Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shandong Airlines commits to purchase 50 737s

Boeing confirmed that Shandong Airlines' commitment to order 50 Boeing 737s, including 16 Next-Generation 737s and 34 737 MAXs. The airline plans to expand its capacity to meet growing demand in China and Northeast Asia, one of the most dynamic markets for commercial airplanes. The order will be posted as such to the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website once all contingencies are cleared. (Source: Boeing, 22-Apr-2014)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: none

  • 9H-AEF - Airbus A320-214 (c/n. 2142), registered to Air Malta plc (to be re-registered as G-ZBAR with Monarch Airlines)
View the complete Malta Aircraft Register

(Source: Transport Malta, 22-Apr-2014)

Transavia flight from Nantes welcomed to Malta IAP

Malta International Airport this morning welcomed the first weekly flight from Nantes, France operated by Transavia, a French low-cost company created by Air France and KLM Group. Passengers were welcomed by dancers in traditional Maltese costumes and were given a flower, courtesy of the Malta Tourism Authority. A cake was also prepared for the occasion highlighting aspects of Malta and Nantes as well as the Transavia brand. (Source:, 22-Apr-2014)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Air Malta flight from London-Heathrow cancelled due to technical issues

An Air Malta flight from London-Heathrow was cancelled last night due to technical issues. Passengers were provided with hotel accommodation and transport to and from the airport, a spokesman for the airline said. He said that 60 passengers will be returning to Malta early this afternoon and another ten this evening. (Source:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Keel laid for future USS Gabrielle Giffords

The U.S. Navy and Austal USA held a keel laying ceremony for the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), the Navy's tenth littoral combat ship (LCS), in Mobile, Ala., Apr. 16. The keel-laying ceremony recognizes the first joining together of a ship's components. While modern shipbuilding processes allow fabrication of individual modules to begin months earlier, the laying of the keel represents the formal beginning of a ship. The ship's sponsor, Ms. R. Green, was unable to attend the ceremony. The ship's namesake, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, authenticated the keel by having her initials welded into a sheet of the ship's hull. (Source: U.S. Navy, 16-Apr-2014)

Boeing delivers 8,000th 737

Boeing today delivered the 8,000th 737 to come off the production line to United Airlines, marking another important milestone for the world's best-selling airplane. The airplane, a Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range), features a special logo. (Source: Boeing, 16-Apr-2014)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Air Malta A320 goes retro to celebrate the carrier's 40th anniversary

Air Malta this afternoon surprised the islands with an aircraft freshly painted with the airline's first ever livery as it kick-started its 40th anniversary celebrations. Aircraft 9H-AEI operated flight KM040 and landed in Malta from Ostrava in the Czech Republic, where it was repainted. The aircraft was on a long-term lease to Interjet in Mexico.

It performed two low flypasts on RWY 31 and overflew the island before landing, just before 6pm. It flew over the Grand Harbour, Sliema, the northern coastline of Malta, Mosta, Qrendi and Birzebbuga. The aircraft is being welcomed at Malta IAP this evening during an event being hosted by Air Malta. (Source:, 16-Apr-2014)

Russia's MoD signs order for 16 MiG-29SMTs

The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a $470 million contract with the MiG corporation for the delivery of 16 advanced MiG-29 SMT fighters, the ministry said Tuesday. The company had earlier confirmed the deal in an interview with RIA Novosti, but did not specify its value. (Source: RIA Novosti, 15-Apr-2014)

Minsheng Financial Leasing signs order for up to 60 Gulfstream bizjets

Gulfstream Aerospace today held a signing ceremony with Minsheng Financial Leasing at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition. The ceremony recognized Minsheng’s order for 60 Gulfstream aircraft, which was signed in the fourth quarter of 2013. The 60-aircraft order, a combination of firm orders and options, is one of the largest in Gulfstream’s history. The sale spans the Gulfstream product line, including the super mid-size Gulfstream G280; the large-cabin, long-range G450; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range G550; and the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650. (Source: Gulfstream Aerospace, 15-Apr-2014)

Minsheng Financial Leasing confirmed as previously undisclosed customer for ten Challenger 350s

Bombardier Aerospace today confirmed Minsheng Financial Leasing as the customer who placed an order for ten Challenger 350 jets on Dec. 30, 2013. The announcement was marked by a special ceremony attended by Bombardier and Minsheng Financial Leasing executives at the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition in Shanghai, China, on Apr. 15, 2014. (Source: Bombardier Aerospace, 15-Apr-2014)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: none

  • 9H-FMG - Piper 31-350 Cheftain (c/n. 31-7952155), registered to Fugro Malta Ltd.
  • 9H-NWS - Piper 32-301 Saratoga 6XT (c/n. 32-55025), registered to Yacht & Jet Ltd.
  • 9H-UNB - X-Air 582 (c/n. BMAA/HB/159), registered to M. Boyianzis
(Source: Transport Malta, 15-Apr-2014)

Friday, April 11, 2014

USN accepts delivery of the future USS America

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS America (LHA 6) from Huntington Ingalls Industries April 10. America, the lead ship of the class, is the first of the Navy's next generation amphibious assault ships which replaces the aging Tarawa class. Delivery marks the official turnover of custody of the ship from the shipbuilder to the U.S. Navy. (Source: U.S.Navy, 10-Apr-2014)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Armed Forces of Malta signs contract for the acquisition of a second AW-139 helicopter

The Armed Forces of Malta announced the signature of a contract with AgustaWestland for the acquisition of a second AW-139 intermediated twin engine helicopter. The helicopter will be used to perform border control tasks and SAR missions. The delivery of the second AW-139 is expected for June 2015, while the first helicopter will be delivered in June 2014.

This order is part of the ongoing plan to strengthen the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Malta, through the External Borders Fund 2007-2013. This helicopter was an operational requirement that forms part of the medium to long term logistics plan of the AFM. Apart from the array of operational capabilities this acquisition provides the Maltese Armed Forces with a modern modular air platform meeting today’s and tomorrow’s service requirements.

The AW-139 has a maximum speed of 193 mph, a range of almost 600 miles, and service ceiling of 20,000 feet. This will enhance the AFM’s capability to operate out at sea for an extended duration and at a greater distance than what is currently possible. 

The helicopter is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment package for maritime patrol and SAR missions that includes a high-definition FLIR system, search/weather radar, cabin mission console, naval transponder, search light, satellite communication system, a 4-axis autopilot with SAR modes, external rescue hoist and four bag floatation system. 

This state of the art intermediate twin-engine helicopter features the largest cabin in its category for greater mission flexibility and comfort. 

(Source: Armed Forces of Malta, 10-Apr-2014)

Bombardier’s Learjet 85 aircraft takes flight

Bombardier Aerospace today announced that the Learjet 85 aircraft successfully completed its first flight, achieving a major milestone in a business aircraft development program that will redefine the midsize segment. This first flight marks the start of the Learjet 85 aircraft’s flight test program leading up to the first customer delivery.

The Learjet 85 flight test vehicle one (FTV1) was flown by Captain E. Grabman, Chief Flight Test Pilot, Bombardier Flight Test Center; assisted by his co-pilot, J. Dwyer; and Flight Test Engineer N. Weyers. The flight departed from Wichita-Mid Continent IAP at 8:19 am CST.

During its maiden flight which lasted approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, the Learjet 85 aircraft reached an altitude of 30,000 feet and an air speed of 250 knots. All flight controls were exercised with the systems and aircraft performing as expected. (Source: Bombardier Aerospace, 9-Apr-2014)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Italy's 'Frecce Tricolori' confirms participation at 2014 Malta International Airshow

After an unforgettable display during the 2011 edition of the Malta International Airshow, the world-famous 'Frecce Tricolori' return to Malta's skies to entertain the public with the team's unique demonstration of precision, art and spectacle that the team is so renowned for. 

The 'Frecce Tricolori' is made up of ten Italian-built MB-339PAN aircraft, making the team the world's largest display team. The Malta Aviation Society is honoured to include the 'Frecce Tricolori' to the airshow line-up and thanks everybody involved in bringing back the team to Malta. (Source:, 8-Apr-2014)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Air Malta launches Summer 2014 schedule

Air Malta has unveiled its summer flight schedule for 2014, offering customers a selection of 165 weekly flights to 33 destinations around Europe, northern Africa and the eastern Mediterranean.

The airline will add two new routes to its network this summer; Venice (Marco Polo Airport) and Parma (Giuseppe Verdi Airport). This season it will again operate to Algiers and has changed airport in Istanbul to Sabiha-Gokcen Airport, the world’s fastest growing airport.

This summer Air Malta is operating direct scheduled flights to Algiers, Amsterdam, Athens, Benghazi, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Catania, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hamburg, Istanbul, London–Gatwick, London–Heathrow, Lyon, Manchester, Marseille, Milan–Linate, Parma, Moscow-Domodedovo, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Munich, Paris–Charles De Gaulle, Paris–Orly, Prague, Rome, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Tripoli, Venice, Vienna and Zurich. 

Air Malta will also operate regular charter flights to seven regional airports in the U.K. that can be booked by the Maltese public. These airports are Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Glasgow, Newcastle and Norwich. (Source:, 7-Apr-2014)

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 
  • 9H-AEI - Airbus A320-214 (c/n. 2189), registered to Air Malta plc (ex XA-SOB)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 7-Apr-2014)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

USN commissions LCS USS Coronado

More than 4,000 guests watched as the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) joined the U.S.Navy's surface fleet during a commissioning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, Calif., Apr. 5. Coronado is the fourth littoral combat ship, the second of the Independence variant, commissioned into service. 

"On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, it's my pleasure to welcome the return of the name USS Coronado to the fleet," said Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. M. Ferguson, guest speaker for the ceremony. "There is no finer city for this celebration, and no more Navy pride than there is in Coronado." (Source: U.S. Navy, 5-Apr-2014)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Turkish AF takes delivery of its first A400M

Airbus Defence and Space has delivered today the first of the ten A400M to the Turkish AirForce, second customer to receive A400M. The aircraft which is the third production A400M, will be flown to Kayseri air base in central Turkey where it will initially be used for training. In Turkish Air Force service, the A400M will replace the C-160 Transall offering a dramatic increase in air transport capability to the armed forces. (Source: Airbus Defence and Space, 4-Apr-2014)

M.I.A. plc release traffice results for first quarter of 2014

Malta IAP this year registered the best ever figures for the first three months of the year, with a total of 655,942 passengers in January, February and March 2014. This marks an increase of 8.4% over last year, breaking all previous records for the shoulder months. This was mostly due to an increased seat capacity of 7.6%. 

The positive results registered in January and February were continued last month with more than 263,363 passengers passing through the airport, an increase of 5.7% from March 2013. These March figures were due to an added capacity of 5.3% and a consistent seat load factor of 78.1%. Traffic from the U.K. dropped by 2% compared to last year, but large increases were registered in Libya (31.9%), Germany (15.1%), Italy (14.1%) and France (7.7%).

Despite overall seat capacity on U.K. routes remained relatively unchanged, the seat load factor suffered 2.3% to reach an average of 84.9% for the month as less passengers where carried when compared to the same period last year. This was due to the operation of less flights and reduced capacity on some of these routes.

Aircraft movements for March increased by 5.2%, while cargo and mail registered a decline of 1.7% over the previous year. (Source:, 4-Apr-2014)

USN decommissions frigate USS De Wert

After more than 30 years of U.S. Naval service, crew members, plankowners, family members and friends gathered at NS Mayport Apr. 4, to bid farewell to the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS De Wert (FFG 45) during a decommissioning ceremony. De Wert completed its last deployment Dec. 23, after successfully completing operations in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.  (Source: U.S. Navy, 4-Apr-2014)

Kenya Ariways takes delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner

Boeing and Kenya Airways celebrated the delivery and flyaway today of the Kenyan flag carrier's first 787 Dreamliner (5Y-KZA). The airplane departed Paine Field in Everett for a 7,800 nautical mile (14,456 km) nonstop flight to Kenya Airways' home base in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta IAP. (Source: Boeing, 4-Apr-2014)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 
  • 9H-VTA - Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 (c/n. 9565), registered to VistaJet Ltd. (ex C-GUSV)
  • 9H-VTB - Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 (c/n. 9566), registered to VistaJet Ltd. (ex C-GUTG)
  • 9H-VTC - Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 5000 (c/n. 9571), registered to VistaJet Ltd. (ex C-GUSU)
  • 9H-ELP - Cessna 172S (c/n. 172S-8742), registered to Yacht & Jet Ltd.
  • 9H-MCM - Cessna S550 Citation II (c/n. S550-0028) ...the registered owner changed from M.C.M. Maintenance Centre Munich GmbH to Hyperion Aviation Ltd.
(Source: Transport Malta, 3-Apr-2014)

Boeing launches BBJ MAX Family with first order

Boeing announced the launch of the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) MAX family of airplanes after receiving the first order from an undisclosed customer. The order is for a BBJ MAX 8, which is based on the 737 MAX 8 and the newest business jet to join the BBJ family. (Source: Boeing, 2-Apr-2014)

Northrop Grumman receives contract for five MQ-8 Firescouts for USN

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. is being awarded a US$43.8 million modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for the production and delivery of five MQ-8 Firescout vertical take-off and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (VTUAV) and one ground control station. Work is expected to be completed in December 2015. U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 2-Apr-2014)