This week in aviation news: CS300 receives EASA certification, Qatar places $11 billion order for Boeing aircraft, Ryanair announces expansion plans
Bombardier’s CS300 aircraft has received type certification by the European Aviation Safety Industry (EASA) following the successful completion of its route-proving exercises. The larger member of the CSeries family, the aircraft was flown along launch operator Air Baltic’s routes in Europe and the Middle East before receiving certification. Deliveries are expected to begin by the end of this year. “Certifying two clean-sheet aircraft within a nine-month period is a major aviation industry achievement and today we celebrate the latest CSeries program milestone with the CS300 EASA certification,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer said. Bombardier reports that the CSeries family delivers a 20% fuel burn advantage over its competitors, is the quietest in-production commercial aircraft in the 100-150 seat variation, and boasts a range of 3,300 nautical miles.
On Friday, Qatar and Boeing announced a monumental order for 30 787-9s, 10 777-300ERs, and commitments for up to 60 737 MAX 8s. The firm order for the Dreamliners and 777s alone could total more than $11.7 billion at list prices. "Qatar Airways, already one of the fastest growing airlines in the history of aviation, today announces a significant and historic aircraft order that will power our future growth for the years and the decades ahead," said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker. "Boeing has proven to be a valuable partner, and today's announcement is testament to our appreciation of the quality of their product and their dedication to providing world class customer service." Qatar’s fleet currently includes 84 Boeing aircraft, with total backlog standing at 105. The airline recently walked away from four of the fifty Airbus A320neos it had on order, due to continued delays in deliveries. Al Baker mentioned that the 737 orders would “mitigate the risk” of keeping the rest of the A320neos on order.
Dublin-based, low-cost carrier Ryanair has announced that it will expand its fleet by approximately 50 aircraft and subsequently hire more than 3,500 people in 2017. Ryanair plans to expand its all-Boeing 737-800 fleet from 355 currently to 500 or more over the next five years. “Ryanair announced that it will be hiring 2,000 new cabin crew, 1,000 pilots and 250 aircraft engineers, as well as promoting over 300 first officers on its command upgrade program across its 84-base European network,” Ryanair said. The airline currently has approximately 283 Boeing 737s on order, including 100 737 MAX 200s.