Passenger and freight aircraft orders boost Airbus workload

Aeroplane manufacturer, Airbus, has boosted its orders book with deals for two international carriers.

North American airline, Breeze Airways, has added a further 10 A220-300 aircraft, bringing its total firm order for the aircraft type to 90, making it the third largest customer worldwide for the A220.

Meanwhile, STARLUX Airlines of Taiwan has placed a firm order for five all-new A350F freighters and three more A330neo widebody aircraft.

The agreement was signed at the Singapore Airshow by KW Chang, Chairman of STARLUX Airlines and Christian Scherer, CEO of the Commercial Aircraft business of Airbus.

Airbus employs 5,000 staff at its Broughton plant, near Chester, which makes wings for all its commercial aircraft, and around 3,000 staff at its Filton plant in Bristol.

Benoît de Saint-Exupéry, EVP Sales, Commercial Aircraft, Airbus, said: “Thanks to its world class performance capabilities, the A220 is the perfect aircraft to help Breeze achieve its goal to provide non-stop service between under-served routes across the United States.

“The aircraft offers efficient operations and an outstanding passenger experience, all while operating with the world’s lowest small single-aisle carbon footprint and a lower noise footprint in the communities where it flies. This additional order from Breeze is a strong endorsement for the value and opportunities offered by this latest generation aircraft.”

Breeze took delivery of its first Airbus A220 in December 2021 and is operating 20 aircraft – as of end January 2024 – throughout the United States. Breeze also announced it will be using an all-A220 fleet for its commercial operations by the end of 2024.

On signing its deal with Airbus, STARLUX CEO, Glenn Chai, said: “STARLUX Airlines has continuously nurtured the cargo market since its inception, capitalising on the strategic advantages offered by Taiwan’s geographical location.

“With this order, STARLUX will become the first Taiwanese airline to operate the next generation A350F widebody freighter. In an era of climate change, the A350F has unbeatable efficiency in terms of fuel burn, CO2 emissions, and economics, offering significant energy saving and carbon reduction benefits.

“It not only meets customer requirements for carbon reduction but also aligns with STARLUX’s ESG plan to achieve zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, the three new A330neos will strengthen our fleet advantage and provide greater flexibility for passenger operations.”

Benoît de Saint-Exupéry said: “We love working with STARLUX Airlines in building and strengthening its fleet.

“Operating both the latest generation Airbus single aisle and widebody aircraft brings the airline enormous benefits. It significantly reduces fuel consumption and carbon emission and offers unrivalled levels of technical commonality, benefits in maintenance and training.

“The A350F, the only new generation large freighter, will fit seamlessly into this all-Airbus fleet and enable STARLUX Airlines to compete effectively with the leading players in key cargo markets.”

Currently under development, the A350F can carry a payload of up to 111 tonnes and can fly up to 4,700 nautical miles/8,700 kilometres at significantly lower cost than any other freighter available today, said Airbus. The A350F will enable STARLUX Cargo to serve all heavy cargo markets around the world.