Beijing Capital Airlines, a leisure airline that is a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines founded in 2010 will begin flying to Vancouver on the second last day of the year, the 30th of December 2016. They will be using their Airbus A330 aircraft on this route. The A330 is their only wide-body aircraft and they currently operate the A330-200 and they have one A330-300 on order. At the moment, Capital Airlines operates out of Beijing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenyang and Xi’an as its primary bases.
They will operate the route three times a week from Hangzhou to Vancouver via Qingdao according to the Vancouver Airport Authority. This will be Capital Airlines’ first destination in North America. Here is what the president and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, Craig Richmond had to say:
We are thrilled Beijing Capital Airlines has chosen YVR as its first entry point into North America.
Capital Airlines will be the sixth airline that flies between mainland China and Vancouver – the other five being:
Three other airlines – China Airlines and Cathay Pacific fly from Hong Kong to Vancouver while EVA Air flies from Taipei to Vancouver.
The second US-built US A321 has been delivered to American Airlines. A ceremony was held at the company’s property located in Mobile, Alabama. Present during the occasion were executives from Airbus and American Airlines and representatives of the more than 350 employees at the facility.
The Mobile Final Assembly Line is commited to the production of Airbus narrowbodies for customers in North America. So far, only A321 with the Current Engine Option (CEO) but Enhance – so equipped with sharklets, will be assembled in the foreseeable future, five for American Airlines and one for Spirit, and it will begin transitioning to New Engine Option (NEO) descendants in late 2017.
Bob Lekites, Executive Vice President-Customers, Airbus Americas. The DFW-based (Dallas-Fort Worth) airline operates the world’s largest Airbus fleet at the moment and owns the largest A321 fleet as well.
The relationship between American Airlines and Airbus is a long and successful collaboration to provide the most modern, fuel-efficient aircraft for both of our customers.
Airbus is planning on increasing the production rate to 52 aircraft per month by 2018, and to 60 aircraft before 2020, supported by its final production lines in Germany, France, China, and the Alabama assembly line in the United States.
Las Vegas based low-cost carrier Allegiant Air have ordered four A319’s from Filipino Cebu Pacific. They are expected to be delivered between 2017 and 2018. Allegiant have previously purchased six A319’s from the same airline. So far, three have been received and three more are to be delivered later in the year. By the end of the year, Allegiant expects to have 85 aircraft, consisting of 33 Airbus A320 family (17 A319’s and 16 A320’s). Jude Bricker, Allegiant Travel Company Chief Operating Officer said:
This agreement to purchase additional aircraft from Cebu Pacific is an important step in our long-term transition to a single fleet type.
Ordering these aircraft is to improve operating efficiency. These are replacing the old McDonnel Douglas MD-80’s. The MD-80’s retirement date has been extended partially due to the lower fuel prices. Last November, Allegiant announced the retirement of their Boeing 757-200s, which totals five aircraft. This is expected to happen next August.
The first ever A350 XWB full-flight simulator has been installed in Miami, Florida. It has been installed in the Airbus Training Centre (ATC). This follows the four A320 simulators, the A330 simulator and the A340 simulator in the Miami ATC. Joe Houghton, Airbus Vice President of Training and Flight Operations support commented:
With the A350 XWB entering into service in the Americas, we anticipate an increase in demand for widebody full-flight simulator training, especially given the program’s success in the Americas.
Airbus have seven A350 customers in the Americas. Altogether, this exceeds 120 A350 aircraft. At the moment the main customers of the Americas are United Airlines, with an order of 35 A350-1000’s to be delivered in 2018, LATAM, which has an order of 27; two of them delivered (first operator of the A350 in the Americas – fifth in the world.). Delta Air Lines, an order of 25 A350-900’s; expected to be delivered next year and American Airlines, an order of 22 A350-900’s. The remaining A350 customers are Avianca Brasil – 10 orders of A350-1000’s, Azul Linhas Aereas, 5 -900’s leased from Aercap and Air Caraïbes, four -900’s and 3 -1000’s including Air Caraïbes Atlantique.
Garuda Indonesia have order 14 A330-900neo worth $5.75. The deal was signed at a ceremony in London with the President of Indonesia, His Excellency Joko Widodo and British Prime Minister, David Cameron present. This deal is marks another milestone for Garuda Indonesia and Airbus. They had a long relationship. Garuda received their A300 in 1981. Here is what the Garuda Indonesia CEO Arif Wibofo had to say:
We are pleased to announce that we continue our long-standing relationship with Airbus. Both Garuda Indonesia and Airbus fully understand the aim of the deal as a long-term strategy to win the global challenge. The A330neo represents a more-efficient future for Garuda Indonesia. This order restructuring is believed to support our continued commitment to deliver the most modern, comfortable and excellent air travel service to all customers as well as to strengthen the sustained positive growth and business expansion of the company.
Garuda Indonesia will use the A330neo to expand their medium and long haul network to Europe with non-stop flights from Indonesia to Europe and vice versa as well as for extra capacity. Currently, Garuda Indonesia’s long haul consists of 24 Airbus A330’s, 10 Boeing 777-300ER and two Boeing 747-400’s.
An A350-1000 has been finished in Toulouse, France. It will be tested during the summer. The first A350’s will be delivered in mid-2017. Qatar Airways will again be the launch customers. They were the launch customers of the A350-900 too. Other customers include UA, BA, Etihad and Cathay Pacific. The A350-1000 will compete with the Boeing 777-300ER and the 777X. The A350 will feature Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. At the moment, this is the most powerful engine ever used on an Airbus aircraft.