Kuwait Air Force Receives First C-17 Globemaster III
|Kuwait C-17 III Globemaster. Photo: Boeing.
Boeing delivered Kuwait’s first C-17 Globemaster III airlifter, designed to expand the Kuwait Air Force’s military and civilian operations capabilities.
Col. Abdullah Al Foudari, deputy commander of the Kuwait Air Force, said the C-17 will help his unit with transporting large payloads, flying at high altitudes in hot climates and landing on the short, unpaved runways that dominate the Middle East.
A custom paint design distinguishes the Kuwait C-17 from the 259 others that have been delivered to customers around the world. Boeing will support Kuwait’s C-17 fleet through the C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program, a proven multinational Performance-Based Logistics program.
Middle East Airlines Dominate Passenger Growth
Airlines based in the Middle East dominated air passenger growth in 2013, a trend that will continue this year, according to a new report from the International Air Transportation Association (IATA). Middle Eastern carriers posted a combined increase of 12.1 percent more air passenger traffic in 2013 compared to the previous year. Latin American airlines posted the second highest passenger growth rate last year with an 8 percent increase, followed by African carriers, which saw a combined increase of 5.5 percent during the same period.
IATA attributes the growth in the Middle East to the “continued strength of regional economies,” particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. That was compared to the rest of the global Air Transportation (AT) market, which the group describes as still recovering from the recession.
“We saw healthy demand growth in 2013 despite the very difficult economic environment. There was a clear improvement trend over the course of the year, which bodes well for 2014. Last year’s demand performance demonstrates the essential and growing role that aviation-enabled connectivity plays in our world, said Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of IATA.”
Emirates Adds More US Destinations
|Emirates’ Boeing 777-200LR. Photo: Emirates.
Emirates added more U.S. destinations to its global route network.
The Middle Eastern airline launched new service to Boston and Chicago.
“Chicago has long been a destination in the United States which Emirates has wished to serve. Like Dubai, Chicago is a major global trade and transportation hub with great cultural diversity that is an economic engine for its region,” said Tim Clark, president of Emirates.
Both new routes will be operated with a Boeing 777-200LR.
ViaSat, EL AL Sign Connectivity Agreement
Israeli airline EL AL will be the European launch customer for ViaSat’s Exede in-flight connectivity service.
The two companies are currently working toward certification of the Exede terminals on EL AL aircraft, targeting a launch of the service in 2015. ViaSat plans to deploy the service on EL AL Boeing 737s flying from Tel Aviv to Europe.
“As we introduce Exede in-flight service outside North America, we expect the same enthusiastic response we’ve seen since our launch in the United States,” said ViaSat CEO Mark Dankberg.
Qatar Upgrades In-flight Weather Monitoring
Qatar Airways has signed a five-year agreement with Boeing to upgrade the weather monitoring abilities of its commercial aircraft fleet.
The upgrade, called the Boeing Wind Updates service, provides real-time wind and temperature information to aircraft. According to Boeing, the wind updates improve pre-flight trajectory predictions and allow for in-flight optimization by providing “tailored wind information” for flight crews and the aircraft Flight Management System (FMS).