Tag Archives: Airbus

EASA certifies Airbus A330neo for “beyond 180 minutes” ETOPS

Airbus has made this announcement:

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved the A330-900 for ETOPS (Extended-range Twin engine aircraft Operations) “beyond 180 minutes” diversion time. This significant achievement means that operators of the A330neo, which is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, will benefit from the most efficient, reliable and direct long-range routings.

The approval, which includes ETOPS 180 min. capability in the aircraft’s basic specification, now also includes the option for “ETOPS 285 min.” This extends the potential air diversion distance to around 2,000nm. The U.S. FAA’s respective ETOPS certification is expected soon.

A330neo operators which choose the ETOPS 285 min. option will be able to serve new direct ‘non-limiting’ routings. Meanwhile, operators flying on existing routes (currently flown with up to 180-minute diversion time) will be able to traverse a straighter, quicker and more fuel efficient path, and also have access to more – and possibly better equipped – en-route diversion airports if needed.

The granting of this ETOPS capability is a testimony to the aircraft’s design and systems maturity, which has been demonstrated to be as good as its predecessor – the versatile and extremely reliable A330-200/A330-300 family, proven over many millions of flights.

The A330neo is a true new-generation aircraft family comprising the A330-900 and the smaller A330-800. The A330-900 in particular is the lowest seat-mile cost 300-seater which incorporates highly efficient Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, a new 3D-optimised wing with greater span and lighter composite materials, plus new wingtip Sharklets. Together, these advances bring greater range (around 7,200 nm with a three-class cabin) and 25% lower fuel consumption compared with older generation aircraft of similar size.

The A330 is one of the most popular widebody families ever, having received over 1,700 orders to date from 120 customers. More than 1,400 A330s are flying with over 120 operators worldwide. The A330neo is the latest addition to the leading Airbus twin-engine widebody family, which alongside the A350 XWB, offer unmatched space and comfort combined with unprecedented efficiency levels and long-range capability.

In 2009, the Airbus A330-200/-300 became the first airliner family to gain an ETOPS ‘Beyond 180min’ certification, which was granted by EASA. Airbus twin-engine airliners have accumulated over 20 million ETOPS flight hours, most of which have been accumulated by the A330 Family.

“ETOPS” is a set of rules initially introduced by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in the mid-1980s to allow commercial operations with twin-engine aircraft on routes beyond 60min flying time from the nearest airport and which were previously operated only by aircraft with more than two engines. These rules, which are now named “EDTO” (Extended Diversion Time Operations) by ICAO have been progressively revised to allow operations beyond 180 min diversion time.

Photo: Airbus.

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Construction begins on Airbus’ U.S. A220 manufacturing facility

Airbus’ manufacturing growth in the United States advanced another step in Mobile, Alabama, as construction of the company’s A220 Manufacturing Facility officially launched with a groundbreaking ceremony. The assembly line will satisfy the strong and growing U.S. demand for the A220 aircraft, the newest offering in Airbus’ commercial aircraft product line.

Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, and Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft, led the celebration and welcomed approximately 700 attendees including Airbus and other industry executives, Airbus manufacturing employees, state and national dignitaries, and local community leaders.

The new assembly line, which is the company’s second U.S.-based commercial aircraft production facility, will be located at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley adjacent to the A320 Family production line and will facilitate assembly of A220-100 and A220-300 aircraft for U.S. customers. Aircraft production is planned to begin in the third quarter of 2019 with first delivery of a Mobile-assembled A220 aircraft scheduled for 2020. The new A220 production facilities will be complete by next year.

With an order book of more than 500 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.

Airbus records 800 deliveries in 2018

Airbus SE delivered 800 commercial aircraft to 93 customers in 2018, meeting its full year delivery guidance and setting a new company record. Deliveries were 11 percent higher than the previous record of 718 units, set in 2017. For the 16th year in a row now, Airbus has increased the number of commercial aircraft deliveries on an annual basis.

In total, the 2018 commercial aircraft deliveries comprise:

  • 20 A220s (since it became part of the Airbus family in July 2018);
  • 626 A320 Family (vs 558 in 2017), of which 386 were A320neo Family (vs 181 NEOs in 2017);
  • 49 A330s (vs 67 in 2017) including the first three A330neo in 2018;
  • 93 A350 XWBs (vs 78 in 2017);
  • 12 A380s (vs 15 in 2017).

In terms of sales, Airbus achieved 747 net orders during 2018 compared with 1,109 net orders in 2017. At the end of 2018, the backlog of Airbus commercial aircraft reached a new industry record and stood at 7,577 aircraft, including 480 A220s, compared with 7,265 at the end of 2017.

Over the last 16 years, Airbus has steadily increased its production year-by-year with the final assembly lines in Hamburg, Toulouse, Tianjin and Mobile complemented by the addition of the A220 line in Mirabel, Canada, during 2018. A notable contribution to Airbus’ delivery increase in 2018 came from the final assembly lines in the US and China. For the top-selling A320 Family in particular, the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mobile, Alabama, saw its 100thdelivery, and is now producing in excess of four units per month. Meanwhile, Airbus’ “FAL Asia” in Tianjin, China, achieved its 400th A320 delivery, while in Germany Airbus commenced operations of its new, fourth production line in Hamburg. Overall, the A320 programme is on track to achieve rate 60 per month for the A320 Family by mid-2019. The Airbus teams successfully reached an important industrial milestone for the A350, achieving the targeted rate of 10 aircraft per month.

Airbus will report Full Year 2018 financial results on February 14, 2019.

Footnote:

The Full-Year 2018 net orders and backlog represent the contractual view. The Full-Year 2018 backlog value will be measured under IFRS 15 and will reflect the recoverable amount of revenues under these contracts. A significant reduction in order backlog value is expected mainly due to the adjustment for net prices versus list prices. The FY 2017 backlog will not be restated.

Airbus delivers 100th A320 Family aircraft assembled in the U.S.

Airbus has delivered its 100th aircraft from the company’s U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. The A320neo, serial number (MSN) 8580, was delivered to Frontier Airlines. The aircraft features two horses, Meadow and West, on its tailplane.

Airbus’ Mobile facility is delivering four A320 Family aircraft per month and has delivered to eight U.S.-based customers thus far, including Air Lease Corporation, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines.

Airbus has three other A320 Family production facilities around the world: Hamburg, Germany; Tianjin, China; and Toulouse, France.

Photo: Airbus.

Airbus delivers the first A330-900 to launch operator TAP Air Portugal

TAP Air Portugal has taken delivery of the world’s first new generation widebody A330neo and, as the launch airline, will be the first to benefit from the aircraft’s unbeatable operating economics, increased range, and Airbus’ new Airspace cabin offering passengers the best in class comfort. The Portuguese carrier will take delivery of a further 20 A330-900s in the coming years.

TAP Air Portugal’s first A330-900 is leased from Avolon. It features 298 seats in a comfortable three-class lay-out with 34 full-flat business class, 96 economy plus and 168 economy class seats. The Airspace by Airbus cabin offers more personal space, larger overhead storage bins, advanced cabin lighting and the latest generation in-flight entertainment system and connectivity. The aircraft will be deployed on routes from Portugal to the Americas and Africa.

The A330neo is a true new generation aircraft building on the A330’s success and leveraging on A350 XWB technology. It incorporates the highly efficient new generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, and a new higher span 3D optimised wing with new sharklets fully optimised for the best aerodynamic performance. Together these advances bring a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 25 percent compared with older generation competitor aircraft of a similar size. Moreover, new composite nacelles, a fully faired titanium pylon and zero-splice air inlet technology provide the A330-900 with state-of-the-art aerodynamics and acoustics .

Today, TAP Air Portugal operates an Airbus fleet of 72 aircraft (18 A330s, 4 A340s,and 50 A320 Family aircraft). The single-aisle fleet includes 22 A319ceo, 21 A320ceo and four A321ceo, one A320neo and two recently delivered A321neo.

The A330 is one of the most popular widebody families ever, having received over 1,700 orders from 120 customers. More than 1,380 A330s are flying with over 128 operators worldwide. The new A330neo is the latest addition to the leading Airbus widebody family, which also includes the A350 XWB and the A380, all featuring unmatched space and comfort combined with unprecedented efficiency levels and unrivalled range capability.

Photos: Airbus.

EASA and FAA certify long-range capability for Airbus A321neo

Airbus has made this announcement:

Readiness to start “Long Range” (LR) operations with launch customers of the most capable and flexible A321neo version to date – the A321LR – has moved a significant step closer with recent joint EASA and FAA approval of the aircraft to operate with up to three underfloor Additional Centre Tanks (ACTs), including for ETOPS operation.

This latest milestone is one of various A321neo capability options which when combined, allow the A321LR version to fly up to 4,000nm with 206 passengers with extra fuel stored in three ACTs, including on ETOPS routes. Moreover, the ETOPS authorisation enables up to 180 minutes single-engine diversion time, which is sufficient for performing any transatlantic route.

The A321LR’s certification includes: (a) approval of the “major change” to install up to three optional ACTs in the A321neo – with their associated new fuel management systems and lower-fuselage structural reinforcements; and (b) the approval of the A321neo’s “Airbus Cabin Flex” (ACF) option which incorporates a modified fuselage structure with new door arrangements together with a higher Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) capability of up to 97 metric tonnes. It should be noted that only A321neos which have the new ACF structure can offer the 97t MTOW and the ability to install three ACTs. Previously, the A321 Family could accommodate up to two ACTs.

While the ACF configuration will become standard for all new delivered A321neos from around 2020, the 97t MTOW capability and the ability to carry up to three ACTs will be options. For the ACTs, customers would specify prior to aircraft manufacture whether the aircraft is to be equipped with an expanded fuel management system as well as the necessary structural reinforcements to secure the underfloor ACTs.

The ability to add or remove ACTs, combined with the Airbus Cabin Flex, the 97t MTOW capability and the EASA/FAA approval to use the ACTs with ETOPS, together confer unprecedented airline flexibility for cabin layouts, seating density, cargo payload, fuel-capacity and mission routing.