Airbus entered 2011 with a clear perspective on its main challenges and opportunities. In the start-of-year press conferences staged by both the European airframer and its EADS parent during January, executives identified the overriding challenge as the continuing battle to control costs.
Singapore Airlines fleet
Qantas announced today that it would resume Airbus A380 services between Australia and Los Angeles more than two months after an in-flight uncontained engine failure forced an emergency landing of one of its superjumbos in Singapore. The airline said Flight QF93 from Melbourne would take off for Los Angeles on January 16.
Qantas resumed flying two of its six A380s on November 26, after replacing some of their Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. In total, Rolls must bear the cost of replacing some 40 Trent 900s from the 20-strong fleet of Rolls-powered, four-engine A380s.
While Boeing lays claim to the status of “China’s leading supplier of passenger airplanes,” Airbus certainly proved itself a worthy competitor for that title last week, as it inked contracts for 102 airliners from China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS). The business included new firm orders for 50 A320-family jets, six A330s and 10 A350XWBs, while the parties confirmed an earlier order for 36 A330s.
Rolls-Royce today confirmed that an oil fire led to the November 4 uncontained failure of a Trent 900 on a Qantas A380 on its way from Sydney to Singapore. In a statement issued this morning, the engine company said that the failure involved "a specific component" in the turbine area of the engine and led to the release of the intermediate pressure turbine disc.
Rolls-Royce says that the uncontained engine failure on a Qantas Airbus A380 en route from Singapore to Sydney on November 4 “is specific to the Trent 900.”
A Qantas Airbus A380 on its way to Sydney from Singapore this morning experienced an uncontained engine failure soon after takeoff, forcing the airplane to return to Singapore and prompting Qantas to ground its entire fleet of six A380s. The aircraft, operating as Flight QF32, carried 440 passengers and 26 crewmembers, none of whom sustained injuries.
British Airways bid farewell to its three remaining Boeing 757s on Saturday, October 30, with a special farewell tour around the UK. To commemorate the day, the airline repainted one of the aircraft, G-CPET, in vintage BA livery from 1983. That airplane visited Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh during its final day in British Airways service from London Heathrow. The other two 757s flew from Heathrow on Spanish services.
Boeing today announced yet another delay to the 787 program, following “an assessment of the availability of an engine needed for the final phases of flight test this fall.” This latest hiccup will force Boeing to suspend delivery of launch customer All Nippon Airways’ first 787 until the middle of next year’s first quarter, the Chicago-based airframer confirmed today.