World Aviation in 2000

4 April
United States Department of Defence gives approval for $3.1 billion of Engineering and Manufacturing Development work on the RAH66 Comanche attack helicopter. The helicopter is due to enter service with the United States Army in 2006.

19 April
An Air Philippines Boeing 737-200 crashes on approach to Davao International Airport, killing all 131 passengers and crew.

30 April
Emirates Airlines announces that it will become the launch customer for the A3XX ‘double deck’ airliner, with an order for ten aircraft.

28 April
Lockheed Martin delivers the 4,000th F16 aircraft. The F16C is delivered to the Egyptian Air Force as part of an order of 21 machines.

16 May
Singapore Airlines announces it is ‘in talks’ with Airbus with a view to purchasing up to sixteen A3XX aircraft.

Four MiG27 ‘Flogger’ ground attack aircraft are delivered to the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) for use in the ongoing conflict against the insurgent group the Tamil Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE).

United Airlines buys its rival, United States Airways, in a $11.6 billion deal. The deal strengthens the Star alliance, a group of airlines that includes United and Lufthansa, and puts pressure on British Airways to consolidate its rival OneWorld grouping.

Negotiations are finalised by the Indian Navy for a further six Tupolev Tu142M maritime surveillance aircraft from Russia, costing approximately $200 million.

25 July
An Air France Concorde crashes onto a hotel shortly after take-off from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, killing 114 people, including the crew and passengers of the aircraft. It is the first crash involving Concorde. The crash is later attributed to a debris from another aircraft causing an explosive tyre puncture that ruptures a fuel tank in the wing.

Airbus Industrie announces its reorganisation from a consortium of companies to a single corporate entity called the Airbus Integrated Company. The reorganisation comes as a means to acquire sufficient funding for the A3XX programme and the new company will formally exist from 1 January 2001.

Syria test launches two Scud-D missiles. The missile has a range of 700 kilometres (435 miles) and is similar to the No Dong-1 developed by North Korea, which provided technological assistance to Syria.

29 September
Singapore Airlines (SIA) announces an order worth $235 million, for ten 550-seat Airbus A3XX aircraft, with an option for fifteen more.

A report from a Russian defence analyst announces that the once feared Russian Air Force has been reduced in size to such an extent that it would nno longer gain air superiority over a force the size of Turkey’s.

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer invests $150 million to erect a new factory in São Paulo, to carry out flight testing and final assembly of aircraft for defence and corporate aviation markets.

A Gulf Air Airbus S320 crashes into the sea near Bahrain whilst on a flight from the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The crew had reportedly made two failed attempts to land at Bahrain and crashed on the third attempt.

The United States Government Senate Commerce Committee opposes a $11.6billion bid to buy the United States Airways group, from the UAL Corporation, owner of United Airways. The committee decides that the deal, which would combine United States Airways and United Airlines, would harm competition.

Lufthansa announces that it will place an order for ten Airbus A3XX aircraft by the end of the year.

16 October
Routes between North America and Asia are approved by a year long joint study conducted by Canadian and Russian Federal Aviation Authorities. A flight between New York and Hong Kong would save 5 hours flying across the North Pole and cost $33,000 to run.

31 October
A Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-412 crashes on take-off from Taipei Chiang Kai Shek airport, on a flight bound for Los Angeles. 81 of the 159 passengers and 20 crew lose their lives when the aircraft inadvertently attempts to take off from a closed runway and collides with a barrier

Coinciding with its 80th anniversary, Qantas announces an order for twelve Airbus A3XX aircraft and six Airbus A330-200 airliners. The order means Airbus has 44 of the 50 aircraft orders needed before it can commit to production. Qantas is traditionally one of Boeings most loyal customers.

6 December
The Australian Government announces major boosts in funding for its armed forces. A 10 year programme to boost spending on defence by 25% to $16 million will see an increasing emphasis on peace-keeping operations such as those recently conducted in East Timor.

11 December
A second fatal accident in the V22 Osprey Tiltrotor test programme causes the United States Marine Corps (USMC) fleet of MV22 aircraft to be grounded. The next day a panel is appointed by the Defence Secretary to look at the whole programme.

19 December
Airbus Industrie gives final approval to build the Airbus A3XX, now renamed the A380. Customers placing orders for the aircraft include Virgin Atlantic and Air France. Talks with British Airways, Fedex and Cathay Pacific are reported to be underway.