£6billion jets deal boost for Burnley and Pendle aerospace industry (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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£6billion jets deal boost for Burnley and Pendle aerospace industry
8:00pm Tuesday 8th October 2013 in News
A DEAL worth £6billion for more than 30 aircraft has provided another major boost for the aerospace industry in East Lancashire.
And Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said he was hopeful the Japan Airlines order for the new Airbus wide-body jets will benefit small and medium-sized suppliers, as well as the Rolls Royce (RR) plant at Barnoldswick.
Blades for the Trent XWB engines, which power the A350 wide-body jets, are made at the Skipton Road site, which employs more than 1,000 people across Pendle and Burnley.
Under the latest deal, the Far East airline has secured 31 A350s, which will enter service from 2019 onwards, as part of a six-year fleet replacement programme.
An option has been taken on a further 25 craft, which are believed to have been selected in preference to Boeing’s delayed 777X. Mr Stephenson said: “This is yet more good news for the aerospace industry in Lancashire and the north-west.
“I was delighted to visit Airbus’ main base at Broughton earlier this year and learn more about their operation. I will continue to work with small and medium-sized businesses in Pendle and East Lancashire to help them to secure Airbus contracts.”
The Lancashire Telegraph reported in June how successful tests in Toulouse for the XWB planes, which can seat between 270 and 350 passengers, had opened up new horizons for RR, safeguarding hundreds of jobs in Barnoldswick.
Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier added: “It fills us with pride to see a leading Japanese airline start a new chapter with us. This highlights a very bright and flourishing future for both of us.”
A Rolls Royce spokesman said: “The Trent XWB, the world’s most efficient engine flying today, will power 18 A350-900 and 13 A350-1000 aircraft.”
The group has secured more than 750 orders for the jets to date and aims to start delivering them to customers by the end of next year.
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