Thursday, March 5, 2015

FAA certifies Boeing South Carolina-built 787-9s

FAA has added Boeing South Carolina-built 787-9s to the company’s production certificate, PC 700, which allows the US-based manufacturer to produce and deliver the type from the facility.

FAA added 787-8 production to Boeing’s PC 700 certificate in July 2012.

Boeing said the certificate is issued once an aircraft manufacturer has demonstrated to the FAA that its facilities and quality management system meet the agency’s stringent safety and reliability requirements.

The addition of Boeing South Carolina’s 787-9 production to the Boeing production certificate follows a successful FAA Manufacturing Inspection District Office audit that validated the site’s compliance with the Boeing Quality Management System.

Boeing announced in July 2014 it will build 787-10s exclusively in South Carolina.

(Linda Blachly - ATWOnline News)

Al Baker and Clark counter US carrier subsidy allegations

The heads of Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways have strongly defended their airlines against allegations of large government subsidies leveled at them by the three big US carriers.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have joined forces in a campaign against their major Gulf rivals, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar, saying they benefit from more than $40 billion in state subsidies that do not comply with Open Skies agreements between the US, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

The US carriers held a press conference in DC Wednesday, joined by representatives of major union groups who claim hundreds of US jobs will be lost if the fast growth of the Gulf carriers is not curtailed.

In exclusive interviews with ATW, Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker and Emirates president Tim Clark responded to those allegations and to a report the US carriers commissioned which they say is proof of the subsidies.

The report—which the US carrier CEOs showed to White House and government officials during closed-door meetings earlier this year—was not shown to the Gulf carriers or made public until today.

Speaking to ATW on the sidelines of the ITB tourism fair in Berlin, Al Baker said he would “like the opportunity to read the report and defend ourselves. I’m sure there could be information in there that could be misleading,” he said.

“If we as Gulf carriers are blamed for tough performance and competing with US or European carriers, then that is in the interest of consumers. We are extremely well received at all destinations. If we have so much negative influence, why are we received so well?” Al Baker said.

The Qatar Group CEO added that the US carriers concerned “have all been through Chapter 11 [bankruptcy protection]. If you look at the history of American carriers—before Qatar existed—they were in and out of Chapter 11 many times. We were not competing with them then, so what was the problem? It is because of their inefficiencies and improper management.

 “They got all the support they wanted; [Chapter 11] to me is a backdoor, an indirect subsidy.”

Al Baker said that once he sees the US airline-commissioned report, he would “adequately respond to every point they have made. We should have the right to defend ourselves. You can always make a derogatory statement, but we should have the opportunity to respond. We will respond very robustly to all the allegations, false allegations, which the report may contain.”

Emirates’ Tim Clark also pointed out the report was not provided to him. “I understand it took two years [to complete the report]. Who was paying for this? Shareholders?” he told ATW.

“I hope that the organizations reviewing this will take it onboard, but at least give us the chance to respond.”

Clark added that the US report and campaign “strikes me as extraordinary. I've been here since the beginning [of Emirates Airline]; I know we were given a clean sheet of paper and a 10 million dirham ($2.7 million) check [to launch the airline]. We built this through blood, sweat and tears, had enormous difficulties, took big risks … We do not receive subsidies.”

Clark said Emirates financials have been made public since the early 1990s.

“This is grossly unfair. We will formalize our response and I hope we’re given the chance to do that.”

He said that to reverse Open Skies agreements “would be madness; it’s done the US an enormous power of economic good.”

(Kurt Hofmann and Karen Walker - ATWOnline News)

Alaska Airlines begins new San Diego - Kona service

Alaska Airlines is expanding its service to the Hawaiian Islands, with new nonstop flights between San Diego and Kona, on Hawaii Island, starting today.
Alaska is offering an introductory fare of $199 one way for tickets purchased by March 9 for travel on Mondays and Thursdays between April 15 and June 6, 2015.*

While flying to Kona, customers can enjoy Alaska Beyond™, a new flight experience where they can watch free entertainment on their own device, enjoy locally-sourced food and beverages, relax in custom, power-equipped leather seats, and experience Alaska's award-winning service.

"We're pleased to add Kona as the fourth Hawaiian island that Alaska serves from San Diego," said John Kirby, the airline's vice president of capacity planning. Alaska also flies to Honolulu, Kahului (Maui), and Lihue (Kauai). "At our peak this summer, Alaska will offer 27 flights a week to Hawaii from San Diego. No other airline offers more service to Hawaii from San Diego, than Alaska."

Summary of new service:

SAN-KOA Depart: 5:55pm-Arrive: 10:00pm Monday, Thursday, Saturday

KOA-SAN Depart: 9:00am-Arrive: 4:25pm Monday, Thursday, Saturday

(Alaska Airlines Press Release)

Hawaiian Airlines introduces new interior cabin design for interisland aircraft

 (Hawaiian Airlines)

A new look and more seats will be found inside some of the Boeing 717 interisland aircraft used by Hawaiian Airlines, which said Thursday that it has retrofitted 18 aircraft with an island-inspired cabin redesign.

Hawaiian Airlines, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, said it has retrofitted the main cabins of the 18 planes with new lightweight main cabin seating from Acro Aircraft Seating Ltd. The airline expects to reconfigure the interior of its entire interisland fleet by the end of 2015. The cost was not disclosed.

(Hawaiian Airlines)

The retrofit will bring one configuration to its interisland fleet, which currently has five different cabin configurations. An identical galley, lavatory and seat configuration will provide a consistent onboard experience for travelers and decrease the airline's operational complexity.

Prior configurations had either 118 or 123 seats, while the new configuration will have 128 seats with the same amount of personal space for passengers.

The new seatbacks offer a tablet table machine from solid aluminum, sized and designed for beverage service and the use of a tablet device.

In addition, seats in first class will have new seat covers and leather arm caps. There also will be new carpeting, galley flooring and curtains, and some aircraft will receive new forward windows.

(Hawaiian Airlines)

"These new, modern design elements rejuvenate the interiors of our Boeing 717s while allowing us to deliver a consistent onboard experience for our guests," Peter Ingram, chief commercial officer for Hawaiian Airlines, said in a statement. "The new lightweight seats are engineered to ensure a maximum amount of personal space without compromising legroom or comfort."

(Jason Ubay - Pacific Business News)

jetBlue A320-232 N565JB "Bippity, Boppity, Blue"

Taxies on "Delta" towards a Rwy 30 departure.

Up the nose!

Turning onto Rwy 30, departing to Sacramento (SMF/KSMF) as "JBU366."

Arriving back Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) from Portland (PDX/KPDX) as "JBU1521" on March 4, 2015. 
jetBlue A320-232 (c/n 2013) N565JB "Bippity, Boppity, Blue" was the first aircraft to sport the carriers "Tartan" tail livery.
(Photos by Michael Carter) 

Emirates considering 787 or A350 order

Emirates Airline is looking at an order for around 50 to 70 twin-aisle A350 or 787 aircraft, its president said on Thursday.

Emirates canceled an order for 70 A350 aircraft last year, saying the new plane from Airbus did not fit its original specifications, and Tim Clark said Emirates was now looking at both Airbus and rival Boeing for twin-aisles.

"We'd be looking at 50 to 70. We have to establish exactly what it would be but much would depend on the Dubai hub growth," Clark told journalists at an event during the ITB travel fair in Berlin.

He also said the airline was considering Rolls-Royce engines for an order of 50 Airbus A380 aircraft.

Its first 90 A380 aircraft are supplied by Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.

(Victoria Bryan - Reuters)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

jetBlue A320-232 N775JB "Vets in Blue"

Back taxies on Rwy 30.
 In your Face!
Spins around on Rwy 30.
Cleared for departure and going to power.
jetBlue A320-232 (c/n 3800) N775JB "Vets in Blue" departs Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) as "JBU148" at 08:17 pst bound for Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (OAK/KOAK). She ferried in from San Diego International (SAN/KSAN) as "JBU6103" arriving at 07:19 pst. 
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Virgin Atlantic tests wearables for maintenance technicians

UK long-haul specialist Virgin Atlantic is launching a trial with Sony Mobile Communications to test how new wearable technology can help improve the airline’s maintenance and engineering processes.

Engineers working on Virgin aircraft at the airport and in the hangar will be testing Sony’s SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1, tablet, mobile phone and SmartWatch 3 in an eight-week trial at London Heathrow Airport. They will test how the technology can be used for real-time communication between the engineering team on the aircraft and in the engineering support areas.

SmartWear plus a smart phone or tablet will remove paper from some engineering processes and reduce journey times between an aircraft and technical control. Engineers will receive notifications on SmartWatch 3 devices about changes to job allocations or detail in tasks.

Managers will get instant feedback that the engineer has read the notification and that the task is in hand. Engineers will use SmartEyeglasses to take pictures or video of tasks they are working on. This will be linked to an app running on a smartphone that allows engineers to submit a form requesting further technical assistance. SmartEyeglasses will also be used for real-time video streaming so office engineers can see a problem from the engineers’ point of view.

(Henry Canaday - ATWOnline News)

WestJet eyes widebody service to Europe, emerging markets

Although WestJet Airlines continues to explore the possibility of flying widebody aircraft to emerging markets in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, the carrier still believes it can make money by launching new service to Europe, despite considerable competition on many key routes.
The Calgary-based carrier will not make an announcement on which international markets it will serve with its four used Boeing 767s until early this summer, but CEO Gregg Saretsky told ATW the airline is evaluating some unusual markets for a low-cost carrier (LCC), such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Still, most analysts expect WestJet will initially deploy the widebodies to Europe in summer 2016, and once there they would face significant challenges from two strong incumbent carriers: Air Transat and Air Canada. Perhaps after that experiment, observers suggest, WestJet might turn its attention to more exotic markets.

Despite the competition, WestJet believes Europe would work, at least seasonally, because of high demand among Canadian travelers. “It’s a market that has a massive summer peak,” Saretsky said.
Rather than seeing Air Transat—the largest charter carrier in Canada, with 27 Europe destinations—as an impediment, Saretsky said WestJet views it as sign that there’s more demand out there than Air Transat can satisfy. “When they fly from Toronto to Nice, they live and die on the demand between Toronto and Nice,” Saretsky said. “We are a network carrier, so our whole network west of Toronto would connect with our wide-bodies.”

Air Canada rouge would also be a fierce competitor, though WestJet believes it has a better product and stronger brand than its key competitor. WestJet should, for example, have slightly more seat pitch than rouge, which offers 31 inches on its Boeing 767s. “I think the jury is still out on how guests are receiving that,” Saretsky said about rouge’s tight seating. 

Still, Raymond James analyst Ben Cherniavsky said there’s not much room for new capacity across the Atlantic, though he commended WestJet for making one route—from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Dublin—work last summer. He suggested WestJet will have more trouble leveraging its cost advantage over competitors on long-haul routes. But even if WestJet can take advantage of the summer peak, Cherniavsky said the airline will need to figure out what to do with the aircraft the rest of the year. 

“You have to avoid the trap of what Air Canada has done, which is to structure a fleet and a labor pool that is entirely organized around the opportunity to fly Canadians everywhere they want to go in July and August,” he said. 

As for emerging markets, Cherniavsky said there’s a different between evaluating them and actually launching service. “Who doesn’t talk about emerging markets these days?” he said. “I think everyone is obliged for having a plan for China.”

(Brian Sumers - ATWOnline News)

Qatar Airways says no longer interested in CSeries

Qatar Airways is no longer interested in ordering any CSeries jets as as result of the delays to the new single-aisle aircraft made by Bombardier , Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said on Wednesday.

"We have completely forgotten about it because you cannot wait indefinitely," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the ITB travel fair in Berlin.

He also said that Qatar Airways would wait at least a couple of years before deciding whether to order any more A380s after starting operations with its first of the superjumbos last year.

"I have to see the performance, I need at least a couple of years to see what added benefit this airplane has compared to the other types that we're operating," he said.

He said any revamp of the A380 would likely be a long way off.

"We will study it once they tell us what it is capable of doing," he said.


Southwest Airlines tops on-time performance in February for major domestics airlines

February will go in the history books as a particularly brutal weather month across an unusually wide swath of the United States. And, needless to say, that made it an extraordinarily challenging month for commercial aviation.
But no matter.
February also will go down in the record books as the month Southwest Airlines finally rose to the top in on-time arrival performance among major domestic carriers, according to statistics released today by FlightView, a Newton, Mass.-based provider of global airline and airport performance data.
Southwest has its largest hub operation at Chicago's Midway Airport.
Southwest Airlines notched a 77.4 percent on-time arrival record in February, down slightly from the 78.9 percent it notched in January. Delta Air Lines, which had the best on-time performance for a number of months running, slipped badly in February to 74.0 percent on-time arrivals, down from 80.1 percent in January.

But the flight cancellation stats for February also indicate just how much weather wreaked havoc on airline schedules.

FlightView data showed Southwest canceled 3.6 percent of its flights in February, up dramatically from 1.6 percent in January, while Delta, which has a particularly large operation in the Northeast where several snowstorms hit particularly hard, cancelled 4.0 percent of its flights in February, up from 2.3 percent in January.

Meanwhile, American Airlines and Chicago-based United Airlines, both with large operations in Chicago, wound up with relatively poor on-time arrival numbers in February. United got 68.0 percent of its flights to the gate on time, down from 70.3 percent in January, while only 65.8 percent of AA's flights arrived on time, down from 69.6 percent in January.

U.S. Airways, which is in the process of merging with AA, got 68.0 percent of flights to gate on time, down from 73.0 percent in January.

United cancelled 5.4 percent of its scheduled flights in February, up from 3.7 percent in January, while American cancelled a whopping 8.3 percent of flights, up from 3.9 percent in January. U.S. Airways cancelled 5.8 percent of flights in February, up from 3.6 percent in January.

An on-time arrival is one where a plane arrives at the gate within 14 minutes of its scheduled arrival time.

(Lewis Lazare - Chicago Business Journal)

Turkish Airlines A330 accident in Kathmandu, Nepal

Turkish Airlines A330-303 (c/n 1522) TC-JOC is seen with her nose in the dirt following a landing accident in Kathmandu, Nepal.
(Photo by Prakash Mathema - AFP - Getty Images)

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-300 exited the runway and came to stop in a grassy area with its nose on the ground after landing at Kathmandu, Nepal.

Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and Turkish Airlines officials said all 227 and 11 crew were safely evacuated from the aircraft following the March 4 incident, though the airline said one passenger was “slightly injured” and taken to a hospital. Flight TK726 had flown from Istanbul Ataturk International Airport.

Following the incident, which occurred just after 7 a.m. local time, all international flights were canceled at Kathmandu as the airport closed the runway to remove the damaged aircraft.

The aircraft was reportedly making its second landing attempt after being in a holding pattern over the airport owing to foggy conditions and then aborting a first landing attempt after getting permission to land. Passengers told media the aircraft skidded off the runway after landing and smoke was in the cabin after it came to a stop in the grass.

Turkish Airlines’ Twitter feed stated that TK726 “overshot the runway after landing,” adding, “Necessary precautions are taken; after the technical investigation, this unfortunate incident will be determined and announced to public.”

(Aaron Karp - ATWOnline News)

Flydubai 2014 net profit up 12% to $68 million

Dubai-based low-cost-carrier (LCC) flydubai posted a full-year net profit of AED250 million ($68 million) for 2014, up 12.3% year-over-year (YOY) from the carrier’s AED222.8 million net income in 2013. Full-year revenue was AED4.4 billion, up 18.9% YOY.

Ancillary revenue made up 14.4% of the airline’s total annual revenue. Fuel continued to be the company’s largest expense and accounted for 36% of flydubai’s 2014 operating expenses, down 3.5 points from 2013. Thirty percent of flydubai’s fuel requirements for 2015 are hedged, the company said.

Flydubai Cargo’s full-year revenue grew 11.8% YOY. The airfreight branch secured ACC3 EU certification in 2014 and plans to expand beyond current routes into Europe. The cargo carrier reported its busiest routes in 2014 were Colombo (Sri Lanka), Doha, Juba (South Sudan), Kiev, Kuwait and Muscat (Oman).

Flydubai reportedly carried 7.25 million passengers in 2014, up 6.3% YOY, with the greatest rise coming from passengers to/from Central Asia (up 57% YOY). The carrier added 23 new routes in 2014, increasing its network total to 86 destinations with 1,400 flights per week. Eight Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft were delivered to flydubai in 2014; as of Dec. 31, the carrier’s operational fleet comprised 43 aircraft.

“Recording its profitability for the third consecutive full-year, the 2014 results show that [our] recent order for more aircraft, as well as investments in the offering on the ground and in the air, have been the right strategy for the airline,” flydubai chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum said.

(Mark Nensel - ATWOnline News)

Ryanair announces order for three additional 737-800 aircraft

Irish low-cost carrier (LCC) Ryanair has been revealed as the buyer of three Boeing 737-800s that had previously been on the manufacturer’s books as having been sold to an unidentified customer.

The aircraft “will be delivered in early 2016, bringing our total recent orders to 183 737-800s, in addition to further orders for up to 200 ‘game changer’ Boeing 737 MAX 200 aircraft,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said.

“These Boeing aircraft orders will allow us to expand our fleet to over 520 aircraft and to increase our traffic to 160 million customers per annum by 2024.”

The three-aircraft order has a value of $280 million at list prices. Initial deliveries from Ryanair’s massive previous order have just started to arrive and, with the latest additions, the Irish LCC now has unfilled orders for 174 737-800s and 100 737 MAX 200s.

Ryanair operates the largest all-Boeing fleet in Europe with more than 300 737-800s in service and is the biggest customer for the type, ordering more than 530 throughout its history. The Dublin-based airline is also the launch customer for the 737 MAX 200, finalizing an order for 100 aircraft last year, with options for 100 more.

(Alan Dron - ATWOnline News)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

JetBlue pilots request to open contract negotiations

JetBlue Airways pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, (ALPA), have sent official notice to company management requesting to open contract negotiations under the federal Railway Labor Act.

The notice marks the first labor negotiations in the history of JetBlue from any segment of its workforce. JetBlue pilots voted overwhelmingly to join ALPA in April 2014. They are the only unionized workforce at the airline.

JetBlue pilots’ Master Executive Council chairman Jim Bigham said, “While we see the bargaining process as an opportunity to make positive changes for our pilots, we hold no illusions that this will be an easy process. However, while attaining our first labor agreement will require intense focus and commitment, we also will continue to work with management to ensure we contribute positively to JetBlue’s success.”

According to ALPA, negotiations are scheduled to begin on March 31, 2015, in New York. Future negotiations will alternate between New York and Washington DC.

(Linda Blachly - ATWOnline News)

Ryanair’s softer approach yields solid results

Irish low-cost carrier (LCC) Ryanair said its new, softer approach to passenger relations has paid off with a 5% increase in load factor and an 11% rise in passenger numbers.

In a presentation in London to mark the 30th anniversary of the Irish LCC’s first flight—a 19-seat Embraer Bandeirante service between Waterford in southeast Ireland and London Gatwick—CEO Michael O’Leary said the first year of the carrier’s “Always Getting Better” campaign’s had yielded solid results.

In 2013, O’Leary accepted that the company’s aggressive stance toward customer relations was causing unnecessary irritation and instigated a campaign to remove or tone down some of its more egregious regulations.

O’Leary and head of marketing Kenny Jacobs said Tuesday the carrier’s new “Always Getting Better” campaign was bearing fruit and that the image of the airline was changing. They pointed to the new, softer approach as a factor behind a 5% rise in load factor to 87% and an 11% rise in passenger number to more than 90 million last year.

“If I had known that being nicer to our customers was going to work so well, I’d have been nicer to them much earlier,” O’Leary said.

The “Always Getting Better” campaign is due to run for three years and the carrier on Monday rolled out several new initiatives to keep the momentum going. Among these will be new cabin interiors that will minimize the unpopular acid yellow tones, new slimline seats that the carrier says will give more legroom, and a new feature enabling passengers to hold a fare for 24 hours for a €5 ($5.60).

Jacobs also said the carrier’s new US dollar-priced website is highly popular with US residents who are able to book intra-European services before departing from the US.

Ryanair established itself by following the example of iconoclastic Southwest Airlines, but O’Leary said that flying Southwest was increasingly like flying United or American: “Spirit has usurped their position.” Ryanair, he added, “is still going to be a bit Sex Pistols”—a reference to the 1970s’ UK punk rock band.

(Alan Dron - ATWOnline News)

GE conducting ceramic matrix composite components testing for GE9X

As part of GE9X engine development for the Boeing 777X, GE Aviation has started ground tests on a GEnx engine containing ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components in the high pressure turbine and combustor.

The lightweight, heat-resistant CMC components will play an important role in the “hot section” of the GE9X. GE90/GE9X engine programs VP Bill Millhaem said in a statement, “The GEnx engine testing campaign, which began in late January, will allow us to demonstrate the functionality and durability of the full suite of CMC hot section components and help the team lock down the final design for the new GE9X engine by mid-2015.”

The testing is occurring at GE’s Peebles, Ohio facility. “CMCs are made of silicon carbide ceramic fibers and ceramic resin, manufactured through a highly sophisticated process and further enhanced with proprietary coatings,” GE said. “CMC components are ultra-lightweight with one-third the density of metal, providing weight reduction that enables better fuel efficiency.

CMC material is more durable and allows engines to stay on wing longer.  The material is also more heat-resistant than metals and requires 20% less cooling air, which improves overall engine efficiency.”

(Aaron Karp - ATWOnline News)

Ford "Tri-Motor" arrives in Long Beach

 Built in 1929, Eastern Air Transport (Experimental Aircraft Association) Ford 4-AT-E "Tri-Motor" (c/n 69) NC8407 arrives at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) at 16:15 pst on a simply gorgeous afternoon in Southern California.
(Photos by Michael Carter) 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Royal New Zealand Air Force looks at the C-17A as C-130 replacement

The Royal New Zealand Air Force is considering the C-17 as a replacement for its legacy C-130 airlift and Boeing 757 transport fleets, according to press reports.

"The disadvantage New Zealand has with a small budget is that we have to make a single piece of equipment do a number of jobs," said defense ministry spokesman Phil Goff, quoted in The New Zealand Herald. Boeing is currently building the last C-17 ahead of the Long Beach, Calif., production line's closure later this year, and "we owe it to ourselves to look at it seriously while we still can," added Goff.

Neighboring Australia recently requested four additional C-17s, bringing its total fleet to 10 airframes. Boeing built 10 unsold airframes, of which four would still notionally be available for sale to New Zealand. Members of parliament evaluated the aircraft on an orientation flight Feb. 16.

(Air Force Magazine)

United Arab Emirates (UAE) buys two more C-17A's

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force's first C-17A (F-234/UE-1) N9500N tbr 1223, returnes to Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on April 29, 2011 following her first flight.
(Photo by Michael Carter) 

The Middle East’s largest arms expo ended on Thursday with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announcing it had spent a record amount at the event, signaling continued spending on defense in a region where security is of rising concern.

At 18.33 billion dirhams ($5 billion), the total for deals signed with local and international companies by the Gulf Arab state was the highest at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) since the event began in the early 1990s.

It was also up 30 percent on the previous event in 2013.

This spending comes despite a declining oil price putting pressure on government spending across the Gulf region and reflects regional political instability, particularly in Iraq and Syria. The UAE is one of the nations undertaking bombing runs against Islamic State targets.

"It is according to the requirements of the armed forces, which is increasing," Obeid al-Ketbi, chairman of the organizing committee for the IDEX event in Abu Dhabi, told reporters, adding the quality of the requirements was also different to previous shows.

One of the last to be announced at the biennial event was a 2.27 billion dirham deal with Boeing for the purchase of two C-17 military transport planes.

Other contracts announced during the week-long event were a 3.75 billion dirham deal with Airbus and Thales to purchase two satellites and their land control stations, and a 732 million dirham contract with AgustaWestland to buy nine AW139 helicopters.

The event witnessed around 1,200 companies from 55 countries showcase their military wares.

 (Stanley Carvalho - Reuters)