United Airlines announced (20-Jun-2013) an order for ten A350-1000 aircraft, as well as the conversion of the carrier's previous order for 25 A350-900s to A350-1000s. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, with the first A350-1000 due for delivery in 2018. The carrier expects an approximate 20% fuel saving on existing widebody aircraft. United Airlines chairman, president and CEO Jeff Smisek said: "We look forward to taking delivery of the A350-1000. This is a modern, fuel-efficient and advanced-technology aircraft that our customers and co-workers will enjoy flying. It will be a great addition to our fleet, and will allow us to meet demand on larger, long-haul markets in our world-leading network." Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bergier said: "Less than a week after the success of the A350 XWB’s first flight, we see that demand for the new aircraft continues to grow, especially for the larger -1000 model. Airbus is proud to have United Airlines on board the exciting A350 programme in such a significant way.” Rolls-Royce senior VP civil large engines Jacqui Sutton said: "This latest order from United Airlines for our world-leading Trent engine technology underscores our confidence in the A350-1000 and the higher thrust version of the Trent XWB which will power this aircraft." [more - original PR - United] [more - original PR - Airbus] [more - original PR - Rolls-Royce]
United Airlines orders 10 A350-1000s, converts order for 25 A350-900s to A350-1000s
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Iran CAPA Aviation Summit – hope turns to frustration, but optimism remains as growth abounds
When CAPA – Centre for Aviation held its first conference in Iran at the end of Jan-2016 the atmosphere was primarily one of optimism. Immediately preceding the conference the expectation was that Iran and the West would move to rapidly reverse decades of estrangement. The first round of sanctions against Iran had come down – in line with the historic 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the ‘5+1’ powers – and major airlines and aircraft manufacturers were coming to the table.
While it was acknowledged that progress on major deals was not going to happen overnight, the hope was that as layers of sanctions came down, Iran would be embraced by the rest of the world. In return, Iran was expected to open itself up progressively to foreign trade and investment, and to travel.
The road ahead was perceived to be one that was both a very different, and far easier, one than the one Iran had already travelled. Aviation in particular was a sector that was expected to shine and lead the way for a new era for the country.
Air Canada Part 1: low cost rouge is a pillar of growth; but further expansion might be constrained
During the past year Air Canada has found itself defending its double-digit capacity growth, stressing that 90% of its capacity in 2015, 2016 and 2017 is being deployed to its international network – an entity the company believes is far from reaching maturity. Recently the airline has outlined plans to introduce a raft of new long haul flights to Europe and Asia operated by Air Canada mainline and its low cost arm – Air Canada rouge.
Air Canada stresses the pillars of its international expansion – Boeing 787 widebodies and the establishment of its low cost subsidiary rouge – enable the company to enter international markets it once considered unviable due to higher costs. During the summer of 2018 rouge will nearly reach its 50 aircraft cap, and Air Canada needs to start determining if there are further opportunities to grow its low cost unit. Those evaluations will partially dictate Air Canada’s overall growth levels beyond 2018.
In the short term Air Canada is not seeing any broad changes in consumer behaviour, reflected in its solid booking curves. Weaker markets in Western Canada, hit by the downturn in the oil sector, are stabilising as capacity cuts have resulted in a rational supply-demand scenario.
This is Part 1 in a two part series on Air Canada. The second instalment will focus on the airline’s costs and balance sheet management.