HALF OF SUPER PUMA FLEET AIRBORNE AGAIN
Following the 1 April fatal crash of a Eurocopter Super Puma, the manufacturer says that more than half the fleet of AS332L2s serving the North Sea offshore oil and gas industry are airborne again after undergoing main gearbox checks. The remainder will be flying again as soon as the checks, proposed in a second UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch report and quickly mandated by the European Aviation Safety Agency, have been completed across the fleet. Meanwhile, the British Airline Pilots Association has called for "a North Sea safety summit" to address indications that "commercial pressures could be undermining safety".
BRITISH AIRWAYS TO SCRAP CRASHED 777 AIRFRAME
British Airways is to dismantle the Boeing 777-200ER substantially damaged in last year's approach crash at London Heathrow. The aircraft, G-YMMM, has been kept intact during preliminary investigations by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.
RISING VOLUME LIFTS NORTHROP GRUMMAN
Northrop Grumman's aerospace systems division posted a 2% improvement in first quarter operating profit to $258 million as sales edged up 4% to $2.46 billion, principally due to higher volume for unmanned and manned aircraft programmes, including Global Hawk, F-35, JSTARS, B-2, and F/A-18.
EURO HAWK SET FOR DECEMBER FIRST FLIGHT
The Euro Hawk surveillance demonstrator is set to make its first flight in the third week of December this year, six months later than planned. The EADS-Northrop joint programme, using a Block 20 Northrop Grumman Global Hawk with an EADS-developed signals intelligence payload, is to supply the German government with the demonstrator and four more aircraft by 2014.
CASH WOES GROUND BEIJING FLYING SCHOOL
Beijing Pan Am International Academy has temporarily closed and is seeking $15 million from new investors because its majority owner, the troubled insurance giant AIG, is unwilling to inject more funds. The academy has produced 280 graduates.
SAAB TO LAY OFF 300 AEROSTRUCTURES STAFF
Saab is laying off 300 staff at its aerostructures facilities in Linköping owing to falling demand for its composite components and metallic assemblies. Saab chief Åke Svensson says further reductions "cannot be excluded".
MUBADALA TAKES CONTROL OF SR TECHNICS
Abu Dhabi investment firm Mubadala Development has become the controlling, 70% shareholder of maintenance specialist SR Technics, after acquiring the 30% stake held by bank Istithmar. Dubai Aerospace Enterprise holds the balance. Mubadala-driven restructuring will see SR cut about 100 jobs in the UK, in addition to more than 1,100 being lost as it closes its Dublin base.
ONE-THIRD OF AIRMOTIVE STAFF FACING AXE
Up to 150 staff may be made redundant at Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland's maintenance plant at Dublin on 27 April. The company is to withdraw a $40 million investment in a new International Aero Engines V2500 engine line, after trade unions narrowly rejected its proposals for productivity changes.