Jetstar Airways has ordered V2500 turbofans from International Aero Engines for up to 90 Airbus A320s. The deal, signed here in Singapore last Thursday and worth up to $3.5 billion, also covers the cost of retrofitting V2500s on its 40 A320s to the latest SelectOne version of the engine as well as power-by-the hour maintenance coverage.
The cash registers started to ring here at the 2009 Dubai Airshow yesterday with a modest but nonetheless welcome batch of airliner and engine orders. Airbus firmed up a new customer in Ethiopian Airlines, which converted a memorandum of understanding for 12 A350XWBs into a firm $3 billion order.
Recessions come and go, but the quest to develop ever more efficient engines for the next generation of single-aisle aircraft continues. Given the time it takes to develop new powerplant technologies, which can be measured in decades, engine manufacturers have to be more confident than most of eventual recovery in the airline industry if the millions spent on research and development are not to be wasted.
Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) will take a central role in maintaining General Electric engines–including those ordered by Etihad Airways here at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. ADAT, which is part of the Mubadala group, has also entered into an agreement with International Aero Engines (IAE) to become the first IAE-approved shop for V2500-A5 and V2500 SelectOne engines.
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.
Qatar Airways signed a firm contract yesterday for 24 Airbus A320-family aircraft in a deal that included the conversion of an option the operator placed during last year’s Farnborough air show for four A321s. Qatar expects to take delivery of the first of those airplanes this coming November, while yesterday’s new order for 20 A320s gets filled through the end of 2012.
Exactly two decades ago, the consortium that was to become International Aero Engines (Hall 5, Stand B10) was formed to build an engine, the V2500, to compete with CFM International’s CFM56 to power the Airbus A320. Since then, IAE has won itself a half-share of the world’s biggest civil market for aero engines and this year will mark delivery of the 4,000th engine and 50 million hours of service on the A320 series.
The downturn in demand in some of its markets has not dented the ardor of engine maker Pratt & Whitney for developing new technology. “We have to be ready for the upturn,” said the U.S. company’s new president, David Hess. “We have to keep people focused on the great future of Pratt & Whitney, positioning ourselves for a strong recovery.”
Despite the fact that final assembly of the 4,000th example is now under way, the A320 single-aisle twinjet may be only at the midpoint of its production life, according to Airbus. Marketing vice president Colin Stuart has suggested that a 5,000th A320 could enter service in 2011.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has decided to participate in development of the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB aero-engine for the Airbus A350 XWB, the company announced today. As a risk- and revenue-sharing partner (RRSP), MHI will take responsibility for the development and manufacture of the components for the engine’s combustion system and manufacture of low-pressure turbine blades and others.