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7JetSet7 Code: EDS
Status: Operational
Region: EUROPE
Country: FRANCE
Employees 134000

Click below for data links:
EDS-2008-02 A380-GREEN
EDS-2008-04 A350-WORKSHARE
EDS-2008-04 ORDERS-A
EDS-2008-04 ORDERS-B
EDS-2008-06 A320F
EDS-2008-10 A350-NOSE
EDS-2009-01 2008 DELIVERIES
EDS-2009-01 NEWS
EDS-2009-02 A350 XWB-A
EDS-2009-02 A350 XWB-B
EDS-2009-02 A350 XWB-C
EDS-2009-03 A380-ORDERS
EDS-2009-08-A330 1000TH
EDS-2009-10 3Q LOSSES
EDS-2009-12 A380 2 YRS-A
EDS-2009-12 A380 2 YRS-B
EDS-2009-12 A380 2 YRS-C
EDS-2009-12 A380 2 YRS-D
EDS-2010-01 2009 APLS DLVRY
EDS-2010-06-A380 ORDER-A
EDS-2010-06-A380 ORDER-B
EDS-2010-06-A380 ORDER-C
EDS-2011-01-2010 EDS VS TBC
EDS-2012-12 - A350 XWB LEAVES FAL
EDS-2013-05 - A350 XWB ROLLED OUT
EDS-2013-06 - A350 XWB - PARIS AIR SHOW
EDS-2013-06 - A350 XWB 1ST FLIGHT-A
EDS-2013-06 - A350 XWB 1ST FLIGHT-B
EDS-2013-06 - A350 XWB UPDATE-A
EDS-2013-06 - A350 XWB UPDATE-B
EDS-2013-06 - A350 XWB UPDATE-C
EDS-2013-06 - A350 XWB UPDATE-D
EDS-2013-06 - A350 XWB UPDATE-E
EDS-2013-08 - AIRASIA A320 8000TH AIRBUS
EDS-2013-10 - A380 100-A
EDS-2013-10 - A380 100-B
EDS-2013-10 - A380 100-C
EDS-2013-10 - A380 100-D
EDS-2014-01 - 3RD A350 XWD
EDS-2014-05-40TH YR A300B EIS
EDS-2014-07-A330-800neo A330-900neo LAUNCH
EDS-2014-07-A330neo ORDER
EDS-2014-08 - A350 UPDATE-A
EDS-2014-08 - A350 UPDATE-B
EDS-2014-08 - A350 UPDATE-C
EDS-2014-08 - A350 UPDATE-D
EDS-2014-08 - A350 UPDATE-E
EDS-2014-08 - A350 UPDATE-F
EDS-2014-08 - A350 UPDATE-G
EDS-2014-08 - A350 UPDATE-H
EDS-2014-08 - A350 UPDATE-I
EDS-2014-09 - A320neo 1ST FLIGHT-A
EDS-2014-09 - A320neo 1ST FLIGHT-B
EDS-2014-09 - A320neo 1ST FLIGHT-C
EDS-2014-11 - FAA TYPE CERT FOR A350-900
EDS-2014-12 - A320neo NOV 2015
EDS-2015-03 - NEW VERSION.jpg
EDS-2015-05 - Two A380s at Toulouse.jpg
EDS-2015-09 - A350-1000 Start.jpg
EDS-2015-09 - Airbus USA Mobile Alabama-A.jpg
EDS-2015-09 - Airbus USA Mobile Alabama-B.jpg
EDS-2015-09 - Airbus USA Mobile Alabama-C.jpg
EDS-2015-09 - Airbus USA Mobile Alabama-D.jpg
EDS-2015-09 - Airbus USA Mobile Alabama-E.jpg
EDS-2015-09 - Airbus USA Mobile Alabama-F.jpg
EDS-2015-09 - Airbus USA Mobile Alabama-G.jpg
EDS-2015-09 - Airbus USA Mobile Alabama-H.jpg.
EDS-2015-09 - Airbus USA Mobile Alabama-K.jpg
EDS-2015-09 - Trent XWB-97.jpg
EDS-2015-10 - SIA Launches A350-900ULR.jpg
EDS-2016-03 - 1st Flight A321neo PRW GTF.jpg
EDS-2016-03 - 1st USA Built A321.jpg
EDS-2016-03 - AirSpace Interior.jpg
EDS-2016-04 - 1st USA Built A321.jpg
EDS-2017-09 - Airspace-A320 Cabin Interior.jpg
EDS-2018-01 A321neo ACF Rollout.jpg
EDS-2018-04 A350-900ULR 1st Flight.jpg
EDS-2018-05 Day and Night Concept.jpg
EDS-2018-07 A220-300 instrument panel.jpg
EDS-2018-09 A380 Assembly .jpg
EDS-LOGO 2012-04
EDS-LOGO 2014-02

The European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Company (EADS) is the Airbus (EDS) Parent Company. Airbus (EDS) is the European jet airplane manufacturer.




April 2003: Following the visit of the French Prime Minister to Beijing, (CAC)/(CSC) announced orders (February 2004) of 16 A319's, 10 A320's & 4 A330's for China Southern Airlines (GUN); China Eastern Airlines (CEA); Air China (BEJ), Sichuan Airlines (SIC), and Hainan Airlines (HNA).

February 2004: (CASC) (CAC) transferred 4 orders A319's to Sichuan Airlines (SIC); 4 orders A321's to China Eastern Airlines (CEA); & 4 orders A330's to China Southern Airlines (GUN).

June 2004: 20/10 orders (February 2006) A330-300's valued at $2.4 billion which will be delivered to China Eastern Airlines (CEA).

December 2005: Airbus (EDS)'s negotiations with Chinese authorities resulted in a blockbuster contract as (EDS) reached a "general terms agreement" with Chinese Aviation Supplies Import and Export Group (CSC) for the purchase of 150 A320 family airplanes.

The order comprises A319s, A320s and A321s – the largest single order (EDS) has ever received since it entered the Chinese market 20 years ago.

The deal is worth nearly $10 billion and was signed in the presence of French Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin and Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao during the latter's visit to France.

June 2006: Air China (BEJ) will purchase 24 A320 family airplanes for $1.74 billion, "Reuters" reported. The order is part of the deal Airbus (EDS) signed with Chinese Aviation Sup

August 2006: (EADS) (EDS) confirmed that Vneshtorgbank, a state-owned Russian bank, acquired a 5.02% stake in (EDS). The holding in the Airbus parent company is valued at >$1.1 billion.

Some analysts speculated the move signaled a desire by Moscow to get more involved in Airbus (EDS) airplane programs.

EADS (EDS) committed to investing €2 billion/$2.56 billion in India over the next 15 years, funding that will go toward providing engineering and Information Technology (IT) services and include the establishment of a massive Airbus (EDS) training, maintenance and spare parts operation. Specifically, (EADS) (EDS) will open the (EDS) Technology Center India in the 2007 second quarter. Housed in the facility will be Engineering Center Airbus India, a 100%-owned subsidiary of Airbus (EDS), that will be the biggest component of (EDS)' Indian investment.

September 2006: Airbus (EDS) received much-needed boosts from opposite sides of the world as the Chinese government (CSC) and an Ohio-based start-up Skybus (SKS) placed large airplane orders. In Beijing, (EDS) and China Aviation Supplies Import and Export Group Corp (CSC) signed a general terms agreement for 150 A320s and a letter of intent (LOI) for 20 A350 XWBs. The A320s are on top of the 150 ordered by (CSC) last year. (CSC) President, Li Hai and (EDS) President & (CEO), Louis Gallois signed the deals before Chinese President, Hu Jintao and visiting French President, Jacques Chirac. (EDS) called it "the largest single transaction ever."

Meanwhile, low-fare start-up Skybus Airlines (SKS) signed a firm order for 65 A319s, a deal (EDS) said is "among the largest single orders ever by a USA carrier." Skybus (SKS), based at Port Columbus (Ohio) International Airport, has yet to announce its schedule or destinations, but said it will operate the A319s in a single-class configuration, when it begins taking delivery in late 2008. No engine choice was announced. (SKS) intends to launch operations early next year with leased A319s.

Back in Beijing, (EDS) and a consortium comprising the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and China Aviation Industry Corps I and II confirmed establishment of an A320 final assembly line. Tianjin was announced as the likely site in June. Subject to formal approval by the Chinese government, the agreement calls for assembly to begin in early 2009, with production ramping up to four airplanes per month by 2011. Airplane sections will continue to be produced in Europe, Gallois noted. It is expected that many of the A320s ordered recently will be assembled in China.

October 2006: (EADS) (EDS) co-(CEO), Louis Gallois, the former Snecma Chairman & (CEO), was named Airbus (CEO) following the resignation of Christian Streiff after just three months on the job.

Gallois becomes the third Airbus (CEO) since mid-2005 and will remain as EADS (EDS) co-(CEO) in addition to his new responsibilities.

Early this month, then-(CEO), Christian Streiff admitted that Airbus (EDS) was a decade behind Boeing (TBC), while parent, EADS (EDS) co-(CEO), Tom Enders conceded that the feasibility of the A350 XWB program was in doubt. (EADS) (EDS) co-Chairman, Louis Gallois backed the program on October 11, a day after he replaced Streiff, saying on Europe 1 radio, "I believe that Airbus has to be present across the whole market, and the A350 is the middle of the market." He added that the midsize category accounts for "40% of the market" by value.

Qantas (QAN) gave Airbus (EDS) a lift with an order for an additional eight A380s, taking its firm commitments to 20 of the airplanes. It also ordered four more A330-200s to be delivered between December 2007 and September 2008 to help with the shortfall in capacity resulting from the A380 delay.

November 2006: Worldwide sales of Airbus Corporate Jetliners reached a record level again this year with 20 of the airplanes sold so far in 2006. Pacing this business volume is the A318 Elite - the shortest-fuselage member of the Airbus Corporate Jetliner Family, which has logged 22 orders and commitments since the program's launch announcement last November. The no 1 A318 Elite made its maiden flight earlier this month, and will be ready for cabin outfitting this winter. It is to be delivered to A318 Elite launch customer Comlux (CLA) in Zurich, Switzerland in spring 2007. Airbus (EDS) will certify the A318 for an operating ceiling 41,000 ft, and the airplane will be qualified for steep approach operations at airports such as London City.

Airbus (EDS) plans to increase spending by +20% to $12 billion to develop its A350 jet, a long-range airplane that would be made mainly of lightweight carbon fiber.

Airbus (EDS) said in July the A350 would cost $10 billion and have wings made from carbon fiber. The new concept would be made 50% from carbon fiber to reduce weight and save on fuel, airlines' biggest expense after labor.

FedEx Express (FED) cancelled its $2.3 billion order for 10 A380Fs and placed an order for 15 777Fs with 15 options, becoming the first airline to cancel an A380 order and dealing a serious blow to beleaguered Airbus (EDS). (FED) said it could not wait for Airbus (EDS) to work through A380 production delays. "Global demand for air cargo and express services continues to grow rapidly and FedEx (FED) has made significant investments in our network to meet customers' needs and fulfill our business objectives. Therefore, it was necessary and prudent for us to acquire the Boeing 777F freighter," FedEx Corp Chairman, President & (CEO), Frederick Smith said. "The availability and delivery timing of this airplane, coupled with its attractive payload range and economics, make this choice the best decision for FedEx (FED)."

Airbus (EDS) said that (CFM)-powered A318s received (EASA) approval for 180-minute Extended Twin-engine OPerationS (ETOPS). USA (FAA) approval is expected in the first half of 2007. Certification of the (Pratt & Whitney)-powered A318 is planned for the first quarter of next year, before entry into service with (LAN) Airlines.

Airbus (EDS) will boost production of A320 family airplanes to 36 per month from the current 30 over the next two years, "Reuters" reported. It had intended to produce 34 per month by the second quarter of 2008.

December 2006: Airbus parent (EADS) (EDS)'s board gave its approval for the industrial launch of the A350 XWB, the first of which will enter service in 2013.

The company also plans to build "an ultra-long-range" version, the A350-900R, and a freighter version, the A350-900F. Boeing (TBC)'s 787, against which the A350 is likely to compete, does not have a freighter variant.

Airbus (EDS) said the airplane will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines delivering 75,000 to 95,000 lbs thrust. "We are very pleased to join Airbus (EDS) for its A350 XWB program," (RRC) (CEO), John Rose said. "Together we are committed to set new standards in fuel efficiency, maintainability and engine reliability."

Airbus (EDS), however, was unable to bask in what should have been one of its few good-news days in recent months. French investigators raided the Paris offices of EADS (EDS) as well as the Paris headquarters of (EADS) (EDS) stakeholder, the Lagardere Group. At issue is former (EADS) (EDS) co-CEO, Noel Forgeard's sale of €2.5 million/$3.3 million in stock options just three months prior to (EADS) (EDS)'s stock sinking -26% on news of the A380's setback. Other (EADS) executives also are reportedly a focus of the investigation into suspicious share sales. Forgeard, who served as Airbus (EDS) (CEO), when the A380 program was launched, told "Europe 1" radio in June that the stock sale was "an unfortunate coincidence." He was forced to resign in July.

January 2007: DaimlerChrysler (DCY) will sell a 7.5% stake in Airbus parent (EADS) (EDS) to a consortium, that reportedly includes Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, KfW and Goldman Sachs. (DCY) will hold a 15% stake in (EADS) (EDS) after the sale, which is expected to net nearly $2 billion.

Pegasus Aviation (PSS) Finance of California ordered two A350 XWBs and six A330-200s in a deal representing the lessor's first Airbus (EDS) order and the first public commitment to the new A350, since the program was relaunched last month.

Plagued by production and boardroom problems throughout the past year, (EDS) is off to a fast start in 2007 with an order from AirAsia (ASW) for 50 A320s plus 50 options valued at about $3.3 billion. Additionally, (EDS) said it finalized an order at the end of 2006 from Spanish tour operator and Aerolineas Argentinas (ARG) parent, Grupo Marsans for 12 A330-200s plus 10 options valued at about $2 billion. Marsans also agreed to lease two A340-300s for delivery this year.

The (ASW) order brings the number of its A320 firm orders to 150 plus 50 options. It currently operates 15 of the type. (CEO), Tony Fernandes predicted (ASW) will be the largest operator of A320s by 2012.

(EDS) said it reached agreements to sell 26 A330-200F freighters, with 20 going to USA lessor Intrepid Leasing (INL) and six to India's Flyington Freighters, marking the first sales of an airplane type launched last summer. The first delivery to Intrepid (INL) is expected in early 2010. First delivery to Hyderabad-based Flyington Freighters, which becomes the first airline to order the A330-200F, is expected in the 2009 second quarter.

(EDS) said the A330-200F can haul up to 64 metric tons over 4,000 nm/7,400 km or 69 metric tons up to 3,200 nm/5,930 km.

Guggenheim Aviation Partners (GUG) became the third customer for the A330-200F.

(EDS) booked 790 net airplane orders in 2006 for a 43% market share (a 40% share by transaction values) compared to Boeing (TBC)'s record 1,044 net orders.

(EDS) delivered 434 airplanes valued at €26 billion/$33.7 billion last year comprising 339 A320 family jets, nine A300Fs, 39 A330-200s, 23 A330-300s, two A340-200s/-300s, four A340-500s and 18 A340-600s. Year end backlog totaled 2,533 up +17% over year end 2005 and slightly ahead of Boeing (TBC)'s backlog of 2,455.

February 2007: Avion Aircraft Trading (AAT), which is partly owned by Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) parent, HF Eimskip, signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) for six A330-200Fs with deliveries slated for 2010 and 2011.

(EDS) announced that CIT Group (TCI) signed a firm order in December for five A330s and 10 A320 family airplanes. To date, CIT (TCI) has ordered 112 A320 family airplanes, 25 A330s and five A350s; 73 have been delivered.

March 2007: (EADS) confirmed that it plans to deliver the first A380 to Singapore Airlines (SIA) in October, and that the "Power8" restructuring program will deliver "at least" -€2.1 billion in annual cost savings from 2010, and approximately -€5 billion in cash savings in 2007 to 2010.

(EDS) opened its second North American Engineering center in Mobile, Alabama. The facility is performing interior design and definition work for the A350 XWB. Current employment is 32 and is expected to exceed 80 by year end.

EADS (EDS) and Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) signed four cooperation agreements in conjunction with Aeroflot (ARO)'s order for 22 A350 XWBs. The first establishes Russia's role in A350 construction and pledges 5% airframe participation. The second agreement establishes the previously announced A320F freighter conversion joint venture in Lukovitsky and Dresden, the third "foresees a joint study of the transport airplane market, and possible cooperation between (EDS) and the Russian industry in this field" and the fourth covers (UAC)'s purchase of Kaskol Group's holding in Engineering Center Airbus Russia.

(EDS) said that a third A320 family final assembly line will be established in Hamburg immediately "to cope with the steep production ramp-up currently underway" so production can continue when A320 assembly in Toulouse reaches its monthly capacity of 14 airplanes.

(UPS) said it will cancel its order for 10 A380Fs, expressing doubt that Airbus (EDS) can maintain the delayed delivery schedule agreed to last month, and leaving the manufacturer with no orders for the freighter version. FedEx (FED), Emirates (EAD), and ILFC (ILF) all previously ordered the A380F, but subsequently cancelled or switched freighter orders to passenger versions.

April 2007: Airbus (EDS) said US Airways (USA) has joined America West Airlines (AMW) in using the Airman real-time maintenance tool to monitor its fleet of (EDS) airplanes. (AMW)/(USA) becomes the largest Airman user.

EADS (EDS) and United Aircraft Building Corp will operate a joint venture to convert A320s and A321s to freighters for entry into service (EIS) beginning in 2011. John Leahy said the conversions will take place at facilities in Dresden and north of Moscow. The cost for an A320P2F will be $4.5 million, rising to $5 million for an A321P2F. The converted A320F freighter will carry a payload of 23 tons, while the A321 will carry up 27 tons.

(EDS) announced its first commercial airplane sale in Israel with an order from Israir Airlines (ISA) for three A320s.

May 2007: Airbus (EDS) completed painting on Singapore Airlines (SIA)'s first A380 in Hamburg. The painting took 21 days. Delivery of the airplane is scheduled for October.

AerCap (DEA), the Dutch airplane lessor, signed a firm order with (EDS) for an additional +10 A330-200s valued at $1.6 billion, bringing to 30 the number of the type it has on order. "Since AerCap (DEA) ordered 20 new [A330-200s] in December last year, we have already lined up customers for 13 out of the 20 airplanes," (CEO), Klaus Heinemann said. "The order for an additional +10 airplanes will help us to further expand our portfolio in the attractive market for modern, smaller wide body airplanes."

(EDS) said construction began on its A320 family Final Assembly Line in Tianjin. The project will include the building of dedicated hangars, office buildings, a delivery center and related facilities, including electricity, gas, water and fuel supply systems. "This not only represents a new level of mutually beneficial industrial cooperation between China and (EDS), but also demonstrates our long-term commitment to the development of the Chinese civil aviation industry," Airbus (EDS) (COO), Fabrice Bregier said. "The launch of construction of this Final Assembly Line in China will lead to the commencement of its operations by August 2008 as planned, with the aim to deliver the first airplane assembled in China in the first half of 2009."

(EDS) confirmed that it will ramp up A320 family airplanes production to 40 per month by the end of 2009.

(EDS) is set to make yet another design change to its A350 XWB, this time dumping composite panels on an aluminum frame for an all-composite barrel. Pressure from major customers such as Emirates (EAD) and ILFC (ILF) is believed to be the catalyst for the pending revamp.

While Emirates Airlines (EAD) President, Tim Clark told media the 787 Dreamliner's finish resembled "a polished silver coffeepot," (EDS) has been getting mixed reaction to its composite panel concept. Trade studies have been underway in Toulouse since late last year, according to company insiders. Last fall, it was revealed that Airbus (EDS) was switching to the composite panel design from all-aluminum and that the airplane's entry into service would slip to 2014. This latest change may push the Entry Into Service (EIS) further out, but Clark said he repeatedly has told (EDS) that "while the (EIS) is of concern, you must get it [the design] right." Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have pushed a similar message. Clark also has emphasized to the manufacturer that the future lies in a 787-style composite barrel structure, saying, "That is the way [the industry] is going to go."

So far, Airbus (EDS) has been able to convert only one customer, Finnair (FIN), to the new XWB, while it has secured new orders from Aeroflot (ARO) and Pegasus Aviation (PSS). (SIA) (20), China Aviation Supplies Import and Export Group (CSC) (20), and (TAP) Portugal (10) have yet to confirm their orders, while US Airways (AMW)/(USA) appears to be leaning toward the airplane.

The original A350 was unveiled in September 2004 and "authority to offer" was announced that December. Full industrial launch came in October 2005, but the airplane faced a redesign following criticism that began with ILFC (ILF) Chairman & (CEO), Steven Udvar-Hazy's call for a revamp 14 months ago.

Qatar Airways (QTA) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with (EDS) for the purchase of 80 A350 XWBs valued at $16 to $18 billion, providing a major boost to an airplane program, that has undergone a significant redesign. (EDS) said (QTA) will launch the airplane into commercial service in mid-2013. In 2005, (QTA) committed to 60 of the original-design A350s. This agreement supersedes and expands that accord.

The order, which (EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy said is "very close to a full purchase agreement," comprises 20 A350-800s, 40 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s. The first airplane to be delivered is an A350-900. (QTA) plans to use the planes, to be powered by Rolls-Royce (Trent XWB) engines, to complement its A330s and A340s on regional and long-haul routes.

"In addition to unbeatable operating economics, the A350 XWB shares the same cockpit commonality with other Airbus airplanes, especially the A380, so introducing the modernized fleet will be a simple and cost-efficient step," (QTA) (CEO), Akbar Al-Baker said.

Avianca (AVI) became an Airbus (EDS) customer for the first time with an order for 33 A319s/A320s and five A330-200s collectively valued at nearly $3 billion, plus options for 27 A319s/A320s and five A330-200s. (AVI) Chairman, German Efromovich said the order signals a "new era" for the Colombian carrier, touting the "unbeatable economics" of the airplanes as well as fleet commonality.

June 2007: France, which owns a 15% stake in Airbus parent EADS (EDS), and Germany are the primary national players in the company, and the "Power8" plan to cut -10,000 workers and close and/or sell off plants has led to heated political debate in both countries.

(EDS) entered the fray over aviation's environmental impact, saying that it is targeting a -50% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and a -80% lowering of nitrogen oxide production in new airplanes by 2020, compared to those manufactured in 2000.

Meanwhile, Gallois said (EDS) is targeting a -30% reduction in company energy consumption by 2020. He also committed to reinvesting savings expected from environmental initiatives back into research into cleaner technologies. He said (EDS) will boost its research and technology budget by +25% starting in 2008.

"Air travel is one of the most environmentally progressive industries and one which delivers solutions," Gallois said, touting the A380 as the "Gentle Green Giant."

(EDS) received a massive boost for its A350 XWB with key carrier Qatar Airways (QTA) ordering 80, spread over the three A350 models. That (MOU) takes orders and commitments for the company's new airplanes to 167, a total that does not include many of the original A350 customers that (COO), John Leahy has said eventually will convert to the redesigned version. It is calculated that there are 103 yet-to-be-converted orders from 11 customers, which could take the number of A350 XWB commitments to 270. The (QTA) order concluded a banner month for (EDS) (that also included Avianca (AVI)'s buy of 38 A320s and A330s plus 27 options. (EDS) sold 158 airplanes in the first four months of 2007.

(EDS) will bring a pair of A380s and an A330-200 to the upcoming Paris Air Show. A380 (MSN009), powered by Engine Alliance (GP7200)s, will take part in the daily flying displays and a second A380 (MSN007) fitted with a demonstration cabin and (Trent 900) engines, will be on static display throughout the week. The A330-200 will be on loan from (QTA).

Heading into the start of the Paris Air Show, Boeing (TBC) is well on its way to topping (EDS) in airplane sales for the second straight year. (TBC) has compiled 429 net orders to date, compared to 201 for (EDS). (EDS) President & (CEO), Louis Gallois conceded that the company, beset by serious financial problems and in the early stages of its "Power8" restructuring program, is no longer attempting to outsell (TBC). "Our target is to be the best company, not the biggest, and I think that is a change from the past."

(TBC) last year netted 1,044 orders compared to 790 for Airbus (EDS).

(ACSS) signed an agreement with (EDS) to "study the certification" of its integrated (TCAS), (TAWS) and Mode S transponder product on the A320 and A330/A340 families. It is expected to be certified at the end of 2009.

(EDS) announced that (EASA) has certified "OnAir," the onboard mobile phone and communications system it has developed in partnership with (SITA).

(EDS) opened the Paris Air Show with more than >$30 billion in orders, comprising a mix of new deals and the firming of previously announced Memo of Understanding (MOU)s totaling more than >275 airplanes from more than half-a-dozen airlines and leasing companies.
The biggest deal value wise was the finalization of (QTA)'s 80-unit A350 XWB (MOU) from May, plus the addition of three A380s to bring (QTA)'s A380 order book to five. The A350 order was valued at $16 billion, while (QTA) (CEO), Akbar Al Baker put the value of the A380s, which represented the firming of two options plus one new order, at $750 million. As previously announced, the A350 order comprises 20 A350-800s, 40 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s, with first delivery in 2013. Rolls-Royce (RRC) valued the (Trent XWB) order at $5.6 billion at list prices, describing it as the "largest-ever firm engine order for its civil aerospace business." The agreement includes a TotalCare long-term services agreement. In discussing the selection of the A350, Al Baker said (QTA) has been involved closely in its design and "the airplane definition document is very specifically tailormade for (QTA)." He also stated that the order "underlines the confidence that (QTA) has in (EDS)'s capability to produce an outstanding new-generation, twin-engine, wide body airplane."

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) signed for $10 billion worth of A320s, A330s and A350 XWBs, including finalization of an order for 22 A350s (boosted from 20 originally). It took 10 A330-200s that will fill the gap until the arrival of the A350 XWBs and 60 A320 family airplanes, a mix of A319s, A320s and A321s. The deal includes "a number" of purchase rights. (AMW)/(USA) currently holds orders for 37 A320 family airplanes for delivery in 2009 to 2010, and will retire its 737-300s/400s as they are delivered. (RRC) valued the (Trent XWB) order at more than >$1.8 billion at list prices.

Emirates Airlines (EAD) added to its A380 order book by signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) for eight more, bringing its industry-leading backlog to 55.

Adding to (EDS)'s busy day, (GE) Commercial Aviation Services (GEF) signed for 60 A320 family airplanes, while the S7 Group ordered 25 A320s for S7 Airlines (SBR). ALAFCO Aviation Lease & Finance Company of Kuwait (AVF) bought 12 A350 XWBs and seven A320s, while Air France (AFA) signed a (MOU) for the purchase of two more A320s and 18 (EDS) narrow bodies. Also, Jazeera Airways (JZI) of Kuwait ordered 30 A320s, bringing its order book to 40, and Nouvelair (NOU) ordered two A320s.

(EDS) continued its strong Paris Air Show by signing firm orders for 15 A330-300s plus 10 options for AirAsiaX (ASW), eight A330-300s for Thai Airways (TII), and 20 A330-200Fs for lessor, the Intrepid Aviation Group (INL), and hinted that more orders will be announced the following day. Thai (TII) will use the airplanes to replace older types in its fleet and Intrepid (INL)'s order firms and expands a previously announced agreement for 15 A330-200Fs. Start-up long-haul Low Cost Carrier (LCC) AirAsia X (ASX) founder, Tony Fernandes said (ASX), slated to launch in September, will stake its future on the A330. Intrepid (INL)'s order, which is valued at $3.5 billion, is (EDS)'s largest for its newest freighter model. It has secured 52 commitments for the type, of which 38 are firm orders, (COO) Customers, John Leahy said, adding that he plans to "have them all firmed by the end of the year." Delivery of the first A330-200F (to Flyington Freighters (FFR)) is scheduled for the end of 2009. Deliveries of (INL)'s freighters will start in 2010, and run through 2012. (INL) selected (RRC) (Trent 700)s for 17 of the airplanes but has not decided on an engine for the remaining three. (CEO), Ron Anderson revealed that he has been talking to (EDS) about launching an A330-300F version.

On the heels of a slew of orders valued at well over >$30 billion, (EDS)'s co-(CEO) & Airbus President & (CEO), Louis Gallois insisted that (EDS) and rival Boeing (TBC) are vying for airplane orders in "an extremely competitive duopoly."

Kingfisher Airlines (KFH)'s commitment for 50 new airplanes collectively valued at $7 billion, including 15 A350 XWBs, headlined another day of orders for (EDS). The 15 A350 orders bring (KFH)'s total to 20, including five placed for the original design that were reconfirmed. As part of an (MOU) just signed, and expected to be finalized within 30 days, it also placed orders for 10 A330-200s, five A340-500s and 20 A320 family airplanes.

(EDS) also won orders from Etihad Airways (EHD) for five A330-200s, four A340-600s, and three A330-200Fs, collectively valued at more than >$2.2 billion, and from lessor Aircastle (CSL) for 15 A330-200Fs valued at $2.6 billion. Deliveries to (EHD) will span from 2008 to 2011, and (CSL) will commence in 2010.

In addition, (EDS) signed (MOU)s with Libyan Airlines (LAA) for four A350 XWBs to begin delivering in 2017, four A330-200s and seven A320s; with Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) for six A350s, also delivering in 2017, and five A320s, and with Russia's Ural Airlines (URL) for five A320s.

Hong Kong Airways (HKE), which is 45% owned by Hainan Airlines (HNA), signed an (MOU) for 51 (EDS) jets comprising 30 A320 family airplanes, 20 A330s and an Airbus Corporate Jet. Tiger Airways (TGR), which plans to launch service in Australia later this year, signed an (MOU) for 30 A320s and 20 options; it currently operates nine A320s with 11 more to be delivered by 2010.

Avianca (AVI) firmed options on 14 A320s and five A330-200s, bringing its total (EDS) orders to 57. Also Mandala Airlines (MND) became the first Indonesian carrier to order the A320 with a firm commitment for 25. It operates two leased A320s.

CIT Aerospace (TCI) made an order for seven A350 XWBs, which was confirming and adding to a previous commitment for five. CIT (TCI) also ordered 25 A320 family airplanes. Aircastle (CSL), a subsidiary of Aircastle Ltd, signed a contract to acquire 15 A330-200Fs with deliveries expected to commence in 2010.

Flyington Freighters (FFR) ordered six additional A330-200Fs, bringing its total on order to 12. The Indian cargo operator will be the first to receive the type in the 2009 second quarter and has decided to double its commitment.

National Air Services (NTJ) of Saudi Arabia chipped in with a Letter of Intent (LOI) for 20 A320 family airplanes for its NASair (NAZ) budget carrier, which launched operations in February. The signing lifted (EDS)'s A320 family air show tally to 198 firm orders and 192 commitments.

But it was the A350 that was the "highlight of the show," according to (EDS) President & CEO, Louis Gallois. The redesigned A350 XWB received 141 firm orders at Le Bourget from five customers - - Qatar Airways (QTA), Aeroflot (ARO), (SIA), Alafco, and CIT (TCI) - - as well as 52 combined commitments from US Airways (AMW)/(USA), Kingfisher Airlines (KFH), Libyan Airlines (LAA), and Afriqiyah Airways (AQH). The program now has received 154 firm orders and 78 commitments in total.

(EDS) received orders and commitments for 13 A380s, bringing that program's total to 173, as (QTA), (EAD), and Air France (AFA) increased their respective order books. The A330/A340 received 83 firm orders and 49 commitments at the show, including 46 firm orders for the A330-200F.

(EDS) formally signed a contract establishing its joint-venture A320 family Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Tianjin and finalized purchase agreements for the sale of 86 A320s to Chinese companies. (EDS) holds a 51% stake in the (FAL), with the remainder held by a Chinese consortium comprising the Tianjin Free Trade Zone, China Aviation Industry Corp I and China Aviation Industry Corp II.

The 86 A320 sales finalized recently comprise 15 to China Aviation Suppliers Import and Export Group (CSC), 28 to Shenzhen Airlines (SHZ), 18 to Sichuan Airlines (SIC), 13 to Hainan Airlines (HNA), and six each to Spring Airlines (CQH), and Juneyao Airlines (JYA). China has agreed to buy an additional 64 A320s that have not yet been allocated. (EDS) said nearly half of the 150 A320s going to Chinese carriers and companies will be assembled in Tianjin.

Uzbekistan Airways (UZB) ordered six A320s as part of its fleet rationalization. It operates a mixed fleet of 55 airplanes spread over 10 different types from the 767-300ER to the Yak-40, but is rebuilding its fleet around 787s and A320s.

July 2007: Delivery of the first A380 to Singapore Airlines (SIA) remains on track for October. A380 production will "ramp up gradually at first and then steeply in 2009/10," (EADS) (EDS) said.

As of June 30, (EDS)'s order book totaled 2,925 airplanes valued at €251.7 billion, an increase of 392 airplanes, valued at €41.6 billion over year-end 2006. (EADS) said Airbus (EDS) will deliver 440 to 450 airplanes in 2007.

Dubai International Capital (DIC) said it purchased a 3.12% stake in Airbus parent (EADS) (EDS) through its Global Strategic Equities Fund. Reuters reported that the stake is worth more than >$830 million and makes the fund (EADS) (EDS)'s fifth-largest shareholder. (DIC), which is wholly owned by the Dubai government, said in a statement that it is confident in the eventual success of Airbus (EDS)'s "comprehensive restructuring program."

(EDS) delivered an A300F freighter to FedEx (FED), the final A300/A310 that (EDS) will produce. Over the life of the program, which was launched in 1969 with the first airplane delivered to Air France (AFA) in 1974, (EDS) sold a total of 821 A300s/A310s. About 630 are still in service with approximately 80 operators.

(EDS) said that "final preparations" are underway for the October delivery of the first A380 to Singapore Airlines (SIA).

August 2007: (EDS) is in the process of seeking and reviewing proposals on plant selloffs and has said those in Saint Nazaire-Ville, Varel and Laupheim will be sold outright, while its Filton, Meaulte and Nordenham facilities will be turned over all or in part to investors, who will serve as "risk-sharing partners" in manufacturing next-generation airplanes, including the A350 XWB, containing composite materials.

But EADS (EDS) said it is considering offering potential investors a package of Augsburg, Nordenham and Varel "under a new ownership structure," that would allow the buyer to become "a major risk-sharing partner for Airbus (EDS)." It added that Augsburg "would contribute critical design, manufacturing and technological competences to such new entity" and that the three plants "could gain access to important work on the new A350 XWB as well as future (EDS) programs."

Augsburg's inclusion in the plant divestiture strategy and Varel's becoming a "risk-sharing partner" site rather than being sold outright would mark a definite change to the "Power8" plan as previously presented.

Naverus said that an Air China (BEJ) A319 became the first (EDS) airplane to use Required Navigation Performance (RNP) in revenue service, when it took off from Lhasa on August 23.

The A380 received (EASA) and USA (FAA) approval to operate on runways with a width of 45 m or more, which is the standard at most airports around the world, (EDS) said. The airplane already has visited 45 airports and the manufacturer claimed that more than >70 will be ready for the A380 by 2011.

(EDS) announced that it will deliver the first A380 to Singapore Airlines (SIA) on October 15, with (SIA)'s first flight slated for October 25 from Singapore to Sydney. The airplane will be configured with 471 seats in three classes: Economy (Y), business (C) and "Singapore Airlines Suites" (F). Seats on the first flight will be auctioned via eBay and (SIA) said it will donate the proceeds to charity. The return Sydney - Singapore flight is scheduled for October 26.

Under the original A380 program schedule, the first airplane was scheduled to be delivered to (SIA) in May 2006, or 17 months earlier than now is planned following several program delays.

(EDS) still touts the airplane as a 555-seater, but (SIA) followed Qantas (QAN) - - which plans to seat 450 on its A380s - - in revealing a configuration for far fewer passengers. Typically, 747-400s are configured for about 380 passengers, meaning the first A380s in operation will handle fewer than <100 additional passengers. However, they may not present the boarding and disembarking challenges some had feared.

While (SIA) said its A380 first-class suites "will be a product that totally redefines luxury in the sky," it did not say whether it will feature self-service bars and lounges in first (F) and business classes (C) similar to Qantas (QAN).

Total orders and commitments for the A380 stand at 173 by 14 customers, (EDS) said, adding that subsequent deliveries to (SIA), Emirates (EAD), and (QAN) are "well on track." (EDS) said the airplane will have a per-passenger fuel efficiency of 2.9 litre per 100 km.

September 2007: German Chancellor, Angela Merkel is hosting a meeting of (EADS) (EDS) shareholders on September 18 to discuss (EDS)' "Power8" restructuring program. DaimlerChrysler (DCY), which owns a 15% stake in (EADS) (EDS), is a key player at the meeting, which is expected to focus on (EDS)'s German plants at Nordenham, Laupheim, and Varel and (EADS) (EDS)'s plant in Augsburg, all sites that (EADS)/Airbus (EDS) is considering selling outright or turning over in part to investors. The fate of those sites has been a contentious political issue in Germany, where concerns have been expressed about possible job cuts and foreign ownership.

Aviation Capital Group (CGP) signed a firm contract with (EDS) for six A319s, 15 A320s and four A321s, collectively valued at $1.8 billion. The lessor already had 96 A320 family airplanes in its portfolio or on firm order. Managing Director & (CEO), Stephen Hannahs said the decision to order more was based on "high customer demand."

The billionaire Russian owner of Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich, has ordered an (EDS) A380, the world's biggest airliner, for use as his private jet, "Le Figaro" newspaper reported.
The newspaper, which did not cite sources, said Abramovich was the
mystery buyer behind an order for an A380 VIP, which was revealed by
(EDS) at the Paris Air Show in June this year. The doubledecker A380, which enters service later this year, is capable of carrying 840 passengers, measures 73 m in length/239-ft and towers over its biggest rival, the Boeing (TBC) 747. But is he Happy?

(EDS) secured 713 gross orders in the first eight months of 2007, although cancellations reduced the net number to 656, according to (EDS)' cumulative order data. This compares to (TBC)'s eight-month gross of 773 with a net figure of 763. However, since August 31, (TBC), which posts its orders weekly, has lifted its tally to 851 gross and 841 net. Those numbers are certain to change significantly before year end with large orders expected from British Airways (BAB) and Emirates (EAD).

(EDS) said it has narrowed the list of potential investors bidding to take stakes in industrial sites and become partners in A350 XWB development/production to five candidates, but emphasized that no "identifiable frontrunners" have emerged. (EDS) said six of 11 bidders already have been eliminated from consideration, leaving (GKN), Latecoere, Spirit AeroSystems, Voith and MT Aerospace as the remaining contenders. While (EDS) previously said it was selling three sites outright and seeking "risk-sharing partners" for three others, it now appears that only one, Laupheim, is being sold outright. Five sites (Filton, Meaulte, St Nazaire Ville, Nordenham, and Varel) are available for companies to purchase stakes and partner with (EDS) in manufacturing the A350 XWB and other airplanes. "In line with (EDS)'s strategy to develop a network of Tier 1 suppliers to support the A350 XWB, the partners would share investment, risks but also the benefits resulting from their participation in the A350 program," the company said. "Partners would manage, invest and further develop the sites and would ensure the ongoing participation of the sites in the current (EDS) programs, the new participation in the A350 XWB program, and the potential participation in future programs." (EDS) said it is waiting to see if EADS (EDS) decides to include its Augsburg plant, which is heavily involved in (EDS) manufacturing, among the sites being offered to potential partner investors. Inclusion of Augsburg would "extend the process" of weighing bids, "as the bidders need time to adapt their offers accordingly," it said. "A decision by (EADS) (EDS) is expected soon." (EDS) offered no timetable on when a final decision will be made on partnerships it calls "crucial" to its future. "Announcements will only be made when the Airbus (EDS) and (EADS) management have arrived, together with potential partners, at concrete terms and conditions for a promising long-term partnership," (CEO), Tom Enders said. "(EDS) is not ready to compromise the targets of its overall strategic and business goals. In other words, we will decide when we are ready." The risk-sharing partner model is part of the "Power8" restructuring program. (EDS) has said that 53% of A350 production will be outsourced.

October 2007: French President, Nicolas Sarkozy in his first public comments on allegations of insider trading at (EADS) and Airbus (EDS), said that government investigators will examine the issue thoroughly and that any executives found to have acted inappropriately should be "punished." French stock market regulator (AMF) forwarded a preliminary report to prosecutors last week alleging insider trading by a number of current and former (EADS) and Airbus (EDS) executives related to A380 program delays. (AMF) also alleged that senior officials in France's finance ministry had information on A380 problems, but declined to disclose them publicly during the period of alleged insider training from November 2005 to March 2006. France holds a 15% stake in (EADS). "If there are people who committed fraud at (EADS), judicial officials must get to the bottom of it so that we know the truth, and those who behaved dishonestly be punished in proportion to what they did," Sarkozy said. "I'll get to the bottom of the investigation to know what the responsibilities of the state were at the time."

Wizz Air (WZZ) signed a contract for 50 firm A320s plus 25 options, an order that the manufacturer said was the largest ever from Central and Eastern Europe for a single (EDS) type. The Polish/Hungarian Low Cost Carrier (LCC) already had 32 A320s on order. "(WZZ) has demonstrated its ability for sustainable growth in a competitive environment, where low-cost leadership is fundamental to market share growth and to remaining competitive," (CEO), Jozsef Varadi said. "The new airplane order will put (WZZ) in the league of the largest fleet operators in the region. By 2016, (WZZ) would operate a fleet of over 100 A320 airplanes."

Aerolineas Argentinas (ARG) and Air Comet (APZ) parent Grupo Marsans, the Spanish tourism and transport giant, yesterday signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with (EDS) for four A380s, 10 A350-900s, five A330-200s, five A321s, 25 A320s and 12 A319s. No catalog value or engine choice was announced in conjunction with the order, which follows Marsans' 2006 commitment for 12 A330-200s. "This purchase is an important step for us at Grupo Marsans in our development. It demonstrates our commitment to enhancing our group's position on the short- and long-haul networks by incorporating the most efficient airplanes on the market today," President, Gonzalo Pascual said, noting that "with the A380, we will become the first A380 customer and operator in Spain and South America." Some of the new airplanes may be destined for Spanair (SPP), which was partially established by Pascual, and which Marsans is expected to attempt to acquire from the (SAS) Group.

There was a guarded sigh of relief in Toulouse as Airbus (EDS) handed over the first of 19 A380s to launch customer Singapore Airlines (SIA), and a clearly delighted (SIA) (CEO), Chew Choon Seng said, "better late than never." Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Tom Enders candidly admitted that it will be (EDS)' "greatest challenge" to meet the revised production schedule of 13 airplanes next year. (COO) Customers, John Leahy told media he is in discussions with (ANA), Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT), and Air-India (AIN), regarding future orders, although he conceded that none has issued a Request For Proposal (RFP). Leahy said he was "pleased" that (SIA) will be operating the A380 to key market San Francisco, via Hong Kong and also to Tokyo.

At the handover, (SIA) unveiled its A380 interior featuring 12 enclosed, truly opulent first class (F) suites. For couples traveling together, the beds in the middle two suites can be converted into an optional double bed, which (SIA) touted with red rose petals strewn over the setting. The suites are the largest offered to passengers in the modern era, and bristle with luxury features. Located on the main deck, ahead of economy (Y), they carry a 25% premium above first class (F) fares. The 60 business class (C) and 399 economy (Y) seats virtually are identical to those unveiled in the 777-300ER last year. The business class (C) seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration, are located on the upper deck, along with 84 economy (Y) seats in a 2-4-2 configuration. On the main deck, economy (Y) seats are 3-4-3. There is only one standup self-serve bar, which is found in business class (C). There are no lounges.

"This delivery marks the beginning of a new chapter for the aviation industry and we feel honored to be the ones opening this new chapter," Chew told the 500 assembled guests and media. He said that the A380's quiet cabin will be a major selling feature for the airplane, and Leahy added that "more airlines are focusing on the low noise level."

(SIA)'s A380 departed Toulouse and is to enter service on the Singapore - Sydney route on October 25. Delivery of the second and third airplanes in the first quarter of next year, will allow the airline to extend the service to London Heathrow. Delivery of the fourth in April will see Tokyo Narita service commence, and the fifth and sixth later in the year, will be dedicated to San Francisco service via Hong Kong.

Chew said that (SIA) has no immediate plans to add to its order backlog and quipped, "It is up to Tom [Enders] and John Rose, (CEO) of Rolls-Royce (RRC)] to offer a package."

(ILFC) (ILF) and (EDS) confirmed that (ILF) has ordered 20 A350 XWBs valued at $4 billion. It provides a boost to the next-generation airplane program, particularly considering (ILF) Chairman & (CEO), Steven Udvar-Hazy's public criticism of the initial A350 design. (EDS) said the order comprises both A350-800s and A350-900s, with an option to take A350-1000s, but did not break down how many of each the lessor will receive. Deliveries are expected in 2014 to 2017. (EDS) said total A350 XWB orders now stand at 196. (ILF) had ordered 16 of the original-design A350s, and the new order replaces that one. "Timing of the revised agreement is the result of more than a year's worth of discussions," (COO), John Plueger said.

November 2007: (EDS) received Category IIIb approval from (EASA) to utilize Thales (THL)'s (MLS) precision approach and landing system on A320 family airplanes. British Airways (BAB) will be the first to use (MLS), implementing it at London Heathrow on A320s and A321s. "(MLS) uses microwave signals that are less susceptible to interference . . . from other airplanes moving on the airport surface or buildings than the current [ILS]," (EDS) said. "Airports equipped with (MLS) will be able to increase their traffic flow during bad weather conditions, no longer having to reroute airplanes when visibility is low." The manufacturer said the approval is the result of "a significant joint development" by itself, Thales (THL), (BAB), plus UK and French airport and air transport authorities. Both the onboard (MLS) receiver and airport (MLS) ground station are manufactured by Thales (THL).

(EDS) won the lion's share of the largest airplane order in commercial aviation history as Emirates Airlines (EAD) announced its selection of (EDS)'s A350 XWB over the 787, on the opening day of the 10th Dubai Air Show. (EAD) ordered 70 A350s plus 50 options, along with 11 A380s and 12 777-300ERs, all of which are valued at a combined $34.9 billion at list prices. (EAD) now has 246 airplanes on order. The A350 commitment ends (EAD)'s nearly two-year tussle with (EDS) to redesign the A350 to (EAD)r's requirements, including the switch to an all-composite fuselage. The order comprises 50 A350 XWB-900s (plus the 50 options) and 20 A350 XWB-1000s. Emirates (EAD) Group Chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said that "the A350 was the most suitable airplane for the (EAD)'s requirement." (EAD) also inked the deal announced at the Paris Air Show for eight additional A380s and tacked on three more for a total of 58 firm orders for the giant jet. When questioned about the number of airplanes on order, Al Maktoum said (EAD)'s growth plans are on track to "bring 15 million visitors a year by 2012." He added that the A380 order reflects the airline's confidence in the growth of air travel and of Dubai. (EDS) President & (CEO), Tom Enders thanked (EAD) for "placing great faith in our A350 XWB and A380 programs as well as our company and we are rightfully proud."

Rolls-Royce (RRC) said (EAD) selected the (Trent XWB) for the A350 XWB order placed at the show. The commitment is worth up to $8.4 billion if all options are exercised. The engine currently is the only one offered for the A350 and is the fourth version of the (Trent) family. (EAD) operates 29 A330s, 21 777s and 10 A340-500s with earlier (Trent) models.

Air Arabia (ABZ) signed a contract for 34 firm A320s plus 15 options, adding to (EDS)'s haul here, and staking its claim as the largest Low Cost Carrier (LCC) in the Middle East. The deal does not include an engine choice, and is worth approximately $3.5 billion at catalog prices. It will more than triple (ABZ)'s fleet and puts it on course to reach its target of 50 airplanes by 2015.

In a major shift away from Boeing (TBC), Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with (EDS) for 22 A320s plus eight options, as part of its fleet modernization. At the same time, it announced leases for 10 additional A320s from (GECAS) (GEF), and another 10 from Bahraini Bank Gulf One. The A320s will replace (SVA)'s fleet of MD-90s, and also will take over many regional routes from its 777s. Deliveries will start in 2009, with some of the airplanes replacing seven A320s currently operated on lease. (CFM) International said (SVA) chose the (CFM56-5B) to power the 10 airplanes leased from (GEF) in a deal worth $135 million at catalog prices. Those airplanes are scheduled to begin delivering in 2010, (CFM) said. The airplane order represents (SVA)'s first from (EDS) since it became the A300-600 launch customer. That airplane was delivered in 1984.

National Air Services (NTJ) of Saudi Arabia confirmed its order for 20 A320s on the opening day of the 10th Dubai Air Show, and in so doing also confirmed its intention to challenge (SVA) on the domestic front and, eventually, other carriers around the region. The airplane order, first announced at this summer's Paris Air Show, also includes 18 purchase rights and represents the manufacturer's first A320 sale in the kingdom. (NTJ), which launched eight years ago as a business jet operator, started its "nas air (NAZ)" low-cost commercial subsidiary in February. It now offers a variety of custom aviation services, including the scheduled airline. It is committed to acquiring $4 billion worth of airplanes, comprising orders for the A320s and a 60 business jets of various types, President, Taher Agueel said. Delivery of the A320s is expected to commence in 2012.

(EDS)'s impressive haul at the Dubai Air Show, has ensured that it will set a new orders record, (CCO) John Leahy told media. It had sold 1,021 airplanes at the end of October, and with significant orders from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAZ), Emirates (EAD), Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA), Air Arabia (ABZ), and National Air Services (NTJ)/(NAZ), during the show's first two days, it already has eclipsed last year's standard of 1,111 sales. Leahy also said (EDS) is on track to set a deliveries record, with a target of 450 by year end. Regarding growth in the Middle East, he said (EDS) will take a "very hard look" at raising its market forecast for the region in January. He said Dubai's ideal location could be a principal driver for further orders, as 90% to 95% of the world's population is within a nonstop A350 or A380 flight from the city. Another explanation for the glut of orders in the region, is the dearth of delivery slots, Leahy said. "We are sold out with single-aisle airplanes through 2012, sold out with wide body airplanes through 2011, with only a handful of orders in 2012," he said. "Airlines are now looking at their fleet needs and saying, 'If I sit around and wait another year, they'll be sold out in 2013 and 2014, so I better place my order now.'"

(EDS) continued to make the 10th Dubai Air Show one to remember, finalizing airplane orders from three more airlines:

Yemenia Yemen Airways (YEM) firmed up its commitment to the A350 XWB, signing a contract for 10 A350 XWB-800s. It is the midst of a modernization program and operates a long-haul fleet comprising four A310s and two A330-200s. It initially chose the (EDS) offering eight months ago, when an initial delivery date of 2012 was announced. That date was not confirmed. (YEM)'s A350s will be configured with 18 first class (F) seats and 265 in economy (Y). Chairman, Abdulkhaled Al-Kadi said the airline "is on the right track to implement its fleet modernization program, and to be well positioned to grow to meet high passenger demand."

Oman Air (OMR) finalized a contract for three A330-300s and two A330-200s, confirming (and slightly altering) a letter of intent (LOI) signed this spring for five A330-200s. No engine choice or delivery dates were announced for the airplanes, which will "provide additional capacity on (OMR)'s regional and international routes . . . to Europe and the Far East," (EDS) said. (OMR) (CEO), Ziad Al-Haremi said, "Our decision . . . came down to the suitability of the airplanes with our long-term strategy to operate an efficient and reliable fleet with proven operating costs."

Airblue (ABU) of Pakistan signed a contract for eight A320s, adding to the six it ordered a year ago. No delivery date or engine choice were announced for the airplanes, which will be configured with 157 seats in two classes. (EDS) said the carrier "hopes to expand routes to additional international destinations."

Nile Air, a startup Egyptian airline that plans to launch operations in the 2008 first quarter, placed a firm order for nine A321s valued at nearly $800 million and signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU)" to base its future fleet on the A321," (EDS) said. The Cairo-based carrier plans to serve Riyadh, Jeddah, Medina, Dammam, Kuwait, Dubai, Doha, and Bahrain, with passenger and freight service. "The A321 is the perfect solution to provide our required balance between volume, cost efficiency and return on investment," Nile Air, Chairman Nasser A Al-Tayyar said.

(EDS) said it received firm orders from 10 customers for 163 airplanes, worth more than >$28 billion at list prices, at the recently completed Dubai Air Show. Emirates (EAD)s' order for 70 A350 XWBs and 11 A380s was the most valuable single order in (EDS)'s history.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is the first customer for A380 Flight Hour Services, a new (EDS) support package to provide airlines with "enhanced maintenance and logistics support for spare parts and services for their A380s." The agreement signed with (SIA) is for an initial 10-year period and covers (EDS) Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) spare parts, and services for avionics, cabin, and integrated modular avionics systems on all the A380s (SIA) will operate.

Brazil's OceanAir (ONE) placed a firm order for seven A330-200s, 14 A319s and seven A320s, collectively valued at $2.65 billion. Deliveries will begin in 2009. (ONE) is owned by Synergy Group, also parent of Colombia's Avianca (AVI). Synergy Chairman, German Efromovich told reporters in Sao Paulo, that he wants to grow (ONE)'s domestic market share to 15% by 2010 from 2% currently, and compete more directly with Gol (GOT) and TAM (TPR), and believes the 21 A320 family airplanes will help achieve that goal. But the order also signals a commitment to international operations, with (ONE) planning to deploy the A330s on currently operated routes to Los Angeles, Mexican destinations, and Luanda. It plans to use the airplanes to launch service to Europe as well, Efromovich said.

(EDS) said the order brings total firm orders for its airplanes in Latin America to 410.

China's government reached agreement with (EDS) on firm orders for 110 A320 family airplanes and 40 A330s valued at approximately $15 billion, and also signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with (EDS) stipulating that Chinese industry will take a 5% stake in A350 XWB production.

China Southern Airlines (GUN) signed a separate contract for 10 A330-200s. The announcements of the large airplane order and industrial cooperation on the A350 XWB coincided with high-profile meetings taking place in Beijing, between French President, Nicolas Sarkozy and Chinese President, Hu Jintao, both of whom were present for the signing of the (MOU) by (EDS) (COO), Fabrice Bregier and National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Minister, Chen Deming. According to (EDS), the (MOU) states that (EDS) and (NDRC) will "carry out high-level industrial cooperation on A350 XWB development and manufacturing work, in order to enhance a closer strategic cooperation relationship between (EDS) and the Chinese aviation industry. (EDS) confirms its intent to manufacture 5% of the airframe of the A350 XWB airplanes in China." It added that a joint venture manufacturing plant will be established in Harbin in 2009 with AVIC II subsidiary, Harfei Aviation Industry Company "to produce [A350 XWB] composite material parts and components." (EDS) noted that six Chinese manufacturers "are already involved in manufacturing parts, such as wing components, emergency-exit doors and maintenance tools for (EDS) airplanes." The plane maker also holds a 51% stake in a Joint Venture (JV) A320 Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Tianjin, with first delivery from the (FAL) expected in the second half of 2009. The 160 airplanes ordered raise the possibility that (EDS) will top rival Boeing (TBC) in 2007 orders, which was not anticipated earlier this year, even by (EDS) executives with the company in the midst of launching its "Power8" restructuring program. Aside from the 10 A330-200s going to China Southern (GUN), distribution of the other 150 airplanes to Chinese airlines was not revealed, nor is it clear how many of the A320s will come from the Tianjin (FAL).

December 2007: Airbus (EDS) announced creation of the Airbus (EDS) Maintenance Training Network designed to extend its Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Network and simplify access to its training courses. Contracts with major training providers, include Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd (HAECO) (CAT), Iberia (IBE) Maintenance & Engineering, (SIA) Engineering Company, Sogerma Training, and SR Technics (SWS), according to (EDS). Computer assisted training, Virtual Aircraft, and the (EDS) active learning and competence focused training concept, are some of the learning tools available.

Meanwhile, Russia's (VTB) bank announced it will sell its 5% stake in (EADS) (EDS) to United Aviation Corporation, with which (EADS) (EDS) has signed a series of cooperation agreements.

The Engine Alliance (GP7200)-powered A380 received type certification from the USA (FAA) and (EASA), the (GE) Aviation/Pratt & Whitney (P&W) joint venture announced. The (GP7200) accumulated 2,855 engine flight hours along with extensive ground testing, and is scheduled to enter service next year with Emirates Airlines (EAD).

(EDS) firmed up Memos of Understanding (MOU)s it signed at the Paris Air Show with Libyan Airlines (LAA) for four A350 XWBs to begin delivering in 2017, four A330-200s, and seven A320s, and with Afriqiyah Airways (AQY) for six A350s, also delivering starting in 2017. Gallois said he expects the manufacturer to take orders for a record 1,300 airplanes for full-year 2007.

Asia's largest and most successful low-cost airline appears set to become the largest A320 operator in the world as well. AirAsia (ASW) placed an order for 25 firm A320s plus 25 options, bringing the commitment of the group (Malaysia AirAsia (ASW), Thai AirAsia (THA), Indonesia AirAsia (AWR)) to 175 firm airplanes and 50 options. The contract was signed at the Langkawi Airshow by AirAsia (ASW) (CEO), Tony Fernandes and (EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy. (ASW) placed its original A320 order for 60 airplanes in March 2005, with an additional 40-airplane buy announced at the 2006 Farnborough Airshow and another 50 announced last January. The first airplanet was delivered to (ASW) in December 2005. Currently, it operates 31 A320s on a rapidly expanding domestic and regional network. During 2008, the AirAsia (ASW) Group will become an A320-only operator as the 737 Classics used in Thailand and Indonesia are retired. Fernandes told media: "This purchase is an important step for us at (ASW), as it signifies our future aggressive route expansion plans in tandem to our expected traffic growth over the next decade." Leahy added: "We have been extremely proud to be part of (ASW)'s outstanding success and delighted that the confidence in the A320 has resulted in the airline now becoming the largest airline customer for this airplane in the world." He also said he expects an A380 order from Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to be finalized in the next 30 to 60 days, "Reuters" reported.

China Airlines (CHI) said that its board approved the signing of a letter of intent (LOI) with (EDS) to purchase 14 A350-900s plus six options valued at $4.2 billion, if all options are exercised. The airplanes will be delivered from 2015 to 2020, replacing the airline's A340-300 fleet, and expanding its mid- and long-haul capacity. "The move re-affirms (CHI)'s determination to improve and modernize its fleet, expand its markets and meet passenger demand, in order to strengthen its position as a national carrier and to enhance Taiwan's role as a regional Asia/Pacific aviation hub," (CHI) said. The A350-900s will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB)s. (RRC) placed the value of the engine deal at $800 million if all options are exercised. "This is the first time (RRC) has been chosen as an engine supplier by (CHI)," it said. "The announcement also marks the debut of the Trent series in Taiwan." (CHI) pointed out the "commonality" of the A350 to its A340s and A330s, "which will save substantial training costs through a pilot (FC) transitioning program." It plans to operate the airplanes in a two-class configuration "with a higher capacity of revenue passenger volume than the A340 and A330." Currently, its fleet totals 68 airplanes including 20 747-400F freighters. Its passenger fleet comprises 15 747-400s, 11 737-800s, six A340-300s and 16 A330-300s.

Qantas (QAN) and (EDS) celebrated another major milestone in (EDS)' relatively short but successful existence - the delivery of its 5,000th airplane, an A330-203 (593, VT-QPE), to (QAN) at a special ceremony in Toulouse.

(EDS) continues to considerably ramp up its production rates so as to reach ten A330/A340, 40 A320 Family planes and four A380s per month by 2010 in order to cope with very strong demand for its products. Its backlog of more than 3,000 airplanes should be delivered within the next five to six years only.

January 2008: (AWAS) (AWW), the Dublin-based lessor, gave Airbus (EDS) a strong start to the year with an order for 75 A320s plus 25 options.
The firm airplanes will bring its (EDS) portfolio to 145 units, the (EDS) said. The deal is valued at $6.9 billion at list prices.
AWAS (AWW) currently owns and manages more than >320 airplanes and said it is one of the world's three largest airplane lessors.

Airbus (EDS) recorded another blockbuster year with deliveries of 453 airplanes, +19 more than in 2006 and +12 more than Boeing (TBC), and a record 1,341 net orders worth $157.1 billion. While slightly less than its rival's 1,413 net orders, the difference largely is academic, as both manufacturers have the sobering challenge of delivering, ontime, what they have sold. (EDS) made a stunning recovery in 2007, with its A380 entering service flawlessly with Singapore Airlines (SIA) to bouquets and its A350 XWB winning the prized Emirates (EAD) order. During the year, it delivered 367 A320 family airplanes, six A300F freighters, 79 A330s/A340s, and one A380. Firm net orders comprised 913 A320 family airplanes, 405 A330s/A340s/A350s, and 23 A380s. A major highlight was the A350 XWB, which garnered 292 firm orders. At the end of 2007, (EDS) had a backlog of 3,421, which represents six years of production and was the highest backlog ever for the aviation industry. "2007 was a challenging but also successful year for (EDS)," President & CEO, Tom Enders said.

(EDS) COO, Fabrice Bregier said that the delays (EDS) experienced on the A380 program and Boeing (TBC) now is experiencing with the 787, actually bode well for the manufacturers, because the problems demonstrate to upstart airplane makers in Russia, China, and elsewhere, that entry into the large airplane market is nearly impossible. The delays ensure "that 10 years from now, Boeing (TBC) and Airbus (EDS) . . . will still be the two major global players in the industry. There are projects in Russia and China, [but the costs and complexities of manufacturing mean] we'll not be seeing a new entrant at a global level," in the foreseeable future, he said.

Thales (THL) will provide a package of avionics and cockpit systems for the A350 XWB, including the Integrated Modular Avionics Suite, Interactive Control and Display system, plus Air Data and inertial reference unit. The contract is expected to generate up to €2 billion/$2.9 billion in revenue over the first 20 years of in-service life, Thales (THL) said.

Air-India (AIN)/(IND), Jupiter Aviation and (EDS) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) to establish a three-way Joint Venture (JV) Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility in India to perform work on all types of (EDS) airplanes operated by (AIN)/(IND) and other Indian airlines. The deal was reached during French President, Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to India.

(EDS) said MatlinPatterson Global Advisers placed an order for six A330-200F freighters for placement with companies in its portfolio such as Varig Logistica (VLO) and Global Aero Logistics (holding company of ATA Airlines (AAT), World Airways (WLD), and North American Airlines (NNA)). (EDS) now has sold 72 A330-200Fs to eight customers.

The A380 will make its revenue debut in Europe on March 18, when it completes Singapore Airlines (SIA) Flight 308 from Sinapore Changi (SIN) to London Heathrow (LHR). (SIA) plans to take delivery of its third A380 in mid-March and put it into service soon thereafter. Its second arrived three weeks ago. "The arrival of the first commercial A380 flight to London will be a proud moment not only for Singapore Airlines (SIA), but also for British aviation, with the magnificent wings of the airplane made in Broughton and Filton in England, plus the [airplane] being powered by Rolls-Royce (RR) (Trent 900) engines," (SIA) General Manager UK & Ireland, Marvin Tan said.

February 2008: Airbus (EDS) operated a successful A380 test flight using a liquid fuel processed from gas, touting it as the first-ever flight by a commercial airplane, that was partially powered by an alternative fuel. The Gas to Liquids test flight from Filton to Toulouse lasted 3 hours. During the flight, one of four Rolls-Royce (RR) (Trent 900) engines was fed with a blend of GTL and jet fuel, while the remaining three were fed with standard jet fuel. Shell International Petroleum provided the GTL. SEE ATTACHED - "EDS-A380-GREEN-FEB08" & "EDS-BIOFUELS-MAR08."

The test, which the manufacturer said was the first of several of its kind that it will conduct, was in accordance with the agreement it signed in November 2007 with the Qatar GTL consortium partners, which include Qatar Airways (QTA), Rolls (RRC), Qatar Petroleum, Shell, Qatar Science & Technology Park, and Woqod Qatar Fuel Company. "This is the first step of a long-term (EDS) testing phase, to evaluate viable and sustainable alternative fuels for the future," the company said. "GTL could be available at certain locations to make it a practical and viable drop-in alternative fuel for commercial aviation in the short term. GTL has attractive characteristics for local air quality, as well as some benefits in terms of airplane fuel burn, relative to existing jet fuel." GTL is virtually free of sulphur, it noted.

The "Clean Sky" research program, a Joint Technology Initiative aimed at reducing the environmental impact of air transport, was launched officially in Brussels last week. "Clean Sky" is one of Europe's largest research programs, with a budget of €1.6 billion/$2.33 billion, that will be funded equally by the European Commission (EC) and industry. It will run through 2014, and aims to develop advanced technologies for the next generation of airplanes entering service after 2015. It will select technologies for development over the next three years, with demonstrations scheduled for the 2013 to 2014 timeframe. "The aerospace industry is highly aware of its environmental responsibilities and over the last few decades has contributed to a drastic reduction in both emissions and noise. Today, with traffic expected to keep growing, "Clean Sky" is paving the way for a new major step in this ongoing process. We are fully committed to meeting these very ambitious goals," Provisional Executive Committee Chairman & Safran Aerospace Propulsion Division CEO, Marc Ventre commented. "Clean Sky" will be built on six key research areas: SMART fixed-wing airplanes, that will sense airflow and adapt their shape as required, green regional airplanes, green rotorcraft, sustainable and green engines and systems for green operations, that will focus on all-electric airplanes equipment and system architectures, thermal management, capabilities for "green" trajectories and missions and improved ground operations. The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe has establish a 50% reduction in both carbon dioxide emissions and noise, and a -80% cut in nitrous oxide emissions in airplanes operating by 2020.

(EDS) is off to a strong start in 2008 with the booking of orders for 238 airplanes in January and the delivery of 37, including Singapore Airlines (SIA)'s second A380. Some orders were announced last year but were signed in January. Last month's most significant commitment was the 110 A320s ordered by China Aviation Supplies Import and Export Group (CAC)/(CSC) last fall. Other orders sealed last month were (AWAS) (AWW) for 75 A320s; China Airlines (CHI) for 14 A350 XWB-900s; Libyan Airlines (LAA) for seven A320s, four A330-200s, and four A350-800s; (TACA) (TAC) for three A319s and 12 A320s; Hamburg International (HAU) for two A319s; MatlinPatterson Global Advisors for six A330-200Fs destined for Varig Logistica (VLO) and Global AeroLogistics (holding company of ATA Airlines (AAT), World Airways (WLD), and North American Airlines (NNA)); Atlantic Airways for one A319.

Deliveries comprised 31 A320 family airplanes, (SIA)'s A380, A330-200s for Air China (BEJ) and CIT Leasing (TCI) (Qantas (QAN)) and three A330-300s for (ILFC) (ILF) (Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT), Qatar Airways (QTA),and Lufthansa (DLH)).

Korean Air (KAL) placed a firm order for three additional A380s, bringing its commitment to the jumbo jet to eight. The newly ordered airplanes are scheduled to arrive in 2012 to 2013. (KAL) expects its first A380 in 2010, when it will introduce the plane on routes to the western USA.

The A380 program now boasts 192 firm orders from 16 customers.

(EDS) continues to talk with General Electric (GE) about providing a (GEnx) variant for the A350. While noting that the company is "very happy" with the Rolls-Royce (RR) (Trent XWB) offering, Leahy said the business case for the A350 always envisioned a second engine supplier. However, he also emphasized that Airbus (EDS) "is not going to modify our airplanes to fit their [GE's] engine."

(EDS) is still negotiating with labor unions on the workforce reduction target of -10,000 jobs mandated by "Power8." "Unions don't like it," he acknowledged. "Unions don't like job losses, don't like the selling of certain plants."

(EDS) said the USA (FAA) and (EASA) have approved reduced training for pilots (FC) transitioning from the A320 family, A330 or A340 to the A380. (EDS) said an A320 family pilot (FC) now can be qualified to fly the A380 in 13 working days, and an A330/A340 pilot (FC) in 12 working days. A pilot (FC) with no (EDS) fly-by-wire experience requires 24 working days to complete the A380 standard type rating course.

March 2008: Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) reported a net loss of -€446 million/-$685.3 million for 2007, reversed from a net profit of +€99 million the previous year, as the company was hurt by "Power8" restructuring costs, A350 XWB program startup charges, the declining value of the USA dollar, and a 6 to 12-month delay to the A400M military transport airplane program. (EADS) claimed it delivered "a strong business performance in 2007 while experiencing significant challenges," noting that Airbus (EDS)'s net airplane orders doubled to 1,341 and the value of its order book reached an all-time high of €339.5 billion at year end, up +29% over €262.8 billion at the end of 2006, despite a negative €19.9 billion revaluation, owing to the weaker dollar. "2007 was a tough year with many high-profile challenges to be overcome," CEO, Louis Gallois said.

Full-year revenue was €39.1 billion, slightly down from €39.4 billion in 2006. Commercial airplane deliveries were up +4.4% to 453. (EADS) said it foresees a continued "resilient commercial airplane market and (EDS) deliveries peaking in 2011 to 2012." It projects 700 orders in 2008. (EDS)'s 2007 revenue was flat year-over-year at €25.2 billion. Its (EBIT) was a negative -€881 million, a -35.1% drop from a negative -€572 million posted in 2006.

April 2008: (AMF), the French stock market regulator, said its 18-month investigation into alleged insider trading at Airbus (EDS) and parent (EADS) related to A380 program delays, produced enough evidence to "initiate proceedings" against an undisclosed number of unidentified executives. (AMF) has been investigating whether (EADS) and (EDS) executives inappropriately sold off (EADS) shares prior to (EDS)'s June 2006 announcement of A380 program delays, that led to an immediate -26% drop in (EADS)'s stock price, and forwarded preliminary information to prosecutors last year. (EADS) said it was told (AMF) will bring formal charges against Airbus (EDS) and (EADS) executives "for breach of market information duties and for breach of insider trading rules." It has been reported widely that as many as 17 executives could be charged, including a number of (EDS)'s highest ranking officials. CEO, Tom Enders was named in preliminary (AMF) reports and has denied wrongdoing.

(EADS) CEO, Louis Gallois said charges would start a formal process that will allow executives to present their side. "At last, (EADS) and its managers concerned, will be in a position to defend themselves," he said.

Goodrich (BFG) reached agreement with (EDS) to perform Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services on various components at its Alabama Service Center in Foley. The facility expects to service flight control surfaces, pneumatic ducting, and access doors.

(EDS) announced completion of an in-flight demonstration involving its own A340 and an (SAS) A330, during which the former performed several altitude changes in relation to the latter in oceanic airspace using a new (ADS-B) system that includes an Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) Traffic Computer. (EDS) said the A340 pilot (FC) was able to receive on his navigation display , all flight identification and positioning information, relating to surrounding airplanes. The procedure, called Cristal (ITB), "will enable airplanes to more easily perform altitude changes during cruise , which can significantly improve flight efficiency, reducing fuel burn and emissions," (EDS) said. It currently is certifying the (ACSS) system.

In a rare development, (EDS) and Pratt & Whitney (PWC) announced an agreement to flight test Pratt (P&W)'s Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine on (EDS)'s A340 testbed, although the engine does not have an application on an (EDS) airframe. Testing will occur during the fourth quarter. The (GTF) has been chosen by Bombardier and Mitsubishi for their respective new airplane programs, the CSeries and Mitsubishi Regional Jet, and Pratt (PWC) has touted it for the successors to the A320 and 737NG families.

(EADS) (EDS) CEO, Louis Gallois, in perhaps his starkest language yet regarding its and (EDS)'s fiscal plight, referenced Greek tragedy to describe the impact on aerospace manufacturing in Europe that the rising euro/sinking dollar is having. "We are at levels which are becoming unbearable," he told reporters in Paris. "We cannot stay under this "Damocles sword," which is starting to fall." He reiterated that each 10 cent rise in the euro compared to the dollar, costs Airbus (EDS) €1 billion/$1.59 billion, as it builds aircraft in euro costs and sells them in dollars. "We will have to take structural decisions on desensitizing the company to the dollar," he said, adding that a serious rethinking of (EADS)' and (EDS)'s business is underway with strong consideration to moving more manufacturing outside Europe.

For details of the A350 workshare program, see attached - - "EDS-A350-WORKSHARE-APR08."

(EDS) received 54 airplane orders in March, including its second for a VIP version of the A350 XWB, and delivered a record 48 airplanes, including the third A380 to Singapore Airlines (SIA). Last month's orders comprised 27 A320 family airplanes (including six Airbus Corporate Jetliners (ACJ)s), 26 A330s, and the A350. Deliveries comprised 39 A320 family airplanes, eight A330s/A340s, and the A380. The previous delivery record was 46 in October 2006.

Aer Lingus (ARL) confirmed a June order for six A350 XWB-900s and six A330-300s following receipt of shareholder approval for the purchase. Ryanair (RYR), which holds 29% of (ARL), voted against the acquisition and had insisted on a renegotiation or cancellation of the contract, saying it was negotiated at an all-time high in the last airplane value cycle. "We would strongly urge your board and management . . . to take advantage of the recent market downturn and the significant reduction in airplane prices, to secure these same airplanes at significantly lower prices," Ryanair (RYR) said in a letter to the (ARL) board. A330 deliveries are scheduled to begin next year, with all airplanes arriving by 2015. "The A350-900 fits well into our ambitious plans to expand existing routes and to open up new ones from our hub in Dublin. The new airplanes will fit in seamlessly with our all-Airbus (EDS) fleet," (ARL) CEO, Dermot Mannion said. The contract brings total firm orders for the A350 to 362 from 22 customers, Airbus (EDS) noted.

May 2008: Airbus (EDS)'s overall order book rose +3% to €291.12 billion, as it took in €31.5 billion worth of orders (395 net, 420 gross) last quarter, up significantly from €5.46 billion in the 2007 first quarter. It booked a net 290 A320 family airplanes, 102 A330s/A340s, and three A380s as well as 64 commitments for the A350 XWB. It delivered 123 airplanes during the quarter, up +7%, including two A380s to Singapore Airlines (SIA), and executives told reporters at a Toulouse briefing, that the 48 deliveries in March were a company record for a single month.

Former (EADS) (EDS) co-CEO, Noel Forgeard was detained by French police in relation to the ongoing probe into insider trading allegations regarding the June 2006 A380 delay announcement. French stock market regulator (AMF) has been investigating whether (EADS) and Airbus (EDS) executives inappropriately sold off (EADS) shares in the weeks prior to the announcement, which led to an immediate -26% drop in (EADS)'s stock price, and earlier this year revealed that it had enough evidence to bring charges against as many as 17 current and former executives. Forgeard has been questioned repeatedly about his sale of €2.5 million/$3.9 million worth of stock options in March 2006. He has maintained his innocence, calling the sale "an unfortunate coincidence," but was forced to resign that July.

Airbus (EDS) "terminated" talks with Latecoere regarding the sale of two industrial plants in France, a setback in its effort to implement the "Power8" restructuring program. The announcement follows a similar termination of negotiations in March with MT Aerospace regarding the divestiture of three German industrial plants. A primary plank of "Power8" is the divestiture of six or seven plants slated to play key roles in the development and construction of the A350 XWB.

Rockwell Collins (RC) won deals from Airbus (EDS) to provide its Communication Global Work package, Avionics Data Network and landing systems technology for the A350 XWB. The communication package includes (VHF) and (HF) systems, (ARINC) 781 satellite capacity, (ACR) for data link with (ATN) and (FANS-B), audio technology and Gatelink. (ADN) features (RC)'s (AFDX) and can link displays and Integrated Modular Avionics-based applications. (RC)'s Multi-Mode Receiver landing system offers (ILS) and (GLS) capabilities, positioning intelligence, and velocity and time reference, while its Digital Low Range Altimeter system provides height measurements during approach, landing and climbout flight phases. Work will take place at (RC) sites in Cedar Rapids, Irvine, California, Melbourne (Florida), and Toulouse.

(EDS) parent, (EADS) CEO, Louis Gallois said (EDS)'s "Power8" restructuring program will be enhanced with further cuts to be unveiled by the end of summer.

Emirates (EAD) received up to AED404 million/$109.9 million from Airbus (EDS), as compensation for A380 delivery delays, "Reuters" reported.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) said it still expects to receive its fifth A380 in July and Emirates (EAD), which is the largest customer with 47 on order, said it expects to receive its first in the third quarter. Qantas (QAN) said it expects to receive its first in August.

Airbus (EDS) (CEO), Tom Enders and Executive VP, Mario Heinen, Head of the A380 program, insisted that delivery delays announced resulted from the "snowball effect" of previous A380 production holdups and are not a harbinger of further difficulties.

VP Marketing, Colin Stuart said Airbus (EDS) has no problem moving forward with the A350 program with just one engine supplier and pointed out that there is ample precedent in the market. However, he did concede that competition and innovation are good for both the program and customers and that Airbus (EDS) would prefer a second engine-maker commit to the A350.

Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems will design and produce the composite center fuselage frame section for the A350 XWB under an agreement with (EDS). The structure, which will be approximately 64.7 ft/19.7 m long and weigh around 8,990 lbs/4,078 kg, will be manufactured in a new assembly plant to be built in North Carolina, Spirit said. It pegged the value of the contract at around $2.75 billion over the life of the program and said investment in manufacturing capability will total $700 million over approximately seven years, "shared roughly equally" among Spirit, Airbus (EDS), suppliers and local governments.

Portions of the work will be performed at Spirit Wichita, where the company got its start as the former Boeing Wichita unit, as well as at a new facility in Malaysia that is expected to be operational in 2009. Spirit is seeking additional A350 work as well. It bid previously on some of the facilities being divested by Airbus (EDS) as part of the latter's "Power8" restructuring, but was rejected.

(EDS) has an A320 family order backlog of 2,668 airplanes. It said the program is at its "mid-life" and it is targeting 2011 for the 5,000th delivery and 2016 to 2017 for No 7,000. It delivered its 3,000th last year and first in 1988.

(EDS) announced an order for six A350 XWB Prestiges (five A350-900s and one A350-800) from Middle Eastern company MAZ Aviation and orders for two A318 Elites and one Airbus Corporate Jetliner from Austria's Jetalliance Group (JAF).

Gulf Air (GUL) ordered 20 A330-300s and 15 A320s, a commitment that will more than double the Bahraini carrier's Airbus fleet, the manufacturer announced. The airline already operates 10 A320s, six A330-200s and nine A340-300s. "Gulf Air (GUL) is taking huge strides forward in its strategy to re-fleet and expand its network and this contract is a significant milestone in this direction," CEO, Bjorn Naf said. (EDS) said the A330s will fly to Europe and the Far East.

June 2008: Airbus (EDS) selected Diehl Stiftung & Co and Thales (THL) as the preferred bidder for its Laupheim site. Airbus (EDS) and Diehl/Thales (THL) will enter into negotiations toward arriving at a final sales agreement. Thales (THL) and Diehl already are partnered in Diehl Aerospace, an airplane component and systems supplier, formed in 2000. Diehl holds 51% of that venture and Thales (THL) 49%. The selection "also includes A350 XWB cabin work-packages for Laupheim," according to Airbus (EDS). The Laupheim plant employs 1,100 and produces cabin linings, cabin crew rest compartments, baggage bins and air ducts for all Airbus (EDS) products. Earlier efforts to sell other plants have been unsuccessful. Last month, the company terminated talks with Latecoere regarding the sale of two industrial plants in France.

Russia's KD Avia (KGD) signed a commitment with Airbus (EDS) for 25 A319s, the manufacturer announced in Berlin. "The A319 will contribute to the strengthening of Kaliningrad's position as an important Russian transit hub and at the same time will enable us to further develop our route network," (KGD) Chairman, Sergey Grishchenko said. It is a new Airbus (EDS) customer. "RIA Novosti" reported that deliveries will begin in 2014, citing Airbus (EDS) COO Customers, John Leahy, and that the order is worth $1.7 billion.

Italy's Air One (ADH) cemented its commitment to increasing its international profile with a firm order for 12 A350-XWB-800s plus 12 options and 12 A330-200s with eight options. Airbus (EDS) said the airplanes will be used to "develop a comprehensive long-haul route network." The firm order, is worth $4.8 billion at list prices, with the deal potentially reaching $8.6 billion, if all options are exercised. Air One (ADH) also has 65 A320s on order, along with 25 options that it expects to firm. The newly ordered A330-200s will feature a two-class cabin seating 253 and the A350s will offer two classes with up to 287 seats. The A350 XWB program now has garnered 374 firm orders from 23 customers.

Aeroflot (ARO) confirmed that it plans to lease an additional +19 A320 family airplanes. No other details were provided. Interfax reported that the carrier plans to add up to +65 Airbus (EDS) airplanes in the future. It already operates 36 narrowbody Airbus (EDS) airplanes.

German airlines will need more than >900 commercial airplanes valued at $109 billion over the next 20 years, with 100 around the A380 size, 200 mid-to-long-range, and 600 short-haul, Airbus (EDS) VP Market Forecasting, Laurent Rouaud told media in Frankfurt.

Airbus (EDS) began transporting A320 segments from Hamburg to the new Tianjin Final Assembly Line (FAL), where the first airplane (headed for Sichuan Airlines (SIC)) will be assembled, starting in August for delivery in the first half of next year. Airbus (EDS) will hold 51% of the Tianjin joint venture with the Chinese Industry Consortium comprising the Tianjin Free Trade Zone, AVIC I, and AVIC II holding the remainder.

July 2008: Airbus (EDS) said it has selected Kuehne+Nagel as its "lead logistics provider" and DHL as its "lead transport provider."
Both become "Tier 1 partners" and will play a big role in "integration of Airbus (EDS) and will allow a further harmonization and optimization of Airbus (EDS)'s logistics and related transport processes in Europe," the manufacturer said. "The integration will lead to substantial savings in the range of . . . high double-digit million euros." The company said its new logistics concept, part of the Power8 restructuring program, "foresees the successive consolidation of all local warehouse facilities into regional hubs" at select sites in Europe by 2010. "They will be fully managed and operated by Kuehne+Nagel." DHL will implement a "full transport management system and streamline the transport of moving materials from the supplier to the Airbus (EDS) manufacturing plants," the airplane maker said. "This allows better integration, rationalizing of capacity and better tracking of items." Shipments of airplane sections by air, sea and road are not part of the DHL contract. "The optimization of our supply chain and logistics by defining one lead logistics provider and one lead transport provider is an essential step towards increasing our efficiency and delivering on our Power8 targets," (COO), Fabrice Bregier said. The contracts with Kuehne+Nagel and DHL take effect September 1.

Spirit AeroSystems Europe said it won deals with Airbus (EDS) to design and produce a wing structure for the A350 XWB program and reached a $1.7 billion extension on its existing contract to supply leading and trailing edges and other wing structures on the A319, A320 , and A321 assembled in the UK, from 2011 to 2015. The A350 structure will comprise 50% carbon fiber and measure 32 m in length. Work will take place at facilities in Prestwick, Kinston, North Carolina, USA, and Subang outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

At the Farnborough Air Show, Aviation Capital Group (CGP) signed a firm contract for the purchase of 23 A320 family airplanes, lifting the USA lessor's firm orders for the type since March to 68. The order, valued at $1.8 billion, will take (CGP)'s portfolio of A320s to 168. Deliveries from yesterday's order are due to start in the fourth quarter of 2009 and pick up again in 2014 through 2015, Managing Director & (CEO), Stephen Hannahs said, noting that between 2011 and 2014, (CGP) will take deliveries from two orders placed previously. The lessor selected the (V2500) to power 25 of the A320s it has on order in a deal worth in excess of >$400 million, (IAE) International Aero Engines said. The first (IAE)-powered airplane is due to be delivered in 2011.

Qatar Airways (QTA) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for four A321s plus two options. The four firm airplanes are scheduled for delivery "in the near term," (CEO), Akbar Al Baker said at the Farnborough Air Show, following a signing ceremony with Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Tom Enders.

Russia's (VSMPO)-(AVISMA), Airbus (EDS) and (EADS) reached a long-term agreement for the supply of titanium, including round and flat mill products and die forging parts for current Airbus (EDS) airplanes as well as new programs such as the A350-XWB. The contract extends to 2020 and has value potential estimated at $4 billion.

Asiana Airlines (AAR) placed a firm order for 30 A350-XWBs valued at more than >$7 billion plus 10 options. Deliveries are slated to begin in 2016. Asiana (AAR) has been weighing for months whether to place a massive order for A350s or 787s to replace its 767s and A330s, and drive future growth to Japan and China and on long-haul routes. Asiana (AAR) Vice Chairman & (CEO), Chan-Bup Park said the order ensures that "we will remain at the forefront of the aviation industry." (AAR) said it plans to take all three variants of the airplane, adding that it will be used on both regional and long-haul routes. They will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB)s.

Airbus (EDS) said it has sold a total of more than >350 A350s to more than 20 customers.

AerCap (DEA) stated it will be the launch customer for the A320/A321 converted freighter following signing of a firm contract with Airbus Freighter Conversion (AFC) to convert 30 of its passenger A320s/A321s into cargo airplanes. The deal is valued at about $135 to $140 million. "The A320-A321P2Fs are setting new standards in the feeder freighter market," AerCap (DEA) CEO, Klaus Heinemann said, citing three key reasons to make the commitment, including the urgent need to replace its current fleet in the smaller freighter segment and the life extension of the A320 of "about 10 years," owing to the conversion. The Netherlands-based leasing company has identified 29 of the 30 A320s/A321s in its portfolio it will convert to freighters. They all have been operating for about 15 years, "which we see as an optimal age for the conversion," he noted.

(AFC) was established in March 2007 as an (EADS) (EFW), Airbus (EDS), (UAC) and Irkut joint company, headquartered in Dresden.

In what President & (CEO), Tom Enders characterized as "probably the second most successful Farnborough for us," Airbus (EDS) received orders and commitments from 10 customers for 256 airplanes, worth $40.5 billion. Of these, 247 were firm, according to (COO) Customers, John Leahy. Included among the firm airplanes was a deal announced with Synergy Aerospace (AVI)/(ONE)/(SAM) for 10 A350-800s, completing a Memo of Understanding (MOU) signed in February. Synergy Aerospace is the parent of Avianca (AVI) and (SAM) in Colombia, and Oceanair (ONE) in Brazil. Also, Airbus (EDS) revealed an (MOU) for five firm A330-200Fs plus three options from Alis Aerolinee Italiane, a new airline founded by members of the former management team and ownership of Air Dolomiti. According to Leahy, the firm tally for the first four days of the show comprised 128 A320 family airplanes, 11 A330s, 98 A350s, and 10 A380s. Interestingly, the A380s - - all ordered by Etihad (EHD) - - will boost the backlog by just +six units, as the carrier previously had committed to acquire four test airplanes and instead will take production models. Of the test airplanes, 1 to 2 are committed to the corporate/VIP market. Leahy said his preference is to keep all four in the VIP market; however, Emirates (EAD) may take one. (EDS) will deliver five A380s by July 31, including (EAD)'s first, and 12 by year end. Executive VP Programs, Tom Williams said the manufacturer is "two-and-a-half to three years" away from achieving its production rate target of four per month. He said the main challenge is expected in the second half of 2009, and revolves around customization issues with (BFE) and (SFE) for cabin interiors.

Despite a busy week here and much stronger sales than expected year-to-date, Leahy anticipates that "the market in the second half will be softer than the first half." He said (EDS) does not see a new-generation narrow body before 2019 to 2020, a timeframe that puts it 1 to 2 years behind public statements from Boeing (TBC), although he does not think it will play out that way: "Our estimate is the end of the next decade. I'd be very surprised if anyone moved faster." (EDS) remains committed to boosting the A330 production rate to 11 per month from eight, and is studying the case for an A330-300F freighter. Leahy was a bit more cautious on the A320, however: "We have a decision to go to 40 per month, but obviously we are watching the market."

August 2008: Qantas (QAN) said that it will take delivery of its first A380 on September 19 in Toulouse. It will fly the airplane to Singapore and then to Sydney, where it is scheduled to arrive on September 21. General Manager, John Borghetti said (QAN) will operate its first A380 commercial flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles (LAX) on October 20, and will operate a Sydney - (LAX) flight on October 24. It plans to take delivery of three A380s by year end, and has a total of 20 on order. It plans to launch Sydney - Singapore - London Heathrow in early 2009.

Syrian Arab Airlines (SYR) intends to buy a combined 50 A320s, A330s/A340s and A350s, Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Abdallah Dardari told "Bloomberg News" in Damascus. "We are now in agreement with the French to completely restructure the national airline, now that we have an agreement to buy Airbus (EDS) planes,'' Dardari said, adding that Syriain (SYR) will lease four airplanes in the next 18 months and take delivery of the first 14 ordered airplanes in the 2010 to 2018 timeframe, with the remainder arriving by 2028.

Airbus (EDS)'s gross orders climbed to 754 through July, and 711 net of cancellations. It secured orders from nine customers last month. The A320 leads the 2008 order book with 460, followed by 291 A330s/A350s, and three A380s. Orders for three A340-600s have been cancelled.

September 2008: Airbus (EDS) officially opened its first final assembly line outside Europe with its inauguration of the A320 Family Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Tianjin. Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao and (EDS) President & (CEO), Tom Enders officiated at a ceremony with more than >600 guests. The (FAL) is a joint venture between Airbus (EDS) (51%) and a Chinese consortium comprising the Tianjin Free Trade Zone, AVIC I, and AVIC II. It is similar to Airbus (EDS)'s Hamburg assembly line and its first airplane will be delivered to Sichuan Airlines (SIC) through Dragon Aviation Leasing in mid-2009. The facility will ramp up production to four airplanes per month by 2011. It is China's second attempt to build commercial airplanes under license, the first being the MD-80/-90 Trunkliner program with McDonnell Douglas in the mid-1990s. It initially was supposed to produce 20 MD-80s and 20 MD-90s, with eventual targets as high as 150 airplanes, but only 20 MD-90s were built, and the program became embroiled in controversy after some machine tools exported from the USA allegedly were diverted to military production.

Six Chinese manufacturers already are involved in manufacturing parts for (EDS) and the value of that work was $70 million in 2007. By 2010, (EDS) purchasing from the Chinese aviation industry will nearly treble to $200 million, before more than doubling again to $450 million by 2015. On the occasion of the (FAL) opening, (EDS) and the (CAAC) (CAC) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) covering a five-year cooperation in training for Chinese aviation authorities, maintenance support for airlines, (ATM) technologies and training for aviation and university instructors.

(EADS) will invest €180 million/$263.5 million to build a new plant in Augsburg that will manufacture fuselage parts for the A350, the "Associated Press" reported. The facility will open in 2011, adjacent to the current (EDS) factory.

Emirates (EAD)'s second A380 will be delayed by a "few weeks," the airline said. (EAD) started commercial service with its first A380 on August 1 with a flight from Dubai to New York (JFK), and now is operating the airplane on the route, thrice-weekly. It planned to take its second A380 this month and upgrade the Dubai - (JFK) service to daily, but that timeline will be pushed back. "We are negotiating with (EDS) the delivery date of a second A380," (EAD) said. (EDS) said that it still is on track to deliver 12 A380s this year; five currently are in service including four with launch customer Singapore Airlines (SIA). (EDS) announced a fourth delay to the program in May, reducing 2008 deliveries from 13 to 12, 2009 deliveries from 25 to 21, and 2010 deliveries from 42 to as few as 30.

The USA government's $85 billion bailout of (ILFC) (ILF)'s parent, American International Group (AIG) cast a cloud of uncertainty over the airplane lessor, that is the largest single customer of both Boeing (TBC) and (EDS). (ILF) Chairman & (CEO), Steven Udvar-Hazy reportedly is attempting to line up investors to buy back the company from (AIG), which purchased it in 1990, according to the "Wall Street Journal (WSJ)." (ILF), founded by Udvar-Hazy and Leslie and Louis Gonda in 1973, is a bright spot in troubled (AIG)'s portfolio. While the company as a whole nearly collapsed before the government stepped in this week to take an 80% stake, the airplane leasing unit posted a +$364 million net profit in the first six months of 2008 on revenue of $2.5 billion.

The (WSJ) reported that Udvar-Hazy recently concluded that it was no longer viable for (ILF) to be a part of (AIG) because the parent company's credit rating had deteriorated to the point that it was driving up the lessor's borrowing rates. He is reported to be speaking with a wide range of potential investors, including private equity firms, pension funds, banks and sovereign wealth funds.

(EDS) agreed to sell its UK-based wing component and assemblies manufacturing unit at Filton, UK to (GKN) for £136 million/$243.9 million under a deal that aims to advance the "Power8" restructuring initiative and transfer operations, assets and certain activities to (GKN). The agreement follows a deal reached last month by (EDS) to sell its Laupheim plant to Diehl and Thales (THL). The accord with (GKN) also covers A350-XWB work packages for the carbon fiber composite wing fixed trailing edge, which (GKN) plans to manufacture locally. "This sale . . . will provide new opportunities for those involved and will help to strengthen the Filton aerospace site," (EDS) President & (CEO), Tom Enders said. "For (EDS), this decision will allow us to concentrate on our role of being an airplane architect and integrator. Our remaining wing, landing gear and fuel systems business at Filton is core to this objective." (GKN) is buying a unit that comprises roughly 1,500 manufacturing workers and support staff, about 25% of (EDS)'s Filton workforce. Subject to regulatory approval, the sale is expected to be finalized by year end.

CIT Aerospace (TCI) exercised options for eight A320s and two A319s, lifting its firm Airbus (EDS) commitment to 199 airplanes (162 A320 family, 30 A330s, seven A350s), of which 100 already have been delivered. Delivery of the newly ordered airplanes, worth approximately $756 million at list prices, is scheduled to begin in 2012.

(EDS) and Syrian Arab Airlines (SYR) have had "exploratory discussions" about a potential order for more than >50 airplanes valued at as much as $35 billion, a French official told the "Financial Times (FT)." There had been recent speculation that French President, Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to Damascus for talks with Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad would include an announcement of a blockbuster airplane order. But (EDS) has denied the deal, which would be complicated by the fact that its airplanes contain parts manufactured by companies in the USA, which imposed sanctions on sales to Syria in 2004. The "FT" quoted a "senior French official" as saying that discussions have taken place and that "the position of the USA" is a key element of the talks.

ST Aviation Services, a Singapore Technologies Aerospace subsidiary, reached agreement with (EDS) to provide heavy maintenance checks for 19 A330s leased to Singapore Airlines (SIA). The agreement is part of a multiparty contract to provide (SIA) with support under prior lease arrangements. Heavy maintenance is slated to begin in 2015 and expected to last 18 months.

Rockwell Collins reached a deal with (EDS) to provide side displays and docking stations for the new Class 2 electronic flight bag (EFB) on A320s for production and aftermarket applications. The system is designed to enhance efficiency by electronically connecting airline and pilot (FC) operations.

(EDS), preparing to deliver to Qantas (QAN) its first A380, moved to quell speculation in the French media that more production problems may delay future deliveries. According to "Agence France Presse," Airbus (EDS) President & CEO, Tom Enders said the manufacturer is still on track to deliver 12 A380s this year, 21 in 2009, and between 30 and 40 in 2010. France's "Journal du Dimanche" reported that Emirates (EAD) would not receive its second A380 until the end of October, effectively a two-month delay. (EAD) said it is discussing the situation with (EDS), but confirmed that it will receive five A380s by March 31, 2009. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines (SIA) took delivery of its sixth A380, which will allow it to operate a second daily flight between Singapore and London Heathrow (LHR) from September 20. Aside from (LHR), (SIA) operates daily A380 flights from Singapore to Sydney and Tokyo. It has 13 more A380s on order and options on a further six.

Qantas (QAN) takes first A380-841 (014, VH-OQA), delivery. (QAN)'s configuration will have the lowest passenger count of any A380 operator with just 450 seats, including 332Y economy seats. (QAN) announced that it is likely to add to the 20 of the type it already has on order. (CEO), Geoff Dixon and his successor, Alan Joyce, made clear that a new order is a virtual certainty, though Dixon qualified that any order would have to be within (QAN)'s current A$35 billion/$27.9 billion budget for capital spending on airplanes, meaning that it may be interested in airplane swaps with (EDS). The Qantas (QAN) Group last year ordered 60 A320s/A321s for Jetstar (IMU). Dixon said that the A380 is a "perfect fit" for the airline's long-haul flying, with Joyce adding that it "ticks all the boxes for us." One box both executives are hoping it will tick is improved public relations. Dixon conceded that (QAN)'s recent run of maintenance problems has damaged the brand, partiularly in Australia. "Our own research indicates the brand has been impacted, but all our research says it's knee-jerk and we hope [starting A380 service] will be a circuit breaker and forerunner for better publicity," he said. Dixon and Joyce were eager to show media the interior of (QAN)'s first A380, hoping to dispel criticism voiced earlier this year that flash photos made it appear more like that of a military transport. However, the interior in natural light had an elegant quality. The first class (F) seats, which are on the main deck, are more traditional than those in A380s operated by Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Emirates (EAD), but also more spacious than typical first class (F) seats. Business class (C) features (QAN)'s Skybed seats. (QAN) is due to receive two more A380s this year, and another five next year.

(EDS) reiterated that it will meet its promise of delivering 12 A380s this year. President & (CEO), Tom Enders was emphatic when addressing reporters in Toulouse: "The target is 12. I confirmed it two days ago, I confirm it today, and I bet a magnum of champagne. Will anyone take me on?"

(QAN) received its first A380 two years behind the original delivery schedule, causing a reshuffling of its fleet; it already would have 8 to 12 A380s, if the original schedule had been met, and has been forced to keep an assortment of 747-300s and 767s far longer than anticipated. Its first commercial A380 flight will be from Melbourne to Los Angeles on October 20.

October 2008: More than >1,000 airplanes will leave the global airline fleet by the end of this year through either retirements or carrier failures, according to Ascend Director, Eddy Pieniazek, who spoke in a webcast presented by the UK-based aviation consultancy and information services firm. The 1,029 airplanes represent more than >5% of the world fleet, but >4.1% of total seats, Pieniazek said. Most disposals are occurring in North America, -776, followed by -155 in Europe, -89 in Asia and -9 in Latin America. More than half of the groundings - - -543 - - are narrow bodies, -111 are wide bodies, -233 are regional jets, and -86 are turboprops. Fifty-six airplanes have yet to be determined.

Seemingly belying these developments, orders for new airplanes have been strong this year, with 1,457 ordered, including 415 since July 1. Just 62 orders have been cancelled. "In the scheme of things, 62 cancellations are nothing," Pieniazek noted.

Operating lessors, however, have 500 airplanes on the ground, and lease rates have softened, said Ascend Head of Valuations & Appraisals, Les Weal. Lease rates for in-production narrowbodies are down -10% since mid-year, he said, with market values down -5% to -10%. Lease rates for out-of-production narrowbodies such as the 737 Classic and MD-80 have fallen -20% since mid-year.

Modern wide bodies have fared better, with only marginal changes so far. Lease rates also appear to be holding for older-technology widebodies such as the 747-400 and A340-300, but market values are down -5%.

Airbus (EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy said the manufacturer has agreed to sell 280 additional airplanes to Chinese airlines. He was in Tianjin to mark the opening of the newest A320 Family Final Assembly Line. According to multiple news service reports, Leahy said as many as 160 of the new airplane orders could be approved by Beijing and officially announced by year end. They will help (EDS) tally about 850 total orders for 2008, he added.

Transaero (TRX) Director General, Olga Pleshakova said (TRX) plans to announce an order for six A350 XWBs or A380s very soon. She told the "Vedomosti" business daily that (TRX) is awaiting a detailed offer from (EDS), adding that the A350 "is a more economical airplane" than the 787. Transaero (TRX) has ordered eight A330-200s and four A320s, but currently operates no (EDS) equipment. It expects its fleet to reach 43 by year end, up from 38 one year ago.

(EDS) booked 31 new orders in September and delivered 34 airplanes. Its 2008 gross order total now stands at 785. (EDS) said deliveries during the month were mostly A320 family airplanes that went to Afriqiyah Airways (AQY), Air China (BEJ), AirAsia (ASW), Avianca (AVI), British Airways (BAB), China Eastern Airlines (CEA), China Southern Airlines (GUN), CIT Leasing (TCI) (for Juneyao Airlines (JYA) and Qatar Airways (QTA)), (CSA) Czech Airlines, easyJet (EZY), (GECAS) (GEF) (for Aeroflot (ARO), East Star Airlines (ESR) and Juneyao (JYA)), GoAir (GOZ), (ILFC) (ILF) (for Shenzhen Airlines (SHZ)), IndiGo (IGO), JetBlue Airways (JBL), (LAN) Airlines, TAM (TPR), Turkish Airlines (THY), and US Airways (AMW)/(USA). Qantas (QAN) received its first A380, and Singapore Airlines (SIA) its sixth.

(EDS) operated its first test flight powered by a PurePower (PW1000G) engine using an A340-600 in Toulouse. The engine features Pratt & Whitney (PRW)'s Geared Turbofan technology. (PRW) Commercial Engines President, Todd Kallman said, "Demonstrating the Geared Turbofan technology throughout its entire operating envelope using the (EDS) A340 flight test airplane . . . will provide us with valuable installation and operating data." The (EDS)/(PRW) flight test program follows 43 flight hours on Pratt's 747SP flying testbed. "The first phase of our flight test program included full power takeoffs, in-flight performance up to 40,000 foot altitude, engine operability, including inflight starting and engine operation during extreme aircraft maneuvers," VP Next Generation Product Family, Bob Saia said. "The (PW1000G) engine's performance has met all of our pre-flight performance targets."

(EDS) is the first airplane manufacturer to fly the PurePower (PW1000G) on its own flight test airplane (Airline Procurement, September 2008). "The trials on (EDS)'s A340 test airplane will focus on the (PW1000G)'s design elements like the fan-drive gear system that incorporates a gearbox capable of absorbing greater power levels than those previously achieved on other engine designs," it said.

(EDS) and Air-India (AIN) parent National Aviation Company of India signed a joint venture agreement to establish a Maintenance repair & Overhaul (MRO) center at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport. Work on (AIN) Airbus (EDS) airplanes will start early next year with ATR and third-party work expected eventually. (AIN) currently operates 43 A320s, 11 A319s, 10 A321s, eight A310s and two A330s. The total project cost is estimated at $40 million over five years and the facility will handle more than >100 single-aisle and 10 widebody airplanes per year by 2013.

(EDS) decided to pull back on planned production rate increases, citing "uncertainty in the financial markets." A320 family production will stay at 36 per month, rather than being ramped up to 40 by 2010 as planned, and A330 production will grow from eight to 10 per month, but not up to 11 by 2010, as previously planned. "This is clearly the prudent thing to do," (COO) Customers, John Leahy told "The Wall Street Journal." "We will reevaluate the situation in the first half of next year and decide whether to [reinstitute] the ramp-up."

Qantas (QAN) launched A380 service to the USA West Coast, when its inaugural Melbourne (MEL) - Los Angeles (LAX) flight, QF93, departed Australia at 11:15 am local time and landed at (LAX) at around 7:30 am. QF94 was scheduled to depart (LAX) later. (QAN) will operate its first Sydney - (LAX) A380 flight this month and it said using the A380 on routes to the USA is "a mark of its commitment to growing the transpacific market." It currently offers 47 weekly flights to the USA.

(QAN)'s A380 features 450 seats: 14F in first, 72C in business, 32 in premium economy, and 332Y in economy. It will have three A380s by year end, and eight in service by the close of 2009. At that point, it will offer daily A380 flights between (MEL) and (LAX). Its entire order for 20 - - the second-largest commitment to the airplane - - is scheduled to be delivered by 2014.

(CEO), Geoff Dixon said service to London Heathrow, via Singapore will commence in January. This latest flight also marked the North American debut of the Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 970).

Emirates (EAD) took delivery of its second A380 and 122nd airplane overall in Dubai. It is scheduled to enter service on Dubai - New York (JFK). It will seat 14F in first class, 76C in business, and 399Y in economy.

November 2008: Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) reported a +€679 million/+$848.4 million profit in the third quarter, reversed from a -€776 million loss in the year-ago period, and said it "faces the impacts of the financial crisis in a position of strength" thanks to a "large and well diversified order book." Group revenue climbed +6% year-over-year to €9.7 billion and (EBIT) swung to a +€860 million profit from a -€711 million loss in the third quarter of 2007. At Airbus (EDS), revenue fell -2% to €5.86 billion, but (EBIT) reversed to a +€789 million profit from a -€696 million deficit last year.

Through the year's first nine months, (EDS)'s operating result swung to a +€1.5 billion profit from a -€677 million loss on a +3% increase in revenue to €19.45 billion. Its order book was worth €341.63 billion as of September 30, up +20% year-over-year, as it received €75.18 billion worth of new orders during the period, a +8% improvement. It cited "higher volumes and a more favorable product mix in delivered airplanes" for the revenue increase and said "excellent" delivery performance, progress on the "Power8" restructuring initiative, and lower exceptional charges helped drive (EBIT).

Thales (THL) was selected by Airbus (EDS) to supply the head-up display (HUD) for the A350 XWB as a customer option. Thales (THL) said its (HUD) will support features such as Enhanced Vision Systems "and potentially Surface Guidance Systems and Synthetic Vision Systems." The new (HUD) has been redesigned with improved head clearance, "and the graphical generation is embedded within the Display Units, allowing a simplified architecture for the overall cockpit solution." This higher level of integration means a weight saving of around 16 kg in a dual installation, it said.

Airbus (EDS) delivered 349 airplanes (including seven A380s) through September 30, up from 330 last year, and tallied 785 gross orders and 737 net. (EADS)' nine-month profit was +€1.08 billion compared to a -€705 million loss last year.

Bank of China (BOC) Aviation (SIL), which said it anticipates "ongoing demand for leased airplanes from the A320 family at both full-service and low-cost airlines around the world," placed firm orders for 20 airplanes, Airbus (EDS) announced at the Zhuhai Air Show. (SIL), a subsidiary of Bank of China, now has ordered 98 single-aisle airplanes from Airbus (EDS), of which 58 have been delivered. It also has five A330-200Fs on order for delivery in 2012 and 2013, and (BOC) announced the selection of the (Trent 700) to power those airplanes, which already have been placed on "long-term" leases.

Airbus (EDS) said its A350 program is on track, with its first deliveries expected in 2013. A total of 29 different airlines have ordered 460 A350S so far, including 150 from Emirates (EAD) and Qatar (QTA) alone. Other airlines or leasing companies with 20 or more orders are Asiana (AAR), US Airways (AMW)/(USA), TAM (TPR), Singapore Airlines (SIA), Aeroflot (ARO), DAE Capital (DAZ), and (ILFC) (ILF). of the three A350 versions, the A350-900 is the best selling, and four airlines (Emirates (EAD), Qatar (QTA), Asiana (AAR) and Air Caraibes (GUP) have ordered the A350-1000, which will debut in 2015. In comparison, the A380 has received 202 orders from 17 customers.

December 2008: Airbus (EDS) donated $6 million to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to help cover Phase 2 construction of the Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles. The new buildings will be dedicated to behind-the-scenes care and storage of the Smithsonian's collection of historic airplanes, spacecraft, related artifacts and archival materials.

Goodrich (BFG) reached agreement with Airbus (EDS) to supply wheels and carbon brakes for A350 XWBs. Contract is expected to generate $3 billion over the program life. T he company's Aircraft Wheels and Brakes unit in Troy, Ohio, will provide the equipment.

The (CAAC) (CAC) "urged state-owned airlines to cancel or delay orders for new airplanes next year," according to China's official state news agency "Xinhua," which estimated that Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) are slated to deliver a combined 180 airplanes to the nation's carriers in 2009. The (CAC) pushed for airlines to return leased airplanes and ground or sell older planes "in an effort to keep carriers out of financial trouble, during the current global economic crisis." It further stated that it would be "very cautious" regarding the approval of new airplane orders next year and would not sanction the launch of any new airlines before 2012.

Airbus (EDS) said that it has not "received any requests from Chinese airlines to cancel or delay airplane deliveries," adding that it remains "committed to our long-term partnership with China." Boeing (TBC) stated that it had "no specific request" from Chinese carriers to delay deliveries and will "continue to work closely with our airline customers in China."

There were 1,256 civil airplanes in operation in China as of October, according to "Xinhua." "Since the second half of this year, the global economic crisis has had an increasingly negative effect on the development of the civil aviation industry," the (CAC) said.

China Southern Airlines (GUN) and China Eastern Airlines (CEA) announced last month that they had started to ground airplanes and cut flights. Domestic passenger traffic has dropped steadily throughout the second half of 2008, and China's major airlines are expected to post full-year losses.

USA Aerospace Industries Association President & CEO, Marion Blakey, speaking at the organization's annual forecast luncheon in Washington, said the (CAC) statement was another sign that "the international market is volatile." She added, however, that next-generation airplanes will give airlines "a competitive edge that I don't think the Chinese will be willing to give up."

The (CAC) also said it would lower fees on airlines to help ease carriers' financial burden.

The USA Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) said that USA civil airplane sales are on pace to reach $80.6 billion in 2008, up +0.5% from $80.2 billion last year. It forecast that civil airplane sales will rise +7.4% to $86.6 billion in 2009. Speaking at (AIA)'s annual forecast luncheon in Washington, President & CEO, Marion Blakey asserted that the "main reason [for slow growth this year] was not the economic atmosphere but the work stoppage at Boeing (TBC)." She added, "The [USA] aerospace industry is in a good position to weather the financial storm . . . The gangbuster [airplane order] trends of the last several years are almost certainly over, but we don't foresee a significant downturn either."

Airbus (EDS) announced that it has launched flight testing of blended winglet "devices" developed by Aviation Partners Inc (API) on an A320. (API) supplied winglets to Boeing (TBC) for the 737 and 757 under the Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) joint venture and has launched a 767 winglet program. (EDS) said the tests and follow-up analysis will "provide data on the overall viability of the devices and help to determine whether (API)'s technology could be considered for an integrated (EDS) program." It tested two winglet designs in 2006, but concluded they did not deliver the necessary performance improvements.

Airbus (EDS) booked 84 firm orders in November, including 51 from Etihad Airways (EHD), helping it pull away from Boeing (TBC) in the 2008 orders race. It also delivered 46 airplanes. The official confirmation of the (EHD) order covered 25 A350-100s, six A380s and 20 A320s. The month's other major order was from BOC Aviation (SIL). Airbus (EDS) delivered 39 A320 family airplanes during November, six A330s and an A380 to Emirates (EAD).

Airbus (EDS) is well ahead of Boeing (TBC) in the 2008 orders race. Through November 30 it had booked 878 gross orders comprising 540 A320 family airplanes, 140 A330s, three A340s, 186 A350s and nine A380s. It logged 122 cancellations for a net of 756.

Through December 2, Boeing (TBC) logged 646 gross orders comprising 483 737s, four 747s, 28 767s, 52 777s, and 79 787s. Six cancellations reduced the net to 640.

Emirates (EAD) is working with Airbus (EDS) to reduce the weight of the A380 so that it can fly non-stop to Los Angeles and San Francisco without any payload restrictions. Currently, the A380 can fly non-stop for about 15.5 hours, but it needs the capability of about 18 hours to reach the popular USA west coast markets.

January 2009: Airbus (EDS) issued a Safety Bulletin to A320 operators relating to the importance of protecting all aerodynamic data sensors during painting and maintenance and performing low-speed tests at safe altitude. The warnings came as French investigators closed in on the cause of the crash of an (ANZ) A320 being flown by an (SGU) flight crew (FC) on a test flight off the French coast in November 2008. All seven occupants died when the A320 plunged into the Mediterranean Sea near Perpignan.

Investigators have not announced their findings, but (ANZ) CEO, Rob Fyfe welcomed the recommendations from (EDS), cautioning, "Any speculation as to the outcome of that investigation into the flight . . . would be premature and inappropriate." Fyfe said (ANZ) already has followed the (EDS) recommendations and had not experienced any issues in relation to either of the requirements. "The bulletin from (EDS) is a precautionary measure intended to remind operators of existing manufacturer recommendations," he said.

(GKN) Aerospace said it will assume ownership and operational control of Airbus (EDS)'s former UK-based wing component and assemblies manufacturing plant at Filton. The move follows European regulatory approval and is projected to double GKN's order book for large civil airplane structures. The Filton site has 1,500 employees and brings (GKN)'s global workforce to 10,000. "This is just the first day in our long-term plan to grow the Filton operation and the capabilities of our team here to create a global center of excellence for wing structures serving our international customer base," (GKN) CEO, Marcus Bryson said.

In September, (EDS) agreed to sell the facility to (GKN) for £136 million/$243.9 million under a deal that covers A350 XWB work packages for the carbon fiber composite wing fixed trailing edge, which (GKN) plans to manufacture locally. (EDS) sold its Laupheim plant to Diehl and Thales (THL) the prior month. The transactions are an extension of (EDS)'s "Power8" restructuring initiative to consolidate assets and operations in an effort to cut costs and increase efficiencies.

A "tremendous team effort" enabled (EDS) to meet its 2008 delivery goal of 12 A380 super jumbos just two days before the end of the year. (EDS) delivered four A380s to Dubai's Emirates airline (EAD), five to Singapore Airlines (SIA) and three to Australia's Qantas (QAN).

Airbus (EDS) parent (EADS) CEO, Louis Gallois told reporters in France that the manufacturer may need to slow production rates in 2009 owing to airlines' inability to take planned deliveries because of the weak economic environment. "I could not give a figure of a percentage of the 2009 delivery backlog that might be at risk," he said.

(EDS) began construction on the A350 XWB final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse, with President & CEO, Tom Enders saying the manufacturer "is making steady progress" on the next-generation airplane program and is on track "for first delivery in 2013." The 74,000-sq-m factory is where the fuselage and wings will be joined, (EDS) said, while airplane testing and cabin equipping will be completed in the nearby A330/A340 facility. When fully operational, the A350 (FAL) will be staffed with 1,000 workers. It will cost €140 million/$185.9 million to construct. (EDS) said the (FAL) will feature "new streamlined airplane assembly process [allowing] teams to work in parallel, reducing the time from start of final assembly to airplane delivery by -30%." Enders told reporters during a news conference that multiple delays on the A380 program "taught us some tough lessons" that will be valuable going forward. "That experience and the lessons learned from it . . . put us in a much stronger position," he said.

(EDS) booked 777 net airplane orders in 2008, topping Boeing (TBC)'s 662 net orders, but like its rival reported a significant drop-off from the previous year, when it recorded 1,341 net orders. The 2008 orders, valued at $100 billion, comprised 472 A320 family airplanes, 163 A350s, 138 A330s/A340s and nine A380s. The net total also includes cancellation of five A310s.

(EDS) noted that it had a 54% market share for airplanes over 100 seats and called its 2008 performance "a remarkable success in a difficult year" that featured "volatile oil prices" and a "turbulent" global economy. (EDS) delivered 483 airplanes last year, 30 more than in 2007 and 108 more than (TBC). Deliveries comprised 386 A320 family airplanes, 85 A330s/A340s and 12 A380s. The total backlog is 3,715 civil airplanes - - 2,598 A320 family airplanes, 932 A330/340/350s and 185 A380s - - valued at $438 billion and "equaling six years of full production." SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-TBC-2008-DELIVERIES" and "EDS-2009 FORECAST - JAN09."

(EDS) said the "Power8" restructuring program had delivered €1.3 billion/$1.72 billion in total savings as of the end of 2008, with a further €650 million in reduced costs expected by 2012. President & CEO, Tom Enders said the "solid financial basis" enabled by "Power8" will allow the company to navigate "a very challenging year for the aeronautics industry" in 2009.

Goodrich Corporation (BFG) reached a five-year, flight-hour agreement with (EDS) to provide Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) and asset management services as part of an (EDS) "Total Support Package" for Singapore Airlines (SIA)'s 19 leased A330s. The contract covers Goodrich (BFG) evacuation, lighting, actuation, sensors, deicing and power products.

Air Austral (AUX) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with (EDS) for two A380s in a single-class configuration, seating around 840Y passengers in the widest economy (Y) class seats. (AUX) plans to operate the A380s through one of its subsidiaries on its high-density route to Paris. Delivery is scheduled for 2014.

For dismal January airplane sales - - SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-NEWS-JAN09."

February 2009: Airbus (EDS) inked an agreement with a group of Chinese industrial partners to establish a joint venture in Harbin to produce composite material parts and components for A350 XWBs and A320s. The contract was signed in Madrid, where Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao and Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero were conducting talks. The Chinese partners are Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (50%), Hafei Aviation Industry (10%), Avichina Industry & Technology (10%) and Harbin Development Zone Heli Infrastructure Development (10%). The facility, to be called the Harbin Hafei Airbus (EDS) Composite Manufacturing Centre, is expected to be fully operational next year. (EDS) intends to manufacture 5% of the A350 airframe in China.

(EDS) signed a cooperation agreement with Xian Aircraft Industry Company (XAC) stipulating that wings for A320 family airplanes assembled at the Tianjin Final Assembly Line (FAL) will be fully completed and tested in Tianjin. (XAC) will build an equipping and testing facility near the (FAL), with operations expected to start by year end. First delivery of fully equipped wings is scheduled for the 2010 first quarter. Production rates by the end of 2010 are projected at two units per month and by the close of the following year at four units per month.

(EDS) named Steven Chealander, Airbus (EDS) Americas VP Technical Training, ex-USA National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

(EDS) said it is taking the "precautionary measure" of lowering A320 family production from 36 to 34 airplanes monthly, starting in October and will maintain A330/A340 production at the current level of 8.5 per month rather than increasing the rate to 10 as previously planned. CEO, Tom Enders said that "no impact on employment is foreseen" owing to the production cuts. (EDS) insisted its 2009 delivery target of around 480 airplanes remains in place. Based on its published numbers, it will produce 426 A320 family airplanes and 102 A330/A340s this year and an undisclosed number of A380s.

The move is an even further pull down from the decision made last year to keep A320 production at 36 per month rather than ramping up to 40 by 2010 and to grow A330/A340 production to 10 by 2010 rather than 11. Enders said, "We monitor the market continuously and . . . we see a drop of air traffic in most regions. Many airlines are taking capacity out of the market. I do not exclude further production cuts if the need arises."

See article about the A350 XWB build status - - "EDS-A350 XWB-FEB09-A/B/C."

March 2009: Airbus (EDS) reported a record 483 airplanes (up +6.6% year-over-year) deliveries, including 12 A380s, and took in 777 net and 900 gross orders. Revenue rose +9% to €27.45 billion, "driven mainly by higher volumes and a more favorable product mix in delivered airplanes," (EDS) said. It credited "a seamless ramp-up on the A320 and A330 programs, a reduction in special charges and "significant" foreign currency gains for the improvement, but did say that "an unexpected increase of cost" related to the A380 program also was a factor. The order book reached a record 3,175 airplanes worth €344.8 billion at year end.

Airbus (EDS) VP Sustainability & Eco-Efficiency, Christian Dumas said that by 2025 "quite a bit of biofuel could be available . . . and we hope we could go faster than that." He and others cited price as a key unknown.

(EDS) Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Network added Mexicana (CMA) (MRO) Services, a division of Grupo Mexicana de Aviacion, to its worldwide network that now has 15 members.

The A340 production rate has fallen to one airplane "or perhaps less" per month, (EDS) VP Marketing, Andrew Shankland said at the SpeedNews Commercial Aviation Industry Suppliers Conference in Los Angeles. "The A340 is pretty much built to order," he explained, while noting it has "found a niche as a VIP airplane." He attributed slow sales to higher fuel prices, which place the four-engine jet at a disadvantage "from a purely fuel perspective" compared to twin-engine wide bodies. Owing to strong sales performance of the A340's sister ship, the A330, however, the joint production line is turning out 8.5 airplanes per month, he said. The A330 has accumulated more than >1,000 orders and the firm backlog stood at 422 in January.

(EDS) announced the delivery of the 500th A321. The (CFM56-5/B3)-powered airplane was handed over in Hamburg to Air France (AFA). The first A321 was delivered in 1994.

International Aero Engines (IAE) announced the delivery of the first set of (V2500)s to (EDS)'s A320 final assembly line (FAL) in Tianjin. The (V2500) will be installed on nine of the first 10 airplanes assembled there, including the first plane scheduled for delivery to Sichuan Airlines (SIC) this summer.

Qantas (QAN) was forced to withdraw its three A380s from service because of unrelated fuel system problems that came after what had been described as the best entry into service of any airplane. One A380, (QAN)'s first, had technical troubles in Sydney and was delayed 19 hours before taking off for London Heathrow. On the return trip, the airplane suffered a fuel leak and passengers were transferred 12 hours later to a 747-400. Engineers in London fixed the leak and the A380 was back in service. The remaining A380s were removed from service due to fuel system problems and were returned to service after fixes were made. (QAN) stated that two A380s were declared unserviceable with a "fuel tank indication system problem." One (QAN) engineer (MT) said that the issue related to the Fuel Quantity Indicating System (FQIS) and some microbiological contamination, which resulted in faulty (FQIS) readings.

Since entering service in October 2007, the 13 A380s flying with Singapore Airlines (SIA), Emirates (EAD) and (QAN) have flown 31,750 hours and 3,300 revenue flights, with 97.8% leaving on time.


April 2009: (GKN) Aerospace broke ground on a manufacturing facility at Bristol, England. The new site, known as Filton-West, will be under the management of the recently acquired (GKN) Aerospace (the former Airbus (EDS) Filton facility) and will house an automated composites manufacturing operation that will incorporate production techniques "that represent the future of composites manufacture in aviation," (GKN) said. Starting in January, the plant will manufacture wing spars and trailing edge assemblies for the A350.

(EDS) said it "achieved a significant maintenance cost improvement due to the optimization of scheduled maintenance program intervals" for the A330/A340 family. The "A" check interval has been extended from 600 to 800 flight hours and the heavy maintenance check from 10 years to 12. (EDS) said that as a result, operators typically will need to perform five "A" checks per year rather than seven based on "typical utilization" of 4,400 flight hours per year. The new 12-year heavy check interval means operators can "synchronize" the six yearly intermediate checks and heavy checks, "leading to a reduction of one heavy check in the airplane's life." It estimated the savings from the revised intervals at potentially up to -6%, or around -$1 million per airplane, "over a 15-year period at present values."

(EADS) and Airbus (EDS) signed a contract with Russian Technologies State Corporation's (VSMPO)-Avisma Corporation for the supply of titanium to (EDS) and other (EADS) divisions until 2020. The deal covers die forging parts for all existing (EDS) airplanes, plus the A350 and finalizes an agreement reached last summer.

(EDS) reported an order for 10 A320s on March 31 from Ireland's Aircraft Purchase Fleet, which combined with Korean Air (KAL)'s commitment for six A330-200s brought (EDS)'s order book for the month to 16 airplanes and it's year-to-date total net of cancellations to eight. (EDS) also has sold two A380s to (KAL) and four A321s to Turkish Airlines (THY) this year but has seen orders for 14 A320 family airplanes cancelled.

In contrast, (TBC)'s net order book through the first quarter was -4 on gross orders of 28.

(EDS) delivered 40 airplanes in March compared to the 48 in the year-ago month that was a record for (EDS). Last month's deliveries comprised 14 A319s, 17 A320s, four A321s, two A330-200s, two A330-300s, and one A340-600. Year-to-date deliveries totaled 116 airplanes.

May 2009: Airbus (EDS) (CEO), Tom Enders said that (EDS) is working with airlines to find the best financing options in today's challenging environment. Europe's export credit agencies are playing an important role and could end up helping to provide financing guarantees for 50% of total (EDS) deliveries this year, he said. He added that (EDS) is weathering the storm well and that the practice of overbooking orders keeps production lines moving.

(EDS) announced creation of a new subsidiary, QuoVadis, based in Toulouse that will "sell and provide Required Navigation Performance (RNP) services . . . ranging from (RNP) procedures design, testing and flight operations packaging to (RNP) training." (EDS) said it signed a cooperation agreement for (RNP) procedure design with the French Civil Aviation University in Toulouse and CGx Aero in SYS, a specialist in aeronautical and geographic information systems based in Castres, France.

(EDS) is placing its focus on airplane deliveries this year instead of new orders, Enders said, noting that order deferrals are a challenge to manage. "Cancellation of an airplane order is actually not very typical in our business" because airlines risk losing their pre-delivery payment, he explained. "It is more difficult for us to defer deliveries. This has to be very carefully managed."

Citing "specific customer requests for deferrals" as well as the economic and industry downturn, (EDS) slashed its A380 production and delivery schedule this year and next. (EDS) now expects to deliver 14 A380s in 2009, down from the 18 previously planned and the 21 announced in May 2008. It said that "more than >20" airplanes will be manufactured and delivered in 2010. Qantas (QAN) last month said it will push back delivery of four by 10 to 12 months. The month prior, Air France (AFA) indicated it would defer its sixth and seventh airplanes; its first three are scheduled for delivery late this year or early next. Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) and China Southern Airlines (GUN) also have announced deferrals. Lufthansa (DLH)'s first delivery has slipped into the 2010 first quarter.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) said that it had "no immediate plans" to defer the four A380s set to arrive this year, although it recently told expat 747-400 pilots (FC) originally scheduled for retrenchment in early 2010 that their contracts will be renewed, appearing to indicate that it will be keeping its Boeing (TBC) airplanes longer than planned.

(EDS) delivered 12 A380s in 2008. Its plan this year now comprises four to Emirates (EAD), four to (SIA), four to (QAN) and two to (AFA).

In February, (EDS) said it would lower A320 family production from 36 to 34 airplanes per month starting in October and maintain A330/A340 production at the current level of 8.5 per month rather than increasing the rate to 10 as previously planned. (EDS) confirmed its plan to deliver "about" the same number of airplanes in 2009 as last year, when it set a company record with 483. It delivered 116 in the first quarter.

(EDS) booked orders for five A350-800s from Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) in April, along with two A330-200s from (METCO) and one from (ILFC). It delivered 46 airplanes during the month, comprising 35 from the A320 family, three A330-200s, six A330-300s, one A340-500 and one A380 to (EAD).

Later, (EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy said this that (EDS) may ramp up A320 family airplane production to 40 per month as early as the end of 2010 or early 2011, a signal that the industry has some confidence in an impending economic recovery. In February, (EDS) said it would lower A320 family production from 36 to 34 airplanes per month starting this October.

Leahy said the A320 family "is in demand and will stay in demand" for at least another decade. He claimed that just 2% of the global A320 fleet is in storage compared to 19% of the world's 737 Classics and MD-80s/-90s, adding that the latter "are not going back into revenue service."

Executive VP Programs, Tom Williams downplayed the importance of the recently announced production cut. "We are still pretty secure with the production rates we have for the single-aisle program," he said in a statement. "Next year, clearly the big question will be the ability of the airlines to raise finance, and we will be continuing to work with them to support that. But I would say we have had strong support from the export credit guarantee agencies in Europe, and I think that will help to carry us through next year as well."

The first A320 assembled outside Europe successfully completed its inaugural flight, taking off from Tianjin International in the morning and landing safely a little more than 4 hours later. The airplane assembled at Airbus (EDS) Final Assembly Line China (FALC) was ordered by Dragon Aviation Leasing and is set to be delivered in June to Sichuan Airlines (SIC). "This A320 assembled in China unquestionably demonstrated the same quality and performance as those assembled and delivered in Hamburg or Toulouse," (EDS) Senior VP Flight & Integration Tests, Fernando Alonso said.

Eleven A319s/A320s are scheduled for delivery in Tianjin this year. The production rate will be ramped up to four airplanes per month by the end of 2011. The A320 (FALC) is a joint venture between (EDS) (51%) and a Chinese consortium comprising Tianjin Free Trade Zone and AVIC (49%).

June 2009: CASC (CSC)/Airbus (EDS) Customer Services training and support center in Beijing is looking to adjust its business model as more airlines acquire their own full flight simulators (FFS)s, Managing Director Administration & Programs, Michelle Pierre Petit said. The 18,800-sq-m facility, which opened in 1997, includes two A320 and one A330/A340 simulators. "More airlines buying their own simulators means we have to also focus on training the trainers," Petit said. The facility has about 20 airline customers, but there currently are 16 A320 (FFS)s in China with more to come. The expected addition of an A380 simulator at Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will present competition on that front as well, Petit said.

(EADS) (CEO), Louis Gallois reiterated that (EDS) will deliver around 480 airplanes this year, roughly the same as the 483 delivered in 2008, but cautioned that "visibility is more limited" for 2010 and 2011.

Qatar Airways (QTA) signed a firm contract for 24 A320 family airplanes valued at nearly $2 billion, including the firming of four A321 options. The order is expected to one of the largest placed at the Paris Air Show. (QTA) currently operates 19 A320 family airplanes and is the Middle East's largest operator of the type. The new airplanes will be deployed to expand and enhance regional routes, (CEO), Akbar Al Baker said. He rejected speculation that (QTA) had placed the order to fill a hole created by other airlines' cancellations. "We want the airplanes sooner but (EDS) cannot deliver," he said.

Al Baker added that the airline had no plans to defer its A380 deliveries and is looking forward to receiving its first in 2012.

(QTA) selected (IAE) (V2500) engines for the new A320 family order in a deal valued at $700 million. (V2500)s power the airline's existing A320 fleet.

(EDS) President & (CEO), Tom Enders said (GE) Aviation (GEC) probably will not join the A350 program. "That's a huge mistake on their side," he said. "The program will be very successful. Certainly some airlines would like [an engine] choice but I don't see it as an impediment to the program." Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB)s will power the A350 and he said (RRC) is working hard on delivering more thrust if required. Enders noted that (EDS) is carefully planning the next-generation airplane's production and delivery schedule. "(EDS) has certainly learned from our mistakes [on the A380] and from our competitor's mistakes [on the 787]. What it has shown us is that with these brand new airplanes we are pushing the envelope. They are very complex machines." But he said learning from past problems is only half of the answer to avoiding trouble on the A350 program; the other side of the equation is anticipation of new problems. "There are new materials, new processes and new partners," he commented. "It's a bit like fighting a war. Generals tend to fight a war the same way they fought the last but it doesn't work out. There will be plenty of challenges on the A350." Nevertheless, Enders said (EDS) has a firm understanding of the root cause of A380 delays. "If you raise the question why, why and why [the delays occurred], the answer is that managers, workers and engineers did not have the right skills and the right motivation. It was the people factor. We have learned from that." He added that the industrial complex is almost in place to build the A350 and he is impressed with the progress. "The spirit is high," he said.

(EDS) announced airplane Memos of Understanding (MOU)s with Turkish Airlines (THY) and Paramount Airways (PAT), concluding a reasonably successful Paris Air Show with firm orders for 58 airplanes worth nearly $6.4 billion and (MOU)s for an additional +69 planes worth $6.5 billion. (THY) signed its (MOU) for five A330-300s and two A330-200s (increased takeoff weight version) for delivery starting in August 2010. Its (EDS) fleet currently comprises 46 A320 family airplanes, five A310s, seven A330s and nine A340s. (THY) said its commitment also includes three options. (THY) said it remains committed to purchasing 25 wide bodies (plus 10 options) for delivery in 2009 to 2023 in addition to 50 firm and 20 option single-aisle airplanes.

Paramount (PAT) signed its (MOU) for 10 A321s with an option for an additional 10. (PAT) intends to use the airplanes to launch international service when it becomes eligible to do so next year. (PAT) currently operates Embraer jets.

(EDS) Paris Air Show was highlighted by AirAsia X (ASX)'s firm order for 10 A350-900s, narrow body orders from Qatar Airways (QTA) and Vietnam Airlines (VIE) and an (MOU) from Wizz Air (WZZ) for 50 A320s.

(EDS) (CEO), Tom Enders and (EDS) China President, Laurence Barron said in Tianjin that the financial commitment involved in establishing (EDS)'s new final assembly line (FAL) is taking a back seat to its effort "to build a Chinese identity for (EDS)." (EDS) is scheduled this month to deliver the first A320 produced at the Tianjin (FAL) to Sichuan Airlines (SIC). The airplane was ordered by Dragon Aviation Leasing, and (EDS) hopes to use the facility to better position itself to increase its Chinese market share. It currently accounts for 41% of the country's commercial airplanes. Barron said the (FAL) "will give us an advantage in selling airplanes here, not only A320s." Enders added, "We are not here for charity." But Tianjin is a considerable investment. "Yes we have lower labor costs here, but higher training costs," Barron explained. In addition, the logistics involving Chinese assembly are not easy or cheap. Parts from Europe are delivered by ship, increasing the production cycle for an individual airplane by three months over those assembled in Toulouse or Hamburg. The executives said flying the parts to China would be too expensive and that there currently is no airplane available that could do the job. Tianjin "will never be as cost efficient as building [the A320] in Europe. The point is that it is a strategy," Enders said, claiming that the Tianjin (FAL) is (EDS)'s most significant venture in the past four decades. Barron said the (FAL) "is something everyone is talking about. It's bringing attention." Meanwhile, (EDS) is positioning itself to take advantage of the growth in China's commercial aviation industry. "We definitely see a trend to bigger airplanes like the A330," he said.
(EDS) expects to assemble 11 A320s at Tianjin this year and 26 in 2010. All are scheduled for delivery to Chinese customers. The facility will assemble only the A319 and A320 and has a full-year capacity of 40. By 2016, (EDS) expects to have built 284 airplanes at the site. The (FAL) is a joint venture between (EDS) (51%) and a Chinese consortium comprising Tianjin Free Trade Zone and AVIC (49%).

"One day we will be produce more (EDS) products [in China], but for now it is too early to talk about. This (FAL) will not be the endpoint [for (EDS) in China]. There will be some more opportunities to come," Enders said. (EDS) also announced an (MOU) with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) under which the companies will "share competence and experience to cooperate on airplane financing and management activities," including lease transactions and remarketing. (EDS) said the (ICBC) could provide financing worth more than >CNY20 billion for up to 70 A320s over the next five years and that it "shall consider purchasing a certain number of airplanes" directly.

Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) and AerCap (DEA) announced a deal that will see 10 A330-300s join the fleet in 2011 to 2012 as (VAA) moves to fill the gap caused by the delayed introduction of its 15 787-9s, now scheduled to begin arriving in 2013. (VAA) ordered six of the A330s directly from Airbus (EDS) and signed a letter of intent (LOI) with (DEA) for a sale and leaseback transaction. (DEA) will lease the four remaining airplanes to (VAA) from its own portfolio. (VAA) will take delivery of five A330-300s in 2011 and five the following year. Lease terms on the airplanes will be 12 years. They will be (VAA)'s first twin-engine jets - - it currently operates A340s and 747-400s. The A330s will set up to 270 passengers across three classes, (EDS) said. No engine choice was announced. (DEA) said the four airplanes not purchased from (EDS) were the only remaining positions from its order for 30 placed in 2006 to 2007.

(VAA) still has six A340-600s on order stemming from the commitment for 13 firm airplanes and 13 options made in 2004. (EDS) confirmed that they remain in its order book. (VAA) also has six A380s on order with delivery expected to start in 2013.

July 2009: Yemenia Yemen Airways (YEM) threatened to "reconsider" its order for 10 A350-800s valued at $2 billion because it believes Airbus (EDS) has been un-supportive following last month's A310-300 crash in the Indian Ocean that killed 152. In interviews with multiple media outlets, (YEM) Chairman, Abdulkalek Saleh Al Kadi complained that the French government "rushed" to blame the airline's maintenance program for the accident and faulted (EDS) for not backing (YEM). "We are not receiving cooperation from (EDS) and some of the French people are really against us," he said. Speaking to "Agence France Press," he stated, "If the French position remains harsh and if the pressure on (YEM) continues . . . we will be forced to reconsider the [A350] deal . . . The French side is wronging (YEM)." He told "Reuters" that (EDS) failed to show "moral and media support" in the crash's aftermath, adding, "(YEM) expects support from (EDS) because [the airline's] history over more than >40 years manifests its competence."

(EDS) responded by noting that it must adhere to "strict guidelines" regarding public comments to media following accidents. (YEM) firmed its A350 order at the 2007 Dubai Air Show. (YEM) had said it planned to use the planes on "intercontinental routes to and from Yemen." Its ability to operate such routes would be compromised if it is placed on the European Union (EU)'s list of banned carriers, a move that is under consideration.

(EDS) told airlines that Thales (THL) pitot probes should be replaced with Goodrich (BFG) models on all A330s/A340s as a "precautionary measure" and (EASA) said it will issue an order within two weeks calling for at least two of three (THL) speed sensors on those airplane types to be replaced with the (BFG) versions. The move comes after weeks of concern over (THL) pitot probes sparked by the May 31 Air France (AFA) Flight 447 crash in which malfunctioning speed sensors were "a factor" in the A330-200's demise, according to the French (BEA). (AFA) has confirmed that it has had subsequent pitot probe problems. (EDS)'s recommendation does not include a call to replace (THL) probes on A320s.

(EASA) said that it too "will recommend that all A330 and A340 (EDS) airplanes currently equipped with (THL) pitot probes should be fitted with at least two Goodrich (BFG) probes." (THL) told "Agence France Press" that its pitot probes "fulfill the specified requirements and . . . have been certified by the authorities."

(EDS) booked 58 new orders and delivered 49 airplanes in June, a month highlighted by Paris Air Show orders for 20 A320s from Qatar Airways (QTA), 10 A350-900s from AirAsia X (ASX) and 16 A321s from Vietnam Airlines (VIE). Deliveries comprised 38 A320 family airplanes, four A330-200s, four A330-300s, one A340-600 to Iberia (IBE) and one A380 to Singapore Airlines (SIA). Etihad Airways (EHD) confirmed that it canceled one of its eight remaining A340-600 orders, a spokesperson told "Reuters." The airplane concerned was damaged during testing in November 2007.

August 2009: Airbus (EDS) told airlines that Thales (THL) pitot probes should be replaced with Goodrich (BFG) models on all A330s/A340s as a "precautionary measure" and (EASA) said it will issue an order within two weeks calling for at least two of three (THL) speed sensors on those airplane types to be replaced with the (BFG) versions. The move comes after weeks of concern over (THL) pitot probes sparked by the May 31 Air France (AFA) Flight 447 crash in which malfunctioning speed sensors were "a factor" in the A330-200's demise, according to the French (BEA). (AFA) has confirmed that it has had subsequent pitot probe problems. (EDS)'s recommendation does not include a call to replace (THL) probes on A320s.

(EASA) said that it too "will recommend that all A330 and A340 (EDS) airplanes currently equipped with Thales (THL) pitot probes should be fitted with at least two Goodrich (BFG) probes." (THL) told "Agence France Press" that its pitot probes "fulfill the specified requirements and . . . have been certified by the authorities."

Thai Airways (TII) took delivery of an A330-300 in Toulouse, the 1,000th A330/A340 family airplane delivered by (EDS). (TII) operates 15 A330-300s, four A340-500s and six A340-600s.

August 2009: The UK government will provide Airbus (EDS) with up to £340 million/$562.2 million of repayable launch aid for development of the A350, Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson confirmed during a visit to (EDS)'s Filton facility. At the Paris Air Show in June, European governments said they reached agreement to give (EDS) €3.5 billion/$4.97 billion in soft loans for A350 development. The French and German governments already have pledged a combined €2.5 billion for the project, while Spain is expected to loan around €400 million.

A statement from the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills said the money "will enable (EDS) in the UK to strengthen its position as a world leader in wing, landing gear and fuel integration systems technologies and ensure the UK plays a leading role in the development of the A350 XWB." It said the initiative would "create and sustain" more than >1,200 (EDS) jobs in the UK and more than >5,000 within the domestic supply chain. (EDS) employs 10,500 at its Filton and Broughton facilities. The UK also has committed £60 million to support (GKN) Aerospace in designing and developing the A350's rear spar and trailing edge.

(EADS) established a subsidiary in Japan that the (EDS) parent said will "help coordinate and support [its] marketing campaigns and industrial partnerships" in Japan. (EADS) Japan will be based in Tokyo and "will forge further long-term business relationships with Japanese industry and aerospace institutions," it said, noting that (EADS) and its subsidiaries "already buy directly or indirectly through its first tier suppliers products worth some $1 billion annually in the country."

(TAP) Maintenance and Engineering Brazil was certified by the USA (FAA) to perform heavy maintenance on A330 and A340 airplanes. The company also is (FAA)-certified for the A300-B4, A300-600, and A310. It is a member of the (EDS) Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Network.

(EDS) has completed a second large test fuselage section for the A350. The demonstrator is 18 m long and 6 m in diameter and "closely reflects" the final design, according to (EDS). It was used to "develop and validate the complete process change" and will be involved in certification tests focusing on fatigue and damage tolerance of composites.

Premium Aerotec, the largest aerostructures supplier for the A350, began construction of a 25,000-sq-m hangar in Augsburg that will serve as the manufacturing plant for the new airplane's fiber composite components, especially the large side shells of the rear fuselage section. The facility's shell is expected to be completed in November, with production set to begin in the 2010 first quarter, according to (EDS) parent, (EADS).

(EDS) said it delivered 34 airplanes in July, including Singapore Airlines (SIA)'s ninth A380, one A340-600 (Iberia (IBE)), five A330s and 27 A320 family airplanes. It officially booked 50 orders, all confirmations from Wizz Air (WZZ) of the A320 commitments announced at the Paris Air Show.

1,000th A330/A340 delivery to Thai Airways International (TII) - - SEE ATTACHED ARTICLE - - "EDS-TII-A330-300-AUG09."

September 2009: The World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a confidential 1,000-page preliminary ruling regarding the legality of subsidies received by Airbus (EDS) during development of the A380, with statements and press reports indicating that it may have found at least some problems with the aid. The report followed five years of deliberations and was sent to the European Commission (EC) and the USA government. Early indications were that the (WTO) sided with the latter, with a source telling "The Wall Street Journal" that "every launch aid package given for the A380 passenger jet was an illegal subsidy."

However, an (EDS) spokesperson told "Reuters" that the dispute with the USA will be resolved through negotiations and not by the (WTO). "This won't change anything legally. This interim report is not more or less than a footnote," the spokesperson claimed. Later, the USA-based Aerospace Industries Association released a statement by President & (CEO) (and former (FAA) Administrator) Marion Blakey saying the trade group "welcomes the (WTO) ruling as reported in the press that the European government's launch aid to (EDS) is not consistent with its rules." She added, "While preliminary, the ruling provides much-needed guidance to (WTO) members that are involved in or considering entering into civil airplane production" and constituted "an important step toward achieving a level and fair playing field that will allow the USA aerospace industry to flourish in the international marketplace."

USA Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Boeing (TBC)'s production home of Washington, told "Reuters," "I applaud the (WTO)'s decision that government subsidies of (EDS) are illegal. When finalized, this long-awaited ruling will help restore true competition in the commercial aviation market." Representative Norman Dicks (Democrat-Washington) said the ruling "definitely confirms" the USA objections. Both had been briefed by USA trade officials, their spokespeople told the news service. Meanwhile, a source told "Reuters" that "the ruling is not a black-and-white case. It simply is not a great victory for the USA." Contradicting earlier reports, the source said, "The claim that the (WTO) ruled that subsidies given to (EDS) for their A380 plane were illegal is wrong and misleading."

In the complaint to the (WTO), the USA Trade Representative's office alleged that (EDS) received billions in illegal launch aid to develop the A380, while (EDS) argued that the subsidy is repayable by a levy on each airplane sold. It then counterfiled, claiming that (TBC) received illegal subsidies, tax relief and contracts that benefited its 787 program. A ruling on the counterclaim is expected in about six months, while (TBC) has raised similar concerns about the A350.

(EDS) announced delivery of the 4,000th A320 family airplane, a 144-seat A319, to (TAM) (TPR).

(EDS) delivered 32 airplanes in August and received orders for seven A330-300s from Turkish Airlines (THY). Deliveries comprised 27 A320 family airplanes, two A330-200s, one A340-600 and one A380 (to Qantas (QAN)).

October 2009: Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT), a Mubadala Development Company subsidiary, signed an agreement with Airbus (EDS) to become a member of (EDS)'s worldwide airplane Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) network. (EDS) Senior VP Services & Customer Support, Bruce Jones said, "The Middle East is an important region for (EDS) and (ADAT) has a broad range of (EDS) maintenance capabilities, and it is also equipped with a state-of-the-art A380 hangar." Mubadala, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, holds a 70% stake in SR Technics (SWS), which is among the 16 members of the (EDS) (MRO) network. (ADAT) formerly was Gulf Aircraft Maintenance (GAMCO) before being acquired by Mubadala in November 2007.

Qantas (QAN) will have to wait until December for the delivery of its fifth and sixth A380s after encountering flight stability problems with the fifth airplane, which had been expected to enter service on USA routes next month. (QAN) confirmed that the airplane will require further testing in Toulouse to rectify a minor trim stability problem. However, it dismissed media rumors that the A380 was not flying straight while on autopilot. "The problem relates to the flight trim, which controls the airplane's ability to maintain its center of gravity," (QAN) said. "(QAN) has robust contractual provisions in place with all airplane manufacturers, including Airbus (EDS), that govern tolerances around airplane specifications, including flight trim." It added that the delay would have no material impact as the airplanes were not yet placed into the northern winter schedule.

(EDS) said it is "quite optimistic" that the A330-200F freighter is on track for first flight next month, USA (FAA)/(EASA) certification next spring and Entry Into Service (EIS) in the 2010 summer. "We've done a lot of testing in the laboratory . . . so we are very ready to have a clean flight test program," A330-200F Project Manager, Jens Knaack said during a conference call. The A330-200F is targeted to carry "at least" 64.5 tonnes over 4,000 nm/7,400 km or 69.5 tonnes up to 3,200 nm/(5,930 km. Knaack described it as a "general freight, high-utilization" airplane. India's Flyington Freighters (FFR) and USA lessor, Intrepid Leasing (INL) are set to receive the first two A330-200Fs next summer. The most recent order was placed last month by MNG Airlines (MHK). (EDS) said it has firm orders for more than >50 from nine customers.

November 2009: Airbus (EDS) booked 59 firm orders during the quarter, with the nine-month net reaching 123 airplanes (compared to 737 last year). It has received 26 cancellations this year. As of September 30, its order book was worth €332 billion, down 7.2% year-over-year, including a -€14 billion decline owing to a weakening USA dollar. (EADS) said the order book still "provides a solid platform for continued deliveries in the future."

(EDS)'s nine-month (EBIT) of €523 million represented a -64% drop from the €1.46 billion recorded last year. Revenue slid -2% to €20.19 billion.

The group said it is "cautiously envisaging an improvement of the economic and market conditions in the next months" but that "deterioration of hedge rates and uncertainties surrounding the A380" will pose challenges.

At the Dubai Air Show, (EDS) called for government incentives in the form of emissions trading scheme (ETS) concessions to promote biofuel feedstock production. Engineer Program Manager Alternative Fuels, Ross Walker said (EDS) believes that "governments should not regulate" the use of biofuels but rather "recognize biofuel use in the (ETS) scheme" through incentives.

He said the aviation industry is "very innovative" but that production of large-scale biofuel feedstocks is "a challenge." Nevertheless, he predicted that biofuels such as algae, which he described as the golden chalice of the industry, "will make up 15% of aviation fuel by 2020 and 30% by 2030." However, focusing on just one biofuel source from one area would be a mistake, he said. "Local solutions from local environments giving local employment, and thus less energy in transporting fuels, are the keys," he concluded.

Former (NASA) (NAS) Administrator, Sean O'Keefe leaves to become (CEO) (EADS) (EDS) North America, replacing Ralph Crosby, who now becomes Chairman and will continue to lead (EADS)' pursuit of the USAF's KC-X refuelling tanker contract. O'Keefe's arrival appears to add new emphasis to the space sector, alongside aeronautics and security, in (EADS) USA strategy.

(EDS) operated the A330-200F freighter's first flight from Toulouse, flying for 4 hours and reaching 41,000 ft. It expects first delivery to occur next summer to Etihad Crystal Cargo (EHD) following a 180-hour flight test program. (EDS) currently has 67 firm orders from nine customers. In addition, Turkish Airlines (THY) has signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for two of the mid-size cargo airplanes. "There are other ongoing campaigns in progress where airlines are showing serious interest in the airplane," (EDS) claimed. (COO) Customers, John Leahy added, "We are at the eve of a market recovery and now is the time for airlines to prepare for future freight growth." (EDS) forecasts demand for 1,600 midsize freighters over the next 20 years. The A330-200F is targeted to carry 64.5 tonnes over 4,000 nm/7,400 km or 69.5 tonnes up to 3,200 nm/5,930 km. "Thanks to an optimized fuselage cross-section, it has the interior flexibility to carry a wide variety of pallet and container sizes for maximum interlining capability," (EDS) said, noting that "compared with the . . . passenger A330-200, this . . . freighter version has an increased maximum-zero-fuel weight of eight tonnes to allow for high-density cargo configuration transportation."

First flight:


Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) and (EDS) confirmed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for 12 A350s, announced in July, valued at just over >$3 billion. The deal was signed at the Dubai Air Show by Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Tom Enders and (ETH) President, Girma Wake, who told media he believes the airplanes will "serve our market well."

The order takes firm commitments for the A350 to 493. First deliveries of the A350-900 to (ETH) would be 2017, and (ETH) is considering leasing some A350s in the interim. At the same time, Rolls-Royce (RRC) announced an order for (Trent XWB) engines for the (ETH) airplanes.

(EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy told media that the A350 program is in good shape and no customers are contemplating cancellations because of the global economic crisis.

(EDS) said (EASA) has certified all A330 models for Extended Twin-Engine Operations (ETOPS) "beyond 180 minutes," which will be available as a customer-selectable option that will extend diversion distance up to 1,700 nm (240 minutes of flying at one-engine speed under "standard conditions").

December 2009: It turns out that a "better than expected" Dubai Airshow that featured an order for 12 A350-900s from Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) was not the highlight of Airbus (EDS)'s November, which featured an order for 52 A320s from an undisclosed customer that pushed (EDS)'s total to 74 new airplanes for the month.

In addition to the (ETH) commitment, (EDS) received firm orders from Air Austral (AUX) (two A380s), Turkish Airlines (THY) (three A330-300s and two A330-200Fs), Middle East Airlines (MEA) (one A319), Comlux (CLA) (one A319 Corporate Jetliner) and a private customer who purchased an A340-500. It also signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Senegal Airlines (SNG) for four A320 family airplanes and two A330s, a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Nepal Airlines (RNA) for one A330-200 and one A320 and an (MOU) with Yemenia Yemen Airways (YEM) for 10 A320s. Air New Zealand (ANZ)'s commitment for 14 A320s plus 11 purchase rights, announced November 2, was not included in the total.

(EDS) said it recorded 225 gross orders through November, with 31 cancellations taking the 11-month net to 194. Its 2009 net order book now comprises 131 A320s, 19 A321s, nine A330-200s, four A330-200Fs, 10 A330-300s, 22 A350-900s and four A380s.

(EDS) delivered 38 airplanes last month comprising 30 A320 family airplanes, four A330-200s (including one to Qantas (QAN) via CIT (TCI) and one to US Airways (AMNW)/(USA)), three A330-300s (one to Aeroflot (ARO) via AerCap (DEA), one to AirAsia X (ASX) and one to Oman Air (OMR)) and an A340-500 to a private customer. It delivered 437 airplanes through the first 11 months of 2009, including seven A380s.

(EDS) said its Tianjin final assembly line (FAL) achieved its 2009 target when it delivered the 11th A320 family airplane to the HNA Group subsidiary, Deer Air (DER). The first plane went to Sichuan Airlines (SIC) on June 23 and subsequent units were delivered to the aforementioned pair as well as China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and Shenzhen Airlines (SHZ). The (FAL) has assembled six A320s and five A319s.

(AMF), the French stock market regulator, cleared 17 current and former (EADS)/Airbus (EDS) executives of wrongdoing regarding alleged insider trading related to A380 program delays. (AMF) since 2006 has investigated whether (EADS) and (EDS) executives inappropriately sold off (EADS) shares prior to (EDS)'s June 2006 announcement of A380 program delays that led to an immediate -26% drop in (EADS)' stock price. (EDS) (CEO), Thomas Enders; (COO) Customers, John Leahy; former (EADS) co-(CEO), Noel Forgeard; and former (EADS) co-Chairmen, Arnaud Lagardere; and Manfred Bischoff all were among those alleged to have profited improperly from advance knowledge of A380 delays.

Forgeard in particular was questioned about his sale of €2.5 million/($3.6 million worth of stock options three months before (EDS) announced the A380 delay and was even detained briefly in May 2008 by French police for questioning on the matter. He repeatedly described the sale's timing as an "unfortunate coincidence."

(AMF) concluded, "It cannot be considered that the accused gained privileged information about the significant increase in production costs for the A380 program during [winter 2006] meetings . . . The accusation concerning use of privileged information must therefore be dropped." However, (AMF) in 2008, forwarded information on the issue to French prosecutors, who have not announced the results of their criminal probe. (EADS) reiterated that it has "complied with all applicable market information duties, in particular in respect of risks affecting the A380 program." It said it was "confident that [AMF's] point of view will also prevail in all other pending proceedings based on the same facts."

January 2010: Airbus (EDS) delivered 10 A380s in 2009, one short of its target, as it continued to struggle with production ramp-up. It plans to hand over up to 20 this year and will announce the precise figure on January 12. To date, 23 A380s have been delivered and 202 have been sold to 17 customers.

Airbus (EDS) announced a full-year delivery record of 498 airplanes in 2009 (up from 483 in 2008) including 402 from the A320 family, and a gross order intake of 310 airplanes, while admitting that its "biggest disappointment" in the past year was a slowdown in the A380 delivery schedule. President & CEO, Tom Enders called 2009 "a very difficult year" but said he was satisfied that "the prognosis that deliveries would fall dramatically didn't come true. For the first time, we delivered 400 single-aisle planes." Speaking at (EDS)'s press event in Seville, he added "we didn't make compromises on airplane prices. We don't give away airplanes."

Last year's deliveries included 86 A330s/A340s and 10 A380s along with 16 airplanes from Airbus Military. (EDS) said the gross order total met expectations and was worth $34.9 billion. Orders comprised 228 A320 family airplanes, 78 A330s/A340s/A350s and four A380s. Cancellations reduced the net to 271 planes valued at $30.3 billion, compared to 777 in 2008. It claimed a 54% share of the global 100-plus-seat market and said the total order backlog of 3,488 airplanes as of December 31 was worth $437.1 billion and was equal to six years of full production. Boeing (TBC) last year booked 263 gross orders and 142 net.

Looking ahead, Airbus (EDS) has a significant amount on its plate, including plans to study re-engining the A320 family and the need to smooth A380 production and in-service performance. COO Customers, John Leahy said (EDS) expects 250 to 300 orders this year, including some for the A380, and is anticipating a "turnaround" in demand in 2012. Enders said production will stay at 2008to 2009 levels and Airbus (EDS) will "remain prudent and flexible" on that front.

Enders confirmed that a next-generation engine for the "bread and butter" single-aisle airplanes will be investigated but declined to reveal a specific schedule. International Aero Engines (IAE) will be involved, he said, adding that further details will be made available "when we are ready." Leahy said that (EDS) continues to invest up to $150 million a year in A320 family updates, although a re-engining obviously would require a greater expenditure. There will be no A320 replacement airframe until at least 2024.

Regarding the other end of the product line, Enders admitted that A380 production and reliability have to improve, especially because of the worldwide attention paid to the program. (EDS) delivered just 10 A380s last year as opposed to the 18 that were planned. "We had 10,000 A380 commercial flights. Each time there is a technical problem with the airplane, it's a big issue with the public," COO, Fabrice Bregier said, echoing Enders' sentiments. (EDS) is targeting 98.5% operational reliability and currently is running at 97.5%, Bregier said, adding that operators have seen an average increase in load factor of +10 points on A380 frequencies.

When asked about the program's breakeven date, Enders said, "This is a game we play every year at press conferences," adding that it will be "some years" before breakeven is achieved. Leahy admitted that the poor economy is hurting sales. "In a downturn like the industry is suffering now, you don't sell 747s either," he said.

(EDS) signed a 13.5-year flight-hour services agreement with Sichuan Airlines (SIC) covering three new A330s it will operate on lease, beginning this year.

(EDS) Executive VP Programs, Tom Williams said that the A320 final assembly line in Tianjin is performing "within our expectations." It delivered 11 A320 family airplanes last year. "We expect to deliver two A320s per month by the end of this year," he said, adding that all airplanes assembled there have been ordered by Chinese carriers.

Airbus (EDS) announced the promotion of Executive VP Customer Services, Charles Champion to Head of Engineering, effective April 1. He will succeed the retiring Patrick Gavin.

OnAir will go live with its Internet and (VPN) connectivity service next month but sees a profitable future for its phone and Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) in-flight connectivity service, with CEO, Benoit Debains saying "We are, and we remain, a phone company."
The Airbus (EDS)/(SITA) joint venture provided no further details concerning Internet OnAir's launch but Debains insisted that the company's Mobile OnAir service and Internet are complementary. "Contrary to what people believe," he said, "it's not phone versus Internet."

He claimed that OnAir's connectivity solutions have been a successful revenue generator for airlines. "In the Middle East, it's becoming something that you must have in terms of passenger service," he said. "Of course it is our goal to increase revenue and therefore find new ideas. A key factor is passenger awareness, and what we believe is that we need to understand the consumer attitude between the short flight and long flight. We are learning every day." In a statement, Debains said 2010 will be a year during which in-flight connectivity "will become commonplace across the industry." Last month, OnAir unveiled an SMS service enabling airlines to communicate with individual passengers during flight and he expects it to be available before summer.

OnAir said that the 100,000th commercial flight with in-flight connectivity services recently occurred aboard a Qatar Airways (QTA) A320. There currently are 61 airplanes in service with 20 airlines equipped with its connectivity solutions and it expects the number of airplanes to reach 150 by year end.

(EDS) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with (CDB) Leasing of China (CLC) "to share competence and experience to cooperate on a variety of leasing and financing projects," including pre-delivery payment financing, delivery financing and passenger-to-freighter conversion projects. (CLC) will offer financing solutions to airlines around the world and committed to $4 billion in sale-and-leaseback transactions over the next five years. (EDS) said the lessor also is "considering purchasing a certain number of airplanes directly from (EDS)." (CLC) has registered capital of CNY8 billion/$1.17 billion and has delivered 51 airplanes to customers. It is majority held by China Development Bank (CDB).

Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Centre, a joint venture between Airbus (EDS) and Chinese investors, will supply A350 elevators to Aernnova Aerospace of Spain. Production in China is expected to start in 2012 after initial industrialization in Europe, (EDS) said. The Harbin facility also will produce the A350's rudder and S19 maintenance door.

Airbus (EDS) delivered its 6,000th airplane, an A380, to Emirates (EAD) in Hamburg. It is (EAD)'s eighth A380 and the 25th delivered by (EDS). (EDS)'s 5,000th delivery was an A330-200 in December 2007 and its 1,000th an A340-300 in March 1993.

(EDS) said the second A330-200F flew for the first time on January 20. The (Trent 700)-powered airplane flew for 3 hours. The 200-hour flight test program is expected to result in mid-March certification, with first delivery to Etihad Crystal Cargo (EHD) scheduled for the summer. The first A330-200F, powered by (PW4000)s, initially flew in November and currently is undergoing cold-weather testing in Canada.

(EDS) announced a +5.8% increase in the list price of all its airplanes retroactive to January 1. "We have tried to keep prices down for as long as we can. However, even with record airplane deliveries and impressive orders in recent years, the continuing strength of the euro against the USA dollar and the ongoing financial challenges ahead have forced us to take action," COO Customers, John Leahy said. (EDS) said it was its first price hike in two years. Increased cost of materials and commodities also factored into the decision.

February 2010: Airbus (EDS) is forecasting that Asia/Pacific airlines will acquire +8,000 new passenger and cargo airplanes valued at $1.2 trillion over the next 20 years, one-third of predicted global deliveries during the period. Speaking to reporters at the Singapore Air show, COO Customers, John Leahy said the region is expected to lead demand for the A380 with 880 deliveries in the very large airplane category. He said there will be 2,570 twin-aisle and 4,560 single-aisle airplanes delivered to the region over the next two decades.

(EDS) predicted that passenger traffic in the region will grow at an average annual rate of +5.9%, while cargo traffic will increase by +6.3% per year, ahead of the global average forecast of +4.7% and +5.2%, respectively.

Leahy said the high proportion of larger airplanes reflects the concentration of populations around main urban centers in the Asia/Pacific, generating high-density traffic on key intra-regional routes. Singapore Airlines (SIA) already is using the A380 on Singapore - Hong Kong and Singapore - Tokyo Narita with positive results. (EDS) forecast that the region will continue to dominate the global airfreight market, with the dedicated freighter fleet operated by Asia/Pacific airlines increasing by five times to 1,500 airplanes. While many of these will be conversions, up to 340 will be new-build, (EDS) said.

Leahy said that within 20 years the region will overtake the USA and Europe as the world's largest air transport market, carrying more than >30% of global passenger traffic and >40% of airfreight. (EDS) projected that Asia/Pacific (RPK)s will grow +227% from 1.24 trillion to 4.05 trillion over the 20 years. Overall, (EDS) is forecasting that the global market over 20 years will require 25,000 new passenger and freighter airplanes valued at $3.1 trillion, made up of 1,700 very large airplanes, 6,250 twin-aisles and almost 17,000 single-aisle models.

Airbus (EDS) announced the appointment of Executive VP Quality, Didier Lux to executive VP-customer services effective April 1. He will succeed new Executive VP Engineering Charles Champion and will in turn be followed by Pilar Albiac Murillo, who was named head of quality and lean improvement.

Koito Industries of Yokohama was ordered by the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) to re-test some 150,000 airp-lane seats installed on around 1,000 airplanes operated by 32 airlines worldwide and make fixes if necessary. The (JCAB) accused the company of falsifying data from tests on the seats' fire and shock resistance and Koito, which is 20% owned by troubled automaker Toyota Motor Corporation, later admitted to the wrongdoing. Koito President, Takashi Kakegawa told reporters at a press conference that "the whole section in charge [of the testing] was systematically involved" in falsifying results. The (JCAB) said it has evidence the false test data dates back to the 1990s. Koito lists Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS), (ANA), Singapore Airlines (SIA), Continental Airlines (CAL) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) as "major customers" on its website.

Airbus (EDS) acknowledged that (EASA) barred it in September from delivering airplanes with Koito seats, according to "Bloomberg News." The European safety agency determined that the seat-maker failed to share enough pertinent data on its seats to warrant continued approval and that there was evidence of "irregularities" at Koito. (SIA) reportedly was forced to delay delivery of its 11th A380 owing to the issues surrounding Koito seats, while (ANA) said the launch of its Inspiration of Japan long-haul product aboard a 777-300ER would be postponed until April because of a delay in the development of its new premium economy seats by Koito. Thai Airways (TII) announced that it has canceled a contract with Koito, blaming repeated seat-installation problems for the delayed delivery of five A330-300s. It said the seat-maker claimed it could resolve its issues and install the seats by August, but (TII) was unwilling to continue waiting for airplanes it said have been sitting idle in Hamburg since September.

Airbus (EDS) announced A350 supplier contracts with Panasonic Avionics Corporation on OnAir, its joint venture with (SITA). Panasonic will provide on-demand audio and video, eXPhone in-flight mobile phone service, eXConnect broadband Internet, and its Panasonic Airborne Television Network. OnAir's connectivity technology will be linefit offerable on the A350, (EDS) said, adding that more than >40% of A350 customers have ordered the product.

Recaro Aircraft Seating said it signed a contract with Airbus (EDS) to offer its CL3620 economy class (Y) seats on the A350. Under the contract, (EDS) will include the seat in its A350 catalog "upon successful qualification." Recaro said it was its first agreement reached directly with (EDS) to supply seats as an (EDS) Contracted Supplier.

United Aviation Corporation (UAC) has selected Ulyanovsk's Vostochni Airport as the proposed site for a passenger to freight conversion facility for the Airbus (EDS) A320 family. (UAC) subsidiary, the Irkut Corporation (IKT) is the Russian partner on the project and is due to complete its first modification in 2013. The hangar will be constructed adjacent to the existing Aviastar (TUP) facility at the airport.

March 2010: Despite reporting a -€763 million/-$1.04 billion net loss in 2009, reversed from a +€1.57 billion surplus the prior year, Airbus (EDS) parent (EADS) announced an increase in the monthly A320 family production rate from the current 34 to 36 in December thanks to "continuing demand" and a "record backlog."

The (EDS) commercial unit posted an operating profit of +€386 million excluding goodwill impairment and exceptional items, a -83.3% plunge from the +€2.31 billion earned on a similar basis in 2008. Revenue slipped just -0.6% to €26.37 billion.

But Executive VP Programs, Tom Williams explained, "Leading economic indices and business confidence indicators are showing an upward trend again . . . Thanks to our proactive order book management we have been able to keep production stable during the year of the downturn, but now it is definitely time to think ahead." The A320 family backlog exceeds 2,300 airplanes. The A330/A340 production rate will remain at eight per month.

Interestingly, both Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) were criticized by industry analysts who questioned why the pair had not reduced production rates for their respective narrow body lines, given very weak industry fundamentals. John Walsh, for example, noted he had expected significant production cutback announcements in the first half of 2009. "We are at the tail end of a classic over-ordering cycle," Walsh said, adding that the next step was for (TBC) and (EDS) "to face the realities of the marketplace and start curtailing production in a meaningful way." Both manufacturers defended the strength of their backlogs.

(EDS) delivered 498 commercial airplanes in 2009 (up from 483 in 2008), including 402 from the A320 family, and is targeting the same number this year. CEO, Louis Gallois said that he expects 20 A380 deliveries in 2010 (double the 2009 number), although he admitted that the Toulouse production line still is not operating at full efficiency and may not for another 1 to 2 years. "We are not giving a timeframe when we will reach positive territory. It is still some years out," he said regarding the program's bottom line. "The learning curve was too high. Now we target the cost side." (EDS) expects 250 to 300 new commercial orders this year. "The full recovery of the airplane market I estimate not in 2011 but one year later in 2012," Gallois said.

Group revenue was down -1% to €42.82 billion and the operating loss of -€322 million represented a reversal from the €2.83 billion (EBIT) reported in 2008 and resulted from costs related to the delayed A380 and A400M military transport programs as well as €2.5 billion in foreign exchange losses. It expects a 2010 operating profit of some +€1 billion. It said its future performance will be "dependent" on its "ability to execute" the A380, A350 and A400M programs "in line with the commitments made to its customers."

The World Trade Organization (WTO) may issue its final ruling on the long-running Airbus (EDS)/Boeing (TBC) state aid dispute, Boeing VP Executive, Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, Ted Austell said in a statement likely prompted by reports that the German government is preparing to extend a €1.1 billion/$1.49 billion loan to Airbus (EDS) to aid in A350 development. German Federal Ministry of Economics & Technology Parliamentary State Secretary, Peter Hintze said, "All pre-conditions have been met and the funds are available," and that the loan satisfies (WTO) requirements. However, it remains subject to agreements regarding the division of work between Germany and France, according to "Agence France Presse." Austell said the loan "flies in the face of both the expected (WTO) decision and the rules-based global trading system we've all endorsed." He also cited reports that Airbus (EDS) called for "a negotiated settlement only 24 hours before a (WTO) ruling that both parties expect to uphold all of the major USA claims." He said the USA government was not interested in further negotiations.

Emirates Airline (EAD) President, Tim Clark said that the airline's A380s have been a success with passengers and on the balance sheet but that "there are still problems with the reliability of the airplanes. And when we fix snags, we find new ones. I am trying to be kind to Airbus (EDS), but they have to solve the problems." The operational reliability of (EAD)'s seven in-service A380s is 90% to 95%, which he said is not good enough, although he added that (EDS) "gives us good support." (EAD) plans to take seven more A380s this year.

April 2010: Airbus (EDS) said it was taking advantage of "scheduled development test flights to assess the impact on the airplanes and its flight systems" of potential Iceland volcanic ash encounters. An A380 flew in French airspace and an A340-600 flew in French and German airspace yesterday. (EDS) said it will "share the findings from these flights with the relevant airworthiness authorities and engine manufacturers as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, it said A320 deliveries from Hamburg have been stopped temporarily owing to airspace closures. In addition, its five Beluga cargo airplanes that ferry airplane parts have been grounded. Otherwise, it said production has not been affected by the situation.

May 2010: Airbus (EDS) parent (EADS) reported first-quarter net income of +€103 million/+$129.7 million, down -39.4% from a +€170 million profit in the year-ago period, and said it remains behind on A380 production, a program that "continues to weigh significantly on the underlying performance."

CFO, Hans Peter Ring admitted, "We are still trying to reduce the amount of outstanding work on the A380." He predicted 20 will be delivered this year, well below the 45 originally slated for 2010.

"The key priority for this year is to deliver on our programs," (EADS) said in a statement. "We need to progress with the A380…and to step up the development of the A350."

First-quarter revenue increased +5.7% to €8.95 billion, while expenses heightened +8% to €7.84 billion, producing operating income of +€1.12 billion, down -8.4% from €1.21 billion last year. (EDS)s commercial revenue rose +9.5% to €5.99 billion but it produced a breakeven pre-tax result, down from a pre-tax profit of +€199 million last year.

(EADS) said its overall financial position is "fundamentally solid" with the "economic environment improving but still volatile." It said (EDS) has a "resilient backlog" of 3,426 airplanes and predicted it will take 250 to 300 gross orders for commercial airplanes in 2010.

Airspace closures as a result of Europe's volcanic ash crisis cost the world -$4.7 billion in lost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the first week April 15 to 21, according to a study by Oxford Economics that was presented at the World Travel & Tourism Council's 10th Global Travel & Tourism Summit. The study, commissioned by Airbus (EDS), found that subsequent, more limited closures raised the cost to -$5 billion through May 24.

The biggest impact in the first week was felt by the aviation sector, with losses totaling -$2.6 billion. This was reduced to -$2.2 billion "when factoring in deferred business (C) and leisure travel that will be recovered." The impact on visitor spending realized by destinations around the world totaled -$1.6 billion in lost revenues.

Productivity losses stemming from stranded workers added -$490 million in losses in the first week. International trade also was disrupted severely. The report cited examples including -$112 million estimated to have been lost by Korean component suppliers and -$65 million estimated to have been lost by African countries owing to the lack of airfreight for perishable goods such as cut flowers.

"After taking into account the offsetting spending of deferred travel, diverted travel and spending by stranded passengers, airlines and destinations lost -$3.8 billion," the report stated. However, "On a broader scale, the temporary shutdown of air travel resulted in -$4.7 billion of lost local (GDP) once the indirect (supply chain), induced (additional consumer spending) and worker productivity impacts are included."

For the April 15 to 21 period, more than >-100,000 fewer flights traversed European airspace than in the previous week, a -53% fall, the report said. "The far-reaching impacts of the recent disruption to air transport have of course been felt acutely by travelers, airlines and destinations. But the impact has also been felt by those who rely on goods that are imported and exported by airfreight, and on general production and productivity. This report shows the integral role aviation plays in the basic and everyday functions of society and commerce," Oxford Economics CEO, Adrian Cooper said at the conference.

Air New Zealand (ANZ) achieved a world first for Airbus (EDS), using Required Navigation Performance (RNP) level 0.1 for Sydney - Rotorua service on May 22 despite cloud cover down to just 400 ft. The (RNP) 0.1 value is the lowest level approved by Airbus (EDS) and authority to operate below (RNP) 0.3 had just been granted to (ANZ) the previous day. Without the technology, Flight NZ978 would have had to divert to Auckland, causing significant disruption to the inbound passengers and also to the outbound passengers scheduled to depart from Rotorua to Sydney the same afternoon.

(ANZ) pioneered (RNP) for the A320, initially to get into Queenstown, which is surrounded by mountains. (ANZ) is the first carrier in the world to have an entire A320 fleet (RNP)-enabled. "(RNP) has proved to be a huge benefit to customers and the airline with excellent reliability into Queenstown through some very challenging weather conditions over the past few years," Philip Kirk, Performance Based Navigation Project Manager said.

The Airbus (EDS) Tianjin factory in China said it plans to deliver 26 A320 family jetliners this year, the "China News Service" reported, citing the factory’s General Manager, Jean-Luc Charles. The Airbus (Tianjin) Final Assembly Line, the only A320 family airplane production plant of Airbus (EDS) outside Europe, said it has delivered 10 A320 series single-aisle jets from this January.

SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-A330-200F EASA CERT 2010-05."

June 2010: Korean Air Aerospace was selected by Airbus (EDS) as the sole supplier of the new Airbus (EDS)-designed sharklet wingtip devices for A320 family airplanes. KE Aerospace will supply the devices, designed to lower fuel burn, to final assembly lines in Toulouse, Hamburg and Tianjin. The first A320 family airplane fitted with sharklets will be delivered to Air New Zealand (ANZ) in late 2012.

The Latin American Airline Association (ALTA) announced that TAM (TPR) will operate Latin America's first biofuel demonstration flight in the second half of 2010 using an A320 partially powered by fuel derived from jatropha. The flight will be conducted in conjunction with Airbus (EDS) and (CFM) International. The (CFM56-5B)-powered airplane will utilize biofuel derived from jatropha oil refined by Honeywell (SGC)'s (UOP). According to (ALTA), TAM (TPR) has acquired jatropha seeds from throughout Brazil via the Brazilian Association of Jatropha Producers and will pass along the seeds to (UOP).

TAM (TPR) CEO, Líbano Barroso said, "We have put forth our best efforts to use Brazilian raw materials in the production of this biofuel, with significant economic and social gains. A source of aviation biokerosene, the [jatropha] biomass is 100% domestic, resulting from family agricultural projects and large farms in the hinterlands of Brazil."

(ALTA) added that "considering the natural resources and the favorable climatic conditions [in Brazil], a large amount of degraded pastures might be recovered with this [jatropha] plant. To be able to attain a commercial scale, estimates show that it would be necessary to expand the cultivated surface by about one million hectares, sufficient to service approximately 20% of the domestic consumption."

It said Michigan Technological University/(UOP) tests "show that aviation biofuels made from jatropha . . . can achieve a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions [of] 65% to 80% relative to petroleum-derived jet fuel."

(EADS) CEO, Louis Gallois said that subsidiary Airbus (EDS) is "for the time being" on track to deliver the A350 on time in 2013, but conceded that program development has been "tense" and "we have eaten most of the buffer we had." In an interview with "Bloomberg," he pointed to Boeing (TBC)'s problems with the 787, noting, "Boeing (TBC) is a very good company with a good technical background and when we see difficulties they have, we have to be very cautious." He said (TBC) outsourced about 80% of the work on the 787 Dreamliner, whereas (EDS) has "outsourced 50% of the work" on the A350, in part because of lessons learned from the 787 program. "They made technical choices which are perhaps more aggressive," he said. "It's a lesson for us and we have to be careful."

Emirates (EAD)'s ambitions to build Dubai into "a central gateway to worldwide air travel" took another major step forward as it ordered 32 additional A380s valued at $11.5 billion at list prices, the single biggest order for the airplane to date and bringing (EAD)'s total orders for the type to 90.

The order agreement was signed in a ceremony at the Berlin Air Show witnessed by German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, (EAD) Chairman & CEO, Ahmed bin SaeedAl-Maktoum and Airbus (EDS) President & CEO, Tom Enders.

Al-Maktoum told media that "the A380 is a great airplane and our passengers worldwide are enthusiastic about this new dimension of air travel. This latest order, adding to 58 A380s previously ordered, affirms Emirates (EAD)'s strategy to become a world leading carrier and to further establish Dubai as a central gateway to worldwide air travel."

Enders said, "Emirates (ead) has supported the development of the A380 from the earliest days, and today's order . . . is the best endorsement I can imagine."

(EAD took delivery of its 10th A380 this week and currently serves London Heathrow, Toronto, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Jeddah, Bangkok, Seoul Incheon, Sydney, and Auckland with the airplane. It plans to start A380 service from Dubai to Beijing on August 1 and to Manchester on September 1 and will restore A380 service on its Dubai - New York (JFK) route in October.

(EAD) plans to have an enormous amount of wide body capacity in the future: In addition to the 80 A380s, it still has on order for delivery, it has commitments for 70 A350s and 18 777-300s.

TAM (TPR) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) at the Berlin Air Show for 20 new A320 family airplanes and five additional A350-900s.

If finalized, the deal would bring (TPR)'s total number of A320 family airplanes on order for future delivery to 64 and its A350 orders to 27. It also has three A330-200s on order.

The five A350-900s will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines. (TPR) did not select an engine for the 20 A320s.

"With this new order, we can offer our customers one of the youngest fleets in the world of aviation," CEO, Libano Barroso said. "Additionally, these new airplanes will allow us to continue our strategy of operating a common fleet throughout our domestic market."

Airbus (EDS) noted that the last five years have marked its "most successful period in Latin America with 325 airplanes sold and a record backlog of more than >230 aircraft orders to be delivered to its Latin American customers. Today, more than >370 Airbus (EDS) airplanes are flying with 23 Latin American airlines, representing more than >40% of the fleet in service."

Airbus (EDS) completed a busy Berlin Air Show with commitments from Finnair (FIN) and Germania (GER) for five A321s and five A319s, respectively, completing a three-day period that featured $15.3 billion in new business including Emirates (EAD)'s mega 32-unit A380 buy.

Finnair (FIN) is becoming the launch customer for Airbus (EDS) A321 winglets after Air New Zealand (ANZ) in November was the first to order the winglet upgrade of the A320. The €400 million/$479.6 million deal, which still has to be converted into a firm order, replaces the existing order for two A330-300s (FIN) was to receive in 2012 to 2013. The A321ER is to enable the airline to still fly some
medium-haul routes, but at lower capacity, (FIN) says. The airline expects to receive the first A321ER in 2013. (FIN) will use it to replace four 757s. (FIN) also operates six regular A321s; the winglets should provide a -4% fuel burn advantage over the current model. The move is a shot in the arm for Airbus (EDS), which is promoting the A321 as a logical 757 replacement.

Germania (GER) parent S A T signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for five A319s, Airbus (EDS) announced. Deliveries will commence in April 2011. The airplanes, to be powered by (CFM56)s, will be configured in a single-class cabin layout for 150Y passengers. (GER) has a fleet of six 737-300s and nine 737-700s and has a further two 737-700s on dry lease with other carriers, according to its website. It flies to 30 destinations in Germany, Europe and the Middle East. It carried more than >2.5 million passengers last year.

Airbus (EDS) said A320 family airplanes recently passed the >50-million-flight milestone and have carried 5 billion passengers since entering commercial service in 1988. "One of our A320 family airplanes takes off every six seconds somewhere around the world," COO Customers, John Leahy noted, adding that (EDS) is "investing at least €100 million/$122.7 million a year in the A320 family" to improve its efficiency and extend the program's life "for decades to come."

Incredibly, the then-fledgling A320 was the stumbling block for a failed merger attempt between Airbus (EDS) and McDonnell Douglas (MDC) in 1989, with the USA manufacturer insisting that any new single-aisle airplane resulting from the merger be based on the MD-80/-90 line. (EDS) dismissed the notion, saying that the MD-80/-90 was "old technology."

It had delivered about 70 A320s of the several hundred on order at the time and wanted McDonnell Douglas (MDC) to build A320s for USA airlines. (EDS) has now sold 6,500 A320s in just over 25 years, almost twice the number of all the commercial jets built at McDonnell Douglas (MDC)'s Long Beach factory from 1956 to 2006.

The first member of the A320 family, the A320, was launched in March 1984, first flew on February 22, 1987, and was first delivered in 1988. The airplane now can be seen in the colors of some 250 different airlines and 60 other customers and there are 10 operators with more than >100 in their fleets.

July 2010: (LAN) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for 50 A320 family airplanes, including 10 A321s. If consummated, the order will represent the largest single airline order for Airbus (EDS) in Latin America and brings (LAN)’s total Airbus (EDS) orders to 152 airplanes.

Airbus (EDS) announced what it described as "a nonbinding" Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Virgin America (VUS) for 40 A320 family airplanes valued $3.3 billion at list prices, plus a further 30 options. The latest deal brought (EDS)’s sales activity at the Farnborough International Airshow to 255 airplanes worth $28 billion, including firm orders for 133 airplanes valued at more than >$13 billion.

If (VUS)'s (MOU) is converted into a firm order, deliveries of the firm airplanes will run from 2013 to 2016 with options beginning in 2017. “It is our full expectation that it will lead to a firm contract in the months ahead,” President & CEO, David Cush stressed. (VUS) currently operates 10 A319s and 18 A320s and will put 22 purchased and leased A320s into service by 2012.

The new agreement covers A320s with the ability to upgrade to A321s “if we see the need,” Cush said, adding, “We would anticipate the new airplanes will have the sharklets.” (VUS) has not yet announced its choice of engines but its current airplanes are powered by (CFM56)s.

Operating lessors accounted for the bulk of Airbus (EDS)’s firm orders at Farnborough, with Steven Udvar-Hazy’s new Air Lease Corporation buying 51 narrow bodies and (GECAS) 60 A320s. Airbus COO Customers, John Leahy said he’s currently in talks with another leasing company, for A330s. He’s also aiming to sign up another customer for the A380.

Enders revealed the company is setting a new sales target for the end of the year to “north of 400 airplanes” and indicated it might consider raising productions rates, primarily of the narrow body family but maybe also of the wide bodies. (EDS) previously targeted 250 to 300 orders for 2010. As of July 22, it had registered firm orders for 261 airplanes from 20 customers. “The recession is definitely over,” Leahy concluded, citing the active sales, global traffic growth and the return of liquidity to the market as reasons underpinning his statement.

August 2010: Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) posted first-half 2010 net income of +€185 million/+$241.7 million, down -51% from a +€378 million profit in the year-ago period, but expressed optimism going forward owing to rebounding commercial airplane sales. Large numbers of orders announced at this year's Berlin and Farnborough air shows "reflect an improvement in the commercial aviation market," CEO, Louis Gallois said. (EADS)'s first-half order intake jumped +79% year-over-year to €30.8 billion "due to higher commercial airplane orders," the company stated.

(EDS)'s consolidated revenue for the first half was €13.85 billion, slightly below the €13.95 billion for the same period last year. Its first-half (EBIT) of €104 million was narrowed significantly from €519 million in the year-ago six months. Commercial airplane deliveries for the year's first half stood at 250, slightly behind last year's pace of 254 at the halfway point. (EDS) booked 117 firm net commercial airplane orders in the first half and registered 14 cancellations, down from 22 in the 2009 first half.

Overall first-half (EADS) revenue lifted +1% to €20.31 billion. Its second-quarter net income was +€82 million, down -61% from +€208 million in the year-ago period, on a 3% lowering of revenue to €11.36 billion.

Airbus (EDS) will increase the monthly production rate of A320 family airplanes to 38 in August 2011 and to 40 in the 2012 first quarter.

The current rate is 34, rising to 36 from December. (EDS) said that “the decision to raise its single-aisle production rate is driven by the continuing strong demand for the A320 family and a record backlog in excess of more than 2,200 airplanes."

Executive VP Programs, Tom Williams said, “The recent Farnborough International Airshow, where Airbus (EDS) garnered orders worth $28 billion in total and the leasing companies made a strong return to the market, was clear evidence of a strong and positive trend towards recovery.” The A320 series made up 402 of the 498 airplanes (EDS) delivered in 2009. More than >6,500 A320 family airplanes have been sold and more than >4,300 delivered to more than >310 customers and operators. The company recently noted that A320 family airplanes have passed the 50-million-flight milestone and carried 5 billion passengers since entering commercial service in 1988.

By comparison, Boeing (TBC) has sold 8,450 737s, of which 5,318 are NGs.

Aegean Airlines (CRM) became the first operator to commit to upgrading its A320 fleet with the "FANS-B+" retrofit solution offered by Airbus (EDS), enabling airplane/Air Traffic Control (ATC) datalink without voice backup. Deliveries from (EDS) of the kits and service bulletins associated with the upgrade will be aligned with airplane "C" maintenance checks beginning in January 2011.

According to Airbus (EDS), the Datalink Services Implementing rule applying to airlines operating in Europe comes into effect on January 1, 2011 for new airplanes and in February 2015 for in-service airplanes.

Airbus (EDS) will increase the monthly production rate of its A320 Family airplanes to 38 per month in August 2011 and to 40 per month in the first quarter 2012. Currently (EDS) turns out 34 A320 Family airplanes per month, rising to 36 from December 2010.

Bernstein Research, New York has forecast that A350 deliveries will slip into 2014 and that Airbus (EDS) will deliver only eight of the next-generation aircraft that year, flagging a significant slippage in the program.

Asked to comment, an Airbus (EDS) spokesperson said, “We don’t have any basis to confirm the data in the Bernstein report.” (EDS) has reassured the market in the past that the program is on track for a 2013 first delivery.

The New York-based research group predicted only two months ago that (EDS) would be able to deliver four A350s in 2013 and 18 in 2014. (EDS) plans to deliver the first A350-900 in 2013 and the A350-800 in 2014. In the same report, Bernstein’s modeling shows twin-aisle airplanes making up more than >50% of Boeing (TBC)’s deliveries from 2014, with (TBC) regaining the mantle of top commercial airplane supplier in 2011 and retaining it through 2014. That surge in twin-aisle deliveries reflects Boeing (TBC) finally getting a handle on the 787 program with 107 787 Dreamliners to be delivered in 2014, Bernstein said.

The report is based on the latest figures released by Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC). Analysis from Bernstein shows that A320 family airplanes will continue to have the highest build rate at 440 a year from 2012 onward, up from 386 this year. Boeing (TBC)’s 737NG series is a close second at 404 per year by 2012.

The highest production rate twin-aisle in 2014 will be the 787, Bernstein forecast. A330s will be built at a rate of 90 per year and the 777 at 81 annually, the report said. In the super-heavyweight class, Bernstein sees the A380 reaching a rate of 27 a year in 2012 and continuing at that level through 2014. It sees Boeing (TBC) delivering 35 747-8s next year, then settling back to a rate of 24 a year.

September 2010: Airbus (EDS) said it began A350 XWB production in Germany with the launch of upper wing shell fabrication at its Stade plant, and reiterated that first delivery to Qatar Airways (QTA) is on track for 2013.

President & CEO, Tom Enders said in Stade that the airplane will be the "most economical and environment-friendly" in its class through the use of "advanced materials" such as "upper wing shells made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP)." It will be made of 53% lightweight carbon fiber composites. Enders said achieving "a very high efficiency" in A350 production will be critical. The program will feature "an entirely new quality control system" and the "use of waterjet technology for edge trimming and a high-precision automated conveyance system in the production hall for large components."

The 30,000 sq m-Stade plant will also be used to build the A350's vertical tailplane and (CFRP) fuselage shells. (EDS) said 100 employees will be working at the plant by year end, expanding to around 500 "when production reaches full capacity."

Bernstein Research has forecast that A350 deliveries will slip into 2014 and (EDS) will deliver just eight of the next-generation airplanes that year, while the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said in a report this week that "Airbus (EDS) has already admitted it has eaten into some of the design buffers it has built into the A350 program." But company executives have maintained the delivery schedule remains unchanged.

(EDS) has won 528 firm orders for the airplane. Final assembly of the first A350-900 is slated to commence in 2011. (EDS) said last December it had completed the airplane's first structure, an all-composite center wing-box panel.

Airbus (EDS) said it secured 301 gross airplane orders through the first eight months of 2010, more than double the 147 orders it received in the year-ago period. It delivered 335 airplanes through August 31 compared to 330 in the equivalent 2009 period.

(EDS) predicted it is "well on track to provide 500 airplanes in 2010." It noted it delivered 13 A380s this year. Its order book was highlighted by commitments for 255 airplanes valued at around $28 billion at July's Farnborough Airshow, including Thai Airways (TII)'s firm order for seven A330-300s.

Boeing (TBC)'s gross orders through August 31 stood at 328, led by 246 737s. It took orders for 50 777s and 28 787s. It had 67 order cancellations in the first eight months of 2010, including 32 787 cancellations, producing a net order total of 261. It recently said its first 787 deliveries would be pushed back to "the middle of the first quarter 2011." Boeing (TBC) said total deliveries for the period ended August 31 were 308, led by 248 737s and 52 777s.

CAC Commercial Aircraft Company (CCC) in Beijing signed a contract with Airbus (EDS) to become the sole supplier of A350 XWB spoilers and droop panels, a deal (EDS) said completes its pledge to allocate 5% of the next generation airplane's production to China.

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic will be used "extensively" on the A350's spoiler and droop panels, (EDS) noted. "Innovative processes include the resin transfer molding process on the center hinge fitting that attaches the spoiler to the wing structure," it added.

(FACC), the Austrian company that is developing and manufacturing winglets for the A350, will be responsible under a separate contract for the definition of the industrial process used to fabricate the spoilers and droop panels, (EDS) stated. "(EDS) worldwide industrial standards will be applied for the assessment of the products and the training of employees," it added. "With this contract, we have reached our objective to be part of a global aeronautical manufacturing chain," (CCC) Chairman, Wang Guangya said. "We have long been a supplier to (EDS) and have been a partner in several cooperation projects with (EDS)."

(EDS) Executive VP Procurement, Klaus Richter commented, "With this work package, we have accomplished our commitment to manufacture 5% of the A350 XWB airframe in China. Besides, this is also an important step forward for (EDS) to develop a truly global industrial and engineering footprint."

Lufthansa (DLH)’s Supervisory Board has approved the acquisition of 40 Airbus (EDS) airplanes worth approximately US$4.3 billion. These airplanes are destined for Lufthansa (DLH), plus two of the Group’s subsidiary airlines: SWISS (CSR) and Germanwings (RFG). The orders comprise: 20 A320 Family airplanes and three A330-300s for Lufthansa (DLH); four A320 Family airplanes and five A330-300s for SWISS (CSR); and eight A319s for Germanwings (RFG).

According to Airbus (EDS), (DLH) is Airbus (EDS)’ biggest operator worldwide with around 325 of its airplanes currently in service, comprising 227 A320s; 30 A330s; 65 A340s; and three A380s. In addition to this latest decision for 40 airplanes, (DLH) has an order backlog for a further 51 airplanes, comprising 36 A320s, three A330s, and 12 A380s.

October 2010: Airbus (EDS) named Chris Emerson, Senior VP Head of Product Strategy & Market Forecast.

Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) finalized a contract with Airbus (EDS) for 10 more A330-200s and converted an existing order for 15 A330s to 15 A350 XWBs. Both agreements were announced during the Farnborough International Airshow in July. Deliveries of the A330-200s will start in 2012 while the airline's first A350 will arrive in 2018. The airplanes will be operated across an expanding long-haul network to Europe and North America.

(CRY) President, Yang Jian Hong said the announcement underscores the carrier's plans to operate an extensive long-haul network: "The A330-200 is the perfect platform for us to develop these services, while the all-new A350 XWB will become our new flagship towards the end of this decade."

(CRY) has now ordered a total 33 twin-aisle aircraft from Airbus, comprising 18 A330s and 15 A350s. (CRY) also has 30 single-aisle A320 aircraft on firm order for future delivery.

Airbus (EDS) has tallied 573 firm A350 orders from 35 customers worldwide.

Airbus (EDS) Military has flown the second A330-200 to have been modified under the UK's Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) program. Equipped with Cobham 905E underwing hose and drogue refuelling pods, the airplane made a 2 hour flight from Getafe near Madrid on 26 October. "The flight crew (FC) reported that the airplane, its systems, and two Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 700) engines performed entirely satisfactorily," (EDS) says.

The second of an eventual 14 tanker/transports to be provided under the (FSTA) private finance initiative deal with (EADS) UK-led AirTanker Services, the newly flown A330 will be delivered to the Royal Air Force (RRR)'s Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire in November 2011 - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "(EDS-A330-TANKER-2010-10."

Australia will also receive its second of five locally designated KC-30As late this year, with the General Electric (CF6-80E)-powered fleet to be operated by the (RAAF)'s 33 Squadron from Amberley air base, Queensland. The service, which retired its last Boeing 707 tanker in June 2008, should receive its remaining examples in 2011 - 2012, according to plans outlined earlier this year.

The military certification receipt will also provide a boost to (EADS) North America's campaign for the USA Air Force's 179-airplane KC-X tanker deal. The company's KC-45 submission is largely based on the KC-30A model prepared for Australia. Boeing (TBC) is offering the smaller KC-767 NewGen Tanker.

Airbus (EDS) Military's order book for the A330 tanker/transport also includes six airplanes for Saudi Arabia, three for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 14 for the UK. The type has a maximum fuel load of 111t.

November 2010: Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) posted third-quarter net income of +€13 million/+$17.9 million, reversed from an -€87 million net deficit in the year-ago period, as revenue increased +18% to €11.27 billion on the back of rising commercial airplane sales.

CFO, Hans Peter Ring told analysts said that there are "clear signs of improvement" in both the commercial passenger and cargo sectors. Airbus (EDS) booked 328 net commercial airplane orders through the first nine months of 2010 (including 32 A380s and 53 A350s), well more than double the 123 net orders it tallied through the first three quarters of 2009. "The new orders demonstrate the continuing appetite for growth in emerging markets," Ring commented. (EADS) is "in sound condition with good prospects for the coming years," he asserted.

Airbus (EDS)'s third-quarter revenue escalated +26% year-over-year to €7.89 billion, while its (EBIT) widened to €192 million from just €4 million in the year-ago period. "In the mid-term, at the current exchange rates, (EDS) should significantly improve its underlying profitability thanks to better volume, pricing and further economic improvement of the A380 [program's] performance," (EADS) said. It projects (EDS) will deliver more than >500 airplanes this year, while taking in gross orders of "up to 500" airplanes.

Ring conceded that the "transition phase from [A350] design to manufacturing is [taking] a bit longer" than had been originally expected, but added that (EDS) believes it can still achieve first delivery in 2013. "More or less, with some deviation, we are sticking to the" A350 program's schedule, he said. He noted that "the level of outsourcing [on the A350] is lower than on the Boeing (TBC) side [with the 787], particularly on aerostructures.

He also acknowledged that whether or not to re-engine the A320 "is a question that has turned out to be more difficult" than had been anticipated. (EDS) executives are "digging deeply into the subject" and determining whether the company has the resources to manage its full "portfolio" of products, including delivering the A350 on time, if it launches a narrow body re-engining program. A final decision will be made by year end, he said.

China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CSC) has signed with Airbus (EDS) for a total of 102 airplanes of which 66 are new orders. The new orders comprise 50 A320 Family airplanes, six A330s and ten A350 XWBs. The agreement was signed by Li Hai, President of (CSC) and Tom Enders, President & CEO of Airbus (EDS).

(EASA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) for all Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 900) series engines calling for “repetitive inspections of the Low Pressure Turbine stage 1 blades and case drain, HP/IP structure air buffer cavity and oil service tubes in order to detect any abnormal oil leakage” in the wake of the uncontained failure of a (Trent 972) on a Qantas (QAN) A380 on November 4. The (AD) says that “analysis of the preliminary elements from the incident investigation shows that an oil fire in the HP/IP structure cavity may have caused the failure of the Intermediate Pressure Turbine Disc.” It adds that “this condition, if not detected, could ultimately result in uncontained engine failure potentially leading to damage to the aeroplane and hazards to persons or property on the ground.”

The (AD) requires that all engines are inspected within 10 flight cycles of the date of the (AD) and then every 20 flight cycles. Any engine off-wing must be inspected immediately. (EASA) says that if any discrepancy is found, it prohibits further engine operation.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) reported that it had already implemented the (AD) as it knew it was coming and had rearranged its A380 flight schedule to accommodate the extra time required for the checks. (SIA) still has three A380s grounded for engine changes. Qantas (QAN) is keeping its six A380s grounded until at least next week.

Rolls-Royce (RRC) has said the failure of the (Trent 972) and the test-stand failure of a (Trent 1000) on August 2 are unrelated and that the cause of the latter is understood. However, (QAN) engineers and a former Australian Transport Safety Bureau inspector have said that there may be a connection between the two events.

Rolls-Royce (RRC) has advised airlines that up to 34 (Trent 900) engines may have to be replaced, according to airline sources in Sydney, who noted that Singapore Airlines (SIA) may have to replace up to 20 engines in its fleet of 11 A380s, and (QAN) may have to replace 14 engines.

(QAN) said it is still working through the issue with Rolls-Royce (RRC), while a Singapore Airlines (SIA) spokesman said (SIA) is “working with (RRC) on an agreed program, which will cover the replacement of a module in our A380 engines.”

Airbus (EDS) COO Customers, John Leahy told Australian media in Sydney that new-build (RRC) engines had the required modification, understood to be a bearing box, but older engines did not. As of press time, the engine maker had not officially advised its airline customers of the upgrade or a fix for older engines. At the briefing, Leahy said that (RRC) is “constantly upgrading its engines” and that the new engines had a modification relating to the oil leak problem. “The engines on the production line are to a new-build standard and do not have the [oil] problem,” Leahy said.

(QAN) continues to ground its A380s; Airbus (EDS) had offered to fly some new engines out, but that was before the new revelation on the number of engines to be replaced.

December 2010: Airbus (EDS)’s Quovadis Required Navigation Performance (RNP) subsidiary and IndiGo (IGO) have successfully demonstrated, using an A320, the first ‘Required Navigation Performance’ (RNP) flight of any commercial airliner in India, at Cochin International Airport – the nation’s seventh busiest airport. Specially developed by Quovadis, the (RNP) procedure for this airport was validated using Airbus flight simulators.

Airbus (EDS) has ended almost 12 months of speculation and applied the blowtorch to Boeing (TBC) by launching as an option the re-engine of the A320 family (but not the A318) with either the (CFM) International (LEAP-X) or Pratt & Whitney (P&W)'s PurePower (PW1100G) geared turbofan.

To be known as the "A320neo," the airplane will also come equipped with "sharklet" winglets currently offered as an option on new build A320 family airplanes. Airbus (EDS) said the A320neo will offer up to a -15% fuel saving and will be available for delivery from spring 2016. The airplane will have over 95% airframe commonality with the standard A320 family, with the new engines requiring "limited modifications, primarily to the wing and pylon areas." (EDS) put the market potential at 4,000 A320neo family airplanes over the next 15 years.

In a statement, (CFM) International President & CEO, Eric Bachelet said, "We are obviously honored to be part of this exciting program. This is a natural extension of the long and very successful relationship we have enjoyed with Airbus (EDS) since the inception of the A320 family program in the early 1980s." The (LEAP-X) is also being developed for the COMAC (CCC) C919.

The Australia Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has issued a Safety Recommendation for all Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 900) engines to be checked within two flight cycles for fatigue cracking within the stub pipe that feeds oil into the High Pressure and Intermediate Pressure bearing structure. The (ATSB)’s recommendation was quickly followed by an (AD) from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (ACASA) to Qantas (QAN) and is expected to be followed by an (AD) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The ongoing investigation by the (ATSB), (EASA) and Rolls-Royce (RRC) into the uncontained failure of the No 2 (Trent 972) engine on a (QAN) A380 on November 4 has revealed the oil pipe had “misaligned counter-boring understood to be related to the manufacturing process,” according to the (ATSB). The (ATSB) said the “condition could lead to an elevated risk of fatigue crack initiation and growth, oil leakage and potential catastrophic engine failure from a resulting oil fire.” It added that the misalignment had “produced a localized thinning of the pipe wall on one side. The area of fatigue cracking was associated with the area of pipe wall thinning.”

(QAN) said the “revelation appeared to provide a more definitive explanation for the engine failure that occurred on QF32.” It added that the (ATSB)’s recommendation that "these one-off inspections be conducted within two flight cycles," provides a level of inspection "over and above the current 20 cycle inspection required by the (EASA).”

(QAN) has two A380 airplanes in operational service. It said that both airplanes would be checked immediately. At the same time, (QAN) has filed a statement of financial claim with the Federal Court of Australia against (RRC). (QAN) was granted an injunction by the court, which will ensure it can pursue legal action against the engine maker in Australia under the Trade Practices Act if a commercial settlement is not possible. That claim is expected to run well over >$100 million with the repairs to the A380 alone to top $70 million.

“Today’s action allows (QAN) to keep all options available to the company to recover losses, as a result of the grounding of the A380 fleet and the operational constraints currently imposed on A380 services,” said (QAN) in a statement.

The (ATSB) Chief Commissioner, Martin Dolan credited Qantas (QAN) pilots (FC) with saving the A380 that suffered an uncontained engine failure after take-off from Singapore on November 4. Addressing media in Canberra at the release of the (ATSB)'s interim report on the incident, Dolan said that "the airplane would not have arrived safely in Singapore without the focused and effective action of the flight crew (FC).''

The (ATSB) report also showed that the A380 lost 17 critical control systems and the five pilots (FC) on board, with a combined experience of 72,000 hours, took just under an hour to deal with 54 error messages after debris from the Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 972) engine ripped through the wing. The crew (FC): — a captain, co-pilot and second officer — was bolstered by a check captain and training check captain on QF32.

VP Australian & International Pilots Association, Richard Woodward said the pilots (FC) were forced to deal with an "unprecedented" number of issues during the two-hour ordeal. Dolan said that, while it was impossible to say how close QF32 came to disaster, the consequences of this type of uncontained failure "were very serious." "The most serious damage in terms of scale was the result of one significant part of the turbine disc going directly through the wing of the airplane," Dolan said. While the 54 error messages were demanding, the landing was extremely difficult and passengers were briefed for an overrun.

See more details in:

Airbus (EDS) together with TAM Airlines (TPR) and a group of specialist companies are working to establish a bio-kerosene jet-fuel processing plant in Brazil, aiming to gradually substitute fossil fuel in aviation with biofuel. On November 22nd a major milestone was accomplished when (TPR) and (EDS) performed the first Jatropha-based biofuel flight in Latin America.

Spirit AeroSystems said it shipped the first production leading edge spar component–an outer spar–for the Airbus A350 XWB program out of its Kinston, North Carolina, facility. The remaining five spar sections will be shipped in the coming months, it announced. Each set of spars will be shipped to Spirit's European plant in Prestwick, Scotland, where it will be integrated into the fixed leading edge. From there, it will be delivered to the Airbus plant in Broughton, Wales, UK, for integration into the wing box. Spirit won a contract with Airbus (EDS) in July 2008 to design and produce the A350 XWB's spar and fixed leading edge. Spirit is also designing and building the composite center fuselage section, Section 15, for the A350 XWB, the company said.

(EDS) will miss its target of delivering at least 20 A380s this year owing to supplier problems. The main culprit is Rolls-Royce (RRC) and its (Trent 900). In the aftermath of the uncontained engine failure of one of the turbofans on Qantas (QAN) Flight QF32, (RRC) has been unable to get sufficient powerplants to (EDS) for final assembly as attention has focused on repairing in-service airplanes. The (QAN) A380 that was to be the 20th delivery, is now expected to be handed over in the first weeks of 2011. Singapore Airlines (SIA) also has deferred one delivery owing to a Koito seat supply Shortfall. In prior years, Airbus (EDS) also missed its original delivery goal, owing to its own production problems. For 2010, (EDS) was hoping to reach more than just 20 deliveries, and was on track to do so before supplier setbacks occurred. In a note to employees, (EDS) CEO, Tom Enders notes that by “implementing the operational improvement actions we decided a year ago, we have achieved huge progress on the A380 program this year. Outstanding work and lead-times in our [final assembly lines] have been reduced considerably, production costs have come down, and our ramp-up from two to three airplanes per month is well underway. Also, very important: the operational reliability of our fleet in service has markedly improved — and so has the satisfaction of our customers with their planes.” However, he acknowledges that “we still face significant challenges going forward” and that the (Trent 900) situation will have an impact on 2011. Just what the impact will be remains unclear. Also uncertain is whether China Southern (GUN), the next new A380 operator, will be affected. (GUN) has opted for (Trent 900)s. Airbus (EDS) officials hope to have more clarity by mid-January. Previously, company officials said they are hopeful the impact on 2011 will be limited somewhat by the fact that about half the planned deliveries are powered by Engine Alliance (GP7200)s.

Airbus (EDS) and the (CAAC) (CAC) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate on air traffic management (ATM) solutions. The (MOU) states that (EDS) will assist the (CAAC) with the introduction and implementation of new (ATM) technologies and best practices, sharing its experience in Europe as the (CAAC) develops future (ATM) systems in China.

“With the (MOU), Airbus (EDS) has expanded its cooperation with China’s civil aviation into a new area,” said Airbus (EDS) China President, Laurence Barron. “Global interoperability of air traffic management systems — in particular between the future (ATM) system in China and (SESAR) — is key for the air transport industry, and strengthening cooperation between Europe and China will support global interoperability.”

Airbus (EDS) has received an order from China Eastern Airlines (CEA) for 50 A320 series airplanes. The agreement is worth up to $3.2 billion.

January 2011: Airbus (EDS) announced the launch of a new subsidiary, "Airbus ProSky." (EDS) said ProSky will become the channel "through which Airbus (EDS) will interact and develop Air Traffic Management (ATM) programs" such as (SESAR) and NextGen. It will also work with other nations' Air Navigation Service Providers, airworthiness authorities and airlines, to assist in updating and modernizing their (ATM) systems. Airbus ProSky has already announced a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Chinese authorities under which it will "assist the Chinese Air Traffic Management (ATM) Bureau with the introduction and implementation of new (ATM) concepts, airspace design, deployment support, training and best practices," (EDS) said. Airbus Senior VP (ATM), Eric Stefanello will serve as President of Airbus ProSky and will be supported by VP SESAR & NextGen Deployment, Marc Hamy. “With Airbus ProSky we are harnessing the competencies both within Airbus (EDS) and also from the wider (EADS) group, to help transform (ATM) services across the European Union (EU), the USA and other countries globally,” Stefanello said.

EasyJet (EZY) confirmed it reached an agreement with Airbus (EDS) to exercise options covering 15 A320 airplanes valued at $1.1 billion at list prices for delivery between 2012 and 2014 and to convert an existing order for 20 A319s into the larger A320 model. In addition, (EZY) upgraded purchase rights for a further 33 A320s into options, bringing the total number of options held to 42 airplanes. (EZY) has the right to exercise the additional 33 options up to March 2013.

EasyJet (EZY)’s fleet will grow to 220 airplanes by September 30, 2013 from 196 at the same point in 2010, with the proportion of A320s increasing steadily to 26% from 12%.

Indigo Airlines (IGO) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) to place an order for 180 A320s, including 150 A320neos, making (IGO) the launch customer for the re-engined version of the A320. The order, if finalized, would be worth more than >$15 billion, based on list prices. A delivery schedule was not provided, but the A320neo is slated for a 2016 Entry Into Service (EIS).

Asiana Airlines (AAR) placed a firm order for six A380s to be delivered from 2014 - 2017, saying the airplanes will complement the 30 A350s it already has on order for delivery beginning in 2016. (AAR) has not decided how it will configure the cabins, but will offer three service classes. (AAR) said its cabin specifications to be determined by year end will be "state-of-the-art" offering "distinct, high-end service." The order is valued at around $1.8 billion based on list prices. SEE ATTACHED - - "AAR-A380 ORDER-2011-01."

(AAR) plans to operate the airplanes, two of which will arrive in 2014, two in 2015 and two in 2017, to the USA and/or Europe. "Asiana (AAR)'s decision to acquire the A380 was based on the increase in the number of [free trade agreements] in which Korea is engaged and the recent addition of Korea to the USA Visa Waiver Program," President & CEO, Young-Doo Yoon said. "Due to favorable factors like these, forecasts indicate a steady and stable 5% yearly increase of passengers to Korea and the Asia/Pacific region." He added that "the significantly reduced operating costs and fuel efficiencies afforded by the airplane will enable us to enhance our productivity and reduce our carbon footprint."

Airbus (EDS) has received 240 firm orders for the airplane from 18 customers.

Airbus (EDS) announced its 10,000th order with a firm contract from Virgin America (VUS) for 60 A320s, including 30 A320neo airplanes. This is the first firm order for the A320 new engine option; therefore (VUS) becomes the launch customer for the A320neo. This formalizes and expands an initial commitment given at the Farnborough International Airshow in July 2010 with the inclusion of the A320neo as a new development in that deal. The 30 A320s will feature fuel-saving large wing tip devices called Sharklets. (VUS) has not yet announced its engine choice on the newly ordered A320s or the A320neo. Seating configuration on the airplanes will be the same as its existing A320 fleet (146 - 149 seats) in a two-class configuration. “At just three years old and at a time when many carriers are contracting, we’re pleased to be growing and bringing our award-winning service to new markets,” said (VUS) President & CEO, David Cush. “We credit a great deal of our success to date to having the right airplanes. The low operating costs, cabin comfort and carbon-efficient design of our all-new A320 fleet has helped fuel our growth and success in the North American market – and we’re confident the A320neo will only build on that.”

“We hit our 5000th order in August of 2004 – after more than >30 years. To achieve the 10,000th order just over six years later is a ringing endorsement of our product line,” said Tom Enders, Airbus (EDS) President & CEO. “And it gives a strong boost to our new, eco-efficient A320neo when (VUS), one of our newest and trendiest customers, places the first firm order, for which we are extremely grateful.”

“Virgin airlines are known around the world for innovation – for harnessing the best in design, technology and entertainment to reinvent the travel experience,” said Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson. “We’re just as committed to investing in the next generation solutions that will make air travel more sustainable. Climate change cannot be ignored by business, and I believe that we must rise to the challenge of combating it and find new and better ways of operating. The A320neo will help us get there, by lowering costs and reducing our impact on the environment. (VUS)’s existing A320s are now up to 25% more fuel and carbon efficient than the average USA fleet, and the A320neo promises to improve on the numbers even more.”

The A320neo responds to heightened customer environmental interest, offering a -15% reduction in fuel consumption. The option was launched in late 2010 for first deliveries in early 2016. Airlines have the choice between (CFM) International’s (LEAP-X) engine and Pratt & Whitney (P&W)’s PurePower (PW1100G) engine. In addition to fuel savings, the A320neo will benefit from a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions, reduced engine noise, lower operating costs and up to +500 nautical miles more range or two metric tons more payload. The A319, A320 and A321 models on which the new engine option is offered will have 95% airframe commonality with the A320 Family, thus the A320neo will fit seamlessly into the existing (VUS) fleet.

Since the first Airbus (EDS) airplane went into service in 1974 with Air France (AFA), (EDS) has seen sales of its airplanes grow steadily. By 1989, after its first 15 years in operation, (EDS) had sold 1,000 airplanes. Less than half that time again, just seven years later in 1996, sales had risen to 2,000. Sales of (EDS) airplanes had reached 3,000 in 1998, again cutting the time it took to sell another 1,000 planes by more than half. And by 2000, a total of 4,000 airplanes had been sold to the market.

Airbus (EDS) has increased its production output for the ninth year in a row and achieved a new company record of 510 (2009: 498) commercial airplane deliveries to 94 customers (of which 19 were new). Deliveries included 401 A320 Family airplanes, 91 A330/A340s and 18 A380s. In its military division, (EDS) delivered 20 light and medium military and transport airplanes (CN235 and C295), exceeding the 2009 figure by four airplanes.

(EDS) booked 644 commercial airplane orders (574 net) in 2010. The value of the new orders surpassed US$84 billion gross (US$74 billion net) at list prices. This represents 51% by units of the 2010 gross worldwide market share of airplanes beyond 100 seats (52% net). (EDS) won 21 new orders for its military airplanes (CN235 and C295).

The new commercial orders include 452 A320 Family airplanes, 160 A330/A340/A350 XWB Family airplanes, and 32 new orders for the A380. At 2010 year end, (EDS)’s commercial order book backlog was 3,552 airplanes valued at over >US$480 billion at list prices, or equalling six years of full production. The military backlog stood at 247 airplanes.

In 2010, (EDS) launched the A320neo (new engine option), offering -15% less fuel burn. This is equivalent to a saving of up to -3,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions per airplane per year.

The A350 XWB continued winning key strategic campaigns during 2010, boosting the total orders for the family to 583 and number of customers to 36 by year end. On the industrial side, 2010 saw the start of manufacturing of the first A350 XWB components and sub assemblies at section level. The systems test rig (Iron Bird) for the A350 XWB started operations in December.


In 2010, (EDS) recruited +2,200 new employees, bringing the active workforce up to 52,500 by year end. For 2011, it is planned to hire up to +3,000 people, in particular for the ramp-up of the single aisle and long range program as well as development and industrialization of the A400M, A350 XWB and the A320neo.

Also in 2010, (EDS) advanced the commercialization of alternative fuels by establishing the first value chain in Brazil, bringing together farmers, refiners and airlines. (EDS) completed Latin America’s first bio-fuel flight, and (EDS) is also supporting the world’s first scheduled daily bio-fuel passenger flights due to begin in 2011. This underlines (EDS) strategy to advance from demonstration flights towards the commercialization of alternative fuels for aviation.

February 2011: Airbus (EDS) said it will raise the A330 production rate to 10 per month in the second quarter of 2013, up from 7.5 to 8 produced monthly currently. The rate will be first increased to nine per month in early 2012. Executive VP Programs, Tom Williams said that "strong market demand for the airplane" drove the rate increase decision, adding in a statement, "In the long-range, mid-size category, the A330 is the right airplane for airlines."

An A330 production rate increase had been speculated about for several months, with Bernstein Research signaling in October that Airbus (EDS) would move to producing nine monthly by next year.

South African Airways (SAA) has become the latest operator of the eco-efficient A330 family. The A330-200 is the first of six to be delivered to Aircastle Limited (CSL) during 2011, all of which will be leased to South African Airways (SAA). Seating 36C passengers in business class and 186Y in economy, the airplanes will feature the latest in-flight entertainment and will be used primarily on long haul routes from the airline’s bases in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The new A330 will join (SAA)'s existing Airbus (EDS) fleet of 11 A319s, 14 A340-200/300s and 9 A340-600s enabling (SAA) to reap the benefits of (EDS)’s unique cockpit and operational commonality. This allows airlines to use the same pool of pilots (FC), cabin crews (CA) and maintenance engineers (MT), resulting in operational flexibility and significant cost savings.

“With the new A330s (SAA) continues to modernize its fleet, ensuring we meet our customers’ expectations. Simultaneously, the new A330s will provide savings and efficiencies to support our profitability and growth strategies,” explained (SAA) CEO, Siza Mzimela.

With a typical range capability of 7,250 nautical miles (for a two-class configuration), the A330-200 has the versatility to cover all ranges from short-haul to true long haul – ideal for point-to-point operations. The reliable and efficient A330 is one of the most widely used wide body airplanes in service today, with one taking off each minute every day. To date, Airbus (EDS) has won over 1,100 orders for the different models of the airplane. Some 750 A330s have already been delivered and the airplane is currently flying with 90 operators worldwide in 50 countries.

Skymark Airlines (SKM), Japan’s third largest and fast growing airline, signed a contract for four A380s with Airbus (EDS), firming up a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) announced in November 2010.

The contract was signed on 17th February, during a ceremony held at Airbus (EDS)’ headquarters in Toulouse, France, in the presence of Skymark Airlines (SKM) President, Shinichi Nishikubo, Airbus (EDS) President & CEO, Tom Enders, and (EDS) Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy, together with Airbus Japan (CEO), Stephane Ginoux.

March 2011: Representatives of the Spanish government, Iberia (IBE) and Airbus (EDS) signed an agreement to develop "a complete Spanish ‘value chain’ for sustainable and renewable aviation biofuel for commercial use." The value chain concept unites farmers, oil refiners and airlines in a three-stage biofuel program, according to Airbus (EDS). Phase one is the feasibility study. Phase two will identify the most promising solutions "to a demonstration level," and phase three beginning in 2014 "will look at implementation and scaling up" of the biofuel production process.

“Climate change is a major challenge for our industry. The aviation sector’s ambitious CO2 reduction target is only possible if biofuels become a reality. Under this initiative, (IBE) brings extensive experience in flight operations and in airplane maintenance to perform the necessary tests that will make this goal a reality," said Chairman, Antonio Vazquez, one of the signatories to the agreement. Others were Transport Secretary of State, Isaias Taboas, and Airbus President & CEO, Tom Enders, who stated, “All industry players including governments have a role in helping to reduce global CO2 emission levels. Airbus is supporting value chains to accelerate the commercialization of aviation bio-fuels.” The partners said that "other key members are expected to join the agreement shortly."

The first nose landing gear for Airbus (EDS)’s next-generation A350 XWB has successfully been installed at the jetliner’s landing gear integration test facility in Filton, England, UK. This milestone will be followed by incorporation of the airplanes’s main landing gear, clearing the way for testing to demonstrate the system’s reliability and maturity, as well as providing data for certification.

Airbus (EDS) and a group of Chinese industrial partners opened a joint venture (JV) composite manufacturing facility in Harbin first announced in 2009. It spans 33,800 sq m and will eventually be an "80,000 sq m manufacturing compound, comprising production, technical support, office areas and other services," (EDS) said.

The Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center will produce A350 rudders, elevators, Section 19 maintenance doors and belly fairing parts. (EDS) said the facility will make up "a significant part" of the 5% of A350 manufacturing it has promised to do in China but will also do A320 work. It projected that around 600 employees will be working at the facility by 2016.

The Chinese partners in the (JV) comprise the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group, the Hafei Aviation Industry Company, the AviChina Industry & Technology Company, and the Harbin Development Zone Infrastructure Development Company. The group has been producing A320 elevators, rudders and Horizontal Tail Plane spars since December 2009.

Elbe Flugzeuge Werke in Dresden said it will start converting one A320 passenger airplane into a freighter this fall. The company expects to convert approximately 50 A320/321s into freighters by 2016.

TAM (TPR) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) to order 32 A320s, including 22 A320neos. (TPR) becomes the third airline to commit to (EAD)'s re-engined narrow body slated for a 2016 Entry Into Service (EIS), following Virgin America (VUS), which has a firm order for 30 A320neos, and IndiGo (IGO), which has signed a (MOU) to place an order for 150. As was the case with the previous two, (TPR) did not announce an engine choice between Pratt & Whitney's (PW1000G) and (CFM)'s (Leap-X).

The A320neo "opens a world of possibilities for (TPR), thanks to its substantially increased range capability," (TPR) CEO, Líbano Barroso said in a statement. "Ordering more A320s allows (TPR) to reduce costs and further improve our environmental performance."

AirAsia X (ASX) has ordered three A330-200s with an option for two more, bringing (ASX)’s total orders for the A330 to 28. The airplanes are scheduled for delivery from 2014. Airbus (EDS) said the airplanes are the 238-tonne increased take-off weight version of the A330-200, which are capable of flying nonstop from Kuala Lumpur to Europe. (ASX) will configure the airplane in a two-class layout with 24 premium flatbeds and 264Y economy seats. The AirAsia (ASW) Group has ordered more than >200 airplanes from Airbus (EDS), including 175 A320s, 28 A330s and 10 A350 XWBs.

April 2011: IndiGo (IGO) selected Pratt & Whitney (P&W) (PW1100G) engines to power its future fleet of up to 180 A320neo airplanes, "probably Pratt's largest order in the last 50 years," (P&W) President, David Hess remarked to journalists. (P&W) said the order represents 300 firm (PW1100G)s with options for additional units. Under terms of the agreement, (P&W) will also provide maintenance for the powerplants.

"We are honored (IGO) chose the PurePower engine — one of the largest engine orders in recent aviation history—for their new A320neo family fleet," Hess said.

(IGO) President, Aditya Ghosh added, "The PurePower engine's benefits will allow us to make dramatic improvements in environmental performance with reduced emissions and significant savings in fuel consumption."

Hess said he expects (P&W) will engine "more than half" the 4,000 A320neo orders which Airbus expects to receive over the next 15 years. With this selection, (P&W) has a backlog of more than >1,200 (PW1000G) engines, including options. It also is the exclusive powerplant for Bombardier’s CSeries and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

(IGO) will be a launch customer for the re-engined narrow body under a Memo of Understanding (MOU) signed with Airbus (EDS) at the end of December covering 150 firm and 30 option airplanes. Virgin America (VUS) was the first carrier to place a firm order for the airplane.

Interjet (AAE) and Airbus (EDS) are scheduled to conduct the first Jatropha-based bio-fuel flight in Mexico using an A320. The bio-fuel is made from locally sourced Jatropha plant harvested in the southern state of Chiapas. The aim of the demonstration flight and the project is to speed up the commercialization of aviation bio-fuel in Mexico.

The A320 flight is planned from Mexico City’s International Airport to Angel Albino Corzo of Tuxtla Gutierrez airport in the southern State of Chiapas, with one of the two (CFM) engines using 30% bio-fuel. The Jatropha bio-fuel has been processed by Honeywell’s (SGC) (UOP).

“The test flight is the realiZation of a two year ambition for (AAE) to develop a production chain for renewable bio-fuel, with the purpose of creating a Mexican platform for sustainable aviation bio-kerosene,” said Miguel Aleman, (AAE) President.

“(EDS), (AAE) and the many stakeholders involved in making today’s flight a reality, have taken an important step towards establishing an aviation bio-fuel solution that is both commercially viable and environmentally sustainable,” said Paul Nash, (EDS) Head of New Energies.” This flight serves as evidence that our sector is serious about its commitment to achieve carbon neutral growth by 2020, and a -50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.”

The project is being supported by Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications & Transportation (SCT), Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA), the State of Chiapas, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), (CFM) and (EDS) to ensure the bio-fuel meets all specification for flight without any changes to the aircraft or engines. CO2 life cycle studies show that Jatropha has the potential to reduce the overall CO2 footprint by up to -80% over standard aviation kerosene.

(EDS) has developed a road map working towards making alternative fuel and bio-fuel technology a reality for aviation, while exploring all types of sustainable alternative fuels to find sustainable and local bio-fuel solutions for local communities.

Jazeera Airways (JZI) dealt a blow to Airbus (EDS), canceling 25 of the 40 A320s it ordered in 2007.

Turkish airlines (THY) will need to add 480 airplanes valued at $50.5 billion over the next 18 years to accommodate projected increases in traffic demand, Airbus (EDS) said. According to reports by "Hürriyet Daily News" and "Agence France Press," Airbus VP Europe, Asia & the Pacific, Chris Buckley presented (EDS)'s forecast in Istanbul, where he noted that "Turkey's air traffic has grown fast and this will continue." He pointed out that Turkish domestic traffic has quadrupled in the last seven years.

Turkey will need 382 narrow body airplanes and 98 long-range airplanes from 2011 to 2029, Buckley said, adding that at least eight A380s will be needed to help serve the increasing number of transit passengers expected at Turkish airports in coming years. "The country's transit traffic increased fivefold in the last five years," Buckley said.

May 2011: Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) incurred a -€12 million/-$17.1 million first-quarter net loss, reversed from a +€103 million net profit in the year-ago period, but pointed to gains in revenue and operating income as evidence of "positive momentum" warranting a potential A320 production increase.

(EDS) already had planned to raise the A320 production rate to 38 per month in August from 36 currently, and to 40 per month in the 2012 first quarter. "Airbus (EDS) is analyzing a further increase in its single-aisle production rate" beyond 40 per month, (EADS) said. "A decision is expected shortly." (EADS) noted that first-quarter net income was negatively affected by a €150 million charge that primarily "comes from the negative accounting revaluation of the USA dollar and British pound cash assets, due to the deterioration of the closing spot rate at the end of March compared to the end of December 2010." Revenue for the year's first three months rose +10% compared to the March 2010 quarter to €9.85 billion and positive (EBIT)) more than doubled to €192 million from €83 million in the prior-year period.

(EDS) posted first-quarter (EBIT) of €115 million, significantly widened from €7 million in the prior-year period, on a +12% rise in revenue to €7.01 billion.

The Hamburg Center of Aviation Training (HCAT) announced the opening of its new, state-of-the-art facility on May 26. (HCAT) is a partnership network of aviation companies, associations, universities and regulatory authorities that provide advanced vocational training in avionics/electronics and modern production processes. The three key players, Airbus (EDS), Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) and Hamburg Airport, along with more than >300 small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as a variety of scientific and technological institutions, will contribute their expertise,” said (HCAT).

The 3,000 sq m building houses classrooms that simulate airplane sections, such as a 16-m long fuselage section from an A300 to provide a direct exchange of know-how between teaching, research and real-world practice. For example, Airbus (EDS) and Lufthansa (DLH) Technical Training can teach students and trainees about repair and joining techniques, using real airplane structural elements and modern fiber composites in (HCAT)’s new workshops.

“(HCAT) is an important and innovative infrastructure project for Hamburg as a whole. It is an important building block in the successful efforts of the Aviation Cluster Hamburg Metropolitan Region as a Leading-Edge Cluster,” said Governing Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz.

(EDS) delivered 119 commercial airplanes in the last quarter, down slightly from 122 delivered in the prior-year period. (EDS)'s financial "improvement year-on-year is partially reduced by a hedge rate deterioration of around €110 million and higher (R&D) expenses, particularly on the A350 XWB," (EADS) stated.

It projected (EDS) will deliver 520 to 530 commercial airplanes in 2011 "and its gross orders should be above its deliveries," adding that "(EADS)' 2011 revenues should be above the 2010 revenues [of €45.8 billion]. (EADS) expects 2011 (EBIT) to remain stable compared to the 2010 level at around €1.3 billion." It "expects a significant improvement in its [2012] (EBIT) thanks to higher volume, better pricing and improvement of A380 performance at Airbus (EDS)."

(EDS) announced it will raise the production rate of its A320 family to 42 airplanes per month beginning in the fourth quarter 2012. The move had been expected since (EADS) indicated that an increase was warranted in light of current trends. (EDS) currently produces 36 a month, a rate which is scheduled to increase to 38 in August 2011 and to 40 in the first quarter of 2012.

“With a backlog of over 2,300 A320 family airplanes to deliver, we need to increase production to accommodate continuing strong customer demand for these new eco-efficient airplanes,” said (EDS) Executive VP Programs, Tom Williams.

(EDS) delivered 401 A320 family airplanes last year. As of April 30, 2011 deliveries numbered 132 A320 family airplanes. With the rate rising by two per month in August, it said it is “well on track to exceed its previous years’ deliveries.”

June 2011: (EADS) has further detailed a concept for a ramjet-powered high-speed airplane, which would cruise at Mach 4 and cut the Tokyo - Los Angeles journey to as little as 2 hours 20 minutes.

It is undertaking a feasibility study into the zero-emission high-speed transport (ZEHST) concept, an airplane which would sequentially use three different engines in order to make the transition to and from the near-hypersonic regime.

(EDS) maintains that a demonstrator would be possible post-2020, although (EADS) CEO, Louis Gallois stressed at a seminar ahead of the Paris air show that (EDS) was emphasising its technological capabilities rather than launching a project.

(EADS) showed a concept design with delta wings, twin vertical fins, twin underwing ramjets and rear-mounted cryogenic rockets and turbofans. It also featured helium, hydrogen and oxygen tanks running the rear two-thirds of the fuselage.

Using the turbofans, the airplane would depart from a regular runway, then accelerate into the supersonic regime with rocket engines before the ramjets took over. (EADS) Chief Technical Officer, Jean Botti said the use of the rockets was necessary to bridge the void between subsonic cruise at Mach 0.8 and the ramjet ignition zone at around Mach 2. "You can't do that directly," he said. "But you don't need big rocket engines."

He stressed that the ramjet engines were also relatively simple to manufacture. "We're not saying it's cheap," Botti said, but he did point out that the necessary components were not "oversized".

The airplane would fly at an optimum cruise speed at or above Mach 4, at an altitude of 105,000 ft/32,000 m. It would then enter a glide descent until it reached a height at which subsonic engine control was again required, at which point the turbofans would re-ignite. Loiter, approach and touchdown phases would be conventional.

Botti said the airplane would probably function as a large business transport. (EADS) indicated that it would accommodate around 60 passengers.

(EADS) said the study, which has attracted Japanese interest, is sponsored by the French Civil Aviation Administration (DGAC), and added that it formed part of its "Flightpath 2050" initiative to explore potential future aviation concepts.

Among the other futuristic proposals put forward by (EADS) at the seminar was an all-electric transport, designated "Voltair," which would use a lightweight, low-drag airframe fitted with lithium air batteries as the "most promising possibility" for energy storage.

It would carry liquid nitrogen tanks for coolant and use a superconducting rear-mounted engine. Botti said a definition study was at an "early stage".

(EADS) and partners carried out the maiden flight of a Diamond Aircraft HK36 Dimona fitted with a serial hybrid propulsion system - backed by a battery motor - on 8 June, at Wiener Neustadt in Austria, and performed several circuits of 30 - 40 minute duration.

Former (UPS) Airlines President, Robert Lekites was named Airbus (EDS) Americas' Executive VP Customers, effective August 1, giving him responsibility for North American sales. In the newly-created position, he will report directly to Airbus Americas President & CEO, Barry Eccleston.

The North American arm of Airbus also named Spirit Airlines (SPR) COO, Ken McKenzie as Senior VP Customer Services, effective September 1. He will replace Tom Anderson, who has moved to Airbus' headquarters in Toulouse. McKenzie will be responsible for oversight of Airbus Americas' training, customer support and material support functions, reporting to Lekites.

Lekites in January announced his retirement from (UPS), ending a 13-year tenure during which he oversaw the rapid international expansion of (UPS)'s airline unit, particularly to China. "The addition of Bob and Ken to the Airbus Americas team is recognition of the growth in our region and is made necessary by that growth," Eccleston said. "We have more and more customers here, and as a result, we have more airplanes to support."

A massive order from AirAsia (ASW) for 200 A320neos capped a record Paris Air Show for Airbus (EDS), bringing its total orders and commitments for the week to 730 airplanes from 16 customers.

The tally includes purchase orders for 418 airplanes (some of which had been previously announced as Memos of Understanding (MOU)s) valued at about $44 billion at list prices, and new (MOU)s for another 312 airplanes worth about $28.3 million at list prices. Airbus (EDS)’s biggest seller at the air show by far was the A320neo; it now has secured a total of 1,029 commitments for the re-engined airplanes since its launch in December 2010.

The order from AirAsia (ASW) for 200 A320neos, valued at $18.5 billion, tops a deal for 150 A320neos and 30 standard A320s placed by IndiGo (IGO), which had been previously announced. (ASW) is now the largest customer for the A320 family of airplanes, with a total of 375 ordered and 89 already in service.

(ASW), which has selected the (CFM) International's (Leap-X) engine for its neos, expects to take delivery of 12 to 15 airplanes each year beginning in 2016. First deliveries of the A320neo begin in 2015.

AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes said the deal for the new airplanes secures (ASW)’s ability to meet the huge growth potential offered by the Asian market. "Our decision to be one of the launch customers for the A320neo will ensure that we remain at the forefront of our business, with one of the world's youngest and most modern fleets,” he added.

India’s GoAir (GOZ) also added to the A320neo backlog with a firm order for 72 airplanes. (GOZ) already operates 10 A320s and will take the remaining 10 A320s from its original order over the next two years.

Another order at the tail end of the Paris Air Show boosted the order book for the A380. Skymark Airlines (SKM) placed orders for two more A380s, which brings its total commitment to six airplanes. (SKM) plans to start operations with the A380 on international routes linking Tokyo Narita to destinations in Europe and the USA.

(EDS) said it finalized an agreement with Singapore Airlines (SIA) under which (SIA) will lease 15 new A330-300s to be delivered by (EDS) from 2013 - 2015 to join an existing fleet of 19 A330-300s currently operated by (SIA). The A330-300s will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 700) engines.

For a view of "Airbus Plane of 2050" see:

July 2011: Airbus (EDS) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Metron Aviation, a leading provider of advanced Air Traffic Management (ATM) products and services for the global aviation industry. This acquisition strengthens (EDS)'s strategy to accelerate and support (ATM) programs that will dramatically improve global air transportation capacity, efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, and the acquisition is expected to be completed later this year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Earlier this year, Airbus (EDS) launched subsidiary, Airbus ProSky, dedicated to supporting the (FAA)'s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), Europe's Single European Sky (ATM) Research (SESAR) and other global (ATM) modernization programs.

Metron Aviation provides advanced research, Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM), airspace design, energy and environmental solutions to Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), airlines and airports. Metron Aviation is a prime contractor on System Engineering 2020 (SE-2020), the (FAA)'s strategic program for implementing NextGen and is performing advanced research and development work on (SESAR). Metron Aviation also provides commercial (ATFM) solutions that optimize airspace and airport capacity for customers around the world including Airservices Australia, (ATNS) (South Africa), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and FedEx (FED).

"The acquisition of Metron Aviation supports the Airbus (EDS) strategy to help countries improve their (ATM)," said Eric Stefanello, (CEO) of Airbus ProSky. "Together, we can provide a new level of capabilities to support (NextGen) and (SESAR) even better. Like Airbus ProSky, Metron Aviation is not an (ATM) equipment manufacturer, so the acquisition is a perfect fit for our approach of seeking to partner with the (FAA) and the world's (ANSP)s."

"Airbus (EDS) and Metron Aviation are both committed to the long-term transformation of (ATM) to support air transportation growth and the introduction of new concepts that utilize current system and airplane capabilities to increase efficiency, lower fuel burn and cut emissions today," said Dave Ellison, who will remain (CEO) of Metron Aviation after the acquisition. "Airbus (EDS) shares our commitment to the success of (NextGen) and the passion of our employees for shaping the future of air transportation worldwide. That's why this is such a great fit for both companies."

Metron Aviation will operate as a USA subsidiary of Airbus Americas, Inc, and its Board of Directors will be chaired by Allan McArtor, Chairman Airbus Americas and former Administrator of the (FAA).

Garuda Indonesia (GIA) placed a firm order for four A330-300s and converted three previously ordered A330-200s into A330-300 models. (GIA) will use the A330-300s on long-haul flights from Jakarta and Denpasar to the Middle East and Asia/Pacific destinations.

American Airlines (AAL) made one of the largest airplane order announcements in commercial aviation history, signing up for 130 A320 family airplanes, 130 re-engined A320neos, 100 (CFM56-7B)-powered 737NGs and also committing to order 100 of a new variant 737 with (CFM) (Leap-X) engines. Boeing (TBC) and Airbus (EDS) will help finance the airplanes, (AAL) said.

It did not announce an engine selection between the (Leap-X) and Pratt & Whitney (P&W)'s (PW1100G) for the A320neos it ordered.
In addition to the firm order for 100 current version 737NGs, (AAL) took 40 options. Boeing (TBC) and (AAL) said that they will "work to finalize" the order for 100 of the apparently re-engined 737. "Pending final configuration of the new 737 variant and board of directors' approval, (TBC) will take another giant step forward in improving the operating economics of this already market-leading airplane," (TBC) stated. (TBC) noted that in addition to 100 airplanes to be ordered, (AAL) will take 60 options on the new variant.

(AAL) said it will begin taking delivery of the newly ordered airplanes in 2013, with the last of the 460 total airplanes committed to arriving in 2022. In a letter to employees, (AAL) Chairman & CEO, Gerard Arpey said the orders "are supported by approximately $13 billion of committed financing (loans) from the manufacturers through lease transactions on the first 230 airplanes that will help maximize our balance sheet flexibility and reduce risk."

He added, "The transactions we have been able to structure represent an opportunity that is virtually unprecedented in our industry's history. We are putting our partners' capital — more capital than we would otherwise be able to raise effectively on our own — to work for our company."

September 2011: Airbus (EDS) announced the first flyable A350 XWB wing upper cover manufactured at Airbus Stade (Germany) site, is en route to Airbus’ Wing Assembly site in Broughton (UK). (EDS) said the A350 XWB wing covers measure 32 m long by 6 m wide, making them the biggest single civil aviation parts made from carbon fiber.

The (AFA) - (KLM) Group stated it plans to order 25 787-9s and 25 A350-900s. List-price value of the Boeing (TBC) order is $5.5 billion which Avitas assumes discounts will bring it to around $3.2 billion. List-price of the Airbus (EDS) order is $6.7 billion with the Avitas estimate as $3.2 billion.

Delivery of the wide-body airplanes will begin in 2016. There are also options for 60 airplanes; with expectations to take at least 23 of these by 2024.

China Southern Airlines (GUN) plans to operate its first A380 on the Beijing (PEK) - Shanghai and (PEK) - Guangzhou routes. The A380 is scheduled to be delivered October 15 and will be placed in service October 17, according to (GUN) General Manager, Tan Wangeng.

(GUN) is still awaiting (CAAC) (CAC) approval to operate the airplane on international routes, reportedly either (PEK) - New York or (PEK) - Paris, Air China (BEJ)’s two most profitable routes.

(GUN) is the only Chinese carrier to order the A380. It has five of the type on order, with the second delivery expected later this year.

In June, the Chinese government blocked an order from Hainan Airlines (HNA)'s subsidiary Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) for 10 A380s to express its disapproval of Chinese carriers' inclusion in the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) starting next year.

(GUN)’s first A380 has 506 seats, comprising 8F luxurious first-class seats, 70F first-class seats and 428Y economy seats.

Airbus (EDS) reported that 18 carriers around the world have ordered 236 A380s; 56 airplanes have been delivered to six carriers. (EDS) China President, Laurence Barron pointed out that A380 operators report an average load factor increase of +2% LF to +3% LF. Singapore Airlines (SIA) has reportedly maintained a load factor of 83% LF for 16 months, while Emirates Airline (EAD) has maintained a load factor of more than >90% LF on its (PEK) - Dubai route since August 2010.

October 2011: Acropolis Aviation (APS)’s Airbus ACJ319 is being exhibited for the first time at the (NBAA) show, giving visitors the chance to see a designer interior in what is the widest and tallest cabin of any business jet, existing or planned.

The stylish look of the (APS) ACJ319’s cabin was created by the Alberto Pinto design company, with cabin-outfitting by the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC). The airplane seats 19 passengers, in around twice the comfort, space and freedom of movement of traditional business jets of similar external size.

“With a hugely better cabin than traditional business airplanes, Airbus corporate jets can carry larger groups, as well as delivering a better environment for work and relaxation, which is why they are the new top of the line in bizjet travel,” points out Airbus COO, Customers John Leahy. “So whether you’re a company executive, a high net-worth individual, or a senior government official, you’ll always have a better ride in an Airbus corporate jet,” he added.

Airbus corporate jets are the only ones flying on every continent, including Antarctica, highlighting their versatility. And with some 450 Airbus (EDS) customers and operators worldwide, operators are never far from someone else who is also flying them.

Total orders for Airbus corporate jets stand at more than >170 airplanes, comprising more than >110 sales of the ACJ318, ACJ319 and ACJ320, plus over 60 VIP and government wide body airplanes.

The British Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron, officially opened Airbus (EDS)’s new £400 million wing factory in Broughton, Wales, a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility which will assemble the wings for (EDS)’ advanced new A350 XWB long-range airplane family.

The Prime Minister joined hundreds of guests and (EDS) employees to unveil the giant, environmentally friendly (EDS) North Factory at Broughton, Flintshire, where 650 people will eventually work. Bigger than the UK's Wembley Stadium, it is one of the largest manufacturing facilities to be built in the UK in recent years and will produce high-tech carbon fibre ‘composite’ wings for the A350 XWB.

The A350 XWB program will support over >1,200 jobs in the (EDS) sites at Filton and Broughton and over >5,000 other high skill/high value jobs across the UK supply chain. Over >£3 billion has been invested in the airplane and its engines by UK aerospace companies in the program which underpins the key position of the UK as a global center of aerospace manufacture.

Prime Minister, David Cameron said: “The Government is committed to building a more balanced economy with stronger manufacturing, exports and private investment, creating jobs and opportunities across the UK. I welcome the opening of Airbus’s new state of the art facility which will contribute to this and support our programme to create sustainable economic growth. Airbus (EDS)’s investment here also underlines its confidence in the expertise of its British workforce and in the UK’s manufacturing base.”

The North Factory assembly line is dedicated to assembling the 31 metre long wings for all members of the A350 XWB Family which is scheduled to enter service by the end of 2013. Currently employing 6,000 people, the 700 acre Airbus (EDS) site at Broughton specialises in wing production and has a proud tradition of aerospace manufacture going back over 70 years. Over £1.8 billion has been invested into the site in the past decade ensuring it is one of the most modern manufacturing facilities of its type anywhere in the world.

· The pioneering Airbus (EDS) North Factory covers a total area of over >46,000 square metres.

· 58,000 metres of cable have been installed; this would reach from Broughton to Manchester.

· 8,000 tonnes of steelwork were used to build the factory.

· Optimised for energy savings, the factory’s power comes in part from three large solar tracking arrays and a wood pellet biomass power plant boiler.

Airbus (EDS) in the UK and its supply chain provide supplies and services worth nearly £1.5 billion annually to the UK economy. 10,000 people work for (EDS) in the UK with 100,000 UK jobs supported through its wider supply chain.

November 2011: Airbus (EDS) signed an agreement with SR Technics (SWS) and Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, both part of Mubadala Aerospace’s global Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) network, for the implementation of the Airbus Managed Inventory (AMI) service. The implementation of (AMI) will ensure the replenishment of the high-usage and non-repairable Airbus (EDS) parts.

Airbus (EDS) secured a total of 211 orders and commitments worth $20.5 billion at the 12th annual Dubai Airshow, reinforcing the strength of its decision to re-engine the A320.

There were 135 firm orders worth $13.7 billion, made up of 130 A320neos and five A380s and 76 (MOU)s worth $6.8 billion.

Qatar Airways (QTA) placed the single largest firm order for 50 A320neos and five A380s worth $6.4 billion at list prices. Spirit Airlines (SPR) made the largest commitment for Airbus (EDS) with 75 A320 family airplanes, comprising 30 A320s with sharklets and 45 A320neos, worth $6.7 billion.

By the end of the airshow, neo sales reached 1,420 orders and commitments, less than a year after launch.

Airbus (EDS) has confirmed that it has pushed back entry into service (EIS) of its A350-900 airplane by six months to the “first half of 2014” owing to the “late availability of some key parts.”

According to an (EDS) spokeswoman, start of final assembly will be “first quarter 2012” in a delay that is costing “€200 million.”

At the Paris Air Show in June, Airbus (EDS) announced it pushed back (EIS) for the A350-1000 to 2017 from 2015 and delayed the A350-800 (EIS) to 2016 from 2014. It said it was "heading toward the final assembly line by the end of 2011" for the static test A350-900.

Last year, New York-based Bernstein Research forecast that A350 deliveries would slip into 2014 and that Airbus (EDS) would deliver only eight of the next-generation airplanes that year.

Airbus (EDS) has completed the first flight of its fuel-saving sharklet wing-tip devices on the company’s A320 development airplane (MSN 001). The flight marks the start of flight testing to capture data for fine-tuning the flight laws, as well as for certification and performance validation.

Sharklets are around 2.5 m/8 ft tall and will replace the airplane’s current wingtip fence. Offered as an option on new-build airplanes, sharklets are designed for the A320 family to reduce fuel burn by up to an additional 3.5%, corresponding to an annual carbon dioxide reduction of around 700 tonnes per airplane, according to Airbus (EDS).

Sharklets will be a standard fit on the new A320neo family. Combined with new engines, they will contribute to an overall -15% in fuel savings.

December 2011: Airbus (EDS) plans to hire another +4,000 workers next year, a similar intake to 2011, as it increases production and recruits engineers for the A350 wide-body jet.

(EDS), based in Toulouse, France, had originally targeted a figure of 3,000 new hires for 2011, though demand for new airplanes remained resilient to economic weakness in Europe and the USA, Thierry Baril, Director Human Resources (HR), said. “We’re seen as a company today that’s dynamic in terms of employment,” Baril said. “About 40% of the people we’re hiring are engineers, and not just aeronautical engineers, but also people with experience in automotive engineering or large industrial projects.”

Airbus (EDS) is benefiting from hiring restrictions in other industries that’s left the labor market with more aeronautical and mechanical engineers with specialist training in areas such as materials stress, the executive said. About out half of the engineers hired this year are in France, with the rest in Europe and the rest of the world, including 1,200 in Germany, he said.

(EDS) is preparing to begin final assembly of its first A350 wide-body model in early 2012, with first delivery set for the first half of 2014. (EDS) on November 10 pushed back the entry-into-service (EIS) date by as much as six months.

For next year, Baril said, more than a third of hires will be young people. European universities turn out about 9,000 engineers equipped for aerospace-design each year.

Airbus (EDS) in the first 11 months of the year already topped its annual record on new-airplane orders following the introduction of the A320neo. Carriers placed 1,378 airplane orders through November after subtracting cancellations, including about 1,200 firm orders for A320neos, which offer more fuel-efficient engines than the existing A320 series.

Airbus (EDS) has promised airlines that it will have the first A320neo planes with new engines ready for service by late 2015.

Airbus (EDS) delivered its 7,000th airplane, an A321, to US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (the airline that operates the largest fleet of Airbus (EDS) airplanes in the world). This milestone comes just two years after the delivery of (EDS)’s 6,000th airplane.

The 1,000th Airbus (EDS) delivery was an A340-300 that went to AirFrance (AFA) in 1993, nineteen years after the first Airbus (EDS) airplane was delivered (an A300B2 also to AirFrance (AFA), in 1974. The 2,000th delivery was six years later in 1999. It took half that time, just three years, to get to the 3,000th delivery in 2002 and three more years to reach 4,000 deliveries. The tempo went up another notch taking Airbus only two years to hand over its 5,000th airplane, an A330-200 to Qantas (QAN) in December 2007. The 6,000th Airbus was an A380 which was delivered to Emirates (EAD) in January 2010.

“It’s particularly fitting that our 7,000th airplane is an A321 going to US Airways (AMW)/(USA), said Tom Enders, Airbus (EDS) President & CEO. This milestone comes just two years after the delivery of (EDS)’s 6,000th airplane.

(AMW)/(USA) operates the largest fleet of Airbus (EDS) airplanes in the world, and by the end of the year, (AMW)/(USA) will operate a fleet of 93 A319s, 72 A320s, 63 A321s and 16 A330s. (AMW)/(USA) also has firm orders for an additional 58 A320 Family airplanes, eight A330 airplanes and 22 A350 XWBs on backlog.

Over >8,200 A320 Family airplanes have already been ordered and more than >4,900 delivered to more than >340 customers and operators worldwide. The A320neo has over 95% airframe commonality with the current A320, making it an easy fit into existing fleets while offering up to 500 nautical miles/950 kilometres more range or two tonnes more payload at a given range.

The Airbus Corporate Foundation and ‘Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen’ (LOG or ‘Wings of Help’) have transported some 12 tonnes of humanitarian goods to Bangkok aboard the delivery flight of Thai Airways International (TII)’s newest A330-300 from Toulouse, France. The A330-300 is the first to be delivered out of an order for seven A330-300s placed last year and joins an existing fleet of 20 A330s already operated by (TII).

Frankfurt based ‘Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen’, the German counterpart of ‘Aviation sans Frontières’, has been a regular partner of the Airbus Corporate Foundation for more than >2 years now. The organization supports Airbus (EDS) humanitarian ferry flights from Germany to countries in need, which have been affected by natural disasters.

(TII) President, Piyasvasti Amranand, said, “It was logical for (TII) to collaborate with the Airbus Corporate Foundation to deliver the humanitarian goods to Thailand using our latest airplane. As we receive the first of an order of seven A330-300 airplanes, it seems only natural to use the first airplane’s delivery flight to carry much needed relief cargo.”

“Thailand suffered severe floods this summer. Over >12.8 million people are still affected and in need of medicine, clothing and blankets,” said Andrea Debbane, Executive Director of the Airbus Corporate Foundation: “The Airbus Corporate Foundation, ‘Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen’ and (TII) identified this flight as one more opportunity to transport humanitarian goods to people in need. We would like to thank both our partners and all the donor (NGO)s involved in this project”.

Donor (NGO)s include Apotheker helfen e.V. (“Pharmacists are helping), Humedica, Fraport AG, Coppenrath GmbH and Intermedica GmbH.

In recent years, Airbus (EDS) has built up a global network of airlines and relief organizations to support international humanitarian help. Delivery flights of new to be delivered airplanes have been used on numerous occasions to transport goods to destinations in need all over the world.

The Airbus Corporate Foundation was created to facilitate charitable activities worldwide within an international network of employees and partners. The Airbus Corporate Foundation started its operation on 1st December, 2008 with Airbus (EDS) President & CEO, Tom Enders being appointed Chairman of its Board of Directors. The organization focuses its support on the three themes: humanitarian and community support, youth development and the environment.

Since its launch in December 2008, the Airbus Corporate Foundation has facilitated over >20 relief flights to numerous destinations all over the globe.

Airbus (EDS) this month delivered four A380s, setting a new monthly delivery record for the airplane. (EDS) delivered 26 A380s this year, one more than its goal of 25. (EDS) expects to further increase the delivery rate of the A380 and aims to bring the number to around 30 in 2012 and eventually 39 - 40, A380 Product Marketing Director, Keith Stonestreet said in Toulouse.

In the first week of December, Airbus (EDS) handed over an A380 to Emirates (EAD) and later, it delivered three (one to Qantas (QAN), one more to (EAD) and one to China Southern (GUN)) bringing the total number of A380s ever delivered to 67 (to seven operators). (EAD) has now 20 A380s in its fleet.

This year, two A380s were delivered to AirFrance (AFA), five to (QAN), four to Lufthansa (DLH), five to Korean Air (KAL), three to Singapore Airlines (SIA), five to Emirates (EAD) and two to (GUN).

Stonestreet said A380s are flying on some 50 routes to 28 destinations, and operate to/from 12 of the top 20 airports in total passenger throughput and 14 of the world's largest international airports.

The airplane is seen daily at nine of the top 10 international airports, but Stonestreet said it was a misconception that the A380 was only a hub-to-hub airplane. “It operates also more and more on hub-to-point,” he said, citing Dubai (DXB) - Manchester, UK, and (DXB) - Jeddah services as examples.

New A380 operators for 2012 include Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and Thai Airways International (TII).

January 2012: Airbus (EDS) (CEO) Tom Enders will take the helm of (EADS) as its next (CEO) and Fabrice Brégier will replace Enders as Airbus (EDS) (CEO), the company announced. Enders has been (CEO) at Airbus (EDS) since 2007. Enders will succeed Louis Gallois on May 31 at the The European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Company (EADS)’ annual general meeting, when Gallois will step down after completing his mandate.

The new top management line-up was announced by (EADS) following a board meeting. Jean-Claude Trichet will join the (EADS)’ board and Arnaud Lagardère will become (EADS) board Chairman, succeeding Bodo Uebber. Gunter Butschek, Airbus’ Head of Operations, will become Airbus (EDS) (COO).

The management shakeup at Airbus (EDS) and its parent (EADS) marks a follow-through on the Franco-German compromise hammered out in the 2007 summer. (EADS) agreed in 2007 to end its clunky dual-(CEO) management structure and Enders became Airbus (EDS) (CEO) with an eye toward stabilizing an airplane manufacturer then enduring near constant senior management turnover.

Enders, co-(EADS) (CEO) in 2007, became Airbus (EDS)'s fourth chief in 13 months in July of that year. The maneuvering is aimed at allowing (EADS) and Airbus (EDS) to operate as efficient transnational companies with clear executive reporting lines while maintaining a delicate Franco-German power balance. Hence, the German Enders takes over from the Frenchman Gallois, while Enders will be replaced as Airbus (CEO) by Frenchman, Fabrice Brégier, now Airbus (EDS) (COO).

Under the 2007 arrangement agreed to by French President, Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, these nationality/(CEO) swaps are supposed to occur every five years.

Enders steadied Airbus (EDS) during a rocky period in which (AMF), the French stock market regulator, investigated (but did not charge) company executives for alleged insider trading related to A380 program delays. He also oversaw disappointing A380 postponements.

At the (EADS)' annual meeting May 31, Hans Peter Ring will retire as (EADS) (CFO) and Airbus (CFO), Harald Wilhelm will add (EADS) (CFO) to his portfolio.

Fabrice Brégier has already played a major role in A350 program development; bringing the next-generation airplane to market will likely be the central task of his expected five-year term piloting Airbus (EDS).

Airbus (EDS) delivered 534 commercial airplanes to 88 customers and booked 1,419 net orders in 2011, in a record-breaking year buoyed by its decision to re-engine the A320. Deliveries included a record 421 single-aisle airplanes (401 in 2010), 87 A330s (87 in 2010) and 26 A380s (18 in 2010).

(CEO), Tom Enders said Airbus (EDS) has an ambitious outlook for 2012, with plans to deliver around 570 airplanes and target new orders of about 600 - 650 airplanes.

“It was a good year for (EADS). The A320neo was the star of 2011,” (EADS) CEO, Louis Gallois said.

(EDS) recorded 1,226 new orders in 2011 for the A320neo, which is becoming the European manufacturer’s fastest-selling airplane. Enders said this number does not include American Airlines’ (AA) order for 130 airplanes. “We have no doubt that (AAL) will come out from Chapter 11 with strength and will be a much more efficient carrier in the future,” Enders said.

Gallois sees the A380 as the company’s key program, “which is on track.” He said the cost of producing the A380 will reduce as production gets more efficient. “We will see better performance,” he said.

Enders said that “2011 was the first real serious A380 production year,” with 67 A380s already in service and its 68th airplane to be delivered to Singapore Airlines (SIA) in a matter of days. Thai Airways (TII) and Malaysia (MAS) will also be starting A380 operations this year. Enders said there would be around 30 or more A380s delivered in 2012.

Commenting on the need for a longer version, the A380-900, Enders said he sees “some interest in the market, but first I want to increase and optimize the A380 production.” Enders did not expect a go-ahead for the A380-900 before the second part of the decade.

Regarding 2012 projected deliveries, 11% are expected to go to the North American market, 7% to Latin America, 17% to Europe, 32% to Asia/Pacific, 8% to the Middle East, 2% to Africa and 22% are dedicated to lessors.

“Financing of airplanes moving more and more outside Europe, that’s why we are quite optimistic that we can deliver this airplane. But we know a lot of things can happen,” Enders said.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an >>Airworthiness Directive (AD)<< on 20 A380s after new cracks were recently found in wing brackets.

The (EASA) said in the (AD) that the “new form of rib foot cracking [Type 2 cracks], originating from the forward and aft edges of the vertical web of the rib feet “is more significant than the original rib foot hole cracking. It has been determined that the Type 2 cracks may develop on other aeroplanes after a period of time in service. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could potentially affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane.”

According to the (AD), effective, January 24, A380s that have accumulated between 1,300 and 1,799 flight cycles must be inspected within six weeks or 84 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, after the effective date. A380s that have accumulated 1,800 or more flight cycles must be inspected within four days or 14 flight cycles.

Airbus (EDS) said: “Cracks have been found on some non-critical, L-shaped brackets (also known as rib-skin attachments or wing rib feet) inside the wings of a few A380s. The cracks are not on the wings; they are on a very few of the thousands of brackets inside some of the wings. The discovery of the cracked parts (and the rapid response to this by our airline customers, regulatory authorities and Airbus (EDS)) demonstrate clearly how well the safety net works in this industry. Throughout the aviation industry, procedures are established to find such occurrences, and these procedures are working.”

Airbus (EDS) said it “has established an inspection and repair program in conjunction with the (EASA) that has been mandated now by the (EASA) (AD). The cracks do not affect the safe operation of the A380. We continue to work closely with the (EASA) and our customers through the inspection and repair process.”

Airbus (EDS) delivered an A320 with manufacturer serial number (MSN) 5000 to Lebanon’s national carrier, Middle East Airlines (MEA). It completes the deliveries of (MEA)’s total order for seven A320s. It marks a significant milestone for Airbus (EDS) and the A320 Family going into 2012, as production rises from 38 to 40 per month during the first quarter of the year.

Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has signed agreements with Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) for a total of 222 new airplanes.

The Boeing (TBC) firm order includes 100 (CFM) (Leap-1B)-powered 737 MAX and 22 737-800 airplanes, valued at $11.4 billion at list prices. (NWG) becomes the European launch customer for the 737 MAX. Boeing (TBC) said this was its largest-ever order from a European carrier.

The Airbus (EDS) firm order is for 100 A320neos.

The firm orders have a total value of approximately NOK127 billion/$21.6 billion at list prices. The airplane purchase is supported by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) and European Export Credit Agencies.

The agreement also includes additional purchase rights for 100 737 MAX8 and 50 A320neos. Deliveries will begin in 2016. (NWG) did not announce the engine selection for the neos, for which the options are the Pratt & Whitney (PW1100G) and (CFM) International (Leap-1A) engines.

“Today is a historic day for (NWG). The order is the largest ever in European aviation history and marks a major milestone in the company’s 10-year history. We have secured our fleet renewal for years to come and are very pleased with the agreements with both Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC),” said (NWG) (CEO) Bjorn Kjos. “(NWG) has now reached a size where we will benefit from having two suppliers, both in terms of ensuring adequate flight capacity, flexibility and competition between two manufacturers,” he said.

(NWG) operates a fleet of 62 737s (48 737-800s and 14 737-300s) on about 300 routes to more than >100 destinations across Europe and into North Africa and the Middle East. (NWG) carried 15.7 million passengers in 2011, an increase of +19.8% compared to the previous year.

AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) has firmed up an order for 33 A320neo and 18 A320 family airplanes. The order follows a previously announced memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Paris Air Show in June. It is the largest order from a single airline in the region, according to Airbus (EDS).

The new airplanes will support (AVI)(TAC)’s expansion into new markets in Latin America, while keeping the airline’s fleet among the youngest in the region.

With the order, (AVI) has acquired 190 Airbus airplanes. (AVI) has 88 A320 family airplanes and eight A330s in service.

In 2011, (AVI) boarded 20.7 million passengers, a +17.8% increase over 2010. Domestic operations in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador resulted in a +23.4% growth in traffic, up to 11.3 million. International traffic was up +11.7%, to 9.4 million passengers.

The group is on track to join the Star Alliance (SAL) in April.

The production of Airbus’ A330 reached a rate of nine per month in January, bringing the output to a record rate in meeting international demand. Assembly of the A330 is performed in Toulouse, France, with Airbus (EDS) planning a further ramp-up to 9.5 airplanes monthly.

February 2012: Airports strive for ever more eco-efficient ground operations including safe taxiway routing for pilots (FC), all-weather guidance between the terminal gate and the runway, and control of jet airplanes and vehicles. Airbus (EDS) "ProSky" is responding to this demand by complementing its Air Traffic Management (ATM) offerings with a powerful airport surface management system (SMAN) for Air Traffic Control (ATC) centers worldwide.

(SMAN) was designed for environmental efficiency by the German company (ATRiCS) and is now offered through Airbus (EDS) ProSky. A unique feature of this airport surface management system is that it automatically switches on the green taxiway lights in front of the airplane as it moves forward, to illuminate the correct route ahead for the pilot (FCX) to follow. Overall, the system reduces taxi time and maximises airport capacity and airplane throughput, while its intelligent predictive guidance also prevents runway incursions and a ‘wrong-turn’. (SMAN) thus smoothes overall traffic flow and facilitates a continuous taxi speed. This results in less queuing, less ‘stop-and-go’, and of course, lower CO2 emissions.

“Airbus ProSky and (ATRiCS) share a common goal for improving the efficiency of our airport and aviation systems,” said Wolfgang Hatzack, (CEO) of (ATRiCS). “Our deployments in Incheon, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Frankfurt, Zurich, and Düsseldorf demonstrate the safety and cost benefits for the global aviation industry with Airbus ProSky.”

Eric Stefanello, (CEO) of Airbus ProSky said: “Airbus ProSky is bringing together intelligent (ATM) components which offer the highest level of performance improvements.” He added: “(ATRiCS) is a proven leader and innovator in advanced artificial intelligence to assist controllers, and we are delighted to have them as part of our team.”

Airbus ProSky, a subsidiary company of Airbus (EDS), is dedicated to improving the performance and efficiency of global (ATM). By drawing on the operational know-how throughout Airbus itself, and in particular, bringing together the expertise of Airbus’ subsidiaries – Metron Aviation in the USA and Quovadis in France, Airbus ProSky offers more than the sum of these parts to provide the world’s best (ATM) components to maximize value, efficiency, capacity and environmental sustainability. Part of this team, (ATRiCS), based in Freiburg, Germany, is a leader in improving traffic efficiency and controller productivity at airports.

Airbus (EDS)'s commitment as a leader in reducing the air transport industry’s environmental impact is being highlighted during daily presentations by its company managers at the Singapore Airshow’s “Green Pavilion” exhibit. Its corporate strategy (which is based on a life-cycle approach encompassing the full spectrum from design, manufacturing, operations and supply chain involvement to the responsible disposal of airplanes at end-of-life) is detailed in their briefings.

Included in the daily presentation is information on (EDS)’s "blue5" program, which is drawing a road map for reducing the environmental footprint of (EDS)'s own operations by the year 2020. Its targets include a -30% reduction in energy consumption; -50% reductions in CO2 emissions, volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, and waste/water production; along with an -80% reduction in water discharge.

One very visible example of (EDS)’S steps that will contribute to its blue5 program’s goals is (EDS)’s newest final assembly line in Toulouse, France, which currently is gearing up for A350 XWB production. This is the “greenest” of any final assembly facility built by (EDS), and it makes extensive use of natural lighting for reduced electricity consumption, while half of the flat roof surface (22,000 sq meters) is fitted with photovoltaic solar panels. As a result, the building will produce 55% of its own energy needs.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has extended its order for inspections of A380s for potential wing cracks to all in-service A380s. The updated airworthiness directive (AD) just issued mandates a high-frequency eddy current inspection of all A380s and follows up on an initial (AD) issued three weeks ago. That (AD) was made after Type 2 cracks were discovered in the wing brackets of some A380s and applied to A380s that had flown between 1,300 and 1,799 cycles.

Airbus (EDS) has already informed all A380 operators of the updated (AD), which is the same as the initial (AD) and uses the same repair procedures, but extends it to lower-cycle A380s.

A380s that have accumulated less than <1,216 flights will have to be inspected once they accumulate 1,300 flights. A380s between 1,216 and 1,384 flights are to be inspected within six weeks from February 13, (EASA) said. A380s that have completed more than >1,384 flights will have to be inspected within three weeks of this date.

“(EASA) and Airbus (EDS) are working closely together to ensure the continuing safe operations of the A380. In accordance with (EASA), Airbus (EDS) has established a repair scheme if cracks are found during the inspection. In parallel, (EASA) and (EDS) are working on a long-term fix to be defined by the summer of 2012,” (EASA) said.

Airbus issued a statement saying, "In line with standard airworthiness procedures, (EASA) has updated its initial inspection and repair requirements for the A380 wing brackets. The update of the (AD) (ref 2012-0013) first issued on January 20 covers the A380 fleet as they approach 1,300 flight cycles and validates the ongoing inspection and repairs on the 20 A380s covered by the first (AD). Further updates to this (AD) are expected as part of standard worldwide airworthiness procedures. (EDS) confirms the safe operation of the A380 is not affected."

Airbus (EDS) and Aviation Lease & Finance Comapny (ALAFCO) (AVF) finalized a purchase order for 35 A320neo family airplanes, the companies announced at the Singapore Airshow.

This extends the list of firm neo orders to 1,324 units and confirms that the “Airbus A320neo is the fastest selling program at the moment,” Airbus (COO) Customers, John Leahy said.

The new (AVF) contract covers the firming of 30 options announced at the Dubai Airshow in November and the purchase of a further five of the type. (AVF) committed initially to 30 A320neos at the Paris Air Show in June and signed an order with Airbus for 50 of them, plus options for 30 more, at the Dubai Airshow.

“After a full analysis, we concluded that the A320neo will continue to be in strong demand; therefore, we are seizing the opportunity to secure an additional 35 airplanes to meet the future requirements of our customers,” (AVF) Chairman & (CEO), Ahmad Al Zabin said. “The significant fuel burn savings it offers, combined with the operational reliability and cost effectiveness of the A320 family, make it an absolute ‘must have’ in our portfolio.”

He said that deliveries of the 85 neos on order would commence in 2017 and would be spread over four years. Choice of engines will be announced at a later date. He also said (AVF) is working on placing the airplanes through its own sales efforts and with Airbus (EDS).

Airbus (EDS) is to lift the A380’s maximum take-off weight to 575 t, a 6 t hike on the current heaviest variant and 2 t higher than an earlier increased-weight proposal. It will stretch the range by some 150 nm, taking its capability to around 15,500km (8,350nm) at current payloads.

The higher-weight version would be offered for introduction to service early in 2013.

Airbus (EDS)’s most recent airplane characteristics document, from November last year, listed six weight variants for the passenger type. These had maximum take-off weights ranging up to 569 t for the (WV002) variant.

(EDS) said the heavier version would include a 3 t increase in maximum zero-fuel weight as well as maximum landing weight, with a resulting 3t increase in payload. Before the type entered service with Singapore Airlines (SIA) in 2007, Airbus (EDS) performed rejected take-off tests with the airplane at a weight of 575 t, and in 2010 it indicated plans to offer a 573 t version, while the freighter would have been 590 t.

Engine Alliance is to have a higher-thrust version of its (GP7200) powerplant ready for service entry by early 2013, to support the higher-weight variant. The engine, designated the (GP7272), will be rated at 72,000 lbs/320 kN, said Mary Ellen Jones, President of the General Electric (GE)-Pratt & Whitney (P&W) joint venture.

With 2,000 lb of extra thrust compared with the current (GP7200), it might enable services such as Dubai - Los Angeles. Engine Alliance is offering the (GP7272) to customers, although none has selected it so far. The powerplant manufacturer has confirmed, however, that Middle Eastern operator Qatar Airways (QTA) has selected the (GP7200) for its 10 A380s.

“We have nearly 600 orders to date, giving us a 56% market share of total engine orders for the A380 so far,” said Jones.

Qatar Airways (QTA) joins Emirates (EAD), AirFrance (AFA) and Korean Air (KAL), which between them have 31 A380s in operation, as well as Air Austral (AUX) and Etihad Airways (EHD), as (GP7200) customers. A further 14 A380s powered by (GP7200)s will be delivered by Airbus (EDS) this year, said Jones.

She said Engine Alliance is focused on campaigns to place (GP7200)s with Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) and Russia’s Transaero (TRX), and is presenting the engine to China Eastern Airlines (CEA), which has expressed an interest in the airplane.

Rolls-Royce (RRC) pointed out, however, that it is already positioned for a higher-weight A380 as its (Trent 900) has been operating at 72,000lb thrust for four years. “Our thrust capability is already firmly established in the marketplace, with our Qantas (QAN) operations contributing to over >1 million flying hours and 16 million passenger journeys achieved by the (Trent 900),” said Head of Airbus Customer Marketing, Peter Johnston.

Four airlines operate the (Trent 900): (QAN), Lufthansa (DLH), Singapore Airlines (SIA), and China Southern (GUN). The engine has been selected by 11 of the 17 announced A380 customers, including Skymark (SKM) and Asiana (AAR). “We remain committed to further product enhancement to deliver long term value to customers,” said Johnston.

Last November the aero engine manufacturer unveiled an improvement package which, it stated, would deliver a fuel burn improvement of up to +1.8% better than specification for future deliveries. “This reinforces the existing through-life fuel burn advantage the (Trent 900) has, due to its low-deterioration three-shaft architecture,” said Johnston.

A new specialised consulting service offered by Airbus (EDS) will help improve the safety of landing operations at airports around the world, leveraging the capabilities of its advanced Exact Landing Interference Simulation Environment (ELISE)) software.

Developed by (EDS) in partnership with (EADS) Innovation Works (the research and development arm of Airbus (EDS) parent (EADS) (along with France’s Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile civil aeronautics academy, this technology eliminates disturbances to an airport’s ground-based Instrument Landing System (ILS) signal) which can be sensitive to interference caused by objects near the runway, including other airplanes, buildings and construction elements.

In addition to raising safety levels during landing operations (particularly in flying conditions with low or no visibility) (ELISE) also can enable increased runway capacity as well as the optimisation of airside land usage – allowing for “stealth” buildings to be built nearby without disrupting the facility’s Instrument Landing System (ILS).

"Objects close to a runway create 'multipath' signals by re-routing the electro-magnetic pulse emitted by an (ILS) antenna," explained Laurent Evain, the (ELISE) program’s Technical Manager. "This confuses an approaching airplane and can lead to deviation from its path, exposing it to risk of lateral veer-off. (ELISE) eliminates that risk."

The technology has been offered as an Airbus (EDS) consulting service since the beginning of 2012. To date, the (ELISE) team has received a contract for Vienna International Airport (VIE), and it is in advanced discussions with airports in Bahrain, Malta, and Warsaw, Poland. (ELISE) also is being used by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to support the updating of (ILS) regulations.

(ELISE) already has proven its capabilities to support airport operations, having successfully been deployed to predict the double-deck A380’s effect on the Instrument Landing System (ILS) for Toulouse-Blagnac Airport – which is located near Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France.

Airbus (EDS) has conducted what it is calling the world's first flight using a four-dimensional optimized and upgraded air traffic management (ATM) technology to fly more accurate and efficient routes. The test, using (EDS)'s dedicated A320 test airplane flying from Toulouse, France, to Copenhagen and Stockholm, used Initial-4D (I-4D) trajectory management, which relies on an airplane function to predict and transmit data to the ground in order to accurately fly a trajectory. It is described in three dimensions (lateral, longitudinal and vertical) and it includes one target time at a specific merging point (time as the fourth dimension).

Once proven and industrialized, it will allow airplanes to plan and fly an optimized and efficient profile without any need for the controllers to provide any vectoring instruction. This will bring better predictability of the traffic flows and facilitate Continuous Descent Operations into airports. The end result being a reduction in fuel burn and emissions, which is in line with (FAA) and Eurocontrol's NextGen and (SESAR) air traffic modernization programs, respectively. More flight trials and simulations are planned in 2012 and 2013. The first (I-4D) operation is planned in Europe from 2018 onwards.

Airbus (EDS) has begun labeling its current generation A320s the ceo (short for current engine option) as it markets the new, re-engined A320neo while still selling the original variant.

(EDS) Exective VP, Europe, Asia & Pacific, Chris Buckley revealed that the term ceo was gaining traction within the company. Neo stands for new engine option. (EDS) has 1,289 firm orders for neos from 24 customers. It is building 38 A320 family airplanes a month and anticipates going up to 42 per month, a rate at which it believes it will stabilize.

(EDS) is considering increasing the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of the A330-300 from 235 tonnes to 240 tonnes. A decision could be made in about six months, (EDS) Executive VP Europe, Asia & Pacific, Chris Buckley said. Although a small increase, Buckley said there was market demand and (EDS) was working “intensively” on the idea. “It would give the A330 Amsterdam to USA West Coast capability,” he said.

March 2012: Airbus (EDS) parent company, (EADS) reported better than expected fiscal 2011 full-year results and record airliner deliveries, posting net income up +76% to +€1.1 billion/+$1.4 billion.

(EADS)’ revenues increased +7% to €49.1 billion.

(EDS) consolidated revenue increased +10% to €33.1 billion compared to a fiscal 2010 full-year revenue of €29.9 billion. Earnings were €584 million compared to €305 million in the previous year. (EADS) said the increase was mainly driven by a new record of 534 airplane deliveries, including 26 A380s.

In 2011, Airbus Commercial also beat its previous order intake record with 1,419 net orders, compared to 2010’s 574 net orders. The A320neo family alone won 1,226 new firm orders, making it the fastest selling jet ever in commercial aviation history, (EADS) said.

Production rate increases are well underway despite challenges, (EADS) said. Airbus (eds) will ramp up production of the A330 to 11 in the 2014 second quarter—provided the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) issue does not harm airplane orders, the company added.

At the end of December, (EDS)’ consolidated order book was valued at €495.5 billion and the Airbus (EDS) Commercial backlog was €475.5 billion, which comprised 4,437 airplanes.

Airbus (EDS) has joined a consortium including Virgin Australia (VOZ) to study a new pathway to produce sustainable aviation fuels. Eucalyptus mallee trees, grown in Western Australia’s wheat belt are sustainably harvested and converted to a feedstock for refining into alternative aviation fuel via a process called Pyrolysis.

Mallee is indigenous to Australia and is well adapted to the environment. It is a suitable sustainable crop because it helps return salt-affected land to a productive state. Mallee can be planted on farms alongside crops, and provide a range of environmental benefits and contribute to the long term sustainability of the overall farming operation. Growing these trees to make alternative fuels encourages large scale planting, which is expected to bring a range of environmental and social benefits to farmers and rural communities.

The Pyrolysis thermal conversion process has yet to be recognised by the world’s fuels standards authorities. Airbus (EDS)'s role includes supporting the approval and certification process so that Pyrolysis based fuels can be used for the first time in commercial aviation.

The consortium also includes Future Farm Industries (CRC), which is developing sustainable farming systems as part of the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program.

The project objective is to have a pilot alternative fuel production plant operating in Australia in the next year. The sustainability analysis is managed by the (CRC), Airbus (eds) and the UK’s Manchester Metropolitan University. “Alternative fuels are a crucial part of the roadmap for sustainable aviation and to help meet our ambitious CO2 reduction targets. We are privileged to be working with our Australian partners in this exciting value chain project,” said Tom Enders, Airbus (eds) President & (CEO).

Virgin Australia (VOZ) Group Executive of Operations, Sean Donohue said: “In order to produce a biofuel that can be used sustainably in our current aircraft, it is important to have members from every part of the supply chain involved. Airbus (EDS) will bring vast expertise in airplane manufacturing to the consortium and we are very pleased to have a company of its calibre joining this promising Australian project”.

The partnership agreement aims to develop a complete sustainable aviation bio-fuel production capability in Australia, using only sustainable resources and is part of the Airbus (EDS) goal to have in place a value chain in every continent by 2012. So far (EDS) has value chains in Latin America, Europe the Middle East, and now Australia.

Boeing (TBC), Airbus (EDS) and Embraer (EMB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels. The airframe manufacturers agreed to seek collaborative opportunities to speak in unity to government, biofuel producers and other key stakeholders to support, promote and accelerate the availability of sustainable new jet fuel sources.

"There are times to compete and there are times to cooperate," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & (CEO), Jim Albaugh. "Two of the biggest threats to our industry are the price of oil and the impact of commercial air travel on our environment. By working with (EDS) and (EMB)on sustainable biofuels, we can accelerate their availability and reduce our industry's impacts on the planet we share."

The collaboration agreement supports the industry's multi-pronged approach to continuously reduce the industry's carbon emissions. Continuous innovation, spurred by competitive market dynamics that push each manufacturer to continuously improve product performance, and air traffic modernization, are other critical elements to achieving carbon-neutral growth beyond 2020 and halving industry emissions by 2050 based on 2005 levels.

"Having these three aviation leaders set aside their competitive differences and work together in support of biofuel development, underscores the importance and focus the industry is placing on sustainable practices," said (ATAG) Executive Director, Paul Steele. "Through these types of broad industry collaboration agreements, aviation is doing all it can to drive measurable reductions in carbon emissions, while continuing to provide strong global economic and social value."

All three companies are affiliate members of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, which includes 23 leading airlines responsible for about 25% of annual aviation fuel use. (TBC) and (EMB) are already collaborating on how to establish a sustainable aviation biofuels industry in Brazil and exploring new technology pathways to broaden biofuel sourcing and availability. (TBC) and (EDS) are also active around the globe in helping to establish regional supply chains, while the three manufacturers have all supported numerous biofuel flights since global fuel standards bodies granted their approval for commercial use in 2011.

China is blocking airlines from placing Airbus aircraft orders in retaliation against the new European aviation carbon tax, the head of Airbus parent EADS said Thursday.

(EADS) (CEO), Louis Gallois said the Chinese government was barring Chinese carriers from completing orders for long-haul airplanes, according to a BBC report. The company stated in its financial report that an anticipated ramp-up in A330 production could be impacted by the (EU ETS) if that prompts retaliatory actions.

Nine European aviation companies and airlines have joined forces in demanding concrete steps to stop the escalating trade conflict with countries opposing the inclusion of aviation in the (EU ETS).

The (CEO)s of Airbus (EDS), Air Berlin (BER), AirFrance (AFA), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Lufthansa (DLH), (MTU) Aero Engines, Safran, and Virgin Atlantic (VAA) have written joint letters to the heads of state of the four Airbus (EDS) manufacturing countries (France, the (UK), Germany, and Spain) urging them “to take action and stop an escalating trade conflict with China and other countries” opposing the (EU ETS). Airbus (EDS) led the initiative, and (CEO), Tom Enders signed all four letters.

European Commission (EC) President, Manual Barroso, (EC) VP Transport, Siim Kallas, Trade Commissioner, Karel De Gucht, and Climate Action Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard are copied on the letters.

The companies’ (CEO)s argue that the threat of retaliation is becoming “concrete” and this will have “serious” consequences on the European aviation business. “In many of the countries opposed to the (EU ETS), countermeasures and restrictions on European airlines are in preparation, such as special taxes and even traffic rights limitations. In China, approval for $12 billion worth of Airbus (EDS) orders has been suspended.” It estimates that this action will jeopardize more than 1,000 Airbus (EDS) jobs in Europe and at least another 1,000 in the supply chain.

The (CEO)s said they expect the list of suspensions, cancellations and punitive actions to grow, as other important markets continue to oppose the (EU ETS) and describe the situation as becoming “intolerable” for the European aviation industry.

They are requesting “urgent consultations” at the level of the (EU) Council and with the governments taking retaliatory trade action. “The aim must be to find a compromise solution and to have these punitive trade measures stopped before it is too late,” they wrote.

“We have always believed that only a global solution would be adequate to resolve the problem of global aviation emissions. This solution can only be found in (ICAO), which has recently appointed a high level dedicated group to propose a global framework for international aviation emissions by the end of this year,” they said.

(EADS) (CEO), Louis Gallois said (EDS) is “devoting maximum attention to solving the A380 wing rib feet issues,” discovered earlier this year. He estimated the total cost of the fix to be €105 million/$137.7 million, a cost that will be “borne by Airbus (EDS),” (EADS) said.

“We have taken €105 million of provision to repair the [71 A380s]. I said 67 in my press conference but it is 71 because we have delivered four A380s since the beginning of the year,” Gallois said March 8 in the (EADS) Fiscal Year 2011 conference call to analysts and journalists.

“The repair of the first 17 airplanes has confirmed that our provision was at the right level,” he said. “But now, we have also to find the permanent industrial solution to the problem we have identified. We know that the root cause of the problem is linked to stress and also to the quality of the material of the bracket. And now we have to find the manufacturing process and we will have a clear evaluation of the potential cost overrun when we know exactly this manufacturing process.”

Gallois said he does not anticipate the charges to affect the company’s target to “breakeven in 2015.”

There were 26 A380 deliveries in 2011, which (EADS) said “exceed targets.” So far in 2012, it has delivered two A380s to Singapore Airlines (SIA), one to Emirates (EAD) and one to China Southern Airlines (GUN). The cracks were discovered in early January.

April 2012: Repairs have been completed on a Qantas Airways (QAN) A380 that experienced an uncontained engine failure over Singapore in November 2010. The A380 (VH-OQA) will be flown back to Australia from Singapore on 21 April.

This comes after 18 months of extensive repairs on the airplane, which suffered significant damage to its airframe. The incident occurred minutes after take off on flight QF32 from Singapore to Sydney on the morning of 4 November while the airplane was flying over the Indonesian island of Batam. The A380 rolled off the Airbus (EDS) assembly plant in September 2008 and entered into service that same month.

Australian investigators have finished collecting data for an investigation into the uncontained failure of the Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 900) engine. The data is being analysed and a final investigation report is expected in the third quarter of 2012. So far, the investigations identified a defect in an oil feed tube as the cause behind an oil fire, which led to the engine failure. The defect caused a section of the oil tube to thin out and crack, leading to an internal engine oil fire that weakened the intermediate pressure turbine disc. This was then separated from the turbine shaft, puncturing the engine case and wing structure.

In January, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said that both Rolls-Royce (RRC) and Airbus (EDS) had taken several measures to improve their processes. (RRC) conducted several "major internal investigations" looking into the manufacture of oil pipes with reduced wall thickness, the management of concessions of manufactured components, and the failure mode, effects and criticality analysis (FMECA) of previous component failures. In its (FMECA) procedures, Rolls-Royce (RRC) has revised it to include numerical justifications for any assumptions made. (RRC) also revised its procedures to include feature checks and risk assessment during the design and manufacture of new structures, and introduced a revised procedure to provide training to better manage the application of retrospective manufacturing concessions.

Airbus (EDS) is working with airports and firefighting agencies to develop an agreed safe method for these agencies to externally shut down the manufacturer's engines when the need arises. The agreed procedure will then be incorporated into (EDS)'s rescue and firefighting chart and distributed to those involved.

In its report, the (ATSB) said that together with the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch and (RRC), it is still looking into "the circumstances and missed opportunities with the potential to have detected the reduced wall thickness and offset counter bore of the oil feed pipe" before, during and after the manufacturing of the (IP) turbine module case.

The (ATSB) added that checks on the airframe and systems damage has been completed and did not reveal any significant or critical safety issues.

Airbus (EDS) announced Brazil’s TAM (TPR) Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) has joined the Airbus (MRO) Network, becoming the 18th member. It currently provides services for the A320 and A330/A340 families in South America.

(EDS) told attendees at the "Aviation Week" (MRO) Americas conference it has seen a growing group of customers under flight hour services. Last year, it earned $700 million of additional flight hour services business, Airbus Senior VP Services & Customer Support, Tom Anderson said. It is investing in a pool of parts to continue to support the flight hour services segment.

“Our continuous strategy is to support a growing fleet and tailor what we do to match the needs of the customers,” he said. “Diversity in our customer base is driving us to be more tailored and more adapted in what we do,” Anderson said. “We went through a period of time when we tried to keep things simple. I’m taking a different direction. We need to adapt.”

Panasonic Avionics inked an agreement with Airbus (EDS) to line-fit its Global Communications Suite on one A380. The suite provides two-way broadband connectivity to an airplane, supporting both broadband internet access through Wi-Fi, mobile phone services in collaboration with AeroMobile, and a global live television service.

Airbus (EDS) delivered 131 airplanes in the first quarter, up +12 compared to 119 airplanes in the 2011 first quarter. In the 2012 first quarter, (EDS) delivered 10 A319s, 79 A320s, 15 A321s, 10 A330-200s, one A330-200F, 12 A330-300s and four A380s.

Boeing (TBC) delivered 137 airplanes in the first quarter, up +33 compared to 104 airplanes in the 2011 first quarter. In the 2012 first-quarter, (TBC) delivered 137 airplanes, comprising 99 737NextGens, six 747s, seven 767s, 20 777s and five 787s.

May 2012: Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) reported first-quarter net income of +€133 million/+$170.4 million, turned around from a -€12 million net loss in the 2011 March quarter, on a +16% rise in revenue to €11.4 billion.

(EADS) (CEO), Louis Gallois said commercial airplane demand “remains healthy.” Airbus (EDS)’s first-quarter (EBIT) lifted +59% year-over-year to €183 million, as revenue heightened +13% to €7.9 billion.

(EDS) delivered 131 commercial airplanes and secured 90 net orders during the year’s first three months. It noted that the 5,000th A320 was delivered in February, and that the single-aisle family’s production rate was pushed up to 40 per month from 38. (EDS) delivered four A380s during the first quarter and plans to deliver 30 this year. As of March 31, it had delivered 71 total A380s to seven operators.

(EDS) expects to deliver around 570 commercial airplanes this year. “Gross orders should be above the number of deliveries,” (EADS) stated. “(EADS) 2012 revenues should continue to grow well above >6%.”

An (EHD) A330-200 has performed the first Required Navigation Performance – Authorization Required (RNP-AR) approach to Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH), marking the beginning of full (RNP-AR) implementation throughout (AUH)’s airspace.

The approach was done using (RNP-AR) procedures developed by Quovadis, an Airbus (EDS) subsidiary. The continuous descent operations and optimized trajectories can reduce fuel consumption by up to -200 kilograms and reduce CO2 emissions by at least -20,000 tonnes per year, (EDS) said.

Speaking at a media briefing in Toulouse, France, Airbus (EDS) Executive VP Strategy & Future Programs, Christian Scherer said optimized air traffic management (ATM) was the low-hanging fruit that could achieve -9% fuel burn savings. “There could be -$135 billion net savings every year with an optimized (ATM) system,” he said.

Thales (THL) has signed an agreement with Airbus (EDS) which extends its current position onboard the A320neo Family.

(THL) is progressively introducing enhancements during 2012 to ensure a seamless transition into A320neo Family deliveries, scheduled for entry in service in 2015. Having now secured its position on the A320neo, (THL) supplies avionics to every Airbus (EDS) airplane, including the A330 Family, A380 and A350 XWB. (THL) is also a key avionics supplier to Airbus (EDS) Military on the A400M program.

Saab has signed an extended contract with Airbus (EDS) to continue producing ailerons for the A320 series. The contract is valued at SEK701 million/$100 million.

Modifications to repair wing rib cracks on in-service A380s will begin in the first quarter of 2013 and the composite material at the root of the problem will no longer be used on new-production airplanes delivered from 2014.

The cracks issue, discovered early this year, resulted from a carbon fiber-aluminum material known as 7449 that was used in A380 wing rib feet construction. The material was selected because it is both lightweight and strong, but it is now known that it becomes brittle during the production tempering process. Although the problem did not show up on computer modeling during the A380’s design and development or on demonstrator airplanes, it is now known that the material is affected by natural up and down wing movements during flight and also by extreme temperature variances.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an airworthiness directive (AD), extended to all in-service A380s, ordering mandatory inspections of the wing ribs.

(EADS) (CEO), Louis Gallois has said the fix for the 71 A380s in service will cost €105 million/$138 million and will be borne by Airbus (EDS).

Airbus Executive VP Programs, Tom Williams said a demonstrator airplane with the modifications would begin flying from around the third quarter this year and parts for the retrofits would be available to airlines from early 2013. Williams said the repairs could be done in one of two ways (either as a single, nose-to-tail program or in a series of repairs fitted into routine C check maintenance schedules). “We are still working out how long the airplanes will need to be grounded,” he said.

Lufthansa German Airlines (DLH) (CEO), Carsten Spohr said last week that he expected repairs to put each airplane on the ground for four weeks. “Next year, one of our A380s will always be on the ground. We are in talks with Airbus (EDS) about compensation for the non-production of our airplanes when they are not flying," Spohr said.

The A380s delivered from early 2014 will have a new all-aluminum rib design.

Williams admitted that Airbus (EDS) was “pretty concerned” when the cracking problem was first discovered but was now confident it understood the issue and had the solution. “It was very disappointing and embarrassing in front of our customers, who have been extremely supportive in terms of the inspection process,” he said.

June 2012: Former Airbus (EDS) (COO) Fabrice Bregier has taken over as Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO) for a five-year term. He replaces Tom Enders, who succeeds (EADS) (CEO), Louis Gallois. The company announced the management changes, made at its annual general meeting, in January.

The new Airbus (EDS) Executive Committee includes Guenter Butschek as new (COO); John Leahy remains (COO) Customers; Tom Williams is Executive VP Program; Charles Champion is Executive VP Engineering and Domingo Urena-Raso is Head of Airbus Military.

Three Airbus (EDS) Executive Committee members ((CFO), Harald Wilhelm, Executive VP Human Resources (HR), Thierry Baril and Executive VP Procurement, Klaus Richter) also have (EADS) Corporate responsibility.

Bregier said the new team’s target for the next five years is “to make Airbus (EDS) even stronger in developing and manufacturing the world’s best airplanes. We remain focused on our business objectives and while we implement some changes, we foresee overall continuity. Our priorities are providing stability for the production ramp-up, driving integration, and expanding our global footprint.”

Airbus (EDS) has launched an enhanced Customer Support Network in India which combines numerous individual Field Service support stations into one integrated team. Through this network, (EDS) now has a continuous and extended Field Service presence, operating from two city hubs at Mumbai and Delhi, to offer 24/7 regional support and services. Combined with Airbus Training India (ATI) and the Flight Operations Team in Bangalore, (EDS) will provide a real local support footprint.

“Airbus (EDS)’s customers will now see an integrated team based in India,” said Didier Lux, Executive VP of Airbus Customer Services. “This initiative will pilot the way for a global deployment of this structure to enhance support coverage for all our customers.”

In addition, a new position of Head of Airbus Field Service will be the local focal point for airline customers in the region, and will work closely with the aviation authorities, manage on-site technical assistance teams and act as the primary communication interface between operators and (EDS)’s functions including: Program; Maintenance & Engineering; Material Logistics & Suppliers; Training, and Flight Operations.

This Field Service initiative is part of (EDS)’s evolution of its Support and Services organization in the region given the continued and rapid fleet growth in the coming years. To sustain domestic and international growth in India alone, the region needs around 1,040 more airplanes by 2030. Furthermore, domestic India traffic will become the fifth largest flow by 2030, enjoying a six-fold increase, with an expected average annual growth of +9.8%.

Airbus (EDS) and Air Canada (ACN) joined forces in June to perform a flight from Canada to Mexico that cut CO2 emissions by more than >-40% compared to a regular flight.

The A319 flew from Toronto to Mexico City and used biofuels as well as streamlined air traffic management (ATM) procedures to achieve the emissions savings.

(ACN) flight AC991 was the second leg of a series of four biofuel flights taking (ICAO) Secretary General, Raymond Benjamin to Rio de Janeiro for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

Dubbed the "Perfect Flight," the flight used a 50% blend biofuel made from used cooking oil supplied by SkyNRG. It flew the most direct route, using the most efficient vertical flight profile and applying a continuous descent approach into Mexico City to save fuel and limit noise. And it made use of a combination of several eco-efficient operational procedures such as single engine-taxiing, external airplane cleaning for improved aerodynamics, light weight cabin equipment and a neatly tailored flight plan.

“Today’s flight with Air Canada (ACN) proves that the aviation industry is in a strong position to reduce emissions and fly many more Perfect Flights,” Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said. “To make this a day-to-day commercial reality, it requires now a political will to foster incentives to scale up the use of sustainable biofuels and accelerate modernization of the air-traffic-management system. We need a clear endorsement by governments and all aviation stakeholders to venture beyond today’s limitations.”

Air Canada (ACN) Executive VP & (COO) Duncan Dee described the flight as (ACN)’s “greenest ever.”

Airbus (EDS)s’ final assembly line at its Tianjin, China factory is scheduled to deliver its 100th A320 this fall but (EDS) has yet to secure a partner for its continued operation past 2016.

“We [have] already delivered 89 airplanes since our first one on June 23, 2009,” (EDS) President China, Laurence Barron told journalists in Beijing. This year, 38 airplanes will be delivered, including the first one to a non-Chinese airline, AirAsia (ASW). “Our target is to deliver four airplanes per month and a total of 47 airplanes in 2013,” Barron said.

However, the Tianjin factory (a joint venture between Airbus (EDS) and partners including China Aviation Industry Corporations (AVIC I and II) and Tianjin Free Trade Zone) faces an uncertain future in 2016 when its contract expires after the delivery of its 284th airplane. The factory opened in September 2008; as of March, (EDS) had delivered 80 A320 family airliners assembled in Tianjin.

“This year, the company will break even, Barron said, adding (EDS) has started talks with its partners about the factory’s future. “We will wait and see what happens,” he said.

As the Chinese market continues to grow, Barron said mainland China has become the world’s second market for new airplane deliveries after the USA. “And it is getting close to number one. Mainland China will need 3,832 new passenger and freighter airplanes over the next 20 years, which is a market value of $509 billion — a very significant market for us,” he said.

Chinese carriers operate 805 Airbus (EDS) airplanes in China. (EDS) has 15 Chinese customers and orders for 356 airplanes, mainly A320s. However, Barron said (EDS) is seeing a demand for very large airplanes, such as the A380, but so far China Southern (GUN) is the only Chinese carrier to order the type.

The A330 is becoming popular with Chinese carriers, which have around 100 of the type in service and 71 orders. Barron said there are no plans to produce the A330 in China.

Airbus (EDS) in May delivered a total of 45 airplanes, comprising 34 A320 family, eight A330s and three A380s, down from a total of 50 deliveries in May 2011, comprised of 38 A320s, nine A330s, and three A380s.

Included among the three A380 deliveries was Malaysia Airlines (MAS)’s first of the airplane type, and AirAsia (ASW)’s 100th A320.

Boeing (TBC) delivered 49 total airplanes last month, with 36 737s, three 747s, two 767s and eight 777s, up from 39 in May 2011, with 33 737s, one 767, and five 777s.

Airbus (EDS) plans to build its first plant in the United States, moving into the world’s largest market for single-aisle planes, "The New York Times" reported this month.

(EDS) plans to invest several hundred million dollars for a plant in Mobile, Alabama, said the "Times," citing people with knowledge of the plan. The Mobile plant could eventually assemble dozens of Airbus (EDS)’s popular A320 family jets each year, challenging the home market of its arch-rival Boeing (TBC).

The Toulouse, France-based Airbus (EDS) was expected to announce the details, according to the "Times." The "Times" said that (EDS) is making a bet that USA airlines, many of which are saddled with large fleets of aging jets, would be enticed to consider an A320 family member that was “made in America” over Boeing (TBC)’s competing 737s.

By doing the final assembly of the planes with non-union American workers, and in dollars, Airbus (EDS) also stands to shave off significant production costs, it noted.

(EDS) holds a 20% share of the USA single-aisle plane market, while globally, Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) are fairly neck-and-neck, the "Times" said. But opening an American factory “could raise eyebrows in European capitals and among labor unions — particularly in France,” the "Times" said.

The new government of President Francois Hollande has threatened to punish companies which move jobs overseas, hitting them with tax penalties and cutting state subsidies. However, European governments, particularly France and Germany, are likely to be persuaded of the business case that it could eventually create as many as 10 new jobs in Europe (not only at Airbus (EDS), but also for its vast supplier network) for every one job created in Alabama, the "Times" was told.

An agreement to build an assembly line in Mobile would cap a seven-year courtship between Alabama officials and European Aeronautic Defense and Space (EADS), Airbus (EDS)’s parent company, over locating a major industrial facility in the state.

In 2005, (EADS), which already has an engineering site in Mobile, had proposed building a $600 million assembly line for its larger A330 airplanes as part of a bid for a $35 billion US Air Force contract for aerial fueling tankers. But that deal was ultimately awarded to Boeing (TBC) last year.

July 2012: The $600 million, 116-acre A320 family assembly and delivery center that Airbus (EDS) will build in the USA will be almost identical to similar facilities in France and Germany.

The USA facility will be built on a former US Air Force base site known as Brookley Aerospace in Mobile, Alabama. Briefing media after the facility’s announcement ceremonies in Mobile on July 2nd, Airbus Executive VP Strategy & Future Programs, Christian Scherer said the center would become operational at the beginning of 2016 and comprise seven main buildings, including the assembly line, paint facility, final testing facility, flight test center and customer delivery center.

“It will be almost a carbon copy of the assembly facilities we have in Toulouse and Hamburg,” Scherer said. (EDS) has also negotiated a land extension option that would potentially double the available space if needed in the future. He added that state and local incentives provided to the company, were “well in excess of >$100 million.”

Summing up the reasons why Mobile was selected for (EDS)’s first USA assembly line, Airbus President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier listed the availability of the airfield and empty space along with a qualified local workforce. “We also feel at home here. We feel supported,” he said. He added that Airbus was used to having several locations in different countries and that the Alabama facility would be integrated just as the European sites were integrated. “We work and we win together,” he said. (EDS) opened its first non-European assembly line in Tianjin, China, four years ago.

Work construction is expected to create up to 3,000 local jobs and up to 1,000 people will be employed permanently at the site. “It will be 100% American from management to blue collar works, systems engineers and flight engineers,” Brégier said.

Construction of the Mobile, Alabama final assembly line (FAL) will begin in summer 2013. Airplane assembly will start in 2015, with first deliveries from the site commencing in 2016.

The A320neo is scheduled to enter into service in late 2015. Airbus anticipates the Mobile facility will produce between 40 and 50 airplanes each year by 2018, a monthly rate of between three and four airplanes.

The factory will be located adjacent to an existing Airbus (EDS) Engineering Center at the Brookley Aeroplex, which borders Mobile Bay.

Airbus (EDS) plans to increase A320 production to 42 airplanes per month by October. Brégier said it was still too early to decide whether the addition of the USA assembly line, which is scheduled to produce four airplanes a month from 2017, will contribute to the 42 or allow Airbus (EDS) to further increase its overall production rate. “We will see. The [A320] neo version is coming in 2017, so I would not be surprised. But for now we have only confirmed 42 per month,” Brégier said.

Airbus (EDS) is the largest export customer for the USA aerospace industry. Since 1990, (EDS) has spent $127 billion with USA suppliers — $12 billion in last year alone. Brégier added (EDS) has also sold more than >1,000 airplanes in the USA, so it was a natural step to create a facility that is closer to an important customer base and where the company already has a significant investment.

“It’s a strategic move. We are deeply rooted in Europe and China is a big success. But despite the fact that we buy $12 billion here, we need to be more visible in the USA,” Brégier said.

Airbus (EDS) has moved the A350 XWB’s target for entry into service (EIS) to the second half of 2014, a delay of about three months from the current program schedule, which was already behind the original schedule.

The next-generation airplane was originally slated for entry into service in mid-2013. (EDS) said it will take a €124 million/$151.3 million charge for the delay, which it said is “due to the time taken for the implementation of the automated drilling process for the wings.” Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) conceded in a statement: “The A350 XWB remains a challenging program.”

The announcement was made as (EADS) reported second-quarter net income of +€461 million/+$562.6 million, well more than tripling a +€121 million net profit in the prior-year period, as Airbus (EDS)’ commercial revenue jumped +17% year-over-year to €9.09 billion. (EADS)’ second-quarter revenue rose +12% to €13.53 billion.

“Our financial results demonstrate steady momentum,” (EADS) (CEO), Tom Enders said. “One important step [to further globalizing (EADS) and Airbus (EDS)] is our decision to build a final assembly line for Airbus (EDS) airplanes in the USA. Our key programs, particularly at Airbus (EDS), continue to command our utmost attention. On the A350 especially, maturity of sections delivered to the final assembly is of key importance to us as we prepare for a robust production ramp-up.”

(EADS)’ first-half 2012 net profit was +€594 million, significantly improved over +€109 million in net income in the first six months of 2011.

Didier Lux, Executive VP Customer Services stated Airbus (EDS) has become the first manufacturer to make available as iPad apps Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) performance-enhancing tools for pilots (FC).

Airbus (EDS) is stepping up the payload-range of its A330 family, starting with the A330-300, which will be available with a 240 metric tonne maximum take-off weight (MTOW) from mid-2015. The change will see the A330-300’s (MTOW) increase by 5t to 240t, extending its range by 400 nm to 5,950 nm with 300 passengers on board. This is the second time the A330-300 has been upgraded. It originally entered service with a 212t MTOW and 3,950 range, but has since been upgraded to 235t and 5,550 nm.

“We’re aiming to launch in summer 2015, but already airlines and lessors are asking if they can get this from the beginning of 2015,” Airbus (COO) Customers, John Leahy said during a press briefing at the Farnborough Airshow. “We are negotiating with a customer and I hope that by end of the airshow, we can announce the first customer for this new airplane.”

The improvements will place the A330-300 in closer competition with the 777-200ER. The original A330-300 was only able to cover 65% of the 777-ER’s range, but this new version has increased this to 94%.

Airbus (EDS) is also increasing the payload-range of the A330-200 and A330-200F. The A330-200 currently has a 238t (MTOW). The new option will increase the (MTOW) by over >2.5t to 240t and its range will be extended by 270 nm to 7,050 nm with 246 passengers.

Airbus (EDS) booked 230 net commercial airplane orders in the 2012 first half, a big drop from 640 booked in the year-ago period, but (EADS) noted the Paris Air Show took place in June 2011, while the Farnborough Airshow occurred in July 2012. Airbus’ (EDS)' commercial backlog stood at €485.7 billion as of June 30, up +2.1% from December 31, 2011.

China Aircraft Leasing Company (CHD) signed a Memo of Understanding for 36 A320 family airplanes including 8 A321s in a deal valued at $3.1 billion at list prices.

Avolon Leasing Company (AZV) made a commitment for 15 A320neos valued at $1.54 billion.

Synergy Aerospace, the parent of Avianca (AVI) placed a $1.9 billion firm order for 6 A330-200s and 3 A300-200Fs.

Middle East Airlines (MEA) - Air Liban made a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for 5 A320neos, and 5 A321neos plus 8 options valued at $1.05 million.

August 2012: Philippine Airlines (PAL) has placed a firm order with Airbus (EDS) for 34 A321s, 10 A321neos and 10 A330-300s.

The airplanes are being purchased under (PAL)’s fleet modernization program, with deliveries starting in 2013. The single-aisle airplanes will be used on domestic and regional routes, while the A330s will be used on routes to Australia and the Middle East.

The total value of this order at list prices is $7 billion and brings the number of firm orders for the new neo to 1,335.

MNG Airlines (MHK), Turkey’s dedicated freight operator, has taken delivery of its first of four A330-200Fs on order. (MHK) already operates a fleet of seven A300 cargo airplanes, and will expand its services by moving up to the A330F Freighter.

Sedat Özkazanç, Managing Director of MNG Airlines (MHK) said: “Holding a big portion of the cargo capacity in Turkey, MNG Airlines (MHK) is delighted to introduce the A330-200F into our fleet.” He added: “This new A330-200F freighter airplane will help our continued growth by providing superior fuel efficiency, capacity and range for our customers together with both charter and scheduled flights.”

The A330-200F can carry 70 tonnes of payload, with a range capability of up to 4,000 nm. The A330-200F’s range and payload capability provides flexibility for both regional and intercontinental operations, versatility to match costs and frequencies with market expectations, thereby allowing operators to grow existing business and expand into new routes. The A330-200F targets the ‘mid-size’ freighter segment which is forecasted to be the core of future freighter demand, and will require more than >1,320 airplanes in the next 20 years. To date, Airbus (EDS) has won more than >1,200 orders for the various versions of the A330, with nearly 900 airplanes currently flying with over >120 customers and operators worldwide.

Visiting German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao presided over a grand gathering of some 1,000 people in Tianjin to celebrate the completion of the 100th A320 Family airplane assembled at the Airbus A320 Family Final Assembly Line China (FALC), which is a joint venture between (EDS) and its Chinese partners. Among the participants attending the celebration were government officials from China and Europe, representatives of (EDS) and its Chinese partners and customers as well as employees of the Airbus Tianjin (FALC) and Airbus Tianjin Delivery Center, a subsidiary of Airbus in Tianjin.

One day before the celebration, a framework agreement was signed by Airbus, Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the two parties of the Chinese consortium that hold a 49% stake in the (FALC) joint venture, concerning the shared intention to continue the cooperation on the project beyond the current business plan, which is due to expire in 2016. The agreement was signed at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing as a part of a series of Europe-China agreements in the presence of the German Chancellor and Chinese Premier.

Airbus’ ACJ318 was shown at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE), in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 15th to 17th this month, showcasing a wider and taller cabin than other business jets, in what is the largest market for them in Latin America. The ACJ318 on display is offered for VVIP charter by Globaljet of Switzerland, and fits into the same ramp space as other large business jets. It carries up to 19 passengers, features a private office that converts to a bedroom, and has club seating in several spacious lounge areas.

Airbus (EDS) can offer everything from 19 seaters with intercontinental range, to VIP wide bodies capable of flying government delegations nonstop to most of the world. (EDS) has sold some 170 corporate jets to date, and are the only ones flying on every continent, including Antarctica, highlighting their versatility. Its customers comprise companies, individuals and governments, in roughly equal measure.

Like all Airbus corporate jets, the Airbus ACJ318 features intercontinental range, allowing it to serve most destinations in North and South America nonstop – as well as to reach much of the world with a single stop.


September 2012: Airbus (EDS) (CEO), Fabrice Brégier plans to give more power to local Airbus (EDS) plant managers to increase efficiency and enable them to make faster decisions, as part of sweeping changes that are expected to begin in January.

Brégier said that “middle management will be given more authority to make some investment decisions without requiring approval from headquarters,” according to a "Bloomberg" report. “We need to take decisions faster. This is a weakness of Airbus (EDS). It takes much too long to make decisions - - I want to speed it up and simplify it,” he was quoted as saying on the eve of the Berlin Air Show. The company changes are reportedly the result of the A380 production problems and delays.

Airbus (EDS) spokesperson, Stefan Schaffrath confirmed that (EDS) will “create a new organization which should be operational from January” to “help to increase efficiency.” (COO), Guenter Butschek will supervise the new organization.

The proposed changes come a week after Airbus (EDS) parent company, (EADS) announced an executive reorganization under new (EADS) (CEO), Tom Enders.

When he took over as Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO) in June, Bregier said the company would “implement some changes . . . Our priorities are providing stability for the production ramp-up, driving integration, and expanding our global footprint,” he said. At the Farnborough Airshow, Brégier stressed that “production mistakes with the A380 would not be repeated and the company’s mantra now is never to rush the process.”

Brégier said that Airbus (EDS) will not shift to a monthly production rate of 44 single-aisle A320 family airplanes, because moving up to 42 by the end of the year is already a challenge.

Airbus (EDS) owner, (EADS) has confirmed it is in talks with BAE Systems over a potential merger. (EADS) and (BAE) said they are in discussions about a possible combination of the businesses.

“The potential combination would create a world leading international aerospace, defense and security group with substantial centers of manufacturing and technology excellence in the UK, USA, France, Germany and Spain, as well as in Australia, India and Saudi Arabia.”

(EADS) said, “The possible combination is subject, amongst other things, to the approval of the Board of (EADS) and there can be no certainty that these discussions will lead to a transaction.”

Under British law, the companies have until October 10 to decide if they are going ahead with a merger. It would be the first major business move by former Airbus (EDS) (CEO), Tom Enders since his promotion to the head of (EADS) in May.

EADS shareholder Lagardere Group said it will analyze the details of the proposed EADS-BAE Systems merger before agreeing to the tie-up (ATW Daily News, Sept. 12).

France-based Lagardere Group, which is also a media giant, holds a 7.5% stake in (EADS). “The Lagardere Group intends to ensure that all consequences associated with the proposed (EADS) (NV) - BAE Systems merger are taken into consideration in determining the terms and conditions of the proposed transaction before it consents to the deal,” Lagardere said, reacting to news of the tie-up.

The firm also noted the proposal has not yet been submitted to the boards of Sogeade Gerance and (EADS) (NV) for approval.

If the merger is approved, it will create the world’s largest aerospace, defense and security group.

Airbus (EDS) has joined forces with China’s Tsinghua University to promote the production and use of aviation biofuel in China. The partners will initially conduct a sustainability analysis of Chinese feedstocks, assessing compliance with ecological, economic and social sustainability criteria. This will include a wide range of feedstocks, including used cooking oil, that would otherwise be wasted, and also algae.

The sustainability analysis is being managed by Airbus (EDS) and involves close collaboration with Tsinghua and leading European institutions. The first results will be analyzed later this year and the full sustainability analysis should be completed by the beginning of 2013. It will evaluate how best to support development of processes that speed up the commercialisation of aviation biofuels and identify the most promising alternative fuel solutions.

Airbus (EDS) New Energies Program Manager, Frédéric Eychenne said the commercialization of alternative fuels “is one of the essential ingredients in our quest to achieving ambitious environmental targets in aviation.”

From 2013 onwards, the partners will look at scaling-up alternative fuel production to achieve sustainable quantities of aviation fuel for commercial use.

Project Manager, Zhang Xiliang, Director of the Institute of Energy, Environment & Economy at Tsinghua University said the project would “help us improve the understanding of the nature of aviation biofuels commercialization in China, identify the opportunities and challenges, and evaluate the possibility of social, economic, market and technology change and its cost, obstacles and challenges."

The partnership agreement is one of several Airbus (EDS) initiatives to develop a complete sustainable aviation biofuel production capability in China, using only sustainable resources.

Last month, Boeing (TBC) and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (CCC) opened a joint technology center in Beijing dedicated to commercial aviation energy and emissions research projects.

Airbus (EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy has been promoted to parent company (EADS)’ top committee as part of an executive reorganization under new (EADS) (CEO), Tom Enders. Leahy retains his Airbus (EDS) position, while also joining the (EADS) group Executive Committee along with other new members, Airbus (COO), Günter Butschek and Cassidian (CEO), Bernhard Gerwert, (EADS) announced.

Airbus (EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy has insisted that unrest over the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is still posing a serious threat to European aviation. “It [the danger] absolutely has not gone away. I was just in China and they are very serious about it,” said Leahy, speaking at a media event in London.

The comments came shortly after the Commercial Bank of China Financial Leasing placed a $3.5 billion order for 30 Airbus A320ceo and 20 A320neo airplanes, despite strong Chinese government opposition to the (EU ETS). “These airplanes are for use within China,” Leahy said. “China authorities have held up 35 to 45 Airbus A330s because that particular airplane capacity would be flying to Europe. We urge the (EU) authorities to look seriously at this issue because it will affect our production rates, sales and jobs.” It has been reported that Beijing authorities have been encouraging Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) to cancel its Airbus A380 order to retaliate against the (EU ETS).

Airbus (EDS) has recently released its latest instalment of the "Future by Airbus," its vision for sustainable aviation in 2050 and beyond. For the first time, the vision looks beyond airplane design towards how the airplane is operated both on the ground and in the air, in order to meet the expected growth in air travel in a sustainable way.

Charles Champion, Executive VP Engineering at Airbus (EDS), says: “Our engineers are continuously encouraged to think widely and come up with `disruptive’ ideas which will assist our industry in meeting the 2050 targets we have signed up to. These and the other tough environmental targets will only be met by a combination of investment in smarter airplane design and optimising the environment in which the airplane operates. That is why our latest "Future by Airbus Smarter Skies" concepts focus on not just what we fly but, how we may fly in 2050 and beyond.”

Already today, if the Air Traffic Management (ATM) system and technology on board the airplanes were optimised, Airbus (EDS) research based on recent research, suggests that flights in Europe and the USA could on average be around 13 minutes shorter, and flights in other parts of the world could be shorter too. Assuming around 30 million flights per year, this would save around 9 million tonnes of excess fuel annually, which equates to over 28 million tonnes of avoidable CO2 emissions and a saving of 5 million hours of excess flight time. Add to this new aircraft design, alternative energy sources and new ways of flying, and you could see even more significant improvements.

The "Future by Airbus" concentrates on just that and the "Smarter Skies" vision consists of five concepts which could be implemented across all the stages of an airplane’s operation to reduce waste in the system (waste in time, waste in fuel, reduction of CO2). These are:

Aircraft Take-off in Continuous ‘Eco-climb:’

* Airplanes launched through assisted take-offs using renewably powered, propelled acceleration, allowing steeper climb from airports to minimise noise and reach efficient cruise altitudes quicker.

* As space becomes a premium and mega-cities become a reality, this approach could also minimise land use, as shorter runways could be utilized.

Airplanes in Free Flight & Formation Along ‘Express Skyways:’

* Highly intelligent airplanes would be able to “self-organise” and select the most efficient and environmentally friendly routes (“free flight”), making the optimum use of prevailing weather and atmospheric conditions.

* High frequency routes would also allow airplanes to benefit from flying in formation like birds during cruise bringing efficiency improvements due to drag reduction and lower energy use.

Low-noise, Free-glide Approaches & Landings:

* Airplanes allowed to take free glide approaches into airports that reduce emissions during the overall decent and reduce noise during the steeper approach as there is no need for engine thrust or air breaking.

* These approaches would also reduce the landing speed earlier which would make shorter landing distances achievable (less runway needed).

Low Emission Ground Operations:

* On landing, airplane engines could be switched off sooner and runways cleared faster, ground handling emissions could be cut.

* Technology could optimise an airplane’s landing position with enough accuracy for an autonomous renewably powered taxiing carriage to be ready, so airplanes could be transported away from runways quicker, which would optimise terminal space, and remove runway and gate limitations.

Powering Future Airplanes & Infrastructure:

* The use of sustainable biofuels and other potential alternative energy sources (such as electricity, hydrogen, solar, etc) will be necessary to secure supply and further reduce aviation’s environmental footprint in the long term. This will allow the extensive introduction of regionally sourced renewable energy, close to airports, feeding both airplane and infrastructure requirements sustainably.

Airbus (EDS) is already working on a number of innovative solutions today to meet the challenges of sustainable aviation in the future, whether it be the development and use of alternative fuels; investment in airplane design; or in supporting more efficient (ATM). Airbus (EDS) is also one of the major actors of the NEXTGEN and SESAR programs – which seek to enhance the performance of the (ATM) system through a better use of airplane capabilities, changes in infrastructure and organization. These new capabilities are designed to reduce traffic congestion and delays, will allow more direct routes, better flight profiles, and should help reduce the cost of air navigation services through advanced communications and technologies. “We know people want to fly more in the future and our forecasts support this. We also know that they don’t want to fly at any cost,” says Charles Champion. Our focus at Airbus (EDS) is on meeting this continuous growth in demand, keeping the passenger, our customers and the environment at the center of our thinking. The future of sustainable aviation is the sum of many parts and success will require collaboration amongst all the parties who are passionate about ensuring a successful prospect for aviation.”

For more information on "Future by Airbus" go to http://www.thefuturebyairbus.com

Airbus (EDS) said that it had registered 384 plane orders in the eight months from January through August, leaving it well behind USA rival Boeing (TBC). At the end of July, Boeing (TBC)’s order book was already stuffed with 700 orders.

The A380 is living up to its promises as this 21st century flagship jetliner is operated on an increasingly large global network – becoming a common sight at mega-city and hub airports around the world. In operation with eight carriers (AirFrance (AFA), China Southern (GUN), Emirates (EAD), Korean Air (KAL), Lufthansa (DLH), Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Qantas (QAN) and Singapore Airlines (SIA)), the A380s delivered to date have accumulated over >600,000 flight hours, performing more than >72,000 revenue flights. Average utilization across this total fleet is 13-plus flight hours per day.

“The A380 fleet is working really hard, and is doing well for its operators,” said Richard Carcaillet, the Airbus (EDS) Director of A380 Product Marketing. “Many airports have A380 flights from multiple airlines: As examples, New York and Hong Kong are served each by five carriers; while Tokyo, London and Singapore have scheduled flights from three different airlines.”

Carcaillet said the list of top 10 airports in terms of A380 operations is led by Dubai, followed by Singapore, Frankfurt, London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Sydney, Hong Kong, Seoul, New York-(JFK), and Tokyo-Narita.

Emirates (EAD) continues as the largest A380 customer – with 90 jetliners on order, and 23 of them in service. An (EAD) A380 was on display during the recent (ILA) Berlin Air Show’s opening days, and is subsequently scheduled for departure to join (EAD)’s other A380s in their globe-trotting flights.

October 2012: Airbus (EDS) parent company (EADS) and UK defense company BAE Systems have ended discussions on a potential merger after failing to overcome political hurdles. (EADS) said discussions with the relevant governments had not reached a point where both companies could fully disclose the benefits and detailed business case for a merger.

(EADS) said it believed the merger was “based on a sound industrial logic and represented an opportunity to create a combination from two strong and successful companies greater than the sum of the parts. The merger would have produced a combined business that would have been a greater force for competition and growth across both the commercial aerospace and defense sectors and which would have delivered tangible benefits to all stakeholders.”

(EADS) (CEO), Tom Enders said, “It is, of course, a pity we didn’t succeed, but I’m glad we tried. I’m sure there will be other challenges we’ll tackle together in the future. (EADS) will continue on its international growth path and our shareholders can continue to expect profitable growth, excellent liquidity and program execution based on a strong order book.”

The companies had a regulatory deadline to declare whether they would proceed with the merger; discussion talks were announced September 12.
Media reports say the UK and French governments ultimately reached an accord over the potential deal, but Germany held out. The approval of all three governments was needed.

Airbus (EDS) has delivered the 100th A320 family airplane assembled at its final assembly line (FAL) in China. The A320 was delivered to Air China (BEJ) and will be deployed on domestic routes.

Airbus (EDS) won less than half as many airplane orders as Boeing (TBC) in the first nine months of the year as Boeing (TBC) benefited from a surge in demand for its new 737 MAX fuel-efficient single-aisle model.

(EDS) sold 437 planes in the period from January to September, compared with 962 for (TBC) between January 1 and October 2. After cancellations, (TBC) outsold (EDS) by 879 to 382, based on the latest figures published by both companies.

(TBC) also outpaced (EDS) in terms of deliveries, with 436 planes handed over to airline and leasing customers against 405 for (EDS). This was helped by a doubling in deliveries of (TBC)'s delayed carbon-composite 787 Dreamliner in the third quarter to 12.

The fresh data show (TBC) is on course to reclaim the top spot in commercial airplane production from (EDS) this year. (TBC) lagged (EDS) on deliveries for the ninth year in a row last year.

(TBC)'s market share sank to its worst level in the history of its 40-year rivalry with (EDS) in 2011, as it took longer to decide on a strategy to meet demand for more fuel-efficient single-aisle jets in response to (EDS)' new A320neo.

But the arrival of the 737 MAX is helping (TBC) accelerate ahead of (EDS) this year, with overall orders rising to 404 in the third quarter from 36 in the second as it logged 377 sales of the new model.

(EDS)' new business in September included follow-on orders for 10 A330-300 long-haul airplanes from Philippine Airlines (PAL) and 10 A320neo planes for an undisclosed customer. Dublin-based lessor Aircraft Purchase Fleet Ltd also bought two A320s.

(EDS) last month reaffirmed its sales target of 650 gross orders this year, with sales chief John Leahy saying (EDS) was "on track to do at least 650, hopefully a bit more". He reiterated then that it was becoming tougher to reach its target of selling 30 A380 airplanes, although (EDS) was on track to deliver 30 of the A380 superjumbos this year. (EDS) said that it had delivered 17 A380s in the nine months through September.

Airbus (EDS) has inaugurated a new 74,000 square meter A350 XWB Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse, which will employ 1,500 staff. The new (FAL) will produce up to 10 airplanes a month from 2018.

Two initial A350 XWBs (the static test and the first flyable airplane, Manufacturer Serial Number One (MSN1)) are already on the line at different stages of final assembly.

The static airplane, which will be used for ground tests, is nearly completed. The full fuselage, both wings and the vertical tail plane have been joined. This will be transferred to the Toulouse Jean-Luc Lagardere static test hangar, where it will be prepared for the start of static tests in spring 2013.

(MSN1)’s fuselage has also been joined. The wings, vertical and horizontal tail plane are already inside the (FAL) and will be joined to the fuselage in early November. The new (FAL) has been fitted with 22,000 square meters of photovoltaic solar paneling, which Airbus (EDS) said generates more than half of the building’s energy needs.

Pratt & Whitney (PRW) completed assembly of its first PurePower (PW1100G-JM) engine for the Airbus (EDS) A320neo. The engine will be one of eight test engines to enter the (PW1100G-JM) engine test program over the next two years. Pratt & Whitney (PRW) said the engine reduces fuel burn by about -15% for the A320neo compared to the A320ceo. The (PW100G-JM) is scheduled to enter into service for the A320neo in October 2015.

Airbus (EDS) revealed some new features that are standard on its ACJ318 Enhanced including: domed ceilings and window-shades throughout the cabin, which provide a more comfortable feel and ambiance, new linings allowing a better integration of overhead lights and air supply outlets, and light-emitting diode (LED) illumination throughout. Other features include a wider choice of seats, including a new one with more comfortable curves and a more stylish shape, high-definition (HD) in-flight entertainment with Blu-ray player, state-of-the-art displays and (HDMI) interfaces for external equipment, and a new passenger information system.

When it comes to options, ACJ318 Enhanced customers now have a more defined and wider choice. These include Sharklets on the wingtips, which make the airplane look nicer, as well as saving fuel and extending range, a shower in the ensuite bathroom to allow a fresher arrival, the ability to transform the aft lounge into a cinema, and mood-lighting.

Other options include ipod and ipad interfaces, including for cabin management, wireless local area network (LAN), even greater soundproofing, and a humidifier.


Airbus (EDS) is recruiting full-time instructors for flight crew (FC) at the Airbus Training Center, Miami, Florida. See FAPA.aero website for more details.

See FAPA.aero: Pilot Career Conferences & Job Fairs

...For Future & Active Pilots (FC).

November 2012: Hawker Beechcraft's decision to axe its struggling Hawker business jet brand has taken a bite out of Airbus (EDS), which supplied fuselages and wing sections from its factory in Broughton in the UK. Parent, (EADS) says it tried and failed to help find a buyer for Hawker Beechcraft, and was forced to take a third-quarter charge of €76 million/$97 million against lost sales. However, no Airbus (EDS) jobs have been put at risk, as staff working on Hawker aerostructures will be redeployed as Airbus (EDS) ramps up A320 production and gets ready to begin serial production of its in-development A350 twinjet. And the charge against Hawker had little impact on a solid third quarter (Q3) and nine-month financial performance.

Airbus (EDS) commercial (Q3) revenue gained +22% to €8.14 billion and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) more than trebled to €268 million.

For the nine months to end-September, 403 airplanes were delivered for revenue recognition plus another two to operating lease, taking revenue up +17% to more than >€24.7 billion and (EBIT) up +167% to €816 million. For the full year, Airbus (EDS) expects to deliver about 580 airplanes (including the 30 A380s it has been targeting) and will retain its book-to-build ratio above one, with anticipated orders in the 600 to 650 range.

(EADS) as a whole is continuing a trend to increased profitability: net income more than doubled to +€903 million, or 2.4% of €37.3 billion revenue, up from just 1.9% a year ago.

Backlog at the end of the quarter stood at €482 billion or 4,414 units, representing seven years of full production.

French conglomerate, Lagardere has confirmed it will sell its 7.41% stake in Airbus (EDS) parent company, (EADS) and hopes to leave the company next year.

(CEO), Arnaud Lagardere said when announcing the group’s third-quarter results, that the recent collapse of the proposed merger between (EADS) and UK defense company BAE Systems “was a good opportunity for us, through the negotiations and discussions we had with the French government, to make it clear (probably clearer than ever) that Lagardere would and will leave the company soon.”

Lagardere, who is also Chairman of the (EADS) board of directors, said the group now had “a more precise agenda in mind,” but stressed it was an ambition rather than a public announcement to leave the company next year. In 2006, the Lagardere group sold 7.5% of its (EADS) share capital, but combined its remaining stake with the French government’s 15% shareholding under a contractual partnership, Sogeade, to create a 22.5% French voting bloc. Daimler controls an equivalent 22.5% voting bloc, but is also intending to reduce its direct stake in (EADS) this year. It has already agreed to sell half of its 15% shareholding by the end of the year to German state-owned KfW Bankengruppe.

Lagardere said the goal of divesting his group’s shareholding next year was “becoming more and more realistic.” He said: “The [EADS] stock is doing well, so this is a good opportunity for us. It is the right moment.” He said the company would use the cash partly to reward shareholders, partly to de-leverage the company, and partly for “some minor acquisitions.” The group said this was part of its ongoing strategy to dispose its minority stakes.

Reported plans to streamline the ownership structure of (EADS) are unlikely to “materially improve corporate governance issues at the aerospace company,” according to "Fitch Ratings." “The changes will not alter the perception that (EADS) is a state-controlled corporation, which restricts its chances of winning large export defense contracts, but they would bolster the finances of major shareholder Daimler,” the ratings agency said.

It argued that the complex arrangement of state control at (EADS), through both direct and indirect shareholdings, was “a key factor in the collapse of (EADS)’ attempted merger with (BAE) Systems in September.” This was also a major barrier to (EADS) winning defense contracts as a prime contractor in the USA, Fitch said.

Although details of a potential new ownership pact between the French and German governments are still unclear, the ratings agency does not expect a change in the shareholding structure to reduce state influence “to a level that would remove it as an obstacle in future sector consolidation or in tendering for large defense contracts in markets like the USA.”

Germany controls 22.5% of (EADS) through Daimler, which holds 15% and also controls the voting rights of a consortium of private and public investors that holds a further 7.5%. France has an equal stake, through the government’s 15% stake combined with a 7.5% stake held by French conglomerate Lagardere.

Qantas (QAN) has become a launch customer for the ‘FlySmart with Airbus (EDS)’ cockpit applications on iPad. These ‘Electronic Flight Bag’ (EFB) applications will be used by all pilots (FC) in (QAN) who fly (EDS) airplanes.

The (EDS) (EFB) solution for iPad was announced at the Farnborough Air Show earlier this year and (QAN) has been working closely with (EDS) since the launch of the project. (QAN) pilots (FC) took part in testing the (EDS) applications and worked with (EDS) Engineers (MT) to help define the best iPad (EFB) applications for the pilot (FC) community.

The (EDS) iPad (EFB) applications will soon be delivered to (QAN) as well as to a growing number of launch customers worldwide who have chosen the system. Pilots (FC) around the world will soon be able to consult all their (EDS) Operational Manuals on iPad. They will also be able to compute their airplane performance calculations which will provide them with optimised and accurate results on any runway of their operational route network.

(QAN)’s Head of Flight Technical, Captain David Oliver, said: “We’re pleased to be working with Airbus (EDS) on this innovative new (EFB) application, which will form part of the broader roll-out of iPads to all (QAN) pilots (FC) over the coming months. (QAN) is committed to new technology that reduces paperwork in the cockpit and improves access to information for our pilots (FC), and this app very much meets that requirement.”

Didier Lux, Executive VP of (EDS)’ Customer Services commented: “We are delighted that (QAN) has become a launch customer for the iPad FlySmart with Airbus (EDS) (EFB) apps following our close collaboration during the development phase of the project.” He added: “We have listened to our customers’ requirements for a lightweight alternative to (PC) operating system (EFB) devices.”

A pioneer in providing (EFB) applications to the industry with the goal of creating the ‘paperless’ cockpit 15 years ago, Airbus (EDS) is again leading the way in achieving this important leap in technology by combining its (EFB) content with the iPad.

Airbus (EDS) has become the first commercial airplane manufacturer to deploy Radio-Frequency-Identification (RFID) part-marking to airplane components on all its airplane families. This innovation, which will bring value-chain visibility, error-proof identification and efficiency savings in component life cycle management, will be progressively rolled out in 2013 to all seats and life vests for the A320, A330 and A380 airplane families.

China’s Tibet Airlines (TBZ) has taken delivery of its first A319 assembled at the Airbus (EDS) Tianjin Final Assembly Line (FALC). The A319 delivered is the fifth A319 to join the all Airbus (EDS) fleet operated (TBZ). (TBZ) received its first A319 in July 2011 in Hamburg, Germany.

The A319 will operate from Lhasa Gongga Airport, which at 12,000 feet in altitude is one of the world’s highest. It will fly the route between Lhasa and Shenzhen in Southern China with a stop-over in Chengdu, Southwestern China.

The newly introduced A319 is certificated for high altitude airport operation and Required Navigation Performance – Authorization Required (RNP-AR) and Satcom installed.

(RNP-AR) procedures represent today the most modern navigation technique, allowing the airplane to fly precisely along a predefined route using on-board navigation systems and the (GPS)-based ‘Global Navigation Satellite System’ (GNSS). (RNP AR) is especially important for airlines operating in and out of high altitude airports. Tibet Airlines (TBZ) has selected Quovadis, an Airbus (EDS) subsidiary, as its strategic partner for its (RNP-AR) operations.

“The new A319 will fly between Shenzhen and Lhasa and contribute to further development of the two areas”, said Yin Huixin, Vice President of Tibet Airlines (TBZ).

The (FALC) in Tianjin is based on the latest state-of-the-art (EDS) single aisle final assembly line in Hamburg, Germany. The airplanes delivered in China are assembled to the same standards as those assembled and delivered in Europe. Airbus (EDS) has delivered 105 Tianjin assembled A320 Family airplanes to 11 operators since the inauguration of the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in 2008, which is the first (EDS) (FAL) outside Europe.

Emirates Airline (EAD) expects its A380s to start undergoing permanent wing repairs in March. (EAD) will pull four of the A380s from service at a time for a period of eight weeks, (EAD) President Tim Clark said. That is about six weeks later than planned earlier this year.

(EAD) is the most affected in terms of sheer volume by the extensive repair program caused by the detection of Type 1 and Type 2 cracks in A380 wings in 2011. (EAD) A380s are undergoing preliminary repairs that must be repeated after about 500 flight hours. The permanent fixes are intended to restore the A380 to its full life cycle of 90,000 hours. A total of 44 A380s will have been delivered with wings that need repairs by November 2014. The 45th A380 will be the first (EAD) A380 with the newly designed wings. Clark points out that it is key for Airbus (EDS) to receive European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for the new design soon. “If you are coming up with a new wing in January 14, you are not far away from production start.”

Clark does not go into details as far as financial compensation from Airbus (EDS) is concerned. (EDS) initially wanted to pay for repairs only, but airlines including Emirates (EAD) have demanded more. “I think it would be fair to assume that we would reasonably ask for the measurable damage to us, which is basically the loss of profit,” Clark says. “I believe Airbus (EDS) is going to be reasonable on that.”

(EAD) said earlier this year that it is losing about -$30 million in profit per month because of the A380 preliminary repair work, and external auditors have determined the figure is closer to $50 million.

Even given the slow pace of orders for the A380, Clark believes the airplane has been accepted by the market. “Are airlines stepping up to buy it at the pace Airbus (EDS) would like? Probably not. Are they stepping up to buy the competitor airplane 747-8I? No.” In his view, “there is a question mark over the large end” of the market. “But look at the state of the aviation industry. Look at the state of the liquidity and debt providers. I would like to think this is a temporary thing.” Once long-haul travel is restored after the current downturn, “the A380 is a very elegant, environmentally friendly and economically efficient way of meeting that demand.”

Airbus (EDS) has firmed up plans to increase the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of its A330-200 and A330-300 twinjets and will offer an increased fuel capacity option on the A330-300. Confirming plans first detailed at the Farnborough Airshow, (EDS) will offer the 242 metric tonne versions from 2015 onward. The changes mean airlines will be able to carry more passengers and freight over longer distances. “Overall, the full payload range now increases by around +500nm over today’s 235 tonne A330-300, and by around +350nm over today’s 238 tonne A330-200.”

It also plans to offer increased fuel capacity as an option on the larger A330-300, via a center wing tank. The longer-range A330-200 has the center tank and associated systems as standard. The additional fuel capacity means that operators will be able to operate direct A330-300 flights between Southeast Asia and Europe. “For example, it will permit westbound direct flights such as Kuala Lumpur to Frankfurt or Paris, with the ability to carry additional cargo on the eastbound return flight,” (EDS) said.

December 2012: Airbus (EDS) has completed the main structural assembly and system connection of the A350 XWB first flight-test airplane. The airplane rolled out of the main assembly hall at the recently inaugurated “Roger Béteille” A350 XWB Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse after undergoing assembly work that included the electrical power-on of the airplane's entire fuselage and wings.

The airplane will now undergo testing of its hydraulic system, followed by the full electric and hydraulic power-on by year end. After several weeks of functional system testing, the airplane will be painted and have its engines installed. The airplane, MSN001, is one of the first two airplanes to be assembled at the new 74,000 sq m final assembly line in Toulouse, along with the A350 XWB static test airframe. First flight is slated for mid-2013 and entry into service (EIS) is expected in the second half of 2014.
SEE PHOTO - - "EDS-2012-12-A350 XWB LEAVES FAL."

AirAsia (ASW) has placed a $9.4 billion order for 100 A320 family airplanes. The order calls for 64 A320neo and 36 A320ceo planes, as the airline looks to expand its network to the Philippines and Japan. “We have three gold mines in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. On the other hand, Philippines and Japan have enormous potential growth. With these added airplanes, it goes in-line with our strategy to further build our already extensive network through new routes and added frequencies and allow (ASW) to maintain its market leadership,” said Tony Fernandes, Chairman of (ASW).

The new planes will add to (ASW)’s current all-Airbus (EDS) fleet comprised of 100 A320s.

A flurry of year-end sales brings Boeing (TBC)'s net annual sales tally to 1,115 jet airplanes, meaning (TBC) will finish far ahead of Airbus (EDS) in this year's order race, largely because of the sales success of the 737 MAX. At the end of November, (EDS) had a net order tally of 585 jet airplanes.

When the final tallies are given in January, they are expected to show Boeing regaining its status as the world's No. 1 jet airplane-maker, with both more orders and more jet airplane deliveries than its European rival.


January 2013: Lessor, the (CIT) Group (TCI) has placed a firm order for 10 A350-900s. This is the second time (TCI) has ordered A350 XWBs and brings the lessor’s total backlog for the type to 15. (CIT) Transportation Finance, C Jeffrey Knittel said the deal “further expands our portfolio of medium- to long-haul airplanes.”

Including this transaction, (CIT) (TCI) has ordered 253 Airbus (EDS) airplanes, comprising 187 A320 family, 51 A330 family and 15 A350 XWB family, according to Airbus (EDS).

February 2013: Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) reported a 2012 net profit of +€1.22 billion/+$1.59 billion, up +19% from 2011’s €1.03 billion, on turnover up +15% to €56.5 billion, compared to €49.1 billion in 2011.

“The Group performance was driven by the strong underlying performance at Airbus Commercial,” which delivered a record 588 airplanes over the year.

Airbus Commercial revenues were €36.9 billion, compared to €31.2 billion in 2011. No net profit figure was given for the division.

The year saw one-off charges totaling €820 million recorded by the Group, of which €522 million was attributable to Airbus (EDS), including an anticipated €251 million incurred by the program for A380 wing rib feet repairs. There was also a charge of €124 million on the A350 XWB to reflect the latest program update, although this figure was unchanged since the first half of 2012.

“Good progress is being made on the A350 XWB program, but it remains challenging and there is no room left in the schedule,” the company said.

Looking forward, (EADS) said it expects the world economy and air traffic to grow in line with prevailing independent forecasts and assumes no major disruption due to the current debt crisis.

It forecast moderate growth in 2013 and said gross commercial airplane orders should exceed deliveries in 2013. It anticipates orders of around 700 airplanes and deliveries in the 600 - 610 range.

Airbus (EDS) is adding more cabin options to the A321neo, which will add more seats and boost revenue potential. Two new cabin options, which will enter service in the second half of 2017, include an additional over-wing exit door and the option to deactivate the forward exit.

(EDS) said the additional over-wing exit door “raises the current maximum exit limit so operators can make even more use of the available cabin floor space. When this new option is combined with the space-flex aft cabin configuration, the A321neo can accommodate up to 236 seats, +16 seats more than today’s maximum seating, which leads to a reduction in seat mile costs of -5%.”

The second option to deactivate the forward exit will “create a seamless, undivided forward cabin, allowing additional seats and even more flexibility in multi-class seat arrangements,” Airbus (EDS) said. “This option will be of particular use in longer range markets, where high comfort standards are needed in premium class.”

Airbus (EDS) is reverting to tried and tested nickel cadmium batteries for its A350 XWB family, following Boeing (TBC)’s problems with lithium ion technology on the 787. “We confirm that we have made the decision to stay with nickel cadmium for the A350, rather than lithium ion,” an Airbus (EDS) spokesperson said. “We have made this decision based on the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing 787 investigation to protect to A350’s entry into service (EIS). It is early enough to make this decision. Basically, we are going to move forward with technology which is well known and mature.”

However, despite recent developments, Airbus (EDS) is still standing behind lithium ion technology. “We are confident that what we have developed with [battery supplier] Saft is robust and safe,” the spokesperson said. Saft will continue to supply the batteries for the A350 XWB, although it will provide nickel cadmium batteries in place of the lithium ion technology. Saft already supplies nickel cadmium batteries for other Airbus (EDS) products.

The spokesperson said (EDS) started informing customers of this decision. The battery switch also carries potential weight implications because lithium ion batteries are lighter than the nickel cadmium equivalent. She declined to comment further, saying only that “weight was not a factor in this decision.”

Airbus (EDS)’s first A350 XWB test airplane, (001), is already structurally complete and doing some ground tests. (002) will enter the final assembly line (FAL) over the coming days. The spokesperson said “all five test airplanes will be fitted with lithium ion batteries.”

During the initial flight test stages, (EDS) will be testing the broad performance and aerodynamics of the new twinjet, rather than more specific elements such as battery performance. “We will perform the flight and ground tests with a nickel cadmium battery as required by the authorities for certification, but we don’t need to do these specific tests of the battery early in the program. The nickel cadmium technology is well known in this application,” she explained.

Reverting to nickel cadmium batteries was always a “Plan B” option for Airbus (EDS) even before the lithium ion issues emerged on the Boeing 787, the spokesperson said.

The company added: “(EDS) has also launched additional maturity studies on lithium ion main batteries behavior in aerospace operations and will naturally take on board the findings of the ongoing official [Boeing 787] investigation.”

March 2013: Engineers have almost completed work on the first Airbus A380 to undergo the permanent full-life fix for the cracking problem affecting wing-rib brackets. Around half of the 100 A380s in service are operating with a temporary fix, as individual airframes reach a cycle limit set out by European regulators.

But the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has already effectively approved Airbus (EDS)'s proposed full-life repair, and is finalizing the publication of the airworthiness directive (AD) which will mandate the change. This has enabled work to begin on repairing the in-service fleet, as well as those A380s which will enter the final assembly line before Airbus (EDS) has modified its wing-production process.

No customer A380s have yet flown with the permanent fix but Airbus (EDS) says the first is "nearly complete", although (EDS) declines to identify the operator.

Airbus (EDS) says it has had an "agreement" with (EASA), essentially clearing the repair work, since the end of 2012. "The fix was good but the paperwork has taken a bit more time. We've already started the retrofits."

Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK)has been carrying out a full-life repair on one of (DLH)'s A380s at Frankfurt since February, and says the work takes 40 - 50 days.

(EDS) is scheduled to perform the same repairs on 31 A380s, comprising 10 for Lufthansa (DLH), 12 for Qantas (QAN) (at its Philippines center) plus nine for Emirates (EAD) at (AMECO) Beijing (BEJ).

Airbus (EDS) has forecast that around 120 A380s will ultimately need the full-life fix before production changes for the type's wings (notably the inclusion of all-metal ribs) catch up with the delivery schedule.

(EASA) will need separately to certify the modification. The first A380 with the all-new wing will be delivered in the first quarter of 2014.

Airbus (EDS) has not disclosed the initial recipient, although Qatar Airways (QTA) (which has 10 A380s on order, the first of which had been due for delivery later this year) has previously insisted upon acquiring airplanes only with a satisfactory permanent solution in place.

Airbus (EDS) has appointed Yann Barbaux as its Chief Innovation Officer, effective May 1. Yann is former developer and leader of the Corporate Research organization, EADS Innovation Works.
According to Airbus (EDS), Yann’s key mission will be to “foster a strong innovation culture throughout (EDS). Together with his team, he will encourage new ideas from all areas of the company and facilitate a rapid, systematic screening at the right decision making levels.”

SEE ATTACHED - - http://www.wimp.com/approachlanding of Lufthansa (DLH) A380 Landing at San Francisco.

April 2013: Airbus parent company, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) new board of directors elected Denis Ranque as Chairman and reappointed Tom Enders as (CEO) at its first formal meeting. The board also approved an 18-month share repurchase program of up to €3.75 billion/$4.806 billion.

The share buyback program allows 15% of (EADS)’ issued and outstanding share capital at a maximum price of €50 per share. “The share buyback program emphasizes our commitment to create value for all shareholders. It also underlines our confidence in the equity story of (EADS) and our business plans. The share buyback program represents good use of company funds in the interest of (EADS) and its shareholders and it preserves, at the same time, our strategic flexibility and a sound balance sheet,” Enders said.

(EADS) has also begun moving to a single headquarters unit in Toulouse. A total of 116 positions from Paris and 75 positions from Munich were moved to the Toulouse location for the Airbus parent, as of April 1. When the headquarters reorganization is complete September 1, more than >500 positions (including the integrated functions of (EADS), Airbus (EDS) Human Resources (HR), Finance and a part of Shared Services, as well as other key steering functions) will be permanently located in Toulouse. The Group will retain about 250 service and support positions in Paris and more than >300 in Munich.

At the end of last year, (EADS) completed a major ownership restructuring agreement with France and Germany taking equal positions in (EADS).

Enders called the agreement a “key milestone to further integrating EADS.”

The new headquarters is scheduled to be fully operational by September.

French publishing house Lagardère has sold its entire stake in European aerospace giant (EADS). The company’s exit from (EADS) had been announced last year, but no precise time had been given for its withdrawal. It is in the process of divesting its shareholdings in non-core assets.

The sale of roughly 61 million shares, representing approximately 7.4% of (EADS)’ share capital, raised some €2.28 billion/$2.97 billion via a private placement. (EADS) was one of the buyers, paying around €500 million to buy back around 1.6% of its own shares.

The next major change in (EADS)’ share register will come when German car maker Daimler (DCY) sells its remaining 7.5% stake to the German government. This will pave the way for the aerospace group to have a larger free-market float with combined government stakes capped at 28%, "Reuters" said.

German car maker Daimler (DCY) has sold its last remaining 7.5% stake in (EADS) for about €2.2 billion/$2.9 billion.

Airbus (EDS) Americas appointed Jennifer Ogle as Director Human Resources (HR) for it Mobile, Alabama facility.

On April 8th, Airbus (EDS) started construction on its A320 family manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama, where it plans to begin assembling narrow bodies in 2015 for delivery starting in 2016.

It is (EDS)’s first USA-based production facility. Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said, “Building an A320 family assembly line in Mobile is truly groundbreaking for Airbus . . . With this assembly line, we will be able to meet our customers’ needs at their doorstep, in addition to the worldwide demand for these efficient airplanes. When this assembly line opens, we will be the only one to assemble airplanes in Asia, the Americas and Europe.”

Airbus (EDS) said that at full production, the Mobile facility will “produce up to four airplanes a month, which directly translates into employing as many as 1,000 high-skilled workers.” One of the first deliveries will be A320s for JetBlue Airways (JBL).

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a proposed airworthiness directive (AD) April 15 signaling approval of modifications for A380 wing rib feet aimed at solving the A380s’ wing cracking issue. The (AD) means airplanes being retrofitted with newly designed wing components will no longer be subject to a special regime of checks, completing a vital step towards ending a 16-month trauma surrounding the world’s largest jetliner.

From the first quarter of 2014, Airbus (EDS) will deliver A380s incorporating modified wing designs, removing the need for retrofitting planes in service or on the production line.

The discovery of cracks on some rib feet, or brackets, inside the wings disrupted schedules as parts were checked and replaced and caused substantial extra costs for Airbus parent, (EADS), but did not lead to the fleet being grounded.

Culminating a nine-year doubling of production capacity, Airbus’ A330 output rate has now reached 10 aircraft monthly – responding to this twin-engine jetliner’s continued popularity with airlines, cargo carriers, military services and VIP operators.

At the rate of 10 per month, A330 production is the highest ever for an Airbus wide body jetliner. Airbus’ policy of continuous improvement has introduced such enhancements as increases in maximum takeoff weight, systems upgrades and cabin modernisation across the A330 product line. As a result, the A330 is the most popular aircraft ever in its category.

Current production includes the A330-200 and A330-300 passenger versions, the A330-200F freighter, and the military Multi Role Tanker Transport – which is based on the A330-200 airframe, equipped for aerial refueling missions along with troop and cargo airlift.

At a total of 1,246 orders booked from 92 customers and over 960 deliveries made to date, more than three years of production is ensured at the current high output rate with an A330 backlog volume that today is above 280 aircraft.

The A330’s overall numbers are impressive: 1.1 billion-plus passengers carried during its operational career, with a takeoff or landing performed somewhere in the world every 25 seconds. Globally, the A330 fleet covers more than >8.8 million km daily – the equivalent of circling the world 222 times each 24 hours.

May 2013: (EADS) reported a first quarter net income of +€241 million/+$312.7 million, up 91% from +€126 million in the year-ago period. Profit for the period rose accordingly to +€243 million from +€128 million year-over-year, driven by strong commercial airplane numbers from Airbus (EDS).

During the first quarter, (EDS) received 410 net airplane orders, a significant increase from the same time period in 2012 when the company booked just 90 net orders. (EDS) delivered 144 airplanes, helping its revenue to increase by +16%. Airbus (EDS)' commercial airplane orders were boosted by Lion Air (MLI)'s $24 billion order for 234 A320 family airplanes in March.

(EADS)' overall revenue increased +9% year over year to $16 billion during the first quarter. The group is projecting 700 airplane orders and 600 airplane deliveries for Airbus (EDS) in 2013.

Airbus (EDS) and Dell have struck a deal to use Dell Latitude laptops as electronic flight bags (EFB) on A320 family airplanes. Under the partnership, Dell Latitude laptops will be loaded with (EDS)’ FlySmart software and connected to the airplanes’s avionics system. Dell will source, configure and support the devices, which will be available for both forward-fit and retrofit.

“This initial announcement will cover (EFB) Class-2 solutions for (EDS)’ single-aisle airplanes, though the agreement includes scope to extend application to other airplane types,” Dell Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) Solutions said in a statement. The devices will support electronic documentation, including manuals, weather information, navigation and airport charts.

Airbus (EDS) has inked (EFB) partnerships with Lufthansa Systems (DLH) (LHS) and Jeppesen.

Airbus (EDS), Air Canada (ACN) and BioFuelNet Canada have formed a partnership to assess Canadian solutions for the production of sustainable jet fuels.

Airbus (EDS) has rolled out the first painted A350 XWB (001) at its paint shop in Toulouse, France. (EDS) said the airplane painting was achieved in less than seven days and follows the recent completion of (001)’s flight-test-instrumentation verification.

Over the past few months, the airplane underwent installation of Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines and passed an intensive phase of ground vibration tests. (001) will soon start the final tests before its maiden flight this summer. Entry into service (EIS) is expected in the second half of 2014.


Airbus (EDS) plans for the A350-1000 to enter service in 2017, two years before the 777X. It has received 110 orders for the type globally, of which 36 are from the Asia-Pacific (Asiana Airlines (AAR) has ordered 10, and Cathay Pacific (CAT) 26).

Asiana (AAR) is scheduled to receive one A350-1000 in 2018, while Cathay (CAT) should receive six. All 36 A350-1000s the pair have ordered should be delivered by 2021.

Rolls-Royce (RRC) has won an order from USA leasing company CIT Aerospace (TCI) for (Trent XWB) engines to power 10 A350 XWB airplanes, and (Trent 700) engines to power 13 A330 airplanes. The Trent XWB engines are for the 10 A350s (CIT) ordered in January, which were in addition to five A350 XWB airplanes already on order. Specifically designed for the A350, more than >1,200 (Trent XWB)s have already been sold.

There are 103 A380s in service as of early May 2013. Emirates (EAD) has 33 and Singapore Airlines (SIA) has 19, so when assessing network scheduling, these two and their hubs predominate: of the 1,048 weekly A380 flights, 402 are from (EAD) alone. Dubai and Singapore airport see the most A380 flights.

But there are some less predictable statistics. The airport to see the most A380 operators is Hong Kong, followed by Paris and Los Angeles. The largest A380 destination that is not (yet) an A380-hub is London Heathrow. The UK and USA are the most common A380 destinations after Australia, Singapore and the (UAE). Asia, not the Middle East, sees the most A380 flights; South America sees none. Guangzhou - Shanghai Pudong is the shortest A380 route at 1,202 km, while Los Angeles - Melbourne is the longest at 12,751 km. Qantas (QAN) and Lufthansa (DLH) have the highest average sector length, while Thai Airways (TII) is placing the most number of cycles (about two) on its airplanes per day. (QAN) and AirFrance (AFA) are placing the least (just over one).

In the next decade, the region's early adopters of the 777-300ER such as Japan Airlines (JAL), All Nippon Airways (ANA), Eva Air (EVA) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be looking at replacement options.

The replacement market alone for 777-300ERs in the Asia-Pacific is likely to amount to 250 - 300 airplanes. Given the region's strong traffic growth, the total Asia-Pacific market for the 777X and A350-1000 could come up to over >300 airplanes.

June 2013: Airbus (EDS) has confirmed that British Airways (BAB)'s first A380 will be displayed during the Paris air show which begins on June 17th.

The Airbus A350 XWB first flight test airplane, (001), took to the skies above the Paris Air Show, exactly one week after the airplane’s maiden flight.

Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) has appointed Sébastien Remy as Head of Innovation Works in Munich, effective June 1. In his new role, he will lead the Group’s network of research centers with more than >800 employees world wide. Remy will report directly to (EADS) Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Jean Botti.

Rolls-Royce (RRC)’s (Trent XWB) engines ran for the first time on the Airbus A350 (EDS) XWB (001) as part of preparations for the airplane’s maiden flight. The airplane, (001), was rolled out from (EDS)’ paint shop in Toulouse, in May. Combined with the A350 XWB’s lightweight structure and advanced aerodynamics, the (RRC) engines will help cut fuel burn by -25% compared to previous generation competing long-range twins.

Scheduled for entry-into-service (EIS) in the second half of 2014, the A350 XWB has logged 616 firm orders from 34 customers.

Airbus (EDS) has scheduled the first flight of its A350 XWB airplane for Friday, June 14th from Toulouse-Blagnac airport. Flight test teams are currently performing their last pre-flight tests, following the first power up of the A350 XWB's Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines.

The A350 XWB family will have three variants, with seating between 270 and 350 passengers. Entry into service (EIS) is scheduled for the second half of 2014 with launch customer Qatar Airways (QTA).

At the Paris Air Show, (ILFC) (ILF) exercised options for an additional 50 Airbus A320neo family airplanes, bringing its total A320neo orders to 150.

Easyjet (EZY) has entered a preliminary agreement with Airbus (EDS) to acquire up to 200 A320NEOs and 35 A320s. The deal is still subject to shareholder approval and is likely to hit some very public opposition from founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who has opposed further expansion of the airline. The agreement is a major blow for Bombardier (BMB), which had been pitching a 160-seat version of its CS 300 against Boeing (TBC) and Airbus (EDS) narrow bodies.

Once shareholders approve the agreement, (EZY) plans to place a firm order for 100 A320NEOs, plus 100 options. The 35 A320s are options that are converted from a previous deal. The current-generation airplanes are to be delivered between 2015 and 2017. (EZY) plans to take on the A320NEOs between 2017 and 2022. (EZY) has not yet made an engine selection.

(EZY) says it is planning for a fleet of 276 airplanes in 2022, but the availability of options and a flexible retirement schedule for the existing fleet opens up a range of fleet sizes from 165 to 298 airplanes. Currently, (EZY) plans to use 85 of the 135 proposed firm orders to replace ageing airplanes.

(EZY) says the A320NEOs offer an 11 - 12% cost-per-seat advantage over the existing A319s.

(EZY) (CEO), Carolyn McCall says the discounts on the list price are greater for the A320NEOs than they were for the last major Airbus A320 orders. Because of its revenue growth, (EZY) also plans to spend a smaller part of revenues on fleet renewal. (EZY)’s fleet investment was equivalent to 18% of revenues in the 2005 - 2012 period, but that will go down to 10 - 12% in 2018 - 2022.

The (EZY) order follows similarly sized deals for Norwegian (NWG) and Ryanair (RYR) and is likely to be followed by an expected (RYR) agreement for Boeing 737 MAX airplanes later this year. The massive commitments to further growth raise the question of whether overcapacity is building up in the European direct services market, and will likely lead to more competition between low cost carriers (LCC)s. The deals will probably result in more (LCC) traffic on trunk routes that have so far been the domain of legacy airlines.

(EZY) had considered the A320NEO, the Boeing 737 MAX and the CS 300. Bombardier (BMB) announced a 160-seat version of the CS 300 earlier this year, and has noted that it might a further stretch of the airplane some time in the future. (EZY) would have had to go for a split fleet if it had opted for the CS 300, because it would have also required a larger airplane. The commitment to the A320NEO raises the seat count for what will be the airline’s baseline airplane from 156 (A319) to 180 seats.

United Airlines (UAL) has ordered 10 Airbus A350-1000s and has converted an existing order for 25 A350-900s into A350-1000s, giving the airline a total order of 35 airplanes.


July 2013: Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) announced it will re-brand in 2014 to the Airbus Group, which will consist of three divisions: Airbus (commercial airplanes), Airbus Defense & Space, and Airbus Helicopters. The changes will be implemented beginning January 1 and will be completed in the 2014 second quarter. (EDS) reports strong 2nd quarter and first half sales figures.

Following securing majority shareholder backing for its fleet plans, easyJet (EZY) has firmed up the purchase of 135 Airbus A320 family airplanes (100 A320neos and 35 A320ceos). The initial agreement was announced earlier in June.

Airbus (EDS)' June 2013 orders and deliveries report shows that United Airlines (UAL) cancelled 7 A319s and 5 A320s, leaving it with 16 A319s and 14 A320s remaining on order. (UAL) has one of the oldest orders in Airbus (EDS)' backlog, having last ordered A320-family airplanes in May 2001. (UAL) took delivery of A320-family airplanes at a steady pace beginning in November 1993, but deliveries ended abruptly in October 2002.

Airbus (EDS)' report shows another decline in the backlog for the A330-200F. Airplane lessor, Intrepid Aviation (INL) switched an A330-200F to an A330-300, bringing its A330-200F backlog down to five. Total A330-200F orders now stand at 45 with 22 delivered.

Airbus (EDS) is pushing airlines to view its A380 superjumbo as a high-density workhorse rather than a luxury flagship as it targets orders from mass-market carriers in countries such as China, Japan and Indonesia. (EDS) has begun pitching the double-decker as carrying 558 people, +33 more than the average stated for the past six years, and could add a further +30 berths by introducing 11-abreast seating in coach class. It’s also exploring ways of making the setup more responsive to seasonal variations in traffic.

“We’re working to optimize the A380, and that means giving airlines some ideas to move the capacity up,” Keith Stonestreet, the A380’s Marketing Director, said. Most early buyers splashed out on space and comfort, pigeonholing the jet as a high-end option and thwarting Airbus (EDS)’s original vision for hundreds of A380s flying between major hubs. Top European carriers British Airways (BAB) and AirFrance (AFA) have ordered only a dozen planes apiece, while stocking up on smaller wide bodies for point-to-point flying, and likely customers including Garuda Indonesia (GIA) have yet to sign up.

Airbus (EDS) is asking prospective buyers to consider adding an extra seat per row on the A380’s main deck in coach class, as well as other denser layouts that would cut unit costs and lift margins, Stonestreet said. Such configurations could work best on intra-Asian routes, trips between the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, and on flights serving the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage.

“The backlog for these planes is short and patchy,” said Nick Cunningham, an analyst at Agency Partners in London. “It’s a big enough market to stay in business, but to do that, they have to hunt for other niches like super-high-density versions.”

Among the nine carriers flying A380s, just one, Lufthansa (DLH), offers a capacity matching the 525-seat average stated by Airbus (EDS) on its website for a three-class layout. A single future operator, Air Austral (AUX), which serves the Indian Ocean holiday island of Reunion, has specified a single-class design in its order for two A380s seating 840. The A380 is certified for a maximum passenger count of 853.

Airlines have instead favored layouts that highlight the roominess of a plane measuring 238 feet/73 meters long and 21 1/2 feet wide on its main deck.

Korean Air Lines (KAL) provides the lowest-density seating, with its superjumbos carrying only 407 people. Some 13 berths were sacrificed to make room for a walk-in duty-free shop. Even Emirates (EAD), the biggest international carrier and the No 1 A380 buyer with 35 in its fleet and 55 more on order, has capped capacity at 517 seats for jets plying medium-haul routes, up from 489 seats for the first, longer-range planes ordered.

Singapore Airlines (SIA), the first A380 operator in 2007, has 409 seats in some planes and 471 in others, with British Airways (BAB), Qantas Airways (QAN) and Malaysian Airline System (MAS) also opting for layouts accommodating fewer than <500 people.

While that decision has created a buzz around the A380, with carriers reporting that passengers will change their travel plans just to sample the superjumbo experience, it has limited perceptions of the jet, and in turn curbed sales.

Since marketing began in 2000, the Airbus (EDS) flagship has won 262 orders, which should have been enough to make the plane profitable given a break-even point initially estimated at 250 sales, based on development expenses of about 12 billion euros.

Following program delays and compensation payments, those costs jumped to more than >18 billion euros, making it unlikely that the company will ever show a profit on the model. Airbus (EDS) is instead focused on breaking even in terms of per-airplane production costs by 2015, which requires about 30 A380s to be built annually, versus an initial target of 45.

Even that figure will prove tough to sustain, with 25 A380s due to be handed over this year and delivery slots still open for 2015 following orders for just four airplanes in 2012. The pace has picked up this year, though agreements with leasing company, Doric for 20 planes and Lufthansa (DLH) for two, still need to be signed.

Airbus (EDS) provides two-thirds of sales and often a similar share of earnings to owner, European Aeronautic, Defence & Space (EADS) Company. The parent company reports earnings on July 31.

While the four-engine A380 and Boeing (TBC)’s 747-8 (a stretch of the 40-year-old jumbo), are both struggling to match original sales forecasts, so-called “big twin” models, with two turbines, are racking up hundreds of commitments.

Airbus (EDS)’ long-range A350, set for first delivery in late 2014, has won 678 orders, with production due to reach 10 planes a month by 2018. The largest variant, the A350-1000, can seat 350 people (just 57 fewer than Korean Air (KAL)’s superjumbos) giving it the potential to cannibalize A380 sales.

Boeing (TBC)’s 787 Dreamliner, developed as an alternative to the superjumbo after the company concluded that future demand would favor a smaller wide-body suited to point-to-point flights, rather than hub-based networks, has accrued 930 orders.

While the order agreement with Doric (to which Airbus (EDS) has granted exclusive A380 leasing rights) may tease out operators intimidated by the capital costs of a $403 million plane, Hans Weber of Tecop International said there’s little likelihood of a surge in interest from prospective high-density operators. “I see no indication that demand on certain routes is getting bigger or that there are more routes coming up that look likely to fill such a plane,” said the consultant. “It’s a real dilemma.”

At Emirates (EAD), plans for a two-class, 604-seat version of the A380 have been dropped, and President Tim Clark says (EAD) won’t be taking Airbus (EDS) up on an 11-abreast layout in coach, even though the airplane would offer “stupendous” seat-mile costs. “For carriers that have very dense markets and maybe restricted on access slots, it will be a fantastic plane,” Clark said in an interview. “Our economy (Y) offering on the A380 is so popular, we didn’t really want to tamper with it.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Rothman in Toulouse at aerothman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net


August 2013: Airbus (EDS) and Russian state-run defense company Rostec announced a new partnership at the International Aviation & Space Salon (Maks)-2013 aimed at developing and commercializing sustainable aviation fuels from Russian feedstock. Under the agreement, the two companies will asses suitable feed stocks in Russia, with the goal of identifying several local sources of raw materials. The partnership marks the latest effort from Airbus (EDS) to establish sustainable aviation fuel value chains on every continent. So far, (EDS) has established similar partnerships in Latin America, Australia, the Middle East, and China. "The project will help us to improve the understanding of aviation Biofuels commercialization in Russia, identify the opportunities and challenges, and evaluate the possibility of social, economic, market and technology change and its cost, obstacles and challenges. We believe that the research will have positive effects on energy conservation, emissions reduction and climate change addressing in the Russian aviation sector," said General Director, RT-Biothekhprom, Sergey Kraevoj.

During the International Aviation & Space Salon (MAKS)-2013, Airbus (EDS) and S7 (SBR) Engineering, part of Engineering Holding, signed an agreement to develop long term maintenance partnership in the region. As part of this, S7 (SBR) Engineering, a leading maintenance & repair facility in Russia, will acquire Airbus (EDS) Training skills and standards to provide Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)-backed maintenance training capabilities for its personnel and for A320 Family operators in the region. Additionally, this partnership will leverage (EDS)’ latest technology training media and tailor the syllabus for the Russian environment and local language.

The scope of the agreement covers the following:

* Complete standardization of S7 (SBR) Engineering’s instructors and quality processes to enable their integration into (EDS)’ Maintenance Training organization exposure;
* Deployment of Airbus (EDS) Competence Training equipped with innovative digital tools, ensuring active learning in virtual airplane environment;
* Delivery of Airbus (EDS) type rating and specialized courses;
* Applying Airbus (EDS)’ optimized standards of course ware, curriculum and examinations.

Vladimir Perekrestov, General Director, Engineering Holding said “We are pleased to develop this partnership with Airbus (EDS). Engineering Holding’s companies have more than >50 years’ experience in airplane maintenance and repair. The company is increasing production and number of specialists annually. This partnership will allow us initially to acquire Airbus (EDS)’ standards and skills and later to conduct maintenance training for the company’s specialists and also for Russian airlines in their own language to Airbus (EDS)’ standards.”

Engineering Holding is the largest independent (MRO) provider in Russia and the (CIS) delivering maintenance services for the Western- and Russian-built airplanes. Its heavy maintenance facilities are located in Moscow, Mineralnye Vody, and Novosibirsk. The company’s Line Maintenance station network is constantly expanding and currently consists of stations in Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Vladivostok. The organization provides Line Maintenance services for more than >40 Russian airlines and more than >20 foreign operators.

By the end of July, Airbus (EDS)’ backlog reportedly broke industry records, with a total of 5,227 airplanes on order for delivery. Airbus (EDS) received 174 new bookings for July. The largest order came from easyJet (EZY)’s purchase of 135 A320 family airplanes (100 A320neos and 35 A320ceos). International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) (ILF) ordered 15 A321ceos, while (CIT) Aerospace (TCI) ordered five A321ceos and three A319ceos. Tunisia’s recently established Syphax Airlines (SYA) ordered three A320neos and three A320ceos; Nepal Airlines (RNA) firm-booked two A320ceos, each to be equipped with sharklet wingtip devices. SriLankan Airlines (LNK) ordered four wide body A350-900s, while Turkish Airlines (THY) ordered three A330-300s.

Airbus (EDS) delivered 52 airplanes to 51 separate customers in July: — three A319s, 32 A320s, seven A321s, nine A330s and one A380. Among them, British Airways (BAB) received the first of 12 A380s on order for delivery by 2016; American Airlines (AAL) received the first A319 to be delivered with sharklets; and Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) received an A330-300, reportedly Airbus (EDS)’ 1000th A330-series jetliner delivery. Lessors Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Financial Leasing and Ireland-based Avolon (AZV) each received three A320s during the month. Customers in the Asia-Pacific region led with 23 Airbus (EDS) deliveries, largely A320s; European customers received 14 deliveries, half of them A320s.

As of the end of July, Airbus (EDS) has delivered 347 airplanes to 79 customers during 2013. For year-to-date orders, (EDS) reports 932 gross bookings and 40 cancellations, resulting in a net order total of 892.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has granted Airbus (EDS) initial certification for its Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) technology for its A320ceo family airplanes. According to (EDS), this onboard cockpit technology “increases pilots (FC)’s situational awareness during landing, reduces exposure to runway excursion risk, and if necessary, provides active protection.”

In March, American Airlines (AAL) selected (ROPS) to equip its A320 family fleet. “This (EASA) certification is the next step in making (ROPS) available for line-fit and retrofit to other Airbus (EDS) models including very soon the A320ceo with sharklets, the A330 family, and also the A320neo,” (EDS) said.

(EASA) first approved (ROPS) for the A380 in October 2009 and to date is in service or ordered on most of the A380 fleet. (ROPS) is also part of the A350 XWB’s basic configuration.

Airbus (EDS) and (VSMPO)-(AVISMA) Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop an end-to-end strategic collaboration, which covers development, processing and recycling of titanium material utilized for all (EDS) airplane programs. The contract was signed at the (MAKS) Airshow in Moscow. “Within the scope of the agreement, (VSMPO)-(AVISMA) and Airbus (EDS) will jointly explore the development of new alloys and processes,” (EDS) said. The two companies have also agreed to engage Aerospace Dynamics to develop rough machining at (VSMPO)’s facilities.

Airbus (EDS) said the parties are analyzing different cooperation setups such as a corporate joint venture (JV).

September 2013: Airbus (EDS) is completing the first A320 family airplane to offer Wi-Fi and (GSM) telephone connectivity at the Airbus final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse, France. The A330 and A380 are already being outfitted from the production line with the company’s Airline Network Architecture for Internet access and mobile telephone services, which will also be fitted to the A350 XWB.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) on September 4th announced a firm order for 40 Airbus (EDS) passenger airplanes, a $5.6 billion order at current list prices. The order includes 30 current engine option (ceo) A321s and 10 A330-300s. (EDS) called the order a "strong return to Airbus" since Delta (DAL)'s last order with (EDS) was placed nearly 20 years ago. (DAL) currently has 158 Airbus airplanes in its commercial fleet.

Delta (DAL) will be the first carrier operating the 242-metric ton A330-300 variant, which has an additional 500 nautical miles of extra range and the ability to carry five metric tons more payload than the standard A330-300. Deliveries of the airplanes are scheduled for between 2015 and 2017.

Airbus (EDS) on September 4th announced a new agreement with China's Air Traffic Management Bureau (ATMB) to begin modernizing the nation's air traffic system. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) (CAC) authorized the new partnership, which calls for Airbus "ProSky" (the air traffic management (ATM) subsidiary of Airbus) to focus on launching four projects this year, including; air traffic flow management, airport collaborative decision making, implementation of Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) approaches at Chengdu Airport and Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) at Beijing Capital Airport.

The (CAAC) is looking to improve the air traffic management (ATM) practices of one of the most delayed air transportation systems in the world. According to flight data provider FlightStats, just 18% of flights from Beijing Capital Airport took off on time for the month of June, and the second most delayed airport in the same month was Shanghai.

According to the (CAAC), Chinese airlines handled 319 million passengers in 2012, a +9.2% rise from 2011. The (CAAC) attributed 26% of delays last year to air-traffic management (ATM), thus leading to the need for the new partnership with Airbus (EDS).

"The cooperation will help us draw on the experience of other regions to develop our future (ATM) systems, which will be more integrated with global systems," said Wang Liya, Director General of (CAAC) (ATMB).

According to the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), China is expected to lead the global increase in passenger demand on domestic routes through 2016 with an additional 193 million passengers projected to travel domestically on Chinese carriers over the next three years.

Hard on the heels of its memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help modernize China’s air traffic management (ATM) system, Airbus (EDS) has signed another (MOU) to extend its cooperation in aviation safety with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for a further five years.

Airbus (EDS) will display an Airbus ACJ319 at Russia's Business Jet Expo, allowing company executives, billionaires and government officials to see for themselves the widest and tallest cabin of any business jet. Operated by Tyrolean Jet Services of Austria for a private customer, as well as on (VVIP) charters, the ACJ319 features lounge areas at the front, a bedroom with ensuite bathroom in the middle, and additional seating at the back. It is certificated for up to 19 passengers.

Their modern designs make them best placed to deliver innovation, from the latest entertainment, such as high-definition TV, to the new operational enhancements, such as runway overrun prevention systems (ROPS), as well as investment value.

Airbus corporate jets also benefit from the robust reliability demanded by the world’s airlines, plus a global support network serving the needs of more than >500 customers and operators, including services tailored to the specific needs of corporate jet operators. SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-ACJ319 - 2013-09."

(EADS) plans to adjust its portfolio as it reorganizes defense and space activities into a single division, but is in no hurry to embark on fresh deals, the European aerospace group’s strategy chief said.
“There could be disposals and acquisitions as part of the move to a single defense-space division, but we have to give it time and let the new team establish itself,” Marwan Lahoud, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, told reporters. “After that we will announce a few things.”

(EADS), the parent of plane maker Airbus (EDS), announced in July it would combine its Defense & Space subsidiaries and rename the group after the Airbus plane making brand, starting from January 1. The restructuring is due to be completed by July 2014.

Last month, activist hedge fund (TCI) urged (EADS) to sell its stake in Dassault Aviation, the French maker of combat and business jets, saying the 4 billion euro/$5.3 billion holding was “a poor use of capital.” Industry sources have said a quick sale, which is subject to pre-emption rights by the French government, is unlikely.

Lahoud, who masterminded an attempt last year to merge with Britain’s (BAE) Systems to forge the world’s largest arms maker, said (EADS) still aimed to surpass USA rival Boeing (TBC) but acknowledged the focus would be on commercial aerospace. “Our aim is to be the number one in aerospace in the world. There is no point in pretending; the development and growth are on the civil side.”

Lahoud said testing for the latest Airbus (EDS) passenger jet, the A350, was going well. “There have been no new problems on the A350. The flight tests are going according to plan. We are getting on with the program and we are confident of meeting our goals for certification and first delivery.”

(EDS) aims to deliver the first of the long-distance mid-sized jets, designed to compete with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, in the second half of next year. Lahoud also said (EDS) was trying to finalize orders for the A380 superjumbo.

Apart from a recent leasing order, sales of the world’s largest airliner to airlines have been sluggish recently, with gaps of unsold jets looming in the production line for 2015. “Our goal is to get as many orders as deliveries in order to reach our goal of breakeven in 2015,” Lahoud said. “We have some sales campaigns under way and some strong prospects around the world and we will do everything we can to reach this target.”

Airbus (EDS) aims to deliver 15 A380s in 2013, down from 30 in 2012 as it slows production to allow for the switch to permanent wing modifications, following wing cracks two years ago. It has said it aims to have delivered a total of 150 A380s by the end of 2014, implying 28 deliveries next year if it reaches its target of 25 in 2013. By the end of 2012, Airbus (EDS) had delivered a total of 97 of the double-decker planes.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has now certified all six sharklet-equipped A320 variants. The A319, powered by the International Aero Engines (IAE) (V2500) turbofan, was the final version to win (EASA) approval. By enhancing the airplane’s aerodynamics, sharklets offer up to a -4% fuel burn reduction, cut emissions, add range and enable increased payload capability. They are now certified on A319, A320 and A321 variants with both (CFM) International (CFM56) and (IAE) (V2500) engines.

Airbus (EDS) delivered its first sharklet-equipped jetliner (an AirAsia (ASW) A320 fitted with (CFM56) engines) in December 2012. Since then, it has delivered more than >125 additional airplanes to more than >35 customers less than a year after their initial delivery.

The first sharklet-equipped A319, a (CFM56) variant, was delivered to American Airlines (AAL) in July and the first A321 to Finnair (FIN) this month. Sharklets are an option on (EDS)’ new-build A320ceo variants, and will be standard on the A320neo family of airplanes.

The Airbus A320 family Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Tianjin, China (FALC) has delivered its 143th airplane since its first delivery in June 2009 to Sichuan Airlines (SIC).

The Supervisory board of Lufthansa (DLH), Airbus (EDS)’ biggest airline customer and operator, has decided to expand and modernize its long-haul fleet with a commitment for up to 55 A350-900 airplanes (25 firm and 30 options). (DLH) also has the flexibility to convert some of the order to the larger A350-1000.

This landmark A350 order comes just six months after (DLH) made the strategic decision to become an all-Airbus (EDS) operator for its single-aisle fleet. So far in 2013, (EDS) has won more firm orders from (DLH) (125) in a single year than ever before. Taking all commitments (firm and options) into account, the figure rises to 232 airplanes (one more than the 231 (EDS) airplanes currently in operation with (DLH)).

"The A350 XWB suits (DLH)’s entire network regarding size and range, and will be key to modernizing our fleet, while significantly reducing operational costs and our environmental footprint,” said Nico Buchholz, Executive VP, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management. “These quiet and fuel-efficient airplanes will fit nicely into our existing (EDS) fleet, and our passengers will be able to enjoy seamless service and comfort levels throughout our entire product range.”

(DLH)’s decision underpins the Group’s status as Airbus (EDS)’ largest airline customer and operator, with to date 535 airplanes ordered and 397 currently in operation within the Group. The latter include: 282 A320 Family, 42 A330s, 63 A340s, and 10 A380s. (DLH) has recently announced an order for 100 A320 Family airplanes to switch its Single-Aisle Fleet in the 150 - 230 size category entirely to Airbus (EDS).

Lufthansa (DLH) has selected (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines worth $1.5 billion, including TotalCare® service support, to power 25/30 orders A350-900 airplanes. The (Trent XWB) is the fastest-selling member of the (RRC) (Trent) engine family, with more than >1,400 ordered prior to its entry into service (EIS) next year.

The announcement continues a close relationship between (RRC) and (DLH). (DLH) has 60 (Trent)-powered Airbus A380s, A330s and A340s, either in service or on order. (RRC) is also a joint-venture (JV) partner with Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) in the N3 Engine Overhaul Services maintenance business.

The (Trent XWB), specifically designed for the A350 XWB, powered the first test flight of the A350 XWB at Toulouse on June 14 this year.

Airbus (EDS) began the first day of the Aviation Expo China 2013 securing commitments and orders from several Asia Pacific region carriers for up to 168 A320 family airplanes worth $15.3 billion based on current list prices.

The largest order came from Vietnam carrier, VietJetAir (VJE) signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for up to 92 A320 family airplanes, with a commitment of lease for eight additional A320s from third party leasing firms. (VJE)'s order includes 42 A320 new engine option (neo), 14 A320 current engine option (ceo), six A321ceo and purchase rights for 30 additional A320 family airplanes.

(BOC) Aviation (SIL), the Singapore-based airplane leasing subsidiary of Bank of China, signed a firm order to purchase 13 A320ceo and 12 A320neo airplanes. The order comes less than a year after (BOC) Aviation signed a purchase agreement for 50 A320 family airplanes.

Eastern Chinese carrier, Qingdao Airlines signed a firm order for 25 A320 family airplanes, including five A320ceos and 18 A320neos. Delivery of the new airplanes is scheduled to begin in 2016. Qingdao will begin operating in 2014 with a fleet of leased A320 airplanes.

Zhejiang Loong Airlines, another East Chinese carrier, signed a (MOU) for 20 A320 family airplanes, including 11 A320 ceo and nine A320neo. The airline will begin operating regional flights later this year, with plans to expand into international routes by 2016, according to Airbus (EDS).

The orders came a day after Airbus (EDS) increased its 20-year global market forecast, projecting the world's fleet of commercial airplanes would double by 2032, led by increased demand from Asia Pacific region carriers.

Airbus (EDS) will launch a new lower weight variant of its A330-300 twinjet, targeted for use on shorter-haul domestic and regional routes where greater capacity is needed. (EDS) announced the new variant at Aviation Expo China (Beijing Airshow) 2013, citing China as one of the most important markets for this type.

(EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said: “We are announcing the new A330-300 lower weight variant today in China because here we see strong pent-up demand for efficient and reliable wide-body airplanes connecting mega cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou.”

The new variant will seat up to around 400Y passengers in an 18-inch wide economy (Y) seating configuration, and will be optimized for sectors of up to 3,000 nm (compared to the longer-range 6,100 nm operational capability of existing A300-300s). In addition, the new variant will have a reduced operational weight of around 200 tonnes, reducing fuel burn and offering savings of up to 15% compared to current variants.

The A330-300 airplane will also feature technologies derived from A350 XWB and A380 programs, including cockpit functionalities such as dual head-up display (HUD) as well as the latest navigational systems. (EDS) said the cabins would also be future-proofed with slimline light-weight seats, high broadband Wi-Fi connectivity throughout, (HD) TV-enabled in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems, (LED) lighting and mood lighting.

October 2013: Airbus (EDS) booked 170 orders in September, exceeding the company’s 2013 sales target and bringing its total net orders for 2013 to 1,062, creating a backlog of almost 5,300 airplanes (nearly eight years of production).

Lufthansa (DLH) ordered 25 A350-900s, placing options for +30 more including the flexibility to convert some of those airplanes to the larger A350-1000. British Airways (BAB) ordered a second A350 XWB and contracted for 18 A350-1000s. Delta Air Lines (DAL) acquired 10 A330-300s and 30 A321ceo airplanes. The (IAG) and its subsidiary airline, Vueling (VUZ) ordered 30 A320ceo and 32 A320neo airplanes. Singapore-based lessor, (BOC) Aviation (SIL) ordered six A320ceo, four A320neo, seven A321ceo and eight A321neo airplanes.

(EDS) reported deliveries of 150 commercial airplanes during the third-quarter of 2013: 120 A320 family single-aisle airplanes, 24 A330s and six A380s.

Airbus (EDS)’s 150 deliveries represent an overall +21% increase in third-quarter deliveries for the company, compared to the year-ago quarter. While one less A380 was delivered in the 2013 third quarter, a -14.3% year-over-year drop, deliveries of A320 family airplanes rose +23.7% and A330s deliveries increased +20% year-over-year.

Of Airbus (EDS)’s third-quarter deliveries around the world, 64 airplanes went to the Asia-Pacific region, 38 went to Europe, 29 went to North America, 11 went to Latin America/Caribbean, and eight were delivered to Africa/Middle East (three to Africa, five to Middle East).

The A320 dominated deliveries with 83 airplanes, followed by 23 A321s. Six ultra-large A380s were delivered: two to Emirates (EAD), two to British Airways (BAB), and one each to AirFrance (AFA) and Korean Air (KAL).

Qantas (QAN) topped the list of overall Airbus (EDS) third-quarter recipients, taking delivery of seven A320s, four of which were destined for (QAN)’s low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary, Jetstar Japan (JJP). Two of the A320s were delivered to (QAN)’s Melbourne-based subsidiary, Jetstar (IMU); the remaining A320 went to Singapore-based Jetstar Asia (JSA).

Airbus (EDS)’s 83 delivered A320s went to 36 separate air carriers and lessors. In addition to (QAN)’s seven, Britain’s easyJet (EZY), India’s IndiGo (IGO), Dublin-based lessor, (SMBC) Aviation Capital and Brazil’s (TAM) (TPR) all received five of the single-aisle A320 airplanes.

Airbus (EDS) is expanding its presence in the Southeastern Asia market, announcing plans to add a second hangar to its joint venture airplane maintenance unit, Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.

The hangar will provide maintenance and overhaul of Airbus (EDS) single aisle airplanes, capable of handling three A320 family airplane maintenance checks simultaneously. Fabrice Bregier, (CEO) of (EDS) and Malaysian Prime Minister, Sri Najib Razak launched construction of the new hangar on October 2nd. “The announcements we are making today reflect the enormous potential we see for the aerospace industry in South East Asia,” Bregier said. "This is in line with our strategy to have a stronger footprint in international markets and develop our support services for operators of our airplanes nearer to their home bases."

Customers within the Asia Pacific region currently account for 36% of the Airbus (EDS) order backlog for civil airplanes. Airbus (EDS) said it believes the region is the "fastest growing market for new civil airplanes."

The VivaAerobus Group has signed a purchase agreement for 52 Airbus A320 Family airplanes (40 A320neo and 12 A320ceo), representing the biggest Airbus (EDS) airplane order by a single airline in Latin American history.

VivaAerobus (VVS), part-owned by (IAMSA), one of Mexico’s largest transportation companies, and Irelandia Aviation, a global low-cost-carrier (LCC) airline developer, will replace its entire fleet of 737-300s to become an all-Airbus (EDS) carrier by 2016. (VVS) has been a pioneer in Mexico’s ’Bus to Air’ model, which is an initiative to convert bus passengers to air travellers.

To date, more than >9,900 A320s have been ordered and almost 5,800 delivered to nearly 390 customers and operators. More than >500 Airbus airplanes are in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with more than >800 airplanes sold and a backlog of nearly 400 yet to be delivered. In the last 10 years, Airbus (EDS) has tripled its in-service fleet, while delivering more than >60 per cent of all airplanes operating in the region.

Airbus (EDS) is poised to review its A380 superjumbo after a slump in orders and has not ruled out shaving output of the world’s largest jetliner while waiting for the economy to come to its rescue. Despite aggressive marketing, sales of the 525-seat double-decker are running at idle as in tough times many airlines are focusing on narrower, lighter, two-engine models, including Airbus (EDS)’s own A350. SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-2013-10 - 100 A380-A/B/C/D."

November 2013: Airbus (EDS) parent, (EADS) has reported net income of +€1.2 billion/+$1.61 billion for the nine months to September 30, up +36% from +€880 million in the year-ago period.

Airbus (EDS) has formed a new joint agreement with Panasonic Avionics and Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) to retrofit all in-service A380s with broadband connectivity and mobile phone services. Under the agreement (the first of its kind for Airbus), Panasonic and (LTK) can begin retrofitting A380s with Panasonic's Global Communication Services system. The communications hardware allows passengers to access the Internet and send and receive phone calls or text messages.

"With this agreement we have made great progress with Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) towards providing this very important service to our airline customers and their passengers. We can now provide our broadband services on every airplane type, which has always been our goal," said David Bruner, VP Global Communications Services at Panasonic Avionics.

Lufthansa (DLH) has been confirmed as the launch customer for the A380 retrofit.

American Airlines (AAL) received its first A319 equipped with the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS), Airbus (EDS) said. (ROPS), an on board cockpit technology designed to increase situational awareness during landing, recently achieved certification from the (FAA) for the A320 family airplanes, including the A319, A320ceo (current engine option) and A321. The (ROPS) system computes minimum realistic in-flight landing and on-ground stopping distances and compares them to available landing distances in real time based on airplane weight and configuration.

The system has been flying on most of the worldwide A380 fleet since 2009, when it was first approved by the (EASA). In 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) advised the (FAA) to begin pursuing airplane and avionics manufacturers developing technology that would reduce runway excursions, which is the leading cause of commercial aviation accidents.

Airlines are able to reduce their insurance premiums for airplanes that are equipped with (ROPS) technology, Airbus (EDS) said.

"Certification by the global authorities of commercial aviation is a testament to their belief in this system and the multi-tiered benefit it will bring to our airline as well as the industry,” said John Hale, VP Flight Operations at (AAL).

Airbus (EDS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with (EGTS) International, a joint venture (JV) between Safran and Honeywell Aerospace (SGC), to develop an electric pushback and taxiing solution for the A320 family without using their main engines.
(EDS) will evaluate (EGTS) International’s Electric Green Taxiing System as a new option on the A320 family, referred to as "eTaxi." This option would allow the airplane to push back from the gate without a tug, taxi out to the runway and return to the gate after landing without operating the main engines.

According to Airbus (EDS), eTaxi will use the airplanes’s Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to power electric motors fitted to the main landing gear wheels. Pilots (FC) will be able to keep full control from the cockpit over their airplane’s speed and direction during taxi operations.

Airbus (EDS) said that per trip, the projected fuel savings and CO2 reductions would be approximately -4%, which will “contribute to significantly more efficient taxiing operations and save around two minutes of time on pushback.” It also said that taxiing-related carbon and nitrous oxide emissions would be cut by more than half.

Over the next few months, (EDS) said the partners will jointly develop and present a global commercial case and implementation plan to determine the feasibility of an electric taxiing solution for the A320 family. “Airbus and (EGTS) International are reinforcing their existing teams to finalize validation studies, define specifications and converge on market requirements for a fully tailored forward-fit and retrofit technological solution,” (EDS) said.

Airbus (EDS), Dusseldorf University, easyJet (EZY) and sensing technologies specialist, Nicarnica Aviation have flown an Airbus A340 toward an artificial ash cloud to test their (AVOID) sensor concept.

The (AVOID) system, which was created by Fred Prata of Nicarnica Aviation, is like a weather radar for ash. Airplane-mounted infrared sensors detect ash concentrations from up to 100 km away, relaying images to the cockpit and airline operations department, so pilots (FC) can adjust their flight path to avoid the ash. “On the ground, information from airplanes with (AVOID) technology would be used to build an accurate image of the volcanic ash cloud using real-time data. This could open up large areas of airspace that would otherwise be closed during a volcanic eruption, which would benefit passengers by minimizing disruption,” the research partners said.

During the exercise, which marked the final stage of (AVOID) testing, an A400M released a tonne of fine volcanic ash into the atmosphere over the Bay of Biscay simulating conditions of the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption. It was released at 9,000 - 11,000 ft, measuring 600 - 800 ft deep and 2.8 km in diameter.

An (AVOID) sensor-equipped A340-300 then flew toward the cloud to detect and estimate concentrations of volcanic ash in the atmosphere. The results were compared with measurements from within the cloud taken by a Diamond DA42 airplane. The partners said the (AVOID) sensors on the A340 identified and measured the ash concentration from distances of 60 km.

Airbus (EDS) Executive VP & Head of Engineering, Charles Champion said: “We are at the beginning of an invention which could become a useful solution for commercial aviation to prevent large-scale disruption from volcanic ash.” The ash used in the experiment was collected following the Eyjafjallajokull eruption, which closed large swathes of European airspace in April 2010. This caused the cancellation of 100,000 flights, costing the industry an estimated $2.6 billion.

Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson from the Institute of Earth Sciences warned that the risk of another Icelandic eruption remains high: “Considering the relatively long time since the last eruptions in two of Iceland‘s most active volcanoes, Hekla and Katla, both should be regarded as ready to erupt. It is not possible to predict when or where the next eruption will take place. What is certain is that it will happen.”

EasyJet (EZY), which flew the ash from Iceland to Toulouse, is planning to equip its fleet with the sensors. “This is a key step in the final journey of testing the technology and moving toward commercial certification. (EZY) will now work toward a non-integrated standalone system, which we aim to fit onto a number of our current fleet of airplanes by the end of 2014,” (EZY) Engineering Director, Ian Davies said.

The recently announced Airbus A330 Regional passenger jet will be powered by the (Trent 700 Regional), (RRC) announced. (RRC) confirmed the engine’s selection during a customer symposium in China, which will be a key market for the A330 Regional. Airbus (EDS) first announced the A330 Regional in September at the Beijing Airshow.

(RRC) designed the engine with reduced thrust specifically for regional operations, with the goal of saving operators $1 million per airplane as compared to competitor engines. "(Trent 700 Regional) engines will also incorporate the latest performance upgrades (an (EP2) package, available from 2015, will deliver a further +1% improvement, saving over 60,000 USA gallons of fuel per airplane per year," said Tom Palmer, Director Trent 700 Program at (RRC).

Kuwait Airways (KUW) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for 15 Airbus A320neo family airplanes and 10 A350-900s. The confirmation follows on from comments made in May by Kuwait Airways (KUW) Chairman, Sami al-Nasef, who said at the time (KUW) had “signed a letter of acceptance with Airbus (EDS)” to purchase 25 airplanes.

Kuwait Airways (KUW) currently operates three A320s, three A310s, five A300s and four A340s.

December 2013: China’s Zhejiang Loong Airlines has ordered 20 Airbus (EDS) planes of the A320 series, firming up a deal made in September. The carrier, which is based in Hangzhou, east China, had been given the green light for the transport of passengers, when it signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) at the 15th Aviation Expo China 2013 in Beijing.

Zhejiang Loong Airlines’ order concerns 11 A320ceo and nine A320neo airplanes. Zhejiang Loong Airlines “made its first commercial flight with a leased A320, thereby becoming a new Airbus user.” The carrier is “determined to contribute to the economic and social development of Zhejiang province, offering efficient transport services,” Airbus quoted company (CEO), Liu Qihong as saying. The airline plans to offer services within a range of four hours around Hangzhou.

January 2014: (EADS) has formally rebranded as the Airbus Group, retaining its Airbus commercial airplane identity and renaming its other two divisions as Airbus Defense & Space, and Airbus Helicopters.

This means the group’s Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military defense & Space activities have now been united under the Airbus Defense & Space division.

The Airbus Group is also planning to change its legal status, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, although its organizational structure and operations will remain the same. After the transition, it will be converted from a Naamloze vennootschap (NV) public company to a European company, or Societas Europaea (SE); however, the Airbus Group will continue to be legally registered in the Netherlands.

“We are a pioneer for European industrial integration. It is a logical step and high time that our multinational culture is also mirrored in our legal structure,” Airbus Group (CEO) Tom Enders said.

The legal name change is expected to be approved by Airbus Group’s shareholders during the company’s annual general meeting in May, but the change to SE status is not due to be approved until May 2015.

“These steps complement the transformation process of the group. In less than two years, the company has not only modernized its governance, broadened the shareholding structure and united the headquarters, but also thoroughly overhauled its company strategy and launched the integration of the defense and space businesses,” the Airbus Group said.

In 2012, the group generated €56.5 billion/$77.9 million in revenues, employing over >140,000 staff.

Airbus (EDS) has begun the latest stage in the A350 XWB development program with the arrival of the third development airplane, (003), in Bolivia for high-altitude testing.

(003) will perform a series of tests at the high altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba is around 8,300 feet above sea level, while La Paz is one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet.

Operations from such high-altitude runways are particularly demanding on airplane engines, auxiliary power units (APU) and associated systems. Airbus (EDS) said the trials will aim to demonstrate and validate the full functionality of engines, systems and materials under these extreme conditions, as well as assess overall airplane behavior.

A series of take-offs (including some with simulated engine failures) will be performed at both airfields to collect data on engine operating characteristics and validate the type’s take-off performance. Autopilot behavior will also be evaluated during automatic landings and go-arounds.

More than >800 flight hours have now been logged by development airplanes (001) and (003) in almost 200 test flights since (001) conducted the A350 XWB’s first flight on June 14 last year. (002), the first with a fully outfitted passenger cabin, rolled out this month - - SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-A350 XWB (002) - 2014-01" which is shown in "carbon" signature livery.

The type’s flight test campaign will eventually accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with a fleet of five airplanes. The flight test program will lead to the certification of the baseline A350-900 by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and (FAA) airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service (EIS) in the final quarter of this year.

In 2013, Airbus (EDS) booked 1,619 gross orders valued at $240.5 billion at list prices and delivered 626 airplanes, marking a record full-year performance. (EDS) also posted its highest ever year-end backlog at 5,559 airplanes, beating the 4,682 industry high it set last year. The 2013 backlog represents eight years of production, valued at $809 billion at list prices. “We clearly overachieved on our original targets,” Airbus President, Fabrice Brégier said. “We secured 1,690 gross orders and 1,503 net orders, both of which are industry records.”

Airbus (EDS) set the previous industry record for gross and net orders in 2011, when its year-end totals hit 1,608 and 1,419, respectively. The 2013 order breakdown comprised 377 A320ceos, 876 A320neos, 77 A330s, 239 A350 XWBs and 50 A380s, beating its 2011 high by 11 airplanes.

A number of undisclosed orders were included in the firm order total. These orders include a large number of 60 A319s, A320s and A321ceos and neos booked December 2, 40 A320ceos and neos booked December 2, one A320 corporate jet booked December 4, four A330-200s booked December 19, and 20 A320neos booked December 20.

However, (EDS) lost out to Boeing (TBC) on deliveries. (EDS) produced 626 airplanes, compared to (TBC), which delivered an industry high of 648 airplanes in 2013. The 626 Airbus (EDS) deliveries comprised 493 A320 family airplanes, 108 A330s, 25 A380s. This was up 6.5%, or 38 airplanes ahead of Airbus’ own record set in 2012.

Airbus (EDS), which is claiming 51% gross market share on airplanes above 100 seats in 2013, also announced a +2.6% price hike across its entire airplane range, effective January 1st.

Airbus (EDS) has removed five A350-800s and five A380s originally destined for India’s Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) from its order book, along with 12 A319/A320ceos that were for United Airlines (UAL).

Kingfisher (KFH) placed the order for the five A350-800s and five A380s at the June 2005 Paris Air Show, but as (KFH) is no longer operating, Airbus (EDS) decided to remove the airplanes from its backlog. “[KFH) Founder & Chairman] Vijay Mallya is still determined to sell his airline. He still has an air operator’s certificate (AOC). If he does sell the airline, we took the decision internally here that he probably doesn’t need A380s just right now, so we’re taking them out of the order book, along with the A350s,” Airbus (COO) Customers, John Leahy said. However, he added that (KFH) still has an active order for “some single aisles.”

Leahy also removed 12 (UAL) A319/A320ceos from the backlog. “We do have a cancellation here for (UAL), going way back to the old bankruptcy days; they had the right to cancel those airplanes,” he said.

Finally, he did not book 77 A320ceos that American Airlines (AAL) has committed to take on lease. “We took the very conservative approach,” Leahy said. “We are intending to sell them down to third parties. We decided to not put them in the order book this year. We’ll put them on in, as we find lessors to take those airplanes and lease them to (AAL).

Airbus booked 1,619 gross orders in 2013, valued at $240.5 billion.

February 2014: Airbus (EDS) and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) (CCC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in an effort to enable a sustainable growth in air transport. Both partners aim to develop a mutual understanding on new air traffic management (ATM) concepts and operations as defined in the (ICAO) Global Air Navigation Plan. Airbus and (COMAC) said they will share best practices and identify improvements required by current (ATM) technology roadmaps both on board the airplanes and on the ground to foster safer, more efficient and sustainable air traffic operations. The agreement was signed by Günter Butschek, Airbus Chief Operating Officer (COO) and He Dongfeng, President of COMAC (CCC).

According to Airbus (EDS), standardized and interoperable air traffic management (ATM) “will make flights more efficient. Passengers will enjoy shorter traveling time thanks to optimized take-off, landing and taxiing procedures while emissions will be significantly reduced. Lower levels of noise will also benefit people living near to airports.”

(COMAC) President, He Dongfeng said, “Environmental protection, airplane safety and a seamless cooperation between industry players are important factors in promoting a sustainable aviation industry. We will strengthen the cooperation with Airbus in areas like global interoperability, sustainability and airplane safety, deepen the understanding of the world’s latest concepts and operations, best practices and methodologies. Through collaboration, both companies will jointly contribute to the long-term sustainable development of the aviation industry.” As the scope of the cooperation expands, further projects will be launched.

Airbus (EDS) has announced plans to increase its stake in China’s Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center (HMC) to 25% from its current 20% shareholding.

(HMC), set up in late 2009, is a joint venture (JV) between Airbus China (20%), Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (50%), Hafei Aviation Industry (10%), AviChina Industry & Technology (10%) and Harbin Development Zone Infrastructure Development (10%).

Airbus (EDX) has decided to increase its stake in (HMC) (which manufactures elevators, parts and components for Airbus (EDS)’ single-aisle airplanes and the A350XWB, and increase the company’s manufacturing remit.

“Following the agreement, the (HMC) will increase the production of A320 rudders from 50% of the total production worldwide to 80%. The two parties will also work toward ensuring the ramp up of the A350 XWB work packages at the (HMC) and also commit to exploring other opportunities.” Airbus (COO), Gunter Butschek said the deal underlines Airbus’ commitment to the (JV).

Airbus Air Traffic Management (ATM) subsidiary, Airbus ProSky will set up a new office in Singapore in April to help support (ATM) modernization efforts in the Asia-Pacific region.

The decision to open the new regional office comes a year after Airbus ProSky signed a research collaboration agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to jointly develop a concept of operations for air traffic flow management (ATFM) based on collaborative decision making (CDM).

Airbus ProSky (CEO), Paul-Franck Bijou said: “Asia-Pacific is the world’s fastest-growing region for air travel. Opening a new office in Singapore is the next logical step toward fulfilling the commitment jointly started with (CAAS) and other air navigation services providers (ANSP)s for the modernization of air traffic management (ATM) in the region.”

Airbus ProSky has been involved in a number of projects in the Asia-Pacific region focused on enhancing air traffic capacity, increasing flight efficiency and improving access to airports.

In Australia, deployment of (ATFM) and (CDM) with local (ANSP) Airservices Australia in 2012 helped shave five minutes off flight times between Melbourne and Sydney (the world’s fifth busiest city pair) in combination with reduced airborne holding resulting in fuel burn reduction.

Airbus ProSky has also led performance-based navigation (PBN) projects in such locations as Kathmandu (Nepal), Kochi (India), and Bandung (Indonesia), and organized a number of workshops and seminars on the topic. (PBN) involves a change from sensor-based navigation (using navigation beacons, waypoints, etc.) to more cost-effective solutions based on actual operational requirements.

Airbus ProSky believes that, on a worldwide scale, modernizing (ATM) systems will generate significant environmental benefits such as saving up to 13 billion liters of fuel per year, cutting -29 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, and saving 4 million hours of delay.

Lessor Amedeo, newly rebranded from the former Doric Lease Corporation, finalized an order for 20 Airbus A380s at the Singapore Airshow. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the airplanes was placed during the Paris Air Show in June. List price value is $8.3 billion and the airplanes will be delivered at a rate of about five or six airplanes a year between 2016 and 2020.

Amedeo (CEO), Mark Lapidus said the lessor did not yet have an airline customer for any of the A380s (“it’s a speculative order,” he said) and an engine selection would be made at a later date.

Cabin configuration is expected to be a 573-seat, three-cabin layout with 11-abreast seating in the economy (Y) cabin.

“Airlines that have the A380 will be at an advantage because of the lower economics and the better customer product,” Lapidus said.

Lapidus said that the rebranding was done to more clearly distinguish Doric Lease Corporation from Doric. Amedeo, he said, has established $3.5 billion in equity funding.

Airbus (EDS) is showing an ACJ319 operated by Acropolis Aviation of the UK at the Abu Dhabi Air Expo, in what is the first display of this particular airplane in the Middle East. The airplane, which is offered for VVIP charters and seats up to 19 passengers in unequalled comfort and space, features an attractive cabin with lounges, a conference/dining area and a bedroom with ensuite bathroom.

It was completed by Airbus’ cabin-outfitting subsidiary, the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC). “In business aviation, it’s what you get inside that counts, and you can count on getting more of that in an Airbus corporate jet, because we deliver the widest and tallest cabin of any business jet,” commented Airbus (COO), Customers, John Leahy. “And we do it while fitting into the same ramp space as traditional business jets,” he adds.

They come with the fuel-capacity for intercontinental range, enhanced performance, and extras such as built-in airstairs for airport autonomy.

The Middle East is an important market for Airbus (it is where the company sold its first corporate jets) and is home to most of the widebody private jets in the world.

Today, more than >170 Airbus corporate jets have been bought by customers around the world, and they are flying on every continent, including Antarctica.

China Eastern Airlines (CEA) has ordered 70 Airbus A320neo airplanes, making the (CEA) the first Chinese airline to order the type. According to a filing released by (CEA) through the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the deal is worth $6.37 billion at current list prices.

The airplanes are scheduled to be delivered from 2018 to 2020 and will be operated on short- and medium-haul routes. The deal, which still needs Chinese government approval, would enhance the carrier’s competitiveness by increasing its capacity by about +12.7%.

Separately, (CEA) also said it signed a deal with Airbus (EDS) to sell back seven used A300-600s that would be phased out in 2014.

March 2014: Thai Airways International (TII) has signed up for Airbus (EDS)’s Smarter Fuel Efficiency (SFE) system. “(SFE) will serve the objective of efficiently monitoring fuel consumption and maximizing the [efficiency], utilization and reliability of our fleet,” Thai Executive VP Technical, Captain Montree Jumrieng said.

The (SFE) system is a result of a partnership between Airbus (EDS) and (IBM), and provides a tailored fleet data management system for commercial airlines. The agreement between (TII) and Airbus (EDS) will, after full development, provide a fully integrated solution capable of handling and interpreting ‘big data’ from the airline’s airplanes to optimize fuel usage across its whole fleet.

The deal will also see (TII) sign up for Airbus (EDS)’s Smarter Mobility solution to support Line Maintenance and Engineering activities using mobile troubleshooting and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) data.

A second initial 4D (i4D) trajectory flight trial has been conducted as part of a joint project by members of the European Union (EU) (funded Single European Sky (ATM) Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking (SJU). The first flight trial was in 2012. This second flight trial was conducted using Airbus (EDS)’ A320 flight-test airplane, (001), with a Honeywell (SGC) Flight Management System (FMS) on the outbound leg from Toulouse via Copenhagen to Stockholm, and a Thales (THL) (FMS) on the return journey.

Its goal was to demonstrate the technical and operational benefits of i4D in a live traffic environment, following the initial feasibility trial conducted in February 2012. Using the same airplane on the same test route, the 2012 trial was the world’s first flight using four-dimensional optimized and upgraded air traffic management (ATM) technology. The core objective of i4D is to ensure that airplane flight trajectories remain synchronized between air and ground throughout all aspects of flight to optimize the airplane trajectory in three dimensions plus time. This should result in safer and more efficient handling, and certainty of flight profiles. Airbus (EDS) said the flight trial “confirmed that i4D offers safety and environmental gains, with reductions in fuel costs, increased flight predictability and overall network efficiency.”

Controllers can clearly see on their screens expected ground and airborne trajectories, which allow them to resolve discrepancies and anticipate flight paths with greater precision. Similarly, airplanes can better manage their speed profile, resulting in fuel savings and an environmentally optimized flight profile. The sharing of trajectory also means that airplane sequences can be more efficiently managed and delivered into Terminal Manoeuvering Areas (TMA)s.

The (SJU) said the flight “proves that the [i4D] technology, systems and procedures are ready for large-scale demonstrations and therefore one step closer to deployment.” If the validation process is a success, i4D should be implemented by the entire European aviation industry around 2018.

(SJU) members involved in the trial were Thales (THL), (NORACON) (a consortium of eight European (ANSP)s:- Austro Control (Austria), Avinor (Norway), (EANS) (Estonia), Finavia (Finland), (IAA) (Ireland), (ISAVIA) (Iceland), (LFV) (Sweden) and Naviair (Denmark), the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC), Indra, Eurocontrol, Honeywell (SGC), and Airbus (EDS). One of Airbus (EDS)’ key roles has been to test the upgraded (FMS) and communication systems with each other and to integrate them into the real airplane architecture.

Airbus (EDS) is looking closely at creating an 11-abreast configuration in the A380. While (EDS) declines to comment on the appearance of any such arrangement, its is understood that a mock-up of the new cabin will be on display at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, in April.

An 11-abreast fit-out was discussed by (EDS) at February’s Singapore air show. “It’s being studied and I believe it’s being discussed with customers, but I don’t believe anything has been finalized.”
Slotting in an extra seat on the lower deck would enable the ultra-large airplane to accommodate an extra +35 to +40 passengers, creating an improvement in revenue for operators.

Airbus (EDS) has made much in the past of the spaciousness of the A380’s cabin and the airplane’s economy (Y) class seats are currently 19 inches wide. (EDS) has also been running an extensive advertising campaign arguing that the minimum acceptable seat width for long-haul flights is 18 inches, contrasting this to Boeing (TBC)’s offering of 17 inches.

If the 11-abreast configuration goes ahead, economy (Y) class seats would be 18 inches wide. “That’s the important thing. We are not compromising [on comfort].”

The extra seat would be accommodated through several ‘tweaks’ to the internal arrangements, the most significant of which would be raising the cabin floor by around two inches/50 mm to align the widest part of the seats with the widest point of the fuselage. It is understood that this would be a relatively simple structural alteration.

The new arrangement would require a 3-5-3 configuration, although some A380 operators (notably Emirates, the largest operator of the type) have gone on record about its concerns on the feasibility of filling the middle seat in a central bank of five.

China signed a new 10-year accord allowing Airbus (EDS) to assemble A320 planes on its soil until 2025 and unblocked orders for larger jets worth more than >US$6 billion, restoring ties after a row with Europe over airplane emissions (EU ETS).

The A330 orders that got the go-ahead had been suspended during a trade row triggered by China's opposition to a European Union (EU) scheme forcing airlines to join an emissions mechanism that China feared could harm its carriers.

Airbus (EDS) said China had agreed to buy a total of 70 airplanes including 43 A320-family airplanes and had gone ahead with previously frozen orders for 27 Airbus A330 airplanes (deals worth a combined US$10.2 billion at catalog prices).

But it failed to make headway in efforts to expand sales of its most popular wide-body airplane by offering a new version of its A330, specially tailored for China's domestic market. Airbus is prepared to open a second industrial plant for this project.

Airbus opened its first non-European airplane assembly plant in the port city of Tianjin in 2009 and has been negotiating for months to extend the local production venture beyond 2016.

The factory and land have capacity to increase to 8 airplanes a month and could play a major role as Airbus (EDS), and its larger USA rival Boeing (TBC), increase production to keep up with demand. For the time being, production will remain at 4 a month, Airbus (EDS) head, Fabrice Bregier told "Reuters."

China is the world's fastest-growing aviation market, despite a slowdown in its economy, with a surge in outbound travelers fuelling the expansion. But deals announced during the French phase of Xi's first presidential visit to Europe fell short of expectations that China would back the new regional model of Airbus A330 and sign a total of 150 jet orders worth as much as US$20 billion.

"The extension of the Tianjin agreement secures production of 1,000 A320 airplanes over 10 years and these will be the subject of future orders," Bregier told "Reuters." He reiterated there was a potential market for 200 of the new regional types of A330 offered for China's domestic market. Industry sources say Airbus (EDS) has been locked in a battle with Boeing (TBC) for that slice of the busy domestic market.

Bregier said Airbus hoped to make progress within a year on discussions over a possible cabin completion center for the A330 which is expected to be placed in Tianjin, alongside the existing A320 assembly plant.

April 2014: UK air navigation services provider (NATS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) air traffic management (ATM) subsidiary, Airbus ProSky to develop joint market propositions for increasing capacity and improving the efficiency of the air traffic system.

(NATS) (CEO), Richard Deakin said that collaboration “is absolutely key to our future growth.” Improving airport resilience in adverse weather, including low visibility, thunderstorms and high headwinds, is expected to be an early priority for collaboration. “Adverse weather is a major issue for our airline and airport customers. It is the single biggest cause of delay and together we want to offer a package of solutions that could radically improve resilience,” Deakin said.

(NATS) already plans to introduce time-based separation at London’s Heathrow (LHR) Airport next year in a move that will halve delays due to high headwinds. Together with Airbus ProSky, it now intends to target ways to improve capacity during low visibility. That work is expected to center on enhancements to airport technology and low visibility procedures, delivering solutions that can benefit airlines and airports around the world. Other cooperation areas include air traffic flow management and airspace design.

Airbus ProSky (CEO), Paul-Franck Bijou said: “This partnership will truly bring a new and unique approach to the industry. We are already actively working on some advanced concept of operations and we are looking forward to bringing new solutions to our customers worldwide.”

Delta Air Lines (DAL) has released a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 50 wide body airplanes to Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC). (DAL) will evaluate the Airbus A330-200 and A330-300, Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000, Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10 to replace some or all of its Boeing 747-400s and Boeing 767-300ERs, according to an employee newsletter on April 1st.

(DAL) currently operates 16 747-400s and 74 767-300s. With an average age of 21 years and 20 years, respectively, the types are among the oldest in its wide body fleet. “This wide body airplane initiative continues (DAL)'s disciplined approach to fleet renewal, as we evaluate new airplanes to replace a portion of our wide body fleet," said Nat Pieper, VP Fleet Strategy & Transactions at (DAL), in the newsletter. “The airplanes under consideration will enable (DAL) to optimize capacity with market demand by matching the right airplanes with the right market.”

(DAL) is also understood to be considering a potential re-engined A330-300 if Airbus (EDS) decides to go forward with the program, various analysts have said. (DAL) anticipates making a decision and placing an order in the second half of 2014.

Transaero Airlines (TRX), which has unveiled the layout of its new fleet of four Airbus A380s, will be equipped with the highest number of seats (652) compared to other operators of the type. Each A380 will have a three-class configuration (imperial (12F seats), business (24C seats) and economy (616Y), which will be placed in the lower and upper decks.

(TRX), which finalized the A380 order in 2012, is the A380 launch customer in Russia, the (CIS), and Eastern Europe. Deliveries are scheduled beginning in 2015. The A380s will be powered by Engine Alliance’s (GP7200) engines.

Currently, Lufthansa (DLH)’s A380 has the largest number of seats (526) comprising 8F in first class, 98C in business class on the upper deck and 420Y in economy class on the lower deck. AirFrance (AFA)’s A380 has 516-seats; in the future, the carrier said it will focus more on airplane sizes such as the A350 and Boeing 787s.

Emirates Airline (EAD), the largest A380 operator, offers 517 seats in a three-class layout. But (EAD) is working on a two-class configuration variant that will enable it to add more seats. (EAD) is considering a move to 11-abreast seating in economy (Y) class.

Thai Airways (TII)’s A380 is configured for 507 passengers, while China Southern (GUN)’s A380 offers 506 seats in a three-class configuration.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Singapore Airlines (SIA), Korean Air (KAL), Qantas (QAN), Asiana (AAR), and British Airways (BAB) have ordered a layout with less than <500 seats in different configurations.

Azul (AZL) announced it has ordered five Airbus A350-900s and six A330-200s to be leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILF).

(AZL) said it will use the airplanes to launch international flights by early 2015. Exact routes were not announced, but (AZL) said it will operate flights to the USA from São Paulo Campinas Airport. The A330s will begin delivery to (AZL) in 2015, while A350 deliveries are slated to start in 2017. All 11 Airbus (EDS) airplanes on order will be powered by Rolls-Royce (Trent 772B-60) & (TRENT XWB) engines.

The wide body order marks a major departure from the Brazilian domestic market, regional airplane-based business model Azul (AZL) has operated under since (AZL) launched in December 2008. Its current fleet is comprised entirely of regional airplanes, including 80 Embraer EMB-Jets and 56 ATR turboprops.

Azul (AZL) (CEO), David Neeleman said “Our customers have been asking for this, and now we look forward to providing them with our superior service on international flights, just as we have been doing today on our 880 daily domestic departures.”

May 2014: Airbus ProSky, (AENA), Thomas Cook (GUE)/(JMA), Novair (NOO) and Norwegian Airlines (NWG) have successfully flight tested a new (RNP AR) approach to Runway 21 in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

Since November 2012, in the scope of the (SESAR) Atlantic Interoperability Initiative (AIRE), Airbus Prosky and industry consortium comprising (AENA), Air Berlin (BER), Easy Jet (EZY) and Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) have worked with the Spanish Civil Aviation Authorities (DGAC), to design new procedures at La Palma and Lanzarote airports. The objective of the project has been to implement environmentally friendly approaches that result in track-mile savings, reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Additionally, this project allows the replacement of Lanzarote Runway 21 circle to land procedure by a fully managed and stabilized approach.

In close coordination with local Air Traffic Control (ATC), the first (RNP AR) flight trial was performed by consortium operator Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) on Runway 21 of Lanzarote Airport. According to a (GUE)/(JMA) captain (FC), “[The trial] was just like the simulator; very accurate track keeping.” A captain from Novair (NOO), performing the trial in an Airbus A321 said: “There was 20-30 kts crosswind, but the flight guidance took the A321 very accurately to 50 ft over the threshold as expected. It was a normal operation."

An air traffic controller from the approach center in the Canarias commented: “I watched directly on the radar screen and the descent was perfect, continuous, without steps until touchdown. It was great! Air traffic controllers are really amazed when they experience their first live trial, seeing the final curved leg, the accuracy overflying the line, the low level of communications needed, etc. Congratulations.”

Paul-Franck Bijou, (CEO) of Airbus Prosky added: “The first flight trial was a full success, with (AENA) members and flight crew (FC) appreciating the approach as a major step towards Performance Based Navigation (PBN) in Spain, that provides higher accessibility and efficiency for Lanzarote airport, while being environmentally friendly and supporting flight safety, by providing highly stabilized approaches.”

Within the context of the "CANARIAS" project, a total 100 trials will be performed up until August 2014, in order to demonstrate daily improvements in airspace operations, airport access and noise emission reduction. The flight trials phase will ease the procedure publication by (AENA) and will pave the way for more (PBN) procedures to be published at various Spanish airports.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has contracted Airbus (EDS) Defense & Space to conduct a study into the feasibility of using so-called “passive radar” technology for air traffic management (ATM).

Unlike conventional radar, which uses a rotating antenna to send out radio pulses and detect pulses reflected back from airplanes, passive radar emits no radiation, but instead analyses radiation reflections from other emitters, such as radio and television stations, to detect objects.

By measuring the differences between the original broadcast signal and the signals reflected from airplanes in the air, it can determine the position of an airplane. Because passive radar relies on signals already in the air, it does not need to create additional emissions in populated areas, releases bandwidth for other uses, and addresses the problem of misleading echoes from wind farms.

Passive radar is expected to be more reliable and cost effective than current systems in use in civil airports, and may also help to free up spectrum that could be used for an upcoming "5G" network.

Airbus (EDS) Defense & Space started to develop the passive radar solution in 2006 and has already demonstrated a working system, which can detect ultra light airplanes many km away, with accuracies down to 20 m, as well as detect larger airplanes 200 km away.

The new Airbus (EDS) division is hopeful that the application of this technology, which was originally conceived for military use, could help reshape the way that air traffic is managed in the future.

Airbus (EDS) and (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines have completed a 10-hour flight from Amsterdam to Aruba with an A330-200 using sustainable jet fuel, the longest biofuel flight to date by an Airbus (EDS) airplane - - SEE PHOTO - - "EDS-2014-05-KLM A330-200 BIOFUEL FLIGHT."

According to (EDS), the A330 took off with a 20% blend of sustainable fuel made of used cooking oil, for a 10-hour flight from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba. The flight was the first of a series of around 20 long-haul commercial flights using an Airbus (EDS) airplane in the context of the European initiative called “Initiative Towards sustainable Kerosene for Aviation” (ITAKA), which aims to speed up the commercialization of aviation biofuels in Europe.

Funded by the European Union (EU), (ITAKA) is a collaborative project aiming to produce sustainable aviation fuel and to test its use in existing systems and normal flight operations in Europe with (KLM). The project will also link supply and demand by establishing relationships among feedstock growers and producers, biofuel producers, distributors and airlines.

London Heathrow (LHR) is the world's most popular airport for non-local airlines to send their A380 to, and its position will be further cemented as Etihad Airways (EHD) intends to operate two A380s from Abu Dhabi starting later in 2014. But when including local operators, it is Etihad's (EHD) rival up the "road" (Emirates and Dubai International) that offers the overall largest number of A380 movements. Dubai accounts for 21% of all global A380 movements in May 2014, owing to Emirates (EAD) and its position of having the largest A380 fleet. (LHR) sees only 8% of global A380 movements, but when excluding movements from local airlines, Dubai falls to eighth place. Los Angeles and Hong Kong are also popular A380 destinations.

There are 128 A380s in service as of May 7th 2014, with one third of them operated by Emirates (EAD)alone. While Airbus (EDS) continues to deliver about two A380s each month, in the past year, only British Airways (BAB) became a new A380 operator. The latter half of 2014 will be busier with four new A380 operators: Asiana (AAR), Etihad (EHD), Qatar (QTA), and likely Skymark (SKM). But after 2014, there are only three disclosed A380 operators, two of whom (Virgin Atlantic (VAA) and Air Austral (AUX)) are unlikely to take delivery of their A380s. 175 A380s remain to be delivered, over half of them to Emirates (EAD). That figure could change as airlines cancel A380s and Emirates (EAD) eyes yet another A380 order, potentially with new engines.

American Airlines (AAL) orders accounted for almost all the new sales logged by Airbus (EDS) in April. (AAL) acquired 71 of the 78 recorded sales (64 A320ceos and seven A319ceos). (AAL) is building an A320 family fleet that will eventually also include neo variants.

The remaining airplane types were a single A320ceo for an unnamed private customer and six A330-200s destined for the Republic of Singapore Air Force in Multi-Role Tanker Transport configuration.

The latest monthly figures mean that, up to the end of April, Airbus (EDS)’ net orders for 2014 totaled 142 airplanes. (EDS) delivered 52 airplanes in April (comprising 40 A320 family airplanes and 12 A330s) bringing 2014 deliveries to 193 total airplanes for 61 customers. April deliveries included an A330-200F for Synergy Aerospace, to be flown by OceanAir (ONE) of Brazil, a new operator of the mid-size freighter.

As of the end of April, Airbus (EDS) had an order backlog of 5,508 airplanes, compared to 4,973 at the same point last year.

Airbus (EDS) celebrated the 40th anniversary of the entry into service (EIS) of its first airplane (the A300B) operated by AirFrance (AFA) as the launch customer - - SEE PHOTO - - "EDS-2014-05-40TH YR A300B EIS." The A300B was the world’s first twin-engine wide body. Starting in 1974, 878 A300/A310 family airplanes have been manufactured. More than >400 of these airplanes are still in service with 65 customers.

China Southern Airlines (GUN) has signed a purchase agreement for 80 A320 family airplanes, comprising 30 A320ceos and 50 A320neos. The current list value is $7.3 billion. According to Airbus (EDS), the airplanes are slated for delivery from 2016 to 2020.

Airbus (EDS) has completed test flights of two A350 XWB airplanes on the same day, flying them side by side at one point, as the French manufacturer heads toward the entry-into-service (EIS) date for launch customer Qatar Airways (QTA) at the end of this year.

Airbus Senior Director, A350 Program Americas, Daniel Wenninger said the fifth test airplane, (005) will join the flight-test program very soon. “We are on track for certification in the third quarter this year and for customer delivery in the fourth quarter,” he said. (005) will be equipped with a full cabin.

(006), meanwhile, is on the final assembly line (FAL) and will be the first airplane to go to Qatar Airlines (QTA). Production rate will ramp from three a month this year to five a month in 2015 and 10 a month in 2017.

Wenninger said some 1,700 flight hours have been completed (about 70% of the program’s 2,500 flight-hour target).

Honeywell (SGC) is making the (HGT 1700) auxiliary power unit (APU) for the airplane, which is the largest (APU) (SGC) has produced. (SGC) has worked in close collaboration with Airbus (EDS) from the A350’s design concept phase, so that the (APU), which will drive the airplane’s environmental system, would meet the A350’s efficiency and comfort targets. Honeywell (SGC) developed its A350 Air System Integration Bench (AirSIB), so that the (APU) could be developed from the start as an integrated system that was de-risked. The AirSIB includes a full engine so that bleed air (required for (APU) operations) was accurately replicated in development and testing. This was the first time (SGC) has taken this approach to (APU) development.

Wenninger said (EDS) is still fully committed to the A350-800 version, even though it is selling far less well than the larger A350-1000 variant, with many airline customers switching A350-800 commitments for A350-1000s. “There is a lot of focus on the A350-1000 at the moment, but plans for the A350-800 remain absolutely unchanged,” he said.

Airbus (EDS) booked orders for 70 airplanes in May and delivered 55, taking its total backlog to 5,514 airplanes. The May orders included 37 A320neos for Singapore’s Tigerair (TGR), seven A320neos for Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) and 15 A321neos for Delta Air Lines (DAL).

(EDS) also booked three A320ceos for (BOC) Aviation (SIL), two A320ceos for easyJet (EZY), two A320ceos for Aviation Capital Group (CGP), two A319ceos for Z/C Aviation Partners, an A320ceo for Air New Zealand (ANZ), and an A321ceo for (AWAS) (AWW).

Taking cancellations into account, the net orders booked by Airbus (EDS) during the first five months of 2014 totaled 203. In May, (EDS) delivered 45 A320-family airplanes, six A330s and four A380s, taking its year-to-date delivery tally to 248.

Its 5,514 airplane backlog (comprising 4,256 A320 family airplanes, 254 A330s, 812 A350s and 192 A380s) is nearly +10% higher than the 4,928 airplanes that Airbus (EDS) had booked at the end of May 2013.

June 2014: Airbus (EDS) has contracted (DHL) to transport A319, A320 and A321 airplane components and general cargo from an Airbus (EDS) production site in Hamburg to Mobile, Alabama. (EDS) started construction last year on an A320 family manufacturing facility in Mobile, where it plans to begin assembling narrow bodies in 2015 for delivery starting in 2016. “(DHL) will provide a multimodal transport solution with air, ocean and road freight services beginning in 2015,” (DHL) said, adding, “The agreement between Airbus (EDS) and (DHL) comprises general cargo, which will be shipped via air and ocean, and major airplane components, including rear fuselage, forward fuselage, wings, and the vertical as well as horizontal tail plane.”

Emirates Airline (EAD) is canceling its order for 70 A350 XWB airplanes, Airbus (EDS) announced. The order of 50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s was originally placed in 2007 with first delivery slots scheduled from 2019.

Airbus (EDS) said the decision follows on-going discussions with (EAD) in light of its fleet requirement review. Emirates (EAD) ordered +50 additional A380s at the Dubai Air Show in November.

The A350, powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines, is scheduled to enter service with launch customer Qatar Airways (QTA) at the end of this year. Firm orders stand at 742 after the (EAD) cancellation, which will be logged in (EDS)’ June orders and deliveries book.

July 2014: The Airbus Group reported first-half 2014 net income of +€1.14 billion/+$1.53 billion, up +50% over a +€758 million net profit in the first six months of 2013, on a +6% rise in revenue to €27.2 billion.

The Airbus (EDS) commercial airplane unit posted a +7% year-over-year first-half revenue increase to €19.43 billion. Airbus commercial’s first-half (EBIT) was up +24% to €1.36 billion. Airbus (EDS)’ first-half commercial airplane order intake, however, was down -58.9% to 290 net commercial airplanes. The first-half commercial airplane order intake was down -74% by value to €22.88 billion.

Airbus (EDS) said it is not overly concerned about the drop in first-half orders, noting that it won commitments for 496 commercial airplanes worth more than >$75 billion over four days at the Farnborough Airshow, which took place in July and isn’t accounted for in the first-half order totals.

Airbus (EDS) said its main focus in the first half of the year was keeping its development programs moving forward. It noted the A350 XWB is “on track for certification in the third quarter.” All five A350 flight-test airplanes are now flying with more than >2,250 flight hours accumulated, Airbus (EDS) said. (EDS) added that the first A320neo is slated for first flight in September. The A320neo’s entry-into-service (EIS) is planned for the fourth quarter of 2015.

Two orders for undisclosed customers for 150 A320ceo and neo family airplanes was the highlight of Airbus (EDS)’ order activity in June, as (EDS) racked up 209 orders for its single-aisle family.

One of the unidentified buyers ordered 50 A321s (30 A321neos and 20 A321ceos), setting another example of the industry trend toward larger models. The remainder of the order comprised 16 A320neos, 10 A320ceos and four A319neos.

The second undisclosed purchaser opted for 70 A320neos.

These (together with further single-aisle orders from Qantas (QAN) (21 A320neo), Air New Zealand (ANZ) (10 A320neo and three A321neo), Aerospace International Group (AIG) (seven A321ceos and six A320ceos) and Synergy Aerospace (ONE) (12 A320ceos)) made up the single-aisle total.

With these transactions, total orders for the A320neo family reached 2,843 at the end of June.

Taking June’s orders, cancellations and conversions into account, Airbus (EDS)’ net bookings for 2014 had reached 290 airplanes. (EDS) did not make reference to the cancellation for 70 A350 XWB family airplanes by Emirates (EAD) early last month.

Deliveries in June totaled 55 airplanes, included 41 A320-family airplanes. Airbus also delivered 11 A330s and three A380s in June.

During the first six months of 2014, Airbus (EDS) delivered 303 jetliners to 70 customers, compared to 295 in the same period last year.

As of June 30, the overall backlog was 5,546 jetliners, comprising 4,372 A320 family airplanes, 243 A330s, 742 A350s and 189 A380s.

Airbus (EDS) has launched the A330-800neo and A330-900neo - - SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-A330-800neo A330-900neo-2014-07," it announced at the Farnborough Airshow. Deliveries are expected to begin deliveries by the end of 2017. The new type will incorporate the latest generation Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines.

Transaero Airlines (TRX) has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Airbus (EDS) to purchase 12 A330neos plus eight A330ceos.

The (LOI), announced at the Farnborough Airshow, brought the number of commitments for the A330neo to 121. Airbus (EDS) launched the re-engined A330 at Farnborough on July 14. (TRX) becomes the first European airline to commit to the A330neo.

“The A330s will allow Transaero (TRX) to continue the massive fleet modernization program and to boost its medium and long-haul domestic and international network,” Airbus (EDS) said.

Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said (EDS) had one its most successful air performances ever at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow, where it won commitments for 496 airplanes worth more than >$75 billion over four days. “This is the best Farnborough Airshow in Airbus (EDS) history and the third biggest [air show] ever if you include the Paris Air Show,” Brégier told reporters.

The week started with (EDS) launching the re-engined A330neo powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines. Airbus (COO) Customers, John Leahy noted (EDS) secured 121 commitments in four days for the A330neo worth $33.2 billion at list prices. “We think that’s really a record and it ought to be a record for any air show,” Leahy said.

Airbus (EDS) surpassed 3,000 firm orders for A320neo family airplanes during the show with commitments for 317 worth $34.4 billion at list prices.

Brégier said (EDS) is “getting closer to certification” on the A350 XWB. “We will be ready for delivery of the first A350-XWB by the end of this year,” he said. He noted (EDS) “always took a cautious” approach on the A350 to avoid the “turbulence” experienced on the A380 program. Brégier said Airbus (EDS) expects to be building 10 A350s per month by the end of 2018.

Hong Kong Aviation Capital (HKAC) has finalized an order for 70 Airbus A320neo family airplanes (40 A320neo and 30 A321neo) at the Farnborough Airshow. The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed at the Paris Air Show.

(HKAC) (CEO), Donal Boylan said the “green credentials of the neo is one of the key factors for us to choose the airplane and through reduced fuel burn and emissions. In addition, the A321neo will enable operators to deliver reduced operating cost per seat, and better compete where airport slots are restricted,” he added.

The Airbus A320neo (new engine option) Family has reached an important milestone during the Farnborough airshow, having cumulated more than >3,000 firm orders from 57 customers since its launch in December 2010. The milestone was reached when (SMBC) Aviation Capital ordered 110 A320neo, marking the latest vote confidence for the world’s leading Single Aisle airplane Family.

“We’ve given customers many reasons to prefer the A320neo Family and our customers have given us 3,000 reasons for making it the world’s favorite and fastest selling single aisle airplane by far. With -15% reduced fuel burn, an additional +500nm range and the widest most comfortable cabin in its category, the A320neo Family is the single aisle airplane of choice with 57 customers worldwide (twice as many as the competitor),” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers.

Earlier this month, the first A320neo rolled-out of Airbus (EDS) facilities following its painting and the mounting of its Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G-JM) engines.

Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) has promoted Avi Mannis to Senior VP Marketing. In his new role, he will continue to oversee (HWI)’s Brand Management, Advertising, Promotions, Direct Marketing, Online Experience, Product Development, Consumer Affairs, and Reservations departments.

Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) for six A330-800neo airplanes, which was launched at this month’s Farnborough Airshow. The new commitment replaces a previous order for six A350 XWB-800s, which were due for delivery from 2017. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the airplanes have a total list-price value of approximately $2.9 billion, if all of the purchase rights are exercised.

Hawaiian Airline (HWI)’s existing orders include an additional four new A330-200s for delivery by 2015 and 16 narrow body A321neo airplanes, scheduled for delivery starting in 2017.

SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-2014-08 - A350 UPDATE-A/B/C/D/E/F/G/H/I."

The Airbus A350-900 developmental airplane (005) visited Lufthansa (DLH)’s Frankfurt hub on July 25 - 26th, as part of a three-week global route proving tour. The A350-900 arrived from Iqaluit, Canada.

(DLH) and Airbus (EDS) tested all relevant processes and procedures with their system partners to make sustainable optimizations to the entire process chain (from arrival and handling through to departure) focusing on adjusting all workflows to (DLH) standards.

(DLH) has 25 A350-900s on order, which will be delivered from 2016.

According to Airbus (EDS), (005) is one of five A350 prototypes used to perform comprehensive flight test and development trials. (EDS) said the A350-900 must fly a representative airline schedule, demonstrating its maturity for airline operations. This route proving exercise is the last of the trials required for Type Certification, which is expected in September. The A350-900 will be operated by Airbus (EDS) flight crews (FC).

On July 28, (005) landed at Hong Kong International Airport and will carry out crucial hot and humid tests similar to normal airline operations in the region. The A350-900 will perform a series of high-frequency flights between Hong Kong and Singapore over three days before returning to Toulouse on July 31. The A350-900 will then depart for Johannesburg, South Africa, on August 2. It will visit Moscow and Finnair (FIN)’s Helsinki hub in mid-August.

The A350 World Tour began July 24 and involves a series of tests on four different trips. It will visit 14 airports around the world and will end August 13.

Korean Air (KAL) took delivery of its 10th A380, completing its order for 10.

August 2014: Airbus A350 XWB developmental airplane (005) is equipped with a fully functional two-class cabin with 42C seats in business class and 223Y in economy. Airbus (EDS) said its decision to offer a standard catalog cabin interior offering for the A350 is seeing a good take-up from within the industry. To date, “by far the majority” of operators from its lineup of 38 customers have accepted its standardized design approach, Airbus Head of Interiors Marketing, Zuzana Hrnkova said. Its range of pre-specified seats, interior fittings, luggage bins and fittings is designed to keep initial build costs down and supply lines as short as possible.

September 2014: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) is set to open a new training operation in Monterrey, Mexico, as local low-cost carrier (LCC), VivaAerobus (VVS) gears up to switch to the A320 family as it replaces its entire fleet of Boeing 737-300s.

Under a 10-year agreement, “Training By Airbus” will provide simulator training and courses for pilots (FC), maintenance (MT) personnel, flight operations engineers and cabin crews (CA) in Miami and Monterrey. This will include more than >25,000 flight training hours for approximately 750 pilots (FC).

Training for (VVS)’s pilots (FC) is already underway at the training center in Miami, Florida. However, by early 2016, they will start training at a new satellite site at Monterrey’s North International Airport, located on the campus of the University of Nuevo León.

This will be the second Airbus (EDS) Training Center in Mexico, housing an A320 simulator. In June, (EDS) announced it would open a training center in Mexico City by 2015.

News Item A-2: Airbus (EDS) is helping fund a project examining the potential for hydrogen fuel cells to replace (APU)s for generating power in the ground.

With the airline industry's commitment to halve 2005 CO2 emission levels by 2050, prompting (EDS) and others to accelerate the development of alternative jet fuels, (EDS) is now getting behind a project to examine the potential for using hydrogen fuel cells on commercial airliners (not to power the jet engines, but to replace the Auxiliary Power Units (APUs)).

Located in the tapered tail cone section of the rear fuselage in commercial jet airplanes, (APU)s are small gas turbine engines responsible for generating on-board electrical power and heat when the airplane is on the ground, as well as providing power to start the main engines.

With the goal of realizing emission-free and low-noise operation when the airplane is on the ground, Airbus (EDS) has teamed with South Africa's National Aerospace Center to jointly fund research to examine the potential for hydrogen fuel cells to replace (APU)s.

The three-year research project will be conducted by Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) Systems Competence Center at its research facility located at the University of the Western Cape in Capetown.

In addition to cutting emissions and noise on the ground, the use of fuel cells would also offer numerous other benefits. Being lighter than an (APU), and with the potential to also replace heavy batteries, they would reduce the weight of the airplane and therefore also the amount of fuel burned and emissions produced by the airplane, while in the air.

Additionally, with fuel cells producing water as a byproduct, they would allow the airplane to generate its own water supply. And with fuel cells having no moving parts, they would be easier and cheaper to maintain than fossil-fuel powered (APU)s.

With all their potential benefits, it's not surprising that this isn't the first time that (EDS) has dipped its toes in the hydrogen fuel cell waters. The company has already performed test flights with fuel cells used to power individual power systems and tested a fuel cell-powered nose wheel that allows autonomous and emission-free taxiing.

"Although fuel cell technology for land vehicles has rapidly matured," says HySA Systems Director, Professor Bruno G Pollet, "the new research with (EDS) and the National Aerospace Center is aimed at gaining an understanding of how hydrogen fuel cells could perform over an airplane's service life, while subjected to the harsh and rapidly changing climatic and environmental regimes, that commercial jetliners operate in."

News Item A-3: (Reuters) - Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) both topped 1,000 new jet orders in the first eight months of the year, but Boeing (TBC) is far ahead after adjusting for cancellations.

Boeing (TBC) also has delivered more planes this year than its European rival, hanging on to the title of world's largest plane maker.

The Airbus Group sold 21 airplanes in August, a traditionally quiet month following the busy Farnborough Airshow in July, bringing its total gross orders for the year to 1,001 airplanes, monthly data showed.

In contrast, (TBC) booked 107 orders in the same month, bringing total gross orders for the year to 1,004.

Adjusting for cancellations, Airbus (EDS) reported 722 net orders between January and August. That compares with 941 net orders for Boeing from January 1 to September 2, after accounting for 63 cancellations.

(EDS) said the total of 279 cancellations it has announced this year are boosted by conversions from one product to another, as airlines hop out of the current-generation A320 single-aisle family into the newer and more efficient A320neo.

It has argued (TBC) will face similar pressure to convert orders when its own revamped 737 MAX approaches delivery, but some analysts have expressed concerns about the underlying level of cancellations as investors remain sensitive to any signs of weakness in recently strong demand for passenger jets.

The A320neo is being readied for its first test flight with engines from Pratt & Whitney (PRW), expected in the second half of the month.

August's order figures included four more upgrades from the existing A320 to the A320neo from major single-aisle customer AirAsia (ASW), bringing the total number of A320 order conversions this year to 73.

Cancellations also reflect the loss of an order for 70 A350 wide body airplanes from Emirates airline (EAD) in June, though (EDS) is ahead of its net order guidance for the year.

The International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) meanwhile ordered eight A350-900 airplanes, exercising an option for its Spanish subsidiary Iberia (IBE) in August.

(EDS) has now reached 750 orders for its next generation of long-distance airplanes, designed to compete with (TBC)'s lightweight, carbon-composite 787 Dreamliner.

Separately, the head of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) told "Reuters" the A350 was on schedule to receive its safety certification by the end of September. It is due to enter service with Qatar Airways (QTA) by the end of the year.

In its latest update, (EDS) also said it had delivered 389 airplanes between January and August. (TBC) delivered 461 between January and August, including 13 787 Dreamliners, well above its target of 10 deliveries a month of the high-tech jet.

For the full year, (EDS) is targeting around the same number of deliveries as last year, when it delivered 626 passenger jets. It says net orders should exceed this.

(TBC) is targeting 715 - 725 deliveries in 2014.

The A320neo performed its first flight on September 25th as planned, marking off a key stage for the re-engined twinjet program. (MSN 6101), carrying tail number (F-WNEO), took off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport at 1200 local time and landed at 1422 after completing its two-and-a-half hour mission.

“For its first flight, the A320neo, powered by Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G-JM) engines, lifted off from Blagnac at around 60 tonnes. During the flight, which took the airplane around southern France, the crew explored the airplane’s flight envelope and systems operation, while the progress was monitored by experts on the ground in real-time via a direct telemetry link.”

Airbus experimental test pilots Philippe Pellerin and Etienne Miche de Malleray were at the controls, supported in the cockpit by flight test engineer Jean-Paul Lambert. Two other flight test engineers, Manfred Birnfeld and Sandra Bour-Schaeffer, monitored the progress of the flight profile.

(6101) entered production in March and was rolled out in July.

The maiden flight kicked off a 3,000-hour flight test program, which covers eight airplanes and both new engine options: the Pratt & Whitney (PW1100G-JM) and the (CFM) International (LEAP-1A).

Airbus (EDS) said the A320neo family will be able to deliver a -15% fuel burn saving from its entry into service (EIS) in the fourth quarter of 2015, increasing to -20% by 2020. This will be achieved through both cabin innovations and further engine enhancements.

To date, Airbus has 3,257 A320neo family airplanes on order, spanning 60 customers.

Watch a video of the live event here: http://www.airbus.com/live/

News Item A-4: Emirates Airline (EAD) President, Tim Clark is trying to persuade Airbus to launch a re-engined A380, pledging to place an order for at least 60 A380neo airplanes if the manufacturer were to move forward with the program in the next six months.

News Item A-5: Airbus (EDS)’ ACJ319 - - SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-ACJ319 - MJET - 2014-09" being exhibited at Jet Expo is currently operated by MJet, is offered for (VVIP) charter and offers operations for 19 passengers in a cabin that includes lounge areas plus a bedroom and ensuite bathroom. The (EDS) ACJ320 Family includes ACJ318, ACJ319, ACJA320 and ACJA321. Airbus (EDS) has sold over >170 corporate jets to date, and these airplanes are flying on every continent, highlighting their versatility.

News Item A-6: China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CSC) has signed a General Terms Agreement for the purchase of 70 Airbus (EDS) family airplanes. The deal reflects strong demand from Chinese carriers for Airbus' single-aisle family of airplanes for domestic, low cost regional and international operations.

News Item A-7: More than half a dozen current and former managers at Airbus (EDS) will face a criminal court hearing in Paris next month in a long-running insider trading case, the "Der Spiegel" magazine reported. The managers are alleged to have known about delays to the A380 superjumbo project, when they sold shares in former Airbus parent (EADS) in early 2006. The announcement of delays prompted a sharp fall in the (EADS) stock price.

All the accused parties have denied wrongdoing. The Paris court is due to begin hearing the case on October 3. "We are supporting our current and former management. They have all been cleared by the (French market regulator) (AMF) back in 2009, and we expect this to happen again," an Airbus (EDS) Group spokesman said. SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-2014-09 - JOHN LEAHY TRIAL-A/B" RE-INSIDER-TRADING CASE.

News Item A-8: Airbus (EDS) is looking to further expand its support operations across Asia, following the recent announcement of a new subsidiary to produce flight ops data in Thailand. “We continue to look at possibilities for developing our industrial and services footprint in Asia,” a company spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the new Thai data production center will be based at the company’s existing Airbus Group offices in downtown Bangkok and would recruit local staff “with proven experience in airline Flight Operations Data Management” to produce electronic flight ops and flight bag resources for Airbus (EDS) products.

Thai Airways (TII)’s recent downsizing plans, which include around -1,500 jobs cuts in the short-term and up to -6,000 layoffs over the next four years, should help supply Airbus with a ready pool of talent for any planned expansion of its capability in the country or region.

“We selected Thailand as it offers skilled talent in the aviation sector,” the spokesperson said, adding that the location of the new data team in one of the fastest-growing regions for its business would further “enable us to complement our existing services capability in the region.”

The new center will also see some +30 new recruits sent to Airbus (EDS) headquarters in Toulouse for start-up training prior to its launch in 2015. (EDS) said this will lead to the center becoming what it described as an “integral part of our [global] Flight Operations Services department.”

Airbus (EDS) also plans to tap into the rapid proliferation of new—especially (LCC) airlines starting up across the region with additional services, such as specific operator-based data customization services for operators.

Airbus Managing Director Flight Operations Services, Thailand, Benoît de Montety said the region “offers many opportunities for us to develop with highly motivated workforces keen to develop their footprint.”

Airbus (EDS) said the establishment of the new data center was made considerably easier through the support of the Thai government, with (EDS) receiving significant help from the Thai Board of Investment (BOI).

“We worked closely with (BOI) in setting up Airbus Flight Operations Services in Bangkok and had great support from them,” the Airbus spokesperson said.

News Item A-9: The Airbus (EDS) Group has struck a deal that will see (EDS) participate in the development of a small supersonic transport airplane. Airbus (EDS) Defense & Space will help USA start-up Aerion with design, manufacture and certification of its Mach 1.6 business jet, the AS2, aiming for availability of the $100 million-plus airplanes in 2021.

Reno, Nevada-based Aerion says the Engineering collaboration with Airbus (EDS) “marks a huge leap forward to being a program that will result in an airplane that will be on the market in the not too distant future.”

“Both companies have made a substantial commitment of resources,” Aerion (CEO) Doug Nichols, said while declining to provide details of the commercial agreement.”

We have an agreement to share resources,” Airbus (EDS) added.

Airbus (EDS) will locate senior engineering staff with the Aerion design team in Reno to provide expertise in aerodynamics, structures, fly-by-wire flight controls and certification planning. “They will cover the full spectrum of technical and industrial disciplines needed,” Nichols said.

The size of Airbus (EDS) team has yet to be defined, but most will come from the military airplane division, according to (EDS). “Aerion’s technology is of interest to Airbus (EDS), and this agreement provides Aerion with access to Airbus Group skills in disciplines that will move the program solidly towards commercialization,” Nichols said.

“The Airbus Group brings all the necessary ingredients to move the airplane out of development and into full-up commercialization,” he added. “There will be other participants, including the engine manufacturer and other major Tier 1s.”

October 2014: News Item A-1: After trailing rival Boeing (TBC) for most of the year, Airbus (EDS)’ commercial airplane orders surged in the third-quarter, as (EDS) logged 560 commercial airplane orders (compared to Boeing (TBC)’s 549) placing the two manufacturers in a near neck-and-neck competition for the year-to-date grand total.

At the 2014 third-quarter mark, ending September 30, Boeing (TBC) had 1,083 orders; Airbus (EDS) had 1,068. Boeing (TBC)’s net commercial airplane order count for the first three quarters was 977, versus Airbus (EDS)’ 788.

Boeing (TBC) delivered 510 commercial airplanes through September 30, the majority of which (343) were 737 family airplanes. Airbus (EDS) delivered 437 commercial during the first three quarters of the year, half of which (219) were A320 family airplanes.

Commercial airplane calculations exclude orders from government or military entities, (VIP)/business jet customers and private customers.

Airbus (EDS)’ 560 commercial airplane orders for the third quarter included bookings for 294 A320neo airplanes (including 110 for lessor (SMBS) Aviation Capital, 50 for lessor (ILFC) and 40 for lessor Hong Kong Aviation Capital); 149 A321neo airplanes (including 60 for Air Lease Corporation (ALE), 30 for Hong Kong Aviation Capital and 23 for (ANA) Holdings); 92 A320ceo airplanes (including 27 for easyJet (EZY), 19 for Singapore-based lessor, BOC Aviation (SIL), and 17 for an undisclosed customer); 11 A330-200s (eight to Iberia (IBE) and three to Air Algerie (ALG)); eight A350-900s to Iberia (IBE); and six A319ceo aircraft to USA lessor, Z/C Aviation.

Airbus (EDS)’ third-quarter orders primarily came from European customers, with 205 total orders (Irish lessor (SMBC) Aviation Capital ordered 110 A320neo airplanes). Asia-Pacific region customers placed 171 orders (including 70 from Hong Kong Aviation Capital and 30 from (BOC) Aviation (SIL)). North American lessors placed 116 orders during the quarter (60 from (ALE); 50 from (ILFC) and six from Z/C Aviation).

Boeing reported 549 commercial airplane orders for the third quarter, including 220 bookings for the 777X (dominated by Emirates (EAD)’ July 8 order for 150 of the airplanes, Qatar Airways (QTA)’s order for 50, and (ANA)’s order for 20); 195 737 MAX airplanes (including 60 collectively ordered by three unidentified customers, 50 by lessor (BOC) Aviation (SIL) and 20 by Ethiopian Airlines (ETH)); 49 737-800s (including 30 for (BOC) Aviation (SIL)); 47 787-9 Dreamliners (including 15 to an unidentified customer and 14 to (ANA)); 34 777-300ERs (all to lessor companies except for six to (ANA)); and four 767-300F cargo airplanes to FedEx (FED).

Boeing (TBC)’s third-quarter orders (excluding unidentified customers) predominately came from carriers in the Africa - Middle East region, with 222 orders (largely Emirates (EAD)’ and Qatar Airways (QTA)’ orders for 170 777x airplanes, and Ethiopian Airline (ETH)’s order for 20 737 MAXs). Asia-Pacific customers placed 122 orders during the quarter (40 from Japan’s (ANA) and 82 from Singapore’s (BOC) Aviation (SIL)). North American customers booked 38 orders during the quarter (all were lessors, save for FedEx (FED)’s four 767-300Fs).

Boeing (TBC)’s 180 deliveries for the 2014 third-quarter included 97 737-800’s, 26 787-8 Dreamliners, 25 777-300ERs, 16 737-900ERs, four 787-9 Dreamliners, four 747-8F cargo airplanes, two 747-8s, two 767-300F cargo airplanes, two 777F cargo airplanes, and two 737-700s.

Southwest Airlines (SWA) took 11 deliveries from Boeing during the third quarter (all 737-800s), followed by eight each for (ANA) (three 787-8 Dreamliners, two 787-9 Dreamliners and three 737-800s) and Indonesia’s Lion Air (MLI) (four 737-900ERs and four 737-800s); and seven each for Air China (BEJ) (four 737-800s, a 747-8, a 777-300ER and a 777F for Air China Cargo (CAO)), China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (five 737-800s, a 737-700 and a 777-300ER) and USA lessor, (GECAS) (GEF) (six 737-800s and a 777-300ER).

Boeing (TBC)’s third-quarter deliveries went predominantly to customers in the Asia-Pacific region (77 deliveries), followed by 54 for North American customers and 23 for European customers.

Airbus (EDS)’ 139 third-quarter deliveries included: 37 A321s, 66 A320s, 17 A330-300s, eight A319s, eight A380s and three A330-200s.

China Eastern Airlines (CEA) took delivery of 13 Airbus airplanes during the third-quarter (five A320s, four A319s, two A321s and two A330-200s). US Airways (AMW)/(USA) received eight A321s, and five each went to China Southern Airlines (GUN) (five A321s), (BOC) Aviation (SIL) (five A320s), AirAsia (ASW) (five A320s) and Air China (BEJ) (two A320s, two A330-300s and an A321).

Airbus (EDS)’ third-quarter deliveries went primarily to Asia-Pacific region carriers, with 68 deliveries, followed by 28 for North American customers and 25 for European customers.

News Item A-2: Indian low-cost carrier (LCC) IndiGo (IGO) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for 250 Airbus A320neo family airplanes. The agreement will become Airbus (EDS)’ single largest order by number of airplanes. (IGO) has previously placed orders for 280 Airbus airplanes, comprising 100 A320ceos and 180 A320neos.

News Item A-3: The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved Extended Twin-engine OPerationS (ETOPS) for the Airbus A350-900 for beyond >180 minutes diversion time. According to Airbus (EDS), the approval also includes provisions for ((ETOPS) 300-minute and (ETOPS) 370-minute, depending on operator selection). The latter option extends the diversion distance up to 2,500 nautical miles (a distance that corresponds to a maximum (ETOPS) diversion time for the A350 of approximately 370 minutes, at one-engine-inoperative speed under standard atmospheric conditions), Airbus (EDS) said.

Airbus (EDS) said, “A350 operators will thus be able to serve new direct non-limiting routings, compared with a 180-minute (ETOPS) diversion time: The (ETOPS) 370-minute option will be of particular benefit for new direct southern routes such as between Australia, South Africa and South America; while the (ETOPS) 300-minute option will facilitate more efficient transoceanic routes across the North and Mid-Pacific (such as from Southeast Asia to the USA, and Australasia to the USA). Meanwhile, operators flying on existing routes (currently flown with up to 180-minute diversion time) will be able to traverse a straighter and consequently quicker and more fuel efficient path, and also have access to more (and possibly better equipped) en-route diversion airports, if needed.”

On September 30, (EASA) issued a type certificate for the Airbus A350-900, following a certification program that included more than >2,600 hours of flight testing. The certification means the airplane is now ready for delivery from a safety and environmental point of view.

According to Airbus (EDS), as of September 30, the A350 XWB had won 750 orders from 39 customers. The much-delayed next-generation airplane has a target for entry into service (EIS) in the second-half of 2014.

Airbus (EDS) said it will build nine A330s per month instead of the current production rate of 10 starting in the 2015 fourth quarter.

Airbus Executive VP Programs, Tom Williams said the switch will allow (EDS) “to maintain a smooth production flow” as it prepares to transition to the re-engined A330neo, which is expected to enter service in 2017.

(EDS) has been building 10 A330s per month since 2013. “We are confident we will sustain a steady production towards the A330neo ramp-up period,” Williams said.

News Item A-4: The Airbus (EDS) Training Center in Miami has integrated a new Airbus A320 full-flight simulator. Produced by FlightSafety International, the A320 simulator received Level D qualification from the (FAA) and is ready to provide training on (CFM) and (IAE) engines, as well as the Honeywell (SGC) Flight Management Guidance Computer. This is the Miami Training Center’s first FlightSafety simulator and complements two A330/A340 and three A320 full-flight simulators.

News Item A-5: See A380 video:

November 2014: News Item A-1: With no additional cancellations or conversions announced for October, (EDS)’ net orders for 2014 have now reached 794 airplanes.

(BOC) Aviation (SIL), the airplane lessor owned by Bank of China (BOC), has placed a total of 257 orders with Airbus (EDS), consisting of 251 A320 family airplanes and six A330s. (EDS) now claims (BOC) Aviation as its tenth largest customer, directly behind US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (with 261 orders) and directly ahead of New York-based airplane lessor (CIT) (TLS) (with 256 orders).

An additional October order was placed for an ACJ319ceo from an unnamed private customer.

Deliveries in October totaled 50 airplanes, including 25 A320ceos, 15 A321ceos, four A330-300s (including the first of six A330-300s on order by Sri Lankan Airlines (SLI)), three A330-200s, two A319ceos and one A380 (to British Airways (BAB)).

As of October 31, Airbus (EDS)’ overall backlog was 5,860 airplanes, comprising 4,709 A320 family airplanes, 977 A330 family airplanes and 174 A380s.

With Monarch Airlines (MON)’s late-October booking for 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, Boeing (TBC) added to its lead over rival manufacturer Airbus (EDS) in the year-to-date commercial airplane order race; as of October 31, Boeing (TBC) has 1,127 gross orders on its books, compared to Airbus (EDS)’ 1,070.

Airbus (EDS) booked just a single commercial airplane order in October: two A320ceos for Singapore-based lessor, (BOC) Aviation (SIL).

In contrast, (TBC) logged five commercial orders during the month, for a total of 44 airplanes. In addition to the Monarch Airlines (MON) order, bookings were logged for 10 737-900ERs for Alaska Airlines (ASA); a 747-8F freighter for Russia’s AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC); two 737-800s for an unidentified customer, and a 737 MAX for a separate unidentified customer. On October 12, Garuda Indonesia (GIA) converted a previously placed order for four 737-800s to four 737 MAX 8s.

Year-to-date commercial airplane deliveries for the two manufacturers, as of October 31, stand at 569 for Boeing (TBC) and 486 for Airbus (EDS).

In October, (EDS) delivered 49 commercial airplanes, including four to Air Lease Corporation (ALE) (three A321ceos and one A330-300); four to Philippine Airlines (PAL) (three A321ceos and one A330-300); three to China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (one A319ceo, one A321ceo and one A330-200) and three A321ceos to (GECAS) (GEF). Additionally, British Airways (BAB) took delivery of an A380 on October 16.

Boeing (TBC) delivered 59 commercial airplanes in October, including four to lessor (GECAS) (GEF) (three 737-800s and a 777-300ER); four to Indonesian carrier Lion Air (MLI) (three 737-800s and one 737-900ER); and three each for American Airlines (AAL) (two 737-800s; one 777-300ER), China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (a 777-300ER, a 737-700 and a 737-800), Qatar Airways (QTA) (two 787-8 Dreamliners and one 777-300ER) and United Airlines (UAL) (two 737-900ERs and one 787-9 Dreamliner).

Airbus (EDS)’ October deliveries went primarily to Asia-Pacific region carriers, with 23 deliveries, followed by 14 for North American customers. The bulk of Boeing (TBC)’s October deliveries went to North American customers (20 deliveries) and Asia-Pacific region customers (19 deliveries).

Commercial airplane calculations exclude orders and deliveries from/to government or military entities, (VIP)/business jet customers and private customers.

News Item A-2: Lufthansa (DLH) began to modify its Airbus A320 family fleet last month with vortex generators to reduce noise. The first modified airplane was an A319.

Vortex generators will become standard on all future A320 and A321 deliveries from Airbus (EDS). Nine of the newly delivered airplanes are already in service.

(DLH) will modify 157 of its Airbus A320 family airplanes (which connect its Frankfurt and Munich hubs with the European route network) to make them quieter. Airbus (EDS) has developed vortex generators especially for the A320 family, based on the research findings by (DLH) and the German Aerospace Center. Flyover measurements show the vortex generators eliminate two unpleasant tones, reducing the total noise generated by the approaching airplanes by up to -4 decibels.

(DLH) expects that modification to all 157 airplanes to be complete within 12 months.

News Item A-3: The Airbus A350-900 has received (FAA) type certification - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "EDS-2014-11 - FAA TYPE CERT FOR A350-900" with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on the left and Airbus Group Chairman & (CEO), North American Unit on the right. The certified airplane is powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines. This follows the A350-900 type certification awarded by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on September 30.

According to Airbus (EDS), the A350-900’s respective certifications come after completing a “stringent program of certification trials, which took the A350-900 airframe and systems well beyond their design limits to ensure all airworthiness criteria are fully met. The fleet of five test A350-900 airplanes completed the certification flight test campaign, on time, having accumulated more than >2,600 flight test hours to create and successfully achieve one of the aviation industry’s most thorough and efficient test programs ever developed for a commercial airliner,” Airbus said.

According to Airbus (EDS), as of the end of October, the A350 XWB had won 750 orders from 39 customers. The much-delayed next-generation airplane has a target for entry into service (EIS) in the second-half of 2014.

News Item A-4: SEE ATTACHED "SEATTLE TIMES" AEROSPACE REPORT BY DOMINIC GATES - - "EDS-2014-11 - DAL AIRBUS ORDER-A/B/C." Delta Airlines (DAL) ordered 25 Airbus A330-900neos and 25 A350-900s at a list price of $14.3 billion. However, the real value of this order after normally expected discounts, should amount to approximately $6.2 billion. Boeing was trying to sell Delta (DAL) a mix of 777-300ERs and the 787-9 (the larger version of the Dreamliner), to replace (DAL)'s aging 747s and 767s.

The decisive factor in (DAL)'s choice, nevertheless, was that Airbus (EDS) was able to offer early delivery slots, but Boeing (TBC) could not.

Boeing (TBC) has unfilled orders FOR 850 787 Dreamliners and plans to ramp up production from the current 10 jets per month to 14 by the end of the decade, in order to meet demand for earlier deliveries.

Delta (CEO), Richard Anderson had said back in June that (DAL) really needed deliveries around 2017, and 2018.

(DAL) is presently the most profitable airline in the world and, measured by passengers carried, is the second largest following the "new" ("old" (AAL) merged with US Airlines (AMW)/(USA)) American Airlines (AAL). (DAL)'s current wide body fleet consists of 126 Boeing jets and just 32 Airbus jets. The Airbus jets (all A330s) were inherited from Northwest Airlines (NWA) when the two carriers ((AAL)/(NWA)) merged in 2008. Last year, (DAL) ordered +10 more A330s.

The decision now that (DAL) will update its wide body fleet with the new version of the A330 and the A350 is a major disappointment for Boeing (TBC). On the other hand, Airbus grabbing such a prominent major USA airline in a head-to-head competition between the 787 and its rival A350 is a timely boost for Airbus (EDS).

Aviation analyst, Scott Hamilton of Leeham.net stated this order "It's huge, since up to now, Airbus' wide body penetration into the USA jet airplane market has been minuscule."

American Airlines (AAL) and United (UAL) presently have all-Boeing (TBC) fleets, although the "new" (AAL) inherited an Airbus A350 order when it merged with US Air (AMW/USA), and (UAL) also now has A350s on order.

This new (DAL) order confirms the market potential of the A330neo, featuring the new fuel-efficient Rolls Royce (RRC) engines, which were part of last July's Farnborough Air Show, including commitments for 121 of these airplanes. The A330neo will likely be flown on trans-Atlantic routes initially, including some from Seattle to Europe.

Airbus has 549 firm orders for the A350-900, which is set to be delivered for the first time next month. The A350-900 is a long-range jet airplane seating more than >300 passengers, and like the 787 Dreamliner, has a mostly carbon fiber composite airframe. It will probably be used out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on trans-Pacific routes.

News Item A-5: Delta Air Lines (DAL) is growing at a phenomenal rate at Sea-Tac. On November 19th, (DAL) announced new flights to Boise, Idaho; Denver, Colorado; Sacramento, California; and to Ketchikan and Sitka in Alaska. As (DAL) increases its Sea-Tac presence, more and more Airbus airplanes will be flying out of here.

News Item A-6: Frontier Airlines (FRO) has placed its first Airbus A321 order, inking a deal for nine of the type to join its all-Airbus fleet. The order takes (FRO) to a backlog of 89 Airbus airplanes, including 80 A320neos. Airbus (EDS) said (FRO) has not yet announced its engine selection or seating configuration for the A321s.

(FRO) began its transition to an all-Airbus (EDS) fleet when it took delivery of its first Airbus airplane in 2001. The Airbus single-aisle family has allowed (FRO) to expand its route network, while minimizing operating costs.

(FRO) currently flies a fleet of 35 A319ceos and 20 A320ceos.

News Item A-7: Airbus Defence & Space has been selected by the French Ministry of Defence to supply 12 A330 MRTT new generation air-to-air refuelling airplanes for the French Air Force. The first delivery is foreseen for 2018, followed by the second in 2019, and then at a rate of one or two per year.

The contract agreed between the French procurement agency, la Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), and Airbus Defence & Space is now ready for the official award. The contract covers the development and qualification of the specific French configuration as well as the associated support and training systems, such as spares, ground support equipment (GSE), training devices and five years of in-service support from first delivery.

France’s choice of the A330 MRTT makes it the sixth nation to order the type following Australia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United Kingdom (UK), which have ordered a total of 34 A330 MRTTs. In addition, India and Qatar have selected the (MRTT) and are in the final stages of contractual negotiations for six and two airplanes respectively. A total of 22 A330 MRTTs are currently in service and the airplanes have been battle-proven in recent coalition actions.

The A330 MRTT has won every major tanker airplane procurement competition outside the USA since it has entered the market.

Airbus Defence & Space Executive VP Military Aircraft, Domingo Ureña Raso said: “The French Air Force has enormous experience in the field of air-to-air refuelling. It knows the factors which are critical to success and its selection of the A330 MRTT is a real honor.

In French service the A330 MRTT will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 700) engines, be equipped with a combination of the Airbus Refuelling Boom System and underwing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods, and can be configured in a variety of layouts carrying up to 271 passengers as well as medevac arrangements, including the French MORPHEE intensive care module carrying up to ten patients as well as 88 passengers.

News Item A-8: Airbus (EDS) will launch the development and production of five new Beluga transport airplanes following its decision to ramp up production of the A350 XWB and other airplane production rate increases.

“The new Beluga will be based on the A330 with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. The distinctive-looking lowered cockpit, the cargo bay structure and the rear-end and tail will be among the items which will be newly developed.”

According to Airbus (EDS), the first of the five new Belugas will enter service in mid-2019. The existing Beluga fleet will operate in parallel, and will be progressively retired through to 2025.

The Beluga is (EDS)’ unique method for transporting large airplanes components between company production sites in Europe. The current Beluga fleet of five airplanes is based on the A300. Airbus had already launched “the Fly 10000” project, which aims to double the current Beluga capacity by 2017. However, the current capacity is limited and the new Beluga fleet will close this capacity gap.

News Item A-9: The following is from Air Transport World (ATW)'s blog by George Hamlin in Observation Deck, titled:
"E Unum...Pluribus":

Airbus has come a long way since its first delivery in 1974.

Readers from outside the USA may wonder about the title; it would not be surprising to find some who think that this sounds familiar, but don’t know its’ origin. They would be right, since it’s essentially a re-ordering of the national motto of the USA, "E Pluribus Unum." This Latin language phrase is generally translated as “Out of many, one”, or “One from many”, reflecting the formation of the USA as a union of states. It also reflects the fact that the origins of the people that inhabit this country are more diverse than in most other countries, and represent a very wide array of geography.

So, what would reversing the order of the terms mean, and what does this have to do with commercial aviation? I’d suggest that the first question could be answered by either “Out of one, many,” or “Many from one.” The answer to the second question goes back forty years to the delivery of the first Airbus airplane, an A300B, to Air France in 1974. I think that it will also be apparent that from this “unity” event, a plethora of airplanes has resulted.

In reality, the formation of Airbus in 1970 was another example of E Pluribus Unum, although “multiple” probably needs to be substituted for “many” in translating it to English. By the late 1960s, the USA dominated the production of airline airplanes globally. While the first two commercial jets to enter service both emanated from Europe, essentially, in the form of the British Comet, and the Tu-104 from the Soviet Union, the USA had seized the market share lead by this time. Notwithstanding this, however, the Russians own the honor of having the longest continuous commercial jet service, dating to 1956, due to the hiatus in Comet service between 1954 and 1958.

There were several reasons for the USA dominance in this field. First, the USA had the largest airline industry, by far, at the time, thereby producing a significant demand component for airline airplanes. Second, Germany was prohibited both from producing airplanes and operating airlines for a number of years following World War II; Lufthansa, for example, did not begin operations after the war until 1955.

A more significant difficulty was that British airliner production, and to a lesser extent that of France, tended to cater to the needs of the flag carriers of each country. This produced designs that worked well for these carriers, but didn’t necessarily cater to global demand requirements. The USA, with its many airlines, both domestic, and following the war, also for international service, was more market-oriented, which aided its airliner manufacturers, particularly Boeing, Douglas, Convair and Lockheed, to fare well in the global marketplace.

Some European-built airplanes were acquired by USA carriers, including the Vickers Viscount, and BAC One-Eleven. The French-built Caravelle secured United as a customer, although a planned sale to TWA did not come to fruition. On the other hand, the de Havilland Trident, the first tri-jet, and the Vickers VC-10 did not obtain any USA customers. While the latter was well-liked by passengers, and had excellent “hot and high” performance due to the requirements of its primary customer (BOAC), it was bested handily in terms of sales by the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8. The French Mercure sold only to a single customer: French domestic carrier Air Inter.

Thus, European aerospace leaders concluded that banding together as a single entity was necessary if they were to survive, much less prosper. At first, this involved a tri-partite cooperative venture between the British, French and German industries. However, the U K, dropped out of the consortium initially, leaving it as a purely continental venture. (CASA) of Spain joined in 1977; the British returned in 1979.

Attacking the USA commercial juggernaut required a careful strategy, so that the nascent enterprise would not be overwhelmed initially. Accordingly, the A300 was developed as the first wide body airplane with only two engines, in a size/range category below that of the 747, DC-10 and L-1011. Initial sales were slow, but eventually even the bellwether USA market was penetrated, via an order from Eastern Airlines, one of the historic USA “Big Four” airlines.

From this springboard sprang multiple offspring, including the A310 and the single-aisle A320 (and its subsequent A318, 319 and 321 “family” members”), followed by the larger/longer-haul A330 and A340, and, more recently, the A380, the largest airliner in the world, giving Airbus, now a truly global competitor, a full product line. With the demise of Convair, Lockheed and Douglas, Airbus is now one component of what amounts to a duopoly in large commercial airplanes, with 8,749 airplanes delivered by the end of October 2014, and almost 6,000 airplanes in its order book.

Pluribus, indeed…

December 2014: Mews Item A-1: Azul Brazilian Airlines (AZL) has signed a purchase agreement for 35 (CFM)-powered A320neo family airplanes and will lease a further 28 for long-haul domestic and high-density routes.

The order comes on the eve of Azul (AZL)’s USA launch, with (AZL) poised to begin daily flights from São Paulo’s Viracopos/Campinas International Airport to Fort Lauderdale on December 2.

“Azul (AZL) will soon offer even more seats on our longer-haul flights, allowing us to reduce operating costs. In addition to its market-leading economics, which will allow (AZL) to stimulate new demand, the A320neo is also a perfect complement to our E-Jet fleet, giving us additional seats and capacity that can be dedicated to strategic projects like TudoAzul, Azul Viagens and Azul Cargo,” Azul (CEO) & Founder, David Neeleman said. (AZL) will use the type for routes including Campinas - Salvador and Campinas - Recife.

(AZL) announced its plans to fly long-haul in April. It is due to take 12 leased Airbus wide bodies, comprising seven Airbus A330-200s, followed by five Rolls-Royce (RRC)-powered A350-900s. It is also the launch customer for Embraer’s EMB-195 E2.

News Item A-2: (Reuters) – Europe’s Airbus (EDS) sold 248 jets in November, but remained behind Boeing (TBC) as both airplane makers accelerated towards what could be a tight finish to their annual order race.

November’s Airbus (EDS) sales included a total of 120 A320-family airplanes to three unidentified customers. However (CIT) Leasing (TCI) cancelled an order for one of 15 new-generation A350-900 wide-body jets it had bought, as it finalized an order for 15 upgraded versions of the older A330.

In total, Airbus (EDS) won 1,328 total orders between January and November, company data showed. After adjusting for cancellations, it had 1,031 net orders. It delivered 554 jets.

Boeing (TBC) just reported 1,380 orders between Jan 1 and Dec 2, including 100 737 MAX confirmed by Ireland’s Ryanair (RYR). Net orders stood at 1,274 airplanes.

Boeing (TBC) delivered 647 airplanes in the first 11 months.

The two planemakers are heading towards a stronger than expected order intake for 2014, as airlines seek the fuel savings offered by efficient models despite lower oil prices.

Airbus (EDS), which is already above its net order target for 2014, has a further 500 provisional orders announced but not yet finalized. Some of these typically get booked in December.

Boeing (TBC) looks set to top 1,300 net orders for a second year running, exceeding an internal target of 1,100 and reaching what had seemed a stretching scenario just a few months ago.

Airbus (EDS) said its waiting list of jets sold but not yet delivered had risen above >6,000 units for the first time.

Both firms use overbooking to guarantee a taker for each airplane produced, mimicking the technique used by airlines to fill seats, meaning some unfilled orders will trickle away.

News Item A-3: China will require more than >5,300 new passenger airplanes and freighters worth some $820 billion from 2014 to 2033, Airbus (EDS) predicted in its latest Global Market Forecast. The Asian nation will account for 17% of global demand for new airplanes over the next two decades.

(EDS) believes deliveries to China will amount to 5,363 airplanes over the period, comprising 3,567 single-aisle airplanes, 1,477 twin-aisles and 319 in the very large airplane category.

Additionally, China will become the leading country for passenger air traffic, for both domestic and international markets, (EDS) said.

Domestic services within China will become the world’s busiest within 10 years, outstripping the USA in 2023, in terms of the number of passengers and in 2027, in terms of (RPK)s. In the next 20 years, the forecast average annual growth rate for the domestic Chinese market is +7.1%, but it will grow even faster over the next 10 years at an average +8.3% annually. By 2033, the domestic Chinese market will represent 11.9% of world traffic in (RPK) terms.

Between 2013 and 2023, average annual growth for international traffic from and to mainland China will be +8%. Four out of the 20 largest flows in (RPK) terms will be to and from China.

“Domestic passenger traffic in mainland China has more than quadrupled over the last 10 years, and it will become the world’s number one aviation market within the next 10 years,” (EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy said.

Drivers of China’s dynamic air transport growth include the country’s long-term economic development. Average annual economic growth in China is forecast at +7.4% between 2013 and 2023. China will become the world’s biggest economy in 2023, with its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) accounting for 19% of the world’s total.

Average wages in China have increased fivefold in the past decade and will continue to rise in the years ahead, creating higher levels of disposable income and private consumption, which in turn will fuel demand for travel.

News Item A-4: Qatar Airways (QTA) takes delivery of the first of its 80 Airbus A350 XWB airplanes on order on December 22. The A350 launch customer will operate the A350 XWB on its first commercial service on its Doha - Frankfurt route from January 2015. Al Baker said (QTA)’s next A350 routes could see services to the USA East Coast, followed by more destinations in Europe, such as Saint Petersburg (Russia) and Africa.

(QTA) Group (CEO), Akbar Al Baker, said: “The delivery of our first A350 XWB airplane, as global launch customer, was a highly anticipated event in the relatively young history of Qatar Airways and the second significant fleet milestone for our airline, having recently taken delivery of our A380 airplane. The introduction of the A350 XWB into service will signal a new frontier in aviation history, as this will be a brand new airplane type projected for the industry for the next decade.”

“Our aim is to have an average fleet age of five years—that’s why we have so many airplanes on order,” Al Baker said. (QTA) has introduced three new airplane types within 24 months, including the Boeing 787-8, the A380-800 and the A350-900.

Qatar Airways (QTA) has set a new date of January 7 for ceremonies at its home hub in Doha.

The first Airbus A350-900 scheduled flight will be from Doha Hamad International Airport to Frankfurt starting from January 2015. A second flight to Frankfurt will follow. (QTA) could be looking to Singapore for one of its destinations for the new airplane.

Qatar has 80 A350s on order, split between the baseline A350-900 and the larger A350-1000 version The A350 will offer a two-class layout, featuring 36 seats in business class and 247 seats in economy class.
The fuel-efficient A350s are powered by two new-generation Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines, each providing 84,000 lb of thrust.

The next A350 deliveries are planned to Vietnam Airlines (VIE) in 2015, followed by Finnair (FIN).

(QTA) currently operates a fleet of 145 airplanes.

News Item A-5 SEE ATTACHED "AIRBUS PROBLEMS" - - which cover the dismal state of the A380 and the Qatar Airways (QTA) A350 delivery postponement.

News Item A-6: Airbus (CFO), Harald Wilhelm surprised the aviation world the day before the Airbus Global Investor Forum by raising the possibility of either re-engining the A380 with more efficient engines or discontinuing A380 production in 2018.

However, (EDS) made it clear it will get additional A380 customers. Production slots are almost fully booked for the next three years and (EDS) said it continues to improve the A380. “Four campaigns are underway for incremental orders,” Airbus (COO) Customers, John Leahy said during an investor briefing. “We’re looking at whether or not to do the A380neo, which has to have a strong business case. The A380 has great economics now and is +8% better than the Boeing 777X.” (EDS) has to make sure it has a business case for a re-engining, not only for the long term, but also for the short- and mid-term.

(EDS) Head Corporate Communications, Rainier Ohler told "Reuters," “The entire Airbus (EDS) top management continues to believe strongly in the market prospects of the A380, but any investment by (EDS) requires a sound business case, which we will continue to study.”

Emirates (EAD), which is the largest A380 customer, has been the only airline to call for a re-engined A380. According to its website, (EAD) has 85 more A380s on order and currently operates 56 of the type.

(EDS) also said that in addition to an A380neo it could launch a stretched version of the A380, asserting that the extra-large airplane market has potential and is getting bigger.

Leahy said (EDS), which has an 89% market share in the very large airplane category, dominates the market. “It is a small market right now, but this market is doubling every 15 years,” he said. (EDS) has a 50% share in the overall global wide body market.

Leahy said improvements on the A380 are already available, such as +8 tonnes more payload, +500 nautical miles more range and an improved wing that reduces fuel burn by -1%. (EDS) can offer 11-abreast seating in economy (Y) class, he noted.

Bloomberg reported there are open A380 order slots in 2018. According to Leahy, “This is true, but the program is sold out all the years up to then.” “In the last full year, we sold 70 A380s. This is more than twice the annual production rate.”

The A380 has been called a very reliable airplane, (EDS) said, noting Korean Air (KAL) said it had a 99.7% dispatch reliability. “An airplane program is designed to run some 30 - 40 years and over that lifespan, we continuously update our programs,” Schaffrath said, adding that, as with the A320neo and A330neo, a re-engining needs to be the right move at the right time.

The next new A380 operators will be Abu Dhabi-based, Etihad Airways (EHD) and Russia’s Transaero Airlines (TRX).

News Item A-7: Airbus (EDS) (CEO), Fabrice Bregier announced the re-engined A320neo is on track for a November 2015 delivery - - SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-2014-12 - A320neo NOV 2015."

News Item A-8: EgyptAir ((IATA) Code: MS, based at Cairo International) (EGP) has signed an agreement with Airbus Industrie (EDS) subsidiary, (EADS) (EFW) for the conversion of two A330-200s into A330-200Fs, the "Cargo Facts" publication has reported. The announcement ends almost three years of speculation about who the launch customer for the program, which was first announced in February 2012, is.

Singapore's ST Aerospace is engineering the modification program in partnership with Airbus (EDS), while the conversion will be carried out by Airbus Group subsidiary Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) in Dresden, Germany.

A final design freeze will be reached "very soon," (EFW) said. Work on the first airplane, an A330-300 is to begin in 2017, with the A330-200 due to follow in mid-2018.

EgyptAir (EGP) plans to build up Cairo as a cargo hub.

Once in service, the freighters will join the ageing EgyptAir Cargo ((IATA) Code: MSX, based at Cairo International) fleet which includes two A300-600Fs and one A300B4F.

by Flight International's David Kaminski-Morrow, London.

News Item A-10: Low-cost carrier (LCC) AirAsia X (ASX) has placed a firm order for 55 Airbus A330neos, comprising five new airplanes and the firming of a previously announced commitment for 50 of the type at the Farnborough Airshow in July.

These airplanes have now been firmed and the order has been expanded to 55 of the new twinjets, which will start arriving from 2018.

“This latest deal with Airbus (EDS) will enable (ASX) to consolidate its growth rate in 2015 - 2017 before ramping up deliveries from 2018 onwards,” (ASX) Co-Founder & Director, Tony Fernandes said.

(ASX) has now ordered a total of 91 A330 family airplanes, making it Airbus (EDS)’ biggest customer for the type. This also marks the largest single A330neo order to date.

“The A330 has proven itself to be exactly the right airplane for our business model, combining low operating costs, long-range flying capability, and high levels of comfort. We are extremely excited about the even greater levels of efficiency that will come with the A330neo, which will play a key role in enabling (ASX) to maintain its position as the long-haul, low-cost leader,” Fernandes said.

The A330neo will be sole-source powered by a new Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engine, a derivative of the (Trent 700).

News Item A-11: Airbus (EDS) has filed a claim in a UK court to reclaim expenses caused by the Japan-based low-cost carrier (LCC) Skymark Airlines (SKM)’ “default of contract,” Skymark (SKM) spokesman, Hiroyuki Sakata said.

Airbus (EDS) terminated the (LCC)’s contract for six Airbus A380s, worth around $2 billion, in July this year. (EDS) cited problems with repayment schedules as the reason for the termination, following a missed JPY800 million/$7.8 million installment in April.

“Airbus (EDS) is beginning preparations for litigation regarding a penalty,” Sakata said, adding that talks to reach an agreement were ongoing. Local sources reported in October that the parties were close to reaching an agreement on termination conditions, but talks have apparently broken down.

At the time, an (EDS) source said that “warning bells started sounding” over Skymark (SKM)’s ability to pay at the start of the year. “We always keep a strict eye on the way any customer is progressing with payments,” they noted.

Skymark (SKM) has reportedly been in talks with various players to help ease its financial problems (it predicts a -$115 million loss for the next financial year) including implementing code share deals with Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JSA) and (ANA) to extend its network, and with external investors to take equity.

However, an Airbus (EDS) spokesperson dismissed the reports as “not being particularly sensible” options, and asserted it had not tried to influence any such deals.

News Item A-12: TransAsia Airways (FSH), which focuses on flying regional passenger routes, on December 23rd announced a US$480 million plan to purchase four A330-800neo airplanes from Airbus (EDS), which is (FSH)'s first step to entering the long-haul passenger service.

The move would also help the company shift its business away from its budget airline subsidiary, V Air.

(FSH) is scheduled to take delivery of its first of four A330-800neo airplanes in the fourth quarter of 2018 at the earliest. After receiving the four planes, (FSH) has an option to purchase another four.

"The new planes will support the company's plan to launch intercontinental routes in the long-term," (FSH) Chairman Vincent Lin told a press conference.

Data offered by Airbus (EDS) showed the A330-800neo airplane offers -14% fuel savings compared with its same-sized peers, with the 251-seat plane capable of providing flights of up to 15 hours in duration.

Targeting the island's outbound market to the USA, (FSH) has filed an application with the USA government and it expects to launch a chartered flight service to Tinian (an island of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) and Guam from the second half of next year, Lin said.

(FSH) plans to lease two A330-300 airplanes next year to cope with the route expansion to the USA and other destinations in Asia, Lin said. (FSH) is set to operate 24 planes next year after the two leased planes join the fleet.

(FSH) announced it had hired former (EVA) Airways Corporation President, Peter Chen as (FSH)'s (CEO). Chen would be in charge of drawing a blueprint for (FSH)'s future development, as well as for all of its subsidiaries, it said.

By integrating (FSH) and its subsidiaries, including V Air, TransAsia Catering Services Ltd and Legend Travel Service Ltd, Lin said the company is targeting an annual growth of +15% in consolidated sales and unspecified growth in net profits over the next few years.

Despite (FSH)'s decision to pay compensation to people affected by July's crash in Penghu County by the end of this year, Lin remained bullish over the company's business prospects next year.

Outperforming its local rivals, (FSH)'s net income totaled +NT$292.34 million/+US$9.19 million, or NT$0.53 per share, in the first three quarters of the year, reversing a loss of -NT$80.63 million in the same period last year, company statistics showed.

News Item A-13: San Diego, California, USA based (PACAVI) Group has revealed it is spearheading a program to convert Airbus A320 and A321 airplanes from passenger to freighter configuration. The conversions will be performed by AeroTurbine (AUB), a wholly owned subsidiary of AerCap (DEA), one of the world's largest airplane leasing companies.

The work will be carried out at AeroTurbine (AUB)'s Goodyear, Arizona facility, where it conducts passenger to freighter conversions on other airplane types, as well as providing maintenance repair & overhaul (MRO) services for A320s.

(CEO) Dr Stephen Hollman said "We view this as an exciting opportunity. There are currently about 600 freighters of the size category of the A320/A321 operating globally, and this market is set to grow rapidly in the coming years. Right now, the only products of of similar capacity are from Boeing (TBC) and we look forward to the opportunity to provide Airbus (EDS) and others with technologically advanced freighters at a highly competitive price."

Airbus (EDS) canceled a similar program in June 2011, after deciding to focus on its airplane manufacturing business, but since then, demand has increased. Hoffman daid all the information required in order to acquire the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) was publicly available. With close collaboration with the (FAA) and (EASA) on the technical requirements, the PACAVI Group is forecasting commercial deliveries starting in 2017.

News Item A-14: See video on "5 AIRBUS A350 XWB'S IN FORMATION" - -

January 2015: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) said it delivered 629 airplanes in 2014. The deliveries, which went to 89 customers, comprised 490 A320 family airplanes, 108 A330s, 30 A380s and its first A350 XWB.

Boeing announced it delivered 723 commercial airplanes in 2014.

“We had a fantastic year in terms of orders,” Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said at the Airbus results conference in Toulouse. “It started as planned and is important for our long-term future.”

(EDS) said its airplane deliveries were up for the 13th year in a row. “Airbus had the second best-ever performance [after 2013] with 1,456 net orders last year, from 67 customers [of which 14 are new],” Brégier added. The orders comprised 1,321 single-aisle and 135 wide body airplanes. By year end, the backlog had climbed to 6,386 airplanes, valued at $919.3 billion at list prices.

“Each customer is important, but some deliveries are a clear message in terms of quality,” Brégier said, referring to the completion of the A350 XWB and delivery of its first of the type to launch customer Qatar Airways (QTA).

Brégier said another commercial highlight was Delta Air Line (DAL)’s decision to select the A330neo for its transatlantic services and the A350 for its transpacific routes.

“We will see more airlines that will do both orders (the A330neo and A350. And some of those carriers have also ordered the Boeing 787,” Airbus COO-customers John Leahy said).

A third highlight of 2014 was the popularity of A320neo and ceo airplanes, which together attracted numerous orders especially from the leasing companies. “Generally, we see an interesting trend, that 50% of all ordered Airbus airplanes are from leasing companies,” Leahy said.

Airbus (EDS) also reached its target of delivering 30 A380s, while welcoming Asiana Airlines (AAR), Qatar Airways (QTA), and Etihad Airways (EHD) as new operators of the type. Brégier expects to deliver 30 A380s in 2015.

(EDS) has also increased the average list prices of its airplanes by 3.27% across the product line. The new pricing is effective from January 1, 2015. The +3.27% price increase has been calculated according to Airbus standard escalation formula over the January 2014 to January 2015 period.

News Item A-2: Dubai-based lessor International Airfinance Corporation (IAFC) has made its first acquisition with the signing of a firm purchase agreement with Airbus (EDS) for five A330-200s, plus four further options. Based on list prices, the value of the transaction if all four options are exercised, is approximately $2 billion.

The initial five airplanes have already been placed on long-term operating lease with a carrier in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area, which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAC), (IAFC) VP, Anas Bennani said, declining to reveal the lessee’s identity.

(IAFC) is the fund manager of the sharia-compliant airplane-leasing (ALIF) Fund, which was launched in June 2014 with financial backing from Airbus (eds) and Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank, and which is eventually targeted to grow to $5 billion.

The fund will be used solely to buy and place Airbus (EDS) equipment with lessees, Bennani said.

Quantum Investment Bank and Palma Capital have been retained as exclusive placement agents for the launch of the (ALIF) Fund. The fund will purchase both new and second-hand Airbus (EDS) airplanes to be leased to airlines in the (GCC) and Organization of Islamic Conference member countries.

(IAFC) President & (CEO), Moulay Omar Alaoui said the inaugural acquisition “constitutes a first step in our development to become a significant player in the Middle East. We are working to conclude other airplane acquisitions in order to develop our leasing portfolio.”

News Item A-3: The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee has granted approval for Airbus (EDS) to operate the A320 family airplanes in extreme cold weather conditions (down to minus 54° Celsius (-65.2°F)).

This certification is a major milestone for the extension of the A320 network in Russia, enabling airlines to have more flexibility in fleet planning, while connecting major central hubs to the region’s northern destinations.

The extension applies to the A319, A320 and A321 airplanes equipped with (CFM56-5B) engines, and allows up to 120 minutes of turnaround time. There are currently more than >270 A320 family airplanes in operation with 11 Russian carriers.

News Item A-4: Airbus (EDS) is evaluating changes to the A350-1000 cabin that would allow airlines to fit in around an additional +20 seats. The cabin modifications would be ready toward the end of the decade, according to Executive VP Programs, Didier Evrard, who is also still running the A350 program. Airbus (EDS) does not change the basic layout of the airplane at entry into service (EIS). That is designed for 369 seats in a two-class configuration. Optimizing the integration and design of galleys and lavatories are issues (EDS) is currently looking into to facilitate the increase.

Adding another +20 seats would move the airplane closer in capacity to Boeing (TBC)’s 777-9X which is targeted to seat 400 passengers (the shorter 777-8X is designed for 350 in Boeing (TBC)’s nominal layout).

Evrard did not say which airlines in particular are behind the studies. However, (EDS) is keen to win back a large Emirates (EAD) order for the A350. (EAD) canceled an order for 70 airplanes last year. It is in the process of repeating the competition, but now includes the Boeing 787-10. According to Boeing (TBC), the 787-10 has space for 323 passengers.

Cabin changes could conceivably be moved back into the smaller A350-900 at some stage, increasing that airplane’s seating capacity too. The Airbus (EDS) standard layout in two classes, currently defines the A350-900 as a 315-seater.

(EDS) has been playing with the idea of developing a further stretch of the A350 beyond the A350-1000, which it acknowledges would be technically feasible. However, Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy has been downplaying the idea. Earlier this week, he said that he did not believe the 400-seat market is big enough to justify another derivative. He argued that Boeing only stretched the 777X in order to achieve seat-mile costs comparable to the A350-1000, rather than because of true market demand.

(EDS) has been consistently raising maximum seating capacity for its narrow-bodies with the A321 now going up to 240 seats, and the A320, to 189. But Leahy said the trend to larger capacity witnessed in the short-haul market was not necessarily as visible in the long-haul segment.

Separately, (EDS) was successful in further melting down the backlog of its unwanted A350-800. (EDS) now has 16 airplanes left on firm order for the type, eight each from Asiana (AAR) and Aeroflot (ARO). Hawaiian (HWI) has switched over to the A330-800, while Yemenia (YEM) moved an order for ten A350-800s to the larger A350-900.

News Item A-5: Emirates Airline (EAD) President, Sir Tim Clark has reportedly said he would buy 100 Airbus (EDS) A380neos if (EDS), the European airplane manufacturer decided to launch a re-engined version.

Clark told "Bloomberg" at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, “What we’ve said is if you are going to do the A380neo, we are in for 100 [airplanes]. We are putting it on the table; we’ll start it off for you.”

In September, it was reported Clark has been trying to persuade (EDS) to launch a re-engined A380.

Airbus (EDS) (COO), Customers, John Leahy said: “If we ever do the A380neo, it will not just be the engine [that has to be exchanged] . . . there will be perhaps Sharklets on the airplane, and perhaps an aerodynamic cleanup as well. But we would not do an A380neo unless there would be a -10% fuel burn reduction. And that will not come just from the engine, but from some other necessary improvements as well.” He added, “And over time, we will update every member of the [Airbus (EDS)] family. We will look at it as we need to [in light of the market].”

Emirates (EAD) currently operates 57 A380-800s and has committed to 140 airplanes. “If [Airbus (EDS)] were to build [the A380neo], it would give us an improvement in economics of up to -10% to -12%, so that’s definitely what we want to have. And I hope to move on that fairly soon,” Clark said last June. He added that the first 25 of an additional order of 50 A380s (ordered in November 2013) will be delivered in 2016 - 2017, “on the old spec, so to speak,” Clark said. “The second 25 are targeted for 2020. If there will be no A380neo, we will take those 25 anyhow. Rolls-Royce (RRC) can produce a better engine, we can get more weight out of the airplane and we can improve the aerodynamics. Up to -12%, that’s where we want to go,” he said.

News Item A-6: Boeing (TBC) delivered 49 commercial airplanes in January, leading rival Airbus (EDS)’ 36 deliveries for the month.

Each manufacturer logged orders for five airplanes during the month. Boeing (TBC)’s firm order came from All Nippon Airways (ANA), which ordered five 737-800s on January 30. Airbus (EDS)’ sole firm order for the month came from an undisclosed customer, which on January 30 ordered five A330-200s, valued at approximately $1.15 billion at current list prices.

Boeing (TBC)’s January deliveries included four airplanes to Dutch lessor AerCap (DEA) (three 737-800s and a 787-8 Dreamliner); three airplanes each to American Airlines (AAL) (two 737-800s and a 787-8 Dreamliner) and Indonesia’s Lion Air (MLI) (two 737-800s and a 737-900ER); and two airplanes each to Air China (BEJ) (two 737-800s), Delta Air Lines (DAL) (two 737-900ERs), FedEx (FED) (two 767-300 Freighters), lessor (GECAS) (GEF) (a 737-800 and a 777-300ER), Chinese carriers Hainan Airlines (HNA) (two 737-800s) and Shandong Airlines (SHG) (two 737-800s), Southwest Airlines (SWA) (two 737-800s), TUI Travel (PLC) (now known as TUI Group (TUG), which received a 737-800 and a 787-8 Dreamliner) and United Airlines (UAL) (two 737-900ERs).

787-8 Dreamliners were also delivered to Air Canada (ACN), Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS) and Qantas (QAN), which each took one of the airplanes; a 787-9 model was delivered to Singapore-based low-cost-carrier (LCC) Scoot (SCT).

Airbus (EDS)’ January deliveries included three airplanes to China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (two A319ceos and an A330-300) and two airplanes each to AirAsia (ASW)/Thai AirAsia (THA) (two A320ceos), American Airlines (AAL) (two A319ceos), China Southern Airlines (GUN) (an A321ceo and an A330-300), (GECAS) (GEF) (two A321ceos, one each for Thomas Cook Scandinavia (PRH) and Juneyao Airlines (YJA)), Chinese lessor (ICBC) (two A320ceos bound for Spring Airlines (CQH)), Lufthansa Passenger Airlines (DLH) (an A320ceo and an A321ceo), Spirit Airlines (SPR) (two A320ceos) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (two A321ceos). Additionally, Emirates (EAD) took delivery of an A380 on January 30.

February 2014: News Item A-1: Avianca Holdings has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) to order 100 A320neo family airplanes. See photo - - "AVI-A320neo A321neo 2015-02" in Avianca (AVI) livery.

The A320neo program has secured 245 firm orders from seven customers in Latin America, according to Airbus (EDS). In addition to Colombia-based Avianca (AVI), Avianca Holdings controls San Salvador-based TACA (TAC), Costa Rica’s LACSA (LAC), Taca Peru (TNM), Guatemala’s Aviateca (AVT), Ecuador’s Aerogal (ERG), Avianca Brazil (ONE) and Taca de Honduras (THD).

News Item A-2: Construction on the Airbus Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mobile, Alabama is moving forward and is on track to deliver its first A321 airplane JetBlue Airways (JPL) in “late spring-early summer 2016,” an Airbus (EDS) spokesperson said.

(EDS) started construction in 2013 on the $600 million USA facility, where it plans to begin assembling narrow bodies this year for deliveries starting in 2016. The Mobile (FAL) will be one of four A320 assembly lines, in addition to Hamburg, Tianjin, and Toulouse. (EDS) expects to assemble four airplanes per month by 2018. “We will start producing the first Airbus A321 variant in Mobile, because there is a demand for the Boeing 757 replacement, especially in North America, the spokesman said, adding the Mobile (FAL) will build the A321ceo. “Later on, from 2017 (and when full production starts in 2018) we will deliver the A321neo,” he said. (EDS) will also build the smaller variant of the A320 in the USA facility in the future, the spokesman added.

“This summer we will ship the first [airplane] parts from Europe to the USA by sea cargo, which takes about 22 to 23 days for delivery,” he said.

In January, Airbus (EDS) (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said in Toulouse the Airbus (EDS) market share in the USA “is still low.” He said part of (EDS)’ long-term strategy is to invest in the USA and be closer to American customers.

News Item A-3: The Airbus Group delivered a record 629 civil airplanes in 2014 and announced plans to increase the A320 production rate from 42 to 50 airplanes per month starting in 2017. It will also cut the A330 production rate to six airplanes per month in 2016.

Airbus (EDS) said that revenue for the commercial aircraft division was €42.2 billion/$47.7 billion, up +7% from €39.5 billion in 2013. (EBIT) grew to €2.6 billion, up from €2.2 billion for the year-over-year period. “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,” Airbus Group (CEO), Tom Enders said.

“We delivered more commercial airplanes than ever before, including the first A350, and our net orders were, once again, more than twice the number of deliveries.”

Airbus (EDS) received 1,456 net commercial orders, down from 1,503 net orders in 2013, with a net book-to-bill ratio above 2 and a backlog of 6,386 airplanes at year end. “Most importantly, we confirm the A380 breakeven for 2015,” Enders said. The company sold 30 A380s last year. “Clearly, our challenge is to get more customers (for the A380)” adding, the market trend is in favor of the A380.

“Due to strong demand for single-aisle airplanes, we have decided to increase production of our A320 family to 50 airplanes per month from 2017 onward. At the same time, we have decided to temporarily reduce A330 production to six airplanes per month in 2016,” Enders said.

The increase of the A320 production rate should start from the first quarter of 2017, matching market demand. “The demand is clearly there to move the rates to 60-plus,” Enders said. “There are studies underway.”

Airbus (EDS) sold over >11,500 single-aisle airplanes and more than >6,400 delivered to 317 operators. The A320 family includes the A319, A320 and A321. “Given the success of the A320 family, both ceo and neo, we will work closely with our supply chain, assess our manufacturing capabilities and decide on the most appropriate rate,” Airbus Executive VP Programs, Didier Evrard said.

Airbus (EDS) is also adjusting the A330 production rate to six a month from the first quarter of 2016 as it transitions toward the A330neo. “On wide bodies, we are adjusting the A330 production in preparation for transition to neo, while in parallel, the A350 XWB is on a steep ramp-up,” Evrard said.

Enders said this year, the Airbus Group is 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 defense and space portfolio.”

March 2015: News Item A-1: SEE ATTACHED "EDS-2015-03 - JET AVIATION STATUS-A/B" which describes matters discussed at the annual International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) meeting, currently being held at Phoenix, Arizona, March 10th (1,700 attendees).

News Item A-2: New higher weight A330 variant paves the way for the A330neo. SEE ATTACHED - - "EDS-A330 - NEW VERSION-2015-03."

Just 4 months after entering the Final Assembly Line (FAL), and <2 months after its maiden flight, the first 242 tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant of the A330 rolled out of the paintshop in Toulouse, France in Delta Air Lines (DAL) livery.

This first, new higher weight variant of the A330-300 is powered by 2 (GE) (CF6-80E1) engines and will be delivered this year to the new variant’s launch customer (DAL).

(DAL) is a major Airbus (EDS) wide body customer, with 32 A330 Family airplanes (11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s) in service today and +35 more on order (25 A330-900neo and 10 A330-300). In addition, (DAL) has equally +25 A350-900s on order. (DAL) also operates 126 A320 Family airplanes (57 A319ceo, 69 A320ceo) and has 45 A321ceo on order.

The A330 242 tonne (MTOW) is the platform for the future A330neo and offers more capability at lower operating cost with a range extended by up to 500 nautical miles and up to -2% reduced fuel consumption, while also benefiting from today’s A330 operational reliability of 99.4%. The 242 tonne (MTOW) is capable of flying missions up to 15 hours.

News Item A-3: Turkish Airlines (THY) has placed a firm order for four additional Airbus (EDS) A330-200F freighters that will be operated by its Turkish Cargo business. This latest order will join the five A330-200Fs Turkish Cargo already operates, taking it to nine of the type. Airbus (EDS) said the airplanes will help (THY) to “quickly meet the growing cargo market demand.”

The A330-200Fs will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 700) engines. “The A330-200F freighter airplanes have demonstrated outstanding operational reliability and performance for our cargo transport operations. It is with this in mind that we chose to expand our freighter fleet with more A330-200Fs,” (THY) (CEO), Temel Kotil said.

Across its fleet, (THY) has 139 (EDS) airplanes in service, comprising 91 single-aisle airplanes, two A310F freighters, 17 A330-200s, 18 A330-300s, five A330-200Fs and six A340s.

News Item A-4: Boeing (TBC) delivered 60 commercial airplanes in February, leading rival Airbus (EDS)’ 45 commercial airplane deliveries for the month. Boeing (TBC) logged seven orders for a total of 72 airplanes in February, the largest being an order for 50 737-MAX airplanes from an undisclosed customer on February 23. Alaska Airlines (ASA) booked a firm order for six 737-900ER airplanes on February 12, valued at approximately $594 million at current list prices. Korean Air (KAL) booked an order for five 777F freighters February 12, valued at approximately $1.55 billion at current list prices. And an unidentified customer ordered two 787-8 Dreamliners on February 6, valued at approximately $437 million at current list prices.

Airbus (EDS) logged three orders during the month, for a total of 32 airplanes, the largest being a combined order for 18 A320neo and five A320ceo airplanes placed by an undisclosed customer, valued at approximately $2.4 billion at current list prices. Additionally, AirAsia (ASW) logged a firm order for nine A320neo airplanes, valued at $956 million at current list prices.

Boeing (TBC)’s February deliveries included six airplanes to United Airlines (UAL) (five 737-900ERs and a 787-9); four 737-800 airplanes to Ryanair (RYR); three airplanes each to American Airlines (AAL) (a 737-800, a 777-300ER and a 787-8), Hainan Airlines (HNA) (two 737-800s and a 787-8) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) (three 737-800s); and two airplanes each to Dutch lessor, AerCap (DEA) (a 737-800s and a 787-9), Air China (BEJ) (two 737-800s), Delta Air Lines (DAL) (two 737-900ERs), Lion Air (MLI) (two 737-800s), and Qatar Airways (QTA) (two 787-8s).

787-8 Dreamliners were also delivered in February to Aeromexico (AMX), Air Canada (ACN), Air India (AIN)/(IND) and Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS). Etihad (EHD) and Virgin Atlantic (VAA) each took delivery of a 787-9 during the month.

Airbus (EDS)’ February deliveries included three airplanes each to US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (all A321ceos) and lessor (GECAS) (GEF) (three A321ceos bound for Condor Airlines (CDF), Juneyao Airlines (JYA) and Thomas Cook Scandinavia (PRH), respectively) and two airplanes each to AerCap (DEA) (two A321ceos bound for American Airlines (AAL)), Air New Zealand (ANZ) (two A320ceos), Irish lessor (AWAS) (AWW) (two A320ceos bound for Kuwait Airways (KUW)), Singapore-based lessor (BOC) Aviation (SIL) (two A320ceos bound for Capital Airlines (DER) and Tianjin Airlines (GCR), respectively) and China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (an A320ceo and an A330-200).

Additionally, British Airways (BAB) took delivery of an A380 on February 13.

News Item A-5: Airbus (EDS) has celebrated the delivery of its 9,000th airplane at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany on March 20. The airplane is the first A321 to be delivered to Vietnamese carrier VietJetAir (VJE) and will join (VJE)’s all-Airbus A320 family fleet flying on its fast-growing Asia-Pacific network.

April 2015: News Item A-1: The Airbus Group posted a first-quarter net income of +€792 million/+$880 million, up +80% from +€439 million in the year-ago quarter. Group revenue was €12.1 billion, down -5% from €12.7 billion in the first quarter of 2014.

Commercial Aircraft earned +€419 million in the first quarter, down -23% from +€546 million in the 2014 first quarter. First-quarter revenue for Commercial Aircraft was €8.6 million, down -4% from €8.9 billion a year ago. This mainly reflects the phasing of deliveries which are expected to be back-loaded in 2015, especially in the A350 and A380 product lines, Airbus (EDS) said. “We had a good start into 2015, with a solid operational performance and improved cash generation, further supported by asset sales,” Airbus Group (CEO), Tom Enders said. “We are on track to achieve our full year targets due to both the continued focus on program management and the implementation of our core strategy. We will review capital allocation towards the end of the year, as we progress on the A350 ramp up, A320 transition and our divestments, while the order book provides a strong platform for future growth.”

Airbus Group order intake for the first quarter was €21 billion, down -1% from the year-ago period, with the order book value rising to €955 billion as of March 31, taking into account a positive revaluation linked to the strengthening of the USA dollar. Airbus (EDS) received 101 net commercial airplane orders in the quarter (down from 103 net orders in (1Q) 2014), including 34 A330 family airplanes.

Looking forward, the Airbus Group said it expects “the world economy and air traffic to grow in line with prevailing independent forecasts and assumes no major disruptions. Airbus (EDS) deliveries should be slightly higher than in 2014, and the commercial airplane order book is again expected to grow.”

News Item A-2: Airbus (EDS) filed a JPY84 billion/$700 million claim with the Tokyo District Court against Skymark Airlines (SKM), the latest move in the payment dispute between (EDS) and (SKM).

(EDS) initiated proceedings against Skymark (SKM) in December last year, following (SKM)’s default on process payments for its order of six Airbus A380s, which were scheduled to start delivery late last year. Although (SKM), which filed for bankruptcy protection at the end of January, has said it is in the process of crafting a “rehabilitation program” by the end of May, it is also subject to some JPY200 billion in claims from other creditors.

(SKM) has said it will cancel or re-assign leases for 10 Airbus A330s, and is cutting schedules and “operating small flights to reduce the operational costs,” (SKM) President, Masakazu Arimori said.

(SKM) has scheduled a creditors meeting for late June, but still owes more than >JPY71 billion to other creditors, according to a bankruptcy filing.

News Item A-3: Pratt & Whitney (PRW) expects to deliver the first (PW1100G) geared turbofan (GTF) production engines to Airbus (EDS) by early in the 2015 third quarter for the A320neo, which is slated to enter service in the fourth quarter.

News Item A-4: The growth in low-cost carriers (LCC) and desire to increase revenue from airplanes is driving demand for cabin refurbishments, Airbus (EDS) said.

Airbus (EDS) detailed some cabin upgrade offerings ahead of the upcoming Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, where (EDS) will be exhibiting.

Among its A320-family cabin upgrade products are SpaceFlex and SmartLav, which permit extra seats (even a whole row of six seats) to be installed. (EDS) said the return on investment on this type of upgrade can be seen within 18 months to two years.

In 1998, just 4% of new A320-family airplanes were delivered with maximum seat configurations of 179/180 seats. By 2013, thanks to the growth of low cost carriers (LCC)s worldwide, that had grown to 40% and today around 60% are delivered with maximum seat capacity cabins.

For airlines with older A320s, that want to stay competitive, or leasing companies that want to make their A320s more attractive to a wider airline base, cabin upgrades are an option that can increase seat capacity to 186. “We have to keep that big piece of metal in the sky viable in the market,” Airbus Head of Upgrade Services, Valerie Manning said. The global retrofit market is worth between $1 billion and $2 billion a year, she said, with half that going to cabin upgrades. The single-aisle market, in particular, is in growth mode, with (LCC)s driving much of that growth and focused on installing standardized packages.

The Airbus SpaceFlex reconfiguration is offered in two packages; the first contains two larger versions of the SpaceLav and a small galley area installed at the rear of the airplane in bulkhead space, previously not utilized. The second configuration has two smaller SpaceLavs at the rear, but a larger galley.

The first configuration is aimed at (LCC)s, while the second is aimed at more traditional airlines that need to keep the extra galley space but which are now operating at 90% LF+ load factors, so want to add seats to accommodate growth.

For some airlines, however, cabin upgrades are not about adding seats but about promoting brand—through enhancements such as mood lighting, or turning narrow bodies into three-class configurations. Valerie said the latter trend is being seen in the USA, where airlines such as JetBlue (JBL) are adding cabins with lie-flat beds on their transcontinental services.

In China, Valerie said the upgrade market has become very strategic for Airbus (EDS). “That’s a very large market, and because of some government mandates, there is a demand for retrofit of things such as [cockpit display] (HUD)s and environmental improvements like [wingtip extension] Sharklets,” she said.

News Item A-5: The new 242-tonne maximum take-off-weight (MTOW) Airbus A330-300 has achieved certification from the European airworthiness authorities (EASA) following a 100 hour flight-test campaign. The flight-test campaign was shared between two airplanes.

Certification from the USA authorities (FAA) is also expected soon, Airbus (EDS) said. Furthermore, and in the near future, the smaller A330-200 model will follow the A330-300, benefiting from the 242-tonne (MTOW) capability. To date, 11 customers have already selected A330s with the 242-tonne (MTOW) capability.

The new A330 version offers various aerodynamic refinements and increased fuel capacity, extending the airplane’s range of up to 500 nautical miles, while carrying a greater payload. Fuel consumption is reduced by up to -2%; today’s A330 operational reliability is 99.4%.

The 242-tonne (MTOW) A330-300 is capable of flying missions of up to 15 hours and allow operators to fly directly between Europe and Southeast Asia. It could be used for more than >90% of typical routes from London airports.

The initial certified A330-300 242-tonne (MTOW) airplanes is powered by (CF6-80E1) engines; certification with the other engine types (the (PW4000) and (Trent 700)) will follow. Notably, the 242-tonne (MTOW) A330’s structure is also the basis for development of the forthcoming A330neo.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is the launch customer of the new variant, produced by European manufacturer Airbus (EDS).

The A330 variant entered the final assembly line in November and completed its maiden flight in January.

News Iterm A-6: The final assembly of (TAM) Airlines (TPR)'s first Airbus A350 XWB has begun at Roger Beteille Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse, France. Scheduled for delivery in December, the A350-XWB will make (TPR) become the first Americas operator of the A350 XWB.

(TAM) (TPR) has a total of 27 A350-900s on order. Deliveries will begin in 2015 through to 2019.

(TPR) has said the A350's economy (Y) cabin will be configured in a 3-3-3 layout, with similar seats to those found on sister carrier, (LAN)'s 787-9s.

The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) will bring a step change in efficiency compared with existing airplanes in this size category, using -25% less fuel and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions.

News Item A-7: Finnair (FIN), the first European airline to fly the Airbus A350-900, has detailed its entry-into-service (EIS) procedure.

(FIN), the Finland flag carrier has 19 of the type on order and expects to receive the first four in the fall. Another seven will be delivered in 2016 and 2017, with the remaining eight to be delivered between 2018 and 2023.

The A350 will become (FIN)’s main airplanes on its important Europe - Asia network.

Before A350 long-haul operations begin, Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member (FIN) will conduct crew familiarization flights throughout Europe in October. The first commercial A350 flight will be October 5 from its Helsinki hub to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland, followed over the next two weeks by other European cities, including Brussels, Hamburg, London, Stockholm, and Vienna on scheduled services, which would normally be operated with narrow body airplanes.

Long-haul operations start first on the Helsinki - Shanghai Pudong route with daily A350XWB services from October 25. Beijing follows with daily A350 service on November 21. (FIN)’s peak-season frequencies to Bangkok will be served with a combination of A350 and A330 airplanes from December 4th.

Daily services to Hong Kong from February 1, 2016 and to Singapore from May 5, 2016 will also be operated with a combination of A350 and A330 airplanes. “Our A350 investment program is the largest in the company’s 92-year history, and these airplanes will form the backbone of our long-haul operations for years to come, while also playing an essential role in our sustainable, long-term profitability,” (CEO), Pekka Vauramo said.

(FIN) expects the A350 to bring more than >25% improvement in fuel efficiency and operating cost over the previous generation of airplanes in its class.

The (FIN) A350 offers a 297-seat configuration, including 46C seats in business class in a 1+2+1 layout. Economy (Y) class cabin features Zodiac Z300 slim-line seats with a 31-inch seat pitch in a 3+3+3 layout. There are also 43PY economy comfort seats, which offer four extra inches of leg room.

In March, (FIN)’s overall capacity grew +3.8% and (RPK) grew +3.5% year-over-year. Passenger load factor was 78.9% LF.

News Item A-8: Airbus (EDS) announced that it has surpassed >1,500 A330 orders with recent orders from Turkish Airlines (THY) for four A330-200Fs and (ALE) for 25 A330-900neos.

News Item A-9: Airbus (EDS) has selected Korean Air Aerospace Division ((KAL) - (ASD)), the manufacturing division of the Korean Air (KAL) Group, to supply the new Sharklet wingtip for the A330neo.

(KAL) - (ASD) will manufacture the new composite wingtip devices at its Busan facility and supply them to Airbus (EDS)’ Toulouse final assembly line.

The Sharklets bear a strong resemblance to the aerodynamic devices carried by the A350 and the A330 versions will include a wingspan extension; overall span will increase from 60.3m of the A330ceo to 64m on the A330neo, and provide increased lift while reducing drag.

Together with the A330neo’s Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines, the new wingtips (plus other aerodynamic enhancements) will give the airplane a -14% reduction in fuel burn per seat compared with today’s A330ceos, Airbus (EDS) said.

The application of these incremental innovations are also predicted to give operators a range increase of up to +400 nautical miles while giving operators operational commonality advantages with the Airbus (EDS) family.

The first A330neos will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017.

(KAL) - (ASD) is a long-term industrial partner of (EDS), which manufacturers and supplies parts for several (EDS) programs (including the Sharklets for the A320 family, fuselage skin panels and floor assemblies for the A330 family, and the composite cargo doors for the new A350 XWB).

The A330 family has attracted more than >1,500 orders, serving over >100 operators.

News Item A-10: Airbus (EDS) sent an A350 XWB to Kathmandu, Nepal from Paris, loaded with medics and relief supplies, for French citizens to be evacuated following the devastating earthquake that has resulted in a death toll exceeding 6,000.

The prototype A350 (MSN 5), with cabin interior was sent to Kathmandu to transport aid relief and medical personnel on behalf of about 200 French survivors.

The A350-900 XWB took off from Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris at 10:47 pm and arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) at 10:29 am the following day (Nepal Time).

Airbus (EDS) is also working with Nepal Airlines (RNA) for the transport of aid relief and medical personnel with the A320 delivery to Nepal Airlines (RNA) from Hamburg.

News Item A-11: "The A380 10 Years on and Leahy’s Optimism for 50 years more" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, April 24, 2015.

It’s been 10 years since the first Airbus A380 took flight. To mark the occasion, Airbus (EDS) has created a video starring their (COO) Customers, John Leahy (and the A380, of course, but this is really John’s show).

As you would expect, the video puts a very rosy gloss on the A380’s sales success. Yes, more than >300 airplanes have been sold, but the truth is that (EDS) had hoped for bigger numbers. And while pressure is being applied by some customers to produce a re-engined A380neo, it should be noted that it has not always been clear that A380 production line could remain economically viable.

A major gap in the A380 order book is North America (no USA carriers have bought this plane). But Leahy says in the video that he believes this will change, especially as USA carriers extend their Asia-Pacific networks. It’s just a matter of time, he says.

I think he may be right, but it is still a ways off. I don’t see any USA airline prioritizing the A380 in its current fleet planning.

But what I will note here is that, personally, I love flying on the A380. I’ve done long-haul flights in economy (Y), premium-economy (PY) and business (C) class on several different airlines and it is a very comfortable plane. Spacious, bright, amazingly quiet and very stable; I love the big overhead bins and, best of all, getting a window seat with a bin right next to me (keeps my stuff handy and gives me an extra “table” and elbow room.

When Leahy and Airbus (EDS) first started touting the idea of this double-decker (and I was at another aviation publication), I was a complete non-believer. I firmly believed I would never want to fly on this mass-transit flying bus.

So yes, John, I was wrong and you were right. I actually feel far less “crowded” on an A380 than on almost any other airplane. I’m one of those passengers who chooses an A380 if options allow.

So here’s a last word from Leahy from the video and you can watch the video itself here (below): “We constantly talk to our customers and there have been rumors out in the field about whether we are going to look at new engines on the airplane, new aero-dynamic improvements on the airplane. These are evolutionary changes. They are part of the system of keeping an airplane alive for up to 40 or 50 years and this program will be around 40 to 50 years from now. No doubt in my mind about that.”

A380 10-year anniversary - - See video - -

May 2015: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) pulled into the lead for commercial jet airplane orders in 2015 with 228 gross commercial airplane orders, compared to rival Boeing (TBC)’s 152, following an April 30 order placed by Colombian carrier, Avianca (AVI) for 100 A320neo family airplanes.

News Item A-2: Airbus (EDS) has launched a long-term partnership program designed to help airlines reduce their environmental footprint.

Dubbed the Sustainable Aviation Engagement Program (SAEP), it was launched at an Airbus (EDS) environmental media briefing in Toulouse.
(SAEP) will focus on four main areas (aircraft technology, aircraft operations, air traffic management, and sustainable aviation fuels).

Several pilot projects are currently under development, in which Airbus (EDS) will work closely with Cathay Pacific (CAT), British Airways (BAB), and (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines. Feedback and learning from these projects will be taken on board before the program is broadened out to other operators from 2016.

“We are very pleased to see the (SAEP) taking shape with world leading airlines like (BAB), (CAT) and (KLM),” Airbus Head of Environment, Jean-Luc Taupiac said. “The benefits unfolded with ‘Perfect Flight,’ a combination of latest aircraft technology, best aircraft operations, optimized air traffic management (ATM) and sustainable aviation fuels, really unlocks the full potential to minimize the environmental footprint.”

In October 2011, Airbus (EDS) and Air France (AFA) completed the first example of "Perfect Flight," which resulted in an Airbus A321 flying from Toulouse to Paris with half the CO&#8322; emitted compared to a regular flight.

The first such flight in North America took place in June 2012, when Air Canada (ACN) operated an A319 from Toronto to Mexico City with emissions cut by more than >40%.

Factors contributing to these figures included taxiing on a single engine, operating on a 50/50 blend of biofuel made of used cooking oil and streamlined air traffic procedures.

Airbus (EDS) believes that scaling-up "Perfect Flights" can significantly contribute to shrinking the environmental footprint of an aircraft’s flight.

“Environmental issues are fully back on the agenda,” said Senior VP Head of Market & Product Strategy, Bob Lange, noting that a major conference on climate change is scheduled to take place in Paris in December.

The global airline sector has set itself a voluntary target of achieving carbon-neutral growth by 2020 and then by reducing CO&#8322; emissions by -50% compared to a 2005 baseline.

News Item A-3: The Airbus Group hired Frédéric Sutter as Digitalization Program Director, effective immediately. In this newly created post, he will report directly to Chief Technical Officer, Jean Botti, who is leading the digitalization initiative for the Group. Sutter joined the Group in 2012 as VP with responsibility to coordinate strategic projects and to develop recommendations for aerospace market disruptions.

News Item A-4: Ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) VivaAerobus (VVS) has taken delivery of its first new A320 following the airplane handover at the Airbus Delivery Center in Toulouse. The A320 is the first to be delivered from an order placed in 2013 for 52 airplanes (12 A320ceo and 40 A320neo), which is the largest single deal by a Mexican customer. (VVS) already operates six leased A320s and will become an all Airbus (EDS) operator as it completes its fleet transition from 737-300s by early 2016.

Including the first A320, all (VVS)’ A320ceo are powered by (IAE) engines. The A320neo will be powered by Pratt and Whitney (PRW) engines. The airplanes will be deployed on (VVS)’ domestic network and international routes to the USA.

“Our new fleet of A320s will enable VivaAerobus (VVS) to continue enhancing our operational efficiencies by lowering our costs and fares for our passengers, while offering a significant upgrade with the A320 cabin comfort,” said Juan Carlos Zuazua, (CEO) of (VVS). “We couldn’t be more pleased to integrate this new airplanes into our growing Airbus (EDS) fleet and we look forward to expanding our network and allowing even more passengers to fly for the very first time.”

VivaAerobus (VVS), jointly owned by (IAMSA), Mexico’s largest bus company, and Irelandia, a global low-cost-carrier (LCC) airline developer group, has based its fleet renewal strategy on the A320 Family. The A320’s unmatched operating economics and reliability will play a key role as the airline meets the growing demand for cost-efficient air travel in Mexico.

The A320 Family is a best-selling single aisle product line with almost 11,700 orders to date and over >6,500 aircraft delivered to 400 customers and operators worldwide. The newest member of the A320 Family, the A320neo, incorporates many innovations including latest generation engines and Sharklet wing tip devices, which together deliver more than >15% in fuel savings from day one and 20% by 2020. With nearly 3,800 orders received from 71 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured almost 60% share of the market. To date, the A320neo program has 345 firm orders from six customers in Latin America. With more than 950 airplanes sold and a backlog of nearly 500, more than >550 Airbus airplanes are in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In the last 10 years, Airbus (EDS) has tripled its in-service fleet, while delivering more than >60% of all airplanes operating in the region.

News Item A-5: Following the accident to an Airbus A400M on May 9th, Airbus Defence & Space technical advisors are providing full assistance to the official committee that is in charge of the investigation. The investigating authority is the Spanish Ministry of Defence.

At the same time, the company is providing all appropriate care and support to the families of the four employees who lost their lives and two who were injured, as well as to the two injured survivors themselves, who remain in hospital.

The Spanish authorities have confirmed that both black boxes have been found. Airbus and other suppliers are in a support role and will provide all necessary expertise and information to help the investigation.

The A400M flight test program continues unless or until any evidence is found which would suggest that it is not safe to fly. So far no such evidence has emerged.

The first test flight since the accident took place on May 12th. Development airplane (MSN4) took off from Toulouse at 14:45 and landed at Seville 1hr 50 min later. This was a regular test flight which was scheduled before the accident. Fernando Alonso, Head of Airbus Defence & Space Military Aircraft was on board acting as a flight test engineer.

The Spanish military authorities informed Airbus Defence & Space on May 12th that, as a precautionary measure and pending the accident investigation, they have temporarily suspended the licence to undertake flights with the production airplanes that are in preparation for delivery. We are working closely with the military authorities as well as our customers to manage this situation.

Assembly of the A400M for customers continues as planned at the Seville Final Assembly Line. This also applies to other plants such as the wing line at Filton, UK and the fuselage production line at Bremen, Germany.

Facts about the accident aircraft

* Known as (MSN23).

* Assembly started in Seville in November 2014.

* 3rd aircraft for Turkey.

* The delivery process was planned to start later this month with delivery scheduled for the end of June

Airbus Defence & Space owns five A400M test airplanes of which three are currently in service and the other two have been retired. These five airplanes have accumulated more than >2,700 flights and over >7,500 flight hours. Customers have additionally accumulated more than >2,000 hours on airplanes in service.

Later on May 19th it was reported by Jens Flottau and Tony Osborne in the Aerospace Daily & Defense Report that the crash of the Airbus A400M airlifter that killed four persons on May 9th may have been caused by new software that cut off the engine-fuel supply, industry sources have said.

Source (URL): http://aviationweek.com/defense/software-cut-fuel-supply-stricken-a400m :

Four company personnel, including both test pilots, died when the aircraft (which had been destined for the Turkish air force) crashed on agricultural land north of Seville San Pablo Airport shortly after takeoff on its first flight.

Two flight-test engineers were pulled from the wreckage and remain in the hospital.

Sources have told Aviation Week that aircraft (MSN23), destined for Turkey, featured new software that would trim the fuel tanks, allowing the aircraft to fly certain military maneuvers.

The sources stated that the exact sequence of events is not yet clear, nor is it clear whether all four engines failed at some point. Some reports have suggested three engines failed. There also seems to have been a trimming issue leading to strong banking that was not recoverable.

The fuel supply was re-established, but not quickly enough for recovery to safe flight.

Details about the software have emerged as Airbus Defense & Space requested all operators of its A400M airlifter conduct checks on electronic control units (ECUs) fitted to the (TP400) turboprop engines on the aircraft.

Airbus (EDS) alerted the five air arms operating the transport aircraft to perform one-time specific checks of the (ECU)s on each of the aircraft’s engines before the next flight. The company also has introduced additional detailed checks, to be carried out in the event of subsequent engine or (ECU) replacement.

The company said these checks were necessary to “avoid potential risks in any future flights,” and adds that the results have been shared with the official investigation team.

The company said the alert had resulted from its internal analysis and was issued as “part of the continued airworthiness activities, independently from the ongoing official investigation [into the accident].”

Airbus (EDS) restarted development flight-testing of the A400M on May 12, but the company still is subject to the withdrawal of the Spanish defense ministry’s permit to test-fly production aircraft.

The majority of A400M customers have halted flights with the aircraft until more details about the cause of the accident emerge. Only France, which has six aircraft, is continuing flight operations. One of the UK’s aircraft is reportedly stuck in New Mexico awaiting the lifting of the British defense ministry’s self-imposed flight pause.

News Item A-6: The (CFM) International (CFMI) (LEAP-1A)-powered Airbus A320neo achieved first flight in France - - see attached "EDS-A320neo - 2015-05."

The (LEAP-1A) is one of two engine choices on the re-engined Airbus narrow body. The Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G)-powered A320neo achieved first flight in September 2014. The (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo flew May 19th from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport for 4 hours and 25 min. “The engines performed extremely well throughout the flight envelope,” (CFMI), a (GE) Aviation/Snecma joint venture (JV), said.

The (CFMI) (LEAP-1B) is the sole-source engine for the Boeing 737 MAX; it flew for the first time on a 747 flying testbed in April.

(CFMI) said the (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo is on track to enter commercial service in 2016. “Nearly 60% of the required engine certification reports have been submitted and approved to date” by the (FAA) and (EASA), (CFMI) said.

News Item A-7: Airbus (EDS) has launched the ACJ320neo (New Engine Option) corporate jet with an order from Acropolis Aviation, Farnborough, England, UK - - see attached "EDS-ACJ320neo - 2015-05.jpg."

Delivery of Acropolis' ACJ320neo, which will seat 19 passengers, is planned for the 4th quarter of 2018. "Our passengers and team have been delighted with our ACJ319 and the success that it has achieved with VVIP charter flights over the past five years" said Acropolis Aviation (CEO), Jonathon Bousfield. "We are excited and proud to be the first launch customer for the ACJ320neo."

The ACJ320neo features new, more efficient engines, wingtip-mounted sharklets, and a more comfortable cabin. It will be able to fly 25 passengers 6,000 nm/11,100 km. The ACJ320neo will be complemented by a new ACJ319neo, also with new engines, sharklets, and a more comfortable cabin, which can fly 8 passengers 6,750nm/12,500 km.

More than >170 corporate jets have been sold to date, and they are flying on every continent, including Antarctica, highlighting their versatility.

News Item A-8: The Head of Airbus (EDS) Sales is seeking to jump the production rate of the A320 to over >60 per month.

Airbus (EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy said that the success of the A320 program and its re-engined variant, the neo, means that the monthly production rate could potentially go higher than the 50 per month planned from the first quarter of 2017. Current production rate is 42 per month,

“I, for one, am looking for a rate of over >60,” Leahy said. By 2017 A320-family airplanes will be being built in (EDS) facilities in Toulouse, Hamburg, China, and Mobile, Alabama.

At a briefing later the same day, (EDS) Executive VP & Head of Programs, Didier Evrard, confirmed that the market for the A320 makes the idea of further increasing the production rate appealing. “We are looking at what it would take to go to higher production numbers,” Evrard said, but he added that much would depend on the supply chain.

(EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Bregier, speaking at the end of the day's sessions, said it was not a matter of "if" the increased production would happen, but more a question of "when." "There is potential beyond >50," Bregier said. But he added that there would be a production transition time between the A320ceo and A320neo that will start in 2017 and continue through 2018, and any ramp-up beyond the planned 50 airplanes per month would need the involvement and commitment from key suppliers. "We are inclined to go, and we believe the market is there (we don't speculate) when we have a clear commitment from our suppliers," Bregier said.

Leahy said that Airbus (EDS) has captured so far orders for 3,794 A320neos from 71 customers, representing a 58% market share versus the rival re-engined Boeing (TBC) 737 MAX, which has secured 2,724 orders from 57 customers.

“The neo is holding up at around 60% of the market,” Leahy said.

News Item A-9: "Looking for a Buyer: Skymark (SKM) A380s sit on Airbus tarmac in Toulouse" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, May 28th, 2015 - - see photo "EDS-2015-05 - Two Skymark A380s at Toulouse."

Taking in the Toulouse sunshine, and clearly not going anywhere soon, is this pair of Airbus A380s which were originally bound for Japan and Tokyo-based low-cost carrier (LCC), Skymark Airlines (SKM), which defaulted on its payments for six A380s early this year and filed for bankruptcy protection.

In Toulouse for Airbus’ annual Innovation Day briefing for journalists, the event took place in the company’s A380 VIP center. (ATW) correspondent, Kurt Hofmann, took this photo of the A380s sitting just outside the building.

Skymark (SKM) was de-listed from the Tokyo Stock Exchange in March; it struggled, and ultimately failed, to make its business model work against Japan’s fiercely-competitive (LCC) market.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has agreed to buy up to 20% of (SKM), but the current restructuring plan has been rejected by two of (SKM)’s largest creditors, Airbus (EDS) and lessor, Intrepid Aviation (INL).

In the foreground of this photo can be seen an A380 built for British Airways (BAB), one of 12 that (BAB) ordered and which it is now operating on routes such as London Heathrow to Washington Dulles and Singapore. Happier times for that A380, at least.

June 2015: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) has shipped the first A320 large airplane components from Hamburg, Germany to its Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mobile, Alabama, as its first USA-produced A320 is on schedule beginning this summer. The sea voyage (already departed), will take approximately 20 days.

The major component assemblies (MCAs) consist of the wings produced in the UK, the rear fuselage section produced in Germany, including the tail cone (produced in Spain), and the forward fuselage section, including the cockpit, produced in France, all of which contain parts from all over the world. The horizontal (from Spain) and vertical (from Germany) stabilizers are also on board.

Airbus (EDS) established the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mobile to assemble and deliver A319, A320 and A321 airplanes to meet the growing needs of its customers in the USA and elsewhere.

“North America is one of the largest single-aisle airplane markets in the world. This manufacturing facility brings us closer to our customers, and strengthens the aerospace industry in the USA, Europe and around the world. Production will begin in just a few weeks, with first delivery scheduled for 2016,” Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said.

The first Mobile-built airplane is an A321ceo destined for delivery to JetBlue (JBL) in 2016.

Mobile is the company’s first USA-based production facility, and the fourth in the network that includes Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; and Tianjin, China.

Last week, Airbus (EDS) management told journalists the monthly A320-family production rate at these facilities (starting from the first quarter of 2017) is four airplanes in Tianjin, 25 in Toulouse, 17 in Hamburg, and four in Mobile. Current production rate is 42 per month.

Airbus started construction in 2013 on the $600 million USA facility.

“We will start producing the first Airbus A321 variant in Mobile because there is a demand for the Boeing 757 replacement, especially in North America,” an Airbus (EDS) spokesperson in Hamburg Finkenwerder said recently. “Later on, from 2017 (and when full production starts in 2018) we will deliver the A321neo,” he said.

News Item A-2: Frontier Airlines (FRO) has placed a firm order for 10 Airbus A321ceo and two A320ceo airplanes - - see photo - - "FRO-2015-06 - A320ceo Family Order.jpg."

Including this order, (FRO) has a backlog of 101 Airbus (EDS) single-aisle aircraft. Their current in-service fleet consists of 55 A320 family aircraft (34 A319s and 21 A320s).

News Item A-3: Vietnam Airlines’ first A350 XWB takes flight.

The first Airbus A350 XWB destined for Vietnam Airlines (VIE) flew June 1, beginning a rapid ramp-up of A350 production that will see three new operators take delivery of the airplane this year.

News Item A-4: Tunisair (TUN) took delivery of its first A330-200 (1631, TS-IFM) on June 9. The wide body jet, one of three on order from Airbus Industrie (EDS), will make its commercial debut on June 11.

(TUN), the Tunisian national carrier plans to use the airplane on flights from Tunis to Dubai International, Istanbul Atatürk, Jeddah, Lyon St Exupéry, Madinah, Nice, Nouakchott, and Paris Orly.

It will also be used to roll out Tunisair (TUN)'s maiden transatlantic services to Montréal Trudeau later on in September.

(TUN) currently operates 32 airplanes to 34 countries, and serves 86 destinations, 156 routes and 105 daily flights.

News Item A-5: At the Paris Air Show, Airbus (EDS) announced that Saudia (SVA) was its launch customer for the A330-300 Regional with a firm order for 20 of the aircraft - - see attached - - "EDS-A330-300 Regional Order - SVA-2015-06.jpg"

News Item A-6: Korean Air (KAL) has signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus (EDS) to acquire up to 50 A321neo aircraft, its first of the type. The agreement, covering 30 aircraft plus 20 options, was announced at the Paris Air Show.

(KAL) will operate the A321neo with a two-class, full-service layout on regional services, including on longer sectors to selected destinations in Southeast Asia. The A321neos will be fitted with premium amenities, including wider seats in both classes and the latest in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems.

News Item A-7: Wizz Air (WZZ) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to buy 110 Airbus A321neos, marking the biggest single order for the type, it was announced at the Paris Air Show. (WZZ) also agreed to option rights on a further 90 A321neos.

According to Airbus (EDS), the aircraft will be fitted in the latest A321neo Airbus Cabin Flex configuration with 239 seats. No engine selection has been made. Wizz Air (WZZ) (CEO), Jozsef Varadi said he expected selection between the (CFM) (LEAP) and Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100) geared turbofan will be made in the next year or so.

"We are very motivated by any Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) initiatives that can deliver more efficiencies, so we are very excited about the 239-seat configuration," Varadi said. "We are one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe and we will continue to be in that position."

Last November, Varadi said (WZZ) was aiming to nearly double in size by 2019, when it plans to hit 30 million passengers a year and a 100-aircraft fleet.

Wizz Air (WZZ) operates 61 aircraft on one of Central and Eastern Europe’s most extensive networks with over >380 routes from 22 bases.

News Item A-8: "Airbus (EDS) & Boeing (TBC) Both Claim Paris Air Show Wins" by (ATW) Karen Walker, June 18 2015.

Airbus (EDS) claimed victory over rival Boeing (TBC) at the Paris Air Show with orders and commitments totaling 421 aircraft announced through the week, but Boeing (TBC)’s 331 commercial airplane sales included a far larger number of higher value wide bodies.

Airbus (EDS) sealed a last-minute deal with Budapest-based, low-cost carrier Wizz Air (WZZ), a fast growing airline that signed for 110 A321neos plus 90 purchase options Thursday, June 18, the last trade day of the show.

That brought Airbus (EDS)’ total commercial aircraft firm orders and commitments for the week to 421 aircraft at a list price value of $57 billion. The total comprised 124 firm orders worth $16.3 billion and 287 commitments valued at $40.7 billion.

Each manufacturer’s new firm orders to identified customers announced at the show, totaled 124 aircraft.

Airline and leasing customers for Airbus (EDS) aircraft included (ALE), (GCAS) (GFE), Garuda Indonesia (GIA), (EVA) Airways, Korean Air (KAL), Peach Aviation (PCA), Saudia (SVA), VietJet Air (VJE), Wizz Air (WZZ), and Avianca owner, Synergy Aerospace (ONE). There was also an A320neo order announced by one unnamed airline, which Airbus (EDS) said was in Asia and would be revealed and the agreement placed in the order book in July or August.

The large majority of the Airbus (EDS) deals were for A320 family aircraft, a mix of ceos and neos that comprised 103 firm orders and 263 commitments. The order total also included one ACJ319neo, an executive version of the neo.

But on the wide body side, there were no A380 order announcements and only one firm A350 XWB order.

And while Saudia (SVA) was announced as launch customer for the new A330-300 Regional, there were no new orders or commitments for the re-engined A330neo that was launched in July at the Farnborough Airshow.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) clocked orders and commitments for 331 airplanes at a list value of $50.2 billion, including a deal announced Thursday June 18 for 21 737NGs to an undisclosed customer. Its Paris total included 36 787s, 10 777Xs, 2 777-300ERs, nine 777Fs and 20 747-8Fs, as well as 253 narrow bodies, a mix of 737NGs and 737 MAXs.

Boeing (TBC) customers included Aer Cap (DEA), Ethiopian Airlines (ETH), (EVA), Garuda Indonesia (GIA), Korean (KAL), Minsheng, Ruili Airlines (RUI), Qatar Airways (QTA), (SMBC) (SBC), Sriwijaya Air (SJA), and Volga-Dnepr (VDA).

Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Bregier told the press Thursday June 18, that the company had “a very successful Paris Air Show” and that the number of orders and commitments was “higher than I personally expected.” He said the show confirmed that the market trends were “extremely positive” and that Airbus (EDS) would meet or over-achieve its goals for 2015. “We are leading this show again in terms of order and commitments,” he said.

Speaking on Thursday June 18, Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) VP Marketing, Randy Tinseth was similarly bullish about how the air show had worked for Boeing (TBC) and what it meant for the overall market, although he admitted that this Paris was not about the kind of “eye popping numbers” that have been the theme of recent air shows.

Still, it had still been a productive week. “Any time you look at a show where you have more than >300 orders and commitments, then that’s a very good show,” he said. “There’s no question that the 787-9 has been absolutely spectacular from a show perspective with a fantastic aerial display that demonstrated the features and capabilities of that airplane.”

Tinseth said the 777 was outselling the A350-1000 “by about five to one at this point” and that Boeing (TBC)’s wide body backlog “speaks to our product line and speaks to the fact that we have the better strategy.”

Tinseth added, “We are out in front of our competition and we have no plans to relinquish our number one position.” Summing up what he felt the theme of this show had been (with both Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC)sitting on record backlogs) Tinseth said, “This show is about how you deliver those airplanes and how you do that on time and on budget. That’s critical. It’s about performance right now.”

July 2015: News Item A-1: The Airbus Group reported first-half net income of +€1.52 million /+$1.69 million, up +34% compared to a net income of +€1.14 billion in the year-ago period.

The Airbus (EDS) commercial aircraft unit posted a +9% year-over-year first-half revenue increase to €21.1 billion. Airbus commercial’s first-half (EBIT) was up +5% to €1.42 billion. Airbus (EDS)’s first-half order intake was 348 net commercial aircraft, up +20% year-over-year. The first-half commercial airplane order intake more than doubled by value to €46.33 billion.

Airbus Group (CEO), Tom Enders said, “The half-year underlying results reflect our continued focus on program execution and operational efficiency. Revenues, profitability and cash generation all improved, and the overall financial performance means we are on track to deliver our 2015 guidance. We continue to see healthy commercial momentum across the portfolio as shown by the major contracts announced at June’s Paris Air Show. We are focused on operational priorities, including A350 and A400M ramp-up, cost control and deliveries plus the A320neo transition, as we strive to further enhance profits and cash.”

News Item A-2: Aircraft procurement firm, China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CSC) has signed a “general terms agreement” (GTA) for 45 Airbus A330 family aircraft and a Memo of Understanding (MOU) covering 30 A330 options.

The two agreements were signed by the heads of (CSC) and Airbus (EDS), in the presence of Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang and French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls. “The package order is a new vote of confidence in our A330 family aircraft,” Airbus President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said.

Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang arrived in Toulouse from Marseilles on Air China (BEJ) 747-4J6 (1054-25883, /95 B-2447).

Airbus (EDS) already has over >1,150 aircraft in service with Chinese operators, comprising more than >980 A320 family aircraft, more than 150 A330 family aircraft, and five A380s.

(CSC), established in October 2002, specializes in aircraft procurement, support services and supplies. Excluding these most recent agreements, (CSC) has signed 21 package-purchase contracts totaling more than >1,500 aircraft since 2002.

News Item A-3: "Airbus A330 Completion & Delivery Center in China" by (ATW) Linda Blachly, July 6, 2015.

A framework agreement for setting up an A330 Completion and Delivery Centre (C&DC) in Tianjin, China was signed between Airbus (EDS) and its Chinese partners (namely the Tianjin Free Trade Zone Investment Company Ltd (TJFTZ) and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). See photo - - "EDS-2015-07 - A330 Chinese Completion Center.jpg."

News Item A-4: Airbus (EDS) has been selected by Vietnam Airlines (VIE) to provide Flight Hour Services (FHS) for its new fleet of 14 A350-900s on order. With this contract, (VIE) becomes the first A350 XWB operator to select Airbus (FHS). The agreement, which will run for 12 years, provides an extensive scope including A350 line replaceable units (LRU)s, guaranteed spare parts availability through a pool access service at Vietnam Airlines (VIE)’s main base and selected outstations.

News Item A-5: "Airbus (EDS) & Boeing (TBC) June 2015 Orders & Deliveries Round-up" by (ATW) Mark Nenesel, July 7, 2015.

Boeing (TBC) logged firm orders for a total of 160 commercial airplanes in June, following orders from Qatar Airways (QTA), (SMBC) Aviation Capital (SBC), AerCap Holdings (DEA), and at least five unidentified customers. Rival manufacturer Airbus (EDS) booked firm orders from seven customers for 134 commercial aircraft. As of June 30, Airbus (EDS) has logged 379 gross commercial aircraft orders year-to-date, compared to Boeing’s 322.

Boeing (TBC)’s largest order for the month came from Dutch lessor AerCap (DEA) on June 12. Subsequently announced at the Paris Air Show, AerCap (DEA)'s order for 100 737 MAX 8 airplanes is valued at approximately $10.7 billion at 2014 average list prices (note: Boeing increased its overall airplane prices +2.9% on July 1). Qatar Airways (QTA) also made a major commitment at the Paris Air Show, placing a firm order for 10 777-8X passenger airplanes and four 777F cargo airplanes, valued at approximately $4.8 billion at 2014 average list prices. Irish lessor, (SMBC) Aviation Capital added +10 more 737 MAX 8s to the company’s current standing order of 80 airplanes of the same model, a transaction worth approximately $1.07 billion at 2014 average list prices. Earlier in the month, on June 3rd, an unidentified customer ordered 17 737-800s, valued at approximately $1.58 billion at 2014 average list prices. Boeing (TBC) closed out the month with a June 30 firm order from an unidentified customer for four 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at approximately $1.03 billion at 2014 average list prices.

Dubai-based lessor International Airfinance Corporation was Airbus (EDS)’s biggest customer for the month, ordering 30 A320ceos and 20 A330-300s at the Paris Air Show on June 15. The aircraft are intended for lease to Saudia (SVA), which will become the launch customer for Airbus (EDS)’ regional A330-300 model; the order is valued at approximately $7.98 billion at current average list prices. Additionally, USA-Irish lessor, (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) (GEF) ordered 60 A320-family aircraft during the Paris Air Show (45 A320neo models and 15 A321neos) at a total value of approximately $6.65 billion at current average list prices. A pair of Asia-Pacific carriers also made significant commitments with Airbus (EDS) during the month: Indonesia-based Lion Air (MLI) ordered nine A320neos (valued at approximately $956 million) and VietJet Air (VJE) ordered six A321ceos (valued at approximately $661 million).

Boeing (TBC) posted an additional order in June from an unidentified private/(VIP) customer for a 787-8 Dreamliner; Airbus (EDS) logged an additional order for an A330-200 from its Airbus (EDS) Defense & Space business unit for use as a Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for the French military.

Boeing (TBC) delivered 69 commercial airplanes to 39 customers in June, contrasted with Airbus (EDS)’ delivery of 61 commercial aircraft to 38 customers. As of June 30, Boeing (TBC) has delivered 369 commercial airplanes year-to-date; Airbus (EDS) has delivered 301 commercial aircraft year-to-date.

Boeing (TBC)’s June deliveries included five airplanes each to China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (three 737-800s, a 737-700 and a 777-300ER) and Ryanair (RYR) (five 737-800s); four airplanes to Air China (BEJ) (three 737-800s and a 747-8); and three to Lion Air (MLI) (two 737-800s and a 737-900ER). Two 787-9 Dreamliners were delivered to Etihad Airways (EHD); Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JSA) also took delivery of two Dreamliners (a 787-8 and a 787-9). 787-8 Dreamliners (one to each customer) were delivered to Air India (AIN)/(IND) and Xiamen Airlines (XIA), while additional 787-9 Dreamliners (one to each customer) were delivered to AerCap (DEA), All Nippon Airways (ANA), Scoot (SCT), and Virgin Atlantic (VAA).

Airbus (EDS)’ June deliveries included five aircraft to China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (two A321ceos, an A330-200, an A330-300, and an A319ceo). Three aircraft each were delivered to Aegean Airlines (CRM) (all A320ceos); American Airlines (AAL) (two A321ceos and an A319ceo); China Southern Airlines (GUN) (two A320ceos and an A330-300); Qatar Airways (QTA) (an A380, an A350-900 XWB, and an A320ceo intended for (QTA)’s new domestic carrier subsidiary Al Maha Airways); Turkish Airlines (THY) (two A330-300s and an A321ceo); US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (three A321ceos); and Wizz Air (WZZ) (three A320ceos). Additionally, an A350-900 XWB was delivered to lessor AerCap (DEA) (intended for Vietnam Airlines (VIE)) and an A380 (one to each customer) was delivered to Asiana Airlines (AAR) and Emirates (EAD).

News Item A-6: Early this month, China Eastern (CEA) successfully validated new "Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required" procedures (RNP AR) at Yushu Airport with a demonstration flight at Yushu Airport. The Yushu airport sits at an elevation of 12,811ft with high surrounding terrain. This type of performance-based navigation (PBN) enhances safety in areas with challenging terrain.

China Eastern (CEA) partnered with Airbus (EDS) ProSky to design and implement the new procedures. It is the sixth airport that Airbus (EDS) ProSky has assisted (CEA) in (RNP AR) deployment.

"We are pleased to continue our partnership with Airbus (EDS) ProSky in Yushu. We’ve witnessed the efficiency and safety benefits in a number of airports and are pleased that this will expand to another airport," stated Xu Jiang, Safety Director of (CEA).

With the new procedures, the airline is able to improve payload by 1.5 metric tonnes for both runways, thanks to procedure optimization. New approach and departure are also developed to the south to connect Yushu with airports in Tibet.

"(PBN) procedures are key to enhancing efficiency and safety, particularly in challenging terrain. We know that China Eastern (CEA) (and its passengers) will benefit from the procedures demonstrated. We enjoy working with (CEA) and hope to continue our work together at other airports," stated Cunmei Li, Airbus (EDS) ProSky Regional Director.

News Item A-7: The Airbus (EDS) Group named Christian Scherer as Head of Airbus Group International.

News Item A-8: Peach Aviation (PCA), Japan's low cost carrier (LCC), has selected "FlySmart with Airbus" on IpAD, the Airbus Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution.

(PCA) pilots (FC) will consult all their Airbus (EDS) flight operational manuals on iPads. They will also be able to compute their aircraft performance calculations, which will provide them with optimized and accurate results on any runway of their operational route network.

Shinichi Inoue, Representative Director & (CEO), Peach Aviation (PCA) said "FlySmart with Airbus (EDS) will allow us to realize optimized operations and to remove paper, thus reducing asspciated costs. We consider this solution as a real asset for our future operations to further improve the quality of our service."

In addition, Peach Aviation (PCA) will also benefit from the service of "(EFB) Assessment & (EFB) Operational Approval Assistance" called "APPROVE4Flight" and provided by Airbus Flight Operations Services.

The service is on-site support for the compliance dossier including an analysis of the existing organization and processes, and the definition of Peach Aviation (PCA) (EFB) implementation plan based on Airbus Flight Operations Services recommendations and best practices.

Peach Aviation (PCA) operates 15 A320 airplanes and will take delivery of +5 additional A320s starting in July 2015.

News Item A-9: Airbus (EDS) has contracted Saab Aerostructures to manufacture and assemble composite wing trailing edge falsework extension (on outer part of wing) for the A330neo.

News Item A-10: "(EASA) Certifies Airbus (ROPS) for A330 family of Aircraft" by (ATW) Anne Paylor, July 20, 2015.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified Airbus (EDS)’s Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) technology for the A330 family of aircraft.

(ROPS) is now certified and available for line-fit and retrofit to all Airbus (EDS) models. It is an on board cockpit-alerting system that reduces exposure to runway-overrun risk, and if necessary, provides active protection. It was first approved by (EASA) on the A380 in October 2009, and is currently in service or ordered for most of the A380 fleet. It is part of the A350’s basic configuration, and in August 2013, was also certified for the A320 family. Korean Air (KAL) will be the first operator to implement (ROPS) on its A330s.

Runway excursions (which comprise either an aircraft veering off the side of the runway, or overrunning at the very end) remain the primary cause of civil airliner hull losses, particularly as other formerly prevalent categories of aircraft incidents have now largely been eliminated. Recognizing this, various industry bodies (including (EASA) and Eurocontrol in Europe, and the (NTSB) and the (FAA) in the USA) are supporting measures by commercial-aviation stakeholders to eliminate the risk of runway excursions.

“Already in service on the A380, A350 and A320 families, (ROPS) is the result of years of continuing research by Airbus (EDS). This (EASA) certification for (ROPS) on the A330 family is an example where innovative technology and services meet for the benefit of operators and aviation safety, and is thus an important step to offering the enhanced operational benefits across all our airplanes," Airbus (EDS) Executive VP Customer Services, Didier Lux said.

August 2015: News Item A-1: "Airbus (EDS) & Boeing (TBC) July 2015 Orders & Deliveries Roundup" by (ATW) Mark Nensel August 7, 2015.

Boeing (TBC) has booked 423 commercial airplane orders as of July 31, while Airbus (EDS) has booked 405 orders.

(TBC) booked firm orders in July from three customers for a total of 101 commercial airplanes, valued at $15.56 billion at list prices. By contrast, (EDS) logged firm orders in July from two customers for a total of 26 commercial aircraft, valued at $3.07 billion at list prices.

(TBC)’s largest order for the month was from FedEx (FED), which on July 21 ordered 46 767-300F freighters, at a total current list price value of $9.17 billion. An unidentified customer ordered 50 737-800s on July 9, valued at $4.8 billion. The customer, while still officially labeled as unidentified on (TBC)’s month-end orders and deliveries tally, is likely to be China Eastern Airlines (CEA), which announced its decision to purchase 50 Next-Generation 737-800s in a public disclosure to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on the same day. Boeing recorded an additional firm order in July from Taiwan’s (EVA) Air, for five 777F freighters at a total value of $1.59 billion.

On July 31, (EDS) gained its biggest order of the month as an undisclosed customer ordered 25 A321neos, valued at $2.84 billion at current list prices. Additionally, on July 10, the French corporation Group Dubreuil purchased an A330-300 in a 242-metric-ton maximum take-off weight configuration for use on the company’s new low-cost long-haul airline, to be called "Sunline" and is expected to begin flight operations in June 2016, on delivery of the aircraft. The order has a list price value of $254 million.

Boeing (TBC) delivered 56 commercial airplanes to 34 customers in July, contrasted with Airbus (EDS)’ delivery of 48 commercial aircraft to 30 customers. As of July 31, (TBC) has delivered 416 commercial airplanes year-to-date; (EDS) has made 345 commercial aircraft deliveries year-to-date.

Boeing (TBC)’s July deliveries included four airplanes to China Eastern Airlines (three 737-800s a 777-300ER) and three airplanes to Air China (BEJ) (two 737-800s and a 777F freighter to Air China Cargo (CAO)), Air Lease Corporation (ALE) (three 737-800s), FedEx (FED) (two 767-300Fs and a 777F), Lion Air (MLI) (all 737-800s), United Airlines (UAL) (two 737-900ERs and 787-9 Dreamliner) and Xiamen Airlines (XIA) (all 737-800s). Additional July 787 Dreamliner deliveries included: Air Canada (ACN) (a 787-9), Air New Zealand (ANZ) (a 787-9), All Nippon Airways (ANA) (a 787-8 and a 787-9), American Airlines (AAL) (two 787-8s), Etihad Airways (EHD) (a 787-9), Qantas (QAN) (two 787-8s), Scoot (SCT) (a 787-8) and Vietnam Airlines (VIE) (a 787-9).

Airbus (EDS)’ July deliveries included four A321ceos each to both American Airlines (AAL) and the (LATAM) Airlines Group plus three aircraft each to Turkish Airlines (THY) (two A321ceos and an A330-300), and Vueling (VUZ) (all A321ceos). Emirates (EAD) took delivery of two A380s during the month.

News Item A-2: Airbus (EDS) has named (GKN) Aerospace executive, Daryl Taylor to head its USA manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama.

Taylor will replace Ulrich Weber as VP & General Manager of the $600 million A320 family Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mobile. The facility is under construction and scheduled to begin producing completed A320 family aircraft next year, with a JetBlue Airways (JBL) A321 slated to be the facility’s first delivery in spring/summer 2016. Airbus (EDS) said Weber’s role was to oversee the commissioning and construction of the facility, and Taylor will assume responsibility “for ensuring the assembly and delivery of on-time, on-quality and on-cost aircraft to customers.”

Taylor will oversee all systems and support staff at the Mobile facility, reporting directly to Airbus Americas President, Barry Eccleston. Eccleston said that Airbus (EDS) conducted an “extensive and demanding search” before choosing Taylor, who has been VP & General Manager of (GKN) Aerospace facilities in Kansas and California. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in aircraft manufacturing and facility operations,” Eccleston said.

From 2010 to 2013, Taylor worked at Bombardier (BMB), serving as General Manager of the DHC-8-Q400 program. Taylor will train for his new role at Airbus (EDS) facilities in Europe before assuming leadership of the Mobile facility “in coming months,” Airbus said.

News Item A-3: The International Airlines Group (IAG) (parent of British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), and Vueling (VUZ)) has converted options for 20 Airbus 320neos into firm orders.

The airplanes will be delivered between 2020 and 2021 and can be used by any airline in the group for fleet replacement. The options were originally placed in August 2013.

The (IAG) has also confirmed that it is converting eight A350-900 and three A330-200 long-haul aircraft options into firm orders for Iberia (IBE). These aircraft will be delivered between 2016 and 2021 and will enable Iberia (IBE) to replace and expand its existing long-haul fleet.

The A320neo list price, as at January 2012, was approximately $92 million; the A330-200, $185 million; and the A350-900, $285 million, but the (IAG) said it had negotiated “a substantial discount from the list price.” It said it had “a range of financing options and will choose the most appropriate source closer to the delivery time.” The (IAG) expects, in the long term, that its assets will have at least a 12% return on invested capital.

News Item A-4 : "(LCC) IndiGo (IGO) Finalizes Order for 250 A320neos" by (ATW) Alan Dron, August 17, 2015.

Low-cost carrier (LCC) IndiGo (IGO) has firmed up commitments for 250 Airbus A320neo "new engine option" family aircraft. It is the largest order, in terms of number of aircraft, Airbus (EDS) has ever won in a single contract. The order is valued at $26.55 billion at list prices. The new order is the latest major tranche of aircraft for (IGO), already 1 of the largest users of Airbus (EDS)’ products. (IGO) placed an initial order for 100 A320s in 2005, which have all been delivered. It ordered 180 A320neos in 2011. The latest order will bring (IGO)’s total order for A320neo to 530 aircraft.

“This new order further reaffirms IndiGo (IGO)’s commitment to the long-term development of affordable air transportation in India and overseas,” (IGO) President, Aditya Ghosh said. “The additional fuel efficient A320neo aircraft will enable us to continue to bring our low fares to more customers and markets and will create more job opportunities and growth.” (IGO)’s success has attracted the attention of Middle East major, Qatar Airways (QTA).

The A320 family has now taken >11,800 orders to date, with >6,600 delivered to 400 customers and operators world wide. (IGO)’s order takes the A320neo order backlog to >4100 aircraft.

News Item A-5: Airbus (EDS) expects Russia`s commercial fleet to double in size over next 20 years with >2,000 aircraft needed by 2034, compared to the 922 in operation today.

News Item A-6: Airbus (EDS) has begun assembling wings for the 1st A350-1000 at Broughton, North Wales, UK.

Airbus (EDS) said the A350-1000 wing has the same span of the A350-900 that is already in service, but 90% of the parts have been modified and the trailing edge has been extended to resize the wing for the additional payload and range.

The A350 XWB wing (at 32 m long by 6 m wide) is the largest single part made from carbon fiber composite material in use in civil aviation today. They are designed and developed at Airbus (EDS)’ facility in Filton, near Bristol, England, UK.

News Item A-7: "Vietnam Airlines (VIE) Drops A380 4 Airplane Order" by (ATW) Jeremy Torr, August 27, 2015.

The Vietnamese government has dropped all plans to confirm options on the 4 Airbus (EDS) A380s it signed up for in 2009.

Vietnamese flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines (VIE) cited "increased pressure of arranging capital for aircraft purchases" as a key factor, along with the slow progress on the planned Long Thanh International Airport at Ho Chi Minh City (the only Vietnamese airport with enough capacity to handle A380 aircraft).

Vietnam Airlines (VIE) also has reportedly scaled down its original plan to boost fleet size to 150 aircraft over the next 5 years, and will instead grow to just >120 aircraft.

(VIE) (which is scheduled to take delivery of 8 Boeing 787-9s and 10 Airbus A350 XWBs up to 2019) said that "the world economic situation is more difficult," and that "fierce competition in the aviation market place" were both added reasons for opting out of the A380 deal.

(VIE) has just <90 working aircraft at present.

This latest cancellation comes as an added blow for Airbus (EDS)'s A380 program, which has seen several cancellations in Asia, including a significant 6-aircraft order from bankrupt low cost carrier (LCC), Skymark Airlines (SKM).

News Item A-8: AirAsia X (ASX) is deferring or cutting deliveries of Airbus A330ceo wide bodies, as it looks to curb growth and strengthen its financial performance.

September 2015: News Item A-1: "Airbus Prepares to Open First USA A320 Factory" by (ATW) Karen Walker, September 11, 2015.

See attached - "EDS-2015-09 - Airbus Mobile Alabama USA.jpg."

Airbus (EDS) will hold inaugural ceremonies in Mobile, Alabama on September 14 as top executives and USA dignitaries celebrate the opening of (EDS)' first USA manufacturing facility.

Celebrations for the new A320-family assembly-and-delivery facility will begin Sunday, September 13, when the company briefs invited media, which will be given a preview tour of the factory.

Formal opening ceremonies will take place, led by senior Airbus management including Airbus Group (CEO), Tom Enders, with Airbus President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier, and Airbus North American Unit's Chairman & (CEO), Allan McArtor, together with President, Barry Eccleston.

Airbus (EDS) announced in July 2012 that it would establish its first USA factory in Mobile. The company has invested $600 million to develop the facility, which is spread over 53 acres and follows a factory template similar to A320 final assembly line factories in Hamburg, Germany, and Tianjin, China. The company’s main factory, test facility and headquarters is in Toulouse, France.

Aircraft assembly began at the Mobile factory in July this year, and first deliveries are scheduled for 2016, ramping up to an annual rate of between 40 and 50 A219, A320 and A321 aircraft by 2018. The first delivery, an A321, is expected to go to JetBlue Airways (JBL).

The development is a major boost to the Gulf Coast region in the USA Deep South, which has suffered hurricane and oil spill catastrophes and economic depression. Brégier has said the facility has already paid off for the European manufacturer, helping to boost sales in North America. Brégier said part of (EDS)’ long-term strategy was to invest in the USA and be closer to American customers. The company has secured recent major sales with American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL), and JetBlue Airlines.

The Mobile factory will also help with Airbus’ planned A320 production ramp up as it transitions to the re-engined neo version and aims to meet large backlogs. To date, the company has won 4,193 firm orders from 74 customers for A320neo family aircraft. Among USA customers for the neo are the Air Lease Corporation (ALE), (AAL), Aviation Capital Group (CGP), Hawaiian Airlines (HWL), (JBL), Spirit Airlines (SPR), and Virgin America (VUS).

News Item A-2: "Airbus USA Chief Urges Action on USA (ATC) System Reform" by (ATW) by Karen Walker, September 2, 2015.

Action, not more debate, is needed to transition the USA air traffic system out of the (FAA) and into a stand-alone corporation, Airbus Americas’ Chief & former (FAA) Administrator, Allan McArtor told a Washington DC audience on September 2.

Speaking at an International Aviation Club lunch meeting, the Airbus Group Inc Chairman & (CEO), the Airbus Group, North American Unit from March 2014, said the USA national air traffic control (ATC) system needed to be “free from political shenanigans” and removed from the federal procurement system.

“It’s high time to move beyond words and into action,” he said.

McArtor, who headed the (FAA) from 1987 to 1989, said (ATC) system reform should be meaningful (not a whitewash) and should follow the models set by Canada and New Zealand, which spun off their (ATC) systems and now see fewer delays and greater efficiency, while maintaining safety standards. He said the USA didn’t need any more “studies, debates or red-herring arguments about compromising safety,” but instead needed “innovation, courage, conviction and technical excellence.”

“I want the safest (ATC) system in the world, but I also want the most efficient system in the world,” he said. “We have the safest system in the world, but that’s not the issue. It’s about efficiency.”

McArtor proposed that a new corporate national (ATC) system entity should have a board of directors from all aspects of the industry and who are business people. The enterprise should be “an all new company with a fresh start”, allowing the (FAA) “to get out of the business of controlling air traffic and to focus on what it does best (safety and certification).”

He also suggested the entity be given five-to-seven years’ worth of congressional funding, after which it should no longer need government money. For funds, McArtor said he was not opposed to the idea of a modest, fixed access fee levied per aircraft (“perhaps 50 bucks”) or a user fee system that the major carriers were happy with.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any resistance from the community; I think you will get applause,” McArtor said.

Asked how to get the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) union to sign up for such a change, McArtor said the skills of (NATCA) members would be needed, but there would also need to be changes in the rules.

He added that the (FAA) and (ATC) reform bill proposed by House of Representatives, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Bill Shuster (Repubican - Pennsylvania) “is a good start” as an action step, but all of the industry “has to move in the same direction” to make a change happen.

Momentum for the idea of taking the USA (ATC) system out of the (FAA) and putting it under the governance of a commercialized, not-for-profit organization is growing. Several major USA airline (CEO)s have expressed a strong desire for a new approach, including American Airlines (AAL)’s Doug Parker and United Airlines (UAL)’s Jeff Smisek. Most stakeholders acknowledge that the current, politicized system does not allow for consistent, long-term funding and needs to be overhauled. (NATCA) has called a semi-privatization approach “intriguing.”

Even with recent technological improvements to the (ATC) system, there have been setbacks. On August 15 a software glitch in a new and much touted (ATC) computer system forced controllers to revert to backup, manual procedures. The result was almost 500 commercial flight delays and another 470 cancellations up and down the USA east coast. The failure was tracked to the Lockheed Martin En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) system that went operational in April and replaced a 40-year-old En Route Host computer system that managed traffic in USA airspace at all 20 of the (FAA)’s en route (ATC) centers.

News Item A-3: "Airbus (EDS) August Sales Dominated by IndiGo (IGO), and Undisclosed Buyers" by (ATW) Alan Dron, September 4, 2015.

Airbus (EDS) passed the 4,000 mark in its order backlog for the A320neo family as it recorded a hefty month of sales in August. In total, it recorded 346 sales over the month and made 44 deliveries.

The month’s tally was dominated by Indian low-cost carrier (LCC) IndiGo (IGO)’s order for 250 A320neos, bringing its total number of A320 family aircraft to 530.

The month was also notable for a large number of sales to unidentified customers. One such purchaser signed for 32 A320neo aircraft, plus eight A320ceos. A further undisclosed customer bought three aircraft in ACJ320neo corporate jet configuration.

In the twin-aisle category, 15 A330-300s were ordered by one unnamed customer; another acquired three A330-300s and two A330-200s, while a third ordered two A330-300s.

Spain’s Iberia (IBE) also booked eight A350-900s and three A330-200s as part of the International Airlines Group (IAG) order announced August 6. As part of the same order, British Airways (BAB) and Vueling (VUZ) ordered 10 A320neos each.

Total orders for the A320neo product line have now increased to 4,193 and (EDS) marked another new industry record with a backlog of almost 6,697 aircraft to be delivered (around 10 years of production at current build rates).

These bookings brought total firm orders for the best-selling A320 family product line to more than >12,000 aircraft, and the A320 family backlog to more than >5,400.

This new business brought Airbus (EDS)’ 2015 gross orders to 754 aircraft as of August 31, with year-to-date net orders totaling 708 when cancellations are taken into account.

Airbus (EDS) delivered 32 A320-family aircraft, 10 A330s, and two A380s during August.

News Item A-4: Airbus (EDS) has secured European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for its longer-range Airbus A330-200 and has started production of its first A330neo. The 242-tonne maximum take-off weight (MTOW) A330-200 was launched in 2012. It can fly up to 15 hours or 7,250 nm/13,400 km nonstop, adding up to +350 nm range to the baseline 238-tonne model. It joins the 242-tonne A330-300, which was certified in April.

“Thanks to aerodynamic refinements and engine enhancements, operators will reduce their fuel consumption by up to -2%. Certification from the USA authorities (FAA) will follow.”

The 242-tonne variant is the platform for the two-member A330neo family, comprising the A330-800neo and the A330-900neo, which has also hit a program milestone. Machining of the first A330neo engine pylon started during the summer at Airbus (EDS)’ facility in Saint-Eloi (Toulouse), while Airbus (EDS)’ plant in Nantes began production of the first A330neo center wing box.

The light-weight titanium engine pylon (derived from technologies used on the A350 XWB) will be used to attach the A330neo’s (Trent 7000) engines, a key feature of the new variant. The first A330neo is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2017.

News Item A-5: Build-up of the first Airbus A350-1000 began in Hamburg and Saint-Nazaire with the assembly start of the first fuselage major components (less than one year after delivering the first A350 XWB (-900 version)).

Airbus (EDS) began fuselage assembly of the largest member of the A350 family (the A350-1000) at its Hamburg and Saint-Nazaire plants.
(see - "EDS-2015-09 - A350-100 Start.jpg).

Germany-based subcontractor Premium Aerotec handed over the first complete front fuselage section for the first A350-1000 on September 16 and it has now been delivered by air to Hamburg, where it will be equipped before being flown to Saint-Nazaire on board one of Airbus’s Beluga fleet of aircraft, which transports outsize loads between the company’s facilities.

The front fuselage section is largely manufactured from carbon fiber composite material (CFRP). Airbus will incorporate the section into the first -1000 test machine (MSN59). This fuselage section will be completed by a (CFRP) door frame, which Premium Aerotec said will bring significant weight and cost savings compared to a traditional aluminum section.

Delivery of the rear fuselage section from Premium’s Augsburg plant is scheduled for the end of September.

“In addition to higher loads and the use of new structural technologies, the over three-meters longer fuselage section for the A350-1000 made considerable modifications in the design and construction necessary compared to its sister A350-900 model,” said Daniel Wenninger, Program Head at Airbus (EDS) for the front and rear fuselage of the A350-1000. “The team managed to devise a first-class design for this highly complex aircraft component and to deliver it on time and in the desired high quality.”

Meanwhile, the nose fuselage section has been delivered by French contractor Stelia Aerospace to Airbus (EDS) in Saint-Nazaire for assembly and equipping. The forward and nose fuselage sections will then be joined together in Saint-Nazaire to form the front fuselage, which will be flown by Beluga to the A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse.

Assembly of the first A350-1000 wings got underway in August at Airbus in Broughton in the North Wales of UK and final assembly of the aircraft will begin in Toulouse in early 2016, followed by the first flight in the second half 2016. First deliveries are scheduled to start mid-2017.

The Rolls Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB-97) propulsion system for the A350-1000 flying test bed was delivered on September 23rd (see - "EDS-2015-09 - Trent XWB-97.jpg).

The A350-1000 comfortably seats 366 passengers in a typical 3-class configuration and flies on routes up to 8,000 nautical miles.

Maximizing commonality with the A350-900, the A350-1000 offers best-in-class cabin efficiency and comfort, with new cabin crew rest compartment improvements, new In-Flight Entertainment (IFE), optimized lavatory shapes and new galley arrangements. It will be powered by (Trent XWB-97) engines for maximized thrust.

Orders for the A350-1000 stand at 169 firm orders from 9 customers. Total orders for the A350 XWB program stand at 782 orders from 40 customers.

News Item A-6: The Airbus Beluga XL program has passed the latest maturity gate milestone, marking the end of the “concept phase,” or design freeze “at aircraft level.” According to Airbus (EDS), the maturity gate review demonstrated that the Beluga XL program is robust and mature enough to move to the next phase of development, the detailed design phase.

Beluga XL Program Head, Bertrand George said this milestone “paves the way for a successful final assembly start in 2017.”

The Beluga XL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport capacity requirement to support the A350 XWB ramp-up and other aircraft production rate increases. Based on the A330-200F freighter with a large re-use of existing components and equipment, the Beluga XL will be powered with Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 700) engines. (RRC) has also signed a $700-million deal to provide (Trent 700)s and long-term TotalCare support for five new Airbus (EDS) Beluga XL cargo aircraft, which will replace the current Beluga fleet. The fleet of five Beluga XL aircraft will provide Airbus with an additional +30% extra transport capacity. The first of five Beluga XLs will enter into service in 2019. The Beluga fleet is operated by Airbus Transport International, an Airbus subsidiary airline.

October 2015: News Item A-1: "Airbus Launches A350-900ULR; Singapore Airlines Orders Seven" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann and Aaron Karp, October 13, 2015.

Airbus (EDS) has launched an “ultra-long range” version of the A350-900 and Singapore Airlines (SIA) has agreed to be the launch customer.

(SIA) has converted seven of its 63 existing A350-900 orders to the A350-900ULR, which can fly up to 19 hours (8,700 nautical miles). (SIA) plans to use the A350-900ULRs, the first of which is expected to be delivered in 2018, to fly from Singapore to the USA. (SIA) has also placed an additional order for +4 more A350-900s.

According to Airbus (EDS), the A350-900ULR will &#8206;include a modified fuel system to increase fuel carrying capacity, an increased maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) and aerodynamic improvements. (SIA) will be able to use the aircraft to serve points on the USA West Coast as well as New York.

Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier recently said that the A350-900ULR would be “possible with some limited modifications to the aircraft. But it will not be a new member of the A350 family, like the A350-1000, because it is a "niche" market.”

(SIA) (CEO), Goh Choon Phong said that “customers have been asking us to restart nonstop Singapore - USA flights and we are pleased that Airbus (EDS) was able to offer the right aircraft to do so in a commercially viable manner.”

(SIA) ended service from Singapore to Newark and Los Angeles in 2013 as it phased out its A340-500 fleet. (SIA) plans to take delivery of its first A350-900 in April 2016 and will use it to fly between Singapore and Amsterdam. (SIA), the Star (SAL) Alliance member expects to take delivery of 11 A350-900s in 2016.

Airbus (EDS) said it now has firm orders for 783 A350s from 41 customers.

News Item A-2: "Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) September 2015 Orders & Deliveries Roundup" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, October 8, 2015.

Wizz Air (WZZ)’s September 14 order, which was previously announced at the Paris Air Show in June, was the “biggest single order ever” for the A321neo, according to Airbus (EDS); it is valued at $13.68 billion. Airbus (EDS)’ other firm orders in September came from lessors (BOC) Aviation (SIL) and Standard Charter Bank for four A330-300s split evenly between the two companies, all to be leased to (EVA) Air and valued at $1.01 billion; RwandAir (RWA), which ordered an A330-300 and an A330-200, valued at $483 million; Croatia Airlines (CRH), which ordered four A320neos, valued at $425 million; and Groupe Dubreuil, which ordered an A350-900 XWB, valued at $305 million.

Boeing (TBC)’s major September order came from British leisure travel carrier Jet2.com (JT2), which finalized an order for 27 NG 737-800 airplanes on September 2, valued at $2.59 billion. Boeing (TBC)’s other commercial airplane order for the month came from an unidentified customer: two 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $529 million.

In September, Boeing (TBC) delivered 73 commercial airplanes to 40 airlines and lessors, plus two unidentified customers. Airbus (EDS) delivered 48 commercial aircraft to 36 customers during the month. During the year-to-date, Boeing (TBC) has delivered 560 commercial airplanes, compared to Airbus (EDS)’ 441.

Boeing’s September commercial deliveries included five airplanes to China’s Xiamen Airlines (XIA) (four 737-800s and a 787-8 Dreamliner); four airplanes to United Airlines (UAL) (two 787-9 Dreamliners and two 737-900ERs); and three airplanes each to Dutch lessor AerCap (DEA) (all 737-800s), Air Lease Corporation (ALE)-all 737-800s); American Airlines (AAL) (two 737-800s and a 787-8); China Eastern (CEA) (all 737-800s); FedEx Express (FED) (two 767-300Fs and a 777F); Hainan Airlines (HNA) (all 737-800s); Lion Air (MLI) (all 737-800s); and Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) (all 737-800s). Additional 787-8 Dreamliner deliveries were made to Switzerland’s PrivatAir (PTS), Qantas (QAN), and Qatar Airways (QTA). Additional 787-9 Dreamliners were delivered to All Nippon Airways (ANA), British Airways (BAB), the (LATAM) Airlines Group (LAN)/(TPR) and Virgin Atlantic (VAA).

Airbus (EDS)’ September commercial deliveries included six aircraft to China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (two A330-200s, two A320ceos and two A321ceos) and two aircraft each to American Airlines (AAL) (both A321ceos), Singapore-based lessor (BOC) Aviation (SIL) (an A321ceo bound for Asiana Airlines (AAR), and an A320ceo bound for Vistara Airlines (VST)), Chinese lessor (CALC) (CHD) (A320ceos bound for Air India (AIN)/(IND) and Sichuan Airlines (SIC)), American lessor (CIT) (TCI) (an A350-900 XWB bound for Vietnam Airlines (VIE) and an A330-200 bound for Sichuan Airlines (SIC)), Emirates (EAD) (two A380s), (SAS) (two A330-300s), China’s Spring Airlines (CQH) (both A320ceos) and Turkish Airlines (THY) (both A321ceos).

News Item A-3: Airbus (EDS) (CEO), Fabrice Brégier is confident (EDS) will meet a year-end deadline to bring its A320neo into commercial service. The statement followed a recent “minor damage” to one of the test aircraft’s engines. (6101), the first A320neo prototype equipped with Pratt & Whitney (PRW)’s (PW1100G), was affected.

The A320neo test plane was undergoing hot-weather testing in the Middle East, when the incident occurred in Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “The reason was not a technical, unexpected failure (it was more about the life of this engine, which was not appropriate, because this engine was being tested in more intense conditions in the past”) he said.

Bregier said the A320neo is in the final phase of flight-test certification and will next start route-proofing. “My hope is to certify this engine. Was it as smooth as we expected? No. Does it mean it will fail? No. We plan delivery of the first aircraft by the end of the year,” Brégier explained.

“Then again, we will face another [production] ramp-up,” he said.

Qatar Airways (QTA) is first in line for the new aircraft, with delivery scheduled this year.

The A320neo is powered by engines either from Pratt & Whitney (PRW) or by (CFM) International (CFMI). An Airbus A320neo powered by the (CFMI) (LEAP-1A) engine achieved its first flight in France last May.

Airbus (EDS) said the A320neo family will be able to deliver a -15% fuel burn saving from its entry into service (EIS), increasing to -20% by 2020. This will be achieved through both cabin innovations and further engine enhancements.

News Item A-4: "Egyptian Tristar Air Cargo crashes in Somalia" by (ATW) Alan Dron, October 13, 2015.

ACCDT: Tristar Air Cargo (TZZ) Airbus A300B4-203F (CF6-50C2) (129, /81 SU-BMZ) - - see photo "TZZ-A300B4-203F.jpg" crashed near the Somali capital Mogadishu around 1930 local time on October 12, according to local reports.

Local news agency "Goobjooog News" carried pictures from the scene, some 12nm/22km northwest of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde airport, showing the aircraft registration as (SU-BMZ). According to specialist websites, the registration belongs to an A300B4-203F of Cairo-based Tristar Air Cargo (TZZ) and is believed to be (TZZ)’s sole equipment.

An official at Tristar Air Cargo (TZZ) in Cairo said the only company manager authorized to talk on the matter was at Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry (ECAM)and was unavailable.

A Somali government spokesman, quoted by "Goobjoog News," said the six people on board the aircraft suffered minor injuries in what was described as a forced landing. The agency said the aircraft had made several attempts to land at the airport before putting down in a field. The aircraft is believed to have flown from Ostend in Belgium to Cairo before traveling on to Mogadishu.

News Item A-5: Honeywell Aerospace (SGC)’s latest navigational technology will be available as an option on Airbus A320s and A330s in early 2018. The new Integrated Multi-Mode Receiver will offer Airbus (EDS) customers access to the latest precision navigation capabilities.

News Item A-6: Airbus (EDS) has completed painting Singapore Airlines (SIA)’s first A350 XWB in Toulouse. The aircraft will now move to the next stages of production, including the installation of engines and cabin furnishing, before starting ground and flight tests. The aircraft is scheduled for delivery to Singapore Airlines (SIA) in the first quarter of 2016.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has ordered 67 A350s and will operate the aircraft on long-haul routes to Europe as well as on ultra-long range nonstop services to the USA and selected regional routes.

News Item A-7: "Airbus to Increase Monthly A320 Production to 60 in mid-2019" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, October 30, 2015.

Airbus (EDS) will further increase the production rate of single aisle family aircraft to 60 a month (up from just over >42 a month) in mid-2019 to match ongoing high demand.

(EDS) said the decision follows thorough studies on production ramp-up readiness in the supply chain and in Airbus sites to allow the ramp-up.

To enable the ramp-up, (EDS) said it will extend capacity in Hamburg by creating an additional production line. (EDS) will also integrate cabin furnishing activities for A320 aircraft produced in Toulouse into the final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse. “The growing single-aisle demand and impressive backlog for both ceos and neos led us to decide on a further ramp-up,” Airbus Executive VP Programs, Didier Evrard said. “I am confident that we have the highest skilled teams and the right solutions in place to gradually move to the highest production rate ever achieved in civil aviation history.”

Airbus (EDS) said there have been more than >12,200 orders for A320 family aircraft since their launch and more than >6,700 aircraft delivered to more than >300 operators.

In September, (EDS) opened officially a Final Assembly Line (FAL) at Mobile, Alabama. The Mobile factory began in July this year and first deliveries, beginning with a JetBlue (JBL) A321, are scheduled for 2016, ramping up to an annual rate of between 40 and 50 A319, A320 and A321 aircraft by 2018.

News Item A-8: China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CSC) has signed a general terms agreement covering 30 Airbus A330 family aircraft and 100 A320 family aircraft.

State-owned (CSC) is a neutral third-party aviation supplier, which acts as a “supplies sharing platform,” allocating aviation resources in partnership with Chinese airlines and foreign aircraft manufacturers.

The A330 deal firms a commitment signed in June 2015. “With these 30 A330 options now firmed up, (CSC)’s total number of orders for the popular A330 is this year 75 aircraft,” Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said.

Earlier this year, Airbus finalized plans to establish an A330 completion and delivery center in Tianjin, joining its existing A320 family facility. “This will enable us to be even closer to our customers and to take our long-standing mutual beneficial partnership with China to a new height,” Brégier said.

Airbus (EDS) is expecting China to become the world’s largest domestic market within 10 years and for its overall traffic to quadruple over the next 20 years.

“In the next 20 years, Airbus (EDS) forecasts a demand in China for some 5,400 new passenger and freighter aircraft, including 1,700 wide body aircraft like the A330, A350 and A380,” Airbus (EDS) said.

China has more than >1,200 Airbus aircraft in service, comprising over >1,000 A320 family aircraft, over > 160 A330 family aircraft and five A380s, as well as Airbus freighters and corporate jets.

November 2015: News Item A-1: Pratt & Whitney (PRW) has commenced flight testing on the (PW1900G) engine. The (PW1900) is the fourth engine in (PRW)’s (GTF) family of engines. (PRW) has already delivered (GTF) engines to Bombardier (BMB) for the CSeries, Airbus (EDS) for the A320neo, and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MRJ) for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ).

News Item A-2: "“Shades” Livery Now Also on New A330neo" by www.aviationnews.eu By Rob Vogelaar, November 8, 2015.

The Airbus’ A330neo is joining the A350 XWB in its distinctive cockpit windscreen design. “The A330neos complement the A350 XWB in the new Airbus Long-Range family, so it was only natural that the A330neo should have the same cockpit shades design as its larger sibling” said Eric Zanin, Head A330 Family Program.

The new A330neo share the latest innovations and technologies matured on the A330 and the A350 XWB with composite Sharklets, new generation engines and systems. Both complement each other in terms of capacity and range (they address different payload and range requirements and operate together seamlessly). A common type rating allows A330 pilots (FC) to qualify on the A350 XWB in only eight days and fly on both aircraft under a single license (thus offering unbeatable cost efficiencies for airlines).

Passengers on-board the A330neo and A350 XWB will equally enjoy the newest technology and comfort experience, including line-fit full connectivity, a new full (LED) mood lighting, allowing unlimited customiza­tion of color and intensity, as well as 4th-generation high-definition in-flight entertainment (IFE) without compromising on Airbus’ comfort standard of 18-inch wide seats.

Based on the proven reliability of the A330 Family, the A330-800neo and the A330-900neo are two new members of the Airbus Wide body Family launched in July 2014, with first deliveries scheduled to start in (Q4) 2017. The A330neo incorporates latest generation Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features. Benefitting from the unbeatable economics, versatility and high reliability of the A330, the A330neo reduces fuel consumption by -14% per seat, making it the most cost efficient, medium range wide body aircraft on the market. In addition to greater fuel savings, A330neo operators will also benefit from a range increase up to +400 nautical miles and of course all the operational commonality advantages of the Airbus Family.

News Item A-3: The Airbus A350-1000’s new engine (the Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB-97)) has completed its first flight-test aboard a dedicated A380 flying testbed.

According to Airbus (EDS), the aircraft took off from Toulouse and operated a flight of 4:14 hours, during which the engine “covered a wide range of power settings at altitudes up to 35,000 ft. The engine’s operation and handling qualities were evaluated from low speeds to Mach 0.87,” Airbus (EDS) said.

Airbus (EDS) said the (Trent XWB-97) development engine was “mounted on the A380’s inner left engine pylon, replacing one of the aircraft’s (Trent 900) engines.”

The A350-1000 is scheduled to begin its first flight in nine months.

“This engine flight-test program will include hot weather as well as icing condition testing campaigns,” Airbus (EDS) said. “The specially enhanced (Trent XWB) engine produces 97,000 lbs of thrust on takeoff (making it the most powerful engine ever developed for an Airbus aircraft).”

News Item A-4: Korean Air (KAL) has signed a contract with Airbus covering a firm order for 30 A321neo aircraft plus 20 options, becoming a new customer for the best-selling single aisle A320 Family. The purchase agreement finalizes a commitment announced earlier this year and was signed in Seoul by Walter Cho Won Tae, (KAL) Executive VP and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & (CEO).

The order comes as Airbus (EDS) and (KAL) celebrate 40 Years of Airbus operations at the airline, which began in October 1975 when (KAL)’s first A300B4 entered service on the Seoul - Fukuoka route. Since that time, (KAL) has continuously operated Airbus wide body aircraft, including various versions of the A300, the A330 and the double-deck A380.

(KAL) placed its first order, for the original A300B4 in September 1974, becoming just the fourth airline in the world and the first from outside Europe to sign an aircraft purchase agreement with Airbus. Today, the A380 is the flagship of (KAL)’s long haul fleet, while the mid-size A330 is operated by the airline on services across the Asia-Pacific region, as well as on selected routes to Europe.

News Item A-5: "Ethiopian Airlines (ETH)’s First A350 Taking Shape in Final Assembly Line (FAL)" by (ATW) Linda Blachly, November 10, 2015.

Airbus (EDS) said Ethiopian Airlines (ETH)’s first A350-900 is taking shape on the final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse, France.

(ETH), the Ethiopia flag carrier will take delivery of the first of 14 A350 XWBs next year, making (ETH) the first African A350 XWB operator. Of the 14 aircraft, 12 are directly purchased from Airbus (EDS) and two are on lease from AerCap (DEA), including this one.

“Mating of the various aircraft fuselage sections has begun and the vertical stabilizer (tail fin) has been attached. Similarly, work has begun on joining the wings, and the horizontal tail planes to the fuselage, after which its landing gear will be fitted.” (EDS) said all these activities are carried out “in parallel with cabin interiors installation and the first electrical power-on, enabling a significant reduction in lead-time. Following this, the aircraft will undergo a comprehensive sequence of tests. Once those are complete, the aircraft will be painted, its engines installed and preparations for delivery will begin.”

(ETH) will deploy the aircraft on its expanding route network linking the East African nation with Asia and America. The Airbus A350 XWB (MSN2) will be arriving at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport on November 11 as part of its Middle East Ethiopia demonstration flight tour,” Airbus (EDS) said.

News Item A-6: "Dubai Air Show: Vietjet Air (VJE) Orders +30 More Airbus A321s" by (ATW) Editor Karen Walker, November 10, 2015.

Vietjet Air (VJE) signed a firm order for 30 Airbus A321s, including 21 A321neos, bringing its total firm orders for A320 family airplanes to 99.

The order was signed by (VJE) Vice-Chairwoman, President & (CEO), Ms Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao and Airbus (EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy at the show, which has been a far slower event in terms of new airliner sales compared with the past two shows.

(CFM) International later announced that its (CFM56-5B) engine would power the Vietjet (VJE) A321ceos in a deal valued at more than >$700 million at list prices, including spare engines and a long-term service agreement. No announcement was made on an engine choice for the neos, for which the (CFM) (LEAP) engine competes with the Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (GTF).

(VJE) also signed a 12-year rate-per-flight-hour agreement under which (CFMI) will guarantee maintenance costs for the all (CFM56-5B) engines on a dollar-per-engine flight-hour basis.

(VJE) has been a (CFM) customer since it launched operations in late 2011 with leased (CFM56-5B)-powered A320s.

(VJE) operates a fleet of 29 A320 family aircraft, including three A321s, on a network covering Vietnam and a growing number of destinations across Asia.

News Item A-7: "Dubai Air Show: Leahy Suggests 2023 In-service Date for A380neo" by (ATW) Jens Flottau, November 10, 2015.

Airbus (EDS) will eventually build a re-engined, more efficient neo version of the A380, (COO) Customers, John Leahy believes, and entry-into-service (EIS) could be around 2023.

Speaking with (ATW)’s sister publication, "Aviation Week" at the Dubai Air Show, Leahy said he thought the A380neo was “inevitable” and he also indicated that a decision on a larger version of the A350 is nearing.

With the A380neo, Leahy said he expects Airbus (EDS) to introduce the type around 2023, possibly 2022. That would be two years later than the aircraft’s leading customer Emirates (EAD) would like to see it being introduced. (EAD)’s President, Tim Clark said at the show that he would like to replace his fleet of older A380s with the new version from 2020 onward.

Clark has said previously that he would buy up to 100 A380neos, but Airbus (EDS) executives have been cautious about committing to a development program. Leahy himself said in May that selling that level of investment to the Airbus (EDS) board on the basis of a single customer (albeit a big (huge) customer) was difficult.

But Leahy’s talk in Dubai seemed more confident. He talked some detail, explaining the A380neo would not only be equipped with new engines. “The stretch is an important part of it,” he said. “It would be around for 20 years.”

Leahy pointed out that a stretch would help in terms of capacity and technically: a longer aircraft would require a smaller tail plane for stability and would therefore be lighter on a relative basis.

Clark had pointed out that (EAD) does not necessarily require the extra capacity per aircraft, as long as the A380neo is built (however, Leahy believes (EAD) is keen to get the extra range that would come from installing more efficient engines on the current-size aircraft.

If the aircraft is to enter service in 2023, (EDS) would likely have to make a firm launch in 2017 or 2018 to allow for a five- to six-year product development period.

Leahy said he was not concerned that the A380neo discussion was making sales campaigns of the current version more difficult. He argued that airlines that want an A380 in 2017 or 2018 will not wait another six years for the aircraft.

Another decision that has to be made more quickly is whether Airbus (EDS) will build a larger version of the A350. “We have to make up our mind,” Leahy acknowledged, without indicating when exactly a decision would be made. He said his concern was that if Airbus (EDS) waited too long, the share of the market for that size of aircraft will become smaller after Boeing (TBC) takes more orders with the 777-9X. Therefore, Airbus (EDS) “is talking with a few big airlines right now” about the A350 stretch, Leahy said. “We have to answer ourselves that the market is large enough.”

A stretch would add around 40 to 50 seats to the A350-1000 capacity and put it in the 400-seat category that is currently 777-9X terrain.

News Item A-8: Portuguese national carrier (TAP) Portugal has signed a firm order with Airbus (EDS) for 53 aircraft from the European manufacturer, it announced on November 13.

The deal will see (TAP) taking 14 A330-900neo plus 39 A320neo family models, consisting of 15 A320neos and 24 A321neos. (TAP) is already an all-Airbus (EDS) customer, with a current fleet of 43 A320 family models (21 A319, 19 A320 and three A321s) plus 14 A330-200 and four A340-300 wide bodies.

The aircraft will join (TAP) as part of its fleet renewal announced by (TAP)’s new majority owner, Atlantic Gateway. As part of the agreement, (TAP) Portugal is substituting its previous order of 12 A350-900s with the A330-900neos.

“Our latest order for 14 Airbus A330-900neo aircraft and 39 A320neo family aircraft reflects our ongoing commitment to provide our customers with the next generation of fuel efficient aircraft,” (TAP) (CEO) Fernando Pinto said. “The A330neo, like the A320neo family, will give us the flexibility to enter new markets and improve the frequency of existing ones.”

The A330-800neo and A330-900neo were launched in July 2014, with first deliveries scheduled to start in (4Q) 2017. The A330neo incorporates Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features, with Airbus (EDS) forecasting a +14% improvement in fuel consumption per seat compared to current A330s. Additionally, range increases by around +400 nautical miles.

News Item A-9: Airbus (EDS) is on schedule to deliver the first A320neo by the end of 2015 as planned, an Airbus (EDS) executive confirmed. Qatar Airways (QTA) is due to receive its first A320neo, a more efficient re-engined version, in December. (QTA) (CEO), Akbar Al Baker said on the sidelines of the Dubai Air Show last week, that he was “optimistic” the aircraft would arrive before the end of the year, but he had a concern relating to the Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G) engine.

The (PRW) engine, a geared turbofan is one of two powerplants available to A320neo customers, with the (CFM) International (LEAP) engine being the other option.

In early October the first (PW1100G)-powered A320neo suffered “minor damage” during an incident during hot-weather testing in the Middle East. Airbus (EDS) (CEO), Fabrice Brégier later said the engine incident was not technical and was more about the life of the engine.

He said he was confident (EDS) would meet a year-end deadline to bring the A320neo into commercial service.

(QTA)’s Al Baker noted that while he was optimistic, his only concern was the (P&W) engine’s readiness. “I hope they will catch up. But they still have six weeks,” he said in early November.

Briefing media at the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) annual assembly in Bali on November 13, Airbus Head of Marketing, Asia, Joost Van Der Heijden seemed certain they would. Asked whether there was any chance first delivery could slip into 2016, Van Der Heijden said, “I can confirm that we are on schedule to deliver the airplane by the end of the year.”

News Item A-10: "JetBlue (JBL) Becomes Launch Customer of “Maintenance Mobility”" by aviation news.eu Rob Vogelaar, November5 20, 2015.

JetBlue (JBL) has become the launch customer for Airbus’ “Maintenance Mobility” offering following a contract recently signed with Airbus (EDS). Maintenance Mobility allows the airline mechanics (MT) to have all the technical information they need on iPads. Maintenance Mobility is one of several services in the Smarter Fleet cloud-based services platform developed by Airbus (EDS) in partnership with (IBM). The agreement with (JBL) covers the integration of the Maintenance Mobility services into the airline’s maintenance information system (MIS), as well as the software and data hosting over a five-year servicing period. The deployment will be accomplished step-by-step with (EDS) experts working on-site with (JBL) in order to spread the integration and manage change gradually.

Marco Nogueira, (JBL) Director of Maintenance said: “By having access to aircraft technical data on a portable device, we will improve dispatch reliability and on-time performance of our Airbus fleet. Maintenance Mobility will also provide real-time fault analysis of aircraft systems and communication.” He added: “Overall, the efficiency gains by having this information at the mechanics (MT) fingertips will facilitate quicker decision-making processes while ensuring better accuracy.”

Didier Lux, Airbus’ Executive VP and Head of Customer Services commented: “Airbus (EDS) is once again leveraging mobile devices, along with cloud-based technology in order to digitalize maintenance operations.” He added: “By partnering with (IBM), a world leader in digital services, Airbus will help ensure (JBL) mechanics (MT) can directly access the specific information they require, whilst optimizing their time between aircraft and office.”

Smarter Fleet Maintenance Mobility is a web based application hosted by Airbus as a service, composed of: a web page (for the supervisor), apps (for the mechanics), synchronized by a cloud (Smarter Fleet Platform). Thanks to an integration with airline information systems, it provides maintenance supervisors with real-time monitoring on the progression of each aircraft turnaround activities and serviceable status.

For mechanics (MT) it enables them to access information needed to perform the turnaround, such as task cards or real-time access to aircraft maintenance messages. It also include an e-Doc browser for access to the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), Illustrated Parts Catalogue (IPC) or Minimum Equipment List (MEL) from a mobile device.

Airbus (EDS), through “Services by Airbus,” offers end-to-end fleet lifecycle solutions for all its customers. The portfolio ranges from standalone services, to the most complete integrated solutions, including Flight Hour & Tailored Support packages, upgrades, training, e-solutions, engineering & maintenance, flight operations Air Traffic Management, and material management services. Together these enhance aircraft competiveness by continuously adapting to customers’ evolving needs. With more than 40 years of experience in the aircraft industry and a worldwide network of more than >2,500 professionals, customers benefit from the unique expertise and capabilities from Airbus (EDS) and its affiliated family companies.

News Item A-11: The (CFM) International (LEAP-1A) engine, one of two engine choices on the Airbus A320neo, has been jointly certified by the (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Airbus (EDS) is set to deliver the first A320neo (powered by Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G) engines) to Qatar Airways (QTA) next month. The (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo began flight testing in May. “It has been an incredible journey for the entire (CFM) team to get the engine to this point,” (CFM) Executive VP, Francois Bastin said, adding, “The (LEAP) engine includes many industry first technologies and the agencies have worked with us from the beginning to validate the certification plan for these advancements.”

The (CFM) (LEAP-1B) is the sole-source engine for the Boeing 737 MAX; it flew for the first time on a 747 flying testbed in April. (CFM) is a joint venture (jv) between (GE) Aviation (GEC) and Snecma.

Two (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo flight test aircraft have totaled more than >140 flights spanning 360 hours of flight testing. (CFM) Executive VP, Allen Paxson said, “The (LEAP-1A) is doing extremely well in flight tests on the A320neo; the reliability we designed for this engine is definitely there.”

December 2015: News Item A-1: TAM Airlines (TPR)’s first Airbus A350 XWB has taken off on its maiden flight from Toulouse International Airport in France. According to Airbus (EDS), the aircraft now progresses to the final production phase, which includes further ground checks and flight tests, before delivery to (TPR) this month.

(TPR) will become the first airline from the Americas to fly the A350 XWB and the fourth operator in the world. The (LATAM) Airlines Group, made up of (LAN) Airlines and (TAM) Airlines (TPR), has ordered 27 A350 XWB aircraft.

(TPR) will start operating the A350 XWB in January 2016 between São Paulo and Manaus. This will be followed by international operations from São Paulo to Miami, Madrid and Orlando.

News Item A-2: "Spring Airlines to Take 60 A320neo Family Aircraft" by (ATW) Victoria Moores, December 3, 2015.

Spring Airlines (CQH) has announced plans to acquire 45 Airbus A320neos and 15 A321neos to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, in a deal valued at $6.3 billion at list prices.

Following “tough” negotiations with Airbus (EDS), the Chinese budget carrier said it had signed a purchase agreement for the 60-aircraft acquisition on December 3.

(CQH)’s directors “unanimously” agreed the aircraft purchase, which will be used to add capacity and meet growing demand. However, the deal still needs to be ratified by (CQH)’s shareholders.

Under the agreement, Airbus (EDS) has committed to deliver the 60 aircraft over the period from 2019 to 2023.

News Item A-3: Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) will phase out its fleet of Avro RJ100 regional jets by the end of 2017, replacing them with a mix of Airbus (EDS) types, (DAT)/(EBA) said on December 4.

(DAT)/(EBA) has 12 Avros. They will start to leave the fleet next April, with four having departed by the end of the 2016 summer season. The remainder will gradually go over the following year. All are leased.

Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) intends to replace the British-built Avros, which last rolled off the production line in 2001, with A319s and A320s, although not on a one-for-one basis, given the (EDS) aircraft’s greater capacity. The first A320 arrived earlier this year, while two more, plus an A319 will arrive in April 2016, with more due later.

The announcement will further diminish the fleet of Avros in Europe, which will shrink sharply in the next few years, as both Swiss (CSR) and CityJet transition from the four-engined type. The Avro has been popular with airlines and at city-center airports, notably London City, for its rugged undercarriage and quiet operation, respectively. However, maintenance costs are now increasing as the fleet ages.

As Avros are retired in Europe, they are finding new homes in Africa and Australasia, notably for “fly-in, fly-out” services to airstrips by operators servicing contracts to ferry personnel to remote oilfields or mines.

News Item A-4: "Next Generation of Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellites will see the World in Color" by www.aviationnews.eu Rob Vogelaar, December 7, 2015.

See attached - "NAS-2015-012 - Radar Satellite Color Images.jpg."

* Major agreement achieved for the next X-band satellite missions during the World Radiocommunication Conference

* New services in (SAR)-based Earth Observation will benefit from a new unprecedented image quality

The recent World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC 2015) in Geneva, Switzerland, has allocated new frequency bandwidths for Earth Observation Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems by doubling the actual 600 Megahertz to now reach 1.200 Megahertz. This decision, following four years of preparation and several weeks of intense discussions prior to the Conference, opens the door to an unprecedented image resolution quality in color of future (SAR) satellites.

“This is an important breakthrough for the development of the next generation of (SAR) systems, which will lead to new applications for a wide range of needs in all the domains, where data accuracy is really key,” said Evert Dudok, Executive VP of Communications, Intelligence & Security at Airbus Defence & Space.

Indeed, thanks to this larger frequency allocation, the next generation of (SAR) satellites will be able to offer high-quality 25 cm resolution imagery and quad polarimetry data to visualize imagery in color and better analyse surface features such as infrastructures and vegetation. This will drastically improve applications such as surface movement detection due to more precise information on the instable layers near the surface, or maritime safety through detection of smaller vessel and refined identification of suspicious activities. Environmental applications will also benefit from this, especially in land cover and land use mapping as well as forestry monitoring.

“This achievement has been made possible through excellent collaboration between the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the German, USA and French delegations,” added Mr Dudok.

Airbus Defence & Space has already been working on the next generation of (SAR) satellites for several years –as a follow-on mission to the successful TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X. It can now move forward in offering new applications based on this unprecedentedly high-quality (SAR) imagery.

News Item A-5: "Lufthansa (DLH), not Qatar Airways (QTA), to be Airbus A320neo Launch Operator" by (ATW) Jens Flottau, December 9, 2015.

Airbus (EDS) is making a last-minute swap and now plans to deliver the first Airbus A320neo to Lufthansa (DLH), not to Qatar Airways (QTA).

According to industry sources, the change was made because of operational restrictions that are still in place for the Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G) engine, pending some hardware and software changes. (PRW) is working on hardware changes to the bearing of the engine shaft and a software update. Until those changes are made, the engine has to run in idle for 3 minutes following startup. The aircraft cannot taxi under its own power until the 3 minutes have elapsed.

Qatar Airways (QTA) has told Airbus (EDS) that it is not prepared to take the aircraft under these circumstances, and will not do so until the restrictions are lifted. Changes are expected to be implemented within a matter of weeks.

Lufthansa Group (CEO), Carsten Spohr confirmed that (DLH) has agreed, in principle, to take the first A320neo. Some regulatory issues have to be sorted out and (DLH) expects to be financially compensated for the operational restrictions that are in place for now. The negotiations could, therefore, still fail. However, if the two sides come to an agreement, the first A320neo is now expected to be delivered to (DLH) from Hamburg-Finkenwerder on December 22, which would enable (EDS) to stick to its target of delivering the first aircraft before the end of the year.

(DLH) plans to introduce the first A320neo into revenue service on January 6. Because of the limitations to the engine, it plans to deploy it on the Frankfurt - Hamburg route initially (it has large maintenance bases on both ends of it. (DLH) plans to take five A320neos in 2016).

Qatar Airways (QTA) is now planned to become the second A320neo operator, followed by Indian low-cost carrier Indigo (IGO).

(DLH) has ordered 101 A320neo-family aircraft. (QTA) has ordered a combined 50 A320neos and A321neos. Indigo (IGO) is the largest single customer for the aircraft, with orders for 430 aircraft.

While Pratt & Whitney (PRW) did not address the specific engine issues directly, it says both it and (EDS) “are working very closely with (QTA). We are excited that (QTA) selected the Geared Turbofan engine to power their A320neo aircraft and we appreciate their business. Along with Airbus (EDS), we are continuing to work with early customers on the first delivery of the aircraft. The team is on track to deliver the first A320neo this year.”

(PRW) added that “our engines and the aircraft are certified and are ready for delivery to customers this year. Our (GTF) engine’s technology is meeting or exceeding performance requirements on fuel burn, noise and emissions and is ready to enter service at this time.” The three (PW1100G)-powered A320neo flight-test aircraft accumulated over 1,070 flight hours in more than >350 flights prior to aircraft certification.

The (PW1100G)-powered A320neo was certified close to schedule at the end of November, despite a number of engine-related issues during the flight-test program. Following the start of flight tests in September 2014, the first known issue developed in April 2015, following a bird strike on the first aircraft, (MSN6101). Post-incident inspections unearthed a problem with a seal-retaining snap ring component buried so deep in the core that it required engine removal and replacement. The aircraft was subsequently grounded for four months, and only resumed flights in September.

The 2nd test-aircraft, (MSN6286), meanwhile joined the program in March 2015 but was also grounded through May, June and the majority of July, while the same engine issue was corrected. Despite the recent certification, the second aircraft continues to fly, most recently conducting test and training missions around northern and western France. A 3rd test aircraft (which was largely dedicated to building up hours on simulated airline-type operations) is also continuing to fly. Through early December, it has been flying medium-range flights from France to Spain and Finland.

Additional issues hit the (PW1100G) in October, when the first (PRW)-powered aircraft was completing hot-weather tests in Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Although the aircraft performed well during the tests, (PRW) made the decision to remove one of the engines as a precautionary move, after borescope inspections showed evidence of minor rubbing between the blades of the high-pressure compressor and the compressor wall. The aircraft diverted to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, and remained there for 11 days, while a new engine was fitted. This aircraft also continues in test and is currently conducting high altitude takeoff and landing performance work in El Alto, Bolivia.

News Item A-6: "First A320neo Delivery Postponed to 2016" by (ATW) Editor Karen Walker, December 30, 2015.

First delivery of the Airbus A320neo has been postponed until 2016 because of documentation issues. The delay means the neo misses a long-planned delivery target of late 2015.

As recently as last week, Airbus (EDS) and launch customer, Lufthansa (DLH) insisted the first delivery of the re-engined, more efficient narrow body would take place at the end of this year. But on December30, both issued statements confirming the delivery date had slipped to January.

A Pratt & Whitney (PRW) spokesperson said the (PW1100G) geared turbofan engine was “ready to enter service and meeting or exceeding all performance requirements” and that the reason for the postponement was “primarily a documentation issue.”

An Airbus (EDS) spokesperson said all three partners “continue working with all efforts and full focus towards bringing the fuel-efficient A320neo into service within the next weeks.” He added that “some more documentation items need to be addressed by Pratt & Whitney (PRW) and by (EDS) in its role as the overall manufacturer of the aircraft” and the priority was to deliver “a service-ready A320neo from day one.”

A (DLH) spokesperson said in an email: “(DLH) and (EDS) have come to the joint agreement to postpone the delivery of the first (DLH) A320neo to the beginning of 2016 due to greater technical complexity that is part of the handover. We are confident that we will have a flawless delivery of the aircraft in January 2016.”

In early October, the first (PW1100G)-powered A320neo suffered minor damage during an incident during hot-weather testing in the Middle East. Airbus (EDS) (CEO), Fabrice Brégier later said the engine incident was not technical and was more about the life of the engine. However, after that incident, there was a switch of launch customer from Qatar Airways (QTA) to (DLH).

The (EDS) spokesperson said that (DLH) would remain the launch customer and that everyone was confident that the delivery would take place in one to five weeks. “We were just a little ambitious with the documentation and the paper work that needs to be closed, given this is also the holiday season,” he said.

Asked if this would be a compensation issue, he said “of course there are negotiations, but those are commercial talks and they are not in public.”

There is a choice of engines for the neo, with the new (CFM) International (LEAP) being the other option. The (PW1100G)-powered neo and the (LEAP-1A), the variant for the neo, were each (EASA) and (FAA) certified in November.

More than >4,400 orders have been logged for the neo, which Airbus (EDS) said will deliver -15% fuel-savings over the A320ceo and -20% by 2020. It competes with the re-engined Boeing 737 MAX, which is sole-sourced powered by the (CFM) (LEAP-1B).

News Item A-7: (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) (GEF) has signed an agreement with Virgin America (VUS) to lease 10 new Airbus A321neos. The aircraft, which will be powered by (CFM)’s (LEAP-1A) engines, will expand (VUS)’ fleet. The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in (1Q) 2017 and the remainder will deliver in 2017 and 2018. All 10 aircraft are part of (GECAS)’ existing orderbook with Airbus (EDS).

(VUS) President & (CEO), David Cush said, “Not only will these aircraft allow us to further reduce our unit costs and improve our revenue position, they demonstrate our continued commitment to reducing carbon emissions and creating an even more sustainable airline.”

San Francisco-based, Virgin America (VUS) currently operates a fleet of more than >55 aircraft to more than >20 destinations in the USA and Mexico.

News Item A-8: Airbus has agreed to buy Navtech, a Canadian company specializing in Flight Operations tools such as electronic flight bags (EFB)s.

Waterloo, Ontario-based Navtech generates around $42 million in annual revenue and employs about 250 people. According to the company, its product suite includes aeronautical charts, navigation data solutions and products to optimize flight planning, aircraft performance and crew planning. It has over >400 customers, including airlines.

Navtech (CEO), Mike Hulley said Navtech and Airbus (EDS) will leverage “complementary aviation expertise.”

The transaction’s closing is subject to regulatory approvals.

News Item A-9: China Southern Airlines (GUN) has ordered 10 Airbus A330-300 twin-aisle aircraft in a deal worth $2.3 billion at list prices, according to a disclosure filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The purchase will be financed partly from (GUN)’s internal resources and partly by commercial bank loans. The transaction still needs government approvals. The aircraft are expected to be delivered from 2017 - 2019. Three are scheduled for delivery in 2017, five will be delivered in 2018 and two will be delivered in 2019.

(GUN) noted the aircraft will be used to accelerate its expansion pace; the deal is expected to boost capacity by +4% year-over-year.
(GUN) is already a significant user of the A330, with 35 on strength, split almost equally between the A330-200 and A330-300 models.

The order comes less than a week after (GUN) placed a major order for Boeing 737NG and MAX models.

Local industry analysts have cautioned that Chinese carriers are suffering from overcapacity and low airfares.

News Item A-10: The South African Treasury has ordered South African Airways (SAA) to conclude a swap transaction with Airbus Industrie (EDS) wherein (SAA), the state-backed carrier will swap the purchase of ten A320-200s for five A330-300s leased directly from (EDS). The announcement follows the expiration of an Airbus-specified December 21 deadline for (SAA) to have decided on a way forward for its outstanding A320 orders.

Earlier this year, (SAA)'s board recommended the plan be amended wherein (SAA) would have acquired five A330-300s on sale/lease back agreements through a South African firm, and denominated in South African Rand (ZAR). Though the deal would have cushioned (SAA) from the impact of a depreciating Rand, it would have left it open to potentially crippling debt in the form of USD40 million worth of Pre-Delivery Payments (PDP) payable in the event (SAA) did not find a suitable local lessor come the December 21 deadline.

"The implementation of the deal in this manner will mean that (SAA) will no longer be required to pay additional (PDP)s to Airbus (EDS), which would have amounted to approximately USD40 million," Treasury said. "Also, as (SAA) takes delivery of each of the A330s, the (PDP)s that have already been paid, which total just more than >USD100 million, will be refunded by (EDS). (SAA) will not be required to recognise impairments, as it will no longer be acquiring aircraft. It had been estimated that such impairments could have totalled in excess of >ZAR1 billion/USD67.8 million."

The agreement is expected to be finalized by December 28.

January 2016: News Item A-1: "Airbus (EDS) Defense & Space Displays Counter-(UAV) System at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Quick-Response Protection Against Micro-Drones" www.ulitzer.com, January 6, 2016.

Airbus Defense & Space, Inc has developed a Counter-(UAV) System which detects illicit intrusions of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) over critical areas at long ranges and offers electronic countermeasures minimizing the risk of collateral damage.

"All over the world, incidents with universally available small drones have revealed a security gap with regards to critical installations such as factories, airports or nuclear plants," said Thomas Müller, Head of Electronics & Border Security at Airbus Defence and Space. "As a specialist in defense electronics, we have all the technologies in our portfolio and the integration knowledge which are needed to set up a quick-response protection system with extremely low false alarm rates."

The system offers very high effectiveness by combining sensor data from different sources with latest data fusion, signal analysis and jamming technologies. It uses operational radars, infrared cameras and direction finders from Airbus Defence & Space's portfolio to identify the drone and assess its threat potential at ranges between 3.1 and 6.2 miles/5 and 10 Km).

Based on an extensive threat library and real-time analysis of control signals, a jammer interrupts the link between drone and pilot and/or its navigation. Furthermore, the direction finder tracks the position of the pilot, who subsequently can be dealt with by law enforcement. Due to the Smart Responsive Jamming Technology developed by Airbus Defence & Space, the jamming signals are blocking only the relevant frequencies used to operate the drone while other frequencies in the vicinity remain operational. Since the jamming technology contains versatile receiving and transmitting capabilities, more sophisticated measures like remote control classification and (GPS) spoofing can be utilized as well. This allows effective and specific jamming and, therefore, a takeover of the (UAV).

News Item A-2: "Airbus (EDS) & Boeing (TBC) December 2015 Orders & Deliveries Roundup" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, January 13, 2016.

Airbus (EDS) delivered 79 commercial aircraft to 31 airlines and eight lessors in December 2015; Boeing (TBC) delivered 50 commercial airplanes to 28 airlines and seven lessors.

For the entirety of 2015, Boeing (TBC) delivered 735 commercial airplanes to 78 airlines, 13 lessor companies, and 13 unidentified customers. Airbus (EDS) delivered 628 commercial aircraft to 69 airlines and 14 lessor companies.

Boeing (TBC) logged orders for 219 commercial airplanes in December, approximately $22.1 billion in sales. Boeing (TBC)’s biggest order for the month came from an as yet-officially unidentified customer (but very likely China Southern Airlines (GUN), according to a December 17 statement from Boeing (TBC)) for 50 737 MAX 8 airplanes and 30 737-800 airplanes, valued at $8.38 billion.

Airbus (EDS) firmed orders for 59 commercial aircraft in December, worth $10.66 billion combined, from eight airlines and two undisclosed customers. A December 23 order from AirAsia X (ASX) for 11 A330-900s (converted from an initial order for 11 A330-300s) was Airbus (EDS)’ biggest order financially for the month, worth $3.13 billion. The next largest was Turkish Airlines (THY)’s December 1 order for 20 A321neos, valued at $2.49 billion.

But the biggest news was Airbus (EDS)’ first firm order in 2015 for the A380; an order for three of the aircraft was logged by an undisclosed customer, valued at $1.28 billion.

For commercial airplanes (not including business jet/(VIP) orders, private customer orders and military/government airplane orders) Boeing (TBC)’s gross firm order total for 2015 was 857, valued at approximately $123 billion. However, accounting for 110 cancellations and changes registered over the year, Boeing (TBC)’s net order total for 2015 came to 747 airplanes, valued at approximately $106.61 billion. Airbus (EDS)’ gross firm order total in 2015 came to 1,131 commercial aircraft, valued at approximately $152.7 billion. Accounting for 103 cancellations and changes over the year, Airbus (EDS)’ net order total for 2015 was 1,028 aircraft, valued at approximately $136 billion.

Boeing’s December commercial deliveries included four 737-800s to Beijing-based Dragon Aviation Leasing and three aircraft each to Dutch lessor AerCap (DEA) (two 787-9 Dreamliners and a 737-800), American Airlines (AAL) (two 737-800s and a 787-8 Dreamliner) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) (all 737-800s). Additional 787-8 Dreamliners were delivered to Avianca (AVI) and Singapore-based Scoot (SCT). Additional 787-9 Dreamliners were delivered to Virgin Atlantic (VAA), which received two of the airplanes, and Air Canada (ACN) and the (LATAM) Airlines Group, both of which received one.

Airbus (EDS)’ 79 commercial deliveries in December included 10 aircraft to Singapore-based lessor (BOC) Aviation (SIL) (four A330-300s bound for AirAsiaX (ASX), four A321neos bound for Capital Airlines (DER) and two A320ceos bound for Tianjin Airlines (GCR)); five aircraft each to lessor group (CIT) (TCI) (two A321ceos bound for Air Canada rouge, an A330-300 bound for Fiji Airways, an A330-300 bound for Sri Lankan Airlines (SRL) and an A350-900 bound for Vietnam Airlines (VIE)) and Avianca (AVI) owner, Synergy Aerospace (ONE) (three A320ceos and two A330-200s); four aircraft to (LATAM) Airlines Group (three A321ceos and an A350-900) and three aircraft each to Emirates (EAD) (all A380s), lessor (GECAS) (GEF) (two A320ceos bound for airberlin (BER) and an A320ceo bound for Qingdao Airlines (QDO)), lessor Intrepid Aviation (INL) (three A330-300s), Saudi Gulf Airlines (all A320ceos) and China’s Spring Airlines (CQH) (all A320ceos).

Boeing (TBC)’s other firm order December customers included Delta Air Lines (DAL), which ordered 20 737-900ERs, valued at approximately $2.04 billion and Turkish Airlines (THY), with 10 737-8 MAX airplanes ordered, valued at $1.1 billion. Additionally, on December 21, an unidentified customer ordered 33 737-800s, valued at $3.17 billion; and three other unidentified customers ordered a total of 31 737 MAX airplanes and 12 737-800 airplanes (nearly $4.7 billion in sales).

Airbus (EDS)’ other firm orders in December came from South African Airways (SAA), which ordered five A330-300s, valued at $1.27 billion; (IAG) airlines group: British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Vueling (VUZ), which all ordered five A320neos each, valued at $1.59 billion total; Chinese lessor (CALC) (CHD), which ordered two A320ceos, valued at $194 million; and Air New Zealand (ANZ), which ordered a single A320ceo, valued at $93.9 million.

News Item A-3: "Airbus (EDS) Posts Record Figures for 2015" by (ATW) Victoria Moores January 12, 2016.

Airbus delivered 635 aircraft in 2015 and secured net orders for a further 1,036, taking its production backlog to 6,787 units worth $996.3 billion at list prices.

“This commercial and industrial performance unequivocally proves that global demand for our aircraft has remained resilient,” Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said.

The 2015 delivery total was +6 up on 2014, marking a new record for (EDS). Within this delivery figure, wide bodies hit a record high, while narrow bodies remained stable. These comprised 491 A320 family aircraft, 103 A330s, 14 A350s (one shy of its 15-aircraft target) and 27 A380s.

Airbus (EDS) exceeded its own targets and hit financial breakeven on its A380 deliveries for the first time, but Boeing (TBC) won this part of the race with 762 airplanes produced. Airbus (COO) Customers, John Leahy said this is because the Boeing 787 program has been delivering for longer than the A350.

In terms of sales, (EDS) secured 1,139 gross orders, which translated into 1,036 net orders (up from 1,456 in 2014). The net order total includes 897 A320 family aircraft and 139 wide bodies, with eight new customers coming on board.

Airbus (EDS) ended the year with a record backlog of 6,787 aircraft, up +6% on 2014, representing 10 years’ production at current rates.
“Our backlog used to be five times what we delivered in a given year. In the last few years, the backlog has skyrocketed. We haven’t been increasing production at anywhere near the same rate. We’re just ramping up volumes to catch up with our order book. We are increasing production based on orders already placed by airlines and leasing companies,” Leahy said.

The A320 family represents the vast bulk of the backlog, at 5,535 aircraft (1,064 A320ceos and 4,471 A320neos). A330s represent 350 aircraft of the total (180 A330ceos and 170 A330neos), joined by 762 A350s and 140 A380s.

In 2016, Airbus (EDS) plans to maintain a “book to bill” ratio of at least 1, compared with the last few years where this figure has been 1.5 - 2, and deliver more than >650 aircraft. While wide body deliveries will remain stable, Bregier is aiming to increase the narrow body figure.

“We plan to deliver at least 50 A350s [in 2016],” Bregier said. “This is not a walk in the park. The design is stable, the assembly process is extremely effective and the aircraft tested with higher maturity than expected, but we need all the parts at the same time. This is where we are struggling, but I would be disappointed if we didn’t deliver 50 A350s this year.”

(EDS) is also aiming to ramp up A320 production to 50 aircraft per month by early 2017, potentially increasing to 60 - 63 by mid-2019. Over the next two years, by the end of 2018, A350 production will also undergo increase to 10 aircraft per month.

Meanwhile, the A330 line is being transitioned to produce six A330neos per month. The first A330neo has completed its detailed design phase and is due to enter the final assembly line in September, in preparation for certification and first delivery at the end of 2017. The upgraded twinjet will have a common type rating with the A350.

During 2015, Airbus secured certification for the A320neo, delivered its first 242-tonne A330 to Delta Air Lines (DAL) and launched the long-range A321neo, regional A330 and ultra-long range A350-900.

(EDS) also opened its first USA factory in Mobile, Alabama, where 40 to 50 A320 family aircraft will be produced annually by 2018, and is also progressing with its plans to create an A330 cabin completion and delivery center in Tianjin, China.

Effective January 1, 2016, Airbus increased the average list prices of its aircraft by +1.1%.

News Item A-4: China Aircraft Leasing Group (CHD) signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Jetstar Pacific Airlines (PAH) for two Airbus A320 aircraft, in addition to the agreement for two aircraft signed in November 2015. All four A320 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in 2016. (CHD) also signed lease agreements with Sichuan Airlines (SIC) for the lease of three A320s on a 144-month lease term. The three aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2016.

News Item A-5: "Airbus (EDS) Sells 3 A380s to Undisclosed Customer"
by (ATW) Victoria Moores, January 12, 2016.

Airbus (EDS) logged three firm A380 orders in December 2015 to an undisclosed customer, but (EDS) declined to comment on whether they are destined for Japanese carrier, All Nippon Airways (ANA).

Speaking at (EDS)' annual press briefing in Paris, Airbus President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said: “We have three new A380 orders. The customer has asked to remain undisclosed, but it is a firm order.”

When quizzed on the identity of the customer, Brégier declined to comment, saying only: “It is a new customer; it is not a repeat order.”

Earlier in January, (ANA) denied reports that parent company, (ANA) Holdings has completed a deal to acquire three Airbus A380s, repossessed from low-cost carrier (LCC) Skymark Airlines (SKM). “The story is not based on our official announcement and there is nothing decided yet,” an (ANA) spokesman said at the time. “We are currently formulating the next mid-term corporate strategy and considering various options for airplanes.”

(ANA) plans to issue its medium-term corporate strategy on January 29.

Airbus (EDS), which has been struggling to sell A380s, managed to achieve financial breakeven on 27 of the type that it produced in 2015. Brégier said he is hoping to reduce the program’s breakeven point still further, to 20 units per year.

(EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy headed off criticism about the program, saying (EDS) is happy with the A380, but declined to give an orders target for the type in 2016. Leahy is working on a few A380 campaigns covering “well in excess of >25 aircraft,” and noted the A380 backlog covers several years of production, giving time to secure more sales.

Leahy said selling the A380 is not a simple matter of seat-mile costs. “We have to work with the airline to see how they can use it,” he said.

(EDS) logged orders for a total of 60 aircraft across its product range in December, taking its year-end net order total to 1,036. Alongside the three A380s, it also booked an unidentified order for two A350-900s.

“Airbus’ popular A330 family converted an order from AirAsia X (ASX) for 11 A330-900 aircraft in the A330neo series, while South Africa Airways (SAA) booked a conversion to five A330-300s in the ceo configuration,” Airbus (EDS) said.

News Item A-6: (STG) Aerospace’s saf-Tglo photoluminescent system, SuperSeal UltraLite (SSUL), has received (FAA) and (EASA) certification for Airbus A320 family aircraft. Following certification, A320 operators are able to upgrade the (SSUL) emergency floor path marking system to the latest version.

News Item A-7: (GKN) Aerospace has qualified a new, 10% lighter, higher- performance, main-pilot windshield for the Airbus A320 family.

News Item A-8: Cathay Pacific (CAT)’s first Airbus A350 delivery has been affected by seat production issues, and appears likely to be delayed by a few months. (CAT) was originally expecting to receive its initial A350 in February, but (CAT) is now being less specific and says it is aiming for first delivery early this year. (CAT) (CEO) Ivan Chu admitted there would be a delay, but says it will not be major.

News Item A-9: "First China Airlines Airbus A350 XWB in (FAL)" by
(ATW) Linda Blachly, January 27, 2016.

Airbus (EDS) is assembling the main airframe sections of China Airline (CHI)’s first A350 XWB at the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse, France, as a 2016 third-quarter delivery date approaches.

The main airframe section assembly involves building the wing-fuselage junction, and installing the tailplane and tailcone. The aircraft will then be moved to the next assembly station for structural completion, ground testing of mechanical, electrical and avionics systems, and then the start of cabin installation.

(CHI) has 14 A350-900s on order, which it plans to deploy on its long-haul routes to Europe, Australia and the USA, as well as on selected regional routes. (CHI) operates 24 A330s and six A340s on regional and long-haul services.

To date, Airbus (EDS) said it has recorded 777 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 41 customers.

February 2016: News Item A-1: "Airbus January 2016 Orders & Deliveries Roundup" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, February 17, 2016.

Airbus (EDS) delivered 22 commercial aircraft to 15 airlines and three lessors in January, including the delivery of its first A320neo to launch customer Lufthansa (DLH).

(EDS)’ other January deliveries included two aircraft each to American Airlines (AAL) (both A321ceos), Philippine’s Cebu Air (CEB) (both A320ceos) and China’s Spring Airlines (CQH) (both A320ceos), and China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings (CALC) received an A320ceo and an A321ceo, both bound for Air Macau (MCU). Emirates (EAD) took delivery of an A380.

Airbus (EDS) firmed orders for 16 commercial aircraft in January, worth $4.18 billion combined. An undisclosed customer ordered 14 A330-900neo aircraft, valued at $3.98 billion, and (CALC) ordered two A320ceos, valued at $194 million. Airbus (EDS) also reported the cancellation of an order for seven A330-300s from an unidentified customer, which brought (EDS)’ 2016 net order total to nine.

(EDS) announced that it has added an additional +44 net aircraft to its year-end 2015 order book “as a result of the fulfillment of conditions precedent occurring in January 2016,” the company said. As a result, (EDS) is now reporting 1,190 total gross orders for 2015, valued at $159.9 billion, and 1,080 total net orders for the year, valued at $141.6 billion. (EDS)’ 2015 year-end backlog was adjusted to 6,831 aircraft, worth just over >$1 trillion at 2015 list prices.

News Item A-2: ACCDT: "Daallo Airlines (DAO) A321-100 Lands After On Board Explosion; One Dead" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, February 3, 2016.

A Djibouti-based Daallo Airlines (DAO) Airbus A321-100, en route from Mogadishu to Djibouti, experienced an on board explosion, 15 minutes after takeoff and returned to Mogadishu airport. The aircraft was carrying 74 passengers and seven crew.

According to media reports, the explosion ripped a hole in the fuselage and one person is reported missing, possibly ejected from the aircraft. One person was found dead on the ground.

(CEO), Mohamed Yassin confirmed the incident. “The aircraft landed safely again at Mogadishu airport. All passengers disembarked the aircraft; two people had minor injuries.”

Pictures in the media show a large hole at the right-hand side of the fuselage above the wing - - see photo - "DAO-2016-02 - ACCDT A321-100.jpg."

Yassin said, “So far the investigation is going on. As soon we have more information available, we will announce them. But for the time being, nothing is clear. There are a lot of parts during the investigation which have to be put together." “We know that one person is missing. And we also know that one person had been found (dead) on the ground. But again, this is still not certain, investigations are going on,” Yassin said, adding that (DAO)’s Wednesday flight to Mogadishu has been canceled.

Yassin said (DAO) operates five aircraft, including two Airbus A321s.

The incident is being investigated by the Civil Aviation Authority in Mogadishu as well as a technical team of aircraft owner, Hermes Airlines, in close coordination with Greece's Civil Aviation Authority and Airbus (EDS).

According to its website, Daallo (DAO) has operated in the region for more than >25 years with a clean safety record and without any fatalities. All its aircraft are registered/maintained under the European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA) regulations and are being operated by pilots (FC) from Europe.

(DAO) operates scheduled flights to Djibouti, Mogadishu, Dubai, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Hargeisa (Somaliland), and Nairobi (Kenya).

News Item A-3: INCDT: Vietnam Airlines (VIE) A350-900 (TRENT XWB) (VN-A887) performing flight VN-227 from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) with 137 passengers and 7 crew, was enroute about 40 minutes into the flight when the cabin pressure was lost, the passenger oxygen masks were automatically released, and the crew initiated an emergency descent. The A350-900 returned to Hanoi for a safe landing.

A replacement A350-900 (registration VN-A888) reached Ho Chi Minh City with a delay of 3.45 hours.

(VIE) confirmed the aircraft suffered the loss of cabin pressure, the passenger oxygen masks automatically deployed. All passengers disembarked unharmed, a flight attendant (CA), however, received minor injuries in the encounter.

News Item A-4: Singapore Airline’s (SIA) first Airbus A350-900 has completed its maiden flight and will now enter the final production phase as it prepares for delivery in the coming weeks, Airbus (EDS) said. The aircraft, the first of a 67-strong order for (SIA), is slated to open business on the Singapore - Amsterdam route.

(SIA), the flag carrier of Singapore is also set to take delivery of seven of its outstanding A350 order as the recently announced long range (-ULR) variant, and has said it will use them on Singapore - USA mainland schedules of up to 19 hours duration.

The extended range aircraft will be delivered from 2018 on, after what (SIA) said were "customer requests to re-start nonstop Singapore - USA flights." It canceled its previous Los Angeles and New York nonstop flights in 2013, when the A340-500s that were then used for the route were retired, partly due to spiraling costs due to high jet fuel prices.

(SIA) also has 30 Boeing 787-10s on order, which are scheduled for delivery from (FY) 2018/2019 financial year.

(SIA) (CEO), Goh Choon Phong said the new aircraft deliveries will help ensure (SIA) “retains its industry leading position,” adding that the new aircraft demonstrate (SIA)’s commitment to Singapore as an aviation hub, and its confidence in the future for premium full-service travel.

“[These deliveries] will further strengthen the Singapore hub by providing the fastest and most convenient air connectivity between North America and Southeast Asia,” Goh said.

News Item A-5: The first Airbus A321neo equipped with (CFM) International (LEAP-1A) engines completed its maiden flight on February 9 from Hamburg, Germany.

According to Airbus (EDS), the flight lasted five hours and 29 minutes during which tests were performed on the engine speed variation (low/high), systems behavior and to validate the aircraft’s flight envelope.

(CFM) International President & (CEO), Jean-Paul Ebanga confirmed the (LEAP-1A) engine met its performance specifications.

The A321neo will join the neo flight test fleet and perform a partial flight test program to validate the impact on handling qualities, performance and systems. The first A321neo will be delivered at the end of 2016.

The aircraft, registration (D-AVXB), was flown by experimental test pilots, Martin Scheuermann and Bernardo Saez Benito Hernandez. Accompanying them in the cockpit was test-flight engineer, Gérard Leskerpit and monitoring the flight’s progress were flight-test engineers, Sandra Bour Schaeffer and Emiliano Requena Esteban.

News Item A-6: "Singapore Airlines (SIA), Airbus Sign A380 Flight Hour Services Contract" by (ATW) Linda Blachly, February 15, 2016.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has signed a 10-year Flight Hour Services-Tailored Support Package (FHSTSP) contract with Airbus (EDS) to integrate and provide full component support, line and base airframe maintenance, as well as fleet technical management services for (SIA)’s 19 A380s.

It will partner with its affiliated Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) (SIA) Engineering Company (SIAEC).

According to Airbus (EDS), the (FHSTSP) contract provides full component support, line and base maintenance, as well as fleet technical management services in Singapore.

“The scope of this agreement guarantees aircraft availability and ‘on-time performance’ (OTP), covering technical, logistics and maintenance,” (EDS) said. “Furthermore, this Airbus (EDS) (FHSTSP) contract supersedes the existing (FHS) Components support agreement signed in July 2007 for its A380s. To date, Singapore Airlines (SIA)’s in-service A330s are also covered by the same (FHSTSP) agreement with Airbus (EDS).”

Airbus (EDS) said (FHS) contracts have been selected to cover more than >245 aircraft from operators of A320, A330, A380, and A350.

News Item A-7: "Airbus Extends Support Footprint in Southeast Asia"
by (ATW) Jeremy Torr, February 17, 2016.

Airbus (EDS) has signed significant support agreements with (SIA) Engineering Company (SIAEC) and Vietnam-based low-cost carrier (LCC) Vietjet (VJE) to further extend its technical reach in Southeast Asia.

The agreement with (SIAEC) will see the formation of a Singapore-based joint venture (JV) that will offer airframe and heavy maintenance services but will also provide cabin upgrades and modifications on Airbus A330, A350 and A380 aircraft.

The agreement with (VJE) will see Airbus collaborate with the carrier to provide flight and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) training for (VJE) aircrew and engineers (MT). Based in Hi Chi Minh City, the training center will feature a flight simulator for A320 training, as well as “bringing Airbus’ and (EASA)’s standards to Vietjet (VJE),” the company said.

(VJE) VP Dinh Viet Phuong said the collaboration “marks a new milestone for both [companies].” He added, “Investment in an aviation institute is one of the most important goals in (VJE)’s sustainable growth strategies.”

(SIAEC) (CEO), Png Kim Chiang said the new Singapore maintenance facility will lease two hangar bays from (SIAEC) for initial operations, with plans to add another two hangar bays over the next six years.

(SIAEC) said the new (JV) will provide an Asian Center of Excellence for heavy maintenance of the Airbus A380 and A350, and will offer its services to third party carriers from across the region.

The new deals build on Airbus (EDS)’ existing deal signed two years ago with Lion Air (MLI) to provide support and training to Indonesian aircrew, and a preliminary deal in 2015 to work on training services by the two companies.

Airbus (CEO), Fabrice Brégier said the Toulouse-based manufacturer sees the Asia-Pacific region as a key market for [Airbus] wide body aircraft and setting up the Singapore facility reflects its strategy to “develop a full range of support services . . . near to [operators] home bases.”

News Item A-8: Comlux (CLA) announced a firm order for 3 Airbus ACJ320neo, becoming the largest customer for Airbus' corporate jet family. Deliveries will begin in 2018.

The ACJ320neo can fly 25 passengers over 6,000 nm/11,100 km or 13 hours (the ACJ319ceo can transport 8 passengers over 6,750 nm/12,500 km or 15 hours).

The ACJneo airplane family offers the increase protection of fly-by-wire controls, Category 3B automatic landing, and runway overrun prevention and onboard airport navigation systems ((ROPS) and (OANS)).

More than >170 Airbus corporate jets are flying on every continent, including Antarctica, demonstrating outstanding reliability that is backed by worldwide support.

News Item A-9: A review of Airbus Industrie (EDS) order numbers for the month of January 2016 show (EDS) recorded an order for fourteen A330-900neo twinjets from an unidentified customer.

It also saw, as expected, Garuda Indonesia (GIA) cancel outstanding orders for seven A330-300s.

News Item A-10: Airbus (EDS) announced plans to lift output of the aging A330 jet to seven a month in 2017 and predicted higher4 annual deliveries, indicating its confidence weeks after its USA rival Boeing shocked investors by flagging a drop in output.

Airbus (EDS) said February 24 it aims to deliver more than >650 jets in 2016, up from 635 in 2015, with output of the latest A350 wide body jet more than tripling to 50 jets.

News Item A-11: "Lufthansa to Base 12 A320s in Munich" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, February 26, 2016.

Lufthansa (DLH) will base 12 Airbus A320s with Sharklets at its second Munich hub by the middle of next year as part of its sustainability program.

The first Airbus A320 with Sharklets has arrived in Munich; the second is to follow in the next few days. All 12 of the type are replacing older medium-haul aircraft. (DLH) deploys 50 A319s, A320s and A321s in Munich.

“We are in a good position in Munich regarding sustainability. The fact that our fleet is getting quieter and quieter is good news for people who live near the airport in particular,” (DLH) Munich Hub (CEO), Thomas Winkelmann said.

In addition, (DLH) expects to base 20 Airbus A320s with Sharklets in Frankfurt. It will also base the first of 10 Airbus A350-900s at its second major hub in Munich from January 2017.

News Item A-12: (SIA) Engineering has formed of a joint venture (JV) with Airbus (EDS) on airframe maintenance, cabin upgrade and modification services for Airbus A380s, A350s and A330s. Airbus (EDS) plans to develop the (JV) as a center of excellence for A380 and A350 heavy maintenance in Asia.

March 2016: News Item A-1: "Airbus and Boeing February 2016 Orders & Deliveries Roundup" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, March 4, 2016.

Boeing (TBC) delivered 55 commercial airplanes to 23 airlines, six lessors and one unidentified customer in February. Airbus (EDS) had 46 commercial aircraft deliveries to 29 airlines and two lessors during the month.

Year-to-date, Boeing (TBC) has delivered a total of 104 commercial airplanes, compared to Airbus (EDS)’ 68 total deliveries as of February 29, 2016.

February commercial aircraft orders were relatively slim for the rival manufacturers. Each manufacturer could claim only one respective commercial aircraft customer during the month, neither of which were named. Airbus (EDS)’ undisclosed customer ordered two A320ceos, valued at approximately $194 million. Boeing (TBC)’s unidentified customer ordered a single 737-800, valued at $96 million.

As of February 29, Boeing (TBC) had firm orders for 48 commercial airplanes on the books, valued at $5.62 billion. Airbus (EDS) had firm orders for 18 commercial aircraft logged so far this year, valued at $4.37 billion.

Boeing (TBC)’s February deliveries included nine 737-800 airplanes to Ryanair (RYR); four airplanes to American Airlines (AAL) (two 787-8 Dreamliners, one 777-300ER and a 737-800); three airplanes each to Air Lease Corporation (ALE) (two 737-800s and a 777-300ER), Southwest Airlines (SWA) (all 737-800s), Turkish Airlines (THY) (all 737-800s) and United Airlines (UAL) (two 787-9 Dreamliners and a 737-900ER); and two airplanes each to Alaska Airlines (ASA) (both 737-900ERs), China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (both 737-800s), Delta Air Lines (DAL) (both 737-900ERs), EL AL Israel Airlines (ELA) (both 737-900ERs), lessor (GECAS) (GEF) (both 737-800s), lessor (ILFC) (ILF) (a 787-9 Dreamliner and a 737-800), and Saudia (SVA) (a 787-9 Dreamliner and a 777-300ER).

Additionally, a 787-8 Dreamliner was delivered to Qatar Airways (QTA). Air Canada (ACN), Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS), and Israeli lessor, MG Aviation Limited each took delivery of one 787-9 Dreamliner during the month.

Airbus (EDS)’ February deliveries included three aircraft each to China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (two A321ceos and an A319ceo), easyjet (EZY) (all A320ceos), Turkish Airlines (THY) (two A321ceos and an A330-300) and two aircraft each to Air China (BEJ) (both A320ceos), (LATAM) (LAN)/(TPR) (both A321ceos), Lion Air (MLI) (both A320ceos), Lufthansa (DLH) (both A320ceos), Eurowings (EWG) (both A320ceos), Spring Airlines (CQH) (both A320ceos), Thomas Cook Airlines (JMC)/(GUE) (both A321ceos) and Virgin America (VUS) (both A320ceos).

Additionally, Singapore Airlines (SIA) took delivery of an A350 XWB on February 26, the first out of its order for 67 of the aircraft. And British Airways (BAB) and Emirates (EAD) each took delivery of a new A380 aircraft during the month.

News Item A-2: Airbus Americas joined the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) as a premium industrial member. Membership in (IACMI) aligns the mutual goals of the association and of Airbus (EDS) as related to composite manufacturing.

News Item A-3: The Airbus Group has completed the 100% acquisition of Navtech, a Canadian company specializing in Flight Operations tools such as electronic flight bags (EFB)s. This follows the agreement announced in December 2015 to acquire the company.

Waterloo, Ontario-based Navtech offers a product suite of solutions for electronic flight bags (EFB)s, aeronautical charts, navigation data, performance-based navigation, flight planning, aircraft performance, and crew planning. It employs 250 workers.

Airbus (EDS) said the acquisition will further strengthen (EDS), the Toulouse-based manufacturer’s provision of end-to-end Flight Operations services. “Going forward, Navtech, which today generates annual revenues of around $42 million, will embark on reinforcing and accelerating business with innovative Flight Operations services for customers around the world,” Airbus (EDS) said.

Mike Hulley, the current leader of the company has been confirmed as Navtech (CEO).

(EDS) Head Customer Service, Didier Lux said the acquisition “will enable us to diversify our range of digital services and widen our portfolio offering for customers, positioning Airbus (EDS) as a complete Flight Operations solutions provider.”

Hulley said, “The industry will benefit from our complementary assets as we provide game-changing innovations and a ‘one-stop-shop’ venue for digital Flight Operations services.”

News Item A-4: "IndiGo Takes Delivery of Asia's First A320neo" by (ATW) Jeremy Torr, March 11, 2016.

IndiGo (IGO) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo, making it the first Asian airline to receive the new aircraft type, and the second operator of the A320neo after launch customer Lufthansa (DLH).

(IGO), which placed the largest ever order for the A320neo in August last year with a 250-aircraft commitment worth $26.55 billion at list prices, is expected to take delivery of another aircraft next week and up to 25 more over the next 12 months.

The aircraft was originally scheduled for first delivery late last year, but several months of delays came following issues with documentation on the aircraft's (Pratt & Whitney) (PRW) (PW1100G) engines.

(IGO) recently took up leases on seven Airbus A320 aircraft to maintain its fleet expansion plans, but will look to the A320neos to improve its fuel costs.

It expects to add 13 aircraft to its fleet by end 2016, and up to 85 more aircraft that will enter service throughout 2017.

Airbus (EDS) has said plans to increase the production rate of its A320 single-aisle type to 60 aircraft a month by mid-2019, partly to cope with the extra demand for the A320neo version, which has seen more than >4,300 orders from more than >75 customers world wide.

News Item A-5: Airbus (EDS) completed the first A321neo test flight on (Pratt & Whitney) (PRW) PurePower Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines. The (PW1135G-JM) engine, a 35,000 thrust class engine, is the most powerful engine on the A321neo, according to the engine manufacturer.

(PRW) is a United Technologies Corporation company. “The PurePower engine continues to meet commitments for fuel burn, emissions and noise, and this first flight on the A321neo is another milestone achievement for this innovative engine,” (PRW) President Commercial Engine Programs, Greg Gernhardt said.

(PRW) said the 35,000 thrust rating gives airlines the capability to fly longer routes, while carrying more passengers or payloads. The (PW1135G-JM) engine also allows an A321neo operator to benefit from increased payload/range, when flying out of high-altitude airports at elevations greater than >4,000 feet, such as Mexico City.

“The Geared Turbofan engine architecture also allows room for growth, as demonstrated by the additional +2% fuel burn enhancement offered to operators to further reinforce the A320neo’s -20% fuel burn savings by 2020,” (PRW) said.

The (PW1100G-JM) engine for the A320neo was certified in 2014 and the A320neo received certification in November 2015. Lufthansa (DLH) began flying its first A320neo, powered by (PRW) PurePower engines, in January 2016.

(PRW) said the PurePower engine family has completed more than >50,000 cycles and 32,000 hours of testing.

News Item A-6: Airbus (EDS) has predicted India (the world’s fastest-growing emerging aviation market) will require +1,600 new aircraft by 2034. Of those, more than >1,200 will be single-aisle types, Airbus (EDS) said at the "India Aviation 2016" airshow in Hyderabad as it unveiled IndiGo (IGO)’s first A320neo to visitors.

The aircraft is the first of 430 ordered in two tranches in 2011 and 2015 by (IGO), which is Airbus (EDS)’s biggest customer for the type. The aircraft was delivered to (IGO) on March 11 after a nonstop flight from Toulouse to Delhi of more than >8 hours. The aircraft is the first A320neo in Asia.

According to Airbus, by 2034, Indian passengers are expected to make four times as many flights as they do today. By 2025, India is expected to have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country and, with a 600 million-strong middle class taking an increasing number of flights, will have become the globe’s leading emerging aviation market.

Increasing wealth, urbanization, tourism and trade, will all combine to give predicted market growth of +8.4% a year over the next two decades, (EDS) said, well above the world average growth of +4.6%.

“As India’s industrial might grows, along with it come economic development, wealth generation and a rise in the number of regular and first-time flyers,” (EDS) Executive VP Marketing & Strategy, Kiran Rao said.

News Item A-7: "Airbus Plans $40 Million Training Center in India"
by (ATW) Jeremy Torr, March 18, 2016.

Airbus (EDS) has committed to build a $40 million aircrew and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) training facility at Delhi, India to start operations in 2018.

The center will be fully owned by Airbus Group India and will feature four A320 full-flight simulators. Agreements for building construction and simulator installation are expected to be finalized by 2017.

Airbus Executive VP Strategy & Marketing, Kiran Rao said the new center would equip tomorrow’s pilots (FC) and Engineers (MT) with the skills to “operate and maintain contemporary and next-generation Airbus aircraft” that have been ordered by India-based carriers.

Airbus (EDS), which has orders for 500 new aircraft in India from airlines, including major low-cost carriers IndiGo (IGO) and GoAir (GOZ), has forecast a need of more than >1,600 passenger and cargo aircraft for India by 2034.

Rao said the Delhi center would “accelerate the pace of training to help match A320neo deliveries to India” and said it had a planned capacity for training some 8,000 pilots (FC) and 2,000 maintenance engineers (MT up to 2028.

Airbus (EDS) said the new facility will build on its commitment to training across the region, adding to its center in Bangalore has trained over >2,750 (MRO) staff since 2007.

(EDS) also has a pilot (FC) training facility at Noida, Uttar Pradesh in 2013. That center was set up in conjunction with flight school operator (CAE) and houses two A320 full flight simulators with a capacity for 5,000 pilots (FC) and maintenance engineers (MT) every year.

News Item A-8: Airbus (eds) and Fokker Technologies, a division of (GKN) Aerospace, have signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for research, development and automation of Fiber Metal Laminate (FML) production. (FML) is the second generation of a revolutionary lightweight material, consisting of alternate layers of bonded aluminum and glass fiber.

News Item A-9: "Lufthansa Said A320neo Engine Was Improving But Not There Yet" by Victoria Bryan, "Reuters" March 17, 2016.

Lufthansa (DLH) said issues with the new engine of its A320neo plane are not fully fixed and as a result it was not ready to put more of the revamped Airbus (EDS) jets into commercial service. "The engine issues are slowly improving, we're not there yet. That's why we have not agreed to take the second aircraft into the fleet," (DLH) (CEO), Carsten Spohr said after (DLH) reported its annual results.

Airbus (EDS) missed an end of 2015 target for the first delivery of the new version of its best-selling plane after it was found the engines, made by (UTC)'s Pratt & Whitney (PRW), needed longer than usual to start properly.

Lufthansa (DLH), which stepped in as the first operator when Qatar Airways (QTA) refused to take the plane, took delivery of its first A320neo in January. For now, the jet is only flying on routes within Germany, where (DLH) has a large base of Engineers (MT) at its Maintenance division. "We could fly to other places, but we would need more Engineers (MT) in those locations," Spohr said.

He said (DLH) was receiving compensation from Airbus (EDS) until it could make full use of the A320neo and that the jet was showing a -20% reduction in costs compared with the earlier model. Software issues, where the engine sends erroneous messages to the cockpit, are also about 50% resolved, Spohr said.

Pratt & Whitney (PRW) said this month the new geared turbofan jetliner engine had logged high reliability at (DLH) and that it was delivering software and hardware fixes.

(DLH) is due to take delivery of 52 new planes this year, including five A320neo jets.

News Item A-10: The first Airbus A320 family aircraft built in the USA is scheduled to fly for the first time, Airbus (EDS) said.

The A321, which rolled out of Airbus’s Mobile, Alabama, manufacturing facility earlier this month, is for JetBlue Airways (JBL) and features the New York-based airline’s livery. “Following the flight, the aircraft will go through a few more weeks of final delivery preparations,” Airbus (EDS) said. (JBL) is expected to take delivery of the aircraft sometime this spring.

Airbus (EDS) invested $600 million to develop the A320 family aircraft final assembly plant in Mobile, which is spread over 53 acres. The facility opened in September 2015.

Airbus President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier has said the facility is helping to boost North American A320 family sales for the Toulouse, France-based manufacturer. Outside of France, (EDS) also has A320 family final assembly lines in Hamburg, Germany, and Tianjin, China.

(EDS) cautioned that weather or other external factors could affect the decision to fly.

News Item A-11: News Item A-6: "Airbus A321 Built in USA Completes First Test Flight" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, March 21, 2016.

Airbus (EDS) has completed the first test flight of its first aircraft built in the USA, an A321 to be delivered to JetBlue Airways (JBL) this spring.

The A321, produced at Airbus’s Mobile, Alabama A320 family final assembly plant, took off from Mobile Downtown Airport (BFM) at 9:36 am local time on March 21 and headed south, where it circled over the Gulf of Mexico performing a number of system tests and checks. It returned to (BFM) after a 3 hr and 26 min flight.

According to Airbus (EDS), the A321 reached as high as 39,000 ft altitude. Dynamic flight checks and electrical system tests occurred after the aircraft had ascended to 31,000 ft.

While a relatively normal pre-delivery proving flight, the test flight was a milestone for Airbus, which spent $600 million to build a USA aircraft manufacturing facility on 53 acres in Mobile. The Mobile plant will produce A320 family aircraft, primarily for delivery to North American airline customers, and the European manufacturer believes it has already provided a big boost for A320 family sales in North America.

The JetBlue (JBL) A321 rolled out of the Mobile facility earlier this month.

News Item A-12: Airbus (EDS) is hoping to appeal directly to passengers with the launch of a modern cabin interior look, branded "Airspace," which will debut on the Airbus A330neo in 2017 and will be displayed as a mock-up at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg from April 5 - 7. see - "EDS-2016-03 - Airspace Interior.jpg."

News Item A-13: Airbus (EDS) will offer its A350-900 twin-engined wide body aircraft with a 280-tonne maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) from 2020.

The standard A350-900 aircraft—offered as a 268 tonne aircraft, will have the same (MTOW) as the recently launched ultra long-range version of the aircraft, adopted by Singapore Airlines (SIA) for its nonstop flights to the USA.

At the same time, (EDS) will give the aircraft -2% reduction in fuel burn, with -1% coming from aerodynamic improvements, while the other -1% will come from changes within the Rolls-Royce (RRC) (XWB-84) engine, Airbus is due to announce here on the eve of the (FIDAE) Airshow on March 28.

Airbus (EDS said the combined (MTOW) increase and efficiency improvements will nudge the A350-900’s range up by an additional +500 nautical miles, if the aircraft is carrying 325 passengers in a three-class configuration.

“Airlines have pushed us in two directions on the A350,” Airbus (EDS) Executive VP Strategy, Kiran Rao said in London on March 23, pointing out that the A350-900 is being offered in a regional configuration with down-rated engines as well as in the (ULR) variant.

Rao said airlines increasingly wanted flexibility within their fleets, with the option of moving regional aircraft into long-haul operations. By offering the higher-takeoff weight option into the standard A350-900 provides more flexibility depending on airline requirements, Airbus (EDS) believes.

(EDS) has already developed a 278-tonne (MTOW) higher gross weight version for Philippine Airlines (PAL) and its transpacific services.
“We can take a regional aeroplane and turn it into ultra-long range, and vice versa,” said Rao. “We are creating a flexible aircraft, and airlines buy into flexibility.

Rao gave few details about the aerodynamic performance improvements, but the company says they have been flown and tested.

The A350 is making its Latin American public debut at the (FIDAE) Airshow, and is due to arrive here in Santiago from Buenos Aires on March 28.

April 2016: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) delivered 57 commercial aircraft to 34 airlines and five lessors in March. The largest number of deliveries went to Lufthansa (DLH), which took an A320neo and an A320ceo for its mainline passenger airline, plus two A320ceos for its subsidiary, Eurowings (EWG).

(EDS) booked firm orders for nine commercial aircraft in March, valued at approximately $1.6 billion at current list prices. (CSA) Czech Airlines ordered seven A320neos on March 29 valued at $743 million, followed by an undisclosed customer’s order for two A380s on March 31 valued at $856 million.

In addition to (DLH), Airbus (EDS)’ March deliveries included three aircraft each to American Airlines (AAL) (all A321ceos), IndiGo (IGO) (all A320neos, reportedly the first of the model to ever be delivered in Asia), Spirit Airlines (SPR) (two A320ceos and an A321ceo) and Turkish Airlines (THY) (two A330-300s and an A321ceo); and two aircraft each to Aegean Airlines (CRY) (both A320ceos), Singapore-based lessor (BOC) Aviation (SIL) (both A320ceos bound for Middle East Airlines (MEA)), China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (an A319ceo and an A321ceo), easyJet (EZY) (both A320ceos), Lion Air (MLI) (both A320ceos bound for Lion (MLI)’s subsidiary Batik Air (BTK)), SWISS (CSR) (an A321ceo and an A330-300 bound for (CSR) subsidiary Edelweiss Air (EDW)), and Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) (both A321ceos).

Additional March deliveries of A350-900 XWBs included one each to Finnair (FIN), (LATAM) Airlines Group (bound for (TAM) (TPR)) and Qatar Airways (QTA). Emirates (EAD) and Etihad Airways (EHD) each took delivery of a single A380 during the month.

News Item A-2: "First USA-built Airbus A321 to be Delivered April 25" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, April 8, 2016.

Airbus (EDS will officially deliver the first aircraft built at its USA manufacturing facility, an A321 designated for New York-based JetBlue Airways (JBL), on April 25.

The aircraft was produced at (EDS)’s Mobile, Alabama A320 family final assembly plant and was operated on its first test flight from Mobile Downtown Airport (BFM) on March 21. (EDS) spent $600 million to build the USA aircraft manufacturing facility on 53 acres. It ultimately plans to produce as many as 50 A320 family aircraft per year from the Mobile final assembly line, or about four per month.

Airbus (EDS) (COO) Customers, John Leahy, (JBL) President & (CEO), Robin Hayes and (EDS) VP & General Manager USA Manufacturing, Daryl Taylor are all scheduled to be on hand in Mobile to deliver remarks at the April 25 handover ceremony for media and invited guests - - as follows"

"Airbus Delivers First USA-built A321 to JetBlue" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, April 25, 2016.

Airbus has delivered the first aircraft built at its USA manufacturing facility, an A321 designated for New York-based JetBlue Airways (JBL). The aircraft was produced at Airbus’s Mobile, Alabama A320 family final assembly plant.

Airbus announced its commitment to build a single-aisle assembly line in Mobile, Alabama in 2012, and less than one year later, broke ground on the $600 million facility. The ceremonial inauguration of the plant came in September 2015. The JetBlue (JBL) A321 had its first flight on March 21.

Airbus (COO) Customers, John Leahy said, “Going from breaking ground on this facility three years ago to handing over the first Alabama-produced A321 today is an amazing accomplishment. It’s a testament to how well executed this project was and how strong the teamwork has been here in Mobile and throughout Airbus. The Airbus USA Manufacturing Facility has brought together all the best aspects of our other assembly lines around the world, and it shows how Airbus (EDS) people work hand in hand with our partners to deliver great aircraft to our customers.”

In addition to the JetBlue A321, there are nine other A320 family aircraft in production at the facility. Airbus (EDS) said it anticipates delivering four aircraft per month from the Mobile plant by the end of 2017. The initial deliveries will all be A320 family aircraft with the current engine option (CEO), but will begin transitioning to new engine option (neo) derivatives in late 2017.

See photo - "EDS-A321 - JetBlue Mobile Delivery-2016-04.jpg."

A second A321 built at the facility (designated for American Airlines (AAL) was rolled out on April 4.

News Item A-3: The Airbus Group and Siemens signed a long-term cooperation agreement in the field of hybrid electric propulsion systems. Both companies have sourced a team of 200 employees to advance European leadership in innovation and the development of electrically powered aircraft with the goal of demonstrating the technical feasibility of various hybrid/electric propulsion systems by 2020.

News Item A-4: Gogo has partnered with Airbus (EDS) subsidiary’s Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) to install, on a retrofit basis, its 2Ku in-flight connectivity technology on new Airbus A350s.

News Item A-5: Réunion Island leisure carrier, Air Austral (AUX) has canceled an order for two Airbus A380s, which was placed in 2009. “We can confirm the cancellation of these two A380s, as our customer has had a change in strategy,” an Airbus (EDS) spokesperson said.

(AUX), the French airline in the Indian Ocean had planned to fit the A380s with an 840Y-seat all-economy class configuration, a record capacity for civil aviation. This configuration led to them to be widely labeled by the media as "flying sardine cans."

News Item A-6: Garuda Indonesia (GIA) has confirmed an order with Airbus for 14 A330-900neos, which will be delivered from 2019.

(GIA) plans to use the A330neo to develop its medium- and long-haul network. The order replaces and extends an existing order for seven A330-300 aircraft.

News Item A-7: "(CFM) Delivers First (LEAP-1A) Production Shipset to Airbus" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, April 14, 2016.

(CFM) International has delivered the first shipset of (LEAP-1A) production engines to Airbus (EDS) to power the A320neo.

(CFM) said that the two engines were delivered on April 2. “This delivery paves the way for installation on the first customer aircraft and for entry into service (EIS) by mid-year,” (CFM) said. Airbus (EDS) and (CFM) have not disclosed which airline will be the first to operate a (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo.

The first three A320neos in service, being operated by Lufthansa (DLH) and Indigo (IGO), are powered by Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G) geared turbofan (GTF) engines.

(CFM) is a joint venture (JV) between (GE) Aviation and Snecma; the (LEAP-1A) engines delivered to Airbus (EDS) were completed at Snecma’s final assembly line in Villaroche, France.

“The engine continues to perform exceptionally well in flight tests and we can’t wait for our airline customers to introduce it into their fleets,” (CFM) Executive VP, Francois Bastin said.

(LEAP-1A) powered A320neos began flight tests in May 2015. The (LEAP-1A) was certified by the (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in November 2015.

May 2016: News Item A-1: The Airbus A350-900 has gained Extended-range Twin-engine OPerationS (ETOPS) approval from the (FAA) for routes that require beyond 180 minutes diversion time, which will give USA A350 operators more range and flexibility with the aircraft.

News Item A-2: "Delta Signs for Airbus A330 Predictive Maintenance Tool" by (ATW) Editor Karen Walker, May 30, 2016.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is the launch customer for an Airbus (EDS)-developed digital maintenance prognostics solution, Airbus (EDS) announced.

The web-based application, which Airbus (EDS) calls a "Prognostics & Risk Management," or (PRM), solution, was developed in partnership with (IBM).

Announcing the (DAL) sign-up during (EDS)’ Innovation Days media briefings in Hamburg May 30, Airbus Head of Customer Services, Didier Lux said the big-data solution was the result of teamwork with (DAL) following a year-long collaboration.

Initially, (PRM) will be applied to (DAL)’s Airbus A330 fleet, allowing (DAL) to maximize aircraft turnarounds and turn unscheduled maintenance events into anticipated and scheduled events.
“Prognostic alerting will allow our Engineering & Maintenance teams to detect in advance failures on our components and systems to mitigate possible operational interruptions,” (DAL) Manager, Predictive Maintenance Engineering, Jim Jackson said.

News Item A-3: "Rolls-Royce Delivers 1st (Trent 900) Engines for Emirates A380" by (ATW) Linda Blachly, May 11, 2016

Rolls-Royce (RRC) has delivered the first shipset of (Trent 900)s to Airbus (EDS) for the first A380s on order by Dubai-based Emirates Airline (EAD).

According to a company statement, the (Trent 900) engines left the (RRC) site at Derby, UK, where they were assembled for Airbus (EDS) in Toulouse, France, where they will be fitted to an A380 aircraft.

(RRC) is providing (Trent 900) engines and TotalCare service for 50 Emirates A380s, the first of which will enter service later this year. (EAD) recently confirmed it will operate an additional two A380s that will be powered by the same engine with TotalCare service support,” (RRC) said.

The Emirates (EAD) order was announced last year. With the order, (RRC) said it has “now secured more than >50% market share on the aircraft.

According to (RRC), the (Trent 900) powered the first commercial A380 in 2007 and is now used by eight operators on more than >70 aircraft, having logged nearly five million in-service flight hours. The (Trent 900) is assembled in both Derby and Singapore.

News Item A-4: "China Eastern Celebrates Milestone Delivery of Its 300th Airbus Aircraft" By Lena Ge, "China Aviation Daily," May 13, 2016.

China Eastern Airlines (CEA)'s Airbus (EDS) fleet reached the 300th milestone with an A320-200, handed over during a ceremony in Toulouse, France on May 12.

The A320-200 (B-8359) aircraft, is installed with (CFM56-5B) engines and equipped with 158 seats including 8C and 150Y in economy class.

(CEA), the SkyTeam (STM) Alliance carrier is a long-time operator for Airbus (EDS) jetliners, starting in 1985 with the A310. Today, it operates some 248 A320s and 51 A330s, owning the largest Airbus (EDS) fleet in China.

News Item A-5: Ping An Leasing has delivered the first of four Airbus A321 aircraft to the (LATAM) Airlines Group, which will be operated by (TAM) (TPR), (LATAM)’s subsidiary in Brazil. The aircraft, which was delivered at the Airbus assembly facility in Hamburg, Germany May 25, is the first of four A321s leased to (LATAM) by Ping An Leasing.

The first A350 XWB to cross the Atlantic, operated by (LATAM) Airlines (TPR)/(LAN), touched down at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport on May 3. The flight had taken off hours earlier, on the evening of May 2, from São Paulo/Guarulhos, and was received on the runway with a traditional water salute.

June 2016: News Item A-1: "Clark: You Can Never Have Enough A380s" by Kurt Hofmann, (ATWOnline), June 2, 2016.

Emirates Airline (EAD) will get its 79th Airbus A380 soon, and two more aircraft are in the pipeline. “That means by the end of next month we have 81 A380s in the fleet,” Emirates (EAD) President, Sir Tim Clark said on the sidelines of the (IATA) (AGM) in Dublin.

Clark said if an A380neo was built, he understood it would have bigger winglets, delivering a significant improvement on fuel burn. “If Airbus (EDS) does not build the A380neo, but will put new, bigger winglets on existing A380s we have on the order book, that would be great,” Clark said. “However, there are no plans to build bigger winglets for the current A380s.”

Earlier this week at a media event in Hamburg, Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO) Fabrice Brégier said, “perhaps it is possible to offer some options regarding bigger, more efficient winglets, but this depends on the business case. The A380 is not an easy program to manage. Each time we need to invest on top of any very reliable aircraft, which is what we have today, we need to look at the return on investments.” Brégier said market conditions were not yet there to launch a neo variant and “we don’t plan to make any decision.”

Clark said the global economy was flat, but passenger numbers were increasing at a rate of +4% to +5%. “But that is not enough to fill the capacity that is coming in,” he noted. “Seat and yield factors are not as strong as they used to be, and the prognosis for me, for the next years, is about the same. But we always manage it; we have had good years, and we have had bad years.”

Asked whether there were too many A380s in the Emirates (EAD)’s fleet, Clark said, “Oh no, never enough, no way. The A380 is the sweetest thing for us. It is our one unique selling point; this is a marketing advantage.” Clark said the next new European destination for the Dubai carrier’s A380 will be Nice, France.

News Item A-2: Sichuan Airlines (SIC) has ordered 15 Airbus A320 aircraft, valued at CNY9.6 billion/$1.46 billion at list prices, to meet the fast-growing Chinese market demand.

(SIC) operates a fleet of 108 Airbus (EDS) aircraft on more than >240 domestic and international routes. It plans to expand its fleet to more than >180 aircraft by 2020.

News Item A-3: Airbus (EDS) is making its first A350-900 demonstration tour of China, from June 25 to July 2, as it attempts to tap further into the booming Chinese airline market.

The A350 test aircraft, (MSN002), outfitted with a cabin interior, will fly to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Haikou, and Chengdu.

The tour follows the April decision by China Eastern Airlines (CEA) to order 20 A350-900s; Air China (BEJ) also ordered 10 of the A350-900 model.

China is one of the fastest-growing markets for air transport and Airbus (EDS) said it has supplied 50% of the country’s in-service commercial aircraft fleet.

Toulouse-based Airbus said China had a hand in developing the A350, through collaboration of the manufacturer’s Airbus (Beijing) Engineering Center in partnership with the Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC), involving specific design work for the aircraft. Some 5% of the airframe is manufactured in China.

(MSN002) is one of five A350-900 test aircraft and one of two with a fully functional cabin (42C business class and 210Y economy class seats).

Flights within China will be operated by Airbus flight crews (FC)s.

To date, Airbus (EDS) has recorded some 800 firm orders for the A350 from 42 customers.

News Item A-4: Tibet Airlines (TBZ) received its first A330-200 (242 tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)) for high altitude operations (Llasa Airport, Tibet is >3,500 m altitude) - - first of type to be received in China. It is configured with 12C Business, 32PY Premium Economy and 235Y Economy passenger seats.

This A330-200 is the first wide-body aircraft to be equipped with Required Navigation Performance with Authorization Required (RNP-AR) and the only wide-body aircraft presently flying over Tibet's sky. The A330-200 is intended for international route expansion.

Tibet Airline (TBZ)'s all-Airbus (EDS) airplane fleet including 14 A319s and 2 A320s.

News Item A-5: Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) took delivery of the first of 14 Airbus A350 XWBs on June 28, making it Africa’s first operator of the type. It is also (ETH)’s first Airbus aircraft in its 70-year history.

SEE PHOTO - "ETH-2016-06 - 1st Airbus Delivery.jpg."

News Item A-6: "Airbus A300 Meets a Watery End" by (ATW) Victoria Moores in "Need I say Moores" blog, June 8, 2016

A300B4-103F (CF6-50C2) (105, /80 TC-ACZ "Neopolis - Kusadasi") was sunk in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Kusadasi, Turkey to form a Coral Reef.

Turkey has deliberately sunk an old Airbus A300 in the Aegean Sea to create an artificial reef. According to various media reports, the 36-year-old aircraft was sunk on June 4 and is now sitting 75ft below the surface of the Aegean, just off the coast of Kusadasi, Turkey.

It is thought that the aircraft, which was manufactured in March 1980 did service with Olympic Airways (OLY), Finova (GRB), Farnair Europe (ASL), Channel Express (CEX), Jet2 (JT2), (ACT) Airlines, and MyCargo Airlines (ACC) in its 36-year flying career.

While the A300 isn’t the first aircraft to take up the role as a playground for fish, coral and divers, it is apparently the largest aircraft to have been deliberately sunk for this purpose.

This adds to a long list of alternative end-of-life aircraft uses, including hotels, restaurants and alternative glamping accommodation.

See video:

July 2016: News Item A-1: (GE) and (CFM) announced more than >$25 billion worth of orders and commitments at the Farnborough Air Show. And in the closely watched battle between (CFM)’s (LEAP-1A) and Pratt & Whitney (PRW)’s (PW1100G) geared turbofan (GTF) on Airbus A320neo family aircraft, (CFM) announced a larger quantity of orders, though (PRW) was close behind and won an important order from Budapest-based Wizz Air (WZZ).

(CFM) unveiled (LEAP-1A) engine orders at Farnborough to power 164 A320neo family aircraft: Seoul-based Asiana Airlines (AAR) selected (LEAP-1A)s to power 25 A321neos; (TAP) Portugal ordered 83 (LEAP-1A)s to power 15 A320neos and 24 A321neos; and Malaysia’s AirAsia (ASW) ordered 200 (LEAP-1A)s to power 100 A321neos.

Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney (PRW) announced (PW1100G) engine orders to power at least 145 A320neo family aircraft: Lessor AerCap (DEA) selected (GTF)s to power 10 A320neos; Berlin-based Germania (GER) ordered (GTF) engines to power 25 A320neos; and Wizz Air (WZZ) selected (GTF)s to power 110 A321neos.

(PRW) also said it signed a deal with an undisclosed lessor for a mix of (PW1100G) and (V2500) engines to power up to 32 Airbus A320neo family aircraft/A320ceo family aircraft. (PRW) did not break down the mix of A320neos and A320ceos.

Rolls Royce (RRC), for its part, announced a major engine order at Farnborough valued at $900 million: Virgin Atlantic (VAA)’s 12 A350-1000s will be powered by (Trent XWB-97) engines (the XWB is the exclusive engine on the A350).

News Item A-2: The Airbus Group suffered -1.4 billion euros in losses linked to its troubled A400M military transporter and A350 passenger jet in the first half of the year, though profits rose, thanks to asset sales and a satellite launch merger.

The Toulouse, France-based company on July 27 reported profit of +1.76 billion euros/+ $1.94 billion, up from +1.52 billion in the first half of 2015. In the second quarter, Airbus (EDS) finalized its sale of a stake in Dassault Aviation and the creation of Airbus Safran Launchers joint venture (JV).

First-half sales were steady at 28.8 billion euros, compared with 28.9 billion last year. Overall orders were down despite a spate of deals announced at the recent Farnborough Air Show.

(EDS) said it has worked out a temporary fix for the A400M after the discovery of gearbox problems, but took a -1.03-billion-euro hit in the second quarter and warned it could face further “significant” financial losses on the plane.

Airbus (EDS) said it remains a challenging problem but insisted it’s an “exceptional aircraft.”

(EDS) also suffered a -385-million-euro penalty on the A350 wide body, amid delays in production of cabin equipment.

News Item A-3: "Lufthansa Seeks to Combine Runway Safety Systems" by MRO-Network.com July 21, 2016.

Lufthansa (DLH), Honeywell (SGC) and Airbus (EDS) are to co-operate on a runway safety solution combining Airbus (EDS)’ Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) and Honeywell (SGC)’s SmartLanding technologies for Lufthansa (DLH)'s fleet.

(ROPS) provides alerts to crews to prevent runway overruns, while SmartLanding warns pilots (FC) if their aircraft is approaching the runway too high, too fast or is not configured properly for landing.

News Item A-4: "Thales Reaches Top 2 at Airbus Systems Suppliers Ranking 2015," July 14, 2016.

Thales (THL) was ranked second best supplier by customers in their yearly Airbus (EDS) Supplier Support Rating 2015 amongst more than >40 suppliers. The company scored 1st supplier in Europe and 1st in North America, thus consolidating its position as a benchmark supplier particularly for Technical Support, Spare Delivery Performance, and Overall Improvement

Airbus (EDS)’ annual systems suppliers rating rates major Supplier Furnished Equipment (SFE) system suppliers, seeking feedback from airline operators in 5 main areas: Supply Chain, Quality, Commercial, Technical, Product Support.

Thales (THL) received an award today from Airbus at the Farnborough Airshow in recognition of this excellent performance. “Thales superb results acknowledge our long-standing commitment to deliver quality services to airlines and (OEM)s and the efficiency and reliability of our avionics customer support organization.

Thales (THL) has constantly been part of the Top 10 Airbus suppliers over the past 10 years, improving year-on-year to reach Top 2 and we will continue to sustain our efforts to satisfy our customers.” said Daniel Malka, VP Avionics Services Worldwide Thales.

August 2016: News Item A-1: The Airbus Group appointed Qantas (QAN)’s Luc Hennekens as Chief Information Officer (CIO), effective October 1.

News Item A-2: Beijing Capital Airlines (DER) will begin 3x-weekly Hangzhou - Vancouver, Canada services on December 30, marking the western Canada city as the first North American destination for the (HNA) Group subsidiary airline.

The Airbus A330-200 service will fly Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) via Qingdao Liuting International Airport (TAO). The aircraft will be configured for 222 passengers, with 36C seats in business class and 186Y seats in economy.

Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang province on China’s east coast. Qingdao is a port city in northeast China’s Shandong province.

Beijing Capital Airlines (DER), a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines (HNA), will be the 6th airline from mainland China flying to Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The airport has seen 10,475,024 passengers in 2016 through June, up +8.1% year-over-year (YOY), and registered 135,354 commercial airplane movements, down -0.7% (YOY). Asia-Pacific passengers year-to-date at (YVR) have risen +12.9% (YOY) to 1,622,191 passengers as of June 30.

Beijing Capital Airlines (DER) flies an all-Airbus (EDS) fleet of 67 aircraft from its core bases in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Xi’an and Hangzhou to cities across China and international destinations in Asia, Europe, and North America.

“(DER) obtained (IOSA) accreditation this May and officially became an (IATA) member,” Beijing Capital Airlines (DER) (CEO), Xu Xin said August 17. “This proves that our continuous efforts in raising our operation safety standard have been recognized by international aviation organizations. Our network [will now extend] to North America via Vancouver.”

News Item A-3: News Item A-2: "(LATAM) Takes First A320neo."

The (LATAM) Airlines Group (LAN)/(TPR) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo, becoming the 1st airline in the Americas and the 5th in the world to take delivery of the re-engined A320.

September 2016: News Item A-1: Vietjet (VJE) has placed a firm order for 10 Airbus A321ceos and 10 A321neos, and finalized an agreement to establish a new training center.

The aircraft will be used to expand (VJE)'s domestic and regional network. Vietjet (VJE) President & (CEO) Nguyen Phuong Thao said (VJE) is “developing robustly and sustainably” and gaining more international recognition.

This latest agreement will take (VJE)’s Airbus order total to 119 aircraft, 54 A320s and 65 A321s. (VJE) also has Boeing (TBC) airplanes on order.

“Vietjet (VJE) and Airbus (EDS) also finalized an agreement for (EDS) to provide training services for flight crew (FC) and maintenance technician (MT) personnel at (VJE)’s new facility in Ho Chi Minh City. This will see (EDS) oversee courses at the facility identical to those offered at the manufacturer’s own training centers,” Airbus (EDS) said, announcing the two agreements on September 6.

News Item A-2: Vietnam Airlines (VIE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for +10 more Airbus A350-900s, which it plans to use on nonstop flights to the USA. (VIE) already has four aircraft in service, with another +10 on firm order.

“The additional +10 aircraft covered by this (MOU) will enable (VIE) to operate nonstop to the USA West Coast, carrying 305 passengers in a three-class premium layout,” Airbus (EDS) said, announcing the agreement on September 6.

The Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB)-powered aircraft will initially be used to open a new service between Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles.

Vietnam Airlines (VIE) was the second airline to receive the A350, which it flies to Paris (France), Incheon (Korea), Shanghai (China) and on domestic routes between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. (VIE) President & (CEO) Duong Tri Thanh said (VIE) has had an “excellent experience” since the A350 entered service last year.

(VIE) operates 94 routes, spanning 21 domestic and 29 international destinations, using a fleet of A321s, A330s, Boeing 787s and 777s.

Airbus (EDS) has 810 firm orders for the A350 from 43 customers. Eight carriers already operate the twinjet, with a total of 36 aircraft in service.

News Item A-3: Vietnamese low-cost carrier (LCC) Jetstar Pacific (PAH) has firmed up a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for 10 A320ceos, which it will use for network expansion.

Ho Chi Minh City-based (PAH) signed an (MOU) for the 10 aircraft at the Farnborough Airshow in July. This agreement was firmed on September 6, coinciding with French President François Hollande’s state visit to Vietnam. “These new aircraft will be used primarily to expand our international network from Vietnam as part of the wider Jetstar Group. As competition grows in Vietnam, we believe that the A320 and our value-based quality service will place us well to attract a growing share of the market,” Jetstar Pacific (PAH) (CEO) Le Hong Ha said.

Jetstar Pacific (PAH), a 70/30 joint venture (JV) between Vietnam Airlines (VIE) and the Qantas Group, operates a fleet of 12 leased A320ceo family aircraft to 33 domestic and regional destinations.

(PAH) plans to increase its fleet to 30 aircraft between 2016 and 2020, with this latest 10 scheduled for delivery in 2017.

The order from Jetstar Pacific (PAH) marks the first direct purchase by (PAH) from Airbus (EDS).

News Item A-4: Icelandic low-cost carrier (LCC) (WOW) Air plans to launch 3x-weekly Reykjavik Keflavik - Miami services from April 5, 2017.

(WOW) Air Founder & (CEO) Skúli Mogensen said that strong demand for low-fare flights crossing the North Atlantic continues. “With more routes to North America, we want to establish Iceland as an important hub for low fare connections to the USA.”

North American destinations include Montreal and Toronto Pearson International (Canada), Boston Logan, Washington Dulles, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and (starting from November 25) New York Newark. (WOW) Air will become Miami International Airport’s 104th airline.

(WOW) Air was established in November 2011 and operates to 30 destinations in Europe, the USA, and Canada. (WOW) expects to transport more than >2 million passengers this year.

On July 12, (WOW) Air firmed an order for four Airbus A321s, its first purchase agreement directly with Airbus (EDS). The order is valued at $459.6 million at list prices.

(WOW) Air operates 11 Airbus aircraft that include A320s, A321s and A330s.

News Item A-5: Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) has confirmed an order for nine more Airbus A330-300s, which it will operate to a range of destinations in Asia and beyond.

“This announcement underscores our plan to operate an extensive regional network in Asia. The A330’s flexibility also allows us to further deploy these aircraft to some long-haul routes in the future, and we are going to operate the all-new A350 XWB in 2017 which will open a new chapter of our international operations,” Hong Kong Airlines President Zhang Kui said.

News Item A-6: The Airbus Group reportedly will name Fabrice Brégier, who has been the President & (CEO) of the Airbus Commercial Aircraft Division since June 2012, to his new position as Group (COO) as part of a major reorganization.

"Reuters" reported that Airbus Group (CEO) Tom Enders plans to announce the Commercial Aircraft Division will be formally named “Airbus Commercial.”

According to "Reuters" and other news outlets, Brégier will remain Head of the Commercial unit, but also take on additional responsibilities as Group (COO) reporting directly to Enders.

Airbus (EDS) is not commenting on the reports. The changes are reportedly being made to streamline (EDS)’ management structure and eliminate confusion over lines of authority within the multinational Airbus Group.

In 2014, the “Airbus Group” was the rebranded name given to (EADS), a move that aligned the names of the parent company and the commercial aircraft division.

News Item A-7: The USA government has issued licenses that allow Airbus and Boeing to sell airplanes to Iranian airlines. "We have received that license, and remain in talks with Iran Air (IRN) based on the memorandum of agreement,” Boeing (TBC) said in a September 21 statement, referencing an earlier deal with (IRN). “Any final sales agreement would have to adhere to the license we’ve been issued.”

Airbus (EDS) received its permission from USA authorities earlier on September 21. At the time, Boeing (TBC) representatives responded to inquiries saying that (TBC) imminently expected its own approval. “We believe [Airbus’] license application was submitted prior to our similar request and that the [USA] government follows a ‘first in, first out’ policy,” (TBC) said in an email to reporters.

For its part, Airbus sees a robust market in Iran. “For a country of nearly 80 million people, it is accepted by the industry that there is a market need for some 400 – 500 new commercial planes to replace Iran’s existing, aging fleet and meet growing air travel
demand,” Airbus said. “Airbus has been working with the relevant authorities for some time to ensure all activities are undertaken in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The USA Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) decision to issue a license to deliver aircraft to Iran is a reflection of that,” Airbus said.
The (OFAC) is the Treasury Department bureau that had to approve business with restricted nations and personnel.

The original equipment manufacturers (OEM)s have been working methodically all year to secure the necessary (OFAC) sales permissions, after Iran and the West reached a nuclear deal in 2015. New airplanes for Iranian airlines was a point of negotiation in the nuclear talks.

Airbus in January became the 1st Western aircraft manufacturer to sign a preliminary agreement with Iran Air (IRN), followed in June by Boeing. Deals originally covered 118 aircraft from Airbus and 109 from Boeing. But because of licensing delays, the Iranians are expected to buy 6 fewer Airbus and 1 fewer Boeing airplane than previously announced, "Reuters" reported.

Michael Bruno, michael.bruno@aviationweek.com

News Item A-8: China Airlines (CAL) has taken delivery of its 1st A350-900, becoming the 9th airline to operate the world’s newest twin engine wide body.

After an initial period flying on regional services between Taipei and Hong Kong, the A350-900 will be deployed on long haul flights, starting with Amsterdam, followed by Vienna and Rome.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency, with a -25% reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The spaciousness, quietness, beautiful interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of comfort and well-being, setting new standards in terms of flight experience for all passengers.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 810 firm orders for the A350-XWB from 43 customers worldwide.

News Item A-9: With the September 30 final touchdown of the Airbus (EDS) Defense & Space built Rosetta probe on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, one of the most spectacular space missions has finally come to an end. The legacy of Rosetta will keep scientists busy for many years as they analyze the vast and valuable amount of data it has delivered.

Michael Menking, Head of Earth Observation, Navigation & Science at (EDS) Defense & Space said: "We are extremely proud to have built this robust and reliable spacecraft which was, and still is, a key contributor to unveiling the secrets of comets and the origin of life. I thank all parties involved in designing, building, running and utilizing Rosetta and turning a Mission Impossible into an epic and fruitful space adventure."

It took 10 years and a journey of >6 billion km to reach comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta has with this mission made a controlled descent onto the comet's surface, bringing its mission to a close.

Controlled hard-landing has become a common way to end a mission of planetary probes. But while most have been very high-velocity impacts, Rosetta's touchdown was made at a sedate walking pace of 2 km/hr.

Rosetta has made a number of significant discoveries that have contributed to our understanding of life and its origins of our solar system. The landing offered an opportunity to gather unique data, including very-high-resolution images at unprecedentedly close distances.

The spacecraft was launched in 2004. It studied the comet's nucleus and environment as it was moving around the Sun. In late 2014, Rosetta deployed the lander Philae to the surface of 67P. Although the robot ran out of power after 64 hours of operations, it found a rich array of organic molecules, supporting the theory that comets kick-started life on Earth.

Rosetta continued measuring the comet's increased activity as it made its closest approach to the Sun on August 13 2015. It made spectacular observations of gas and dust eruptions.

Continuing the study in the year following perihelion, it has given scientists a full picture of how the comet's activity waxes and wanes along its 6.5-year long orbit. Thew scientific team carried out new and potentially riskier investigations, including flights across the night-side of the comet to observe the plasma, dust, and gas interactions in this region as well as to collect dust samples ejected close to the nucleus.

Communications with the orbiter ceased as it reached the comet's surface. However, the huge amount of data the spacecraft sent to earth since 2014 will likely lead to new scientific findings of many years following the end of the Rosetta mission.

Rosetta was a unique mission in planetary science, directly enabling two futher missions, Mars Express and Venus Express. Airbus Defense & Space continues to use the knowledge gained on this mission, with the future missions of "JUICE" benefitting from the hibernation methods of BepiColombo using solar panel heritage.

News Item A-10: RwandAir (RWA) took delivery of the 1st of 2 long haul wide body Airbus A330s (an A330-200) becoming the launch operator of the aircraft type in East Africa on September 28. (RWA) also has an A330-300 on order, which will be delivered in November.

October 2016: News Item A-1: The Airbus Group announced plan to merge its Group structure and Commercial Aircraft unit into a single entity on January 1, 2017; details of this merger and resulting impacts are now subject to discussions with Group's social partners at national and divisional levels.

News Item A-2: 8 A330-200s to be converted by Airbus Defence & Space into A330 (MRTT) multi-role aerial tanker/transport aircraft for the
French Air Force (FAF).

News Item A-3: On October 14 Airbus (EDS) celebrated the delivery of its 10,000 aircraft, (an A350-900 for Singapore Airlines (SIA) out of a total order for 67). The airplane is to be used to launch (SIA)'s new non-stop services between Singapore and San Francisco later this month.

The 10,000th Airbus delivery comes as (EDS) achieves its highest level of production ever and is on track to deliver at least 650 aircraft this year from its extensive product line.

(SIA) placed its 1st order with Airbus (EDS) in 1979 and over the years (SIA) and its subsidiaries have ordered every successive model produced by Airbus (EDS) (for instance, (SIA) operates the A330, A350-XWB and A380, while its regional subsidiaries SilkAir (SLK) and TigerAir (TGR) operate aircraft from the single aisle A320 family).

News Item A-4: The European Union formally appealed the latest World Trade Organization (WTO)'s ruling that certain member States provided Airbus (EDS) with $22 billion in illegal launch aid and other subsidies, including about $5 billion for the A350 XWB.

News Item A-5: Airbus (EDS) has conducted the 1st flight test of its new standard high-bandwidth connectivity (HBC) on an A330. According to Airbus (EDS), this is the industry’s 1st such platform to be flight tested.

The new standard will soon allow airline customers to choose from the range of new high-throughput satellite technologies—such as Ka-Band, SwiftBroadband (L-Band) and Ku-Band—and be able to do so independently from airlines’ choices of in-flight entertainment (IFE) suppliers (for example, Zodiac Inflight Innovations (Zii), Panasonic, Thales (THL) and Rockwell Collins).

The new (HBC) platform will be rolled out from mid-2017 onward and will rapidly become available across Airbus (EDS) aircraft families.
For this initial flight test, (EDS)’ (HBC) platform was demonstrated together with the new (HBC) offering from Zii (which is based around Inmarsat’s new Global Xpress Ka-Band satellite network and can offer continuous worldwide high bandwidth coverage for commercial aircraft).

Panasonic Avionics Corporation was (EDS)’ most recently selected as a supplier for (HBC) line-fit solutions (across all A320, A330 and A380 product families), which are compatible with Airbus (EDS)’ new (HBC) architecture. The selection of Panasonic (which uses the Ku-Band) follows (HBC) supplier selections including Zii, Thales (THL), and Rockwell Collins.

Airbus (EDS) said its (HBC) development encompasses A320/A330/A380 solutions from the 4 selected (HBC) lead suppliers mentioned above, both for line-fit and in retrofit. Moreover, since the “digital-native” connected A350 XWB entered service.

(EDS) is introducing in-service retrofits of state-of-the-art (HBC) solutions for its airline customers.

Most recently Finnair (FIN) and Iberia (IBE) selected Airbus (EDS) to equip their single-aisle and wide body fleets. These selections build on (EDS)’ previous achievement with a major USA airline to facilitate cost-effective high bandwidth broadband on board internet. With (EDS)’ latest “retrofit-only” solution, it now offers an enlarged choice of satellite constellations encompassing L-Band, Ka-band and Ku-band systems.

News Item A-6: Airbus (EDS) and (SIAEC) incorporated previously announced joint venture (JV) in Singapore, (HMS) Services, for A330/A350/A350 maintenance and modifications; operations will begin in December.

November 2016: News Item A-1: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has confirmed plans to reconfigure and reassign its 6 Airbus A380s to a new carrier unit dedicated to transporting Hajj pilgrimage passengers. New (MAS) (CEO) Peter Bellew detailed the A380 plans on November 18 during a panel discussion in Manila at the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) 60th Assembly of Presidents. He said the A380s were “too big and thirsty” for (MAS)’ Kuala Lumpur - London Heathrow route and it was “too early yet for a 2nd-hand sales market” for the super jumbo.

Consequently, (MAS) has decided to create a separate carrier unit specializing in Hajj transport. The A380s will be reconfigured with 650 - 700 seats to give “very competitive seat costs,” Bellew said.

Ultimately, Bellew added, he believed there would be a “great opportunity for 2nd-hand A380s, not just the aircraft we have.” He said he thought of the A380 as more like a spaceship than an aircraft and said that when they began looking deep inside Malaysia Airlines (MAS)’ aircraft during "C"-check maintenance, he realized they were “put together in the most incredibly strong way and were showing no wear and tear. I think they will be like the [Boeing] 707 and still be flying in 40 or 50 years’ time,” he said.

Airbus (EDS) (COO) Customers John Leahy said he saw 2 different markets developing for the A380 (new and used). “My argument is that there are certain markets that will want new and some that will want used. Some of Emirates Airline (EAD) President Tim Clark’s used A380s create big marketing opportunities and I think you will see the market expanding into new operators,” Leahy said. Leahy retains his faith in the future of the A380, despite Airbus (EDS) having decided this year to cut the production rate from 2.5 to 1 aircraft per month in 2018. But Leahy said he believed a re-engined neo version ultimately would be built, pointing out that people “go out of their way to get on the airplane.”

News Item A-2: Airbus (EDS) announced its Malaysia-based industrial partners (CTRM) and Spirits Aerosystems have begun producing components for the 1st of 6 A350-900s for Malaysia Airlines (MAS). Powered by 2 Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines, (MAS)’s 6 new A350-900s will be acquired on lease from Aircraft Lease Corporation (ALE) and will be delivered between the 4th quarter of 2017 and the 2nd quarter of 2018.

News Item A-3: "Restructuring at Airbus Puts 780 Jobs at Risk: Report
By Sudip Kar-Gupta, & Julien Ponthus, "Reuters" November 23, 2016.

Restructuring plans at planemaker Airbus (EDS) could result in -780 job cuts, French business newspaper "Les Echos" reported on November 23, citing an estimate from the (CFTC) trade union.

The Airbus Group in September announced it would merge with its planemaking unit, in a move aimed at reducing bureaucracy and simplifying its brand. The (CFTC) union said that various Airbus (EDS) works council groups had already been contacted over impending job reductions as a result of the plan, with -780 job cuts envisaged.

"With respect to the ongoing process and in absence of any decision, we do not comment on any speculation in the media," an Airbus spokesman said when asked about the report.

News Item A-4: Airbus subsidiary, NAVBLUE has completed a deal with Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM) to deliver optimized airspace design for Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, to enhance safety and efficiency.

NAVBLUE is a new Airbus subsidiary dedicated to Flight Operations and Air Traffic Management (ATM). According to NAVBLUE, the project will focus on the country’s 2 largest airports: Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai, to realize gains from both an international perspective as well as from a flow-efficiency perspective between the 2 cities.

With an anticipated air-passenger annual growth rate of +16% to +18%, (VATM) and Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) believe it is necessary for the country to start building procedures, technologies and skill sets that will support the ongoing increase in demand at the 2 airports. “The increased air traffic capacity generated from this project will bolster the growing Vietnamese economy with its spin-off double-digit growth and intensification of air passengers, while respecting the environmental and social impact of this growth,” (VATM) Director General Pham Viet Dzung said.

The project, delivered over a 3-year period, will include a comprehensive air traffic management (ATM) analysis including a safety assessment, a redesign of existing sectors and designs making extensive use of performance based navigation, and a change program with training and cultural management components.

The project will see a complex and challenging, multi-stakeholder collaboration between the country’s 3 top airlines (Vietnam Airlines (VIE), VietJet Air (VJE), and Jetstar Pacific (PAH), as well as Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai airports in conjunction with (VATM) and (CAAV).

News Item A-5: Singapore Airlines (SIA) is pushing for a stretched version of the Airbus A350 to be launched, but Airbus (DER) is not yet convinced the time is right.

December 2016: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) has delivered the 1st A321 to Delta Air Lines (DAL) from its USA manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama.

(DAL) operates 137 A320 family aircraft and 40 A330s, and has another 123 aircraft on order (including A320 family, A330 and A350 aircraft). In April, (DAL) placed its 3rd A321ceo order in 3 years.
“The 1st (DAL) A321 produced in Mobile will be our 12th overall for (DAL),” (DAL) Senior VP Supply Chain Management & Fleet Greg May said. “We look forward to taking many more A321s in the years ahead to safely and comfortably get our customers to their destinations.”

(EDS) announced its commitment to build a single-aisle assembly line in Mobile, Alabama in 2012, and <1 year later, broke ground on the $600 million facility. The ceremonial inauguration of the plant took place in September 2015. The (DAL) A321 is the 15th aircraft delivered from the Mobile facility.

Airbus (EDS) said it anticipates delivering 4 aircraft per month from the Mobile plant by the end of 2017. The initial deliveries will all be A320 family aircraft with the "ceo," but will begin transitioning to "neo" derivatives in late 2017.

News Item A-2: South African Airways (SAA) has taken delivery of its 1st of 5 new leased Airbus A330-300s, becoming Airbus (EDS)’s 1st Southern African operator of the aircraft type.

(SAA)’s A330-300s are configured in a 2-class cabin layout with 46C seats in business class and 203Y in economy class seats.

Airbus (EDS) said the aircraft will introduce “new levels of on board comfort, including connectivity for (SAA)’s passengers and enhanced operating efficiencies for (SAA).”

The A330-300 has a 242-tonne maximum takeoff weight and can cover distances of up to 6,350 nautical miles in flights up to 15 hours in duration, according to (EDS). This payload/range capability allows the aircraft to be deployed across (SAA)’s long-haul, intra-Africa and peak domestic routes.

News Item A-3: Francoise Coudron, Airbus (EDS) Senior VP Marketing announced the A350-1000 first flight with entry into service (EIS) planned for 2nd half of 2017.

News Item A-4: Airbus (EDS) will delay delivery of the 1st A330neo by >6 weeks, postponing to March 2018, delivery of the aircraft to launch customer (TAP) Portugal, as reported by the Wall Street Journal December 16. An Airbus (EDS) spokesperson said the company does not discuss delivery schedules.

News of the delay came via comments made to the Wall Street Journal by (TAP) Portugal (CEO) Fernando Pinto. Airbus (EDS) has long planned to deliver the first A330neo aircraft in late 2017. (TAP) ordered 14 A330neos in 2015. The aircraft are powered by latest generation Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines.

News Item A-5: Airbus (EDS) said it was postponing the delivery of 12 A380 planes to Emirates Airline (EAD) over the next 2 years, and added it would step up cost cuts to minimize the impact of these delays. Airbus said six deliveries of the A380 would be postponed from 2017 to 2018, with another six postponed from 2018 to 2019, following an agreement between (EAD) and engine maker Rolls Royce (RRC). "Airbus re-confirms the target to deliver around 12 A380s per year from 2018 as announced earlier in July 2016. Further fixed cost reduction initiatives will be accelerated so the impact on break-even in 2017 is minimal," Airbus (EDS) said.

(EAD) had said in November it was having some unspecified technical issues with (RRC) engines for A380 jets.

January 2017: News Item A-1: Honeywell (SGC) has achieved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for its JetWave high-speed satellite communications equipment on the Airbus A319.

The development will allow JetWave to be installed and used on the single-aisle airliner, giving passengers, pilots (FC)s and operators who have access to satellite operator Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band service, GX Aviation, connection speeds similar to those at home or in an office.

Honeywell (SGC) said its equipment gives users access to a stable “Wi-Fi in the Sky,” allowing them to use the internet to check email, download large files, make video calls or access films on demand without a drop in service, even on transoceanic flights.

Operators and maintenance personnel can also benefit from real-time updates to maximize flight efficiency and safety.

The company added that several airlines have committed to JetWave hardware and the Inmarsat network.

(EAD) Aerospace, which works closely with Honeywell (SGC), obtained the (EASA) certification to install JetWave on the A319.

Certification follows (SGC)’s 1st A319 installation as part of a (VIP) project in October 2016.

News Item A-2: USA lessor Aviation Capital Group (CGP) placed a follow-on firm order January 10 for 35 Airbus A320 family aircraft, with purchase options for 10 additional aircraft. If all options are exercised, total value of the order comes to $4.9 billion.

(CGP)’s new order is comprised of 30 A320neos, 2 A320ceos and 3 A321ceos.

The order increases the total of Airbus (EDS) aircraft ordered by Newport Beach, California-based (CGP) to 158 A320 family aircraft, including 61 A320neo family and 97 A320ceo family aircraft. Of the total aircraft ordered, 66 remain to be delivered.

(CGP) owns and manages approximately 415 aircraft, which are leased to approximately 90 airlines in approximately 40 countries.

According to Airbus (EDS), >12,800 A320 family aircraft have already been ordered, including >4,800 A320neo family aircraft from 89 customers.

News Item A-3: Airbus (EDS) is evaluating a higher-density Airbus A380 layout and is seeking to cut the program’s fixed costs and slow down production to counter weak demand. In 2016, (EDS) took just 2 A380 orders, prompting (EDS) to narrow future production to just 1 aircraft per month. At December 31, the backlog for the type stood at 319 orders spanning 18 airlines. Emirates (EAD) is by far the largest A380 customer, with 142 aircraft still to be delivered.

See iflyA380.com.

News Item A-4: "Safran in Exclusive Talks to Acquire Zodiac Aerospace"
by (ATW) Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com, January 19, 2017.

French aerospace firm Safran has revealed it is in exclusive negotiations to acquire seating and cabin interior manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace, in a deal that would rank it as the 3rd largest aerospace firm.

Safran is an aircraft engine, systems and equipment supplier, with 70,000 employees and €17.4 billion/$18.6 billion in annual sales. Zodiac Aerospace specializes in aerosafety products, aircraft systems, seats and cabins with 35,000 employees and €5.2 billion in revenue.

Zodiac Chairman Olivier Zarrouati said the merger, which would create a company with a €21.2 billion turnover, represents a new step in the consolidation of the aerospace industry. A previous takeover attempt by Safran failed in 2010 after it was rejected by Zodiac’s board.

If the deal goes ahead, the combined companies would rank as the 3rd largest aerospace company in the world, with around 92,000 employees, €21.2 billion in revenue and a €2.7 billion operating income. They will also rank as the 2nd largest aircraft equipment supplier, with revenues of around €10 billion.

“The transaction would create a global leader in aircraft equipment, allying the market leading positions, expertise, technologies and talents of both Safran and Zodiac Aerospace. The new entity would combine Safran’s capabilities in landing gear, wheels and brakes, nacelles, power systems, actuation and avionics, with Zodiac Aerospace’s leading positions in seats, cabin interiors, power distribution, lighting, fuel, oxygen and fluid systems and safety equipment,” the 2 companies said.

From Safran’s side, the agreement will reinforce its presence across all key aircraft programs, broaden product range, cut exposure to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cycles and boost a presence in strategic areas, such as critical systems and the more electric aircraft, which make up 40% of Zodiac Aerospace’s activities.

Safran is offering €29.47/$31.49 per Zodiac Aerospace share (+24.6% more than Zodiac’s closing price on January 18 and +36.1% up on its 3-month average.

For the deal to go ahead, shareholders owning a combined stake of at least 50% of Zodiac must give their backing. However, shareholders owning 32% of Zodiac (namely the company’s founding families, institutional investors (FFP) and Fonds Stratégique de Participations, as well as the French State—plan to retain their stakes through the merger and will not participate in the offer. Post-merger, these entities will own 22% of the company.

Zodiac Aerospace will be merged into Safran’s equipment business on the basis of nearly half a Safran share for one Zodiac Aerospace share, triggering a special €5.50 per share dividend (€2.3 billion in total) for Safran’s shareholders.

The companies estimate that the merger will deliver €200 million in annual cost savings, stemming primarily from reduced procurement and administrative expenses, with potential for this figure to grow in the long term. Around 25% of the €200 million total is expected to be delivered in year one, increasing to 90% in year two.

“Beyond identified cost synergies, Safran would enable Zodiac Aerospace’s seats and interiors business to accelerate their recovery and progress towards or above their historical margin levels,” Safran said. Zodiac has been working to overcome supply problems that have led to aircraft being delivered late, drawing harsh criticism in early 2016 from Airbus (EDS) (CEO) Fabrice Brégier.

The deal is also expected to deliver a double-digit positive impact on earnings per share from the 1st year after the consolidation and hit Safran’s return on capital employed (ROCE) target by year three.

Post-acquisition and merger, Safran’s board of directors would comprise 20 members, including representatives of Zodiac Aerospace’s reference shareholders. Ross McInnes and Philippe Petitcolin would continue as Safran Chairman & (CEO), respectively, while Zodiac Chairman Olivier Zarrouati would become Deputy (CEO).

The deal has approval in principle from both Safran and Zodiac’s boards and will now be submitted to employee representatives. Finalization of the agreement will rest on completion of these labor procedures, as well as shareholder and regulatory approval.

“The completion of the tender offer is expected by the end of the 4th quarter 2017 and completion of the merger is expected early 2018,” Safran and Zodiac said.

News Item A-5: During Hawaiian Holding’s year-end financial call with analysts and reporters, Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) President & (CEO) Mark Dunkerley revealed that 3 expected Airbus A321neos, originally delayed by 3 months, will now not be delivered until the 4th quarter of 2017. “[It] all but rules out our prior plan to have them in service for our busy winter peak,” Dunkerley said. “The delay impacts our projected (ASM) growth for the year and of course the revenues we anticipate in the 4th quarter.” "With the delivery delay of the A321neos we've been forced to refine our capacity plans for 2017," (HWI) Executive VP & (CCO) Peter Ingram said. "[While] in the 1st quarter we expect our capacity to grow +2.5 to +4.5% from last year, we are now expecting full year capacity growth of +1 to +4%."

(HWI) ordered 16 A321neos in March 2013, with deliveries scheduled to begin in early 2017 through 2020. The aircraft will be used on long-haul flights between Hawaii and the USA west coast.

Responding to an analyst’s question as to the cause of the delay, Dunkerley said: "The 1st thing I’d say is that this is a very important airplane to us. We think it’s really going to transform service between Hawaii and the USA mainland. We’re certainly not stepping away from our enthusiasm for the airplane. The 2nd thing is that it’s an aircraft that will likely operate for 20-plus years. Airbus (EDS) is giving us their best belief in the delivery of this aircraft; it’s tied to the release of an improved component in the Pratt (PRW) (GTF) [PW1135G-JM] engine. So I think their level of confidence is reasonably high. That is not to say that it’s a cast-iron guarantee but we have every expectation of getting the aircraft on the timeline that has now been established. At the moment our focus is on getting the aircraft in the right shape in our fleet as quickly as we can.”

February 2017: New Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) had a quiet start to 2017, with just 4 aircraft (1 A320ceo for Mexico’s VivaAerobus (VVS) and 3 A350-900s for Air France (AFA)) sold.

That figure was effectively halved as 2 previous sales, the last pair of A380s for (AFA), the French flag carrier, were converted to A350-900s, giving a net tally of 2.

The continuing move away from 4-motor airliners to more economical “big twins” was emphasized in January when Nigeria’s Arik Air (AKI) canceled a pair of Boeing 747-8Is, replacing them with 787-9s. December 2016 also saw Iran Air (IRN) scrap plans for 12 A380s.

The coming year is expected to continue 2016’s downturn in aircraft sales as the latest buying cycle largely concludes and tougher economic conditions increasingly affect carriers. 2016 was marked by declining yields because of a combination of growing capacity and competition for passengers, as well as a gradual rise in the price of fuel from its 2014 - 2015 trough.

Air France (AFA) pointed out February 3 that it had announced in April 2016 that it planned to cut the final 2 A380s from its order for 12, leaving the fleet at 10. Airbus (EDSA) has only now reflected that in its order book.

January’s deliveries comprised 21 A320-family aircraft (including 2 A320neo versions), 3 A330s and 1 A350 XWB. The aircraft went to 21 customers.

Taking into account January’s order and delivery activity, Airbus (EDS)’ overall backlog stood at 6,851 airliners at the end of the month, representing approximately 10 years of production.

News Item A-2: Airbus (Tianjin) Final Assembly Company Ltd will start assembly of its 1st A320neo aircraft in July and plans to deliver it to an Asian customer in September 2017.

The Chinese plant, a joint venture between Airbus and Chinese partners in Tianjin, has delivered >300 A320 aircraft since it went into operation in 2008.

Starting from 2017, the Airbus Tianjin plant plans to assemble 4 A320neo aircraft each month.

Airbus (EDS) delivered 153 aircraft to Chinese operators in 2016, its 7th consecutive year of >100 deliveries. The deliveries included 141 aircraft in its single-aisle A320 family and 12 of its A330 family.
According to Airbus China, there are 1,383 Airbus aircraft in service in Chinese mainland, about half of the total civil aircraft with >100 seats on the Chinese mainland.

The A320 Family has >11,000 orders to date and >6,200 aircraft delivered. The A320neo is the newest member of A320 family. Compared with the other A320s, the A320neo burns -15% to -20% less fuel.

News Item A-3: Etihad Airways Engineering has a 3-year Air Tahiti Nui (NUI) contract for Airbus A340 heavy maintenance.

News Item A-4: Airbus has appointed Mikail Houari, 50, as President Africa & the Middle East region.

Mikail, who previously served as Deputy President Africa & the Middle East, brings to the position >25 years of experience within the industry at a global level. In his new role, he will lead the team to drive operations and future business across the region.

Houari began his career at Alcatel where he worked in Spain, China and Latin America, after which he joined Thales, focusing initially on business in Saudi Arabia, thereafter leading global sales of its SCADA products and services.

He joined Airbus in 2005 as Vice President for Latin America, overseeing the defence and space divisions from where he moved to the UAE in the same capacity covering the Middle East region.

In 2011, Mikail was appointed as General Delegate for Airbus Group, before taking the position as Deputy President for Airbus in Africa and Middle East.

"Mikail's extensive business and market experience will allow him to lead Airbus in the region and deliver on its objectives," said Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus. "Under his leadership, Airbus will continue to expand its regional presence as new and existing markets emerge and evolve across Africa and the Middle East."

Mikail Houari is a business graduate in Applied Commercial Sciences from Paris. He succeeds Mikail Houari is a business graduate in Applied Commercial Sciences from Paris. He succeeds Habib Fekih,

"Habib Fekih is one of Airbus' longest serving and most successful sales executives. He is one of the architects of Airbus' new commercial structure," said Tom Enders. During his 30-year tenure at Airbus, he has successfully piloted the company's significant growth across one of Airbus' most dynamic regions."

Under Fekih's leadership, Airbus sold more than 1,300 aircraft to airlines and leasing companies across the region, raising its market share in the region to more than 60 percent. He was instrumental in leading his team to achieve close to 40 percent of all A380 sales and more than 35 percent of A350 sales.

Fekih was also the President of Airbus Corporate Jet. He led the restructuring of all its commercial activities including aircraft, cabin interiors and services into one unit which is reflected in its market visibility.

"Habib represented the true spirit of Airbus and has served the company with distinction for three decades. Habib will be truly missed and I wish to thank him for his leadership and congratulate him for his many accomplishments," added Enders.

Over the past 4 decades, Airbus has transformed the aerospace landscape in Africa and Middle East by providing innovative and often game-changing products and by building sustainable industrial, commercial and research partnerships. As the chosen partner and leader in aeronautics, space and related services, Airbus is committed to expanding its industrial footprint and continually enhancing its products and services which enable economic growth and support livelihoods across the region.

News Item A-5: Air Mauritius (MAU) will lease 2 Airbus A330-900s from USA based Air Lease Corporation (ALE) for delivery in (2H) 2018.

April 2017: News Item A-1: The Airbus (EDS) A350-1000 (MSN065), the larger variant of the A350 slated to seat 366 passengers in a typical 3-class configuration, has completed a series of noise tests in Morón, south of Spain, between March 27 and April 5.

The noise trials are part of its type certification flight test campaign, paving the way for “entry into service on schedule before year end,” Airbus (EDS) said. The (MSN065) test aircraft has been fitted with a passenger cabin.

According to Airbus, the aircraft, together with acoustic ground facilities around the Morón Air Force base, were equipped with instruments and sensors to measure external noise levels during takeoff and landing, as well as engine run-ups. The wide body is powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (XWB-97) engines. “The latest generation Rolls-Royce engines (RRC), combined with state-of-the-art aerodynamics technologies, contribute to the A350-1000’s reduced noise footprint,” (EDS) said. “Early results confirm the A350-000 is very quiet, easily complying with external noise certification requirements with significant margins versus current applicable requirements ((EASA) CS-36 and (FAA) Part 36),” Airbus added. “Like its sister aircraft the A350-900, which is in service with 11 carriers world wide, the A350-1000 will be a good neighbor to communities around airports.”

3 A350-1000 flight test aircraft (MSN059, MSN071, and MSN065) are flying in the intensive type certification campaign, “which is progressing as planned,” according to Airbus.

The 1st Airbus A350-1000, (MSN59) completed its maiden flight from Blagnac in Toulouse on November 24.

Launch customer for the A350-1000 is Qatar Airways (QTA), which was also launch customer for the A350-900. To date, 12 customers from 5 continents have placed orders for a total of 211 A350-1000s, Airbus said.

News Item A-2: China Southern Airlines (GUN) has placed an order for 20 Airbus A350-900 aircraft in an effort to facilitate its rapid international expansion.

According to a filing released by the Shanghai Stock Exchange April 26, the deal is worth $6 billion at list prices.

The 20 A350s will be delivered between 2019 and 2022. 6 are scheduled for 2019, 6 for 2020, 4 for 2021 and 4 for 2022.

(GUN) noted the aircraft will increase capacity +12.1% in ATKs.

Airbus (EDS), which confirmed the order, said it has recorded a total of 841 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers.

News Item A-3: Airbus (EDS) booked firm orders* for 25 commercial aircraft from 6 customers in April, valued at approximately $4.8 billion, more than doubling the April commercial aircraft sales total of Boeing (TBC). (EDS) delivered 46 aircraft to 30 customers during the month (compared to Boeing’s April deliveries of 51 airplanes to 32 customers).

As of April 30, (EDS) has a gross total of 51 commercial aircraft on its books for the year, valued at approximately $8 billion. Subtracting 24 cancellations and 4 conversions so far this year, (EDS)’ net total of new orders for 2017 to-date comes to 23 new aircraft. Airbus (EDS) has delivered 182 aircraft during the 1st 4 months of 2017.

An April 28 order from an undisclosed customer for 10 A350-900s proved to be (EDS)’ most significant order for the month, valued at $3.1 billion. (EDS) did not identify the customer as China Southern Airlines (GUN) in its monthly tally released May 5, although on April 26, the Shanghai Stock Exchange indicated (GUN) had placed an order for 20 of the type, an order Airbus (EDS) reportedly confirmed.

Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings (CALC) ordered 5 aircraft during the month (3 A320ceos and 2 A320neos), valued at $513.8 million. (EDS)’ other April orders included 4 A319ceos from an unidentified customer (valued at $362 million); 3 A320ceos from Malaysia-based AirAsia (valued at $297 million); 1 A330-200 from Iberia (valued at $233.8 million); and 2 A321neos from Egyptian carrier Nile Air, a conversion from 2 A321ceos.

Airbus (EDS)’ major April deliveries included 3 aircraft each to lessor Aerospace Trading Holding Ltd (all A320ceos bound for Aeroflot (ARO)); American Airlines (AAL) (all A321ceos); China Eastern Airlines (CEA) (2 A321ceos and 1 A320ceo); and UK-based (LCC) easyJet (EZY) (all A320ceos).

4 A350-900 XWBs were delivered during the month, with 1 each of the model going to Ethiopian Airlines (ETH), Finnair (FIN), Thai Airways International (TII) and South Korea’s Asiana Airlines (AAR).

*Note: This does not count military, government or private customer orders or deliveries in its commercial aircraft tallies. All quoted order values are based on current list prices.

News Item A-4: (WOW) Air has taken delivery of its 1st Airbus A320neo (7560, TF-NEO) which was ferried from Hamburg to Toulouse on April 21 for a handover ceremony before entering service alongside the Reykjavik-based airline's all Airbus (EDS) fleet of 2 A320S, 7 A321s, and 3 A330s.

News Item A-5: Etihad Airways (EHD) has taken delivery of its 10th and final Airbus A380. It was officially handed over to (EHD) at the Airbus Hamburg Finkenwerder plant in Germany before commencing its delivery flight to Abu Dhabi.

(EHD)’s A380s include "The Residence" (a 3-room living space for up to 2 guests, including a living room), 9 First Apartments, 70 Business Studios, a Lobby Lounge, and 415 Economy Smart Seats.

(EHD) operates its A380 fleet from Abu Dhabi on flights to London Heathrow, Sydney, New York (JFK), and (from July 1) to Paris Charles de Gaulle. (EHD) plans to terminate A380 services to Mumbai and Melbourne.

113 out of 210 A380 aircraft in service with 13 airlines are currently based in the Gulf (95 of the type are with Dubai-based Emirates Airline (EAD), 10 with Etihad (EHD) and 8 with Doha-based Qatar Airways (QTA).

May 2017: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) reported 59 commercial aircraft delivered and 59 commercial aircraft booked, valued at approximately $10.6 billion in new orders, during May. Following a slow start to 2017, (EDS) is still playing catch-up to Boeing (TBC)’s year-to-date firm order* totals. As of May 31, Airbus (EDS) has 110 new orders booked, compared to (TBC)’s 200, or $18.6 billion in sales versus (TBC)’s $27 billion.

The 2 manufacturers are more closely aligned on the delivery front, with (TBC)’s delivery total as of May 31 at 268 commercial airplanes, compared to (EDS)’ 241. (TBC) delivered 55 airplanes in May and reported new firm orders for 13 commercial airplanes, valued at $3 billion. Additionally, Scandinavian leisure carrier Primera Air (xxx) was unidentified as the customer behind an order for 8 737 MAX 9s originally placed in April, valued at $954 million.

(EDS) received 2 blockbuster orders in May with China Southern Airlines (GUN)’s May 10 order for 20 A350-900 XWBs, valued at $6.2 billion, followed by a May 11 order by Delta Air Lines (DAL) for 30 A321ceos, valued at $3.5 billion. Additionally, 2 undisclosed customers ordered 5 A320ceos and 4 A320neos during the month, respectively.

Boeing (TBC) posted a major order early in the month with a booking for 10 787-9s from Canada’s low-cost carrier (LCC) WestJet (WJI), valued at $2.7 billion. Boeing booked 1 other firm order during the month (an undisclosed customer’s order for 3 737-800s, valued at $294 million).

Airbus (EDS) delivered 59 aircraft to 32 airlines and 8 lessors in May. The company’s major deliveries included 4 A320 family aircraft to Singapore-based lessor (BOC) Aviation (SIL) (3 A320ceos, bound for China Eastern Airlines (CEA), Indonesian (LCC) Citilink and Indian domestic carrier Vistara Airlines (VST), respectively, and 1 A321ceo bound for Finnair (FIN); and 3 aircraft each to (LCC) Lion Air (MLI) (all A320ceos bound for its subsidiary Batik Air (BTK)), (LCC) VietJet (VJE) (all A321ceos), Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) (2 A321ceos for Nordwind Airline and 1 A320ceo for Spring Airlines), and USA-Irish lessor (GECAS) (2 A320neos bound for Air India (AIN)/(IND) and Avianca Brazil, respectively and 1 A321neo bound for Virgin America (VUS)).

Airbus (EDS) delivered 5 A350-900 XWBs in May, including 2 to Singapore Airlines (SIA) and 1 each to Cathay Pacific (CAT), China Airlines (CHI) and Qatar Airways (QTA). Additionally, all 3 of the major Gulf carriers (Emirates (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) received a new A380 during the month.

Boeing (TBC) delivered a total of 55 airplanes to 31 airlines, 6 lessors and 1 unidentified customer in May. (LCC) Ryanair (RYR) again topped the monthly delivery tally with 7 737-800s received. Norwegian (NWG) received 3 737-800s.

Significant for Boeing in May was the 1st delivery of its re-engined 737 MAX aircraft as 2 737 MAXs, a 737 MAX-8 and a 737 MAX-9, were delivered to Indonesia-based, the Lion Air Group. Malaysian carrier Malindo Air (MXD), a subsidiary of the Lion Air (MLI) Group, took delivery of the 737 MAX 8 on May 16, and the Lion Air (MLI) Group took delivery of its 737 MAX 9 on May 23.

Boeing (TBC) delivered 6 777-300ERS to 6 customers during the month (China Eastern (CEA), Emirates (EAD), Kuwait Airways (KUW), Turkish Airlines (THY), United Airlines (UAL), and an unidentified customer). Additionally, (TBC) delivered 3 787-8s (1 each to Air Europa (ARE), Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) and Singapore Airlines (SIA)’s (LCC) subsidiary Scoot (SCT)) and 9 787-9s (2 to Air Canada (ACN) and 1 each to Etihad Airways (EHD), Hainan Airlines (HNA), Saudia (SVA), Vietnam Airlines (VIE), the (TUI) Group (tug), Los Angeles-based lessor International Lease Finance Corporation [ILFC] and the formerly USA-based lessor (CIT) Aerospace, now owned by Chinese conglomerate the (HNA) Group).

* Note: This does not count military, government or private customer orders or deliveries in its commercial aircraft tallies. All quoted order values are based on current list prices.

June 2017: News Item A-1: easyJet (EZY) has received its 1st A320neo, kicking off deliveries from an order for 130 of the re-engined twinjets. With the June 14 handover, (EZY) became the 25th A320neo operator. The 186Y-seat London Luton-based aircraft entered commercial service June 15 and mixes in with the rest of (EZY)’s newly reconfigured 186-seat A320 fleet, which tends to serve primary airports, but does not operate any specific routes. (EZY) also operates 180-seat A320s and 156-seat A319s.

“[This aircraft] opens a new chapter in easyJet (EZY)’s history, it marks a milestone of our 300th [Airbus] aircraft and will significantly reduce our cost per seat that allows us to offer low fares,” (EZY) (CEO) Carolyn McCall said.

The A320neo’s CFM International (LEAP 1A) engines deliver +15% better fuel efficiency and McCall was quick to stress the significance of this efficiency gain, which she said is “relevant at any fuel price.”
“When we were talking about the A320neo to begin with, fuel was higher [priced] than it is today, but fuel is still the largest single cost for an airline and therefore that fuel efficiency is incredibly important for an airline, regardless of the fuel price,” she said.

The gains of the A320neo primarily stem from the type’s engines. “7 years ago, we committed to bringing to market an engine with +15% better efficiency than the current generation of engines. 7 years later, we did it. We have sold 12,500 (LEAP) engines. It would not have been a success had we not been selected by (EZY),” (CFM) International (CEO) Gaël Méheust said in Toulouse.

Alongside the efficiency gains, the (LEAP)-powered A320neo has a better environmental footprint. Since 2000, (EZY) said it has cut its emissions by a 3rd from 116g to <80g per passenger km and the A320neo delivery means it is now setting a new goal. “With the addition of the A320neo and A321neo, we’ve further planned improvements,” McCall said. “(EZY) is now setting an even tougher carbon emissions target of 72g by 2022. That’s a -10% reduction from today and a -38% improvement from 2000. That target is incredibly important to (EZY) and that is what we intend to achieve.”

As of March 31, (EZY) operated a fleet of 266 Airbus aircraft, comprising 144 A319s and 122 A320s. (EZY) has another 27 A320ceos on order, plus 100 A320neos and 30 that it recently converted to 235Y-seat A321neos for delivery from July 2018.

Over the last 8 years, (EZY) has switched its focus from the A319 to the A320. (EZY) acquired 2 A321s when it bought (GB) Airways, but these were the wrong seat density, so they were phased out.

EasyJet (EZY)then increased its A320 density by retrofitting its existing fleet and line fitting them on new arrivals, before opting for the A321neo. “The upgauge is a real advantage for us. We waited on the A321 [order] until the A321neo,” she said, adding that most of (EZY)’s direct rivals have already followed this path and therefore have limited gains to make.

McCall said the conversion to larger A321neos is linked with (EZY)’s primary airport strategy, to maximize capacity and minimize noise at slot-congested hubs. The A321neos will have similar range to (EZY)’s existing fleet, she said.

(EZY) has unexercised purchase rights on 100 A320neos, which can be converted to A321neos. “We are able to take more A321neos in the future under the 2013 framework agreement we have with Airbus (EDS), but we have not committed to more,” McCall said, adding the fleet plan is reviewed on a regular basis and a further update will be given at (EZY)’s 3rd-quarter results.

Speaking at the ceremony, Airbus (CEO) Tom Enders said the A321neo is a “little delayed,” but the test flights and certification work is ongoing. To date, Airbus has delivered a total of 117 A320neos.

News Item A-2: (WOW) Air takes delivery of Europe's 1st A321neo (7694, TF-SKY) at Paris Air Show (photo: "WOW-2017-06 - A321neo 1st.jpg"), Air Lease Corporation (ALE) leased. (WOW)'s all-Airbus (EDS) fleet is now 3 A320, 11 A321, and 3 A330-300.

July 2017: News Item A-1: "Airbus Completes Reorganization" by Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com, July 5, 2017.

Airbus (EDS) completed a group reorganization July 1, unifying its operations under one central brand. Under the new structure, which was 1st announced in September 2016, (EDS) has integrated its group structure with its largest division, Commercial Aircraft.

“(EDS) will benefit from a simpler structure that enables faster decision-making, less bureaucracy, greater collaboration and increased efficiency. This structure will also facilitate the digitalization program currently under implementation,” (EDS) said, announcing the completion of the process.

Following the restructure, Airbus (EDS) now has 1 single corporate headquarters in Toulouse, France.

(EDS)’s executive management team has been integrated under (CEO) Tom Enders, while Fabrice Brégier became Airbus (EDS)’ 1st company wide (COO) and Commercial Aircraft President.

A number of other positions remain unchanged, including Defense & Space (CEO) Dirk Hoke, Helicopters (CEO) Guillaume Faury, (CFO) Harald Wilhelm, Chief Human Resources Officer Thierry Baril, and General Counsel John Harrison.

Airbus employs 134,000 staff and generated €67 billion/$76 billion in revenue in 2016.

News Item A-2: Aircraft procurement company China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) has signed a general terms agreement (GTA) covering 100 Airbus A320-family aircraft and 40 A350s.

News Item A-3: Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company StandardAero has entered exclusive negotiations to acquire (MRO) business Vector Aerospace Holding from Airbus (EDS).

The talks were made public by (EDS) on July 5, although few details were given. “The proposed transaction is subject to workers’ council consultation, signing of definitive agreements and customary approvals, such as regulatory clearances,” Airbus (EDS) said.

Vector supports engines, components, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. The business turned over $704.8 million in 2016 and employs approximately 2,200 people in 22 locations across Australia, Canada, France, Kenya, Singapore, South Africa, the UK, and the USA.

StandardAero is active in business and general aviation, airline, military, helicopter, components, energy and (VIP) completions markets. The company performs engine and airframe (MRO) work, engine component repair, engineering services, interior completions and paint applications.

In 2015, StandardAero was purchased by New York-headquartered private equity firm Veritas Capital.

News Item A-4: "A350-900 Jet Order Scrapped"

Qatar Airways (QTA) has scrapped orders for 4 A350-900 jets after deliveries were delayed by supplier issues. (QTA) is the biggest buyer of the A350, with 80 orders before the cancellations, as well as the launch customer having taken its 1st aircraft in December 2014.

(QTA)'s A350 contract included a clause allowing it to scrap handovers that are delayed beyond a certain point, Airbus (EDS) said, adding that the aircraft will be reallocated to other customers.

August 2017: News Item A-1: INCDT: "Report: Back-up Battery Pack Source of Seat Fire on Lufthansa A380" by (ATW) Victoria Moores
victoria.moores@penton.com August 18, 2017.

Canadian investigators have revealed that a passenger power bank caught fire on a Lufthansa (DLH) Airbus A380 after getting caught in an aircraft seat mechanism earlier this month.

The A380-800 (072, D-AIMI), was operating flight DLH440 from Frankfurt to Houston George Bush Intercontinental on August 2, carrying 486 passengers and 24 crew members (FC - CA).

During cruise through Canadian airspace, approximately 260 nm NE of Montreal, heavy electrical smoke/fire was reported under seat 10C.
“The source of the smoke/fire was identified as a passenger power bank stuck in the seat mechanism. The cabin crew (CA) extinguished the fire with the use of 3 fire extinguishers,” the Transport Safety Board of Canada said in a preliminary report, issued August 17.

No emergency was declared and the aircraft landed normally.

In May 2016, there was a similar incident involving a passenger mobile phone, when it got trapped in the seat mechanism of a Qantas (QAN) A380. Across the industry, there have been heightened efforts to safeguard against lithium battery fires. As part of this drive, airlines now often include an instruction in their safety briefings, instructing passengers to alert the crew if their mobile phones are lost in seat mechanisms.

News Item A-2: Lufthansa (DLH) took delivery of its 4th of 25 Airbus A350 XWB and will take a 5th A350 on September 2. Both aircraft will enter commercial services from September 12 on daily Munich - Hong Kong services.

News Item A-3: Young Cyprus carrier Cobalt Air (FCB) is planning to move into the long-haul market, taking advantage of its substantial Chinese shareholder base. As a European Union (EU)-based airline, by law (FCB) must have a majority of (EU)-based shareholders. However, 49% of (FCB), the Larnaca-based carrier, is held by Chinese state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). “The Chinese investor group is very eager to connect us with China,” (FCB) (CEO) Andrew Madar said.

News Item A-4: Cyprus-based airline Cobalt Air (FCB) is to fit its fleet of Airbus A320-family aircraft with an on board Wi-Fi system to allow passengers to download content onto their personal electronic devices (PED)s. The development is part of a move away from (FCB)'s original low-cost approach to more of a full-service model, (CEO) Andrew Madar said. (FCB), which has just marked its 1st year of operation, has a fleet of 4 A320s and 2 A319s.

News Item A-5: The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD), warning operators about a risk of the Airbus A350 hydraulic engine driven pump (EDP) overheating and causing a fire.

(EASA) issued the (AD) because the A350’s hydraulic fluid cooling system is located in the fuel tanks. An Airbus (EDS) spokeswoman said the A350 fleet is still flying normally, despite the AD, which took effect August 24 affecting all A350s.

News Item A-6: Qantas (QAN) has announced a multi-million dollar major cabin upgrade for its 12 Airbus A380s to improve passenger comfort on long-haul flights and meet increased demand for premium cabins on flights to the USA, Europe and Asia. Work on the 1st A380 is expected to begin in the 2nd quarter of 2019. All 12 aircraft will be upgraded by the end of 2020. Airbus (EDS) will manage the design integration.

September 2017: News Item A-1: As 2017 moves toward its final quarter, Boeing (TBC)’s sales dominance over its European competitor Airbus (EDS) is becoming more acute.

As of the end of August, (TBC) has racked up gross orders for 451 commercial airplanes*, valued at approximately $73 billion, more than double the sales for (EDS), which has logged gross orders for 261 commercial aircraft through August 31, valued at $36.5 billion. Taking cancellations and conversions into account, Boeing (TBC) has a net total of 384 new commercial aircraft ordered for the year-to-date, compared to a 215 net total for Airbus (EDS).

In August, Boeing’s biggest orders came from Singapore-based (BOC) Aviation (SIL) (10 737 MAX 10s, valued at $1.2 billion) and Tokyo-based Japan Investment Adviser Company, (JIA), which ordered 10 737 MAX 8s for its leasing arm (JP) Lease Products & Services (JLPS), valued at $1.1 billion. Turkish carrier SunExpress Airlines (SNS), a joint venture of Turkish Airlines (THY) and Lufthansa (DLH), ordered 7 737 MAX 8s during the month, valued at $787 million.

(EDS)’ major booking for the month came from Hungary’s Wizz Air (WZZ), which ordered 10 A321ceos, valued at $1.2 billion.

As of August 31, Boeing (TBC) has 5,665 commercial airplanes in its backlog. Airbus’ (EDS)' backlog stands at 6,690 commercial aircraft, which (EDS) said represents approximately 9 years of production at current rates.

(TBC) delivered 63 commercial airplanes to 25 airlines and 9 lessors during the month, bringing its year-to-date count to 460 deliveries. (EDS) delivered 46 commercial aircraft to 22 airlines and 9 lessors, boosting the company’s full-year delivery tally to 397.

Boeing’s August deliveries included 5 airplanes to Southwest Airlines (SWA) (4 737-800s and its 1st 737 MAX 8 (the 1st of the model to be delivered to a USA carrier as well as being the 1st of 150 737 MAX 8s (SWA) will use to integrate and turnover its all-737 fleet); China Eastern Airlines (CEA) took delivery of 4 737-800s; and 3 airplanes each were delivered to China Southern Airlines (GUN) (all 737-800s), United Airlines (UAL) (2 737-800s and a 787-9) and Xiamen Airlines (XIA) (all 737-800s). Boeing delivered 5 777-300ERs during the month including 2 to Emirates Airline (EAD) and 1 each to Air China (BEJ), (EVA) Air and Kuwait Airways (KUW). 3 787-8s were delivered including 2 to Air India (AIN) and one to Singapore’s Scoot Tiger Air.
Additional 787-9 deliveries during the month included 2 to USA lessor (ILFC), and 1 each to Air China (BEJ), Air Lease Corporation (ALE), American Airlines (AAL), Norwegian (NWG) and Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA).

Airbus (EDS) deliveries in August included 3 aircraft each to China Eastern (CEA) (2 A330-300s and an A321ceo), China Southern (GUN) (2 A321ceos and an A320ceo) and Lufthansa (DLH) (2 A350-900 XWBs and an A320neo). (EDS) delivered 5 additional A350-900s during the month with 1 each to Dublin-based lessor AerCap (DEA) (bound for Hong Kong Airlines (CRY)), Kuwaiti lessor (ALAFCO) (bound for Thai Airways (TII)), Cathay Pacific Airlines (CAT), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Vietnam Airlines (VIE). Additionally, Emirates (EAD) took delivery of the carrier’s 56th fully owned A380.

*Note: This does not count military, government or private customer orders or deliveries in its commercial aircraft tallies. All quoted order values are based on current list prices.

News Item A-2: Airbus (EDS) revealed JetBlue Airways (JBL) as the launch customer for its new Airspace A320-family cabin September 26 at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) expo in Long Beach, California, and unveiled a mock-up of the interior. New York-based (LCC) (JBL) is planning to use the cabin on its Airbus neos. Features of the new cabin include larger bins offering +40% more bag volume, updates to the aircraft lavatory such as antibacterial surfaces, and a new (LED) lighting feature.

October 2017: News Item A-1: "Airbus - Bombardier CSeries Shocker: 1st Thoughts" by Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com in AirKarp October 17, 2017.

* Genuine surprise: I was at a reception on October 16 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA filled with aviation journalists from 18 countries here to see Delta Air Lines (DAL) publicly debut the Airbus A350, and shock wouldn’t be too strong a word to describe the reaction as the news broke. There has been speculation about Bombardier (BMB) seeking partners for the CSeries program for years, but no one saw this deal coming at this time. In an era when almost nothing stays secret, Airbus (EDS) and Bombardier (BMB) kept these talks off Twitter and behind closed doors.

* Bombardier (BMB) conceded it needs CSeries sales help: With Airbus (EDS) literally paying nothing to gain a majority stake in the CSeries, (BMB) is admitting that competing against Airbus and Boeing (TBC) in the global mainline airliner sales arena was too heavy a lift. After breakthrough CSeries orders in the 1st half of last year from Delta (DAL) and Air Canada (ACN), it was expected that CSeries sales would begin to quickly rack up. But sales stalled. Even with CS100s and CS300s performing well in service with Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) and Latvia’s airBaltic (BAU), airlines remained wary of putting their full faith in Bombardier (BMB) for a mainline aircraft. But now Airbus (EDS)’ formidable global sales clout will be brought to bear on behalf of the CSeries.

* Airbus (EDS) concedes it failed to adequately address the 100 to 150-seat market: (BMB) has been saying all along that Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) simply left a blind spot in the commercial aircraft market, focusing their attention on larger narrow bodies and ignoring the between-regional-jet and small-airliner segment. Airbus (EDS) is now admitting this and implicitly conceding the A319neo is inadequate for this market (the A319neo is not, by any means, where (EDS)’s time and energy in the neo program has been placed).

* Boeing (TBC) has to be experiencing major whiplash: Boeing thought it had won a quick victory over (BMB) with recent rulings by the USA Commerce Department that would have effectively kept the CSeries out of the USA market. Now Airbus/Bombardier will build the CSeries in Mobile, Alabama. How can you place 300% in duties on an aircraft built in Alabama, consisting of 50% USA-made components, being delivered to Atlanta or other USA cities? You probably can’t, either legally or politically, and so Boeing is left shaking its fist at “a questionable deal between 2 heavily state-subsidized competitors to skirt the recent findings of the USA government.”

* “Nice little airplane”: I keep thinking of Airbus (COO) Customers John Leahy touring the CSeries at the 2015 Paris Air Show and then, with a gleam in his eye, dismissively telling reporters that Bombardier (BMB) had a “nice little airplane.”

News Item A-2: Airbus (EDS) brings “credibility” to the Bombardier CSeries program that will translate into sales, (EDS) (COO) & President Commercial Aircraft Fabrice Brégier said. When the Airbus (EDS) - Bombardier (BMB) agreement (under which (EDS) will take a majority stake in the CSeries program) is finalized, Airbus (EDS) will have a new product offering that compliments the A320 family well, Brégier told reporters on October 19 in Toulouse on the side lines of the A330neo 1st flight.

News Item A-3: "AirAsia X Could Swap Entire 66-Jet Airbus A330Neo Order to A350s" by Christopher Jasper & Benjamin D Katz, Bloomberg News, October 10, 2017.

AirAsia X (ASX), the long-haul arm of the region's biggest budget carrier, is looking at swapping an order for 66 Airbus (EDS) A330neo wide body jets to larger A350s in a bid to boost capacity on its busiest routes.

A review of (ASX)'s fleet requirements is underway and could result in a plan to trade up to the bigger wide body, Tony Fernandes, (CEO) of the AirAsia group, said, adding that the Boeing Company (TBC) 787 Dreamliner will also be considered.

(ASX) will remain focused on routes within 4 to 8 hours' flying time and would deploy the A350s on those services, just as it had aimed to do with the A330s, Fernandes said, adding that a switch wouldn't indicate a revival of plans to serve Europe. For Airbus (EDS), an order would shrink the 212-plane A330neo backlog while bolstering an A350 program that has itself suffered recent setbacks. "Over the last 10 years we've been tweaking the model," the (CEO) said. "Now that we kind of know what we want to do, we're looking at the fleet. We're toying with the A350. If we went A350, we wouldn't use the A330neo anymore, we'd go all A350."

(ASX) currently has 10 A350-900s on order alongside the larger A330neo commitment, while its existing fleet is comprised of 30 current-generation A330s. The Boeing 787 "looks interesting as well," Fernandes said.

The move would mark an about face from previous plans. In 2015, (ASX) began looking at flipping the 10 A350s due for delivery from 2021 to A330neos, with the unit's Chief Benyamin Ismail saying the smaller jet was cheaper and just as economical.

While an order rethink could be lucrative for (EDS), with the A350-900 having a sticker price of US$311.2 million versus US$290.6 million for the A330neo, the switch would come as a complication given (ASX)'s status as a launch customer for the aircraft.

Fernandes said the 1st jet is due in December 2018, though the date is "slipping" after already being put back amid development issues with Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc's Trent 7000 engine. The company will send representatives to the model's 1st flight, scheduled for Oct. 18 in Toulouse, he said.

AirAsia X is also exploring the business case for adding Airbus A321neos to serve routes to India and China that might not support bigger planes, Fernandes said. The main AirAsia short-haul operation already has orders for >400 upgraded Airbus (EDS) narrow bodies, including 100 A321 variants.

Commencing heavily discounted flights to Europe is unattractive right now, given the amount of capacity already deployed, the (CEO) said. "When we come into a market we've got to make sure we can really bring fares down, we don't think we can," he said, adding that serving the USA from Japan could be a more interesting market, with an Osaka to Honolulu route doing "very well."

Fernandes said plans to sell (ASX)'s Asia Aviation Capital Ltd aircraft leasing arm, should come to fruition before the end of this year, with (ASX) focused on 2 or 3 bidders from around the world.

News Item A-4: "Leahy to Bow out from Airbus at Year-end after Final Sales Push" by Tim Hepher, "Reuters" October 11, 2017.

John Leahy, who has sold planes worth >a trillion dollars during more than 2 decades as Sales Chief at Europe's Airbus (EDS), is finally calling it a day at the end of the year after 1 last push to level the score with Boeing (TBC), executives said.

The 67-year-old New Yorker, who hinted earlier this year he would retire in the autumn to make way for his deputy Kiran Rao, is once again in battle mode as Airbus (EDS) faces an aggressive new sales drive from its USA rival.

That comes as (EDS) is trying to end a hiatus in sales of its A380 "superjumbo" by seeking more orders from Emirates (EAD) and other deals at the Dubai Airshow, which Leahy is now expected to attend after earlier saying he would not be going. He has agreed to stay on until the end of the year, the executives said.

(CEO) Tom Enders disclosed the timing of Leahy's departure during a recent internal sales meeting, but has not publicly confirmed details of the transition.

Leahy, who has run sales at Airbus (EDS) since 1994, could not be reached for comment on his plans on October 11.

A tireless 'deal closer' known for snatching deals at the last moment, Leahy sold small Piper aircraft before joining Airbus (EDS) to help break open the USA market in the 1980s.

Aides say he has overseen sales of >15,500 aircraft worth US$1.7 trillion at list prices. But after a prolonged boom, (EDS) has slipped behind Boeing (TBC) in the order race this year with just 35% of net orders.


After suffering a rare defeat at the Paris Airshow in June, Leahy seems determined to end his career on a high and has set his sights on new sales for the A380, without which the plane could struggle to survive, industry sources said.

Emirates (EAD) President Tim Clark, the biggest A380 operator who has negotiated with Leahy for decades, declined to say whether he would write more cheques for jets at the Dubai Airshow but confirmed he was being courted to expand his superjumbo fleet.

"He's anxious that we should order a squillion A380s before he goes, so that he'll go out with a fanfare of trumpets or whatever," Clark joked in an interview with "Reuters" in Asia. "But he's been telling me for the last 4 years that he'll retire in the next year, so I'll believe it when I see it."

The veteran (CEO) paid tribute to Leahy's record, which leaves Airbus with a record backlog but questions over short-term jet demand, and declined to comment on his own retirement plans. "He's been very good at what he is doing. He's certainly a character who has been a big contributor to the industry."

With >200 sales needed to close the gap with Boeing (TBC) in a market already bursting with jets, some market sources said Leahy's looming departure may put pressure on prices.

"Now is the time to strike. Airlines know the last thing Leahy will want is to lose his last annual order competition against Boeing (TBC)," said a senior aircraft financing source.

Leahy, however, has said Airbus (EDS) does not expect 2017 to be a marquee year for orders as the industry slows.

News Item A-5: Airbus (EDS) has taken full control of Malaysian Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) provider Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE), making it a fully owned subsidiary.

(EDS) took a 40% stake in Kuala Lumpur International Airport-based (SAE) in 2011, but has now bought out the remaining 60% of the shares.

(SAE) now becomes an integral part of the Airbus Customer Services network; the manufacturer said (SAE) will be a key element of the group’s "Services by Airbus" organization, which is expanding its interests in the Asia-Pacific market.

“Since its creation in 2007, (SAE) has established a strong reputation in the (MRO) market for on-time and reliable service,” Services by Airbus business unit leader Laurent Martinez said. “Our ambition is for (SAE) to be a leading (MRO) in the region by becoming an innovation flagship for servicing Airbus (EDS) commercial aircraft.”

In September, (SAE) marked a significant expansion in its operations with the opening of a 2nd hangar to deal with increasing demand and now has a combined floor area of some 50,000 sq m. The original hangar can accommodate up to 6 single-aisle aircraft or 2 wide bodies, while the new structure can accommodate 2 A320 aircraft for major maintenance checks.

The (SAE) site also features what the company describes as Malaysia’s 1st eco-friendly closed-door dedicated paint bay, as well as workshops for the repair and overhaul of a wide range of aircraft components, including hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

(SAE) is an (EASA)-approved, independent (MRO) service provider. It can also handle cabin refurbishments and is a major repository of spare parts for airlines that have selected the Airbus Flight Hour Services total support package.

(SAE) customers include the AirAsia (ASW) Group, Philippine (LCC) Cebu Pacific (CEB), Indian (LCC) IndiGo (IGO), Singapore (LCC) Jetstar Asia Airways (JSA), Singapore (LCC) Scoot (SCT), Malaysia’s Malindo Air (MXD), regional carrier MASwings, and Vietnam’s VietJet Air (VJE).

The acquisition of (SAE) adds to Airbus (EDS)’ presence in the Asia - Pacific region. Airbus Customer Services has a major base in neighboring Singapore, while in the Thai capital Bangkok, Airbus hosts Asia Pacific Airbus Flight Operation Services.

News Item A-5: "Airbus A330neo Launches 1st Flight over France" by
Kurt Hofmann hofmann.aviation@netway.at, October 19, 2017.

The 1st Airbus A330neo test aircraft (powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines) took off on its maiden flight from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on October 19 and flew over SW France. The aircraft, (1795), is an A330-900 and the 1st of 3 certification flight-test aircraft to fly.

Airbus (EDS) (COO) and President of Commercial Aircraft, Fabrice Brégier told journalists on the sidelines of the event that (EDS) has decided to increase the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) from 242 to 251 tonnes of the aircraft, “which will enter service probably around mid-2020, because we have to change a few things regarding the landing gear and braking system, but these are what I call minor and controlled modifications.”

Brégier added the 251 tonne-(MTOW) will increase the aircraft’s range by 700 nautical miles “compared to the aircraft that just took off,” and an additional 1,000 miles compared to the current A330ceo. “The increased (MTOW) will allow the aircraft probably to [fly nonstop] with fuel loads for example from Kuala Lumpur to London,” Bregier said.

The A330neo’s certification development program will last around 1,400 flight-test hours. This will comprise 1,100 flight hours for the A330-900 campaign (to achieve its respective (EASA) and (FAA) type certification around the middle of 2018; plus 300 flight hours for the A330-800 version (which will be certified in 2019).

Overall, the full A330neo family flight-test campaign will be performed by 3 certification flight-test aircraft, plus the 1st production aircraft (the latter to validate the Airspace cabin prior to entry into service).

Launched in July 2014, the latest generation of Airbus’ wide body family, the A330neo builds on the A330’s proven economics, versatility and reliability, while reducing fuel consumption by a further -14% per seat.

The A330neo’s 2 versions (the A330-800 and A330-900) will accommodate 257 and 287 passengers, respectively, in a 3-class configuration. Powered by the latest-generation (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines, they can accommodate up to +10 more seats, offer new Airspace cabin amenities, and feature a new larger span wing with Sharklet wingtip devices.
“The 1st aircraft is expected to be delivered in summer 2018 to (TAP) Portugal,” Bregier confirmed.

November 2017: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) signed a $49.5 billion deal on November 15 to sell 430 airplanes to Indigo Partners the Phoenix based private equity firm that owns Frontier Airlines (FRO), representing (EDS)' biggest deal ever at the Dubai Air Show.

News Item A-2: Airbus has named Jeff Knittel, a long time veteran of the commercial aircraft leasing business, as the new Chairman & (CEO) of Airbus Americas. Knittel will formally take over on January 12, 2018, replacing retiring (CEO) Barry Eccleston, who has led Airbus (EDS)’ business (C) in the Americas since 2005. Eccleston will officially leave Airbus (EDS) on February 28, 2018. Allan McArtor, who has been the Chairman of the Airbus Americas board since 2001, will remain with (EDS) as Chairman Emeritus of Airbus Americas.

Knittel is (CEO) of C2 Aviation Capital, the former aircraft leasing arm of the (CIT) Group that was acquired by Irish lessor Avolon earlier this year for $10.4 billion.

Knittel, who had been with (CIT) since 1986, had been President of (CIT) Transportation Finance prior to the Avolon transaction.

“Knittel will be responsible for Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft business throughout the Americas, as well as for providing leadership for the company’s helicopters plus space and defense businesses in North America,” Airbus said. Airbus Americas, based in Herndon, Virginia, has >5,000 employees.

“Airbus has an extraordinary record of achievement in the Americas (especially over the last several years) but it’s clear that its greatest opportunities still lie ahead,” Knittel said.

Significantly, Airbus opened an A320 family final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama in September 2015. Airbus began delivering aircraft from the Mobile facility to USA customers in April 2016.

News Item A-3: Airbus forecasts Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) business in Asia will grow +4.5% annually through 2036 (vs global growth of +3.9%) and be worth $660 billion over next 20 years.

News Item A-4: Rolls Royce Holdings is joining Airbus (EDS) and Siemens in their quest to develop a 100 seat hybrid electric aircraft, giving Rolls Royce (RRC) a seat at the table of a potential promising aviation technology.

(RRC) is tasked with helping develop a 2 megawatt electric drive for the aircraft. The goal of Siemens and Airbus (EDS) is to produce a single-aisle aircraft with a 20 to 40 megawatt electric drive.

December 2017: News Item A-1: "Lessors Dominate Airbus, Boeing November Orders" by Mark Nensel mark.nensel@informa.com, December 2017.

Boeing (TBC) dominated November’s new order tally, booking 159 commercial airplanes by 6 customers, valued at approximately $21 billion at list prices. (TBC)’s November sales included major orders by Ireland-based subsidiaries of 2 Chinese aircraft leasing companies.

(CDB) Aviation, a wholly owned Dublin, Ireland-based subsidiary of China Developmental Bank Financial Leasing Company (CDB Leasing), firmed an order November 8 for 48 737 MAXs and 8 787-9s, valued at $7.6 billion.

And on November 18, Dublin, Ireland-based Avolon (AZV), a subsidiary of China’s Bohai Leasing, finalized an order for 55 737 MAX 8s and 20 737 MAX 10s, plus options for an additional 20 MAX 8s, valued at nearly $11 billion total.

Kuwait-based lessor (ALAFCO) also made a major contribution to Boeing’s MAX order book, with a November 12 order for 20 MAX 8s, valued at $2.2 billion. Additional (TBC) orders in November came from Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) (2 777F cargo airplanes) and 2 separate unidentified customers, with orders for five 787-9s and one 747-8F cargo plane, respectively.

Airbus (EDS) reported a single customer commercial aircraft order for the month, but it was a significant one, as (CDB) Aviation ordered 30 A320neos and 15 A321neos, valued at $5.2 billion.

Boeing (TBC)’s net total order count for the 1st 11 months of 2017 came to 647 commercial airplanes, compared to (EDS)' 331 net order total for the same period. The count does not include military, business/(VIP) and private customer orders.

Airbus (EDS) had the most deliveries in November, with 74 commercial aircraft delivered to 28 airlines and 9 lessors. Boeing (TBC) delivered 68 airplanes during the month to 27 airlines and 8 lessors.

From (EDS), Irish lessor AerCap (DEA) took delivery of 7 aircraft (2 A350-900s bound for Hong Kong airlines; 2 A320neos bound for Brazilian (LCC) Azul (AZL); 2 A320neos bound for Sichuan Airlines (SIC); and 1 A350-900 bound for Air Mauritius (MAU)); 4 aircraft each were delivered to Malaysia-based AirAsia (ASW) (3 A320neos and an A320ceo), India’s IndiGo (IGO) (all A320neos), and Vietnam’s VietJet (VJE) (all A321ceos).

Boeing (TBC) delivered 5 airplanes each to China Eastern (CEA) (3 737-800s and 2 737 MAXs), China Southern Airlines (GUN) (3 737 MAXs and 2 737-800s) and Ryanair (RYR) (all 737-800s) and 4 airplanes to China’s Bank of Communications Leasing (all 737-800s).

As of November 30, (TBC) has delivered 657 commercial airplanes compared to (EDS)’ 588. Military, business/(VIP) and private customers are not included in these totals.

News Item A-2: Top Airbus Executives to Leave:

BBC Headline: "Airbus Chief Tom Enders to Leave after Power Struggle," December 15, 2017.

The Airbus Group is facing the most fundamental leadership change in company history with the departures of its top 3 executives Tom Enders, Fabrice Brégier and John Leahy. Enders told the board of directors December 14 that he will not seek an extension of his mandate, which terminates in March 2019. Brégier will leave as President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft in February 2018. He had hoped to replace Enders at the top of the company.

News Item A-3: Airbus (EDS) appointed Mark Fontaine as acting Chief Technology Officer (CTO), succeeding Paul Eremenko, who was named Senior VP & Chief Technology Officer of (UTC) effective January 1, 2018.

News Item A-4: "Boeing, Bombardier Clash over Tariffs at Trade Hearing" by John McCormick and Andrew Mayeda, Bloomberg News, December 18, 2017.

Boeing (TBC) and Canada’s Bombardier (BMB) squared off December 18 in a case that’s putting profits and diplomatic ties on the line. In a daylong hearing before the USA International Trade Commission, Kevin McAllister, the Head of Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes (BCA) division, argued that Bombardier (BMB)’s sale of its CSeries jets at what he said are below fair-market prices poses an existential threat to Boeing’s 737 MAX 7. “Our 737 Max 7 is at extreme risk,” McAllister told the trade panel. “If you don’t level the playing field now, it will be too late.”

Boeing (TBC)’s push to have tariffs imposed on sales of the CSeries threatens to block Delta Air Lines (DAL) from taking delivery of the 75 CSeries jets it ordered in 2016.

But Greg May, (DAL)'s Senior VP Supply Chain Management & Fleet Strategy said Boeing (TBC)’s filing of the complaint is “absurd.”
“Boeing did not lose this sale to Bombardier (BMB),” May told the panel. “When we chose to add the CS100 aircraft to our fleet, (TBC) simply did not and does not have the right-sized aircraft.”

And Ross Mitchell, VP Commercial Operations at (BMB), said (DAL) was looking for a plane size that Boeing didn’t have. He said (BMB) gave (DAL) low pricing because it was an early adopter of the CSeries in the USA. Boeing “could not offer an airplane that met (DAL)’s needs,” he said. “There could not have been any lost sale to (DAL).”

The (ITC), a quasi-judicial USA federal body that is expected to issue a final ruling late next month, heard arguments on whether American (AAL) industry was harmed by the Bombardier CSeries sale to (DAL). Boeing alleges (BMB) can undercut offerings on the USA market because of subsidies in Canada.

The Boeing MAX 7 is the smallest of Boeing’s upgraded 737 airplanes. It can carry a similar passenger load to the larger of 2 CSeries models, the CS300. (DAL) ordered the smaller CS100 model.

Boeing won the 1st round in this trade fight with (BMB) when the USA Commerce Department in early October sided with Boeing in a preliminary ruling, ordering tariffs of about 300%. The (ITC) process runs in parallel and will decide if the tariffs become permanent.

The case became more complex in mid-October when Boeing (TBC) rival Airbus (EDS) stepped in, committing to buy a majority stake in the CSeries program and to set up a 2nd production line in Mobile, Alabama, to assemble CSeries planes for USA carriers, including (DAL).

Boeing argues that this move is merely a ploy to circumvent the tariffs. (BMB) responded at the hearing December 18 that the joint venture with Airbus (EDS) is important to the CSeries program’s survival. The (ITC) ruling is critical to (BMB)’s medium-term profitability. Depending on the outcome of this case, it is ready to start deliveries to (DAL) next year. But (DAL) has vowed not to pay the 300% tariff.

Bombardier (BMB) executives testified that sales conversations with other USA carriers have essentially frozen since Boeing (TBC) filed its complaint following the Delta (DAL) order.

Canada’s ambassador to the USA David MacNaughton, testified that a ruling in favor of (TBC) would disrupt supply chains in the aerospace industry and cost American jobs, because a significant portion of the CSeries is made in the USA.

Boeing’s McAllister said (BMB) offered its CSeries at “used-airplane prices,” putting pressure on competitors to slash prices. “Customer demand for reduced prices is greater than ever,” he said. “The harm is real right now.”

While President Donald Trump is unlikely to intervene in the case, the dispute is a test of his pledge to enforce USA trade laws more strictly, while encouraging foreign investment. The case has bruised USA relations with Canada and the UK, which also builds part of the plane. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this month canceled an order of Boeing fighter jets in retaliation.

The British government has warned Boeing it could lose UK defense contracts as well. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she was “bitterly disappointed” by the tariffs.

News Item A-5 "A330 (PTF) Aircraft Delivered To (DHL)."

(DHL) Express has become the 1st operator to take delivery of the A330-300 passenger-to-freighter (PTF) converted aircraft from Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), the joint venture between ST Aerospace and Airbus (EDS). The delivery took place at (EFW)’s freighter conversion facility in Dresden on December 1.

News Item A-5: (SMBC) Aviation Capital (SBC) and Avianca (AVI) announced an agreement for the purchase and leaseback of 11 aircraft, comprising 9 A320neos and 2 A321neos. The 9 A320neos are scheduled for delivery in 2018 and 2019, while the 2 A321neos have previously delivered in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2017. All 11 aircraft will be equipped with (CFM) International (LEAP-1B) engines.

(SBC) concluded a deal for 3 Airbus A320neos with Air Astana (AKZ), the national flag carrier of Kazakhstan. The A320neos will be fitted with Pratt & Whitney (PRF) (GTF) engines and will have delivery slots in the last quarter of 2019 and the 1st quarter of 2020.

News Item A-6: "Airbus to Axe A380 Superjumbo if Emirates Airline Deal Falls Through" by Robert Lea, Industrial Editor "The Times" December 29, 2017.

The future of the A380 program is in doubt over lack of new orders.

The A380 superjumbo could be running out of runway after reports that Airbus (EDS) will end production of the world’s largest commercial aircraft if it does not receive a new order from Emirates Airline (EAD). Airbus (EDS) did not deny reports December 27 that it was drawing up plans to phase out production of the A380. However, it said the claim was “speculation” as negotiations, believed to be specifically with (EAD) for new orders for the A380 continue.

The future of the A380 has been in doubt for several months as there has not been a single order from a new customer for the $440 million jet for nearly 2 years.

January 2018: News Item A-1: China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) (CHD) has signed a purchase agreement for 15 A320neos, valued at $1.63 billion at list prices. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery from (2022 to 2023). The transaction follows an order for 50 A320neos in late December 2017.

(CALC) (CHD)'s total order book with Airbus (EDS) will increase to 217 aircraft plus the 15 A320neos.

(CALC) currently operates a total fleet of 107 aircraft; its backlog after the new order stands at 193 aircraft, comprising 143 Airbus and 50 Boeing airplanes.

Separately, (CHD) also signed a purchase and lease back agreement with (PDP) financing with Latin American (LCC) group Viva Air (QUD), based in Panama, for 5 A320-200ceo family aircraft, scheduled for delivery between 2018 and 2019. “In recent years, the aviation market in Latin America has flourished due to the increase in travel and tourism,” (CALC) (CEO) Mike Poon said. “Further expansion into this market is part of the wider push of our globalization initiative.

News Item A-2: Airbus has assembled the 1st A321neo Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF), a version of the re-engined narrow body that allows for higher seating capacity.

The (CFM) International (LEAP-1A)-powered A321neo (ACF) was assembled at Airbus’ Hamburg facilities and will now undergo ground testing. The aircraft’s 1st flight will occur in “coming weeks.” The 1st delivery of an A321neo (ACF) is targeted for mid-2018.

By modifying the passenger door configuration on the A321neo, a new rear section is added on the (ACF) variant and the aircraft can be configured to seat as many as 240 passengers.

The (ACF) also serves as the base model for the A321neoLR, which will have a 3rd underfloor fuel tank allowing for longer range flights of up to 4,000 nautical miles. The 1st A321neoLR delivery is slated for the 2018 4th quarter.

Airbus (EDS) noted that while the A321neo (ACF) is an option today for customers ordering the A321neo. It will become the standard version of the A321neo “around 2020.”

News Item A-3: "Emirates Secures A380 Production with 36-strong Order" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann (hofmann.aviation@netway) at January 18, 2018.

Emirates Airline (EAD) has announced a $16 billion deal for up to 36 additional Airbus A380s, securing production of the aircraft type for another 10 years. The commitment is for 20 A380s and 16 options, with deliveries to start in 2020. The order is valued at $16 billion at current list prices.

(EAD)’s A380 fleet operates both (GE) (GEC) and Rolls-Royce (RRC) engines; (EAD) is evaluating engine options for the latest order.

Together with (EAD)’s 101-strong A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, this new order brings (EAD)’s commitment to the A380 program to 178 aircraft, worth >$60 billion.

(EAD) Chairman & (CEO) Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said, “We’ve made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for (EAD). Our customers love it, and we’ve been able to deploy it on different missions across our network, giving us flexibility in terms of range and passenger mix.”

He said some of the new A380s will be used as fleet replacements. “This order will provide stability to the A380 production line. We will continue to work closely with Airbus (EDS) to further enhance the aircraft and on board product,” he said.

Airbus (COO) Customers John Leahy said January 15 the A380 program would have had to be shut down if (EAD) did not order more aircraft.
“If we can’t work out a deal with (EAD), it is clear we will have to shut down the program,” Leahy had said, speaking on Airbus’ 2017 orders and deliveries webinar on January 15.

Airbus (EDS) said it will continue to build the A380 for at least another decade following a commitment from (EAD) to add at least 20 aircraft to its backlog. After months of difficult negotiations and a clash at November’s Dubai Air Show, (EAD) on January 18 signed an (MOU) for an additional 36 aircraft. For Airbus (EDS), the deal is a breakthrough that secures A380 production at reduced, but sustainable rates.

News Item A-4: "Airbus Flies A321LR, Studies Higher Capacity A321neo"
by Jens Flottau, (ATW) Plus January 31, 2018.

Airbus (EDS), which flew the A321LR for the 1st time January 31, is studying a further raise in passenger capacity for its largest single-aisle model, executives said in Hamburg. The aircraft’s evacuation limit, based on the new Airbus cabin-flex (ACF) layout, stands at 250 passengers, but the aircraft is currently only available for up to 240 passengers. “We can go up to 244 passengers and potentially beyond that,” Chief Engineer Pierre-Henri Brousse said.

Airbus (EDS) has confirmed it is looking at a further stretch of the A320neo family, but is unlikely to make a fast decision. “We are looking at further opportunities,” A320 family Head Klaus Roewe said on the sidelines of the A321LR 1st flight event in Hamburg. “A further stretch is not out of reach.” Airbus has been studying its options in case Boeing (TBC) goes ahead with the launch of the new mid-market airplane (NMA). High on the list is a larger version of the A321neo.

February 2018: News Item A-1: "Airbus (EDS) Full Year 2017 Financial Results," Aviation News, February 15, 2018.

Strong underlying business performance revenues of Eu 67 billion; (EBIT) (reported) Eu 3.4 billion (EPS) (reported) Eu 3.71, Proposed 2017 dividend Eu 1.50 per share, up 11%.

News Item A-2: "The Month in Review: January 2018" by Airbus S.A.S., February 13, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) opened its 2018 business activity with orders in January for 20 A320 Family jetliners (taking overall bookings for this best-selling single-aisle product line to 14,135 and delivered 27 single-aisle and wide body aircraft during the month, bringing the company's total deliveries since its creation to nearly 11,000).

The January transactions involved orders for 15 A320neo jetliners from China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited (CALC), and 5 A320ceo versions for USA-based low-cost carrier (LCC) Spirit Airlines (SPR).

Taking a booking conversion that occurred in the month into account, (EDS)' net orders for January totaled 15 aircraft.

With its activity through end-January, the tally of orders logged during (EDS)' 4 decades of existence stood at 18,206 aircraft. This number includes 14,135 A320 Family aircraft bookings (of which 6,005 are for neo-configured A319s, A320s and A321s.

During January, Airbus (EDS) provided customers with 21 A320 Family jetliners (taking overall deliveries of the single-aisle Airbus aircraft to 8,000), along with 2 wide body A330-300s and 4 A350-900s.

At month's end, (EDS)' overall backlog of jetliners remaining to be delivered stood at 7,253 (representing approximately 9 years of production at current rates).

News Item A-3: "Airbus Profits Send Shares Soaring Despite A400M Charge" by Tim Hepher, "Reuters" February 15, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) staged its biggest one-day stock-market gain in 5 years as increased jet output boosted its coffers and eclipsed a -EUR1.3 billion hit from its delayed A400M military plane program.

Investors pushed shares in Europe's largest aerospace group up as much as +11% as the firm's underlying free cash flow more than doubled. The stock closed +10.2% higher at EUR92.82, narrowing Airbus (EDS)' performance gap against USA rival Boeing (TBC).

"It is partly a convergence play as Airbus stock plays catch up with Boeing, which before today had outperformed Airbus nearly 20% in 2018," said Agency Partners analyst Sash Tusa. "And cash was much better than expected, thanks to higher pre-delivery payments and improved working capital."

Airbus (EDS) confirmed it may raise output of the best-selling A320 model by +17% to 70 a month on strong demand, though no decision has been taken as it faces a taut supply chain.

(CEO) Tom Enders also predicted a decision this year on whether to increase production of the A350 wide-body jet, Europe's response to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. "It is blatantly clear that the demand is there," Enders said, adding Airbus must be careful not to overstretch a supply chain already running flat-out to keep up with demand.

Enders urged engine makers to tackle delays that have disrupted deliveries of the upgraded A320neo and said its target of 800 total deliveries this year would depend on them.

Airbus has been beset by delays mainly from Pratt & Whitney (PRW), as well as some delays and now "maturity" issues at engine maker (CFM) International as it upgrades the medium-haul A320, the workhorse of its jet business.

Airbus said it was still looking at the impact of a fresh round of problems with (PRW) engines that saw some A320neo jets grounded and certain deliveries halted this month.

Led by its main commercial arm, Airbus posted a +8% increase in adjusted 2017 operating profit of +EUR4.253 billion on flat revenues of EUR66.767 billion and predicted a +20% rise in the widely watched core profit item.

Analysts were on average expecting adjusted 2017 operating profits of EUR3.996 billion and revenues of 67.343 billion. (EDS) lifted its dividend by +11%.

Stronger than expected cashflow came after what the Airbus Finance Director called an "all hands on deck" effort, leaving it with >EUR13 billion of net cash at the end of the year.

In October, Airbus (EDS)' Defense unit froze capital spending and urged staff to take "drastic measures" to save cash to avoid missing targets, according to an internal posting.


The A400M charge comes after Airbus (EDS) reached a provisional agreement with 7 European (NATO) buyer nations over further delays for the new troop carrier. "This certainly ain't pretty but we are making good progress overall," Enders told analysts.

Airbus also took a -ERO117 million 4th-quarter charge following a settlement with German prosecutors over a corruption case linked to a fighter sale to Austria in 2003. That includes EUR35 million of ongoing legal costs. Austria, where prosecutors continue to probe the same fighter deal, said it would review a previous administration's decision to end the Eurofighter program early.

But the country's chief lawyer said Austria would not consider a new deal with the Eurofighter consortium (which includes Airbus, Britain's (BAE) Systems and Italy's Leonardo) before compensation had been paid.

The fighter row is one of several investigations over the conduct of Airbus' Defense and Commercial jetliner activities.

It has been forced to stump up some financing to help airlines after European export credit agencies halted support in 2016, when Airbus acknowledged having misled a British agency in funding bids, triggering an Anglo-French corruption probe. Airbus said it had now reached agreement allowing the export funding to resume on a case-by-case basis.

However, it raised the prospect for the 1st time that the USA could be drawn into the Anglo-French probe, saying it had been asked to supply information to USA authorities about conduct potentially under their jurisdiction.

News Item A-4: "Air Senegal Firms A330neo Order" by Kurt Hofmann (hofmann.aviation@netway.at), February 2, 2018.

Air Senegal (SNG) has firmed an order for 2 Airbus A330neos, following an (MOU) signed in November 2017 at the Dubai Air Show. The order makes the national carrier of Senegal the 1st airline in Africa to select the new re-engined A330 version, which is powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines.

The order was signed in Dakar by Air Senegal (SNG) (CEO) Philippe Bohn and Airbus (EDS) Head Commercial Aircraft, Africa & Middle East, Fouad Attar, in the presence of the French Republic President Emmanuel Macron on a state visit to Senegal and Republic of Senegal President Macky Sall.

Air Senegal plans to launch operations this year.

Bohn said the 2 aircraft will contribute to developing the new carrier’s medium- and long-haul network. “It is important for us to begin our commercial activities with aircraft that are both reliable and economical, while offering our passengers unrivaled comfort. This order demonstrates our ambitions for this new airline,” he said.

Airbus (EDS) launched the A330neo program in July 2014, the latest generation in its wide body family.

News Item A-5: Airbus (EDS) launched a new "iflyA380 (iOS)" app that enhances Airbus (EDS)’ existing (iflyA380.com) booking assistant with more choices, features and content and new possibilities to interact with the A380, including taking a sneak peek at the cockpit.

News Item A-6: "The (FAA) Warns About Pratt & Whitney (PW-1100) Engine Shutdown Risk on Airbus A320neo Jets" by Rob Vogelaar of
"Reuters" February 14, 2018.

The (FAA) formal warning follows a similar action by European regulators on February 9 and cites a "knife edge seal fracture" in the engine that could lead to an engine stall and consequent in-flight shutdown and rejected takeoffs, the (FAA) said in an Airworthiness Directive (AD).

The warnings mark the latest in a string of issues that have clouded the rollout of (PRW)'s new engines, which compete with market-leader (CFM) International, a joint venture of the General Electric Company (GEC) and Safran S A of France.

A total of 98 engines could be affected with 43 confirmed to have the problem and the rest possibly affected, (PRW) said.

(PRW) has not halted production or delivery of engines, not similar (PRW) engines for Bombardier (BMB), Embraer (EMB) or Mitsubishi (MSG) jets.

Airbus (EDS) has halted delivery of A320neos after delivery of 113 of them. It was not clear which airlines had the largest A320neos fleets. Industry sources did say 20 A320neos had been grounded by airlines because of the problem.

News Item A-7: "Pratt & Whitney Finds Fix for A320neo (GTF) engine Issues" by Sean Broderick (ATW) Plus, February 21, 2018.

Pratt & Whitney (PRW) is reverting to a previous configuration of its (PW1100G) geared turbofan (GTF) engine’s high pressure compressor (HPC) aft hub knife-edge seal to get its production line moving again and fix in-service engines affected by issues with the modified design.

News Item A-8: "Brash Airbus Sales Chief John Leahy Bows Out After Reshaping the Industry" by Dominic Gates (dgates@seattletimes.com)
Seattle Times aerospace reporter, February 4, 2018.

John Leahy’s soaring career:
* Born: 1950 in New York
* Education: Studied communications and philosophy at Fordham.
Learned to fly while earning his (MBA) at Syracuse.
* Career: Hired in 1977 by Piper Aircraft to sell its small general-aviation airplanes. Joined Airbus in 1985, promoted to head of North American sales. Appointed head of Airbus worldwide sales in 1994.
* Recognition: In March 2012, Leahy was named an Officer of the Légion d’Honneur, France’s top civilian award.
* Source: Airbus

John Leahy, the legendary jet salesman who helped European jet maker Airbus (EDS) come from nowhere to achieve parity with giant Boeing, is finally retiring. Leahy was more than a sales chief. A demanding and driven leader, he helped shape and define Airbus’ aircraft lineup, and indirectly even Boeing (TBC)’s lineup of jets.

An American working out of Airbus (EDS) headquarters in Toulouse, France, Leahy reveled in besting his USA counterparts. At countless aviation-industry events over >3 decades, he baited and poked fun at “our friends in Seattle.”

He was “the guy we all liked to hate at Boeing (TBC), but he was very effective,” said Toby Bright, Head of Sales at Boeing (TBC) in the early 2000s. In an interview on his way out, Leahy set aside his barbs and recalled some of the turning points and setbacks in the rise of Airbus (EDS). His creative and aggressive sales tactics 1st made their mark in 1986 when he offered Northwest Airlines, essentially an all-Boeing (TBC) airline, an irresistible “buy small, think big” deal on A320 jets.

He told Northwest executives they could place a firm order for just 10 airplanes, but “we’re going to give you the price for 100. We’ll give you delivery dates for 100.” If they didn’t like the Airbus planes, he told them, “That’s it. You’re stuck with 10. We’ll take the risk on the rest of them.” “Sure enough, they loved the airplane,” he said. “They didn’t take just 100. I think they got up to 145.”

The latest in a long line of Leahy adversaries is Ihssane Mounir, Boeing (TBC)’s current Head of Sales, who has brought such a new intensity to the USA company’s sales efforts that some here already hope he’ll be “Boeing’s Leahy.”

Yet after Boeing (TBC) led Airbus (EDS) by a wide margin in sales for most of last year, Leahy in a last hurrah landed massive sales during 2017’s final quarter to beat his rival 1 last time in the annual sales race. “He’s a sharp-tongued, clever and tenacious salesman,” Mounir said in an email. “You may question his style (or occasionally disagree with it) but you can’t discount the impact he single-handedly has had on Airbus’ success. I don’t think we’ll see another one like him,” Mounir added. “John is an iconic figure in our industry.”

* Bold sales tactics

At 67, overweight and with a history of heart issues, New York-born Leahy is giving up a life of constant airplane travel and jet lag.
After a short transition period with his successor, former Rolls-Royce (RRC) executive Eric Schulz, 54, Leahy says he’ll return to live in the USA, determined to take it easy, eat right and get healthy.

When Airbus (EDS) hired Leahy as Sales Chief for North America in 1985, its market share was just 13%. He was promoted to Head all Sales in 1994 and moved to Toulouse, where a year later he confidently told the incredulous Airbus board that his target was to win half the market. In just 9 years he got there, creating today’s roughly 50:50 jet duopoly.

His team has sold more jets than Boeing (TBC) in all but 4 of the last 20 years. After the Boeing downturn following the "9/11" attacks in 2001, Airbus also delivered more jets than Boeing for 9 straight years. And though Boeing has now been the top jet producer for the past 6 years in a row, Leahy confidently predicts that by 2020, Airbus will ramp up its A350 and A320 assembly lines enough to regain the title of world’s No. 1 jet maker.

Leahy’s understanding of the market helped shape the jets he was pitching. He put together the launch case for the A380 superjumbo jet with 500-plus seats. And when the initial model of the A330 lacked sufficient range, he argued internally for a longer-range version, a shift that helped propel the jet’s sales past Boeing’s 767.

His biggest miss was the 4-engine A340, a poor seller that is now defunct. Airbus stuck to the idea of a 4-engine plane for long-haul flights, allowing Boeing to succeed with the more fuel-efficient twin-engine 777. To get level with Boeing, in the early days Leahy had to be bold. “Some of these carriers didn’t know who this European manufacturer was. There was reason for them to be suspicious.”

He followed up the Northwest Airlines coup with a bigger fish the following year, offering American Airlines (AAL) 25 A300 airplanes on a lease with a “walkaway clause.” He told (AAL) executives, “If it’s not working out, we’ll find a way to let you give them back. We knew we were as good as we were claiming, so it wasn’t an enormous risk,” Leahy said. “No one ever exercised any walkaway clauses.”

* Setbacks for Airbus

As Airbus encroached on its turf, Boeing fought back hard. In 1996, as (AAL) sought to renew its fleet, (AAL) signed an exclusivity deal with Boeing, buying 103 airplanes with options for 527 more over 20 years (and committing to buy only Boeing jets for that period).

Delta (DAL) made a similar 20-year deal the following year, and then Continental (CAL) too. “It was a big blow,” said Leahy. “They were going to extraordinary lengths just to avoid competition.”

When Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, the European Union insisted as a condition of approving the merger that the 3 exclusivity deals be dropped. But Leahy said the agreements were still honored under the table for many years. It wasn’t until 2011 that (AAL) bought another Airbus jet, when Leahy offered the A320neo, an update to the single-aisle jet featuring new fuel-efficient engines. It was a shock that caused Boeing to reverse course.

Boeing had been toying with the concept of an all-new 737 replacement, which would have taken years to develop. Instead, it immediately scrapped that idea and rushed to offer a re-engined 737, which became the 737 MAX. “I’m surprised Boeing didn’t see that earlier and start working on the 737 MAX right away as soon as we launched the A320neo.”

* An imprint on Airbus culture

Former Boeing executive Bright, now Chief Executive at airplane lessor Jackson Square Aviation, believes Leahy’s imprint on Airbus will endure. “He’s built a scrappy team. They came from behind. They still have this underdog fight to them,” Bright said.

Brash as Leahy is, in his exit interview he was gentle. He said that, on occasion over the years, he got along fine in private with top Boeing executives such as Jim McNerney and Ray Conner. “We were all willing to have a drink with each other at an air show or an industry get-together,” Leahy said. “They are good people, fine people.”
“Just because I was pointing out that my A350 might be better than the 777, doesn’t mean the 777 isn’t a good airplane. It’s a very good airplane,” he said. “I just happen to think mine is better.”

Leahy has sold his mansion in Toulouse, and after 24 years there he will retire to the USA, where he has homes in Florida and in the Washington, DC, area. “It’s been fun,” Leahy said, as he signed off. “Give my best regards to my friends in Seattle.”

News Item A-9: "New Airbus Sales Chief Will Rely on Performance, not Swagger" by Dominic Gates (dgates@seattletimes.com) Seattle Times aerospace reporter, February 12, 2018.

Eric Schulz, Airbus Executive VP Sales. Eric Schulz introduced himself during a news conference at the recent Singapore Airshow.

Age: 55

Career: Began in 1985 at Aerospatiale/Airbus, before joining (UTA) French Airlines/Air France (AFA). He was President of Rolls-Royce (RRC)’s main civil aerospace unit for about 6 years until Airbus recruited him in November.

Background: A native of France, he grew up in France and Italy. He holds a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Ecole d’Ingenieurs of Geneva, and 1 in Aeronautical Engineering from (ESTAE) Paris.

News Item A-10: "Airbus Rolls Out 1st A350-900ULR" by (ATA) Linda Blachly (linda.blachly@informa.com), February 28, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) has rolled out the 1st A350-900 ultra-long range version from the final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse. The latest A350 XWB family variant will be able to fly farther than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines (SIA) later this year.

According to Airbus (EDS), the A350-900ULR includes a modified fuel system to increase fuel-carrying capacity, an increased maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) and aerodynamic improvements.

(SIA) has ordered 7 A350-900 ULR aircraft, which it will use on nonstop flights between Singapore and the USA, including service between Singapore and New York.

Following completion of the airframe assembly, Airbus (EDS) said the 1st aircraft has now moved to an outdoor station where it will undergo extensive ground tests, prior to installation of its Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines.

The aircraft will then embark on a short flight test program to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will bring the additional range capability. These include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 liters/6,340 gallons, without the need for additional fuel tanks. Airbus said the test phase will also measure enhanced performance derived from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.

March 2018: News Item A-1: The Airbus A350-1000, the larger variant of the A350 slated to seat 366 passengers in a typical 3-class configuration, has undergone rigorous ground and flight tests in the extreme operating conditions of Iqaluit, Canada. The Rolls-Royce (RRC (Trent XWB-97)-powered aircraft completed its 1st flight in November 2016.

News Item A-2: "Airbus Halfway Through A330-900neo Flight Tests; (TAP) Portugal 1st Delivery on Track" by Jens Flottau (ATW) Plus, March 22, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) is positioning the A330-900neo to operate on true long-haul routes such as from the USA west coast deep into Asia or from India to the USA east coast (segments similar to those on which the larger A350-900/A350-1000, as well as the Boeing 777 and 787, operate.

News Item A-3: China Southern Airlines (GUN) has taken delivery of its 1st A321neo and 1st in service in China. (GUN) currently operates 303 Airbus aircraft including 253 A320 Family aircraft (including 7 A320neos), 45 A330 Family aircraft and 5 A380s.

Powered by Pratt & Whitney (PRW) Geared Turbofan engines, (GUN)'s A321neo aircraft features a comfortable 3-class cabin layout, (4C business, 24PY premium economy and 167Y economy class seats). (GUN) will operate the new aircraft on its domestic and international routes.

The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver >15% fuel savings at entry into service and up to 20% by 2020. With >6,000 orders received from >90 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured some 60% market share.

News Item A-4: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Qatar Airways (QTA) both introduced Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) over the March 24 to 25 weekend.

Early on March 24, (DAL) Flight 27 became the 1st A350-900 to depart from (ATL), lifting off at 12:35 am for Seoul/Incheon (ICN), South Korea. The return flight from Seoul touched down at (ATL) almost 19 hours later, at 7:03 pm.

(QTA)’s 1st A350 flight to (ATL) came March 25, as (QTA) Flight 755 from Doha touched down at 4:47 pm.

For (QTA), the A350-900 replaces its Boeing 777-300ERs on the Atlanta route, upping the passenger comfort quotient with an improved business (C) class, but also decreasing capacity, as the A350-900 seats a maximum 325 passengers versus the 777-300ER’s maximum 396. (QTA)’s A350 seats 283 passengers, with 26C business-class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration and 247Y economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration. Conversely, (QTA)’s 777-300ERs carry 358 passengers with 42C business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 316Y economy seats in a largely 3-4-3 configuration.

(QTA) began flying its Doha to Atlanta route in June 2016, 4 months after (DAL) ceased flying its Atlanta to Dubai route amidst the then-heated controversy around the USA legacy airlines’ (American Airlines (AAL), (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL)) campaign to persuade the USA government to take action against alleged “billions of dollars in illegal subsidies from Qatar to Qatar Airways (QTA) and from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Emirates Airline (EAD) and Etihad Airways (EHD),” a claim the 3 Gulf carriers denied.

Glen Hauenstein, then-incoming (DAL) President, said in an April 2016 conference call that (DAL) did not think (QTA)’s Doha to Atlanta route would be successful.

On January 30, 2018, the Qatari government required state-owned (QTA) to release an audited financial statement within a year, and assured the USA government that (QTA) had no current plans to operate 5th freedom flights to the USA. An “understanding” was reached between the 2 countries that the USA would not seek to reopen the "Open Skies" accord for negotiations, a development that brought some praise from (AAL), (DAL), (UAL) and USA airline labor groups, and calmed tensions, at least where Qatar was concerned.

Atlanta is the 5th USA city to which (QTA) directly flies its A350 XWBs, in addition to Boston, Miami, New York and Philadelphia. At the end of February, (QTA) took delivery of the 1st A350-1000, which began flights on (QTA)’s Doha to London route in early March.

April 2018: News Item A-1: "Airbus Posts 31% Net Profit Drop in (1Q); Cuts A330neo/A330neo Production" by Jens Flottau (ATW) Plus, (jens.flottau@aviationweek.co.uk), April 27, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) reported a +€283 million/+$349 million net profit in the March quarter, down -31% from +€409 million a year earlier. (EDS) cited supplier delays in the A320neo program as the main cause for the profit drop.

Revenue fell -12% year-over-year to €10.1 billion. Because the company built up a massive inventory of unfinished aircraft, Airbus reported a €3.8 billion negative free cash flow for the quarter.

(EDS) also announced it will cut production of its once well-selling A330 wide body jet for 2019 after losing 2 important sales campaigns in the USA market.

(EDS) confirmed April 27 that it plans to deliver around 50 A330s and A330neos in 2019, down from 67 in 2017 and around 120 in past years. (EDS) is transitioning from the A330 to the A330neo, which is scheduled to be delivered to launch operator (TAP) Air Portugal later this year. The aircraft has yet to be certified and is still in flight testing. Orders for the A330neo have remained below expectations. (EDS) lost its last order for the A330-800 earlier this year, when Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) switched to the competing Boeing 787. (EDS) experienced another blow when American Airlines (AAL) opted for the 787, canceling an earlier A350 order and neglecting the A330.

Airline industry sources said Airbus (EDS) is currently offering the A330neo at rock-bottom prices to find entry into blue-chip customers’ fleets, but most airlines are not considering the type.

The company has 214 firm orders for the A330-900, the successor of the A330-300, with many of the commitments from lessors and long-haul, low-fare carrier AirAsia X (ASX). There were 37 outstanding deliveries for the A330-200, 48 for the A330-300 and 4 for the freighter version at the end of March.

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL) said it is ordering 47 of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners for long-range flying, expanding its 787 fleet and dealing a blow to Airbus (EDS)’s ambitions to expand its wide body airplane sales in the USA. The Boeing deal is worth $12.3 billion at list prices. With standard industry discounts, the actual value is estimated to be $6.3 billion. Adding more of the 787s will allow (AAL) to simplify its fleet and shed some of its oldest long range jets. In a related move, (AAL) canceled an order for 22 of Airbus (EDS)' twin-aisle A350 jets, from a purchase placed by (AAL) predecessor US Airways (USA).

The 787 deal marks the 2nd time this year that Boeing (TBC) has persuaded an Airbus wide body customer in the USA to switch to the 787. Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), the sole customer for Airbus' A330-800, decided in March to order 10 787s instead.

In March, "Bloomberg News" reported that (AAL) had ruled out a competing Airbus bid for the A330neo. "This was a difficult decision between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 and A330neo," Robert Isom, (AAL)'s President said. "In the end, our goal of simplifying our fleet, made the 787 a compelling choice." With the plan, (AAL) will reduce the number of wide body airplane types it flies to 3 from 5, reducing maintenance and training costs. (AAL) previously said the number of A350s it had ordered was too small for it to operate profitably. (AAL) had delayed taking the A350s in both 2016 and 2017. It already plans to shed another small fleet of 20 Embraer (EMB) E190 jets.

The new deal includes 22 787s (more than doubling (AAL)'s fleet of 787s, Boeing's current most advanced airplane). All of the 787s will will be powered with General Electric's (GEnx-1B) engines. The 787-8s will begin arriving in 2022, followed a year later by the 1st of the 787-9s, (AAL) said. (AAL) will use the 787s to replace aging Boeing 767-300s and later, its A330-300s and the oldest of its 777-200s.

(AAL) also deferred delivery of 40 737 MAX narrowbody airplanes to between 2025 and 2026. The airplanes originally were to arrive in 2020 to 2022.

Airbus has said it has a series of sales campaigns for the A330neo with >100 airlines that currently operate the older version of the aircraft. The 250-seat A330-800 is on track for its 1st flight in the middle of this year, with the bigger A330-900 variant set to enter into service around the same time with launch operator (TAP) Air Portugal.

News Item A-3: "Gallery: Cabin Interiors Latest Innovations" by (ATW)
Linda Blachly, April 10, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) and Zodiac Aerospace have partnered to develop and market lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths. The modules, which would fit inside the aircraft’s cargo compartments, will be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers during a typical turnaround, if required. Moreover, the aircraft’s cargo floor and cargo loading system will not be affected at all, as the passenger module will sit directly on it. Airlines will be initially be able to choose from a catalog of certified solutions by 2020 on A330 for retrofit and line-fit markets. The companies are studying offering the modules on the A350 XWB. See photo.

News Item A-4: "Airbus A350-900 Ultra Long-range Aircraft Makes Maiden Flight" by Jens Flottau (jens.flottau@aviationweek.com),
April 23, 2018.

The Airbus A350-900 ULR (ultra long-range) made its 1st flight on April 23, starting a short flight test program ahead of its 1st delivery in the 2nd half of 2018.

The aircraft, (MSN 216), will be the only one involved in the test campaign that, according to A350 Head of Marketing Marisa Lucas-Ugena, will take only weeks to complete. Launch customer Singapore Airlines (SIA) has ordered 7. (SIA), (so far the only airline that has ordered the type) plans to re-introduce nonstop flights from Singapore to New York, among other destinations. Airbus (EDS) hopes Qantas (QAN) will also select the type for the planned expansion of ultra-long haul services from Australia.

The A350-900 ULR features a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 280 tons, up from the current maximum of 275 tons. Airbus also introduced aerodynamic changes to the wing: the winglets are now 0.5 m higher and the flap fairings are extended by 0.3 m. T he wing twist has also been changed slightly. The changes to the wing will become standard also on the A350-900, for which the 280-ton (MTOW) will be on offer as well.

The (ULR) version will incorporate changes to the center fuel tank to allow more fuel volume to be used. The aircraft will be able to carry an additional 24,000 l of fuel compared to the standard A350-900. According to Airbus, it will have a range of 9,700 nm compared to 8,100 nm for the A350-900, and 7,950 nm for the A350-1000. The A350-900 ULR competes with Boeing’s 787-9 and 777-8X in the small market for ultra long-haul routes. United Airlines (UAL) already deploys the 787-9 on sectors such as Los Angeles to Singapore and Qantas recently introduce non-stop flights from Perth to London.

News Item A-5: Airbus (EDS) was selected by Philippine Airlines (PAL) to provide component maintenance support for 6 A350-900s under its Flight Hour Services (FHS) program, powered by the SkyWise data platform.

May 2018: News Item A-1: "A319neo Is Still Selling" by Vero Venia,
May 6, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) published its orders and deliveries spreadsheet for the 1st 4 months of 2018 on May 4 2018. There is 1 interesting item in the newly publish spreadsheet; - - it is about the A319neo.

* 14th Month

The A319neo took off for the 1st time on March 31st 2017. So, it is now entering its 14th month in flight test and we still have not heard anything about its certification. It is a quite interesting situation because the A321neo obtained its type certificate after only 10 months of flight tests.

Obviously Airbus is not in hurry to certify the A319neo, although we know today that the aircraft will not be cancelled. Why do we know it?

Increasing A319neo Backlog

The total “firm” orders for the A319neo in the latest spreadsheet has increased to 56 units. In the previous orders and deliveries spreadsheet, the orders until end of March 2018 was at 30 units. That’s an increase of +26 units in April 2018.

Clearly, A319neo sales is progressing, so the flight test is not a lost effort. The aircraft will be certified and customers will accept delivery of the A319neo. We still do not know whether the A319neo will be certified with both (CFM) Leap and (PW1100G) engines. At this stage we only know 2 things on this issue. 1st, the A319neo that is in flight test is with (CFM) Leap engines. 2nd, the C Series partnership seems to homing in to a closing at the end of May 2018. The C Series is powered by (PW1500G) engines.

Is the 26 extra orders for the A319neo an indication the C Series partnership will announce significant orders for the C Series in June or July? One does not know.

It's already been discussed in this blog that there is a possibility (CFM) International could potentially be unhappy if Airbus helps to sell the C Series and put less effort on the A319neo. Perhaps the A319neo additional order is a way to prove that the effort to sell the A319neo has not been diminished.

* Competing Products

Several months ago it was discussed about the fact the 737 MAX 7 has grown in size by +12 seats and thus its economics on per seat basis became better. In simple words, the 737 MAX 7 slipped out from the arena where the A319neo and the CS300 are today.

The interesting point to note is about 2 competing aircraft, CS300/(PW1500G) and A319neo/(PW1100G). Starting in June 2018 Airbus will market and sell both the A319neo and CS300. One can ask the question whether it is in Airbus’ interest to keep both products in the offering. Is there any incentive for both Airbus and (PRW) to offer both aircraft? It really is not known because dropping the A319neo/(PW1100G) could trigger unsuspected consequences.

At this point, the question is more about the orders for the A319neo. Are all of those ordered aircraft powered by (Leap-1A)? Unfortunately we do not have any clear indication about it, although we can say with certainty that Avianca (AVI)’s 22 A319neos will be powered by (CFM) (Leap-1A).

One thing is sure, the A319neo with (Leap-1A) engines will get certified.

* One Or More C Series Order(s) May Be In The Pipeline

With the growing A319neo backlog we know that it will enter into service and that it could potentially be an indication of big orders for the C Series in the coming months. I am suspecting an order from a major airline in the current European Union (EU).

News Item A-2: April’s biggest order for Airbus (EDS) came from (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines, which booked 35 A320neos and 1 A330-200.

News Item A-3: "Aircraft Manufacturers Expect to Lose Iran Aircraft Orders"

Airbus (EDS) expects to be bound by the USA President Trump administration’s new prohibitions against selling USA airplanes and USA parts to Iran even if Europe maintains a more business-friendly approach to the Persian Gulf nation, a top executive said.

News Item A-4: Airbus Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Harald Wilhelm announced he will leave the company in early 2019 with (CEO) Tom Enders.

“After 18 years in the Airbus Finance function, next year will be the right time for me to move on,” Wilhelm said. “Until then, I remain committed to the performance of the company and I will work with the management to ensure a smooth transition to the next Airbus (CFO).”

Wilhelm’s decision makes the leadership transition at Airbus even more far reaching than originally thought. At the beginning of the year, both Airbus Commercial Aircraft President Fabrice Bregier and long-time sales chief John Leahy left the company. Bregier had been told he was not considered for the Airbus (CEO) position; Leahy retired.

Most importantly, Enders late last year also announced his departure for April 2019 at the company’s next annual general meeting for shareholders.

Wilhelm has been a driving force behind efforts to make (EDS) business practices more transparent and to overcome corruption probes in both France and the UK into alleged misconduct and the use of so-called “business partners” that Wilhelm and Enders stopped in late 2014.

Wilhelm has not only been one of Enders’ closest aides in addressing the compliance shortcomings, he was also a key figure in the integration of the company. Wilhelm has served as (CFO) of the commercial aircraft unit for 10 years and took on more responsibilities as group (CFO) 6 years ago.

Along with (EDS) Head of Human Resources Thierry Baril, he became the 1st senior executive with dual roles. Last year, Airbus finally merged the group with the largest unit.

Airbus said it will name a new (CEO) by the end of the year. The board stated May 14 that it will now start the search for a new (CFO) and that an announcement will be made “in due time.”

News Item A-4: Airbus Pesents ‘Day & Night’ First-class Concept Design" by Thierry Dubois (thierry.dubois@aviationweek.com), May 14, 2018.


Airbus Interiors Services is introducing a new concept in First Class where the passenger is given both a seat and a private sleeping area.

In a new way to exploit cabin space, the “Day & Night” layout features a 2 m/6.6 ft long “real bed,” Airbus (EDS) said. The “night” area also has stowage space and an entrance.

The “day” living zone's main 2 components are a seat and a dining and working table. An adjustable partition allows to make it a 2-guest table. Both areas include in-flight entertainment equipment. The total surface stands at 3.4 sq m/36.6 sq ft per person.

The new product is currently in development. Airbus estimates it could deliver, for aircraft integration, in 18 to 24 months. The actual lead time would depend “on the airline’s requirements complexity.”

From (EDS)’ standpoint, a benefit will be found in certification. The seat is much less complex than existing First Class seats, making it easier to meet the 16g-shock criterion in particular. The bed, meanwhile, will not be used during the climb or approach; safety requirements are thus not as stringent as for a seat.

As a result, Airbus (EDS) expects the weight of a complete Day & Night suite will be lower than that of a standard First Class seat.

June 2018: News Item A-1: Airbus' new Commercial Aircraft President Guillaume Cavaliere represented Airbus (EDS) at the (IATA) (AGM) in Sydney, Australia, June 3 to 5, 2018.

News Item A-2: "Airbus (EDS), (TAP) Air Portugal Prepare for A330neo Service Entry" by Thierry Dubois, (ATW) Plus June 20, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) and (TAP) Air Portugal have begun flying the 1st production A330neo to demonstrate its readiness for airline operations, as the program nears certification. The joint “route proving” flights, also known as function and reliability tests, are part of the work required by civil aviation authorities, according to Odile Jubecourt, Airbus (EDS)’ Head of the A330neo program. The flights began with a journey from Toulouse to Lisbon.

News Item A-3: "First A320 ACJneo Enters Final Assembly" by China Aviation Daily, June 27, 2018.

The 1st A320 ACJ neo has entered final assembly in Hamburg, marking the start of a new era in Airbus corporate jets.

Featuring the largest cabin in its class, the A320 ACJneo is due to be delivered to Acropolis Aviation of the UK in the last quarter, together with a 2nd aircraft, for Comlux (CLA) of Switzerland.

>300 A320neo Family airliners are already flying with carriers around the world, but deliveries of corporate jet versions are only just beginning.

Like the airliner versions, the A320 ACJneo Family features new-generation engines and Sharklets, which save around 15% in fuel and deliver a leap forward in range.

The resulting A320 ACJneo can fly 25 passengers 6,000 nm/11,100 km or 13 hours enabling routes such as London to Beijing or Cape Town and Moscow to Los Angeles, while the A319 ACJneo can fly 8 passengers 6,700 nm/12,500 km or 15 hours.

The hallmark of the A320 ACJneo Family is a wider and taller cabin than that of traditional business jets, while having a similar ramp-footprint and operating costs and better residual value.

A320 ACJneo Family differences from airliner variants include a cargo-hold that is reinforced to carry additional center tanks (ACTs) for intercontinental range, built-in airstairs for airport autonomy, and a lower cabin-altitude for passenger comfort.

Orders for the A320 ACJneo Family now total 9 aircraft, comprising 3 A319 ACJneo and 6 A320 ACJneo aircraft.

News Item A-4: See video "EDS-2018-06 New Airbus Stingray 950"

See video "EDS-2018-06 A380"

July 2018: News Item A-1: "Airbus, Boeing June Orders Quadruple; Deliveries at Record Levels" by (ATW) Mark Nensel (mark.nensel@informa.com), July 12, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) both saw significant new airplane order placements in June, representing approximately $44 billion in combined new business. The rival manufacturers delivered nearly the same number of new airplanes to their respective commercial airline and lessor customers, at about 80 airplanes each.

For Airbus (EDS), June’s orders quadrupled its May bookings, as 100 new aircraft were ordered from 4 airlines and 3 unidentified customers, valued at about $20.6 billion. (EDS)’ biggest June booking came as Turkish Airlines (THY) firmed a commitment for 25 A350-900 XWBs, valued at about $7.9 billion at list prices, representing (THY)’s 1st order of the wide body model type. An additional 10 A350-900s were ordered by an undisclosed customer, a $3.2 billion sale. Aegean Airlines (CRM) also made a major commitment with a June 26 order for 30 A320neo family aircraft, valued at about $3.5 billion, (CRM)’s 1st foray into Airbus’ neo family aircraft. Airbus made its 1st A330-900neo sale of the year June 4 with an order for 10 of the new engine option (neo) variant of the A330 wide body type from an undisclosed customer.

Boeing (TBC) firmed orders for a combined 157 new commercial airplanes from 1 identified airline customer (FedEx Express (FED)) and 5 unidentified customers, valued at approximately $24 billion (more than tripling the USA manufacturer’s 40 airplane bookings in May. (TBC)'s largest June order came from an unidentified customer, which on June 1 placed an order for 75 737 MAXs (variant unspecified), valued at about $8.8 billion.

FedEx Express (FED) placed an order for 20 new freighters on June 18 (11 767-300Fs and 9 777Fs), valued at about $5.3 billion. An additional 12 freighters were order by 2 separate unidentified customers (2 767-300Fs and 10 777Fs), generating another $3.8 billion in sales. And another 50 737 MAXs entered Boeing’s backlog during the month as 2 separate unidentified customers placed orders for the single-aisle type, valued at a combined $45.9 billion.

Airbus (EDS) edged Boeing (TBC) for June commercial airplane deliveries with 80 compared to (TBC)’s 79; (EDS) said it was a record month for deliveries. Irish lessor AerCap (DEA) took 8 A320neo family aircraft, including 4 A321neos bound for China Southern Airlines (GUN). Delta Air Lines (DAL) received 6 new aircraft (five A321ceos and an A350-900); UK-based (LCC) easyJet (EZY) took 3 A320ceos and 2 A320neos; and Hungary’s Wizz Air (WZZ) received 4 A320ceo family aircraft.

In addition to (DAL), 6 other airlines took delivery of Airbus’ A350 XWB aircraft during the month, including Cathay Pacific (CAT)’s 1st A350-1000 and Iberia (IBE)'s 1st A350-900. Airbus (EDS) said its delivery of 8 A350s kept (EDS) on track to reach its production target rate of 10 A350 XWBs per month by year-end 2018.

Boeing’s biggest delivery customer of the month was Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (SWA), which received 5 737-800s and 1 737 MAX (variant unspecified). USA lessor Air Lease Corporation (ALE) took delivery of 3 737 MAX family airplanes and 2 787-9s; and 4 new airplanes each were delivered to Air Canada (all 737 MAX family) and China Southern Airlines (GUN) (2 737-800s and 2 787-9s).

Year-to-date—minus deliveries to military, government, private or business jet customers (Boeing (TBC) has delivered 367 airplanes, compared to Airbus (EDS)’ 301.

News Item A-2: "Editorial: Recent Deals Reinforce Boeing - Airbus Duopoly" by (ATW) Karen Walker (ATWOnline), July 26, 2018.

If the extent to which the commercial aircraft supply landscape has changed was not fully apparent, the then-and-now environment became crystal clear at the Farnborough Air Show.

Airbus (EDS) was able to boost its total show orders and commitment tally with a 60-aircraft (MOU) for the newly-named A220. Before (EDS) took a majority stake in what was the Bombardier (BMB) CSeries aircraft program, that deal would have been credited to the original Canadian designer and manufacturer. But in July, the freshly-painted A220 sat on the static park outside the Airbus chalet in blue and white livery to match its expanded aircraft family.

Assuming Boeing (TBC) is able to complete its deal, announced just before Farnborough, to take an 80% stake in Embraer (EMB)’s commercial aircraft and services business, then by Le Bourget in June 2019, sales of (EMB) E-jets will be included in Boeing (TBC)’s show tally.

The consolidation from 4 to 2 airliner (OEM)s is not, of course, as drastic as it sounds. (EDS) and (TBC) have long held a duopoly in the narrow body and wide body markets. Nibbling on the outsides of the regional jet markets, (COMAC), Mitsubishi and Sukhoi have established niche customer bases, while ATR has a firm following in turboprop markets. But the newest, larger Bombardier (BMB) and Embraer (EMB) jets were by far the closest challenge to the narrow body markets that are dominated by the A320 and 737 families. Now they will be sold as lower-end extensions to the market, focused on routes best suited for 100- to 150-seat airliners.

That’s good news for the A220 and the E-Jet E2, which are excellent aircraft, and for the airlines worldwide that can exploit growing demand for high-quality service on regional routes. The Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) deals help secure the futures of those aircraft and the airlines that can, given the right equipment and cost base, operate them efficiently and competitively in niche markets.

But where Airbus and Boeing must tread carefully is in how they use their newly-reinforced duopoly in terms of long-term maintenance and service agreements. It’s no secret that each (OEM), taking a cue from the engine providers, sees its best revenue growth potential in service and support sales. Intense pressure from the airlines and lessors to provide the lowest possible aircraft price, makes the follow-on service agreement sale all the more compelling.

With new-generation aircraft, however, it’s all about the data; control access to the data and you control the process, and are best-positioned to profit from its outcome.

(EDS) and (TBC) should be wise in wielding such power and ensure a fair price for access to those that will maintain the global (MRO) industry’s health and competitiveness (including those airline customers that operate their own aftermarket support businesses. This duopoly should not evolve into a data-opoly).

News Item A-3: "Airbus, (CSALP) Transform CS300 into A220-300" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann July 10, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) and the CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) presented the 1st A220 (former Bombardier (BMB) CSeries aircraft) in its new livery in Toulouse on July 10. Airbus (EDS) took majority control of (CSALP) on July 1 and is marketing the A220 as part of its product line.

There are 402 firm orders for the A220. A total of 38 aircraft have been delivered to 3 airlines: airBaltic (BAU) (9), SWISS (CSR) (23) and Korean Air (KAL) (6). Airbus (EDS) predicts the market for aircraft of 100 to 150 seats is around 6,000 aircraft in 20 years. It includes the A319neo, A220-100 and A220-300 as well as competing aircraft in the size category. The A220-300 is powered by Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1500G) engines.

* "JetBlue’s A220 Decision Based on Flexibility, Economics" by Sean Broderick, (ATW) Plus, July 11, 2018.

JetBlue (JBL)'s choice of the just-rebranded Airbus A220 gives (JBL) significant operational flexibility starting next decade, but (JBL) insists it intends to keep its focus-city strategy and leverage the new aircraft’s economics to help drive bottom-line improvements without changing its growth plan.

(JBL) on July 10 announced a firm order for 60 A220-300s, which it said will be 1-for-1 replacements for its 100-seat, Embraer (EMB) E190-100s.

August 2018: News Item A-1: The 1st Airbus Corporate Jets ACJ320neo has been produced. It is registered as (D-AVVL) and will have its 1st flight in the coming weeks. Acropolis Aviation, a UK-based charter company, is the launch customer of the ACJ320neo and will take delivery of the aircraft this year.

News Item A-2: "How the A320 Overtook the 737, and (MRO) Implications.
Airbus and Boeing’s rivalry for the Narrow Body Market is Intense, and Just a Few Factors have been a Big Factor in the Competition for Orders So Far" by (ATW) Alex Derber, August 29, 2018.

By many measures, the Airbus A320 has become the most popular aircraft family in the world. Although there are about 100 more Boeing 737s in service world wide, that is only attributable to the existing fleet of Boeing’s legacy Classic equipment, while Airbus has sold more current-generation and new-engine narrow bodies.

According to the Aviation Week "Fleet & (MRO) Forecast," there are currently 7,251 current-generation A320-family aircraft in service, versus 6,757 737NGs. Through 2022, meanwhile, Aviation Week expects Airbus to deliver 3,174 A320neos compared with 2,999 Boeing 737 MAX airplane.

Airbus’ leapfrogging over Boeing in the most crucial segment of the aircraft market may owe as much to the European manufacturer’s marketing and strategic acumen as it does to the A320’s intrinsic qualities. In fact, the baseline 737-800 is marginally more popular with lessors and financiers than the A320, and when the numbers of each aircraft peak around 2020, there will be roughly +1,000 more 737-800s in service.

It is also worth noting that airlines rarely drop one manufacturer for another, due to the costs of switching fleets. Instead, Airbus has had great success selling A320s to startups in the booming low-cost carrier market around the world. The other big boost for the current-generation line was the A321, which has outsold its Boeing equivalent, the 737-900, by a margin of 3 to 1.

Likewise, the A321neo has dominated the large-capacity narrow body market against the 737-9 MAX. By 2022, Aviation Week expects there to be almost 3x- as many of the former aircraft in service, although Boeing is trying to win back some market share in this segment with the 737-10 MAX.

However, the Neo’s success has as much to do with timing as anything else. Embroiled in delays to the 787 program that were occupying most of its resources, Boeing belatedly launched the 737 MAX in August 2011, 6 months after the A320neo. That interval might seem trivial, but at the time, the market was desperate for a new narrow body. and Airbus had already racked up 1,000 orders for the Neo before Boeing announced the 737 MAX.

It is also sometimes argued that offering a choice of engines for Airbus narrow bodies (the (IAE) (V2500) and (CFM56) for the A320, the Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G) and (CFM) (Leap-1A) for the A320neo) make them more attractive to airlines and lessors than the 737NG or 737 MAX, which are limited to the (CFM56-7B) and (Leap-1B), respectively. However, while it is true that most of the big lessors have ordered the A320neo with both engine types, a lack of choice never hurt the biggest-selling airplane of all time, the 737-800. Furthermore, Boeing’s single choice has hardly been a poor one: The (CFM56-5B/7B) has proved to be astonishingly reliable, surpassing all expectations of airlines and even its manufacturer, while the (Leap) has suffered far fewer problems than the (PW1100G).

* Aftermarket Implications

Given the number of A320s in service, it is not surprising that operators in most parts of the world have a good choice of maintenance options for both airframes and engines. Maintenance check intervals for current-generation A320s are either flight-hour or calendar-based and range from A Checks at 750 flight hours to structural inspections at 6- and 12-year intervals.

Aviation Week calculates that A320-family maintenance will be worth about $20.6 billion in 2018, with work on current-generation A320s and A321s accounting for about three-quarters of the market. The value of A320neo maintenance, meanwhile, will rise from roughly $650 million in 2018 to about $3.3 billion in 2022, although even then the 1st big wave of heavy maintenance will still be a few years away.

It’s a different story for the A320, however, which has a huge installed base of midlife and mature equipment that is staying in service longer, thanks to low fuel prices over the past 5 years. Aviation Week estimates that the overall (MRO) market for all A320 models will grow by about one-fifth in the next 4 years, reaching $24.5 billion in 2022.

UK-based (MRO) Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MON) expects A320 maintenance volumes to grow +6% per year over the next 5 years, with modifications as well as overhauls likely to be in demand.

“The increase in aircraft entering the 2nd phase of their maintenance cycles will offer opportunities for (MRO) to supplement the Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) requirements with additional retrofit and cabin upgrade options,” said David Doherty, Head of Commercial Services for Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MON).

Maintenance costs are of course a notable part of any purchase decision by an airline. (MON) repairs the A320 and the 737NG, and Doherty says that turnaround times and maintenance costs are similar for both aircraft, although he also identifies “subtle differences” in the challenges posed by each.

“Sourcing spares materials from Airbus is marginally more expensive per check than for the Boeing product, but the supply chain for Airbus is more direct, which can translate into a lower logistical cost,” he said.

Doherty added that the 3rd-party spares market is less developed for the A320 than for the 737NG, although he believes this is changing as A320 operators are now benefiting from additional choice and lower material costs.

It is still too early to assess whether the A320neo or 737 MAX will offer lower life-cycle costs in the aftermarket, since engine maintenance could become more expensive if (OEM)s (CFM) and Pratt & Whitney (PRW) grab significantly more (MRO) business than they have on current-generation platforms.

The good news for operators, however, is that both manufacturers have said they are committed to an open maintenance market. In July, after pressure from the European Commission (EC), (CFM) signed a deal with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to that effect. Under the agreement, which covers (CFM56) and (Leap) engines, (CFM) promises to license its engine shop manual to an (MRO) facility even if it uses non-(CFM) parts; to permit the use of non-(CFM) parts or repairs by any licensee; and to grant airlines and 3rd-party overhaul facilities the right to use the (CFM) engine shop manual without a fee.

News Item A-3: See video of A380 (A6-EOL) slow motion takeoff:
and a "tricky A380 landing" video:

September 2018: News Item A-1: "Airbus Replaces Sales Chief After Less than a Year on the Job" by By Benjamin Katz, Bloomberg News, September 13, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) replaced its Head of Sales after less than a year on the job, adding to the rapid changeover at the top of the planemaker and highlighting the challenge of filling the shoes of larger-than-life predecessor John Leahy.

Eric Schulz, who joined the European planemaker from Rolls-Royce (RRC) Holdings, will be succeeded by Christian Scherer, 56, an Airbus (EDS) veteran who has held different positions inside the company, most recently as head of regional aircraft unit (ATR).

Schulz is leaving Boeing-rival Airbus (EDS) for personal reasons, and (EDS) regrets his decision. The change at the crucial post comes as (EDS) grapples with issues on its best-selling A320 single-aisle family that has been hurt by engine design flaws. Schulz was named to the post in late November last year and was selected for his deep knowledge of the aviation industry, having worked at (RRC) and earlier at USA-based Goodrich (BFG). His tenure included a $62 billion order haul at the Farnborough Air Show in July (though just a fraction of that has since materialized on the planemaker’s order book).

His short stint in the role contrasts with Leahy’s reign that stretched over two decades, outlasting other executives at the top of Airbus and a line of successions at Boeing. L eahy is considered 1 of the most astute salesmen in the industry, having presided over Airbus’ rise over the years to form a de-facto duopoly with Boeing in the commercial aviation market.

Airbus stock dropped 1% to 105.64 euros in Paris, after declining as much as 2.4% following the revelation of Schulz’s departure, 1st reported by "Reuters." The stock has gained 27% this year, while Boeing is up 21%.

Before Schulz took over, Scherer had been considered a favorite to get the post (even throwing his own name into the ring by touting his achievements at Airbus). Scherer said last year that he “grew up” at Airbus, having gone to school in the company’s hometown of Toulouse and rising through the ranks of Airbus over 35 years.

Finding a successor for Leahy was a complex process from the start. His designated replacement, Kiran Rao, was counted out of the running as Airbus endures an investigation into possible bribery allegations.

“With Christian Scherer, we see one of our most customer-focused leaders at the commercial helm of Airbus,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Enders said. “Over his various assignments I greatly valued his international mindset, his strategic vision, and tremendous commercial expertise.”

Enders himself is due to step down in coming months, adding to a string of departures as Airbus restructures amid the probe by UK and French fraud offices. That’s included Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm, who will leave with the (CEO), while its head of commercial aircraft Fabrice Bregier was replaced last year with former helicopters chief Guillaume Faury.

This latest change is “a useful reminder that replacing the top echelon of management at any company is never an easy exercise,” said Sandy Morris, an analyst at Jefferies International.

News Item A-2: Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) plans to ramp up its fleet with +17 more wide body deliveries by the end of next year, primarily consisting of Airbus A350-1000s. (CAT) revealed in its latest fleet update that it expects to receive another 6 A350-1000s this year, adding to the 2 already delivered. 4 more are scheduled for delivery in 2019. The airline is set to add 2 of the smaller A350-900s next year, giving it 24 of this variant.

News Item A-3: Turkish Airlines (THY) has taken possession of its 1st A321neo (A321-271NX (8155, D-AZAQ), the 1st fitted with the Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF) option, which adds a single pair of doors forward of the wing, 4 over-wing exits, and repositioned doors aft of the wing to accommodate up to 240 seats in a single class arrangement.

News Item A-4: "A320neo Engine Vibration Issue Hits Lufthansa Operations" Aviation Week, 2018-09.

A newly emerging issue around increased engine vibrations is severely affecting utilization of the Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G)-powered Airbus A320neo in-service fleet and threatens to slow Airbus (EDS)’s recovery from delivery delays. Higher-than-usual geared turbofan engine vibrations are noticed after <1,000 flight hours in some cases. They become more intense over time and ultimately require an engine change. Pilots (FC) are receiving engine vibration alerts in the climb phase at higher power settings in particular, and the vibrations subside in the later phases of flights.

Operations have been hit hard. The vibration issue is by far the biggest problem [for the A320neo fleet]. A320neos have accumulated a combined 254 days of ground time since it took delivery of its 1st aircraft, 13x- worse than for its A320ceos. Engine issues were behind 78% of the additional ground time. Lufthansa (DLH) has made 14 unscheduled engine changes on the Neos due to a variety of reasons including the vibrations. Lufthansa (CEO) Carsten Spohr has said (DLH) has only received half of the A320neos it was promised by now. And those only fly 50% of the block hours that would be typical for an A320ceo. The vibrations require extra maintenance and lead to accelerated engine wear and tear. At (DLH), all in-service Neos are affected because (DLH) is moving engines around after maintenance checks to keep at least part of the fleet in the air. (DLH) received its 13th A320neo this month.

An airline source told Aviation Week that Airbus (EDS) plans to have its 1st update about the root cause by the end of November and a more in-depth analysis by year-end. (PRW) "has been addressing a small number of (PW1100G-JM) engines impacted by transitory engine vibration. Working closely with customers, (PRW) has put in place procedures to minimize impact to their operations."

The (FAA) said it is “aware” of the issue and is working with (PRW) on the cause. "It’s too soon in the process to begin talking about whether or not we will issue an Airworthiness Directive (AD)." The (EASA) did not immediately respond to questions on the matter. (EDS) also did not comment.

Although no details have emerged about the suspected source of the issue, engine vibration-monitoring sensors are typically mounted over bearings. In addition, accelerometers are traditionally located around potential high-vibration areas including the fan casing, compressor stages and combustion chambers.

In addition to adding a new challenge for affected airlines, the issue threatens to put more pressure on (PRW)'s production and spares resources. The (PW1100G) program has been plagued with various durability and operational issues since it entered service. The vibration problems will put additional strain on the spares pool, but quicker availability of engines for the A320neo family is key to Airbus (EDS)’ target of delivering 800 or more aircraft in 2018.

Since they were introduced, (EDS) had delivered a total of 335 A320neos and 68 A321neos through July. In the 1st 7 months of 2018, (EDS) handed over 106 A320neos and 48 A321neos.

Meanwhile, the (FAA) on September 7 planned to publish a proposed rule detailing manufacturing defects in some (PW1100G-JM) low-pressure turbine (LPT) disks. The (FAA) said it "received a report that multiple (LPT) 1st- and 3rd-stage disks were delivered before the ingot lot was rejected due to material inclusion. The suspect disks may include defects that may have not been discovered during inspections." The proposed rule lists 16 serial numbers of disks that must be removed before 2,240 cycles since new for affected Stage 1 disks or 4,000 cycles since new for affected Stage 3 disks.

October 2018: News Item A-1: The Airbus A321neo has won joint approval for long-range operations from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the (FAA), paving the way for flexible long-range operations for its launch customers. Airbus said up to 3 underfloor additional center tanks (ACTs) are now certified on the A321neo, including for (ETOPS) operation. “This latest milestone is 1 of various A321neo capability options, which when combined, allow the A321LR version to fly up to 4,000 nm.

News Item A-2: "Airbus Hit by More A321neo, A321LR Delays" by Thierry Dubois ((ATW) Plus) (thierry.dubois@informa.com), October 15, 2018.

Airbus (EDS) has informed A321neo and A321LR customers of a delivery delay of several weeks. While engine delivery issues have been gradually easing up, (EDS) has faced customization challenges that explain the lack of progress overall on the highest-capacity members of the A320neo family.

Various configurations (involving choices, such as seats and in-flight entertainment) are available. Each time a new 1 enters the production phase, a problem may appear in wiring installation, for example, a spokesperson explained.

But the issue is “short term” and the 1st long-range A321LR, a variant designed for transatlantic flights, will enter service “in the 4th quarter,” as planned.

(CFM) International’s (LEAP-1A) and Pratt & Whitney (PRW)’s geared turbofan (GTF) engine, the (PW1100G-JM), are engine choices for the neo, and Airbus (EDS) said delays were occurring with both engines.

“The combination of the number of stored A320 aircraft due to engine issues and the ambitious ramp-up of our A320 family manufacturing, including several A321 heads of version with new customized cabins, has led to some rescheduling of aircraft delivery plans,” (EDS) said.

Additionally, (EDS) has hired a new manager. Liebherr Aerospace’s former Chief Technology Officer Heiko Lutjens from October 15 will lead the transition to series production and the ramp-up of the A321neo and A321LR. His new position encompasses all aspects from customized engineering to methods, tools, planning, production and the final assembly line. He reports to Klaus Roewe, Head of the A320neo family program.

Airbus has delivered 471 A320neo family aircraft since early 2016.

News Item A-3: Rolls-Royce (RRC) has acknowledged it has fallen behind on (Trent 7000) shipments to Airbus (EDS) that will cause knock-on delays to A330neo deliveries later this year and into 2019. News of the (Trent 7000) setback comes on the heels of fresh complaints from operators affected by extended (Trent 1000)-related groundings of Boeing 787s. (RRC) shares value lost as much as 14% on the news and at one point declined so precipitously that trading was suspended temporarily.

News Item A-4: Airbus (EDS) has Delta Air Lines (DAL) contract to provide Skywise predictive maintenance services for about 400 A320s and A330s; data is collected from aircraft via new (FOMAX) exchangers.

November 2018: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) delivered 81 aircraft (2 A220s; 19 A320ceos; 48 A320neos; 3 A330s; 9 A350s) in October 2018 vs 63 in October 2017, and booked an order from an unidentified customer for 8 A330-900s.

(EDS) commercial aircraft orders made a significant rebound in October as it reported firm bookings for 85 aircraft, valued at around $13.4 billion. It was (EDS)’ best month for orders since June and included (EDS)’ largest order from a single commercial airline customer of 2018 to-date.

On October 26, Vietnamese carrier VietJet Air (VJE) firmed an order for 50 A321neos, valued at approximately $6.5 billion, originally placed as an (MOU) at the Farnborough Air Show in July. The new order increased the number of A320 family aircraft ordered by (VJE) to 171, of which 46 have already been delivered.

The October tally brings (EDS)’ gross commercial aircraft order total for 2018 to 394 aircraft. Subtracting reported cancellations, (EDS) has a net total of 338 new commercial aircraft on order for the year through October 31.

Airbus (EDS)’ other major orders booked in October included 17 A320neos from Lufthansa (DLH), 8 A330-800s from Kuwait Airways (KUW) and an order for 10 A330-900s from an undisclosed customer.

Boeing (TBC), meanwhile, recorded new bookings for 17 airplanes in October, valued at about $3.4 billion. (TBC)’s largest order for the month came from Indian carrier Vistara (VST) for 6 787-9s, valued at $1.7 billion. Through October 31, however, (TBC)’s order tally nearly doubled that of Airbus (EDS), with a gross total of 785 new airplane orders. Subtracting cancellations, (TBC)’s net total of new airplanes ordered for the year through October 31 came to 606.

In October deliveries, Airbus (EDS) also took the lead with 80 commercial aircraft placed with 39 customers, compared to Boeing’s 56 deliveries. (EDS) delivered 67 A320 family aircraft, of which 48 were A320/A321neos; 9 A350s; 2 A330s and 2 A220s (including the 1st A220 provided to a USA carrier, Delta Air Lines (DAL); Latvia’s airBaltic (BAU) took the other A220).

Boeing delivered 56 airplanes to 37 customers during the month, including 22 737 MAXs, 17 737-800s, 12 787 family airplanes, 3 737-900ERs and 2 freighters. China Eastern Airlines (CEA) took delivery of 4 airplanes (3 737-800s and 1 787-9), Boeing’s highest delivery customer for the month.

Through October 31, Boeing delivered 643 commercial aircraft in 2018, compared to Airbus’ 578.

News Item A-2: "Airbus A330-800 Completes 1st Flight Over France" by Kurt Hofmann (hofmann.aviation@netway.at), November 6, 2018.

An Airbus (EDS) A330-800 test aircraft completed its maiden flight on November 6 from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport over SW France, which lasted 4 hours and 4 minutes.

The aircraft (1888) was an A330neo powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines. According to (EDS), the A330-800’s development program will include around 300 flight-test hours, paving the way for certification in 2019. Its sibling, the larger A330-900 family member, recently completed its development testing and certification program.

The A330neo comprises 2 versions: the A330-800 and A330-900. Both wide body aircraft incorporate new (RRC) (Trent 7000) engines, nacelle, titanium pylon, new wings and offer Airspace by Airbus passenger experience. The larger A330-900 will accommodate up to 287 seats in a typical 3-class layout, while the A330-800 typically will seat 257 passengers in 3 classes. Kuwait Airways (KUW), which placed a firm order for 8 of the type, will be the 1st carrier to operate the latest A330 variant.

Airbus (EDS) Head of A330 Marketing Crawford Hamilton said the A330-800 is 58.82 m/193 ft long and is 5 m shorter than the A330-900, which made its 1st flight on October 19, 2017. The A330-800 offers a range of 7,500 nm compared to 6,550 nm for the A330-900. (EDS) said it has 224 A330neo firm orders from 14 customers.

(TAP) Air Portugal will take delivery of the 1st A330-900 soon. Brazil’s Azul (AZL) will be the next airline to take 5 of the type, which Dublin-based lessor Avolon will supply, by year-end.

According to Airbus (EDS), there are 23 A330neos in production.

Airbus Head Development Flight Testing Jean-Philippe Cottet said the A330neo program has completed most certifications. 3 A330-900 test aircraft have operated 1,400 flight hrs with a total of 440 flights.

(EASA) certification was achieved September 26. “This was a very short test campaign for a new aircraft. (FAA) certification should be done by the end of this year,” Airbus A330neo Chief Engineer Francois Kubica said. Another A330neo version with a 251-ton maximum takeoff weight) should enter service in mid-2020; it will deliver an extra range of 650 nm.

News Item A-3: Delta Air Lines (DAL) Behind Anonymous A330neo Order.

(DAL) previously had 25 of each type of plane on order but now (DAL) wants to overlook their long-haul expansion. “The A330-900 is going to be an important addition to (DAL)’s fleet,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s (CEO). “Airbus (EDS) has infused this next generation of the successful A330 family with new technology and features providing advanced levels of comfort for our passengers and significant operating cost reductions that will make our airline stronger in the decades to come.”

“Expanding our A330neo order not only ensures that (DAL)’s near-to-medium-term wide body needs are taken care of but also drives our strategic, measured international growth,” said Gil West, (DAL)’s Chief Operating Officer (COO).

“Operational efficiency and an exceptional passenger experience are core to (DAL)’s successful recipe, and it speaks volumes that they have chosen the A330-900,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). “(DAL) has been endorsing the Airbus wide-body family from the outset by committing to both the A330 and the A350. We are listening to our customers and proud to be in the position to flexibly respond to their fleet requirements for more A330s and equally appreciate the ongoing commitment for more A350s as part of their long-term growth strategy.”

The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s (RRC) new (Trent 7000) engine, which offers fuel savings. But it has suffered delays as (RRC) focuses on fixing extensive problems on a similar model that powers the Boeing 787.

News Item A-4: "Air France Announces Intention to Reduce A380 Fleet" by John McDeremott, November 23, 2018.

Air France (AFA) has revealed its intention to reduce its Airbus A380 fleet. (AFA) currently operates 10 of the A380s, but at least 2 will leave (AFA) after their lease contracts expire at the end of 2019. (AFA) will retain the 5 A380s that it owns because it could be difficult to find customers to take the planes secondhand.

No decision has been announced on the fate of the remaining 3 leased planes, but (AFA) might keep them to streamline operations. The lease contracts of 2 of the planes end in 2021. There are several reasons for the reduction. (AFA) argues that it doesn’t operate to enough destinations that demand the capacity that the A380 offers. Even if a route does offer enough demand, operating an A380 means flying 1 frequency instead of 2, which could drive passengers away if scheduling requires a different departure or arrival time. The A380 is also an inefficient jet. Per seat, it is more expensive to operate an A380 than it is to operate an A330, A350, Boeing 777, or Boeing 787.

(AFA) will redo the cabins on A380s that it will keep for longer periods. Current Business Class (C) seats will be swapped for lie-flat beds. The airline industry has a love-hate relationship with the A380. Singapore Airlines (SIA) has started releasing planes just 10 years after taking them, relatively early for long-haul planes; Thai Airways (TII) is considering ceasing A380 operation. Meanwhile, British Airways (BAB) has expressed an interest in the A380 should the purchase price drop, and Emirates (EAD), which operates >100 A380s, recently confirmed an order for +32 more.

News Item A-5: Airbus (EDS) is confident the A330neo will gain “more traction” in the market once airlines were able to verify the aircraft’s in-service performance, now that (TAP) Air Portugal has taken delivery of the 1st A330-900. “It has gained some traction already this year,” Airbus Commercial Aircraft President Guillaume Faury said, describing the position of the aircraft as “robust.”

News Item A-6: Airbus (EDS) announced America’s 1st A320neo full flight simulator (FFS), which was produced by (L3) Commercial Aviation, has achieved (FAA) Level D certification at its new training center in Denver, Colorado. (L3) is also supplying the (EDS) facility with an additional (FFS) and 2 flat panel training devices for the A320 model.

News Item A-7: Air Lease Corporation (ALE) has a lease agreement from India’s Vistara (VST) for 15 (LEAP)-powered A320neo family aircraft, which includes 9 A320-200neos and 6 A321-200neos, for delivery in 2020 to 2022.

News Item A-8: See video of A330neo:

See video of 1st ACJ320neo flight at Hamburg on November 16. See also

December 2018: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) delivered 89 aircraft (2 A220s; 71 A320s; 3 A330s; 11 A350s; 2 A380s) in November 2018 vs 74 (54 A320s; 5 A330s; 11 A350s; 4 A380s) in November 2017.

News Item A-2: "Airbus Scores 100 A320neos Order From Avolon" by "Airways" News, December 2018.

Airbus (EDS) has received a tremendous order from Irish aircraft lessor Avolon (AZV), consisting on 75 A320neos and 25 A321neos, worth $11.5 billion at current list prices. This 100-plane order has become (AZV)’s largest-ever booking, which will start seeing deliveries in 2023.

(AZV), owned in part by the same Chinese conglomerate that controls Hainan Airlines (HNA), has confirmed the accord that had been previously announced at the Farnborough Air Show 2018.

With these 100 planes, (AZV)’ bill with Airbus climbs to 284 planes. Up to date, 22 narrow bodies and 4 wide bodies have been delivered, keeping about 262 planes (A320neo, A330neo, and A350XWB) on backlog for future handovers. The new order for 100 aircraft, together with the 22 single aisles and 4 wide bodies already delivered, increases (AVS)' Airbus (EDS) backlog to 258 (the largest of any lessor).

This is indeed excellent news for Airbus (EDS) and its new Chief Commercial Officer, Christian Scherer. “We continue to see robust demand from our customers for the A320neo family globally,” he explained, which is consistent with “our own market research and global fleet forecast.” (EDS) had somewhat struggled to keep the sales momentum that Scherer’s predecessor, John Leahy, had managed to attain during his tenure at the helm of (EDS)’ Sales department. “This order underscores the market appetite