As predicted, most airliner makers went home from last week’s Paris Air Show with yet longer backlogs of orders. Factoring in all the provisional sales (those covered by options, letters of intent or a memorandum of understanding), manufacturers announced something like $170 billion in new aircraft and engine business at Le Bourget.
European Low Fares Airline Association
Boeing and Ryanair reached terms on the U.S. manufacturer’s largest ever firm aircraft order from a European airline yesterday. The deal, worth $15.6 billion at current list prices, calls for delivery over five years of 175 new Boeing 737-800s starting in September 2014. The order stands to raise Ryanair’s fleet count to more than 400 by the summer of 2018 from about 300 today.
UK airline easyJet placed conditional orders with Airbus on Tuesday for 100 new A320neos and 35 Sharklet-equipped A320s worth $12 billion at list prices. The A320s are scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2017, while the A320neos will be delivered from 2017 to 2022, according to the announcement at the Paris Air Show.
EasyJet said 85 of the aircraft will be used to replace aging aircraft as they leave the fleet over the next nine years; the remaining aircraft deliveries will support the carrier’s strategy of increasing its seat capacity by 3 to 5 percent annually.
Airbus and Boeing each secured major commitments for their respective narrowbodies last week, potentially helping to quiet some of the debate surrounding the extent of their production rate increases.
Irish low-fare carrier Ryanair on Tuesday committed to buying 175 new Boeing 737-800NGs worth nearly $15.6 billion at current list prices. The deal, still subject to confirmation, supports Ryanair’s plan to expand the size of its uniform fleet of 737-800s from 305 to some 400 airplanes and serve more than 100 million passengers per year across Europe by the end of the delivery stream in 2018.
Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, confirmed in a ruling last Thursday that airlines based in the EU carry liability for accommodation and other “necessary, appropriate and reasonable” costs incurred by passengers in the event of long delays, even for disruptions beyond their control.
Online charter booking portal Victor aims to increase available capacity almost tenfold. As of the end of last year, its site showed approximately 1,300 available private jet seats at any given time and it wants to boost this number to approximately 10,000 seats by the end of this year’s first quarter.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has determined that low-fare airline Ryanair did not violate safety standards last July when three of its flights ran short of fuel on the same day near Valencia in eastern Spain. The aircraft were diverted to Valencia due to thunderstorms in Madrid area and all three flights landed safely.
Spanish and Irish authorities have asked Ryanair flight operations to explain why three of the airline’s Boeing 737s requested and received landing priority in July after running low on fuel approaching Valencia Airport in eastern Spain. The Ireland-based low-cost carrier says that thunderstorms forced all three aircraft to divert from Madrid and that each of them ran short of fuel after holding for more than an hour. Although no one was injured, Ryanair officials reported the incidents to Spanish and Irish aviation regulators, prompting the investigation.
European low-cost carrier Easyjet announced on the eve of the show that it will be the first airline to test the electric taxiing system that Safran and Honeywell are developing to save fuel (see page 58). With the first operational trials due to take place in 2013, Easyjet’s role will be to help establish whether the estimated savings can be realized. The system enables an aircraft to taxi without its engines, by using the auxiliary power unit to power electric motors in the main wheels.