The global rivalry between Airbus and Boeing is now firmly rooted on American soil. On April 9, Airbus broke ground on a new A320-series assembly plant in Mobile, Ala., its first U.S.-based production facility. Boeing announced a second-phase expansion of its 787 production facility two states away in South Carolina the next day.
Airbus broke ground on its new A320-family final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., on Monday, during a ceremony attended by the company’s top leadership, state and local politicians, diplomats and aerospace industry executives.
Airbus has managed to infiltrate once undisputed Boeing territory by closing a firm order from Indonesia’s Lion Air for 234 A320-family narrowbodies. Signed Monday during a special ceremony attended by French president François Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris, the contract calls for delivery of 109 A320neos, 65 A321neos and 60 current-generation A320s.
The Lufthansa supervisory board has loosened its purse strings and approved a series of major fleet additions, led by 100 Airbus A320 family jets. The Lufthansa Group also plans to order a pair of Airbus A380s and six Boeing 777-300ERs, raising the total value of its newly announced acquisitions to $13.1 billion.
Airbus has raised its sales target for 2013 to 700 airliners after surpassing its target of 650 for last year with gross orders for 914 airplanes and a net order count of 833 after cancellations. But the European airframer has acknowledged that it is especially eager to get sales of its A380 widebody back on track after logging orders for only nine of the superjumbos in 2012.
Airbus has landed a firm order for 58 A320neos and 17 A321neos from Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines, the manufacturer announced Tuesday. Pegasus, the second largest airline in Turkey, also reserved options on 25 more of the re-engined narrowbodies. The contract establishes Pegasus as a new Airbus customer and makes it the first Turkish airline to order the A320neo. It now flies more than 40 Boeing 737-800s.
Boeing Business Jet operators now have another option for CFM56-7B engine maintenance, repair and overhaul. Associated Air Center (AAC), StandardAero’s large transport-category completions center in Dallas, now offers CFM56-7B service through StandardAero’s engine overhaul facility in Winnipeg, Canada.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued certification of Airbus’s Sharklet wingtip device for CFM-powered A320 family narrowbodies, the manufacturer announced Monday. Airbus said it expects the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to issue its own approval “very soon.”
More evidence of capacity constraint among U.S. airlines appeared in a recent quarterly earnings report from one of the fastest-growing carriers in the country. Virgin America, which has seen annual available seat mile (ASM) growth average 28 percent for the past three years, has reconsidered its fleet expansion strategy and said it would move to cut the number of airplanes it plans to add over the rest of the decade.
Decelerating growth at Virgin America has led the airline to reconsider its fleet-expansion strategy and move to cut the number of airplanes it plans to add over the rest of the decade. Under a revised agreement reached with Airbus, Virgin America’s order for current-generation A320s will shrink from 30 airplanes to 10, all scheduled for delivery in 2015 and 2016, the airline announced Friday.