New competitors in the single-aisle airliner market have driven Airbus to look beyond current technologies to identify the required characteristics for an A320-series replacement to enter service in 15 or more years.
In an deal valued at $500 million, Turkish Airlines has ordered V2500 SelectOne turbofans to power its A320-family aircraft for which is has placed 20 firm orders and taken options on 10 more. Engine maker International Aero Engines (IAE) is to make deliveries in the 2011-2013 time frame. The firm order covers powerplants for a mix of six A319s and 14 A321s. IAE is a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney.
Middle East Airlines (MEA) has placed a contract for International Aero Engines to support the V2500 engines that power its Airbus A320 fleet. The long-term deal covers turbofans on six aircraft covered by firm orders and three more that the Beirut-based carrier has optioned. The operator took delivery of the first of these V2500 SelectOne-powered aircraft in January 2009.
Jetstar Airways has ordered V2500 turbofans from International Aero Engines for up to 90 Airbus A320s. The deal, signed here in Singapore last Thursday and worth up to $3.5 billion, also covers the cost of retrofitting V2500s on its 40 A320s to the latest SelectOne version of the engine as well as power-by-the hour maintenance coverage.
The cash registers started to ring here at the 2009 Dubai Airshow yesterday with a modest but nonetheless welcome batch of airliner and engine orders. Airbus firmed up a new customer in Ethiopian Airlines, which converted a memorandum of understanding for 12 A350XWBs into a firm $3 billion order.
Recessions come and go, but the quest to develop ever more efficient engines for the next generation of single-aisle aircraft continues. Given the time it takes to develop new powerplant technologies, which can be measured in decades, engine manufacturers have to be more confident than most of eventual recovery in the airline industry if the millions spent on research and development are not to be wasted.
Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) will take a central role in maintaining General Electric engines–including those ordered by Etihad Airways here at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. ADAT, which is part of the Mubadala group, has also entered into an agreement with International Aero Engines (IAE) to become the first IAE-approved shop for V2500-A5 and V2500 SelectOne engines.
Etihad Airways has completed engine selections for the massive aircraft orders it revealed at last year’s Farnborough airshow, in deals now totaling $14 billion in estimated value. As indicated at the time, it has opted for General Electric GEnx-1Bs for the 35 Boeing 787-9s it ordered, having already confirmed that it would use GE90-115Bs to power the 10 Boeing 777-300ERs.
Qatar Airways signed a firm contract yesterday for 24 Airbus A320-family aircraft in a deal that included the conversion of an option the operator placed during last year’s Farnborough air show for four A321s. Qatar expects to take delivery of the first of those airplanes this coming November, while yesterday’s new order for 20 A320s gets filled through the end of 2012.
Exactly two decades ago, the consortium that was to become International Aero Engines (Hall 5, Stand B10) was formed to build an engine, the V2500, to compete with CFM International’s CFM56 to power the Airbus A320. Since then, IAE has won itself a half-share of the world’s biggest civil market for aero engines and this year will mark delivery of the 4,000th engine and 50 million hours of service on the A320 series.