29 November 2015

Philippine Airlines interested in a new high gross weight (HGW) version of the A350-900

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is further expanding its international operation as it grows its fleet and improves utilization of its existing widebody aircraft.

PAL’s international network will exceed 40 destinations in Jan/2016 compared to only 25 in Jan/2013.

The expected acquisition of a new higher gross weight version of the A350-900 will be used to upgrade New York to non-stops in 2017 and potentially be deployed to upgrade Toronto to non-stop and launch a 4th mainland US destination, probably Chicago.

The A340-300s are now slated to be phased out as new generation widebody aircraft are delivered.

PAL is close to committing to at least 6 A350-900s for delivery from 2017.

A formal announcement is expected by the end of 2015 according to CAPA.

Airbus has informed Philippine Airlines that it does not need the recently launched A350-900ULR, which will be available from 2018 and has been ordered by Singapore Airlines for non-stops to the US.

Trans-Pacific flights from Manila are about 3 hours shorter than flights from Singapore.

But flights from eastern North America to Manila are still slightly too long for the current version of the A350-900 or the 777-300ER.

A fleet of 8 777-300ERs and 6 A350-900s will enable modest growth of the long haul network with a focus on North America.

Even if PAL ultimately opts for a few more A350s the long haul growth should be manageable.

Based on the article “Philippine Airlines' international expansion continues with 5 new destinations, A350-900 HGW order” published in CAPA.

28 November 2015

A350 Wing Spars made with M-Torres AFP machines.

M-Torres has agreed with GKN to install at its plant in Western Approach (Bristol, UK) the 5th AFP (Automated Fiber Placement) machine for Rear Spar manufacturing.

Source: M-Torres

In parallel, a similar agreement between M-Torres and Spirit AeroSystems was signed to install the 5th TorresFiberLayUp machine at  its facility in Kinston (North Carolina, USA) for bigger Front Spar manufacturing.

Source: GKN

The M-Torres AFP machines are column type 'fiber placement' machines that work synchronized with a head-stock tail-stock of 11 m. long and 15 Tn load.

Source: M-Torres

The laying-up (AFP) solution suggested by MTorres achieves a remarkable productivity by shortening the cycle time of manufacturing for these parts, causing a reduction in the overall cost of the production process, which added to the improvement of the quality of fabrication of the Spars, shows the excellence of the product and service offered by MTorres.

Based on the press release “M-Torres supplies to GKN Aerospace and Sporit AeroSystems AFP machines to manufacture the wing spars of the A350 XWB, the latest aeronautical program A350 from Airbus”

27 November 2015

Singapore Airlines will train up to 100 A350 pilots in 4 months.

Singapore Airlines will start pilot training for the Airbus A350 from December, ahead of the delivery of its first plane in January/2016.

Source: Alexander Hassenstein

Up to 100 pilots will be trained within the first 3 to 4 months, said the airline, which has ordered 67 A350s, including 7 of the ultra-long-range variant that will fly non-stop from Singapore to the United States.

Typically, it takes about 10 days for a pilot currently flying an Airbus jet to be ready to handle an A350.

Source: Alexander Hassenstein

Conversion for pilots on the Boeing fleet requires about 25 days.

The training for Singapore Airlines pilots will be conducted at the Airbus Asia Training Centre (AATC) - a pilot school jointly owned by the carrier and the European plane maker.

Source: Alexander Hassenstein

The facility, currently operating out of SIA's training centre near Changi Airport, will move to its new premises at Seletar Aerospace Park in the first quarter of next year.

It will eventually have 8 full flight simulators, including 3 A350s (1 available as of today).

Based on the article “SIA to start training Airbus 350 pilots here” published in The Straits Times.

26 November 2015

Garuda Indonesia to decide between 787-9 and A350-900 by end of the year.

Garuda Indonesia CEO Arif Wibowo said his airline will finalize its widebody refleeting plans by the end of the year.

Wibowo said the Indonesian carrier is still studying the A350-900 and B787-9's fuel efficiency and operating costs before making a final decision.

During the Paris Airshow 2015, Garuda signed Letters of Intent with Airbus and Boeing  for 30 A350-900s and 30 B787-9s respectively though only one type will be ordered Wibowo stated.

Once selected, the winning type will then be used to replace Garuda's fleet of 10 A330-200s and 13 A330-300s. The airline also operates 9 B777-300(ER)s.

The CEO also disclosed that Garuda is in talks with Airbus and sister firm ATR concerning the proposed delay delivery of various aircraft it has on order; 6 A330-300 and 9 ATR72-600.

 All pictures: Source Airbus

Based on the article “Garuda Indonesia to firm up widebody order by year-end” published in ch-aviation.

25 November 2015

Airbus not considering to develop a specific A350-900 version for Emirates.

The Airbus CEO has brushed off requests by Emirates airline for an A350 aircraft that copes better with hot and humid conditions.

Source: Airbus

Emirates said last month that it would postpone a decision to choose between the Boeing 787-10 aircraft or Airbus A350-900 – depending on which manufacturer would work with Emirates on its requirements.

“The A350-900 has much more flexibility when you want to take off in a very hot and humid condition,” Fabrice Brégier, president and CEO of Airbus said at the Dubai Airshow.

Emirates, the biggest operator of the Boeing 777 aircraft, has been considering an order of as many as 100 long-range planes.

Mr Brégier added that his company had sold the A350 to Qatar Airways –launch customer- and that the climate between Doha and Dubai was “not that different”.

He said: “If it works for Qatar Airways, I suspect that it will also work for Emirates. It is not much hotter here.”

Source: Airbus

Emirates cancelled an order for 70 A350 planes in June/2014.

The Dubai airline said it wanted to see the plane performing before it makes a decision.

Based on the article “A350 works for Qatar Airways, so should also work for Emirates, Airbus chief says.” published in The National


24 November 2015

Turkish Aileron for A350-1000 delivered

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) delivered the first A350-1000 aileron set to Airbus some weeks ago.

Source: TAI

The delivery is part of a 2013 contract between TAI and Airbus.

TAI is a risk-sharing partner of the A350 program in charge of the Aileron design and build for A350 different models.
Source: Alberto Riva

Wholly designed and manufactured by TAI, the aileron sets of the A350 family are made from carbon fiber.

Source: TAI

TAI also produces parts for the A400M, A330 and A320 programs. “All programs are on the serial and ramp-up phase and deliveries are being performed as per schedule,” TAI said.

Based on the article “TAI Delivers First A350-1000 Aileron Set to Airbus” published in DefenseNews

23 November 2015

Singapore Airlines to fly to Dusseldorf with A350-900 in 2016.

Singapore Airlines will commence the 3-times weekly route on 21/July/2016.

It will operate on Mondays/Tuesdays, Thursdays/Fridays and Saturdays/Sundays.

Outbound flight SQ338 will depart Singapore at 23:30 and arrive in Dusseldorf at 06:30 the next day. Return flight SQ337 will leave Dusseldorf at 11:30 and land in Singapore at 06:10 the following day.

Iee Wen Fen, SIA's senior vice president, marketing planning, said: "Flights to Düsseldorf will complement our existing services to Europe, and be served by all-new Airbus A350-900s fitted with Singapore Airlines' latest cabin products.”

"With this addition, Singapore Airlines will serve the three largest airports in Germany, including Frankfurt and Munich."

SIA has 67 A350s on order, 7 of which are for a new ultra long-range aircraft that Airbus is developing for the airline.

All pictures. Source: Singapore Airlines 
Based on the article “Singapore Airlines announces Dusseldorf route” published in Business Traveller