Business aviation provider Qatar Executive will become the largest dedicated Gulfstream G650 operator in the world after confirming it has converted three G650ER options into firm orders.
The options were included in the 30-aircraft agreement signed in May last year and are part of the company’s transition to an all-Gulfstream fleet. Qatar Executive will phase out its Bombardier Global Express jets and switch its three Challenger 605s to the air ambulance role.
“Gulfstream is honoured that the G650ER has made such a positive impression on Qatar and its customers,” said Mark Burns, President, Gulfstream Aerospace. “The response to the G650ER solidifies the aircraft’s prestigious standing in the marketplace as the only aircraft capable of delivering worldwide city pairs in world-class comfort. From the technology in the flight deck to the comforts in the cabin, the G650ER delivers on its promises.”
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker added: “Gulfstream’s commitment to delivering the world’s finest flying experience has made them world leaders in private aviation, which in turn makes them the perfect partner for Qatar Executive. Their focus on performance, efficiency and innovation mirrors our own and is the key to our growing and successful affiliation.”
Qatar Executive currently operates three Gulfstream G650ERs, with the newest, A7-CGC (c/n 6179), on static display at the Farnborough International Airshow last week.
Long-term Bombardier customer Porter Airlines signed a deal for three additional Q400 turboprops on day two of the Farnborough International Airshow.
The value of the firm order is approximately $93m and will increase the all-Q400 operator’s fleet to 29 aircraft. The first two airframes are scheduled to join the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport-based carrier in December.
“The Toronto-built Bombardier Q400 aircraft is everything you could ask for in a turboprop,” said Robert Deluce, President and Chief Executive Officer of Porter Airlines. “It is an important component of our award-winning customer experience. The combination of operating efficiency, speed, very low noise levels inside and out, and excellent passenger appeal are unbeatable.”
Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, added: “Porter Airlines and the Q400 aircraft are providing access to a very convenient airport close to downtown Toronto, akin to that of London City Airport in the UK, and the growth in passenger traffic reflects that. The aircraft’s low noise levels on take-off and approach make it a good-neighbour aircraft for the downtown, while its operating economics make it a very valuable asset for an airline.”
Speaking to journalists at the signing ceremony, Deluce confirmed that Porter’s deposits remained in place for the airline’s CS100 order but declined to elaborate on the progress of that deal.
For the third consecutive year, Porter was named the Best Regional Airline in North America at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards. Deluce said: “Three years in a row is a significant accomplishment. The commitment of our entire team to providing the highest level of service to our passengers is what helps us stay at this consistently high level. I believe that the service aspect of our value proposition sets us apart, and being recognised as North America’s best regional airline is a true representation of this.”
Vietnamese low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus for ten A320ceos. The agreement was announced during the Farnborough International Airshow and is the airline’s first direct purchase with the Toulouse-based manufacturer.
Jetstar Pacific currently operates a fleet of 12 leased A320 Family aircraft across a network of 28 domestic and regional destinations.
“This agreement marks a milestone in our development,” said Le Hong Ha, Chief Executive Officer of Jetstar Pacific. “The new aircraft will allow us to expand our operation on our international network from Vietnam as part of the wider Jetstar Group. With low operating costs and a comfortable cabin, the A320 enables us to offer our passengers a quality value-based product in a highly competitive market environment.”
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, enthused: “We are pleased to have signed our first MOU with Jetstar Pacific. The news reinforces the position of the A320 as the single aisle aircraft of choice in both the low-cost and full service sectors. We will look forward to working with Jetstar Pacific as it consolidates its position in the fast-growing Vietnamese market.”
ARKIA Israeli Airlines has chosen the Airbus A330-900neo as the backbone for its expansion into the long-haul and leisure markets.
The carrier, majority owned by Jordache Enterprises, revealed at the Farnborough International Airshow it will take delivery of four examples of the re-engined widebody.
Joe Nakash, Chairman of Jordache Enterprises, highlighted the benefits the aircraft will bring to ARKIA. “The A330-900neo will be a key asset to help us grow efficiently on highly competitive international long-haul routes from Israel,” he said. “The aircraft will offer our passengers the latest product with great cabin comfort on direct long-haul flights. Thanks to the proven reliability and fuel efficiency of the A330 family, the A330neo will also deliver us with the best in class operating economics.”
The new jets will be fitted with the new Airspace by Airbus cabins, including fourth generation in-flight entertainment. ARKIA became an Airbus customer in 2012 when it ordered four A321neos.
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, added: “We are delighted to be making inroads in Israel. The A330neo offers 14% reduced fuel burn per seat married with the best in class economics and comfort. The mix of the A321neo with A330neo in ARKIA’s fleet will allow the airline to reap the benefits of Airbus’ unique aircraft commonality.”
Air Côte d’Ivoire signed a firm order for a further Airbus A320neo on the first day of the Farnborough International Airshow.
Ivory Coast’s national airline became the first African carrier to order the new generation A320 when it placed an order for two in April.
“This additional A320neo will allow Air Côte d’Ivoire to truly differentiate its product by offering a higher level of comfort to its customers with new aircraft. Thanks to this new Airbus aircraft, Air Côte d’Ivoire will also improve its operating efficiency to better meet the need for traffic growth,” said General Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Chairman of the Board.
Air Côte d’Ivoire currently operates four A319s and two A320, flying 23 international routes throughout West and Central Africa as well as five domestic links.
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, commented: “This vote of confidence from Air Côte d’Ivoire is further proof of the rapid traffic growth in Africa, and of the leading role that this dynamic airline aims to play in the development of air transport on this continent. Airbus is delighted to contribute to this.”
Torrential rain forced an early end to the opening day of the Farnborough International Airshow.
Organisers were forced to cut power on the site, with flooding in the exhibition halls and outdoor display areas.
A statement on the show’s Twitter page said safety was the organiser’s priority. “Due to the heavy rain, unfortunately we have cancelled today’s flying display and closed the show early. Safety remains our key priority.”
It added: “However, we expect to run a full programme of events tomorrow and for the rest of the week.”
Farnborough International Airshow also announced that tickets for today will remain valid for tomorrow (Tuesday).
Swedish regional aircraft lessor Rockton has signed a letter of intent (LOI) for an order of ten Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) 90 aircraft. The LOI includes options on a further ten airframes.
Rockton and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation will now work together to finalise the deal with first deliveries due to begin in 2020.
Niklas Lund, President, Rockton said, “We find the MRJ airliner to be an exceptional product that will be operating worldwide in a not too distant future. Rockton is, with great anticipation, looking forward to developing and expanding the future operator base in close co-operation with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation. This new aircraft will provide crucial economic benefits to airlines looking to operate in the 70-90 passenger size segment, especially in comparison with current products. The MRJ fits well into the European market where noise and emission requirements are very stringent. Furthermore, the long range capability of the aircraft allows regional airlines to open new routes from local airports.”
Hiromichi Morimoto, President, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, commented: “This European lessor order from Rockton will give the MRJ program the burst of momentum to expand customer base in Europe. We are pleased to conclude this LOI with Rockton and to build a strong partnership to market the MRJ in Europe. We firmly believe that the combination of expertise of Rockton and the state-of-the-art MRJ will create a new path to the European lease financing market and provide a variety of solutions for customers.”
A total of 407 MRJ aircraft have been ordered so far with a further 40 to be added to the orderbook once Mitsubishi Aircraft has signed definitive agreements with Rockton and fellow lessor Aerolease Aviation. That figure consists of 243 firm orders, 180 options and 24 purchase rights.
International banking group Standard Chartered Bank has been confirmed as the customer for a previously unidentified order for ten 737-800s. The order is valued at $960m.
Speaking at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow, Kieran Corr, Head of Aviation Finance at Standard Chartered, said: “We are excited about adding these new Boeing aircraft to our fleet. Our current portfolio consists of over 110 aircraft on operating lease to airline clients globally. We are committed to continuing to grow and diversify our client base over the next couple of years.
“We are investing to leverage our global and leasing capabilities to demonstrate our commitment to key clients by providing aircraft on operating lease to meet increasing air traffic demand across some of the world’s fastest growing regions. With deliveries through 2018, these new Boeing Next-Generation 737-800s will help us meet near-term client demand and expand our client base in our core markets, such as North East Asia.”
“Our key markets are Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with a focus on emerging markets. We want to help the aviation sector grow in those markets to drive regional trade and investment and we can only do that with an expanded diversified fleet.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner added: “We’re proud that Standard Chartered has chosen the Next-Generation 737 to grow its Aviation Finance business. They’ve had great success in the past with 717s and 737 Classics, and we’re pleased to welcome them back to Boeing.”
Bombardier is celebrating Type Certification of its CS300 airliner by Transport Canada. The achievement was announced on day one of the Farnborough International Airshow.
The first CS300 for launch operator airBaltic is currently in production at Mirabel, Québec, and is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter.
“The CS300 aircraft certification process was very straightforward because of the over 99% commonality with the CS100 model,” said Robert Dewar, Vice President, C Series Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The C Series flight test program covered more than 5,000 hours and most of the data obtained covered both models.
“We are delighted that operators will be getting C Series aircraft that have exceeded expectations, in particular on airfield performance,” Dewar added. “We can now confirm a range improvement in excess of 20% out of hot-and-high airports such as Denver, Mexico City or Lhasa.”
François Caza, Vice President, Product Development and Chief Engineer and Head of Bombardier’s Design Approval Organization, added: “Obtaining the CS300 Type Certification is another validation of the sustained efforts deployed by Bombardier employees and our many valued suppliers. Their contributions have ensured that we have all-new, best-in-class aircraft that will serve operators well for many years to come.”
Certification follows the handover of the maiden CS100 to Swiss International Air Lines on June 29. The type will enter revenue service on Friday.
Donghai Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Boeing covering 25 737 MAXs and five 787-9 Dreamliners. It is valued at $4bn at current list prices.
The airline’s Chairman, Wong Cho Bau said he was “very pleased to be working again with the Boeing Company”. In 2013 Donghai Airlines ordered 15 737-800s and ten 737 MAX 8s.
He added: “Donghai Airlines has undergone steady development over the past ten years since the beginning of our freighter operations in 2006. Under China’s One Belt One Road initiative, we will accelerate our fleet expansion plan to satisfy the rapidly growing air travel market and help build our home base Shenzhen as the transportation hub in southern China. We’re committed to introducing new next-generation airplanes that deliver the industry-leading fuel efficiency and passenger comfort in their segment market as a key effort to fulfill the plan.”
Boeing will now work with Donghai Airlines to finalise the details of the agreement.
“We are honored by Donghai Airline’s reaffirmation of the 737 MAX, and we look forward to welcoming Donghai as our new 787 customer,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner. “These new airplanes will provide Donghai Airlines with the added efficiency, operating economics and passenger comfort for their business growth domestically and internationally.”
By 2020 Donghai Airlines will have a fleet of 50 aircraft – 45 737s and five 787s and it is intending to grow to 100 by 2025.