Boeing and Airbus have both arrived at the Farnborough International 2012 show under new leadership, but don’t expect any cooling in the hostility between the world’s top-two airliner manufacturers. The U.S. airframer is expected to draw the first blood in the orders battle today if, as is expected, Air Lease Corp. confirms an anticipated order for 50 or more of Boeing’s new 737 MAX narrowbodies.
Singapore Airlines fleet
Boeing Commercial Airplanes is looking forward to continuing industry resilience, with its latest current market outlook (CMO) projecting a $4.5 trillion market for 34,000 new airplanes, for delivery 2012-31. This compares with a predicted 20-year requirement for just fewer than 24,000 units it forecast in 2002.
Rolls-Royce was close to reaching an agreement with Boeing on the requirements for a Trent 1000-powered 787-10X just ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow. The planned new version of the Dreamliner widebody could become a formal program later this year, possibly linked to the prospective launch of an upgraded 777.
Norwegian Air Shuttle has converted its “commitment” for 100 Airbus A320neos to a firm order, Airbus announced on Friday. The new aircraft, scheduled to enter service in 2015, will feature a single-class cabin layout seating some 180 passengers. A new customer for Airbus, Norwegian now operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800s and -300s. It plans to retire all its 737-300s this year.
Boeing Commercial Aviation Services announced here at the show yesterday that it had rebranded its entire service and support offering as Boeing “Edge.” This will cover material services, fleet service, flight services and information services, said the company.
Fiji’s national carrier Air Pacific has placed a $210 million order for Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines to power three Airbus A330-200s due to enter service in 2013. Air Pacific currently operates a fleet of six Boeings, and this is the first time it has selected a Rolls-Royce powerplant. The contract includes Rolls-Royce’s TotalCare service support.
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opened Rolls-Royce’s latest factory on Monday. The S$700 million ($555 million) Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus, situated at the Seletar Aerospace Park in the north of Singapore, is designed to double the engine manufacturer’s Trent engine output to more than 500 a year. In addition to engine assembly and test, the campus also houses fan blade manufacturing, research and training activities.
Rolls-Royce has introduced the first of a two-phase performance improvement for the Trent 900 engines that power the Airbus A380 airliner. Turbofans now being delivered to A380 operators have a one-percent improvement in specific fuel consumption compared with the initial units.
With engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, Airbus is developing an enhanced A350-1000 variant with “outstanding [increased] payload and long[er] range, the best economics and 25-percent lower fuel burn and carbon dioxide emissions than [the Boeing 777-300ER].”
Oman Air officials may confirm during the Dubai Air Show whether it will still take the six Boeing 787s it is supposed to be leasing from Aviation Lease and Finance Co. (ALFACO). The Arabian Gulf carrier has been in negotiations with Boeing over demands for compensation that it wants for delays in the delivery schedule for the new widebody.