Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has announced that it has been selected to provide tyres for an all new turboprop regional airliner being developed by Chinese manufacturer, AVIC Aircraft Xi’an Branch, as well as supporting Garuda Indonesia’s fleet of regional jets.
Each Modern Ark 700 aircraft (MA700) produced by AVIC Aircraft will require six tyres (two for the nosewheels and four for the mainwheels) and the manufacturer projects worldwide sales of approximately 800 aircraft.
According to AVIC, the MA700 will burn around 10% less fuel than its competitors and will become the first China-made turboprop aircraft to gain certification by Western authorities.
The 70-seat aircraft is due to make its first flight in 2017 ahead of entry into service in 2019 with launch customers Okay Airways and Joy Air.
Director of programme management at AVIC Aircraft Xi’an Branch, Wang Bing commented: “Dunlop’s track record, particularly within the regional turboprop marketplace, means we can depend on the company to deliver for us and our customers.
“Not only will Dunlop be a key partner during the development of the aircraft, but once the MA700 is in service the company’s ability to retread tyres here in China as well as in Europe and the Americas will mean that we can jointly serve the needs of our global customer base.”
Chairman of Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, Ian Edmondson added: “AVIC is looking to be a major player in the regional turboprop marketplace and we are very excited to have been selected as the tyre supplier for the MA700. The MA700 selection will help Dunlop retain its strong share of the regional market segment”
The company has also clinched a three-year deal to support Garuda Indonesia’s fleet of Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen regional jets.
The airline operates 15 of the aircraft and has three more on order for delivery later this year. Each aircraft is fitted with six wheels and Dunlop estimates that its contract with the airline’s maintenance company, GMF AeroAsia, will be worth in excess of £1.9m.
It’s the first time that Dunlop, the world’s only dedicated aircraft tyre manufacturer and retreader, has had an ongoing contract to support Garuda aircraft, although the company has previously supplied the airline on an ad-hoc basis.
Edmondson noted: “Garuda is one of Asia’s fastest-growing airlines and we are very pleased to have been given the chance to support its fleet of CRJ1000s.
“The new tyres for this contract will be made at our factory in Birmingham, with distribution and retreading at our facility in Jinjiang, China.”
Dunlop Aircraft Tyres recently announced that it had also secured one of the largest contracts in its more than 100-year history – a deal to support the world’s fleet of over 270 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft.