Windowless aircraft plan to improve efficiency

Windowless aircraft plan to improve efficiencyWindowless aircraft could be the future of cheaper air travel as a government technology centre develops a proposal to help airlines save on fuel, according to reports today.

Plastic display screens projecting the sky outside could line the cabin of an aircraft, taking the place of windows.

The technology would reduce aircraft weight and cut fuel costs without worrying nervous passengers.

The display screens will function using a technique called printable electronics, which involves the use of conductive inks to carry electric current in cardboard and plastic for just a few pence per unit.


Developers at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in Sedgefield, which is one of the government’s network of technology centres known as Catapults, are particularly excited by the benefits that printable electronics offer to aviation.

Tom Taylor, who is part of the management team at CPI in County Durham, told the Financial Times: “Getting weight out of a plane is a key [goal] for the industry.

“You could see the first of these coming to market in three to four years.”

US company Spike Aerospace has announced plans to have a windowless cabin on board its Spike S-512 Supersonic Jet, which is due to launch in 2018, the Telegraph reported.

President Vik Kachoria believes the technology would win over passengers, saying they would experience “a wonderful panoramic view of the outside world”.

The company still plans to have several windows for emergency purposes.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

50 new jobs at Bridgend aerospace firm TBD Owen Holland

Library image of Qatar Airways  plane

The firm supplies equipment to firms including Qatar Airways

A firm which provides support and equipment to the aerospace and defence sectors is expanding with the creation of 50 new jobs.

TBD (Owen Holland) Ltd, in Bridgend, had considered moving part of its operation to Abu Dhabi to be closer to its main customer base.

But the Welsh government awarded a £700,000 grant to ensure the £2m expansion went ahead in Bridgend.

The firm, based at Waterton Industrial Estate, currently employs 90 people.

The company’s founder Steve Meredith said the firm expected overseas sales to rise 30% in the next two years, having attracted new clients including Saudi Arabian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Kuwait Airways and Fly Dubai.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said she was pleased the company would continue to grow in Wales, creating new well-paid jobs and economic benefits to the region.

Sourced by BBC News Wales

Iberia secures deal for new long-haul aircraft

International Airlines Group (IAG) is to convert eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft options into firm orders and has secured eight A330-200s for Iberia.

The fuel efficient aircraft will replace 16 A340s in Iberia’s long haul fleet and will be delivered between 2015 and 2020.

IAG said it has secured commercial terms for the A350 aircraft, each worth $285 million, as part of a group long haul order announced in April 2013.

The eight A330s will be obtained either by converting existing options from an Airbus order in 2011 or from the operating leases depending on financial and delivery terms.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said today: “Iberia has taken significant steps to restructure its business and the progress made so far means that we can bring new long haul aircraft into the airline’s fleet.

“These orders demonstrate our commitment to make Iberia competitive.

“Both aircraft will provide cost efficiencies and environmental benefits, enabling Iberia to replace its long haul fleet with modern and fuel efficient aircraft.

“The new technology and improved aerodynamics will lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions per seat by 18%, as well as providing both noise and NOx performance advantages.

“Retaining an all Airbus long haul fleet will also generate cost savings in maintenance and crewing.”

The Spanish carrier currently has 33 aircraft in its long haul fleet.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

ANA Holdings firms up order for A320neo Family

ANA to become first A320neo operator in Japan


ANA Holdings has firmed up an order for 30 A320neo Family aircraft (seven A320neo and 23 A321neo). The initial agreement was announced in March 2014. The aircraft will be part of ANA Holdings fleet development and modernisation strategy to replace its existing single-aisle fleet in the coming years. Deliveries will start from 2016.

Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of ANA HD said: “The aircraft we have selected will enable us to modernize and expand our fleet further as we seek to become one of the world’s leading airline groups. These new aircraft will give us maximum flexibility and improved fuel efficiency and will allow us to meet the growth in demand, both internationally and in our domestic Japanese market.”

“I’m delighted to welcome ANA as the A320neo’s first Japanese customer, and see the growing relationship between our two companies”, said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO. “In addition to ANA taking full benefit from the A320neo’s efficiency and reliability, the deal also accelerates Airbus’s expansion in Japan – one of our main ambitions for the next decade”.

In selecting the A320neo, ANA is investing in the best in class, ensuring excellent cabin comfort as well as operational efficiencies. ANA’s A320neo Family will be equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines.

Japanese Aero Engines Corporation (JAEC) is a 23% collaboration partner in PW1100G-JM program. JAEC is responsible for development, manufacturing and engineering support of the fan, low-pressure compressor, combustor, and low-pressure shafts. JAEC is a consortium, consisting of three Japanese companies: IHI (65%), Kawasaki Heavy Industries (25%), and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (10%).

The assembly of Airbus’ first A320neo has been completed following painting of the aircraft and the mounting of PW1100G-JM engines. It will soon start ground tests to prepare for first flight. The flight test campaign for the A320neo will kick-off in Q3 2014, paving the way for Entry Into Service in Q4 2015.

The A320neo – for “new engine option” – incorporates many innovations, including latest generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together deliver 15 percent in fuel savings and a reduction of 3,600 tonnes of C02 per aircraft per year. With a total of more than 3,000 orders received from more than 50 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured over 60 percent of the market, clearly demonstrating its leadership.

Airbus terminates Japanese A380s order

Airbus terminates Japanese A380s order 

Airbus has terminated an order for six A380s placed by Skymark Airlines of Japan, a move seen as a setback for the manufacturer as it seeks fresh orders for the superjumbo.

Skymark operates a purely domestic schedule from its base in Tokyo but had plans to begin services to London, New York, Paris and Frankfurt with the A380, which carries 500-plus passengers.

Airbus said it terminated the Skymark order “when Skymark made clear that it was not going to perform its contractual obligations”.

Skymark said it had been in talks with Airbus since April about possible changes to its A380 order but that Airbus was demanding “a cancellation fee beyond all common sense”.

The carrier reported a loss of Yen1.8 billion (£10.4 million) in the year to March, but a profit the previous year.

Airbus now has A380 orders from just 19 carriers, with Dubai-based Emirates committed to taking 140 or 40% of the total.

British Airways took delivery of its first A380 just over a year ago.

Virgin Atlantic is committed to buying six, but has delayed taking delivery and may not decide whether to proceed until 2018.

Emirates president Tim Clark called earlier this month for Airbus to produce a new version of the A380 with more fuel-efficient engines – an A380 neo.

The Gulf carrier was the launch customer for the A380 in 2008 and has 140 on order or already in operation

Clark said Emirates would buy an additional 60-80 of the aircraft if it had new engines.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

Rawlinson steps down as Monarch chairman

Rawlinson steps down as Monarch chairman 

The Monarch Group has announced a number of senior management changes, with executive chairman Iain Rawlinson stepping down after five years with the company.

Sir Roy McNulty, currently a non-executive director, will assume the role of group chairman, while Andrew Swaffield, current managing director of Monarch Airlines, will become group chief executive.

Andrew Lavery has been appointed chief financial officer.

McNulty said: “On behalf of the Mantegazza family, the group’s principal shareholder, I would like to thank Iain for his five years of service to Monarch where he has strengthened the group and repositioned Monarch Airlines as a differentiated scheduled low-cost carrier with a focus on superior customer service. He leaves with our best wishes.”

Rawlinson added: “”The Monarch Group has reached another chapter in its development and the time is now right for me to stand back. There could be no two better people than Sir Roy and Andrew Swaffield, both with exceptional careers in the aviation and transport industries, to take Monarch forward and build on the excellent Monarch name and reputation.”

Swaffield said: “This is a challenging time for airlines and we have much to do. Monarch has outstanding people, a strongly differentiated position in the budget airline market and an excellent travel group and engineering business.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to realise all the opportunities ahead of us. As a priority, along with our work on a new fleet of aircraft, we are currently engaged with our shareholder in a close look at our capital structure to ensure we have the most appropriate base to support future growth.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

Emirates boss calls for more fuel-efficient A380

Emirates boss calls for more fuel-efficient A380

The boss of Emirates has called on Airbus to supply a revamped version of the A380 superjumbo with more fuel-efficient engines by 2020.

The airline’s president Tim Clark (pictured) told the Financial Times that the fast-growing Gulf carrier, which has ordered 140 A380s, could be willing to buy an additional 60 to 80 superjumbos.

But he is pushing the European manufacturer to begin preparatory work to make sure it is ready by 2020 to supply an improved version featuring new Rolls-Royce engines.

Airbus has so far refused to commit to a new engine option of the A380, saying only that it will study the case for such an aircraft entering service sometime in the 2020s.

Clark said an A380neo would boost the aircraft’s sales because more fuel-efficient engines and other modifications could reduce the aircraft’s operating costs by between 8% and 10%.

“We have made it crystal clear to [Airbus] in the event of the [A380] neo being launched we would buy it,” Clark said.

He urged Airbus to finalise details for a revamped A380 and then approach other airlines to gauge their interest.

Clark said Dubai-based Emirates’ fleet of A380s could grow from 50 today to as many as 180 because he expects the airline to move to a new, bigger airport sometime after 2020.

The current A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, can carry more than 500 people and has a catalogue price of $414 million.

Fabrice Brégier, chief executive of Airbus’ passenger jet business, said this month there was “no urgency” to put new engines on the A380, saying his focus was on increasing sales of the existing superjumbo.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


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