Largest Ever Aircraft Acquisition in Europe: Norwegian purchases 222 new aircraft

Norwegian (NAS) has today signed an agreement with both Airbus and Boeing for delivery of a total of 222 new aircraft. The order includes 122 aircraft from Boeing; 100 of the new Boeing 737 MAX8 and 22 Next-Generation 737-800. Norwegian will be the European launch customer for Boeing’s new aircraft. The Airbus order includes 100 Airbus A320neo. The total agreement is the largest ever in European aviation history and has a contract value at list prices of NOK 127 billion. The order includes additional purchase right of 150 aircraft from both manufacturers.

The agreement with Boeing includes firm orders for a total of 122 aircraft; 100 Boeing 737 MAX8 and 22 Boeing Next-Generation 737-800, in addition to purchase rights for an additional 100 737 MAX8. Norwegian has also signed an agreement with Airbus which includes firm orders of a total of 100 Airbus A320neo as well as purchase rights for an additional 50. This marks Norwegian’s first aircraft purchase from Airbus. The total agreement is the largest ever in European aviation history and is the largest single investment in Norway, even on level with the largest investments in the Norwegian offshore industry. The firm order has a contract value at list prices of approximately NOK 127 billion. The deliveries of the new aircraft types start in 2016.

Future Aircraft Deliveries Secured

“Today is a historic day for Norwegian. The order is the largest ever in European aviation history and marks a major milestone in the company’s 10 year history. We have secured our fleet renewal for years to come and are very pleased with the agreements with both Airbus and Boeing,” said CEO Bjørn Kjos at Norwegian.

“Norwegian has now reached a size where we will benefit from having two suppliers, both in terms of ensuring adequate flight capacity, flexibility and competition between two manufacturers,” said Kjos.

“International air traffic will keep on growing in the years ahead and Norwegian is determined to be a strong, stable and attractive player in the airline industry. We will continue to provide our customers with quality at a low fare and live up to our vision that everyone should afford to fly. The new aircraft are win-win for our passengers, the environment and the company’s costs. As we intend to replace every aircraft after seven years of operation, it is mandatory that we plan at least 10 to 20 years ahead. We will sell or rent out our older aircraft in order to keep a young fleet”.

“Norwegian’s order of 42 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft in 2007 was by many viewed as a bold investment. History has, however, shown that it was a necessary move to ensure our competitiveness and reduce costs. This order has been extended several times since 2007, proving that our need for aircraft has been far greater than we anticipated five years ago,” said Kjos.

European Aircraft Introduced to Norwegian’s Fleet

“We are very pleased to welcome Norwegian as an all-new Airbus customer. Their A320neo commitment is a further demonstration of the undisputable success of the A320neo’s record-setting credentials. The A320neo sets new industry standards for eco-efficiency and passenger appeal,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers.

The Airbus A320neo will be an entirely new aircraft type for Norwegian. “Neo” is short for «New Engine Option» and as with the MAX8, it features an enhancement of an already existing aircraft type, primarily by adding more efficient engines. The NEO will have 15 % lower fuel burn than the present A320.

“Norwegian is a Valued Boeing Partner”

“Norwegian has become one of the largest 737 operators in Europe and has been a valued Boeing partner since the airline was established”, said Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President Sales, Europe, Aldo Basile.

“Since it began operating in 2002, Norwegian has achieved tremendous success with its low cost model, providing significant value to both its passengers and shareholders. Improved financial performance and improved environmental performance go hand in hand as fuel burn is lowered. We’re really pleased to provide this great performance to Norwegian.”

European Launch Customer

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA will be the European launch customer for the new Boeing 737 MAX8. The aircraft is the successor of the 737-800 and will give a 10-12% reduction in fuel burn over its predecessor. Compared to a 737-800 built in 2001, the fuel reduction is 15 to 20 percent, a huge advantage to the environment and the company’s costs.

Following this transaction Norwegian has a total of 150 purchase rights and 277 aircraft for future delivery, including 55 previously ordered Boeing 737-800. In addition Norwegian has a firm order of 6 787-8 Dreamliners.

Bombardier Signs PrivatAir for up to 10 CSeries Aircraft

Full-service provider to airline partners to receive all-business class CSeries aircraft

Bombardier Aerospace announced today that Geneva-based PrivatAir has placed a firm order for five CS100 airliners and has taken options on an additional five CS100 aircraft.

Based on the list price for the CS100 aircraft, the firm order contract is valued at approximately $309 million US, and could increase to $636 million US if the five options are exercised.

PrivatAir was founded more than 30 years ago and operates a large fleet of commercial and business aircraft to provide private charter and private airline services. Its specialized services include exclusively business class flights on behalf of several major network airlines. As a superb example of the versatility of the world’s only all-new aircraft in its segment, the
CSeries aircraft acquired by PrivatAir will be delivered in an all-business class configuration.

“The CSeries aircraft represent cutting-edge technology and are true 21st century jetliners,” said Greg Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer, PrivatAir. “The CS100 jetliner is very well suited for our route expansion plans and we look forward to introducing this very modern aircraft into our fleet.”

“The CSeries aircraft program keeps growing and we have now announced our 11th customer,” said Guy C. Hachey, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Aerospace. “The CSeries family of aircraft is designed for operational flexibility and many airlines around the world, like PrivatAir, are very much aware of how the aircraft can meet their future plans. Our global push, as well as the superior performance benefits of the CSeries aircraft, will ensure that Bombardier will capture a significant portion of the 100- to 149-seat market segment over the next twenty years.”

“Included among the 11 customers that have selected the CSeries aircraft are major network carriers, national carriers, premium airlines serving city centre airports, a low-cost airline, leasing companies and now, with the order from PrivatAir announced today, a full service provider to airline partners,” said Philippe Poutissou, Vice President, Marketing, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “This diversity of customers speaks volumes about the flexibility of theCSeries aircraft family to meet air transport requirements worldwide.”

Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the 100 per cent new CSeries family of aircraft combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements in 2013 and beyond.

Powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, the CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15* per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20* per cent fuel burn advantage. The CSeriesfamily of aircraft’s clean-sheet design will enable the aircraft to achieve greatly reduced noise and emissions, as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 nm (5,463 km). The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000 lbs (5,443 kg) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category and will provide passengers with a best-in-class, widebody cabin environment in a single-aisle aircraft.

Including the order from PrivatAir announced today, Bombardier has booked firm orders for 138CSeries airliners. Other customers include Republic Airways (40 CS300 aircraft), Deutsche Lufthansa AG (30 CS100 aircraft), Lease Corporation International Group(17 CS300 and threeCS100 aircraft), Korean Air (10 CS300 aircraft), Braathens Aviation (five CS100 and five CS300aircraft), an unidentified major network carrier (10 CS100 aircraft), an unidentified European customer (10 CS100 aircraft) and a well-established, unidentified airline (three CS100 aircraft).

The CSeries aircraft program has also booked options for 124 aircraft and purchase rights for 10 aircraft from these customers, as well as Letters of Intent for up to 30 CSeries aircraft from Ilyushin Finance Co, and for up to 15 CS300 aircraft from Atlasjet.

Airbus delivers A320 MSN5000 to Middle East Airlines

Major production achievement for Airbus’ modern, single-aisle aircraft family

20 JANUARY 2012 PRESS RELEASE

Airbus delivered the A320 with manufacturer serial number (MSN) 5000 to Lebanon’s national carrier, Middle East Airlines (MEA). The aircraft was delivered from Airbus in Hamburg, Germany and is powered by International Aero Engines V2500 engines.

MSN5000 completes the deliveries of MEA’s total order for seven A320s. It marks a significant milestone for Airbus and the A320 Family going into 2012, as production rises from 38 to 40 per month during the first quarter of the year, and orders for the new A320neo reaffirm Airbus’ single-aisle Family as the most modern, fuel efficient in their category. MEA operates one of the most modern fleets in the region with four A330-200s, six A321 and including MSN5000, now seven A320 aircraft.

“We are honoured to become the operator of this brand new A320 with its distinctive serial number 5000 during the 25th anniversary year of the first flight of the A320 said MEA Chairman- Director General, Mohamad El Hout. “Since we first acquired an A320 Family aircraft in 2003, we have not only benefited from the outstanding operational efficiency of the aircraft but were also the first airline in the Middle East to introduce our wide-body cabin product on a single-aisle aircraft, thus offering our customers state of the art on-board entertainment with Audio/Video On Demand as well as a superbly comfortable and spacious cabin experience that has greatly contributed to MEA’s success.”

“Handing MSN5000 over to MEA is a real pleasure for Airbus. The Lebanese flag carrier has shown great courage maintaining its operations in the face of difficulty,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “It’s only natural that we pay tribute to MEA’s outstanding determination and recognise their unfailing loyalty with this landmark delivery. We look forward to seeing MEA continue to thrive and grow their network with our modern, fuel efficient Airbus family.”

Close to 8,300 A320 Family aircraft have already been ordered and more than 4,900 delivered to more than 350 customers and operators worldwide reaffirming its position as the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. The A320neo has over 95 percent airframe commonality with the current A320, making it an easy fit into existing fleets while offering up to 500 nautical miles (950 kilometres) more range or two tonnes more payload at a given range.

Syphax Airlines set to Take Off

The new Tunisian airline “Syphax Airlines”, promoted mainly by Mohamed Frikha (founder of Telnet) and a group of businessmen from Sfax, is set to begin operations in March 2012.

The company which had originally expected to begin flights in May, announced this week, the signing of a contract for the purchase of two Airbus A319, for a total sum of $ 55 million (82.5 million dinars). These two aircraft will initially form the fleet of the company. The airline, which has its hub in Sfax, will include regular services in Tunisia to Tripoli, Casablanca and European cities. Syphax Airlines will focus heavily on Internet tools in commercial matters.

The airline said in a statement, that it will begin operations in March 2012, following the purchase of these two aircraft, the acquisition of its information and booking system with the American firm “Radixx” the development of technical, commercial and operational structures and recruitment of the majority of its crews and commercials.

The first aircraft will arrive on the tarmac of the airport of Sfax Thyna February 29, 2012 and is named “Karama ‘(dignity), referring to the Revolution in Tunisia. The second aircraft will arrive March 14, 2012, Sfax and will carry the symbolic name of “Hurria” (freedom). These two Airbus A319s will each have a capacity of 150 seats.

Syphax Airlines is a limited company whose capital is 10 million dinars. The company had announced the creation of 150 jobs, 80% of which among university graduates.

It will specialize mainly in international flights with eight daily flights from Sfax Thyna International Airport bound for several cities in France, Italy, Belgium, Libya, Turkey and Morocco.

Sources: Syphax Airlines, African Manager

WestJet examining new regional airline

Airline talking with employees as important next step

CALGARY, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced it is considering the launch of a new short-haul, regional airline as early as 2013 using a fleet of approximately 40 smaller, turboprop aircraft.

Westjet Boeing 737-7CT C-GWSO“This is an exciting consideration for WestJetters,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. “We are meeting with WestJetters throughout January to get their input on this watershed decision. One of the cornerstones of our success is engaging with employees early on in key decisions and I am confident they will see the strategic value of this initiative. Once our employees have had the opportunity to share their input, we will be in a better position to make a sound decision rooted in employee feedback and engagement.

“As we’ve said on many occasions before, we have regularly evaluated this strategy,” continued Gregg Saretsky. “A short-haul aircraft combined with WestJet’s brand, balance sheet strength and low-cost structure will allow WestJet to profitably accomplish four main goals: Introduce WestJet’s friendly and caring service to many smaller communities who have asked for our service; optimize the size of aircraft to efficiently increase frequency; create new connections between existing WestJet markets; and build additional feed to our current 71-city network so that we can continue to profitably grow and add shareholder value.”

“I am excited at the prospect of repeating the entrepreneurial success of WestJet’s beginnings,” said Clive Beddoe, WestJet Chairman and principal founder. “This new airline, powered by our low-cost model and strong corporate culture would greatly benefit the guests we serve, their communities and our shareholders. Our single fleet of Boeings will be joined by a sister company operating a single fleet of turboprops to maintain maximum efficiencies for both airlines.”

“This would be the natural evolution of our airline,” concluded Gregg Saretsky. “We have built a powerful brand that has been embraced by the travelling public from the start. Our goal now is to provide more Canadians with more access to lower fares and our friendly and caring guest experience.”

Caution regarding forward-looking statements 
Certain information set forth in this news release, including information regarding the launch of a short-haul regional airline including fleet size and type, our process for considering the launch of a short-haul regional airline, our strategic plan for a short-haul regional airline, the goals relating to implementation of a short-haul regional airline and profitability thereof, the benefits to certain stakeholders from implementing a short-haul regional airline, and our strategy, contain forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet’s control. These forward-looking statements are based on our current strategic plan, our analysis of the requirements for a short-haul regional airline including fleet type and size and network design, our experience in creating and growing a low-cost domestic airline, and currently available implementation plans, but may vary due to factors including, but not limited to, general economic conditions, the competitive environment for a short-haul regional airline, information obtained through stakeholder consultations, regulatory requirements, aircraft manufacturer information, and other factors and risks described in WestJet’s public reports and filings. WestJet’s public reports and filings are available on WestJet’s profile at www.sedar.com. Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking statements. WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

About WestJet
WestJet is Canada’s favourite airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 71-city North American and Caribbean network. Inducted into Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame and named one of Canada’s best employers, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. WestJet offers increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of 97 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 38 aircraft through 2018, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

Source – Westjet