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Delta Air Lines will replace its old Boeing planes with 50 Airbus wide-body jets powered by Rolls Royce engines.
The order, worth $14 billion, confirmed by Delta on November 20, is a victory for the European plane maker over its US rival’s Dreamliner 787.
It includes 25 Airbus A350-900 and 25 advanced Airbus A330-900neo aircraft.
Rolls Royce will provide Trent engines for both types of aircraft and long term servicing in a deal worth $5 billion.
The order is welcome news to Rolls Royce which has seen its share price fall by around a quarter since the beginning of the year following cut backs in military spending.
The company issued a profit warning in October and earlier this month announced 2,600 job losses as development work on two of its latest engines, the Trent 1000 and XWB, came to an end.
Airbus is reported to have won the contract after promising to deliver its latest A330neo in 2019, ahead of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.
The Dreamliner has been beset with problems, suffering several delays before its 2011 introduction and then being grounded due to battery fires last year.
However, by October 2014 Boeing said more than 1,000 Dreamliners had been ordered by 60 customers around the world.
The Delta deal is significant for Airbus and Rolls Royce because they hope other American legacy carriers will follow its example as they upgrade their ageing fuel-hungry fleets.
John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer said: “When the most successful US airline today … says <<yes we want 50 more of your wide body planes>>, you can’t debate the fact that it is a massive endorsement of your product line.”
The A350s will be delivered in Q2 2017 and will fly routes between the US and Asia. They are expected to give a 20% improvement in operating cost per seat over Delta’s existing aircraft.
The A330neos will fly medium-haul trans-Atlantic routes as well as some routes between the American west coast and Asia.
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French aircraft maker Airbus has cancelled its contract with Japanese carrier Skymark Airlines for the purchase of six A380 superjumbos.
Airbus it had been in discussions with Skymark about the contract signed in 2011, but did not give a specific reason for cancelling it.
Skymark suggested it wanted to revise the contract terms, but was being charged “overpriced” fees to do so.
Shares in the airline slumped 13% after it revealed it was in talks with Airbus over revisions to the deal.
Skymark told reporters in Tokyo it had tried to reduce the number of aircraft in the deal, or buy smaller jets.
Airbus has cancelled its contract with Skymark Airlines for the purchase of six A380 superjumbos
“[Airbus] said it would charge overpriced breakup fees for cancelling the purchase of A380s if our company decides to cancel,” Skymark president Shinichi Nishikubo said.
Skymark said it had received notification of the deal’s cancellation by fax on Sunday, according to the Reuters news agency.
“Following discussions with Skymark Airlines and in light of the airline’s expressed intentions in respect of the A380, Airbus has… notified Skymark Airlines that the purchase order for the six A380s signed in 2011 has been terminated,” Airbus said.
Reports suggest the plane maker had concerns about Skymark’s ability to pay for the aircraft, particularly in light of the weak yen.
The aircraft manufacturing market in Japan is currently dominated by Boeing. Airbus was seeking to break that dominance with the Skymark deal.
Internationally, Airbus has been struggling to win orders for its super jumbo.
The A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft. It stands at more than 79ft tall and has a wing span of almost 262ft and can carry more than 500 passengers.
Air Canada has ordered 61 Boeing 737 MAX planes worth $6.5 billion at list prices, a big win for the aircraft maker over its rival, Airbus.
Boeing 737 MAX planes will replace Air Canada’s current fleet of Airbus narrow-body aircraft.
Air Canada said the new planes will help it cut fuel and maintenance costs on a per-seat basis by more than 20%.
Airlines have been keen to upgrade their fleets to more fuel-efficient aircraft amid high fuel prices and falling profit margins.
Air Canada has ordered 61 Boeing 737 MAX planes worth $6.5 billion at list prices
“Renewal of our North American narrow-body fleet with more fuel efficient aircraft is a key element of our ongoing cost transformation programme,” Calin Rovinescu, chief executive of Air Canada, said in a statement.
The rising demand for fuel-efficient aircraft has triggered competition among planemakers as they fight for a bigger share of the growing market.
The 100-200 seat narrow-body – or single-aisle – aircraft market is forecast to generate $20 trillion over the next 20 years.
The sector is currently dominated by Airbus’s A320 and Boeing’s 737 aircraft.
Air Canada’s order includes options and rights to purchase 48 additional Boeing planes.
The airline said it was also evaluating the potential replacement of its Embraer E190 fleet with “more cost efficient, larger narrow-body aircraft that are better suited to its current and future network strategy”.
Analysts said that Air Canada’s decision to opt for Boeing planes to replace the existing Airbus fleet was a major endorsement for the American company.
Airbus has announced its first deal with Japanese carrier Japan Airlines (JAL).
The aircraft manufacturing giant has won an order from JAL for 31 of its A350 planes, in a deal worth nearly $9.5 billion at list prices.
The A350 is designed to be more fuel-efficient and is a direct competitor to rival Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, which has been hit by safety and technical issues in recent months.
The deal is a blow for Boeing, which has dominated Japan’s aviation market.
“This is Airbus’ largest order for the A350 so far this year and is the largest ever order we have received from a Japanese airline,” said Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of Airbus.
“I must say that achieving this breakthrough order and entering a traditional competitor market was one of my personal goals.”
Airbus has won an order from JAL for 31 of its A350 planes, in a deal worth nearly $9.5 billion at list prices
According to the deal, JAL also has an option to purchase an additional 25 planes.
In recent years, the aviation industry has been hurt by a slowdown in demand and high volatility in global fuel prices.
That has seen many leading carriers turn to more fuel-efficient aircraft in an attempt to cut down costs and maintain profitability.
Both Airbus and Boeing have seen a surge in demand for such planes.
Airbus, which says the A350 will use about 25% less fuel than previous generation wide-bodied aircraft, has had 725 orders for the plane prior to securing the JAL deal.
The company hopes to start delivering the first A350s to customers by the end of 2014.
Yoshiharu Ueki, president of Japan Airlines, said the new planes would offer “high level of operational efficiency and product competitiveness” and help the airline to cater to “new business opportunities after slots at airports in Tokyo are increased”.
Meanwhile, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner continues to remain popular despite this year’s temporary worldwide grounding of the aircraft while safety regulators investigated the cause of fires. Boeing has received orders for more than 950 Dreamliner jets so far.
Japanese carriers, JAL and All Nippon Airways (ANA), are two of the biggest operators of the Dreamliner jets.
China has agreed to buy 50 planes worth $3.5 billion from Europe’s Airbus.
The agreement is part of a slew of trade deals signed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the start of a two-day visit to China.
An agreement on Airbus plane assembly in China was also signed, according to the Xinhua news agency.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Thursday his country would continue to invest in the EU.
This is the first significant deal in China for Airbus, whose parent company is EADS, since a dispute between the country and the European Union over the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
China has agreed to buy 50 planes worth $3.5 billion from Europe's Airbus
Effective from 1 January this year, the ETS charges airlines for the carbon they emit.
China and other countries say the system is not fair, as it charges airlines for the full journey, not just over European airspace.
Following this in March, EADS chief executive Louis Gallois said Airbus was facing “retaliation measures” by China.
According to him, China had blocked firms from buying planes made by Airbus. Beijing did not comment on the allegation.
Angela Merkel is in China for the second time this year, as she tries to improve relations and drum up business for European companies.
She is being accompanied by several ministers, as well as top German executives.
Bilateral trade between Germany and China totalled about $180 billion dollars last year. That is nearly double what it was five years ago.
On Thursday, the two countries signed 10 further agreements, in the sectors of communication, energy, health and maritime co-operation, among others, Xinhua said.