Airbus’s inauguration ceremony for the A350 final assembly line in Toulouse last Tuesday marked a key milestone in the company’s 40-year history of widebody production and the latest step in its pursuit of a market segment dominated by Boeing for the past decade and a half. More than 1,000 representatives from customers, suppliers, partners, along with elected officials and other invitees bore witness to the 800,000-sq-ft factory next to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southwestern France, where Airbus houses the program’s first static test airframe.
AIN Air Transport Perspective » October 29, 2012
CFM faces some uncertainties surrounding its Leap-1C turbofans for the Comac C919 narrowbody, although the engine program schedule calls for that variant of the three-member Leap family to go to test first.
The outspoken chief executive of Qatar Airways, an increasingly influential player in the world airline market, blamed the long-running battle over airline participation in Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) on the former leader of the association that represents world airlines.
Striking pilots and engineers of India’s Kingfisher Airlines have accepted a three-month portion of their eight months of unpaid salaries and agreed to return to work, even as management struggles to get its suspended Scheduled Operator’s Permit reinstated. Still, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh warned that paying salaries alone would not guarantee that Kingfisher would fly again. “I think the Kingfisher problem is much bigger; even if they pay the salaries today, are they going to take off and fly? I don`t think so,” he said.
Following up on Boeing’s recent bullish 20-year forecast for freighter aircraft demand, CEO Jim McNerney acknowledged that the market for freighters looks soft in the near term. Nevertheless, during the company’s third-quarter earnings call last Wednesday he noted that the company has “pretty much” filled all of next year’s delivery slots for its newest freighter–the 747-8F–and that, in the long term, the case for a robust freighter market remains “compelling.”