Monday, February 15, 2016

Single Aisle News - February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

Executives at Canada's WestJet Airlines have ruled out a C-Series buy, saying that the airplane is too small for its mainline operations, and too large for its Encore regional carrier - which relies on Bombardier Q400 turboprops.

British Airways' chief executive, Willie Walsh has signaled that the carrier is contemplating a buy of C-Series aircraft to bolster its regional fleet at Iberia Express.

Canada's federal government has reportedly come out with a six-point checklist for steps that Bombardier would need to take before a bailout from Canada's national government could be approved.  The list includes changes in the company's family-dominated governance system.

The provincial government of Quebec, meanwhile, is reportedly considering a follow-on aid package for Bombardier, after already investing $1.3 billion.

The first Embraer E190 E2 prototype is expected to roll-out next week.

Mitsubishi Aircraft has resumed flight test of its MRJ90 prototype, following structural improvements on the airframe.  The prototype had been grounded since November, while its wing and wing-fuselage structure was reinforced.

Lufthansa has taken delivery of its second Pratt & Whitney powered A320 NEO.  However, the airline will only use the airplane on internal, German routes until engine issues are corrected.  Pratt & Whitney has pledged to resolve the engine issues, which require a longer engine start-up time, by April.

The first A321 NEO prototype flew last week, using the CFM International LEAP-1A engine.

Despite questions about engine start-up issues, the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G has entered service exceeding its fuel efficiency guarantees - a first for commercial jet engines.

The dominance of the A320 NEO in the single aisle market may force Boeing to invest in an all-new design sooner than it had planned.

Morocco's state airline, Royal Air Maroc appears to have selected the Boeing 737 MAX for its next single aisle order - based on the appearance of the airline's insignia together with dozens of others on the first 737 MAX prototype.  The airline has not officially announced the sale, however.

Russia's Perm Engine Co. has assembled an additional three PD-14 engines (engines seven through nine of the test program), and has entered flight test with the new engine type.  The PD-14 is being developed as a Russian-built alternative to the PW1400G engines that will equip the first models of the Irkut MC-21 aircraft.  First flight aboard the MC-21 is slated for 2018.

China's three largest state-run airlines have continued to hold back from ordering larger numbers of the new Comac C919 airline until further progress is made in the ambitious development program.  The three airlines are currently obligated to take only five C919 aircraft each.

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