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.

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Zhejiang Loong Airlines firms up order for 20 A320 Family aircraft

Press Release by Airbus

Zhejiang Loong Airlines, based in Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang province in Eastern China, has signed its first purchase agreement with Airbus, for 20 A320 Family aircraft, including 11 A320ceo and nine A320neo, becoming the lastest Airbus customer. The agreement follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in September at the Beijing Airshow.

In addition Zhejiang Loong Airlines has also become the latest Airbus operator in mainland China, having completed its maiden commercial flight with a leased A320.

“Today is a special day for Zhejiang Loong Airlines as we start passenger operation and order 20 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, which demonstrates our ambition to contribute to the economic and social development of Zhejiang province by providing efficient transportation,” said Liu Qihong, Chairman of Zhejiang Loong Airlines. “We are making efforts to play a more important role in building the four-hour transportation circle around Hangzhou, which is advocated by the Zhejiang Government. The Airbus A320 Family aircraft is ideal for us to achieve our goals with advantages in operational reliability, economics, cabin space and its commonality between different types of Airbus aircraft.”

“We congratulate Zhejiang Loong Airlines on becoming a new customer and operator of the best-selling Airbus A320 Family” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “The A320 is the most eco-efficient single-aisle aircraft family and a world-class customer support network will provide Zhejiang Loong Airlines with an excellent platform to benefit from the economic growth in the region.”

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 A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. To date, more than to 10,000 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered and some 5,850 delivered to around 395 customers and operators worldwide.


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.


Air Caraïbes commits to six A350XWBs

Press Release by Airbus

Air Caraibes has signed a firm contract with Airbus for three A350-1000s, the largest member of Airbus’ new generation A350XWB Family. The airline will also lease three new A350-900s from ILFC. The aircraft will enter into service between 2016 and 2022.

The Air Caraïbes’ A350-1000s will seat 439 passengers in three classes, and the -900 will seat 387 passengers. The aircraft will be operated on the airline’s routes from Paris to Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Marteen, Haïti, Saint-Domingue and French Guyana which are currently flown by five A330s.

“We are delighted with our decision to buy A350-1000s”, said Jean-Paul Dubreuil, President of the Supervisory Board of Air Caraïbes.  “We already benefit from the excellent performance and economics of our fleet of five A330s, and this new order for A350s will allow us to add capacity and give us an unrivalled economic advantage in a very competitive market”.

“Having Air Caraïbes come back with this new, incremental order for the A350 XWB is great news and a strong signal that this aircraft is the industry’s new benchmark in the long-haul segment,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “We are convinced that the A350 XWB’s unbeatable economics and superior passenger comfort will be key contributors to Air Caraïbes” continued success.”

The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts and up to 440 in eco-efficient leisure cabin. The new Family will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category, using 25 per cent less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. Including this new firm order from Air Caraïbes, the A350 XWB has already won 817 firm orders from 37 customers worldwide.


AirAsia X orders 25 more A330-300s

Press Release by Airbus

AirAsia X, the long haul affiliate of the AirAsia Group, has placed a firm order with Airbus for 25 more A330-300s. The contract is the largest A330 order received by Airbus in a single purchase agreement and increases the carrier’s total firm orders for the type to 51. These will be supplemented by another six A330-300s leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).

The contract was signed in Paris today by Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X and Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO, Airbus, witnessed by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Co-founder and Director of AirAsia X.

AirAsia X will start taking delivery of its newly-ordered A330-300s in 2015 as it begins a major expansion of its network across the Asia-Pacific region. The new order includes the latest extended range versions of the A330-300, providing the carrier with the ability to offer non-stop service to destinations in Europe or one-stop service to the US.

Tan Sri’ Tony Fernandes, Co-Founder and Director of AirAsia X said, “This order stamps our firm intent to dominate the long-haul, low cost carrier space and marks the next phase in our development to be the undisputed global market leader. Our commitment would allow us to remain as the youngest wide body fleet age in the region at under five years throughout 2019, with corresponding competitive fuel efficiency, reliability and cabin comfort benefits.”

“The aircraft orders would further cater to our expansion plans in Malaysia, and the proposed new Thai AirAsia X hub as well as other long-haul ventures planned across Asia. The developments will complement the AirAsia Group’s long-term vision of developing its presence in key markets in Asia and strengthen the connectivity between long-haul and short-haul low-cost network.”

“AirAsia X has proven that it is possible to build a highly successful low cost long haul business,” said Fabrice Brégier President and CEO, Airbus. “And the A330 is the perfect platform for such operations, with the lowest operating costs, true long range flying capability and a proven track record of exceptional technical reliability. We look forward to working with AirAsia X as it continues to innovate in the low cost long haul market.”

AirAsia X currently operates 16 A330-300s on services linking its Kuala Lumpur base to destinations in Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific. In addition to A330s, the carrier also has 10 A350-XWB aircraft on order for future delivery.

The latest order from AirAsia X further consolidates the position of the AirAsia Group as one of Airbus’s largest airline customers in the world. In total the Group has now ordered 536 aircraft from the manufacturer. These include 475 A320 Family single aisle aircraft for AirAsia’s short haul operations based out of Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila, plus the 51 A330s and 10 A350 XWBs for AirAsia The twin engine A330 is one of the most widely used widebody aircraft in service today. To date, Airbus has won more than 1,280 orders for the various versions of the aircraft. More than 1,000 A330s have already been delivered and the aircraft is currently flying with almost 100 operators worldwide.