BMI seeks up to 40 new aircraft

tender Star Alliance carrier BMI has issued a tender for up to 20 aircraft plus 20 options, but is remaining silent on which size categories they are in.

The company has three divisions, comprising mainline and all-Airbus A320 family/A330 operator BMI, Embraer ERJ-135/145 operator BMI Regional and budget carrier BMIbaby, which has an all-Boeing 737-300/500 fleet. BMI deputy chief executive Tim Bye says recommendations will be presented at a company board meeting in March.

DaimlerChrysler sells business jet unit

Disposal German carmaker DaimlerChrysler has sold its DaimlerChrysler Aviation business jet unit to a subsidiary of Frankfurt-based ATON for an undisclosed sum. The Stuttgart-based subsidiary operates 12 aircraft including an Airbus A319, Cessna Citation XLSs and Gulfstream G550s. It employs 200 people and recorded 2006 revenues of around €65 million ($83.9 million). Majority ATON shareholder and chief executive Lutz Helmig previously held a stake in German airline DBA.

CAE clinches simulation contracts

Training CAE has won contracts from three airlines for five Level D full-flight simulators (FFS). Shanghai Eastern Flight Training, the training subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, has ordered an Airbus A320 FFS, the second undisclosed airline Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A330/A340 units and the third two Boeing 777 FFS. CAE's UK facility, home to its European business aviation training centre, opened a four-bay expansion last week.

Thai tempted with offer of A330s

Order Thai Airways International is in negotiations with Airbus to order up to 12 more A330 twinjets at discounted rates as part of its compensation package for delays to deliveries of its A380 ultra-large airliners. The deal under discussion is for eight A330s on firm order plus four on option. Thai has six A380s on order.

Teams bid to re-wing Warthog

Competition Boeing and a Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman team are among bidders for a US Air Force contract, potentially worth up to $1.5 billion, to produce some 200 replacement wings for Fairchild-built A-10 Warthog ground-attack aircraft. A contractor will be selected in March to supply new wing kits for installation by the USAF's depot over the next 10 years to extend the A-10's service life by at least 20 years.

Eurocopter helps offset A380 losses

Profits Eurocopter increased its revenues by 18% in 2006 to €3.8 billion ($4.92 million), and ended the year with a backlog worth €11 billion. "I know, and you know, that EADS has some troubles currently, but there are also success stories," says Eurocopter chief executive Lutz Bertling, referring to sister company Airbus's losses, largely due to A380 delays.

Qantas eyes Vietnamese airline stake

Investment Australia's Qantas Airways is in late-stage talks to acquire a sizeable minority stake in Vietnamese carrier Pacific Airlines as part of its Asian expansion strategy. Qantas chief financial officer Peter Gregg says that due diligence is being carried out on an Asian passenger airline and "our aim is to announce that in the next few weeks".

Reed to run Aircraft Interiors Expo

Acquisition Reed Exhibitions, a sister company of Flight International publisher Reed Business Information, has acquired the aviation division of events organiser UKIP Media & Events. The company's two main events are Aircraft Interiors Expo, which is held in Hamburg in April, and Aerospace Testing Europe Expo, held in Munich in March. September's Aircraft Interiors Expo Asia will be held at the Asian Aerospace show in Hong Kong.

Source: Flight International