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.
The dynamism of today’s airliner leasing business was illustrated earlier this year by the creation by German investment company Doric GmbH of a separate entity, Doric Lease Corp. (DLC), to manage the assets.
Airbus has signaled that it could drop the A350-800, the smallest member of the new family.
British engine-maker Rolls-Royce has begun manufacturing parts for the 84,000-pound thrust Trent XWB-84s that will power the first Airbus A350-900 for launch customer Qatar Airways, and is on track for the powerplant’s entry into service (EIS) in the third-quarter of 2014.
The second flying prototype of the Airbus A350 XWB took to the air for the first time Monday morning and landed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France shortly after 2:30 p.m. local time.
In a serious blow to Boeing, Japan Airlines (JAL) has signed a purchase agreement covering 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s worth $9.5 billion at list prices. The deal, which also includes options on another 25 of the mostly composite widebodies, marks the first order from Japan for the A350 and Airbus’s first-ever order from JAL.
Boeing and Airbus will share in the spoils of a massive investment by Lufthansa Group involving orders for 59 widebody airplanes worth $18.7 billion at list prices, the German airline announced Thursday.
European low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle is expanding its intercontinental route structure as it takes delivery of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. On September 3 the carrier, based in Fornebu, Norway, announced service to three new destinations in the U.S., scheduled to start next spring. It plans to use the 787 on routes between Scandinavia and Los Angeles, Oakland and Orlando international airports.
Encouraged by a bounty of sales commitments during the Paris Air Show, Airbus parent company EADS now predicts that the civil airframer will receive orders for 300 more aircraft than it previously projected for this year. While releasing its half-year financial results on July 31, EADS said it expects Airbus will receive orders for at least 1,000 airplanes and deliver between 600 and 610, up from last year’s 588.
Airbus notched up firm orders for a further 55 examples of its now-flying A350 XWB airliner yesterday here in Paris, with Air France-KLM and Singapore Airlines signing major deals. The European airframer now has 668 firm orders for the A350. And, for good measure, Airbus also managed yesterday to close a major fleet-upgrade MoU with Sri Lankan Airlines.