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Max Kingsley-Jones kingsley.jones@aviationweek.com

Max Kingsley-Jones kingsley.jones@aviationweek.com
CTT Awaits First 787 Deliveries, Targets A350 Customers 

CTT Systems faces a crucial six months as it prepares to finally begin generating revenue from Boeing 787 deliveries and aims to land its first deals with Airbus A350XWB customers for its cabin humidity systems.

Spares Providers Tout Demand For Used Parts 

A growing acceptance and availability of used parts is helping to drive down overhaul costs, say leading engine maintenance specialists.

However, the leasing sector is less receptive to the concept, due to concerns over asset values.

MTU Touts Dry-Ice Engine Cleaning Process 

MTU Aero Engines is developing an on-wing engine cleaning process that uses carbon dioxide, or “dry ice,” meaning that it can penetrate deep into the engine without leaving residual unlike other cleaning systems.

“We are currently testing the process with airline partners, and so far the tests are extremely encouraging,” says Dr. Stefan Weingartner, CEO of commercial maintenance at MTU Aero Engines.

Airbus Secures 19 Orders In November, Delivers 44 Aircraft 

Airbus added 19 new orders in November and delivered 44 aircraft, including the 400th A330-200.

New orders included 11 single-aisles, comprising five A320s for Spain’s Iberia and six for Taiwanese carrier TransAsia Airways, and eight widebodies, including six A330-200s for Hawaiian Air and two -300s for TransAsia.

These orders take Airbus’s year-to-date gross sales to 440 aircraft, which fall to 388 when adjusted for the 32 cancellations suffered so far in 2010. This latter figure was unchanged during November.

Pratt Speeds Technology To Boost A320NEO GTF Efficiency 

Pratt & Whitney is accelerating the introduction of new technologies on the PW1000G geared turbofan powering the A320NEO, which will increase the efficiency over initial versions of the powerplant.

BA shareholders Clear Way For Iberia Merger 

The merger of British Airways and Iberia has moved a step closer to reality, following overwhelming approval by BA shareholders today.

Both carriers held shareholder meetings on Nov. 29 to seek approval for the merger, and over 99% of BA shareholders voted in favour. The result of the Iberia shareholder vote is yet to be released.

British Airways Strike Threat Returns As Unite Ballots Members 

British Airways is facing the threat of fresh industrial action after its cabin crew union Unite announced it is balloting for further strikes.

The union is angered by BA’s refusal to reinstate travel benefits to staff who took part in previous strikes, describing the decision as “needless and vindictive.” The ballot will take place next week and could result in action early next year.

GE Engine Could Aid A350-1000 Performance Boost 

Airbus is coming under pressure from a key A350XWB customer to boost the capability of its largest variant, which could be the opening for GE to return to the program and rival the incumbent Rolls-Royce Trent XWB with a more powerful engine.

Emirates, whose orders for 70 A350s include 20 for the 350-seat -1000 variant, wants Airbus to boost the payload/range to enable the aircraft to operate comfortably between Dubai and Los Angeles year-round in its specification. This route is currently served by the ultra-long-range Boeing 777-200LR.

Hawaiian Signs For Six More A330-200s 

Hawaiian Airlines has expanded its order book for the Airbus A330-200 to 13 aircraft with an order for six more.

The airline already has three 294-seat A330-200s in service which were delivered this year on operating lease from CIT. It has an existing order for seven A330s from a previous deal, deliveries of which are due to begin in 2012. The airline has specified Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines for all the A330s.

Etihad To Take Step Closer To Sustained Profitability In 2010 

Etihad Airways has underlined its intent to become fully profitable within two years after announcing that its EBITDAR earnings will be in the black for the first time in 2010.

“With only a month to go, we are well on track for profitable EBITDAR [earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, amortisation and rentals] for 2010, marking an important milestone in the commercial development of the airline,” says James Hogan, who is CEO of the Abu Dhabi-based network carrier.

Russian Import Regulations Force Avianova To Reduce A320 Capacity 

Russian low-fare airline Avianova has been forced to reduce the seating capacity of its Airbus A320s by over 10% due to a loop hole in the country’s new import regulations.

The Moscow-based airline, which operates five A320s in the standard 180-seat high-density configuration, is to have the aircraft reconfigured with 21 fewer seats. The move is prompted by new customs rules which mean that aircraft with 180 seats are subject to 20% customs duty and 18% value added tax.

Airline Group Calls For Export Credit Shake-up To Be Handled With Care 

A group of 10 international airlines, as disparate as Ryanair and Emirates, has launched a counter offensive over proposed changes to international export credit agency (ECA) rules.

Quality Over Quantity Focus Of Airbus NEO Resource Study 

Airbus must quickly determine whether it has enough engineers of the right caliber before deciding to launch its New Engine Option upgrade for the A320.

The evaluation is due to be completed next month, and a launch decision is expected before year-end. Airbus CEO Tom Enders estimates that at its peak NEO will need 800-900 engineers and says that while the business case is “convincing” Airbus must be satisfied that it can comfortably tackle a third program on top of A350 and A400M development.

Airbus Backs Rolls On A350’s Trent XWB Development 

Airbus has given its backing to Rolls-Royce’s efforts on the development of the A350XWB’s powerplant, even as the engine maker works to address issues with the Trent engines that power the A380 and Boeing 787.

Rolls is currently Airbus’s sole powerplant vendor on the A350, supplying the Trent XWB to power all three variants of the twinjet. However Airbus still has the door open for GE to eventually become a second engine supplier, perhaps on the largest A350-1000 variant.

Expanding Flydubai Links With CTC To Aid Pilot Recruitment 

As fast growing Flydubai gears up for its rapid near-term expansion, it has linked up with UK-based airline training specialist CTC Aviation Group to assist with its pilot recruitment.

The Dubai-based low-cost airline, which launched in 2008 and operates 13 Boeing 737-800s, is due to receive 41 more over the next six years. In the next three years it will need to recruit 140 pilots annually and has signed a three-year contract with CTC to help with the processing of applications.

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