Almost eight years have passed since the Airbus A380 widebody completed certification and entered service. Airbus engineers continue to handle multiple product development tasks for in-service types, and the very first A380 prototype continues to support their efforts with frequent flight testing.
Boeing is forecasting continued strong growth in demand for commercial aviation maintenance technicians and pilots as the global fleet expands over the next 20 years. Boeing’s 2014 Pilot and Technician Outlook also projects that between 2014 and 2033 the world’s aviation system will require 584,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians and 533,000 new commercial airline pilots.
Boeing’s 2014 commercial pilot and mechanic demand forecast, released today, reflects a 7-percent increase in pilot demand over last year’s projections and a 5-percent increase in the outlook for mechanics. In all, the world’s aviation system will require 533,000 new commercial airlines pilots and 584,000 new commercial airline mechanics over the next 20 years, according to Boeing.
A commitment today for 12 A330neos and eight A330s from Russia’s Transaero gave Airbus its sixth customer for the re-engined widebody, launched with a memorandum of understanding from Air Lease Corporation for 25 units on the first day of the show. It also concluded a sales rally by Airbus that resulted in the company winning business worth $75 billion, making this the most commercially successful Farnborough show in its history.
Airbus’s board of directors has made an “unconditional and unanimous” decision to launch the re-engined, extended-wing A330neo widebody family that will be cheaper to buy and operate than the Boeing 787, Airbus executives declared on Monday at the Farnborough International Airshow. The manufacturer also announced a memorandum of understanding with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) for 25 A330-900neos and promised further orders will follow this week.
Established trends in predicted long-term jetliner requirements will likely continue with little change to the market breakdown by aircraft size, according to latest Boeing 20-year forecast statistics, which were unveiled in London on the eve of the 2014 Farnborough Airshow. Overall, the U.S.
Debuting its new 787-9 widebody here at the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday, Boeing fired off an aggressive opening salvo against its rival Airbus. According to the U.S. airframer’s marketing vice president Randy Tinseth, if Airbus goes ahead with its anticipated launch of the re-engined A330neo this week it will prove that its A350 program is a failure.
Airbus A350-1000 manufacturing is under way, with Airbus reporting last month the laying up of the first carbon fiber elements, to be followed in the coming weeks by the first cutting of metal parts, according to program executive vice president Didier Evrard. Establishment of systems-installation design maturity is said to be “on plan,” while work continues on the variant’s structural design phase, which will permit the start of engineering drawing. Structural design maturity “incorporating all requirements” also was completed by mid-June.
Rolls-Royce is confident that other customers will take up the 70 Airbus A350-900XWB and -1000XWB production positions released when Emirates Airline canceled its order on June 1, and says demand remains strong for the new twin-aisle twinjet, which is powered exclusively by R-R Trent XWB engines. The loss reduced the manufacturer’s orderbook by £2.6 billion (excluding the value of “TotalCare” support contracts), or about 3.5 percent.
Boeing sees little chance that it will have to cut production of the 777 during the transition to the 777X, notwithstanding recent conjecture from analysts that a so-called sales “drought” since the launch of the program during last year’s Dubai Air Show could portend a period of market weakness–and a possibility that it won’t find enough orders to maintain its 8.3-per-month rate into 2020.
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