An Upbeat Farnborough Air Show

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By admin July 11, 2016 11:42

An Upbeat Farnborough Air Show

Farnborough takes a backseat as the UK gets a new Prime Minister in the form of Theresa May, who goes into Downing Street in less than 48 hours. She will prove to be a very tough negotiator and a great asset for the UK as it seeks to play hardball with the EU in the divorce negotiations to come. Farnborough turned out to host David Cameron’s last formal speech as PM; he would not have expected that at 10am this morning.

Will they, won’t they? is always the big question at an air show: Will the manufacturers take the chance to launch that new product and will they get their airline and lessor customers to come to town and confirm orders while the global press is on hand? Thus far the show has been a great success all around but the pick of the announcements has to be the order of eight A350-1000s by Virgin Atlantic Airways with a further four to be leased from Air Lease Corp (ALC). The aircraft are from ALC’s order book with Airbus, with two delivering in spring 2020 and two delivering in spring 2021. These new A350-1000s will replace Virgin Atlantic Airways’ Boeing 747 aircraft built in the 1990’s on routes from London across the Atlantic.

“We have a long history and an excellent relationship with Virgin Atlantic Airways, and we are pleased to be a part of modernizing their long haul fleet,” said Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation.

The aircraft will be delivered to Virgin Atlantic in two configurations – one for the business fleet seating up to 360 customers and one for the leisure fleet seating up to 410 customers.

Virgin Atlantic President Sir Richard Branson said: “We’re thrilled to welcome the A350 to Virgin Atlantic. It is an outstanding aircraft from both a customer and sustainability point of view.

Sustainable growth and meeting our carbon targets is incredibly important to us, and the aircraft’s environmental credentials were a genuine factor in our selection. “We will be pairing its cutting edge customer proposition with our own Virgin magic to give customers the best possible experience.”

This is great news for ALC and great news for Airbus, although Airbus might have hoped, at least a few years ago perhaps, that Virgin Atlantic Airways would have replaced 747-400s with A380s. The A350-1000 is for sure though a good hedge against a lack of A380 orders, but one cannot help but note that Boeing would have been trying very hard to place 777X aircraft into Virgin, if not 747-8s.

admin
By admin July 11, 2016 11:42