Airbus A330-900 Gains EASA Certification - The Airbus A330-900 has received type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), clearing it for first delivery to launch customer TAP Air Portugal, the European airframer announced Wednesday. TAP’s first aircraft served as a demonstrator for route proving, durin
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October 1, 2018
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Airbus A330-900 Gains EASA Certification

The Airbus A330-900 has received type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), clearing it for first delivery to launch customer TAP Air Portugal, the European airframer announced Wednesday. TAP’s first aircraft served as a demonstrator for route proving, during which it visited 12 countries. Including the two A330-900 flight-test aircraft, the certification campaign logged some 1,400 hours in the air since first flight on October 19, 2017.

Carrying an Airspace by Airbus cabin and powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the A330neo family consists of the A330-900 and the smaller A330-800, scheduled to make its first flight in “the coming weeks.” Read More

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FAA Approves Longer CRJ Maintenance Intervals

The U.S. Federal Aviation Agency has approved the escalation of the maintenance intervals in the Bombardier CRJ700, CRJ900, and CRJ1000 to 800 flight hours for A Checks and 8,000 hours for C Checks, the Canadian manufacturer announced Monday. The changes extend the models’ line maintenance and heavy maintenance intervals for the second time since the launch of the CRJ700 in 1997, when specifications called for A Checks every 400 hours and C Checks every 4,500 hours. In 2011, the FAA increased the intervals to 650 hours and 6,500 hours, respectively. 

The latest intervals apply to new production deliveries as well as all CRJ700s, CRJ900s, and CRJ1000s already in service. Read More

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Wow Aims To Disrupt Long-haul Market from India

Indian international air service will get a boost once Iceland’s Wow Air on December 6 starts flying return service with an Airbus A330neo from Delhi to Reykjavík, offering passengers from the subcontinent a connection to any of the LCC’s several existing destinations in the U.S. and Europe. Selling promotional one-way tickets starting at $200, Wow has given rise to concerns about a fare war similar to those being waged among Indian domestic carriers. Most of the airlines involved had planned to fly medium- and long-haul flights to the West this winter, but the resulting losses have raised doubts about their implementation.

While low fares draw passengers, domestic airlines in India must cope with dizzying fuel prices, high taxes, rupee depreciation, and dollar escalation, making their operating costs far higher than those of international carriers. Read More

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UAE Willing To Start Open-Skies Talks with the European Union

More than two years after the European Commission invited the United Arab Emirates to enter into talks on concluding an EU-level comprehensive air transport agreement (CATA), the Gulf state has finally agreed to negotiate with Brussels. The formal approval follows pledges from Department of Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc that open skies with the bloc would offer more market access than what currently exits through the bilateral air transport agreements between the UAE and EU member countries, a European stakeholder told AIN. The development follows an agreement between the UAE and the U.S. earlier this year to resolve the years-long debate surrounding open skies policies between the two countries and alleged government subsidies.

UAE minister of economy and chairman of the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority Sultan Bin Saaed Al Mansoori confirmed his government’s readiness to negotiate in a letter to Bulc, noting that he “fully” shares her views that the EU and the UAE together can further enhance the global liberalization of aviation markets. “I also welcome the reassurance that your objective is truly ambitious in terms of an EU-UAE partnership, which—in all areas—goes further than what exists today,” he wrote, in reference to a clear demand from the UAE’s largest airline, Emirates. The UAE maintains open skies agreements with some 20 EU member states. Some include fifth freedom rights beyond Europe. Emirates, for instance, operates daily flights from Dubai to New York JFK with a stop in Milan Malpensa and to Newark with a stop in Athens. Read More

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Trent 1000 Woes Continue for Rolls-Royce

More durability concerns centered on Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 turbofan have prompted the UK aero-engine maker to further reduce the life of intermediate pressure turbine blades in certain Package C engines to avoid premature failure. Company guidance to operators issued on Thursday will require removal of some 30 to 40 engines sooner than expected. The latest problem does not affect most of the population of Package C engines, however, because Rolls already has fitted a new standard of blade in them as part of an earlier effort to mitigate durability deficiencies.

In a statement to AIN, Rolls-Royce insisted it continues to make “good progress” redesigning and replacing affected parts. “The guidance issued today is part of our ongoing management of the intermediate pressure turbine blade issue and applies only to the minority of engines which have not yet had replacement turbine blades fitted,” the company said. “In a small number of cases this may cause additional short-term disruption for our customers, for which we apologize.” Read More

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