Paris Air Show commercial aerospace roundup

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Here are details of civil aviation and space orders and announcements made during the 2017 Paris Air Show last week.

Boeing recorded around 420 aircraft orders during the Paris Air Show and is thinking about implementing further automation to its 737 wing-build process in order to produce faster or to free mechanics so they can be deployed elsewhere. The company has released a 20-year forecast predicting 41 030 aircraft deliveries through 2036. The figures imply a yearly average of more than 2 000 deliveries for the first time. Compared to the previous assessment, 1 410 aircraft have been added to the 39 620 anticipated deliveries.

Among Boeing’s new line-up is the 737 Max 10. It was launched in response to the Airbus A321neo. It will have modified main landing gear, and an additional 66-inch fuselage stretch over the 737-9. The 737 Max 10 is designed to seat up to 188 passengers in dual-class and 230 in single-class layouts. Lessor BOC Aviation already signed a MoU for the purchase of 10 737 Max 10s. The list-price value according to Boeing for this deal is of $1.25 billion. Aviation Capital Group also ordered 20 737 Max 10s for about $2.49 billion. GECAS converted 20 Boeing 737 Max 8 orders to the newly launched 737 Max 10.

Indonesian carrier Lion Air signed an MoU to take 50 Max 10 aircraft. Indian carrier SpiceJet did the same and placed orders for 20 Boeing 737 Max 10 aircraft and will convert 20 of its existing 737 Max 8 order to 10. Meanwhile, United Airlines also converted 100 Boeing 737 Max 9s to the Max 10, leading to current orders of 61 Max 9s and 100 Max 10s. The airline also ordered 4 Boeing 777-330ER with deliveries starting in 2018.

Lessor Avolon signed an MoU for 75 Boeing 737 Max 8s for a list-price value of $8.4 billion, according to Boeing. Delivery is expected for 2021 and the deal also includes an option for a further 50 Max 8s. An undisclosed customer also signed for 125 Boeing 737 Max 8s at a list price value of $14 billion. The carrier which is described as a “major airline customer” by Boeing also took purchase rights for a further 50 aircraft.

Meanwhile, Air Lease signed an MoU for 5 Boeing 737 Max 7s and 7 737 Max 8s, and Chinese Ruili Airlines signed a MoU for 20 Boeing 737 Max jets for a value of $2.2bn at catalogue prices.

Airbus recorded about 230 aircraft orders during the show. The company has increased its 20-year demand forecast by 5%. This leads to 35 000 aircraft forecasted compared to 33 000 last year. They also estimate airlines need 530 000 pilots and 550 000 maintenance personnel.

AirAsia intends to order another 14 Airbus A320s, taking its overall orders for the family close to 600. With this deal the number of A320-family jets ordered by the operator would be up to 592. Iran Airtour is also interested in the A320 and tentatively signed for 45 A320neos while Zagros signed an MoU for the Airbus A330neo, intending to take eight of the type as part of an agreement for 28 re-engined jets, and 20 A320neo aircraft. Meanwhile, GECAS placed an order for 100 Airbus A320neos with CFM engines due to be delivered from 2020 to 2024.

Chinese lessor CDB Aviation signed an MoU for 45 Airbus A320neofamily jets. Airbus says that this agreement covers 30 A320neos and 15 A321neos. Air Lease also boosted its narrowbody order backlog with an agreement for 12 Airbus A321neos. Meanwhile, Wizz Air ordered 10 Airbus A321s to be delivered in 2018 and 2019. The company already has 83 A320-family jets (19 A321s). Airbus is already set to start delivering 110 A321neos to the carrier from 2019.

At the show, Airbus presented new plans for the A380plus which includes aerodynamic improvements such as large winglets and wing refinements that lead for up to 4% fuel burn savings. The cabin features are also changed in order to add up to 80 more seats. This results in a 13% cost per seat reduction. The company also developed a flight tracking system with Rockwell Collins which should be implemented as a standard on the A350 and A380. This system alerts automatically in the event of an abnormal flight situation and can be optional on the A320 family as well as A330 and A340.

Chinese company Spring Airlines announced that it will fit 60 Airbus A320neos with the CFM International engines. CFM values the deal at $1.7 billion. To meet demand, GE Aviation has been asked by Airbus and Boeing to produce an additional 800 engines. Meanwhile, Spanish IAG and Pratt & Whitney signed a MoU for the PW1100G to be fitted on 47 A320neos.

Bombardier also received important orders. India’s SpiceJet has signed a letter of intent covering 25 Bombardier Q400 turboprops and purchase rights for a further 25. The potential list-price value of the deal is of $1.78 billion, according to Bombardier. South African company CemAir also signed a LoI for two Q400s valued at $65 million. Meanwhile, Bombardier extended its contract with FACC which manufactures the CSeries’ wingto-body fairings for a value of more than $100 million. The original deal was limited to the first 10 CSeries aircraft.

Embraer tallied firm orders and commitments for 38 of its E-Jet family aircraft for 6 different customers. The value of these deals is at $2.2 billion at current list prices. The deals include a firm order for 10 E195-E2s and a commitment for 20 E190-E2 from two undisclosed customers.

SPACE

On June 19, SRC Progress said Russia plans to increase by 50% the number of Soyuz rockets launches in 2018, with up to 32 launches compared to only 20 in 2017.

On June 19, Arianespace said it will launch the OHB Italia-made the Precursore Iperspettrale della Missione Applicativa (PRIMSA) remote sensing satellite for the Italian Space Agency (ASI) in mid-2018 using the Vega rocket.

On June 19, Thales Alenia Space (TAS) announced it took a “minority stake” in Airstar Aerospace with the goal of completing a prototype of its Stratobus High-Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) by 2020.

On June 20, Flight Global reported that Arianespace’s order book now stands at €4.8 billion, with 53 launches for 28 customers: 18 using Ariane 5, 25 for the mid-weight Soyuz and 10 for Vega/Vega C.

On June 20, Airbus announced it will be the first commercial customer of Avio’s future Vega C rocket, ordering two launchers to orbit a four-satellite Earth-observation constellation, in a mission scheduled for mid-2020. First flight of the rocket will take place in 2019.

On June 21, the ESA and 16 satellite makers and operators of the continent signed a joint statement for the development of 5G mobile networks as an opportunity for the space industry. The Satellite for 5G initiative will run between 2018 and 2020 and focus on developing technology demonstrations.



Written by ADIT – The Bulletin and republished with permission.