Tag Archives: A350

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.”



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


75.9 A330-800neo 254.8


90.5 A330-200F



99.0 A330-300



116.0 A330-900neo



99.5 A350-800



108.4 A350-900



127.0 A350-1000


A330-200 233.8 A380


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.

10,000 Not Out for Airbus

Airbus is celebrating the delivery of its 10,000th aircraft.  The Singapore Airlines A350-900, 9V-SMF (c/n 054), was handed over on October 14 during an elaborate ceremony at the manufacturer’s Toulouse/Blagnac facility.

“Since our earliest days, innovation has been at the heart of everything we do at Airbus,” Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders said.  “This has seen us develop what is today the world’s most modern and comprehensive aircraft family.  And with a strong emphasis on [Research and Technology] R&T, continuous innovation and product improvement, we will ensure that we remain ahead of the curve, delivering airlines the best our industry has to offer.”

He added: “We are especially proud to celebrate this milestone with Singapore Airlines – one of our longest standing customers and a true partner. Today, the SIA Group operates aircraft from across our complete product line and with the highest levels of technical excellence. There is no better endorsement for our products and we thank the entire SIA Group for its ongoing confidence, partnership and support.”

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong commented: “We are honoured to be receiving the 10,000th aircraft that Airbus has delivered.  Airbus aircraft have contributed greatly to our successes over the decades, and we are proud to be sharing this important milestone with our longstanding and trusted partner.

“Today’s delivery shows just how far Airbus has come over the decades. On behalf of the staff and management of Singapore Airlines, I would like to congratulate Airbus for reaching this incredible milestone.”

The landmark aircraft, which carries special ‘10,000th Airbus’ markings on the rear fuselage, will be used to launch Singapore Airlines’ new non-stop service from Singapore to San Francisco on October 20. 20161644_Products_BAT13

Qatar Airways Selects Boeing

Qatar Airways has signed a multi-billion dollar order with Boeing for up to 100 widebody and single-aisle aircraft.

The $11.7bn deal consists of 30 787-9 Dreamliners and ten 777-300ERs, increasing the Doha-based carrier’s firm commitments for the US manufacturer’s widebody aeroplanes from 65 to 105, including 60 next-generation 777Xs.

More significantly, the Qatari flag carrier has also signed a letter of Intent (LOI) for up to 60 737 MAX 8s, valued at an additional $6.9bn if converted into firm orders.  This would be Boeing’s first single-aisle aircraft to serve with the airline’s fleet and marks a notable departure for the current all-Airbus narrowbody operator.

Qatar Airways signed a firm order for 30 787-9 Dreamliners. (Boeing)
Qatar Airways will add 30 787-9 Dreamliners to its fleet. (Boeing)

Qatar Airway’s Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, remarked: “We are already one of the fastest growing airlines in the history of aviation, today we announce a significant and historic aircraft order that will power our future growth for the years and the decades ahead.”

Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, commented: “We are so very proud that a discerning and market-leading customer like Qatar Airways not only continues to endorse our current products, but also has confidence in Boeing’s new technology that will soon be evident on the 777X and 737 MAX.”

The confirmation of the LOI for 737 MAX 8s will be a further blow to Airbus which is dealing with ongoing, but unrelated, issues with Qatar Airways’ A320neo and A350 deliveries.  Addressing a press conference in Doha on August 31, Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is at risk of reporting a financial loss this year due to these ongoing issues.”  He also told reporters that the airline had cancelled commitments for two A320neos – making three in total – because the company felt the jet and its engines are not meeting contractual obligations.  He went on to say the airline would “keep on cancelling” orders as each jet passes its delivery date until the situation is resolved.  Al Baker has since threatened to walk away from the entire 46-aircraft order.

Qatar Airways has signed a letter of intent for up to 60 Boeing 737 MAX 8s. (Boeing)
The Gulf carrier has signed a letter of intent for up to 60 Boeing 737 MAX 8s. (Boeing)

Qatar Airways could receive its first MAX in 2018, but Al Baker insisted the decision to order Boeing single-aisle aircraft wasn’t intended as a retaliation against the European planemaker.  He said the carrier does still want to follow through on its 2011 order for A320neo and A321neos, despite the ongoing issues with the type’s Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines.  He said the delays left him with “no alternative” but to order the “reliable” narrowbody aircraft from Boeing, which is expected to enter service with launch customer Southwest Airlines next year.

American Defers A350s

American Airlines has reached an agreement with Airbus to defer the delivery of the A350 XWBs it has on order.

The oneworld carrier said that it had revised its timetable with the European manufacturer on July 18, which will see American receive its first A350 in late 2018 instead of spring next year.  It has 22 A350s on order, which are now expected for delivery between 2018 and 2022 with an average deferral of 26 months.

“This change reduces the company’s planned capital expenditures for 2017 and 2018 and provides capacity flexibility,” American Airlines said in a statement.

The carrier has also announced the initial routes for its incoming Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.  The type will make it international debut on the airline’s Dallas Fort Worth-Madrid and Dallas Fort Worth-São Paulo – Guarulhos International Airport flights on November 4.

#FIA16: Airbus Nets Virgin A350 Order

Virgin Atlantic Airways has placed a $4.4bn firm order for 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.

Eight of the jets will be purchased outright with the other four leased. Virgin has selected the A350-1000 as a replacement for its remaining Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A340-600 aircraft, with the first airframes arriving in early 2019.

The deal was announced on day one of the Farnborough International Airshow.

Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger, said: “The size of this order demonstrates our absolute focus on investing in the future for our customers and our people, and confirms the strength of our business.”

“The A350-1000 plays a pivotal role in our fleet programme, helping to create one of the youngest, cleanest, greenest fleets in the sky.”

“We’re looking forward to introducing this aircraft to our customers, as its impressive economics, fuel performance, and quiet flying offer an irresistible proposition that makes long haul travel more enjoyable and better for the environment.”

Virgin intends to operate the A350-1000 on both business and leisure routes from London Heathrow and London Gatwick. The initial aircraft will operate to “key” US destinations from Heathrow.

Because the jets will be used on business and leisure routes, they will be delivered to the airline in two configurations. The business fleet will seat up to 360 passengers with the leisure fleet accommodating up to 410.

Virgin Atlantic President Sir Richard Branson said: “We’re thrilled to welcome the A350 to Virgin Atlantic.  It is an outstanding aircraft from both a customer and sustainability point of view.  Sustainable growth and meeting our carbon targets is incredibly important to us, and the aircraft’s environmental credentials were a genuine factor in our selection.  We will be pairing its cutting edge customer proposition with our own Virgin magic to give customers the best possible experience.”

Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer, added: “This agreement allows Virgin Atlantic to set the standard on its network by being amongst the first airlines into service with the A350-1000, with an Airspace by Airbus cabin, offering superior comfort including industry leading 18in wide seats in economy. These modern, efficient A350s will complement Virgin Atlantic’s existing fleet of ten A330-300s and offer Virgin Atlantic crews the advantage of familiarity with Airbus operating procedures around the network.”


#FIA16: ALC Signs for More Airbus Aircraft

US lessor Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has revealed a firm order for three Airbus A350-900s and one A321 at the Farnborough International Airshow.
“These additional A350 and A321 aircraft were needed to fill ongoing customer lease placements as we continue to experience strong A350 and A321 demand,” said John L Plueger, Air Lease Corporation’s CEO and President.

The Los Angeles-based lessor has also added another A321 to its portfolio. Airbus
The Los Angeles-based lessor has also added another A321 to its portfolio. Airbus

The deal takes ALC’s portfolio of Airbus aircraft to 267, including 24 A350-900s, 27 A321ceos and 118 A321neos.
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, said: “ALC is a leading lessor and longstanding partner of Airbus. We would like to thank ALC for their continued confidence in our Airbus products. Their customers will be delighted with the unbeatable economics as well as the superior cabin comfort in all classes for their passengers.”

Ethiopian A350 in Service

Ethiopian Airlines’ maiden Airbus A350 XWB entered service on July 2, operating flight ET901 from Addis Ababa to Lagos, Nigeria.

The jet, ET-ATQ (c/n 040), was handed over to the airline at a ceremony in Toulouse on June 28 and is the first of 14 examples being acquired by the Star Alliance carrier.  The first two have been sourced from Irish lessor Aercap.

Ethiopian is the first African airline to take delivery of Airbus’ newest jet and has scheduled London as the A350’s first long haul destination, with services due to begin in September once the second airframe has been delivered.

Airliner World was invited to join the airline for the delivery of its first A350 – see the September issue for a full report.