On the day that Airbus sent two more A350 development aircraft on their maiden voyages, bringing the test fleet to four, Airbus Group announced during its 2013 annual results press conference that the delayed program had incurred a €434 million charge.
Ahead of an initial engine run in the second quarter of this year, Rolls-Royce (Booth N23) has started to assemble the 97,000-pound thrust Trent XWB-97 powerplant that will power the heavier, 308-metric-ton (680,000-pound) max takeoff weight Airbus A350-1000 stretch variant of the new twin-aisle twinjet that has been flying since last June. The first items for the powerplant were arriving in the Rolls-Royce (RR) finished parts stores during January, according to program director Chris Young.
With 36 A380 aircraft in the fleet as of late September and a further 104 now on order, the aviation community is trying to calculate what will happen to Emirates’ superjumbo fleet when the time comes to retire the type, at around halfway through its lifetime. Some analysts believe that, given a lifespan of 25 years, a proxy for the useful life of a modern widebody aircraft, the A380 will face problems in the secondary market when major leases come to an end after the standard 12-year term.
The dynamism of today’s airliner leasing business was illustrated earlier this year by the creation by German investment company Doric GmbH of a separate entity, Doric Lease Corp. (DLC), to manage the assets.
Airbus has signaled that it could drop the A350-800, the smallest member of the new family.
British engine-maker Rolls-Royce has begun manufacturing parts for the 84,000-pound thrust Trent XWB-84s that will power the first Airbus A350-900 for launch customer Qatar Airways, and is on track for the powerplant’s entry into service (EIS) in the third-quarter of 2014.
The second flying prototype of the Airbus A350 XWB took to the air for the first time Monday morning and landed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France shortly after 2:30 p.m. local time.
In a serious blow to Boeing, Japan Airlines (JAL) has signed a purchase agreement covering 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s worth $9.5 billion at list prices. The deal, which also includes options on another 25 of the mostly composite widebodies, marks the first order from Japan for the A350 and Airbus’s first-ever order from JAL.
Boeing and Airbus will share in the spoils of a massive investment by Lufthansa Group involving orders for 59 widebody airplanes worth $18.7 billion at list prices, the German airline announced Thursday.
European low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle is expanding its intercontinental route structure as it takes delivery of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. On September 3 the carrier, based in Fornebu, Norway, announced service to three new destinations in the U.S., scheduled to start next spring. It plans to use the 787 on routes between Scandinavia and Los Angeles, Oakland and Orlando international airports.
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