Category: Airbus

JetBlue orders 60 A220-300s (Bombardier CS300) to replace E190s

By Sean Broderick, sean.broderick@aviationweek.com

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Photo: Air Transport World correspondent Kurt Hofmann

JetBlue Airways, providing an early boost to the newly rebranded Airbus A220 line and delivering a notable blow to Embraer, has placed an order for 60 A220-300s—previously known as Bombardier CS300s—and earmarked them as E190 replacements. Delivers are planned to start in 2020.

The deal, the first announced under the new Airbus-Bombardier partnership that took over the CSeries, includes options for 60 more aircraft, which would begin arriving in 2025. JetBlue also has options to swap smaller A220-100s (previously CS100s) for the larger -300 models.

The Airbus A320-family operator also rearranged its orderbook for its larger narrowbodies, converting 25 A320neos to A321neos and modifying the delivery schedule. JetBlue plans to take 13 A321neos in 2019, followed by 15, 16, 15, 14, and 12 each year through 2024.

Taken together, the A220 order plus the swap of A320neos for larger A321neos means that JetBlue’s average aircraft capacity will grow in the coming years. While it has not specified a configuration for its A220-300s, they will have at least 20% more seats than the carrier’s 100-seat E190s.

Continue reading “JetBlue orders 60 A220-300s (Bombardier CS300) to replace E190s”

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Airbus renames the Bombardier C Series the A220, sees strong demand

Tim Hepher, Toulouse, France – Reuters
Published by The Globe and Mail on 10 July 2018

bombardier-airbus-cseriesAirbus unveiled a new identity for the 110-130-seat C Series passenger plane on Tuesday as it prepares to broaden its battle with Boeing to small passenger jets.

The European firm said it was rebranding the Bombardier manufactured plane as the A220, slotting it just under its longstanding A300 portfolio which stretches from the 124-seat A319 to the 544-seat A380.

Airbus expects to sell a “double-digit” number of the jets this year and sees demand for at least 3,000 of them over 20 years, said C Series sales chief David Dufrenois.

The makeover seals the European takeover of one of Canada’s most visible industrial projects and ends Bombardier’s efforts to go it alone in the mainline jet market against larger rivals.

Airbus officials stressed it would be positive for jobs in Quebec where the lightweight jet is built.

The 110-seat and 130-seat models, previously known as CS100 and CS300, will be known as A220-100 and A220-300 respectively.

A deal for Airbus to take majority control of the loss-making Montreal-based aircraft program with Bombardier and Quebec as minority partners officially closed on July 1.

The move also sets the stage for a broader confrontation with Boeing, which last week announced a tentative deal to take over the commercial unit of Bombardier’s competitor Embraer.

The change of identity came in a slick branding ceremony as the Canadian-developed passenger jet performed a flypast in searing heat over Airbus’s Toulouse facilities, with executives papering over past differences over prospects for the jet.

Bombardier confirms the closing of the C Series transaction

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July 1, 2018 Montréal – Bombardier Inc., Press Release

The closing of the previously announced C Series transaction between Airbus SAS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airbus SE (EPA: AIR), Bombardier Inc. (TSX: BBD.B) and Investissement Québec came into effect on July 1, 2018. Airbus now owns a 50.01% majority stake in C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), while Bombardier and Investissement Québec (acting as mandatory for the government of Québec) own approximately 34% and 16% respectively. CSALP’s head office, primary assembly line and related functions are based in Mirabel, Québec.

Furthermore, as previously announced, Bombardier has issued today in the name of Airbus SAS warrants exercisable for a total number of 100,000,000 Class B shares (subordinate voting) in the capital of Bombardier, exercisable for a period of five years at an exercise price per share equal to $1.74 US, being the U.S. dollar equivalent of $2.29 Cdn on June 29, 2018.

Changes to Air Transat’s fleet – Carrier signs agreement to lease seven new Airbus A321neos

livree2012_2MONTREAL, June 27, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat, wholly-owned business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., has signed an agreement with AerCap for the long-term lease of seven new Airbus aircraft: two A321neos and five A321neo LRs (long-range). These next-generation, single-aisle jets, which will be delivered gradually between 2020 and 2022, will notably replace wide-body A330s whose leases will expire during this period.

“We are continuing our fleet transformation in order to achieve greater efficiency and versatility,” said Jean-François Lemay, President of Air Transat. “With their smaller size, the A321neos will enable us to implement our air strategy, which involves increasing our flight frequencies, expanding our network and strengthening our position in several markets. The goal: continue to provide our customers with comfortable service at the best possible price.”

With 199 seats in a two-class configuration, the A321neo will be used for feeder flights and service to the South (short- and medium-haul) while the long-range version (A321neo LR) will be deployed for Sun and transatlantic destinations (medium- and long-haul). These aircraft will be added to the 10 new A321neo LRs, on lease from AerCap, announced in July 2017, which will gradually be introduced to Air Transat’s fleet starting in spring 2019.

While this type of aircraft has been selected to optimize the fleet, its fuel efficiency will also keep cost per seat as low as possible, while reducing its carbon footprint. Additionally, because of the cockpit commonality of the A330 and A320 (including the A321), Air Transat’s pilots will be able to fly both types of aircraft, which will result in greater operating flexibility and savings, including on training costs.

Air Transat’s fleet currently consists of 33 permanent aircraft in a unique flexible-fleet model that allows it to deploy more wide-body aircraft in summer for the high transatlantic season, and narrow-body aircraft in winter for the high Sun destinations season. By 2024, it will have an all-Airbus fleet.

Air Transat prepping for A321LRs by rapidly expanding in Europe

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Air Transat executives are describing the company’s rapid European summer expansion as part of a long-term strategy to remain competitive in transatlantic markets.

The airline will dump 15% more seats into Europe this summer – and do so with widebody aircraft that executives concede are not ideal for the job.

But starting next year, Transat will begin defending newly-acquired turf with an expanding fleet of efficient Airbus A321LRs.

“Our first goal [is] to increase frequencies so that we are able to protect our market share,” Annick Guerard, chief operating officer of Air Transat parent Transat AT, says on 14 June. “We need to take our place in those markets that we see are highly profitable.”

The 15% capacity gains will be carried on existing routes by A330s and A310s.

“Do we have the exact right aircraft to operate these routes? The answer is no,” Guerard says during the company’s fiscal second quarter earnings call. “We preferred to have smaller models like the A321 long-range, which is coming up in our fleet.”

The first of those aircraft – Transat has orders for 10 – will arrive in spring 2019. Transat will use A321LRs to replace A310s on transatlantic routes, it has said.

Guerard says Air Transat seeks to gain more share on routes to Portugal, French destinations besides Paris, as well as the UK.

“It needs to be done this year, as we see competition growing,” Guerard says. “If we don’t do it, others will.”

She does not name competitors, but next year WestJet will start acquiring the first of ten Boeing 787-9s, an aircraft that the airline has said it will likely deploy to Europe.

Transat’s European growth reflects broader industry expansion.

Continue reading “Air Transat prepping for A321LRs by rapidly expanding in Europe”