Lufthansa Technik (Booth H108) proved here yesterday that it is the market leader of narrowbody and widebody VIP completions for Asian customers, having outfitted 16 of 21 bizliners based in the region. “Asia has one of the highest growth rates for the VIP aircraft market,” according to Lufthansa Technik senior vice president of marketing and sales Walter Heerdt.
Record Airbus deliveries in 2012 proved a big factor in boosting the group revenues of parent EADS by 15 percent last year, and a strengthened U.S. dollar improved the return on sales. But at last week’s EADS annual results press conference, the group characterized 2013 as a critical year in terms of ensuring that the costs associated with both the A380 and A350XWB programs do not drag down profitability any more than they already have done.
The recent completion of European certification of Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB not only boosted Airbus’s efforts to fly its new A350XWB widebody in the first half of this year, it freed the UK-based engine maker to turn its attention to the Trent XWB-97 turbofan, designed to power the longer-range A350-1000 (the standard 84,000-pound-thrust Trent XWB powers the -800 and -900 versions).
Standard Aero’s Associated Air Center is gearing up to receive its first Boeing 747-8 completion at its Dallas facility.
Airbus has raised its sales target for 2013 to 700 airliners after surpassing its target of 650 for last year with gross orders for 914 airplanes and a net order count of 833 after cancellations. But the European airframer has acknowledged that it is especially eager to get sales of its A380 widebody back on track after logging orders for only nine of the superjumbos in 2012.
Singapore Airlines has completed a firm order for 25 more widebody aircraft from Airbus, comprising five A380 superjumbos and 20 A350-900s. The parties signed the firm order in December, some two months after Singapore announced its intention to enter into the contract.
Boeing has rolled out the first 777 built at the program’s increased production rate of 8.3 per month, or 100 airplanes per year, the company announced Thursday. Plans call for delivery of the airplane—a 777 Freighter—to Korean Air in February.
Cabin completions provider Lufthansa Technik is in the final stages of preparation for the arrival of a second Boeing 747-8 for outfitting at its facilities in Hamburg, Germany.
The airplane, destined for an undisclosed client, is expected to arrive before the end of the month. The first 747-8 is already in the cabin completion process following its arrival in August. Arrival of the second will bring to three the total number of twin-aisle bizliner projects being completed simultaneously.
Sabena Technics (Stand 619) is promoting its capabilities in VIP aircraft completion and refurbishment, as company officials see the Middle East as a fertile region for its business. The company, whose parent TAT Group is based in Tours, France, also is engaged in aircraft leasing and real estate businesses. It plans to open a showroom in Bordeaux, France, where customers can plan their interiors.
The Jet Services Group is here at MEBA 2012 (Stand 345) promoting its Advanced Air Support (AAS) FBO at Paris Le Bourget airport, claiming it is particularly well suited to Middle Eastern VIP aircraft visiting Europe. Jet Services president Marie-Antoinette Dain told AIN that AAS has adapted to the growing clientele from the region: “We have private lounges, one of them with a full en suite bathroom, a prayer room and dedicated catering.