Oman Air places order for three A330-300s
Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, has placed an order for three A330-300s, growing its A330 family fleet to a total of ten Airbus aircraft.
The aircraft will be operated on long haul routes and can comfortably seat close to 300 passengers.
“The efficiency, reliability and passenger appeal of our in-service A330’s already make the pillar of Oman Air’s long haul operations,” said Wayne Pearce, chief executive, Oman Air.
“This additional order will allow us to continue our strategy of growth with an aircraft we know to be both reliable and profitable, and in addition offering the highest levels of passenger comfort.”
Airbus aircraft share a unique cockpit and operational commonality, allowing airlines to use the same pool of pilots, cabin crews and maintenance engineers, bringing operational flexibility and resulting in significant cost savings.
Airbus is the leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats.
“We are proud to continuously grow and develop our partnership with Oman Air through our popular A330-300 aircraft,” said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers.
“The winning combination of efficiency, reliability and comfort provided by the A330 continues to delight customers and passengers worldwide and will do so for many years to come, with our consistent investment in the aircraft family.”
The A330 Family, which spans 250 to 300 seats, and includes Freighter, VIP, and Military Transport/Tanker variants, has now attracted more than 1,200 orders, with around 900 aircraft flying with more than 100 operators worldwide.
Ever since the original version of the A330-300 entered service, the hallmark has been its very efficient operating economics.
Thanks to the introduction of numerous product improvements, it still remains the most cost-efficient and capable aircraft in its class, and the family is achieving average dispatch reliability above 99 per cent.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 17:57
Business aviation market in recovery
Manufacturers of business jets can look forward to climbing sales in the years to come thanks to emerging markets as they gather in Switzerland for an annual air show, having survived the turbulence of the global financial crisis.
But “we’re still waiting for the real recovery,” noted Eric Trappier, chief executive of Dassault Aviation, which will have three versions of its luxurious Falcon jet on display on the tarmac at Geneva at the three-day EBACE show that opens Tuesday.
In 2012, the French company sold 58 jets compared to 36 the previous year, to take a 17% market share according to analysts at the Teal Group aviation consultancy.
“And, after the first quarter which just finished, the trend doesn’t differ much for 2013,” added Trappier.
With 66 deliveries in 2012, Dassault is still off its pre-crisis performance of 72 deliveries in 2008.
Deliveries of business jets grew by just 4 percent in the first quarter of this year, estimates Gama, the association which groups manufacturers.
“Business aircraft have been hit harder by the economic downturn than any other aerospace market,” said Teal Group vice president Richard Aboulafia.
He said the $13-billion sector saw the value of deliveries drop by 29.2 percent between 2008 and 2012 as the global financial crisis forced corporations to cut back on executive travel and fewer of the world’s super rich splurged on luxury jets.
Teal Group expects that the industry will muster 11 percent this year, lifted by higher deliveries of the Gulfstream 650, which is the most expensive business jet with a price tag of around $60 million.
For the following four years it sees annual growth of around 12 percent.
“Unfortunately, with this growth rate we won’t see a recovery to the 2008 peak deliveries level until 2015,” added Aboulafia.
Not all the elements are in place for a real recovery.
On the market for used jets “the number of transactions is increasing, but at still weak prices, in particular for discontinued models,” explained Trappier.
Moreover, confidence has slow to return to the US market, which is the top for the industry.
The US market “is the lungs of business aviation despite the sector having globalised,” said the Dassault chief.
Some two-thirds of the business aviation fleet in service (around 12,000 jets) are situated in North America “although constructors are today delivering a much greater proportion of planes to the rest of the world,” he noted.
However Ernie Edwards, head of the business aviation branch at Brazilian manufacturer Embraer, believes there are reasons to be optimistic.
“US corporate profits are at record levels and that means North America will set the pace of recovery,” he said.
Plus Embraer sees weakness in Europe being balanced out by activity in the Middle East, China and Africa.
The number of super-rich individuals is also now back at record levels, with manufacturers eyeing in particular the emerging markets.
In China there are some 3,000 individuals with a net worth above $500 million and 130 billionaires, according to the Teal Group.
“Only about 150 business jets were registered in China in early 2011, compared with well over 10,000 in the United States,” said Aboulafia. “But this is up from fewer than 100 just two years ago and just a few dozen in 2006.”
Bombardier, which is the leader in the business aviation sector with nearly a third of the market, last year estimated that 2,360 business jets would be delivered to China by 2030.
The company unveiled its new 10-seat Challenger 350 in Geneva on the eve of the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition.
But even in Europe there are “pockets of growth” emphasised Marine Eugene, European sales director for NetJets, which offers fractional ownership in aircraft as well as charter and management services.
NetJets is seeing the London market perking back up.
“After three years in sleep mode, it is very active at the moment,” she said.
EBACE should be “much more positive this year.”
The highlight of this year’s show is expected to be the Legacy 500, Embraer’s new midsize entry, which is making its global debut at the show and is expected to enter into service next year.
Edwards said Embraer expects the Legacy 500 to be a “game-changing aircraft” that will have the same disruptive influence on business aviation as that experienced by the telecommunications industry with the advent of the smartphone.
The midsize jet will offer full fly-wire-technology and a six-foot (1.8 metre) stand-up cabin.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:36
Etihad Airways acquires three services companies in Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways has finalised the agreement to acquire three airport services companies which will accelerate and consolidate the development of in-flight catering services, ground handling and cargo operations at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Formerly part of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), the three companies, Abu Dhabi Airport Services (ADAS), Abu Dhabi In-Flight Catering (ADIFC), and Abu Dhabi Cargo Company (ADCC), are being incorporated, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals, into Etihad Airport Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Etihad Airways.
The companies, which employ more than 4,000 people, are being integrated into the airline’s existing organisational structure to maximise synergies and operational scale.
The re-engineered business units will continue to provide the full range of ground handling, catering and cargo services to Etihad Airways and other airlines at Abu Dhabi International Airport, dedicated to customer excellence and commercial viability.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president, said: “This acquisition follows international best practice and is critical to the continued growth of the airline, and more importantly to the sustained growth and development of Abu Dhabi’s aviation industry in general as envisioned in the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030.
“It is once again in line with our strategy of working closely with our partners and service providers to achieve greater organisational and commercial alignment and a more consistent delivery of products and services along the entire value chain of the customer’s experience.
“Airline and cargo customers will also benefit from enhanced service levels and greater integration across hub operations.”
The acquisition will provide significant incremental revenue opportunities, cost savings, and operational efficiencies across the various business entities.
Hogan added: “We are delighted to welcome employees from ADAS, ADIFC and ADCC to the growing Etihad family.
“The acquisition is a very positive development for the airline, for the three subsidiary companies, and for their employees, who will have access to increased benefits, career enhancement opportunities and training as the organisation continues to grow.”
A transition process is in place and it is ‘business as usual’ as Etihad continues to work closely with its new and existing employees and customers, ensuring that there is no disruption to existing services during the integration period while benefits are delivered immediately.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 16:55
Emirates’ Airbus A380 to be launched to Brisbane and Auckland
Brisbane is set to become Emirates’ third Australian destination to welcome the airline’s flagship Airbus A380, with the announcement that the airline will operate the aircraft on the Dubai to Brisbane and Auckland route from October 1st 2013.
Adding the A380 to one of Emirates’ two daily Brisbane services will see an increase in capacity of 135 seats for sale per flight and 1,890 week, reinforcing Emirates’ commitment to its Queensland and Auckland passengers.
The double-daily service is currently operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
“On the back of growing passenger demand on the route as well as demand for our flagship aircraft, we will become the first airline to bring the state-of-the-art A380 to Brisbane, offering Queenslanders the chance to experience this revolutionary aircraft and the best service in the sky first-hand,” said Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations, Far East & Australasia.
“The Dubai-Brisbane-Auckland route is a popular choice among business and leisure travellers alike and the new Emirates A380 service will be instrumental in helping Emirates meet its passenger demand as well as deliver considerable economic benefits through inbound seats and travel connections,” he continued.
“Australia represents an important market for Emirates and ranks in the top three countries on Emirates’ global network.
“Central to this relationship is the ongoing support for tourism and trade provided by adding larger capacity aircraft between our two countries, and this fourth A380 for Australia will further complement our partnership with Qantas,” Obaidalla added.
Together with Qantas, from October a total of six daily A380 services will operate to Dubai, offering a seamless A380 experience through Dubai International Airport’s Concourse A, the world’s first purpose built A380 concourse, to 21 A380 serviced destinations on the network including London Heathrow, Manchester, Paris and Rome.
Today’s announcement caps off a range of recent upgrades to Emirates’ Australian services, including the introduction of a daily Melbourne A380, a daily Adelaide service and a three times daily Perth service.
A second A380 for Sydney from June has been announced.
Last Updated on Monday, 20 May 2013 17:36
Airline Creates One-Of-A-Kind Novels That Last Only As Long As Your Flight
Qantas aims to provide a unique flying experience by offering specially curated books called ‘Stories For Every Journey’ for its passengers.
These books are one-of-a-kind because each one is created to last just as long as the duration of your flight.
The Australian airline worked with Droga5 and publishing house Hachette, to create this series.
Do you think it's possible to tailor a book's length to the average reading speed?
Here's a look at the bespoke novels:
Last Updated on Monday, 20 May 2013 13:54
Qatar Airways brings Dreamliner back to the UK
Qatar Airways has resumed Boeing 787 Dreamliner services from London Heathrow after a worldwide grounding of the aircraft in January.
The Doha-based carrier was the first to launch the Boeing 787 Dreamliner service from the UK in December, and today’s return to service means it remains the only airline in the world to operate scheduled 787 flights to and from the United Kingdom.
Landing at London Heathrow today at 11:19, QR075 was the airline’s first Boeing 787 to resume flights to the capital.
The aircraft returned to Doha a few hours later as flight QR076, one of the airline’s five daily services between the UK and the State of Qatar.
The first of the airline’s five Boeing 787 Dreamliners returned to service on the Doha – Dubai route on May 1st.
The airline will be gradually phasing in Boeing 787 flights over the next few weeks on long-haul routes such as Munich, Frankfurt and Zurich.
Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “The Doha – Heathrow route is one of our most popular international routes, and so I’m thrilled that our Dreamliners are back in the skies, providing our passengers with an unparalleled level of service and comfort to and from the UK.
“I have always hailed the Dreamliner as the state-of-the-art aircraft destined to change the way people travel.
“After a setback that not only affected our own worldwide operations, but those of many carriers worldwide, we look forward to now deploying the Dreamliner on other key routes over the coming weeks.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 14:53
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