Aircraft News July 2005

Aircraft News July 2005

Demand for planes and parts increases May factory orders. Strong demand for airplanes and parts helped raise U.S. factory orders 2.9% in May. The gain was the largest in 14 months. However, gains across different sectors were uneven, machinery and computer orders decreased, and orders for cars were flat. Jul 6, 2005

WTO creates panel to investigate Boeing, Airbus subsidy dispute. World Trade Organization panels will investigate whether the EU and U.S. paid illegal subsidies to respective jet makers Airbus and Boeing. The U.S. claims Airbus receives illegal state aid to develop its jetliners. Airbus counters that Boeing receives unfair subsidies in the form of defense contracts. Observers say the conflict could escalate into the biggest trade battle in history. Both sides say they are open to further negotiations. Jul 20, 2005

Airbus may forgo state subsidies for A350. The chief financial officer of EADS said jetmaker Airbus may decide not to use state loans to develop its planned A350 jetliner. Hans Peter Ring said forgoing the loans may help Airbus reach a settlement in a dispute with the U.S. over aircraft subsidies. U.S. jetmaker Boeing believes the state loans Airbus receives to develop new planes amount to unfair subsidies. Airbus counters that Boeing receives subsidies in the form of defense contracts. Ring said EADS will decide by September whether to develop the A350. Jul 8, 2005

Air China orders 20 Airbus A330-200s. Air China said it will buy 20 Airbus A330-200s which will help it expand to more international destinations. Airbus will start delivering the planes in May. Jul 22, 2005

Airbus lands orders for up to 80 jetliners. Airbus received orders from LAN Airlines and GE Commercial Aviation Services for up to 80 jetliners, Air Transport World reported. LAN ordered 25 narrowbodies with options for an additional 15 planes. GECAS signed a letter of intent for 40 jetliners. Jul 1, 2005

American considers winglets to improve 757s’ efficiency. American Airlines may soon add winglets to its Boeing 757s. The small airfoils installed at the wingtips would reduce a plane’s drag and allow it to fly longer routes, such as New York to Europe. A spokesman said the company hasn’t made a decision to purchase the winglets yet, but is “looking to maximize our aircraft capabilities.” Jul 8, 2005

ATA Airlines to outsource more maintenance, reservations jobs. Bankrupt ATA Airlines plans to outsource more heavy maintenance and reservations jobs. The company said the move will save $100 million over the next five years and eliminate 450 jobs. Jul 18, 2005

Boeing exports help narrow trade gap. U.S. airplane and airplane-part exports exceeded imports by $10.9 billion for the first five months of 2005, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Justin Lahart. Boeing’s commercial airplane business is driving the surplus, he writes. Without the surplus in airplanes and related parts, the nation’s trade deficit would have been 6% wider. Jul 27, 2005

Boeing gets support from cargo airline for new 747. European cargo airline Cargolux is interested in purchasing a stretched version of Boeing’s 747 jumbo jet and will start talks with the manufacturer soon. The airline’s support of the 747 Advanced program is important because Boeing must secure customers in order to launch a modern version of the plane. The first version of the 747 took flight in 1969. Jul 21, 2005

Oil merger could impact Boeing: Boeing could lose contracts for commercial jetliners if the federal government blocks the proposed sale of California’s Unocal to China’s National Offshore Oil. The Committee on Foreign Investment will review any proposed merger. The committee is influenced by lawmakers who view the acquisition as an economic and possible national security threat. Jul 19, 2005

Boeing hopes 777-200LR will capture long-range market. Boeing believes its newest long-range jet will help it win the market away from its European rival Airbus. The Boeing 777-200LR will compete with the Airbus A340-500. The Airbus jet has a range of 10,380 miles, and it currently does not have a competitor. Boeing said it will deliver its first 777-200LR to Pakistan International Airlines in 2006. Jul 15, 2005

Boeing machinists authorize strike. Boeing machinists Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike. The strike vote does not indicate the likelihood of an actual strike. Nearly 11,000 workers also attended a union rally. Machinists are most concerned about retirement benefits and health care costs. Talks between the union and company began June 10. Jul 14, 2005

Boeing’s profit from military contract will reflect performance. Boeing’s profit on the Future Combat System contract will be closely tied to the company’s performance. Brig. Gen. Charles Cartwright said the company’s base fee will now be 3% of the $21 billion contract. The base fee previously was 10%. The potential bonus fee will climb to 12% from 5%, he said. A Boeing spokesman said the company does not comment on financial details of contracts. Jul 13, 2005

New Boeing head could receive up to $53M in compensation. Boeing’s new chief executive could receive up to $53 million for taking the top post at the aircraft manufacturer. The Boeing package replaces the one W. James McNerney received at 3M, where he was also chief executive. McNerney must stay at Boeing six years to receive its full value. Jul 7, 2005

NTSB says FAA not acting quickly enough on fuel-tank inerting. Safety officials are not yet requiring airlines to install a plastic tube that would reduce the chance of a fuel tank explosions on large planes, officials at the National Safety Transportation Board said. The Federal Aviation Administration announced the system in February 2004. Airlines say they have already addressed the issue and question whether the plastic tube, which would cost up to $220,000 to install per plane, is necessary. Boeing and the FAA say progress has been made to develop safer fuel systems. Jul 7, 2005

Boeing nears decision on 747 Advanced. Momentum is building for a go-ahead for the 747-ADV program.Last week, Boeing posted a firm but unannounced order for six more 747s, thought to be 747-400Fs, on its website. Executives indicated at the recent Paris Air Show that the company had secured enough orders, 30, to carry 747 production through to the first 747-ADV in 2009. Not surprisingly, sources suggest that the customers for the 30 are also launch customers for the 747-ADV. Boeing executives also said they have seen widespread interest in the 747-ADV for both the passenger and cargo version. Jul 5, 2005

New Boeing head may help company recover reputation. The new chief executive of Boeing could help the company improve its relationship with the Pentagon, Bloomberg News reported. James McNerney joins Boeing from 3M, where he was chief executive for four years. Observers say his status as a Boeing outsider will help the company recover from a recent procurement scandal. Jul 5, 2005

New Boeing CEO McNerney wants to “keep the momentum going”. New Boeing Chief Executive W. James McNerney Jr. said a priority at the company is to “keep the momentum going,” The Wall Street Journal reported. He also said he spoke with Boeing executives Alan Mulally and James Albaugh, who were finalists for the chief executive post. Both indicated they plan to stay with Boeing. Other important priorities include finishing the 787 project, beating its European rival Airbus, and winning back the confidence of Congress, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. Jul 1, 2005

Boeing logs orders for two 777-200ERs from Continental. Continental Airlines said it will purchase two Boeing 777-200ERS. The airline said it needs the planes in order to continue its international expansion. Boeing will deliver the jetliners in early 2007. Jul 29, 2005

Brazilian airline boosts firm orders for Boeing jets to 60. Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA increased its firm orders for Boeing planes from 30 jetliners to 60. The airline also boosted its options to 41, up from 33. The airline will fly the new planes on routes across Brazil and South America. Jul 24, 2005

Boeing sells six 747 freighters to Guggenheim Aviation. Guggenheim Aviation Partners ordered six Boeing 747-400ER freighters in a deal worth $1.37 billion, based on list prices. Boeing will start delivering the planes in late 2006. Jul 8, 2005

Boeing launches 737-900ER; Lion Air orders up to 60 jets. Boeing on Monday announced the launch of its new 737 jetliner featuring a longer range and a larger capacity. The company said Indonesian carrier Lion Air placed a firm order for 30 of the planes and options for an additional 30. The contract is worth $3.9 billion, based on list prices. The plane, named the 737-900ER, can carry up to 26 more passengers than the 737-900.

Jul 19, 2005

British Airways to revamp long-haul fleet. British Airways is reviewing its long-haul fleet strategy and will start ordering new jets within the next three years. The airline currently buys its long-haul jets from Boeing, but will also consider Airbus planes. It is the biggest operator of the 747-400. Executives will present the review, which will examine new generations of jetliners, to the airline’s board within nine months. Jul 21, 2005

EADS Q2 climbs on strong aircraft deliveries by Airbus. Profits at Airbus parent EADS jumped 47% on a surge of passenger jet deliveries. Airbus said it delivered 102 jetliners in the second quarter, eight more than it did in the same period a year ago. It expects to deliver 360 planes this year, 40 more than it did in 2004. Jul 28, 2005

EVA Air, the Taiwan-based carrier, has unveiled the first of its new Boeing 777-300ERs which will be introduced on the Heathrow – Bangkok – Taipei route from 15 September 2005. The new aircraft sees the launch of three completely revamped cabins. Premium Laurel Class, the carrier’s new business class will make its European debut while Elite Class, EVA’s re-launched premium economy product, formerly Evergreen Deluxe, will make its world debut. Economy class has also been significantly upgraded. All three cabins on the new Boeing 777s serving the UK, will feature advanced interactive Star Galley Audio/Video on Demand (AVOD), entertainment systems. Each passenger will also have access to satellite communications functions, as well as a digital air-to-ground Short Message Service (SMS), both in English and Chinese. Configured to accommodate 316 passengers, 42 in Premium Laurel, 63 in Elite Class and 211 in economy, the aircraft is equipped with steam ovens, ideal for preparing Chinese food. The new cabin will also be seen on the Boeing 777LR, for which EVA is a lead customer, with first deliveries due early next year. http://www.evaair.com Jul 15, 2005

Fischer Advanced considers MD-80 winglets. Supplier Fischer Advanced Composite Components is studying winglets for the MD-80. Winglets help jetliners conserve fuel. They could improve the fuel-burn rate on the MD-80 by up to 3% if combined with changes to the plane’s engines. Jul 12, 2005

New plane is key to JetBlue’s expansion. JetBlue Airways will start flying the 100-seat Embraer 190 regional jet in November. The new plane will allow JetBlue to fly from its New York hub to new mid-sized markets. JetBlue will have 43 of the planes in its fleet by the end of 2007.

Jul 12, 2005

With OK to expand fleet, Vietnam Airlines shops for planes. Vietnam Airlines has received government approval to increase its fleet of 38 jets to 70 by 2015, Air Transport World reported. The airline is shopping for short- and medium-range planes. Jul 6, 2005

Wizz Air plans to buy up to 24 Airbus jetliners. European airline Wizz Air plans to purchase up to 24 Airbus A320 jetliners worth $1.4 billion, based on list prices. The airline has signed a letter of intent but has not announced a delivery schedule. Jul 14, 2005

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