Airbus wins £10bn order from China

Airbus wins £10bn order from China

Airbus has secured a deal to supply 70 aircraft, worth more than $10 billion, to China’s state-owned purchasing agency.

The order had been on hold due to a row between the EU and outside countries over carbon emissions tax on flights.

The breakthrough came during a state visit to France by Chinese president Xi Jinping.

The order includes 27 long-haul Airbus A330s and 43 A320s.

China also signed a new 10-year agreement allowing Airbus to continue building aircraft in the northern city of Tianjin until 2025.

A fifth of Airbus’s global production takes place on the Chinese mainland.

French president Francois Hollande told his Chinese counterpart that he wanted to “re-balance trade between our two countries,” thr BBC reported.

Aerospace already accounts for 29% of French exports to China.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Tigerair to order up to 50 A320neo

Press Release by Airbus

Singapore’s Tigerair has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for the purchase of up to 50 A320neo aircraft for future fleet renewal and growth. The deal covers 37 firm orders plus 13 options. The aircraft will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100 engines and will be operated by the airline across its Asia-Pacific route network.

“We are delighted to conclude this agreement, which will allow us to introduce the latest single-aisle aircraft into our fleet,” said Mr Koay Peng Yen, Tigerair’s Group CEO, “This agreement also underscores Tigerair’s commitment to continue building on our leadership position in the budget travel sector at a measured pace.”

“We are pleased that Tigerair has reaffirmed its commitment to the A320 Family with this important new order,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “This order once again highlights the unbeatable operating economics offered by our single aisle product line for airlines from both the low cost and full service markets.”

Tigerair, established in 2004, comprises three airlines – Tigerair Singapore, Tigerair Mandala (Indonesia) and Tigerair Australia. Collectively, the Group’s network extends to over 50 destinations across 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The Group currently operates an all-Airbus fleet of 48 A320-family aircraft, averaging less than three years of age.

The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with more than 10,200 orders to date and over 6,000 aircraft delivered. The latest version A320neo will enter service in 2015 and incorporates new engines and “Sharklet” wing tip devices which together deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. As at the end of February 2014, firm orders for the NEO already stood at 2,667 from 50 customers around the globe.


Airbus’ A320 MSN001 flight-test aircraft conducts latest “i4D” flight trials with SESAR members

Press Release by Airbus

Following on from flight trials in 2012, Airbus’ A320 ‘MSN001’ flight-test aircraft has undertaken the second “initial 4D” (i4D) trajectory flight trial as part of a joint project with its members in the EU-funded Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking (SJU). These members include: Thales, NORACON1, Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC), Indra, Eurocontrol, Honeywell and Airbus.

The main benefits of i4D are the significant reduction of fuel burn and C02 emissions, in line with SESAR’s target to reduce the environmental impact per flight by 10 percent, a decrease of delays and therefore shorter and smoother flights for passengers. These flight tests offer a concrete solution towards improving the existing European air traffic system which is reaching its capacity limit.

For this latest trial, the outward route, Toulouse – Copenhagen – Stockholm (LFBO – EKCH – ESSA) was flown with a Honeywell flight management system (FMS) and the return journey (ESSA – EKCH – LFBO) was flown with a Thales FMS. The Airbus crew on board the aircraft comprised: Capt. Philippe Pellerin, Sylvie Loisel-Labaste, Jean-Francois Bousquié and Jean-Francois Azzopardi. They were also joined on the return to Toulouse by Didier Poisson from Thales as co-pilot.

This second flight trial validates further that the sharing of trajectory information between the air and ground can enable a safer and more efficient handling and certainty of flight profiles. The flight trial confirmed that i4D offers important safety and environmental gains, with reductions in fuel costs, increased flight predictability and overall network efficiency.

The core objective of i4D is to ensure that aircraft flight trajectories remain synchronized between air and ground throughout all aspects of flight, thus helping to facilitate air traffic management which is more reliable, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly. This latest i4D flight is part of a complete validation campaign, in the framework of the SESAR initiative, to validate within a real traffic situation both technical and operational aspects within the SESAR programme. If all validation exercises prove successful, i4D should be implemented by the entire European aviation industry around 2018.

The world’s first flight using a four-dimensional optimized and upgraded Air Traffic Management (ATM) technology took place in February 2012 with Airbus’ dedicated A320 test aircraft flying from Toulouse to Copenhagen and Stockholm.

i4D is the first step in developing one of the essential pillars of the SESAR programme: conciliating the increasing traffic density with the efficiency of flights. It is the result of close collaboration between SESAR members. One of Airbus’ key roles has been to test the upgraded flight management systems (navigation) and communication systems with each other and to integrate them into the real aircraft architecture.


Airline orders at ‘unprecedented levels’

Airline orders are at ‘unprecedented levels’ with low cost carriers expanding their fleet more than others.

In Europe, EasyJet, Ryanair and Norwegian Air Shuttle have placed orders in the past two years totalling hundreds of aircraft, extending to 2021 for fulfilment, reports the Financial Times.

Airlines have managed their seat capacity carefully to counter any downward pressure on ticket prices, KPMG said in a report, but the number of new aircraft due to come into service means there will be greater competition between airlines.

“Airlines around the globe are replacing their fleet at unprecedented levels,” said James Stamp, global head of aviation at KPMG.

“Much of the order activity by legacy airlines is driven by the desire to cut operating costs. With fuel costs continuing to be at record levels and a new aircraft generation on the market which is up to 20 per cent more fuel efficient, this trend should not come as a surprise.”

Airbus and Boeing have record levels of aircraft on order – at the end of last year Airbus had unfulfilled orders for 5,559 aircraft and Boeing had 5,080.

Low-cost carriers have continued to outperform other airlines in terms of share price, the research also found.

Sourced by Travelmole


Airbus starts final assembly of best-selling A320neo

Press Release by Airbus

Airbus has started final assembly of the first A320neo at its Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse (France), with the join-up of the forward and aft fuselage sections which recently arrived from St. Nazaire in France and Hamburg in Germany respectively.

Once this phase is completed, the next stage is the wing to fuselage join-up. Overall it takes about one month to complete the final assembly of an A320 Family aircraft. On average, every seven hours an A320 Family aircraft leaves one of the three A320 Family FAL’s in Toulouse, Hamburg, or Tianjin.

The A320neo first flight will take place in Q4 2014 and first delivery in Q4 2015. The A320neo “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 2,600 orders received from 50 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent of the market, clearly demonstrating its leadership.


India needs over 1,290 aircraft worth US$190 billion in next 20 years

Press Release by Airbus

According to Airbus’ latest market forecast, Indian carriers will require 1,290 new passenger aircraft valued at US$190 billion between now and 2032 to satisfy surging annual demand.

Indian annual passenger traffic growth rates of 8.6 per cent are well above the regional Asia Pacific average growth rate of 6.1 per cent and the world average 4.7 per cent.

Of the requirement for 1,290 new aircraft, some 73 per cent will be for growth and 27 per cent for replacement. The new passenger aircraft include 913 single aisles like the A320 and A320neo Family, 322 twin aisles like the A350 XWB and A330, and 56 very large aircraft such as the A380. By 2032, today’s fleet of 343 aircraft will more than triple to some 1,233 aircraft.

By 2032, Airbus forecasts that 36 per cent of India’s fleet will be wide-bodies, more than doubling today’s level. This is a result of increased capacity of international as well domestic routes with larger aircraft like the A330 and A350s.

In passenger traffic term, domestic India is the fastest growing flow increasing at almost 10 per cent per year to 2032. In 2032, India domestic traffic will be the world’s third largest domestic market. In addition, five of the world’s top 20 fastest growing flows, connect India. Today one in 20 Indians travel by air and in 2032 this will increase five fold to a quarter of the population taking at least one flight. Along with China, more people will experience the benefits of aviation for the first time in India than anywhere else.

“By 2032, the number Indian cities with more than a million passengers every month will have grown to 13 from today’s two. This exponential growth will continue to drive the need for larger aircraft like the A380 to operate in the country.” said Dr. Kiran Rao, Airbus EVP Strategy and Marketing. “As the people of India fly more and the number of first time flyers increases, demand for the latest generations of aircraft will also increase making India on of the largest and most dynamic markets in the world.”

Airbus has been fostering cooperation and helping the Indian aviation sector grown sustainably for over 40 years. Today, India produces parts for the full range of Airbus aircraft, and employs some 350 engineers in Bangalore. Airbus India directly and indirectly employs some 5,000 people in India contributing to all Airbus aircraft programmes.  Airbus is India’s aircraft of choice winning over 60 per cent of new aircraft orders.


Airlines advised to check for Dreamliner wing cracks

Airlines advised to check for Dreamliner wing cracksBy Phil Davies

Checks are being made for potential “hairline cracks” in the wings of Boeing 787 Dreamliners.The move came after Japanese supplier Mitsubishi Heavy Industries warned Boeing that a change in its manufacturing process may cause cracks.

The US aircraft manufacturer said the issue may affect nearly 40 planes and there may be “some delays in deliveries”.

However, Boeing added that it was confident “the issue does not exist in the in-service fleet,” the BBC reported.

“The affected areas are very small and the time required to address the issue will vary between one and two weeks,” the company said.

“There may be some delays in deliveries, but we expect no impact to 2014 delivery guidance.”

Thomson Airways and British Airways are current UK operators of the 787, soon to be followed by Virgin Atlantic.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


BA flight in emergency landing after engine began ‘spitting flames’ during takeoff

By Tomas Jivanda,

A British Airways plane had to make an emergency landing after it experienced an “engine surge” during takeoff last night.

Flames were “spitting out” of one of the engines and the plane was making spluttering noises as it was lifting off, an eyewitness told the BBC.

The flight departed from Heathrow bound for Lyon in France, but had to turn back soon after taking to the air.

Tom Puttick, who works near Heathrow said: “I was in the petrol station opposite the airport which is when I heard the bang, so I turned around and the airplane had flames spitting out of the engine with a spluttering noise as it was taking off.

“I then watched it continued to climb and the engine was still emitting flames intermittently. Lots of blue lights then emerged on the airport while the plane, I guess, turned around to make an emergency landing.”

BA said the aircraft, an Airbus A319 had landed safely at Heathrow following the incident at around 9pm last night.

A BA spokeswoman said: “A flight experienced what’s known as an ‘engine surge’ as it took off from Heathrow, but it returned and touched down safely.

“Our crew cared for our customers on-board and kept them informed. We train our pilots to the very highest standards including how to respond to these type of events, and the engine was immediately shut down.”

She added: “Of course, we gave our customers who were on the flight hotel accommodation last night and they have been rebooked to fly today.

“We have also scheduled a larger aircraft to operate to Lyon to ensure we can get all our customers there as soon as possible. We can understand how frustrating the delay to their plans must be.

“The aircraft is being thoroughly checked over by engineers. The safety of our customers, crew and aircraft is of the utmost importance to British Airways.”

Sourced from The Independent


A350 XWB flying test fleet doubles size

Press Release by Airbus

The A350 XWB flight test aircraft, MSN2 and MSN4, have both taken to the skies above Toulouse, France today for their respective first flights, bringing the total number of A350 XWBs now flying from two to four.

To date, the first two A350 XWB test aircraft to fly, MSN1 and MSN3, have already performed close to 1100 flight test hours out of the programme’s total 2500 hours planned for certification.

MSN2, with its special “carbon” inspired livery, will be the first A350 XWB test aircraft to feature a full passenger cabin. This allows Airbus to start testing and validating all the cabin and passenger related systems. As part of these cabin tests, MSN2 will carry the first A350 XWB passengers during the Early Long Flights (ELF) in spring.


Iron Maiden Singer Bruce Dickinson Funds Longest Aircraft in The World

By David Sim

The world’s longest aircraft was unveiled today in an enormous old airship hangar in Bedfordshire. The Airlander hybrid airship is 300ft (91m) long, 113ft wide and 85ft high, and is filled with 1,340,000 cubic feet (38,000 cubic metres) of helium. It can carry a payload of 10,000kg.

Airlander

Mike Durham, the Technical Director at Hybrid Air Vehicles, admires the helium-filled Airlander aircraft in a giant airship shed in Cardington, BedfordshireGetty

Described as ‘part plane, part airship and part helicopter’, the Airlander’s cambered shape works like an aeroplane’s wing, providing up to 40% of the vehicle’s lift.

The Airlander was originally developed for the US military before the project was cancelled due to budget cuts. The ship was designed by Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), whose project is being funded by a government grant as well as private finance from individuals including Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of the band Iron Maiden. He likened the craft to Thunderbird 2, telling Radio 4′s Today programme: “It can reach about 100mph and stay airborne for about three-and-a-half weeks.”

The first British flight is planned for later this year. HAV is planning an even larger craft, capable of transporting 50,000kg of freight. The company plans to make up to 1,000 of these leviathans of the sky.

The Airlander is 300ft (91m) long, 113ft (34m) wide and 85ft (26m) high

The Airlander is 300ft (91m) long, 113ft (34m) wide and 85ft (26m) highGetty

The airship has a volume of 1,340,000 cubic feet (38,000 cubic metres)

The airship has a volume of 1,340,000 cubic feet (38,000 cubic metres)Getty

Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden, sits at the controls on the flight deck of the helium-filled Airlander

Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden, sits at the controls on the flight deck of the helium-filled AirlanderGetty

The Airlander is being housed in Bedfordshire at Cardington hangar, where R101, the ill-fated airship, was built in the 1920s

The Airlander is being housed in Bedfordshire at Cardington hangar, where R101, the ill-fated airship, was built in the 1920sGetty

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