NEW YORK CAN NOT SUPPORT A380
Emirates is withdrawing its Airbus A380s from the Dubai-New York Kennedy route to shift the 489-seater to Toronto from 1 June, and will deploy the type to Bangkok. The Kennedy flight will revert to a Boeing 777-300ER. The airline says the economic downturn has resulted in the need to rethink the positioning and use of the 489-seat aircraft. Meanwhile, Emirates' Gulf neighbour Etihad Airways is to increase fleet capacity by 18% this year through the introduction of 11 new passenger aircraft as it targets a 15% increase in passenger numbers to 7 million.
IRAQ EYES T-50 PURCHASE
Iraq could purchase Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin T-50 lead-in fighter trainers, according to The Korea Times. A request for the acquisition was made during a bilateral summit meeting in Seoul last month, it says, citing sources close to the deal. Iraqi president Jalal Talabani has been briefed on the T-50, and an Iraqi pilot has flown the type, the newspaper says. KAI and Lockheed decline to comment.
EUROFIGHTER DEAL MOVES CLOSER
Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK will in late March resume negotiations with the Eurofighter industry consortium over Tranche 3 production of the multirole type. The partner nations have tasked the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency with seeking "significant life cost reductions" before agreeing to sign a "Tranche 3A" deal covering the first 107 of their remaining 236 Eurofighters from an umbrella contract for 620 aircraft.
PROFITS AND DEMAND DOWN AT DASSAULT
Falcon business jet and Rafale combat aircraft maker Dassault Aviation saw its operating profit narrow 14% to €434 million ($587 million) in 2008, as sales fell 8% to €3.75 billion. Business jet orders totalled 115 units, a 46% drop from the 2007 figure of 212, but their value fell just 14% to €4.62 billion. Defence export order value held firm at €240 million and French defence orders value rose 50% to €960 million. Business jet deliveries edged up by two units to 72 - the highest level since 2001.
DISCOVERY CREW INSTALL FINAL SOLAR ARRAY
The crew of NASA's orbiter Discovery have over the course of three spacewalks successfully installed the S6 truss with the fourth and final set of solar arrays for the International Space Station. Their 13-day mission, STS-119, was originally set to lift off on 12 February but was delayed to 15 March. Discovery is to return to Earth on Friday 27 March.
BRAZILIAN COURT SUPPORTS EMBRAER STAFF CUTS
A Brazilian court has dismissed a union appeal against 4,300 production and administrative job cuts announced by Embraer in February, which will reduce its workforce by about 20% and eliminate a layer of management.
RYANAIR, PILOTS REACH PAY-FREEZE AGREEMENT
Irish budget carrier Ryanair has negotiated a 12-month pay freeze and productivity increase among its pilots after concluding discussions across its 31 European bases. The carrier claims its pilots have "overwhelmingly" voted in favour of the pay freeze. The alternative was a 10% pay cut.
Source: Flight International