Following signings of big orders from Emirates and TAM at the ILA Berlin 2010 airshow, Airbus has announced commitments at the show from Finnair and Germania for a total of 10 A320-family aircraft.
The new deals bring the total commitments Airbus has announced at ILA Berlin to 67 aircraft valued at $15.3 billion. By far the biggest of them was a firm order by Emirates for 32 more Airbus A380s, taking the Dubai-based airline’s total firm orders for the super-jumbo A380 to 90 aircraft. In another big deal announced at ILA Berlin 2010, Brazil’s TAM Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding for 20 more A320-family single-aisle jets and five more A350 XWB twin-aisle, long-haul aircraft.
Finnair has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for five extended-range Airbus A321ERs equipped with the manufacturer’s new fuel-saving Sharklet wingtip devices, becoming the world’s first airline to commit to the A321 with Sharklets. The increased efficiency of the A321 with Sharklets will offer Finnair a 4 per cent fuel saving on specific Finnair routes compared to today’s aircraft.
This commitment is part of an extensive harmonisation study by Finnair to bring new cost efficiencies to its fleet. This renewal allows Finnair to benefit from economies of scale, with cross-crew qualification and mixed-fleet flying.
Deliveries of Finnair’s A321ERs with Sharklets are scheduled to begin in 2013. Finnair says the aircraft’s range is over 5,000 kilometres, which allows (for instance) direct flights from Finland to the Canary Islands. The new aircraft will replace four Boeing 757s which Finnair now uses on leisure flights. The carrier says it will configure its new A321ERs to see approximately 200 people.
“Finnair sees the new ‘Sharklets’ option as a significant jump ahead in terms of fuel-burn savings, reduced maintenance costs and payload-range performance improvement,” says Mika Vehviläinen, president and CEO of Finnair. “This option enables us to harmonise all our medium haul operations. We would also benefit further from the unique commonality aspects of the Airbus family cockpit, such as lower pilot and maintenance training costs.”
Finnair currently operates an Airbus fleet of 41 aircraft: 29 A320-family aircraft, seven A330-300s and five A340-300s. In late 2010 Finnair will take delivery of another A330-300.
Airbus’ Sharklet wingtip devices are designed to enhance the eco-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320 family. They are expected to result in at least 3.5 per cent reduced fuel burn over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft.
Meanwhile, S.A.T., the holding company of Berlin based airline Germania, has signed a memorandum of understanding for five Airbus A319s.
Germania will thus become a new Airbus operator and plans to start a complete fleet roll-over to Airbus A319s. Deliveries of the aircraft will commence from April 2011 onwards. Germania will fly the A319s throuhgout its network of 30 destinations in Germany, Europe, around the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. The carrier currently operates six Boeing 737-300s and seven Boeing 737-700s.
Berlin-based Germania has chosen a 150-seat, single-class cabin layout for its A319s. The A319s’ cabins will be equipped with a state-of-the-art entertainment system, containing video screens and in-seat audio channels. Germania’s A319s will be powered by CFM56-5-series engines.
The A320 family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) has sold more than 6,500 aircraft, with more than 4,300 aircraft delivered to some 310 customers and operators worldwide.