Building on a strong upturn in global airline traffic, Airbus is ramping up production of all its models–A320 family, A330 and A380–while keeping a careful eye on possible supply chain issues that could hit increased output rates for these models and also for the new A350 XWB widebody. Meanwhile, costs and an uncompetitive euro-dollar exchange continue to give headaches to the European airframer’s top management.
Al Bateen Executive Airport (Stand C600) handled nearly 100 private aircraft movements during the recent Ethiad Airways Formula 1 Grand Prix in mid-November. While the peak traffic days were November 13 and 14 overall traffic increased 17 percent when compared with the number of aircraft handled during the 2009 race. Aircraft as large as a VIP Boeing 757 landed at Al Bateen, a former military airbase.
Sometimes business mixes with politics in less than subtle ways, as a dispute over landing rights in Toronto for Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways clearly illustrates.
Launch customer Etihad Airways took delivery of the first Airbus A330-200F Freighter at a ceremony on Tuesday here at the Farnborough airshow. The aircraft, which can haul up to 70 metric tons of cargo, will enter service with Etihad’s cargo business, Etihad Crystal Cargo, in September. It is on display for the duration of the airshow, after which it will undertake final pre-delivery preparations by Airbus in Toulouse.
Emirates Airline could not wait until this week at Farnborough to order more Engine Alliance GP7200-powered Airbus A380 airliners. Instead it chose last month’s ILA airshow in Berlin as the stage on which to announce its plans to acquire a further 32 of the widebodies.
The latest member of the Airbus A330 family is the Series 200F cargo variant, which was launched in early 2007 and is scheduled for mid-2010 entry into service with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Crystal Cargo. The manufacturer had taken orders from 11 customers for 66 A330Fs by May this year, as it also continued to develop the established passenger variant.
Here in Singapore Airbus hosted the first public presentation of the A330-200F Freighter, less than a week after the Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered cargo hauler finished cold-soak testing in the decidedly less sultry environs of Iqaluit, Canada.
News from the international airshow circuit can be revealing and deceiving in equal measure. Two years ago, the 2007 Dubai Airshow generated a record-breaking $155 billion in orders. This year’s Dubai Airshow, held November 15 to 19, saw just $14 billion in new business announced.
how do you top an event that broke airshow records in 2007 when it generated $155 billion worth of business in just five days– roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of Hungary or Kuwait for an entire year? Fairs & Exhibitions surely never expected the 2009 Dubai Airshow to top its predecessor in terms of sheer monetary value, and indeed the final orders tally–valued at $14 billion–came to less than 10 percent of the 2007 total.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways plans to spend $750 million on its workforce, fleet, in-flight service and planning and resourcing systems to support record-breaking airplane and engine orders placed at the last Farnborough and Paris Air Shows.