Thursday, July 12, 2012

CIT orders longer-range Airbus A330

Aircraft lessor CIT Group has firmly ordered five more Airbus A330 aircraft, it announced at Farnborough. The deal also includes five A330s ordered previously. The aircraft will be of the newly launched longer-range version of the A330. The order brings the total number of A330s on order from CIT to 51. The new version will weigh 240 tonnes and can fly up to 400 nautical miles further and carry nearly five tonnes more payload than today's model. The A330, which spans 250 to 300 seats, has now attracted around 1,200 orders and about 900 aircraft are flying with 90 operators worldwide.

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Cathay Pacific selects A350-1000

Cathay Pacific Airways intends to become the first customer for the redesigned version of the Airbus A350-1000, the longest variant of the A350 XWB fleet. It announced an agreement for a new order for 10 aircraft at the Farnborough Airshow. In addition, the Hong Kong-based airline will convert 16 of its existing orders for the A350-900 to the larger A350-1000. The acquisition of the A350-1000 is still subject to the approval of the Board of the airline. Cathay will have 48 A350 XWB aircraft on order (20 -900s and 26 -1000s plus two aircraft via a lease agreement).

The A350-1000 typically seats 350 passengers in a three class layout. The aircraft is capable of flying 8,400 nautical miles non-stop and will be operated by Cathay Pacific on higher density routes, including its longest non-stop flights to Europe and North America. The aircraft will be powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines delivering 97,000lbs of thrust – the most powerful engines ever developed for an Airbus aircraft. The revamped A350-1000 has more range than the earlier design and will be exclusively powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

So far Airbus has received 548 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 34 customers worldwide.

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

FedEx wants more Boeing 767s

FedEx Express (Federal Express) plans to acquire 19 Boeing 767-300F Aircraft and convert four 777 Freighter orders to 767s. FedEx currently operates 19 777 Freighters and is now committed to purchase an additional 24 of this type. The 19 767s are to be delivered from 2015 to 2019. The aircraft replace current McDonnell Douglas MD-10 (DC-10) and Airbus A310-200 aircraft.

FedEx says that the 767s are substantially more fuel efficient and reliable than the aircraft they are to replace. The 767s will provide similar capacity compared to the MD10s, with an approximate 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency and a reduction in unit operating costs of more than 20 percent. They also increase efficiency by sharing spare parts, tooling and flight simulators with the Boeing 757s FedEx operates.

The new order is in addition to an agreement with Boeing announced in December 2011 to purchase 27 new 767s and delay delivery of a number of 777s.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Boeing shows 787 at work, but ... not for all

Boeing is going to show the 787 Dreamliner in the flying display at Farnborough next month. It will be an aircraft in Qatar Airways livery. That is remarkable, because Boeing hasn't taken part in flying displays at air shows for quite a while. Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle, writes on his weblog that the Farnborough show "allows as many people as possible to experience the gracefulness of the 787". But Tinseth also writes: "This airplane will take part in flying demonstrations on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the show." This means that only the visitors of the business days will see the aircraft at work, and not the general public visiting the show on Saturday and Sunday. So what does Randy Tinseth mean with "as many people as possible?"

We know that Boeing has a little delay to overcome with the production of Dreamliners, and is in a hurry, but what is two days extra flying at the show on a delay of more than three years...? Come on, Randy! And if you are short of money, why don't you ask Qatar Airways boss Akbar al Baker to pay for the extra flying displays? For him it is even more important to show his newest little toy to the flying public, because he wants to sell tickets. (Photo: Boeing)

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

MAS Airbus A380 livery completed

The paint scheme of the first Airbus A380 for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has been completed. The MAS A380-livery is different from the airline's standard colours. The aircraft will enter service on the Kuala Lumpur - London route next week. MAS has ordered six A380s seating 494 passengers in three classes. (Photo: Airbus)

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Thai Airbus A380 in full colours

The first Airbus A380 for Thai Airways International (THAI) was rolled out of the Airbus paint shop in Hamburg, with the airline’s livery completed. The aircraft will be delivered in the third quarter of the year, when Thai will become the ninth operator of the A380. The airline has firm orders for six A380s and will operate the aircraft on routes from Bangkok to Europe. (Photo: Airbus)

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Transaero orders Airbus A380

Transaero Airlines, Russia’s second largest airline, has completed an order for four Airbus A380 aircraft on 21 June. The order follows an earlier Memorandum of Understanding signed in October 2011. The deal will be financed with the support of VEB Leasing. The order will make Transaero the first A380 operator in Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe.

The Russian carrier plans to start operations with the A380 on its long-range network of high density routes from Moscow. The aircraft will feature a three class cabin layout, seating about 700 passengers. Transaero has not selected an engine yet. Transaero Airlines started flying in November 1991 and currently serves more than 130 routes all over the world.

Including the Transaero-order the A380 order book stands at 257 aircraft from 20 customers worldwide. So far Airbus has delivered 77 aircraft to eight customers.

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KLM 777 flies on biofuel

KLM performed its longest commercial flight so far using biofuel. A Boeing 777-200 flew from Amsterdam to Rio de Janeiro on 19 June partly flying on sustainable fuel made from used cooking oil. Destination was the Rio+20 sustainable development conference in Rio.

KLM has been working with the World Wide Fund for Nature The Netherlands (WWF-NL) since 2007 and developed a biofuel programme with SkyNRG. Prominent companies such as Ahold, Heineken, Accenture, DSM, Philips, Nike and Schiphol Group have all joined the KLM BioFuel programme, trying to encourage other companies to follow their example.

The fuel KLM uses is supplied by SkyNRG, a company KLM founded in 2009 with North Sea Group and Spring Associates. SkyNRG is now supplying more than fifteen carriers worldwide with 'sustainable kerosene'. KLM is open to using different kinds of raw materials for the end product, as long as they meet a range of sustainability criteria, including a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions, and minimal negative impact on biodiversity and food supply. Likewise, all biofuels used by KLM meet the same technical specifications as traditional kerosene - no adjustments need to be made to aircraft engines or the infrastructure.

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ANA wants 787-9s instead of 8s

All Nippon Airways (ANA) switched orders for four Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft to the larger 787-9 version. The total number of planes remains at 55, only the split changes: 36 787-8s and 19 787-9s. The Japanese airline is Boeing's 787 launch customer, and took seven 787-8's so far. It expects to receive 14 more by the end of March 2013. Flight testing of the 787-9 should begin in 2013, with first delivery in early 2014 to Air New Zealand.

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Lion Air commits to Boeing 787

The Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air has committed to buying five Boeing 787 Dreamliners to be used by Lion’s new full-service subsidiary Batik Air, Boeing confirmed on June 8. Batik is to take off in 2013 with ten Boeing 737-800 aircraft with routes from Jakarta to South Asia, East Asia and Australia. It is not known yet when the first 787s will be delivered. Lion Air is Indonesia’s largest privately-owned airline

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Boeing 747-8I makes first commercial flight

On June 1 Lufthansa performed the first commercial flight with the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, for which the airline is the launch customer. The inaugural flight was from Frankfurt to Washington, DC's Dulles International Airport. Flight LH416 departed Frankfurt at 9:50am.
Lufthansa's 747-8 Intercontinental is equipped with 362 seats in a three-class configuration (8 First Class, 92 Business Class and 262 Economy Class). The business class of the aircraft has a unique seating arrangement in the form of a 'V' whereby two neighbouring seats are angled towards one another along a central axis. This solution enables Lufthansa to fulfill one of the main wishes expressed by customers – to sit or lie facing the direction of travel, while at the same time enjoy virtually double the distance between two neighbouring seats at shoulder level, which now gives Business Class passengers greater privacy and more personal living space. At the push of a button, the seat converts to a full-flat, horizontal sleeping surface measuring 6'6" in length (1.98 m). Ergonomically improved cushioning ensures a high degree of comfort in a sitting or horizontal position, and adjustable armrests provide more space in the shoulder area when lying down.
Lufthansa currently has 20 Boeing 747-8 Intercontinentals on order and is expected to take delivery of five in total this year.

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Atlas Air 747-8F flies for Panalpina

Boeing delivered the 20th 747-8, a freighter, to Atlas Air on May 31. The airline flies the aircraft on behalf of Panalpina, a Swiss-based freight operator. The aircraft has been painted in the colours of Panalpina. Two of the Atlas Air 747-8Fs will operate for Panalpina. Of the 20 747-8s Boeing has delivered so far are 16 747-8 Freighters, three 747-8 Intercontinentals to VIP customers and one 747-8 Intercontinental to Lufthansa.

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First Malaysia Airlines A380 delivered

Malaysia Airlines has taken delivery of the first of six Airbus A380 megajets on May 29. The first aircraft will be used on the Kuala Lumpur-London Heathrow-route from 2 July, followed by a second aircraft in August. The paint scheme of the aircraft is not completely finished yet. In June the aircraft goes back to Toulouse for an additional paint job and other finishing touches. The Malaysia A380 seats up to 494 passengers in a three-class layout. (Photo: Airbus)

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Airbus A350 static aircraft rolled out

The A350 XWB is taking shape. On May 24 Airbus rolled out the static test aircraft fuselage of the new airliner at the A350 Final Assembly Line in Toulouse, France. Static testing will provide data for the first flight clearance and about limit and ultimate loads the airframe can bear. (Photo: Airbus)

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

First North Charleston 787 flies

The first in North Charleston completed Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its maiden flight on 23 May. The aircraft successfully conducted a five-hour test flight. More than 5,000 Boeing South Carolina employees watched a live broadcast of the airplane as it took off from Charleston International Airport. The airplane will be flown to Ft. Worth, Texas to be painted with Air India's livery before returning to Boeing South Carolina for a mid-2012 delivery. (Photo: Boeing)

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Boeing Delivers UPS’s 50th 767 Freighter

Boeing delivered the 50th 767-300 Freighter to UPS - United Parcel Service - on 22 May. UPS is the biggest user of the 767 Freighter, "the workhorse of our fleet," says UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols. The 767 Freighter is based on the 767-300ER (extended range) passenger airplane and carries up toe 58 tons of revenue cargo. UPS is a big widebody aircraft user. It also flies 13 Boeing 747-400F aircraft, 38 McDonnell Douglas MD-11Fs and 53 Airbus A300 Freighter (plus 75 Boeing 757PF (Package Freighters) narrowbodies). UPS has nine more 767 Freighters on order. (Photo Boeing)

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

EVA Air orders more Boeing 777-300s

Taiwan's airline EVA Air has ordered three Boeing 777-300ERs. The airline also took options for four more 777-300ERs and it also plans to lease four of the aircraft type from GE Capital Aviation Services. EVA Air already operates 15 777-300ERs. EVA Air will use the aircraft on new services to mainland China and new destinations in North Asia.

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Etihad cancels seven A350-1000s

Etihad Airways form Abu Dhabi has cancelled orders for seven Airbus A350-1000 aicraft. The airline has now halved its order for the yet to develop 350-seat jet from 25 to 12. Etihad keeps its 25 options and purchase rights for the type. Last year Airbus pushed back the development of the stretched A350-1000 by two years to win time for redesign. The A350 is now due to enter service in the middle of 2017. Some A350 customers like Qatar Airways and Emirates have criticized the A350-1000 for not delivering a real advantage over Boeing's 777-300ER.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Qantas: two Airbus A380 aircraft later

Qantas has announced the delay of the delivery of two Airbus A380 megajets as part of a cost-saving campaign. The two aircraft were scheduled for delivery in eaarly 1913 but will now join the fleet in 2016-17. This saves the airline about $400 million, on top of $500 million in other cuts on jobs announced in February. Qantas gives priority to the strengthening of its domestic network.
Qantas has twelve A380s in service. Another six A380s will be delivered to the airline from 2018/19.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Boeing buys Airbus A340s

Boeing will buy the five Airbus A340-600s from the fleet of China Eastern Airlines as part of an imminent deal to sell 20 777-300ER aircraft to the airline. The airline has five A340-300s and five A340-600s. Airbus will take the five -300s as part of a deal to sell 15 A330s to the airlines, which will probably be delayed because of polical turmoil around the EC aircraft emmission programme. The type of deal with Boeing is unusual but happened before. In the mid-1990s Boeing bought A340s from Singapore Airlines, also as part of a deal to sell 777's. Some A340s were still being assembled then. Boeing is now looking for buyers for the ex-China Eastern Airbuses. They are like new!

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