Jun 2007 - Asian Aviation



Jun 2007 - Asian Aviation
IATA offers Indonesian airlines help on safety standards
after EU ban
The EU ban on Indonesian airlines covers all 51 of the nation’s carriers, including its sole IATA member, Garuda
The International Air Transport
Association (IATA) is to help
Indonesia’s airlines meet global safety
standards, after all 51 of the country’s
carriers were banned from operation
to the European Union (EU) over
safety fears.
The Indonesian government
accepted IATA’s offer to help
after Jakarta at the beginning of
July suspended the air operator’s
certificates (AOCs) of nine of the
country’s airlines – including one
well-known commercial carrier – in
the wake of a damning nationwide
safety audit.
The audit was triggered by two fatal
air accidents, affecting Adam Air and
Garuda, which occurred within nine
weeks of each other earlier this year,
killing a total of 124 passengers and
crew. The results showed that not
one of the 48 carriers audited by
the Ministry of Transport (MOT)
was complying fully with safety and
maintenance requirements.
The most prominent airline to have
its AOC revoked at the end of June was
Jatayu Gelang Sejahtera, which had
already ceased operations in August
last year, but had been planning to
restart operations using a Boeing 737200, flying from Medan to Penang,
Malaysia. The Directorate General of
Air Communications (DGAC) says
the certificate was cancelled because
the airline was lacking in pilots and
resources and had only one aircraft,
while Indonesia requires that airlines
must have at least two.
The other carriers affected by the
AOC cancellations were charter and
commuter carriers operating regional
aircraft with less than 30 seats. The
companies are: Germania Trisilla
Air, SMAC, Kua-Kua Aviation, Atlas
Deltasatya, Survei Udara Penas, Air
Transport Services, Helizona and
Sayap Garuda Indah.
The EU ban covers all of the
country’s airlines, including national
carrier Garuda, and was also triggered
by the country’s series of airline
incidents and accidents, along with
the failure by Indonesian authorities
to give adequate assurances on
Under the IATA safety programme,
the association will help carriers
prepare for IATA Operational Safety
Audits (IOSAs), hosting seminars
on best practices and advising the
airlines on what they have to do to
meet requirements. The organisation
will also offer safety training.
IATA members are all required
to meet the IOSA standards. While
Garuda is Indonesia’s only IATA
member airline, the organisation says
it will make the audit available to all
the country’s carriers if they wish.
At the beginning of July,
Indonesia signed an agreement
with the International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO), committing the
country to improving airline safety.
The safety audit earlier this year
followed the crash on New Year’s
Day of an Adam Air Boeing 737-400
near Makassar, Sulawesi, killing 102
passengers and crew. On 7 March,
a Garuda aircraft of the same type
crashed at Yogyakarta, causing the
deaths of 21 passengers and a flight
Qantas buys 18% stake in Vietnam’s Pacific Airlines
Qantas has finalised the first of
three tranches of investment in
Vietnam’s Pacific Airlines, taking its
shareholding in the country’s second
largest carrier to 18 percent.
The group will finalise the rest of
its planned investment over the next
two years, eventually increasing
the shareholding to 30 percent, the
Australian airline’s Chief Executive
Officer Geoff Dixon says.
Qantas Group will be represented
on the six-member Pacific Airlines
board of directors by Alan Joyce and
David Hall, respectively the CEO
and chief financial officer of Qantas’s
low-cost Jetstar Airways unit. Qantas
and Jetstar executives will also fill a
number of key management roles at
the airline to support the investment.
Dixon says the group will continue
to work with Pacific and its investment
partner SCIC to implement an
agreed new business plan for the
carrier, which currently operates a
fleet of single-class Boeing 737-400
narrowbody aircraft on domestic
The Vietnamese carrier, which
repositioned itself as a low-cost carrier
earlier this year, will probably adopt
the Jetstar name in 2008. It may also
renew its fleet with single-aisle Airbus
A320s, in line with Jetstar’s Australian
narrowbody fleet, used on domestic
and short international flights to New
Zealand and Singapore.
“The initial strategy is to reposition
Pacific Airlines as Vietnam’s only
low-cost carrier, to enable its future
expansion both within Vietnam and in the future - internationally, through
short-haul, intra-Asia services,”
Dixon says.
According to Jetstar’s Joyce, the
investment will support Jetstar’s
growth strategy across Asia, helping
the Australia-based group to extend
its reach in the fast-growing region.
”By achieving a standardised lowcost operation in line with Jetstar,
future plans include establishing a
franchise opportunity,” Joyce says.
Jetstar recently said it is considering
a large order for additional A320family aircraft for delivery from
2009, when the last of the currently
outstanding orders is to be handed
over. The carrier said the order will
meet additional capacity needs related
to growth opportunities in Australia
and a ramp-up of operations across
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As Boeing raises its aircraft-demand outlook for India, national
carrier Air India has taken delivery of its first 777-200LR.
Jet buys three more 777-300ERs as
Boeing ups Indian demand forecast
India’s Jet Airways has exercised
options for three additional, extendedrange Boeing 777-300ER jetliners,
valued at more than US$790 million
at list prices. At the same time, the
US manufacturer has once more
raised its 20-year forecast for aircraft
demand in the country to more than
900 jetliners in the period.
The latest Jet order follows a
contract for 10 777-300ERs signed
in September 2005. The order
was recently added to the Boeing
Commercial Airplanes’ Orders and
Deliveries Web site, attributed to an
unidentified customer.
“It is vital that Jet Airways continues
to expand its fleet progressively to
ensure its leadership position in
India’s dynamic aviation market,” says
(SALE), Asia’s biggest
aircraft lessor, has
officially changed its
name from 2 July to BOC
Aviation. The rebranding
follows the company’s
acquisition by Bank of
China in December 2006.
The company says it will
continue to be based
in Singapore, and the
change signifies the
company’s expansion
as a new member of the
BOC Group. BOC owns
and manages a fleet of 75
aircraft in service with 29
airlines worldwide. It has
63 more aircraft on order
with Airbus and Boeing
for delivery through to
2012. Bank of China is the
world’s sixth largest bank
by market capitalisation.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal.
“The 777’s operating efficiencies and
passenger comfort play a pivotal role
in our long-haul growth strategy, and
will play a pivotal role as we expand
our international operations.”
Jet Airways took delivery of its first
777-300ER in April. In December
2006, the airline also placed an order
for 10 787 Dreamliners.
Jet Airways, operates more than
330 daily flights to 49 destinations
in India and internationally. The
airline’s current 777-300ERs operate
between Mumbai and London, and
are configured in three classes, with
eight first class seats, 30 in business
class and 274 in economy.
With commercial aviation
continuing to expand apace in India,
Boeing has boosted its aircraft
demand forecast for the 20 years up
to 2027 by about 6 percent.
The latest forecast sees a need in
the country for 911 new aircraft,
valued at more than US$86 billion,
over the period. A year earlier, the
manufacturer had predicted demand
for 856 aircraft valued at some US$72
billion up to 2026.
The predicted requirement covers
55 regional jets, 674 narrowbody
airliners, 173 widebodies seating up
to 400 passengers and nine aircraft
accommodating more than 400.
The main growth in the forecast has
come in the medium twin-aisle class,
increasing from a forecast of 120
jetliners last year.
India saw a year-on-year surge
of about 40 percent in domestic
passenger numbers in the 12 months
ended 31 March. The US manufacturer
predicts average annual growth of 20
percent over the next five years, later
settling to about 12 percent.
Separately, Boeing delivered Air
India’s first longer-range 777-200LR
on 26 July, as part of Air India’s order
for 68 aircraft of various types. The
state-owned carrier will receive three
more 777-200LRs and three 777300ER aircraft this year.
Air India’s total order included 23
777s, 27 new 787-8 twinjets and 18
single-aisle 737-800s, to be operated
by Air India Express.
The carrier will use its new 777200LR to become the first Indian
operator to offer non-stop flights
to the USA, Boeing says. Services
between Mumbai and New York were
scheduled to begin on 1 August.
PAL questions PhilippinesKorea bilateral agreement
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has
questioned its government’s decision to
increase the weekly capacity for South
Korean carriers operating between
the two countries by 5,000 seats, to
19,000, under a bilateral air services
agreement signed on 1 June.
The additional seats are to be shared by
Korean Air and Asiana at the discretion
of the Ministry of Transport in Seoul.
According to a PAL official in
Manila, Korea’s request for the
extra capacity was approved, despite
objections from the five of the 10
members of the Philippines team. The
official added that the extra seats were
granted, despite the fact that existing
capacity limits for Korean carriers not
being fully utilised.
“Most of the negotiations for the
bilateral agreement were held in private
meetings between the heads of the
Philippines and Korean teams, leaving
many of the members of the Manila
delegation out,” the official says. The
request for the additional seats “was
put to vote and ended in a deadlock,
yet the additional capacity was granted
to Korea.”
The Philippines team comprised
the Department of Foreign Affairs,
Department of Tourism, Department
of Trade and Industry, Clark
Development (CDC), PAL, Cebu
Pacific Air, Asian Spirit, Pacific East
Air Cargo (PEAC), Air Philippines and
the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).
The group was headed by Transport
Undersecretary Edward Pagunsan.
The foreign affairs department,
CAB, PAL, Air Philippines and PEAC
opposed the Korean request, while the
tourism and trade departments, CDC,
Cebu Pacific and Asian Spirit were in
Asked how the decision was made to
award the additional capacity to Korean
carriers, despite the deadlocked vote,
Pagunsan says he cast the deciding
vote in favour of Korea, declining to
Dennis William / Manila
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Boeing flies X-48B blended wing body test aircraft
Boeing’s Blended Wing Body (BWB)
research aircraft, the X-48B, flew for
the first time on 20 July at NASA’s
Dryden Flight Research Centre at
Edwards Air Force Base, California.
The 21-foot wingspan, 500lb
unmanned test vehicle took off at
8:42 am local time and climbed to an
altitude of 7,500ft, before landing 31
minutes later.
“We’ve successfully passed another
milestone in our work to explore and
validate the structural, aerodynamic
and operational efficiencies of the
BWB concept,” says Bob Liebeck,
BWB program manager for Boeing
Phantom Works, the company’s
advanced research unit. “We already
have begun to compare actual flighttest data with the data generated
earlier by our computer models and
in the wind tunnel.”
Boeing developed the X-48B test
vehicle in co-operation with NASA and
the US Air Force Research Laboratory,
to gather data about the stability and
flight-control characteristics of the
BWB design, especially during takeoff and landing. Up to 25 flights are
planned to gather data in these lowspeed flight regimes.
After the completion of low-speed
testing, the X-48B will probably be
used to test the BWB’s low-noise
characteristics, as well as its handling
at transonic speeds.
Two research vehicles have been
built, with the first flight carried out
using Ship 2, which also was used
for ground and taxi testing. Ship
The BWB design offers many advantages over conventional jetliners.
1, a duplicate of Ship 2, completed
extensive wind-tunnel testing in
2006 at the Old Dominion University
NASA Langley full-scale tunnel in
Virginia. Ship 1 will be available for
use as a back-up during the flight-test
Three turbojet engines enable the
composite-skinned research vehicle
to fly up to 10,000ft and 120 knots
in its low-speed configuration.
Modifications would need to be made
to the vehicle to enable it to fly at
higher speeds. The unmanned aircraft
is remotely piloted from a ground
control station, in which the pilot
uses conventional aircraft controls
and instrumentation while looking at
a monitor fed by a forward-looking
camera on the aircraft.
The Boeing BWB design resembles
a flying wing, but differs in that the
wing blends smoothly into a wide,
flat, tailless fuselage. This fuselage
blending helps to get additional lift
with less drag compared to a circular
fuselage. This translates to reduced
fuel use at cruise conditions. And
because the engines are mounted high
on the back of the aircraft, there is
less noise inside and on the ground
when it is in flight.
While a commercial passenger
application for the BWB concept
is not in Boeing’s current 20-year
market outlook, the Advanced
Systems organization of Boeing
Integrated Defence Systems’ (IDS) is
closely monitoring the research based
on the BWB’s potential as a flexible,
long-range, high-capacity military
Airbus finalises Chinese A320 production joint venture
Airbus and its Chinese partners
signed the joint venture contract to set
up an Airbus A320 Final Assembly
Line (FAL) in Tianjin on 28 June in
Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.
Among those present were Airbus
Chief Operating Officer Fabrice
Bregier, German economics minister
Michael Glos and Zhang Xiaoqiang,
deputy chairman of China’s
National Development and Reform
Airbus will hold a 51 percent stake
in the venture, while the Chinese
consortium will hold 49 percent. Also
finalised was the sale of 86 of the 150
A320 aircraft previously ordered
under the General Terms Agreement
signed between the manufacturer and
China Aviation Supplies Import and
Export Group (CASGC) in October
Construction of the final assembly
plant has already started in Tianjin
Binhai New Coastal District, 100km
southeast of Beijing, following
recent approval by the Chinese
State Council of the final report
from the project’s feasibility study.
The work includes the construction
of hangars, off ice buildings,
a delivery centre and related
infrastructure, such as electricity,
gas, water and fuel supply systems.
Approximately 500 Chinese and an
initial 120 European workers will
be employed at the facility, which is
being modelled after the Airbus final
assembly line in Hamburg, Germany.
Aircraft assembled in Tianjin will be
manufactured to the same standards
as those built in Europe, with initial
deliveries earmarked for Chinese
The facility is slated to start
operations in August 2008, producing
the f irst A320 by mid- 2009.
Production will be increased to four
aircraft a month by 2011. The aircraft
delivery centre will be managed and
wholly owned by Airbus itself.
As of March this year, 10 carriers
in China operated more than 270
A320-family jetliners, with over 370
still on order.
The A320 FAL project has
accelerated the development of
Tianjin airport’s industrial zone and
the local civil-aviation infrastructure.
Construction of a second runway is
also being planned.
More than 70 foreign aviation
enterprises in various manufacturing
and service sectors have been
considering making use of Tianjin’s
strategic location and capabilities.
The city is the third largest in China
after Shanghai and Beijing.
Qantas plans new flight-training business
chief executive off icer Geoff
The business will run independently
of the airline, initially operating
from Qantas’s existing Sydney and
Melbourne training facilities and
managed by Captain David Coates,
who currently heads the Qantas
Flight Training organisation.
Qantas has announced plans to
establish a stand-alone flight
training business by the end of this
year. The carrier is in talks with
simulator makers, aviation-training
organisations and financial partners,
in both the civil and military training
sectors, with a view to setting up the
Up to now, Qantas has operated
an in-house training scheme, but
the new stand-alone business will
train 3,000 pilots for the Qantas
Group over the next 10 years,
in addition to providing training
for other carriers.
“With aviation in the Asia-Pacific
region experiencing strong and
rapid growth, we believe the time
is right to think more broadly about
future pilot training,” says Qantas
Emma Kelly / Perth
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Indonesian carriers push for reciprocal open skies rights
Indonesian airlines want their
government to negotiate for reciprocal
rights before the Association of
Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN)
open skies policy is implemented by
the end of 2008.
The carriers fear that they could be
at a disadvantage if they are not given
reciprocal access to destinations in
member countries of ASEAN, a 10nation regional grouping. According
to Rusdi Kirana, chairman of the
Indonesian National Air Carriers
Association (INACA), all Indonesian
carriers should be given equal rights
so as to have a level playing field in
the region.
“If the Indonesian government
fails to secure reciprocal rights for
Indonesian airlines, then it would not
be surprising if any local airline goes
out of business,” Kirana says. “This is
because of the stiff competition that
we will face,” he says, adding that
airlines from other ASEAN countries
may “take advantage of the agreement
to operate multiple frequencies to
Indonesia currently has 16
scheduled airlines. All of them operate
domestic flights, with four also flying
Under the ASEAN open skies
agreement, airlines of member nations
would be granted unlimited access on
routes between their capital cities,
Malaysia’s AirAsia operates to 10 Indonesian destinations, while Indonesian second-tier carriers are unable to obtain rights to operate to key Malaysian airports.
extending to other destinations at a later
stage. ASEAN comprises Malaysia,
Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand,
Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar,
Brunei and the Philippines.
To date, only Malaysia, Singapore,
Brunei and the Philippines have agreed
to implement open skies, while the
other countries are planning to adopt a
wait-and-see attitude or are not ready.
Kirana says Indonesian carriers are
already at a disadvantage on services
to Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur-based
low-fare airline AirAsia and flag
carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) have
access to several points in Indonesia
with multiple daily frequencies, while
Indonesian second-tier airlines are
unable to secure rights to operate to
Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
AirAsia currently flies to 10
Indonesian destinations: Jakarta,
Medan, Bali, Palembang, Surabaya,
Pekan Baru, Solo, Padang and
Bandung using Airbus A320 aircraft.
Malaysia Airlines operates to Jakarta,
Bali, Medan and Surabaya using a
mix of Airbus A330-300 and B737400 aircraft.
Dennis William / Jakarta
Bangkok Airways receives first of seven Airbus A319s
Bangkok Airways has taken delivery
of the first of seven leased Airbus
A319s as part of a plan to modernise
its fleet. The aircraft, configured in
a single-class, 144-seat layout, will
be deployed on the Phuket and Siem
Reap routes.
Both sectors are currently operated by
the airline’s Boeing 717-200 jetliners.
Bangkok Airways will take delivery
of the remaining six A319s from lessor
International Lease Finance (ILFC),
from March next year through to May
2009. The carrier’s four 717-200s will
be gradually phased out.
The airline also operates three
GARUDA INDONESIA and China’s Hainan Airlines have signed a
codeshare agreement paving the way for the carriers to enhance their
marketing efforts in Indonesia and China. The agreement, effective
immediately, allows Haikou-based Hainan to sell as many as 20 seats
on Garuda’s thrice-weekly flights between Jakarta and Beijing. The
Indonesian flag carrier has rights for the same number of seats on Hainan’s
flights from Beijing to Harbin, Nanning and Hangzhou. Garuda, which
also operates to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, expects to carry
300,000 passengers between Indonesia and China this year, an increase
of 9.1 percent over last year. The China routes generated US$130 million
revenue from passenger sales and US$150 million from cargo last year
for Garuda, about 25 percent of the carrier’s total revenue.
CHINA SOUTHERN Airlines has firmed up plans to acquire 20 Airbus
A320s and 25 Boeing 737-800s. The carrier wants the A320s to be
delivered from March 2009 through to August 2010, with the 737s arriving
from July 2011 to November 2013. The latter will be delivered to Xiamen
Airlines, in which Guangzhou-based China Southern holds a 60 percent
stake. Xiamen will operate the 737-800s on the Hong Kong, Bangkok,
Singapore, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and major domestic routes.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Airbus A320s, and eight ATR 72-500
Separately, a Bangkok Airways
official says the airline is considering
cancelling its order for six Airbus
A350s. The carrier originally
ordered six A350-800s in December
2005, before Airbus revamped the
programme last year as the A350
XWB, with all-new technology but a
later in-service date.
The first A350 was originally slated
to be delivered to Bangkok Airways in
2011, but the A350 XWB will not be
available until 2013 at the earliest.
Dennis William / Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia, India sign new
aviation pact in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia and India have signed a
new aviation pact in Kuala Lumpur,
paving the way for designated
airlines to operate unlimited flights
between the two countries, on
routes serving 18 Indian tourist
The designated Indian airports
are Port Blair, Ahmedabad, Patna,
Lucknow, Guwahati, Gaya, Varanasi,
Bhubaneswar, Aurangabad, Goa,
Kochi, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram,
Khajuraho, Kozhikode, Amritsar,
Visakhapatnam and Tiruchirapalli.
India and Malaysia can designate
any number of airlines to operate
the route. Designated Indian
carriers can also operate beyond
Kuala Lumpur.
The agreement was struck
after the two countries resolved
a stalemate over permission for
Indian carriers AI Express and
JetLite (formerly Air Sahara) to
operate to Malaysia.
Malaysia Airlines, Jet Airways and
Indian Airlines now operate routes
between Malaysia and Mumbai,
Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and
Bangalore. Recently Malaysian
low-cost carrier AirAsia secured the
rights from India’s Civil Aviation
Authority to operate to Amritsar.
Dennis William / Kuala Lumpur
Hainan’s parent to launch aircraft leasing company
HNA Group, parent of Hainan
Airlines, has announced plans to
launch an aircraft-leasing company
in partnership with China Aviation
Industry II (AVIC II).
HNA says it will need to acquire a
significant number of new aircraft as
it continues to expand in the Chinese
regional aviation market. In the
third quarter of last year, the group
ordered 50 Embraer ERJ 145 jets, to
be built by Harbin Embraer Aircraft
Industry, a China-based joint venture
between AVIC II and the Brazilian
The new partnership will also
help speed up the delivery of aircraft
to Hainan’s fleet and lower leasing
costs, HNA says. Through this new
airline-manufacturer relationship, the
company hopes to tap the potential of
China’s aircraft leasing market.
HNA Group and AVIC II will also
launch a joint maintenance, repair
and overhaul subsidiary and explore
business potential in the general
aviation market.
AVIC II’s larger domestic
competitor, AVIC I, is also poised to
start an international leasing company,
together with 13 aerospace firms
and research agencies. At the end
of last year, Bank of China acquired
established lessor Singapore Aircraft
Last year, HNA ordered 50 ERJ 145 regional jets, to be built by the China-based Harbin Embraer joint venture.
Leasing Enterprise, which has now
been rebranded as BOC Aviation.
As China’s air-transport infrastructure
evolves and more liberal air-services
agreements with foreign countries
are introduced, economic growth and
increased tourism are expected to
drive up demand for aircraft leasing.
China’s domestic leasing companies
may not be as competitive as their
foreign counterparts, however, due to
higher financing costs.
More than 60 percent of the current
Chinese commercial fleet, which
numbers 1,028 aircraft, is leased. Yet
there are only five or six Chinese-
Jetstar to launch flights to Kuala Lumpur
Australian low-fare airline Jetstar will
launch thrice weekly Sydney-Kuala
Lumpur flights on 9 September,
using its Airbus A330-200 widebody
The flights will be operated on
Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays,
making Kuala Lumpur Jetstar’s sixth
Asian destination. The others are
Bangkok, Phuket, Bali, Ho Chi Minh
City and Osaka. Flights between
Cairns and Nagoya will be launched
next month.
Jetstar’s A330-200 is configured in
a two-class layout, with 36 Star Class
seats and 267 economy. Star class
is Jetstar’s equivalent of business
The airline will be the f irst
Australian carrier to operate between
Sydney and Kuala Lumpur since
February 1998, when Qantas stopped
serving the route in the wake of the
Asian financial crisis.
According to David May, Jetstar’s
general manager for marketing and
public relations, the airline will
operate to the main terminal at the
Kuala Lumpur International Airport,
rather than the more spartan low-cost
carrier’s terminal, for the convenience
of transit passengers on full-service
Jetstar expects to replace its
A330-200s with the new Boeing
787 starting next year. The airline
has 15 of the new twinjets on order,
and will start taking delivery of the
aircraft at a rate of one a month from
Korean Air plans new low-fare airline
Korean Air (KAL) plans to set
up a low-fare airline within the
next three years, operating
on domestic and short-haul
international routes, using singleaisle Boeing 737 Next-Generation
The airline arrived at the decision
after a lengthy feasibility study begun
in 2005. According to Young-Ho
Kim, president of KAL’s passenger
division, the carrier is evaluating
the possibility of using another
existing Hanjin Group company,
Korea Airport Service, to manage
the new carrier’s operations.
Korean Air is itself part of the
Hanjin Group, a transportation
conglomerate that also owns Hanjin
Shipping. Korea Airport Service
has experience in charter flight
The still-unnamed airline will be
the third low-cost carrier in Korea,
after Jeju Air and Han Sung Airlines,
which both operate domestic flights.
Kim says KAL’s decision to set up
its own low-fare unit arises from its
commitment to proactively deal with
the evolution of the airline industry,
hoping to lure more passengers with
lower prices.
“The move is also a step towards
protecting the Korean market
from the entry of low-fare airlines
from China and Southeast Asia,”
Kim says. “It is also to prepare
Korean Air for the change of the
domestic air-travel market, when
high-speed train services are
launched in Korea in two to three
years time.”
An estimated 50 percent of the
country’s domestic travellers are
expected to opt for the cheaper
high-speed train service when it
becomes available.
Dennis William / Kuala Lumpur
owned or joint-venture aircraft leasing
companies in the country.
Separately, Hainan Airlines has
acquired 21.66 percent of Shenzhen
Financial Leasing, which plans to
focus on serving the low-cost carrier
Kenne Chan / Indianapolis
August 2008 through to October the
following year.
The carrier currently operates five
A330-200s, including four leased
from its parent, Qantas. Jetstar will
take delivery of another A330-200
next month. The four leased aircraft
will be returned to Qantas as the new
787s join the fleet.
On the domestic front, Jetstar
operates network covering 20
destinations, using a fleet of 23 Airbus
A320s. It will take delivery of nine
more A320s from December through
to the second quarter of next year.
Dennis William / Kuala Lumpur
HAN SUNG Airlines has signed a
memorandum of understanding to
acquire 10 ATR 72-500 turboprops
with options for another 10 to help
the South Korean domestic carrier
expand its network internationally.
The aircraft are to be delivered
between 2008 and 2010. By the
end of the decade, Han Sung
intends to have a fleet of about
27 ATR aircraft. The airline is
planning to begin services to
Japan in November, but still needs
approval from Korean authorities.
Han Sung now operates four,
leased ATR 72-200s, and plans
to lease six more this year.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Boeing completes half of 777
design Freighter design work
Boeing has completed 50 percent
of the design work of its new 777
Freighter, with half of the detailed
design released to Boeing factories
and suppliers to start building parts,
assemblies and tools for the aircraft.
Boeing launched the 777F in May
2005 with a five-aircraft order from
Air France. The manufacturer now
has 71 orders from 11 customers,
including Emirates, FedEx Express,
Qatar Airways, Guggenheim Aviation
Partners and Korean Air. Air France is
due to receive its first aircraft in the
fourth quarter of next year.
Boeing has worked closely with
its customers on the design of the
“The 777 Freighter team has done
a tremendous job working with our
customers and programme partners
to define what will be the world’s
most capable twin-engine freighter,”
says Kim Pastega, the manufacturer’s
deputy programme manager and
engineering leader on the 777F. “We
are seeing strong market acceptance
for the 777 Freighter, along with a
growing cargo market around the
world,” he adds.
Boeing is on schedule to complete
the detailed design work and is on
track to meet its commitments for
the 777F’s performance capabilities,
adds Pastega.
Boeing says the 777F will provide
more capacity than any other twinengine freighter and the lowest trip
costs of any large freighter. It will
have a revenue payload capacity of
Boeing now has 71 orders for the freighter version of the 777.
229,000 lbs (104 tonnes) and a range
of 4,885 nautical miles (9,045km)
with a full payload and general
cargo market densities, making it the
longest-range twin-engine freighter.
The 777F is designed to
complement 747 cargo operations
with the ability to transfer shipments
directly between the two airplanes.
The main cargo door of the 777F
will be sized to accommodate 10fthigh (3m) pallets for easy interlining
with 747 freighters.
Emma Kelly / Perth
DHL expands Asian business China Southern in partnership
negotiations with Air France
Express parcels operator DHL is
further expanding its business in Asia
with the opening of a new, US$41
million freight facility at Kansai
International Airport in Osaka, Japan,
and the launch of a new Chinese
cargo service.
The new facility is five times
bigger than the company’s previous
building and is intended to meet
“continued strong business growth
in Japan, especially in Kansai – a
major import centre for exports from
China”, DHL says. The development
also “reflects the important role of
Kansai as a conduit of international
“The expansion of the DHL
Kansai International Airport gateway
underlines the strong growth that
DHL is experiencing in Japan and
Asia Pacific,” says DHL ExpressAsia Pacific Chief Executive Officer
Scott Price. “The expanded gateway
complements our other Japan
gateways in Chubu and Narita.”
The expansion is part of a US$90
million investment to be made by
DHL in Japan over the next few
years. The company is also spending
US$110 million on developments
in China.
The new Chinese freighter service
will link Qingdao and Hangzhou
with DHL’s central Asia hub in Hong
Kong. The services will be operated
by the company’s Chinese partner
Yangtze River Express Airlines
using Boeing 737-300 freighters, 10
times weekly.
“The new dedicated QingdaoHangzhou-Hong Kong flight and the
Hangzhou Gateway will greatly drive
the economic development of the
regions, and enhance our combined
capability in these major logistics
markets - and at the same time
provide our customers with greater
international connectivity,” says Jerry
Hsu, DHL Express’s president for the
Greater China Area.
Emma Kelly / Perth
Qantas plans to purchase
Asian-based freight business
Qantas is in the process of finalising
the purchase of an Asian freightrelated business.
Following the collapse of Airline
Partners Australia’s proposed takeover
of the airline, Qantas told investors
recently that the freight acquisition
was one of a number of initiatives
planned by the carrier, which will
also include selling off parts of the
One of the initiatives involves
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
a “small strategic acquisition” in
Asia, which will allow it to establish
an integrated freight and logistics
company in the region, in conjunction
with its Asian operators. The airline
has for some time looked at building
up its Asian freight business, with
an earlier joint venture in Thailand,
Thai Air Cargo, dropped last year
after rising fuel prices meant the
airline was unable to acquire suitable
China Southern Airlines has
confirmed to the Hong Kong Stock
Exchange that it is negotiating with
Air France on a possible cargo joint
venture in China.
“The company confirms that it
has entered into negotiations with
Air France in relation to a proposed
joint venture in the cargo business,”
the Guangzhou-based airline says.
However, as of today, the company
has not signed any agreements or
memoranda of understanding with
the French company.
For some time China Southern has
expressed interest in forming a cargo
joint venture with an international
carrier, and with China Southern set
to join the Air France-led SkyTeam
alliance later this year, the Paris-based
airline is an obvious choice of partner.
To date China Southern has played
a limited role in the Asian country’s
booming freight business, which has
attracted numerous foreign airlines in
partnership with local carriers.
China Southern currently operates
Boeing 747-400 freighters and has
777 freighters on order.
Emma Kelly / Perth
Indian Airlines to launch
cargo venture with Gati
Indian Airlines is forming a
partnership with local logistics
company Gati to launch freighter
Under the terms of the agreement,
Gati will wet-lease five Boeing
737-300 freighters from the carrier
for five years to operate domestic
services. The first aircraft is due to
enter service this month, with more
to follow from September through to
next January.
The aircraft will be jointly branded
and the services will be advertised
under both companies’ names.
Initially the partners plan to operate
to Frankfurt and Paris, later adding
more destinations.
Indian Airlines’ cargo business is
currently worth about 400 million
rupees (US$9.9 million) a year, but
the agreement is expected to increase
this to more than 2 billion rupees
within two years.
The airline’s move comes in
response to a perceived shortage of
airfreight capacity in the country.
Fellow Indian carrier Jet Airways is
planning to launch its own dedicated
cargo operation and is in talks with
Lufthansa on a possible partnership.
Neither potential partner is revealing
the nature of the talks, however. Foreign
airlines are currently not permitted to
acquire stakes in Indian carriers.
Indian Airlines is undergoing a
merger with its domestic rival Air
India, with the merged operator to
take on Air India’s brand.
Emma Kelly / Perth
Success flies on the
Bombardier Q400
All-Nippon Airways
Japan Air Lines Group
Jeju Air
The regional aircraft market in Asia/Pacific is taking off. And Bombardier’s Q400 turboprop is leading this
revolution in the air. As the world’s most advanced turboprop, the Q400 provides the lowest operating costs
of any regional aircraft plus superior passenger comfort and unparalleled jet-like speed. No wonder the
region’s most respected airlines have chosen the Q Series aircraft – in fact, there are over 200 Bombardier
aircraft already flying in Asia/Pacific. www.Q400.com
Singapore seeks information on advanced jet trainer
Singapore has issued a request for
information on its requirement for an
advanced jet trainer (AJT) to replace
about 18 McDonnell Douglas A/TA4U Super Skyhawks now used in the
role by the island’s air force.
Companies have been given
two months to reply to the request.
Responses are expected from Italy’s
Alenia Aermacchi with the M-346,
Aviation Technology Group and Israel
Aircraft Industries offering the Mk 30
Javelin, BAE Systems with the Hawk
128 and Korea Aerospace Industries
(KAI) with the T-50 Golden Eagle.
Once an invitation to tender is
issued next year, the candidates will be
reduced to a shortlist of two aircraft,
which will be test flown against each
other. The republic wants to introduce
the new aircraft into service in late
2010 or 2011, following a selection in
early 2009.
Singapore Technologies Aerospace
(ST Aero) has been lined to up to support
whichever trainer is selected, and may
reportedly also form a partnership with
one of the bidders for the contract. It is
still unknown whether the aircraft will
be leased or purchased.
Although the Super Skyhawk
was officially retired from front-line
BAE’s Hawk, which has already achieved export success in Asia, is seen as a front-runner for the Singapore requirement.
service in March 2005, after 31 years
in service, a number remain in service
in the training role at Cazaux Air Base
in the south of France. The French
government has allowed Singapore
to use the base on a 25-year lease
since 1998.
The new AJTs are intended to train
Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)
pilots for the country’s newest front-line
fighters, which now comprise Lockheed
Martin F-16s and will eventually
include 12 or more Boeing F-15SGs.
The country is also likely to purchase
the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint
Strike Fighter.
Among the front-runners in the
upcoming competition, BAE has
already sold its Hawk in Asia to
customers including Australia, India,
Indonesia and Malaysia, while Alenia
Aermacchi and KAI are both pushing
for the first export sales of their
respective products. The same three
aircraft are also competing for a jet
trainer requirement in the United Arab
Lockheed to upgrade Japan’s reconnaissance F-15s
Lockheed Martin says it will
upgrade radar capabilities for the
reconnaissance version of the Japan
Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) fleet
of Boeing F-15 fighters. As part of a
Japanese-led team, Lockheed Martin
will equip select F-15 aircraft with
advanced synthetic aperture radar
(SAR) pods.
“Lockheed Martin has been
advancing SAR technologies since
the 1950’s,” says John Mengucci,
president of mission and combat
support solutions for Lockheed
Martin’s Information Solutions &
Global Services arm. The SAR pods
will provide the JASDF “with a system
that gives them flexibility over weather
constraints and introduces the ability
for night operations”, he adds
The radar will be installed in pods
that will be attached to the belly of
the aircraft. “Once integrated onto
the aircraft, the radar will receive,
process and disseminate critical
targeting information in real-time,”
the manufacturer says.
The radar system utilizes a solid-
state digital system to record imagery,
an airborne data-link to electronically
relay information to ground stations,
and the SAR to accurately locate
targets anytime day or night in any type
of weather condition. The modified F15s are slated to replace several aging
McDonnell Douglas RF-4 Phantom
reconnaissance jets, which will soon
be decommissioned.
Since developing the first operational
SAR system in the early 1950s,
Lockheed Martin says it has adapted
the technology for numerous military,
government and civilian applications.
“As an active system that senses with
radio waves rather than light, SAR
has revolutionized reconnaissance by
peering through clouds and darkness
to create photo-quality images,”
Lockheed Martin says. SAR has been
used in a diverse range of military and
scientific applications, including earthresources monitoring, agricultural
and land use, ocean-spill monitoring,
polar ice assessment, intelligence
acquisition, battlefield reconnaissance
and weapon delivery.
Boeing signs agreement with KAI for Korean E-X programme
Boeing and Korea Aerospace
Industries (KAI) have signed a
Memorandum of Agreement for the
Republic of Korea’s E-X airborne
early warning and control (AEW&C)
aircraft programme.
Under the agreement, KAI will
modify three AEW&C aircraft, based
on Boeing’s 737 narrowbody jetliner,
installing the mission systems. The
company will then test and deliver the
aircraft from its facility in Sacheon,
South Korea. Boeing will modify a
fourth AEW&C aircraft at one of its
manufacturing facilities.
Boeing signed a US$1.59 billion
contract with South Korea in 2006
to provide four AEW&C aircraft
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
along with ground support. The deal
also covered flight- and missioncrew training, mission support, and
aircraft and systems modification
Boeing will deliver Korea’s first
737 AEW&C aircraft in 2011, with
the remaining three to be handed
over in 2012.
Apart from Korea, Boeing has sold
10 AEW&C aircraft to international
customers to date. Six have been
assigned to Australia’s Project
Wedgetail and four for Turkey’s
Peace Eagle program.
“KAI is a leading defence company
in Korea, with world-class core
technical capabilities complementing
the strengths of Boeing,” says Tony
Parasida, Boeing’s vice-president and
general manager of airborne antisubmarine warfare and intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance
systems. “It will play an important
role in helping produce airborne early
warning capabilities for Korea.”
Separately, Boeing has started
flight-testing of the mission system
aboard Australia’s 737 Wedgetail
AEW&C aircraft. During an initial
four-hour flight test in June at Boeing
Field in Seattle, the flight crew ran
tests to measure the system’s impact
on the aircraft’s power generation
ability and environmental controls.
The mission systems include radar,
navigation, communications and
computing subsystems. The flight
tests were set to continue several
days a week for a month, Boeing
The next phase of flight-testing is
scheduled for later this year, when
aircraft No. 1 and 2 will be used for
system-level development testing.
Northrop Grumman’s Multirole Electronically Scanned Array
(MESA) radar is the critical sensor
aboard the 737 AEW&C. The MESA
array is designed to provide optimal
performance in range, tracking
and accuracy. The radar is able to
track airborne and maritime targets
Hong Kong’s Hainan, NCA, others place CAE simulator orders
FTG plans
to establish
flight school
Hong Kong-based Flight Training
Group (FTG) plans to establish
a new flight training school in
Queensland, Australia.
The company already has a pilot
training college in Adelaide, which
it purchased from BAE Systems
and has been operating since the
early 1980s. FTG is part of Young
Brothers Aviation, which has
aviation interests in Europe, the
United States and Asia.
Flight Training Queensland,
as the new facility will be known,
will be developed on a greenfi eld site in Maryborough, twoand-a-half hours drive north of
The complex will be an integrated
campus, incorporating operational
buildings such as a hangar,
classrooms, a simulator section
and fl ight operations, along with
residential accommodation, dining
and recreational facilities. The
facility will be capable of handling
200 students at a time.
“When fully operational the
facility will employ more than 100
staff, be home to approximately
40 training aircraft and fl y more
than 38,000 training hours per
year, making use of facilities at
Maryborough and Hervey Bay
airports,” says John Mickel,
Queensland minister for state
CAE has won a bonanza of simulator
orders from Nippon Cargo Airlines
(NCA), Lufthansa Flight Training,
Ansett Flight Simulator Centre,
Cargolux International Airlines,
Emirates, Hainan Airlines and the
CAE-Embraer joint venture.
Japanese cargo carrier NCA has
ordered a CAE 7000 Series full-flight
simulator (FFS) for the new Boeing
747-8 Freighter and a suite of 747
ground school training devices. The
FFS will be a 747-400 simulator
capable of conversion to a 747-8F and
will feature CAE’s new, true electric
motion system and next-generation
visual solution.
The training equipment in the
deal includes a level-5, 747 flight
training device, two 747 integrated
procedures trainers and 24 CAE
Simfinity VSIMS.
Ansett’s Flight Simulator Centre in
Melbourne will take an Airbus A320
simulator, which will be installed
later this year.
The CAE-Embraer joint venture has
committed to two CAE 5000 Series
Phenom FFSs. The joint venture
will provide entitlement training and
post-entitlement training for pilots
and personnel for the Phenom 100
Very Light Jet and Phenom 300
Light Jet. One simulator will be
delivered to CAE’s Dallas training
centre next year and the second to
the company’s UK training centre in
2009. Lufthansa Flight Training has
ordered a Bombardier Q400 CAE
5000 Series simulator.
At the World Aviation Training
Symposium and Tradeshow in
Orlando, Florida, in June, the
manufacturer announced that 747-8
freighter launch customer Cargolux
has ordered a FFS for the new
aircraft. In addition, Emirates has
ordered a 777-300ER simulator, for
delivery in the second quarter of next
The orders from CAE-Embraer and Lufthansa include CAE 5000 Series full-flight simulators.
year, while China’s Hainan Airlines
has purchased an Embraer ERJ-145
regional jet simulator for delivery
next year.
The manufacturer also used the
show to launch its third generation
of Simfinity integrated procedures
trainers. The trainer is a threedimensional device for procedural
and familiarisation training, used
before a full-flight simulator.
The latest Simfinity trainer has
a new structure that allows easier
and faster reconfiguration between
different aircraft types, according
to CAE. It also features new touchscreen technology and a new
instructor tool.
Separately, the simulator
manufacturer more than doubled its
2007 net profit to C$127.4 million
(US$122.3 million), from C$63.6
million a year earlier. Revenues
climbed 13 percent to C$1.25 billion
from C$1.107 billion a year ago.
Emma Kelly / Perth
India signs up with CAE to develop pilot training schools
CAE has boosted its business in India,
signing preliminary agreements
with the Airport Authority of India
(AAI), to develop the National
Flying Training Institute (NFTI),
and with the Indian Government,
to be the managing partner of
the government’s Indira Gandhi
Rashtriva Uran Akademi (IGRUA)
flight school.
The partnerships will see more
than 400 pilots licensed annually
through the two schools, with
numbers to rise to 600 once the multi
pilot licence scheme is implemented.
CAE already has a training centre
under development in Bangalore.
The NFTI will be jointly owned
by AAI and the Canadian simulator
maker. The partners will invest
US$25 million in the facility, which
is based in Gondia in the state of
Maharashtra. The centre will operate
new aircraft and use CAE courseware
and training equipment, to train as
many as 200 pilots a year.
The IGRUA agreement will see
CAE managing the flight school’s
activities, including aircraft
maintenance, flight operations, air
traffic control, runway maintenance,
navigation aids, f ire-f ighting,
security and transportation, as
well as medical, staff and student
CAE says it will transform IGRUA,
at the Fursatganj Airport in Rae
Bareli, into a Centre of Excellence,
delivering a complete range of aviation
training programmes. The facility
currently licenses 200 pilots a year.
The partnership with CAE is part of
India’s efforts to address its shortage
of pilots as the country’s aviation
industry booms.
“Creating these world-class
institutions in-country with CAE as
our partner is a major government
initiative targeted at tackling both
the acute shortage of Indian pilots
while improving the overall quality
of the cadet supply within India,”
says Praful Patel, India’s minister
of civil aviation. “Today there are
approximately 2,500 active pilots
in India and we estimate that we
will need up to an additional 5,000
pilots over the next five years to
meet the needs of the industry. These
initiatives will go a long way to help
remedy our pilot shortage.”
The Air Passengers Association
of India estimates that the annual
air traffic growth rate in the country
has been around 26 percent over
the past two years, resulting
in the Indian airline industry
ordering approximately 400 new
aircraft, to be delivered by 2010.
The Indian schools could also become
part of CAE’s Global Academy, a
worldwide network of flight training
organisations that offer students an
optimised training programme with
standard operating procedures.
Emma Kelly / Perth
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Shanghai SR signs line maintenance deal with SIA
Shanghai SR Aircraft Technics, a joint
venture between SR Technics and
Shanghai Foreign Aviation Services
(Shanghai FASCO
), has signed a
contract with Singapore Airlines
(SIA), covering line maintenance
Shanghai SR will provide line
maintenance and other technical
support under the agreement for SIA’s
Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft during
their transit stops at Shanghai’s Pudong
international airport. The five-timesdaily flights began on 1 July.
Additionally, SR Technics will
also provide line maintenance for
SIA’s 747 freighter operations into
the airport.
Shanghai SR has been set up
at Pudong as a provider of line
maintenance and technical consulting
services. At a later stage, the company
plans to add technical training to its
services, extending operations to
other airports in the region and further
The agreement with Shanghai SR covers support for Singapore Airlines 777s and 747s during transit stops in Shanghai.
diversifying the range of products it
“Establishing a physical presence
in the region through joint ventures
and partnerships is a key element of
our expansion strategy for the AsiaPacific region,” says Declan ’OShea,
SR Technics’ executive vice-president
of sales, marketing and business
The agreement with SIA comes
soon after SR Technics signed and
agreement with Shanghai Airlines to
provide landing gear services to the
carrier’s fleet of Boeing 737 NextGeneration aircraft. The services
will be provided at SR’s landing gear
facility in Dublin, Ireland.
The agreement covers the airline’s
fleet of six 737-700s and six 737800s. Work will begin in September.
Singapore Airlines chooses Air NZ wins NZ$45 mln
Goodrich for A380 support Hawaiian maintenance deal
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has become
the launch customer for Goodrich’s
support services for the Airbus
A380, signing a long-term agreement
covering asset management, including
component and system maintenance
and technical support for the carrier’s
fleet of 19 aircraft.
The deal “covers Goodrichproduced technology ranging from
primary and secondary flight controls
to sensors and evacuation systems,”
the company says.
“We worked with Singapore
Airlines to customise an offering
allowing access to assets and services
to enhance fleet dispatchability,” says
Paul Snyder, Goodrich’s president of
customer services.
The support programme will
be delivered by Goodrich service
facilities in Singapore, France, the
and USA, the company says. The
service network will maintain direct
links with Goodrich manufacturing
facilities “to ensure that the
highest levels of technical product
support are in place throughout the
SIA is scheduled to become the
first operator of the 550-seat A380 in
Eaton appoints STA Systems
as full full service centre
Eaton’s Aerospace O
perations arm
has appointed Singapore Technologies
Aerospace’s ST Aerospace Systems
(STA Systems) unit as a full-service
centre, providing support for a range
of airline customers’ Airbus and
Boeing fleets in the Asia-Pacific
Under the agreement, STA Systems
will expand its repair capabilities to
include repair and overhaul support
in the region for a broader range
of Eaton products. “This enhanced
agreement will allow an increased
level of support to a growing list of
customers in Asia-Pacific, as well as
provide warranty centre services on
behalf of Eaton,” STA Systems says.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
“With the new agreement to expand
their scope of services, STA Systems
will be even more responsive and
capable of addressing and managing
customer repair and service
requirements,” says Mel Drummond,
Eaton’s vice-president of customer
support and services.
In 2006, STA Systems was
appointed as an authorised service
centre for the repair and overhaul
of Eaton’s aerospace products and
systems, including hydraulic pumps
and motors used on Airbus and
Boeing’s entire range of commercial
airliners. The agreement is in its
second year, with an option to extend
for three more years.
Air New eZaland (Air NZ
) has won
a five-year, NZ
$45 million (US$36
million) contract from Hawaiian
Airlines, covering heavy maintenance
of its Boeing 767 fleet.
Under the contract, Air NZ
Technical pOerations unit will carry
out the work on Hawaiian’s fleet of
18 767s. The contract virtually fills
up Air NZ
’s heavy maintenance
capacity for the next five years, the
New eZaland company says.
The first aircraft is scheduled to
arrive in Auckland in mid-August
Qiantiang chooses Air France
for A320 component support
Chinese start-up carrier Q
Airways has signed a component
support agreement with Air France
Industries, covering its fleet of
Airbus A320 jetliners.
The carrier, based in Hangzhou,
capital of Z
hejiang province, has
ordered 10 of the narrowbody
twinjets, powered by CFM
International CFM56-5B engines, for
delivery between 2009 and 2011. It
plans to begin operations in January
2008, using three leased A320s.
Under the agreement, Air France
Industries will provide Q
i antang
with a dedicated pool of components
based in China and access to the
repair facilities the French company’s
Hangxin subsidiary, located in
Guangzhou and Shanghai. Q
is the third Chinese carrier to enter
into a pooling contract with Air
France Industries.
According to Q
iantang Chairman
Chen X
ijian, the airline chose Air
France Industries “for its quality of
service and for its awareness of the …
market”. “This agreement is part of a
global co-operation project including
consultancy services delivered by Air
France group subsidiary Air France
Consulting,” he adds.
Separately, the maintenance,
repair and overhaul (MRO
) provider
has signed a maintenance and
pool agreement with Indian lowcost carrier IndiGo, covering its
A320 fleet. Under this agreement,
the French company will provide
its customer with door-to-door
logistics support, pool access,
repair management and dedicated
on-site management in support of
the airline’s operations throughout
IndiGo operates a fleet of 10 of the
Airbus jetliners, offering 68 daily
flights to 14 domestic destinations
in India. Five more A320s will join
the fleet this year, and by 2010 the
carrier plans to serve 30 destinations
with a fleet of 40 aircraft.
Rockwell Collins launches
SwiftBroadband SATCOM
Rockwell Collins has revamped its
SAT-906 and SAT-2100/6100 satellite
communication (SATCO
M) systems to
be compatible with the new Inmarsat
SwiftBroadband specifications.
SwiftBroadband is the fastest Inmarsat
aeronautical SATCO
M service to be
offered to date and is available through
the latest Inmarsat-4 satellites.
The new SAT-906B and SAT2100B/6 100B systems feature
increased functionality and reliability,
Rockwell Collins says. Existing SAT-
Boeing tests Smart Rotor
for military helicopters
906 and SAT-2100/6100 systems
can be upgraded to SwiftBroadband
In conjunction with Chelton and EMS
M, the avionics manufacturer
is offering a turnkey SwiftBroadband
solution with its own line of high- and
intermediate-gain antennas designed to
meet the new specifications.
The antennas, SwiftBroadband
equipment and service bulletins will be
available starting in the second quarter
of 2008.
Research validates Quickstep
Research from Australia’s Victorian
Centre for Advanced Materials
Manufacture (VCAMM) has
demonstrated that the new uQickstep
curing process can lead to significant
improvements in the structure of
nanocomposite materials.
The Q
uickstep process is a fl uidbased curing technology to develop
composites that has been developed
by Perth, Western Australia-based
uQickstep. The company is currently
seeking to break into the aerospace
market and contracted VCAMM
to test claims that the Q
method produces improvements in
the properties of composite materials,
including in toughness and strength.
The research had been prompted by
questions from Airbus and Boeing on
the molecular differences in composites
manufactured using Q
uickstep and
traditional methods.
Dr Bronwyn Fox, who heads the
team of composites researchers
at VCAMM, says Q
u ickstep’s
manufacturing technique resulted in a
more even separation of the nano-sized
particles throughout the composite
material, significantly enhancing their
overall effect.
“Improved particle separation
enhances the overall quality of the
nanocomposite product,” says Dr Fox.
“When examining fire retardation
properties, our research shows that
using the Q
uickstep process should
lead to significant improvements in
performance characteristics.”
“If VCAMM’s research does
conclusively prove that the uQickstep
process can offer key enhancements to
the characteristics of nanocomposite
materials, this would be a major new
draw-card in attracting aerospace
and automotive manufacturers to the
technology,” says uQickstep managing
director Nick Noble.
Boeing may use the new rotor technology to improve the performance of its AH-64 Apache attack helicopter
Boeing has been awarded a US$3
million contract by the US Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) to test an innovative main
rotor system for military helicopters
that promises to be quieter, vibrate
less and have improved performance
compared with today’s systems.
The Smart Rotor will be tested
over the next year ay NASA
Ames Research Center’s 40ft by
80ft wind tunnel at its California
facility. The tests will be used to
ascertain the system’s forward flight
characteristics and to gather data
to validate state-of-the-art aeroacoustic analysis codes.
The codes are used to predict a
variety of data that help identify
the cause of rotor noise, allowing
Australia and US in scramjet success
The TALOS rocket carrying the scramjet test
engine lifts off from Woomera in June.
Australia’s Defence Science and
Technology O
rganisation (DSTO
and the US Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
successfully conducted a scramjet
flight test from the Woomera test
range in South Australia in June.
The flight test was part of the
partners’ A$74 million (US$65
million) Hypersonics International
Flight Research Experimentation
(HiFire) agreement. Under the
partnership, signed last November, up
to 10 hypersonic flight experiments
will be conducted at Woomera over
the next five years.
Scramjets are air breathing,
supersonic-combustion ramjet
engines that have a range of
defence and civilian aerospace
applications, offering the possibility
of very high speeds and fuel
efficiency. The technology could
eventually allow two-hour flights
from Sydney to London, in addition
to having numerous defence
applications and offering better
access to space, the partners say.
During the June test, the scramjet
test engine was launched using a
Talos rocket, climbing to an altitude
of 530km and reaching Mach 10
during re-entry.
“This test has obtained the first
ever flight data on the inwardturning scramjet design,” says Dr
Steven Walker, deputy director of the
tactical technology office at DARPA.
“DARPA will compare this flight
data to ground test data measured
on the same engine configuration in
the US.”
Australian universities and
research groups have been at the
forefront of hypersonics research for
a number of years. The DSTOis the
lead Australian research organisation
in this programme, which also
involves the Australian Hypersonics
Initiative, whose members include
The University of Q
ueensland, the
University of New South Wales and
the Australian National University.
Emma Kelly / Perth
engineers to study and compare
alternate designs.
“If the technology shows the predicted
benefits of this advanced system, we
may consider adding it to the Apache
helicopter to significantly enhance its
performance,” says Smart Rotor project
engineer Friedrich Straub.
The system incorporates several
new technologies that make it more
capable and quieter than existing
rotors, according to Boeing. These
include trailing edge blade flaps
controlled by on-blade piezo-electric
actuators and control electronics that
optimise flap motions.
Boeing believes the system could
be applied to other military and civil
Emma Kelly / Perth
CESSNA HAS selected Rockwell
Collins’ new digital cabin
management system (CMS) for
the Citation CJ4 business jet.
The CMS represents the next
generation of cabin management
and entertainment capabilities,
according to Rockwell Collins,
including high-definition video,
audio and an integrated Airshow
moving map. The system is
optimised for light jets, and will be
offered as part of the baseline CJ4
cabin package.
THALES HAS launched its ‘office
in the sky’ concept for executive
and regional jets, comprising a
suite of aircraft voice and data
services. The suite is based on the
manufacturer’s TopFlight satellite
communications (SATCOM)
airborne wi-fi internet and voice
transmission. The TopFlight
SATCOM terminal is capable of
data rates of up to 864kbps.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
EADS revamps Airbus
management structure
Airbus’s parent, European Aeronautic
Defence and Space (EADS) has
eliminated its long-standing dualmanagement structure, making
Airbus head Louis Gallois its sole
chief executive officer.
At the same time, Tom Enders,
who has up to now been co-CEO
of EADS alongside Gallois, will
become the new CEOof Airbus. He
will be supported by Fabrice Bregier
as chief operating officer.
“Guiding principles of the
modif ication are eff iciency,
cohesiveness and simplification of
EADS management and leadership
structure, towards governance
best practices and in the respect of
balance between the French and the
German shareholders,” EADS says
in a statement. The company says the
decision was taken by shareholders
together with the management,
in consultation with the German
Rudiger Grube will assume the
position of sole chairman of the
The reshuffle sees Tom Enders (left) taking over the helm at Airbus
from Louis Gallois, becoming the manufacturer’s fifth CEO in two years.
board of directors at EADS –a role
he previously shared with Arnaud
Lagardere. “In this role, he will be
responsible for overseeing the group’s
strategic development and dealings
with its shareholders,” EADS says.
As part of the reorganisation,
EADS’s biggest shareholders
DaimlerChrysler and French holding
company Sogeade will each give up
two seats on the board of directors.
Those positions will be taken on by
four independent directors, to be
elected by the shareholders.
“Apart from the CEO
, the board
will no longer comprise executive
directors,” EADS says.
The reorganisation makes Enders
the fifth CEOof Airbus in two years,
after a succession of upheavals related
to serious production delays affecting
the A380 programme. The delays
triggered the resignation of Airbus’s
ex-CEOGustav Humbert, barely
a year after he took over the post
from Noel Forgeard. Humbert was
succeeded by Christian Streiff, who
held the job for barely three months
before being replaced by Gallois last
EADS says the new structure
gives the CEO and executive
committee more freedom in the dayto-day management of the company,
including sole responsibility for
investments of 350 million euros
(US$480 million) or less. Most board
decisions will be taken on a simple
majority vote, with a few exceptions
such as major strategic or investment
Indonesia approves strategic partnership for Garuda
The Indonesian government has
granted state-owned airline Garuda
Indonesia approval to sell shares to a
strategic partner, as part of a plan to
divest a 49 percent stake in an initial
public offering (IPO
), scheduled for
late 2008.
Three airlines –Air Canada, Thai
Airways International and Lufthansa
–as well as the Rajawali Group, an
Indonesian conglomerate, are among
several potential investors that have
expressed an interest. Garuda has
appointed PT Bahana Securities and
Ernst &
Y as fi
nancial advisors
for the IPO
Proceeds from the share sale will
be used in part to help Garuda finance
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL) profit for the year ended 31
March rose five-fold to a record US$140.3 million, thanks to
increased passenger and cargo revenue. The result is the
carrier’s third consecutive annual profit, after the previous
year’s US$22.8 million result. Revenue jumped 12.8 percent
to US$1.39 billion, while expenses increased 6.4 percent to
US$1.3 billion, with fuel accounting for US$401.9 million. PAL
carried 6.9 million passengers, with an average 76.8 percent
load factor – the highest in 15 years. PAL president Jaime J
Bautista described the airline’s performance as encouraging,
coming as it does in the face of high fuel prices, tough
international and domestic competition and continued global
terrorist threats.
SINGAPORE-BASED Frobisher plans to reduce its 48.5
percent stake in Thai Airports Ground Services (TAGS) to 40
percent. Frobisher holds a controlling stake in the company,
close to the 49 percent maximum foreign investment permitted
under Thailand’s investment laws. The other shareholders are
Airports of Thailand with 28.5 percent, Travel Services with 15
percent, and Power Link with 8 percent. Frobisher wants to
sell the shares to a new investor, as the other partners have
no plan to increase their stakes.
Asian Aviation July/Augustl 2007
new aircraft acquisitions.
An official at the Ministry of State
Enterprises in Jakarta says offloading
a stake to a strategic partner is seen
as the last avenue available to help the
carrier return to profitability. Garuda,
which has been in the red for the last
five years, has forecast that it will
make a profit of 45 billion rupiah
(US$5 million) this year.
Airline Chief Executive O
ffi cer
Emirsyah Satar says the projection
is based on higher passenger and
cargo load factors, and increased
aircraft utilisation following the
restructuring of the carrier’s domestic
and international networks.
Dennis William / Jakarta
Shin Corp to sell 50% Thai
AirAsia shareholding
Thai telecommunications giant Shin
Corp will sell its 50 percent stake in
low-fare airline Thai Air Asia to six
directors of the carrier for 472 million
baht (US$13.5 million).
The six are: Chief Executive
Tassapon Bijleveld, who now holds
a 1 percent stake in the airline;
Chief Financial O
fficer Pornanan
Gerdprasert; operations director
Thanapat Ngampiang; engineering
director Preechaya Ramaetanin;
business development director M
L Bovornovadep Devakula; and
commercial director Santisuk
longchaiya. Each will acquire 20
million shares.
The other shareholder in Thai
AirAsia is Malaysian low-cost
carrier AirAsia, with 49 percent.
According to Tassapon, the deal is to
be completed by the end of July.
The Thai military government
which seized power in September
last year had pressured Thai AirAsia’s
management to acquire Shin Corp’s
stake in the airline to remove any
concerns about the use of foreign
nominees in the takeover of the
telecommunications company by
Temasek Holdings, the Singapore
government investment arm.
Last year, Temasek and its Thai
partners acquired 96 percent of Shin
Corp. Thailand’s laws allow foreign
companies to hold a maximum 49
Since Thai AirAsia is required
to comply with foreign-ownership
restrictions, Shin Corp transferred
its shares in the carrier to a new
company, Asia Aviation, which it set
up in January last year.
Bangkok-based Thai AirAsia
started operations in March 2003,
operating domestic flights with a fleet
of two Boeing 737-300s.
Dennis William / Bangkok
Cirrus Design unveils seven-seat jet mock-up
Cirrus Design, which makes the piston-engined
SR20 and SR22 light aircraft, has revealed
a mock-up of its first very light jet (VLJ)
Cirrus’s low-wing, V-tail design, known
simply as ‘the-jet’, will accommodate up to
seven people and will be powered by a single
Williams FJ33-4 turbofan mounted in the aft
fuselage, with a dorsal air intake. The aircraft
will have an all-composite structure.
The company, based in Duluth, Minnesota,
has produced three mock-ups of the VLJ,
revealing the last one to the public at the end of
June. Cirrus will now proceed with construction
of a flight-test prototype.
According to Cirrus, ‘the-jet’ is designed
for a range of more than 1,000 nautical miles
with a single pilot on board, carrying more than
1,000lb of fuel. It will cruise at up to 300kt and
will be priced at about US$1 million.
The standard configuration will feature two
seats in the cockpit, with three full-size reclining
passenger seats and two stow-away seats.
The aircraft will feature a pressurised
cabin with a maximum operating altitude of
25,000 ft. It will also have a ballistic recovery
parachute for enhanced safety, like Cirrus’s
other designs.
Honda picks North Carolina Sikorsky, AVIC II to cofor turbofan production
develop light helicopter
HondaAero, the aerospace arm of Japan’s
Honda Motor, has announced plans to
establish its corporate headquarters
and a jet engine manufacturing plant in
Burlington, North Carolina.
The new facility, adjacent to
Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport,
will make jet engines developed and
marketed by GE Honda Aero Engines, a
50-50 joint venture of General Electric’s
GE Aviation unit and Honda Aero.
The 102,400-square foot Honda Aero
site will include a 58,400-square foot
production plant, an 8,000-square foot
engine test cell and 36,000 square feet
of office space. Production at the new
factory will begin in late 2010 with the
manufacture of the 2,000lb thrust class
GE Honda HF120 turbofan engine,
intended for air taxis and other highutilization aircraft.
By the time the plant reaches its initial
annual output level of 200 engines, within
about a year of production start-up,
Honda Aero will employ approximately
70 associates at the site. The company
will invest approximately US$27
million in building the headquarters
and manufacturing facility, including
“Just as our partnership with GE
has created this class-leading engine,
this facility reflects an important new
partnership between Honda and North
Carolina,” says Fumitaka Hasegawa,
president and chief executive of Honda
Honda says the HF120 offers a higher
thrust-to-weight ratio and improved
fuel efficiency compared with existing
engines, with the quietest operation in its
thrust class. While there are currently no
emission regulations for small turbofan
engines, the HF120 is expected to
surpass the future anticipated emissions
standards by as much as 20 percent.
The engine has been selected
to power Spectrum Aeronautical’s
Freedom S-40 mid-size business jet,
as well as Honda Aircraft’s HondaJet.
The HF120 is a higher-thrust
successor to Honda’s original
HF118 prototype engine, which has
accumulated more than 4,000 hours
of testing on the ground and inflight. Honda research on jet engine
technology started in 1986, with
development of the HF118 engine
starting in the late 1990s.
GE-Honda collaboration on the
HF120 began in early 2005. The first
core test of the GE Honda HF120 was
conducted in early 2007, followed by
full-engine testing later in the year.
Sikorsky Aircraft may co-develop a
1t-class light helicopter in partnership
with China Aviation Industry II (AVIC
II), state-run Chinese media have
reported, citing a senior executive of
the local aircraft manufacturer.
Sikorsky has a strategic partnership
with AVIC II unit Changhe Aircraft
Industries, under which Changhe plans
to become a risk-sharing partner in
the development of such a helicopter,
Changhe Chairman Wang Bin told the
China Daily.
Wang’s comments came as Change,
based in China’s eastern Jiangxi
province, signed a subcontracting
agreement on 12 July with the US
manufacturer in July, to supply
airframes for S-76C++ medium
helicopters. The subcontract is valued
at an annual US$50-60 million, with
Changhe providing parts for 30 of the
helicopters a year.
With the new agreement, Changhe
is now a supplier for Sikorsky’s
three largest commercial helicopter
programmes, manufacturing tail
pylons for the S-92A and airframe
components and assemblies for the
Schweizer 300CBi aircraft, the US
company says in a statement.
Sikorsky adds that the original
agreement between the companies,
signed in June 2006, opened discussions
about potential arrangements for
helicopter manufacturing, assembly,
flight test, engineering design and
analysis and new product development
in the light, intermediate and medium
helicopter classes.
“Sikorsky remains committed to
the Asian aviation market, and our
growing presence and involvement in
China provides the foundation for local
market expansion,” says Carey Bond,
the US company’s vice-president
for corporate strategy. “We envision
start-to-finish, ‘fly-away’ production
of Schweizer helicopters in China for
the domestic market as the government
takes steps to encourage civil aviation
by eliminating airspace restrictions.”
Days after the agreement with
Changhe, on 23 July, Sikorsky
delivered the first S-92 to a Chinese
customer, handing the aircraft over
to Eastern General Aviation (EGAC),
a unit of China Eastern Airlines. The
customer also took delivery of two S76C++ machines, and plans to use the
aircraft for offshore oil operations.
The US manufacturer predicts that
China will need more than 1,000
helicopters in the next decade.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Airbus has tested the A380
cabin’s in-flight entertainment
systems in simulated longhaul flights.
Entertainment systems broaden their appeal
With the leading makers of in-fl ight entertainment
systems poised to introduce new products on Airbus’s
and Boeing’s flagship widebody aircraft programmes,
other manufacturers are focusing their efforts on
the developing needs of narrowbody fleet operators,
writes Emma Kelly.
Both systems have undergone
rigorous testing programmes and
come from a heritage of proven
interactive IFE systems. Thales’ i5000, for example, is part of the
manufacturer’s TopSeries family,
which includes the i-2000, i-3000
and i-4000.
The two major manufacturers of inflight entertainment (IFE) systems
for twin-aisle aircraft, Panasonic
Avionics and Thales, have focused
their efforts over the last few years
on developing systems for the two
biggest aircraft programmes of the
last decade – the Airbus A380 and
Boeing 787.
Both programmes have significant
milestones this year, with the A380’s
first delivery to Singapore Airlines
(SIA) scheduled for October and the
787 having been rolled out in public
for the first time on 8 July.
But the new A380 and 787
IFE systems aren’t the only such
developments in the industry. For the
last few years, handheld entertainment
units have been gaining favour and
have extended the world of IFE to
narrowbody aircraft. Meanwhile, the
in-flight use of mobile phones and
personal passenger entertainment
IFE innovations
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
and communication devices is now
becoming a reality, with a number of
trials under way and systems gaining
regulatory approval.
Asian airlines, which have
always been at the forefront of IFE
developments, are active in all of
these areas, with some carriers in
the region set to be among the first
to deploy the new A380 and 787 IFE
systems and others planning to offer
their passengers mobile telephony
SIA will be the first to showcase
Panasonic’s new eX2 IFE system
on the A380, when it starts to take
delivery of the aircraft later this
year. Other airlines in the region
will follow, with Malaysia Airlines
(MAS) and Australia’s Qantas, for
example, opting for the rival Thales
i-5000 system for their A380s, and
Emirates and EVA Air selecting the
eX2 for their aircraft.
The i-5000 includes a number of
innovations, designed to provide
passengers with improved and
expanded entertainment and
information options, at faster
speeds than ever before. The new
developments include: the system’s
f ibre-optic, gigabit Ethernet
backbone; improved picture quality
thanks to digital delivery; and
advances in storage and integrated
processor technology, which have
resulted in reductions in size, weight
and power consumption compared
with earlier systems.
The i-5000 will deliver audioand video-on-demand (A/VOD)
to every seat on the A380, along
with games, shopping, SMS/email,
internet/intranet, in-seat power and
every other application thought up
by airlines.
Similarly, Panasonic’s eX2 comes
from a background of IFE innovation,
incorporating elements from the
System 2000/3000/3000i seatback
interactive IFE systems and aspects
of the eFX, which was developed for
narrowbody aircraft. Like its rival,
the eX2 benefits from innovations
in media management capabilities,
a larger network than previously
available and improvements in power
consumption, weight and size.
Panasonic says increased
bandwidth allows the system to host
many more applications, including
A/VOD, games, electronic books,
audio books, flight information, live
text news, destination information, email, internet/intranet, telephony and
in-seat power.
Both systems have undergone
extensive testing, both in the
laboratory and on A380 test aircraft.
The i-5000 was installed on A380
test aircraft MSN002, while the
eX2 has been flying on MSN007.
The systems have undergone full
testing under simulated and real
flight conditions, during the aircraft’s
cabin virtual flight test and early long
flight test programmes, as part of the
A380 certification programme. More
recently, demonstration tours saw
the aircraft visit countries including
Japan, Australia and Taiwan.
securing orders from 787 customers,
although Thales claims to have won
more than three-quarters of 787 deals
to date – a major turnaround for the
company, which previously lost out
in competitions to Panasonic and
Rockwell Collins.
The manufacturers are not revealing
some of their contracts, with Panasonic
only confirming to date that it has won
a deal for All Nippon Airways’ 787s,
while Thales has secured wins in China
from Air China, Hainan Airlines and
Shanghai Airlines.
A new breed
Australia’s Jetstar has selected DigEcor’s hand-held DigEplayer entertainment system for its fleet.
With Airbus coming to the end
of A380 development, the eX2
and i-5000 systems will soon face
passengers in real airline service.
Meanwhile, Boeing has yet to embark
on the flight-testing stage of the 787
Hard wired solution
Boeing originally planned for the 787
to be the world’s first aircraft with a
wireless IFE system. However, the
manufacturer had a change of heart
in January, reverting to a traditional,
hard-wired solution.
The move followed a number
of years of development work on
wireless products by Panasonic and
Thales, which were proposing the
eX2 Wireless and the TopSeries i8000 systems, respectively.
The aircraft manufacturer’s initial
decision in favour of wireless IFE
came mainly in response to customer
requirements for flexibility of the
cabin interior. Boeing believed a
wireless solution would provide
customers with unprecedented
freedom to rearrange the interior,
allowing aircraft to be transferred
quickly and easily between airlines,
routes and types of service.
Boeing says there were several
reasons behind its switch to hardwired IFE. The first was frequency
regulation, with the bandwidth
required for wireless IFE not available
in all parts of the world. Boeing
says it made a tremendous effort to
obtain approvals in many countries,
but it eventually became clear that
the company couldn’t obtain the
worldwide acceptance it needed.
The aircraft manufacturer says it
doesn’t expect the regulatory issues to
be resolved for many years, meaning
that wireless IFE won’t become a
reality any time soon.
In addition, Boeing says it had
issues with the direction in which
wireless technology was evolving,
with changes being driven by the
consumer market. Boeing found that
the way the technology was heading
was counter to the needs of an aircraftbased system.
Furthermore, wireless systems
were growing in weight and size.
The aircraft manufacturer had hoped
wireless IFE would result in some
weight savings but it now believes
that the moved to a wired system
will result in weight savings of
around 150lb.
The change to a wired system has
been relatively painless, says Boeing.
IFE content will now be provided along
a seat-track based delivery system,
which allows the same flexibility and
ease of reconfiguration as the wireless
design, the company adds.
The change caused little difficulty
for the IFE system manufacturers
themselves, as they were already
both developing hard-wired versions
of their respective systems. Panasonic
already had its wired eX2 system on
the A380, while Thales had developed
a wired version of the i-8000 to meet
Boeing’s needs.
The systems will soon be put
through their paces when the 787
test aircraft take to the air later this
year, prior to its entry into service
in May 2008. To date, Boeing has
collected orders for 584 aircraft from
45 customers.
If Boeing or Airbus opts for a
wireless IFE solution in future,
both manufacturers have a number
of years of wireless experience and
testing behind them to support any
new programmes. The eX2 Wireless
and i-8000 Wireless have undergone
extensive testing as part of the 787
programme, both in laboratories and
on Boeing aircraft.
Both systems were developed from
successful IFE products. Panasonic’s
eX2 incorporates elements from
its highly successful System
2000/3000/3000i systems, while the
i-8000 shares many of the features
of Thales’ i-4000 A/VOD systems.
Both systems have greater capacity
and faster servers than previously
available, meaning they are able to
support more IFE content.
Both IFE manufacturers are
IFE innovation is no longer limited
to long-haul, wide-body aircraft,
however, with a new breed of
portable, handheld IFE units creating
entertainment possibilities never
before available, or financially viable,
for short-haul and narrowbody airline
This market is now dominated by
DigEcor with its DigEplayer, which
was the first of the portable units to
enter the market. But many others have
followed since, with California-based
IMS one of a number of companies
seeking a slice of the handheld pie
with its own solutions, firstly the PEA
– Personal Entertainment Appliance
– and now the PAV-704 and PAV-604
The devices offer passengers on
narrowbody aircraft the ability to
watch movies, or other programming,
and listen to music. Airlines in the
Asia-Pacific region have been among
earliest customers, with Air India and
Jet Airways choosing IMS’s product,
and Pakistan International Airlines
and Australia’s Jetstar opting for
Manufacturers of seatback
interactive IFE systems have also
entered the portable market, with
Panasonic, for example, offering its
Express personal media player.
In addition to new players, the
market is also evolving with some
suppliers semi-embedding their
products in aircraft, while keeping
the low-cost, low-weight, simplicity
and functionality benef its that
portable systems offered in the first
place. Embedded or semi-embedded
systems also offer new entertainment
and information options.
UK-based software company
Phantom Media, for example,
produces systems called Bluebox and
Bluebox Lite, which share many of the
features of portable devices, including
low-weight and costs, while offering
the same functionality as traditional
embedded systems. Bluebox offers
A/VOD, in addition to enhanced
gaming, an interactive moving map,
live news, deep data capture facilities
and interfaces to other communication
connectivity solutions. The system is
modular, flexible and can easily be
switched between aircraft, according
to Phantom Media.
In-flight communications
A more recent area of development
in the IFE arena involves
communications, with a number of
suppliers working towards making
in-flight use of passengers’ mobile
phones and portable electronic
devices a reality. After years of
tackling regulatory hurdles that
have so far prevented passengers
from using their mobile phones
onboard aircraft, two companies,
OnAir and AeroMobile, are close
to introducing services.
OnAir, which was formed by
Airbus and SITA, recently secured
European Aviation Safety Agency
(EASA) certification for its system,
which makes in-flight mobile
phone use safe through the use of a
picocell. The certification followed
a number of test flights across
Europe using an Airbus A318.
OnAir has commitments for the
service from f ive airlines – Air
France, bmi, TAP Air Portugal,
Ryanair and, most recently,
Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia.
Ryanair is set to launch services
across its Boeing 737 fleet this
In the latest order, AirAsia has
signed up to offer OnAir on its
entire fleet of Airbus A320s, as well
as the A330s that will be operated
by the company’s new long-haul
aff iliate, AirAsia X, starting
from the beginning of 2009. The
Malaysian carrier will be the first
airline in Asia to offer OnAir’s
The service will allow AirAsia
passengers to use their mobile
phones and Blackber r y-type
devices to send and receive SMS
text messages, emails and to make
and receive mobile calls in-flight.
“This deal validates the benefit of
OnAir’s service to low-cost carriers,
in providing both enhanced service
and an ancillary revenue stream,”
says Benoit Debains, OnAir’s
chief executive off icer. “It also
demonstrates that we are a gaining
a foothold in the Asian market,
currently the most dynamic and
exciting region for aviation.”
Meanwhile, the rival ARINC/
Telenor joint venture AeroMobile is
now conducting a trial with Qantas
and working towards a fleet-wide
fit of its system with Emirates.
The Qantas trial involves offering
AeroMobile text and messaging
services to passengers on one of
the airline’s Boeing 767s, flying
on domestic routes. Qantas plans
to offer the services across its fleet
if the test is successful. To date,
the service provider has reported a
positive passenger response.
AeroMobile’s f irst installation
on an Emirates Boeing 777 is now
undergoing European certification.
The service provider says it is in
discussions with a further 10
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Including live broadcasts by satellite and over the Internet, the rollout of the new 787 reached an
estimated 100 million viewers worldwide.
Boeing celebrates history in the making
Even Boeing’s arch-rival Airbus tipped its hat to the US company as it rolled out its first
all-new aircraft design in 13 years – with more than 600 orders already in hand and ever
more rolling in, writes Andrzej Jeziorski.
Boeing celebrated a historic aerospace
milestone on 8 July, with the muchanticipated roll-out of its new 787
twin-aisle twinjet – the public
unveiling of the first of an entirely
new generation of fuel-efficient
The significance of this event to the
industry is underlined by the gracious
congratulatory letter that Louis
Gallois, chief executive of European
arch-rival Airbus, sent to his Boeing
counterpart, Jim McNerney, declaring
the event “a great day in aviation
“Even if tomorrow Airbus will get
back to the business of competing
vigorously, today is Boeing’s day – a
day to celebrate the 787,” Gallois said
in the letter.
With 15,000 people in attendance
for the ceremony at Boeing’s Everett,
Washington plant, satellite links to
key locations worldwide and a live
broadcast over the Internet, Boeing
says the event “potentially reached
100 million or more viewers, making
it one of the largest corporate TV and
Internet broadcasts in history”.
By the time the new aircraft –
dubbed the ‘Dreamliner’ by Boeing
– was revealed to the world, the US
manufacturer already had 677 orders
worth more than US$110 billion at
current list prices, making the 787 the
most successful airliner launch ever.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
“We are gratified that the 787 has
been so strongly validated in the
marketplace by our customers,” says
Scott Carson, president and CEO of
Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Their
response is proof that the Dreamliner
will bring real value to our airline
customers, passengers and the global
air transportation system.”
Following the premiere, the 787
was returned to the Everett factory
for completion work, including the
installation of final systems elements,
interiors and test equipment. A total
of six aircraft will be included in
the flight-test programme, which is
expected to begin in late August or
September. The first aircraft is then
scheduled to enter passenger service
with All Nippon Airways (ANA),
Japan’s second-largest carrier, in May
Technological leap
The 787 represents a true stepchange in commercial aircraft
design and production. Among the
new technologies being used in the
programme is the unprecedented (for a
commercial airliner) use of composite
materials for as much as 50 percent
by weight of the primary aircraft
structure, including the fuselage and
wing. Aluminium accounts for some
20 percent of the structure, titanium
for 15 percent and steel for another
10 percent.
By comparison, Boeing’s 777 is
only about 12 percent composite, with
aluminium making up 50 percent of
its structure.
The use of composites allows
the 787’s fuselage barrel to be
manufactured in one piece, eliminating
the need for about 50,000 fasteners
that would have been required in
a similar conventional structure.
Boeing says the materials are more
durable than aluminium, and allow
an increased cabin pressure to create
a more comfortable environment for
Just as crucial is the use of entirely
new engines – General Electric’s
GEnx and the Rolls-Royce Trent
1000, helping the aircraft achieve a 20
percent reduction in fuel consumption
compared with today’s comparable
aircraft types. The aircraft also offers
a 20 percent cut in emissions and a
10 percent improvement in seat mile
“It is expected that advances in
engine technology will contribute as
much as 8 percent of the increased
efficiency of the new airplane,
representing a nearly two-generation
jump in technology for the middle of
the market,” Boeing says.
“Our journey began some six
years ago when we knew we were
on the cusp of delivering valuable
technologies that would make an
economic difference to our airline
customers,” says Mike Bair, Boeing
Commercial Airplanes vice-president
and general manager of the 787
programme. “In our business, that
happens every 15 or so years, so we
have to get it right.”
Boeing’s board of directors gave
the green light to offer the aircraft for
sale in late 2003, leading to a formal
programme launch in April 2004, with
a record 50-aircraft order from ANA.
Three variants
The aircraft cruise at Mach 0.85 – a
comparable speed to today’s fastest
widebodies – and is currently planned
in three variants, with a fourth under
First to enter service will be the
787-8, a 210-250 passenger aircraft
capable of operating on routes of up
to 8,200 nautical miles (15,200km).
The 787-9 will enter service in 2010,
seating 250-290 passengers on routes
of up to 8,500 nautical miles, while
the 787-3 is intended to carry 290330 passengers on shorter routes of
up to 3,050 nautical miles, and is
also scheduled for entry into service
in 2010.
The –3 is designed as a replacement
for aircraft such as the Boeing 757
and 767, and is optimised for shorter,
high-density routes, operating at
a lower maximum take-off weight
than its stablemates – a factor which
will reduce landing charges at many
Boeing has also said it is likely to
develop a stretched version of the
aircraft, accommodating 290-310
passengers, called the 787-10, which
could enter service in 2013. Interest
in this model has come from airlines
including Dubai-based Emirates and
Australia’s Qantas.
The rollout marks a triumphant
rebound for the company from the
troubles it experienced in the late
1990s, when Boeing overstretched
its production lines, leading to
skyrocketing costs and temporarily
halting 737 and 747 output. Those
troubles triggered the manufacturer’s
first annual loss in half a century.
Boeing’s backlog, sales and cash
flow are now back at record levels
following the trauma of the 11
September 2001 terrorist attacks in
the USA, and indeed it is now Airbus
– which overtook its US rival as the
world’s biggest aircraft manufacturer
early this decade – which is now
struggling through problems of its
own. The immediate success of
the 787 among airlines caught the
European company off guard, and it
was slow to respond effectively.
Boeing assembled a huge
worldwide network of partners for the
787 development, spreading design
and production responsibilities as far
afield as Italy and Japan, as well as
to other parts of the USA. The US
manufacturer retains responsibility
for about a third of the aircraft’s
production – with the cockpit and
fuselage made in Wichita, the fin at
Frederickson, the wing leading and
trailing edges at Tulsa and Boeing
Australia, and the wing and fuselage
fairings at Winnipeg in Canada.
Production share
Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI),
Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI)
and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
(MHI) share responsibility for wing
manufacture, with KHI also taking
on the mid-forward fuselage section
and landing gear well. Wichita’s
Spirit Systems makes the composite
nose section, while the centre and rear
fuselage sections and tailplane are
being supplied by Global Aeronautica
– a joint venture of Vought Aircraft
and Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica.
France’s Latecoere supplies the
passenger doors and Goodrich
is providing nacelles and thrust
Rockwell Collins is supplying the
aircraft’s display, communications and
situational awareness systems, while
Thales is providing an integrated
standby flight display. The situational
awareness systems include terrain
awareness warning systems, weather
radar, a Traffic Alert Collision
Avoidance System (TCAS) and an
airport moving map display. Dual
head-up displays are standard in the
Flight control electronics, the
autopilot and navigation systems are
being supplied by Honeywell, which
is also providing the crew information
Boeing’s triumph – Airbus’s challenge
Gallois insists that Airbus is in a position to
guarantee the A350 XWB’s performance.
At Airbus’s regular technical press briefing in Toulouse in
April, the company’s sales chief John Leahy admitted that
the company was “caught napping” by Boeing’s success with
the 787.
After Boeing’s failure to launch the Sonic Cruiser programme
– which many industry observers had viewed sceptically from
the start – the European company did not believe its rival
was capable of delivering on the new aircraft’s performance
promises. The Toulouse-based company’s initial reaction was
that Boeing was exaggerating what it could do, Leahy said.
Pride, as is often said, comes before the fall, and Airbus was
left smarting last year by the production issues that caused a
two-year delay to the company’s flagship A380, as well as the
dawning realisation that the 787 posed a very real challenge
that could not be effectively met by a derivative of the A330.
Under pressure from its customers, Airbus unveiled its allnew A350 XWB concept at the 2006 Farnborough air show,
launching the programme in December last year. By this time,
Boeing had a three-year head start with the 787 and had
already gathered 450 orders.
In the end, the A350 XWB will be a larger aircraft than
the 787, with the smallest A350-800 designed to carry 270
passengers in three classes, and the largest A350-1000
seating 350. This makes is as much a competitor for Boeing’s
777 family as for the 787.
The first variant to enter service in mid-2013, however,
will be the 314-seat A350-900. The start of production is
scheduled for early 2009, with final assembly in the second
quarter of 2011 and the first flight a year later.
The aircraft’s in-service date is five years behind that
of the 787, a fact that could – counterintuitively – work
to Airbus’s advantage. Boeing has already defined the
competitive standard, Airbus executives say, and now the
European manufacturer can ensure that it beats the 787 in
every way possible.
The US company itself used the same tactic to beat Airbus’s
A330/340 family with its 777, observers point out.
Out to win
So Airbus says it is out to beat the 787 in cabin size, fuel
economy, range and maintenance costs. The cabin is to
be 5 inches wider than the 787’s at seated eye-level, and
maintenance costs will be 10 percent lower than its rival’s
on a per-seat basis, Airbus says. The A350-900 will offer a
maximum 8,100 nautical miles (15,000km) range with a full
load of 314 passengers and a maximum operating Mach
number of 0.89.
Alan Pardoe, the company’s director of product marketing
for the A330/340 and A350, says the new aircraft will be
“a step ahead of the 787, a generation beyond the 777”
in technology. It will also copy the winning formula of the
A320 family – three aircraft variants with identical cabins,
cockpits, wings, engines and similar range. This formula has
won the A320 and its derivatives some 5,000 orders, Pardoe
points out.
Increased use of computational fluid dynamics in the
aircraft’s design is expected to trim wind-tunnel testing by
40 percent compared with the A380, although the company
recognises that this method is unreliable for predicting lowspeed aerodynamics. To deal with this, Airbus began lowspeed wind tunnel testing at Bremen, Germany, in January
and has also conducted trials in the UK and France.
Composites are expected to make up 52 percent by weight
of the aircraft’s structure, compared with 50 percent on the
787 and 22 percent on the A380. Aluminium and aluminiumlithium will be used in frames, ribs, floor beams and gear
bays, making up 20 percent of the structure by weight, while
titanium will account for 14 percent and steel for 7 percent.
To date, the only engine confirmed for the aircraft is the
Rolls-Royce Trent XWB, although Airbus remains hopeful that
General Electric (GE) will offer an alternative. R-R is still a
couple of months short of finalising its design, but plans to
produce a common, 75,000-95,000lb thrust engine for all
three A350 variants. The Trent XWB will reportedly have a
2 percent fuel-consumption advantage over the 787’s Trent
1000 powerplant.
Systems innovation
The A350 family will use the same two-hydraulic/two-electric
(2H/2E) control system already proven in the A380 flighttest programme. According to A350 Chief Engineer Gordon
McConnell, this will offer maintenance cost reductions
and lower fuel-burn, through weight savings and power
Electrical power will be provided by four, 150kVA variablefrequency generators – two on each engine to provide
redundancy and allow extended-range twin-engine operations
(ETOPS) flights even with one generator inoperative. The
generators offer a weight and reliability advantage over the
A330/340 family’s integrated-drive models.
Airbus has opted for a single, 150kVA auxiliary power unit
and adopted 230V alternating current wiring architecture to
save weight compared with the A380’s 115V system.
The A350’s cockpit will probably remain very similar to that
of the A380, perhaps with larger information displays at the
side and with the option of single or dual head-up displays,
McConnell says.
With a flurry of orders announced at the Paris Air Show in
June, Airbus’s order book for the A350 XWB has grown to 154
firm orders and 100 commitments. Asia-based customers
for the type include Singapore Airlines and India’s Kingfisher
Still, some potential A350 operators – including Qatar
Airways, which has ordered 80 units of the type – have
complained that the aircraft is still not clearly defined. Boeing’s
Chairman Jim McNerney also ventured that Airbus still has
far to go to finalise the aircraft’s performance and may yet
change its configuration.
Airbus Chief Executive Louis Gallois gave McNerney’s
comment short shrift, describing it as “wrong”.
“We are at the stage we can guarantee performance,”
Gallois said. “We are not changing the design.”
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Improved passenger comfort has been a key selling point of the 787.
system/maintenance system (CIS/MS)
monitoring the health of the aircraft.
The controls themselves will be
provided by Kaiser Electroprecision,
and will be similar to those of the
Boeing 777.
The avionics are to be based on
open architecture, with GE Aviation’s
Systems division (formerly Smiths
Aerospace) supplying the Common
Core System (CCS). The CCS
replaces traditional dedicated signal
wiring with remote data concentrators,
which link sensors and effectors to
a distributed computing resource
through a dedicated communications
network, allowing a significant weight
One of the aircraft’s main selling
points has been increased passenger
comfort, with a cabin some 15 inches
wider at seated eye level than that
of an Airbus A330/340. Airbus’s
proposed new A350 XWB, however,
beats the 787 by about 5 inches by
this measure.
Passengers will also have larger
windows than any other airliner
currently in service, situated higher
up the sides of the cabin and featuring
Electrochromism auto-dimming
to reduce cabin glare and maintain
transparency. Fluorescent tube cabin
lighting is being replaced by threecolour light-emitting diodes, offering
128 different colour combinations.
Weight reduction
With the composite structure
allowing increased internal pressure,
the cabin will be pressurised to an
altitude of 6,000ft above sea level,
compared with the 8,000ft standard
on conventional aircraft. Studies
at Oklahoma State University have
shown that this will make a significant
difference to passenger comfort. The
composites also allow increased
humidity in the cabin since there is
no fear of corrosion.
Boeing has been pursuing a rigorous
weight-reduction programme to meet
its design goal, though it is still a
little over its target. The company’s
efforts have yielded encouraging
results, however, according to Bair.
The programme manager says
the company has taken “several
percent” of the aircraft’s weight
out of the structure and has a plan
in place to trim the figure further.
Boeing has identified areas still not
fully optimised for weight and has
redesigned parts that needed it.
“We’ve made some engineering
changes, primarily just better
optimisation of parts,” Bair told Asian
Aviation earlier this year. “We had a
fair number that weren’t as optimised
for weight as we had hoped.”
The weight issue has had little
impact on the overall production
schedule, Bair said. Initial weight
estimates were based on engineering
models, so the aircraft’s true weight
will be unknown until it has been
completed and placed on the scales.
In past programmes “we’ve had
incidents where we’ve had 500600lb surprises because of the
amount of sealant used”.
But whatever design issues
remain to be ironed out, it is clear
that the airline industry – under
pressure to cut operating costs and
environmentally harmful emissions
– has warmly embraced the 787.
In the three days leading up to the
aircraft’s roll-out, Boeing collected
additional orders from Air Berlin,
Kuwait’s Aviation Lease and
Finance (ALAFCO), Qantas and
CIT Aerospace – adding a total of
60 units to the 787 order book.
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Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Boeing predicts Asia-Pacific markets will account for about 28 percent of the world’s aircraft fleet by 2026, compared with 19 percent today.
Asia-Pacific set to dominate global airliner market
In its latest 20-year outlook, Boeing predicts that the Asia-Pacific region will be the largest commercial aircraft market
by delivery value, and will also represent a growing proportion of the global fleet. Ian Goold reports.
In its latest 20-year Current Market
Outlook (CMO), unveiled in London
a few days before June’s Paris Air
Show, Boeing says the Asia-Pacific
region will generate demand for new
commercial aircraft valued at about
US$1 trillion.
That amount is the equivalent of
36 percent of the total US$2.8 trillion
predicted expenditure worldwide over
the 2007-2026 period. The region will
also account for about 29 percent of
the expected 28,600 global deliveries,
or about 8,300 new aircraft.
Additionally, Asia-Pacific markets
will represent an increasing share
of the future global fleet, growing
from 19 percent today – about 3,450
aircraft out of 18,200 now in service
– to a larger 28 percent – or 10,200
of the 36,400 jetliners forecast to be
operating in 2026. Geographically,
the world fleet will become better
balanced, says Boeing, as the North
American portion declines from
about 38 percent today to around 32
percent over the coming 20 years.
Europe will continue to account for
between a fifth and a quarter of all
jetliners in operation, and there will
essentially be no change among the
much smaller sectors represented by
Latin America, the Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS), the Middle
East and Africa. An innovation in
the latest CMO is the inclusion
of requirements for new aircraft
in the CIS – a development that
Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial
Airplanes’ marketing vice-president,
reckons adds only about 1,000
jetliners to the total.
Global demand
Overall, the manufacturer’s in-house
analysts perceive global demand for
around 28,600 new airliners, including
regional jets and freighters, together
worth around US$2.8 trillion during
2007-26, according to Tinseth.
This means that, at nominal
catalogue prices, airliners are close
to carrying an individual “sticker”
price of US$100 million: the latest
figures equate to an average billing of
US$97.9 million per aircraft. To put it
another way: as you read this article –
and during every second of every day
for the next 20 years – Boeing says
that airliner owners and operators
will be investing earned or borrowed
cash in new jetliners at a rate of about
US$4,440 every second.
The US manufacturer divides the
market into four size categories:
regional jet with up to 49 seats,
narrowbody airliners accommodating
90-240 passengers in two seating
classes, widebody jets seating 200400 passengers in three classes, and
large widebodies with more than 400
seats. For these categories, Boeing’s
analysts foresee demand for 3,700
regional jets, 17,650 narrowbodies,
6,290 standard widebodies and 960
large widebodies – a class of aircraft
that now only includes the Boeing
747 and the Airbus A380.
Traffic growth
Driving requirements for all these
new aircraft will be a 5 percent
compound annual growth rate in
airline traffic and a related 6 percent
yearly increase in annual cargo traffic.
Also, there will be a need to replace an
estimated 10,400 machines predicted
to be withdrawn from service during
the period.
The resulting 2026 fleet is likely
to number some 36,400 commercial
jetliners, about 80 percent of which
will be less than 20 years old.
Boeing analysts expect 7,800 of the
18,200 aircraft in service today will
remain active.
Boeing’s CMO and the equivalent
Airbus Global Market Forecast (GMF)
show the manufacturers’ typically
contrasting views of perceived future
demand for very-large airliners
(VLAs). Boeing has consistently
predicted smaller long-term airline
requirements for this class of aircraft
than its European competitor, which
is alone in offering an aircraft with
capacity for more than 500 passengers
in a regular airline cabin configuration
with its A380.
The US company has refrained
from entering the VLA market,
saying there was insufficient demand
to support two competing designs.
After some hesitancy, Boeing has
now apparently settled on a future
global market requirement for about
one such aircraft a week, or 50 a year,
over the forecast period.
In successive years since 2004, the
Boeing CMO has identified 20-year
world demand for 790, then 900,
990, and now 960 VLAs, including
freighter versions. In terms of market
share, this has been equivalent to 3.2
percent, 3.5 percent, 3.6 percent,
and now 3.4 percent of overall
VLAs are expected to account
for 4 percent of new-aircraft by
value, according to Boeing. The
most valuable market sector in the
coming 20 years will be new, regular
widebody, or twin-aisle, jetliners, the
manufacturer says.
Among other market sectors,
Tinseth says that single-aisle, or
narrowbody, designs will continue to
have the greatest demand by aircraft
“This is partially driven by
high growth in low-cost carriers
(LCCs),” the executive says. Shorthaul airlines and LCCs will receive
a “disproportionate” number of
deliveries – taking some 37 percent
of the aircraft over the next 20 years,
to represent a 36 percent share of the
2026 fleet compared with 29 percent
As they are today, cargo operations
in 20 years time will continue to
account for 11 percent of the fleet,
receiving just 3 percent of deliveries
in the forecast period, according
to Tinseth. The greatest change in
fleet share concerns what Boeing
terms “global and broad network”
operations, which will fall from the
present 54 percent to 48 percent in
One area in which Boeing appears
to be inconsistent is in perception of
trends in average aircraft size. For
several years it has been challenging
Airbus’s reasons for developing the
A380. The US manufacturer has
argued instead that future air-transport
markets will demand greater numbers
of frequent flights between increasing
numbers of second-city pairs, linked
by non-stop flights using aircraft such
as the 777 and new 787.
Seeming contradiction
This argument appears to be
contradicted by Boeing’s own
CMO figures over successive years.
For example, during 2004-07 the
proportion of predicted 20-year
deliveries accounted for by regional
jets has declined from 17.2 percent
to about 13 percent. Single-aisle
market share has grown from 59
percent to 62 percent, while the twinaisle element has increased from 20
percent to 22 percent. Until this year,
even among VLAs there has been
an upward trend, declining slightly
now as Boeing’s VLA forecast has
become more conservative.
Perhaps inevitably, such forecasts
come with a statistical health
warning: Tinseth points out that
Boeing’s market prediction assumes
a consistent compound annual
growth rate in airline traffic that
presupposes airports and related
ground-transport systems will keep
pace. Boeing warns that – especially
in the final years of the 2007-26
forecast period – infrastructure
constraints, particularly in Europe
and North America, could mean that
actual increases are “below the line”
of the predicted trend.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
AIDC is now flight-testing an upgraded version of the Ching-kuo IDF fighter.
Global industry converges on Taipei
The forthcoming Taipei Aerospace show is likely to be a forum for talks on the country’s
defence needs, commercial aircraft requirements and foreign-investment possibilities,
writes Andrzej Jeziorski.
Taiwan’s capital is about to host
international delegations from the
global aerospace industry at this
year’s Taipei Aerospace and Defence
Technology Exhibition (TADTE),
running from 16 to 19 August at the
Taipei World Trade Centre.
The exhibition will maintain
its traditional focus on military
programmes. The previous show,
two years ago, lured 80 exhibitors
from nine countries, showcasing
aerospace and defence capabilities
to visiting delegations from Taiwan’s
Ministry of National Defence and
local industry.
Almost 8,400 visitors attended the
2005 show, including officials from
the government, military, airlines,
airports and maintenance and
engineering companies.
Taiwan is expected to spend more
than NT$700 billion (US$20.68
billion) on arms procurement between
2003 and 2012 and has pledged to
increase defence expenditure by 20
percent, from 2.5 to 3 percent of the
country’s gross domestic product.
The projected military budget for
2006 is NT$253 billion, of which a
substantial amount will be directed
towards weapons procurement,
development and engineering.
The country’s military equipment
modernisation programme has been
focused on improving mobility
and firepower, mainly through the
acquisition of tanks, helicopters and
short-range air-defence missiles.
Key procurement programmes in the
2006 budget included US$1.38 billion
for long-range early warning radar,
US$1.17 billion for Boeing Apache
attack helicopters, US$2.65 billion for
Patriot surface-to-air missiles, US$460
million for mine-clearance and
transport helicopters, US$368 million
for Lockheed Martin Orion maritime
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
patrol aircraft, US$160 million for
12 helicopters for the National Air
Service Corps and US$16.7 million
for air-to-air missiles.
Fighter manufacturers are also
watching for progress on Taiwan’s
long-awaited F-X fighter competition,
which has been stalled over funding
problems. Lockheed Martin’s F-16C/
D is under consideration to meet this
Regional hub
On the commercial side, Taiwan is
trying to develop itself as an AsiaPacific aviation hub, helped by the
gradual relaxation of long-standing
restrictions on air services between
the island and mainland China, which
sees Taiwan as a rogue province.
With an increasing number of
passenger and cargo charter services
between China and Taiwan, the
smaller territory is expecting to reap
the benefits of 6.5 percent average
annual growth in Asian passenger
traffic up to 2009, with 8.5 percent
per annum growth in cargo volumes
over the same period, according to
forecasts by the International Air
Transport Association (IATA).
About 150 commercial aircraft
operate between Taiwan and 56
international destinations, with
seven carriers operating on domestic
routes to the country’s main cities and
offshore islands.
The TADTE organisers cite
industry experts as estimating that
the Taiwanese aerospace industry
will expand from a production value
of about US$1.28 billion in 2006
to US$3.13 billion by 2011. The
country’s maintenance, repair and
overhaul (MRO) industry is expected
to be worth US$100 billion over the
next two decades.
Taiwan has now also embarked on
an airport development and upgrade
drive at many of the country’s smaller
airports, in a move to strengthen its
aviation infrastructure.
Taiwan’s aircraft-manufacturing
industry is dominated by Aerospace
Industrial Development (AIDC),
which was established in 1969 under
the authority of the air force and was
later transferred to the Chung-Shan
Institute of Science and Technology
(CSIST) in 1983.
In 1996, AIDC was transformed
from a military entity into a
government-owned company under
the Ministry of Economic Affairs,
with the goal of developing towards
commercialisation, privatisation and
globalisation. The company now
says this change shifted its emphasis
from military products and services
towards a more balanced product
portfolio, including services for both
commercial and defence markets.
Between 1996 and 1999, AIDC’s
annual sales were in excess of NT$25
billion, with the company predicting
revenue will grow to about NT$42.4
billion by 2010.
The manufacturer underwent
an organisational restructuring
in July 2000, dividing into four
business units: the Aerostructures
Division, Engine Division, Defence
System & Technology Division and
Administration Division. AIDC
says the restructuring was aimed
at allowing it to operate more
effectively in increasingly competitive
commercial markets.
“The Asia-Pacific region will
play an increasingly vital role in
the international aerospace markets
in the foreseeable future,” AIDC
says. “Taiwan will establish itself
as a valued partner for international
aerospace companies.”
At the time of its transformation
into a company, AIDC’s main focus
was the development of the F-CK1A/B Ching-kuo Indigenous Defence
Fighter (IDF) for the Republic of
China Air Force (ROCAF) as a
replacement for the country’s ageing
Northrop F-5 and Lockheed F-104
fighters. Taiwan had been interested
in buying US fighters since the early
1980s, but was prevented from doing
so by export restrictions imposed in
the interest of improved US-China
Development assistance
In the end, Taiwan opted to develop
its own aircraft – with extensive help
from US industry, since technical
assistance was still permitted. The
main US partner in the programme
was General Dynamics, the original
developer of the F-16 Fighting
Falcon, which helped AIDC design
the IDF airframe. Engine development
assistance came from Garrett (now
absorbed into Honeywell) and Smiths
Industries helped with the fighter’s
The IDF incorporates key design
features from other fighters, including
the nose section of the defunct Northrop
F-20 Tigershark, while the fuselage,
wings and tail bear a similarity to
the larger, longer-range F-16. The
aircraft’s GD-53 radar is derived from
the Lockheed Martin AN/APG-67,
with similar performance, while its
twin TFE1042-70 engines, built by
AIDC and Honeywell’s International
Turbine Engine (ITEC) venture, are
a development of the civil TFE731
The engines have been the source
of some criticism of the aircraft,
which industry observers say is
underpowered. A plan to replace the
TFE1042-70 with a more powerful
engine was scrapped.
In 1991, the ROCAF cut its
requirement for the aircraft to 130
from 250, after Taiwan struck deals
for the acquisition of F-16s from the
US and Dassault Mirage 2000-5s from
France. In the end, the IDF entered
service in 1994, and the last of the 130
Taiwan’s airlines can now operate direct charter flights to mainland China during four annual holidays
rolled off the Taichung production line
in 1999.
Last October, AIDC began flighttesting the upgraded C/D ‘Hsiang
Sheng’ version of the aircraft, which
was first announced in 2001 with the
allocation of a NT$70 million budget
to AIDC and CSIST. The manufacturer
has built two new prototypes and plans
to upgrade half of Taiwan’s F-CK-1A/
B fleet.
Increased weight
The improvements include an
additional 771kg of fuel, with an
improved avionics suite, electronic
warfare equipment and new weapons
capabilities. The landing gear has
also been strengthened to handle the
additional load, although plans for a
radar-absorbing fuselage were dropped
over weight concerns.
The upgrade doubles the aircraft’s
carrying capacity for TC-2 Sky
Sword beyond-visual-range air-to-air
missiles to four, and integrates TC-2
anti-radiation missiles and Wan Chien
cluster bombs. It also adds a new flightcontrol computer from BAE Systems,
with increased processing capacity
allowing additional fly-by-wire modes
such as terrain-following.
The new computer – based on a
PowerPC chip – eliminates the need
for the analogue back-up flight control
system found in the A/B aircraft. AIDC
hopes to secure funding for production
of the C/D in 2008.
As a supplier to the international
industr y,
manufactures the empennage for the
Bombardier Challenger 300 business
jet, fuselage barrels for the Airbus
A321, doors for the Boeing 737 and
747, the cockpit of the Sikorsky S-92
helicopter and the empennage for the
Alenia C-27J tactical transport. The
company is also a partner with the
Czech Republic’s Aero Vodochody in
Ibis Aerospace, manufacturer of the
Ae270 single-engine turboprop.
At the forthcoming Taipei show,
commercial airliner manufacturers
Airbus and Boeing will also be eyeing
plans by Taiwan’s largest carrier, China
Airlines (CAL), to make a decision on
acquiring new widebody aircraft by
the end of this year.
CAL Chairman Philip Wei has
told reporters the airline is looking
at buying about 10 large airliners
– either Airbus A380s or Boeing 7478s – as well as some smaller twin-aisle
aircraft, which may include the Airbus
A350 or Boeing’s new 787. Deliveries
are expected to begin in 2009-2010.
The Taipei-based airline says it
wants to rationalise its fleet, saving
money on maintenance and training
by reducing the number of aircraft
types in service, as well as opting
for more fuel-efficient jetliners to cut
fuel costs.
CAL now operates a 69-aircraft
fleet, comprising Airbus A330-300s,
A340-300s, Boeing 737-800s, 747400s and 747-400F freighters.
Wei’s statements came soon after
CAL revealed it had made a NT$805.8
million loss in the first quarter of this
year, compared with a NT$385.1
million profit a year earlier, as revenue
growth fell short of expectations
and the carrier booked a loss from
aircraft sales. CAL’s biggest domestic
rival, EVA Air, also reported a loss of
NT$331.2 million in the three-month
period, compared with a profit of
NT$225.9 million in the first quarter
of last year.
The airlines’ domestic business has
been hurt by increased competition
from high-speed trains, while cargo
revenue has been dented by falling
exports from Taiwan.
EVA in particular has been
expanding its cargo business, having
ordered eight Boeing 747-400 special
freighter conversions from Israel
Aircraft Industries’ Bedek division,
the first of which was handed over to
the carrier in May. Two more converted
freighters are to be delivered to EVA
this year, with another two in 2008
and three in 2009.
EVA’s 45-aircraft fleet includes four
747-400F and 10 MD-11F freighters,
alongside A330-200, 777-200LR,
777-300ER and 747-400 passenger
By the end of this year, CAL has
said it plans to submit an application
to join the SkyTeam airline alliance,
hoping to become a member in 2008.
Such a move would make the carrier
the third Asia-based member of the
group after Korean Air and China
Southern Airlines. SkyTeam is the
second largest global airline alliance,
with members including Air FranceKLM, Alitalia, Continental Airlines,
Delta Air Lines and Northwest
China charters
Taiwan achieved a historic landmark
in July last year, with the launch
of the first all-cargo charter service
to mainland China since air
services between the two countries
were restricted more than half a
century ago.
For decades, direct air services
between Taiwan and the mainland
were forbidden since the Chinese
Nationalist Government fled to
Taiwan and severed relations with
Communist Beijing in 1949. The ban
had forced air travellers and freight
to pass through a third point – often
Hong Kong or Macau.
The cargo flights came in the
wake of a June agreement to operate
passenger charter flights between the
territories during four major holiday
periods – the culmination of years of
negotiations between the two sides.
The first non-stop 747-400F cargo
service to China departed Taipei for
Shanghai on 19 July 2006, carrying
freight on behalf of a Taiwanese
technology company. Passenger
charter flights under the agreement
then followed to Beijing, Guangzhou,
Shanghai and Xiamen, over 10 days
during the mid-autumn festival
From the Taiwanese side, the flights
were operated by CAL, EVA and
smaller rival Far East Air Transport
(FAT), while several mainland carriers
also took advantage. Similar charter
flights had been operated previously
under one-off agreements covering
individual holidays, but the new
agreement provided for more capacity
than ever before.
China has said it is now considering
expanding the deal to cover six more
cities on the mainland: Chengdu,
Dalian, Guilin, Hangzhou, Nanjing
and Shenzhen.
Another significant development
for Taiwan’s aviation industry came in
March this year, when the government
approved new laws allowing up to
49.9 percent foreign ownership of
local airlines. It also allowed private
ownership of airport terminals.
The new laws are part of an effort
to encourage foreign investment
in the country’s industry. However,
individual foreign shareholdings
will still be restricted to a maximum
25 percent.
Taiwanese airlines’ cargo revenue has been hurt by a drop in exports.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Qantas says it would prefer to keep maintenance for the 787 and other new aircraft in Australia.
Qantas ponders future of maintenance arm
Australia’s flag carrier says it faces a choice between creating a competitive, domestic
maintenance operation that would handle its entire fleet as well as third-party work, or
committing to MRO solutions offered by outside providers, writes Andrzej Jeziorski.
Since late last year, Qantas Airways
has been conducting a review of its
maintenance, repair and overhaul
(MRO) capabilities, examining how
much of the work on its aircraft fleet
will remain in-house, and how much
will be outsourced to third parties.
Qantas says the review, begun in
November 2006, is expected to last
12 months. The results will help
determine whether the airline is to
commit to major investment in inhouse engineering and maintenance
capabilities for new aircraft entering
its fleet in the coming years.
Australia’s largest carrier is set to
take delivery of more than 100 new
Airbus A330, A380 and Boeing 787
jetliners over the next decade and a
half, as replacements for its fleet of
767 and 747 widebodies, which have
been the mainstay of the carrier’s
long-haul fleet for many years.
“This is one of the most important
decisions Qantas will make and
it will be done openly and in an
inclusive and constructive manner,”
the carrier’s Chief Executive Officer
Geoff Dixon said when the review
was announced. According to
Qantas, the review is being led
by senior engineering managers,
working in consultation with staff
and the major trade unions.
The possibility of reduced inhouse MRO capacity has proven
to be a sore point with the carrier’s
engineers union – a point highlighted
by the recent controversy reported
by the Australian press concerning
the quality of maintenance work
carried out overseas.
“The changing face and economics
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
of MRO operations around the
world compel us to consider how
and where these aircraft will be
maintained,” Dixon says. “Scale
and efficiency are now the hallmarks
of the MROs that are increasingly
being used to maintain aircraft
from an increasing number of large
international airlines.”
Investment conditions
According to the airline CEO, the
review is intended in part to create
the right conditions for investment to
bring into Australia the maintenance
of Qantas’s A330 fleet – which will
soon number about 30 aircraft,
including those to be used by the
carrier’s Jetstar unit. The aircraft
are currently being maintained in
the Philippines, and Dixon says
a decision has to be made in the
second half of this year whether to
transfer that work to Brisbane.
The airline says the review is
also intended to create conditions
that would allow 787 and A380
maintenance work to be carried out
domestically, while simultaneously
examining the future of Qantas’s 737
narrowbody maintenance operations
at Tullamarine, near Melbourne,
and its MRO operations at nearby
Avalon, which employs more than
800 people.
“We have decided to leave the 737
work at Tullamarine pending this
review and while we assess options
for a closer working relationship
between the Tullamarine and Avalon
operations,” Dixon says.
However, the Qantas head insists
that the review will not result in
any existing maintenance work in
Australia being transferred overseas,
apart from normal ‘overflow’ work.
The airline says it is effectively
facing a choice of either creating
a competitive, domestic, in-house
MRO operation that has “the scale
and efficiency to handle all its own
and some third-party work”, or
progressively transferring its onshore maintenance activity to aircraft
manufacturers or other providers.
“We would prefer the on-shore,
in-house option and will work
with our people to try and make it
happen,” Dixon says. “This will not
be easy, as it will involve significant
capital investment and co-operation
to ensure workplace flexibility to
create a competitive environment.”
Qantas says the review is also
intended to address questions such
as whether the airline will continue
to provide line maintenance for other
Australian carriers, and whether onshore 787 and A380 maintenance
work should be done in-house or by
other Australian MRO providers.
Qantas Engineering employs
6,300 engineers at 10 sites across
Australia, including major facilities
in Sydney, Brisbane, Tullamarine
and Avalon. It is the world’s tenthlargest MRO operation.
Singapore controversy
The sensitivity of maintenance
outsourcing has been highlighted in
recent weeks by a controversy over
sub-standard wiring work found in
a Qantas Boeing 747-400 that had
undergone heavy maintenance in
Singapore last year.
According to Australian press
reports, the aircraft’s emergency
floor lighting had been crudely
stapled together during work carried
out by Singapore Airlines affiliate
SIA Engineering (SIAEC). Qantas
head of engineering David Cox
describes the stapling of wires as
an “unacceptable” practise, adding
that the airline had asked SIAEC to
eliminate as long ago as October.
SIAEC has responded angrily,
saying its maintenance records
show no such work carried out on
the aircraft at the locations where
the staples were found, and that
stapling electrical wiring is not an
approved practice at the company.
The Singaporean MRO provider says
it is outraged by the controversy and
feels that it is being unfairly dragged
into a fight between Qantas’s unions
and management.
The same 747 was also included
in a Qantas audit earlier this year
that raised doubts about the quality
of overseas maintenance work.
The audit reportedly highlighted
problems found in areas such as
flight control cables, floor panels
and inspection documentation.
The Australian Licensed Aircraft
Engineers Association says it has
hundreds of photographs of the
stapled wiring and has called for
all wiring work carried out overseas
to be reviewed before aircraft are
allowed to continue flying.
The airline says it is investigating
the problem and has raised it with
SIAEC, while also accusing the
union of using the incident to
exaggerate the risks of maintenance
outsourcing overseas. Cox told the
Australian press that Qantas has
made a commitment to keeping 90
percent of its maintenance work
in Australia, and is meeting that
Airbus’s A380 flew over Washington on 26 March, as part of a US tour that generated some positive press for the troubled manufacturer.
by rules against predatory pricing in
the UK and USA. PEOPLExpress,
a successful US domestic, low-fare
operator also failed when it tried to
expand into long-haul services.
AirAsia plans
Budget carriers in for the long-haul
The success of low-cost carriers is spurring a number of operators to try to adapt the
business model to long-haul services, writes Andrzej Jeziorski.
The launch in October last year of
Oasis Hong Kong Airlines’ service
to London’s Gatwick Airport drew a
good deal of attention from industry
watchers. With one-way fares on the
popular route starting at US$142
plus tax, Oasis was going to test the
applicability of the low-cost carrier
(LCC) business model to long-haul
The model was somewhat adapted
from the established, no-frills system
exemplified by carriers such as Ryanair,
as Oasis was adding a large, 81-seat
business class section in its 359-seat
Boeing 747-400s, with premium
fares starting at US$892. Still, the
airline’s performance was seen as an
acid test for other low-cost operators
considering long-haul services.
Oasis has been targeting travellers
from small- to medium-sized
enterprises that want businessclass service but feel most fares are
excessive. The company has said it is
relying on the popularity of business
class for the success of its model.
The Hong Kong carrier now
operates three Boeing 747-400s and
says it expects to add two more by
the first quarter of next year. Adding
to its daily service to London, the
company has now started operating
six weekly flights to Vancouver, and
has applied for approval to operate to
Berlin, Cologne/Bonn and Milan in
Europe, and Chicago and San
Francisco in the USA.
Oasis has been trying to structure
its network to operate into key bases
for established low-cost carriers, with
ongoing talks on a possible tie-up with
airlines such as the UK’s EasyJet,
or JetBlue Airways and Southwest
Airlines in the USA.
Early indications of the airline’s
performance were encouraging. In
February, Oasis said it had been
averaging a 70 percent load factor
since operations began on 26 October,
luring 35,000 passengers and with
75,000 forward bookings in hand. The
company’s break-even load factor was
close to 70 percent, it said, adding that
flights out of London were averaging
76 percent.
Model ‘validated’
Load factors in the higher-yield
business class were running at 40
percent, however, and the company said
it would strive to boost this segment.
Still, airline Chairman Raymond Lee
stressed: “We feel that the business
model has been validated.”
The airline has also said it is in
talks on a potential all-freight
partnership, using aircraft from
outside its own fleet.
Qantas Airways’ low-cost Jetstar
subsidiary also reported a promising
start to its own long-haul international
services, which began in November.
The carrier’s fleet of four A330200s had been serving destinations
in Hawaii, Indonesia, Thailand and
Vietnam, expecting a small operating
loss in its first year, followed by a
profitable second year. Jetstar plans
to transition to an all-Boeing 787
international fleet starting in August
next year.
Some analysts have taken a sceptical
view of long-haul LCCs, however,
with France-based aviation consultant
Doug McVitie bluntly telling Forbes.
com: “There is no long-haul model
for low-fare airlines. It just doesn’t
In an interview with Asian Aviation,
Robert Martin, Managing Director
and Chief Executive Officer of BOC
Aviation (formerly Singapore Aircraft
Leasing Enterprise), was similarly
“I’m not sure whether [long-haul
LCCs are] LCCs or not – we don’t
know what they are,” Martin said.
“The jury’s still out. I don’t have the
same comfort level at this point that
I had with the short-haul, low-cost
carriers, so we’re taking a much more
cautious approach to that market.”
“I can’t see where they can get the
substantial cost benefits compared
to having the short-haul model,” the
BOC chief elaborated. “If you think
in terms of utilisation: where do you
derive the same percentage benefits
in utilisation? If you take [Malaysian
LCC] AirAsia versus a normal carrier,
they were able to increase aircraft
utilisation by 50 percent, which of
course goes straight to the bottom
line. I can’t see that for the models I’m
seeing at the moment on the long-haul
Unlike a short-haul LCC, Oasis
offers both business and economy
class passengers a meal service and
in-flight entertainment (IFE). Apart
from their inherent cost, these “frills”
also increase turnaround time and
aircraft weight, while the IFE requires
additional maintenance – all factors
that would need to be considered by
an LCC.
Some also cite the cautionary tales of
earlier, pioneering low-cost operations
that failed. Transatlantic low-fare
pioneer Laker Airways collapsed in
1982 when established rival airlines
slashed their fares to compete – a
move that would be prevented today
Sceptics and past disasters
notwithstanding, there is an increasing
number of serious candidates to
enter the low-cost, long-haul market,
including Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary
and AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes.
O’Leary has been talking about
setting up a no-frills, transatlantic
operation beginning at the turn of
the decade, which will be operated
separately from Ryanair, with its
own brand and management. Like
Oasis, his plans foresee rock-bottom
economy fares bolstered by revenue
from a premium, business-class
Fernandes, meanwhile, the founder
of Asia’s most successful budget
carrier to date, is a partner in Fly
Asian Xpress (FAX), which plans to
launch long-haul services under the
AirAsia brand starting in September.
An announcement of an overseas
investor taking a 20 percent stake is
expected to come in August – and
the company has declined to confirm
or deny reports that that investor is
Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
AirAsia itself will also have
a 20 percent stake in FAX, with
the remaining 60 percent held by
Fernandes and AirAsia’s Deputy
Chief Executive Officer Kamarudin
Meranun. By the start of operations,
FAX plans to have changed its
corporate name to AirAsia X.
The airline has firm orders for 15
Rolls-Royce powered Airbus A330300s, with deliveries set to begin
in August 2008 and options on 10
more aircraft.
For the start of operations, FAX
has already secured one A330-300 on
lease. The carrier will initially operate
the leased aircraft on two routes,
serving one destination in Australia
and one in China, with Hangzhou,
Tianjin, the Gold Coast, Melbourne
and Newcastle all under consideration.
FAX is also understood to be eyeing
possible services to Amritsar in India,
and London’s Stansted airport.
Crucially, however, FAX’s A330s
will be configured for 396 seats in
a single-class layout – compared
to a regular carrier’s typical 335
seats in two classes or 295 seats in
three classes.
According to the Sydney-based
Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation
(CAPA), that gives FAX an 18-34
percent increase in seating density
over a typical A330 operator, lowering
unit seat costs and helping to support
cheap fares.
“Based on this configuration,
AirAsia X will enjoy massive
advantages over its rivals,” CAPA
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
With a record 2,000 exhibitors and more than 200 aircraft on show, the 47th Paris air show, held on
18-24 June, was an undisputed commercial success. The number of trade visitors rose 12 percent
to more than 154,000, with some 400,000 more clogging the hallways and outdoor paddock on
the final three public days of the show. Ian Goold and Jean-Michel Guhl report from Le Bourget.
Among Boeing’s announcements at the Paris show was an order from Indonesia’s Lion Air for 40 additional 737-900ER narrowbodies.
Commercial aviation sector focuses on
scramble for orders, new programmes
Randy Tinseth, vice-president of
marketing for Boeing Commercial
Airplanes, says he kept encountering
two recurring themes in discussions at
this year’s Paris Air Show: new orders
and “will the 787 be late?” It was
the northern hemisphere’s summer
solstice, and Tinseth must have felt the
length of the days keenly, with dawn
starts to beat the traffic on the roads
to Le Bourget.
A continuous stream of news from
European competitor Airbus probably
made the days seem even longer.
On 21 June, Airbus revealed new
orders covering almost 150 aircraft,
an astonishing number made all the
more surprising by the fact that this
was only slightly above the average
number Airbus announced over the
show’s five trade days.
Overall, Airbus claimed firm orders
and commitments for 728 aircraft. Nor
could Boeing quite believe the figure,
making public statements to the effect
that it had not “stored up” orders for
the show.
But the Airbus orders just kept
coming even after the 47th ‘Salon de
l’Aeronautique et l’Espace’ closed,
with another 70 aircraft announced the
following week. Altogether, 29 show
announcements ensured that Airbus
remained a constant talking point – but
failed to overshadow the Toulousebased company’s recent troubles as it
approached a critical month.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
During July, Airbus and parent
EADS were scheduled to settle their
basic restructuring plan and reach
agreement with workers in France,
Germany, Spain, and the UK, and
political leaders in France and Germany.
Upbeat order announcements at Le
Bourget probably contrasted starkly
with private discussions about how to
reduce Airbus suppliers from 3,000 to
500 and cut the cost of doing business
with vendors by 10 percent.
Evidence of cost-cutting
Evidence of cost-cutting at the show
was obvious, with EADS, Airbus, and
Eurocopter sharing a single corporate
chalet with no national flags, reflecting
Airbus chief executive Louis Gallois’s
drive for integration.
Cynics may suspect Airbus’s
frenetic show announcements of
being a smokescreen to obscure the
company’s problems, especially as
40 percent of the aircraft announced
were not firm orders. Still, there
additional A380 orders from Air
France, Emirates and Qatar Airways
confirmed that interest in the A380
very-large airliner remains high,
despite the delays that have set that
programme back by two years.
Strong activity also surrounded
the new A350 XWB widebody twin,
with new and not-so-new orders
and commitments covering 188
aircraft. At the same time, almost
50 firm orders came in for the new
A330 freighter variant, and the topselling A320 narrowbody drew new
agreements covering almost 400
units, split evenly between orders and
All this new business seems to be
keeping the wolf from Airbus’s hangar
door – assuming the manufacturer is
not giving the aircraft away: you can
never sell enough aircraft below cost
to make a profit.
At the show, Boeing was
anticipating the imminent July rollout of its new 787 twin-aisle twinjet.
Unsurprisingly, after the A380’s
well-publicised and costly delays, the
US manufacturer itself had to field
numerous questions about whether it
is meeting the programme schedule.
For months, Boeing executives
have been careful to say the 787
would fly “when it’s ready to fly”.
Just days before the Paris Show,
Tinseth said Boeing had “until the
end of September, and then we have
to start looking at the flight-test
Speaking to Asian Aviation, the
marketing executive was anxious
to ensure that his Le Bourget
presentation had been consistent
with that of 787 programme general
manager and vice-president Mike
Bair. Had his message matched Bair’s
regarding the four-week period from
late August, during which Boeing
has said it must fly the 787 to meet
the delivery schedule next May, he
Tinseth had indeed been “on
message”, but not before Boeing
Commercial Airplanes Chief
Executive Scott Carson had identified
“mid-September” as the likely timing
for the maiden flight – an estimate
not challenged by Bair. When asked
if a 15 September target would put
pressure on the flight-test programme,
Bair conceded there are plans to
accommodate slippage beyond the
ideal window.
“We look like we’ll end up
somewhere in there, [but] we’ve got
plans about what to do if we go past
that,” Bair said. “There’s a lot of things
we’re working around, but there’s
nothing we see [suggesting] we’ll not
meet commitments next May.”
Recalling that missing the
certification date for the 747 Large
Cargo Freighter (LCF) – which
transports large 787 assemblies
between production sites – by “four
or five months” had not delayed 787
final assembly, he said Boeing would
likewise “work around” problems.
In the case of the LCF, Boeing had
gained the backing of the US Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) to
use flights carrying 787 assemblies
from Asia to qualify the freighter for
the certification it needed to perform
those self-same flights.
Unresolved issues
Bair also confirmed there were
unresolved problem areas.
“We’re where we need to be,
although there are pockets where we’re
behind,” he said. But a successful ontime first flight still would not ensure
punctual service entry, he conceded.
“It’s called ‘flight test’ for a reason,
and something could get in the way,”
he said.
A serious concern has been a global
fastener shortage, triggered by the
industry’s burgeoning order books.
On the first wings, for example,
Boeing has had to use “thousands” of
temporary fasteners while shipping
structures to Everett, before replacing
them with specified parts.
d e l ay s
notwithstanding, Boeing is encouraged
by the precision with which major
composite components have been
produced for the 787 fuselage. When
the port wing was mated to the centrebody section the discrepancy was just
0.04 inches, while the starboard unit
was “dead on”.
Having declined to save up order
announcements ahead of the show,
Boeing still revealed one major coup:
the sale of 52 more 787s, including
the conversion of two previously
unannounced options, to International
Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).
This makes the lessor the largest
787 customer, with a total 74 aircraft.
An additional 11 737s (including a
converted option) bring ILFC’s Boeing
fleet to almost 770 aircraft, including
430 of the single-aisle 737s.
Air France was revealed as the
previously unidentified customer for
nine 777-300ERs, while its Dutch
sister airline KLM was named as
having earlier signed for seven 737700s. Lessor GECAS converted
options on six 777F cargo aircraft, and
Indonesia’s Lion Air was identified as
the previously anonymous customer
for 40 737-900ERs.
Brazilian manufacturer Embraer
arrived at Paris having just rolled
out its first Phenom 100 very-light
jet – which had its maiden flight a
month later on 26 July – and less than
a month after launching “Advanced
Range” (AR) variants of its E-170 and
E-175 regional jets. At Le Bourget,
the company signed a preliminary
commercial agreement with Brazilian
domestic operator BRA Transportes
Aereos, covering 20 single-class, 118passenger E-195s and options on a
further 20.
Additional orders came from
Ecuador’s TAME, which converted
options on two E-195s, while Italy’s
Alpi Eagles converted five E-195s
and GECAS did the same with three
E-190 options.
China agreement
Canadian manufacturer Bombardier
announced closer relations with
China, through an agreement with
China Aviation Industry I (AVIC I),
for mutual investment in respective
regional jet (RJ) programmes.
Bombardier is putting US$100 million
into the Chinese ARJ21-900, while
AVIC I will spend US$400 million on
research and development and factory
The AVIC I investment will support
Bombardier’s proposed CSeries
jetliner, should the company go ahead
with that project, which company
President Pierre Beaudoin says is
likely to attract powerplant bids from
all three major engine manufacturers.
Bombardier is to provide engineering
and technical support for the ARJ21900 programme, which AVIC I said
would be officially launched later this
year with plans for service entry in
about three years’ time.
On display at Le Bourget was a
76-seat Mesaba Airlines Bombardier
CRJ900 “NextGen” aircraft, similar
to one the company displayed in
the USA in early June, to reveal
cabin and flight-deck improvements.
The NextGen CRJ will offer
“substantially lower seat-mile costs
than [competing] Embraer regional
jets,” says Bombardier Aerospace
commercial-operations vice president
Rod Williams.
The Mesaba machine sports a
12-seat business-class section in
“one-plus-two” configuration, and a
64-passenger, 31-inch pitch economyclass area. The leather seats feature
adjustable headrests, while the cabin
includes long-life passenger and
“wash” lighting. Overhead bins are said
to hold 21 percent-more baggage than
the standard CRJ900 within existing
cabin headroom. Cabin windows have
been enlarged, increasing their height
by two inches.
NextGen CRJs have lost the earlier
models’ aft-service door, but have
gained new composites flaps and flap
vanes. Reduced fuel consumption has
been recorded in flight-testing, with
new landing flap settings and the
introduction of the CRJ700’s conical
engine nozzle on the CRJ900.
Maintenance intervals have been
increased or revised. Mesaba NextGen
CRJs also have flight-management
systems that will manage altitude,
allowing the carrier to optimise fuel
burn. The manufacturer’s backlog for
the CRJ NextGen was approaching
100 aircraft in mid-June.
Making its international debut
at Le Bourget was the 68- to 85seat Antonov An-148 RJ, for which
certification was received earlier this
year. The Ukrainian manufacturer
claims airline interest in more than
100 examples, with 41 covered by
orders from three operators in Russia
and Kazakhstan.
Russian manufacturer Sukhoi was
also at the show, celebrating its first
Western order for the Superjet 100 RJ
– Italian low-cost carrier ItAli Airlines
is taking 10, with options on 10
more – and an agreement for Alenia
Aeronautica to acquire a 25 percent
stake in the company and establish
a joint venture to sell the aircraft in
Europe and North America.
Separately, Ilyushin agreed to supply
three Il-76TD-90VD freighters to
Volga-Dnepr, subject to confirmation
in July. The carrier is also to take
options on a further 10 aircraft.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)
of Japan showed a mock-up of its
proposed 70- to 90-passenger RJ
that would include an all-composites
airframe. MHI talks of launching the
project with partners in 2008, aiming
to obtain airworthiness approval about
four years later.
Franco-Italian manufacturer
ATR unveiled orders from at least
six customers covering a mix of 16
ATR 42 and ATR 72 turboprops,
plus options on a further seven,
to add to 17 new orders and eight
options announced before the show.
Continuing to benefit from renewed
interest in regional turboprops from
airlines stung by high fuel costs, ATR
has forecast demand for 1,400 such
aircraft over the coming decade. A
Kingfisher Airlines ATR 72 on display
Russia’s Sukhoi was celebrating the first sale of its Superjet regional aircraft to a western customer.
featured an enhanced cabin, while
ATR also is considering proposals
for improved avionics and cabin-noise
reduction measures.
UK engine-maker Rolls-Royce (RR) began the show with its surprise
selection by Dassault to power the
French manufacturer’s planned
“super-midsize” business jet, and
finished the week by providing
details of a two-shaft engine family
to be based on that powerplant. The
company also revealed orders at the
show for Trent 700 engines to power
10 Airbus A330-200s being leased
by Aeroflot, ahead of the carrier’s
acquisition of A350 XWBs.
Dassault chose R-R from among
competing designs – a General
Electric (GE) CF34 successor,
Honeywell’s HTF10000, the Pratt &
Whitney Canada (P&WC) PW10X,
and the Snecma Silverjet – because
it was an all-new engine that would
provide the required fuel efficiency,
performance, and reliability.
Dubbed RB282-31, the 10,000lbthrust engine will feature a compressor,
fan, and high-pressure turbine that
will provide modular elements for a
family of engines. Existing business
jets in this class have two engines of
around 7,000lb thrust, but the higher
power of the new engine is expected to
provide a good margin for reliability
at typical speeds or to endow the
planned “future Falcon” with highspeed/high-altitude performance.
R-R corporate- and regionalaircraft president Ian Aitken says that
the company is working on a family
of RB282 engines of between 7,000lb
thrust and 20,000lb thrust. The
10,000lb-thrust variant is expected
to run in 2009, ahead of certification
perhaps two years later. Dassault
declines to confirm 2013 as a serviceentry target for the new aircraft.
‘Green’ engine
P&WC’s 10,000-14,000lb-thrust
PW10X is claimed to beat ICAO
standards for carbon monoxide,
nitrous oxide, unburned hydrocarbons,
and smoke emissions by up to 50
percent. The company has earmarked
US$1.5 billion to extend its “green”
engine knowledge and technology.
The Canadian manufacturer
is continuing to consider further
variants of its widely-used PT6
turboprop, rather than developing
a new powerplant in the same 7002,000shp range, says president
Alain Bellemare. It has introduced
full-authority digital engine control
on PT6T helicopter turboshaft
powerplants, and may also apply the
technology to the PT6A.
US parent company Pratt &
Whitney says its 30,000lb-thrust,
geared-fan technology demonstrator
will begin ground tests later in 2007
and fly next year, with the aim of
being ready for service by 2013. As
well as powering a new generation
of single-aisle jetliners (such as the
Boeing 737 replacement), a gearedfan engine also could be retrofitted to
existing aircraft. P&W’s preference is
to develop the technology through its
International Aero Engines teaming
with MTU in Germany (already a
partner), R-R, and Japan’s JAEC
Under its Engine Alliance
partnership with GE, P&W says it
is also ready to provide a powerplant
for the Airbus A350 XWB if no
agreement is reached for GE to
supply a single-source solution for
all three variants of the new airliner,
in competition with R-R’s proposed
Trent XWB.
Engine par tnership CFM
International has won orders for
CFM56-7Bs to power Lion Air’s
Boeing 737-900ERs, and for -5Bs
to power new Airbus A320 series
aircraft for Avianca and Afriqiyah
Airways, as well as both engine
variants for Russia’s S7 Airlines
A320s and 737s.
Business aircraft news at Le
Bourget included orders for 50
Cessna Citation Encore Pluses,
37 Citation XLS Pluses, and nine
Citation Xs from US fractionalownership operator NetJets, for
2008-2010 delivery. Saudi Arabia’s
National Air Services placed an order
for four Dassault Falcon 2000LXs
for delivery during 2008-2014, with
options on a further 16.
Ian Goold / Paris
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Jean-Michel Guhl
Airbus’s A310 ARBS refuelling boom test bed participated in the flying display at Paris.
Military business remains low-key at Paris
With daily announcements of multibillion dollar deals and high-tech new
programmes, commercial aircraft
manufacturers stole the show at Le
Bourget this year, leaving the defence
aersopace business in the shade.
During the flying display, interest
was stirred by Airbus’s A310-based
aerial refuelling boom system (ARBS)
testbed, supporting the A330/KC-30
tanker development programme, now
entering an 18-month test period at
EADS-Casa’s plant in Seville, Spain.
The first of five KC-30B multi-role
tanker transports (MRTTs) earmarked
for the Royal Australian Air Force
(RAAF), was rolled out – fully
equipped with its in-flight refuelling
system – in mid-June. By this time,
the ARBS testbed had already logged
more than 100 flight hours.
The testbed will also be used by
Airbus, in partnership with Northrop
Grumman, to promote the KC-30A in
the USA as a replacement of about
100 older US Air Force KC-135E
Stratotankers. For this important bid,
the KC-30A is pitted against Boeing’s
KC-767 mixed cargo-refueller, which
has already been selected by Italy and
France’s air force is also considering
the KC-767 as a potential future
replacement for its 14-strong, fortyyear old Stratotanker fleet, since the
Boeing aircraft is cheaper than its
European challenger. For its part, the
KC-30 has secured orders from the
United Arab Emirates and has been
selected by the UK Royal Air Force to
replace its VC-10 and TriStar tankertransport fleet.
Old favourites
Except for this one new aircraft
the flying display at the 47th Paris
air show had little new to offer on
the military side. The daily combat
aircraft displays showcased familiar
machines, like Dassault’s Mirage
2000 and Rafale, the Panavia Tornado,
Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed
Martin F-16C, Boeing F-18F Super
The Alenia C-27J beat EADS Casa’s C-295 to meet the US Joint Cargo Aircraft requirement.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
Hornet and the MiG-29M OVT. Saab
and Sukhoi were absent from the
flying display.
Like it did at the Farnborough
show last year and in Berlin in May,
the MiG-29M OVT performed
an impressive series of low-speed
manoeuvres in the hands of RSK MiG
test pilot Mikhail Belayev, thanks to
its thrust-vectored Klimov RD-33MK
turbofans. The future MiG-35, as
proposed to the Indian Air Force for
its MiG-21 replacement, will be a
direct development of this impressive
technology demonstrator.
In the absence of the muchanticipated Boeing F-22 Raptor or
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning
II prototype, no new US front-line
fighter aircraft were on display.
The military highlight of the US
display was therefore provided by
the presence of one of eight Boeing
C-17 Globemaster IIIs assigned to
the Mississippi Air National Guard’s
172nd Airlift Wing, based in Jackson,
Today, the huge airlifter is in
service with the Australia, UK and
US air forces, and is also entering
service soon with the Canadian
Forces. While C-17 production was
previously slated to end in 2009 or
2010, it was announced at Le Bourget
that Boeing has now decided to invest
its own dollars to keep the production
line open.
With production of the European
Aeronautic Defence and Space
(EADS) A400M still pending,
Boeing’s could well win more
European orders for its strategic
airlifter, as several NATO nations
are interested in purchasing a small
number of aircraft – probably four
– under the organisation’s Strategic
Airlift Capability plan, much in the
same way as NATO established its
Boeing E-3A Sentry airborne warning
and control system (AWACS) wing in
the late 1980s.
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Latvia,
Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland,
Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia could
participate in this European joint
purchase. Other alliance countries like
Hungary and Norway could later join
in, as well as non-member countries
like Sweden, which is a member of
NATO’s Partnership for Peace.
Airlift shortage
While the western world operates
numerous potent fighters, many
countries in the region face a serious
shortage of strategic airlift capacity,
with the notable exception of the
USA with its large fleet of Lockheed
C-5 Galaxy and C-17 transports. To
cover this shortage, many NATO
countries continue to rely on timeleased Antonov An-124 airlifters.
Externally similar to the C-5, the
An-124 offers a 25 percent larger
payload and 32 percent more range.
At the moment, the aircraft is still
the only airlifter able to take-off
from Western Europe and fly to
Afghanistan non-stop carrying 100
tonnes of cargo.
Up to 150 tonnes can be carried in a
military An-124 while 88 passengers
can be seated on the upper deck behind
the cockpit. Most NATO air forces
have made use of the big Russian
airlifter several times, although the
number of aircraft available is now
below 20.
The An-124 was manufactured in
parallel by two plants: the Russian
company Aviastar-SP in Ulyanovsk,
Russia, and by the Kiev Aviation Plant
‘Aviant’ in Ukraine. Series production
ceased with the break-up of the Soviet
Union after the completion of about
60 machines.
However, a joint effort by Russia and
Ukraine to resume series production
before the end of this decade is now
underway, with a new model – the
An-124-100-150 – powered by a
quartet of improved Lotarev D-18
turbofans, while the rest of the fleet
will be offered an extension of its
service life from 15,000 flight hours
to 24,000 hours, and up to as many
as 40,000 hours on later AN-124-100
On the tactical transport front,
Alenia Aeronautica announced at the
show that its C-27J Spartan had won
the US Army/Air Force Joint Cargo
Aircraft (JCA) requirement, beating
the rival EADS Casa C-295.
The C-27J is an advanced derivative
of the G.222, fitted with the same
engines as the larger Lockheed Martin
C-130J. The US Army will take 54 of
the aircraft, with another 24 going to
the USAF.
The total JCA requirement calls for
about 145 aircraft in total for intratheatre operations. After a shaky start,
the C-27J is now on track to becoming
NATO’s next mid-size tactical airlifter
after its selection by Italy, Bulgaria,
Greece, Lithuania, Romania and the
USA. Australia may follow soon, as it
seeks a replacement for its veteran de
Havilland DHC-4 Caribous.
With the Airbus A400M fly-bywire tactical airlifter still some five
to six years away from its initial
service use, a few aircraft companies
worldwide are targeting the tactical
airlift market with medium or large
twinjet projects.
Embraer is proposing its new C-390 as a potential C-130 Hercules replacement.
Embraer proposal
Embraer is proposing its C-390, a
development of the E-190 regional
jet capable of carrying a payload of
almost 20 tonnes. At the same time, a
similar project is being developed in a
50-50 partnership between Hindustan
Aeronautics (HAL) with Russia’s
Irkut Corporation under a jointventure agreement to manufacture a
large, Ilyushin-designed Multi-Role
Transport Aircraft (MRTA).
The Brazilian aircraft maker
is targeting the C-130 Hercules
replacement market with the new
transport. The aircraft will be powered
by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW6000
engines and is likely to incorporate
much technology taken from the
company’s E-Jet family of airliners,
notably the same wing. The aircraft
will also have a rear cargo-loading
The unit price of the C-390 will
be an estimated US$50 million. The
company has claimed a strong market
response to its proposal, with efforts
focused on 24 potential customers.
Embraer predicts a market for as
many as 965 aircraft in the C-390
class in 77 countries.
Series production of the HAL/Irkut
project will probably be taken up by
HAL’s transport aircraft division at
Kanpur. For the Indian company, the
MRTA has been described as a future
replacement for the country’s Ilyushin
Il-76 fleet. With a 60-tonne take-off
weight and a cargo capacity of around
20 tonnes, the aircraft has similar
capacity and size to the old An-12 or
the C-130J. Entry into service is not
expected before 2017.
Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries
(KHI) is developing its own military
transport, the C-X, as a replacement
for the Japan Air Self Defence Force’s
(JASDF) ageing Kawasaki C-1 fleet.
Powered by two General Electric
CF6-80C2 turbofans, the C-X offers
a payload of almost 40 tonnes, just
beating the A400M’s 37 tonnes. The
JASDF wants to purchase 40 of the
new aircraft.
Military aviation today is seeing the
return of the light armed trainer, with
six manufacturers advertising such an
aircraft at Le Bourget. Embraer was
marketing its A-29 Super Tucano at
the show, while Hawker Beechcraft
was offering the AT-6B Texan II,
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI)
was pitching its KT-1/KO-1 and
Pilatus was marketing the PC-9M.
All the aircraft are powered by the
popular Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine.
Jean-Michel Guhl / Paris
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Asian Aviation July/August 2007
new, third terminal will open on 9
January. The construction phase
has been completed, according to
the country’s aviation authority.
The terminal, which cost S$1.75
billion (US$1.16 billion) to
develop, has 28 aerobridges,
eight of which will support the
new Airbus A380. The terminal
will be capable of handling 22
million passengers per annum,
increasing its total capacity to 70
million. Meanwhile, the airport
operator has signed an agreement
to develop Vietnam’s Phu BaiHue International Airport.
Australia drafts Airspace Policy as CASA takes on regulation
The Australian government has
released a draft of its first Australian
Airspace Policy Statement for
industry comment.
The policy is intended as a blueprint
for the future administration of
Australian airspace, which comprises
11 percent of the world’s total
airspace. The move comes as the Civil
Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
takes over airspace regulation from air
traffic services provider Airservices
The draft policy highlights the
country’s commitment to new aviation
technology, including automatic
dependent surveillance-broadcast
(ADS-B), which Australia is already
has signed a co-operation
agreement with Iran’s airport
operator. The Memorandum
of Understanding will result
in the partners sharing
expertise, experience and
staff for training purposes. Iran
Airports manages 54 facilities
in the Middle Eastern country,
including eight international
airports. Its Malaysian
partner says it expects the
agreement to increase the
company’s international
exposure, following a similar
agreement with Seoul’s
Incheon Airport. Meanwhile,
Malaysia Airports has started
to operate Kazakhstan’s
Astana International Airport,
under a 10-year agreement
signed earlier this year.
VIETNAM IS upgrading Hanoi’s
secondary Gia Lam airport, to
support more traffic. A new
passenger terminal will allow
the facility to handle 126,000
passengers a year by 2015
and 270,000 10 years later.
Asian Aviation July/August 2007
implementing in upper airspace.
Australia will examine and
implement global navigation satellite
system technologies, including an
appropriate augmentation system,
the document says. New airspace
management tools, such as flexibleuse airspace, will also be pursued, it
In addition, the government is
planning further integration of civil
and military airspace functions. The
process, under the name Project
Genesis, has already begun at a
number of locations, starting with
Perth. Airservices Australia and
the Department of Defence agreed
an inegrated operations concept in
May 2005, including joint efforts
towards to a single, national air traffic
management system.
The government says it remains
committed to the country’s airspace
reorganisation under the National
Airspace System (NAS) programme,
which has caused controversy in the
past. Some 17 NAS characteristics
have already been introduced and
more are planned. The government
says the new system has brought
benefits to Australian aviation, but
it acknowledges that changes are
required in its implementation.
Future NAS stages will be subject
to more stringent analysis, including
considerations of costs against
benefits, and a single, common riskmanagement framework. Stakeholders
will also be consulted more closely,
the government says.
CASA has been taking over the
regulation of airspace in an effort to
alleviate any perceived conflict of
interest between Airservices’ servicedelivery functions and its role as an
airspace regulator. The government
previously decided that a new unit
within the Department of Transport
and Regional Services would take on
the role, but in response to industry
views it has been decided that a new
Office of Airspace Regulation unit
will be created within CASA.
Emma Kelly / Perth
Boeing team tests RNP procedures in Tibet
Boeing, Jeppesen, China Eastern
Airlines and the US and Chinese
aviation authorities have conducted
tests of new required navigation
performance (RNP) procedures into
Linzhi airport in the mountainous
region of Tibet. The programme is
designed to support and expand new
air traffic routes in China.
A China Eastern Boeing 737700 was used to test the Jeppesen-
designed procedures, which have been
developed to use an aircraft’s modern
avionics and satellite navigation, rather
than ground navigation aids, to enable
safe and efficient operations in areas
with difficult terrain and weather.
Linzhi airport is in a mountainous
region at almost 3,000m above sea
“Working together, we are enabling
access to locations previously
inaccessible by air, and truly bringing
the people of the world together as
never before,” says Chet Ekstrand,
Boeing vice-president of regulatory
Boeing has previously worked on
an RNP programme with Air China,
which resulted in approval from
China’s aviation authority for RNP
at Linzhi.
Emma Kelly / Perth
India plans second airport for Mumbai
The Indian Government has approved
the development of a second
international airport at Mumbai, as the
current one is expected to reach its full
capacity by 2013.
The airport will be developed under
a public-private partnership, similar to
projects in Hyderabad and Bangalore.
A 1,140-hectare site at Navi Mumbai
has been identified for the new facility,
with work set to start next year. The
project, valued at 99.7 billion rupees
(US$2.47 billion) will be conducted in
four phases. The first, which will be
conducted between 2008 and 2012,
will cost 42 billion rupees.
Phase two will follow in 201517 at a cost of 19.9 billion rupees,
while the 16 billion rupee third phase
is scheduled for between 2020 and
2022. The final phase, costing almost
23 billion rupees, is planned for 202628.
The airport’s capacity will rise from
10 million passengers per annum in the
first phase, to 20 million in the second
phase and 30 million in the third
phase, reaching a final capacity of 40
million when completed. Together
with the existing airport, the new
facility will allow Mumbai to support
40 million travellers a year by 2015
and 80 million in 2026, according to
the government.
A recently formed committee, made
up of local and federal government
and airport authority representatives,
is preparing tender documents for the
public-private partnership.
Separately, Singapore’s Changi
Airports International and India’s
Tata Group have submitted joint bids
to develop and operate three airports
in southern India. The partners
announced late last year that they
were forming a joint venture to bid for
airport development projects in India.
Emma Kelly / Perth
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‘interiors’ is here under one roof.
The region’s leading
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