GIPPS AERO, the subsidiary of India’s Mahindra Aerospace, is still getting inquiries from aerial agricultural operators about its GA200 crop duster, particularly from South America. It built 45 of the aircraft at its Morewell Airport, Victoria, facility before the market dried up and it concentrated on the manufacture of the eight-seat GA8 Airvan and later the 10-seat GA10 turboprop.

SAMOA AIRLINES is leasing Boeing 737 from Icelandair Group for it restart of South Pacific regional international operations around the South Pacific. It is being assisted by Fiji Airways in the rebirth which will see it operate flights to Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney. The Boeing will arrive in November

CATHAY PACIFIC revealed an operating loss of HK$1.7 billion (US$217.3m) in the first half of its 2017 year, a major turnaround from the HK664m profit made in the equivalent 2016 period. The airline is suffering from competition from China’s airline and the Middle East airlines. Cathay and it now subsidiary Dragonair (now Cathay Dragon)  were once the favoured airline by European businessmen travelling from Hong Kong into mainland cities.  Its revenue in the period increased 0.4% to HK$45.9 billion while passenger revenue fell 3.9% and yield declined 5.2%. Cargo revenue climbed 11.7%.  Expenses went up by 7.5% to HK$48.4 billion as delays at Hong Kong Airport increased and fuel and MRO costs increased.

THING ARE GOING from bad to worse for Airbus Group Australia Pacific (AGAP)  following the grounding of its troubled Tiger ARH by the Australian Army. This follows grounding of most of the world fleet of the type as a result of the fatal crash of a German Army example in Mali with reports a rotor blade detached. AGAP is also battling complaints from the Army concerning operational costs and availability of the helicopter. Germany reports a 44% availability with its fleet of Tigers. The most recent Australian Defence White Paper said the type should be replaced in the middle of the next decade with potentially a mix of UAVs and an attack helicopter. Boeing is promoting its AH-64E Apache and Textron its AH-1Z as a repalcement.

INDONESIA has ordered 11 Sukhoi Su-35s which will provide additional capability to its air force which is now operating five Su-27 and 11 Su-30s. The aircraft will be acquired through a trade barter process with the country’s Minister of Trade, Enggartiasto Lukita, saying  coffee, tea, palm oil and defence equipment will be exchanged for the fighters No value for the barter was revealed. Indonesia follows China as an export customer for the Sukhoi Su35.