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Carry on: A380 order drought breaks, Boeing beats Airbus and more

Other business traveller news includes a Virgin Australia-Alitalia codeshare and Emirates' wine spend.

Nevil Gibson
Fri, 15 Apr 2016

Emirates order breaks A380 drought
Emirates has ordered two more A380 aircraft amid an impasse with manufacturer Airbus over the future of its super­jumbo programme. Airbus has signalled the possibility of discontinuing the model because of a lack of orders. This is Emirates’ first new A380 order since 2013, when it took 50 of the aircraft. In January, Japan’s ANA confirmed an order for three A380s. These were the first firm orders since 2014.

The two A380s are worth $US865 million at list prices, though they were originally built for Skymark, a Japanese carrier. Several other airlines have also cancelled their A380 orders in the past month alone. Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the A380, with 75 in service and 65 already on order. It had been pushing for a more ­fuel-efficient model before committing to any new purchases.

Airbus drops behind Boeing
Airbus has fallen behind Boeing in the race for new aircraft orders in the first quarter, sending its shares lower as it recorded its slowest start to the year since 2011. Both orders and deliveries at Airbus dwindled, with the latter affected by glitches and delays at US engine supplier Pratt & Whitney.

Airbus sold a gross total of 32 aircraft and delivered 125 in the first quarter, down 74% and 7% respectively compared with the corresponding period last year. After adjusting for cancellations, it posted 10 net orders, the lowest figure for the first quarter since 2011. Meanwhile, Boeing reported 140 gross orders between January 1 and April 5, or 122 after cancellations.

Singapore expands Christchurch services
Christchurch Airport received another boost to its international services with Singapore Airlines (SIA) operating 10 daily return flights from Singapore during the peak summer season from November 23 to February 6, 2017. This will add a further 8130 seats and will mean a record 396 operated by SIA into the South Island in a single year. The three extra flights a week will complement the existing daily service.

Alitalia codeshares with Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia is now codesharing with Italy’s Alitalia on daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Rome and Milan Malpensa. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is a shareholder in both airlines. Alitalia uses an A330 on the Rome service and Boeing 777s on the Milan route. Virgin Australia flies three weekly services between Sydney and Abu Dhabi.

Emirates doubles its wine spend
Emirates says itds wine bill for 2015 hit $US140 million – or more than 13 million bottles – and is twice the value of the previous year’s purchases. The cellar added nearly $US2 million of New Zealand wines, including Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, as well asS$US4 million worth of Australian wines. Most of the wine won’t be consumed for another seven to 10 years.

Tune into NBR Radio’s Sunday Business with Andrew Patterson on Sunday morning, for analysis and feature-length interviews.

Nevil Gibson
Fri, 15 Apr 2016
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Carry on: A380 order drought breaks, Boeing beats Airbus and more