Airbus Delivers First Ever A321neo to Virgin America

sustainable aviation

CFM engines boost fuel efficiency by at least 15%

Hamburg, Germany, April 20, 2017: Airbus has delivered the first-ever A321neo. The latest generation aircraft powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines was handed over to U.S. airline Virgin America, an all-Airbus operator, at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany.

“After Virgin America having been the first customer signing for the A320neo back in December 2010, we are today delighted to deliver the first A321neo to them,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President Commercial Aircraft. “With our largest, latest, most fuel efficient NEO Single Aisle aircraft we are turning a new page. The new A321neo powered by next generation CFM LEAP-1A engines guarantees new levels of efficiency and longer range to its operators, greater comfort to the flying public and less emissions and noise to the airport communities. Thanks to its cutting edge technologies it is today the most eco-sensitive Single Aisle aircraft available.”

The A320neo significantly reduces noise levels, generating only half the noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft. Equipped with fuel-saving Sharklet wingtip devices nitrous oxide (NOX) emissions are 50 percent below regulatory requirements as outlined by the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). In addition, the aircraft with LEAP-1A engines is proven to deliver at least a 15% fuel savings compared to Virgin America’s current generation aircraft, which is equivalent to cutting 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions with each plane every year.

“We have been with Virgin America from the beginning and we are excited to launch this new chapter in that relationship,” said Gael Meheust, President and CEO of CFM International. “The LEAP-1A has done extremely well in its first months of commercial service. It is proving unprecedented levels of fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility while maintaining the level of reliability Virgin America has come to expect from CFM. We think they will be very pleased with all this engine has to offer.”

The A321neo is the largest member of the A320neo Family. It covers the entire market, from high density to long-range thin routes. There are currently over 1,300 units on order.

“We are honored to be the first operator of this high in-demand aircraft,” said Virgin America President Peter Hunt, speaking at the ceremony attended by Virgin America teammates, Executives from Airbus, CFM and the aircraft lessor GECAS. “The new A321neo – the third member of the Airbus A320 Family to join our Virgin America fleet – will allow us to further reduce our unit costs and enable us to further reduce our carbon emissions.”

“Increased operational efficiency, productivity, and state-of-the-art technology — this winning combination makes the A321neo an attractive investment for leasing companies like GECAS who are committed to meeting customers’ operational needs while providing the latest technology and a solid return on investment,” said Alec Burger, President and CEO at GECAS.  “The low operating costs and reliability of the LEAP powered A320neo Family make it a strong asset in GECAS’ portfolio.”

The new A321neo will become the largest aircraft in Virgin America’s fleet, featuring 185 seats – a 24 percent higher capacity at same comfort levels than its current A320s. The aircraft is expected to enter service on May 31, 2017 with its inaugural flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Virgin America currently operates a fleet of 63 Airbus A320 family aircraft comprised of A319ceo and A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM’s CFM56-5B engines.

As first announced in April 2016, Virgin America was acquired by Alaska Air Group in December 2016.

sustainable aviation

Source: Airbus

Next-Generation 737 Boeing Converted Freighter

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Boeing Launches Next-Generation 737 Boeing Converted Freighter

Shanghai, February 24, 2016: Boeing today launched the Next-Generation 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) with orders and commitments for up to 55 conversions from seven customers.

“The Next-Generation 737 provides exceptional value to express freight carriers through its superior payload, range, reliability and efficiency,” said Stan Deal, senior vice president, Commercial Aviation Services, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “While the recovery of the global cargo market has been slow, we see demand for freighters, such as the 737-800BCF, that will carry express cargo on domestic routes,” Deal said. “Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecasts customers will need more than 1,000 converted freighters the size of the 737, with China’s domestic air freight carriers accounting for nearly one-third of the total market.”

Through its freighter conversion program, Boeing transitions passenger airplanes into freighters, extending the economic life of the airplane. The 737-800 is the first Next-Generation 737 that Boeing has offered for conversion. While large freighters carry high-density cargo on long-range routes, the 737-800BCF will primarily be used to carry express cargo on domestic routes.

The 737-800BCF carries up to 52,800 pounds (23.9 metric tons) of cargo, flying routes of nearly 2,000 nautical miles (3,690 kilometers).

Twelve pallet positions – 11 standard pallets and one half-pallet – provide 5,000 cubic feet (141.5 cubic meters) of cargo space on the main deck. This will be supplemented by two lower-lobe compartments, combined providing more than 1,540 cubic feet (43.7 cubic meters) of space for revenue-generating cargo.

Boeing has won a total of 30 firm orders and 25 commitments for the 737-800BCF:

  • YTO Airlines, based in Hangzhou, China, has ordered 10 conversions with commitments for 10 additional conversions
  • China Postal Airlines, based in Beijing, has ordered 10 conversions
  • GE Capital Aviation (GECAS), which will provide the initial airplane for conversion, has ordered five conversions
  • An unannounced customer has ordered five conversions with two commitments

In addition, Boeing has secured 13 commitments for conversions from:

  • SF Airlines, based in Shenzhen, China
  • Cargo Air, based in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • An unannounced customer

The first 737-800BCF is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Existing passenger airplanes will be modified at select facilities located near conversion demand, including Boeing Shanghai. Modifications include installing a large main-deck cargo door, a cargo-handling system and accommodations for up to four non-flying crew members or passengers.

Boeing is a leader in providing 24/7 support and service to the global aviation industry. In addition to designing freighter conversions and interior modifications, Boeing offers the industry’s largest portfolio of services including aftermarket parts, subscription-based maintenance programs, engineering support, crew training, route planning, digital crew scheduling, advanced data analytics and software to enhance airlines and leasing company operations.

Detailed information about the 737-800BCF is available online at http://www.boeing.com/commercial/freighters/#/design-highlights/737-800bcf/advantages/

Source: Boeing China Communications