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


Aerospace firm Triumph creates 60 new jobs in Deeside

An American aerospace company is investing £5m to expand its north Wales site, creating 60 new jobs.

The Triumph Group is carrying out the development at its centre in Deeside, Flintshire.

The company won a contract to supply Airbus with aircraft landing gear components, prompting the development.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said the move “will effectively secure the sustainable long term future of the site”.

The move, backed by £392,000 from the Welsh government, will see production shift from China to north Wales and take the total number of workers at the site to more than 100.

Work on the 2,300sq m extension is set to start in April with production beginning in January 2016.

Sourced by BBC News Wales


Fuselage of crashed Air Asia jet found

 By Rob Gill,

Search teams have located the main fuselage of the crashed Air Asia aircraft in the Java Sea.

The airline’s flight QZ8501 went missing on December 28 on a flight from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore when it was carrying 162 passengers and crew.

Singapore’s defence minister Ng Eng Hen posted pictures of the main body of the Airbus A320-200 online today following its discovery by a Singapore navy ship.

“I hope that with the fuselage located, some form of closure can come to the families of the victims to ease their grief,” said Ng in a statement.

Dozens of bodies and the aircraft’s two “black box” flight recorders have been found in recent days but many of bodies are still believed to be inside the fuselage.

Aviation investigators are now examining data from the flight recorders to try to find out what caused the crash.

The pilot had asked air traffic controllers to change route due to stormy weather shortly before contact with the aircraft was lost.

Sourced by bbt


Airbus launches A321neo with true transatlantic capability

ALC first to commit to Airbus’ increased range option

Airbus Press Release,

Airbus has officially launched the A321neo with 97 tonnes Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) having secured the first commitment from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). The Los Angeles based lessor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 30 more A321neo, upsizing its commitments at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow from 60 to 90 and becoming the launch customer for Airbus’ increased range option.

The A321neo 97t will have, with 4,000nm, the longest range of any single aisle airliner available today and tomorrow, making it ideally suited to transatlantic routes and will allow airlines to tap into new long haul markets which were not previously accessible with current single aisle aircraft.

“We are excited to be the first to sign for the new longer range version of the A321neo,” said Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Air Lease Corporation’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “ALC wants a footprint in every promising market segment, including ones that can be opened by this new version of the A321neo. We pride ourselves in being able to provide our customers with the very latest, most innovative products and solutions.”

“We are delighted to officially launch the A321neo 97t option with ALC,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “ALC is a forward-looking company who has once again demonstrated its confidence in Airbus’ latest products and innovations just six months after being a launch customer for the A330neo.” He added: “The longer haul single aisle market is a lucrative one that the A321neo will now dominate, thanks to the aircraft’s superior comfort, economics and range. This new version of the A321neo is a high revenue generating aircraft which will open up many new opportunities for our customers.”

Under the assumption that ALC’s MoUs for 30 A321neo aircraft plus 25 A330neo Family become firm orders, ALC’s total orders for Airbus aircraft would stand at 258 (53 A320ceo Family, 140 A320neo Family, 15 A330 Family, 25 A350 XWB Family and 25 A330neo Family).

The A321 97t variant is building on the continued innovations brought to the A320 Family with Airbus Cabin-Flex (ACF), which offers passengers the highest standards of comfort while providing great flexibility and profit optimisation to airlines. Thanks to an additional fuel tank in the forward underfloor hold of the aircraft, as well as minor improvements on the wing and fuselage, the A321neo 97t will be able to fly 206 passengers on longer routes of up to 4,000 nm in a comfortable two-class layout. First deliveries will have started by 2019.

The newest member of the best-selling A320 Family, the A320neo, incorporates new generation engines and Sharklets which together will deliver 20 percent in fuel savings by 2020. At the end of December 2014, firm orders for the NEO reached over 3,600 aircraft from 70 customers.


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


AirAsia QZ8501: Debris and body seen by Indonesia search teams

Indonesian officials say search teams have spotted debris at sea in the hunt for missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

Several objects and a body were seen floating in the Java Sea off the Indonesian part of Borneo, in one of the search zones for the plane.

An Indonesian official said the debris was 95% likely to be from the missing aircraft.

The Airbus A320-200, carrying 162 people from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, disappeared on Sunday.

Debris floating in the Java Sea - 30 DecemberThe debris is said to be different to other objects spotted during the search
Debris floating in the Java Sea - 30 DecemberIt’s still not clear what the objects are

The search operation is now in its third day, with the area widened to cover 13 zones over land and sea.

During a news conference by the head of the operation, pictures of the debris were shown, including a body floating on the water.

Relatives of passengers on the plane watching the pictures were visibly shocked.

Search operation head Bambang Soelistyo said he was 95% certain the objects shown were from the plane.

All resources were now being sent to the area where the debris was found, and all objects or bodies found will be taken to Pangkalan Bun, he said, referring to a nearby town in Central Kalimantan province.

Mr Soelistyo added that ships with more sophisticated technology were being deployed to check whether larger parts of the plane were submerged beneath the debris.

Indonesian civil aviation chief Djoko Murjatmodjo, quoted by AFP news agency, said “significant things” such as a passenger door and cargo door had been found.

He added that the objects had been found 160km (100 miles) south-west of Pangkalan Bun.

At least 30 ships, 15 aircraft and seven helicopters joined the operation when it resumed at 06:00 local time on Tuesday (23:00 GMT Monday).

Indonesia map
Western Indonesia Air Force operation commander Air Vice Marshal Agus Dwi Putranto (L) briefs crews before a search and rescue operation in Jakarta - December 30Search and rescue operations are now in their third day.
Family members of AirAsia QZ8501 passengers wait for news at the crisis centre at Juanda airport in Surabaya, Indonesia - 29 December 2014 Family and friends of those on board the plane are gathered and awaiting news at Surabaya airport

The operation, led by Indonesia, includes assistance from Malaysia, Singapore and Australia, with other offers of help from South Korea, Thailand, China and France. The US destroyer USS Sampson is on its way to the zone.

Communication lost

Earlier, Indonesian officials said they were investigating reports of smoke seen rising from an island close to Belitung island, one of the focal points of the search, though experts cautioned it could be unrelated to the missing plane.

On board the plane were 137 adult passengers, 17 children and one infant, along with two pilots and five crew.

Most were Indonesian but the passengers included one UK national, a Malaysian, a Singaporean and three South Koreans.

The plane left Surabaya at 05:35 Jakarta time on Sunday and had been due to arrive in Singapore two hours later.

Safety officials say the captain had asked for permission to take the plane higher but, by the time permission was granted, communication with the plane was lost.

It was officially declared missing at 07:55.

AirAsia previously had an excellent safety record and there were no fatal accidents involving its aircraft.

Sourced by BBC News


AirAsia QZ8504: ‘Debris’ seen by Indonesia search teams

Debris floating in the Java Sea

Pictures of the debris were taken by search and rescue aircraft

Indonesian officials say search teams have spotted debris at sea in the hunt for missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

Several objects were seen floating in the Java Sea off the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, in one of the search zones for the plane.

Indonesian officials said the find was the most significant so far in the search.

The Airbus A320-200, carrying 162 people from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, disappeared on Sunday.

The search operation is now in its third day, with the area widened to cover 13 zones over land and sea.

Indonesian Search and Rescue spokesman Yusuf Latif told the Associated Press news agency that aircraft had been dispatched to pick up the debris for checking.

“This is the most significant thing, but we cannot confirm anything until the investigation is completed,” he said.

Sourced by BBC News


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