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Company Watch - Airbus.

Jan 22, 2007

AirAsia X said during a launch ceremony in Malaysia that the new carrier is seeking to acquire up to 20 aircraft, either Airbus A330-300s or Boeing 777-300ERs, with an order decision coming within a month. Additionally, he confirmed that AirAsia is planning to increase its A320 orders, currently at 100, by as many as 100 as part of an effort to become Asia's largest airline within seven years. Jan 8, 2007

Airbus could soon be without a single order for the freighter version of its A380 superjumbo, a market the planemaker only recently said held demand for 400 planes. French newspaper Les Echos reported on Friday that United Parcel Service, is expected to cancel the only remaining order -- for 10 of the planes -- next week. It did not identify its sources for the story. Tom Williams, executive vice-president for Airbus programs, said on Thursday that whatever happened the planemaker would not entirely end its development work on a freighter version of the A380. Jan 19, 2007

This July, Airbus plans to deliver the last of its only freighter model, the 35-year-old A300/A310, while the company has announced plans build a freight version of the A330-200. Jan 19, 2007

Airbus's long-term market forecast issued just two months ago called for demand for more than 400 very large freighters by 2025. If the Airbus A380 freighter is shelved, its hopes will be pinned in the interim on the smaller A330-200F twin-engined freighter due in the second half of 2009. Jan 19, 2007

Calling the problems associated with A380 production "a major shock for Airbus and a major disappointment to all our stakeholders," EADS co-CEO and Airbus President and CEO Louis Gallois yesterday said the manufacturer "most probably" will report negative EBIT for 2006 and will trail Boeing in aircraft orders for the first time since 2000. Jan 18, 2007

Politicians Fly A380 As Malaysia Keeps Order. Malaysia on Thursday lifted the threat of cancelling an order for Airbus A380 superjumbos by national carrier Malaysia Airlines, in a boost for manufacturer Airbus. Jan 18, 2007

Airbus's Louis Gallois played down a magazine interview in which he had pointed to acquisitions and disposals at EADS, which may have to tap shareholders for cash in 2007 as it restructures Airbus. French magazine Le Point quoted Gallois as saying EADS could sell off units to raise cash for possible acquisitions. Perben said that financial difficulties at Airbus did nothing to change France's support for Airbus and would not affect discussions over how Airbus's next project, the A350 needed to match Boeing's 787, would be funded. Jan 18, 2007

Airbus is anxious to turn the corner after warning financial markets it would make a loss in 2006, leaving parent group EADS near breakeven, Airbus flew three European ministers as well as Malaysia's Chan over the Pyrenees on a demonstration flight. Painted all in white, the A380 test aircraft took to the skies with French Transport Minister Dominique Perben riding in the cockpit after touring the stripped-down test cabin with his counterparts from Britain and Spain. Jan 18, 2007

Airbus surrendered a five year lead over Boeing in market share last year, as carriers shunned Airbus's wide-bodied models while it wavered over the design of its A350 model and endured repeated delays and profit shocks on the mammoth A380. Wiring installation problems have delayed deliveries of the double-decker plane by an average of two years, with the first delivery to Singapore Airlines due in late 2007. Jan 18, 2007

Airbus says orders lag Boeing in 2006, expects 2006 loss. Airbus booked fewer orders for commercial jets in 2006 than its rival Boeing for the first time since 2000. Airbus said it landed 824 orders in 2006, compared with 1,050 for Boeing. Airbus also said it will post a loss in 2006 related to its A380 program. Jan 17, 2007

Airbus Faces 2006 Loss Despite Record Deliveries. European aerospace group EADS on Wednesday issued its third profit warning in less than a year due to production problems at Airbus, which now expects to post a 2006 loss despite record aircraft deliveries. Jan 17, 2007

Airbus Names A350 Project Head. Airbus has hired one of Europe's top arms executives to head its EUR10 billion (USD$13 billion) project to build the Airbus A350. Jan 10, 2007

Declining wide-body orders will hurt Airbus profits in 2010. Declining orders for wide-body jetliners will start to hurt earnings at Airbus in 2010. The drop in revenue and profitability could give Boeing a competitive edge. Jan 9, 2007

Demand from Asian low-cost carriers for single-aisle jets such as the A320 and Boeing's 737 has been the driving force behind two very strong years in global aircraft demand. Jan 18, 2007

Germany Says EADS Stake Solution Reached. The German government has found a group of investors that will take a 7.5 percent stake in aerospace group EADS currently held by automaker DaimlerChrysler, government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said on Wednesday. Jan 10, 2007

Goodrich signed a $10 billion, 20-year contract with Airbus to provide nacelle and thrust reverser systems for all variants of the A350 XWB, which was relaunched last month. Goodrich will integrate its technology into each engine offering and provide Airbus with complete propulsion systems for installation during final assembly. It becomes the first large equipment integrator chosen for the revamped A350. It also is supplying equipment for the 787 and last year opened a new nacelle integration facility in Everett, Wash., to support Dreamliner final assembly. Jan 10, 2007

Airbus could announce it will await better times for it to produce a cargo version, UPS rival FedEx canceled an order for 10 A380 freighters citing delays which have put the project two years behind schedule. It bought Boeing's 777 freighter instead. Two other firms -- Emirates and aircraft lessor International Lease Finance -- have converted A380 freighter orders to passenger versions. Jan 19, 2007

Airbus's A380 ddoes not fit American's strategy, the world's biggest airline would consider buying the A350 and 787 aircraft once it firmly rebuilds its bottom line. Parent AMR on Wednesday reported its first annual profit since 2000 as lower capacity and surging demand for air travel finally allowed most carriers to raise prices, helping them out of the slump they suffered since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Jan 18, 2007

CAE received an order for two A320 and two 737NG Level D full-flight simulators valued at C$52 million ($44.2 million) from Flight Simulation Co. of the Netherlands. Delivery is scheduled for the second half of this year. Jan 12, 2007

DaimlerChrysler will sell a 7.5% stake in Airbus parent EADS to a consortium that reportedly includes Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, KfW and Goldman Sachs. A company spokesperson told German media this week that an agreement had been reached and "final details" were being settled. DaimlerChrysler will hold a 15% stake in EADS after the sale, which is expected to net nearly $2 billion. Jan 12, 2007

US National Transportation Safety Board said it will investigate a Friday morning runway incursion incident at Denver International Airport in which a Frontier Airlines A319 was forced to execute a missed approach in order to avoid a Key Lime Air Swearingen Metroliner that "inadvertently" entered the runway. The aircraft missed each other by 50 ft., NTSB said. The Airport Movement Area Safety System alerted the tower at the same time that the Frontier pilots spotted the Metroliner. Jan 8, 2007

Guggenheim Aviation Partners yesterday became the third customer for the Airbus A330-200F, finalizing an October letter of intent for six on behalf of one of its investment funds. Deliveries are expected to begin in early 2010. "Guggenheim Aviation Partners is making a significant investment in the acquisition of medium-range and long-haul freighters as we believe this is a market that is currently underserved and is expected to benefit from near-term industry growth," MD Paul Newrick said. Jan 19, 2007

Mexican LCC Interjet converted 10 A320 options into firm orders, which Airbus has tacked onto its 2006 order book. The options were part of an order placed at the 2005 Paris Air Show. The Toluca-based airline celebrated its one-year anniversary in December and carried more than 1 million passengers in its first 12 months of operation. Jan 11, 2007

Iran Air's six A310s can be fitted with new GE engines thanks to a special approval granted by US authorities, according to Iranian officials cited in press reports. The A310s are stored at Tehran's Mehrabad International Airport. Jan 9, 2007

Mexicana de Aviacion, Mexico's number 2 airline, plans to invest up to USD$2 billion over three years to increase its fleet, a spokesman said on Thursday. The plan to add more planes is conditioned on the results of a campaign by Mexicana, with 28 percent market share in Mexico, to cut one-quarter of its costs, airline spokesman Adolfo Crespo said. On Thursday, Mexicana signed a deal with ground workers that should save USD$20 million a year. In November, the airline said it reached an agreement with pilots that would save USD$50 million annually. Jan 19, 2007

Saudi Arabian Airlines is negotiating with both Boeing and Airbus to buy up to 60 aircraft worth up to $12 billion, London's The Business reported. The purchase should bolster its current fleet of 139 planes. Local sources said Saudi Arabian, which is government-owned, is expanding rapidly and needs a variety of new aircraft. Press reports indicate the order will be split between the two manufacturers but delivery will not happen in time for the carrier's proposed flotation in 2008. Its last major aircraft buy was in 1995 when it ordered 61 Boeing aircraft. It also purchased 15 Embraer E-170s in 2005. Jan 8, 2007

Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE) said on Monday that it has placed firm orders with Airbus and Boeing for 40 more single-aisle aircraft in a deal worth USD$2.8 billion based on list prices. SALE, which was acquired by Bank of China last month for USD$965 million, said it had placed a new order with Airbus for 20 A320 aircraft and would exercise 20 existing options and purchase rights with Boeing for the next generation 737 series. Jan 8, 2007

The new orders placed by Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE) are the first since the company was bought by Bank of China, and underscore the commitment by the bank to accelerate the expansion of the Singapore-based firm, the statement said. Robert Martin, chief executive officer of SALE, said the firm has already placed almost all the aircraft from its existing orders for delivery through to the end of 2009. SALE has a current portfolio of 75 aircraft and has an additional 67 aircraft on firm order. Jan 8, 2007

SR Technics opened a line maintenance station at Paris Orly with CAE received an order for Air Caraibes as the first customer. SRT said "easyJet and further customers are expected to follow soon." The station will offer services for A320s, A330s, A340s, 737s and a variety of engines. Jan 12, 2007

UPS May Cancel Airbus A380 Order. Airbus could soon be without a single order for the freighter version of its A380 superjumbo, a market the planemaker only recently said held demand for 400 planes. Jan 19, 2007

VEM offers airframe maintenance for all Boeing and former McDonnell Douglas aircraft as well as the Embraer 120, ERJ-145 and F50. It is in the final phase of achieving certification to perform heavy maintenance on the A300/A310 family while A320 approvals are expected in the second half of 2007. It already is providing line maintenance to TAP supporting A310 flights into Brazil. It also operates the only 767 passenger-to-freighter line in South America and is considering entering into the 757 conversion business as well, Almeida said, although he noted that conversions are a supplemental activity, not a core function. In addition to airframe MRO, VEM is active in component support and aims to grow this business. Jan 17, 2007

VEM Maintenance and Engineering aims to become a major player in the repair and maintenance of Airbus aircraft in South America, according to Filipe Morais de Almeida, who joined the company as CEO last October from Bombardier Portugal, where he served as chairman and CEO. VEM, the former Varig Engineering & Maintenance, was acquired by TAP Portugal in early 2006 It has bases in Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo. Jan 17, 2007 01/22/2007

Editor: Aram Gesar, eMail: edit@AirGuideOnline.com For Air Transport & Travel Business Experts contact eMail: bizintel@AirGuideOnline.com

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Jan 8, 2007
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Date:Jan 22, 2007
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