Finmeccanica 'Poised For Major US Buy'

Speculation is rife that Italian defence and aerospace group Finmeccanica is poised to make what would possibly be Continental Europe's largest-ever acquisition of a US defence company. Fine_SDHpmecce_SDHpanica has declined to comment, but sources ranging from the Wall Street Journal to The Financial Times and Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore identify the group as being in advanced talks to buy electronics systems manufacturer DRS Technologies of New Jersey, which has confirmed that it is in discussions. DRS made a net profit of $127.1 million on sales of $2.8 billion in 2007. Finmeccanica has a e3 billion ($4.6 billion) foreign acquisitions warchest general director Giorgio Zappa last week said a takeover in Japan should be announced by year-end.

Business Jet Deliveries Continue To Soar

Business jet deliveries rose by over 40% in the first quarter, according to the latest statistics released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Shipments climbed from 211 to 297 jets compared with the same period last year, GAMA says, while turboprop shipments grew modestly from 79 to 85 aircraft and piston deliveries fell sharply from 554 to 399 units, which GAMA attributed to US economic uncertainty. Overall industry billings were up just over 16% to $5.3 billion - an all-time high for the first quarter.

Maxjet Returns As Luxury Charter Provider

Grounded all-premium transatlantic carrier Maxjet is to return as a "luxury" charter service operating an as-yet unspecified number of Boeing 767-200ERs. The carrier is in the process of being acquired by NCA Sports Group, a leading one-stop travel service for university and professional sports programmes. Maxjet suspended operations last December and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to secure new financing.

Galileo's Second Test Satellite Transmitting

The European Union's satellite navigation system's Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element (GIOVE)-B spacecraft launched on 27 April started transmitting signals on 7 May. Its US Navstar Global Positioning System-Galileo common multiplexed binary offset carrier signal makes Navstar and Galileo interoperable.

Former Qantas VP Behind Bars For Price Fixing

Former Qantas vice-president of freight for the Americas, Bruce McCaffrey, has agreed to plead guilty, spend eight months in jail and pay a $20,000 fine for taking part in an international cargo price-fixing conspiracy that is still being investigated by the US Department of Justice. McCaffrey is the first person to be charged in the DoJ's ongoing investigation of price-fixing in international air cargo shipments.

JAL Returns To Full-Year Profitability

Effective cost-cutting helped Japan Airlines to a ¥16.9 billion ($163 million) net profit for the year to 31 March after losing ¥16.2 billion the previous year revenue fell slightly, to ¥2.23 trillion.

CAE Secures Bombardier Training Contract

Bombardier has expanded its pilot and technical training agreement with CAE , which will build and deploy a new Learjet 40/40XR and Learjet 45/45XR full-flight simulator at its Burgess Hill Training Centre in the UK as well as a Challenger 300 facilty later next year at a yet to be determined location in Europe.

Source: Flight International