|Computer rendering of Iraqi Airways CS300.
Iraqi Airways has firmed up a $387 million purchase agreement first signed at the Dubai Airshow to acquire five CS300 aircraft.
The order includes options for 11 additional CS300s, which would increase the total order to $1.26 billion if confirmed. The CS300, a 130- to 160-seat aircraft, is Bombardier’s new narrow body entry into the smaller aircraft segment, seen as a competitor to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families.
The order by the state-run Iraqi carrier brings the total number of confirmed CSeries orders to 182 for Bombardier.
The CSeries is scheduled to enter service in 2014 after a yearlong flight-testing program. Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines.
Airlines based in the Middle East and Asia Pacific will experience the strongest international airline passenger growth through 2017, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Airline Industry Forecast 2013-2017.
By 2017, IATA projects the world’s airlines will see a combined 31 percent increase in passenger numbers to 3.91 billion, an increase of 930 million passengers over the 2.98 billion carried in 2012.
IATA’s forecast is a “consensus outlook for system-wide passenger growth,” the group said. Demand is projected based on Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), and IATA expects carriers in the Middle East will see the strongest international passenger growth with a CAGR of 6.3 percent through 2017; followed by Asia-Pacific carriers at a CAGR of 5.7 percent.
Domestic and international routes connected to China will be the single largest driver of growth, with IATA anticipating 227 million additional passengers will fly to or from the country over the next five years. That would account for 24 percent of all new passengers during IATA’s 2013-2017 forecast period. The Asia-Pacific region as a whole is projected to add 300 million additional passengers through 2017.
Emirates expanded its fleet of Airbus A380 passenger aircraft to 44, receiving two new A380s at the Airbus Finkenwerder facility in Hamburg, Germany.
The Dubai-based airline operates the world’s largest fleet of A380s, now flying one in three of the in-service aircraft.
Currently Emirates has 96 more A380s worth $43 billion on order from Airbus, with about 71 expected to be delivered by the end of 2018.
“Continuous improvements are being made to the A380, by the manufacturer as well as by Emirates in terms of our on-board product. For instance our latest A380s have been fitted with even bigger high definition LCD TV screens to enhance the inflight entertainment experience,” said Tim Clark, president of Emirates.
The Middle East carrier also placed a $20 billion order for 50 A380s at the Dubai Airshow in November.
Saudi Arabian national carrier Flynas has a new five-year agreement with Jeppesen to incorporate Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) navigation data and flight planning into its commercial operations, the Boeing Digital Aviation subsidiary said.
Under the agreement Flynas will replace its paper-based flight information manuals with Jeppesen’s FliteDeck Pro iPad EFB solution. The Middle East carrier will integrate the EFB into its all-Airbus A320 fleet.
Thales has a new contract with Iraq’s Civil Aviation Authority to provide technology that will improve and modernize the nation’s air traffic operations, the French aerospace manufacturer said.
Thales will provide its TopSky-ATC automation platform and three RSM970S secondary radars to support the Iraqi airspace modernization project. The contract brings the total number to Thales ATM centers and towers in the Middle East to 16, as the company also provides radar coverage for the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Pakistan in the region.