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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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Emirates reject Delta’s apology regarding Anderson’s 9/11 comments

February 20, 2015 · 556 Views

The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.


Snecma and HAL to create joint venture and build a new production facility in India

February 20, 2015 · 655 Views

Snecma (Safran), a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines, and Hindustan Aeronautics  (HAL), a leading aerospace manufacturer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 28th, 2015 in Bangalore to explore establishing a joint venture in India for the production of aero-engine parts.  The proposed joint venture will initially focus on the manufacture of high-tech parts for the Dassault Rafale’s Snecma M88 engine, then subsequently contribute to other major aerospace projects of HAL & Snecma, in India and worldwide. Spanning over 30,000 m², the proposed joint venture’s new plant is expected to benefit from substantial investment by the two partners, providing it with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. This agreement marks a major step forward in the long-standing collaboration between Snecma and HAL. The proposed joint venture will further broaden the scope of the excellent relations established over the past 60 years between Safran affiliates and the Indian aerospace industry. For example, Snecma manufactures the M53 engines powering the Mirage 2000H “Vajra” fighters operated by the Indian Air Force.


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 197 Views

On the 7th January 2013 a fire was reported on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner while parked at Boston’s airport in the USA. The fire was put down to a problem with one of the plane’s lithium-ion batteries. A week later an All Nippon Airways 787 Dreamliner had to make an emergency landing after smoke was discovered inside the plane which was subsequently traced back to another lithium-ion battery. As a consequence of this incident, all 787 Dreamliners were grounded until April of that year until further acceptable testing and improvements were carried out to the battery system on board the plane. The battery itself was manufactured by GS Yuasa and comprised eight individual cells making up a combined weight of 63lbs.
Nearly two years later and the results of the investigation into the first incident have concluded that the lithium-ion battery installed in the plane should not have received certification by the FAA. The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) were also critical of Boeing who they believed had erroneously ruled out the chances of thermal runaway in its assessment of the battery’s safety. Boeing’s battery tests to obtain original certification included crushing battery cells, driving nails through them and deliberately introducing short circuits to cause failure. Boeing found “nothing adverse happened” while these tests were carried out, and so deemed the battery’s box and internal protection to be of an acceptable standard. Boeing stated that it had followed the certification process set out by the FAA. It would seem that while the cause of the fire has been clearly identified, responsibility for its occurrence has not been accepted in full by anyone.


Rolls-Royce forced to axe 2,600 jobs after second profit warning this year

November 5, 2014 · 164 Views

Back in February this year, Rolls-Royce, the FTSE-100 engine maker, lost over £3bn of its value after shocking the market with its first profits warning in a decade. To announce a second one this October has created considerable concern and Rolls-Royce has decided that over the next 18 months they need to reduce costs by up to £80m a year by axing 2,600 jobs, the majority of which will be in the aerospace sector in Britain and the United States. The focus is on Rolls-Royce’s key Trent engines as they move from the development to the production phase, which consequently requires fewer engineers.
Back in February John Rishton, Rolls-Royce group’s Chief Executive, had admitted that the future was “bumpier than I had expected”, while blaming the current problems on deteriorating economic conditions and a tit-for-tat trade war between the EU and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis which had affected its nuclear and energy business as well as its power-systems unit. This week Rishton has had to admit that “We are taking determined management action and accelerating our progress on cost. The measures announced today will not be the last; however they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company.”
Another consequence of the situation is the unexpected departure of Finance Director, Mark Morris, leaving the company after 27 year without any explanation. He will be replaced by David Smith, who is being promoted from Finance Director of the Rolls-Royce Aerospace division. This second profit warning saw share value fall 11% to 832p, wiping a further £2bn off the company’s value. However, news of the redundancies was well received by investors and the share price rallied by 2%, currently standing at 832p. This is clear confirmation of comments made by Espirito Santo’s analyst, Ed Stacey, who indicated that investors would be expecting a clear message from the new Finance Director and tight control on all finances.


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 113 Views

Air France-KLM selected the GEnx-1B engine to power its 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 12 leased 787 aircraft. The total engine order is valued at more than $1.7bn. Air France-KLM and GE Aviation have also signed an agreement that will allow Air France-KLM to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the GEnx-1B engine. Under this agreement, Air France-KLM will be licensed to perform maintenance and overhaul work on the GEnx-1B engine and GE will provide technical support and assistance on overhaul workscoping and component repair licenses, comprehensive material support and training.


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 80 Views

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has closed a new senior secured term loan of $1.5 billion. The loan will bear interest at LIBOR plus 275 basis points with a 0.75% LIBOR floor, is priced at 99.5% of par value, and will mature in 2021. The collateral used to support the transaction has an initial weighted average age of 9.1 years. It will be secured primarily by a first priority-perfected lien on the equity of certain of ILFC’s subsidiaries, which directly or indirectly own a pool of aircraft and related leases. ILFC plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including purchasing aircraft and supporting the company’s liquidity cushion.


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 80 Views

In 2013, Airbus achieved a new industry record of 1,619 gross commercial orders (FY 2012: 914 gross orders) with net orders of 1,503 aircraft (FY 2012: 833 net orders), excluding ATR. Gross orders comprised 1,253 A320 Family aircraft, 77 A330s, 239 A350 XWBs and 50 A380s. Fourth-quarter orders included Emirates Airline’s agreement for 50 A380s and Etihad Airways’ order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neos and one A330-200F. Airbus Military (now part of Airbus Defence and Space) received 17 net orders (FY 2012: 32 net orders). Airbus’ net order intake increased sharply to €202.3bn (FY 2012: €88.9bn). At the end of 2013, Airbus’ consolidated order book was valued at €647.4bn (year-end 2012: €525.5bn). The Airbus Commercial backlog was worth €627.1bn (year-end 2012: €505.3bn), comprising 5,559 Airbus aircraft (year-end 2012: 4,682 units) and representing over eight years of production. Airbus Military’s order book was worth €20.8bn (year-end 2012: €21.1bn). Airbus series aircraft deliveries increased to 626 aircraft (FY 2012: 588 aircraft, including three A330s without revenue recognition). Airbus Military delivered 31 aircraft (FY 2012: 29 aircraft). Airbus’ consolidated revenues increased seven percent to €42,012m (FY 2012: €39,273m), reflecting higher commercial and military aircraft deliveries. The Division’s consolidated EBIT rose to €1,710m (FY 2012: €1,252m). Airbus Commercial’s revenues rose to €39,889m (FY 2012: €37,624m). The Airbus Commercial reported EBIT was €1,595m (FY 2012: €1,147m) with the EBIT before one-off at €2,216m (FY 2012: €1,669m). Airbus Commercial’s EBIT before one-off benefitted from the improved operational performance, including favourable volume, some better pricing and an improvement in A380 losses. It also included higher A350 XWB programme support costs. Revenues at Airbus Military rose to €2,893m (FY 2012: €2,131m), driven by the A400M ramp-up and higher volumes from both light and medium transport planes and tankers. The EBIT at Airbus Military was €166m (FY 2012: €93m).


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 76 Views

Boeing Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $14.7bn and full-year revenue increased to a record $53bn on higher delivery volume. Fourth-quarter operating margin improved to 10.3% and full-year operating margin grew to 10.9% on the higher volume, favorable delivery mix and continued strong operating performance. During the quarter, the company launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments. During the year, the 787 program completed first flight of the 787-9, successfully launched the 787-10 and began operating at a 10 per month production rate in final assembly. The 737 program delivered at a record production rate of 38 per month and has won nearly 1,800 firm orders for the 737 MAX since launch. In 2013, a record 648 commercial aircraft were delivered. In January 2014, the company reached an eight-year contract extension through 2024 with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM). Commercial Airplanes booked 465 net orders during the quarter and 1,355 during the year. Backlog remains strong with 5,080 airplanes valued at a record $374 billion.


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 67 Views

The A350 XWB development aircraft, MSN3, is in Bolivia where it will perform a series of tests at the high altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba is around 8,300 feet above sea level, and La Paz is one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet. Operations at such high altitude airfields are particularly demanding on aircraft engines, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and systems. The aim of these trials is to demonstrate and validate the full functionality of engines, systems, materials as well as to assess the overall aircraft behaviour under these extreme conditions. A number of take-offs with all engines operating and with simulated engine failures are being performed at each of the airfields to collect data on engine operating characteristics and validate the aircraft take-off performance. The autopilot behaviour will also be evaluated during automatic landings and go-arounds. Since the A350 XWB’s first flight with MSN1 on June 14th 2013, over 800 flight test hours have been performed in close to 200 test flights by both MSN1 and MSN3. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in Q4 2014.


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 66 Views

Firefly, Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary carrier has taken ownership of its first brand-new ATR 72-600. The aircraft is the first of 20 latest generation firm ATRs, plus 16 options, ordered by Malaysia Airlines in December 2012. Firefly currently operates 12 ATR 72-500s, and with the arrival of the new ATR 72-600s will almost triple its exclusively ATR 72 aircraft fleet, taking the total to over 30 aircraft.


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 42 Views

Certification testing is underway on the first Passport development engine at GE Aviation’s Peebles Testing Operation in Ohio. The engine began ground testing on June 24th and ran for more than three hours, reaching more than 18,000 lbs. of standard day sea-level takeoff thrust. Eight Passport engines and one core will be involved in the engine certification program. Flight testing on GE’s flying testbed is scheduled for 2014. Engine certification is expected in 2015. The Passport engine certification program follows three years of validation testing. GE Aviation has conducted validation tests on the fan blisk design, including two fan blade-out rig tests, ingestion tests and a fan aero rig test to demonstrate fan efficiency. Testing is complete on the third eCore demonstrator, and GE has accumulated more than 300 hours of testing on eCore demonstrators to date.


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 55 Views

Rolls-Royce has won an order from US leasing company CIT Aerospace for Trent XWB engines, to power ten Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and Trent 700 engines to power 13 Airbus A330 aircraft. The Trent XWB engines will power ten CIT A350 aircraft that were announced in January 2013 which were in addition to five A350 XWB aircraft already on order. The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the Airbus A350, is the fastest selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,200 already sold. The engine variant that will power the A350-800 and -900 was awarded European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification in February. The engine will power the first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB this year and the aircraft’s first in-service flight in 2014.


VAS Aero Services names Jeremy Galanti Director of Sales and Marketing

October 27, 2014 · 206 Views

VAS Aero Services appointed Jeremy Galanti as Director of Sales and Marketing. An experienced aviation industry salesperson, Galanti is responsible for sales and marketing execution for all of the company’s aftermarket parts and service programs, supporting the global business effort from VAS Aero Services’ Delta Airlines satellite facility in Atlanta, GA. Prior to joining VAS, Galanti served as a regional sales executive with Delta, where, among other duties, he oversaw maintenance, repair and supply contracts with more than 25 airline partners worldwide.


Baltic Ground Services to support Wizz Air operations at Vilnius International Airport

October 27, 2014 · 70 Views

Baltic Ground Services, the international ground handling and aircraft fuelling provider, announced the extension of a ground handling agreement with Wizz Air Hungary. In accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract, Baltic Ground Services will provide the Hungarian low-cost airline with ground handling services at Vilnius International Airport in Lithuania for another 3 years. Fuelled by new agreements and intensifying operations of its clients, this summer the company’s share in Vilnius International Airport’s ground handling market has reached 60%. Apart from the latest cooperation extension with Wizz Air, this year alone Baltic Ground Services has signed or extended the existing cooperation agreements with such industry players as Finnair, Air Lituanica, Ukraine International Airlines, DHL, ArkeFly, Enter Air and KlasJet.


AJW Aviation signs PBH contract with start-up Qingdao Airlines

October 27, 2014 · 151 Views

In partnership with CASC (China Aviation Supplies Corporation) in Beijing, AJW Aviation has signed a six year contract to provide power-by-the-hour support to Qingdao Airlines’ fleet of A320 aircraft. Established by the Nashan Group, the Qingdao Municipal Government and Shandong Airlines, Qingdao Airlines launched operations earlier this year providing domestic services to destinations across China. The airline has announced future orders for a total of 23 A320 family aircraft, including 5 A320ceos and 18 A320neos, with the first delivery expected in 2018, and the fleet growing to over 50 aircraft in the next 6 years.


Boeing delivers 300th CH-47F Chinook to U.S. Army ahead of schedule

October 27, 2014 · 345 Views

Boeing this month delivered to the U.S. Army, 75 days ahead of schedule, the 300th CH-47F Chinook helicopter. “This marks another benchmark for the CH-47F program,” said Lt. Col. Michael Hauenstein, the Army’s CH-47F product manager, Office of the Project Manager, Cargo Helicopters. “More importantly, we have met this benchmark ahead of schedule, within cost, and produced an aircraft that performs as required worldwide. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this if it wasn’t for the partnership of the entire Chinook community.” The CH-47F has a modernized airframe, Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit that improves crew situational awareness and the Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS), which offers enhanced flight-control capabilities for the multitude of conditions in which the helicopter is used.


WestJet, flight attendants reach tentative agreement

October 27, 2014 · 74 Views

WestJet has reached a tentative agreement with WestJet’s Flight Attendant Association Board (FAAB). The proposed agreement is available to WestJet flight attendants for review beginning October 31st, 2014, and voting begins November 10th, 2014, at 9 a.m. MST. The WestJet Inflight leadership team and FAAB began negotiations in May 2014, to develop a tentative agreement to replace the flight attendants’ memorandum of agreement. WestJet and FAAB have committed, in writing, to honour all facets of the tentative agreement, which covers a five-year term, and changes may only be made through negotiations with flight attendants. There is also a clear and enforceable dispute resolution process in place.


Flybe to launch Q400 aircraft operations from London City Airport

October 27, 2014 · 134 Views

Flybe announced the launch of the airline’s London City Airport operations. Flybe will utilize its fleet of Bombardier Q400 aircraft to siginificantly boost connectivity between Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Inverness, Exeter and the heart of London. “From today, purple Flybe Q400 aircraft will be a regular feature in the skies above the City of London as we begin daily services with six aircraft into/from London City Airport. This can only benefit our profile and reach over the longer term as knowledge of Flybe’s role in connecting the UK regions and Ireland with London becomes more widespread. Our new London City routes provide direct links for customers in the regions to the heart of London’s financial district,” added Saad Hammad, Chief Executive Officer, Flybe.


AirExplore signs 5 year deal with Commsoft for use of OASES

October 27, 2014 · 113 Views

Commsoft, a world leader in aviation engineering and maintenance systems, announced that AirExplore, based in Bratislava, Slovakia, has signed a 5 year contract for the use of OASES. Commsoft’s flagship product, OASES is a ‘best-of-breed’ MRO IT system which offers an industry-leading technical sophistication whilst being intuitively user-friendly. AirExplore will be using OASES to support its four Boeing 737-400s and a Boeing 737-800 which provide charter flights for holiday companies as well as additional capacity for other airlines on both short and long-term contracts. To allow for scalability, OASES is structured in a modular format and AirExplore has selected all of the following modules: Core, Airworthiness, Planning, Production, Materials, Line Maintenance Control and Warranty. AirExplore has also opted to run OASES on standalone servers which are currently being procured and the implementation of the system is scheduled for late 2014/early 2015.


ST Engineering’s Aerospace arm injects capital into its commercial pilot training business

October 27, 2014 · 138 Views

Singapore Technologies Engineering announced that its aerospace arm Singapore Technologies Aerospace has injected US$4.87m (S$6.2m) into the capital of its wholly owned subsidiary, ST Aerospace Academy (STAA). This would bring STA Engineering’s total equity investment in STAA to US$12.98m (approximately S$17.6m). The capital injection affirms ST Engineering’s confidence in the commercial pilot training business and the continued investments to grow its pilot training capacity and capabilities to support the rising demand globally. The capital injection is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year.


Relief at Ryanair as Michael O’Leary signs five-year contract

October 27, 2014 · 179 Views

With the recent departure of two of Ryanair’s long-standing senior executives, deputy CEO and COO Michael Cawley, who had been with the airline for 17 years, and CFO and deputy CEO Howard Miller, who joined them 23 years ago, it is very much a case of now steadying the ship with tying CEO Maichale O’Leary down to a five-year contract. This is a shrewd move by Ryanair as previously O’Leary had been on a rolling renewable annual contract. Of course O’Leary doesn’t come out of the deal too badly either. As a Ryanair spokesman puts it: “Mr. O’Leary has been granted options over 5 million ordinary shares, payable at current market prices. However, these options will only vest if the airline delivers exceptional performance targets over the next five years, which have been set by the remuneration committee.”
There is no question that O’Leary’s dynamism and forward-thinking approach has been responsible for seeing the airline grow from carrying 3 million passengers per annum to a current 80 million. However part of O’Leary’s decision to stay was based on whether the airline shared his commitment to seeing growth continue with an estimated target increase of 50% in passenger numbers by 2019. The company’s intentions with regard to this were made perfectly clear at the beginning of September when it was announced that the Irish low-cost airline had agreed an order valued at $10.4bn (£6.4bn) to buy 100 737 MAX 200 aircraft from Boeing, with an option to buy a further 100 later on. This new contract also ties in well with comments made by O’Leary earlier in the year: “I have always said that, from my point of view, I would be very happy to stay here for as long as what we’re doing is interesting. Over the last few years, that included resolving Aer Lingus, along with the Stansted and Dublin [airport] issues and the aircraft order. But I think the whole digital transformation and new growth at primary airports makes it a very interesting place to work for the next number of years, so I hope the board will keep me on.” It would appear that O’Leary was granted his wish.


AWAS delivers additional new 737-800 passenger aircraft to Ethiopian Airlines

October 27, 2014 · 130 Views

AWAS has delivered one new 737-800 passenger aircraft to the flag carrier of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines. This aircraft comes from AWAS’ previous direct order with the manufacturer and marks the second overall new 737-800 that AWAS has delivered to the airline this year. This additional efficient aircraft will further support Ethiopian’s announced 15 year strategic roadmap, the Vision 2025 initiative, establishing multiple hubs across Africa. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.