Flight International — 22 August — 4 September 2017

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14 | Flight International | 22 August-4 September 2017 flightglobal.com


atar Airways has confirmed
that it is to introduce Boeing
747-8 Freighters to its fleet, after
embarking on a recruitment drive
for flight crew.
The airline states, in an adver-
tisement, that it is hiring freighter
captains and first officers for “our
Boeing 747-8 fleet”.
Qatar Airways has not speci-
fied how many of the type it
plans to take.
But it says that it is seeking
cargo type-rated captains and

first officers able to join the air-
line in 2017-2018.
Captains must have at least
6,000h total time, including a
minimum of 1,000h in command
on 747-400s or -8s, it adds.
The Doha-based airline is al-
ready a 747-400F operator, with a
single example in its fleet.
Qatar Airways has close to 200
aircraft on order from Boeing, in-
cluding 16 777 freighters, but the
airframer has yet to list an order
for 747-8Fs from the carrier. ■


AE Systems is suspending
work on the Avro RJ
freighter conversion programme
for a second time, citing a deteri-
oration in market conditions.
It is linking the suspension
partly to ASL Airlines’ decision
to sell a batch of British Aero-
space 146-300QT freighters oper-
ated by its Spanish division.
ASL is putting all eight of its
aircraft – built between 1989 and
1991 – on the market, and BAE

says this will have a “significant
impact” on the launch of the con-
version programme.
At a time when the RJ
modification has been trying to
attract more customers, the sale
of the ASL 146-300QTs, which
are the same size as the RJ100,
puts additional capacity on the
freighter market.
BAE had offered conversions
of 146s to the -300QT and
-200QT in a previous ill-fated

venture involving establishing a
production line in Romania.
Lack of interest meant this con-
version programme failed to gain
traction and, with only a couple
of aircraft modified, BAE aban-
doned the scheme in 2011.
It resurrected the freighter plan
last year with a new programme
centred on converting the RJ100.
“There was some serious mar-

Cargo carrier ASL Airlines has opted to divest a batch of 146-300QTs


Jumbo jets would complement existing inventory of Boeing 777s



Low interest puts

BAE conversions

back on the shelf

Freighter modification of Avro RJ100 is “suspended” for a
second time as market saturation dampens sales prospects

Swiss ushers regional workhorse out to graze after 27-year stint

The Avro RJ has bowed out of
service with Swiss International
Air Lines, 27 years after the four-
engined jet made its Swiss debut
with the airline’s predecessor
Crossair in BAe 146 form.
Following its last scheduled
Avro service on 14 August, from
London City to Zurich, the follow-
ing day the airline operated a fi-
nal Geneva-Zurich flight.

At the controls for the special
flight (LX7545) for media and
guests was Swiss’s Avro fleet chief
Michael Weisser, accompanied
by his deputy Peter Huber. After
landing, the RJ100 (HB-IYZ) was
given the traditional water-foun-
tain salute by the fire brigade be-
fore being officially retired.
“Making this final landing at our
home airport aboard an Avro was

a very emotional experience for
me,” says Weisser. “The taking out
of service of the Avro aircraft marks
the end of an era in the history of
aviation in Switzerland.”
Swiss’s Avro fleet has been pro-
gressively replaced over the past
year by the Bombardier CSeries.
Ten of the Canadian-built twinjets
have been delivered, with a fur-
ther 20 due by the end of 2018. ■

ket interest [in the RJ100 pro-
gramme],” says BAE Systems Re-
gional Aircraft.
“However, we were not able to
attract sufficient commitment to
justify setting up a conversion
production line which could
generate the economies of scale
required,” it adds.
BAE had suggested that low
fuel prices would offset concerns
about operating a four-engined
regional aircraft.
But jet fuel prices have in-
creased by more than 20% over
the year since the freighter was
unveiled, according to energy
price monitoring specialist S&P
Global Platts.
Although the RJ100 is the
same size as the 146-300QT, it
would have offered improved
performance and a higher pay-
load capability.
BAE says the conversion pro-
gramme has been “postponed”
and could still be revived. ■


Qatar seeking pilots for unordered 747-8F fleet

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