Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Wide Body Report - June 21, 2016

June 21, 2016

Kestrel Aviation has rolled out its first VIP version of the 787 Dreamliner, reconfigured to provide luxury accommodations for the rich and shameless.  The airplane will be delivered shortly to China's HNA Aviation Group.

Air Canada has launched daily flights between Vancouver and Newark featuring the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

Despite initial success, sales of the largest variant of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the 787-10, have slowed to a trickle.  Analysts are nonetheless projecting that as older 777 models begin to retire, the 787-10 will find additional orders during coming years.

Iranian officials have suggested that they are closing in on a 100-airplane order for Boeing aircraft, similar to the 118-airplane deal recently reached with Airbus.  The shape of any such arrangement is unclear, however.  Many of the aircraft in the Airbus deal, for example, were refurbished, second-hand models offered at reduced prices.

Boeing is reportedly close to a deal with Russia's largest air-freight company, Volga-Dnepr for the supply of additional 747 cargo jets - potentially extending the life of the 747 production line.  As of May, there were only 22 unfilled orders for the 747 still on Boeing's order books.

GE Aviation has broken ground in Huntsville, Alabama for a new factory that will mass-produce silicon-carbide materials for use in ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components in jet engines.  The new factory is part of a twin-factory complex dedicated to CMC production, covering some 100 acres, that is expected to open in 2018.

Airbus continues to struggle to meet its objective for delivering over 50 A350 aircraft this year, as supplier delays at Zodiac Aerospace and other interior furnishers have hampered aircraft deliveries.  Zodiac has since expanded its own production and sub-tier supplier base to keep up with the demand from Airbus.  Only nine A350s were delivered in the first five months of this year, placing an enormous challenge on Airbus to recover the production schedule.

Airbus has shifted the first flight of its A350-1000 prototype by "a matter of weeks," and has similarly delayed customer deliveries to the second half of 2017.  The A350-1000 is expected to compete with the Boeing 777 for long-haul sales.

Leasing firm Doric has begun to offer lease arrangements for second-hand Airbus A380 superjumbos at a steep discount, attempting to spur interest in short-duration leases as additional aircraft come off from their current 10-year lease arrangements with Emirates and other airlines.

Rolls-Royce has distributed a letter to its employees, emphasizing that remaining under the EU banner would benefit the aircraft engine manufacturer, and that talk about exiting the EU was placing investment in new facilities at risk.  British voters re expected to vote on June 23rd, regarding whether the UK should exit the European Union.

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