Double decker A380 super jumbo to break even this year as Airbus Group reports rise in profits

By GavinThompson  |  Posted: February 27, 2015

  • What the A400M means for Bristol

  • An A380 super jumbo lands at Filton, back before the airfield closed

  • What the A400M means for Bristol

  • An A380 super jumbo lands at Filton, back before the airfield closed

    The A380 double-decker super jumbo will finally break even in 2015.

That’s according to results published today by Airbus Group, the parent company of plane-maker Airbus which employs 4,000 people in Filton on the edge of Bristol.

The company, which also includes helicopter, defence and space divisions as well as making passenger planes, also revealed it will increase production of its smaller single aisle A320 aircraft to 50 every month in 2017. At the same time it will cut the number of A330 planes it makes to just six per month.

It also said it was “closely monitoring” the A400M military transport plane programme after delays and set backs in production. The plane is important locally because the wings are made at Filton, before being shipped to Spain for final assembly. The RAF’s recently took delivery of its first A400M, which it named City of Bristol.

The firm delivered 30 of the A380 super jumbos last year and the plane has a list price of $428 million (£278 million), which gives some idea of the level of investment involved.

Overall, Airbus Group enjoyed a record year in 2014. Group revenues increased five percent to a record € 60.7 billion (£44.2 billion), up from  € 57.6 billion (£42 billion) in 2013.

Earnings before tax increased 54 percent to € 4 billion (£2.9 billion) up from € 2.6 billion (£1.9 billion).

Commercial Aircraft revenues rose seven percent, driven by the overall increase in deliveries to a record 629 aircraft (FY 2013: 626 deliveries) and a more favourable delivery mix including 30 A380s compared to 25 in 2013. In the fourth quarter, the first A350 XWB was delivered to Qatar Airways

And it has a backlog order book of 6,386 aircraft, providing solid platform for growth.

“We achieved a significant improvement in profitability and cash generation in 2014 thanks to a record order book and strong operational performance in most areas,” said Tom Enders, Airbus Group chief executive. “We delivered more commercial aircraft than ever before, including the first A350, and our net orders were, once again, more than twice the number of deliveries. Due to strong demand for single aisle aircraft we have decided to increase production of our A320 family to 50 aircraft per month from 2017 onwards.

“At the same time, we have decided to temporarily reduce A330 production to six aircraft per month in 2016. Most importantly, we confirm the A380 break-even for 2015. We are focused on tackling our various operational challenges, including the A350 and A400M ramp-up and costs, first A320neo deliveries, boosting helicopter sales, and continuing the reshaping of our defence and space portfolio.”

Looking ahead, the group expects its earning to grow slightly this year, delivering more commercial aircraft as global air traffic continues to rise.

Sourced from The Bristol Post

Advertisements

Airbus to invest £100m at Broughton and Filton factories

Plane maker Airbus is investing £100m in research, development and training in a deal with UK and Welsh governments.

The announcement came at an investment conference in Newport designed to create jobs and growth for the UK.

Airbus employs about 6,000 at Broughton in Flintshire and over 4,000 at Filton.

First Minister Carwyn Jones has also pledged £8.1m to support training in Broughton.

That brings the total investment in the plant to £56m, including £48m being provided jointly by Airbus and the UK government to develop new systems and technologies for building the wings for the company’s aircrafts.

The UK Investment Summit Wales conference is being held at the Celtic Manor Resort, bringing together industry leaders, investors and politicians, including Prime Minister David Cameron.

Last year, an extra £100m was spent on research and development in Wales, latest figures show.

On Friday, Airbus also announced that US company Delta Air Lines had placed a firm order for 50 new aircraft.

The research and development elements of the projects will be carried out with the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), a £2 billion joint investment between industry and government aimed at developing activity necessary for the UK to win work on future aerospace programmes.

‘Backing business’

An Airbus A350-900 test plane Wings for the new Airbus A350 plane are all made at the Broughton factory

Announcing the ATI funding, Mr Cameron said: “Aerospace is a real cornerstone of British business, supporting over 100,000 jobs across the UK and is worth over £27bn to our economy every year.

“With today’s investment we are backing our aerospace sector so that it continues to thrive, as key part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and secure a brighter future for Britain.”

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “The aerospace industry is so important to Wales and we need to make sure that the skills of our workforce move at the pace of technological development in this field.”

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb added: “Today’s announcement means the company can now manufacture more of the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft wings right here in Wales.”

Paul McKinlay, head of Airbus’s Broughton plant said: “Airbus places great importance on training its workforce and this funding will support development of skills and expertise and ensure Wales is ready to take on the challenges the next generation of technology will bring.”

A total of £48m is being invested in a project at the Broughton plant to develop new systems and technologies for building aircraft wings.

Airbus’s Filton and Broughton plants are responsible for designing, testing and manufacturing the wings for the whole family of Airbus commercial airliners.

Horizontal line

Analysis by Brian Meechan, BBC Wales business correspondent

Airbus is one of the biggest employers in Wales with 6,000 people at the Broughton site manufacturing the wings for its aircrafts.

The UK aerospace industry is in a strong state. It grew by almost 10% last year.

It is a key industry in Wales providing highly skilled and well paid jobs not just at Airbus but also GE Aviation, General Dynamics and British Airways.

Aerospace employs around 23,000 people in Wales.

The money will be used on research and development at the Broughton site.

The Welsh government is also providing a further £8m to the company for staff training over the next five years which is a continuation of financial support it has given Airbus since 2009.

Speaking to some people from small businesses today, they asked why a multi-national company should need taxpayers’ money to train their staff.

It is understandable when budgets are tight in the fields of education, training and apprenticeships.

The argument would be that training workers does not just provide a benefit to the company but to the wider economy by creating a more skilled workforce in Wales which helps us compete internationally.

The Welsh government also offers financial support to attract companies into Wales which often includes money to help train staff.

So if it can be offered to new companies to establish themselves in Wales, why not to businesses that have shown a long-term commitment to the country and its workforce.

Sourced by BBC News


Commercial flights plan for Hawarden airport dropped

Hawarden Airport runway (pic by Samslipknot)
The operators of Hawarden invested £1m in a new terminal building

Plans to operate commercial flights to major UK cities from Hawarden airport in Flintshire have been dropped, the BBC understands.

The company had invested £1m in a new terminal building last year.

The airport shares a runway with the Airbus wing-making plant, which is working on a new taxiway.

North Wales AM Antoinette Sandbach said flights would have helped to boost the local economy as the airport is close to the Deeside Enterprise Zone.

Owner Aviation Park Group has been asked to comment.

The Conservative AM said: “I think it’s a loss for the region. It had a lot of support from the local businesses around Hawarden particularly with the potential for the enterprise zone.

“It would have been a fantastic way of linking for example north Wales to Scotland and other areas, which would have hopefully encouraged tourism into north Wales, so I think it’s a loss in terms of business potential and tourism potential.

“It’s not as if we were talking about a massive planes that were coming in.

“These were going to be small city hopper type planes and I think it would have brought huge benefits in terms of employment to the area including staffing of the terminal and those possibilities have been lost now, it seems

 

Sourced from BBC Wales News


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.


Chester Hawarden Airport object to wind turbine plans by University of Liverpool

Wind turbines are always controversialBy Linda Foo Guest

Two airports have objected to plans for wind turbines to be built close to a historic walking route, saying it will cause serious safety issues.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Hawarden Aerodrome in Chester are objecting against the controversial planning application, submitted in September, for the Wirral Way.

d next to Cuckoo Lane bridle path.The University of Liverpool has applied to install two turbines on land between Cuckoo Lane and Woodfall Lane in Little Neston.

Both airports say the tall structures will interfere with radar systems, compromising safety when aeroplanes take off and land.

A Liverpool John Lennon Airport spokesman said: “It is a known fact that wind turbines located close to airports can impact on the airport’s radar equipment used to assist aircraft navigation, their take-off and landing.

“Due to the location of this particular wind turbine, this will impact on the radar equipment and the safe operation at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

“As a consequence, the airport has objected to this planning application.

“There are some viable, proven ways to mitigate these issues. However, to date, none have been put forward by the developer.”

Both structures would be sited at the university’s veterinary surgery, Leahurst.

The Wirral Way stretches from West Kirby to Hooton.

The proposal has prompted objections from many locals, who are worried the turbines would be too close to houses and Woodfall Primary School, as well as being an intrusion on green belt land, destroying wildlife and disrupting local bird populations.

Burton Residents’ Association said the turbines would have an impact on the landscape.

Woodfall Primary has also objected.

The university withdrew a previous application 12 months ago to carry out further surveys requested by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

It had over 300 objections at the time.

Little Neston resident John Norton is calling for the plan to  be scrapped now that the two  airports have raised concerns.

He added: “Speaking to my neighbours, parents at the local school and others, there is almost unanimous opposition to the university’s wind turbines plan.

A University of Liverpool spokeswoman said: “We expect to receive an impact assessment report regarding this issue soon, which will be included in our planning submission for the development, along with a review of any measures that can be taken to mitigate potential problems.”

Sourced by Liverpool Echo


A350 MSN2 rolls out of paint hangar with special ‘Carbon’ livery

Press Release by Airbus

On Thursday 2nd January 2014 Airbus rolled-out its third A350 XWB flight-test aircraft, MSN2, from the paint shop in Toulouse, marking yet another successful milestone on the path to entry-into-service in Q4 2014. As well as featuring a distinctive “Carbon” signature livery to reflect its primary construction from advanced materials, this aircraft is also the first of two A350 flight test aircraft to be equipped with a full passenger cabin interior.

MSN2 will join the A350 XWB flight test fleet in the coming weeks and will be the first A350 to transport passengers when it undertakes the Early Long Flights (ELF) later in the year.

Composite materials in Airbus aircraft have seen a step-by-step introduction that started with the A310 which was first rolled-out in February 1982. Benefiting from over 30 years of composite material experience, 53% of the A350 XWB’s airframe is made-up of carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) including Airbus’ first carbon-fibre fuselage.