Airbus kept its steadily advancing order train rolling on the third day of the Dubai Airshow with a pair of modest, but nonetheless significant, announcements involving models ranging from the single-aisle A320 to the A380 superjumbo.
Singapore Airlines fleet
Pushing ahead with its new 747-8 Intercontinental passenger iteration of the venerable 747, Boeing has already sold seven of the big four-engine widebodies for conversion to executive or head-of-state configuration.
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.
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.
Korean Air has selected Pratt & Whitney’s PW4170 Advantage70 engine to power six new Airbus A330s it has on order. The contract, valued at some $300 million, includes two spare turbofans. Korean Air in February placed a new firm order with Airbus for six more A330-200s, the first for the new 238-metric-ton increased takeoff weight version of the twin-engine widebody, offering an extended flying range of up to 7,200 nm.
The world’s passenger and cargo airlines will spend money on new aircraft at an average rate of just over $5,000 per second over the coming 20 years, according to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Or, to put it another way, the U.S. manufacturer forecasts a $3.2 trillion market requirement involving some 29,000 commercial jetliners (including 710 new freighters) between 2009 and 2028.
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.
Turkish Airlines has signed a new firm order for five Boeing 777-300ERs valued at $1.38 billion at list prices, the manufacturer confirmed this morning. Boeing said the order marks the airline’s first purchase of new 777s directly from the company. The airline now operates three leased 312-passenger 777-300ERs, as well as 51 Boeing 737-800s, three 737-700s and eight 737-400s. It also flies 67 Airbus jets of various types.
American Airlines expects its first Boeing 787s to arrive about a year later than originally planned due to last year’s machinists’ strike at Boeing, according to an SEC filing issued by the Dallas-based airline yesterday. Last year the carrier signed a firm order for 42 Boeing 787-9s, the first of which it expected to arrive in 2012 and the last in 2018.
Airbus ended the month of March with firm orders for 16 airplanes, raising its annual total out of red figures for the first time this year, to a net total of eight airplanes. Meanwhile, Boeing added orders for five 737s from an unidentified customer during the last week of the month–not enough, however, to raise its order count out of negative territory. As of March 31, its order tally stood at negative four.