Airbus has added Recaro and Sogerma passenger seats to the A350 supplier-furnished equipment catalog, which includes seats, galleys, cabin “monuments” and other items, but hopes to limit furnishing options to keep assembly lines flowing, officials said at the company’s unveiling of the airplane’s interior in Hamburg on April 7. It also emphasized increased width in the A350’s twin-aisle fuselage–thus boosting a claimed advantage over the competing Boeing 787–and confirmed that the twinjet will accommodate 10-abreast seating.
ExecuJet Europe is launching helicopter charter and management services from its London Cambridge FBO, having received a helicopter AOC from the UK CAA. The company’s managed and charter fleet includes two Airbus EC155s based at Cambridge Airport, and negotiations for two more contracts have been under way since September. ExecuJet is telling managed helicopter customers they will benefit from its buying power for items such as fuel and insurance. Operations director John Brutnell said he expects charter demand for both business and leisure travel.
Airbus Helicopters and Avicopter, partners on the EC175/AC352 medium-twin helicopter program, signed a joint production agreement yesterday for 1,000 rotorcraft. The signing took place at the Elysée Palace in Paris, witnessed by Chinese president Xi Jinping and French president François Hollande.
Japan’s ANA Holdings on March 27 said it will place firm orders for 70 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft, including the new Boeing 777-9X, additional 787 Dreamliners and new Airbus A320neos. ANA valued the order at $16.6 billion at list prices, the largest aircraft order in its history.
An extension of the contract to maintain the A320 final assembly line in Tianjin, China, by another 10 years led a series of agreements Airbus entered with Chinese partners on Wednesday that also marked the end of a bitter trade dispute over Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
GE Aviation announced on March 26 that it will break ground this year on a new $100 million assembly plant in Lafayette, Ind., to produce Leap engines for narrowbody airliners as part of its CFM International joint venture with France’s Snecma. It expects the plant will create 200 jobs by 2020.
Bolton, Canada-based Navhouse bolstered its capabilities on Honeywell inertial reference systems and can now support most of the aircraft flying Honeywell and/or Northrop Grumman (Litton Systems) equipment.
Talk of production “bubbles” again colored the discourse at the March 16 to 18 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas 2014 conference in San Diego, even while OEMs in attendance insisted that record backlogs fully justify their planned rate increases. Manufacturers highlighted a strong backdrop for aircraft demand fueled by aging replacement needs, a 20-seat increase in the capacity of narrowbodies since 2007, emerging-market long-term capacity requirements and the global expansion of low-cost carriers, according to a research note from Sterne Agee.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) will hold a general aviation rally on March 28 at Bombardier’s Dallas Service Center at Dallas Love Field. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) and House Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), Sam Johnson (R), Pete Sessions (R) and Marc Veasey (D) will be the featured speakers.
Airbus has started final assembly of the first A320neo in Toulouse, France, with the attachment of the forward and aft fuselage sections, which recently arrived from St. Nazaire in France and Hamburg in Germany, respectively.