Home' Asian Aviation : AAV Feb 2012 Contents Boeing has achieved production rate of 35 units
a month for the single-aisle Next-Generation
737, with delivery of the first aircraft produced
at the new rate to AWAS Aviation Services.
Norwegian Air Shuttle will lease the aircraft
from Dublin, Ireland-based AWAS. The 35th
airframe to be built at the new rate was rolled
out of the factory on 10 January, demonstrating
that the production system is handling the
increased output successfully.
"Employees will focus on stabilising
the production rate at 35 a month while
investments are underway to go up in rate to 38
737s a month in second quarter 2013 and 42 a
month in the first half of 2014," Boeing says.
The manufacturer adds that its employee
teams implemented new lean improvements to
create additional production capacity.
"Working as a team, we have achieved
production levels never previously reached,"
says Beverly Wyse, vice-president and general
manager of the 737 programme. "It's because
of the focus and dedication of 737 employees
that we've reduced waste in our production
system and identified opportunities to further
increase our productivity."
Manufacture of the first aircraft at the new
rate was "the smoothest ever", Wyse says.
"Only eight jobs were completed outside of our
production sequence, out of thousands, and we
only experienced three part shortages during
production," she adds.
The programme also celebrated securing
production of the re-engined 737 MAX at the
Renton factory. "The capability of this team
played heavily into the decision to keep the 737
MAX here in Renton," Wyse says. "With the
years of dedication and experience our employees
have, there's no one better at designing and
building the 737." -- Andrzej Jeziorski
Boeing accelerates 737 output
Eaglexpress poised to begin operations
Eaglexpress, a new Malaysian-South Korean
joint venture airline, will commence operations
on 20 February.
To be based at Kuala Lumpur International
Airport (KLIA) the airline will initially operate
charter services with one Boeing 747-400 jet,
configured in a single-class layout to seat 464
The first flight will either be to Australia or
South Africa. Eaglexpress purchased the aircraft
for US$18 million from Penerbangan Malaysia
(PMB), parent company of Malaysia Airlines
(MAS), and is in the process of acquiring two
more. PMB was set up in 2002 by the Malaysian
government, following the 'Widespread Asset
Unbundling' restructuring of MAS in 2002.
Eaglexpress will later begin to offer freighter
The company is in its final stages of closing
a deal to fly 10,000 passengers from KLIA to
Saudi Arabia for the hajj pilgrimage. The carrier
is working to have similar agreements with
Singapore and Indonesia.
Owned by Eaglexpress Air Charter (EAC),
the company has four shareholders. Shin Man
Soo, a South Korean who is the carrier's chief
operating officer and chief financial officer,
holds the controlling 40 percent stake, while
chief executive officer Azlan Zainal Abidin, Aseh
Che Mat and Wan Ismail Abdul Rahman each
hold 20 percent stakes.
According to Azlan, the company is in
talks with PMB to buy more than the initially
planned three 747-400s. Speaking at the
launch of the airline in Kuala Lumpur, Azlan
said Eaglexpress is also looking to buy 747-
400Fs and lease 737-400s and 737-800 jets.
No details were given of how EAC, with a
paid-up capital of US$1 million, would fund
the acquisition of aircraft.
Azlan did not rule out the possibility of
the carrier eventually operating scheduled
passenger flights at a later stage, provided it
secures the necessary government approvals.
Asked whether the government has any
objections to issuing another air operator's
certificate permitting scheduled services, Deputy
Minister for Transport Abdul Rahim Bakri said
there were none.
Six airlines in Malaysia now offer scheduled
services: MAS, AirAsia, AirAsia X, Firefly,
MASWings and Berjaya Air.
Shin said Eaglexpress plans to operate a fleet
of eight aircraft by the end of 2012 and to
expand to 20 within three to five years.
The airline hopes to break even in 2014.
-- William Dennis
10 AsianAviation | FEBRUARY 2012
Boeing will now produce 35 single-aisle 737s a month.
NEWS IN BRIEF
ABU DHABI Airports (ADAC) and Biman Airlines
have announced an increase in the airline's
flight frequencies from Abu Dhabi International
Airport, starting from 19 December 2011.
Biman, Bangladesh's national airline, has
added one weekly flight from Abu Dhabi to
Chittagong-Dhaka, bringing the total flights to
Chittagong-Dhaka to four weekly, while also
operating one weekly flight to Sylhet-Dhaka
from Abu Dhabi. The frequency increase came
in response to growing demand for flights to
and from Bangladesh. Ahmed Al Haddabi, chief
operating officer at ADAC, says: "The constant
development of the airport's airline partners
out of Abu Dhabi International Airport is a clear
indication of the level of growth that the Emirate
of Abu Dhabi is experiencing."
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