SUKHOI PLANS SUPERJET DELIVERY IN DECEMBER
Sukhoi is aiming to receive Russian airworthiness clearance for its Superjet 100 regional aircraft and to make the first delivery to launch customer Aeroflot in December. President Viktor Subbotin says he is confident that intensive flight tests involving two prototypes would lead to domestic certification over the next nine months. Sukhoi claims to have secured orders for 98 Superjets.
REGIONAL JETS TAKE HIT FROM SLUMP
Bombardier failed to secure CRJ orders in the three months ended 31 January, underlining the impact of the global economic slump on its regional jets business. During its fourth quarter to 31 January, Bombardier delivered 19 CRJs, leaving a backlog of 146, down from 164 at the end of October 2008. But during the quarter it delivered 18 Q Series turboprops and its backlog climbed by seven units to 120, helped by a Colgan Air order for 15 Q400s.
Greek government hopes of selling Olympic Airways were revived by privatelyowned Greek carrier Aegean Airlines, which has offered to buy core Olympic assets for €170 million ($213.5 million) in a bid to establish a single Greek carrier.
'DISTINCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES' DRIVE COBHAM
Pre-tax profits were up 18% to £244 million ($342.7 million) at aerospace and defence manufacturing group Cobham as 2008 revenue climbed 38% to £1.47 billion. Chief executive Allan Cook attributed the results to "our strategy of focusing on high growth markets and commitment to invest in distinctive technologies that can be applied across a broad range of programmes".
GOVERNMENT MONEY BOOSTS DAHER COFFERS
French state investment fund FSI has acquired a 17% stake in industrial group Daher, which holds a controlling interest in aerostructures and business jet manufacturer Socata. Along with two funds managed by ACE Management, FSI subscribed to an €80 million ($112.4 million) capital increase. The others will split a 3% stake. Over fiveyears Daher is to invest €445 million in aeronautics.
AIR FRANCETODELAY A380 DELIVERIES
Air France is to postpone taking delivery of two Airbus A380s as it looks to preserve cash. The French flagcarrier will delay accepting the sixth and seventh A380s out of an initial 12 ordered, although it expects to take the first of the ultra-large aircraft "by the end of this year" and become the fourth operator of the type.
KOREAN AIRTOTAKEHIGH-WEIGHT A330-200S
A Korean Air order for six Airbus A330-200s for delivery from 2010 makes it the first customer to commit to the higher-weight version of the twinjet. At 238t maximum take-off weight, the jet is about 5t heavier than the regular A330-200 and increases range to 13,300km (7,200nm) from the baseline 12,580km.
WARNING: EXTREME TURBULENCE AHEAD
Advisory firm Deloitte has warned that the credit crunch, wildly fluctuating fuel prices and exchange rates, and deepening global economic downturn are turning a difficult airline market into one of "extreme turbulence", with consolidation likely as even some high profile flag carriers look to larger competitors to take them over.