Aerospace Magnets Get Down to Business

Exclusive launches, bulk buying and certificationnudge celebrations for manufacturers at the Paris Air Show 2019

Issue: 7 / 2019By Ayushee ChaudharyPhoto(s): By Airbus, ASDS Media, Safran Group, CFM
Airbus’ much anticipated long-range A321XLR

Rightly keeping up to its tagline, ‘where the aerospace leaders get down to business’, the Paris Air Show witnessed a plethora of airplanes bought, sold and many deals concluded. This edition in particular of the air show, however, came across as more about strategy than just buying. Some of the major names that had significant developments and announcements are as under.

AIRBUS

From commercial to military to electric aircraft, Airbus has had quite a prominent presence as under at the Paris Air Show 2019.

  • A321XLR. A major highlight remained the launch of Airbus’ much anticipated long-range A321XLR. The single-aisle plane that can undertake up a ten-hour flight, is being looked at as an economical solution for airlines wanting to serve long distance routes between smaller cities. The launch came with the announcement of 27 initial orders for the plane from Air Lease Corporation. The company was to order as many as 100 aircraft from Airbus that included 50 A220-300s and 23 A321neos apart from the A321XLR. As the show advanced, orders were pouring in for Airbus A321XLR by day three. Qantas Group ordered 10 of these aircraft and converted orders for 26 existing A321neos to orders for A321XLR. American Airlines also ordered around 20 and converted about 30 A321neo orders to XLR. IndiGo Partners also tentatively ordered 32 XLR aircraft and converted 18 existing A320neo family orders. Airbus claimed that XLR now boasted of the longest range single-aisle plane in the world at 4,700 nautical miles. The plane can take 244 passengers, but on a long-range trip, the number of seats would reduce to about 200. Airbus also added that the routes would now open up to operators who had an interest in flying routes such as India to Europe or China to Australia.
  • Airbus A320neo. Tentative order for 11 of this jet was received from China Airlines and that of around 20 from Lessor Accipiter Holdings. Even Saudi Arabian Airlines is expected to boost A320neos family fleet up to 100.
  • A330 MRTT. During the Paris Air Show, senior executives of Airbus and Lockheed Martin also met for some “tanker talk” in the backdrop of the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) with an agreement in place to explore opportunities for slae of this platform in the US military.
  • SmartForce. Seven new products for its military customers under its digital support services offering SmartForce, were also launched by Airbus at the air show. The seven services consist of three dedicated services for military aircraft, two for military helicopters and two additional ones shared by military aircraft as well as helicopters.
  • Next Generation Fighter. A real-life size model of the Next Generation Fighter was also revealed at the air show by Airbus and Dassault Aviation.

BOEING

Contrary to anticipation, Boeing refrained from the announcement of any new plane. With the latest version of Airbus’ XLR being launched, the industry was hoping Boeing also to announce its New Midsize Aircraft (NMA), alternatively known as the 797. Boeing’s stance stood on a shaky pedestal as the two 737MAX crashes that grounded the fleet, still seem to be alive enough with no-entry date in sight and the trust of people thoroughly shaken.

Boeing 787-9 AIR Tahiti Nui landing during PAS 2019.
  • Airlines too have not been placing many orders and Boeing looked dependent on freighter orders to occupy the Boeing 777 slots. While Qantas Airways committed to buying five Boeing 777Fs, China Airlines ordered about six and ASL Aviation Holdings also tentatively agreed for around 10 of the 737-800BCFs. Additionally, there were also reports of a deal with GECAS for around ten 737-800 converted freighters.
  • Among the passenger aircraft, Turkmenistan Airlines ordered a Boeing 777-200LR and Air Lease Corporation committed to buy five wide-body 787 Dreamliners while Korean Air announced its intent to acquire thirty 787 Dreamliners, ten 787-10s and 787-9 for a deal worth $6.3 billion.
  • The high-point for Boeing, however, was the announcement of a letter of intent from International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus and Level for around 200 of the 737MAX for $24 billion.

The high-point for Boeing, however, was the announcement of a letter of intent from International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus and Level for around 200 of the 737MAX.

EMBRAER

While Airbus and Boeing were the major players, even smaller manufacturers were not very far from action.

Embraer E195-E2 Profit Hunter in yet another interesting livery.
  • A significant feature of the air show was seen with the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines committing to Brazilian manufacturer Embraer for a tentative order of 15 Embraer E195-E2 aircraft. In addition to this, 20 purchase rights valued $2.5 billion at market prices when fully congealed. Hence, in all Embraer announced KLM’s intention to buy up to 35 E195-E2 Jets.
  • Embraer also struck a deal with United Airlines for the purchase of up to 39 E175s for about $1.9 billion. With deliveries expected in the second quarter of 2020, the order includes 10 firm and 19 options in a 70-seat configuration. These aircraft are expected to replace the older 70-seat aircraft presently in operation by United’s regional partners.

SAFRAN

Safran Helicopter Engines had a piece of good news in the form of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA ) Type Certification that it received for its Arrano 1A engine. The new generation engine in the 1,100 to 1,300 shp power range, aptly suitable for new four-to-six tonne helicopters, is installed in the Airbus Helicopters H160. Arrano Programme Director Cyrille Ressejac-Duparc said, “This engine features low operational and supports costs, easy maintenance and a lower environmental footprint. After a test campaign of 10,000 hours, including 2,000 in flight, we are now ready to support H160 entry-into-service. Safran Helicopter Engines is also strongly committed to developing the HIL, the military variant of the H160”.

EASA certifies Safran Arrano 1A engine powering H160 helicopter.

CFM INTERNATIONAL

CFM international, a joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines, registered orders for $50.2 billion, setting new records in terms of total engines as well as total value of sale during the 2019 Paris Air Show.

  • Orders and commitments for over 1,150 LEAP engines were announced by the company, along with long-term service agreements for a total value of approximately $50.2 billion at list price. The LEAP engine is characteristic of 3D-printed fuel-nozzle tips and parts from space-age materials called ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), which help it save fuel, lower emissions and achieve other performance benefits. These engines are designed for nextgeneration passenger jets developed by Airbus, Boeing, and COMAC. Orders and commitments for LEAP engines recorded on the eve of the Paris Air Show were valued at more than $255 billion.
  • On the first day of the air show, CFM announced signing the largest single jet engine order in history with the low-cost Indian airline, IndiGo. CFM will supply IndiGo with its LEAP-1A engines to power 280 Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft. The contract is valued at over $20 billion at list price. A long-term service agreement was also signed.
  • Malaysian low-cost airline, AirAsia also finalised an agreement with CFM for the purchase of 200 LEAP-1A engines to power the airline’s 100 Airbus A321neo. The airline also extended its 20-year Rate-Per-Flight-Hour (RPFH) agreement to i8nclude its entire fleet of 808 LEAP-1A engines for a combined total value of $23.1 billion at list price.
  • Dublin-based international aircraft leasing company, AvolonHoldings Limited too announced an order for 140 LEAP-1A engines from CFM. The order valued at $2 billion is for powering 70 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. Avolon has been CFM’s customer since its launch and with this latest announcement, CFM LEAP-1A engines will be powering 105 of these aircraft. This is Avolon’s largest ever engine order and one of the biggest ever engine transaction with a lessor for the LEAP engine.
  • The global, full-service aircraft lessor, CDB Aviation, also announced an order for CFM’s LEAP-1A engines to power 45 Airbus A320neo aircraft, valued at more than $1.3 billion dollars at list price.

Yet another significant feature of the show was seen with the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines committing to Brazilian manufacturer Embraer for a tentative order of 15 Embraer E195-E2s. In addition to this, 20 purchase rights valued $2.5B at market prices when fully congealed.

ATR

Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR signed a letter of intent with regional aircraft leasing specialist Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC ) for 35 firm ATR -600s. The letter includes the options for a further 35 and purchase rights for another 35. The deliveries of the initial 35 aircraft will start in 2020 and will be completed in 2025, ensuring that market demand is satisfied over the five-year period. More than 100 speculative ATR aircraft orders have been turned into deliveries to NAC, since 2010.

IndiGo Places $20 Billion LEAP-1A Engine Order With CFM.

MITSUBISHI

The Japanese planemaker Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation signed its first Memorandum of Understanding after the changed design and the rebranding of Mitsubishi Regional Jet to SpaceJet. The narrowbody regional plane should be ready for the market in 2023, the aviation firm stated during the air show.

COLLINS AEROSPACE

Aerospace Company, Rockwell Collins, secured maintenance agreements for more than $1.5 billion from global customers. Including contract wins for its Aerostructures and Power and Controls businesses, the company broadened its aftermarket services reach and boosted its backlog with these multi-year deals. Collins Aerospace also won contracts with several unannounced customers to support Airbus A320 and Boeing 787 nacelles under its FlightSense programme. This programme is a subsystem and health management service offering that gives operators different levels of coverage to match their needs.