Aviation News


Farnborough International Airshow 2014 Wrap-up: Day Two

Orders by airlines and leasing companies continued to stream in on the second day of the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow. While today didn’t have the major developmental announcement that Monday had with the A330neo, it still had news from Boeing on the future interior of the 777x series.

Airbus announced orders from several customers on Tuesday, including orders for the A320neo family that pushed the program over the 3,000 airplane mark. Kicking off the order parade was SMBC Aviation Capital with an order for 110 A320neo family aircraft and five A320ceo (Conventional Engine Option) family aircraft. That makes it the largest single firm order by a global leasing company for single aisle aircraft, according to Airbus. With this order, SMBC now has orders for 206 Airbus aircraft.

Also placing an order for A320s was BOC Aviation, the Singapore-based aviation leasing arm of the Bank of China. That order consisted of 36 A320ceo aircraft and seven A320neo Family aircraft. The leasing company has the option to choose between the A320 and the A321, which will be determined at a later date based upon what the leasing airlines need. The first eight of the A320ceo aircraft will be powered by the International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500. The engine choice for the remainder of the order is yet to be determined.

Continuing the list of orders placed by leasing companies, CIT Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for both A330neo and A320ceo aircraft. The A330neo portion of the order consists of 15 aircraft of the -900 variant, although the lessor retains the option to convert those to -800s at a later date based on the needs of its customers. CIT also ordered five A321ceo aircraft. The engine choices for those will be announced at a later date. Also ordering 15 A330neo aircraft was leasing company Avolon, which signed an MOU rounding out the Tuesday morning activity at Airbus. Which variant of the A330neo Avolon chooses will be determined at a later date.

Following the series of agreements signed with leasing companies Tuesday morning came a major airline order for the A330neo Tuesday afternoon. Air Asia X, the long haul affiliate of Asia’s largest low cost carrier and longtime proponent of the A330neo signed a MOU for 50 A330-900s. That makes Air Asia X the first airline to directly sign up for the re-engined Airbus widebody. The first delivery is expected in 2018.

Over at the Boeing chalet, the manufacturer announced several orders along with several elements of what the cabin of the 777X will be like. Borrowing several features from the 787, the 777X will feature a lower, 6,000 foot cabin altitude versus the 8,000 foot cabin altitude that is common today. That will be coupled with a higher, more comfortable humidity level that is also comparable to the 787. The windows will be 15 percent larger and will be placed further up on the fuselage, placing them at eye level for a greater percentage of passengers than the current generation 777s. The cabin of the 777x will also be significantly quieter compared to the current 777 through a variety of improvements.

The first of Boeing’s orders on Tuesday came from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). They ordered six current-generation 777-300ER aircraft while reconfirming an order for 20 737 MAX 8s. The 777-300ER order marked the 100th 777 ordered by leasing companies under the leadership of current ALC CEO Steven F. Udvar-Hazy. Mr. Hazy formerly lead another leasing powerhouse, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). The total value of the combined order was $3.9 billion USD at list prices.

Intrepid 777-300ER ArtworkAnother leasing company ordering the 777-300ER was Intrepid Aviation. The widebody-focused lessor placed six firm orders for the large widebody aircraft as well as an additional four options. The order marked the first direct order with Boeing for the leasing company. The order is valued at between $1.9 billion and $3.2 billion USD at current list prices.

Adding to its combined A330neo and A321ceo order from the morning, CIT Group ordered ten 787-9 Dreamliners from Boeing. That order doubles the number of Dreamliners that CIT has on order, and brings the total number of 787-9s ordered by the leasing company to 16. The new order was valued at $2.5 billion USD at list price.

The manufacturers of regional airliners also saw a number of orders on Tuesday morning. While Monday was all about the C-Series for Canadian airframer Bombardier, Tuesday was all about the Q400. Bombardier launched development of the Q400 Combi, capable of carrying 50 passengers and 8,200 pounds of cargo. While no orders were immediately announced for that variant, the manufacturer stated that discussions were underway with several airlines.

Horizon Q400On the orders front, Alaska Air Group announced an order for one Q400 for its Horizon Air Industries unit. Alaska Air Group also signed an agreement for Bombardier to perform heavy maintenance on Horizons fleet of 52 Q400 aircraft. That maintenance will be performed at Bombardier’s maintenance facility in Tuscon Arizona.

Following yesterday’s order for two CS300 aircraft, Abu Dhabi-based VIP carrier Falcon Aviation Services signer a letter of intent (LOI) for an additional five Q400 airliners. This new order in addition to the three Q400s that the carrier ordered earlier this year. If finalized, this order would carry a value of roughly $160 million USD at list prices.

Meanwhile, Air Lease Corp was back in action, this time ordering 7 ATR 72-600 turboprops. Today’s order continues ALC’s annual tradition of ordering ATR turboprops each year since the company began operations in 2010. The lessor now has 25 ATR turboprops in its portfolio.

Over at Embraer, several airlines placed orders for the Brazillian manufacturer’s E-Jets line. Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) has ordered an additional two E190s, bringing its fleet to a total of six of the aircraft. In another transaction, Royal Air Maroc has signed a lease agreement with Aldus Aviation for four 96 seat E190s.

Japanese domestic airline Fuji Dream Airlines also placed an order, opting for more of Embraer’s E175 aircraft. The carrier placed three firm orders along with three options for aircraft to join its all-Embraer fleet of E170 and E175 aircraft. The new aircraft will include the recent aerodynamic improvements that have been introduced by Embraer, including the updated winglet.  The order is valued at up to $258.6 million USD.

Rounding out the events at Farnborough on Tuesday for Embraer was a major order from one of the manufacturer’s leading customers: Azul Brazillian Airlines. The low cost carrier, headed by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, signed a LOI for up to 50 E195-E2s. With this order, Azul becomes the launch customer for the largest E-Jets variant. The LOI consists of 30 orders and an additional 20 purchase rights for the E195-E2. Azul already operates 83 E-Jets with an additional 11 on order before today’s announcement. The Brazillian airline is the worlds largest operator of the E195 currently. When the order is finalized later this year, it will have a value of up to $3.1 billion USD.

NYCA Associate Editor Ben Granucci is an aviation enthusiast, writer and plane spotter based in New York City. Growing up in Connecticut, he has had his eyes toward the sky for as long as he can remember. He can be reached on Twitter or through his blog.

About the Author

Ben Granucci
Ben Granucci, Senior Editor, is an aviation enthusiast and plane spotter based in New York City. Growing up in Connecticut, he has had his eyes toward the sky for as long as he can remember. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.



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