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.

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.

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.

Airbus to raise single aisle aircraft production following strong 2013

Airbus to raise single aisle aircraft production following strong 2013By Phil Davies

Strong demand has allowed Airbus to raise the production of single-aisle aircraft.The move came as the European aircraft manufacturer reported a “sharp” rise in in orders to €218.7 billion in 2013 against €102.5 billion the previous year.

The company had an order book worth €686.7 billion at the end of the year, up from €566.5 billion a year earlier.

Net profits rose to €1.5 billion in 2013 from €1.2 billion.

Airbus group chief executive Tom Enders said: “Order intake was particularly strong for our Airbus commercial aircraft and provides a solid platform for the future growth of our group. Strong demand allows us now to increase the single-aisle production rate.”

Deliveries this year should be about the same level as in 2013, including the first long range 
A350 XWB.

Gross commercial aircraft orders should be above the level of deliveries, the company said.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

Kuwait Airways firms up commitment for 25 Airbus aircraft

Press Release by Airbus

Airbus confirms Kuwait Airways, the National airline of Kuwait, has ordered 25 aircraft including ten A350-900 and 15 A320neo Family aircraft as part of the airlines’ fleet renewal strategy. Kuwait Airways already operates three A320, three A310, five A300 and four A340 Family aircraft.

“We are pleased to sign this deal with Airbus at this juncture of our sixty years journey” said Rasha Al Roumi, Kuwait Airways Chairperson. “The A350-900 will strengthen our long haul route development whilst the A320neo will further boost our regional route network. These aircraft are an essential part of our ambitious growth plans.”

“We are proud that Kuwait Airways chose our newest, most efficient aircraft families to build its future,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “By choosing the A320neo and A350 XWB, Kuwait Airways will offer its passengers the industry’s best-in-class cabin experience on both long and short haul routes, flying them comfortably in the widest seats in all classes.”

The A320neo is offered as an option for the A320 Family and incorporates new more efficient engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. It is as well the fastest selling commercial airliner ever.

The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions. The new Family, whose fuselage cross-section is optimized to accommodate Airbus’ 18-inch economy seat-width for long range passenger comfort, will also bring a 25 percent step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category.

Report: injuries in A330 emergency evacuation following false smoke warnings

Still image from video showing right side approximately 30 seconds after  evacuation commenced (AAIB)

An AAIB report on an April 2012 emergency involving a Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A330-300 (G-VSXY) showed that smoke warning from the cargo hold were spurious. 

The aircraft was operating a flight from London Gatwick Airport to Orlando-McCoy International Airport, USA with 13 crew members and 304 passengers on board. Early in the flight the crew received a series of smoke warnings from the aft cargo hold and the commander elected to return to London Gatwick. The crew carried out the appropriate emergency drills, including the discharge of the fire extinguishers in the aft cargo hold, but the smoke warnings continued. The aircraft landed safely, the crew brought it to a halt on the runway and endeavoured to establish the extent of any fire. This produced conflicting evidence and, with smoke warnings continuing, the commander ordered an emergency evacuation.

The passengers all left the aircraft within 90 seconds but two injuries, classed as serious, were incurred. Subsequent examination of the aircraft and its systems showed that the smoke warnings had been spurious.

The investigation identified that injuries were sustained during the evacuation of the aircraft. The evacuation was initiated based on the commander’s assessment of the available sources of information, including the repetitive and intermittent nature of the aft cargo smoke warnings.

The investigation identified the following causal factor for the intermittent cargo smoke warnings: i) A latent fault on the T1 thermistor channel of smoke detector 10WH, in combination with a CAN Bus fault and possible high levels of humidity in the cargo compartment due to the carriage of perishable goods, provided circumstances sufficient to generate multiple spurious aft cargo compartment smoke warnings.

The investigation identified the following contributory factors for the intermittent cargo smoke warnings: (i) The thermal channel fault in 10WH was not detected prior to the event by the internal smoke detector temperature monitoring. (ii) The proximity of the fire extinguisher nozzles to the smoke detectors.

More information:

Sourced from Aviation Safety Network

RAF Voyager planes ‘grounded’ after ‘in-flight issue’

An RAF Voyager planeBy Jonathan Beale,

The RAF has “grounded” its fleet of military Voyager transport planes following, what the Ministry of Defence calls an “in-flight issue” .

The BBC has been told a Voyager carrying British troops back to Afghanistan dropped a few thousand feet while in Turkish airspace.

As a precaution the pilot diverted the plane to Incirlik – a US military base in southern Turkey.

About 200 military personnel were on board.

‘Paramount concern’

A few passengers suffered minor injuries when the plane suddenly lost altitude last Sunday.

Soldiers boarding a VoyagerA Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said: “The safety of all our aircrews and passengers is our paramount concern, therefore it’s been decided to temporarily pause military registered Voyager aircraft flying while a full investigation is completed.”

The Voyager only came into service with the RAF last year.

A total of 14 of the planes are being bought for military use under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract that is costing more than £10bn.

The MoD has replaced the RAF’s VC-10 and Tristar planes both as a transport plane, and as an air-to-air refuelling tanker.

The Voyager is a modified Airbus A330, and is now the largest aircraft in service with the RAF.

Only those Voyagers fitted with military Defensive Aid Suites or air-to-air refuelling have been affected.

So far the MoD has not given a figure of the number of planes affected, but A330s without the military fit are still being used.

An MoD spokesman said flights would resume as soon as possible, but only “when we are confident it is safe to do so”.

It is understood that there are now some delays in flying military personnel to and from Afghanistan.

Those troops returning to the UK for rest and recuperation will be given priority.

Sourced by BBC News

Recruitment: A320 First Officer

Avion Express is recruiting Airbus A320 pilots for scheduled and ACMI operations in Barcelona and Cardiff starting on April 2014.

Candidate shall meet the following requirements:


-  A320 type rated and currently flying the A320;
-  Minimum 1000 hours total time;
-  Minimum 500 hours on A320;
-  Class 1 medical;
-  English ICAO level 4;
-  Right to live and work in EU.

Please send applications in electronic format to


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