Airbus launched an executive/VIP version of an A319 airliner in 1997 and, a decade later, the aircraft manufacturing giant (Booth No. 4339) is celebrating a milestone with more than 100 Airbus Corporate Jet sales, valued at $5.5 billion.
Airbus remains tight-lipped on the subject of what it calls the A380 “Flying Palace,” but that hasn’t kept rumors from swirling or designers from developing proposals for a cabin on two levels with some 6,800 sq ft of living space.
When Airbus tentatively entered the corporate jet market a decade ago with the ACJ, its expectations for the airplane were modest. Success would be measured in single-digit sales primarily to wealthy individuals in the Middle East who dreamed of creating miniature flying palaces.
Gore Design Completions received its first Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) for completion early last month. The manufacturer approved the San Antonio firm as an outfitter last fall. Gore might also take delivery of a second widebody project in the middle of next year.
Some 15,000 well-wishers witnessed the first public appearance of the Boeing 787 in Everett, Wash., on Sunday (07/08/07, not coincidentally), an event broadcast live via satellite in nine languages and “potentially” reaching more than 100 million people.
At the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in late May, a representative of Airbus expressed frustration at the difficulty in finding sufficient slots at independent completion and refurbishment centers to do executive cabin work at the same pace the company is producing airplanes.
An International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) order for 50 Boeing 787s, plus conversion of two previously unannounced options (booked earlier this year along with a 777-300ER, for which ILFC was the launch customer) has brought total announced orders for the new twin-aisle twinjet to 634 from 45 customers since its launch in April 2004.
Record how long it takes to read this news item. By the time you finish reading, the world’s airlines will have spent hard-earned (or -borrowed) cash to acquire new equipment at the rate of about $8,745/second.
Confidence in Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan (GTF) program is such that company president Steve Finger is talking about a potential widebody application for the engine. “We’re looking at that for late next decade,” he told Aviation International News.
In recent years, engine manufacturers have shifted their emphasis from straightforward production of engines to the far more lucrative business of after-sales support.
Rolls-Royce is no exception. In the last decade, its TotalCare engines business has expanded by a healthy 10 percent a year, creating a business that by the end of 2006 was worth $3.9 billion–more than half the company’s total civil engines business.