Leithen Francis

Leithen Francis
Indonesia Lacks Certified MROs Despite Large, Growing Market
Indonesia has the biggest airline market in Southeast Asia—but only one internationally certified airframe and engine MRO to service them.
Singapore MROs Expanding Market Segments 1
Aviation companies in Singapore expand into new segments to diversify and remain competitive.
Washington Rethinks Relationship With Hanoi  4
U.S. mulls sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam in bid to counter China’s territorial ambitions.
Airbus Relaunches A320 Freighter Conversion Program
Airbus is forecasting demand for more than 600 narrowbody freighter conversions over the next 20 years. Most of these conversions will be in Asia—specifically China—and the U.S.
Ensuring Competition In Aftermarket Essential For Airlines 
Airlines in Asia are concerned that OEMs will monopolize engine aftermarket services, limiting their MRO choices and driving up costs.
Reputation A Priority For GE-Avic Company Aviage 
A key step in achieving the reputation will be good performance on the 158-seat C919, the development program for which prompted creation of the Shanghai-based company.
Safran, Avic Expected To Advance Turboprop Work
French aerospace manufacturer Safran and Avic are likely to advance their proposed collaborative program for turboprop engine parts at Airshow China, to be held in Zhuhai Nov. 11-16.
Australia Seeks F-35 Sustainment Information 

SINGAPORE — Australia’s defense minister is pressing Lockheed Martin to provide more detail on how the country will be able to maintain its software-rich F-35s.
With 19 million lines of computer code, David Johnston is wondering how Australia can make repairs without compromising the platform or having to transport the aircraft to its assembly point in the U.S.
“We don’t want to have to reboot the aircraft by calling Fort Worth,” Johnston says.

Taiwan Hopes Its Central Asia-Pacific Location Will Make It A Top Hub 

Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong have traditionally been Asia’s most prominent hubs, and now Taipei is striving to compete more fiercely, although making inroads will be tough.

“Taiwan’s geographic location is such that it has the shortest distance to all major cities in the Asia-Pacific region, making Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport an important hub in the region,” said the Star Alliance last month in announcing the new membership of Taiwan’s EVA Air.

Taipei Looks To Boost Prospects With New Terminal
Taiwan hopes central Asia-Pacific location will make it a top air hub
NZ Moves Toward Procuring New Trainer Aircraft 

New Zealand continues to face a tight fiscal budget, but is moving to procure new primary trainer aircraft for its air force and plans to replace its Lockheed Martin P-3Ks and C-130Hs in the next dozen years.

VietJet Plans Thai Joint Venture 

Vietnamese low-cost carrier VietJet has signed a memorandum of understanding with Thai Cessna Grand Caravan operator Kan Air to establish Thai VietJet Air, a joint venture operation in Bangkok. Kan Air’s owner, Thailand’s Kannithi Group, will own 51% of the new airline and the remaining 49% will be held by VietJet’s owner, Vietnamese conglomerate Sovico. The partners say Thai VietJet Air will be a low-cost carrier operating Airbus A320s, the same aircraft type as VietJet, on domestic and short-haul international routes from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

GMF Now Airbus’s Maintenance Training Provider In Indonesia 

Jakarta-based MRO provider GMF AeroAsia has become Airbus’s approved maintenance training provider in Indonesia.

Airbus says the five-year strategic partnership agreement “is aimed at developing the maintenance training capabilities locally in Indonesia, based on respective strengths and assets of GMF and Airbus.”

Bangkok’s Asian Aviation Training Center Expands Airbus Training 

The Asian Aviation Training Center (AATC) in Bangkok is expanding its Airbus capabilities.

L-3 Link Simulation and Training, which purchased AATC in August 2012 from Thales Group’s civil aviation simulation and training business, says the facility now offers a A330 full-flight simulator, an A320/A330 aircrew procedures training device and a pushback and towing training simulator.

EVA Air Fleet Revamp Boon For Delta’s MD-90 Operations 

Taiwan’s EVA Air is planning to reduce its freighter fleet and phase out its MD-90 passenger aircraft.

President Austin Cheng says all 11 of the MD-90s are being sold to Delta Air Lines, with five scheduled to be transferred next year, three more in 2015 and the last three in 2016. Delta repeatedly has espoused the benefits of operating MD-90s and earlier this month said it intended to expand the fleet.

Cheng also says the airline is phasing out its MD-11 freighter fleet.


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