Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways announced here yesterday orders for 100 Airbus and Boeing aircraft nominally worth $20 billion. The contracts include options on another 55 jetliners and purchase rights covering an additional 50 machines (see table). If the airline converts all options and purchase rights to firm orders, the value of the overall package would reach about $43 billion in 2008 catalogue prices.
Airbus A320 family
Clouds of dry ice swirled around onlookers as Pratt & Whitney revealed a full-scale model of its new “PurePower” PW1000G geared turbofan (GTF) on its stand yesterday. The engine is performing “outstandingly well” in flight tests now under way, said Pratt & Whitney president Steve Finger, who added, “This is the first of a new generation of ultra high bypass engines.”
S7 Airlines announced here yesterday that it has signed a 13-year engine service per hour contract with Snecma Services covering its CFM56-5A engines. The new pact follows another signed two years ago. One of Russia’s largest domestic airlines, S7 Airlines bases its operation in Novosibirsk and has its largest hub at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow.
Snecma Services has signed a three-year maintenance contract with privately-owned Bahrain Air to support the CFM56-5A engines that power the carrier’s fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft–which will number four by the end of the year.
CFM International partners General Electric and Snecma have extended their successful 34-year partnership until 2040 and revealed plans to develop an all-new engine, provisionally called the Leap-X. The engine will provide 16 percent more fuel efficiency than today’s CFM56; however, it will not be offered for retrofit to existing aircraft.
The new Series 5000 full flight simulator that CAE inaugurated recently at its Burgess Hill training center near Gatwick is the first example of a new design intended as a more affordable alternative to the company’s established 7000 series.
Recent demand for younger airliners has ensured lease market buoyancy, but rental rates could fall if more operators release capacity or collapse under the pressure of fuel prices and scarce credit. Major lessor International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) has warned that air traffic growth might slow down, potentially causing “a negative impact on future lease rates.”
“A strong market for strong products” is driving growth at Bombardier Aerospace, according to president and chief executive officer Pierre Beaudoin. The Canadian group is increasing its 27,000-strong workforce even as it faces the challenge of achieving earnings growth targets subject to currency exchange fluctuations that have led it to outsource more work to lower-cost partners.
International Aero Engines comes to Farnborough celebrating the 25th anniversary of the landmark deal on March 11, 1983, between Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and Japanese Aero Engines to develop a brand-new engine–the V2500–to compete with the CFM56 to power the Airbus A320 family.
Six operators were represented at the first operators conference for the Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) held at the manufacturer’s Toulouse, France headquarters on September 14. In total, 15 pilots and managers made the trip, representing Aero Services Executive, DaimlerChrysler Aviation, Twinjet, the Italian and French government flight departments, as well as one other undisclosed operator.