The week in brief
- Boeing and EL AL Israel Airlines finalized an order for two additional Next-Generation 737-900ER airplanes. The order comes just two weeks after the Israeli flag-carrier took delivery of its first 737-900ER. This order brings the total number of 737-900ERs ordered by EL AL to eight.
- A revitalized Air Serbia, Etihad Airways’ newest partner, took to the skies with new aircraft and new routes. Etihad will soon have a 49-percent stake in Air Serbia. The airline is launching a new route from its hub at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla International Airport to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Dane Kondić, CEO of Air Serbia, welcomed the opportunities for Belgrade to develop its cargo operation.
- Airbus selected Comau Aerospace to supply the aircraft main assembly and test stations for the A319, A320 and A321 aircraft to be assembled in Mobile, Ala. The assembly and test stations include the large steel fixtures that surround and hold the aircraft sections as they are assembled, allow the technicians to access the assemblies, and house the tooling and automatic drilling units used to put the aircraft together. Comau is a global organization, with the NAFTA headquarters located in Southfield, Mich.
- Emirates launched services to Conakry, Guinea, marking its 24th destination in Africa and sixth new destination launch since January. Situated on the Atlantic coast of Africa, Conakry is the nation’s economic, financial and cultural center. Agriculture and mineral production are Guinea’s main economic activities. The country is also one of the world’s largest producers of bauxite, and has rich deposits of diamonds and gold.
- Boeing delivered a 777-300ER to GE Capital Aviation Services for lease to Kenya Airways. It is Kenya Airways’ first 777-300ER and the largest airplane in the carrier’s fleet. The airline is also working with Boeing to support the Alaskan Sudan Medical Project (ASMP) by carrying 10,400 pounds (4,717 kilograms) of humanitarian supplies on the 777-300ER’s delivery flight to Kenya. ASMP will use the supplies to build medical clinics, drill water wells and construct bio-sand filters for clean water in the Jonglei region of South Sudan. The humanitarian cargo will also include water pumps and agriculture equipment to support local farmers.
- Titan Airways, London-based charter and airline sub-charter specialist, was awarded a five-month wet lease contract by West African carrier Gambia Bird. The new deal, for the wet lease of one of Titan’s Boeing 757-200, covers Nov. 11 to March 31, 2014.
- Dubai World Central welcomed participants of the Freighters and Belly Cargo World 2013 Conference held in Abu Dhabi for an exclusive tour of its key areas, including Al Maktoum International Airport and the Logistics and Aviation Districts.
- Airbus launched the Sharklet retrofit program for in-service A320 family aircraft. This option will be available in 2015. Operators of older in-service A320 family aircraft will be able to benefit from the cost savings and performance improvements that the Sharklets, Airbus’ winglets, are already delivering on new-build aircraft. This retrofit includes reinforcing the wing structure and adding the Sharklet wingtip device. As part of the upgrade, the retrofit will lengthen the aircraft’s service life.
- Cargolux Airlines International passed its third International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) renewal audit with a score of zero findings. Cargolux went through the initial audit during October 2007. The IOSA program is an internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. As a member of IATA, Cargolux has to pass an initial IOSA audit and subsequent renewal audits every two years.
- Just days after taking delivery of its first A321 aircraft, JetBlue Airways placed a new order for 15 A321ceo and 20 A321neo aircraft. In addition, the airline has opted to upsize eight A320ceo and 10 A320neo aircraft on backlog to eight A321ceo and 10 A321neo, respectively. This order marks the 10,000th order for an Airbus A320 family aircraft.
- Turkish Cargo is launching a weekly service to Islamabad, Pakistan. With the launch of this flight, Turkish Cargo’s freighter network how reaches 47 destinations.
- Philippines’ largest flag carrier, Cebu Pacific Air, selected Nordisk Aviation Products, a subsidiary of AAR Corp., to provide its wide-body aircraft with lightweight ULDs. Nordisk lightweight ULDs are used for efficiently storing cargo and luggage on wide-body aircraft.
- Volga-Dnepr Technics has been awarded a contract to provide maintenance services in Moscow for Aeroflot-Russian Airlines’ Boeing 737NG aircraft fleet. The agreement for maintenance at the city’s Sheremetyevo Airport also includes a provision for Volga-Dnepr Technics to supply personnel for maintenance supervision and other field services in support of Aeroflot’s flight operations.
- Worldwide Flight Services won a three-year contract to provide ramp handling for Jet2.com at Manchester International Airport. The leisure airline operates nearly 6,000 flights a year from Manchester. WFS began ramp handling at Manchester Airport in April after being awarded a ground handling license.
- Qantas Airways provided an equity injection to Jetstar Japan to support the airline’s growth. Jetstar Japan is a joint venture between the Qantas Group, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation.
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