27 November 2014

Reason behind Delta-decision to order A350.

AirwaysNews has conducted an economic analysis of the 787-9, A350-900 and 777-200LRs trying to analyze the reasons behind Deltas decision to order A350s and A330neos instead of 787.

Source: Airbus

The route used for the comparison has been a representative one: Seattle-Shanghai Pudong, from Delta’s trans-Pacific network. The distance for the route is 4.972 nautical miles, and operating cost calculations were made based on a variable fuel cost scenarios (jet fuel at $3.50, $3.00, and $2.50 per gallon). The A350-900 and 787-9 are assumed to sport identical 46% discounts with a 60% discount for the 777-200LR (as Boeing attempts to fill its production gap). A 12-year depreciation schedule is used.

As the data illustrates, the A350-900′s higher seating capacity gives it only a narrow disadvantage in cash operating cost per seat mile, but in terms of total CASM, the 787-9 has a small (<3 .5="" advantage.="" nbsp="" o:p="">

Both aircraft are close enough in terms of operating cost that non-operating factors (commonality with the A330-900neo, availability, etc.) won the day for the A350-900.
Furthermore, the analysis clearly illustrates why Delta rejected the stopgap 777-200LRs; a 16-20% operating cost disadvantage inclusive of capital costs is too large to stomach in a low margin hub like present day Seattle.

Source: publico.pt

As the operating economics are close enough to each other, “availability carried the day”; delivery slots offered to Delta in the 2016-2018 timeframe by Airbus (combined delivery slots for the A330-900neo and A350-900) have made the difference.

Based on the article “ANALYSIS: Delta Order for A350; A330neo Hinged on Pricing, Availability.” Published in AirwaysNews

26 November 2014

Kuwait Airways orders 10 777-300ERs because there isn´t any white-tail A350 available for 2016.

Kuwait Airways has confirmed it is buying 10 Boeing 777-300ERs. The preliminary agreement means the state-owned flag carrier (with a nearly all-Airbus fleet) is greatly expanding its ties with Boeing.

Source: Airbus

“We appreciate the start of a new partnership with Kuwait Airways,” said Marty Bentrott, Boeing’s vice-president of sales for Middle East, Russia and Central Asia.

This long awaited decision has a key lever; deliveries will begin in two years, in November/2016. And there are no A350s available for 2016. Airbus has preferred to secure the order of 25 A350s from Delta (deliveries beginning in 2017) than selling 10 aircraft more to Kuwait Airways that has already 10 A350 (deliveries beginning in 2019).  

Source: Airbus

The offer was accepted after securing all necessary official approvals and the contract will be signed soon, chairwoman Rasha al-Rumi said.

In February, loss-making KAC signed contracts with Airbus to buy 25 planes in the first order for new aircraft in more than 20 years; 15 A320neo and 10 A350-900s, with an option to buy 5 more of each. Under a second contract, KAC will lease 7 A320s and 5 A330s, with delivery due to start next month.

Source: publico.pt

The airline, which is slated for eventual privatization, has an ageing fleet of 12 Airbuses (5 A300-600Rs, 3 A310-300s and 4 A340-300s) and 3 Boeings (2 777-200ERs and one 747-400 Combi). It has posted losses in all but one of the past 21 years, amounting to a total of more than $2.7 billion, which has been covered by the government.

Based on the article “Kuwait Airways confirms decision to opt Boeing 777-300ERs” published in Arabian Aerospace

25 November 2014

"We will look at the A350 again” said Emirates president.

Emirates hopes to talk to Airbus in the next few months over possibly buying A350 planes after it unexpectedly cancelled an order for 70 in June, said the airline's president Tim Clark.

The cancellation of the wide-body planes was a blow for Airbus and Clark acknowledged he was not "flavour of the month" with the plane maker.
Source: flyteam.jp

He said Emirates had cancelled the order after Airbus changed the plane's specifications but it would look closely at how the aircraft - which should enter service this year with Qatar Airways - performs once it starts flying.
"I've said the company will look at the A350 again. It will be done when we can align a contract to the performance of the aircraft," Clark said.

Clark said Emirates would need new widebody planes from 2019, although it could also keep older planes in service for longer. He added by that time the A350 would be in competition with Boeing's 787-10 jet, which is due to enter service in 2018.

Based on the article “Emirates hopes for talks with Airbus on A350 in next few months” published in Reuters.

24 November 2014

Rusia and China keep on working on the A350 competitor.

In the Zhuhai China-airshow held in the second week of November the Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac and Russian UAC unveiled to an audience of 150 suppliers some general view of a future long-haul wide body aircraft significantly more ambitious than expected.

Source: Tadayuki YOSHIKAWA

While Western specialists evoked a similar to A330 project, China and Russia target the new aircraft as A350 competitor. The target would be an entry in service as early as 2023, which would mean a first flight in 2021.

Source: Tadayuki YOSHIKAWA

No public information was unveiled at this stage as the program is even not officially launched. But according to information known from participants at the presentation, the future SRLRWB (Sino-Russian Long Range Wide-Body) would be available in 3 versions, from 250 to 350 seats, with a first baseline with more than 300 seats, with a 50% composite components, including the wing. Very similar to A350 program.

Source: Tadayuki YOSHIKAWA

The development “plateau” will be at Moscow and the corporate headquarters will be based in China, as the joint venture between Russian UAC and Chinese COMAC will be 50-50. It is planned to manufacture the wings in Russia and the future Final Assembly Line (FAL) would be close to Shanghai leaded by COMAC.

However, the future program should have a large participation of Western equipment manufacturers; starting with the engines -which will be probably selected between the American GE and the British Rolls-Royce-, avionics, distribution and electricity generation, electronics and computing. According to the indications provided in the presentation, a Call for Applications procedure should be launched in 1Q/2015 and the first "request for information" one year later.

Source: Yumihiko Ogawa

According to market forecasts announced, UAC and Comac would build on a potential market of less than 1000 aircraft. Which suggests that the 2 groups would be limited to the needs of their 2 national markets and at least initially avoid competing with the A350 and future 777 X on international markets.

Based on the article “La Chine et la Russie veulent lancer un concurrent de l’Airbus A350” published in Les Echos

23 November 2014

Airbus launches the development of new Beluga (5 cargo aircraft based on A330) to assure A350 ramp-up capability

To industrially accompany the A350 XWB ramp-up and A320 production rate increases, Airbus has taken the decision to launch the development and production of 5 new Belugas.

Source: Airbus

The new Beluga will be based on the A330 with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. The distinctive looking lowered cockpit, the cargo bay structure and the rear-end and tail will be amongst the items which will be newly developed. 

Source: Airbus

The first of the 5 new Belugas will enter in service in mid-2019. The existing Beluga fleet -5 cargo aircraft based on the A300- will operate in parallel, and will be progressively retired through to 2025.

Source: Airbus

The current Beluga fleet of 5 aircraft has a limited capacity although the “Fly 10000” project aims at doubling the current Beluga capacity by 2017. And with the A350 ramp up and the flights that requires each aircraft, the new A330-Beluga fleet is needed to close this capacity gap.

Based on the press release “Airbus to expand oversize air transport capability”

22 November 2014

Once the development phase of the A350´s Trent XWB engine is finished, Rolls-Royce will cut thousands of engineers next year.

Rolls-Royce is planning to cut 2.600 positions over the next 18 months, mainly within its aerospace division.

The restructuring is intended to save $128 million per year, although it will result in an overcost until 2017.

Although its aerospace division is among its stronger businesses, the manufacturer says its engineering requirement has lessened as a result of its ending primary development of the Trent 1000and Trent XWB engines, both of which have entered production.

Source: flyteam.jp

Rolls-Royce plan to “reduce management layers” and improve efficiency through investment in new facilities and technology.

Source: Yumihiko Ogawa

Rolls-Royce chief John Rishton says that the company will aim to achieve the cuts through voluntary measures “where possible”. But he also warns that the new measures will “not be the last. We will continue to pursue further cost improvements in all areas” he says.

Based on the article “Restructuring Rolls-Royce cuts aerospace workforce” published in FlightGlobal.

21 November 2014

“Some additional surprises” by Qatar Airways CEO expected in the A350 hand-over ceremony.

Qatar Airways took delivery of its first A380 in September, following a 3-month standoff with Airbus over the quality of cabin fittings. "It cost us nearly three months ... In revenue over $200 million," said Qatar Airways' CEO Akbar Al Baker.

Source: Christian Preinl

Al Baker expressed confidence that the mid-sized A350 would be delivered on time before the end of the year and hinted at a possible new plane order.

Source: Jujug Spotting

"Qatar Airways has been very proactive with Airbus on the A350 program. This is a very fine airplane. The aircraft will - God willing - be delivered to us before the end of the year on schedule and we may have some additional surprises for you which I will not discuss with you now."

Source: Jujug Spotting

The A350 handover ceremony is scheduled for Friday 12/12 in Toulouse.

Based on the article “Qatar Airways lost $200m because of A380 delays, says Al Baker” published in Reuters.