The first delivery of an A321 aircraft from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility to Delta Air Lines took place today, in Mobile, Alabama. On hand for the occasion were executives from Airbus and Delta Air Lines, a team of Delta employees from the airline’s Minneapolis-St. Paul station, and representatives of the more than 370 employees at the facility.
Delta already operates 137 A320 family aircraft and 40 A330 and have another 123 aircraft on order—including A320 family, A330 and A350 aircraft. Just this year, Delta placed its third A321 ceo order in three years.
Airbus announced its commitment to build a single-aisle assembly line in Mobile, Alabama in 2012, and less than one year later, broke ground on the $600 million facility. The ceremonial inauguration of the plant took place in September 2015. The aircraft delivered today is the 15th aircraft delivered from the Mobile facility.
Airbus anticipates delivering four aircraft per month from the Mobile plant by the end of 2017. The initial deliveries will all be A320 Family aircraft with the Current Engine Option (CEO), but will begin transitioning to New Engine Option (NEO) derivatives in late 2017.
South African Airways (SAA) has taken delivery of its first of five new leased A330-300 widebody jetliners, becoming Airbus’s first Southern African operator of the aircraft type.
The pictured A330-343 F-WWKT became ZS-SXI (msn 1745) when it was handed over to the carrier on December 1, 2016.
SAA’s A330-300 are configured in a comfortable two-class cabin layout with 46 seats in Business Class and 203 in Economy class seats.
SAA has selected the latest 242-ton Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant of the A330-300, which incorporates a new aerodynamic packages enabling the aircraft to cover distances of up to 6,350 nautical miles (11,750km) in flights up to 15 hours in duration. This payload/range capability allows the aircraft to be deployed across SAA’s long-haul, intra-Africa and peak domestic routes.
On December 19, 2016, the Lufthansa Group will receive its first Airbus A350-900, which is the most modern long haul aircraft worldwide and which will be based at Lufthansa’s Munich Hub.
The first regular commercial flight will be from Munich to Delhi on February 10, 2017.
Once Lufthansa has taken ownership of the aircraft on December 19, the A350-900 will be transferred to Munich during the week leading up to Christmas. Lufthansa Technik in Munich will then install the cabin interior including the new Premium Economy Class as well as other features so that the new flagship aircraft will be ready to be presented to the public at the beginning of February.
From February 2017 onwards, Lufthansa will station the first ten Airbus A350-900 aircrafts in Munich. The first flight destinations are Delhi and Boston. The aircraft will have space for 293 passengers – 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in the regular Economy Class section. The A350-900 is the most modern and environmentally friendly long haul aircraft worldwide and uses 25 percent less kerosene and produces 25 percent fewer emissions. The A350-900’s noise “footprint” is up to 50 percent lower than that of comparable aircraft types.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), has taken delivery of its first of 30 A320neo aircraft ordered, becoming the first Arline in Scandinavia to operate the world’s most fuel efficient single aisle aircraft.
SAS ordered the A320neo as part of its strategy to modernize its fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft, reducing environmental impact such as emissions and aircraft noise. The A320neo will join SAS’s existing Airbus fleet of 25 A320 Family aircraft, eight A330s and eight A340s.
SAS’s A320neo is configured in a comfortable single class layout with 174 seats. The aircraft is powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines and will be deployed on short to medium-haul routes from its Scandinavian home bases to destinations throughout Europe.
Photo: Airbus/C. Brinkmann. Airbus A320-251N LN-RGL “Sol Viking” (msn 7290) was handed over on October 21, 2016.
Azores Airlines, which is fully owned by Sociedade Açoreana de Transportes Aéreos (SATA), is modernizing its short-haul and trans-Atlantic fleet with the Airbus A321neo and by 2019 with the longer range A321LR. The decision follows a growth strategy to expand into new trans-Atlantic routes.
Azores Airlines (SATA) has been an Airbus customer since 1999 operating seven A310, A320 and A330 Airbus aircrafts across Europe, Canada and North America.
According to Airbus, The A321LR, the latest member of the market leading A320neo Family, will be able to fly longer routes of up to 4,000 nm. The A321LR will provide additional flexibility as it will have the longest range of any single aisle airliner, making it ideally suited to transatlantic routes and enable airlines to tap into new long haul markets which were not previously accessible with current single aisle aircraft. First deliveries will start in 2019.
Orange2fly Airlines (Athens) is a new Greek airline charter company.
Orange2fly is now operating in own its full colors with titles on its first Airbus A320, the pictured SX-ORG (msn 1407) pictured today at Palma de Mallorca. This A320 has been operating on behalf of Aigle Azur during the peak summer season and has now returned to Orange2fly on September 12.
The new airline describes itself:
“orange2fly” Airlines is a brand new Greek airline company, based in Athens, Greece which shall carry out worldwide operations in ACMI and the charter business. The company was established in September 2015 and will operate under a Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, Air Operator Certificate in accordance with the European Aviation Safety Agency Regulation. (EASA)
“orange2fly” Airlines aims at filling a niche section in the air travel and cargo market, ensuring high quality service and customer satisfaction. The company will order initially with an Airbus 320 of 180 Economy seats.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com.