February 3, 2014

Lessor Palma Holding Limited Places Firm Order for up to eight Bombardier Q400 NextGen Aircraft

Bombardier Aerospace today announced that lessor Palma Holding Limited (Palma) has signed a firm purchase agreement for four dual-class Q400 NextGen aircraft. The agreement, which also includes options for an additional four Q400 NextGen aircraft, follows a letter of intent to acquire the aircraft that Bombardier announced on November 18, 2013. Under a joint venture with Ibdar Bank BSC, Palma intends to lease four of the Q400 NextGen aircraft to Ethiopian Airlines.

Photo Credit: Bombardier Aerospace
As previously announced, based on list price, the contract value for Palma’s transaction covering four Q400 NextGen aircraft and four options is approximately $282 million US.
“The two-class configured Q400 NextGen aircraft provides customers like Ethiopian Airlines with operational flexibility, as well as excellent route and lease structures prospects – we look forward to joining the Bombardier family,” said Moulay Omar Alaoui, President, Palma Holding Ltd. “The addition of the Q400 NextGen airliner to our portfolio will present many exciting business development opportunities for our customers.”

“I am delighted to welcome Palma as the first Middle Eastern lessor for the Q400 NextGen aircraft, and the first lessor worldwide for the aircraft’s dual-class configuration,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “As momentum for the Q400 NextGen aircraft continues to build in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, we look forward to adding many more operators to the family of 50 that are presently deriving excellent benefits from the aircraft’s operational flexibility, outstanding performance, passenger amenities and environmental credentials.”

Ethiopian Airlines currently operates a fleet that includes 13 Q400 NextGen airliners. Bombardier’s presence in the Middle East and Africa currently includes more than 200 Dash 8/Q-Series turboprops, CRJ regional jets and CSeries single-aisle, mainline aircraft in service or on firm order.

Bombardier Aerospace

SINGAPORE: A350 and 787 set to face off

The rival latest-generation widebodies from Airbus and Boeing will go head to head at an air show for the first time at the Singapore air show, which kicks off on 11 February.
Southeast Asia is a key battleground for the contest between the A350 and the 787, with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for one-third of all sales of the two twinjets.

It will be the first full appearance at an air show by the A350-900. The aircraft’s last public appearance was a fly-past towards the end of the 2013 Paris air show, a week after making its maiden flight.
While the A350 – bearing registration MSN 003 – will take part in the flying display, it is not certain whether it will be joined by the 787. Boeing will only confirm that the Qatar Airways-liveried Dreamliner will be on the static display, although the US manufacturer did memorably return to air show flying at Farnborough  2012 after a 30-year hiatus with a Qatar 787.

All eyes will be on whether the airframers can secure further deals for their new types. Singapore Airlines has already split its loyalties. The city-state’s flag carrier has firm orders for 70 A350-900s, while it is also launch customer for the 787-10, with 30 on order.

Indonesia’s Garuda and Philippine Airlines are looking to the A350 or 787 as a possible replacement for A330s, while Malaysia Airlines is evaluating the A350 and 787 to replace 777-200ERs, although it may plump for the high-gross-weight version of the A330, according to Flightglobal’s Ascend advisory service.
While the Singapore show – held at the Changi Exhibition Centre near the island’s international airport – is unlikely to see the sort of eye-watering mega orders witnessed at Dubai in November, the continued buoyancy of the Southeast Asian market is likely to see plenty of activity for the main airframers.

Singapore Airlines may choose the show to announce an order for the Boeing 777X, joining the three big Gulf airlines which ordered the long-range twinjet at Dubai, as well as its Asian rival Cathay Pacific. Even if Singapore Airlines fails to place a commitment, other heavy hitters in the region may be keen to lock-in delivery slots.

We might see confirmation of an order for 20 A380s from new kid on the leasing block Doric – Airbus expects the contract to be signed in the first quarter. And Indonesia’s Lion Air could use the show to announce its engine choice for the hundreds of A320s it has on order.

On the defence side, Singapore has requested a major upgrade for its 60 F-16s. If the government decides to compete it, it could prompt a battle between original equipment manufacturer Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems to be lead contractor – and between Northrop Grumman and Raytheon to supply the latest-generation radar.

The island state is also a security co-operation participant in the F-35 programme, and its defence minister recently witnessed a flight demonstration of the short take-off and vertical landing B variant in the USA. Meanwhile, Singapore’s airlift requirements should also be interesting, with reports that the government is interested in the Airbus A330 MRTT and Boeing’s C-17.

Historic head-to-heads
There have been some memorable face-offs between competitor aircraft at air shows. Here are just some of them:
Paris 1969: A new era dawns as Europe’s rising supersonic star Concorde squares up with the USA’s just-flown jumbo, the Boeing 747
Paris 1971: A return for Concorde, this time a chance to compare it with its Russian counterpart, the Tupolev Tu-144
Paris 1973: Airbus emerges on the scene with the A300B. Not to be outdone, Lockheed’s L1011 TriStar joins it for one day
Farnborough 1986Regional rivalry between the BAe 146 and the Fokker 100
Paris 1995: Widebody war as Airbus showed its A330 and A340, and Boeing its 777-200
Farnborough 2004: Boeing and Northrop Grumman unveil full-scale mock-ups of their competing Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) demonstrators
Paris 2011: Battle of the big boys, with the Airbus A380 in the flying display and the Boeing 747-8 in the static.

Flight Global 

February 1, 2014

Stunning Photo of the A380 , one word (WOW)

The 2nd place in our Photo Contest goes to Christian Böhme with this stunning shot of the

Latest Pictures of Air Canada's FIRST 787 (DreamLiner)

In these latest pictures from Boeing's hangar in Seattle, notice the oversized yellow boxes hanging from each wing of our first Dreamliner. Those heavy boxes are used as placeholders until the actual engines, which weigh more than 10,000lb each, can be installed. This way, the wing will keep it shape. Notice anything else that’s new? The landing gear, which are largely manufactured here in Canada, are also in place. More pictures to come next week. Stay Tuned! 

Photo Credit: Boeing Images

Photo Credit: Boeing Images 

Photo Credit: Boeing Images

Photo Credit: Boeing Images

Photo Credit: Boeing Images


Airlines begin push for discounted end-of-line 777s

Airlines are beginning to push for discounts on current generation Boeing 777s, as the airframer looks to bridge a gap in deliveries until the 777X enters service at the end of the decade.

“I think it is common knowledge that aircraft tend to be sold to large and good customers with substantial discounts,” says Christoph Franz, chief executive of the Lufthansa Group, on a potential 777 discount during a media event in New York on 30 January. “So, the question of if there is additional discount to the existing discount, that is an interesting question. Hopefully, we would be able to achieve this discount.”
The list price of a 777 freighter is $300.5 million, according to Boeing.

Photo Credit: Flight Global

The group’s freight arm Lufthansa Cargo operates two 777 freighters with three more on order. However, it has not selected a replacement for the 13 Boeing MD-11s that will remain in its fleet after the last 777 delivery in 2015.

“There are at least 13 MD-11 freighters waiting for roll over,” says Franz. “For us, this gives a perspective that there will be demand in the future for further freighter aircraft and the 777, as we have already five on our orderbook, is a nice aircraft and hopefully we would be one of the customers.”

This is where further discounts could come in.

The Chicago-based airframer faces a steep drop in 777 deliveries after 2016. Deliveries will fall to just six in 2018 from 56 in 2016, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows. They pick up again with the entry-into-service of the 777-9X in 2020.
Boeing acknowledges a need to fill this gap.

“We anticipate being able to build that bridge over the next number of years as we approach 2020,” said Jim McNerney, chairman and chief executive of Boeing, during an earnings call on 29 January. “We are working with [customers] on combined orders for the current 777 as well as the new one. And we anticipate at least the same kind of result that we had with the [7]37.”
Boeing has discounted end-of-line next generation 737s, which helped it land an order from Ryanair for 175 737-800s in March 2013. Deliveries will continue through 2018.

The first 737 Max delivery is scheduled for the second quarter of 2017.
Boeing’s cost control initiatives are critical to any 777 discounts. These include the partnership for success programme where the airframer is forging long-term partnerships with certain suppliers in order to reduce costs in the near term, and its new contract with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) for work on the widebody.

McNerney implied in his recent comments that these initiatives will likely help Boeing maintain its profit margins on the current generation 777 during the bridge.
“Now the partnering for success will be hitting it's mid-stride right around the time that the [777] bridge is being implemented and that’s not by accident,” he said.

In addition to discounts, Boeing could reduce the production rate of the 777 from 8.3 per month – about 100 aircraft per year – to help counter the gap in deliveries.
Lufthansa Cargo became the first operator of the type in the group, when it took delivery of its first 777 freighter in November 2013.

Entry-into-service was uneventful, says Franz. “The best news of it – I didn’t get any complaints,” he says.
Swiss will begin taking delivery of six 777-300ERs begin in 2016 and Lufthansa has an order for 34 777-9X aircraft with deliveries beginning after 2020.

Flight Global