Airbus has hailed 2011 as a record year for both orders and deliveries. Tom Enders, the European airframer’s president and CEO, told a January 17 joint press conference with parent group EADS that 2012 will see Airbus facing further challenges to streamline production rates and supply-chain issues, while also focusing on keeping the development of the new A350XWB widebody on track following the November 2011 confirmation of a program delay.
Boeing booked net orders for 805 commercial airplanes in 2011, fueled by a late flurry of record-breaking deals. The company also delivered 477 airplanes, ending the year with a backlog of 3,771 unfilled commercial orders.
Airbus and Boeing each finished 2011 with some robust order figures by any standard, but during a time of a tediously slow recovery from economic recession, last year’s figures proved all the more impressive. Still, if one were inclined to view the companies’ respective performances as a race to market share, Airbus appeared to emerge as the clear winner, at least in terms of total unit sales.
Aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul service provider ST Aerospace has been certified as a Part 147 Maintenance Training Organization (MTO) by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and European Aviation Safety Agency to provide aircraft type training for narrow-body and widebody aircraft.
Boeing and Airbus are in broad agreement over the impressive growth rate expected in the Middle East airliner fleet between now and 2030, according to new market forecasts released during the Dubai Air Show last week.
Evidently regarding discretion as the better part of valor, Airbus has revised the production schedule for its planned A350 XWB, owing to delayed sub-assemblies under production by partners in Europe and the U.S. Airbus has moved the twin-aisle twinjet’s first-flight date from late 2012 to the first quarter of 2013.
Few would argue against the proposition that Boeing has and will absorb a serious financial hit from the three years of delays and the unanticipated complications that arose from its attempt at a new approach to supply-chain management with the 787 program.
As a market with a distinct preference for larger VIP and business aircraft, the Middle East has long been considered good sales territory for Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJs). Recent experience proves this with four more operators in the region having committed to swelling the local fleet.
With engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, Airbus is developing an enhanced A350-1000 variant with “outstanding [increased] payload and long[er] range, the best economics and 25-percent lower fuel burn and carbon dioxide emissions than [the Boeing 777-300ER].”
Since the Boeing 787 entered service last month, the spotlight has turned toward Airbus, which is working hard on the competing A350XWB.