Air Algérie orders three A330 passenger aircraft

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.


Airbus leans towards A330-200 to replace Beluga fleet

By David Kaminski-Morrow

Airbus has tentatively identified an A330-200 derivative as the most promising long-term candidate to replace its five A300-600ST Beluga oversize transports.

The airframer has already embarked on a programme to restructure its A300-600ST operations to cope with the demands of ramped-up production over the next four or five years.

This programme, designated Fly 10,000, is intended to increase the flight work performed by the transport fleet to 10,000h per year in 2017, from the current level of about 6,000h.

Airbus says it is changing “ways of working, opening hours and organisation” to meet this demand, which would double the number of weekly flights to around 120.

The greater Beluga workload will primarily arise from a surge in A350 output. But Airbus will also require capacity for the A400M, which will partly offset a decline in A330 production, while A320 and A320neo rates are set to remain high.

Airbus A330-200XL Beluga Airbus


Airbus recently indicated to Flightglobal that the A300-600ST fleet would probably remain in service for another 10 years or so.

But while the fleet could remain in service until around 2025, the cost of operating the type will increase as the aircraft age. The airframer has initiated a study to replace the A300-600ST fleet in the long term.

“No decision for immediate launch has been taken,” it stresses. But to address any capacity limitations beyond the Fly 10,000 scheme as well as the ageing of the current Beluga fleet, Airbus is likely to aim for 2018-20 as a window to have a new aircraft available.

Several airframes are being considered as a platform for a Beluga successor, notably the A330-200 and -300, as well as the A340-500 and even the A300-600.

The current Beluga fleet carries A350-900 fuselage sections, and is capable of handling the A350-1000, although the final cross-section for any new transport has yet to be fully determined. The A300-600ST has a hold diameter of about 7.1m.

Airbus wants an aircraft which not only meets high payload capabilities – including capacity to carry two fully-fitted A350 wings – but can operate within airfield landing limitations at its UK wing facility at Broughton, to which it will deliver A350 wing covers.

Broughton’s declared available landing distance for the shorter runway 04 approach is 1,663m (5,460ft).

Airbus considers this restriction to be too tight for a modified A330-300 or A340-500, while the payload requirement is too high for an A300-600. It believes an A330-200 variant – tentatively designated the A330-200XL – could potentially cope with the landing criteria at projected weights of around 135t, and is the most promising option.

Sourced by Flightglobal

Airbus to raise A330 take-off weight and fuel capacity

By David Kaminski-Morrow

The airframer had previously disclosed plans to increase the twinjet’s take-off weight to 240t.

Airbus’s latest enhancements will extend the range of the A330-300 by 500nm (930km) over the 235t model, and by 350nm for the 238t A330-200 at full passenger load.

It will give operators of the -300 the option of activating the centre wing fuel tank, a standard feature on the longer-range -200 but one which has remained unused on the larger aircraft.

This will increase the -300’s fuel capacity from 97,500 litres to more than 139,000 litres. The modification will include tank inerting.

Airbus hopes the improvements will extend the A330-300’s range to 6,100nm by 2015, enabling it to perform westbound flights from south-east Asia to Europe.

A330 programme chief Patrick Piedrafita says the airframer has “taken it as our duty” to maximise the capability of the twinjet.

Airbus took gross orders for 76 of the type over the first 10 months of this year, and delivered 80 – including six freighters – over the same period.

“We are currently delivering more A330s per month than ever before, and this is set to continue,” adds Piedrafita.

Airbus’s formal technical documentation for the A330 lists 21 weight variants for both the -200 and -300. The new weight increase and fuel-capacity improvements will become available to carriers in 2015.

The airframer is aiming to achieve the enhancements by refining the A330’s aerodynamics – shortening flap-track fairings and reshaping inner slats – and capitalising on the aircraft’s load-alleviation function. The aircraft will also undergo partial wing and fuselage reinforcement.

Airbus expects to reduce the -300’s fuel burn by 2%, half of which will derive from the aerodynamic tweaks and the rest from higher engine efficiency.

No customer for the 242t variant has been disclosed but lessor CIT had signed up to take the 240t version shortly after it was unveiled in July this year.

Sourced by Flightglobal

Etihad Airways orders two more Airbus jets in £260million deal

RAPIDLY-GROWING Etihad Airways today ordered two more Airbus jets in a £260million deal.

The national airline of the United Arab Emirates signed a firm order for a pair of additional A330-200 passenger aircraft as part of its continued growth plans.

The planes, like Etihad’s current A330 fleet, will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, with wings built at the Airbus plant in Broughton.

Etihad Airways has also converted seven of its previously ordered A320s to the larger A321 model.

President and CEO James Hogan said: “The reliable and highly versatile Airbus A330-200 has been an integral part of our global passenger and cargo success.

“As our operations and network continue to grow in scale, we feel the A330-200 is the right fleet type to expand with.

“Our decision to convert seven of our A320s on order into A321s reflects the increasingly strong demand we are seeing across our different routes and we look forward to taking delivery of our first in November 2013.”

Airbus customers boss Tom Leahy added: “Winning a fifth repeat order from Etihad for A330s is without a doubt a strong endorsement for the aircraft’s unique combination of unbeatable economics, versatility and fuel efficiency.

“In response to the continuing strong demand, we’re making the A330 better and better, with for example new higher weight variants which offer our customers more payload-range capability with the same high operational reliability.”

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 and around 900 aircraft are flying with over 90 operators worldwide.

Meanwhile, Chinese aircraft company ICBC Financial Leasing Co has taken delivery of its first of 92 Airbus aircraft today at a ceremony held in Toulouse, France.

ICBC’s A320 is equipped with 180 seats in a single class cabin and powered by CFMI engines. The aircraft will be operated by the low cost carrier Thai Air Asia.

The delivery is part of a firm order for 42 A320s signed in June 2011. In August 2012, ICBC placed a second order for an additional 50 A320 Family aircraft, including 30 A320ceo and 20 A320neo. In total ICBC has ordered 92 Airbus single aisle aircraft.

Sourced by Daily Post

Airbus wins US$16.9 billion worth of commitments at Farnborough International Air Show 2012

At the 2012 Farnborough International Air Show, Airbus won about US$16.9 billion worth of business for a total of 115 aircraft. The commitments comprise Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 61 aircraft worth US$5.8 billion and firm purchase orders for 54 aircraft worth around US$11.1 billion.

The A350-1000 was the notable star at the show, receiving a significant endorsement from one of the world’s foremost carriers, Cathay Pacific Airways. The airline not only placed 10 new orders for the model, but also converted 16 previously ordered A350-900s to the new larger variant. This represents almost US$4.2 billion worth of business. The A350-1000 ordered by Cathay Pacific features the recently enhanced Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofan with 97,000lbs thrust.

Another star at Farnborough was the A330 Family which won 10 firm orders worth US$2.3 billion from CIT Group. This order is additionally significant since it marks the launch of the new upgraded 240 tonne take-off weight A330. This version opens more routes and offers up to 400nm more range and nearly five tonnes more payload than the A330s being delivered today. In addition, Synergy Aerospace ordered six A330-200s plus three A330 Freighters, bringing the total commitments for the A330 Family at Farnborough to 19 aircraft.

The A320 Family also scored at Farnborough by winning 86 commitments worth over US$8.4 billion. Overall there were 57 commitments for the ‘current engine option’ (‘CEO’) A320 Family which shows that it is still the industry’s benchmark single-aisle aircraft. These included an MoU from China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC) for 36 new ‘CEO’ single-aisle aircraft which can be equipped with the new fuel-saving Sharklet large wingtip devices. Another ‘CEO’ highlight was Utair’s firm order for 20 A321s worth over US$2 billion. Meanwhile, the forthcoming A320neo – which has just commenced production – also re-affirmed its marketing leading position at Farnborough with 29 new commitments from Avolon, Middle East Airlines, and Arkia Israel Airlines.

Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’s Chief Executive Officer said: “The quality of orders at Farnborough has been high at the show, with significant endorsement from leading customers of our strategy to continuously innovate and improve our products.” He adds: “With the recent announcement last week to build an A320 production line in America, coupled with the start of production for the A320neo in Toulouse, Airbus is cementing its leading global position.”

In addition to aircraft order announcements, Airbus Customer Services enhanced its global footprint by signing a cooperation agreement with GMF AeroAsia, the maintenance and repair subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia. This 10-year strategic partnership will develop a local

maintenance training centre for Airbus customers in the region. Airbus also became the first aircraft manufacturer to launch an innovative range of iPad ‘Electronic-Flight-Bag’ applications to enable pilots to manage aircraft performance data on the popular light handheld device. Meanwhile Airbus launched a new cabin innovation – the SpaceFlex lavatory concept – a new option now available for the A320 Family which creates more passenger comfort and revenue space.

Furthermore, Airbus was the headline sponsor of the Farnborough Innovation Zone and Future’s Day. The Innovation Zone promoted inspiring R&T projects and a futuristic vision of a sustainable aviation sector in 2050 and beyond. Airbus experts discussed alternative energies, future solutions and future talent.

Airbus is the world’s leading commercial aircraft manufacturer producing the most modern and efficient airliners in every category, from the single-aisle A320 Family up to the world’s largest airliner, the A380. Airbus has design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the US, China, Japan and in the Middle East. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS company.

Synergy Aerospace firms up order for nine Airbus A330 Family aircraft

Synergy Aerospace signed a firm order for nine Airbus A330 Family aircraft, including six A330-200 passenger and three A330-200 Freighter aircraft. Engine choice will be announced at a later date.

“The A330-200 is a great investment for Synergy thanks to its optimal fuel efficiency, low operating costs and outstanding environmental performance,” said German Efromovich, Chairman of Synergy.

“The A330 Family is setting the standard in the region thanks to its high performance and cost efficiencies,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.“Airbus is proud that Synergy will be among the first in Latin America to benefit from the A330F’s outstanding economics and proven track record.”

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 and around 900 aircraft are flying with some 90 operators worldwide. The A330-200F, can carry up to 70 tonnes of payload and offer a range of up to 4,000nm. More than 50 A330-200F freighters have been ordered by nine operators. As to date, 12 A330-200F are currently flying with five operators, all of them praising the efficiency and versatility of what is the most modern mid-size freighter today.

ANALYSIS: Soaring demand drives Airbus to plug freighter gap

By:   Dominic Perry, London

Airbus’s decision last week to launch a passenger-to-freighter conversion programme for its A330 twinjet was long overdue. The airframer’s own global market forecast for freighters, issued last year, predicts demand for a total of 2,731 cargo aircraft over the next 20 years, split between 834 new-builds and 1,897 conversions.

Yet until last week’s announcement, Airbus had addressed that demand solely with its new-build A330-200F. Although that programme has arguably under-performed, accumulating just 69 orders to-date, Airbus believes that section of the market still holds considerable sales potential.

Again, the global market forecast offers a clue to the airframer’s thinking. It predicts that most of the growth in that 20-year period will come in the mid-size freighter market occupied by the A330. That equates to a total of 1,327 units, with potential for around 900 conversions according to the forecast.

Demand will be driven both by growth in the cargo market and the need to replace older aircraft. In fact, Airbus says around 570 aircraft will need to be replaced in the mid-size sector alone.

Likely candidates for replacement by the A330 P2F are the Boeing MD-10F/McDonnell Douglas DC-10, and at the lighter end, the Airbus A300 and A310 freighters, all of which still have a significant global presence. Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database lists 81 MD-10Fs in active service, 198 A300 freighters and 54 A310 freighters. The vast majority of the three types are operated by US express carrier FedEx. Closer analysis of its fleet using Ascend shows the Memphis company operating a total of 73 MD-10Fs – both -10Fs and -30Fs – with an average age of over 33 years. There are also substantial numbers of A300Fs (71) and A310Fs (45) in its fleet, with an average age of 19.5 and 25.5 years, respectively.

Boeing lists the MD-10-30F as able to carry a payload of 79.4t (175,000lb) over 3,305nm (6,115km). Although no payload-range figures are yet available for the P2F programme, Airbus gives the line-build -200F’s maximum payload as 70t over 3,200nm. Clearly the P2F will not be a like-for-like replacement for the MD-10, but Airbus suggests the type’s fuel efficiency more than compensates for what it loses in payload and range. Assuming a fuel cost of $100 and above per barrel, the -200F model need only have utilisation of 2,200h per year to compensate for its $211.5 million acquisition cost against the Boeing, claims Airbus.

The necessary utilisation would slide even further in Airbus’s favour with a P2F aircraft. Airbus has not disclosed a list price for the conversion, however early estimates put a total cost at around $30 million. Early -300 models, produced between 1994 and 1997, are valued at $22.5-$25 million, according to Ascend. Newer aircraft are worth anywhere between $41.7 million and $58.95 million for the higher-gross weight -300 and $38.5-$51 million for the -200.

Ascend analyst Chris Seymour puts the optimum age for freighter conversion at 15 to 20 years. Early A330 models sit comfortably in that age range, but Seymour says the success of the programme rests partly on the availability of “feedstock” aircraft ripe for conversion. Numbers are plentiful: Ascend lists a total operational A330 fleet of 800 aircraft, split almost equally between the -200 and -300. And with the first P2F conversion not due to roll out until 2016, Seymour predicts even greater feedstock availability as airlines de-fleet in favour of new models.

Lessor Guggenheim Aviation Partners is active in the cargo sector, for instance leasing three 777Fs to European operator TNT Airways. Steve Rimmer, chief executive officer, says it is “intrigued by the programme” but stresses it is too early to form a firm opinion.

He says: “Feedstock for conversions and the increasing focus on age limitations will need some consideration. Payload range will be key.

“The production freighter has been slow in gaining momentum and that makes us a little cautious. However, it’s definitely on our radar and we will be spending some time reviewing it when there are fuller details available.”

One airline viewed as a potential launch customer for the conversion is Qatar Airways. The Doha-based airline has 29 A330-200 and -300s in service and, with the latter about to start being replaced by Boeing 787s, it has been urging Airbus to launch an A330 cargo conversion programme. Airline chief executive Akbar Al Baker has previously said that the converted A330s would be operated either by Qatar Airways’ expanding cargo division or placed with its leasing division for placement with other freight operators.

One reason for Airbus’s previous reluctance to launch the P2F programme was the fear of cannibalising sales prospects for the -200F. However, Seymour argues the two products are “complementary”, citing their different mission profiles and the commonality between the types.

It is also worth noting that the existence of a P2F conversion programme has not particularly hampered sales prospects for Boeing’s 767-300 Freighter. Some 35 of the converted 767s are in service and Boeing has taken a total of 111 orders for the 767-300F, with 46 still to be delivered, including to FedEx and fellow US parcel carrier UPS.

Sourced by flightglobal