Aiming to reduce exposure to potential residual-value guarantee (RVG) claims for the A340 twin-aisle quad-jet, Airbus plans to recertify the aircraft to carry 475 passengers, while Rolls-Royce works to improve the type’s engine efficiency and maintenance costs. The European manufacturer told a stakeholders’ forum on December 4 that with increased capacity and lower maintenance charges and ownership costs, the A340-600 can compete against the Boeing 777-200ER and -300ER and replace larger 747-400s.
Christopher Emerson, senior vice president of Airbus and head of product strategy and market forecast, is responsible for overseeing Airbus’s Global Market Forecast, which is published annually. At a pre-Dubai Airshow briefing, Emerson offered the following comments about Airbus aircraft:
A350: The aircraft is improving and is efficient today. We have logged almost 600 hours. The program is on track. There are no issues there. The 350-1000 is moving and this is what we had expected.
The commercial outfit that will provide the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) with air-to-air refueling service for the next 22 years says that it will meet the forecast in-service date. By May 2014, AirTanker will have nine Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports (MRTTs) ready on the ramp at RAF Brize Norton. It has already trained 18 aircrews, received six aircraft and begun operational flying. Chief executive Phil Blundell told AIN that his company could also assist other customers that need training on the A330MRTT–such as the UAE Air Force.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to investigate a September 20 incident 10 miles west of Adelaide in which two Airbus A330s flew too close to one another. One aircraft was eastbound at FL390 while the other westbound at FL380. The separation loss occurred shortly after the westbound flight was cleared to climb to FL400, generating a Tcas alert in the eastbound aircraft. The controller on duty quickly cancelled the climb clearance but not before the alert was generated.
Airbus announced plans for a new lower weight variant of its A330-300 widebody specifically designed for use on domestic and regional routes in high-growth markets with large populations and concentrated traffic flows, the company announced Wednesday at the Aviation Expo China show in Beijing.
Delta Air Lines has placed its first order for Airbus airplanes in some two decades, signing for 30 A321s and 10 A330-300s, the European airframer announced Wednesday. The airline has chosen CFM56-5B engines from CFM International to power its A321s and CF6-80E1 engines from GE Aviation for its new A330s.
The airline industry will need more than one million new pilots and technicians to operate and maintain new aircraft due for delivery over the next two decades, according to a new forecast from Boeing. The 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook, released on Thursday at the launch of 787 training at the U.S. airframer’s Miami Flight Services campus, projects a requirement for 498,000 new airline pilots and 556,000 new maintenance technicians by 2032.
As Airbus handed over the 1,000th A330 to Cathay Pacific Airways last Friday, it confirmed plans to accelerate introduction of the 242-metric-ton maximum takeoff weight model and to offer a new, lower operating weight, shorter-range “regional” variant.
US Airways recently became the first airline to receive FAA certification approval of the SafeRoute suite of NextGen avionics applications in the Airbus A330. The airline claims SafeRoute will “enhance operational safety and efficiency during various phases of flight.”
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has been busy announcing a procession of airframe and engine deals here in Paris. On Tuesday, the company announced it had signed for CFM International Leap-1A engines to power a further 20 Airbus A320neo jetliners. That brought the total backlog to 60 shipsets. With the aircraft scheduled to begin deliveries in 2016, the new order is valued at $510 million.
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