Airbus’s launch last week of a new engine option for its A320 single-aisle series has for the moment turned the proverbial spotlight directly on rival Boeing and its own line of narrowbodies. Indeed, the competitive implications of re-engining the 737–or not–now appear unequivocal.
Rizon Jet will manage and operate a new Airbus Corporate Jetliner for an undisclosed Aranian Gulf customer. The A319 ACJ is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of next year and the completion, to be done at AMAC Aerospace's Basel, Switzerland headquarters, will be finished in the third quarter of 2012. The owner has selected Andrew Winch Design of London to design the ACJ's interior.
After many months of consultation and analysis, Airbus today announced the official launch of new engine options for the A320 series. Dubbed the A320neo, the project involves the introduction of two new engine choices for the single-aisle airliners–either CFM’s Leap-X or Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G, formerly known as the Geared Turbofan. The new engine option also incorporates fuel-saving wingtip devices called sharklets.
British Airways bid farewell to its three remaining Boeing 757s on Saturday, October 30, with a special farewell tour around the UK. To commemorate the day, the airline repainted one of the aircraft, G-CPET, in vintage BA livery from 1983. That airplane visited Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh during its final day in British Airways service from London Heathrow. The other two 757s flew from Heathrow on Spanish services.
Out on the NBAA static display Comlux Aviation is showcasing an upgraded addition to its charter/management fleet in the shape of an Airbus A318 Elite featuring performance- and appearance-enhancing polished wings slats. The Switzerland-based business aviation services group has now certified the modification in partnership with Belgian aerostructures specialist Sonaca and is offering it to other Airbus Corporate Jetliner operators.
In what might prove the biggest cross-border airline merger ever between two Latin American airlines, Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM plan to form the world’s 10th largest carrier (in terms of passenger numbers) under a non-binding memorandum of understanding signed August 13.
French operator Air Austral and Gulf carrier Qatar Airways are among several airlines revealed this week as previously unidentified Boeing customers. Both have announced earlier orders for two 777-200LRs, each deal speculatively valued at $501 million.
First came the Middle East carriers on Monday, then yesterday it was the turn of Asian and Latin American airlines to keep the Farnborough airshow cash registers ringing with deals done covering roughly $6.5 billion in new business for Airbus.
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.
AMAC Aerospace is stepping up its expansion plans and expects to open its second hangar at Basel’s EuroAirport this summer. The 90,500-sq-ft structure will be able to accommodate aircraft up to size of a Boeing 747, and the company already plans an extension to handle the Airbus 380.