for longer than ever before achieved and concurrently unveiled plans to develop a jet powered THUNDERJET with exponentially greater capability. Bench tests of the company's THUNDERPACK have provided up to 75 seconds of flight time, a 300% increase over what other systems offer, and initial conceptual plans for the THUNDERJET system promise ten-fold increases over state of the art rocket belt capabilities. Born of Thunderbolt Aerosystems founder Carmelo "Nino" Amarena's desire to shorten the grueling commute to his Bay Area office, the THUNDERPACK --www.thunderman.net-– represents more than a decade's worth of effort to apply modern rocket fuels and propulsion technologies to create a practical and economical personal air vehicle– a 21st Century update of the iconic hydrogen peroxide-powered prototypes of the early 1960s.
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Thales announced that, following an intense, worldwide competition; it has been selected to provide a major package of avionics and cockpit systems for Airbus's new long-range, wide-body A350 The contract is expected to generate up to 2 billion euros in revenues over the first 20 years of in-service life for the aircraft, which is scheduled to enter service in 2013. The package won by Thales includes the Integrated Modular Avionics suite, the Interactive Control and Display Systems and the Air Data and Inertial reference unit for the new A350 XWB aircraft. Thales has been working closely with Airbus on the design and development stages of the cockpit systems since the launch of the programme in 2004. As a supplier of key transversal functions within Airbus's New Systems Policy, Thales has designed its avionics solutions to take into consideration the future operational needs of the overall air transport system - significant increase in air traffic, changing environmental requirements and increasing passenger demands. François Quentin, Thales Senior Vice President in charge of aerospace business said, "We are delighted and extremely proud to have been selected for this major package, which constitutes one of the most important aboard this new aircraft. This is the result of teamwork - within Thales and hand-in-hand with Airbus teams. Thales has invested steadily in the technology that it brings to Airbus, and in the tools and demonstrators that it has created to help Airbus teams test out different solutions."  
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Management of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced that an advanced imaging satellite produced by IAI, employing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology, was successfully launched into orbit today (January 21, 2008, 05:45 Israel time) on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The satellite, under the brand name TECSAR, was launched at the SHAR test field in southeast India in collaboration with a team of Indian and Israeli experts. The launch was carried out in accordance with a cooperation agreement between the Government of India and IAI relating to space activities. The TECSAR's signal was received at the IAI ground station 80 minutes after launch (07:10 Israel time), immediately upon its reaching the station communication range. By all indications so far, the satellite is functioning properly. The satellite is now orbiting the Earth, and IAI's engineers and scientists have commenced the prescribed series of in-orbit tests to verify its performance. Due to the complexity of the TECSAR, as compared to satellites previously produced by IAI, the in-orbit tests are scheduled to continue for several weeks, and the first images are scheduled for receipt 14 days after launch.  
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Delta's 2007 pre-tax income was $1.8 billion. Excluding reorganization related and certain items, pre-tax income was $625 million, a $1.1 billion improvement compared to 2006. Due to a 26% rise in fuel price, Delta reported a pre-tax loss for the fourth quarter of $105 million. Delta ended the year with $3.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1 billion available under its revolving credit facility. Delta employees will receive $158 million in profit sharing in recognition of their critical role in achieving significant financial improvements in 2007. Delta reported pre-tax income of $1.8 billion in 2007. Excluding reorganization related and certain items, pre-tax income was $625 million, a $1.1 billion improvement compared to 2006. As a result of the unprecedented increase in jet fuel prices from $2.31 to as high as $2.77 per gallon, Delta reported a pre-tax loss for the quarter of $105 million, an $80 million improvement compared to the prior year period excluding reorganization items. Delta's net income for the year was $1.6 billion, or $418 million excluding reorganization related items. Delta reported a net loss of $70 million for the fourth quarter, or $0.18 per diluted share. "2007 was an historic year for Delta marked by achievements that demonstrate the extraordinary power of Delta people," said Richard Anderson, Delta's chief executive officer. "Our successful emergence from bankruptcy; continued successful international expansion; strong operational performance; positive financial results - in spite of the unrelenting pressure we face from record fuel prices - reflect the outstanding work of our people, and I'm pleased that we'll deliver $158 million in profit sharing to my Delta colleagues in a few weeks in recognition of their many achievements in 2007."
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Boeing has been awarded a $14.9 million U.S. Air Force contract for systems engineering and modeling services for the A-10 Wing Replacement program. The contract will provide the engineering foundation for the program and ensure the on-schedule delivery of the production wings.  "The modeling will result in a true paperless engineering package," said William Moorefield, Boeing A-10 Wing Replacement program manager. "The modeling standards Boeing has developed over the last 15 years have demonstrated significant cost savings on programs such as the CH-47F Chinook, F-18E/F, C-17 and many others."
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On Thursday 24 January, the Swedish Government authorised the Defence Materiel Administration to enter into an agreement with the air force in Thailand on the transfer of an integrated air surveillance system comprising JAS 39 Gripen and the Erieye radar surveillance system. "It is very positive that Thailand has chosen Swedish Gripen now that it is renewing its air surveillance system. It will benefit Sweden and Swedish tax-payers. The Gripen system is very cost-efficient and I am pleased to see growing international interest in its acquisition," says Minister for Defence Sten Tolgfors. Thailand is to replace its present air surveillance system when parts of the country´s current air fleet are phased out in 2011. The system's role will be to monitor Thailand's airspace and conduct incident preparedness. The agreement covers six Gripen aircraft, the Erieye radar surveillance system and the accompanying data-link systems. The order amounts to some SEK 3.8 billion. Delivery is planned to take place in early 2011.  
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Kelly Aviation Center, a facility performing Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services for aircraft engines, signed its second partnership agreement with Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC). This new agreement, which will keep the Lockheed Martin U-2 "Dragon Lady" high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft in the air, is for Kelly to send various F118 engine components to the Air Logistics Center for repair, beginning with gearboxes.  
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An upgraded A-10 Thunderbolt II, which took off in early January for Moody Air Force Base, Ga., represents another production milestone for the Air Force. Aircraft 80-0172 is the 100th A-10 to go through the Precision Engagement program, started in the 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group in July 2006. On average, the 571st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron technicians are upgrading each A-10 aircraft to the new A-10C configuration in less than 90 days. "The 571st mechanics are successfully executing the A-10 Precision Engagement program," said Greg Hoffman, the 571st AMXS director. "While our overall modification time has been reduced, the increase in positive feedback from our warfighting customers has been our biggest success. Without giving them a quality aircraft to carry out their mission, we would have failed. The program was a challenge from the start, but with the support of Team Hill, to include our Lockheed Martin prime contractor, we have been able to get better each day.  
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Austrian Chief Executive Officer Alfred Ötsch said the following about the annual result: "With a total of 10.8 million passengers carried in 2007 and an increased load factor compared to 2006, we remain completely on course. As planned, we have been able to compensate in full for the reduction in long-haul through our expansion in the short- and medium-haul route segment. In 2008, we will continue to concentrate not only on our Focus East strategy, with new destinations and expansions of existing frequencies in the East, but also on the service and quality offensive, with the planned Premium Service Concept due in the autumn of this year." With around 8.2 million scheduled passengers, the Austrian Airlines Group reported a solid increase of 8.4% in the short- and medium-haul segment in the year 2007 compared to 2006. The expansion in capacity of 8.5% (measured in available seat kilometers or ASK) was balanced by disproportionately high growth in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) of 11.1%. The passenger load factor stood at 67.7% as a result, an increase of 1.6 percentage points on the 2006 figure. Austrian reported another increase in its passenger numbers in the short- and medium-haul segment in the month of December, with strong passenger growth of 8.7% compared to the previous year. Revenue passenger kilometers on these scheduled services (RPK) increased by a clear 11.6% compared to 2006, while scheduled capacity (ASK) expanded by 10.7%. The resultant passenger load factor stood at 63.6%, an increase of 0.5 percentage points on the previous year. Around 1.3 million passengers were carried on long-haul scheduled routes in 2007, 16.4% fewer passengers than in 2006. This planned fall was due to the targeted redimensioning of the long-haul segment that has now been completed. Despite the planned reduction in capacity of 28.0% (ASK), demand measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) fell at the slower rate of 25.2%. This resulted in a significant improvement in the load factor in the long-haul segment compared to 2006, which rose by 3.1 percentage points to 82.2%. Long-haul route capacity (ASK) was selectively reduced by 38.3% in the market in December, while the reduction in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) was just 38.0% compared to the same period in 2006. This produced a further improvement of 0.4 percentage points in the passenger load factor, which now stands at 77.1%.
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From Erfurt directly to the Big Apple: On 28th January 2008 Air Berlin's co-operation partner, LGW-Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter mbH, will start to operate Erfurt-Düsseldorf-Erfurt flights. This means that for the first time the people living in the Erfurt area will also have a direct connection to the long-haul flights offered by the Air Berlin group to New York. The domestic German route is available twice a day from Mondays to Fridays and once on Sundays – in both directions. On Mondays to Fridays there is a connection to Air Berlin's daily flights from Düsseldorf to New York. Passengers continuing to the US will have their baggage checked through to their destination.
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BAE Systems Regional Aircraft announces the appointment of Saywell International as its sole distributor of spares for the Jetstream 31/32 regional turboprop aircraft. The agreement comes into force from February 4, 2008. BAE Systems itself will continue to provide full technical and continued airworthiness support and delivery of technical publications to the Jetstream 31/32 fleet. A multi-million pound stock inventory is being transferred from Regional Aircraft's Spares Logistics Centre at Weybridge, Surrey, to the Saywell International facility at Worthing in South-east England. Saywell also has a spares distribution centre in Hollywood, Florida, USA, as well as offices in Vancouver and Singapore. A large pool of rotable components is available and distribution agreements are already in place with manufacturers of consumable parts.
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Boeing and Lockheed Martin announced they will team to perform studies and system development efforts including collaborative research and development in pursuit of the anticipated U.S. Air Force Next Generation Bomber program. This collaborative effort for a long-range strike program will include work in advanced sensors and future electronic warfare solutions including advancements in network enabled battle management, command and control, and virtual warfare simulation and experimentation. "Boeing and Lockheed Martin are working closely at all levels to capture the best of industry to develop and provide an effective and affordable solution for the warfighter," said Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Advanced Systems. "The work performed by the Boeing/Lockheed Martin team is designed to help the Air Force establish capability-based roadmaps for technology maturation and date certain timelines for the Next Generation Bomber program."
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