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The battle between Airbus and Boeing over their next-generation of long-haul jets is heating up, with a string of major airlines flagging plans last week to place multi-billion dollar orders.
Germany’s Lufthansa, Japan Airlines and Malaysia Airlines were among carriers at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual general meeting to say they were sizing up Airbus’s new A350 widebody jets and Boeing’s rival 787 Dreamliner and revamped 777 models.
Airbus and Boeing compete for the lion’s share of a jet market estimated at $100 billion a year. While recent years have seen them battling over smaller Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft, interest in larger fuel-efficient planes is on the rise, suggesting airlines are betting on an upturn in the global economy and therefore their premium and long-haul markets.
IATA, the airline trade body, on Monday hiked its 2013 industry profit forecast by 20 per cent to $12.7 billion, encouraged by cost cutting and lower oil prices.
Airline executives at the IATA meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, said the stage was set for a slew of orders at the Paris Airshow later this month, and a sustained campaign by Europe’s Airbus and US rival Boeing to win more customers.
The executives said they had been receiving briefings on Boeing’s proposed 787-10X and the 777X, the latest variants of both aircraft.
Industry sources say the 787-10X could be launched in Paris and the 777X later this year, but caution this is dependent on delicate negotiations with potential buyers and production plans. A launch of the stretched 787-10X would imply an increase in Boeing’s plans to make 10 Dreamliners a month from end-2013.
Airbus, meanwhile, is pushing the A350-1000, the largest of three variants, as an alternative to the popular 777-300ER and has gained traction over the last year with several high profile buyers such as Cathay Pacific.
Some of the bigger potential customers in coming months include Lufthansa for around 50 aircraft, Japan Airlines (JAL) for 40 jets, and Malaysia Airlines for around 30 aircraft.
Others include Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), Garuda Indonesia, and Ethiopian Airlines. All are keen to assess both Airbus and Boeing aircraft for their requirements, worth tens of billions of dollars at list prices.
Among the most closely watched competitions are those held by ANA and JAL, which are considering orders for A350s.
That could mark a seismic shift in the airline world as JAL operates only Boeing aircraft and ANA, which has Airbus A320 narrowbody aircraft, operates only Boeing jets on its medium and long-haul services. Amid tough competition, analysts say Japanese airlines could pick up the Airbus aircraft.
Both airlines, however, will talk to both aircraft suppliers as they want to get the best possible deal. ANA, for example, says that it will assess the proposed 777X as well as the A350 to replace its older 777s.
Strong demand for the 787s and A350s and a large backlog mean Boeing and Airbus have sold out early delivery slots. Some airlines like Garuda Indonesia are potentially getting their aircraft from leasing companies instead.
“The slots are tight but we need the aircraft in the 2016-2017 timeframe,” said Garuda’s chief executive Emirsyah Satar. “Leasing companies can be the answer for us as they can supply the aircraft when we need them.”
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/holiday-type/business/plane-wars-the-battle-to-rule-longhaul-travel-20130605-2nq4c.html#ixzz2VstPFnpg
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Philippine aviation authorities shut down one of the country’s busiest airports on Monday after a passenger jet overshot the runway when landing during a rainstorm, officials said.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said Davao International Airport in the south of the country would be closed until Monday evening while authorities removed the Cebu Pacific Airbus A320 plane.
The jet, with 165 people aboard, “veered off to the right of the runway” shortly after landing on Sunday night from Manila, the company said.
“All the passengers were safe,” airline spokeswoman Candice Iyog said. “We do not know exactly what caused the airplane to swerve, but we are cooperating with the accident investigators.”
However Father Joel Tabora, president of the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Davao University, charged that Cebu Pacific had endangered its passengers, including Ateneo faculty and students, during the emergency because of alleged incompetence.
“The Cebu Pacific personnel failed to give humane assistance to passengers,” Tabora said in a statement. “No instructions were given, no calming words were spoken.”
In a notice to airlines, the civil aviation office said the airport would be closed until Monday evening, when ground crew would likely be able to pull the jet from the runway.
“The nose wheel of the aircraft collapsed, but its two landing gears appear to be in order with its left engine visibly damaged,” it said.
It added that four of the passengers on board had been infants.
Cebu Pacific’s Iyog said the airline had cancelled 20 flights for the day, while rival Philippine Airlines (PAL) had cancelled 11.
Hundreds of passengers were stuck at the airport as a result of the closure, forcing PAL to offer land transfers to another airport four hours away.
Davao International Airport is the main gateway to Mindanao, the country’s main southern island.
It is designed to handle about two million passengers annually.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-incidents/no-instructions-given-after-plane-overshoots-runway-20130604-2nn1k.html#ixzz2VGDq7Ief
Finnair revealed the design on one of its Airbus A330 aircraft earlier this month, as part of a deal with Finnish clothing and home furnishings retailer Marimekko to provide textiles and tableware on board the airline’s flights. But last week Marimekko admitted one of its fabric patterns, which was also painted on the Finnair plane, was copied from Ukrainian folk art.
Helsingin Sanomat newspaper on Wednesday reported about almost identical similarity between Marimekko’s pattern from 2007 and a 1963 painting by the late Ukrainian folk artist Maria Primachenko.
Designer Kristina Isola and the company confessed and apologised for the plagiarism, which was viewed by the owner as a serious copyright violation.
“I didn’t think about copyright or that I took someone else’s creative work,” Isola said in a statement.
The “Metsanvaki” design, a naivistic portray of a forest, had been painted on a side of one of Finnair’s long-haul planes.
The airline said it would re-paint the aircraft as a result of the plagiarism.
“The pattern was introduced by Marimekko in 2008, and we naturally trusted its originality,” Finnair said in a statement.
The airline said it would continue to partner with Marimekko for its interior textiles and tableware.
A museum that owns the painting involved considered the incident as “very unpleasant”.
“We will seek legal advice on this matter because this is a serious copyright violation,” said Adriana Vyalets, the director of the National Museum of Ukrainian Folk Art.
Previously Marimekko has been fighting for its own copyrights. In 2007 it asked a German court to ban the sales of Dolce & Gabbana’s certain products, saying the Italian company was using its patterns without permission. The dispute was settled in 2008.
The company, known for its colourful prints which decorate many homes in Finland, earlier this month reported first-quarter loss due to a costly expansion in the United States and weaker sales in Finland.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/plane-plagiarism-design-lifted-from-folk-artist-20130604-2nn50.html#ixzz2VGDIf9QY
British air safety regulators ordered Airbus to notify operators of its A320 jets to make specific safety checks after finding unlocked engine covers had forced a jet to make an emergency landing at London’s Heathrow airport last week.
An Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report published on Friday said two coverings or cowls on the Airbus A319′s engines were left unlatched after maintenance and this was not noticed before the aircraft departed.
All 75 passengers and five crew were unharmed after having been evacuated via the aircraft’s emergency chutes following the Oslo-bound plane’s emergency landing
As a result of its investigation, the AAIB has formally requested Airbus notify operators of A320-family aircraft to check that the fan cowl doors are fully closed prior to flight by visually checking the position of the latches.
BA, whose own engineering team services its engines, said it would comply with the AAIB’s recommendations. BA is owned by International Airlines Group .
“We are supporting the AAIB-led investigation and will follow its recommendations,” Airbus said in a statement.
The AAIB said that prior to the BA incident there had been 32 reported fan cowl door detachment events by July 2012, 80 percent of which had occurred during takeoff.
The AAIB report said the fan doors from both engines of the BA jet detached during takeoff, puncturing a fuel pipe on the right engine and damaging the airframe and some aircraft systems. In turn this lead to a fire in the right engine on the approach to land.
It said fastening the fan cowl door latches usually required maintenance personnel to lie on the ground to reach the latches, and that the latches were difficult to see unless the person was crouching down.
BA’s A319s are powered by two IAE V2500 engines made by the International Aero Engines consortium, part-owned by Pratt & Whitney parent UTC.
The AAIB said the BA plane’s right engine was extensively fire damaged but the left engine continued to perform normally.
This contradicts findings made by America’s National Transport Safety Board (NTSB), which on Thursday said the plane was forced to land after pilots shut down one engine, while the other caught fire.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-incidents/engine-covers-come-off-during-british-airways-flight-20130603-2nku4.html#ixzz2V9wUvCRe
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