Home' Asian Aviation : AAV Sept 2010 Contents 6 AsianAviation | SEPTEMBER 2010
Airbus is to increase the monthly production
rate of its A320-family single-aisle jetliners
by four units to 38 aircraft in August 2011
and to 40 in first quarter 2012.
The manufacturer now turns out 34 of the
narrowbodies per month, with a planned
increase to 36 from December 2010. "For
the time being, the [widebody] A330/A340
family production remains at rate 8.5,"
The manufacturer's move is being driven
by continuing strong demand for its single-
aisle aircraft. Airbus says this was "recently
underlined by the Farnborough Airshow,
with 206 new single aisle commitments",
adding that it has a record backlog for the
type, exceeding 2,200 aircraft.
"The recent Farnborough International
Airshow, where Airbus garnered orders
worth US$28 billion in total and the leasing
companies made a strong return to the
market, was clear evidence of a strong and
positive trend towards recovery," said Tom
Williams, Airbus's executive vice-president
Airbus delivered a total of 498 aircraft in
2009, including 402 A320-family models --
both new company records. The company
has already delivered 250 aircraft by the
end of June and says it is "well on track to
setting another delivery record in 2010".
The A320 family, which includes the A318,
A319, A320 and A321, is recognised as the
benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Airbus
says more than 6,500 units have been sold
and over 4,300 delivered to more than 310
customers and operators, making it the
world's best selling commercial jetliner ever.
-- Andrzej Jeziorski
Henan Airlines suspends operations after E-190 crash
Airbus plans to boost A320 output on strong demand
Henan Airlines, based in northern China,
suspended flight operations on 25 August,
a day after the crash of an Embraer 190 that
killed 42 people out of 96 on board. The
accident was the first hull-loss involving an
aircraft of that type.
All the airline's flights were still cancelled as
Asian Aviation went to press, with discussions
ongoing between management and the
authorities to decide on how to proceed.
Chinese official media reported that the
crash caused Chinese airlines to review safety
procedures and that Henan's General Manager
Li Qiang had been fired.
Henan flight VD 8387 was on a flight from
Harbin Taiping International Airport and
overshot the runway on landing at Yichun
Lindu Airport, breaking into pieces and
catching fire. The airport was foggy at the time
of the accident, although there was no rain.
Rescue workers recovered the jet's flight
data recorder the day after the crash. It
remains unclear whether the cockpit voice
recorder has been found.
Embraer says it has sent a group of
specialists to the crash site to help local
authorities with the investigation.
Henan, formerly called Kunpeng Airlines,
is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shenzhen
Airlines and operates a fleet of five E-190s.
Yichun airport began operations a year
ago and has a 2,300m runway. -- Andrzej
The International Air Transport Association
(IATA) says the rebound in travel demand has
entered a slower second phase, since traffic
improvements will now be measured against
year-earlier figures that already reflected the
start of a recovery.
IATA announced that international
scheduled passenger traffic rose 9.2 percent
in July compared with the same month of
2009, while freight demand surged 22.7
percent. Both increases were smaller than
the figures of 11.6 percent and 26.6 percent,
respectively, recorded in June.
"The apparent slowdown was entirely
due to the fact that by July 2009 traffic was
already starting to recover," IATA says. "After
adjusting for seasonality, the improvement in
demand was faster month-on-month than it
was in June."
During the second half of 2009, IATA says,
demand was returning at an annualized 12
percent for passenger traffic and 28 percent
for cargo. In the year to July 2010, the
annualized rates have fallen to 8 percent and
17 percent, respectively.
"However, this is still considerably above
the industry's traditional 6 percent growth
trend," IATA says.
The organisation says Asia-Pacific airlines
outperformed the industry average, recording
10.9 percent growth in July -- consistent with
their year-to-date figure of 10.6 percent.
Load factors were helped by the fact that
capacity growth in July was less than half the
traffic growth rate, at 5.1 percent.
"Leading the industry's recovery, the
region's carriers are expected to report a
profit of US$2.2 billion," IATA says. "This will
be the largest gain in dollar terms in 2010
compared to 2009."
The organisation adds that it expects a
slowdown in freight markets in the second
half of the year.
"Extraordinary freight growth rates in
late 2009 and early 2010 were supported
by businesses restocking their inventories.
With the restocking cycle completed, air
freight demand will be driven by consumer
spending and business capital expenditure,"
Consumer confidence remains weak in key
markets such as Europe and North America,
which could dampen the recovery. However,
the group notes that stronger corporate
profits support higher capital expenditure
that could continue to drive robust freight
growth. -- Andrzej Jeziorski
IATA sees start of slower 'second phase' of recovery
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