Alongside preparations for the re-engined A320neo, Airbus is continuing A320 product development, according to A320 family chief engineer Wolfgang Engler. Some 23 years after A320 MSN0005 pioneered the type’s airline service with Air France, the manufacturer claims a 99.7-percent “operational reliability” for the most recently delivered 250 aircraft.
Budget long-haul airline AirAsia X is eyeing a stock market listing and fleet expansion to spread its wings across the globe. The Malaysia-based carrier’s chief executive, Azran Osman Rani, has been in talks with institutional investors about a flotation in the next year or two to fund growth.
In late April, scientists from Denmark’s University of Copenhagen and the University of Iceland in Reykjavik published the findings of an almost year-long study into last year’s eruption of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano.
The spike in global oil prices brought about in no small measure by the unrest in the Middle East has driven the price of jet-A above $3 a gallon, prompting airlines throughout the world to adjust their air fares in an effort to compensate. According to the Air Transport Association, $3 jet fuel would raise U.S. airlines’ 2011 fuel bill by some $15 billion. Last year’s fuel bill for U.S. airlines totaled $38.8 billion.
Airbus’s first firm order for A380s from a Japanese customer last week not only added a significant tally to its backlog, but it might have represented a watershed event in the company’s efforts to loosen Boeing’s stranglehold on the lucrative market.
SuperJet International has secured another key export order for the SSJ100 airliner, while acknowledging that certification of the type has stalled once again. Sukhoi now expects Russian approval for the 100-seater at the end of January–a month past the most recent slipped deadline of December 28.
Indian discount airline Indigo will become the launch customer for the Airbus A320neo, the European manufacturer announced today. Already the largest low-fare carrier in India, Indigo signed a memorandum of understanding covering 150 A320neos and another 30 standard A320s. The parties haven’t yet announced an engine selection.
Azul Linhas Aereos, Brazil’s newest discount airline, registered a 79.71-percent load factor and carried 2.2 million passengers last year, its first full year of operation, and the fledgling carrier expects to turn a profit this year.
Indian low-fare carrier SpiceJet plans to buy as many as 30 Q400 turboprops from Bombardier in a deal worth up to $900 million.
“The [SpiceJet] board has approved a firm order for 15 and 15 on option,” SpiceJet CEO Neil Mills told AIN. “It has gone to the aircraft review committee and we expect to sign the agreement most probably by the end of [November]. We expect the deliveries to commence from June 2011.
Boeing and Indian budget carrier SpiceJet announced an order for 30 Next Generation 737-800 with winglets in the presence of U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday in Mumbai. The contract, valued at some $2.3 billion at list prices, came as part of $10 billion worth of trade deals announced during the President’s visit. SpiceJet currently operates a fleet of 24 Boeing 737-800s and 737-900ERs.