Airbus forecasts demand for 31,000 new aircraft over next 20 years

More than 31,000 new passenger aircraft and air freighters will be needed over the next 20 years, due to growing demand for air travel.

Growing middle classes in emerging economies taking to the skies will be the main drivers, according to Airbus.

The European aircraft manufacturer forecasts that the new aircraft will be worth $4.6 trillion (£2.8 trillion) of orders to the aerospace industry as passenger numbers grow at an annual rate of 4.7% from the current rate of 3 billion a year carried by 32 million flights.

The worldwide aviation sector is estimated to be worth $2.4 trillion a year and employs 60 million people.

Aircraft joining the modern day fleet mean the number of air freighters and airliners with 100 or more seats will more than double from today’s total of 18,500 to almost 37,500 by the year 2033.

Airlines are expected to retire 12,400 old and less fuel-efficient jets in the intervening period as they seek to cut costs in the age of ever-rising fuel prices.

Asia is expected to be the biggest single customer for new aircraft, taking 39% of them, more than combined total of the next two biggest regions, Europe at 20% and North America at 18%.

The predictions come in Flying on Demand, Airbus’s global market forecast which analysed themes seen by 800 passenger airlines and 200 freight operators, The Telegraph reported.

Airbus predicts a requirement for 9,300 widebody aircraft valued at $2.5 trillion over the next 20 years.

Some 7,800 of these new aircraft will be twin-aisle models with 250 to 400 seats and the remaining 1,500 will be very large aircraft with 400 or more seats.

The report also predicts that the number of “aviation mega-cities” – those with 10,000 or more international long-haul passengers a day – will almost double to 91 as economic growth in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East outstrips developed regions.

“Aviation is growing impressively and our latest forecast confirms its long-term growth,” said John Leahy, Airbus’s chief operating officer for customers.

“While mature aviation regions such as Europe and North America will continue to grow, Asia will stand out along with emerging markets for dynamic development. This growth trend is confirmed by Chinese domestic traffic becoming the world’s number one aviation market within the next 10 years”.

The forecast came as the manufacturer’s new generation A320neo made it maiden flight in France.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


A350 XWB test fleet now complete: ‘MSN005’ – the fifth and final flight-test aircraft takes to the skies

Press Release by Airbus

With the first flight today of A350 MSN005, the five-strong development fleet is now complete. Being the second passenger cabin-equipped A350 and tasked with route proving and ETOPS validation, MSN005 embodies the operationally definitive configuration for Type Certification duties. This milestone means that the A350 XWB development programme is at full speed and on track for certification in the third quarter of this year, to be followed thereafter by delivery of the first customer aircraft to Qatar Airways in the fourth quarter.

As of today, the A350 XWB programme has already achieved more than 2,000 flight-test hours in around 500 flights, and with this the programme is demonstrating the highest flying rate ever achieved in Airbus flight tests, with around 80 flight hours per aircraft per month.


Air New Zealand selects A320neo Family to modernise single aisle fleet

Press Release by Airbus

Following Air New Zealand’s 2009 order for A320 Family aircraft, the airline has selected the added efficiency and performance of the NEO with an order for three A321neo, 10 A320neo and one additional A320ceo aircraft. The agreement marks the first time Air New Zealand has ordered the larger A321 aircraft and the NEO. Engine selection and cabin configuration will be made at a later date.

The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family offering the best seat mile costs of any single aisle. The A320 Family fuselage is seven inches wider than competing aircraft and with a cargo hold designed for industry standard containers and pallets.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the purchase confirms the airline’s intention to have an Airbus narrow body fleet. “Operating one narrow body aircraft type will bring important efficiencies in training, maintenance and operating costs.  The new Airbus NEO will help ensure we continue to operate one of the world’s youngest jet fleets and will further drive fuel efficiency allowing us to minimise our carbon footprint.”

“The NEO offers even further gains – a 15 per cent fuel burn reduction or up to 950 kilometres added range, and significantly reduced noise. Passengers appreciate the A320 Family has the widest and most comfortable cabin, and this re-order is proof that it also offers unmatched performance and productivity,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers

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 incorporates new engines and “Sharklet” wing tip devices which together deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. At the end of April 2014, firm orders for the NEO reached over 2,700 aircraft from 50 customers, representing a 60 per cent share market share in its category.


Delta Places Order for 15 A321ceo aircraft

Press Release by Airbus

Delta will grow its A320 Family with an order for 15 A321ceo (current engine option) aircraft to offset jet retirements. The airline has selected CFM56-5B engines from CFM International to power the newly ordered A321ceo aircraft, which are scheduled for delivery starting in 2018. CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE.

Delta currently operates a large fleet of Airbus aircraft, including 126 A320 Family aircraft and 32 A330s. The order announced today brings Delta’s backlog to 45 single-aisle Airbus A321 and 10 widebody Airbus A330 aircraft.

“The A321’s economic efficiency and product offering relative to the aircraft they will replace ensures that this opportunistic transaction will enhance profitability, customer satisfaction, and shareholder value for Delta,” said Nathaniel Pieper, Delta’s Vice President – Fleet Strategy and Transactions.

“Airbus is excited to offer Delta comfortable and efficient aircraft that fit its demanding financial and customer satisfaction goals,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “It is clear that the quality, comfort and economy of the aircraft were the right fit.”

All of Delta’s A321s will feature fuel-saving Sharklets – lightweight composite wingtip devices that offer 4 percent fuel-burn savings. This environmental benefit gives the airline the option of extending its range up to 100 nautical miles/185 kilometers or increasing payload capacity by some 1000 pounds/450 kilograms.

Many of Delta’s A321s will be delivered from Airbus’ brand-new A320 Family assembly line, currently under construction in Mobile, Alabama. Hiring is underway at the facility, and aircraft assembly will begin there next year. By 2017, the Mobile facility is expected to produce four aircraft per month.


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.


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