Tag Archives: A320

Airbus Transfers Jets to Museum

Airbus has transferred A380 MSN4 to the Museum of Air and Space at Paris/Le Bourget.  The jet is the first of four aircraft the European manufacturer has pledged to donate to museums, with A320 MSN1, A340-600 MSN360 and A380 MSN2 set to go Aeroscopia in Toulouse.

A380 MSN4 was delivered to Le Bourget on February 14 where it will be prepared for display at the museum.  After undergoing technical work, including structural preservation, it will be refurbished to showcase its operational role with a special exhibit created inside to enable the greatest possible number of people to visit it.  The attraction is set to open in 2018.

The aircraft destined for Aeroscopia will be maintained by Airbus Heritage in Toulouse, within the Airbus plant, and moved across to the museum over the next two years.  An area in the northern part of the attraction has been made ready for them.

A Good Year for Airbus

Record deliveries and a strong order intake marked a robust 2016 for Airbus.  At the company’s annual year-end briefing it revealed it had delivered 688 aircraft to 82 customers, a new record.  This is 53 more  than the previous record of 635 set in 2015.  The single-aisle A320 Family accounted for 85% of the total with 545 deliveries (including 68 A320neos).  Over 40% of Airbus’ total deliveries were for the A321 model.  In the widebody market, Airbus handed over 66 A330s, 49 A350 XWB (one short of the manufacturer’s target) and 28 A380s.  

Meanwhile, it achieved 731 net orders from 51 customers, split between 607 single-aisle and 124 widebody aircraft.  At the end of 2016, Airbus’ overall backlog stood at 6,874 aircraft valued at $1,018bn at list prices.

Fabrice Brégier, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and Chief Operating Officer of Airbus, remarked: “We have delivered on our objectives in a challenging environment, proving our ramp-up readiness for the future.”  He went on to highlight some of the notable milestones the company achieved during 2016 including the delivery of Airbus’ 10,000th aeroplane and the first flight of the A350-1000.  It also commenced deliveries of both engine variants of the A320neo, while the Pratt & Whitney powered A321neo was certified and the first US-assembled aircraft were delivered from its final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama.

Looking forward to 2017 the European manufacturer revealed it has raised the average list prices for its aircraft by 1% across its entire commercial product line, effective from January 1.  It says the increase has been calculated per its standard escalation formula that considers the prices of materials and commodities.

John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft remarked: “Our new 2017 pricing affirms the value of Airbus’s modern comprehensive and fuel-efficient aircraft family.  The price increase also reflects our customers’ satisfaction with the winning combination of performance, operating economics and passenger experience.”

 

Type

List Price (US$ millions)   Type List Price (US$ millions)

A318

75.9 A330-800neo 254.8

A319

90.5 A330-200F

237.0

A320

99.0 A330-300

259.0

A321

116.0 A330-900neo

290.6

A319neo

99.5 A350-800

275.1

A320neo

108.4 A350-900

311.2

A321neo

127.0 A350-1000

359.3

A330-200 233.8 A380

436.9

Iran Air Finalises Airbus Order

Agreement has been reached between Iran Air and Airbus over a firm order for 100 aircraft.  The deal includes 46 A320 Family, 38 A330 Family and 16 A350 jets and follows an initial commitment signed last January.

“Iran Air considers this agreement an important step towards a stronger international presence in civil aviation.  We hope this success signals to the world that the commercial goals of Iran and its counterparts are better achieved with international cooperation and collaboration”, said Farhad Parvaresh, Iran Air Chairman and CEO.

The Tehran-based airline’s initial commitment also included a requirement for 12 A380s, but the super jumbo has been axed from the final deal.

Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President and CEO, said: “This is a landmark agreement not only because it paves the way for Iran Air’s fleet renewal.  Our overall accord includes pilot training, airport operations and air traffic management so this agreement is also a significant first step in the overall modernisation of Iran’s commercial aviation sector.”

The European manufacturer says the agreement is subject to US Government Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) export licences, required for products containing 10% or more US technology content, which were granted in September and November 2016.

Air Arabia Converts A320 Options

Low-cost carrier Air Arabia has converted five options for Airbus A320s into firm orders.  Delivery of the additional jets, which have a book value of $485m, will begin in the second quarter of 2017.

“Air Arabia’s fleet innovation sits at the heart of the airline’s operational efficiency” said Adel Al Ali, Group CEO of Air Arabia.  “Today, we operate one of the youngest fleets in the world and this approach will continue to drive our fleet growth strategy for the future.  Our customers can expect the same cabin comfort and spacious seat configuration with the five [new] aircraft joining the fleet.”

Air Arabia currently has a fleet of 46 A320s and has been rewarded with the A320 Family Operational Excellence Award by Airbus for achieving the highest level of utilisation for the type in the world with 99.8% operational reliability.  In 2010, the carrier set a new world record achieving 30,000 flight hours in just six years with one of its CFM56-5B-powered A320 aircraft.

A320neos in the US

Spirit Airlines became the first US carrier to operate the Airbus A320neo when it took delivery of N901NK (c/n 6833) on October 7.  Spirit has 55 A320neo Family aircraft on order, five leased from AerCap and 50 ordered directly from the manufacturer.  All of the airline’s neos will be powered by Pratt & Whitney Pure Power PW1100-JM engines.

Twelve days later Denver-based Frontier Airlines received its first Airbus A320neo, N301FR (c/n 7141).  The jet, powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines, is the first of 80 examples due to join the carrier.  “We’re excited to receive our first A320neo,” said Barry Biffle, President and CEO – Frontier Airlines. “The efficiency of the A320neo will help us lower costs even more and pass those savings along to our customers.”

AC-739
Frontier Airlines has also received its first A320neo.

Viva Aerobus Gets First A320neo

Mexican low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus joined the Airbus A320neo club on October 5, when it took delivery of its first example, XA-VIV (c/n 7060).

Viva Aerobus placed an order for 52 A320 Family aircraft in 2013, including 40 A320neos. The airline’s neos are powered by Pratt & Whitney Pure Power PW1100-JM engines and configured with the Space-Flex cabin accommodating up to 186 passengers.

“The arrival of the A320neo is a historic milestone in the transformation of the new Viva Aerobus,” said Juan Carlos Zuazua, CEO of Viva Aerobus. “With this first A320neo we are one step closer to reaching our year-end goal of becoming an all-Airbus operator and offering our passengers the youngest aircraft fleet in all of Latin America.”

Viva Aerobus currently operates 19 A320ceos and two Boeing 737-300s.

Rafael Alonso, President of Airbus Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “Airbus is proud to support Viva Aerobus evolve into one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic airlines in Mexico. Mexico’s strong economic growth presents a unique opportunity for airlines such as Viva Aerobus to expand their fleets with the industry’s top performing A320neo to improve their efficiency and environmental footprint.”

FSLabs A320-X Released

The A320-X from FSLabs is now publicly available.

The aircraft comes with an entirely custom animated external model, a complete 2D panel set and a fully interactive 3D virtual cockpit. Additional features include a Flight Management and Guidance System (FMGS) with SID/STAR tracking; lateral and vertical flight management which follows the ARINC 424-19 specification in full detail; the entire range of aircraft systems; and the complete custom fly-by-wire implementation featured in the actual aircraft.

Click here for more information on FSLabs website

FSLabs A320-X Update

FSLabs has said its A320-X series will be released for early adopters on August 18.

An official statment from the company explained:

“Version 1.0 of the A320-X for FSX will be released on a first-come, first-serve basis. This process will accept an initial group of customers as “Early Adopters”, then it will close for a short period of time, to ensure that our installation process is working correctly and to allow our support staff to handle individual assist cases in a timely fashion.

FSX Service Pack 2, Acceleration Pack or Steam?
The A320-X is compatible with all three. The FSX Steam version is more up-to-date and still supported by the Dovetail development team. It also fixes some annoying older legacy bugs and handles memory more efficiently than SP2/Xpack, so we do recommend it. However, we strongly advise that you remove the Steam Overlay window, as it is conflicting with our FSL Spotlights which the A320-X uses.

– DirectX9 or DirectX10?
The A320-X is compatible with both. DirectX10 is *way* more efficient in memory handling and switching from DX9 to DX10 saves significant amounts of VAS in general. FSX SP2/XPack had several bugs with DX10 however, but those have mostly been resolved now with the use of a very handy utility called DX10 Scenery Fixer, by Steve Parsons. We fully recommend purchasing his latest version. Just remember when you first install the A320-X, though, to re-run the Lights/Effects converter, so you can properly enjoy the A320-X NAV and other light effects.

– Full Screen or Windowed mode?
The A320-X runs correctly on both. We do, however, advise against Full Screen, especially in DirectX9, as it’s VERY buggy and OOM-prone. We have included some recommended steps on how to load the A320-X if you still wish to use Full Screen, in our introduction manual.

– Does the A320-X include full 2D panel functionality? What about a complete Virtual Cockpit?
The A320-X has both! Upon installation time, there will be a choice of “Virtual Cockpit Only” (with MCDUs and DU panel popups), “2D Panels only”, or a full “Virtual Cockpit & 2D Panel” selection (which is going to be a bit heavier on VAS, so you need to be careful on your scenery settings).

– Can we use FSUIPC?
Yes, of course! We fully recommend (and enjoy) using FSUIPC. It also helps with our more “advanced” parts of the simulation, such as setting up the Steering Tiller separately from the Rudder Pedals (needs full FUIPC version), as there’s no default FSX axis that can be set up for that. Just remember to calibrate all your joystick axes appropriately. Don’t worry though, if you only have the free version of FSUIPC, we have provided another way of separating your Steering Tiller and your Rudder Pedals! We offer full instructions in our Introduction Manual on how to make this functionality available on your simulator.

– What about add-on Weather?
We fully support and recommend Active Sky Next and Active Sky 16, as our A320-X ND weather radar can accurately depict cloud and precipitation information through their provided API. We hope and expect to be able to include more weather add-on products in future milestone releases as well, though!

– I own GSX / AES / other ground handling products – does the A320-X work with those?
We have tested with GSX and AES and they both work correctly (even though the A320-X simulates parking brake accurately through hydraulic pressure on the brakes, rather than a mechanical link as per most aircraft, we have found a way to forward this information to the FSX variables so those products can be aware of parking brake conditions now).

– I am a Virtual Airline pilot – can I use the A320-X to fly?
Yes! As long as the VA software you use monitors FSX variables (such as Parking Brakes and Engine status) through FSUIPC, it should be able to work with the A320-X without issues!

– Can I use PFPX or other such products to feed flight plans to the A320-X Flight Management computer?
Yep! It’s one of the features we’re very proud of, as we’ve done a lot of work to allow accurate management of your A320-X flight plans. Once you purchase the A320-X, make sure to read the Introduction Manual in its entirety, especially Appendix A, where an entire section is devoted on PFPX and the A320-X.

– What about AIRAC cycle database providers? What is supported?
We’ve signed licensing deals with both Navigraph and Aerosoft to receive and use our ARINC 424 database converter software. This means you’ll be able to download the latest AIRAC cycle for use in the A320-X from either of those providers as soon as the A320-X is made available! (in fact, those of you with a keen eye will notice that the Navigraph FSLabs database is already available to the public).

– Are there any significant A320 features missing from the product?
This “Early Adopter” RTM version has been a huge task and we consider it our first milestone with many to come along our road map for release of the FSLabs A320-X product family. We have included all the features we expect a true, complete A320 simulation should include. While we believe that this version is already a robust simulation that will provide a level of detail and immersion that will satisfy even the most knowledgeable flight sim pilots, there are a few smaller features secondary in nature that we are not 100% happy with and have decided to hold back on including them in this version (SEC FPLN handling is perhaps the most prominent of the A320 features you may notice we have disabled for now, others being much more minor in nature). Those features will be enabled as part of regular, future updates and service packs to the A320-X product.

– What about the P3D version? When is that going to be available?
We will be starting our beta testing process for the initial P3D version as soon as the FSX Early Adopter process is done and the FSX v1.0 RTM is fully available to everyone. The initial P3D version will match the features found in the FSX version and will have an equivalent price range. The Professional P3D version (with more features and instructor station) will follow as a later release.

– How much will all this cost?
Our A320-X for FSX (FSX-SE included) will be priced at $99.95. This price will include both CFM and IAE variants (each variant accurately detailed with its own separate flight and engine model, different ground handling and wing flaps characteristics) as well as full Virtual Cockpit and a complete 2D panel selection.

However, to show appreciation to those of you who are eagerly anticipating it, we will offer the Early Adopter version at an introductory price of $89.95 until the RTM version is released.

The initial release of the A320-X for P3D will follow, priced at a somewhat higher, but equivalent price range (most importantly having to do with increased liability and insurance requirements, as Prepar3D is not labeled “for entertainment purposes only”).

Once both product versions are available on the market, we’ll be releasing combo pricing and upgrade pricing, from FSX to P3D and vice-versa. That means you can purchase the FSX product now, then upgrade to the P3D version once that is available! More information on this will be released once we’re closer to releasing the P3D version.

Once again, we’d like to thank you for your continued and very valued support throughout the long development process. We hope and expect that you will enjoy this very advanced A320 aircraft simulation as much as we have enjoyed developing it.

#FIA16: Jetstar Pacific Airlines Pens MOU for 10 A320s

Vietnamese low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus for ten A320ceos. The agreement was announced during the Farnborough International Airshow and is the airline’s first direct purchase with the Toulouse-based manufacturer.

Jetstar Pacific currently operates a fleet of 12 leased A320 Family aircraft across a network of 28 domestic and regional destinations.

“This agreement marks a milestone in our development,” said Le Hong Ha, Chief Executive Officer of Jetstar Pacific. “The new aircraft will allow us to expand our operation on our international network from Vietnam as part of the wider Jetstar Group.  With low operating costs and a comfortable cabin, the A320 enables us to offer our passengers a quality value-based product in a highly competitive market environment.”

John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, enthused: “We are pleased to have signed our first MOU with Jetstar Pacific. The news reinforces the position of the A320 as the single aisle aircraft of choice in both the low-cost and full service sectors.  We will look forward to working with Jetstar Pacific as it consolidates its position in the fast-growing Vietnamese market.”