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ALAFCO, TAP and ILFC have all announced orders for composite-structured Airbus A350s.
ALAFCO, the Kuwait-based international aircraft leasing company, has signed a contract for 12 Airbus A350s with options on six more, reaffirming the commitment that it announced in June. It is the first leasing company to select the new jetliner.
Deliveries of ALAFCO’s A350-800s are due to begin in the third quarter of 2012.
“We believe in investing for the future, and the Airbus A350 is a great way to do that,” says ALAFCO Chairman and CEO Ahmed Alzabin. “Our customers in the Middle East and around the world will want the improved economy and range that the Airbus A350 offers and, when they do, we will be ready to supply it.”
TAP Portugal, an all-Airbus operator, has announced the decision to acquire 10 Airbus A350s and seven Airbus A330-200s to modernise and reinforce its long-haul fleet. TAP’s decision confirms herewith the number of sales for the A350 of 143 aircraft from 10 customers.
TAP will cover its long-haul route network with its A330s and A350s. It will add the new A330-200 aircraft starting from 2007, in response to the increased demand for its destinations in South America, Africa and North America. A350 deliveries will begin in 2013. Both the A330s and the A350s will be fitted with a comfortable two-class layout. The TAP A330-200 will accommodate 268 passengers.
CEO of TAP Portugal Fernando Pinto underlined, that, “this order of Airbus A330s and A350s is a natural step for our airline, it will help build on our success and enable us to provide our passengers with extraordinary travel comfort. TAP is dedicated to making forward-looking decisions, investing in the most modern technology and operational efficiency, and this decision is no exception.“
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), the world’s largest commercial leasing company and a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc, has signed a contract with Airbus for 12 new A350 aircraft.
“The Airbus A350 is the natural choice for a global lessor like us,” said ILFC Chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy. “The A350’s innovative features combined with operational commonality with existing Airbus fleets, give it a winning performance with our customers, as well as making it an attractive asset to invest in for the future. It complements our portfolio of Airbus aircraft in which the A330 and its singe-aisle Family are the cornerstones.”
ILFC was a launch customer for Airbus’ A319, A321-200, A330-200, A330-300, A340-600 and A380, all market leaders in their categories, and has ordered virtually every type of Airbus airliner. It is Airbus’ largest single customer worldwide. ILFC has a portfolio of more than 750 airliners. By placing an early commitment for the A350 series, including A350-800s and A350-900s, ILFC underlines the confidence leasing companies and financial markets are placing in the value of Airbus’ new aircraft.
Airbus’ new A350 comes in two versions – the A350-800 selected by ALAFCO, which can fly 253 passengers up to 8,800 nm/16,300 km, and the larger A350-900, which can seat 300 passengers on ranges of up 7,500 nm/13,900 km. Both versions feature the best economy in their class, as well as the lowest maintenance costs.
Both versions also feature a more spacious passenger-pleasing cabin with larger windows and greater headroom. In addition, passengers will be able to benefit from other Airbus advances, such as email connectivity and mood-lighting.
With a new composite wing and a fuselage made of aluminium-lithium, which give it an airframe comprising up to 60 per cent new materials, plus a new cabin and up to 90 per cent new manufacturing part-numbers, the A350 will have an unassailable advantage when it comes to fuel consumption and seat-mile costs – as well as cash operating costs. The A350 will also retain full operational commonality with the current Airbus widebody long-range fleet by keeping most of their systems, allowing it to benefit from the “family effect”, complementing the current leading A330/A340 family, with which it shares the same type-rating.
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