Airbus considers stretched ‘superjumbo’

A stretched version of the world’s biggest passenger jet could emerge, according to European manufacturer Airbus.

Reviewing performance in 2014, executives from the company said the double decker A380 could evolve in future.

The company is also launching an extended range A320neo twinjet with an addition fuel tank giving the aircraft the capability to fly transatlantic between Europe and the US east coast.

Airbus president and chief executive Fabrice Brégier Brégier said the company continues to see a bright future for the A380, which is in use by 13 airlines.

“The priority today is finding other customers for the A380’s current version; we believe we can and we will do this – because the A380 is the most efficient, today and tomorrow,” he said.

The possibility of higher-density cabins is being offered – with 11-abreast seating in economy class, while still retaining an 18-inch seat width comfort standard for long-haul flights.

“In the longer term, I believe we will move to evolutions of the A380: one might well be an A380neo concept – meaning some upgrades of the aircraft, together with a re-engining; which would make sense,” Brégier added.

“As the A380 is a young platform, we will continue improving this aircraft in the coming 20 years.

“There probably even could be a stretched version – depending on the market demand, and looking at what we can do technically and financially.”

Airbus chief operating officer – customers, John Leahy, said the longer-range A321neo version extends the A320neo family’s market reach.

“This aircraft goes after the market that everyone said needed a replacement: segments flown by the old 757-200s, where single-aisle jetliners are used on long-range operations,” he said.

“We foresee some 500 aircraft in replacement, but it’s more: there’s another 500 aircraft for growth from new market opportunities that can be flown by the long-range A321neo, which will burn about 30% less fuel.”

Airbus has said it “exceeded its targets for 2014” and beaten Boeing for numbers of orders.

Airbus announced that it had won 1,456 net orders last year, down from 1,503 in 2013 – but above Boeing’s total of 1,432.

However, Boeing remains ahead on the number of aircraft delivered – 723 compared to Airbus’s 629.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Amedeo firms up order for 20 A380s

Airbus Press Release

Mark Lapidus, CEO of Amedeo said, “Today’s signature with Airbus is a great day for aviation as we offer airlines a new, more flexible way to access the unique benefits of the A380 through our tailored leasing solutions. As world air traffic continues to double every fifteen years and airport infrastructure and slots do not, the A380 is the best solution for airlines to capture that growth and build passenger loyalty thanks to the on-board space and comfort combination that no other airliner can compete with and do so at the lowest per seat unit cost.”

“This firm order from Amedeo is a clear recognition of the A380’s long-term market appeal. The A380’s unbeatable economics and passenger comfort are now available to airlines through operating leases from Amadeo,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “The A380 is the best tool for airlines to capture growth and increase profits. Amedeo’s tailored leasing solutions will make these benefits available to an even wider airline community, allowing us to expand the operator base of the A380 in partnership with Amadeo.”

Amedeo’s customers will benefit from unbeatable seat-mile costs for their cabin configurations with a baseline three class, 573 seat layout. The main deck comfortably seats 427 passengers in 18.5 inch wide economy seats, while the upper deck offers 12 first class, 66 business class and 68 economy seats. This cabin layout offers an efficient and at the same time flexible cabin configuration that minimises reconfiguration costs and eases transition from operator to operator.

Amedeo will announce its engine selection at a later date.

Amedeo’s senior management has significant experience with the A380, achieving a ranking for the Doric Group as the third largest wide-body lessor worldwide by fleet value, and the world’s largest asset manager of leased A380s. During their time with the Doric Group, Amedeo’s senior management built a 6.8 billion US$ aircraft portfolio under management, including 18 A380s acquired through sale-leaseback arrangements and adding four more as Amedeo during 2013.

Since first entering service in 2007, to date over 120 A380s have joined the fleets of ten world class airlines. The aircraft is capable of flying 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop, carrying more people at lower cost and with less impact on the environment. The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the A380 a firm favourite with both airlines and passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies.

The total A380 fleet has accumulated over 1.2 million flight hours in close to 150,000 commercial flights. To date 50 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board an A380. Every five minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 35 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.

India lifts ban on foreign airlines operating A380

By Tom Newcombe,

India has lifted restrictions on foreign airlines operating A380 services to its airports.

According to a statement by India’s Civil Aviation Ministry, A380s will now be allowed to land at the country’s four main airports – New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

These four are the only airports in India with the infrastructure equipped to handle the world’s largest passenger airline.

Emirates and Singapore Airline have both said they are reviewing their A380 plans for India following the announcement.

The ban on the carrier was introduced due to concerns foreign airlines could grab a high share of international traffic, further hurting state-run Air India.

The decision to lift the ban was taken after the Ministry consulted with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Air India.

“The operation of A380s will help airports to generate more revenue, give more comfortable and luxurious travel to passengers, liberalise the civil aviation milieu in India and boost the image of Indian civil aviation in the international market,” the Ministry’s statement said.

The lifting of the ban will allow other airlines including British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines to operate the aircraft to India.

An Emirates spokesperson said: “We welcome the decision of the Indian aviation authorities to allow A380 operations.

“We will be reviewing our existing operations, and look forward to serving Indian travellers with our flagship aircraft in the near future.”

Lufthansa said it already has the new Boeing 747-8 intercontinental jet, the next biggest plane, flying into India but did not rule out pressing A380s into service too.

Sourced by bbt

Emirates Airline firms up order for 50 additional A380s

Press Release by Airbus

Emirates Airline and Airbus have completed discussions and signed the firm contract for 50 additional A380s originally announced at the Dubai Airshow on 17th November 2013. The contract documents were finalised by Tim Clark, Emirates Airline President, during a visit to Airbus’ Headquarters in Toulouse, France.

Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said on the occasion: “The A380 is our flagship aircraft. It is popular with our customers and delivers results for us in terms of operational performance. That is why we have ordered these additional 50 aircraft, to add to our A380 fleet.”

“This order is a major vote of confidence in the A380. Since delivery of their first aircraft in July 2008, Emirates’ A380 fleet has grown to be the largest in the world with 44 A380s in operation. We congratulate Emirates on this impressive achievement and thank the airline for their continued support of our flagship aircraft. As Tim Clark has often said, “The A380 really is a game-changing aircraft.” commented John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.

Since first entering service in 2007, to date 122 A380s have been delivered, to ten world class carriers. The aircraft flies 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop, carrying more people at lower cost and with less impact on the environment. The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the A380 a firm favourite with both airlines and passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies.

British Airways reveals more A380 and Dreamliner routes

British Airways reveals more A380 and Dreamliner routesBy Lucy Siebert

British Airways will operate an A380 to Washington from next year, while it has also revealed new destinations for its B787 Dreamliners.

The super jumbo will start servicing Johannesburg from February, while it will head to Washington from September 1.

Meanwhile, Dreamliners will be operated on routes from London to Hyderabad from March, Chengdu from May, Philadelphia from June and Calgary from July.

BA said it will also increase frequencies to Chengdu from the current three to five, starting in May.

Its Tokyo Haneda route will also be increased from five a week to daily from May, with a retimed departure from Haneda. Mexico City will also see an increase from five to six services a week from April.

And Cape Town will see three extra B777-200ER seasonal services a week during South Africa’s winter, taking the route to 10 flights a week.

Richard Tams, British Airways’ head of UK&I sales said: “We’re delighted to be able to roll these aircraft out across more of our network on these important Indian, Chinese and American routes. More destinations will follow as we will receive 12 A380s and 24 787s over the next three years.”

Tams added BA had seen “significant demand” to Chengdu, Haneda, Mexico City and Cape Town.

Sourced from Routes

Game-changing planes


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.”


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.


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

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.