Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Emirates B77W diverts to Malta IAP due to a medical emergency

An Emirates Boeing B777-300ER (A6-EGK), performing flight EK-751 from Dubai IAP (U.A.E.) to Casablanca-Mohammad V IAP (Morocco), had to divert to Malta International Airport this morning due to a medical emergency on board. The B77W continued with its flight to Casablanca after 80-mins on the ground. (17-Jan-2017)

Flynas orders 60 A320neos, firms options on 20 A320ceos to A320neos

Saudi Arabia's low-cost carrier Flynas has signed an agreement with Airbus for 60 A320neo Family aircraft. In addition to the 60 aircraft, Flynas has converted 20 A320ceo from a previous order to A320neo bringing the airline's total firm order to 80 A320neo. The deliveries are scheduled to take place during 2018-2026. (Source: Airbus, 16-Jan-2017)

Wideroe signs order for up to 15 E2 family jets

Embraer has signed a contract with Widerøe for up to 15 E2 family jets. The contract consists of three firm orders for the E190-E2 and purchase rights for 12 further E2 family aircraft. This flexible mix of pur​​​chase rights for E175-E2, E190-E2, and E195-E2 will give Widerøe the ability to grow their fleet with a family of aircraft from 80 to 130+ seats. The order has a potential list price value of up to US$873million, if all orders are converted. The three firm orders for E190-E2s were included in Embraer's fourth quarter 2016 backlog.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Two Rafales and a C-135FR of the French AF divert to Malta IAP

Two Rafale fighters and a C-135FR refueling tanker of French Air Force operating in the Mediterranean sea where forced to divert to Malta IAP today around noon after the tanker reported a problem with one of its four engines. The Rafales landed first followed 20-mins after by the tanker. (16-Jan-2017)

French Navy FS Commdant Bouan calls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant Bouan (F 797) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The French corvette is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Wednesday, Jan. 18th. (16-Jan-2017)

MyCargo B744 crashes at Bishkek on go around

A MyCargo Airlines Boeing 747-400 freighter (TC-MCL), performing flight TK-6491 on behalf of Turkish Airlines, from Hong Kong (China) to Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) with four crew, was on final approach to Bishkek's RWY 26 at 07:18L (01:18z) when the aircraft went around but did not climb out to safety, impacted terrain about 1100m past the runway end and went through a couple of houses of a village. All four crew on board the 747 as well as 28 people on the ground perished, eight people on the ground received injuries and were taken to hospitals. (Source: avherald.com, 16-Jan-2017)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Royal Navy HMS Scott recalls at Valletta Port

The Royal Navy survey vessels HMS Scott (H 131) has sailed into Valletta Port (Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her second port-call in Valletta this month

The British survey vessel is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Saturday, Jan. 21st. (15-Jan-2017)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Royal Thai AF Gripen crashes in the Children's Day airshow at Hat Yai airport

A Royal Thai Air Force Saab Gripen fighter jet taking part in the Children's Day airshow at Thailand's southern Hat Yai IAP has been filmed crashing to the ground, with smoke and flames erupting from the spot. The pilot was reportedly killed in the crash.

A video filmed from amid the crowd of onlookers celebrating the holiday with balloons and umbrellas shows what is reported to be a Swedish-made Saab JAS-39 Gripen jet buzzing the airport. The jet appears to be going into a stunt maneuver, before quickly turning over and nearly nose-diving into the ground in the distance. (Source: rt.com, 14-Jan-2017) [Video clip]

Italy orders an initial batch of five M-345 trainers

The Italian National Armaments Directorate of the Italian Defence Ministry has signed a contract with Leonardo for an initial batch of five Aermacchi M-345 trainer aircraft. The new aircraft will work alongside the M-346s already used by the Italian AF for the advanced phase of pilot training, forming the world’s most advanced training system for military pilots. The first delivery is expected by 2019. (Source: Leonardo, 13-Jan-2016)

Embraer delivers 225 aircraft in 2016

Embraer has delivery 108 aircraft to the commercial aviation market (90 E175s, 11 E190s and seven E195s) and 117 to the executive aviation market (73 light and 44 large executive jets) in 2016. The total of 225 aircraft for these two markets represents the highest volume of deliveries in the last six years.  As of Dec. 31st, the backlog on the two markets totaled USD 19.6 billion. (Source: Embraer, 13-Jan-2016)

Air Malta, Alitalia officially confirm end to equity talks

Air Malta and Alitalia have jointly decided to terminate the talks which would have led to Alitalia becoming a 49% shareholder in Malta's national carrier.

The two airlines agreed that the current changing landscape in the airline industry was not ideal for a such a transaction and that both airlines would concentrate on the current challenges without entering into a partnership.

Air Malta and Alitalia will continue to collaborate closely commercially through a recently launched extensive code-sharing program. (Source: Air Malta & Alitalia, 13-Jan-2017)

Armed Forces of Malta contracts Fincantieri for offshore patrol vessel upgrades

The Armed Forces of Malta awarded the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri a contract for upgrade works on their offshore patrol vessel P61. The P61 was built by Fincantieri ten years ago based on the design of Italian Coast Guard’s Diciotti-class patrol boat.

The contract was signed by Brigadier Jeffrey Curmi, Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta, and Gian Battista Corbetta, head of maintenance, refitting overhaul & conversion of Fincantieri’s naval services business unit.

According to the company, work on the vessel will cost an estimated 7 million Euro and will include upgrades to ship board systems with the aim of improving the reaction capability of the unit.

Work on the 53-meter-long vessel is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2017 in Italy, in the Fincantieri shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia), and will last about 6 months. (Source: navaltoday.com, 13-Jan-2017)

Friday, January 13, 2017

SpiceJet announces a commitment for up to 205 Boeing airplanes

Boeing and SpiceJet announced today a commitment for up to 205 airplanes during an event in New Delhi. Booked at the end of 2016, the announcement includes 100 new 737 MAX 8s, SpiceJet's current order for 42 MAXs, 13 additional 737 MAXs which were previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website, as well as purchase rights for 50 additional airplanes. (Source: Boeing, 13-Jan-2017)

Spanish Navy ESPS Navarra calls at Valletta Port

The Spanish Navy Santa Maria-class frigate ESPS Navarra (F 85) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The Spanish frigate is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

ESPS Navarra is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4/5 wharf and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Sunday, Jan. 15th. (13-Jan-2017)

Lithuanian Navy commissions patrol ship LNS Sėlis

The Lithuanian Navy commissioned and named the new patrol ship LNS Sėlis (P15) during a Jan. 11th ceremony in Klaipėda. LNS Sėlis is a former Danish Navy Flyvefisken-class vessel that Lithuania bought earlier from Denmark. The new ship is replacing 50 years old Storm-class LNS Sėlis (P 32) that was built in Norway. (Source: navaltoday.com, 13-Jan-2017)

Germany signs a deal with Lufthansa Technik for the acquisition and conversion of an A321 for its air force

Germany has signed a deal with the special mission division of MRO provider Lufthansa Technik (LHT) for the acquisition and conversion of an Airbus A321 for its air force. Berlin values the agreement, signed on Jan. 5th, at €90 million, which also includes spare parts and training.

Conversion work is due to take place at LHT's Hamburg facility and will initially be performed to civilian certification standards. Subsequently it will seek military airworthiness approval for any further modifications, such as the addition of a defensive aids suite.

The converted airliner is scheduled to enter service in 2018, says the defence ministry, and will be based alongside its other VIP aircraft at Cologne-Wahn air base. It has not detailed the layout for the conversion, but refers to the A321’s ability to "transport 70 passengers". (Source: flightglobal.com, 12-Jan-2017)

Indian Navy launches second Scorpene-class submarine Khanderi

The Indian Navy launched today the second Scorpene-class submarine during a ceremony held at Mazagon Dock Shipyard Limited. The launching ceremony of INS Khanderi was attended by India's defense minister and navy and shipyard officials. According to the Indian Navy, the submarine is expected to be delivered by the year end. (Source: navaltoday.com, 12-Jan-2017)

Kazakhstan's Defense Ministry signs deal for four Mi-35 helicopters

Russian Helicopters, part of the Rostec State Corporation, has signed a deal with Kazakhstan's Defense Ministry for the delivery of four Mi-35M attack helicopters, with transport capability, in 2018, according to the statement of the manufacturer. (Source: sputniknews.com, 11-Jan-2017)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

M.I.A. plc releases 2016 traffic results and 2017 forecast

During its yearly traffic results press conference, Malta International Airport announced its forecast for 2017, with traffic expected to reach 5.2 million passenger movements by the end of the year.

2016 ended on a positive note at the airport, with the company reaching an important 5 million passenger milestone in December and exceeding expectations, closing the year having welcomed 5,080,071 passengers.

Traffic at Malta IAP grew by a noteworthy 10% over the previous year, on the back of a 4.5% growth in aircraft movements and a 7.6% increase in seat capacity. Standing at 83.3%, seat load factor for 2016 climbed up by 1.82% over the previous year, signalling a marked efficiency by airlines to fill up available seats.

A monthly break-down of passenger numbers for 2016, in fact, highlights that the airport succeeded in hosting more guests during its shoulder months than the previous year, with November and December registering the highest spikes in passenger numbers of 22.4% and 32.2%, respectively. Featuring 18 new connections and increased flight frequencies, Malta IAP’s present winter schedule offers the most connections yet for this period and is expected to contribute to further growth in the shoulder months.

The top markets for 2016 were the United Kingdom, which saw an increase of 5.4%, Italy, which grew by 15%, Germany which grew by 8.0%, France, registering a growth of 5.5%, and Spain, which registered a growth of 26.7%.

During the press conference, the airport also revealed three new routes for summer 2017, namely Bordeaux operated by Volotea and Cluj-Napoca and Katowice operated by Wizzair. Other interesting developments for the summer months include new airline Eurowings launching operations from Vienna next April and the first Malta to Malta Cruise and Fly service by P&O. (Source: maltairport.com, 11-Jan-2017)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

GoAir pens a firm contract for 72 A320neos

GoAir has penned a firm contract for 72 A320neo aircraft following its Memorandum of Understanding signed during the Farnborough International Airshow. The agreement reached on Dec. 30th, 2016, doubles GoAir's firm order book for the aircraft type to 144. (Source: Airbus, 11-Jan-2017)

Airbus releases commercial orders and deliveries' results for 2016

Airbus' commercial aircraft deliveries in 2016 were up for the 14th year in a row, reaching a new company record of 688 aircraft delivered to 82 customers.

Deliveries were more than 8% higher than the previous record of 635 set in 2015. These included 545 single aisle A320 Family, 66 A330s, 49 A350 XWBs and 28 A380s.

Airbus achieved 731 net orders from 51 customers of which eight are new. These included 607 singles aisle and 124 wide-body aircraft. 

At the end of 2016, Airbus' overall backlog stood at 6,874 aircraft valued at US$1,018 billion at list prices. 

Family   Gross Orders   Net Orders   Deliveries   Unfilled orders 
A320  790 607 545 5,645
A330  106 83 66 363
A350  51 41 49 754
A380  2 0 28 112
Totals  949 731 688 6,874

(Source: Airbus, 11-Jan-2017)

Jeju Air orders three B738s

Boeing and Jeju Air announced an order today for three B738s. The order, valued at nearly $300 million at current list prices, will become the airline's first direct-purchased airplanes from Boeing. The order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website. (Source: Boeing, 10-Jan-2017)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Portuguese Navy NRP Vasco da Gama calls at Valletta Port

The Portuguese Navy Vasco de Gama-class (Type Meko-200) frigate NRP Vasco da Gama (F 330) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.

The Portuguese frigate is presently alongside at Pinto-3 Wharf, and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port on Thursday, Jan. 12th. (10-Jan-2017)

China takes delivery of the first Su-35s from Russia

China has taken delivery of the Sukhoi Su-35 “Flanker-E” fighter jet from Russia, according to Chinese state media. The Chinese military confirmed that it took delivery of four Su-35s in late December, the English-language China Daily newspaper reported without providing further details. (Source: defensenews.com, 9-Jan-2017)

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-ABI - Hornet Dual Trainer Raven (c/n. 59/2000-0224), registered to Optimal Supplies Ltd.
  • 9H-ABU - Piper PA-32R-300 Lance (c/n. 32R-7780410), registered to Sun Aviation Ltd.
  • 9H-ABV - Rans S-10 Sakota (c/n. 1188-036), registered to Auto Cycle Aviation Ltd.
  • 9H-SBJ - Sukhoi Civil Aircraft RRJ-95B (c/n. 95060), registered to Comlux Malta Ltd.
(Source: Transport Malta, 5-Jan-2017)