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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Airbus Updates No.2390

Air France orders more A350s; brings forward A340 phase out

Air France (AF, Paris CDG) has ordered ten additional A350-900s as it looks to recover capacity lost through the upcoming retirement of its A380-800s and A340-300s, parent firm Air France-KLM said in a press release.
Including the new order, Air France's A350-900 fleet will increase to a total of 38 units, including three that have already been delivered.
As such, the incremental A350-900 order will allow Air France to accelerate the retirement of its four remaining A340-300s during the first quarter of 2021. It also plans to retire its nine remaining A380-800s by the end of 2022.
"This is the next step for Air France as it pursues the same fleet simplification strategy," it said. "As a result, in 2023, the Air France long-haul fleet will consist of 116 aircraft split amongst only four families: Airbus A330s and A350s, and Boeing 787s and 777s."
According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Air France's widebody passenger fleet currently includes fifteen A330-200s, twenty-five B777-200(ER)s, forty-three B777-300(ER)s, and nine B787-9s.

Airbus Updates No.2389

Air Malta eyes India, US with A321neo(XLR) from 2024

Air Malta (KM, Malta Int'l) is planning to add two A321-200neo(XLR)s in 2024 to launch long-haul operations to India and possibly the United States, Chairman Charles Mangion told Air Transport World.
The Maltese carrier had previously said it was studying the A321neo(XLR) but did not confirm plans to add such jets.
Mangion explained that the A321neo(XLR) will be operated by subsidiary Malta MedAir (MM, Malta Int'l), which is wholly-owned by Air Malta and currently operates a single A320-200 on behalf of the Maltese flag carrier.
Air Malta did not name its preferred destinations in India. In the United States, the carrier is evaluating flights to New York. Previously, Air Malta has mentioned Toronto Pearson in Canada as a potential destination.
The Maltese airline currently operates seven A320-200s and three A320neo (including the one wet-leased from Malta MedAir). It plans to complete the roll-over from the ceo to the neo by 2023.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Airbus Updates No.2388

UK's Virgin Atlantic to retain A340-600s into 2020

Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow) will have to retain its fleet of three A340-600s into 2020, due to the ongoing B787 engine availability problems which have come as a result of an uncontained engine failure at Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen) in August.
The UK carrier had initially intended to exit the four-engined aircraft from its fleet on October 26, however, the type began appearing in the carrier's schedules again beyond this date in September. At the end of October, the airline then moved back the type's planned retirement from December 8 to December 29, but this date is now having to be pushed back even further.
Speaking to ch-aviation, a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: "We’re always reviewing our fleet, and timelines around aircraft retirement are always subject to change in order to give us greater flexibility for our customers. Whilst no decisions have been made, due to ongoing supply issues with B787 Rolls-Royce engines, our A340-600s may remain flying a little longer than planned." When pushed for an exact timeline on the type's retirement the spokesperson was unable to provide any firm dates given the situation.
In the past week, the airline has continued to use the three A340-600s on routes from London Heathrow to New York JFK, New York Newark, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson, and Lagos, as well as from London Gatwick to Bridgetown. The type is also planned to operate flights from Manchester Int'l to Atlanta on December 14, 21 and 22.
Virgin Atlantic currently operates 46 aircraft, according to ch-aviation fleets advanced, including seventeen B787-9s and the three A340-600s, as well as seven B747-400s, five A350-1000s, four A330-200s, and ten A330-300s.

Airbus Updates No.2387

The month in review: November 2019

Airbus marked another month of high-volume bookings with new orders logged for 222 commercial aircraft in November, covering the A320neo Family, A330neo and A350 XWB members of its product line – bringing the overall number of orders booked by the company to more than 20,000. During November, a total of 77 single-aisle and widebody aircraft were delivered to customers.
The new business was paced by announcements during the 2019 Dubai Airshow, including Air Arabia’s firm order for 120 single-aisle A320 Family aircraft, comprising 73 A320neo, 27 A321neo and 20 A321XLR extra-long-range versions. Also in the spotlight at Dubai was Emirates Airline’s purchase agreement for 50 widebody A350-900s; along with a firm order from flynas, Saudi Arabia’s first low-cost airline, for 10 A321XLRs. 
Other widebody order bookings during November involved 16 A330-900 versions of the A330neo for Cebu Pacific, 10 A330-900s for CIT Leasing, and four A330neo aircraft in the A330-800 configuration for an unidentified customer. Completing the month’s new business was easyJet’s order for 12 additional A320neo aircraft.
Commercial activity in November raised the total number of aircraft orders won by Airbus since its creation to 20,058.
Deliveries in November were composed of 56 A320 Family (55 NEO versions and one CEO aircraft), 11 A350 XWBs in both the A350-900 and A350-1000 configurations, five A330s (four NEOs and one CEO), four A220s and one A380.
Among the month’s notable deliveries were the first A350-900s received by Fiji Airways (through DAE Capital) and Scandinavian carrier SAS; along with the first A320neo to Air Corsica (leased from ICBC Leasing) and an A321neo to Air Asia.
Taking the latest orders, deliveries and cancellations into account, Airbus’ backlog of aircraft remaining to be delivered as of 30 November stood at 7,570. This total was comprised of 6,193 A320 Family aircraft, 628 A350 XWBs, 432 A220s, 306 A330s, and 11 A380s.

Airbus Updates No.2386

Air France-KLM orders an additional 10 A350 XWBs

The Air France-KLM Group has decided to place a firm order for 10 additional widebody A350-900s, which will take its total order for the type to 38 aircraft.
By acquiring the industry’s most efficient and technologically advanced widebody aircraft, the airline will benefit from a significant reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions. The A350 XWBs are intended to be operated by Air France. 
“Rationalising and modernising the fleet is central to our effort to regain our leading position in Europe,” said Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM Group. “It will strengthen our performance from both an economic and operational standpoint, and will help us deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda. Offering a 25% reduction in fuel consumption compared to previous-generation aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 is a jewel of European expertise and a passenger favorite. We are excited to see it become a core asset of the Air France fleet.”
“Ben is leading an impressive transformation at Air France-KLM and we feel honoured that our A350 XWB aircraft have been selected as part of this endeavor,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. “We sincerely thank Air France-KLM for the confidence placed in us.”
Air France-KLM currently operates a fleet of 159 Airbus aircraft.
The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, a carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these features translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency with a 25% reduction in fuel burn and emissions. The A350 XWB’s Airspace by Airbus cabin is the quietest of any twin-aisle and offers passengers and crews the most modern in-flight products for the most comfortable flying experience. By the end of November, the A350 XWB Family had received 959 firm orders from 51 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Airbus Updates No.2385

Australian Pilbara plans to add two Airbus A320 jets to fly to Asia

Port Hedland, Western Australia - New Australian carrier Pilbara Airlines has announced that it would use Karratha Airport, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, as its primary base for flights to destinations in Asia.
Pilbara Airlines had so far only considered using Port Hedland International Airport, located 200 kilometers east of Karratha.
The airline plans to operate two A320 jets to serve Singapore Changi initially in late 2020 or early 2021. Hanoi in Vietnam and Manila in the Philippines will follow.
Karratha is the home of some iron ore and salt mining ventures as well as a natural gas extraction facility. The majority of its population are expatriates from Southeast Asia and neighboring regions who came to the region to work in the mines.
The airline is in the process of upgrading its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to include large jets in its fleet.
The airline has a substantial infrastructure program and wants to construct a bond store with chiller and freezer facilities to permit the export of agriculture and aquaculture to produce, a Head Office for over 150 staff, a maintenance hangar, and an aviation academy to train pilots, cabin crew and engineers,
the company said.
It was founded in April 2009 as Austasia Airlines Pty Ltd before being renamed Air Timor (Australia) in March 2011. In September this year, it was again renamed, this time as Pilbara Airlines.

Airbus Updates No.2384

Chilean Sky Airline orders 10 Airbus A321XLR

Santiago, Chile - Santiago-based Chilean low-cost carrier Sky has ordered 10 Airbus A321XLR jets directly from Airbus.
The airline has also signed for a training partnership with the European planemaker.
"This new aircraft fleet will allow us to expand our offer of international and wide-ranging routes," said Sky Airline chief executive Holger Paulmann.
Sky Airline currently flies to the destinations in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay.
The airline operates nine Airbus A319s and 14 A320neos. Another four A320neos on order will be delivered to the South American carrier in 2020.
Next year, Airbus will establish a training center in Chile with an A320 full-flight simulator. Sky Airline will become the launch customer of the center for pilot training.
Sky is the second largest airline in Chile after rival LATAM Airlines and the first airline to operate under a low-cost business model in the country.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Airbus Updates No.2383

Airbus records a firm order for its slow selling A330-800

Toulouse, France - Airbus has received a firm order for four Airbus A330-800 jets from an anonymous customer.
The customer was not disclosed by the European planemaker. With this recent order, the number of the A330-800 jets on the manufacturer's backlog became fourteen.
The launch customer Kuwait Airways has eight units in its order book with Airbus. The other two A330-800 jets belong to the newly revived African carrier Uganda Airlines. The owner of the remaining four planes remains yet unknown.
The A330-800 is the smaller and the less popular variant of the A330neo family. The A330-900 has so far accumulated 285 orders from the customers around the globe against the 14 of its little sister A330-800.
Airbus developed the A330-800 as the successor of its older generation A330-200.
There are probably two reasons which make aircraft to sell slower than the A330-900. Firstly, there are still lots of of relatively young A330-200 jets on service with the airlines and some of them are even under ten years old.
And finally, there is a huge second-hand market for Airbus's A330ceos. Airbus is positive that the sales of the A330-800 will boom in the coming years when the older A330-200s approach to the end of their lifespan.