Engineering gets contract to dismantle Airbus A320
SriLankan Engineering achieved yet another milstone in its quest
to become an aircraft maintenance organisation of choice in the
region, when it was contracted to dismantle an entire Airbus
A320 aircraft that is being taken apart by its owner, at end of
lease with SriLankan.
The project for AAR Corporation, a company based in the United
States that owns and leases aircraft to airlines around the
world, is the first aircraft dismantling programme undertaken by
The project involves separating all of the thousands of usable
parts and systems on the aircraft, packing them, and shipping
them to the owning company. The work was carried out over just
six weeks. The parts will be used as spares for other aircraft.
Acting Head of SriLankan Engineering, D.A.G. Jayasuriya said:
“In the past such a project would have been carried out in the
United States or elsewhere. But AAR Corporation awarded the
contract to SriLankan Engineering, since we now have the
expertise and our rates are very competitive.”
The aircraft was one which SriLankan Airlines had leased over
the last five years, and retired recently during its re-fleeting
programme. Sri Lanka’s National Carrier is currently replacing
its older aircraft with more modern ones, the first having
arrived last November, with the second expected in March.
“This dismantling programme has also given our engineering staff
some invaluable exposure, and we hope to take on more such
dismantling projects soon,” said Jayasuriya.
SriLankan Engineering, which holds the prestigious EASA 145
certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA),
is taking on a growing number of projects for airlines and other
members of the global air transport industry. Its training wing
SriLankan Technical Training holds the EASA 147 certification to
provide training in aircraft maintenance to foreign and local
SriLankan possesses a modern hangar facility and engineering
workshops at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport, and
its services have been contracted for major aircraft maintenance
projects by other airlines such as Emirates, Airblue, and IndiGo.
These projects take place simultaneously with SriLankan
Engineering’s day to day maintenance work on SriLankan’s
Airlines’ own fleet.
The efficiency of SriLankan Engineering also played a major role
in SriLankan Airlines being awarded two prestigious titles by
Airbus Industry for operational excellence among all small
airlines that operate the 4-engined A340 and twin-engined A330
Emirates clocks 100,000th
in-flight mobile phone calls
connected, Emirates in-flight mobile telephone service has
clocked up its 100,000th user this week, confirming a dramatic
increase in calls this year. A total of 31 Emirates passenger
aircraft are now installed with the AeroMobile service, the
largest of any commercial airline.
The milestone was passed when a Singaporean passenger made a
call from 36,000 feet during Emirates flight EK404 from Dubai to
Thousands of passengers on 31 AeroMobile-equipped Emirates
aircraft depart daily from Dubai to destinations across its
global network. Over 350 Emirates short and long-haul flights
operate weekly with AeroMobile covering services to 49
The AeroMobile in-flight system allows passengers the choice of
safely using their own mobile phones to make and receive phone
calls and text messages from Emirates aircraft, with charges in
line with international roaming rates. The fast-growing
popularity of the service sees typically more than 30 per cent
of passengers on each flight taking advantage of the
With the first 50,000 users in the first nine months since the
system’s launch, the second 50,000 have been clocked up in less
than two months.
Emirates’ Vice President, Passenger Communications and Visual
Services, Patrick Brannelly said: “The AeroMobile facility is
growing in popularity day by day. The feedback has been
excellent, and our passengers are clearly using the system to
stay in touch, as we saw with big increases in the number of
calls and SMS messages over special occasions such as the New
Year period. We even saw a surge at the time of the result of
the US Presidential election.
“For many of our passengers, making a call on their own mobile
phone during a flight, has become as natural as watching their
in-flight TV screens, which offer a choice of up to 1200
channels of entertainment.”
The AeroMobile service can only be used at cruise altitude, and
allows passengers to send and receive text messages and make and
receive calls, just as they do when roaming abroad.
Following a successful launch with Emirates in March 2008 – a
world first – AeroMobile-equipped aircraft have seen over
370,000 flight hours of operation. Emirates Engineering are now
rapidly rolling the system out across the remainder of the
Airbus and Boeing fleets. AeroMobile is presently operating on
Emirates A340, A330 and B777 aircraft.
AeroMobile Chief Executive Bjorn-Taale Sandberg said: “As the
service availability has broadened, the number of users has shot
up from 10,000 a month at the end of 2008 to 25,000 a month so
far this year – and it’s rising rapidly as each day goes by.
“The sharp increase is not due only to the wider availability as
our system is rolled out across the Emirates fleet, but the
acceptance from passengers of what a valuable and stable service
Usage data from actual flights shows that at peak times, in
excess of 100 passengers are switching on their mobile phones
during a flight.
Later this year, the AeroMobile system on Emirates aircraft will
be upgraded to offer GPRS services. This will enable passengers
to send and receive e-mails via devices such as Blackberrys and
laptops with GPRS data cards.
Top Chinese aircraft maker
launches global recruitment drive
state aircraft maker Thursday launched its first global
recruitment drive, offering jobs in fields such as military
product development to both Chinese and foreigners.
“This is the first time for an enterprise in the military
industry of China to recruit senior executives from home and
abroad,” the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) said
in a statement.
Jobs on offer are 13 Vice President-level positions in 12
subsidiary companies, including AVIC Defence, which makes
fighters and missiles, and AVIC Aircraft Corporation Limited, a
transport and passenger aircraft producer.
Gao Jianshe, an Executive Vice President of AVIC, which makes
civil and military aircraft, told reporters that the vacancies
were open to Chinese and foreign nationals.
Asked whether foreign employees would be given access to the
research and development of military products, Gao said AVIC
“would hire those it trusts and not hire those it doesn’t.”
He added that the company aimed to “change from the conservative
ways of thinking of the past to adopting an open and cooperative
concept, so as to actively merge into the world aviation
“This is a big step forward for the company’s international
expansion,” Gao said.
Gao said the global recruitment was also expected to facilitate
the development of large homegrown aircraft, a major ambition
for China’s aerospace industry.
China has said it aims to build large aircraft such as passenger
jets with more than 150 seats, fanning expectations that it
could eventually compete against Boeing and Airbus.
AVIC, created from a merger of two Chinese plane makers in
November, now holds total assets of 320 billion yuan (47 billion
dollars). Revenue last year reached 166 billion yuan, according
to a company statement.
It said previously that it hoped to have a sales growth of 22.3
percent a year and achieve and annual sales of one trillion yuan
by 2017. (AFP)