GERMANY is expected to acquire at least six Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules to provide a tactical transport capability following further delays in the Airbus A400M. France has already ordered four C-130Js as a result of the A400M problems. The country urgently required a helicopter in-flight refuelling capability for its African operations.

US AIR FORCE air tankers in the first nine months of this year to the end of 30 September flew 174,000 flight hours while offloading 138 million gallons of fuel in 93,000 hook ups.

MITSUBISHI has flown the third MRJ test aircraft.

BOC AVIATION, the Singapore based Bank of China owned airline leasing business, has signed a sale and leaseback deal with Air China for three Boeing 777-300ERs and two Airbus A330-300s. The aircraft will be delivered by the end of the year.

INDONESIAN carrier Sriwijaya Air will hold an IPO next March. Airline chief executive Chandra Lie would not detail the amount to be sought but said that underwriters had been selected. Meanwhile the airline has ordered three Boeing B777-200ERs for use on HAJ charters to Saudi Arabia.

NEW ZEALAND Foreign Affairs officials are examining the implications of a locally produced Pacific Aerospace P-750 XSTOL appearing in North Korean markings at the recent Wonson air show. There are sanctions against exporting hi-tech equipment to the country. It is thought the aircraft may have arrived in North Korea via China where the New Zealand aircraft manufacturer has a sales agent.