Category Archives: Airbus

Airbus to increase the production rate of the A320 Family

Airbus logo (large)

Airbus (Toulouse) has issued this statement:

Airbus has decided to further increase the production rate for its A320 Family to 50 aircraft per month from Q1 2017, matching market demand. Additionally, Airbus is adjusting the A330 production rate to six a month from Q1 2016 as it transitions towards the A330neo.

With over 11,500 Airbus single aisle aircraft sold and more than 6,400 delivered to 317 operators, the A320 family which includes the A319, A320 and A321, is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle family.

Airbus officially launches the Airbus A321neo with a MOU from Air Lease Corporation

Air Lease A321neo (Airbus)(LRW)

Airbus (Toulouse) has officially launched the A321neo with 97 ton Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) having secured the first commitment from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). The Los Angeles based lessor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 30 more A321neo, upsizing its commitments at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow from 60 to 90 and becoming the launch customer for Airbus’ increased range option.

ALC logo

According to Airbus, “The A321neo 97 ton version will have, with 4,000 nm, the longest range of any single aisle airliner available today and tomorrow, making it ideally suited to trans-Atlantic routes and will allow airlines to tap into new long haul markets which were not previously accessible with current single aisle aircraft.”

Under the assumption that ALC’s MOUs for 30 A321neo aircraft plus 25 A330neo Family become firm orders, ALC’s total orders for Airbus aircraft would stand at 258 (53 A320ceo Family, 140 A320neo Family, 15 A330 Family, 25 A350 XWB Family and 25 A330neo Family).

According to Airbus, “The A321 97 ton variant is building on the continued innovations brought to the A320 Family with Airbus Cabin-Flex (ACF), which offers passengers the highest standards of comfort while providing great flexibility and profit optimization to airlines. Thanks to an additional fuel tank in the forward underfloor hold of the aircraft, as well as minor improvements on the wing and fuselage, the A321neo 97t will be able to fly 206 passengers on longer routes of up to 4,000 nm in a comfortable two-class layout. First deliveries will have started by 2019.

The newest member of the best-selling A320 Family, the A320neo, incorporates new generation engines and Sharklets which together will deliver 20 percent in fuel savings by 2020. At the end of December 2014, firm orders for the NEO reached over 3,600 aircraft from 70 customers.”

Image: Airbus.

Mixed scorecard for Airbus and Boeing in 2014: Deliveries: Airbus 629, Boeing 723, Orders: Airbus 1,456, Boeing 1,432

Airbus logo

Airbus (Toulouse) has now released its sales results for 2014. Previously Boeing released its results for 2014. We can now compare the results for the two large manufacturers:

Airbus set a new record of 629 aircraft deliveries in 2014 for 89 customers of which eight are new, comprising 490 A320 Family aircraft, 108 A330s, 30 A380s and also our first A350 XWB. This production achievement means that Airbus’ aircraft deliveries in 2014 were up for the 13th year in a row, surpassing the previous record set in 2013.

Airbus also achieved 1,456 net orders from 67 customers (of which 14 are new) – our second best year ever, comprising 1,321 single aisle aircraft and 135 widebodies. As a result, by year end, the backlog had climbed to a new industry record of 6,386 aircraft valued at $919.3 billion at list prices.

Boeing logo (medium)

Meanwhile Boeing, as previously reported, set a global industry record for the most commercial airplanes delivered in a single year at 723 in 2014, maintaining its position as the world’s largest airplane manufacturer for the third consecutive year.

In 2014, Boeing booked 1,432 net orders. The company also grew its backlog of unfilled commercial orders to a historic high of 5,789 airplanes.

In summary, both manufacturers can find some good news in these numbers. Clearly the recent decision by Delta to select the Airbus A330neo and the A350 over Boeing was the main deciding factor for who had the most orders in 2014.

For 2015, the battle lines are drawn.

 

The first 242 ton Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW) version of the Airbus A330-300 flies today for the first time, will go to Delta Air Lines

Airbus (Toulouse) on January 12 issued this statement:

The newest evolution in Airbus’ market-leading widebody jetliner product line – the A330 with an increased 242-ton maximum takeoff weight capability – is another step closer to entering service later this year after its successful maiden flight.

Taking off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport today (January 12), the A330-300 variant carried out an airborne evaluation that concluded with its return to the southwestern France location – which is home to Airbus headquarters and the A330 final assembly line.

During the flight, a five-person crew – comprised of Captain Thierry Bourges and First Officer Jean-Louis Rabilloud, along with flight test engineers Joan Andre and Gert Wunderlich and test flight engineer Alain Pourchet– checked the jetliner’s flight control system and validated its flight envelope. This activity kicked off the increased takeoff weight A330-300’s flight test campaign, which is to involve some 15 total hours aloft to confirm its new aerodynamic package and performance.

The increased maximum takeoff weight A330 results from Airbus’ focus on incremental innovation, and will further increase the cost-effectiveness and versatility for its popular twin-engine A330 product line. Operators will benefit from these jetliners’ additional range and fuel-burn reduction, resulting from a combination of improved engine performance and the aircraft’s enhanced aerodynamics.

The 242-ton A330-300 maximum takeoff weight variant launch customer is U.S.-based Delta Air Lines, which is scheduled to take delivery of its first aircraft in the second quarter of this year. The shorter-fuselage A330-200 in the 242-ton configuration is planned to enter commercial service in early 2016.

In addition to Delta Air Lines, eleven customers worldwide have already selected this option since the launch in November 2012.

Airbus’ latest A330 variant is the basis for the A330neo (new engine option) version – which will incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 powerplants and aerodynamic improvements to provide unmatched operating economics, along with the latest in cabin technology.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Registered F-WWYY (msn 1628), the first flight is captured today at Toulouse.

Video: Airbus:

 

 

Reuters: Airbus beats Boeing for new aircraft orders in 2014

Airbus logo

Reuters is reporting Airbus beat Boeing for new orders in 2014 citing an unnamed source.

Reuters stated; “Airbus beat U.S. rival Boeing in aircraft orders in 2014, maintaining the lead in new business despite lagging in deliveries, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Boeing said earlier it had booked 1,550 gross orders and 1,432 net orders, which account for cancellations, in 2014.

Airbus is expected to announce next week that it was ahead of Boeing on both gross orders and net orders.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Airbus delivers the first Airbus A350 to Qatar Airways

Qatar A350-900 F-WZFA A7-ALA (065)(Flt)(Airbus)(Flt)(LRW)

Airbus (Toulouse) today (December 22) delivered the first Airbus A350 to launch customer Qatar Airways (Doha). The pictured A350-941 A7-ALA (msn 006, ex F-WZFA) was handed over in a ceremony at Toulouse. Airbus issued this statement and photos:

Airbus has delivered the first A350 XWB, the world’s latest generation widebody airliner, to launch customer Qatar Airways. The A350 XWB redefines the way people fly for the coming decades and opens up a new era in comfortable, efficient long-haul air travel when it enters service with Qatar Airways, renowned for leading the industry to new heights in service excellence.

The A350 XWB embodies the most advanced technologies and breakthrough innovations in aerodynamics, light-weight materials and aircraft systems. Powered by ultra-fuel-efficient and very quiet Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and an extra-wide, bright and spacious cabin, the A350 XWB promises to be a firm favourite with travellers who will discover a whole new way of flying. Airlines will also benefit from unequalled levels of operating efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Qatar A350-900 F-WZFA A7-ALA (065)(Flt-Nose)(Airbus)(LRW)

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said, “Receiving the A350 XWB as global launch customer is a very proud moment for Qatar Airways, and after much anticipation, I am delighted that the day has come when we will welcome this latest generation aircraft into our rapidly expanding fleet.

“In the seven years since we first placed our order for this new aircraft type at the Paris Air Show, investing in a partnership programme with Airbus, there has been significant growth in the airline industry. I am confident that this increase in passenger numbers around the world will only increase further in the years to come, and delighted that Qatar Airways will be leading the way in the aviation sector in offering our passengers the opportunity to travel on board the most modern of airliners in the sky.”

John Rishton, Rolls-Royce, Chief Executive Officer said: “We are very proud to have worked with Qatar Airways and Airbus on the A350 XWB, using the latest technology to deliver new standards in customer service. This is a very important day for everyone at Rolls-Royce. It is the culmination of years of hard work and the start of a new chapter for our business.”

Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO said: “Handing over the first A350 XWB represents a significant step in Airbus and aviation history. The A350 XWB becomes the most modern aircraft in service, developed with our excellence established over 45 years in meeting our customers’ needs. The A350 XWB is the latest Airbus aircraft to join the skies, revolutionising our industry and redefining the way people fly.” He adds: “It is with tremendous pride that we are delivering our first A350 XWB today to our launch customer, Qatar Airways. It’s a perfect match, to be handing over the first of an all-new, world class aircraft to a leading, world class airline.”

Qatar A350-900 F-WZFA A7-ALA (065)(Flt-wing)(Airbus)(LRW)

Photos: Airbus.

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show:

Video: Follow the initial Airbus A350-900 aircraft for global launch customer Qatar Airways through the manufacturing process – from delivery of components to the final assembly line in Toulouse, France to its maiden flight in autumn 2014. The video also highlights the “Xtra” that makes the difference for this Airbus next-generation widebody jetliner – including its spacious and comfortable cabin, use of advanced composite materials along with the aircraft’s highly-efficient and quiet Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

 

Bloomberg: Airbus may discontinue the Airbus A380 in 2018

According to a report by Bloomberg:

“Airbus Group NV raised the prospect of discontinuing its A380 superjumbo as soon as 2018, the first admission that it may have misjudged the market for the double-decker after failing to find a single airline buyer this year.

While Airbus will break even on the plane in 2015, 2016 and 2017, that outlook doesn’t hold for 2018, forcing the company to either offer new engines to make the A380 more attractive or discontinue the program, Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm told investors at a meeting in London on December 10.”

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Read a follow-up story by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile Emirates President Tim Clark criticized other airlines for not ordering the Super Jumbo:

According to AirlineRatings.com:

“The chief of the world’s largest airline has criticized airlines for not buying more A380 super jumbo’s as Airbus hints at closing the production line down in 2018.

Responding to a Bloomberg report about Airbus CFO, Harald Wilhelm, telling investors in London on Wednesday that Airbus is considering closing the A380 line because of a lack of orders, Emirates President Sir Tim Clark warned that with air travel due to double in the next ten years to 7 billion passengers, airlines and airports will need giant jets like the 517 seat A380.

“The A380 is a passenger magnet. We operate five a day from Dubai to London’s Heathrow and they are 95 per cent full,” Mr Clark told Airlineratings.com in an exclusive interview.

“Airlines are too conservative and have not put the right interiors into their A380s.”

“Some of the interiors are a disgrace and used 1970s thinking,” Mr Clark told Airlineratings.com.

“We put all our premium seats on the upper deck and economy on the main deck, but others have mixed them which is inefficient.”

“Our competitors laughed at us when we put showers and a lounge in the A380.”

“But passengers love the showers and the lounge.”

“The A380 is a great aircraft. If airlines don’t believe they can fill an A380 then their business model is wrong,” said Mr Clark.

“Their marketing is all wrong.”

Emirates has 55 A380s in service with orders for a further 85. However sales to other airlines have almost dried up.

Airbus is considering an upgrade of the A380 -called the A380neo- with new engines and aerodynamic improvements.

Mr Clark said the new model, if built, will have excellent economics, as good as the Boeing 777X that Boeing will introduce in 2018.

“And we will buy 140 of the A380neos” Mr Clark told Airlineratings.com.

“As long as I am around I am going to continue to fight the battle for the A380.”

“This is a great aircraft and the world needs it.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates’s Airbus A380-861 A6-EDG (msn 023) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Emirates aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show