787's GoldCare adds three partners

Maintenance Boeing has added three more partners to its GoldCare 787 support programme team - Air Cruisers, Honeywell and Thales. The programme, which will eventually comprise around 25 partners, will provide lifecycle support to 787 operators. Air Cruisers will provide evacuation systems Honeywell the navigation package, crew information system/management system, external lighting and flight control electronics and Thales flight controls, in-flight entertainment, navigation and power conversion systems.

Sagem wins joint VTOL UAV contract

Unmanned sysems The French defence procurement agency DGA has awarded Sagem Defense Securite a contract to conduct a joint vertical take-off and landing unmanned air vehicle study. The contract covers the definition study of a VTOL UAV that meets joint army and navy needs. Sagem is studying a design based on Bell Helicopter's Eagle Eye UAV. It follows a teaming agreement signed in June 2004 between the two companies to offer European armed forces a new generation of VTOL UAVs.

Consortium makes bid for Qantas

Takeover Qantas shares last week soared to an all-time high after confirmation by the carrier that it is the subject of a potential takeover. The airline has received an approach from Australia's Macquarie Bank and US private equity firm Texas Pacific Group on behalf of a consortium. Allco Finance Group, which finances part of Qantas's fleet, said late last week it is planning to raise A$500 million ($387 million) to allow it to join the bid, which is reported to be about A$11 billion. Qantas declines to comment further, saying the bid is confidential and incomplete and is being investigated.

Three Raytheon suitors emerge

Acquisition Three North American leveraged-buyout companies are vying to buy Raytheon Aircraft. According to the Wichita Eagle, three groups - Carlyle Group, Onex and Cerberus Capital Management - have submitted final bids for the company. Canada's Onex, which in 2005 acquired Boeing Wichita's commercial aircraft division and formed Spirit AeroSystems, has teamed with Goldman Sachs to submit a bid, says the report, which adds that the team is bidding against US investment companies Carlyle and Cerberus. None of the parties involved has commented. The report quotes sources as saying that the asking price for the Wichita business and general aviation manufacturer is about $3 billion.

CANSO links with ICAO

Navigation The council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation is to include the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) in its list of groups invited to selected meetings as an observer. CANSO says that this is an "important and historic decision that will support closer co-operation between the world's air navigation service providers and offers for new dynamics in the world of global air traffic management". Meanwhile, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland are joining to conduct a feasibility study with the aim of creating a common functional airspace block for the core area of Europe.

Low-cost carrier gets board backing

Budget airline Air France-KLM's board has backed plans to establish a new French leisure carrier using the Transavia model, which is set to operate around 10 leased Boeing 737-800s. The SkyTeam member earlier this month revealed it was evaluating establishing a new French leisure carrier through developing a new operation for its Transavia subsidiary. This would replicate the Transavia low-cost model, which serves both charter and budget scheduled services, on a number of new leisure destinations from France. The carrier will start by operating a small number of routes from Paris Orly using Boeing 737-800s.

Source: Flight International