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May 24, 2008

Boeing push back 737 replacement development

Saturday, May 24, 2008

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United States airframer Boeing has anounced that development of a replacement for their 737 narrowbody airliner, begun two years ago, has been pushed back several years, Boeing saying that further advancement of technology is required.

Spokeswoman Sandy Angers said that that the team formed to look at the development had been merged into the parent product development team and would cease looking at specific designs. Boeing say airlines demand performance improvements of 15-20% are required if a new airliner is to be commercially viable.

“We’ve reduced our airplane-design effort and are focusing more on the technology breakthroughs,” said Angers. “We need technology breakthroughs in engines, aerodynamics, materials and other systems. You can’t simply shrink the 787 and expect the same benefits for the narrow-body market. We’ve got difficult challenges.”

One important difference is that the plastic composite used for the fuselage of the 787 would not offer as significant a weight saving on a smaller aircraft. The delivery date for the plane is now anticipated to be around 2020, and not 2015 as previously hoped. This coincides with the expected date for Airbus to deliver their A320 replacement. Industry analysts predict development of one to trigger development of the other. Boeing had hoped to have their’s ready for 2012.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson said “We’re continuing our research effort until we find the right solution. It has to be a 25-year product.”

Since its 1967 debut 5,700 737s have been deliverd to date, with orders for 2,200 more, keeping the jet in production until at least 2014. It is Boeing’s most popular airliner.


Sources

  • “Boeing new plane programme on hold”. The Press Association, May 24, 2008
  • Dominic Gates “Boeing pushes back design development of 737 replacement jet”. Seattle Times, May 23, 2008
  • “Boeing puts plans for successor to 737 jetliner on hold”. The Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2008
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Boeing pushes back 737 replacement development

Boeing pushes back 737 replacement development

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

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United States airframer Boeing has announced that development of a replacement for their 737 narrowbody airliner, begun two years ago, has been pushed back several years, Boeing saying that further advancement of technology is required.

Spokeswoman Sandy Angers said that that the team formed to look at the development had been merged into the parent product development team and would cease looking at specific designs. Boeing say airlines demand performance improvements of 15-20% are required if a new airliner is to be commercially viable.

“We’ve reduced our airplane-design effort and are focusing more on the technology breakthroughs,” said Angers. “We need technology breakthroughs in engines, aerodynamics, materials and other systems. You can’t simply shrink the 787 and expect the same benefits for the narrow-body market. We’ve got difficult challenges.”

One important difference is that the plastic composite used for the fuselage of the 787 would not offer as significant a weight saving on a smaller aircraft. The delivery date for the plane is now anticipated to be around 2020, and not 2015 as previously hoped. This coincides with the expected date for Airbus to deliver their A320 replacement. Industry analysts predict development of one to trigger development of the other. Boeing had hoped to have their’s ready for 2012.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson said “We’re continuing our research effort until we find the right solution. It has to be a 25-year product.”

Since its 1967 debut 5,700 737s have been deliverd to date, with orders for 2,200 more, keeping the jet in production until at least 2014. It is Boeing’s most popular airliner.



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March 27, 2008

Airbus parent EADS wins £13 billion UK RAF airtanker contract

Airbus parent EADS wins £13 billion UK RAF airtanker contract

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

An existing RAF Tristar aircraft

European Aeronautic Defence & Space NV (EADS), the parent company of European airframer Airbus, has won a £13 billion contract to supply the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force (RAF) with aerial refueling tankers to replace the nation’s current ageing fleet.

AirTanker Ltd., an EADS-led consortium, have signed a 27-year contract with the Defense Ministry to supply 14 new Airbus A330-200 passenger airliner converted for the task. They will be owned by AirTanker, who retains commercial leasing rights to five which can carry 290 passengers plus cargo, but will fly in RAF livery. They replace existing Lockheed Tristar and Vickers VC-10 aircraft. The first aircraft will be in service by 2011 and all by 2016.

Rolls-Royce, part of the consortium, will supply engines. France’s Thales will supply electronics, Wimborne, UK’s Cobham will manufacture refueling equipment and Southampton, UK’s VT Group will provide service management.

Last month, Northrop Grumman and EADS defeated Boeing to win a massive order for 179 tankers from the United States Air Force. Airbus has also inked recent deals with the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Saudi Air Force and the UAE Air Force.



Related news

  • “Northrop Grumman and Airbus parent EADS defeat Boeing for $40 billion US airtanker contract” — Wikinews, March 1, 2008

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March 1, 2008

Northrop Grumman and Airbus parent EADS defeat Boeing for $40 billion US airtanker contract

Northrop Grumman and Airbus parent EADS defeat Boeing for $40 billion US airtanker contract

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Boeing KC-135 refuels an F-22A Raptor. The KC-135 will be replaced by the Northrop Grumman KC-45.

Northrop Grumman and Airbus parent company European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V. (EADS) have unexpectedly defeated Boeing for a US$40 billion (GB£20.1 billion) contract to supply the United States Air Force (USAF) with 179 new aerial refueling tankers at a rate of 15 a year.

It is the biggest contract of its kind since the Joint Strike Fighter program. That contract was fought for between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Lockheed ultimately winning the contest.

JSA Research defence analysist Paul Nesbit said that Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) operations across the aircraft’s fifty-year service life could push the value of the contract as high as US$100 billion. Northrop Grumman CEO Ron Sugar said in an interview “Everyone told us we were crazy, that we had no chance. But we took a big swing and in this case, we hit a home run.”

USAF officials said that the contract had been awarded based on competence, track record and competitive pricing, with UBS analyst David Strauss saying “The key decision was the amount of fuel the bigger plane could carry. In the armed services, you can never have too much gas in the air.” USAF also denied that creating jobs in the US was a factor; job supply had been the reason Boeing were expected to win, with the airframer promising 44,000 new positions at 300 suppliers in 40 states.

The Northrop Grumman KC-45 tankers – more often known as KC-30s – are based on the Airbus A330 MRTT. The first four aircraft will be assembled at the main Airbus factory in Toulouse, France but by 2010-11 production of the remainder will be carried out at a facility in Mobile, Alabama. This is thought likely to create 1,500 to 2,000 jobs and support 25,000 others. 60% of the parts will be supplied by domestic manufacturers. EADS had previously announced plans to shift much production to the US due to the current weakness of the dollar.

General Arthur Lichte, head of USAF’s Mobility Command, said it is hoped the first aircraft can be tested in 2010 and in operation three years afterwards. USAF’s chief of staff General Duncan McNab stated “The tanker is the number-one procurement priority for us right now. It is the first step in our critical commitment to recapitalize our aging fleet to move, supply, and position assets anywhere.”

Cquote1.svg At a time when our economy is hurting, this is a blow not only to our state, but more than 40 states across the country who would help build this national plane. Cquote2.svg

—Washington politicians

There is still a possibility of Boeing challenging the decision; Boeing themselves were successfuly challenged by Lockheed and Sikorsky in 2006 over a US$10 billion contract to supply search and rescue helicopters to the Pentagon. A statement by Boeing given by Boeing spokesman William Barksdale said “Obviously we are very disappointed… Once we have reviewed the details behind the award, we will make a decision concerning our possible options.”

Washington senator Patty Murray, who hails from the same state where Boeing bases their commercial airliner operations, said in a critical statement “We are shocked that the Air Force tapped a European company and its foreign workers to provide a tanker to our American military. At a time when our economy is hurting, this decision to outsource our tankers is a blow to the American aerospace industry, American workers and America’s military.”

Washington representative Norm Dicks said he too was “shocked”, releasing a statement saying “This decision is even more disappointing because the Air Force had previously favored the Boeing 767 tanker and we were prepared to move forward with the production of 100 tankers in 2003, before the process was halted due to the Boeing scandal. I regret that it has taken so long to respond to what was—and is—an urgent need to replace these older aircraft. And even more regrettable is the decision to award the contract to Airbus, which has consistently used unfair European government subsidies to take jobs away from American aircraft workers.”

Kansas senator Sam Brownback said “It’s stunning to me that we would outsource the production of these airplanes to Europe instead of building them in America. I’ll be calling upon the Secretary of Defense for a full debriefing and expect there will be a protest of the award by Boeing.” Todd Tiahrt, a Kansas representative, said “We should have an American tanker built by an American company with American workers. I cannot believe we would create French jobs in place of Kansas jobs.”

A group of Washington politicians released a joint statement saying “We will be asking tough questions about the decision to outsource this contract… At a time when our economy is hurting, this is a blow not only to our state, but more than 40 states across the country who would help build this national plane.”

Alabama Governor Bob Riley said “To say this is a great day for Alabama is a monumental understatement. This will go down in history as one of our greatest days.” Ralph Crosby, EADS’s North America CEO and ex Northrop executive commented the business has “committed our full resources to support this vital program for our prime contractor, Northrop Grumman, the Air Force, and the war fighters that this system will serve for decades to come. We already have begun the work necessary to expand our U.S. industrial footprint in support of this important program.”

EADS chief executive Louis Gallois commented “This major selection is a win-win for our customers, for allied industrial cooperation and for EADS. It signals a quantum-leap forward in our commitment to the US defence customer, reflects and supports our global strategy to increase EADS’s industrial presence in key markets and our goal to balance the company’s defence and commercial portfolios.” General Arthur Lichte said “This will be an American tanker, flown by American airmen with an American flag on its tail and, every day, it will be saving American lives.

Boeing had initially agreed to lease 100 tankers, but in 2003 a scandal erupted when it emerged that Boeing executive Michael M. Sears arranged a job for USAF official Darleen Druyun while negotiations were still underway. Both served jail sentences for corruption charges and a competition was opened up to award a new contract.



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December 14, 2007

Brian Mulroney testifies before Canadian House of Commons

Brian Mulroney testifies before Canadian House of Commons

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Brian Mulroney in an interview in 2007.
Image: Joshua Sherurcij.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney testified Thursday before an ethics committee in the Canadian House of Commons about the Airbus affair, a case involving alleged bribery at the highest levels of government to secure Airbus sales of aircraft to Air Canada.

In his testimony, Mulroney said that he should not have associated with German businessman Karlheinz Schreiber nor should have he accepted bundles of cash — which he placed in safe deposit boxes in two different countries.

Nonetheless, Mulroney denied accepting kickbacks. He admitted taking about CAD225,000 in cash from Schreiber in 1993 and 1994, which was after his departure from politics. He also said that the money involved promoting Schreiber’s private business dealings.

To the committee Muroney said: “When I look back on it today, I realize I made a serious error of judgment in receiving a payment in cash for this assignment even though it was decidedly not illegal to do so. That mistake in judgment was mine alone. I apologize and I accept full responsibility for it. … I should have declined the offer. I should have insisted that payment be in a more transparent or more accountable manner. By not doing so I inadvertently created an impression of impropriety on the high office I was privileged to hold.”

“Do you realize, Mr. Mulroney, that the way in which you acted in this matter did not make it appear that it were a legitimate transaction,” said MP Serge Ménard of Bloc Québécois.

Two days earlier, Schreiber testified before the same committee, alleging that Mulroney agreed to accept CAD300,000 to promote a light armored vehicle factory and benefited from the purchase of 34 Airbus aircraft by Air Canada.

“I never received a cent from anyone for services rendered to anyone in connection with the purchase by Air Canada from Airbus of 34 aircraft,” Mulroney said, refuting Schreiber.

Mulroney also attacked Schreiber’s credibility, pointing out that the German could be extradited to his home country where he faces charges. “He succeeded. He got what he wanted … he’s sitting in his mansion over in Rockcliffe,” Mulroney said. “I think he seriously misled every member of this House … with this false affidavit.”

The committee’s investigation will resume in late January, when it is expected to call dozens of witnesses.



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October 17, 2007

First A380 enters commercial service

First A380 enters commercial service – Wikinews, the free news source

First A380 enters commercial service

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Airbus A380 Superjumbo in SIA livery, which was featured at the 2006 Asian Aerospace.
Image: Slivester Chua.

It was a milestone in aviation history: the first Airbus A380 landed at Singapore’s Changi International Airport at 6:40 p.m. (GMT+8) after a 12-hour flight from Airbus’ Delivery Center. The aircraft was greeted by some 400 guests, including the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, at the soon-to-open Terminal 3 of Changi International Airport.

In his speech, the Prime Minister applauded Singapore Airlines (SIA) – the recipient carrier – and cited its success as a source of pride for all Singaporeans. He also said that the landing was a milestone not only for SIA, but also for Changi International Airport, the country’s main airport. All existing terminals are currently A380-ready, and the SGD1.75-billion Terminal 3 will open its doors in January next year.

The A380 will make a special charity flight on October 25 from Singapore to Sydney and will begin regular service on the Singapore-Sydney route on October 28.

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October 15, 2007

First Airbus A380 delivered

First Airbus A380 delivered – Wikinews, the free news source

First Airbus A380 delivered

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Monday, October 15, 2007

The Airbus A380 Superjumbo in SIA livery, which was featured at the 2006 Asian Aerospace.

The first A380 superjumbo, made by Airbus, was delivered today to Singapore Airlines (SIA) 18 months behind schedule.

After the plane was delivered in Singapore, it was flown to Toulouse, France for the ceremony of about 500 guests.

The plane is built with four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.

The first flight will take off for a “special charity-flight” from Singapore and land in Sydney on October 25. Special services will continue from October 28.

“This is a major milestone for the A380 programme, and I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all parties concerned. I want to thank our teams and all those who worked hard, days, nights, and week-ends, for their dedication and commitment,” said Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Enders.



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June 9, 2007

Aer Lingus buys twelve new long-haul Airbus jets

Aer Lingus buys twelve new long-haul Airbus jets

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Aer Lingus Airbus A320-200 from the current fleet.

Irish national airline Aer Lingus have purchased 12 new long-haul Airbus aircraft as a means of modernising it’s long-haul fleet and improving it’s transatlantic network.

Under the agreement, Aer Lingus Group PLC said it will receive six new A330-300E aircraft from 2009 to 2011, then between 2014 and 2016 it will take delivery of six new A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body) aircraft, a new design currently under development by Airbus. Aer Lingus also have options of six more A350s to exercise by 2018.

Aer Lingus already operates an all-Airbus fleet consisting of 30 short-haul aircraft( 24 A320s and 6 A321s) and eight long-haul A330s, and had made the purchase of new long-haul airliners a top priority since the formerly state-owned company was floated on British and Irish stock markets in September 2006. The airline had approached Airbus rival Boeing regarding a potential deal for their new 787 aircraft, but Aer Lingus Chief Executive Dermot Mannion stated that he believed the Airbus aircraft were “better on fuel and better on range” than the 787. He also said that, although the aircraft have a catalogue value of €1.78 billion (US$2.4 billion), Airbus had offered them at an “exceptional discounts” on them. Some of the A330s will be replaced by the new aircraft.

As well as new routes to the US, Mannion stated that there was a possibility of routes elsewhere resulting from the new aircraft as well, saying, “We will prioritize the U.S. (but) we have an eye as to what’s happening to the Far East and South Africa.” The airline already offers flights to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dubai, and recently launched 3 new U.S. routes to San Francisco, Orlando, and Washington.

Aer Lingus shares on the Irish Stock Exchange fell 2.5 percent to €2.73 ($3.68) the day the deal was announced. It will fall through unless backed by shareholders.

Aer Lingus rival Ryanair has been attempting to take over Aer Lingus since December, and if this bid is successful, the new aircraft may become redundant as Ryanair intends to end transatlantic services. However, the Irish government, which holds a 25 percent share in Aer Lingus, disapproves of the takeover, as do Aer Lingus employee-controlled trusts that hold more than 15 percent shares. Ryanair owns a 25 percent share in Aer Lingus. The takeover is also unlikely to receive regulatory approval from the European Union.

Mannion said of the integration of the new aircraft “The A350 XWB fits in with our ambitious plans to expand existing routes and to open up new ones from our hub in Dublin. We already have an all Airbus fleet and the new aircraft will fit in seamlessly.”

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March 19, 2007

A380 makes maiden flight to US

A380 makes maiden flight to US – Wikinews, the free news source

A380 makes maiden flight to US

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Monday, March 19, 2007

The A380 on its maiden flight.

The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, was set to land in the United States of America on Monday after a test flight. One of the A380s is flying from Frankfurt to Chicago via New York; the airplane will be carrying about 500 people.

It is being billed as the first time it has carried a near-normal number of passengers, though most will be staff of Airbus and German airline Lufthansa.

A second A380 is also travelling to the U.S. on Monday, but without passengers. This will be branded as a Qantas flight and fly from Frankfurt to Los Angeles LAX airport. The first leg of the flight going towards New York will be travelling under a Lufthansa flight number, and is due to arrive at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport at 12:30 EST (16:30 UTC).

The test flights are being used to monitor everything from how easily the plane docks at the terminal gate to the way the in-flight dining and entertainment services work. Deliveries to Singapore Airlines, its launch customer, are not due until October – two years late.

Delays of the production of the A380 have cost Airbus more than 6 billion dollars. Airbus has warned there could be additional charges to come.

These monetary problems have led to a recently-announced restructuring program at Airbus, called Power8, in which 10,000 jobs go and several factories will be sold to Airbus partners. France will lose 4,300 jobs, followed by Germany having a loss of 3,700 jobs, while the United Kingdom and Spain will see 1,600 and 400 jobs cut respectively.

The Belgian government has announced that it will give up to 150 million € (US$ 199 million) in aid to help sub-contractors which supply Airbus and employ thousands of workers.

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February 28, 2007

Airbus announces job cuts of 10,000

Filed under: Airbus,Archived,Aviation,Economy and business,Europe,Transport — admin @ 5:00 am

Airbus announces job cuts of 10,000 – Wikinews, the free news source

Airbus announces job cuts of 10,000

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A380-tail.JPG

Airbus, Europe’s biggest aircraft manufacturer, has announced 10,000 job cuts over the next four years. The news comes as its parent company, EADS starts a major restructuring programme because the company is not efficient enough.

Louis Gallois, the Airbus chief executive, said the company expects to cut approximately 4,300 jobs in France, 3,700 in Germany, 1,600 in UK and 400 in Spain. About half of those cuts will be made among subcontractors and temporary workers. Actual Airbus employee reduction would be about 5,000, or 9% of the total European work force of 55,000 full-time Airbus employees.

Although Gallois said he hoped to achieve this mainly through attrition, the unions were displeased. Union officials said nearly 14,000 employees at four French sites had a two hour work stoppage Wednesday afternoon to protest the cuts.

“The response has been massive,” said Julien Talavan, a spokesman for Force Ouvrière, the main Airbus union in France. “This is just the beginning,” he said, hinting at future labor action.

This move comes after well-publicized delays on its A380 super-jumbo commercial airliner. The restructuring announcement also includes the proposed sale or closure of 3 plants.

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