Paris Air Show recap Day 1
Airbus starts off big with narrowbody at Paris Air Show
Airbus got off to a quick start at this year’s Paris Air Show by announcing the launch of its long-range A321XLR, which the manufacturer called “the next evolutionary step” in design with 30 percent lower fuel burn that the (Boeing) competition. Airbus said the plane, starting in 2023, will deliver a range of 4,700nm.
“With this added range, airlines will be able to operate a lower-cost single-aisle aircraft on longer and less heavily travelled routes – many of which can now only be served by larger and less efficient wide-body aircraft,” Airbus said in announcing the plane. This will enable operators to open new world-wide routes such as India to Europe or China to Australia, as well as further extending the family’s non-stop reach on direct transatlantic flights between continental Europe and the Americas.
The A321XLR has been designed to maximize overall commonality with the A321LR and the rest of the A320neo Family, while introducing minimal changes needed to give the aircraft an Xtra Long Range with increased revenue payload. The changes include: the new permanent rear centre tank (RCT) for more fuel volume; a modified landing gear for an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 101 metric tonnes; and an optimised wing trailing-edge flap configuration to preserve the same take-off performance and engine thrust requirements as today’s A321neo. In particular, the new optimised RCT holds more fuel than several optional Additional Centre Tanks (ACTs) did previously, while taking up less space in the cargo hold – thus freeing-up underfloor volume for additional cargo and baggage on long range routes.
Air Lease orders 100 Airbus aircraft
Air Lease, the Los Angeles-based aircraft leasing company, has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for 100 Airbus aircraft, including for the first time 50 A220-300s and 27 A321XLRs. The agreement also includes an incremental order for an additional 23 A321neos. This latest order takes Air Lease’s cumulative orders to 387 Airbus aircraft, making it Airbus’ third-largest lessor customer. Financial details were not disclosed but at list prices before customary discounts the order would be worth about US$11 billion.
Zhejiang Loong Air signs LEAP-1A deal
Zhejiang Loong Air has signed a 12-year Rate-Per-Flight-Hour Agreement with CFM International for 40 LEAP-1A engines powering the airline’s fleet of leased Airbus A320neo/A321neo aircraft. The agreement is valued at US$800 million at list prices.
Envoy Air signs GE TrueChoice agreement for CF34 engines
Envoy Air expanded its TrueChoice service agreement with GE Aviation to cover its entire fleet of CF34-8E engines that power the 84 Embraer E175 aircraft that are currently operating and on order. The TrueChoice agreement covers the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the engines. The total contract is valued at more than US$1 billion over the life of the agreement.
GE Aviation and Avation Plc sign asset transfer system agreement
GE Aviation and Avation PLC announced an agreement to provide the AirVault Asset Transfer System across the lessor’s fleet of ATR72 turboprops, A220-300, A320 and A321 narrow-body jets, Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300 twin-aisle airplanes. The implementation started in June with anticipated completion this year. Avation PLC is a commercial passenger aircraft leasing company headquartered in Singapore. Financial details were not disclosed.
Virgin Atlantic selects A330neo for its fleet renewal and expansion
Virgin Atlantic has selected 14 A330-900s to replace its A330ceos from 2021, with options to further expand its fleet of highly efficient wide-body aircraft. The firm order for eight aircraft and six additional on lease from Air Lease was signed at the Paris Air Show.
Peach Aviation buys LEAP-1A
Peach Aviation and CFM International signed an agreement for the purchase of 20 LEAP-1A engines to power the airline’s new fleet of Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The agreement is valued at US$294 million at list prices; the aircraft were ordered in 2016.
GECAS orders 10 737-800 Boeing converted freighters, adds 15 options
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) signed an agreement with Boeing exercising 10 purchase rights to firm orders and adding 15 more purchase rights for the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF). The 737-800BCF is Boeing’s newest freighter product. The company converts Next-Generation 737 passenger airplanes into cargo jets that are capable of carrying more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lbs) – and flying farther – 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) – than previous standard-body freighters. The order is the third time that GECAS has purchased Boeing’s newest freighter since the programme was announced in 2016. GECAS now has 65 orders and options for the 737-800BCF.
Colorful Guizhou Airlines signs LEAP-1A deal
Colorful Guizhou Airlines has signed a 12-year Rate-Per-Flight-Hour Agreement with CFM International for the LEAP-1A engines that will power the airline’s future fleet of at least 15 leased Airbus A320neo aircraft. The agreement is valued at approximately US$500 million at list prices. Based in Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, Colorful Guizhou Airlines operates a fleet of regional aircraft trunk and regional routes for passenger service.
Qantas and GE Aviation collaborate on new module of FlightPulse
Qantas and GE Aviation announced plans to develop a new module for FlightPulse, a digital application to improve safety and operational decision making for airline pilots. This follows the launch of the FlightPulse app in 2017, a flight analytics tool which uses recorded aircraft data to enable pilots to securely access their individual operational efficiency metrics and trends after each flight, helping to reduce significant amounts of fuel as well as carbon emissions. The new module will provide rich historical data for pilots to identify any safety-related or general traffic flow considerations, and help minimise fuel burn, at specific airports or runways. Pilots will be able to access the data before each flight to help with their decision making. The app is currently in the design phase and GE has been working closely with Qantas pilots to understand their needs. The app will be available in early 2020.
SMBC Aviation Capital opts for GTF engines
SMBC Aviation Capital announced it has selected Pratt & Whitney GTF engines to power an additional 20 A320neo family aircraft with options, bringing the leasing company’s total to 50 firm GTF-powered A320neo family aircraft.
Boeing, International Airlines Group build on 777X order with services agreements
Boeing and International Airlines Group (IAG) signed two agreements at the Paris Air Show that will provide key services for IAG’s British Airways, including parts for the airline’s Airbus A320 family and its Boeing 777 fleet. With the first agreement, Boeing will furnish British Airways with its Component Services Program where Boeing and its partners will own, manage, and maintain a global exchange inventory of parts for the airline’s A320 and A320neo aircraft. This agreement – the first of its kind for Boeing – will open convenient access to parts for British Airways, which operates an extensive route network.
British Airways has also signed an agreement for three Landing Gear Exchanges for its 777 fleet. Through the program, operators receive an overhauled and certified landing gear from an exchange pool maintained by Boeing, with stocked components and supporting parts shipping within 24 hours. Following the signing of these new services agreements, Boeing and IAG held a deferred ceremonial signing to celebrate its order for 18 777X airplanes. Earlier this year, IAG placed firm orders for 18 777-9 aircraft and 24 options for British Airways.
Indigo places US$20 billion LEAP order
IndiGo announced that it has ordered CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power 280 Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft. The contract, which includes spare engines and an overhaul support agreement, is valued at more than US$20 billion at list prices. To support its new LEAP-1A fleet, IndiGo also signed a long-term Service Agreement. IndiGo has been a CFM customer since 2016 and currently operates a fleet of 17 A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM56-5B engines as part of a total fleet of 215 A320/A321 family aircraft. Delivery of the first LEAP-1A-powered A320neo is scheduled in 2020.
AFI KLM E&M and GMF accelerate international growth
AFI KLM E&M signed its first sections of the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) with Indonesian MRO Garuda Maintenance Facility (GMF) AeroAsia in October 2018 in Bali. On 17 June 2019, the two parties signed multiple contracts involving a range of maintenance operations, some of which will be handled by AFI KLM E&M in Paris and Amsterdam, and others by GMF in Jakarta. In doing so, the two companies aim to maximise each other’s unique technical capabilities. GMF is collaborating with AFI KLM E&M with their GE90-115 engines under a contract that includes on-wing support, repair, overhaul and access to a spares pool. Budget carrier Citilink, a Garuda Indonesia subsidiary, will benefit from a long-term contract covering component support for its A320 fleet. The existing component support contract for its Boeing 777 fleet has been renewed with Garuda. The SPA also includes component support for the Garuda Group Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 fleets. These agreements cover repair, pool access and Main Base Kits. The two companies will continue to cooperate on CFM56-7B and CFM56-5B maintenance. In return, AFI KLM E&M has awarded several contracts to GMF AeroAsia. Heavy maintenance on several of KLM’s Boeing 747-400s and KLM and Air France A330s will now be carried out in Jakarta. AFI KLM E&M will continue to support GMF airframe maintenance capability development. The Indonesian MRO will also develop and handle repairs for multiple components equipping a variety of aircraft types under a training program offered by AFI KLM E&M in addition to ongoing developments on CFM56-7B and CFM56-5B platforms. Lastly, AFI KLM E&M will be sending several component, engine and airframe experts to work at the Jakarta premises for the duration of the partnership.
Collins developing hub in Singapore
Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies, announced a strategic investment in Singapore to develop an aerospace innovation hub in the region dedicated to advanced maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) processes and operations, as well as additive manufacturing processes and capabilities. The 15,000 square foot innovation hub will be located at the Collins Changi MRO Campus and feature a lab for Automation, Smart Factory development and Advanced Manufacturing for deployment across Collins Aerospace. A ground breaking ceremony will be held in August and the lab is expected to be open in 1Q 2020.
“We’re experiencing tremendous growth and transformation in aerospace globally, and we are focused on innovation in order to remain at the forefront of advanced methods and materials for maintenance, repair and overhaul solutions,” said Ajay Agrawal, president, Aftermarket Services, Collins Aerospace. “We are proud to collaborate with the Singapore Economic Development Board to optimize our customers’ experience through the application of new technologies this lab will produce.”
Airbus Services launches “FHS Powered by Skywise”
Airbus Services has launched the development of a new enhanced Flight Hour Service offering: “FHS Powered by Skywise”. The new service will progressively introduce applications to simplify and accelerate decision-making from identification to delivery and installation of the required parts. This will bring value to airline operations especially by improving aircraft availability while optimising resources utilisation and components’ inventory.
Boeing to expand investment in Brazil’s sustainable aviation fuel industry
Boeing announced a US$1 million investment in Brazil’s efforts to establish a sustainable aviation fuel industry. The investment will focus on initiatives that maximise social, economic and environmental benefits to local communities engaged in the development of feedstock that can be used to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). In 2018, the company provided an additional US$1 million to the industry’s efforts in Brazil.
Boeing will collaborate with World Wide Fund for Nature and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) to identify small communities of farmers in Brazil with the most promising potential to provide biomass for SAF production. The producers will then be certified using sustainability indicators that drive social benefits such as income generation, solid labour practices and food security. Groups of small farmers that produce sugarcane and macaúba oil in southeast Brazil have already been certified by RSB in recent years, with Boeing’s financial support.
Airbus reveals first A330neo for AirAsia
Airbus and AirAsia have unveiled the first A330neo for the AirAsia Group. The aircraft will be delivered via lessor Avolon in the coming weeks for operation by AirAsia’s long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X Thailand. The Thai AirAsia X A330-900 features 377 seats in a two-class configuration, comprising 12 Business Class and 365 Economy Class seats. AirAsia X currently operates 36 A330-300 aircraft. The airline is the largest customer for the A330neo with 66 on order. In addition, the airline will acquire two aircraft on lease from Avolon this year.
Lanmei Airlines opts for AFI KLM E&M
Cambodian start-up Lanmei Airlines has selected AFI KLM E&M to provide support services for its 10 A320s. The contract covers a wide range of components, as it also extends to aerostructure and Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) for the V2500 and CFM engines these aircraft are equipped with. The services provided will include repairs, pool access, provision of a Main Base Kit (MBK) and AOG support in the Asia-Pacific region.
S7 Airlines signs GE TrueChoice agreement for CF34 Engines
S7 Airlines and GE announced the signing of a seven-year TrueChoice Flight Hour service agreement to cover the airline’s fleet of CF34-8E engines that power its 17 Embraer E170 aircraft. The TrueChoice Flight Hour agreement covers the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the engines and is valued at more than US$85 million over the life of the agreement.
Middle East Airlines orders four Airbus A321XLRs
Middle East Airlines (MEA), the flag carrier of Lebanon, has signed a firm order for four A321XLRs. The agreement takes Middle East Airlines’ cumulative single aisle orders with Airbus to 15 A321neo family aircraft, including 11 A321neos and 4 A321XLRs with deliveries starting in 2020. MEA will use the A321XLR to strengthen its network in Africa and Asia.