Airbus has discovered a lucrative niche for its Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) family, and charter operators are happy with the OEM's executive/VIP contribution to the market. In a press conference yesterday, Airbus announced that 10 charter providers representing seven countries are now operating a total fleet of 15 aircraft from the ACJ family; a mix of A318 Elites, ACJs (A319s) and A320 Prestiges. Francois Chazelle, v-p of worldwide sales
Lufthansa Group’s Supervisory Board has approved the acquisition of 40 Airbus aircraft worth some $4.3 billion, the European airframer announced today. Planned to fly with Lufthansa and two of the group’s subsidiaries, the batch of airplanes consists of 20 A320-family jets and three A330-300s for Lufthansa, four A320-family aircraft and five A330-300s for Swiss and eight A319s for Germanwings.
Airbus will raise the monthly production rate of its A320-family aircraft to 38 per month in August 2011 and to 40 per month in first quarter 2012, the company announced today. The company currently turns out 34 A320s per month and plans to raise that its rate to 36 this coming December. A330/A340-family production remains at 8.5 per month.
Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut signed a memorandum of understanding with Ilyushin Finance at Farnborough for the sale of 50 MC-21 airliners, Irkut’s first announced orders, albeit MOUs. MOUs don’t strictly count until they become firm orders backed by substantial deposits, but it’s a start. Before the airshow, Irkut reported only interest from Russian and Western airlines.
A single Dutch child out of 104 occupants survived this morning’s crash of an Afriqiya Airways Airbus A330-200 in Tripoli, Libya, the airline confirmed today. The Airbus, operating scheduled service as Flight 8U771 from Johannesburg to Tripoli, crashed short of the runway on approach at about 6 a.m. local time.
Airbus plans to increase the monthly production rate for its single-aisle A320 family from the current rate of 34 to 36 starting in December, the company announced today. It also said that the production rate for the long-range A330/A340 family will remain at its current level of eight per month.
Air Works, which claims to be India’s largest independent maintenance provider, has become the first in the country to complete certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency. The approval covers ATR 42 and 72 regional airliners, as well as the Boeing 737 series, and will soon extend to the Airbus A320 range. The company has also been selected as an authorized service partner for the Superjet 100 twinjet.
Airbus unveiled a much-anticipated advance to its A320 family yesterday when it launched a program to develop new wingtip devices called “Sharklets.” To cost an extra $900,000 installed, the new devices will improve fuel burn on the A320 family by 3.5 percent on “longer” sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of some 730 metric tons per aircraft.
Satellite communications system supplier Cobham (Hall 2 Stand E83) has secured a contract to supply high-gain antennas for use on single-aisle and long-range Airbus airliners. The antennas first will be fitted to in-production A320-family airplanes pending certification of the configuration. Cobham’s HGA-7001 antenna will be used for long-range communication between pilots and ATC. The antenna supports Inmarsat SwiftBroadband services.
A private Asian customer has placed a firm order for an Airbus A320 Prestige, becoming the first in the region to order the type. Based on the A320 airliner, the Prestige is the largest of Airbus’s family of corporate jets, which includes the A318 Elite and Airbus ACJ.