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Max Kingsley-Jones

Max Kingsley-Jones
Leahy: 'Incentives' Behind 737’s 2010 Sales Success 

Airbus’s chief salesman John Leahy has expressed concern that the A320 model has been soundly beaten in terms of orders so far this year by its rival, the Boeing 737. However, he suggests that the market’s shift is a result of Boeing’s sales tactics as the airframer looks to underpin its decision to raise 737 output.

“Two out of three orders this year have gone to the 737,” says Leahy, who is Airbus’s chief operating officer, customers. “I don’t like to see us down at 33% market share.”

Airbus To Seek Compensation From Rolls Over Trent Disruption 

Airbus says it will seek compensation from Rolls-Royce for any costs incurred by the disruption resulting from the Trent 900 failure on a Qantas Airbus A380 earlier this month. Following the Nov. 4 incident, which occurred shortly after takeoff from Singapore, Qantas grounded its entire fleet of six A380s. Engine checks and swap-outs have also been carried out on A380s of the other two Trent operators, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

Boeing Accelerates 717 Remarketing Campaign 

Boeing plans to repatriate 19 of 25 former Mexicana leased 717s by year-end as part of renewed efforts to find operators for the fleet following the airline’s collapse in August.

In addition to a series of planned customer visits, the manufacturer reactivated one of six 717s currently stored in Victorville, Calif., on Nov. 15 and flew it to Boeing Field for display to Boeing Commercial and Boeing Capital Corp. (BCC) employees.

Systems-Installation Design Central To A350XWB Delay Warning 

Concern over the pace of the Airbus A350XWB’s systems-installation design has prompted Airbus to warn of a potential schedule slip, as memories of the A380’s production line dramas continue to haunt the manufacturer.

Rolls May Have Known Of Trent Failure Risk 

As the Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation progresses into the Nov. 4 inflight uncontained failure of a Trent 900 on a Qantas Airbus A380, it has emerged that Rolls-Royce may have known about deficiencies well before the incident.

German Tax Prompts Air Berlin To Reverse 2011 Expansion Plan 

After aggressive expansion this year, Air Berlin has reversed its plans for 2011 and will cut capacity in response to Germany’s new air passenger tax which it expects will hurt demand.

The carrier, which is Europe’s third largest low-cost airline, has blamed Europe’s severe winter and the impact of April’s volcanic ash cloud for pushing its pre-tax operating profit down to €44.8 million ($61 million) in the first nine months of 2010.

Loan Approval Brings Fokker Next Gen A Step Closer 

NG Aircraft, the company proposing to revive the Fokker 100, is preparing to begin the next development phase following approval by the European Commission of a Dutch government loan for €20 million ($27 million).

Goodrich Ousts Messier-Dowty To Supply A350-1000 Main Gear 

In a surprise move, Airbus has switched suppliers for the main landing gear on the A350-1000, selecting Goodrich over incumbent vendor Messier-Dowty for the largest XWB variant.

Leahy: A380 Customers Want Earlier Delivery Slots 

Demand for the Airbus A380 is outstripping the planned production ramp-up, says Airbus, with existing and potential customers pushing for earlier delivery slots than are currently available.

“I’d love to have earlier A380 positions right now,” says Airbus Chief Operating Officer-Customers John Leahy. “I’m essentially sold out until the end of 2014, and I’ve got open positions in 2015, but I’ve still got a lot sold in that year.”

Cabin Crew Strike Threatens To Bring Finnair To A Halt 

Finnair has warned that its operations could be severely disrupted at the end of the month if the country’s flight attendants’ association SLSY goes ahead with its threatened industrial action.

SLSY, which represents the cabin attendants of Finnair and Blue1, has advised that its members could begin a strike on Nov. 30 if a solution cannot be found in the ongoing negotiations over a new employment agreement. The association’s existing collective agreement ended in April, and negotiations over a new one began in February.

Trent Shortage Prompts Rolls To Plunder A380 Line 

Rolls-Royce will pull Trent 900s from the Airbus A380 production facilities to replace engines that are being removed from the in-service fleet in the wake of the Qantas flight QF32 uncontained failure.

The supply of spare Trent 900s is limited, and Airbus says that any production line engine swaps will be undertaken in such a way as to limit the disruption to delivery schedules. However, Rolls declines comment.

Low-Fare Airline Group Protests Spanair Bail-Out 

The European Low-Fare Airline Association (ELFAA), which represents budget carriers such as Easyjet and Ryanair, has condemned the recent move by Spain’s Public Infrastructures Corp. (CIMALSA) to come to the rescue of struggling Spanish airline Spanair.

ELFAA is urging the European Commission to investigate what it sees as unfair and illegal state aid infringements in the airline sector.

Qatar’s Al Baker Takes Swipe At Governments For Fees 

As rapidly expanding Qatar Airways announced its 100th destination, the airline’s outspoken CEO, Akbar Al Baker, criticized governments for implementing charges like Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS). He says airlines serve as “cash cows” to compensate for governmental inefficiency.

A321 Control Issues Prompt Airbus Electrical Fault Warning 

Airbus is warning operators of A320 family aircraft about the potential of an electrical fault that causes display failures as well as uncommanded rudder trim movement and control difficulties after an alarming incident involving a BMI A321 in August.

The Airbus A321 was en route over northern Sudan operating a night flight from Khartoum to Beirut on Aug. 24 when the incident happened.

Rolls-Royce Outlines Plans For Trent 900 Modification 

Rolls-Royce says that last week’s uncontained failure of a Trent 900 engine on a Qantas Airbus A380 was caused by the malfunction of “a specific component” in the turbine area, which will be addressed by a modification program across the fleet.

Meanwhile, Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders has warned that the problem may affect A380 deliveries this year and next.

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