At the Paris Air Show in June 1997, Airbus shared details about its Airbus A340-600 motives. Amid the excitement, it didn’t take long for Air Canada to order the plane. It was one of the first airlines to place an order for the variant, but it would cancel the deal approximately a decade later.
During its reveal, the A340-600 was highlighted to transport up to 378 passengers, which was a significant figure as it was only 25 fewer than many variants of the Boeing 747. Air Canada was keen to take on new widebodies that year, ordering eight new A330s and A340s. These planes had a list price of $1.4 billion at the time, which is a figure approximate to $2.1 billion today.
According to The New York Times, the flag carrier of Canada had an option to take on extra planes, starting with five units split between A340-600s and A340-500. It also had options to acquire 10 additional planes from 2002.
A FlightGlobal report from July 2008 shares that Air Canada initially deferred the delivery of three -600s to 2004. This deferral was then extended to 2010. However, the carrier ended up canceling the whole order.
Notably, the 9/11 attacks shook up the aviation industry across the world. Even though the overall financial impact isn’t as considerable compared with the current crisis, for its time, the situation was tough, and numerous airlines struggled. Due to the challenges that carriers faced, there were several fleet reshuffles and strategy changes.Advertisement:
Air Canada’s approach shift can be noticed with its wider fleet. Several aircraft types had left the carrier in the years after 9/11. The McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 and Bombardier CRJ100 were phased out of mainline operations in 2002. After that, Boeing 737-200 747-400, and 747-200M and Fokker F28 Fellowship left in 2004. Moreover, the 767-200 left in 2008.
Most notably, Air Canada’s other A340 variants were also let go during this period. According to Planespotters.net, the A340-300 stopped service for the airline in November 2008. Two A340-500s also joined the company in the summer of 2004. However, both C-GKOL and C-GKOM left for Brazil’s TAM three years later, in November 2007.Advertisement:
A good call
Looking back, the decision to cancel the A340-600 was the right one. Gargantuan quadjets swiftly struggled to find a consistent place in aviation in the 2010s. Thus, several carriers have been rapidly phasing out the likes of the A340, A380, and 747 in preference of modern, twinjet options.
MIRABEL, QC, April 26, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Airbus Canada teamed up with several companies in the Mirabel region and YMX Aérocité internationale de Mirabel over the past few weeks to propose a vaccination hub for their workers, their families and the local population.
Today, the government of Quebec announced that Airbus Canada, with the support of its partners and the Agency for Health and Social Services Laurentides, will proceed to set up a vaccination hub on its premises in Mirabel. This will allow Airbus Canada and its partners to contribute to meeting the Government’s goal of vaccinating Quebecers. More than ten companies, in addition to Airbus Canada, have joined this collective initiative, representing a potential of over 20,000 people.
“We have heard the clear message from the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, and the Health Minister, Christian Dubé. We wanted to offer a site that can bring several local companies together to support the vaccination effort in the province,” said CEO of Airbus Canada, Philippe Balducchi. “It is by joining forces that we will together win the fight against COVID-19”.
The Airbus & partenaires@Mirabel vaccination hub will be ready to welcome its workers, their families and the local population from the end of May for a period of around 90 days. Here are the companies that have announced their participation:
DRAKKAR Aerospace & Ground Transportation
Pratt & Whitney Canada Group Robert
STELIA Aéronautique Canada Inc.
STELIA Aéronautique St-Laurent Inc.
Mirabel Chamber of Commerce and Industry (including several member companies)
YMX Aérocité de Mirabel
Airbus in Canada
Active in several regions of Canada, Airbus has nearly 3,800 employees in Canada and more than 22,000 indirect jobs in the aeronautics sector are supported through various collaborations. Airbus works with around 660 suppliers in nine provinces. The three divisions of Airbus are present in Canada with commercial planes in Mirabel, QC, helicopters in Fort Erie, ON and Defence and Space in Ottawa, ON. The wholly owned subsidiaries of Airbus, STELIA Aerospace and NAVBLUE also have installations in the country.
Aviation industry faces mounting pressure to get serious about climate change
Kyle Bakx · CBC News · Feb 04, 2021
Airlines remain in survival mode as governments continue to restrict air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, with vaccine developments and deployment, those in the sector are hopeful there won’t be too much more turbulence before more planes and passengers are able to return to the sky.
Post-pandemic, one of the biggest headwinds facing the industry is finding a way to reduce the carbon emissions produced by flying thousands of jets every day. It’s not only an obstacle for the aviation sector but one of the biggest challenges for the world’s efforts to combat climate change.
There are sources of pollution that can be reduced through electrification, such as passenger vehicles, lawn mowers and many other products. But some sectors, such as manufacturing, still depend heavily on fossil fuels because they require an intense amount of energy.
The aviation sector not only needs an abundance of energy for takeoff but also in carrying a lot of weight while airborne.
“Everybody imagines aviation as one of the most difficult-to-decarbonize sectors,” Glenn Llewellyn, who is responsible for the zero-emission aircraft program at Airbus, said in an interview from Toulouse, France.
“If aviation can decarbonize and eliminate its climate impact, then there is no excuse for any industry,” he said.
Economic downturn won’t slow aviation industry’s efforts to curb emissions
Glenn Llewellyn, with Airbus, says regardless of the sector’s current condition, the sector is pushing forward with its goal of eliminating the climate impact of air travel.
Airbus wants to be the first aircraft manufacturer to bring a zero-emissions commercial aircraft to market. The company has set a 15-year timeline to achieve the goal, which highlights both the level of ambition and challenge of its target.
In recent years, many airlines have made strides to reduce the amount of pollution from each aircraft as technology has made jet engines much more efficient.
WestJet, for example, reduced its emissions intensity by close to 50 per cent from 2000 by replacing older aircraft.
Still, the number of flights around the world has increased substantially over the decades: In 1960, 100 million passengers travelled by air compared with four billion worldwide in 2017.
The industry is facing pressure, since air travel accounts for between three and five per cent of global CO2 emissions — and those emissions are escalating.
A race is now underway to tackle the environmental impact of air travel, with research and development efforts studying a variety of possible solutions.
For short flights, experts say batteries have a bright future.
In December, 2019, Vancouver-based Harbour Air Seaplanes successfully completed a three-minute flight with an electric float plane. The company paused the program because of the pandemic, but it recently announced that it will soon resume more test flights.
The obstacle with batteries is how much energy they produce compared with how much they weigh. The energy density of a lithium-ion battery can be about 250 watt-hours (Wh) per kilogram (kg), compared with jet fuel’s energy density of about 12,000 Wh per kg.
Some airlines are considering the use of hybrid technology, which would incorporate both batteries and jet fuel to reduce emissions.
Sustainable aviation fuel
Another area of focus is the production of a cleaner type of jet fuel, somewhat similar to using ethanol in gasoline for cars and trucks. The fuel would be made from a variety of materials, including oats, biomass and municipal solid waste.
One of the companies invested in this field is Chicago-based LanzaJet, which has partnered with other firms, such as Calgary-based Suncor Energy, to build a demonstration facility in the state of Georgia. The facility is expected to begin operation next year.
LanzaJet describes its process as taking carbon emissions from a steel mill or a landfill site and converting the pollution into fuels and chemicals by using bacteria.
“Large airlines are constrained in terms of what they can do. Sustainable aviation fuel is, we think, that solution — especially in the next couple decades, if not longer,” said Jimmy Samartzis, CEO of LanzaJet.
The industry as a whole set a target of reducing its emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. But some airlines have set more ambitious targets of their own.
“There’s a lot of work happening to figure out how to get there, so we’re seeing quite a bit of appetite for our product,” Samartzis said.
LanzaJet’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will sell at a premium to traditional jet fuel, comparable to oil prices at between $80 and $100 US per barrel, although clean fuel policies help lower its cost. All of the expected production of SAF and renewable diesel from the Georgia facility is already spoken for through agreements with customers.
In Alberta, WestJet had partnered with Alberta Innovates, a government research agency, to launch a challenge to develop SAF within the province, but the program was cancelled last year after the provincial government pulled the funding.
Boeing has set a target of designing and certifying its jetliners to fly on 100 per cent sustainable fuels by 2030, since regulators currently allow a 50-50 blend of sustainable and conventional fuels.
The other major area of research is to use hydrogen fuel cells to power aircraft. The concept isn’t entirely new, since the U.S. Air Force used liquid hydrogen in its B-57 bomber in the 1950s.
This is the path Airbus is taking, and, admittedly, it’s no easy feat. Not only would hydrogen storage and fuel cell technology need to be adopted for commercial aviation, but an entire supply chain would be required at airports around the world to produce, transport and store the product. It’s complex, but it could have the biggest impact on reducing emissions and other environmental impacts from aviation, such as contrails.
“Hydrogen has the most potential to eliminate, and at least significantly reduce, those elements, as well as the CO2, if the hydrogen is made from renewable energy or a low-carbon energy source,” said Llewellyn, with Airbus.
Harvard University’s David Keith expects hydrogen and renewable energy will be important in reducing emissions from the aviation industry.
“We’ve really stuck to this project as a guiding star and flagship project for the future of Airbus,” he said.
Besides fuel cell technology, hydrogen could also be used differently to produce a type of synthetic aviation fuel.
Squamish, B.C.-based Carbon Engineering aims to produce the fuel by combining water, renewable electricity and carbon emissions captured from the atmosphere.
“You’re just finding a way to, in a sense, package up the energy you got from the solar power and put it in a compact high-energy density form that is useful for powering an airplane or something else that’s hard to electrify,” said David Keith, who founded and sits on the board of Carbon Engineering.
Keith is also a Harvard University professor of applied physics and public policy.
Even as airlines continue to navigate the turbulence of a downturn in the industry, aerospace leaders hope to soon tackle the environmental challenge.
Eric Atkins Transportation Reporter | January 3, 2021
COVID-19 vaccines and tests offer hope the airline industry will see customers return in 2021, but it will be several years before the industry can shake off the devastation caused by the pandemic.
The world’s airlines have grounded 30 per cent of their fleets, laid off thousands of employees and amassed billions of dollars in debt to survive the downturn. A resurgent pandemic, new and varied border closings, consumer gloom and a poor economy all threaten to prolong the misery for airlines, which will not break even until late 2021, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Afull recovery to 2019 passenger levels will not happen until perhaps 2024, IATA says, although estimates vary. That’s because the usual measures airlines use to predict demand for seats and flights – the economy, past sales, per-seat profits and more – have been replaced.
Seat sales are now dictated by consumers’ fear of becoming sick or stranded, and by government travel restrictions, which can change daily.
This means airlines have to change the way they plan their schedules, and be set to make last-minute cancellations or additions to meet demand. Amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, travellers are less likely to book long term, and will make their travel plans based on the immediate state of the pandemic and public-health rules.
“The way that airlines have forecast demand in the past is out of the window, that’s absolutely changed,” said Jeremy Bowen, chief executiveof Cirium, an aviation consultancy.
Now, airlines will schedule flights six to eight weeks in advance, instead of six months or a year ahead, in order to be able to quickly add or remove flightsbased on seat sales, Mr. Bowen said.
About 40 per cent of airline bookings in the Northern Hemisphere in August and September were made just three days before the flight, Mr. Bowen said. “As an airline, it’s virtually impossible to know whether to cancel that flight and consolidate it with another one, or hold your nerve and hope that it is going to book and you can fly profitably in three days. So the ways of forecasting demand are changing and will continue to change over the next two to three years.”
The data airlines use to predict demand will change, as well. Social media chatter about destinations, and data from Google searches for resorts, seat prices and travel websites will rise in importance. “Those things didn’t used to be primary sources. They now are because there’s nothing else to go on,” Mr. Bowen said.
Narrow-body, single-aisle aircraft will dominate the fleets of most airlines, replacing the fuel-guzzling wide-body planes, analysts say.
The Airbus and Boeing 737 Max planes – loved for their long range and fuel efficiency – will serve on medium-length and even long-haul flights as airlines rid their fleets of older Boeing 747s and 767s, which are larger and less fuel efficient.
About 30 per cent of the world’s fleet is in storage, and the planes still flying are carrying fewer passengers and flying less often, Cirium says.
As of Dec. 17, Air Canada had 36 planes parked in Arizona and 11 in Kansas City, where warm weather makes storage and maintenance easier. Air Transat had six planes parked in Brazil, while WestJet had six in Arizona. Porter Airlines has 27 planes parked at Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport and one in Thunder Bay.
In total, Canada’s four biggest airlines had 180 of their 345 planes in storage. Air Canada has said it will retire 79 of its aircraft, while its rivals are expected to shed several as well.
About 600 to 700 planes around the world are inactive, many waiting to be cut up for parts or scrap metal, said Richard Brown, managing director at U.K.-based aviation consultancy Naveo Ltd. Other aircraft will be returned to service as needed.
“The airlines are playing a wait and see game at the moment,” Mr. Brown said. “And the big challenge for the airlines is rightsizing their fleet for the demand that will come back.”
Air Transat has been retiring its wide-body Airbus planes, the A310 and A330, and its older Boeing 737s, as it takes delivery of Airbus A321 Neos, a narrow-body model that can cross the Atlantic Ocean.
Air Canada, which is retiring the Boeing 767, Airbus A319 and Embraer 190, is expected to reintroduce its 24 737 Max planes when safety changes that were made after two other airlines suffered fatal 737 Max crashes are approved by Ottawa. Air Canada will also take control of Air Transat’s updated fleet if regulators approve its takeover.
Charlotte Ryan and James Regan, Bloomberg News | 26 September 2020
(Bloomberg) — Airbus SE is considering reduced working time in production areas in France over the next two years to help the European planemaker limit job losses prompted by a collapse in global air travel due to Covid-19.
The move would help it preserve skills in order to restart single-aisle aircraft production at rates similar to last year between 2023 and 2025, Airbus human resources head for France, Donald Fraty, wrote in a letter sent to workers on Friday and seen by Bloomberg.
“Airbus faces an unprecedented crisis,” Fraty wrote, referring to an expert report on the economic situation presented to the work’s council on Thursday. “The prospects for resuming our activities are deeply uncertain.”
Airbus has pledged to slash 15,000 jobs across its operations, with France braced to absorb about one-third of those, as it grapples with an unprecedented industry slump that has seen almost all its airline customers postpone or switch orders.
Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury stepped up warnings over jobs this week, saying the situation had worsened and that carriers were in a more difficult situation after the summer holiday period than he had hoped.
The planemaker is seeking a majority agreement with staff that opens the way to furloughing and other tools that will lower the number of compulsory redundancies, Fraty wrote.
If approved, reduced working time would apply from Jan. 1, with partial unemployment prolonged for everyone in France until the end of this year. The work’s council is due to decide on the plan on Oct. 15.
More than 3,500 staff in France have already expressed an interest in voluntary severance, mostly based on age-related measures, according to Fraty.
“The end of the negotiations will not mark the end of our work. Quite the contrary. The fight to save Airbus will continue,” Fraty wrote. “The period ahead of us will be difficult.”
The human resources head added that he expects the government to provide research contributions for several projects, including its zero-emissions aircraft, which would also help to limit redundancies.
OTTAWA, Sept. 25, 2020 /CNW/ – The first Airbus C295 aircraft purchased by the Government of Canada for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement (FWSAR) project, has arrived at 19 Wing, Canadian Forces Base Comox, British Columbia.
The aircraft, designated CC-295 for Canada, landed at its home base on September 17 and is the first of the 16 aircraft contracted in December 2016. The contract also includes all In-Service Support elements, training and engineering services, the construction of a new training centre in Comox and maintenance and support services.
“Airbus is really proud to be able to celebrate this important milestone: the arrival of the first out of 16 Fixed Wing Search and Rescue C295 at the Canadian Forces Base Comox. Thanks to the excellent collaboration with Canadian officials we have overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19 and we were able to deliver the aircraft. Despite the current pandemic, we are confident of achieving the program target of six deliveries by the end of this year. We look forward to our continued collaboration and to the C295 Canada”, said
Airbus Defence and Space Chief Executive Officer, Dirk Hoke, on a video statement displayed during an official event held today at the 19 Wing Comox Air Base.
Airbus has formally delivered three aircraft to date, the second of which is scheduled to arrive in Canada in the coming weeks. Deliveries will continue until 2022.
An Airbus A330neo passenger aircraft stands on the final assembly line at the Airbus SE factory in Toulouse, France, on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Known as the A330neo for New Engine Option, the model was originally scheduled to join the TAP Air Portugal fleet from the end of 2017. , Bloomberg
Airbus SE Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury stepped up his warning on forced job cuts at the European planemaker as a sharper-than-expected decline in travel leads carriers to push back deliveries of new jets.
“The situation has worsened” coming out of the summer high season, he said Tuesday in an interview on France’s RTL radio. “Airlines are in a more difficult situation after the holidays than what we were hoping.”
The industrial giant, whose cost-cutting plans call for the elimination of 15,000 jobs, will have to “adapt to the new environment,” he added, in particular on the employment front. The shares dropped as much as 2.7 per cent.
“It will be very difficult to stick with voluntary departures,” Faury said, reiterating that the company “is potentially at risk” if it doesn’t take the right steps. He pointed to a 40 per cent decline in the jet maker’s production and deliveries.
The European rival to Boeing Co., grappling with an unprecedented collapse in air travel because of the coronavirus, is already trying to entice workers to leave to limit tougher measures. France is braced to absorb about one-third of the planned cuts and Faury on Tuesday said talks with unions are aimed at using tools like part-time employment and state support of research and development to avoid forcing people to leave the company.
“Airlines aren’t canceling their orders but they aren’t honoring deliveries,” Faury said. “The delays on deliveries are very strong” because carriers don’t have the means to take ownership of the planes after passengers and revenue dried up.
Airbus’s 40 per cent reduction in output is holding but “I’m extremely cautious about how the crisis is developing and what is coming next with COVID,” he said.
Airbus shares fell 1.3 per cent at 9:25 a.m. in Paris, bringing the year-to-date decline to 52 per cent.
While Faury already warned that voluntary measures were unlikely to be enough to meet Airbus’ job-cut target, he has raised the alarm further in recent weeks.
“No one can guarantee that there won’t be forced departures,” he said Tuesday. “We have lots of work to do and will do everything to avoid getting to that.”
The grim outlook for the industry was driven home Monday when Deutsche Lufthansa AG accelerated fleet and staff cuts amid mounting concern about the severity of the downturn.
Europe’s biggest airline will pull 150 jets by mid-decade, 50 more than in its previous plan, leading to more job cuts than the 22,000 already due to go. Air France-KLM Chief Executive Officer Ben Smith also weighed in, warning in an interview with L’Opinion that more cost cuts may be needed after travel demand dropped off at the end of the summer.
Toulouse, September 3, 2020– Airbus Canada Limited Partnership has officially transferred the overall A220 material management services offer to Satair, as part of the programme integration into Airbus. Since July, Satair, an Airbus services company, has taken the lead on global material support and services for A220 operators, working in close coordination with the A220 programme team in Airbus Canada.
The transfer represents a key milestone for Airbus and a significant step in the overall further integration of the A220 programme. “All A220 customers will benefit from the same level of service and global network offered by Satair on all other Airbus platforms”, said Rob Dewar, Senior Vice President, A220 Customer Services, Customer Satisfaction and Product Policy. “This is a significant contributor to improving the overall satisfaction of our growing A220 customer base worldwide.”
“Satair’s footprint of service centres and warehouses will contribute to a greater scope of spare parts available for all A220 operators. Customers can look forward to leveraging Satair’s global presence”, said Bart Reijnen, CEO of Satair. “We are very proud to be supporting the A220 aircraft with our strong Satair organization.”
The A220 material management services transition to Satair started officially on July 1st, 2020. Overall Satair is now in charge of a wide range of value-adding activities including planning & inventory; purchasing; quality inspection; certification; warehousing & distribution; customer order handling; 24/7 AOG handling; initial provisioning and tool lease. Over time, as the A220 fleet grows and also gains in maturity, Satair will also develop the areas of parts lease, repair and exchange for the A220. The customer order handling of the A220 programme is solely managed in the Satair | OEM parts and services channel with its global group of Satair companies.
The A220 programme headquarters are located in Mirabel, Canada together with main customer services functions, such as engineering expertise and 24/7/365 Customer Response Center.
Benefitting from the latest technologies, the A220 is the quietest, cleanest and most eco-friendly aircraft in its category. Featuring a 50% reduced noise footprint compared with previous generation aircraft, 25% lower fuel burn per seat and 50% lower NOx emissions than industry standards, the A220 is a great aircraft for neighbourhood airports.
The A220’s order book comprises 642 A220 aircraft on firm order as of end of July 2020.
As of end July 2020, 118 A220s have been delivered to seven operators and are being flown on routes in Asia, America, Europe and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest family member.
Airbus A220 operators are being instructed to modify drain tubing after an incident in which rainwater dripped into the avionics bay and tripped a circuit breaker during taxi, causing an engine to shut down.
Rain had entered the aircraft through the main cabin entry door while it was open, according to Transport Canada.
This caused drains to overflow and led to dripping on the forward avionics bay below.
“Water ingress into the forward avionics bay could short-circuit the equipment in the area and lead to a loss of air-data sources,” says the regulator.
This might result in a reduction in function and an increase in the crew’s workload, it adds.
A220 operators are being ordered to modify the aircraft, within 12 months, by removing forward galley slotted drain covers, fitting solid blanking plates, and blocking drain tubing to prevent water travelling from the forward galley into the avionics bay.
All A220s are fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan engines.
Air Canada is celebrating the first flight of its newly refurbished Airbus A330 aircraft. The A330 flew from Montreal to Vancouver on June 24th. In 2018, Air Canada chose to do an interior refit on its A330s. This was in addition to adding more A330s to its fleet to replace its aging Boeing 767 fleet. The final 767 operated its last commercial flight on June 3rd.
The first flight
Air Canada tweeted that it is looking for things to celebrate during this challenging time, and its newly refurbished Airbus A330 is undoubtedly worth celebrating. The aircraft, registration C-GFUR left Montreal a little late at 19:26 local time and landed in Vancouver over four and half hours later at 21:07 local time.
The plane had flown the day before for just under an hour as it moved from Montreal’s Mirabel International Airport to the main Trudeau Airport in Montreal. Eventually, Air Canada has planned on using the new A330s for international routes from Montreal across the Atlantic. However, with travel restrictions still in place due to COVID-19, the aircraft’s first flight was within Canadian borders.
Air Canada chose to work with ST Aerospace to refurbish its aircraft and bring them in line with its Boeing 777s and 787s. Despite recent complications, the aircraft have been finished on time. The airline’s A330s have an average age of just over 15 years.
The A330 economy cabin is in a 2-4-2 configuration with Panasonic eX3 touchscreen seatback entertainment screens for all passengers. Premium economy features a 2-3-2 configuration with Signature Class in 1-2-1. Each seat also has its own power outlet and USB charging point.
Overhauling other aircraft
The Airbus A330s aren’t the only planes Air Canada has been overhauling recently. The airline recently repurposed four Boeing 777 jets to carry more cargo to essential workers. One 777 was used to take over 20 tonnes of facemasks for Canadians during the pandemic. By transforming the passenger cabin and removing the seats, Air Canada was able to double each plane’s cargo capacity. The airline also converted three A330s to carry cargo.Advertisement:
Air Canada is also welcoming brand-new Airbus A220s into its fleet. The airline has taken delivery of five new A220s since December of last year, with a further 13 A220s scheduled for delivery later this year. A new A330 should be joining the Air Canada fleet later this year as well.
Air Canada is going through a definite period of change when it comes to its fleet. It recently retired 79 aircraft early and cut the number of Boeing 737 MAX jets it will receive. Currently, the airline’s MAX jets remain grounded. With brand new A220s, newly refurbished A330, old aircraft sent to retirement, the airline should have a robust, young fleet to tackle this period of uncertainty.