Airbus A350 XWB flight test aircraft perform maiden flights
The A350 XWB flight test aircraft, MSN2 and MSN4, have both completed their first flights, bringing the total number of A350 XWBs now flying from two to four. Photo: A350 XWB MSN2 takes off for its first flight from Toulouse. Courtesy, Airbus
Airbus to raise single-aisle production rate
Airbus is raising the production rate of its narrowbody line from the current 42 aircraft per month to 46 by the second quarter of 2016. The move is to be preceded by an interim step up from 42 to 44 in the first quarter of 2016. ATW Courtesy, Airbus
Rolls-Royce details UltraFan engine design
Rolls-Royce's new UltraFan engine is slated for entry into service from 2025. UltraFan will mark Rolls-Royce’s first geared design for airline use. UltraFan will have a variable pitch fan system and offer “at least” 25% gains against the Trent 700. ATW Courtesy, Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce gives details on Advance new engine development
Rolls-Royce's new engine development program, Advance, is slated for entry into service from 2020. Advance is expected to deliver a 20% improvement in terms of fuel burn and CO2 emissions, compared to the Trent 700. ATW Courtesy, Rolls-Royce
Airbus completes structure assembly for Skymark Airlines’ first A380
Airbus has completed the structural assembly the first A380 for Japan’s Skymark Airlines. The aircraft has moved to the next station at the Final Assembly Line in Toulouse where it will undergo general tests on electric and hydraulic systems, mobile parts, landing gears and fuel tanks. Also, the aircraft’s four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines will be mounted. Photo: courtesy, Airbus
Etihad Regional begins Stuttgart service
Etihad Regional Darwin Airline began 4X-weekly Geneva-Stuttgart Saab 2000 service.
Airbus invests in robotics
Airbus said its Puerto Real plant in Cádiz, Spain is leading a project, called FUTURASSY, to expand the automation of its assembly processes with the use of two armed humanoid robots to perform repetitive tasks.
Turkey’s SunExpress orders up to 50 737 MAX/737-800s
SunExpress, a joint-venture subsidiary of Lufthansa and Turkish Airline, has placed a firm order for 15 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 25 737-800. The order, valued at more than $3.8 billion at list prices, also includes options for 10 additional MAX 8s. ATW Photo: Rendering of Boeing 737 MAX 8 in SunExpress livery. Courtesy, Boeing
Kuwait Airways firms Airbus order
Kuwait Airways firmed an order for 25 aircraft including 10 A350-900 and 15 A320neo family aircraft as part of the airlines’ fleet renewal strategy. ATW Photo: Rendering of Airbus A350-900 in Kuwait Airways' livery. Courtesy, Airbus
Lufthansa takes delivery of first Airbus A320 with vortex generators
Lufthansa has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 with vortex generators, which will reduce the noise produced by aircraft during its final approach by up to two decibels. Lufthansa said it is the first airline in the world to use an aircraft with this modification. ATW Courtesy, Lufthansa
Aerolíneas to buy four more A330s
Aerolíneas Argentinas signed a purchase agreement for four Airbus A330-200s. Courtesy photo: Aerolíneas A330-200. ATW
Norwegian Air Shuttle agrees to lease four 787-9s from ILFC
Norwegian Air Shuttle inked an accord with International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) to lease four Boeing 787-9s. ATW Courtesy, Norwegian Air Shuttle
Russia's Aeroflot has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 aircraft equipped with sharklets, becoming the first in Russia to use the new fuel saving wing tip devices. Aeroflot’s A320, powered by CFM56 engines, features a two-class cabin, seating 158 passengers with 8 in business class and 150 in economy. Courtesy, Airbus
AirBaltic flies Olympic team to Sochi
Latvian airline airBaltic operated a special flight from Riga to the Sochi Winter Olympics Feb. 6 with a truly pan-Baltic team onboard. The team departed on a specially painted Boeing 737, the Olympic livery of which airBaltic unveiled in October last year, in partnership with Latvian Olympic Committee and Riga International Airport.
airBaltic special Olympic livery
Specially painted airBaltic Boeing 737 in the Olympic livery , in partnership with Latvian Olympic Committee and Riga International Airport. Photo courtesy airBaltic
Airbus A350 XWB makes debut at Doha
Airbus A350 XWB flight test aircraft (MSN3) has made its premiere appearance at Doha’s new Hamad International Airport, on its way to the Singapore Airshow. The visit is part of the entry-into-service preparations between Airbus and Qatar Airways, the A350 XWB launch customer that will take delivery of its first of the type in the fourth-quarter. To date, the A350 XWB has won 812 orders from 39 customers. Pictured: Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker and A350 XWB program head Didier Evrard, with Qatar-based dignitaries and airline staff.
SilkAir takes delivery of first Boeing 737-800
Singapore Airlines regional affiliate SilkAir has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-800, marking the start of the carrier’s transition to an all-Boeing fleet. Over the coming years, Boeing will deliver a total of 23 737-800s and 31 737 MAX 8s to SilkAir. Pictured here is a celebration with company and airline employees at Boeing Field in Seattle on Feb. 3. ATW Courtesy, Boeing