The Week in brief
- Etihad Crystal Cargo has taken delivery of its first Boeing 777 freighter. The carrier’s fleet currently includes seven 777-300ER planes, two Airbus A300-600F craft and two MD-11s. Etihad Crystal Cargo serves 27 destinations in the Middle East and Africa.
- Continental Airlines will resume twice-weekly flights between Guam and Sendai, Japan, on Oct. 2. The flights had been suspended since the Japanese earthquake in March.
- Ethiopian Airlines has signed a 10-year dry lease with GE Capital Aviation Services for two B777F planes. The brand new freighters will be delivered in September and October 2012. According to a statement, Ethiopian is the first carrier in Africa to operate the Boeing freighter. The carrier has also begun services to Malakal in South Sudan on a schedule of four times a week. This is Ethiopian’s second route to South Sudan and its 62nd destination worldwide.
- World Airways has extended its contract with Cargolux to operate one Boeing 747-400 freighter on a full-time basis. “World Airways is proud to continue our partnership with such an established, quality cargo carrier, and we value the opportunity to serve Cargolux and its customers as an integral part of their global network,” World Airways Chief Commercial Officer Brian Bauer said in a statement. The agreement commences in July.
- President Obama and the International Energy Agency have agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil into the market in the next 30 days. This fuel — 30 million gallons of which will come from the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) — is being released to counteract supply disruption in the Middle East. Nicholas E. Calio, president and CEO of the Air Transport Association, says the announcement is a step in the right direction. "The global crude-oil markets have clearly suffered a disruption to physical supplies over the past several months and the release of oil from the SPR is a welcome decision. We believe that this will benefit our members by helping them deal with stubbornly high energy costs. U.S. airlines are forecast to spend more than $50 billion on fuel alone in 2011, so any addition to supplies should bring relief," he said.
- Aluminum plate and sheet manufacturer Aleris has signed a 5-year contract to provide materials to Airbus. The agreement, which includes a scrap-metal recycling program, begins next year. The two companies have been partners for 15 years. Aleris will supply products manufactured in, among other facilities, its $300 million Chinese factory, which is due to open next year.
- A Lufthansa Airbus A340 headed for Munich was forced to come to an abrupt halt at JFK Airport on June 21 after it nearly collided with an EgyptAir Boeing 777, which made a wrong turn and came into its runway. According to reports, the EgyptAir plane failed to heed instructions from the air traffic controller who commanded it to stay 250 feet away from the runway. The Federal Aviation Administration is currently investigating the incident. There were no injuries.