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.
Airbus has awarded Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) a contract to supply composite rudders for the A330-200 and A330-300 long-range commercial jets. Under the terms of the deal, signed Monday at the Paris Air Show, TAI (Hall 4 E75) will serve as a single-source supplier through the life of the A330. Plans call for rudder manufacture to take place at TAI’s Ankara Kazan facilities in Turkey, from where the company already supplies Airbus A350 XWB ailerons and control surfaces for a number of commercial/military aircraft platforms.
L-3 Aviation Products announced that it has established a presence in India and that AgustaWestland has selected L-3’s Trilogy electronic standby instrument for new production A119 helicopters.
In February, L-3 (Chalet A306, Static E170) had announced plans to add “technical support for its customers, engineering oversight for programs and expanded business development coverage” at the India Air Show in February. “The local presence advances L-3’s long-term business growth in the emerging Indian aerospace sector, as well as the region,” according to L-3.
Rolls-Royce (R-R) is developing continuous improvements for mature Trent engines, with new technology flowing from later models into established variants, according to program director John Hogarth. Since the original Trent–the Series700–entered service on a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 in 1985, successive variants have been introduced to constitute a “tailored family” enjoying common architecture, but with each model dedicated to specific airframes.
Despite the torrential rain at Le Bourget yesterday, Airbus and Boeing both notched up some key commitments. While the latter edged closer to being able to launch the 787-10X, with interest from Gecas, its rival across the Atlantic also courted the world’s leading lessors, with ILFC ordering even more A320neos; and Doric placing an order for A380s.
“The honeymoon has lasted longer than on previous aircraft: people go out of their way to fly on [the A380 very-large airliner],” according to Airbus programs executive vice-president Tom Williams. By the beginning of this month, the European manufacturer had delivered 103 aircraft from the 262 for which it holds firm orders, leaving a backlog of 159, equivalent to about six years’ production.