Airbus CEO and EADS boss-in-waiting Tom Enders said at the show yesterday that the Asia Pacific accounted for half of Airbus’s order intake in 2011. Enders was delivering an exceptionally optimistic outlook for the region during the company’s opening Singapore Airshow press conference.
Airbus A320 family
Weak airline profits are increasing pricing pressure on the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market. That’s a big challenge–but by no means the only one–facing MRO providers in 2012, the Year of the Dragon, according to Lufthansa Technik chairman August Henningsen. “We’re happy we’re in a growth market, not a shrinking one,” he told a press conference in Singapore yesterday.
Budget Citilink, the low-cost subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia, is expected to get its air operator’s certificate (AOC) by April, thus allowing it to operate as a separate entity, said Con Korfiatis, technical advisor to Citilink’s board of directors.
China Eastern has selected Honeywell to provide a variety of its products and services for its fleet of Boeing 737 NG and Airbus A320 airliners. It will supply wheels and brakes for the 737 NGs to improve performance and reduce operating costs, for both new-build aircraft and as upgrades to the existing fleet. It also will provide 131-9 auxiliary power units for the 50 A320s that China Eastern has on order.
IndiGo, India’s largest budget carrier with a fleet of 48 Airbus A320 airliners, has awarded SriLankan Engineering its largest contract for maintenance of 26 C-checks through 2012. This is the fourth consecutive year IndiGo has outsourced to SriLankan and it is the largest overseas outsourcing of maintenance, repair and overhaul work by an Indian carrier. The contact has been awarded at a time when onerous taxes appear to be making Indian MRO providers uncompetitive.
In late 2012 CFM International plans to run the third development core, known as “eCore 3,” for the Leap engine it is developing for the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and Comac C919 airliners. On Tuesday, the General Electric-Snecma join venture also announced it is ramping up production, after having delivered 1,354 CFM56s last year.
ST Aerospace (Booth G01) has acquired completion design specialist DRB Aviation of San Antonio, Texas, and on Monday announced plans to enter the VIP cabin interior business. The new subsidiary of the Singaporean group will trade under the name of Aeria Luxury Interiors.
International Aero Engines (IAE) will continue to build V2500 turbofans well beyond the middle of the next decade and production rates will continue to climb, according to president and CEO Ian Aitken.
European low-cost carrier Easyjet announced on the eve of the show that it will be the first airline to test the electric taxiing system that Safran and Honeywell are developing to save fuel (see page 58). With the first operational trials due to take place in 2013, Easyjet’s role will be to help establish whether the estimated savings can be realized. The system enables an aircraft to taxi without its engines, by using the auxiliary power unit to power electric motors in the main wheels.
If you’re looking to experience a touch of luxury in Singapore, you could do worse than to visit the Airbus stand on the static display where the European manufacturer is exhibiting one of its ACJ318 corporate jets for the first time here at the air show.