Should anybody harbor any doubts, two recent events confirmed that the mid-decade airline-order boom has ended: Airbus announced A320 production cutbacks and Ryanair has come looking for bargain-basement prices for single-aisle airplanes. Airbus now plans to cut single-aisle production from 36 to 34 a month starting in October and possibly to a lower rate later.
Having badly burned its fingers with production delays on the A380 program, Airbus is determined not to fall into the fire again with its next large airliner program, the A350XWB. At a January 14 groundbreaking ceremony for the new widebody’s assembly line in Toulouse, France, Airbus COO Fabrice Brégier insisted that the company will achieve its goal of delivering the first airplane in mid-2013.
Boeing today reported that it took orders for 662 commercial airplanes last year, raising its backlog of unfilled commercial deliveries to more than 3,700. The release of the figures officially signaled the end of a three-year boom during which it inked orders for more than 1,000 airplanes each year from 2005 to 2007, when it registered a record tally of 1,413.
GKN Aerospace assumed full ownership of the former Airbus wing component and assemblies factory at Filton, UK, on Monday. The UK group has acquired the facility from Airbus for £136 million ($199 million).
BAA Jet Management last month took delivery of its first managed Airbus, an A318 Elite, making the Hong Kong-based company the first in Asia to operate the executive version of the narrowbody airliner. The 18-passenger Elite is also the first A318 to be registered in the People’s Republic of China and is based in Shenzhen, where it is available for charter.
BAA Jet Management has taken delivery of its first managed Airbus, an A318 Elite narrowbody bizliner, making the Hong Kong-based company the first in Asia to operate the executive version of the A318 single-aisle airliner. The 18-passenger Elite is also the first A318 to be registered in the People’s Republic of China and is based in Shenzhen, where it is available for charter.
MAZ Aviation chairman Mohammed Al-Zeer yesterday unveiled a new group of companies that will bring several specialized services for business and private aircraft to the Middle East by 2011.
Airbus this morning is expected to announce more orders for the various executive and VIP versions of its single-aisle and wide-body airliners. The latest sales breakthroughs seemingly vindicate the European airframer’s decision to effectively base this part of its business at a new office here in Dubai.
The Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) on display here at the MEBA show is the first to be shown with a true VIP interior. The aircraft is operated by Swiss-based charter and management company Comlux Aviation. It makes full use of its ample interior dimensions, starting with a bedroom with ensuite bathroom at the front of the cabin, with a lounge and dining area in the center and 12 first-class seats in the rear section.
Demand for VIP conversions of new widebody airliners, much of it emanating from this region, has impelled Germany’s Lufthansa Technik (Stand No. 410) to increase capacity both at its Hamburg base and at other sites on both sides of the Atlantic, according to Walter Heerdt, the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) group’s senior vice president, marketing and sales.