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Company Watch - Airbus.

Dec 18, 2006

AirAsia announced its selection of the CFM56-5B to power the 40 firm A320s and 30 options it ordered five months ago. The engine order, which includes six spares, is worth about $500 million at list prices and includes an OnPoint Solution service agreement worth approximately $1.1 billion. By July 2009, AirAsia will operate an all-A320 fleet of 100 aircraft. Dec 17, 2006

Airbus's problems with the A380 and A350 actually hurt aspects of the US aerospace industry, namely aircraft parts suppliers, even though Boeing appears to be benefiting from its competitor's woes AIA President and CEO John Douglass said. Dec 15, 2006

Douglass noted that Airbus's problems with the A380 and A350 actually hurt aspects of the US aerospace industry, namely aircraft parts suppliers, even though Boeing appears to be benefiting from its competitor's woes. "There were hundreds of millions [of dollars worth of US industry-produced parts slated] to be delivered to Airbus this year that won't be," he said. Dec 15, 2006

Airbus EADS' Paris office raided. A surprise morning raid by French police into parent EADS' Paris headquarters, part of an escalating insider trading investigation stemming from the A380 program's extensive delays. Dec 13, 2006

Airbus was unable to bask in what should have been one of its few good-news days in recent months. French investigators raided the Paris offices of EADS yesterday morning as well as the Paris headquarters of EADS stakeholder Lagardere Group. At issue is former EADS co-CEO Noel Forgeard's sale of [euro]2.5 million ($3.3 million) in stock options just three months prior to EADS' stock sinking 26% on news of the A380's setback. Other EADS executives also are reportedly a focus of the investigation into suspicious share sales. Forgeard, who served as Airbus CEO when the A380 program was launched, told Europe 1 radio in June that the stock sale was "an unfortunate coincidence." He was forced to resign in July. Dec 13, 2006

Airbus yesterday received EASA and FAA certification for the A380 powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 900. The certification keeps Airbus on track to deliver the first A380 to Singapore Airlines in October 2007, more than 18 months behind the original delivery schedule. The aircraft is the largest ever to be certified for passenger carriage. EADS co-CEO and Airbus CEO Louis Gallois did not shy away from the program's difficulties in his remarks yesterday at a Toulouse ceremony. Dec 13, 2006

Despite Airbus A380 approvals, fuel-tank concerns remain: Aviation officials in the U.S. remained concerned about fuel-tank safety in the new Airbus A380 jet, even as the huge aircraft was winning its airworthiness certification on Tuesday. At issue is whether new U.S. rules adopted after the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800, rules the EU opposes, will be applicable to the new plane. . Dec 13, 2006

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, who was present in Toulouse, called the A380 "the first major leap in aircraft capacity in over 35 years" and a "classic case of 21st century engineering." She noted that it was the first time EASA and FAA have certified an aircraft concurrently. "The certificates we present today are a testament to the safety of this airplane. The plane is 300,000 lb. heavier than the next commercial airplane. In its largest configuration, it also carries roughly 200 more passengers than any other aircraft on the market...Frankly, we'd never had to deal with something this big...From a certification standpoint, that was a huge challenge." Certification of the Engine Alliance GP7000-powered A380 variant is expected next year. Dec 13, 2006

Airbus A380 certification expected today. Regulators in the U.S. and Europe are expected to certify the Airbus A380 superjumbo jet today. Airbus began the plane's certification process two years before it started building the plane in 2000. Dec 12, 2006

Airbus A380 Gets Type Certification. The world's largest airliner, the Airbus A380 superjumbo, on Tuesday was declared safe to fly commercial services, capping six years of development. Dec 12, 2006

AerCap orders 20 A330-200s. Dutch aircraft lessor AerCap signed a firm contract with Airbus for 20 A330-200s. AerCap CEO Klaus Heinemann said. No engine choice was announced. The company's relationship with Airbus includes previous orders for a combined 102 A320 family aircraft. Dec 18, 2006

Germany Eyes Broader EADS Shareholder Base. The German government is pushing to widen the number of potential shareholders in European aerospace firm EADS, financial sources familiar with the situation said on Sunday. Dec 15, 2006

In order to maintain Franco-German shareholder parity at EADS, however, the voting rights in the stake for sale are supposed to stay at DaimlerChrysler. The government source said details were expected to be finalized in January. One source said listed German banks made up the majority of the consortium. Spokesmen for the government, DaimlerChrysler and EADS all declined comment. Dec 15, 2006

Investor Group Meets On EADS Stake. The investment consortium poised to take part of DaimlerChrysler's stake in aerospace group EADS is meeting for the first time in Frankfurt on Tuesday, sources familiar with the situation said. A second source confirmed the meeting was taking place. A German government source said on Monday that Berlin had lined up a final group of roughly a dozen German financial investors to buy a 7.5 percent stake in EADS from DaimlerChrysler, which is reducing its stake from 22.5 percent. In order to maintain Franco-German shareholder parity at EADS, however, the voting rights in the stake for sale are supposed to stay at DaimlerChrysler. The government source said details were expected to be finalized in January. One source said listed German banks made up the majority of the consortium. Spokesmen for the government, DaimlerChrysler and EADS all declined comment. Dec 15, 2006

French police search EADS headquarters. French police on Tuesday searched the Paris headquarters of EADS in connection with an insider-trading investigation. Company officials confirmed that the search took place but did not provide details. Dec 14, 2006

Airbus EADS co-CEO and Airbus CEO Louis Gallois did not shy away from the program's difficulties in his remarks yesterday at a Toulouse ceremony. "Its beginnings are overshadowed by a serious industrial problem," he conceded. "But from a technical point of view we can now confirm the plane is meeting or even exceeding the expectations in terms of performance, range, environmental friendliness and cabin comfort." Dec 13, 2006

Airbus, EADS' Paris offices were raided in June, but yesterday's searches were led by high-ranking law enforcement officials as part of a broader criminal investigation, the Associated Press reported. Gallois promised "total openness" and cooperation with authorities. Dec 13, 2006

Certification of the Engine Alliance GP7000-powered Airbus A380 variant is expected next year. Dec 13, 2006

Austrian Airlines plans a simplified medium-haul fleet. Currently it operates 10 Boeing 737NGs and 20 Airbus A320 family aircraft. "The plan [for a simple medium-haul fleet] will strongly depend on our talks with aircraft manufacturers and leasing companies," Oetsch said. He emphasized that the airline's focus is on improving passenger service. As an example, he noted that it will remove one seat row on each of its Fokker F100s to "add 15 cm. more legroom for our business class passengers." Dec 12, 2006

Austrian Airlines's new lie-flat seats in business class and an increase in frequencies on North Atlantic routes also should help revitalize long-haul service, he said. AAG, which leases out two Airbus A340-300s to Swiss International Air Lines, plans to sell four A330-200s in the near future, he added, noting that the carrier has "requests from 36 interested buyers" for the aircraft. Dec 12, 2006

U.S. sees window for solving subsidy dispute. The U.S. and EC could negotiate a solution to the dispute over aircraft subsidies before before a World Trade Organization panel issues a decision on the issue. John Veroneau, the deputy U.S. trade representative, says the U.S. is willing to negotiate with the EC or have officials from Boeing and Airbus discuss the matter directly. Dec 12, 2006

EasyJet will add a fourth A319 at its Edinburgh base and launch new services to Milan Malpensa, Madrid and Palma, bringing to 12 the number of destinations served from the Scottish airport. The LCC said the expansion represents a capacity increase of 10%. The Palma route will commence as a weekly service May 5 and become twice-weekly from June 10. Daily services to Madrid and Milan will launch Feb. 25 and May 21 respectively. Dec 17, 2006

Messier Services UK was selected by EgyptAir Maintenance & Engineering to provide main landing gear MRO for two A321s and MRO for the whole shipsets of another two A321s. The deal commences immediately and includes the loan of a shipset for the duration of the agreement, which runs through June. Dec 12, 2006

Empire Aero Center in partnership with SR Technics will perform C checks on up to 12 JetBlue A320s in 2007. Dec 12, 2006

IAE International Aero Engines and China Southern Airlines announced that the carrier ordered V2500s to power 50 A320 family aircraft and signed a long-term V2500Select aftermarket agreement in a deal worth more than $1.35 billion. The aftercare program also will cover China Southern's 74 existing V2500-powered aircraft. The 50 aircraft are its allocation from China's 150-aircraft order placed one year ago. Rolls-Royce said its share of the deal amounted to $450 million. Dec 14, 2006

National Air Services of Saudi Arabia said it will order 75 total aircraft from Airbus, Gulfstream and Raytheon in a $2 billion purchase. NAS, which launched operations in 1999 offering ownership stakes in business jets, will buy the aircraft before 2010 as part of a plan to create a 100-strong fleet, according to Reuters. The carrier won Saudi Arabia's first private airline passenger license this month and will launch low-cost domestic services next year. It can start international flights in 2009. NAS's plans are a significant upgrade from its launch announcement at the 2005 Dubai Air Show. Dec 14, 2006

Saudi Carrier NAS To Buy USD$2 Bln Of Planes. Saudi Arabia's National Air Services said on Tuesday it will order aircraft from Airbus, Gulfstream and Raytheon in a USD$2 billion purchase of 75 planes. Dec 12, 2006

OAO Unified Aircraft Corp. CEO Alexei Fyodorov met with senior Airbus officials in Toulouse Friday to discuss potential Russian involvement in A350 XWB production, Bloomberg News reported. Russia has been seeking a greater role in Airbus work since a state-owned bank purchased a 5% stake in parent EADS earlier this year. It is unclear what kind of work Airbus officials discussed with the head of the Russian aerospace company. Airbus has said it plans to outsource 50% of A350 XWB production to keep costs down. Manufacturing plants in Russia likely could be operated less expensively than similar facilities in France and Germany, where the vast majority of Airbus production now takes place. Dec 11, 2006

SALE owns 63 aircraft and manages another 14 on behalf of third parties. It has firm orders for 28 and options or purchase rights on an additional 20, Bank of China said. The fleet has an average age of 3.5 years and is 70% comprised of 737s and A320s. It has $3.1 billion in assets and $2.28 billion in debt. CEO Robert Martin will continue to direct SALE, while Bank of China will appoint directors to the board. The leasing company said it will maintain its Singapore headquarters and operate as a standalone unit within BOC. "Everyone at SALE looks forward to working with customers, suppliers and all other business partners as the company moves into a new and exciting phase in its development," it said. Dec 17, 2006

SIA's Chew maintains interest in transpacific but not 747-8. Singapore Airlines CEO Chew Choon Seng said in Istanbul that the recently announced bid for Qantas might be a wakeup call for Australian officials who favor protecting the flag carrier to the detriment of SIA's wish to operate a transpacific service from Australia. Chew said he did not share Lufthansa's enthusiasm for the new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental and was happy to continue to wait for the A380. LH ordered 20 of the type last week, plus 20 options. Dec 11, 2006

Thales said it will supply the "majority" of critical avionics on up to 90 new A320s ordered by Air One. Deal includes Thales' Topflight Line of avionics and an LCD head-up display. Aircraft deliveries are scheduled through 2008. Dec 18, 2006

Editor: Aram Gesar, eMail: edit@AirGuideOnline.com

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Dec 11, 2006
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Publication:Airguide Online
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Date:Dec 18, 2006
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