Emirates takes double delivery of A380s
Emirates says it two latest Airbus A380s have an upgraded inflight entertainment system with even bigger high definition LCD TV screens and new touch-screen tablets that allow passengers to control all their seat functions and movie selections with just one swipe. Airbus delivered the 43rd and 44th A380s in Germany at the weekend. They offer 14 seats in first class, 76 seats in business and 427 seats in economy (the aircraft operating to Auckland have 399 economy seats). The new aircraft will initially operate on flights to Mauritius and Munich
Emirates is heavily committed to the A380 and opeates one in every three in the world. Other airlines have opted for the Boeing 777 for long-haul flights. Emirates expects to receive 13 more A380s in 2014. It still has 96 more A380s worth $US43 billion on order, of which 71 are expected to be delivered over the next five years, before the end of 2018. Emirates’ A380s now fly to 24 destinations over the globe from Dubai extending from Los Angeles to Auckland.
Boeing lands first Asian buyer tfor B777X
Cathay Pacific Airways has confirmed a $US7.5 billion order for the new Boeing 777X, becoming the first Asian airline to back the yet-to-built aircraft. Cathay will acquire 21 of the larger -9 version of the 777X and fly them to North America and Europe. The 777X will be Boeing’s first passenger jet of the next decade and deliveries will run from 2021-24. Cathay’s purchase pushes the value of 777X deals past $US100 billion at list prices with commitments since September from Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar.
West Indies airline chooses A350XWBs
Air Caraïbes has place a firm order for three A350-1000s and will lease a further three A350-900s. The A350-1000s is the largest member of the new generation A350XWB family. The aircraft will enter into service between 2016 and 2022. They will be operated on the airline’s routes from Paris to Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Marteen, Haïti, Saint-Domingue and French Guyana. These are now flown by five A330s.
Gulf airlines announce new routes
Gulf airlines continue to expand their routes into China and Africa. Qatar Airways plans to increase operations on the Doha-Johannesburg sector from seven to 10 weekly services from May 1, 2014. This coincides with the introduction of Boeing 787 operation, which operates daily, including three weekly flights that extends to Cape Town. Qatar Airways’ last route of 2013 touched down in in Hangzhou, China, at the weekend. It is the airline’s seventh route in China, and is preceded by Chengdu, which was introduced to the airline’s route network in September. Etihad Airways will expand it Abu Dhabi-Chengdu, China, service from February 1 with a fifth weekly flight using Airbus A330-200 aircraft. New flight operates on Saturdays.