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The Airbus A321 has been doing a lot of winning lately.  Air Lease Corporation announced placements of six new Airbus A321neo aircraft with Azores Airlines. The CFM leap 1A engine-powered aircraft from ALC’s order book with Airbus will deliver between 4Q17 and early 2021.  The new ALC A321neo aircraft will replace Azores Airlines’ A310 fleet.

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Airbus’ announcement was more detailed:”Azores airlines which is fully owned by Sociedade Açoreana de Transportes Aéreos (SATA) is modernizing its short-haul and transatlantic fleet with the A321neo and by 2019 with the longer range A321LR. The decision follows a growth strategy to expand into new transatlantic routes.”

What makes this particular selection interesting?  Air travel across the Atlantic between African islands and the US exists now.  TACV is the airline and it is based in Cabo Verde.  This is a group of islands off the African… Continue reading

News this week about Singapore Airlines not renewing the lease on its first A380 has caused a flutter.  The considered opinion is that this is another piece of bad news for the Airbus program.  The Wall Street Journal has this view: “But it is another symbolic hit for the double-deck aircraft, for which Airbus has struggled to find customers after investing about $15 billion to develop.”

The news that Malaysian is also offloading its A380s is seen as bad news. But we believe this is not to be a reflection on the aircraft, but more a case of the airline not having the traffic and ability to exploit the A380.  Back in 2003, Malaysia was pressed for a quid quo pro to allow its seafood products to have unrestricted access to the EU.  While there were no direct links to an A380 order,… Continue reading

Published reports indicate that Zodiac Aerospace is making headway in its production shortfalls for both lavatories and seats that have negatively impacted Airbus A350 deliveries and caused a build-up of unfinished aircraft at the Toulouse facility.  The company plans to be back at operational performance by the end of 2017.  Does this translate to continued delays for the A350 program over the coming year, and to what extent will Airbus miss its planned production rates?

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Lavatories

Zodiac lavatories are built at its Cypress, California factory.  This facility had “enormous difficulties in ramping up” according to a company spokesman.  As an interim solution, Zodiac has created an additional production line at its Montreal, Quebec facility that typically manufactures lavatories for the business aircraft market, which is currently suffering a downturn making additional capacity available.  While they are delivering products to Airbus, the company is reportedly still… Continue reading

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