— Stan (@StanM3) March 8, 2018
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Following reports late last year that the fate of the Airbus A380 could hinge on whether Dubai orders another batch of the super jumbo jets for the country’s Emirates Airline, it seems the tiny Gulf state has come through just in the nick of time.
The Financial Times reported Thursday that Emirates has signed an initial agreement to buy 36 Airbus A380 aircraft, including 20 firm orders and the option for 16 more, in a deal valued at $16 billion.
Airbus has confirmed it is preparing to end production of the world’s largest passenger plane after receiving no new orders in two years.
The A380 was launched to much fanfare in 2005 with commentators declaring it the future of aviation. But just 13 later, and with only 222 units delivered, the entire project is on the brink.
Airbus says it must build at least six of the planes each year to keep the programme running, and had been banking on a new order in November from its biggest customer, Emirates. However, the Dubai carrier chose to purchase 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners instead.
Once seen as Airbus’s signature product, the massive A380 – Europe’s delayed and exagerated response to the 747 Jumbo Jet – is in danger of being discontinued by the European aerospace giant if it fails to win a lucrative contract from the Dubai’s Emirates air line, according to Reuters. The company is already drawing up contingency plans to phase out production of the A380, the world’s largest commercial aircraft, Reuters reported.
The moment of truth for the slow-selling airliner looms after just 10 years in service and leaves one of Europe’s most visible international symbols hanging by a thread, despite a major airline investment in new cabins unveiled this month.
“If there is no Emirates deal, Airbus will start the process of ending A380 production,” a person briefed on the plans said. A supplier added such a move was logical due to weak demand.
Once considered flagship brands for their respective airlines, demand for jumbo jetliners like the A380 – which was introduced 10 years ago to help Airbus compete with the Boeing 747 – has sagged as air lines have favored smaller twin-engine aircraft that are cheaper to fuel and maintain.
Emirate has been a notable exception to this trend. The airline has long championed the A380, and has ordered a total of more than 142 total aircraft. But according to Reuters, talks between Airbus and Emirates over a new order for 36 superjumbos worth $16 billion broke down at the Dubai Airshow last month. Negotiations are said to have resumed – but a deal for the new jets is far from assured.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Certification planned for 2018.
Both Boeing & Airbus will suffer.”
China has moved a step closer to its ambitious multi-trillion dollar plan to penetrate the global passenger jet market.
The second prototype of the C919 plane took off from Shanghai’s Pudong International airport marking a successful maiden test flight, state media reported.
“The test flight lasted for around two hours during which performance of the plane’s major systems and equipments like taking-off and landing, navigation and communication, speed acceleration and deceleration were tested,” Xinhua News Agency reported.
The Chinese COMAC C919 airplane, which seeks to challenge the market dominance of the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, has made its maiden flight.
The new narrow-body twin-engine passenger jet took to the skies of Shanghai on Friday. The maiden flight had been delayed at least twice since 2014 due to production issues, according to Reuters.The state-owned producer of the plane, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), says there is a $2 trillion market for the new plane, which was first revealed last November.
I have been warning about the increasing likelihood of a serious global trade war for quite some time.
That warning is now my baseline scenario. Unless there is an immediate deescalation of rhetoric and a return to rational thinking, a very destructive global trade war is baked in the cake.
I seek ways that a global trade war does not start, but I come up short.
H/t reader squodgy:
“This will speed up the Sino-Russian project.
If the US sanctions screw up sales of planes by both puppet aircraft manufacturers Boeing & Airbus, the US are cutting everyone’s noses to spite Iran.”
Airbus has announced plans to cut more than 1,100 jobs across Europe and close one of its sites in the Paris region, capping a year marked by a series of losses.
The company has been running into headwinds with its A350 passenger jet – Airbus’s answer to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner – which has missed several targets to take off commercially.
Airbus has also suffered losses of about two billion euros on its A400M military transporter while its helicopter division has suffered from a weak market.
According to Airbus spokesman Jacques Rocca, the layoffs will be spread across four countries, with 640 jobs cut in France, 429 in Germany, 54 in Britain and 39 in Spain.
A mock-up of a wide-body passenger aircraft jointly being developed by Moscow and Beijing has been presented at Airshow China. The new plane is expected to challenge the Airbus-Boeing duopoly.
Manufacturers Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) have announced the start of the search for suppliers. They didn’t provide any details on financing or technical specification.