As the Airbus A350-900 twin-aisle twinjet makes its first full international airshow display here in Singapore this week, industry observers will be keen to understand the manufacturer’s plans for the smaller A350-800, which has seen a steady erosion of orders as customers have upgraded to the baseline model. With average aircraft seat capacity moving inexorably to the right, Airbus executives are also mulling a possible double-stretched variant beyond the longer A350-1000.
Airbus’s A380 yesterday received a highly welcome boost from Doric Lease, which placed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the purchase of 20 of the superjumbos at the Paris Air Show.
Airbus surpassed its delivery target in 2012 with a final tally of 588 aircraft for 89 customers (a rise of 10 percent over 2011). In press conference held at its Toulouse, France, headquarters on January 17, the European airframer also reported that it had exceeded its own orders target for last year by logging gross orders for 914 aircraft.
At LABACE 2012, easily the biggest “footprint” on the aircraft static display line is the imprint of the ACJ318 bizliner from Airbus.
“When it comes to business jets, it’s what you offer in the cabin that counts,” said Airbus COO for customers John Leahy.
Airbus could withdraw from a commitment to increase A330 production to 11 aircraft per month in two years’ time, if there is no change to the European Union (EU) emissions trading scheme (ETS), according to programs executive vice president Tom Williams.
Airbus is still aiming at a first-half 2014 entry into service for the new A350XWB twin-aisle twinjet, with executive vice president and program head Didier Evrard conceding that the schedule is “tight, but feasible.” In late May, he said the immediate challenge was to complete the first airframe for ground testing and overseeing the supply chain.
Airbus logged its first corporate jet sale in Japan this week, adding a new customer and building its presence in the Asia-Pacific market. The aircraft, an Airbus ACJ318, will go to a customer whose identity remained undisclosed. “Our first Airbus Corporate Jet sale in Japan builds on the growing presence of our modern airliner family, as well as encouraging greater use of business jets to help grow what is, today, the world’s third-largest economy,” said Airbus COO for customers John Leahy.
The Airbus A330 P2F (passenger-to-freighter conversion) will finally become a reality after Airbus, Singapore’s ST Aerospace and EADS Elbe Flugzeugwerke Dresden (EFW) signed a memorandum of understanding at the Singapore Airshow on Wednesday.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders, ST Aerospace president Chang Cheow Teck and EADS EFW chief executive Andreas Sperl, in the presence of Stanislaw Tillich, prime minister of the German state of Saxony, signed the deal. The MOU calls for the first A330-300P2F to enter service in 2016, followed by a version based on the A330-200 a year later.
Starting 2012 with a record backlog of airliner orders, Airbus remains unconcerned that fall-out from anticipated capital exposure by banks to Europe’s debt crisis could undermine its position.
Comlux Aviation placed the first-ever order for an Airbus ACJ321 at the Dubai Air Show on Monday, expanding the Airbus Corporate Jet family.
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