Over the next five years Iran needs some 140 new airliners, half of which would replace a largely outdated fleet. Air transport demand continues to grow as the Iranian economy enjoys high oil revenues and 8 percent annual GDP growth.
Airbus has flown the first example of its heavier A340-600, launched by Emirates Airline two years ago. It is to enter service with Qatar Airways in mid-2006. The A340-600HGW (and its A340-500HGW counterpart) has a strengthened airframe and landing gear and is designed to offer a maximum takeoff weight of almost 838,000 pounds.
Emirates Airline chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum yesterday announced the largest ever order in the history of the Boeing 777 program. The estimated $9.7 billion contract calls for delivery of 42 airplanes in all–24 GE90-powered B777-300ERs, 10 777-200LRs and eight 777 Freighters. It also grants Emirates “purchase rights” for another twenty 777s.
Emirates-CAE Flight Training is reaping the benefits of the spate of new aircraft orders from Middle East and Indian airlines, announcing several major contracts at Dubai 2005.
In the last financial year Emirates Airlines boosted its profits by 49 percent, to a record $637 million on $4.9 billion in revenues, which is up 36 percent year-over-year. Passenger numbers increased from 10.4 million to 12.5 million and the average load factor rose from 73.4 percent to 74.6 percent. Many European and Asian routes drew average loads of more than 90 percent.
Exactly 20 years old this past October 25, Emirates Airline expects to continue its prolific growth of the past two decades by taking delivery of an average of one new aircraft a month until 2012, more than doubling its present fleet of 81 airplanes.
An undisclosed Saudi Arabian company has ordered a VIP-configured Airbus A340-200. The aircraft, renowned as the world’s longest commercial airliner, is to be delivered green by the end of 2006 and sent for outfitting to an s-yet-unannounced completions center. Jeddah-based National Air Services will operate the A340 on behalf of he client. NAS already flies a fleet of VIP A320 jetliners, including one for the same customer.
Seasoned Paris Air Show delegates puzzled to see an airline among the aerospace manufacturers’ hospitality chalets at the June 2005 event should not have been surprised at the presence of Qatar Airways, since members of its burgeoning all-Airbus fleet have now graced the static park at several international shows.
Two-year-old Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has started life with such precocious growth rates that it makes neighborhood trailblazer Emirates Airline look almost conservative. In the Gulf region’s anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better air transport market, Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways have continued to trump each other with ever more optimistic fleet expansion plans.
In an unprecedented move, Pratt & Whitney is to manufacture components for an engine it competes with, the CFM56, in order to capitalize on the lucrative spares market for the General Electric/Snecma powerplant.