Virgin Atlantic Airways announced today that it signed a $2.1 billion firm contract to buy six Airbus A330-300s and lease another four from Netherlands-based lessor AerCap. The airline said it has financed all 10 deliveries via AerCap.
AirAsiaX has placed firm orders for 10 Airbus A350-900 airliners. The Malaysian carrier will use the new widebodys to connect its Asian hub in Kuala Lumpur with cities in Europe and Australia. The value of the deal was not confirmed but at list prices it would be approximately $2.4 billion.
Etihad Airways has completed engine selections for the massive aircraft orders it revealed at last year’s Farnborough airshow, in deals now totaling $14 billion in estimated value. As indicated at the time, it has opted for General Electric GEnx-1Bs for the 35 Boeing 787-9s it ordered, having already confirmed that it would use GE90-115Bs to power the 10 Boeing 777-300ERs.
Gulf Air has selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 700EP turbofan to power 20 previously ordered Airbus A330 aircraft, along with a TotalCare long-term service agreement. With the spares, the order totals 44 engines for $1.5 billion. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2012.
Pratt & Whitney has signed two more contracts for its EcoPower engine washing service. Amsterdam-based charter operator ArkeFly has inked a three-year agreement for its fleet of PW4060 and CFM56-7 turbofans, while Hawaiian Airlines renewed a previous agreement, signing up for five more years. Hawaiian uses PW4060, GE CF6-80A2 and Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. Pratt’s EcoPower reduces fuel burn by up to a claimed 1.2 percent.
Six years ago, the team from Airbus Military promoting the A400M came to the Paris Air Show full of confidence and good intentions. Germany had just confirmed its order for 60, finally launching the program after years of negotiations. Italy and Portugal dropped out, leaving a total requirement of 180 aircraft for six European countries (seven, if you count Luxembourg taking one aircraft).
Less than three months ago, on March 24, General Electric’s newest engine, the GEnx-2B, took to the air on the company’s Boeing 747 flying test bed, marking another milestone in the development of its latest and most advanced civil powerplant.
In both engineering and visual terms, the open rotor is a huge departure from the turbofans that power today’s aircraft. As such, Rolls-Royce believes its market acceptance will involve a comprehensive understanding of the operational environment in which it will function.
Rolls-Royce’s development of an open-rotor engine for the next generation of midsize airliners has taken a giant leap forward after wind-tunnel tests revealed its design would comfortably meet current Stage 4 noise regulations.
With the A380 very-large airliner firmly established in production and airline operation, Airbus is now hard at work on its next project: the three-model A350XWB twin-aisle twinjet family. It is about to begin production detailed design for
the mainly carbon-fiber aircraft, which is competing against the Boeing 787 and which Airbus claims also could replace the larger Boeing 777.