Archive For September 28, 2011
Avianca signed a firm order for four A330-200Fs. The new aircraft will be operated by Avianca’s cargo subsidiary Tampa. Avianca will announce an engine choice later (ignore the Trents in the picture). The A330Fs will replace Tampa’s current cargo fleet (5 767s) and assist in expanding Avianca’s international cargo business. This order makes Avianca the first operator of the A330F in Latin America. AviancaTaca and its subsidiaries already operate seven A330-200s and 81 A320s.
“As an existing operator of seven A330 passenger aircraft, we are confident that these new A330 Freighters will bring us greater fuel efficiency, lower operating costs and improved environmental performance,” said Fabio Villegas, CEO of AviancaTaca Holdings and President of Avianca.
More good news on the A350 program. The first A350 XWB nose section was transported to Airbus St Nazaire by Beluga from Aerolia’s site in Méaulte. The A350 XWB nose section comprises three main sub-assemblies: cockpit plus upper and lower forward fuselage parts, which incorporate door one and the nose landing gear bay. Making the use of high-tech materials, the A350 XWB nose section consists of 40% composites, 55% aluminum/aluminum-lithium and f5% titanium. Once assembled and equipped, the nose section will be joined to the forward fuselage (made and equipped in Hamburg) to form together the A350 XWB front fuselage.
Progress on new programs is something everyone following the industry should cheer. Given the learning curve OEMs have to go through developing, producing and delivering the latest airplanes, seeing manifest program progress like this is encouraging.
Here is an article I did last week for Commercial Aviation Online:
Airbus explains why re-engine programmes won’t hurt residual values
By Scott Hamilton
Airbus is confident that residual values of the re-engined A320neo and Boeing 737 Max families will not adversely affect legacy aircraft, which happened to the 737 Classic to some degree with the introduction of the 737 Next Generation.
Concerns about the RVs surfaced more than a year ago when Airbus first began to seriously consider re-engining the A320 family.
Now that more than 1,200 neos and nearly 500 Maxes have been sold, the question continues to emerge.
As a passenger, what are your in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) priorities? Is it in-seat power to keep you independent of airline IFEC? Is it connectivity to transport you mentally out of the tube? Or do you simply want a better seat-back screen?
We are doing a quick four question survey to understand how passengers prioritize their IFEC needs – this would be interesting for airlines. IFEC costs are going ever higher and the ROI issue comes into ever sharper focus as airlines seek new ancillary revenue streams to offset higher fuel costs and essentially stagnant fares.
After a three year delay, Boeing has finally delivered the first 787 to ANA. This is a significant step, and congratulations are in order to Boeing for their perseverance under a set of extraordinary difficulties, albeit some self-inflicted. Now, however, come the real problems — ramping up the production line, establishing a second line with new personnel far from the experienced supervisors in Seattle, and maintaining quality and schedule during that process. We hope Boeing will have better luck with the production process than it did in the development process. While it is a day for celebration in Seattle, a lot of hard work remains until the program can be considered stable and profitable.
Congratulations to ANA on being the first to fly a new technology aircraft and taking the risk as a launch customer. ANA has been patiently awaiting the airplane for three years, and we look forward to a successful introduction into service in the fourth quarter. We wish Boeing and ANA the best of success with their new aircraft.