Airbus and Cathay Pacific: a long-term partnership reaches new heights

Courtesy: Airbus.

The exceptional partnership between Airbus and Cathay Pacific Airways was marked by a unique concert in Toulouse, France this week that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region – and coincided with Cathay Pacific’s latest announcement for Airbus jetliners.

Yesterday’s concert of Hong Kong’s Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) was hosted by Airbus in partnership with Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.

As one of the world’s most respected pre-professional orchestras, AYO provides a platform for young classical musicians from around Asia to highlight their talents and perform in the international arena. Since its formation 27 years ago, many of AYO’s alumni have gone on to join some of the greatest orchestras in Asia, the Pacific, Europe and the United States.

More than 100 young musicians perform at the Airbus University

The orchestra’s Toulouse performance, comprising over 100 young musicians and held at the Airbus University, was attended by an audience that included personnel from Cathay Pacific – led by the airline’s CEO, Rupert Hogg – officials from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, local Toulouse dignitaries and Airbus employees.

“Cathay Pacific has long been a great supporter of AYO, and when the airline asked if we could host this special concert during the European leg of its tour, we were most happy to support the request,” said Rainer Ohler, the Head of Communications at Airbus. “In addition to commemorating the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s anniversary, it really was a celebration of the excellent partnership between Airbus and Cathay Pacific.”

Conducted by AYO’s founder, Richard Pontzious, the orchestra gave a stirring 90-minute performance of Richard Strauss’ Don Juan, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and the William Tell Overture by Rossini. Organising the event took several months of coordination with AYO and Cathay Pacific, and involved setting up the Airbus Events Centre as a venue suitable to host a classical concert.

Cathay Pacific Group’s fleet of Airbus jetliners continues to expand

The 21 August concert capped a noteworthy day in the relationship of Airbus with Cathay Pacific, which also saw the airline sign a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of 32 A321neo jetliners, to be used by its Cathay Dragon regional operation.

The Cathay Pacific Group has been flying Airbus aircraft since the early 1990s, with more than 100 Airbus aircraft in service today. It currently has 23 A320 Family aircraft, 61 A330-300s (the Asia-Pacific region’s largest A330 fleet), along with 17 A350-900s.

In addition to the additional 32 A321neos covered by the newly-signed memorandum of understanding, the airline has 31 A350 XWBs on order for future deliveries, composed of five more A350-900 versions and 26 of the longer-fuselage A350-1000s.

Source: Airbus.

Lufthansa A350-900 – Ni hao Hong Kong!

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

From 12 September, Lufthansa will be offering flights to Hong Kong on an Airbus A350-900. “Our passengers can now experience the world’s most advanced long-haul aircraft for the first time on a flight to the Far East. The flight to Hong Kong is one of the longest routes in the Lufthansa flight schedule. Flying on the A350-900 gives passengers an extraordinary experience. An optimized level of cabin pressure ensures that they arrive feeling more rested”, says Wilken Bormann, CEO of the Munich hub. Due to the flight distance—at 10,000 kilometers—Hong Kong will be served by two aircraft flying alternatively. These will be the fourth and fifth A350-900 aircraft due to be delivered to Lufthansa on 12. August and 2 September respectively, bearing the identifiers D-AIXD and D-AIXE. The A350’s maiden flight to Hong Kong will take off on 12 September at 22:30 and will be welcomed for the first time in Hong Kong eleven hours later at 15:35 local time on 13 September.

Hong Kong is an important destination for business travelers and there are plenty of interesting sights for holiday-makers to discover, too. Asia’s third largest metropolis offers visitors an unusual mix of Western and Asian culture. There are unforgettable experiences to be had, such as the view across the skyline, which is beyond comparison, or a visit to Victoria Peak. Hong Kong is also an important trade center and a key transportation hub for Asia.

With the arrival of the A350-900, a state-of-the-art newcomer has now joined the fleet at Lufthansa. The first of fifteen A350-900 arrived in Munich in February to be stationed there. By September 2017, five of these aircraft will be taking off from their home base of Munich to fly to Boston, Delhi, Mumbai and Hong Kong. The A350-900 has space for 293 passengers – 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in Economy Class. The aircraft is currently the most advanced and most environmentally-friendly aircraft in the world. It uses 25 percent less kerosene, produces 25 percent fewer emissions and is significantly quieter on take-off than comparable types of aircraft. Lufthansa has placed orders for a total of 25 ultra-modern jet aircraft of this type.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Air France: Young and connected… discover Joon!

Courtesy: Air France.

Air France presents its new airline, Joon, which will start operating medium-haul flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle this autumn, followed by long-haul flights in summer 2018.

Joon is especially aimed at a young working clientele, the millennials (18 to 35 year-olds), whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology. This new brand has been entirely designed to meet their requirements and aspirations, with an authentic and connected offering that stands out in the world of air transport.

Joon will not be a low-cost airline as it will offer original products and services that reflect those of Air France.

Joon is a lifestyle brand and a state of mind. Short, punchy and international, the name Joon is designed to address a worldwide audience.

  • Courtesy: Air France.

Its visual identity is based on an electric blue colour code symbolizing the airline’s dynamic attitude, as well as the sky, space and travel. The uniform of Joon’s flight attendants will be inspired by the new fashion codes, basic and chic.

“We started with our target customer segment, the millennials, to create this new brand that means something to them. Our brief was simple: to find a name to illustrate a positive state of mind. This generation has inspired us a lot: epicurean and connected, they are opportunistic in a positive sense of the word as they know how to enjoy every moment and are in search of quality experiences that they want to share with others. Joon is a brand that carries these values”, said Caroline Fontaine, VP Brand at Air France.

“With Joon, we have created a young and connected brand that will give the Group a new impetus. Designed for our millennial customers, it will offer more than just a flight and a fare, it will offer a global travel experience. We’ll provide a further update in September, with more details on the brand’s content, products, services, destinations and range of fares!” said Dominique Wood, EVP Brand and Communications at Air France.

The realization of the Trust Together strategic project

Courtesy: Air France.

In the Air France-KLM Group’s brand portfolio, Joon is Air France’s complementary younger sister, which will also inspire its customers to travel with its elder sibling.

This new airline will be managed by Jean-Michel Mathieu, CEO of Joon. As such, he will join the Air France Executive Committee.

“The creation of a new airline is a historic moment in many ways. Joon is another step in the deployment of the Trust Together strategic project. Its creation will improve the profitability of the Air France Group, enabling it to reduce its costs and ensure the sustainability of its business model. Jean-Michel Mathieu, who has taken part in the development of this new airline since the start, today becomes its CEO. With all the Group’s teams, we are concentrating our energy on the successful launch of Joon.” said Franck Terner, CEO of Air France.

Biography of Jean-Michel Mathieu

Jean-Michel Mathieu is appointed CEO of Joon.

Jean-Michel Mathieu, 48, has spent most of his career with the Air France and Air France-KLM group, particularly in the Network, Revenue Management, Digital Services and Customer Relations sectors.

A former assistant researcher at the University of California in Berkeley, he is a graduate of the French École nationale de la statistique et de l’administration économique (ENSAE).

Source: Air France.

Airbus delivers its 100th A350 XWB

Courtesy: Airbus.

Airbus has delivered its 100th A350 XWB, just some 30 months after the first delivery of the world’s most modern widebody aircraft in December 2014. The 100th aircraft delivered is an A350-900 for China Airlines.

“The 100th A350 XWB milestone comes as we reach our fastest widebody production ramp-up, on track to meet the target of 10 A350 deliveries per month by the end of 2018,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus COO and President Commercial Aircraft. “We are especially proud to deliver today’s aircraft to our long-standing customer China Airlines. The A350 is setting new standards for long haul air travel in terms of efficiency and comfort, thus being the perfect aircraft for China Airlines to expand its long-haul network.”

“China Airlines is happy to be receiving the 100th A350 XWB,” said Nuan-shuan Ho, Chairman of China Airlines. “This remarkable new aircraft has not only met, but exceeded our expectations at every level. This includes operational efficiency, the step-change reduction in fuel consumption and the in-flight comfort standards it offers our passengers. Worldwide demand for air travel will continue to grow strongly, especially on long haul routes linking Asia with Europe and North America. The A350 XWB is one of the key assets in our fleet and will be the basis for the development of our long haul route network.”

To date the A350 has been delivered to 14 airlines worldwide and is flying with an outstanding operational reliability rate of 99%*. “This is a remarkable statistic at this early stage of the programme,” Fabrice Bregier adds.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. As the founding member of “Airspace by Airbus” cabin brand, the A350 XWB cabin provides passengers and crews the best in comfort, well-being and technology.

The A350-1000 is the new member of the A350 XWB family and benefits from its high level of commonality with the A350-900. Scheduled for Type Certification and first Customer delivery in the fourth quarter of 2017, the A350-1000 is currently performing an intensive and successful flight test campaign.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 847 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Source: Airbus.

Ethiopian Airlines places repeat order for 10 A350-900 aircraft

Courtesy: Airbus.

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest airline in Africa, has placed an order for 10 additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft, enabling further development of its fast expanding long-haul route network.

Last June, Ethiopian Airlines became the first African carrier to operate the A350 when it took delivery of the first of 12 aircraft in order. Today the carrier operates a fleet of four A350s, two of which are on lease. Today’s order tops-up the Addis Ababa-based carrier’s fleet, enabling it to pursue its growth strategy and objectives over the coming years.

Ethiopian Airlines’ A350-900s are configured in a two class layout seating 30 passengers in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class. The spacious, quiet interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of passenger comfort and well-being.

“Operating the youngest fleet in the industry with modern and comfortable customer features in the cabin is one of the four pillars in our 15 years strategic road map, vision 2025, and this order placement for additional A350s is one component of this strategy. The performance, operational and cost efficiencies we have achieved with our initial A350-900s have resulted in these additional ten aircraft order placement and thereby suffice our ever-expanding global network. We will deploy the additional aircraft on our long haul routes connecting Addis Ababa with destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” explained Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

Courtesy: Airbus.

“Ethiopian Airlines’ repeat order is a resounding endorsement of the A350, its suitability, flexibility and unmatched economics. We are delighted that innovative aircraft as the A350 are closely associated with the world’s fastest growing and profitable carriers,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

The A350 features the latest aerodynamic design and materials, including its carbon-fibre fuselage and wings. It is powered by new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Together, these advanced technological features translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions in addition to significantly lower maintenance costs.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 851 firm orders for the A350 from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Source: Airbus.

Airbus: Nearly 35,000 aircraft valued at US$5.3 trillion required in the next 20 years

Courtesy: Airbus.

The world’s passenger aircraft fleet above 100 seats is set to more than double in the next 20 years to over 40,000 planes as traffic is set to grow at 4.4 percent per year, according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2017-2036.

Over this period, increasing numbers of first time flyers, rising disposable income spent on air travel, expanding tourism, industry liberalisation, new routes and evolving airline business models are driving a need for 34,170 passenger and 730 freighter aircraft worth a combined total of US$5.3 trillion. Over 70 percent of new units are single aisle with 60 percent for growth and 40 percent for replacement of less fuel efficient aircraft.

A doubling in the commercial fleet over the next 20 years sees a need for 530,000 new pilots and 550,000 new maintenance engineers, and provides Airbus’ global services business a catalyst to grow. Airbus has expanded its global network of training locations from five to 16 in the space of three years

Air traffic growth is highest in emerging markets such as China, India, the rest of Asia and Latin America and almost double the 3.2 percent per year growth forecast in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe. Emerging markets currently home to 6.4 billion of the world’s 7.4 billion population will account for nearly 50 percent of the world’s private consumption by 2036.

“Air travel is remarkably resilient to external shocks and doubles every 15 years,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “Asia Pacific continues to be an engine for growth, with domestic China to become the world’s largest market. Disposable incomes are growing and in emerging economies the number of people taking a flight will nearly triple between now and 2036.”

Over the next 20 years Asia Pacific is set to take 41 percent of new deliveries, followed by Europe with 20 percent and North America at 16 percent. Middle class numbers will almost double to nearly five billion as wealth creation makes aviation even more accessible particularly in emerging economies where spending on air travel services is set to double.

In the twin aisle segment, such as the A330 Family, A350 XWB Family and the A380, Airbus forecasts a requirement for some 10,100 aircraft valued at US$2.9 trillion.

In the single aisle segment, such at the A320neo Family, Airbus forecasts a requirement for some 24,810 aircraft valued at US$2.4 trillion. Airlines adding capacity by upsizing to the largest single aisle, the A321, will find even more business opportunities with the A321neo thanks to its range up to 4,000nm and unbeatable fuel efficiency. In 2016, the A321 represented over 40 percent of single aisle deliveries and over 60 percent of single aisle orders.

Source: Airbus.

Airbus demonstrates regular customer delivery flights with sustainable jet fuel

Courtesy: Airbus.

Showing its strong commitment towards eco-efficiency, Airbus becomes the first aircraft manufacturer to offer its customers the option of delivering new jets using a blend of sustainable jet fuel.

The 15th A350-900 for Cathay Pacific departed Toulouse on June 1st, bound for Hong Kong, with a 10 percent blend of sustainable jet fuel in its tanks. Since the first delivery in May 2016, all of Cathay Pacific’s A350s have been delivered in this configuration.

The biofuel delivery flight concept, originally devised by Cathay Pacific in 2015 is now in full operation and this latest delivery flight confirms that the supply chain set up a year ago by Airbus and Total is functioning correctly, from the fuel production, through an integrated management at its Saint-Martin Toulouse site and to the customer delivery.

“This is a major step for Airbus and a first for the regular delivery of new production aircraft. It enables us to demonstrate that aviation biofuels are today a reality. We now target to expand this initiative to all our delivery sites, close to our customers,” said Frederic Eychenne, Head of New Energies at Airbus.

The first delivery flights from Hamburg, Germany and Mobile, US, using this type of biofuel are planned as of 2018. Since 2016, Airbus has offered this option for its delivery flights from Toulouse.

The aim is to continue reducing the carbon footprint of each flight starting with the aircraft delivery. Eychenne said: “Right from the first day of operation, an airline can clearly demonstrate its aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, thus helping to meet the commitments of the international civil aviation community.”

Through its brand new design with the latest cutting-edge technologies, the A350 XWB has a lower fuel burn and therefore lower CO2 emissions than the aeroplane it replaces, so when sustainable jet fuels are included as part of the operation, the net CO2 emissions reduction factor becomes even greater.

 As part of its environmental strategy, Airbus intends to continue its efforts by collaborating with all stakeholders in the biofuels sector. “Through this partnership with Cathay Pacific and Total, we have demonstrated that it is possible to set up supply chains for fuels with a low carbon footprint,” Eychenne added. “This initiative confirms Airbus’ commitment to environmental efficiency and its support toward international aviation’s emission reduction targets.”

Source: Airbus.