The first flight marks the start of the early flight-test campaign to capture data for fine-tuning the flight laws for Sharklet-equipped A320s, as well as for certification and performance validation.

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American Airlines has selected the Airbus A319 and A321 as the variants it will receive under its 130-aircraft A320-family fleet order, which the carrier announced in July. American is not confirming yet the exact breakdown of the two types by numbers of aircraft.

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Airbus has completed installation of the first set of ‘Sharklet’ wing-tip devices on the company’s A320 development aircraft.

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Qatar Airways signed a firm order on November 15 at the Dubai Airshow 2011 for 50 A320neo-family jets and five Airbus A380 super-jumbos. Reports from the show indicate that the airline has also optioned another 30 Airbus A320neo-family jets and three additional A380s.

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The firm contract signed on November 14 at Dubai Airshow 2011 increases by 20 to 50 aircraft an initial memorandum of understanding which ALAFCO signed at the Paris Airshow in June for 30 A320neos, all of which are now confirmed.

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Transaero Airlines will become the launch customer for the A380 in Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe. In Transaero service, the Airbus A380 will feature a three-class cabin layout, seating about 700 passengers.

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JetBlue Airways has finalized a firm order for 40 Airbus A320neo (new engine option) aircraft previously announced at the Paris Air Show in June. It has also finalized conversion of pre-existing orders for 30 Airbus A320s to the larger Airbus A321 model, with Sharklet wing-tip devices.

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The first flight-test Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine has been mounted on the A380 flying test-bed (the aircraft with manufacturer’s serial number MSN 001, the first Airbus A380 built) at Airbus’ Jean-Luc Lagardère site in Toulouse.

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During a celebration ceremony on October 14 at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France, the first of five aircraft ordered by China Southern Airlines was handed over by Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders, to China Southern Airlines Chairman, Si Xianmin.

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The deal should push the total orderbook for the Airbus A320 family over the 8,000-aircraft mark, as Airbus already held firm orders for well over 7,900 A320-family jets.

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The all-composite fuselage for the first Airbus A350 XWB is 13 meters (42 feet 7.8 inches) long and comprises four panels and the floor grid.

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The first Airbus A350 XWB nose section has been transported to Airbus in St Nazaire by the manufacturer’s Beluga transport aircraft from Airbus partner Aerolia’s site in Méaulte.

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Air France KLM’s board of directors has approved orders by the group for 25 Airbus A350-900s and 25 Boeing 787-9s, along with options on 35 more A350 XWBs and 25 more 787s.

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Originally announced in June, the final agreement was signed by Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines, during a visit this week to Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France.

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Qantas Group’s commitment to order a minimum of 106 A320-family aircraft includes 78 A320neo jets. In parallel with its new A320-family order, Qantas has decided to defer deliveries of the last six of its 20 A380s by up to six years.

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Thai Airways International has signed a firm order with Airbus for four A350-900s and five A320s, becoming a new customer for both aircraft types. The airline has also agreed to lease eight additional A350-900s and six more A320s from third-party lessors.

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CIT Aerospace has signed a formal purchase agreement with Airbus for the 50 A320neo-family aircraft for which it signed a memorandum of understanding at the 49th Le Bourget airshow on June 21, 2011.

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With this latest purchase agreement, fast-growing Cebu Pacific (which operates as Cebu Pacific Air) has increased its total firm orders for the A320 family to 71 aircraft, of which 16 have already been delivered.

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The firm order follows the selection by the Lufthansa Supervisory Board of the A320neo family in March. All 30 A320neo-family jets will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G engines.

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