07 September 2013

If Aeroflot cancels the order of 18 A350-800 model migrating to -900 or -1000 variants, Airbus could officially announce that the -800 as we know it today, will not be built.

Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot is to consider adjusting details of its A350 order, although the airline has not disclosed the nature of any amendments.

It discussed its fleet modernization during a regular board meeting at the end of August, which included the lease of 50 Boeing 737-800s and -900ERs and a batch of A320s.

But the board also considered “changes in the material terms” of its purchase of 22 A350s.

Aeroflot has not indicated the extent or the nature of these changes.

Its order includes 18 of the shorter A350-800 variant, and Aeroflot is one of the few remaining customers for the type. Aeroflot’s other 4 A350s are all -900s.

The -800 has not secured an order for over 4 years and its backlog has depleted as customers migrate to the larger -900.
Aeroflot says it will discuss further the fleet issues at a shareholders’ meeting in mid-October.

It is advancing its plans for a low-cost carrier which, the airline says, will “substantially increase” the availability of air transport in Russia. Aeroflot will allocate funds from its 2013 and 2014 budgets to establish the operation.

Concerning the A350-800, Airbus has declared that they had decided to focus on two larger wide-body models. During the Paris Air Show in June, Didier Evrard Head of Program said that there is no allocated MSN for first A350-800 yet. And only 3 before, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker (who cancelled an order for the A350-800 and boosted orders for larger types), said the 270-seater would likely not be built. "This is what they (Airbus) told us," he told reporters at a trade fair.

Airbus has also announced in July the Regional variant of the A350-900 with the same engines than previously planned for A350-800. In last 4 years, with no order for A350-800, several customers have converted to larger variants of the A350 family.

Based on the article “Aeroflot hints at amending A350 order details” published in Flight Global.

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