Article Written by Ryan Taylor
LONDON – The news across Europe this month can be summed up in one word. Brexit, which has reached the same torturous intensity of a Kate Bush LP stuck on repeat.
March has been a rollercoaster month across the aviation world, with the tragic events of Ethiopian Airlines 302, the demise of WOW Air and the grounding of the 737 Max.
It has more or less been business as usual for Airbus, with 57 orders for new aircraft and 120 deliveries across the globe.
Most interesting was an unspecified order for 20 A320neo aircraft, from a customer unknown. If I was a betting man, I’d be inclined to direct an eye to a large archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
Lufthansa were not so discreet however about ordering an additional 20 A350 XWB aircraft. Currently operating 14 of the type, with the additional orders the carrier will operate a sizeable fleet of 45 frames once the order book is completed.
Another order for the A350 came from Taiwanese startup airline Starlux. Ordering five A350-900 and 12 A350-1000.
Starlux intends to start flying in January 2020 with a premium long haul service flying mainly long distance routes linking Taipei with Europe and America.
There was one final order for an A350-900 from a private customer unspecified.
A first for Airbus Corporate Jets, whilst the A350 has been selling quickly to commercial airlines the uptake for ACJ version has been slow to the point of sedentary. However the relay baton is now in play.
Airbus has delivered 74 aircraft across the globe this month, covering the manufacturers’ entire spectrum of product lines; including 12 wide body aircraft with three handpicked highlights.
Too much ceremony, the first of three All Nippon Airways A380-800 left Toulouse for Tokyo on the 20th March. The striking blue Flying Honu livery is believed to begin passenger operations on 24th May flying on the Tokyo to Honolulu corridor.
If you like things that come in pairs, another solitary Airbus was delivered this month with an A350-900 going to Spanish low cost carrier Evelop. I missed it by a day in Madrid; I guess it’s an excuse to book another batch of flights.
Finally one A330-900 to Air Senegal the first A330neo delivered to an African airline.
The pocket rocket A220 has seen a modest 5 deliveries this month with 3 of the smaller A220-100 going to Delta and two of the grown up A220-300 homing into Riga based Air Baltic.
The bread and cheese for Airbus being the A320 family, has seen 57 deliveries across the lines.
With 44 Neo aircraft split between the A320 and A321 and 13 CEO aircraft. The highlight being one ACJ A320neo for Comlux which is currently having the cabin fitted at the technical centre in Indianapolis.
With 120 deliveries across the globe there is plenty for both aviation photographers and spotters alike to stay busy with, as of 31st March 2019 the airbus order book stood at 7,357 aircraft so it’s fair to conclude there is plenty of work left for Airbus to be doing.