Airbus continued to keep the economic gloom at bay yesterday with the announcement of $4.7 billion of new orders from four customers – and the firming up of the $12.6 billion 100-aircraft order from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), first announced at last year’s Dubai air show.

Yesterday saw the formal signing of the deal between DAE subsidiary DAE Capital and Airbus for 70 A320 family aircraft and 30 A350 XWBs. DAE Capital placed a similar 100-aircraft deal with Boeing last November.

Airbus also announced new business with four customers. Tunisair placed a 16-aircraft order worth $2 billion while Aviation Capital Group (ACG) signed an order for 23 A320 aircraft worth $1.8 billion. Earlier Qatar Airways and Aeroflot both place single digit orders for A321s.

Tunisair’s $2 billion order is for three A350-800s, three A330-200s and 10 A320s. The order is a cornerstone in the airline’s modernisation and expansion plans. Nabil Chattaoui, Tunisair president and chief executive, said yesterday the A350s would underpin the long-term development plans that the airline has for long-haul routes to North America and Asia.

 Tunisair Airbus signing

“With this firm order, Tunisair underlines its positive business outlook and can start putting its plans into action and prepare for the future,” he says.
Aviation Capital Group (ACG) added 23 new A320s to its fleet of the type which now numbers 148 either in service or on order.

ACG chief executive Stephen Hannahs said the growing fleet was needed to meet airline demand for new generation aircraft as they wrestled with high fuel costs and tighter financial markets.

“You will see more and more airlines turning to leasing as the result of credit issues,” he said yesterday. “Airlines are very stressed. If airlines are going to update their fuel efficiency then they will turn to the leasing of aircraft. I don’t see that changing for the next 18 – 24 months.”

Qatar Airways yesterday signed an MoU for the purchase of four Airbus A321 aircraft plus two options. The deal is worth around $520 million at catalogue prices if the options are exercised.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways chief executive, said yesterday that the order for Airbus single-aisle aircraft did not mean that the airline was no longer considering Bombardier’s recently-launched CSeries regional aircraft. “We are still interested in the CSeries but the CSeries aircraft would be earmarked for other missions,” he says.”
Aeroflot also signed an order for five A321s yesterday in a deal worth around $430 million.

Source: Flight International