Category Archives: Airbus

Airbus evaluates an A320neo multi-mission version

Airbus issued this statement:

Having made its mark in the commercial airline sector, the A320neo is now being considered by Airbus for new applications: as a highly-capable and cost-effective platform for ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) duties and as a military transport.

The variant – designated A320M3A – would be designed to fulfill a range of ISR roles, particularly maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare. It also can be outfitted with modular roll-on/roll-off payloads for airlift missions ranging from carrying passengers, troops and VIPs to medical evacuation (medevac) and transporting cargo.

Airbus’ consideration of the A320M3A is in response to market demand, spurred by the growing use of more capable ISR systems – which require physically larger host platforms with increased electrical power and more efficient cooling systems than previously were the case for C4ISR aircraft.

A proven, low-risk solution

One of the biggest applications of the A320M3A is for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare, with countries in Europe and elsewhere seeking replacements for ageing aircraft – many of which will be encouraged to develop fleet commonality driven by the intensive growth of joint operations with member nations of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

Advantages in offering the new engine option (NEO) version of Airbus’ A320 commercial jetliner include an extensive capability for growth in a fuselage cross-section that is wider than its competitor in the same size category, the long range and endurance, as well as the lowest operational and life-cycle costs in its class. Other pluses for the A320M3A are the aircraft’s high reliability (proven in airline service), and the resources of an established worldwide supply chain and training network.

Photo: Airbus.

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First BelugaXL becomes airborne for its maiden flight

The first BelugaXL took off this morning from Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 10:30 hrs local time, for its maiden flight over south-western France. The aircraft is the first of five BelugaXL to enter into service later in 2019 and to gradually replace the BelugaST transporters.

The crew in the cockpit on board this flight comprised: Captain Christophe Cail, Co-Pilot Bernardo Saez-Benito Hernandez and Test-Flight Engineer Jean Michel Pin. Meanwhile, monitoring the aircraft systems and performance in real-time at the flight-test-engineer’s (FTE) station were Laurent Lapierre and Philippe Foucault.

The BelugaXL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019. The new oversize air transporters are based on the A330-200 Freighter, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment.

Photos: Airbus.

Future U.S. airline (David Neeleman) signs commitment for 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft

A new U.S. airline start-up announced a commitment today for 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2021. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was revealed at the Farnborough Air Show.

This new airline is backed up by a group of experienced investors led by David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue, investor in TAP in Portugal and controlling shareholder in Azul airlines in Brazil.

“After years of U.S. airline consolidation, the conditions are improving for a new generation of U.S. airline to emerge, focused on passenger service and satisfaction,” said David Neeleman, majority investor in the new venture. “The A220 will enable us to serve thinner routes in comfort without compromising cost, especially on longer-range missions. With deliveries starting in 2021, we will have ample time to assemble a world-class management team and another winning business model.”

“This U.S. airline startup’s decision for the A220 as the platform on which to launch their new business model is a testament to the passenger appeal and operating economics of this outstanding aircraft,” said Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer for Airbus. “This commitment confirms the important role the A220 aircraft now occupies in our Airbus single-aisle portfolio.”

Complementing the A320 Family, the A220-100 and A220-300 models cover the segment between 100 and 150 seats and offer a comfortable five-abreast cabin. With the most advanced aerodynamics, CFRP materials, high-bypass engines and fly-by-wire controls, the A220 delivers 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation aircraft. The type will serve a worldwide market for smaller single-aisle airliners, estimated at at least 7,000 such aircraft over the next 20 years. Airbus markets and supports the A220 aircraft, which is manufactured under the recently finalized partnership agreement between Airbus, Bombardier & Investment Québec.

The A220-300 will be powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines.

Image: Airbus.

Airbus forecasts $4.6 trillion worldwide market for commercial aircraft services over the next 20 years

Airbus’ new Global Services Forecast predicts a US$4.6 trillion worldwide market for commercial aircraft services from 2018 to 2037. The new analysis is based on a three-way market segmentation, respectively focusing on the aircraft, the airline operation, and the passenger experience.

Aircraft-focused lifecycle services represent the largest segment of growth and include maintenance, spares pool access, tooling, technical training and system upgrades – which are needed to keep the airlines aircraft flying. This market represents a cumulative value of $2.2 trillion over the 20-year period – from $76 billion in 2018 to more than $160 billion per annum by 2037. These services are provided throughout the lifecycle from design to dismantling. In this category, aircraft manufacturers provide customers with core services which come with the aircraft, including assigned field reps and call centres for AOGs for example. The largest market by value is maintenance, increasingly characterised by outsourcing and “paid-by-the-hour” (PBH) contracts. Moreover, as technology and new materials develop, such as composite repairs, Airbus sees a strong trend for further outsourcing. PBH contracts allow airlines to secure and predict their maintenance costs, allowing airlines to focus on their core business of flying. Airbus also sees airlines increase their outsourcing of inventory management – towards pooling, instead of investing in their own stocks.

The next largest category encompasses flight operations services – such as pilot training and flight-planning solutions – and will account for a $1.5 trillion cumulative spend over 20 years. Fleets are expected to more than double to 48,000 aircraft over this period, such that Airbus estimates a need for 540,000 new pilots in the next 20 years. This trend will require ‘smarter’ ways of training using new digital technologies.

The third component of the global services market centres on the passenger experience which will account for an estimated $0.9 trillion cumulative value over the 20 year period. This encompasses the services needed to optimise the flight experience, including cabin upgrades, cabin crew training, in-flight-entertainment, connectivity and booking. This segment is expected to more than double in the next 20 years and grow from $27bn to almost $70bn. A notable trend is that seamless connectivity will undergo exponential growth, as more and more passengers manage their travel using a smart device, providing them all the information in real-time about the airport, connecting flights, bag collection details etc.

Airbus’ ambition in Services – $10bn in revenues and booting customer value

After an 18 percent annual growth in its services revenues for the past two years, Airbus’ ambition is to triple its services revenues from more than $3.2bn in 2017 to reach $10bn of services revenues in commercial in the next decade. To attain this goal, Airbus will continue to develop full lifecycle integrated services for all Airbus’ aircraft operators. Furthermore, these integrated services – such as Flight Hour Services (FHS) – will be even more efficient through the Skywise open data platform.

Airbus will also expand its current service portfolio to non-Airbus platforms, given that 62 percent of Airbus’ total fleet is operated by ‘multi-fleet’ operators. An example of this happening today is illustrated by Airbus’ materials management subsidiary Satair, which already has 25 percent of its revenues coming from non-Airbus parts; while the Navblue flight operations subsidiary also delivers multi-fleet services. Furthermore, Airbus will extend services to a wider customer base – such as airports and air traffic control operations. Lastly, Airbus will reinforce its strategic position in the value chain. Another visible facet of Airbus’ growth in its services is the increasingly local presence, ie. being closer to its customers. Airbus’ developing global services footprint now spans 65 locations globally including 17 training centres.

One common denominator, across all the services which Airbus will increasingly cultivate is ‘digitalisation’, with many solutions being interconnected and integrated. These solutions will create additional value for airlines, lessors and MRO companies, for instance by allowing real-time decision-making, or by optimising flight and maintenance operations through analytics.

Photo: Airbus.

Airbus introduces the A220-100 and A220-300

Meet the new Airbus A220-300 (ex CS300)

Airbus has revealed the A220 at a ceremony held at its Henri-Ziegler Delivery Centre, near Toulouse. Witnessed by Airbus employees and members of the global news media, the A220-300 landed directly from the painting at 12:25 am CEST wearing its new Airbus name and colors.

The A220 family comprises two models, the A220-100 and A220-300, formerly Bombardier Inc.’s C Series (CS100 and CS300). The aircraft are fully optimized for the 100 to 150 seat market and perfectly complement Airbus’ existing best-selling A320neo family.

“Everyone at Airbus has been looking forward to this historic moment. Today, we are thrilled to welcome the A220 to the Airbus family and are honoured to see it wearing its new Airbus colours for the first time,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus President Commercial Aircraft. “I pay tribute to all the women and men at Bombardier and the supply chain who have strived over the past years to bring this fantastic aircraft to the world. The A220 now enters a new phase in its career with all Airbus’ ressources behind it to further its commercial success worldwide.”

Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We are enthusiastic about incorporating the A220 in the Airbus Family. I have received positive feedback from customers, and this contributes to my optimism that within the Airbus network, we will make the A220 a great commercial success.”

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Airbus): Airbus A220-300 (CS300) C-FFDO (msn 55002) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 942717.

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