Monday, September 27, 2004
- As it continues to plan for its first commercial jet, Bombardier [BBD] has narrowed possible engine manufacturers for the 110- to 135-seat jet to two international consortiums (CRAN, Aug. 16). CFM International (General Electric and Snecma) and IAE (Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Aero Engines and MTU Aero Engines) are in discussions with Bombardier about building a new engine - with a design goal to be 15 percent more efficient than what is currently available. Bombardier's board will take up the issue before Jan. 31, 2005.
- Embraer [ERJ] delivered the first of 22 Embraer 170s that Republic Airways [RJET] has ordered for its United Express contract. This is the first Embraer 170 configured into a two-class cabin with a 70-passenger capacity. The regional carrier has options for an additional 28 planes.
- ATR delivered its fourth ATR 72-500 to Binter Canarias in mid-September. The Spanish carrier ordered six planes, configured to seat 72, in January. In another development, The European Aviation Safety Agency has granted ATR a "design organization approval" status, which will permit the manufacturer to handle many engineering activities without seeking regulatory approval. France had previously certified the company.
- VLM Airlines recently purchased two Fokker F50 turboprops from Gladsheim Aviation AB. The two Fokker 50s were recently returned off lease from Air Iceland. Skyway Aviation brokered the transaction. VLM, which is based at London's City Airport, now has 14 Fokker 50s. The carrier had purchased two other Fokkers earlier this year.
- Oman Air, the national carrier of Oman, has purchased Clarity, a market information data transfer product from Shepherd Systems. The software can be used to monitor trends, future projections and market share goals enabling a carrier to react to changes in passenger traffic in a timely manner. Oman Air flies four ATRs and five Boeing [BA] 737s in regional service in the Middle East, India and East Africa.
- Premier Turbines is now providing core zone inspection service on the Honeywell TFE731 series. An authorized Honeywell heavy maintenance facility since 1996, Premier Turbines is now one of five independent service providers in the world authorized for this level of service. Premier Turbines is a division of Dallas Airmotive.
- In another development, Dallas Airmotive sold Precision Avionics & Instruments to Atlanta-based Precision Aviation Group. Precision Avionics becomes the third unit - and first fixed-wing unit - in Precision Aviation. Precision Avionics has annual sales of $18 million primarily to regional airlines operating turboprops. The new owners plan to expand its operations internationally where they already service fleets of turboprops and helicopters.
- Flight Safety International will install an Embraer 170 advanced simulator in one of its training facilities, which will be selected at a later date. The company also announced that it will install full flight simulators for the Beech 1900D and the Saab 340 at its new training facility at Farnborough, outside London. The facility is expected to be ready for its first classes next March.
- The Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA) will holds its fourth annual conference in Phoenix on Nov. 7-9.
- London-based Global Aerospace has lined up two new insurers to replace Converium in its global pool of aviation insurance. National Indemnity, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway, and Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurance company, will split the shares that had been held by Converium. The other insurers in the pool include Tokio Marine and Fire Insurance and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance.
- Jetride, a passenger charter unit of AirNet [ANS], has been rated by the Aviation Research Group as a platinum carrier. Only 29 of the 847 registered Part 135 jets carriers have been awarded platinum, its highest status. As a diversification move, AirNet, which has traditionally flown canceled checks, set up the on-demand passenger charter business to maximize the use of its Lear jet fleet. Jetride now has 14 Lear jets and operates from nine base cities.