China Airlines said in December that its board approved the signing of a letter of intent with Airbus to purchase 14 A350-900s plus six options valued at $4.2 billion if all options are exercised. The aircraft will be delivered from 2015 to 2020, replacing the carrier's A340-300 fleet and expanding its mid- and long-haul capacity. The A350-900s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWBs. Rolls placed the value of the engine deal at $800 million if all options are exercised.
Rolls-Royce said Thai Airways International selected its Trent 700 to power eight new A330-300s under a $300 million deal that includes 10-year TotalCare coverage based on an agreed dollar fee per engine flying hour. Aircraft will be delivered from 2009 onward.
GE Commercial Aviation Services ordered 53 737-800s and two 777-300ERs collectively valued at $4.5 billion. The massive order includes an exercise of existing options and "will allow GECAS to help [its] customers around the world benefit from leading-edge operational efficiency," said President and CEO Henry Hubschman. GECAS has a fleet of 1,450 owned aircraft that it leases to more than 230 airlines in some 70 countries, and it manages nearly 300 additional aircraft owned by others.
Finnair Technical Services reached an eight-year, €200 million ($291.7 million) deal with Aeroflot Cargo to provide airframe, engine and component MRO services for its MD-11s. Aeroflot Cargo is FTS's largest customer outside Finnair Group. Approximately one-quarter of FTS's annual turnover comes from third parties. Finnair sold its two owned MD-11s to SU Cargo, which will operate six of the type next year.
Miascor Catering, a joint venture in the Philippines among Gate Gourmet, Citadel Holding and Malaysia Airlines, recently broke ground for a new catering facility at Diosdado Macapagal International, also known as Clark International. First phase is to feature a 1,000-sq.-m. building designed for 1,200 meals daily, allowing for expansion to 5,000 meals per day. Scheduled to open in June, the new kitchen will occupy 3,000 sq. m. of land.