Thursday, July 28, 2016

Malaysia Airlines orders for up to 50 737 MAXs

Boeing and Malaysia Airlines Berhad (Malaysia Airlines) announced today an order for 25 737 MAX 8 airplanes, valued at $2.75 billion dollars at current list prices. The order, previously attributed to an unidentified customer on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website, also includes purchase rights for additional 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 airplanes. (Boeing, 27-Jul-2016)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Brazilian Navy A-4 crashes after mid-air collision

A Brazilian Navy A-4 crashed after a mid-air collision with another A-4 while both were practicing on air patrol duties for the upcoming Olympic Games. One pilot ejected before his jet went into the sea while the other damaged A-4 managed to recover back to base. (Source:, 27-Jul-2016)

JetBlue orders 30 additional A321s

New York-based JetBlue Airways has amended its purchase agreement with Airbus to include an additional 15 Airbus A321ceo (current engine option) and 15 A321neo (new engine option) aircraft.  The airline, which already operates A321s, has not yet announced its engine selection for the newly ordered aircraft. (Source: 26-Jul-2016)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Government of Tanzania signs a firm purchase agreement for two Q400 turboprops

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that the Government of Tanzania has signed a firm purchase agreement for two Q400 turboprop airliners. The aircraft will be delivered with a 76-seat, dual-lavatory configuration and will be used for commercial airline operations in the region. Based on the list price of the Q400 airliner, the firm order is valued at approximately US $62 million. (Source: Bombardier, 25-Jul-2016)

AVIC rolls-out the first AG600 amphibian aircraft

China has completed production of a massive amphibious aircraft that it plans to use to fight forest fires and perform marine rescue missions. The AG600 rolled off a production line in the southern city of Zhuhai on Saturday, in what aviation observers see as a milestone for the country. 

The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes, a maximum cruising speed of 500 km/hr, a maximum flight range of 4,500-km, and a maximum endurance of 12hrs, according to state aircraft maker the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). 

The 37m long AG600 with a wingspan of 38.8m is by far the world's largest amphibian aircraft, about the size of a Boeing 737, according to AVIC deputy general manager Geng Ruguang. 

In addition to taking off and landing like an ordinary plane, the AG600 can also take-off and land from stretches of water that are at least 1,500m long, 200m wide and 2.5m deep. (Source: Xinhua, 23-Jul-2016)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Indian AF AN32 goes missing over the Bay of Bengal

An Antonov 32 transport plane (K-2743) of the Indian Air Force went missing over the Bay of Bengal during a flight from Tambaram Air Base near Chennai to Port Blair on South Andaman Island, India. The aircraft took off from Tambaram at 08:30 and was expected to arrive at Port blair at 11:30. The aircraft was last detected on radar 151-nm east of Chennai, making a left turn with a rapid loss of height from 23,000-ft, according to the Defence Ministry. (Source:, 22-Jul-2016)

Friday, July 22, 2016

USCG cutter becomes Philippine Navy frigate

The Philippine Navy has received a third U.S. Coast Guard cutter (ex USCGC Boutwell) and christened it as the BRP Andres Bonifacio Philippine Navy frigate before a ceremonial crew swap on Jul. 21st.

The Coast Guard Base Alameda authorized the transfer of the decommissioned Coast Guard cutter to the Philippine Navy as part of the Excess Defense Articles

According to USCG, the vessel is an $8 million grant, but the Philippine Navy is investing $16 million to modernize and outfit the cutter in the U.S. as part of the transfer program. (Source:, 22-Jul-2016)

Pegasus Airlines receives world's first CFM powered Airbus A320neo

Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines took delivery on Tuesday its first Airbus A320neo (TC-NBA) powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines, becoming the first airline to do so for the type. Pegasus Airlines along with Airbus and CFM top management and employees celebrated the delivery in a private ceremony at Airbus’ site in Hamburg. (Source: Airbus, 21-Jul-2016)

RN nuclear submarine collides with merchant vessel off Gibraltar

HMS Ambush, a nuclear-powered Astute-class submarine, collided with a merchant vessel off Gibraltar on Jul 20th, the Royal Navy (RN) confirmed in a statement. According to the Navy, the submarine suffered some external damage but there is "absolutely no damage" to her nuclear plant and no member of the ship’s company was injured in the incident.

At approximately 1330lt, Ambush was submerged and conducting a training exercise when it, as the Navy said, glanced an unspecified merchant vessel off the coast of Gibraltar. The Navy also said it was in contact with the merchant vessel and initial indications are that it has not sustained damage.

The submarine entered Gibraltar later in the evening for further checks and the Navy noted that there were no safety concerns associated with HMS Ambush being alongside. An immediate investigation is underway. (Source:, 21-Jul-2016)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

French Navy FS Cmdt. 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 Boiler wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta in the coming days. (21-Jul-2016)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bell-Boeing receives contract for four MV-22s for Japan

Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded a $544.7 million modification to the previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm target, Lot 17-21 multi-year contract (N00019-12-C-2001).  

This modification provides for the long lead production materials and the manufacture and delivery of four MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft pursuant to the variation in quantity clause in support of the government of Japan; as well as incorporation of an engineering change proposal for the standby flight display. 

Work is expected to be completed in May 2020. U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 19-Jul-2016)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

German Navy FGS Datteln recalls at Valletta Port

The German Navy Frankenthal-class (type 332) mine countermeasure vessel FGS Datteln (M 1058) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this afternoon on a courtesy visit. This is second visit in Valletta Port this year.

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

FGS Datteln is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf, and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (19-Jul-2016)

Lockheed Martin-led industry team lays keel for the USN’s 17th LCS

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s 17th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Indianapolis, in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Ship sponsor Mrs. J. Donnelly, the wife of U.S. Senator J. Donnelly, completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 18-Jul-2016)

Monday, July 18, 2016

New Zealand awards contract to HHI for construction of new fleet tanker

New Zealand has awarded a NZD$493 million contract to the South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of an ice-going tanker for the Royal New Zealand Navy. According to the defense minister G. Brownlee, the new ship will be ice-strengthened and winterised for operations in Antarctica and is expected to be delivered in 2020. (Source:, 18-Jul-2016)

RIMPAC 2016 participants sink former USN frigate

Ships participating in the 2016 edition of RIMPAC sank the decommissioned USS Thach (FFG 43) in waters 15,000 feet (4572 m) deep, 55 nautical miles north of Kauai, Hawaii, using live fire. Units from Australia, the Republic of Korea and the U.S. participated in the sinking exercise (SINKEX), which provided them the opportunity to gain proficiency in tactics, targeting and live firing against a surface target at sea. (Source: navaltoday, 18-Jul-2016)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Irish Naval Service LE James Joyce calls at Valletta Port

The Irish Naval Service Samuel Beckett-class offshore-patrol vessel LE James Joyce (P 62) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.

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

LE James Joyce is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-1/2 wharf and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port today after brief stay to take up stores and bunkers. (16-Jul-2016)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Qatar Airways to acquire 49% of Italy’s Meridiana

Doha-based Qatar Airways has reached an agreement to take a 49% stake in Italian carrier Meridiana. Talks toward the deal have been going on for months. The partners signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on "a potential partnership project" in early February, which culminated in an agreement signed Jul. 14th at the Farnborough Airshow.

"Qatar Airways announced today that it has signed a contribution and shareholders’ agreement with Alisarda, the parent company of Meridiana. The agreement provides for Qatar Airways to purchase 49% of Meridiana fly’s shares, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, before the closing which is planned for early October," Qatar Airways said in a brief statement. (Source:, 14-Jul-2016)

Bravo Industries announces purchase of ten LM-100J commercial freighters

Bravo Industries, LLC, announced that it will purchase 10 LM-100J Super Hercules commercial freighter aircraft from Lockheed Martin here today. Bravo is a logistics and defense group with operations in and focused on Brazil. Bravo’s LogĂ­stica division, which consists of Bravo Cargas and Bravo MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul), will operate the LM-100J for air cargo operations in Brazil. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 12-Jul-2016)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Aer Lingus adds two A330-300s

Aer Lingus is expanding its fleet of A330-300s by two aircraft following a decision to exercise options. The carrier currently operates eight A330s increasing to ten aircraft in 2016. With the latest decision Aer Lingus’ A330 fleet will grow to 12 aircraft. (Source: Airbus, 14-Jul-2016)

ALAFCO upsizes to A321neo

ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company, the Kuwait-based international aircraft leasing company, has upsized an order of ten A320neos to A321neos. The contract was signed today at Farnborough International Airshow. This agreement is part of an overall agreement signed in 2012 for 85 A320neo’s. (Source: Airbus, 14-Jul-2016)

Norwegian places an order for 30 A321LRs

Norwegian has placed an order for 30 A321LRs with Airbus. This follows a commitment signed in June 2012 for 100 A320neo aircraft. The switch from 30 A320neo aircraft to 30 A321LRs will support the carrier’s growth and modernization strategy and allows it to become the first low-cost carrier to operate the A321LR. The new aircraft will feature a single class cabin layout, seating approximately 220 passengers. (Source: Airbus, 14-Jul-2016)

M.I.A plc releases revised mid-year projections for 2016

Malta IAP is expecting 4.97 million passengers to pass through the airport by the end of the year, according to its revised mid-year projections. This would surpass all traffic records achieved so far. The first six months of this year alone already saw an additional 195,574 passenger movements compared to the same period last year, an increase of 9.8%.

Addressing a press conference, M.I.A. CEO A. Borg said this increase was even more significant as the growth was being registered in both peak and shoulder months, in line with the nation-wide strategy to promote Malta as a year-round destination.

He added that June alone registered an increase of 6.8% in passenger movements, continuing with the positive trends observed during the first five months of the year. This growth was stimulated by an increase in seat capacity and airlines' increased efficiency in filling up these available seats. In fact, seat load factor for the period between January and June reached 80%, while seat capacity grew by 7.4%.

Malta’s top market remains the U.K., with 612,413 passenger movements in the first six months of 2016, followed by Italy (459,657) and Germany (284,889). On the other hand, the markets that registered the largest growth were Turkey (37%) and Switzerland (36.4%), following the introduction of more frequent flights leaving Malta IAP to Istanbul and Zurich and Geneva, respectively.

In the meantime, other noteworthy developments for 2016 include enhanced winter operations and schedules by Ryanair, SAS and WizzAir and the introduction of new and added flights by Air Malta, Lufthansa, and easyJet. (Source:, 13-Jul-2016)

Qatar Executive places an order for three G650ERs

Qatar Airways business jet division Qatar Executive placed an order for three additional Gulfstream G650ERs on the first day of the Farnborough Airshow. The aircraft are due to be delivered in 2017, 2018 & 2019. Once delivered, Qatar Executive will be the largest G650 operator in the world. (Source:, 13-Jul-2016)

Synergy orders 62 A320neo Family aircraft

Synergy Aerospace Corporation, largest shareholder of Colombia-based Avianca and owner of Avianca Brasil, has finalized a purchase agreement with Airbus for 62 A320neo Family aircraft. These A320neo will be the base of the fleet renewal and network growth strategy for Avianca Brasil, and also marks over 1,000 Airbus aircraft sold in Latin America. (Source: Airbus, 13-Jul-2016)

Ruili Airlines finalizes an order for six 787-9 Dreamliners

Boeing and Ruili Airlines announced today at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow the finalization of an order for six 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $1.59 billion at current list prices. The order represents the first widebody order for the Yunnan-based carrier. Ruili Airlines first announced an intent to order the six 787-9 Dreamliners in May at the ceremony for the airline's two-year anniversary. (Source: Boeing, 13-Jul-2016)