Boeing clinches first 747-8I commitment

launch order Boeing last week booked the first order for the Intercontinental passenger version of its 747-8, from an undisclosed customer, for one aircraft. The freighter version of the General Electric GEnx-powered 747 stretch has been ordered by Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines.

Indian air force tackles commercial threat

Initiative The Indian air force is exploring the possibility of allowing some combat pilots to temporarily serve with airlines as a way of partially addressing the demands of India’s fast-growing civil aviation sector while retaining military personnel. “A strategy is being worked out to send pilots on deputation to airlines and absorbing them back,” says Air Marshal P S Ahluwalia, the air force’s director general of safety and inspection. Ahluwalia says the initiative is unlikely to draw widespread interest: ”None of the younger pilots want to shift from fighters to commercial aircraft.”

Cathay confirms deal to take over Dragonair

Acquisition Air China, Cathay Pacific Airways, China National Aviation (CNAC), CITIC Pacific and Swire Pacific have confirmed a deal in which Hong Kong-based carrier Dragonair will become, subject to shareholder approval, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay. As part of the same deal, Cathay will also increase its stake in Air China and Air China will become a substantial shareholder of Cathay Pacific. Cathay has offered to pay HK$8.22 billion ($1.06 billion) to buy all the Dragonair shares it does not already own. It already owns 17.8% of Hong Kong-based Dragonair while CITIC Pacific has 28.5%, CNAC 43.3%, Swire Pacific 7.7% and minority shareholders 2.7%.

Extra poised for stock market listing

Financing General aviation manufacturer Extra Aviation is set for a listing on the London stock exchange’s Alternative Investment Market index on 23 June. The US-owned company is expected to use the funds raised by the listing to launch production of its six-seat EA-500 all-composite turboprop single and EA-300 high performance aerobatic aircraft. The funds will also enable Extra to double production capacity of the EA-500 within 24 months.

A380 auxiliary power unit certificated

Approval Pratt & Whitney Canada has received Transport Canada type certification for its PW980A auxiliary power unit for the Airbus A380. With the certification, the United Technologies unit can now seek manufacturing approval from the Canadian transport regulator and begin delivery of production PW980As.

Eclipse on track for June certification

Clarification Eclipse Aviation says it is on track to certificate its Eclipse 500 very light jet at the end of June, and not July as Flight International stated in the 6-12 June issue. By the end of May, the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based company had completed all installed-engine operational tests; unusable fuel and hot fuel tests; cabin air smoke clearing tests; data collection for noise certification; climate control system ground testing; and fuel system certification ground tests.

L-3 Communications chairman Lanza dies

Obituary Frank Lanza, chairman, chief executive and co-founder of L-3 Communications, died unexpectedly on 6 June, aged 74, while recovering from surgery. He formed New York-based L-3 in 1997 by acquiring 10 businesses divested by Lockheed Martin after its take-over of Loral, where Lanza was president from 1981 to 1996. Having helped build Loral into a leading defence firm, he applied the same model to L-3 – engineering more than 80 acquisitions large and small and taking the company to almost $9.5 billion in revenues last year.

Source: Flight International