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.

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Certification Nears For Three Airframers’ Programs

By Jens Flottau, Guy Norris & Bradley Perrett,

If 2013 was the year of two very important first flights, 2014 will have to be an important year of execution: Airbus has committed to delivering the first A350-900, Boeing will hand over the first stretched 787-9, and the first Bombardier CS100 is still officially due for entry into service.

Airbus is facing a crucial 12 months as it enters the second half of the A350-900 flight-test program. Two aircraft, MSN1 and MSN3, are currently performing the tests, which Airbus says have been mostly successful so far. Following an initial phase of handling tests, Airbus has continuously moved into the part of the campaign that is addressing a long list of items required for certification. Three more aircraft are to join the flight-test program—MSN2, MSN4 and MSN5—the first two in February and the last in May. Airbus expects the aircraft to receive its type certificate at the end of August or in early September, a little more than 14 months after first flight. Qatar Airways will then take delivery of the first aircraft in the fourth quarter.

Airbus currently holds 814 firm orders for the A350, the bulk of which (549) are for the baseline A350-900. Meanwhile, Airbus is shifting engineering resources to the stretched A350-1000, due to enter service in 2017. There are 186 firm orders for the -1000, which has seen a notable pick-up in demand. Airbus has pushed back entry into service of the -1000 by almost two years to allow more time for Rolls-Royce to upgrade the engines as demanded by key customers, mainly Persian Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.

The future of the smallest version, the A350-800, appears to still hang in the balance. Airbus is officially committed to building the aircraft—the backlog has shrunk to 79 units—but the manufacturer is now hearing from customers that it should seriously consider stretching it to counter the threat posed by the newly launched Boeing 777X. While Airbus is unlikely to make a formal decision next year, 2014 will be a crucial time to prepare for that step.

Airbus is proud that its A330 has been selling so well in recent years, and in fact has outsold the 787 since its launch. But in spite of the launch of the 242-ton version that increased its range, and a regional variant optimized for shorter-haul efficiency, there are indications that the A330 boom may not continue. From January to November 2013, Airbus sold just 48 of the type, compared to the 164 Boeing garnered for the 787.

If that trend continues, Airbus may not only face serious questions about the future of the A350-800, but may also have to take a close look at what it could do do refresh the A330 further. Some of its customers, most notably Air Asia X, have been asking for a reengined version. Since the market success of the A320neo, the concept has gained traction to the extent that Emirates now wants the A380 to be re-engined; so it is clearly an option for the A330, although Airbus has been trying to play down that idea so far.

The formal launch of the 777X at the Dubai Airshow in November marked a watershed for Boeing, which moves from a multi-year period of planning into an intense phase of program execution. The new-generation long-range twin family is the final piece of a 12-year product development plan covering the 150- to 450-plus-seat range with four major models and nine variants.

Sourced by Aviation Week


Kuwait Airways to buy ten A350-900 and fifteen A320neo Family aircraft

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.


Airbus wins 160 orders and commitments worth US$44 billion at Dubai

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.


Libyan Wings orders three A350 XWBs and four A320neo’s

Libyan Wings, the newly launched Tripoli based airline, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for three A350-900s and four A320neo’s. The carrier is building up its fleet with aircraft orders announced at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. Libyan Wings will start operations for passenger charter and freight from the beginning of 2014.

“The A350 XWB and A320neo will play a significant role in ensuring that our new airline operates one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the Middle East region moving forward,” said Wisam Al Masri, Chairman of Libyan Wings.  “With these fuel-efficient aircraft we will be able to offer passengers the highest levels of comfort on both long haul and shorter regional routes, while benefitting from the lowest operating costs and best environmental performance.”

“It’s very exciting to see a new airline starting its business today with our efficient, latest generation A320neo and A350 XWB Families. This means that the Airbus product line, from single aisle to widebody clearly meets customer requirements in the world’s most competitive and demanding markets like the Middle East,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “Whether for short regional services or long intercontinental routes, Airbus has the right products with the lowest operating costs and best in class comfort standards.”

The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions of which the A350-900, comfortably seating more than 300 passengers. 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 to date has already won 764 firm orders from 39 customers worldwide.

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 October 2013, firm orders for the NEO stood at 2,487 from 44 customers, making it the fastest selling commercial airliner ever and underlining its market leadership position.


Airbus and Japan Airlines sign their first ever order

Japan Airlines (JAL) has signed a purchase agreement for 31 A350 XWBs (18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s), plus options for a further 25 aircraft. This is JAL’s first ever order for Airbus aircraft.* It is also the first order Airbus has received from Japan for the A350 XWB, confirming its continuing success with world leading airlines across the globe. JAL and Airbus aim for entry into service from 2019, with the airline’s A350 XWBs gradually replacing its ageing fleet approximately over a six year period.

“We will utilize the A350 XWB to maximum, which offers high level of operational efficiency and product competitiveness, while positively catering to new business opportunities after slots at airports in Tokyo are increased,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines. “In addition to improving profitability with advanced aircraft, we always aim to deliver unparalleled services to customers with the latest cabin and steady expansion of our route network.”

“Japan Airlines is well known as one of the most preferred airlines in the world providing its passengers with an excellent flight experience. We sincerely welcome Japan Airlines as a new Airbus customer and feel honored by this first ever order from Japan for our all-new A350 XWB,” said Fabrice Bregier, President and CEO of Airbus. “It fills us with pride to see a leading Japanese airline start a new chapter with us. This highlights a very bright and flourishing future for both of us, JAL and Airbus.”

In a typical three-class layout the A350-900 comfortably seats more than 300 passengers on routes as long as 8,100 nautical miles (nm). The A350-1000 is the largest member of the A350 XWB Family, seating 350 passengers on even longer missions up to 8,400 nm. All A350 XWB models are equipped with the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Over 70 percent of the A350 XWB’s weight-efficient airframe is made from advanced materials combining composites (53 percent), titanium and advanced aluminium alloys. In addition to innovative materials, the A350 XWB brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies and provides significant improvement in fuel efficiency compared with competing models.

To date, the A350 XWB MSN1 has completed around 300 flight test hours out of the campaign’s total 2,500 hours which are to be achieved by five flight test A350’s over the next 12 months. Entry into commercial service of the A350-900 is scheduled for the second half of 2014. With this latest commitment, Airbus has recorded more than 750 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 38 customers worldwide.

* Before the merger by Japan Airlines and Japan Air Systems (JAS), JAS ordered Airbus aircraft.


Lufthansa makes £14bn Boeing/Airbus order

Lufthansa makes £14bn Boeing/Airbus orderA €14 billion Lufthansa aircraft order has been hailed as “the largest single private-sector investment in the history of German industry”.The contract covers 34 Boeing 777-9X aircraft and 25 Airbus A350-900s for delivery from 2016.The deal will enable Lufthansa to phase out older Boeing 747 and Airbus A340-300s by 2025.

Outgoing chief executive Christoph Franz, who is leaving next year to join Swiss drug firm Roche, said: “Less fuel consumption, less noise – the aircraft on order will enable us to make a quantum leap in efficiency.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly