Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways announced first destinations and unveiled premium cabin configurations for its coming Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 widebodies on May 4. The Gulf carrier plans to start service of both aircraft types in December.
Airbus has started final assembly of the first A320neo in Toulouse, France, with the attachment of the forward and aft fuselage sections, which recently arrived from St. Nazaire in France and Hamburg in Germany, respectively.
Airbus has bolstered its presence in India with the appointment of Srinivasan Dwarakanath as CEO of Airbus India. The European airframer’s local subsidiary also has a new chairman in the shape of Charles Champion, who is the parent company’s executive vice president for Engineering and a member of the executive committee.
Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen (LTS), a Chinese composite materials specialist headquartered at Bao’An International Airport in Shenzhen in southern China, is expanding its maintenance, repair and overhaul capacity. LTS is tripling its workshop and warehouse capacity to nearly 269,000 sq ft and strengthening its presence in the areas of component supply, logistics services and airline support teams for engine services across China and Asia.
Leasing groups Amadeo and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) yesterday pushed the airliner orders tally for the 2014 Singapore Airshow close to $30 billion, with separate deals for up 60 new aircraft. Amadeo, which up until Monday this week was known as Doric Lease Corp., firmed up an order for 20 Airbus A380s that had been the subject of a memorandum of understanding signed at the last Paris Air Show in June 2013. Meanwhile DAE inked a $1 billion contract with ATR for up to 40 ATR 72-600s turboprops.
Rolls-Royce’s factory near Seletar Airport is up and running, producing approximately 50 Trent 900s per year, while gearing up to add other engine types to its production line, beginning with the Trent 1000.
Rolls-Royce is “competing hard” with its Trent 900 offering to power the latest batch of 50 Airbus A380s selected by Gulf operator Emirates Airline, according to Trent fleet programs customer marketing head Peter Johnston. To date, the carrier has chosen only GP7200 engines from the General Electric/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance joint venture for its previously ordered 90 aircraft.
India has lifted restrictions on the Airbus A380 airliner to land at four Code F compliant airports, the country’s Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) announced Monday. But while the industry has applauded the move, the government has not made it an effortless exercise, as major carriers wanting to fly their A380s to India run short on service entitlements.
Being displayed here at the Dubai airshow is the first A380 door training device to be manufactured outside Europe. Constructed from advanced composites with carbon fiber reinforcement, the door trainer was built by Spatial Composite Solutions (Stand 2612) at its factory in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. It was manufactured under license from Airbus.
With 36 A380 aircraft in the fleet as of late September and a further 104 now on order, the aviation community is trying to calculate what will happen to Emirates’ superjumbo fleet when the time comes to retire the type, at around halfway through its lifetime. Some analysts believe that, given a lifespan of 25 years, a proxy for the useful life of a modern widebody aircraft, the A380 will face problems in the secondary market when major leases come to an end after the standard 12-year term.