Entries in Air Asia (2)

Monday
Jun272011

Airbus A320neo dominates commerce during the Paris Air Show

The recently completed 2011 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport (IATA: LBG; ICAO: LFPB) showed that the airline industry has much interest in a new model of aircraft being built by Airbus.  An environmentally friendlier version of the Toulouse-based aircraft maker's A320, the new variant shown off by Airbus at Le Bourget last week is identified by the Greek prefix meaning "new" tacked onto its name (albeit, the end of its name).

The London-based Guardian reported that Airbus did 57 billion USD (39.9 billion EUR; 35.4 billion GBP) in business during the biennial air show, at the general aviation field east of ParisAs reported here last week, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) placed an order for 30 of the A320neo.  But the Guardian reported that the Indian budget carrier IndiGo ordered a stunning 150 of the model (along with 30 ordinary A320s), and that the Malaysian budget carrier Air Asia topped even that, with an order for 200 of the A320neo.  A recap of the events at the world's largest air show, from Aviation International News, states that this latter transaction was "the largest single firm order in aviation history."

Other buyers of the A320neo in Paris last week were the American budget carrier JetBlue Airways, the Chilean airline LAN, the Indian budget carrier GoAir, and Republic Airways, an American holding company which owns six United States-based airlines.

The A320neo models will, according to Airbus, boast more efficient engines than what the ordinary A320 has.  The aircraft maker promises the A320neo will burn 15 percent less fuel than the A320 does.  If true, this means the A320neo will have an additional range (relative to the A320) of 950 kilometers (589 miles), all else equal.  Alternatively, it means the A320neo will be able to carry two metric tons (4,400 pounds) more payload, all else equal.

As it so happens, "neo" is an Airbus acronym for "new engine option."  The "neo" engines are being built by American engine maker Pratt & Whitney, and by CFM International.  The latter is a transnational joint venture between the American firm General Electric, and the French engine maker Snecma.  The A320neo is "due to enter operational use in October 2015," according to a video uploaded by Aviation Week, to YouTube.

related story

Scandinavian Airlines orders 30 of the Airbus A320neo (June 21, 2011)

original stories

Paris Air Show 2011 Report (Aviation International News)

Airbus 'overwhelmed' by sales success as A320neo proves a hit at Paris air show (The Guardian)

Airbus A320neo star of the Paris Air Show (Aerospace and Defence News)

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Saturday
May222010

Asiana Airlines is Airline of the Year

South Korea-based Asiana Airlines was awarded the title “Airline of the Year” at the World Airline Awards in Hamburg on Thursday.  Malaysia-based Air Asia earned Best Low-Cost Airline.  And Dragonair, the short-haul subsidiary airline of Cathay Pacific, earned best regional airline.  No North American-based airline won first place in any category where all airlines were eligible.  U.K.-based Virgin Atlantic and Thomson Airways were the only European airlines to do so.  However, European carriers swept the top three places in Best Trans-Atlantic Airline (Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Lufthansa).  Asian carriers did so in Best Trans-Pacific Airline (Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Asiana).

Air Canada won Best Airline in North America, followed by Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines in second and third respectively.  (“North America” was defined as Canada, the United States, and Mexico.)  Lufthansa took home the European equivalent, followed by Swiss International Airlines, and Turkish Airlines in second and third, respectively.  (Turkish Airlines’ headquarters is in the Yesilkoy neighborhood of Istanbul on the European side of the city.  The airline’s main hub is Istanbul-Ataturk International Airport, IATA: IST; ICAO: LTBA, also on the European side of the city.)

Air New Zealand and Qantas Airways, the only two finalists for Airline of the Year from outside Asia, received fifth and seventh respectively.  Defending champion Cathay Pacific, the flag carrier of Hong Kong, received fourth place.  The overall winner, Asiana Airlines, was founded as Seoul Air International in 1988, and uses Seoul-Incheon International Airport (IATA: ICN; ICAO: RSKI) as its main hub.

related story

Airline of the Year will be named in Hamburg on May 20 (May 10, 2010)

original story (World Airline Awards)