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.
Airbus is promoting its ACJ330 and ACJ340 Gala concept at the Dubai Airshow, hoping to add to its list of several potential clients. The Gala concept was conceived as a means to offer a lower-cost alternative to a full VIP configuration for Airbus widebody airliners. The design places airliner-type seating fore and aft of a VIP section between doors two and three. Airbus designed the Gala product primarily for head-of-state clients who travel with large contingents of support staff and advisors.
Rolls-Royce’s strategy of feeding technological developments from new programs back to established engines for upgrades or retrofit changes is creating a range of enhanced-performance (EP) packages being available to customers.
The Middle East is sitting at the end of the air transport rainbow, if Airbus forecasts are to be believed: its share of global traffic will expand faster than that of any other geographical area, increasing by one half in the next 20 years.
Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group of Fairfax, Virginia, wonders whether Emirates has bitten off more than it can chew with the A380. The lack of operating lessors is an indication of a weak-to-nonexistent secondary market. And Emirates’ insistence on low average fleet age–a year ago, its strategy officials were aiming for under six years–means that the airline could have to start offloading its earliest A380 components in the fleet as soon as next year.
Boeing will consider other locations to assemble its new 777X after its machinists union voted down a proposed contract extension that was described as critical to basing work on the new widebody in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.
Amac recently completed its second BBJ 777-300ER for a private customer in the Middle East. The work consisted of a full maintenance C-check and interior modifications such as a newly integrated master bedroom, master en suite and majlis (private seating area).
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said Boeing will assemble the new 777X widebody and build its carbon fiber composite wing in the Puget Sound region of his state, an economic windfall that depends on Boeing’s machinists’ union ratifying a new contract and the state Legislature approving an incentives package.
Airbus cited sleep-study results in calling on airlines to set an 18-inch minimum seat width standard for long-haul flights. Organizations representing the airline industry said seating options should be left to individual carriers.
Completion and maintenance provider Comlux America is expanding into the widebody VIP market. The company will be handling the Airbus ACJ330/340/380 and Boeing 767BBJ/777BBJ/747BBJ. Comlux has focused solely on narrowbody aircraft in the four years since it received the approval from both OEMs as an authorized completion facility. The MRO has already handed over several aircraft completions including an ACJ319, ACJ320, BBJ, BBJ3 and Boeing 757. An ACJ321 is currently in the works.