Paris Air Show Day 2 recap
IAG signs US$24 billion deal for Boeing MAX planes
Boeing got a huge confidence boost at the Paris Air Show on the second day when International Airlines Group (IAG) signed a letter of intent to buy 200 of the troubled MAX 737s in a deal valued at US$24 billion at list prices. IAG is the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and LEVEL. The group has been a long-time operator of Boeing twin-aisle airplanes. Earlier this year, IAG group committed to and finalised an order for Boeing’s newest long-haul model, the 777X, to complement its fleet of current-generation 777s and new 787 Dreamliners. In the single-aisle segment, IAG and its affiliates used to operate Classic 737 aircraft. Today, its fleet is almost exclusively Airbus A320 family aircraft. IAG CEO Willie Walsh has said the group would consider the 737 MAX as part of diversifying its future fleet to spur competition.
“We’re very pleased to sign this letter of intent with Boeing and are certain that these aircraft will be a great addition to IAG’s short-haul fleet,” said Walsh. “We have every confidence in Boeing and expect that the aircraft will make a successful return to service in the coming months having received approval from the regulators.”
In selecting the 737 MAX, IAG says it will fly a combination of the 737 MAX 8, which seats up to 178 passengers in a two-class configuration, and the larger 737 MAX 10 jet, which can accommodate as many as 230 passengers. The airline did not disclose a specific split between the two MAX models, though it anticipates deploying the aircraft at a number of the group’s airlines including Vueling and LEVEL.
“We are truly honoured and humbled by the leadership at International Airlines Group for placing their trust and confidence in the 737 MAX and, ultimately, in the people of Boeing and our deep commitment to quality and safety above all else,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president & CEO Kevin McAllister. “We are delighted that the IAG team recognized the superior qualities of the 737 MAX and has indicated an intention to return to the Boeing 737 family. We look forward to building on our long-standing partnership with IAG for many years to come.”
Leonardo and PWNE extend training agreement in Malaysia
Leonardo and PWN Excellence (PWNE) are expanding their established partnership in Malaysia for the provision of advanced training services and announced the extension of the Authorised Synthetic Training Centre (ASTC) agreement, currently for the AW139 helicopter, to include AW189 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) services. By the end of 2020 PWNE will incorporate a second Level D roll on/off Full Flight Simulator system allowing both AW139 and AW189 pilot training, adding to the existing AW139 FFS, into a newly built facility located Subang Skypark (Subang Terminal Airport), close to Leonardo’s subsidiary in Malaysia which delivers support and training services.
Satair renews global partnership
Satair and Saint-Gobain Sully have agreed to expand to a global partnership and renew their distribution agreement across the Asia-Pacific region, including China. The expanded agreement covers sales of cabin windows worldwide – an expansion of the previous agreement that covered sales and exchange of Airbus and ATR cockpit windows in Asia-Pacific and China.
Leonardo signs MOU with GE Aviation for digital transformation
GE Aviation and Leonardo signed a partnership Memorandum of Understanding to continue developing and implementing digital transformation across Leonardo’s operations in the UK and to jointly develop digital products to open new business opportunities. GE Aviation’s digital services offering, Digital Works, embeds GE experts within the customer team to help plan, build and accelerate digital transformation.
AirAsia, CFM signs US$23.1 billion order
AirAsia and CFM International finalised an agreement for the purchase of 200 LEAP-1A engines to power the airline’s 100 Airbus A321neo. The airplane order and intent to purchase the engines were announced in July 2016. At the same time, AirAsia has expanded its 20-year Rate-Per-Flight-Hour (RPFH) agreement to encompass its entire fleet of 808 LEAP-1A engines for a combined total value of US$23.1 billion at list prices.
Delta Air Lines books order for additional five Airbus A220 aircraft
Delta Air Lines has ordered five additional A220-100 aircraft, bringing to 95 the total number of orders placed, including both the A220-100s and A220-300s. The airline is the first to select the new increased maximum take-off weight option for its entire fleet from 2020. Delta was the US launch customer for the A220, placing an initial order for 75 aircraft in 2016 and booking an additional 15 in December 2018. With this latest order, Delta’s orders total 45 A220-100s and 50 A220-300s.
Atlantic Airways orders two A320neo aircraft
Atlantic Airways, the Faroe Islands flag carrier, has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for two A320neo aircraft. The engine selection will be made at a later date. With this new order, Atlantic Airways intends to further develop its European network. The airline, an Airbus customer since 2008, already operates a fleet of three A320 Family aircraft.
Skytrax names Qatar Airways as “World’s Best Airline” for the fifth time
Qatar Airways was named the “World’s Best Airline” and the “Best Airline” in the Middle East by Skytrax. The airline also won awards for “World’s Best Business Class”, and the “World’s Best Business Class Seat”. Singapore Airlines won the award for “World’s Best Cabin Crew” and was honoured with awards for the “World’s Best First Class”, the “Best Airline in Asia” and the “World’s Best First Class Seat”.
Akbar al Baker, Qatar’s group chief executive, said: “We are thrilled to be globally recognised by our customers by winning these four prestigious awards. Becoming the first airline to be named as ‘Airline of the Year’ for the fifth time is a landmark achievement and, combined with three other major Skytrax awards, it is testament to the tireless efforts of the entire Qatar Airways team. It is a proud moment for the airline as our constant innovation and service standards set the benchmark in our industry.”
The Skytrax awards include:
The World’s Top 10 Airlines of 2019
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- ANA All Nippon Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- EVA Air
- Hainan Airlines
- Qantas Airways
- Thai Airways
World’s Best Cabin Staff 2019
- Singapore Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia
- ANA All Nippon Airways
- Thai Airways
- EVA Air
- Cathay Pacific
- Hainan Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- China Airlines
World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines 2019
- Southwest Airlines
- Jetstar Airways
The World’s Cleanest Airlines
- EVA Air
- Japan Airlines
- ANA All Nippon Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Asiana Airlines
- Hainan Airlines/
- Swiss Int’l Air Lines
- Cathay Pacific
- Qatar Airways
Other winners included Air Transat, voted the “World’s Best Leisure Airline”, ANA All Nippon Airways as the “World’s Best Airport Services”, Norwegian is the “World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline”, Star Alliance the “World’s Best Airline Alliance”, Philippine Airlines as the “World’s Most Improved Airline”, Bangkok Airways as the “World’s Best Regional Airline”.
Over 100 customer nationalities participated in the survey with 21.65 million eligible entries counted in the results. All survey entries were screened to identify IP and user information, with duplicate, suspect or ineligible entries deleted. Over 300 airlines are featured in the 2018/2019 survey results. The customer survey forms were offered in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.
Boeing gets a lift from Korean Air
Boeing, Korean Air and Air Lease announced at the Paris Air Show the airline plans to add 30 new 787 Dreamliner airplanes to its fleet, with a commitment to purchase 10 new 787-10s and 10 additional 787-9 airplanes valued at US$6.3 billion at current list prices. As part of this agreement, Korean Air will also lease 10 787-10s from Air Lease.
The airline, one of the largest transpacific carriers in Asia with 16 non-stop routes to North America, will introduce the larger 787-10 to complement its long-haul fleet of 787-9 and 777 airplanes.
“As we continue to innovate our product offering, the 787 Dreamliner family will become the backbone of our long-haul fleet for many years to come,” said Walter Cho, chairman of Korean Air. “In addition to 25 percent improved fuel efficiency, the stretched 787-10 offers around 15 percent more space for passengers and cargo than our 787-9s, which will be critical to our long-term business goals.”
With this order, Korea’s flag carrier will quadruple its 787 fleet to 40 airplanes as it looks to strengthen its long-haul fleet. Korean Air operates a fleet of 96 Boeing passenger airplanes, including the Next-Generation 737, 747, 777 and 787 airplanes. The airline also operates an all-Boeing cargo fleet with the 747-400, 747-8 and 777 Freighters.
Aviation tech officers try to boost industry’s green credentials
The chief technology officers of seven of the world’s largest aviation companies issued a joint statement at the Paris Air Show touting the industry green credentials and laying out plans for the industry to come to grips with its impact on the environment. The effort comes just weeks after a gathering of aviation leaders in Seoul where the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) was more than a little put off by suggestions and reports that the aviation industry was not doing enough to cut its deadly CO2 emissions.
The seven companies included: Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce, Safran and UTC. They said they took the step of issuing the statement “demonstrate how they are collaborating and sharing approaches to drive the sustainability of aviation…”
After some lofty rhetoric about how aviation “connects our world” and opens new economic opportunities, the group said “climate change has become a clear concern for our society. Humanity’s impact on the climate requires action on many fronts. The aviation industry is already taking significant action to protect the planet and will continue to do so”.
The group said aviation contributes to 2 percent of human-made carbon dioxide emissions, although some estimates put the figure at 3-5 percent. They added that the industry has challenged itself to reduce net CO2 emissions even while demand for air travel and transport grows significantly.
“Through the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), the aviation industry became the world’s first industrial sector to set an ambitious target: reduce CO2 emissions to half of year 2005 levels by 2050, and to limit the growth of net CO2 emissions by 2020,” the group said in its statement. “We are on track to meet those near-term commitments, including the 2019 implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) programme as agreed upon by the nations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The chief technology officers of seven of the world’s leading aviation manufacturers are now each working at an unprecedented level to ensure the industry meets these aggressive and necessary commitments.”
CORSIA however, has been criticised by environmental groups around the world because it plans to use offsets that allow airlines to continue polluting as long as they contribute to programmes like tree planting or reforestation efforts. Those offsets however have not been proven to be effective and in fact, much of the world’s forest (as in Malaysia) are under threat, ironically, because they’re being cut down to plant palm oil which is used in “sustainable” aviation fuel. The plan is also falling short because it is largely voluntary until 2027 and some countries, India for example, have not signed on.
The technology officers, in their statement, said aviation can improve its green reputation, by continuing to develop aircraft and engines that contribute to reducing CO2, developing sustainable fuels, and working on “radically new aircraft and propulsion technology and accelerating technologies that will enable the third generation of aviation”.
They also said more efficient air traffic management and aircraft routing that minimises fuel consumption also “have a vital part to play”
“Aviation will continue to rely on liquid fuels as the fundamental energy source for larger and longer-range aircraft for the foreseeable future. Even under the most optimistic forecasts for electric-powered flight, regional and single-aisle commercial airplanes will remain operating in the global fleet with jet fuel for decades to come. Therefore, the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) which use recycled rather than fossil-based carbon and meet strong, credible sustainability standards is an essential component of a sustainable future,” the group said in their statement.
The group said “the future of aviation is bright”, but the industry couldn’t act alone and needed support from policymakers, regulators and governments”.
“There must be additional public and private commitment to establish a sound regulatory foundation to address the novel issues associated with emerging aviation technologies and to provide the necessary economic support for widespread SAFs commercialisation,” the group said. “We envision broader, deeper and ongoing coordination through ICAO to facilitate unified approaches to regulation with established national and global regulatory and standards-setting bodies.”
Rolls-Royce, SIA sign deal on digital solutions
Rolls-Royce and Singapore Airlines have agreed on a “co-innovation” deal that builds on the existing relationship between the two firms to identify untapped opportunities to enhance flight efficiency, safety and aircraft availability through digital applications and services. It also launches a working partnership between the companies through which they will use a secure digital platform to collaborate on the creation of aviation-specific digital solutions.
Peach selects LEAP-1A for A320neos
Peach Aviation announced it has chosen to install LEAP-1A engines on a total of 10 aircraft, eight of which are the Airbus A320neo model while the other two are A321LR middle-haul models – from fiscal 2020. The deal is worth about US$294 million at list prices.
SMBC orders LEAP-1A engines
SMBC Aviation Capital, one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies, announced it has ordered 40 CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power 20 additional Airbus A320neo aircraft. The engine order is valued at US$588 million at list prices.
Cebu Pacific to order 16 A330neo, 10 A321XLRs and 5 A320neos
Cebu Pacific (CEB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 31 Airbus aircraft, comprising 16 A330neo, 10 A321XLR and 5 A320neo. Cebu Pacific’s A330neo aircraft will be a higher capacity version of the A330-900, with 460 seats in single class configuration. The airline also becomes one of the launch airlines for the A321XLR, which will be able to fly nonstop from the Philippines to destinations as far as India and Australia. This latest agreement supports CEB’s ongoing fleet renewal programme, which aims to have only new-generation, environmentally efficient aircraft by 2024. The fast-growing carrier’s decision also strengthens its all-Airbus fleet status in the jet category. Based on list prices, the deal is worth about US$6.8 billion before discounts.
Gardner Aerospace completes Chengdu facility
Parts supplier Gardner Aerospace said it has completed a new manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China. The 45,000-square metre site’s range of capabilities include long-bed machining; three- to five-axis machining; sheet metal fabrication including stretch forming; surface treatments; non-destructive testing; and aerospace welding. A dedicated cell for the manufacture of engine components and sub-assemblies is also included in the development plans for the site which will see more than US$125 million invested in new equipment and capabilities.
GMF AeroAsia expands deal with CFM
Indonesia’s PT Garuda Maintenance Facility AeroAsia (GMF AeroAsia) and CFM International have signed a material service agreement, that together with the current CFM56-7B licence agreement for overhaul has been extended for an additional five years and a new five-year license for CFM56-5B overhauls added. Garuda Indonesia and its LCC subsidiary Citilink, operates a fleet of more than 120 CFM56-powered aircraft.
Airbus, Groupe ADP and RATP Group sign VTOL study deal
Airbus, Groupe ADP and the RATP Group, along with the Paris Ile-de-France region and the French civil aviation authority (DGAC), have announced the launch of a feasibility study to demonstrate an urban system of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. This collaboration, encompassing all components of land and air mobility, marks the creation of a team of recognised experts to develop not only French technology, but also a model for urban mobility, associated services and export potential.
The goal is to integrate the entire value chain: design and production; maintenance; flight operations; low-altitude air traffic management; urban integration and planning; infrastructure, both physical and digital; and passenger interfaces. The project is based on technological building blocks such as electric propulsion and autonomy, in order to comply with energy and sustainable development requirements. Work will include the investigation of secure public digital infrastructure standards involving public and private stakeholders to promote the development of the project.
For Airbus, the objective is to establish best practices for the integration and operation of these new systems in a manner that is safe and respectful of users and the general public.
Airbus is already present in the on-demand mobility sector, with its Voom service offering, based on the use of helicopters in urban areas, and it is developing the Vahana and CityAirbus VTOL vehicle demonstrators, which are 100 percent electric, with zero CO2 emissions.
Saudi Arabian Airlines to boost A320neo family fleet up to 100
Saudi Arabian Airlines, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has decided to expand its existing A320neo family order from 35 to as many as 100 NEO aircraft including 35 options. The additional firm order takes the airline’s order of A320neo family aircraft to 65, of which 15 are A321XLRs.
AirAsia upsizes A320neo order to larger A321neo
AirAsia will upsize its future Airbus single-aisle fleet, converting 253 orders for the A320neo to the larger A321neo version. The change will enable the airline to offer higher capacity in response to ongoing strong demand across its network. AirAsia becomes the world’s largest customer for the A321neo. In total, AirAsia has placed orders for 592 A320 family aircraft. Following the upsizing, AirAsia’s backlog with Airbus includes 353 A321neo. To date, the airline has taken delivery of 224 A320 family aircraft, flying out of its bases in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand.
CFM, Macquarie Finance close LEAP-1A deal
CFM International has finalised an order with Macquarie Airfinance Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Macquarie Group Limited, for LEAP-1A engines worth US$588 million.
Boeing, Air Lease Corporation announce deal for 5 787-9 Dreamliners
Boeing and Air Lease announced a commitment during the Paris Air Show to purchase five 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at US$1.5 billion at list prices. Boeing has sold more than 1,400 Dreamliners since the programme’s introduction.
Leonardo signs deal for first AW139 Level D simulator installation in Japan
Leonardo and Suzuyo of Japan announced at the Paris Air Show the signing of a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the purchase of an AW139 Level D FFS for the AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopter in the country. The simulator will be installed in a dedicated facility at Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport and operated by Suzuyo’s subsidiary Shizuoka Air Commuter Corporation (SACC).
NAC signs for up to 100+ ATRs
Regional aircraft leasing specialist NAC and ATR signed a Letter of Intent for 35 firm ATR -600s, with options for a further 35 and purchase rights for another 35. Deliveries of the initial 35 aircraft will begin in 2020 and run up to 2025.
Avolon orders LEAP-1A in US$2.06 billion deal
Dublin-based international aircraft leasing company Avolon announced it has selected CFM International’s LEAP-1A engine to power an additional 70 Airbus A320neo aircraft. The order is valued at US$2.06 billion at list prices.
Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance and Airbus form partnership
Airbus & AFI KLM E&M have agreed a technical and commercial partnership to co-develop and manage a virtual engine run-up A320 maintenance PC-based training solution. Applicable to all A320 engine types, it will use high definition immersive 3D simulation and will be based on real operational scenarios and in-service aircraft maintenance procedures. The solution will offer a flexible alternative solution to training sessions performed on simulators, facilitating course scheduling and localisation, be it in training centres, in outstations or at the customer’s base.
With the new solution, technicians and mechanics requiring to be trained and qualified to perform engine-run-up tests, will be able to visualize an A320 cockpit in an immersive 3D environment and carry out the simulated Run up test operations.
IAG backs the A321XLR with an order for 14 aircraft
International Airlines Group (IAG) has selected the A321XLR to expand its fleet of single aisles with a firm order for 14 aircraft. Of these, eight are destined for Iberia and six for Aer Lingus. IAG, the parent company of leading airlines also including British Airways, Level and Vueling, is one of Airbus’s largest customers and this agreement will take the overall order from the group to 530 aircraft. IAG airlines combined operate one of the world’s largest Airbus fleets with over 400 aircraft.