The US Federal Aviation Administration was last week expected to upgrade Qatar's safety rating to Category 1 status under its International Aviation Safety Assessment programme. The move will clear the way for flag carrier Qatar Airways to implement long-standing plans to launch services to the USA. The flag carrier has indicated that it intends to launch an Airbus A340-600 service during the 2007 summer season between its Doha base and New York. While awaiting the FAA Category 1 status to receive approval, Qatar Airways signed a codeshare deal with Lufthansa for services between Germany and Houston, New York Kennedy, Newark and Washington DC.
Czech company Aircraft Industries, based in the Moravian town of Kunovice, plans to sell nine new or refurbished L-410s this year, and expects turnover to increase from last year's CKr400 million ($18.7 million) to CKr540 million. The manufacturer, which in 2005 purchased the remains of bankrupt general aviation manufacturer Letecké závody, resumed production of the L-410 last year and sold two new aircraft to NHT Linhas Aereas of Brazil. The company is working on another two for the same customer. Aircraft Industries is also purchasing secondhand L-410s and upgrading systems, such as the installation of new cabling and navigation equipment.
Source: Flight International