Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Airbus completes allocation of A350 XWB airframe work packages to China


CAC Commercial Aircraft Company (CCAC), one of the major aviation industry companies in China, today signed a contract with Airbus for the work package of A350 XWB spoilers and droop panels. With this new contract, Airbus has now completed the allocation of the five percent A350 XWB airframe to be manufactured in China.

The contract was signed today in Beijing by Klaus Richter, Airbus Executive Vice President Procurement, and Wang Guangya, President and Chairman of CAC, the holding company of CCAC, and Chairman of CCAC.

Carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) is extensively used on A350 XWB spoiler and droop panels. Innovative processes include the Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process on the Centre Hinge Fitting that attaches the spoiler to the wing structure.

Airbus (Beijing) Engineering Centre (ABEC), a joint venture of Airbus in China, will be involved in the design activities relating to this work package.

While CCAC will become the sole supplier of the A350 XWB spoilers and droop panels, FACC AG, an Austria based leading company specialising in the development, design and manufacture of composite components and systems for civil aircraft will be responsible, under a separate contract, for the definition of the industrial process. Airbus worldwide industrial standards will be applied for the assessment of the products and the training of employees.

“We are proud to be involved in the latest Airbus aircraft programme. With this contract, we have reached our objective to be part of a global aeronautical manufacturing chain. We have long been a supplier to Airbus and have been a partner in several cooperation projects with Airbus. We cherish this opportunity very much to cooperate with Airbus and with FACC,” said Wang Guangya, President and Chairman of CAC and Chairman of CCAC.

“With this work package, we have accomplished our commitment to manufacture five percent of the A350 XWB airframe in China,” said Klaus Richter, Airbus Executive Vice President, Procurement. “Besides, this is also an important step forward for Airbus to develop a truly global industrial and engineering footprint, which helps Airbus to create a competitive cost base and access talented global resources,” he added.

Cathay Pacific Airways firms up order for 30 A350 XWBs

Cathay Pacific Airways has firmed up a previously announced commitment for 30 all-new A350 XWB long range aircraft. The purchase agreement was finalised in Hong Kong today by Tony Tyler, Chief Executive, Cathay Pacific Airways and John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Cathay Pacific will operate the A350 XWB across its route network, principally on non-stop services to Europe. Featuring an all-new design, the aircraft will represent a step change in operational efficiency, burning significantly less fuel than existing aircraft of a similar size and offering a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions. For passengers, the extra wide cabin will offer the highest standards in in-flight comfort, with a spacious interior design, new, wider windows and the latest state-of-the-art amenities.

Mr Tyler said: “I am delighted that we have now finalised this milestone deal for Cathay Pacific. The purchase of these new generation aircraft is an important step in our plan to grow our fleet to ensure that we stay at the forefront of the industry. The A350 fits perfectly into our operation. Its passenger capacity, flight range and operating economics are just right to become the backbone of our mid-sized long haul wide-bodied fleet."

“We are extremely pleased to have finalised this order with one of the world's most prestigious and well-managed airlines," said John Leahy. "The selection of the A350 XWB by Cathay Pacific is a clear endorsement of the aircraft’s compelling advantages over the competing product, with lower  fuel-burn, reduced operating costs and a wider, more comfortable cabin. We look forward to the aircraft playing a key role in enabling Cathay to remain at the forefront of the industry with one of the cleanest and most modern fleets in the world."

The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) Family is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three basic passenger versions seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. Scheduled for entry-into-service in 2013, the A350 Family is already one of most successful aircraft programmes ever, with a total of 558 firm orders already received from 34 customers worldwide.

Libyan Airlines receives its first new Airbus A320

Libyan Airlines, part of the Libyan Aviation Holding Company, has taken delivery of its first new Airbus A320 aircraft from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France. The new aircraft, the first of seven on order, will be equipped with On Air in-flight connectivity services allowing passengers to stay in touch with colleagues, family and friends while they travel.

Powered by CFM engines the aircraft will be operated on domestic and regional routes from the airlines hub in Tripoli, Libya.

The aircraft is fitted with several rows of convertible seats that enable the carrier to choose a variety of cabin configurations depending on their requirements. These range from the standard two class configuration with 32 business class seats and 108 economy class seats to an all economy cabin seating 156 passengers.

 “Libyan Airlines strives to continuously improve the flying experience for our customers” said Captain Sabri, Chairman of Libyan Aviation Holding Company. “Our new A320, offering the best cabin comfort, and equipped with state of the art connectivity will bring unprecedented levels of service to our market. This is a major milestone in the history of Libyan Airlines.”

“The A320 is the most modern, efficient and comfortable single aisle aircraft available on the market” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “We look forward to working with Libyan Airlines as they continue their fleet renewal and expansion.”

Airbus aircraft share a unique cockpit and operational commonality, allowing airlines to use the same pool of pilots, cabin crews and maintenance engineers, bringing operational flexibility and resulting in significant cost savings.
In the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), Airbus has sold around 1000 aircraft and has a backlog of over 500. More than 500 Airbus aircraft are flying with 48 MENA operators, representing around 40% percent of the fleet in service in the region.

The A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. With over 6,600 aircraft sold, and more than 4,300 aircraft delivered to some 310 customers and operators worldwide, the A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. With 99.7 per cent reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the worldwide standard wide-body system.

Airbus employees celebrate 40 Years of Innovation with their families

In a tremendous event encompassing five sites in Toulouse, Airbus celebrates today ‘40 Years of Innovation’ in Toulouse together with some 145,000 employees, families and friends. Airbus top management and Airbus pioneers deliver moving testimonies that marked some of the major steps through the manufacturer’s 40 year history.

“Our comprehensive family of aircraft has revolutionised aviation and its continued success in the market worldwide has led us to our global leadership position today. Over 40 years, Airbus people have developed break-through technologies and innovations that have become world standards. Today is the day to celebrate this together with our employees, their families and friends here at our sites around Toulouse,” explains Tom Enders.

On May 29th, 2009, Airbus started a series of milestone-events to mark its 40th anniversary. Airbus has organised Family Days for its employees so far at 15 sites around the world.

Family Days give employees, their families and friends the opportunity to discover the different professions in aeronautics, to visit all Airbus’ premises, to watch exceptional flying displays and to visit the whole range of Airbus aircraft.

Today’s Family Day is the first time ever that Airbus’ Toulouse sites are opened to the public all together. More than 3000 volunteers are supporting the event organisation and are animating conferences, stands and visits. Exceptional static and flying displays are organised demonstrating Airbus’ history of non-stop innovation and technology leadership.

On the occasion of the Toulouse Family Day, an exceptional company event, Airbus has presented its new logo, unveiled by EADS on Friday Sept 17. EADS is strengthening its branding with a modernized visual identity throughout the entire EADS Group. The Airbus’ logo maintains its strong and symbolic icon combined with a new modern 3D look.

Airbus today is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Airbus has delivered more than 6,300 aircraft to over 420 customers and operators worldwide and boasts a healthy backlog of around 3,400 aircraft for delivery over the coming years. Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China, Japan and in the Middle East.

Malaysia Airlines orders two more A330-200F freighters

Malaysia Airlines has placed a firm order with Airbus for two more A330-200F freighters, following the conversion of two existing options. The latest contract increases the airline's firm orders for the type to four, all of which will be operated by the carrier's subsidiary MASkargo. The aircraft will be powered by PW4000 engines from Pratt & Whitney.

"We are confident that the A330-200F is set to become a game changer in the mid-size freighter market," said MASkargo Managing Director, Shahari Sulaiman. "The aircraft will enable MASkargo to efficiently match capacity closely to demand on many medium lift sectors across our cargo network, and especially those operating via intra Asia."

"This additional order underscores the increasing popularity of the new A330-200F as it enters airline service," said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus. "With this aircraft we are bringing new levels of efficiency to the freighter market and we are extremely pleased that MASkargo will be one of the early operators of the type."

The A330-200F is the latest addition to the highly successful A330 Family. Offering the lowest operating costs in its size category, it is the only modern mid-size, long haul, all-cargo aircraft capable of carrying 65 tonnes over 4,000nm/7,400km or 70 tonnes over 3,200nm/5,900km.

Lufthansa Group to order 40 Airbus aircraft worth $4.3 billion

Lufthansa’s Supervisory Board has approved the acquisition of 40 Airbus aircraft worth approximately US$4.3 billion. These aircraft are destined for Lufthansa, plus two of the Group’s subsidiary airlines: SWISS and Germanwings. The orders comprise: 20 A320 Family aircraft and three A330-300s for Lufthansa; four A320 Family aircraft and five A330-300s for SWISS; and eight A319s for Germanwings. With this order, the Lufthansa Group, Airbus’s biggest airline customer, will have acquired a combined total of 410 Airbus aircraft.

“Our decision to acquire additional Airbus aircraft is testament not only to their advantageous operating costs, reliability and performance, but also to our long-standing partnership with Airbus,” says Nico Buchholz, Lufthansa’s Executive Vice President, Group Fleet Management. He adds: These Airbus aircraft will provide eco-efficiency, seamless comfort, passenger appeal and operational synergies across the Lufthansa Group.”

“We are proud that Lufthansa Group has again chosen Airbus aircraft to strengthen its fleet,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “Lufthansa, SWISS and Germanwings will all benefit from full operational flexibility and commonality thanks to the Airbus Family concept. We are confident that these efficient and modern aircraft will continue to contribute to their success.”

Today Lufthansa Group is Airbus’ biggest operator worldwide with around 325 Airbus aircraft currently in service. These include: 227 A320 Family; 30 A330s; 65 A340s; and three A380s. In addition to this latest decision for 40 aircraft, the Lufthansa Group has an order backlog of a further 51 Airbus aircraft to be delivered. These include 36 A320 Family, three A330s, and 12 A380s.

The A320 single-aisle Family, specialising on short to medium-haul sectors, has established itself as the industry standard for passenger comfort and offers the lowest-operating cost per seat. Over 6,600 have been sold and around 4,400 delivered to more than 300 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world’s best-selling commercial jetliner ever.

Meanwhile, the versatile A330 Family specialises in medium to long ranges and combines high comfort standards, interior flexibility and superior economics with exceptional operational reliability exceeding 99 per cent. Encompassing the A330-200 and A330-300 passenger versions and now also the dedicated A330-200 Freighter, the A330 is the most popular wide-body commercial aircraft in its category, with a combined order total exceeding 1,100.

Air China confirms deal for four 777-300ERs

Boeing has confirmed that Air China ordered the four 777-300ERs that it added to its backlog last week as those from an undisclosed customer.
Earlier this month, Air China said that it had signed a purchase agreement for the twin-jets, putting the value of the transaction at $1.15 billion excluding concessions. Delivery would be over the 2013-14 period, the Star Alliance member added. That deal has been confirmed, say Boeing and Air China.
The Beijing-based carrier says that 777-300ERs will be the "backbone" of its long-haul fleet.
"The airplane's high efficiency and performance features will enable Air China to launch more direct long-haul routes to meet the increasing demand of our passengers," adds Fan Cheng, Air China's vice-president.
All 777-300ERs are equipped with General Electric GE90 powerplants.

Boeing NewGen Tanker Win Would Bring 11,000 Jobs, $693 Million to 

EVERETT, Wash., Sept. 27, 2010 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that the state of Washington will benefit from an estimated 11,000 total jobs and generate an estimated $693 million in annual economic impact if the Boeing NewGen Tanker is selected as the U.S. Air Force’s next aerial refueling aircraft.
Boeing submitted its proposal July 9 to replace 179 of the Air Force's 400 Eisenhower-era KC-135 aircraft. The Air Force is expected to award a contract later this year.
"The Boeing team in Washington state has an outstanding track record meeting the needs of U.S. warfighters by delivering the finest military derivatives of commercial aircraft in the world," said Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. "I am confident that the thousands of men and women at Boeing and our suppliers working on the NewGen Tanker will carry on that same tradition of excellence for many years to come."
"One of the great strengths of Boeing is our unique ability to form teams made up of both commercial and defense personnel to find innovative and best-value solutions for our customers," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Nowhere is this more apparent than here in Puget Sound, where we have been supporting both commercial and military customers for nearly 100 years."
Currently, Boeing has 72,000 employees in Washington and works with more than 2,700 suppliers/vendors, delivering a total $3.3 billion in annual economic impact.
The NewGen Tanker is a widebody, multi-mission aircraft based on the proven Boeing 767 commercial airplane and updated with the latest and most advanced technology. Capable of fulfilling the Air Force's needs for transport of fuel, cargo, passengers and patients, the combat-ready NewGen Tanker will meet or exceed the 372 mandatory requirements described in the service’s final KC-X Request for Proposal released Feb. 24.
The NewGen Tanker will be made with a low-risk approach to manufacturing that relies on existing Boeing facilities in Washington state and Kansas as well as U.S. suppliers throughout the nation, with decades of experience delivering dependable military tanker and derivative aircraft. Nationwide, the NewGen Tanker program will support approximately 50,000 total U.S. jobs with Boeing and more than 800 suppliers in more than 40 states.
The Boeing NewGen Tanker also will be more cost-effective to own and operate than a larger, heavier tanker. It will save American taxpayers more than $10 billion in fuel costs over its 40-year service life because it burns 24 percent less fuel than the competitor's airplane.
Boeing has been designing, building, modifying and supporting tankers for decades. These include the KC-135 that will be replaced in the KC-X competition, and the KC-10 fleet. The company also has delivered four KC-767Js to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and is on contract to deliver four KC-767As to the Italian Air Force.
The Boeing Aerial Refueling Technology demonstrator (BART) will be on display at Westlake Park (401 Pine St.) in Seattle on Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. BART’s tour schedule is available at More information on Boeing’s NewGen Tanker, including video clips and an interactive tour of the aircraft, is available at For more information on joining the company’s efforts, visit
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

Southwest plans to keep AirTran’s Boeing 717 fleet

Southwest executives have confirmed that it plans to operate AirTran's 86 Boeing 717s once its acquisition of AirTran closes and the Atlanta-hubbed carrier is folded into the Southwest brand.
Southwest today unveiled plans to acquire AirTran through a combination of cash and common stock.
Both carriers operate the 737-700, and Southwest is evaluating adding the larger -800 to its fleet. Southwest also operates 737-300s/500s.
During a call with media to discuss the acquisition Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said the carrier has decided it wants to keep and operate the 717, and will operate the smaller aircraft in a single 117-seat configuration. Currently AirTran operates its 117-seat 717s in a dual class offering.
Kelly acknowledges the addition of the 717 requires a different type crew rating and establishing how the aircraft is scheduled into operations. But he believes the 86 aircraft offer enough scale and says Southwest has the ability to incorporate the aircraft into its fleet cost effectively.
"Our pilots have looked at it [the 717] and like it," Kelly states. The aircraft will also allow Southwest to operate in markets too small to support its 737 fleet.
Southwest's chief says the carrier is not prepared to make a decision on adding the larger -800 to its fleet. "We hope to make a decision soon," he says. Previously Southwest indicated it would decide on adding -800s in December and has negotiated a tentative deal with its flight attendants to operate the aircraft.
Commenting on the impetus to acquire AirTran Kelly states that after a tumultuous last couple of years in 2010 Southwest is finally comfortably profitable enough to strategically think about its future by examining its technology, fleet and possible acquisitions. Today he revealed Southwest also plans to replace its reservation system.

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