Press Release by Airbus
Kuwait Airways, the National airline of Kuwait, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to buy ten A350-900 and fifteen A320neo Family aircraft. The order is part of Kuwait Airways’ fleet renewal strategy. The carrier already operates three A320, three A310, five A300 and four A340 Family aircraft.
“The Airbus Family is the ideal choice for an airline like ours,” said Kuwait Airways acting Chairman Mr Jassar Al Jassar. “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.”
“It’s great to see our long-standing customer Kuwait Airways, building its future with our newest, most efficient aircraft families,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “In 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. At the end of November 2013, firm orders for the NEO stood at 2,523 from 45 customers, making it the fastest selling commercial airliner ever and underlining its market leadership position.
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. Scheduled for entry-into-service in 2014, the A350 XWB has already won 814 firm orders from 39 customers worldwide.
Aerospace and defence giant EADS says it will cut 5,800 jobs as a fall in governments’ military spending begins to bite.
The company, which owns Airbus, plans to reorganise its European defence and space businesses.
It says there will be a “substantial consolidation” of sites in Germany, France, Spain and the UK.
In the UK operations will be focused on three sites – Stevenage, Portsmouth and Newport at the cost of around 450 jobs.
It is understood that the programme will be put in place over three years and that the company aims to make most of the cuts through voluntary measures.
Tom Enders, chief executive of EADS, said in a statement: “We need to improve our competitiveness in defence and space – and we need to do it now.
“With our traditional markets down, we urgently need to improve access to international customers, to growth markets.”
Last year, EADS tried to negotiate a tie-up with UK defence company BAE Systems, but the deal stumbled amid strong political opposition.
EADS warned then that it would have to restructure in the face of defence budget cuts in its main markets.
It is understood that the UK operations, which employ more than 17,000 people, will be affected as part of the consolidation of the Astrium, Cassidian and Airbus Military divisions in a new unit, to be called Airbus Defence and Space.
Cassidian is the biggest shareholder in the Eurofighter and builds the fuselage and important parts of the combat jet’s electronics.
EADS’ Paris headquarters will also be closed. The company had already announced that it is changing its name to Airbus, the Toulouse-based commercial aircraft arm that contributes the bulk of group revenues.
Sourced by BBC News
A new generation of aircraft is set to revolutionise the aviation industry. Martin Ferguson reports
When Concorde was grounded a decade ago it was the end of a glamorous era in aviation history.
It was also the end of a valuable revenue stream for travel agents.
Luxury holiday packages sold to high-end customers brought in lucrative commissions for nearly 30 years. Many in the trade questioned whether the supersonic passenger jet would ever be replaced.
While the modern plane may never reach the same speeds, the launch of the Airbus A380 six years ago marked the dawn of a new age for air travel. Agents could once again draw on customer demand to fly on state-of-the-art aircraft to sell holidays.
With this year’s launch of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the Airbus A350 scheduled to be operational late next year, agents will have more scope for selling airline-based travel experiences than ever before.
Ken McLeod, a director at agency consortium Advantage Travel Centres, says: “The impact of the A380 and the Dreamliner on the trade has been significant. People are organising trips and holidays around the times and availability of the aircraft.
“This type of buying behaviour hasn’t been seen since Concorde. It’s a fantastic selling opportunity for travel agents.”
EVOLUTION IN THE SKIES
Andrew Solum is a director with travel and aviation consultancy TIA Global. He says the industry is going through a “dramatic change” and the B787 and A350 will revolutionise the way the world travels. “It used to be about bums on seats. It was about getting volume so you could offer lower costs per seat mile on large aircraft.
“Wide-body aircraft still have their use in select markets where there is a mix of corporate and leisure travel. But next-generation aircraft are more fuel-efficient, have greater range, and an optimum number of seats.”
Put simply, next-generation aircraft are much lighter, can fly higher, travel faster and are cheaper to operate, meaning better prices to long-haul destinations for customers.
“The B787 has the ability to fly from London to Perth or Honolulu non-stop,” Solum says. “This could open up two new markets [for an airline] just by a change of aircraft. Lower fuel usage is a godsend for airlines because the size and range mean they don’t need to cram in 800 seats to make it viable.”
Thomson Airways was the first UK carrier to operate the B787. It has four in its fleet with another four on order. Since the inaugural flight to Majorca in May, the airline has carried more than a quarter of a million passengers on Dreamliners.
Carl Gissing, director of customer service, says the aircraft is the perfect size and has the ideal range for the airline’s target market.
“The A380 and B777 are too big, but we still wanted to find an aircraft that was efficient and allowed us to bring customers cost-efficient holidays to new and different destinations.
“We also wanted to increase our range with an aircraft that would offer the best possible comfort,” says Gissing.
He calls the Dreamliner “operationally fantastic” and says: “It brings our costs down and allows us to put a good seat price together for our operators, which can then offer great value to customers.”
Gissing adds that Dreamliners will cut the airline’s carbon emissions by at least 20%. Earlier this month, Thomson launched a Gatwick-Phuket service, and Puerto Vallarta on the west coast of Mexico and Mauritius will join the network for the summer season.
This winter Thomson will fly its Dreamliners from Gatwick to Jamaica, Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the Maldives, Kenya and Goa. The 787 out of Glasgow and the East Midlands will fly to Mexico and Florida, while Manchester flights serve Barbados, Mexico, Florida and the Dominican Republic. Last month, budget carrier Norwegian announced it would use the B787 to serve Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and New York from Gatwick next summer.
BEATING JET LAG
British Airways debuted its Dreamliner on the Heathrow-Toronto service in September and has since added another on its Heathrow-Newark route.
The airline plans to add 24 more to its fleet over the next four years. A BA spokesman says the investment is part of a drive to introduce cabins that make life for passengers more comfortable.
Lower cabin pressure, a mood lighting system and larger windows are supposed to significantly reduce jet lag.
“The B787 has the largest windows of any commercial airliner, offering customers views of the horizon from every seat. Instead of pull-down blinds, each one has its own dimmer switch,” says the spokesman.
BA is also one of a large number of airlines to have Airbus’s new A350 on order, with 18 scheduled to come into service between 2017 and 2023. Qatar Airways will be the first airline to operate the aircraft at the end of next year.
United Airlines, which flies out of Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heathrow and Manchester to US destinations, has 35 A350s on order.
Bob Schumacher, the airline’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, says it will replace older aircraft that are less efficient and less reliable. “The new aircraft will provide a better product for customers, and a better work environment for our co-workers. The cabin will offer an improved customer experience with more headroom, panoramic windows and more overhead storage.”
Security threats and high oil prices have made the last decade a huge challenge for airlines. But next-generation aircraft are creating new routes, markets and opportunities. Given the resurgence of global markets, the timing is good. Agents must be ready to capitalise on customer demand to try these new aircraft.
Sourced from Travel Weekly
Six will be deployed in the UK by next summer, with the latest aircraft entering service in the next few days operating holiday flights to a range of European destinations.
The new Airbus is the first in the group – and one of a very small number of such aircraft overall – to be fitted with wing-tip Sharklets which help it fly using less fuel. This contributes to an overall fuel efficiency of up to 6% compared to the existing aircraft in the fleet.
The first flights will take place next week after being delivered to the airline’s Manchester base from Airbus in Hamburg – with the aircraft set to be based at Belfast airport.
Christoph Debus, chairman of Thomas Cook Group Airlines and chief executive of Thomas Cook Airlines UK said: “Today marks the beginning of an exciting phase for our UK airline, bringing a new experience for our customers as we welcome this new aircraft to our fleet.
“By next summer, six such aircraft will be taking our holidaymakers to destinations across Europe and North Africa.
“It’s very symbolic that we will see the first of our new Airbus A321 aircraft in the UK take on our new ‘Sunny Heart‘ livery, an icon for the new Thomas Cook and the new Thomas Cook Airlines.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly
Tui Travel will continue its partnership with Boeing in a bid to make aviation more sustainnable.
The operator is taking part in the Boeing ecoDemonstrator programme which aims to introduce new green technology for aircraft.
Tui is planning to share information with Boeing after a 757 was supplied for the programme which will now be fitted with a number of technologies that will then be tested in 2015.
In the same year the ecoDemonstrator 757 Flight Test airplane will visit a number of cities showcasing the technology, while a recycling programme at the end of the programme will ensure nothing goes to waste.
The news comes following Tui Travel’s announcement last month that it would buy two new Dreamliners while it has also committed to purchasing 60 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Johan Lundgren, deputy Chief Executive of TUI Travel, said: “The ecoDemonstrator programme sets a benchmark in research and development- it has the potential to drive meaningful change in the industry and we look forward to being a part of the programme.
“TUI Travel is committed to sustainability and this initiative gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our leadership in this space.
“It is a fantastic example of innovation which plays a significant role in mapping out the future of air travel, not just for Boeing and TUI Travel, but for the industry as a whole.”
Jeanne Yu, director of environmental performance product development for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, added: “Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program provides opportunities to accelerate new technologies that have a real environmental benefit to the industry.”
Sourced from TTG Digital
British Airways has confirmed it is to run a connectivity trial on one of its Boeing 747 aircraft over the course of 2014.
The aircraft will be fitted with the Panasonic Global Communications Suite “to provide a range of entertainment to customers’ personal electronic devices under the name High Life Connect”.
The B747-400 will operate on a range of different routes “to test how the system performs and identify usage levels to and from a range of destinations”.
As discussed on the Business Traveller forum, the new service will enable travellers to watch live television broadcasts from BBC World, CNN, Euro News and Sport 24, as well as stream a selection of movies and TV shows to their personal devices. This is in addition to the usual in-flight entertainment provided.
There is currently no information about how much passengers will be charged for wifi, although, as with other carriers, there will be the option of paying an hourly rate or buying a flight pass valid for 24 hours.
The trial will involve offering the service at different price points, to see how responsive travellers are, and initially will not be announced to the whole aircraft, but to select flyers.
Interestingly, although the aircraft will also feature mobile phone connectivity and, for a separate roaming charge, customers will be able to receive data and texts over their mobile phones, it will not be possible to make voice calls. Why? It seems BA does not believe that this is something the majority of its passengers want.
A BA spokesman said that once the test is completed at the end of 2014, the airline will evaluate its success with a view to potentially extending the service to more aircraft.
The trial is also understood to be separate from Vueling’s plans to roll out inflight wifi throughout its fleet next year (see news, November 14).
Sourced from businesstraveller
Serco and Cardiff Aviation have teamed up to provide surface finish services to commercial and public sector organisations in the aerospace, engineering and automotive sectors from a new facility at St Athan, Cardiff Airport Enterprise Park, South Wales.
The enterprise combines Serco’s experience in the highly specialised military aerospace re-finishing sector with Cardiff Aviation’s rapidly developing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services.
From a modern on-site facility at St Athan, fully qualified staff are able to spray finish a variety of aircraft panels and component parts, including flaps, doors, nacelles and interiors, as well as vehicles, ranging from small trucks to large JCBs. The new service uses high-performance paint finish products and is designed to provide the highest quality to customers at competitive prices.
The two companies are also exploring further opportunities to deploy their collective experience and technical expertise to the wider aviation sector and further invest in St Athan, which is within one of the seven Welsh Government’s Enterprise Zones.
Serco currently provides aircraft, vehicle and component refurbishment services for the Ministry of Defence at seventeen sites across the UK and St Athan is a welcome addition to this existing capability. The company also runs the Airfield Fire and Rescue Service, including the Fire Training Academy at nearby Cardiff Airport.
Karen Smart, Serco’s Director Front Line Command said: “Serco has extensive experience in the military aerospace re-finishing sector and we have worked with the RAF for many years. This agreement with Cardiff Aviation means that we can bring that capability and expertise to the commercial aerospace and vehicle markets, whilst also supporting growth and regeneration in South Wales.”
Mario Fugoni, Chief Executive of Cardiff Aviation, explained how Serco’s expertise will enhance the Company’s MRO services to the aviation industry: “This is a great opportunity for us to develop a comprehensive painting capability on-site adjacent to our hangar facility and provide additional services to our MRO customers, as well as servicing UK aerospace industry needs in this sector. It is the first step towards expanding our painting capability towards spraying aircraft at Cardiff in the future.”
Sourced by 4-traders.com
Fifteen airlines have been warned about the risk of ice forming on Boeing’s new 747-8 and 787 Dreamliner planes.
The issue – affecting some types of engines made by General Electric when planes fly near high-level thunderstorms – prompted Japan Airlines to cancel two international routes.
There have been six incidents since April when aircraft powered by GE engines lost power at high altitude.
These are the latest technical issues to hit the Dreamliner.
They saw the entire fleet being grounded earlier this year following battery problems.
The Boeing 747-8 series and the new 787 Dreamliner are the only types of aircraft affected by the high-altitude icing issue.
The new warning was given to airlines including Lufthansa, United Airlines and Japan Airlines.
It says aircraft with the affected engines – GE’s GEnx – must not be flown within 50 nautical miles of thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals.
As a result, Japan Airlines (JAL) has decided to withdraw Dreamliners from service on the Tokyo-Delhi and Tokyo-Singapore routes.
“Boeing and JAL share a commitment to the safety of passengers and crews on board our airplanes. We respect JAL’s decision to suspend some 787 services on specific routes,” a Boeing spokesman said, according to Reuters news agency.
A GE spokesman told the agency the aviation industry was experiencing “a growing number of ice-crystal icing encounters in recent years as the population of large commercial airliners has grown, particularly in tropical regions of the world”.
He said GE and Boeing were hoping to eliminate the problem by modifying the engine control system software.
British airways use Rolls Royce engines on their Dreamliners. They are not affected by the warning, says the BBC’s Ben Geoghegan.
The 787 Dreamliner has suffered a series of technical and safety problems in recent months.
In January, its entire fleet was temporarily grounded. The decision came after a fire broke out on one of JAL’s Dreamliners, and an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight was forced to make an emergency landing because of a battery fault and a fire in one of the electrical compartments.
In July, a fire broke out on a 787 jet operated by Ethiopian Airlines while it was parked at Heathrow airport. It was traced to the upper rear part of the plane where a locator transmitter is situated.
Then in August, ANA said it had found damage to the battery wiring on two 787 locator transmitters during checks. US carrier United Airlines also found a pinched wire during an inspection of one of its six 787s.
Despite the issues, the Dreamliner is still considered to be one of the most advanced planes in the industry and remains popular.
Boeing has received orders for more than 1,000 jets since its launch.
Last month, it announced plans to raise production of the 787 Dreamliner to 12 per month by 2016.
That would be an increase from its target for the end of this year of 10 planes a month.
Sourced from BBC News
Airbus won a total of 160 orders and commitments at the 13th Dubai Airshow worth US$44 billion, underlining the strong appeal of its widebody aircraft. The A380 and A350 XWB in particular, were demonstrated to be spot-on with customer requirements and expectations. The order intake includes 142 firm orders worth US$40.4 billion (50 A380, 40 A350-900, 10 A350-1000, 26 A321neo, 10 A320neo and 6 A330-200F) and 18 Memorandum of Understanding worth US$3.6 billion.
By value, Emirates placed the single largest order for 50 additional A380s, worth US$20 billion, commending its efficiency and passenger appeal and confirming the A380 flagship status within their fleet.
By numbers, Etihad Airways placed the single largest firm order for Airbus at the Dubai airshow with 87 aircraft (40 A350-900, 10 A350-1000, 26 A321neo, 10 A320neo and one A330-200F) worth US$19 billion at list prices.
The versatile A330-200F has seen ongoing success with five firm orders from Qatar Airways Cargo (plus eight commitments) and one firm order with Etihad Airways representing a total of 14 orders and commitments worth US$3billion. Air Algérie also committed for three A330-200 passenger aircraft worth US$648 million, building on their top reliability.
Lybian Wings, based in Tripoli, announced the start of its operations at the airshow, choosing Airbus to build up its initial fleet with a commitment for three A350-900s and four A320neo’s
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers commented: “With its central position geographically, its strong economic growth and population-centres just a flight away, Middle Eastern carriers stand to reap the benefits of traffic growth. The order intake at the airshow, by value our biggest ever Dubai, is a clear evidence that the Middle East region is investing in the most modern and efficient aircraft to capture this growth,” he added.
Traffic growth has led to average aircraft size ‘growing’ by 25 per cent with airlines selecting larger aircraft or up-sizing existing backlogs. Larger aircraft like the A380 combined with higher load factors make the most efficient use of limited slots and contribute to rising passenger numbers without additional flights as confirmed by London’s Heathrow Airport. A focus on sustainable growth enabled fuel burn and noise reductions of at least 70 per cent in the last 40 years and this trend continues with innovative products like the A320neo, the A320 Sharklet, the A380 and the A350 XWB.
Air Algérie has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for three A330-200 passenger aircraft as part of the carrier’s continued growth plans. This order has been placed at Dubai Airshow 2013.
The new aircraft will be deployed on medium and long haul routes from the Air Algérie hub in Algeria. Air Algérie has already ordered a total of five Airbus A330, which have all been delivered to date.
“We are expanding our commercial strategy to strengthen our position in the market by extending Air Algérie network to long haul routes. This is now made possible with the A330 family aircraft,” said Boultif Mohamed Salah, CEO of Air Algérie. “This new order for A330s reinforces our commitment to a family of aircraft which already helps us to achieve our ambitious expansion plans, in a profitable and sustainable manner.”
“The A330 family aircraft is part of the best-selling widebody programme with its unique combination of unbeatable economics, versatility and fuel efficiency,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “Air Algérie is one of our key partners who have managed to expand as an airline with the A330 aircraft and it’s no surprise as we’re consistently investing in the A330 development to ensure its continued leadership in reliability and operating economics.”
The A330 Family, which spans 250 to 300 seats, and includes Freighter, VIP, and Military Transport/Tanker variants, has now attracted more than 1,200 orders, with over 1,000 aircraft flying with more than 100 operators worldwide. The A330 is one of the world’s most efficient aircraft with best in class operating economics. With numerous ongoing product improvements, it still remains the most cost-efficient and capable aircraft, averaging dispatch reliability well above 99 percent.
Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats.