Bombardier CSeries finally takes off


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CS8The world’s newest commercial aircraft is being delivered on Thursday.

After years of delay and billions of dollars in budget overruns, Canadian manufacturer Bombardier will hand over the first CSeries aircraft to launch customer Swiss International Air Lines at a ceremony in Montreal.

The airline, widely known as SWISS, has ordered 30 CSeries aircraft. The airplane being delivered on Thursday is a 125-seat CS100, the smaller of the CSeries family.

The bigger aircraft, the CS300 with a seating capacity of up to 150, is expected to be certified soon. Air Baltic is the launch customer of that airplane.

“SWISS is proud to be the first airline to take title of the CSeries. The aircraft performed exceptionally well during its acceptance flight, as expected,” said Thomas Kluhr, chief executive officer of SWISS.

“Along with the CS300 aircraft that we’ve also ordered, the CSeries fleet will allow us to perfectly tailor our capacity to demand on various European routes, while providing an excellent travel experience for our passengers.”

Fred2Fred Cromer (right), president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, called it the first “right-sized aircraft in the 100- to 150-seat market segment in nearly 30 years.”

“Today is a significant moment for Bombardier, SWISS and their employees – many of whom have dedicated years to designing, building, marketing and defining the flight network for the C Series aircraft,” Cromer added.

The maiden commercial flight of the CS100 will take passengers from Zurich to Paris on July 15. SWISS will gradually replace its Avro RJ100 fleet with the CSeries aircraft. The airline is a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

In all, Bombardier has won 370 firm orders and 252 options and purchase rights for the CSeries aircraft. Delta Air Lines Inc. is the biggest customer, with an order for up to 125 aircraft.

“A new aircraft program like the CSeries comes around once in a lifetime and it’s a proud achievement that belongs to many,” said Rob Dewar, vice-president of the program.


All photos are by Abdul Latheef




ANA celebrates a Dreamliner milestone

anaJapan’s biggest airline has been celebrating a milestone – its 100,000th revenue flight with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The launch customer of the Dreamliner, All Nippon Airways is also the first airline in the world to reach 100,000 787 flights. 

“The 787 Dreamliner has played an important role especially in forming the backbone of our international fleet,” said Osamu Shinobe, president and CEO of ANA, as the airline and Boeing held a ceremony at Seattle’s Sea-Tac International Airport to mark the occasion.

“As the largest customer of the 787, we look forward to introducing the entire family of Dreamliners into our fleet as we aim to celebrate another 100,000 flights and beyond.” 

ANA started operating the Dreamliner In 2011. With 44 aircraft, it has the world’s largest Dreamliner fleet. Another 39 are on order. 

“We are honoured to celebrate this important milestone with ANA, especially here in Seattle,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“This milestone demonstrates the strength of our long-standing relationship and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones with ANA going forward.”

The image is courtesy of Boeing.


Emirates keeps its fleet young

EK2Twenty Airbus A380s and 16 Boeing 777-300ERs will join the Emirates fleet next year as part of a fleet renewal program, the airline announced Monday.

Some of these airplanes will replace 26 retiring aircraft, including 12 A330-300s, 4 A340-300s, one A340-500, six Boeing 777-200ERs, two Boeing 777-300s and one Boeing 777-300ER, the company said.


“At the end of 2016, the aircraft retirements and new deliveries will put Emirates’ average fleet age at 5.6 years, dramatically younger than the global average,” the airline said.

It noted that the average fleet age for the top five airlines in North America is 13.6 years, while the average fleet age for the top five airlines in Europe is 10.7 years.

The airline will retire 13 more aircraft in 2017 and another 13 in 2018.

EK3“We are fully committed to flying a modern fleet that is better for the environment, and provides our customers with a superior level of comfort and safety,” said company president Sir Tim Clark (left).

“With the retirement of older aircraft and the introduction of new, more fuel efficient aircraft in 2016, Emirates will continue to lead the industry in reducing the age of our fleet, while at the same time defining new levels of service that our customers have come to expect.”

The world’s largest international airline, Emirates currently has 243 airplanes, including 26 it received this year. It has an additional 263 aircraft on order.

The images are courtesy of Emirates.


Plan unveiled to make jet fuel from Canadian forestry waste


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ForestThe world’s largest aircraft manufacturer is collaborating with Canada’s aviation industry, the University of British Columbia and Amsterdam-based SkyNRG to turn forestry waste into sustainable aviation biofuel.

The project was announced Wednesday at the 2015 Canadian Bioeconomy Conference in Vancouver.

Boeing has in the past partnered with the Abu Dhabi-based Masdar Institute and the Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer to advance sustainable aviation biofuel development.

ubcUnder the latest initiative, a consortium that includes Boeing, BombardierAir Canada, WestJet, research institutions and industry partners will assess whether forestry waste could also be harnessed to produce sustainable aviation biofuel, Boeing said.

Thermochemical processing will be used for this, the company added.

b2“Sustainable aviation biofuel will play a critical role in reducing aviation’s carbon emissions over the long term,” said Julie Felgar, managing director of environmental strategy and integration at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“Canada is in a terrific position to leverage its sustainable forests to make environmental progress for its aviation industry and other transport sectors.”

Boeing said a 2015 company-sponsored study by UBC had found that aviation biofuel made from forest waste could meet 10 per cent, or about 175 million liters, of British Columbia’s annual jet fuel demand.

greenThe Green Aviation Research and Development Network of Canada is funding the project as part of a portfolio of investments in technologies to reduce aviation’s carbon emissions.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that using sustainably produced biofuel will reduce lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by 50 to 80 per cent compared to conventional petroleum fuel.

The images are courtesy of Boeing, UBC and GARDN.

Shaesta Waiz sets sights on global solo flight


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pilotShaesta Waiz is already famous as Afghanistan’s first certified civilian female pilot.

The 28-year-old Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student is now setting her sights on a bigger feat – to become the youngest female to fly solo around the world.

Her 90-day, 33-city, 19-country, five-continent flight is scheduled to take off form Daytona Beach, Fla., on June 2, 2016.

The 43,964-kilometre flight was announced Wednesday at the National Business Aviation Association annual convention in Las Vegas.

pilot2Waiz will fly a Beechcraft Bonanza A36, being provided by High Performance Aircraft.

“As a pilot, I have this passion for aviation that I want to share. But it’s more than that. I want to show women that they can succeed in anything, including flying around the world,” Waiz said.

logoShe is currently completing a master’s degree in business administration at Embry-Riddle, the world’s largest and oldest university specializing in aviation and aerospace studies.

“To have my university and the aviation industry support me and make this come true speaks volumes not only to their belief in me and this ground-breaking journey, but every young person with a dream,” Waiz said.

Also participating in the project are the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Bose Corp., American Bonanza Society, Avfuel, Florida Aviation Business Association, MSK Concepts, Beeline, ICAO, UNDP and various individuals.

In 2014, 19-year-old Matt Guthmiller of South Dakota became the youngest person to fly solo around the globe when he completed his 46,570-kilometre journey, also in a Beechcraft Bonanza A36.

The images are courtesy of Embry-Riddle.


Ultra-fast Internet for Global business jets


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Kurt Weidemeyer of Inmarsat, William Shatner, Jean-Christophe Gallagher of Bombardier Business Aircraft and Jack Jacobs of Honeywell at the announcement in Las Vegas.

Three companies are joining forces to offer what is being called the fastest Internet connectivity in business aviation.

Bombardier Business Aircraft said Tuesday that testing and validation for the service was nearing completion.

The Canadian aircraft manufacturer is partnering with Honeywell and Inmarsat to offer the so-called Wireless Access Virtually Everywhere, or WAVE, on its Global business jets from next year.

“Passengers can now stage a videoconference, browse the Internet or stream online shows high above land and water, as seamlessly as they would on the ground,” the company said on the opening day of the 2015 National Business Aviation Association conference and exhibition in Las Vegas.

“Bombardier is the first business aircraft manufacturer to make ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi services available in flight globally and the first to offer performance commitments for network availability and speed,” it said.

GlobalThe service will be available on new Global 5000, Global 6000, Global 7000 and Global 8000 aircraft.

There will also be a retrofit option for Global Express, Global Express XRS, Global 5000 and Global 6000 aircraft.

D3“Our Global aircraft can link virtually any key city pair worldwide, non-stop, at close to the speed of sound, and the Bombardier WAVE system is intended to match this performance with its exceptional speed, promise of reliability and worldwide reach,” said David Coleal (left), president of Bombardier Business Aircraft.

“WAVE is a further example of how Bombardier is leading the industry in delivering the ultimate cabin experience to its customers.”

HoneyThe system leverages Honeywell Aerospace’s JetWave hardware and Inmarsat’s JetConneX solution to deliver high-speed access, consistent performance and seamless coverage across the globe, Bombardier said.

Inma“Our JetWave hardware, coupled with Inmarsat’s JetConneX solution, is ushering in a new era of connectivity in the skies,” said Kristin Slyker, vice-president at Honeywell Aerospace.

“The industry continues to demand better, more consistent and faster in-flight Wi-Fi to make the travel experience better and our next generation technology is leading the way to satisfy these demands.”

The images are courtesy of Bombardier, Honeywell and Inmarsat.

A thousand reasons to celebrate


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netjetBombardier’s 1,000th Challenger 600 series aircraft is set to enter into service this year …and that airplane will be the first Challenger 650, built for private aviation leader NetJets Inc.

nbaaBombardier made the announcement as business aircraft manufacturers descended on Las Vegas for the 2015 National Business Aviation Association conference and exhibition.

The airplane will be on static display at the three-day show opening Tuesday.


Pat Gallagher (left) of NetJets with David Coleal of Bombardier in Las Vegas on Monday.

“Our collaboration with NetJets to create their Signature Series concept on our Challenger and Global platforms is evidence of what can be accomplished when two visionary industry leaders join forces,” said David Coleal, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft.

The aircraft is part of an original NetJets order announced in June 2012 for 100 Challenger aircraft with options for an additional 175, Bombardier said.

NetJets has also placed a firm order for 50 Global jets with options for an additional 70 aircraft in March 2011.

“The Challenger 650 aircraft will be a wonderful addition to our fleet,” said Pat Gallagher, NetJets’ executive vice-president of sales and marketing.

The airplane received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration and Transport Canada this month.

With a range of more than 7,400 kilometres, the aircraft can fly from London to New York, Dubai to London or Sao Paulo to Miami non-stop.

In other show news:

emEmbraer Executive Jets is forecasting a global demand for 9,100 new business jets, worth $259 billion, over the next 10 years.

“This is the total market opportunity to be serviced by all manufacturers and represents a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 3 per cent per year over the next 10 years, Embraer said.

“The analysis foresees that demand is likely to exceed the last decade’s deliveries and market value, when approximately 8,190 business jets were delivered, worth $198 billion.”

bbjEarlier in the day, Boeing Business Jets announced orders for four new BBJ MAX 8 airplanes.

Three airplanes were ordered by an undisclosed customer based in the Middle East while one order came from an undisclosed customer in Asia, Boeing said.

Nearly 100 business aircraft will be on display at NBAA15, which has attracted more than 1,000 exhibitors from around the world.

citMeanwhile, Cessna Aircraft Co. debuted its new Citation Longitude business jet.

It also announced plans to enter the large business jet category with the Citation Hemisphere.

“The Longitude and Hemisphere will join the Citation Latitude to complete a new, large-cabin, three-aircraft Citation family,” the company said.

Images are courtesy of Bombardier, NBAA, Embraer, Boeing and Cessna.


Vietjet orders 30 Airbus A321s


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VietjetA Vietnamese budget airline, which was launched just four years ago, was the top newsmaker on the third of the Dubai Airshow.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based Vietjet announced an order for 30 Airbus A321s.

“Today’s order for additional A321s responds to our growth strategy and to the need for additional seat capacity on both domestic and international routes,” said Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, president and CEO

“Our aim is to be Vietnam and Asia’s new-age carrier, known for quality, efficiency and comfort and our A320 fleet has earned us this reputation.”

Vietjet already operates a fleet of 29 A320s and with Tuesday’s announcement, the airline has placed firm orders for a total of 99 A320 family aircraft.

OmanAirbus also won an order from Oman Air to upgrade the cabins of its A330s.

This interior modernization will harmonize the airline’s business class cabins across its long range fleet and ensure the latest standards in its in-service A330s, Airbus said.

The project is to be completed next year.

In other show news:

Mercedes-Benz Style and Lufthansa Technik AG unveiled their new VIP cabin design to initial customers.

The two German companies said they had been working on the design since it was first announced at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva in May.


“The floor plan presented here visualizes the typical Mercedes-Benz modern luxury combined with Lufthansa Technik’s highest quality design approach,” said Walter Heerdt, senior vice-president at Lufthansa Technik.

“The result is a unique, organic and functional design for a modern VIP Jet. Together with Lufthansa Technik’s latest in-flight communication and entertainment innovations, the new cabin will be ideal for global players wishing to travel in style.”

The images are courtesy of Airbus and  Lufthansa Technik.

Emirates signs $16B service deal with GE Aviation


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GEXEmirates has announced the biggest deal yet of the 14th Dubai Airshow — the UAE national carrier has signed a US$16 billion agreement with GE Aviation for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the GE9X engines that will power the airline’s fleet of 150 Boeing 777X aircraft over a period of 12 years.

This is the airline’s single largest engine MRO contract to date. Emirates ordered the 150 aircraft at the last show in 2013.

jetEarlier Monday, Indian carrier Jet Airways announced an order for 75 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes.

The order includes options and purchase rights for an additional 50 aircraft, Boeing said.

“Incorporating the latest design and technology features, the highly efficient 737 MAX will allow us to drive our operational efficiency and reaffirms our commitment to providing a best-in-class full service travel experience to our guests,” said Naresh Goyal (below), chairman of Jet Airways.

G2“This order is an endorsement of our confidence in the long-term prospects of the Indian aviation sector, which reflects the positive forecast for the country’s economy and offers tremendous potential for growth and development.”

Jet Airways will be the first airline in India to take delivery of the single-aisle aircraft, said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“The 737 MAX will bring new standards for fuel efficiency and economics, and a premium passenger experience to Jet Airways.” The deal is worth about $8 billion.

saaIn other show news:

The UAE Air Force announced the purchase of two new Saab Global 6000 long-range surveillance aircraft.

Under the $1.27-billion deal, a further two Saab 340 jets already in UAE ownership will undergo systems upgrades.

Meanwhile, GE Aviation announced the opening of its Middle East Aviation Technology Center in Dubai. It will serve as a regional customer and product support hub.

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi Aviation to work towards the establishment of Abu Dhabi Aviation as an authorized service facility for the Q Series aircraft.

“When a final agreement is reached, Abu Dhabi Aviation will become the first ASF for Q Series aircraft in the Middle East and will offer line and base maintenance services,” Bombardier said.

d2A 3D-printed drone, billed as the world’s fastest, largest and most complex, was unveiled Monday as part of the 3D Printshow.

The jet-engine powered aircraft took just two months to create and can break speeds of 320 kilometres an hour, the show organizers said. It was manufactured by 3D printing-technology leader Stratasys.

“This is the final piece in the puzzle for aerospace and we’re really excited to present it today,” said Jay Shelby of Stratasys.

“We’re here to show manufacturers what can be done when you take this technology and build your design around it. ”

The images are courtesy of Boeing, GE Aviation and F&E Aerospace.

Dubai Airshow in pictures


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A few images from Sunday’s opening of the 14th Dubai Airshow by the emirate’s Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.


Visiting the brand new two-class Emirates Airbus A380.

Visiting the brand new two-class Emirates Airbus A380.

Touring Qatar Airways A380 with the airline's GCEO, Akbar Al Baker.

Touring Qatar Airways A380 with the airline’s GCEO, Akbar Al Baker.

Touring the CS100 with Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

Touring the CS100 with Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

At the UAE Space Agency pavilion.

At the UAE Space Agency pavilion.

The images are courtesy of F&E Aerospace, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Bombardier and the UAE Space Agency.