A fuel truck rammed an Aeroflot Airbus A321 at Sheremetyevo

The roof of the tanker is crumpled. The aircraft was also damaged. The fuel truck driver was injured.

Бензовоз протаранил самолет Аэрофлота Airbus A321 в Шереметьево
In Sheremetyevo, a fuel tanker rammed a plane

At Sheremetyevo airport, a fuel tanker collided with an Aeroflot Airbus A321.

The pictures published on the Web show that the roof of the tanker is crumpled. The aircraft was also damaged.

According to the press service of the airport, the liner was in a remote parking lot without a crew and passengers on board.

According to the emergency services, the driver of the refueling car was injured.

The incident at the airport occurred at 5.49 am on August 1. The plane was parked without a crew and passengers on board.

“The car and the aircraft are damaged, there are no casualties. The event did not affect the functioning of the airport … The circumstances and causes of the event are being established, ”the press service of Sheremetyevo said.

The footage shows that the fuel truck drove into the nose of the aircraft. Serious damage appeared on the front of the fuselage, as reported, the liner had to be temporarily suspended from flights.

More details on Courier.Sreda.Berdsk: https://kurer-sreda.ru/2020/08/01/587010-benzovoz-protaranil-samolet-aeroflota-airbus-a321-v-sheremetevo

Airbus Aims to ‘Significantly’ Cull Aircraft Inventory by Year-End

Airbus is not providing a forecast for 2020 deliveries or produced aircraft that could remain undelivered to customers, but executives have expressed confidence that the company would clear most of the inventory by the end of the year. The European OEM on June 30 carried a stockpile of 145 commercial aircraft, unshipped because of the pandemic. Speaking during a first-half results call with analysts on Thursday morning, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the company would “significantly” reduce the inventory by the end of the year thanks mainly to what he called the convergence of production and deliveries.

“Our objective is to get rid of the vast majority of the inventory by the end of the year,” he said. Faury declined to give guidance on the year-end number of undelivered aircraft because of uncertainty around Covid-19 and “the number of airlines with whom we keep adapting the situation to their needs and their own situation.” The “very vast majority” of aircraft remain undelivered for just a couple of months, he added, “though there are a fewer number of cases where the situation is critical and where we are preparing ourselves to store the aircraft for a longer time.”

The airframer delivered 196 commercial aircraft in the first half-11 A220s, 157 A320 family aircraft, five A330s, and 23 A350s-resulting in a 50 percent drop from the year-ago period. To adapt for the Covid-19 market environment, Airbus in April cut its production rates by about a third, including to 40 A320 family aircraft per month from a peak of 60 in 2019; A330 rates dropped from some 3.25 per month to two per month and A350 rates fell from roughly 10 per month to six. Based on its projections that the widebody market will take longer to recover than the single-aisle segment, Airbus on Thursday announced it will again reduce the monthly output of its A350, from six aircraft to five. Conversely, it believes the rate of 40 A320s per month provides for the right balance between supply and demand. “There might be some small adjustment, but we will keep it for the second half of 2020 and entering into 2021,” said Faury, adding that a production ramp-up of the single-aisle “potentially could start in the second half of 2021, and it is very likely it will happen in 2022.”

Faury said he believed aviation will remain a strong business long-term. “We will see again a very strong demand when demand recovers,” he said, though he cautioned that air traffic won’t likely return to its 2019 level until somewhere between 2023 and 2025.

Link: https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2020-07-30/airbus-aims-significantly-cull-aircraft-inventory-year-end

Airbus Received Just 8 Commercial Aircraft Orders Between April & June

A321neo
Airbus’ bad quarter was long-known, though many expected lower losses. Photo: Airbus

Airbus had a less-than-stellar Q2, with the aircraft manufacturer receiving orders for only eight planes. The European giant lost a massive €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) this quarter, with revenues dropping by over half. With it now becoming clear that the aviation industry is unlikely to bounce back for a few years, Airbus is preparing to batten down the hatches.

Eight new orders
Airbus saw only eight new confirmed orders in the second quarter, where the effects of the coronavirus took hold globally. Starting the end of March, countries around the world began implementing lockdowns, and travel became essential-only. At this point, airlines began deferring deliveries, impacting Airbus’ schedules.

The eight new orders came from Irish-leasing firm Avolon, who ordered 8 A320neos and 1 A321neo aircraft. Avolon also canceled an order for an A330neo, bringing down the tally to eight for the quarter. Airbus deliveries picked up in June, with 36 planes delivered during the month, with a total of 74 planes during the quarter.

While this might be a terribly small number for Airbus, it can take solace in Boeing’s struggles with order cancelations. Airbus has been able to largely avoid widescale order cancelations, barring from airlines who have now shut down.

Cancelations coming soon?
As mentioned, Airbus has been able to stave off mass cancellations for any of its planes, unlike Boeing, which has seen hundreds of 737 MAX planes canceled. However, with a backlog of over 7,000 aircraft, Airbus runs the risk of seeing some airlines canceling their orders in the future, as they evaluate their fleets.

In response to the slowing market, Airbus has cut production of its A350 to 5 aircraft a month. Widebodies have taken a hit during the pandemic, with long-haul flying restricted due to border closures and domestic markets recovering faster. Airbus’ focus remains on producing the more popular A320 and A220 for now.

Future looks unclear
Airbus and Boeing’s quarters were both expectedly disappointing, but more worryingly, it’s unclear where the industry is headed. With losses of this size never seen in a notoriously volatile industry, some, including IATA, are predicting a years-long recovery. If this is true, airlines and manufacturers can expect turbulent times with fewer aircraft and lesser revenues.

Boeing has had a rough quarter too, losing a shocking $2.4 billion and delaying the rollout of its flagship 777X. With the 737 MAX now expected to return in Q4, the manufacturer is hoping for an increase in demand as it tries to deliver hundreds of planes.

More optimistically, some are predicting a surge in travel late next year after a vaccine becomes widely available. However, this is contingent on both a successful vaccine and quick production, both of which are far from guaranteed. The future of the industry has never looked more blurry in the short term.

Link: https://simpleflying.com/airbus-8-commercial-orders-april-june/

Wizz Air to Speed Up Jet Deliveries After Talks With Airbus

a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway: A passenger aircraft, operated by Wizz Air Holdings Plc, takes off as it departs from London Luton Airport in Luton, U.K., on Friday, May 1, 2020.Wizz Air plans to operate 10% of its scheduled flights for passengers with essential journeys from the airport today, the Evening Standard reports, citing the company.
© Bloomberg A passenger aircraft, operated by Wizz Air Holdings Plc, takes off as it departs from London Luton Airport in Luton, U.K., on Friday, May 1, 2020.Wizz Air plans to operate 10% of its scheduled flights for passengers with essential journeys from the airport today, the Evening Standard reports, citing the company.

(Bloomberg) — Wizz Air Holdings Plc will accelerate the rate of new-plane deliveries from Airbus SE, taking advantage of deferrals from other customers to feed its own expansion.

The Hungarian low-cost airline will receive about 30 A321neo jets in 2021, five more than previously planned, Chief Executive Officer Jozsef Varadi said in an interview Wednesday. Talks with Airbus included commercial arrangements, he said, an indication the airline may be getting sweetened terms.

Wizz has sought to steal a march on rivals by adding back flights faster as coronavirus lockdowns ease, operating 77% of its usual capacity last week compared with a European average of 40%. For Airbus, the confidence of a customer with more than 200 narrow-body jets on order is a relief. Airlines across the globe have almost universally pulled back on deliveries to save cash during the historic drought in flying caused by the pandemic.

“We have not been deferring or canceling orders,” Varadi said by telephone. “In fact, we are doing quite the reverse.”

Airbus may be prepared to offer better terms to airlines that take up so-called distressed delivery slots vacated by other carriers, according to a person familiar with the situation.

A spokesman for the planemaker said it is always in contact with customers regarding fleet requirements.

Lower Production
Wizz, which is expanding westward from its Eastern Europe heartland, also expects to get 12 A321neos still due this year as other customers change their order plans, Varadi said. The carrier had anticipated that the planes would be delayed after Airbus temporarily shut production earlier this year.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury has slashed jetliner build rates, saying output will be 40% lower for two years. The European firm reports earnings Thursday, with investors watching for further adjustments after the International Air Transport Association said air travel won’t fully recover until 2024.

U.S. rival Boeing Co. unveiled new measures to cope with the slump on Wednesday, including further production cuts, potentially more job losses, a delay to the 777X wide-body program and the possible shutdown of one of two plants that make the 787 Dreamliner.

Wizz posted a loss of 57 million euros ($67 million) for the quarter through June. It has added 200 new routes and redeployed 22 planes to new markets as other airlines are slower to resume flights. The carrier’s low cost base will make it a “structural winner” from the crisis, Varadi said.

Planes are operating between 55% and 70% full depending on the route, Varadi said in the interview. While that’s below the break-even point for most airlines, it’s generating positive cash flow, he said.

Link: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/wizz-air-to-speed-up-jet-deliveries-after-talks-with-airbus/ar-BB17jQLN

Frontier Airlines Takes Delivery Of Its 100th Airbus A320

Frontier
The livery of the 100th Frontier aircraft. Photo: Frontier Airlines

Frontier has celebrated a new milestone that few airlines reach, accepting delivery of its 100th aircraft. Yesterday the airline received its new Airbus A320neo, painted with a very distinct ‘Chinook the Gray Wolf’ livery.

Reaching 100 aircraft
Few airlines grow to reach a hundred airframes, let alone one hundred of the same family aircraft (which in Frontier’s case is the Airbus A320 family).

“Taking delivery of the 100th Airbus aircraft in our fleet marks a tremendous milestone for our company,” said Barry Biffle, CEO of Frontier Airlines in a press statement. “We have significantly expanded our fleet in recent years as Frontier has continued to grow both domestically and internationally,”

Frontiers’ order book with Airbus is staggering, with another 88 Airbus A320s, 30 A321neos, and 18 A321XLRs set to be delivered over the next half a decade.

“Airbus is pleased to reach this significant 100th aircraft milestone with Frontier Airlines, and to be a part of the airline’s continuing growth and success,” said C. Jeffrey Knittel, Chairman, and CEO, Airbus Americas, Inc. “With 160 more aircraft on order, we look forward to many more of these milestones.”

Looking at these numbers, while getting to a hundred aircraft was a long journey in the making, the next hundred will pass by very soon. It is more likely the carrier will run out of animals to paint on its tails than aircraft.

This 100th aircraft has a livery of a famous wolf called Chinook. Chinook was a wolf-dog hybrid set to be put down in 1993 for fear of her wolf genes, but she was saved at the last minute. Rescuing this animal had far-reaching consequences, such as dismantling the dangerous label of wolf-dogs and creating the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, hence why she deserves her spot on the tail.

Why has Frontier been so successful?
Many ask why Frontier has been able to reach 100 aircraft in a market with peers like United, Delta, American, and Southwest (all of whom have over 100 short-haul planes). This is because of its unique business model – ultra-low-cost flights.

Onboard a Frontier aircraft, everything is for sale, and nothing is provided with your airfare. While its typical for you to pay for luggage or seat selection onboard United or American Airlines, onboard Frontier, you need to pay for cabin bags, and a table tray isn’t always included.

Thus, while the fares may at first be cheap, when you add in luggage and other fees (like paying with a credit card), the cost can skyrocket. But since customers are already committed to the ‘cheap fare’, they push onwards and book.

This business model has rewarded the airline and today it wizzes across the country and to select international destinations. With new aircraft on the way with extreme range (like the Airbus A321XLR), Frontier might turn its hungry eyes to the lucrative transatlantic trade and offer destinations to Europe. A win for passengers indeed.

Link: https://simpleflying.com/frontier-airlines-100th-airbus-a320/

AerCap cancels 15 MAX jets, urges Airbus and Boeing output cuts

DUBLIN/PARIS (Reuters) – Leasing giant AerCap said on Wednesday it had cancelled 15 orders for the grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft as it slows the pace of new plane deliveries to weather the coronavirus crisis.

Announcing the cancellations – which leave 80 of the MAX jets still on its order books – the world’s largest aircraft owner also called for more production cuts by Boeing and rival Airbus to help balance the jet market.

AerCap, which has deferred dozens more MAX deliveries, said it remains uncertain when the five MAX planes already on lease will return to service, as regulators review changes to the jet after two fatal crashes.

U.S. authorities said last week they expect to give a green light in the “near future”. As a result, AerCap reached agreement with Boeing this month to restructure its order book, it said on Wednesday.

AerCap boss Aengus Kelly called for a further aircraft manufacturing slowdown as he reported a drop in second-quarter net income to $246 million from $331 million a year earlier, amid a global travel slump unleashed by the pandemic.

“I think we’ll see more production cuts both from Boeing and Airbus, to help us get to that equilibrium,” he said during an earnings call with analysts.

“I would be hopeful that tomorrow when Airbus release their results we’ll see another production cut there,” the AerCap CEO said. Airbus declined to comment ahead of its own results announcement on Thursday.

Leasing firms are traditionally conservative about production to preserve the value of their fleets, but the call from the world’s largest lessor puts pressure on Airbus to defend output levels that some analysts consider too high.

AerCap said it was well placed to weather the coronavirus crisis thanks to its $27 billion in unencumbered assets and record-high liquidity including $3 billion in new funding.

“We have begun leasing airplanes again, but it’s almost exclusively focused on the European market,” Kelly said, adding that earlier signs of a U.S. travel rebound had since “run out of steam” amid new virus outbreaks and lockdowns.

Despite European reversals such as renewed British quarantine measures for Spanish arrivals, a recovery is now “well underway” in the region, Kelly said.

“No doubt there will be setbacks, but the willingness and the desire of the consumer to travel is very clear.”

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin and Laurence Frost; Additional reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Jan Harvey)

Link: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/business/reuters/aircraft-lessor-aercap-cancels-order-for-15-boeing-737-max-planes-478848/

Airbus to build ‘first interplanetary cargo ship’

Artwork ERO
Artwork: The Earth Return Orbiter will weigh over six tonnes and have a 39m solar wingspan

Airbus-France will build the huge satellite that brings the first Martian rock samples back to Earth.

This material will be drilled on the Red Planet by the US space agency’s next rover, Perseverance, before being blasted into orbit by a rocket.

It’ll be the Airbus satellite’s job to grab the packaged samples and then ship them home.

The joint American-European project is expected to cost billions and take just over a decade to implement.

But scientists say it’s probably the best way to confirm whether life has ever existed on the Red Planet.

Any evidence is likely to be controversial and will need the powerful analytical tools only found in Earth laboratories to convince the doubters, the researchers argue.

Illustrated guide to the Mars sample return missions

“This is not just twice as difficult as any typical Mars mission; it’s twice squared – when you think about the complexity involved,” said Dr David Parker, the director of human and robotic exploration at the European Space Agency (Esa).

“And this satellite that Airbus will build – I like to call it ‘the first interplanetary cargo ship’, because that’s what it will be doing. It’s designed to carry cargo between Mars and Earth,” he told BBC News.

Dr Parker announced the European aerospace company’s role in the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) at a Nasa-Esa briefing with reporters just ahead of Thursday’s launch of the Perseverance robot.

The Airbus satellite will be a Goliath among spacecraft.

ERO will weigh 6.5 tonnes at launch in 2026 and use a mix of chemical and electric propulsion to get to Mars, orbit the planet and then return to Earth with its rock consignment. Thales Alenia Space of Italy will be a lead subcontractor working on this aspect of the design.

The inclusion of a powerful ion engine will require a lot power, hence the use of immense solar arrays. These panels will give the satellite a “wingspan” of 39m, more than 120ft.

But the really remarkable facet of the satellite’s mission is the game of catch it will have to play high above Mars.

Artwork Mars
Artwork: Did Mars ever host life? The evidence could be held in the planet’s rocks

Nasa will put a rocket on the planet later this decade to fire the rocks collected by Perseverance into orbit.

The Airbus spacecraft will have to manoeuvre itself into a position to capture these samples that will be packaged inside a football-sized container.

After ingesting this container, the satellite must then prepare it for return to Earth.

This means not only shipping it across hundred of millions of km of space, but also putting the football inside a re-entry capsule that can be dropped into Earth’s atmosphere to land in an American desert.

“People have talked about Mars Sample Return for years. I remember working on it myself as far back as 2002. But we’re now in the exciting situation where we’re about to do it. This dream is about to become a reality,” Dr Parker said.

Esa still has to work through the final contract details with Airbus for the satellite. Signatures are expected in September.

Dirk Hoke, the CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, said the satellite would leverage all the expertise the company had gained down the decades.

“Airbus Defence and Space is excited to take on this challenge as part of this joint international mission,” he said.

“As a selected prime for the Mars Sample Return’s Earth Return Orbiter, we’re bringing the full force of our experience gained on Rosetta, Mars Express, Venus Express, Gaia, ATV, BepiColombo, and JUICE to ensure this mission succeeds. Bringing samples back to Earth from Mars will be an extraordinary feat, taking interplanetary science to a new level,” he told BBC News.

It all starts with Perseverance.

The six-wheeled American rover is due to launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida during a two-hour window that opens at 07:50 local time (12:50 BST; 11:50 GMT) on Thursday.

Perseverance is being targeted at a 40km-wide bowl on Mars called Jezero Crater. Orbital imagery suggests it contained lake water billions of years ago.

Scientists say there’s every chance the rocks that formed at the edge of this lake retained the chemical traces of past biology – if ever it existed.

Esa estimates its contribution to the Mars Sample Return project will be about €1.5bn ($1.7bn; £1.4bn) over 10 years. Nasa’s contribution will likely lift the total budget for all parties to in excess of $7bn (£5.6bn; €6bn).

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-53575353

Over 600 Aircraft Are Waiting To Be Delivered By Airbus & Boeing

It was revealed yesterday that Airbus and Boeing had accumulated more than 600 aircraft that are waiting to be delivered. The slump in the aviation industry caused by the global pandemic has forced airlines to ground their fleets, and many have canceled or deferred orders for new planes.

Hundreds of aircraft stockpiled by manufacturers
FlightGlobal reported that, as of July 27, Airbus and Boeing had a stockpile of 628 commercial passenger aircraft between them. According to Cirium fleets data, the planes have completed their first flights, but remain undelivered.

Boeing’s inventory stands at 462, although 423 of those are the grounded 737 MAX aircraft. The MAX cannot be delivered until regulators have lifted the regulatory grounding that was put in place in March 2019. The remainder of the undelivered planes are widebody jets, including 31 787s, five 777s, one 767, and two 747-8Fs.

The Airbus stockpile of 166 undelivered jets includes 11 A220s, 112 A320-family aircraft, 14 A330s, 25 A350s, and four A380s. A large number of the A320s are parked in the German cities of Erfurt and Rostock until the customers can finally take delivery.

Not all of the aircraft are a result of delayed deliveries. There is always some time between the first flight and delivery to the customer. Airbus has 40 planes that only made their first flight this month, while Boeing has five.

Cirium’s global head of consultancy Rob Morris says,

“We might expect this inventory to grow further as travel restrictions and continued demand weakness drive airlines to fail to accept delivery of these aircraft in a timely manner.”

Challenging times for plane makers
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for many industries, but aviation has been among the hardest hit. With government-imposed travel restrictions and the resulting slump in demand for air travel, the delivery of new aircraft has become challenging.

Airbus confirmed that, as of last month, it had 130 aircraft that it couldn’t deliver as a result of the pandemic. The company said,

“Many of our customers are currently physically unable to take delivery, and many have asked for deferments. We cannot escape the COVID-related developments affecting the [airlines].”

Typically, aircraft production and delivery rates are closely matched, but that is no longer the case.

Aircraft production rates cut
As airlines slowly take to the skies once more, many are emerging from the crisis as smaller entities with much-reduced fleets. As a result, many orders for new planes have been canceled or delayed, for years in some cases.

In the first six months of 2020, Airbus delivered 196 jets, a 50% drop on last year. Boeing only delivered 70 planes in the first half of the year, a 71% reduction compared to 2019. Part of that drop is a result of the grounding of the 737 MAX.

Airbus has cut the production of narrowbody planes from 60 to 40 per month, while A330 production has been reduced from 3.5 to two per month, and A350 from 9.5 to six monthly. Boing has cut 777 output by half to 2.5 per month and reduced 787 production from 14 to 10 with a further cut seven per month by 2022.

Link: https://simpleflying.com/airbus-boeing-600-aircraft-undelivered/

Airbus unveils autonomous airplane

Aerospace giant Airbus has unveiled an autonomous airplane the company is using to research and develop pilotless technologies.

Following an extensive two-year flight test programme, Airbus says it has “successfully concluded its Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off and Landing (ATTOL) project”.

In completing this project, Airbus has achieved autonomous taxiing, take-off and landing of a commercial aircraft through fully automatic vision-based flight tests using on-board image recognition technology – a “world-first in aviation”, according to Airbus.

In total, over 500 test flights were conducted. Approximately 450 of those flights were dedicated to gathering raw video data, to support and fine tune algorithms, while a series of six test flights, each one including five take-offs and landings per run, were used to test autonomous flight capabilities.

The ATTOL project was initiated by Airbus to explore how autonomous technologies, including the use of machine learning algorithms and automated tools for data labelling, processing and model generation, could help pilots focus less on aircraft operations and more on strategic decision-making and mission management.

Airbus is now able to analyse the potential of these technologies for enhancing future aircraft operations, all the while improving aircraft safety, ensuring today’s unprecedented levels are maintained.

Airbus will continue research into the application of autonomous technologies alongside other innovations in areas such as materials, alternative propulsion systems and connectivity.

By leveraging these opportunities, Airbus is opening up possibilities for creating new business models that will transform how aircraft are developed, manufactured, flown, powered and serviced.

Airbus says the “rapid development and demonstration” of ATTOL’s capabilities was made possible due to a cross-divisional, cross-functional, global team comprising of Airbus engineering and technology teams, Airbus Defence and Space, Acubed (Project Wayfinder), Airbus China and ONERA (the French Aerospace Lab) under the leadership of Airbus UpNext.

Link: https://roboticsandautomationnews.com/2020/07/29/airbus-unveils-autonomous-airplane/34571/