Calling Boeing’s 787 “probably the most subsidized airplane ever,” Airbus CEO Thomas Enders nevertheless feels comfortable with the €11 billion ($15 billion) that, on his own admission, European governments have committed to launching the A350XWB.
AirAsiaX has placed firm orders for 10 Airbus A350-900 airliners. The Malaysian carrier will use the new widebodys to connect its Asian hub in Kuala Lumpur with cities in Europe and Australia. The value of the deal was not confirmed but at list prices it would be approximately $2.4 billion.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker is threatening to pull the plug on a contract for up to 60 Boeing 787s due to what appear to be serious objections to the way the long-delayed program is being handled.
Etihad Airways has completed engine selections for the massive aircraft orders it revealed at last year’s Farnborough airshow, in deals now totaling $14 billion in estimated value. As indicated at the time, it has opted for General Electric GEnx-1Bs for the 35 Boeing 787-9s it ordered, having already confirmed that it would use GE90-115Bs to power the 10 Boeing 777-300ERs.
Parker Hannifin has signed two agreements with major aerospace companies, which could net the company some $7.5 billion over the life of the programs. It will be partnering with Rolls-Royce on the Trent XWB engine for the new Airbus A350XWB family of airliners. Parker will provide the complete hydraulic and fuel systems for the A350XWB, as well as the fuel tank inerting system.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes has begun to study the possibility of redesigning the wing on the 777 in an effort to more effectively compete against the Airbus A350XWB-1000.
GKN has selected Germany’s Brötje Aerospace to supply an advanced moving line assembly system that will mate wing trailing edge and main landing gear parts onto Airbus A350XWB all-composite rear wing spars.
Saft has been selected to supply batteries for both China’s AVIC ARJ21 regional jet and its Russian competitor, the Sukhoi Superjet. The company is already set to provide the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II with batteries for the low-rate initial production phase.
There is an upside to the decline in airliner orders, according to Airbus CEO Thomas Enders. “Airlines don’t like waiting seven years for delivery,” he explained at an EADS press conference in Paris on Saturday.
When EADS chief executive Louis Gallois briefed the world’s press just before the show he was taking to the podium against a backdrop of confusion over what caused the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 on June 1. “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of AF447,” he began. “Even if the airshow is darkened by the accident, I think we have a great show ahead of us.