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The week in brief

By Staff Reports on February 6, 2014
  • Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker visited Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse, France, to get first-hand information on the A350 program’s progress, touring along with Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and CEO, and Didier Evrard, executive vice president head of A350 XWB program (pictured above). The airline will be the first A350 XWB operator and is also its biggest customer with 80 aircraft on order. During his site tour, Al Baker unveiled Airbus’ newest flight test aircraft MSN4.
  • Brussels Airlines awarded a long-term passenger and ramp handling contract to Worldwide Flight Services at Manchester International Airport. The three-year agreement will see WFS providing loading and unloading of cargo for Brussels Airlines’ 19 flights a week between the two cities.
  • The Fundación Aquila and Iberia have took 14 southern banded snake eagles from Madrid to New York where, after quarantine, they will be taken to a breeding facility operated by the Sia–Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative in Oklahoma. The eagles have all suffered injuries and cannot be returned to the wild, but they are suitable for the breeding program run by the Sia Initiative with the cooperation of the Fundación Aquila.
  • Boeing is starting assembly of the first Next-Generation 737 to be built at the increased rate of 42 airplanes per month. Since 2010, production of the 737 has increased about 33 percent, from 31.5 to 42 airplanes a month, its highest rate ever.
  • Aeroscraft Corporation, a lighter-than-air manufacturer, announced the availability of a new mid-size aerostat designed to address evolving infrastructure security challenges, the 3200e ISR surveillance system. Key infrastructure security concerns have increased over recent years as terrorist groups increasingly exploit infrastructure as a means for disrupting the stability of a country. The 3200e ISR surveillance system is an aerial asset supporting new, non-military applications that offers additional security reassurance for industrial infrastructure installations, whether commercial or public facilities.
  • TAM Airlines launched nonstop service between Miami and Belem, Brazil. The route between Miami and the capital of the Brazilian state of Para will have two weekly flights using 767-300s. TAM expects to fly more than 700 tonnes of cargo annually on this route.
  • Etihad Airways and Alitalia entered the final phase of a due diligence process about a possible investment by Etihad Airways in Alitalia, Italy’s flag carrier. Both companies and their advisors will determine how a common strategy can be developed that meets the objectives of both parties.
  • Ruslan SALIS GmbH passed a verification audit for compliance of its quality management system to ISO 9001:2008 standards. The company’s core activities of air cargo charter operations and aircraft maintenance services were recognized as conforming to international standards and its recertification has been renewed until the end of 2014.
  • Boeing and SilkAir marked the delivery of the carrier's first Next-Generation 737-800. The delivery also marked the start of the Singapore-based airline's transition to an all-Boeing fleet. Over the coming years, Boeing will deliver a total of 23 737-800s and 31 737 MAX 8s to SilkAir.
  • Aloha Air Cargo selected Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. to convert a B737-300SF from passenger to freighter. The aircraft is a B737-300 built in 1995 and is being modified at AEI’s Authorized Conversion Center, Commercial Jet Inc. in Miami. Aloha Air Cargo’s B737-300SF conversion will be completed in May.
  • Emirates is set to expand its presence in Nigeria, with the start of a daily linked service to Abuja and Kano on Aug. 1.
  • Leipzig/Halle and Dresden Airports employed 9,478 people in 2013, with a growth rate of 2.8 percent year over year.