Thai Airways looks to sell six used A380s
August 29, 2023
Thai Airways has put up for sale six used A380s that have been grounded since 2020 in “as-is, where-is” conditions. All six aircraft – HS-TUA, HS-TUB, HS-TUC, HS-TUD, HS-TUE and HS-TUF – are fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 970-84 engines and were delivered between September 2012 and November 2013, according to the carrier's aircraft trading platform. The first four examples – HS-TUA, HS-TUB, HS-TUC, HS-TUD – are located at Suvarnabhumi International airport in Bangkok. They have between 31,188 and 32,880 flight hours each, and last underwent a C-check in 2019. The other two – HS-TUE and HS-TUF – are located at U-Tapao International airport. HS-TUE and HS-TUF have flown 30,645 and 29,639 hours, respectively, and underwent a C-check in 2017. Interested participants are required to submit a proposal and a bidding deposit of $50,000 by 12 September, as per a letter of invitation seen. Documents in the proposal include the company's profile, constitutional documents, corporate approval documents, a non-disclosure agreement, confirmation that it has no transaction with persons under sanction and proof of a reliable source of funds. The proposal should also indicate the amount it intends to pay as deposit, which should be no less than 20% of the purchase price. Thai Airways states that the deposit should be paid within five business days after the bidder and the company enter into a sales and purchase agreement, while the remaining amount shall be paid no later than the delivery date as stipulated in the agreement. In addition to the bidding deposit, the carrier says it reserves a right to charge $5,000 per aircraft as part of inspection preparation cost. The sale is being conducted under Thailand’s bankruptcy court’s order, and will be subject to final approval of Thai’s plan administrator. The carrier adds that it has the absolute right to accept or reject any proposal without giving a reason. In November, the carrier’s chairman of the plan administrators Piyasvasti Amranand had indicated that the airline was looking at the A380s to serve popular long-haul destinations.
JetSmart takes delivery of US-built Airbus aircraft
August 28, 2023
Airbus has made the first delivery to a South American carrier of an aircraft assembled at its US factory in Mobile, Alabama.. JetSmart, the A320neo's recipient, disclosed the delivery on 24 August. The airline – which operates in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, and is part of the Indigo Partners stable – now has a fleet of 26 aircraft. The new A320neo will be the first aircraft JetSmart bases in Colombia once authorised to operate domestic flights in that country, says the carrier. Schedules data shows that JetSmart operates two international routes connecting Colombia with Chile. "The arrival of this aircraft brings us closer to our goal of 100 aircraft and also to 100 million passengers transported by 2028," states JetSmart chief executive Estuardo Ortiz. JetSmart has another 105 Airbus narrowbodies on order, data indicates.
FAA clears Boom Supersonic for demonstrator flight tests
August 28, 2023
The US Federal Aviation Administration has granted approval for Boom Supersonic to conduct test flights with its XB-1 demonstrator aircraft to help the US start-up move forward with development of its supersonic Overture airliner. The airworthiness certificate is effective 11 August, the FAA says. Colorado-based Boom adds that the FAA certificate approves these test flights over the Mojave Desert in the US Southwest. This remote area is ideal because sonic booms can be heard up to 25 miles (40km) away. Civilian aircraft are banned in the European Union and USA from flying over land at supersonic speeds, while military aircraft must first gain permission to do so. The FAA certificate grants Boom an exception to test fly its demonstrator over land. That ban on supersonic flight presents obstacles for the commercial aviation ambitions of Boom for its Overture airliner, which intended to fly at speeds of Mach 1.7, twice as fast as a typical commercial aircraft. Boom aims for Overture to carry 65-80 passengers with a range of 4,250nm (7,870km) on routes across oceans until regulators agree on standards to reduce sonic boom noise enough to enable commercial supersonic flights over land. "In preparation for flight, Boom's test pilots have completed hundreds of hours in the simulator for aircraft evaluation, operations development, training, and human factors assessments to achieve the highest levels of safety," the start-up states. "The test pilots also maintain flight proficiency in a T-38 trainer aircraft, the same aircraft that will be used as a chase plane for all flight tests of XB-1." First completed by Boom in 2020, the XB-1 demonstrator is powered by three GE-built J85 turbojet engines, has a carbon composite and titanium fuselage, while the start-up says its modified delta wing "enables safe operation at take-off and landing as well as supersonic speeds". The turbojet propulsion of the XB-1 differs from Boom's eventual goal of developing the medium-bypass turbofan Symphony engine for its Overture aircraft. The three J85 engines on the XB-1 would generate a combined maximum thrust of 12,300lb (55kN). Testing the sub-scale XB-1 demonstrator would help provide Boom with safety procedures and other data to develop the larger Overture and its Symphony engines. The airframer seeks to develop Symphony engines to generate 35,000lb of thrust while using no afterburners during flight, complementing its goal of minimising emissions by powering the engine completely with sustainable aviation fuel. The Overture airliner is designed to have four Symphony engines. Boom targets certification of the Overture by the US Federal Aviation Administration in 2029. Prospective customers for Overture include American Airlines, Japan Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines.