2007-01-07 - KurzmeldungenNews in Brief

KURZMELDUNGEN<br /> In the course of the consistent restructuring of the Austrian Airlines Group, its brand portfolio – and particularly the Lauda Air charter and holiday flight brand – has been subjected to a detailed evaluation.

The results of an investigation and survey pointed in the direction of an umbrella brand strategy based on Austrian, while dialogues with renowned tour operators emphasised the sales potential of the Lauda Air brand. As a result, the Lauda Air brand is now to be brought closer to the Austrian umbrella brand. The charter and holiday flight sector will in future be using the slogan 'Lauda Air – the AUSTRIAN way to holidays'. Potential synergies such as harmonisation of Lauda's advertising presence with Austrian and unified design of consumer and other on-board items will be more strongly emphasised in future than has been the case in the past. Customer surveys carried out recently by polling institute IMAS indicated that the Austrian brand has an extremely high level of recognition compared to numerous competitor carriers, as well as achieving strong preference in the charter and holiday flight market segment. Additional expert interviews with a wide range of Austrian tour operators, which were carried out subsequently by the market research institute Karmasin, confirmed that the Lauda Air brand continues to enjoy a very positive reputation.
Scotty Group PLC and Diamond Airborne Sensing GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH, announce that they have signed an exclusive agreement to deliver their equipment together with Diamond aeroplanes. Diamond Airborne Sensing specializes in multi-purpose platform aircraft that serve as aerial sensor carriers. Diamond Aircraft Industries is a worldwide operating composite aircraft manufacturer with offices in major centres across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Diamond Aircraft has over 1200 employees worldwide and has sold more than 3,500 aircraft. After successful trials and integration of Scotty SATCOM equipment into a DA42 Multi-Purpose Platform (MPP) aircraft, Diamond Airborne Sensing has decided to sign an exclusive agreement with Scotty. Diamond Sensing is equipping the world's second largest manufacturer of light aeroplanes with communication equipment. The Scotty equipment will be installed on planes for Diamond customers in the security, surveillance and government business. This is a fast growing business area within Diamond Aircraft which produces at the moment around 600 planes yearly. Wolfgang Grumeth, Managing Director of Diamond Airborne Sensing, commented, "The cooperation with Scotty enables us to have a competitive offer for the security and surveillance market for our planes. We evaluated the Scotty equipment and found it as a unique and perfect fit for our customers needs. We will market this solution together with Scotty globally."
Boeing and Korean Air announced that the two companies have finalized an order for 25 airplanes with a value of approximately $5.6 billion at list prices. Korean Air's order includes 10 777-300ERs, five 747-8 Freighters, five 777 Freighters and five Next-Generation 737s, along with options for eight additional airplanes -- four 777-300ERs, two 747-8Fs and two 737-900ERs. The 777-300ERs will replace 747-400 passenger airplanes that Korean Air is converting to 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF), while the 747-8 Freighters and 777 Freighters will provide expansion capacity that will further solidify the airline's position as the world's leading commercial air cargo carrier that it has held during the past two years. Korean Air is a key 747-400 Freighter operator and an important customer of the 747-400 BCF.
The three residents of the International Space Station spent a busy week unpacking, inventorying and stowing more than two tons of equipment and supplies left by the Space Shuttle Discovery. The week began with Christmas, a day off for the crew except for required maintenance and exercise. Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and flight engineers Mikhail Tyurin and Sunita Williams were back on their regular schedule Tuesday, waking at midnight CST and going to bed at 3:30 p.m. Unpacking items delivered by Discovery took up part of each day during the week. Crew members entered the new supplies and equipment in the Inventory Management System, a computerized, bar-coded tool to keep track of the voluminous material aboard the orbiting laboratory. Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin passed a milestone of their stay on the station on Tuesday -- it was their 100th day in space. Williams came to the station aboard Discovery earlier this month. She had an hour budgeted each day to familiarize herself with the station and adapt to life on board. These unstructured hours are scheduled during new crew members' first two weeks aboard to get them used to the station and its activities.
With program launch of Aviation Partners Boeing 737-900 Blended Winglets, and first deliveries slated for December 2007, the world's airways will soon be making room for even more Blended Winglet Performance Enhanced airplanes. Launch customers Continental Airlines, KLM and Alaska Airlines plan to complete the retrofit of their 737- 900s by the end of the first quarter of 2008. "We've had a great deal of customer interest in 737-900 Blended Winglets and this important new program gives more of our operators commonality and the ability to fly with 100% Blended Winglet equipped 737NG fleets," says Aviation Partners Boeing CEO John Reimers. "This program is off to a very strong start and we anticipate that the remaining handful of operators of the 737-900 will be unable to ignore the tremendous value Blended Winglets add to the aircraft."
U.S. government awarded a $635 million Fixed Price Incentive contract to Lockheed Martin on Dec. 22 to upgrade the Turkish Air Force's existing fleet of F- 16s. Under the terms of the contract, Lockheed Martin will provide 216 modernization kits to upgrade Turkish F-16C and F-16D model aircraft in the nation's air force inventory. The effort also includes flight testing, training, technical support and sustainment activities. This contract continues work started under an initial contract in July 2005, based on an agreement signed between the governments of Turkey and the United States in April 2005. The work and support of the modernization program will occur primarily at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and at Tusas Aerospace Industries in Ankara, Turkey, with the contract running through February 2016.
Alenia Aeronautica has delivered to the Lithuanian Republic's Air Force the first of three C-27J tactical airlifters ordered by the Baltic country. The contract, for a total amount of Euro75 million, had been signed last June. The C-27Js will be used for troops and cargo transport, in and out of the national boundaries, within the operational scenarios ruled by NATO, of which Lithuania has been member from 2004. The next two C-27Js will be delivered, one in 2008 and the other in 2009.
On December 15, 2006, in Kiev at ANTONOV ASTC negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian enterprises-partners were hold. The topic of negotiations was the programme of renovation of production of AN-124 Ruslan super heavy transport aircraft family. Ukraine was presented by ANTONOV ASTC managers, Russia – by managers of Volga-Dnepr Airline JSC and Aviastar JSC. Representatives of the parties signed the agreement on modernization and construction of AN-124 Ruslan aircraft family. New versions of Ruslan differ from the basic version of the aircraft with a decreased crew, increased range of flight and payload as well as with a new piloting complex, engines modified in accordance with the newest ICAO standards. Mr. D.Kiva noted that "this agreement opens up a possibility to improve essentially characteristics of the aircraft with low costs. It will much improve the aircraft's position in the world market". Mr. V.Savotchenko, Executive director of Aviastar JSC, noted "This is the real solution. In fact, the plant did not stop production of the airplanes. That is why we are ready to renovate serial production of the airplanes the giants of AN-124 family". Mr. A.Isaikin, Chairman of Council of directors of Volga-Dnepr Airline JSC, said after the meeting: "The market grows, the long-term contracts have been signed, this is the key moment for building the airplanes with the improved characteristics".  
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Wednesday, Dec. 13, that its board of directors had endorsed a 100 million euro loan for Russia´s Superjet 100 project. The aircraft will be equipped with two PowerJet SaM146 turbofans. Its design, based on the principle of maximum standardization of frame assemblies and systems, will make it possible to improve performance at a moderate cost. Serial production of the SuperJet-100, with an average flight range of 1,750 kilometers (1,088 miles), will begin in 2008, with at least 800 aircraft expected to come off the assembly line in the years ahead.  Meanwhile, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft won a $170 million order from Dalavia Far East Airways. A contract with Dalavia was signed on Tuesday in Khabarovsk for the purchase of six passenger airliners Sukhoi Superjet 100. The airplanes will be equipped with standard 95 passenger seats.  
Boeing and Mumbai-based Jet Airways announced an order for 10 787-8 Dreamliners. The order, placed in December 2006, is valued at more than $1.5 billion at list prices and deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2011. Jet Airways currently operates a fleet of 46 Classic and Next-Generation Boeing 737-400/-700/-800/-900 airplanes. The airline will take delivery of its first of 10 777-300ERs in April.
US Airways customers will have more ways to jet off to Europe thanks to new flights from Philadelphia to Athens, Greece; Brussels, Belgium, and Zurich, Switzerland starting this summer. With these new flights to Athens, Brussels and Zurich -- scheduled to start in May and June -- US Airways will offer a total of 22 daily flights to 19 cities in 12 countries throughout Europe during the peak summer season.
The first Boeing Next-Generation 737-700ER (Extended Range) completed final assembly and rolled out of the Renton, Wash., manufacturing facility Jan. 2. The airplane receives a painted livery and goes through preflight testing before delivery to launch customer ANA (All Nippon Airways) in early 2007.
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $619 million contract from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to begin production of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System.  The contract for the first two THAAD fire units includes 48 interceptors, six launchers and two fire control and communications units. The system is scheduled for fielding in Fiscal Year 2009. "This is a major milestone for the THAAD program," said Tom McGrath, Lockheed Martin vice president and THAAD program manager.  "Lockheed Martin, our customers at MDA and the THAAD Project Office have been working together to ensure that warfighters receive a missile defense system they can count on to defend themselves and the assets they are protecting.  Once fielded, THAAD will network with other systems and sensors to provide the layered missile defense capability required for the future." Final assembly, integration and testing of production equipment will take place at Lockheed Martin's award-winning manufacturing facilities in Troy, AL, and Camden, AR.
Boeing Australia Limited announced it has been awarded a contract to provide reconnaissance and surveillance services to the Australian Army using the ScanEagle autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The services provided by ScanEagle are currently being used in southern Iraq by Australian soldiers operating with the Overwatch Battle Group (West)-2 in Operation Catalyst. The announcement, coupled with a contract award announced Dec. 14, 2006, to deliver Australia's first Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) capability under Joint Project (JP) 129, further strengthens Boeing's position as the leading supplier of UAV solutions to the Australia Defence Force. The service-based ScanEagle solution provides immediate, operational imagery coverage for the Australian Army while the I-View system is introduced. The capabilities of both systems will complement each other in terms of payloads and flight profiles.
Boeing has completed delivery of all 35 remanufactured AH-64D Apache helicopters produced for the Egyptian air force (EAF). The final six AH-64Ds for the EAF arrived in Egypt late last year after Boeing converted them from AH-64A Apaches at its Mesa, Ariz., rotorcraft center. Boeing upgraded the aircraft to the modernized Apache configuration through the Foreign Military Sales process. A final arrival ceremony was held in Cairo, Egypt, to commemorate the event before 150 members of the EAF, the U.S. Army and Boeing. "Boeing and the Apache team have enjoyed an outstanding relationship with the Egyptian air force for more than 20 years," said Al Winn, Boeing vice president of Apache programs. "We're proud to know that this relationship will have the opportunity to grow and prosper for many years to come."
Boeing and the U.S. Army signed contracts on Dec. 19, 2006 valued at more than $1.5 billion for up to 66 CH-47F Chinook helicopters. The production contracts include 16 new-build CH-47Fs and nine remanufactured CH-47Fs valued at $624 million. The contracts also include options for 22 additional new-build CH-47Fs and 19 remanufactured CH-47Fs valued at more than $920 million. Aircraft deliveries will begin in early 2008. The CH-47F features a newly designed, modernized airframe and a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System advanced digital cockpit to meet the needs of current and future warfighters. The helicopter's advanced avionics provide improved situational awareness for flight crews with an advanced digital map display and a data transfer system that stores pre-flight and mission data.
MBDA has received notification from the French defence procurement agency, DGA (Délégation Générale pour l´Armement), of the development and production contract for 250 SCALP Naval missiles, the naval cruise missiles destined to equip the French Navy´s FREMM multi-mission frigates and Barracuda submarines. 200 missiles will be for the FREMM and 50 for the Barracuda. The contract, dated 29th December 2006, is made up of four tranches with the first tranche coming into force with this notification and covering the delivery of 50 missiles for the FREMM frigates in 2013. The value of the contract is 910 million euros. Production of the SCALP Naval missiles will be carried out in Selles Saint Denis, MBDA´s central region site in France.  
US based aircraft lessor Pegasus Aviation Finance Company has signed a firm contract for two A350XWBs and six A330-200s. The order is the first for the A350XWB since it was officially launched in November 2006 and marks a renewed vote of confidence in the aircraft from a US based customer. The contract was signed in December 2006 and marks Pegasus' first-ever direct order with Airbus.  
Northrop Grumman Corporation's Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP), a next generation signals intelligence sensor for the U.S. Air Force, recently took to the air on its first flight aboard the U-2 aircraft, launching the flight test phase of the program. ASIP delivers enhanced signals intelligence capabilities to the warfighter. It detects, identifies and locates radar and other types of electronic and modern communication signals. A key attribute of the ASIP payload is an open, scaleable architecture that allows future system upgrades to be easily added and sensors readily reconfigured in support of evolving warfighter needs. The ASIP U-2 flight test program begins with sensor and aircraft calibration activities and progresses to full signals intelligence functional and performance flight test. Three ASIP sensors will complete flight test on the U-2 in 2007 with operational fielding expected in 2008. The Global Hawk variant of the ASIP sensor will complete flight testing in 2008 and begin production in 2009 with operational fielding expected in late 2011.  
Eurojet Turbo GmbH has success-fully completed to schedule the delivery of all 363 Tranche 1 EJ200 engines to the Customer. The first Tranche 2 engines are already being assembled and will be delivered in 2007. The EJ200 engine powering the Eurofighter Typhoon already features advanced technology offering unprecedented performance, multi-mission capability and reliability in-service. Tranche 2 engines will include a further step in systems technology, integrating all elements necessary for Digital Electronic engine Control and Health Monitoring into a single unit (known as DECMU). This engine enhancement for Tranche 2 provides significant benefits in terms of cost, mass and reliability. The DECMU system has been developed by the European Military Engine Consortium EUROJET Turbo GmbH, led by the German company MTU Aero Engines in partnership with AVIO, ITP, Rolls-Royce and European hardware suppliers.  
SWISS cabin personnel awarded 1.1% cost-of-living-based salary adjustment plus a one-off payment of CHF 1 200 SWISS and the Kapers cabin crew union have agreed that the company's cabin personnel should receive a cost-of-living-based salary adjustment of 1.1% and a one-off payment of CHF 1 200. The salary adjustment will take effect from February 1, 2007. For part-time staff, the one-off payment will be calculated on a pro rata basis. The CHF 1 200 payment will be awarded together with employees' February salaries. New flight attendants currently in training will not receive the one-off payment, but will benefit from the cost-of-living-based salary adjustment. Discussions on adjusting salary levels to take account of inflation are envisaged under the present Collective Labour Agreement, and may be requested by either contractual party.    

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