No money, Philippines will not buy American attack helicopters

Philippines delays the purchase of AH-1Z Viper or AH-64E Apache attack helicopters offered by the United States under the two Foreign Military Sales (FMS) package, according to INQUIRER.net. Philippine’s Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana also said that the American offers are too expensive for the country. “The money allotted to buy attack helicopters is only P13 […]

No money, Philippines will not buy American attack helicopters

Philippines delays the purchase of AH-1Z Viper or AH-64E Apache attack helicopters offered by the United States under the two Foreign Military Sales (FMS) package, according to INQUIRER.net.

Philippine’s Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana also said that the American offers are too expensive for the country.

“The money allotted to buy attack helicopters is only P13 billion ($256 million),” he said.

Also, the minister stressed that if the Philippines bought the American helicopters, the country could buy only one or two units. This was the reason, he said, that the Philippine military looked for other countries that can supply attack helicopters with more units than what the allotted funds could buy if these were bought from the U.S.

Last month, in dual announcements, the U.S. State Department approved potential foreign military sales for six of both helicopters to the Philippines, which plans to modernize its attack rotorcraft fleet, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announcements.

One possible sale concerns six AH-64E Apache helicopters and associated support equipment. Another concerns six AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and related equipment. The value of the estimated AH-64E sale is $1.5 billion; the AH-1Z sale is estimated to cost $450 million.

The offers came despite the Philippine Air Force’s selection of T129 ATAK helicopters of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for its attack helicopter acquisition program. The Turkish supplier, however, is still trying to obtain an export license from the US government for subsystems because of sanctions imposed by Washington against Turkey for purchasing weapons from Russia.

Source : Aviation Defence More   

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The Future Virgin Australia Could Feature Boeing 787 Dreamliners

Whoever will end up taking ownership of Virgin Australia will need to navigate the company through a much-changed…

The Future Virgin Australia Could Feature Boeing 787 Dreamliners

Whoever will end up taking ownership of Virgin Australia will need to navigate the company through a much-changed post-COVID aviation reality. Administrators sent out a business management plan called “Virgin v2.0” to prospective buyers on Monday. In it, they propose that the airline’s widebody fleet be replaced by Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

If administrators have their way, Virgin Australia 2.0 could feature Dreamliners. Photo: Boeing

Eight Dreamliners to replace current widebodies

Virgin Australia’s potential buyers will all have to have submitted preliminary bids by Friday 18:00 this week. As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, administrators have presented them with a confidential business management plan for the re-launch of the carrier, called “Virgin v2.0.”

It contains the suggestion that the airline should replace its current long-haul fleet, consisting of five Boeing 777s and six Airbus A330, with the purchase of eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners. However, according to the Australian media outlet, bidders are far from excited about the proposition.

They are concerned that the administrator’s plans do not take into consideration how fundamentally different the industry will look post-crisis. And at list prices of between $250 million and $338 million, one can see why it would be an investment any owner might be reluctant to make right now.

Virgin
The airline currently has five Boeing 777s. Photo: Getty Images

Single-type solution sought by Scurrah

The idea of a single-type long-range jet set-up has previously been propagated by Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah at the airline’s presentation of its financial results for June-December 2019. Scurrah then called the small widebody fleet “inefficient.”

He also argued that particularly the A330 was not economical when looking at ownership costs combined with fuel performance. If the deal was worth doing, he said in regards to replacing the fleet, it would have happened within the year.

According to Executive Traveller, Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777s were mostly used to operate Australia-US routes, flying from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane to Los Angeles.

The A330s have, in better times, served the airline’s east-west domestic network, with the occasional foray into Asia, such as the now-defunct Sydney and Melbourne to Hong Kong.

Virgin Australia replacing long-range fleet
CEO Scurrah has said the company’s A330s were uneconomical. Photo: BriYYZ via Flickr

International routes in the plan

The “Virgin v2.0” management plan also suggests that Virgin Australia would continue to operate international routes to Los Angeles, and the Brisbane to Tokyo route previously meant to launch on the 29th of March. Administrators would also see added services to New Zealand, Bali, and Fiji for the resurrected airline. This could be at odds with buyers who want to see the airline return to focusing on low-cost domestic traffic.

How bidders feel about the plan presented to them in its entirety will become clear in due course of time. We have been following the fate of Virgin Australia carefully here at Simple Flying, and are eager to see which potential suitors will have ended up placing bids by the deadline on Friday.

Possible candidates, numbering close to 20, include Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo, Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, and the State of Queensland. The administrators hope they will have secured a new owner by mid-August.

Simple Flying has sought Virgin Australia for a comment but was yet to receive a reply by the time of publication.

Do you think it would be a smart move for Virgin Australia’s new owner to replace the wideboy fleet right away? Why or why not? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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