Thursday, November 27, 2014
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
This is an overview of all articles linked within the selected daily newsletter.
Please scroll down to read the articles…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 26, 2014 · 326 Views
MTU Maintenance Canada, a North American affiliate of German engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines, has signed a long term contract with JetBlue Airways for V2500 accessories and Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) coverage. The contract has a duration of six years and is valued at approximately US$50m. The work will be carried out at the Accessory Repair Center (A.R.C.), MTU Maintenance’s center of excellence for accessory repair and LRU support. JetBlue, headquartered in Queens, New York (USA), is the seventh largest airline in North America and one of the largest operators of V2500 engines worldwide. The A.R.C. is a one-stop maintenance service facility co-located with MTU Maintenance Canada’s engine shop in Richmond, British Columbia. The A.R.C. provides fast and reliable accessory repairs and LRU management solutions for CF34, CFM56, V2500, CF6-80, PW2000, and GE90-115B engines.
November 26, 2014 · 268 Views
Flying Colours, the North American-based completions, refurbishment and maintenance specialists reported that maintenance work on a second aircraft under approval from the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) is nearing completion. The project which is being undertaken at Flying Colours’ Peterborough, Canada headquarters involves heavy maintenance on a Challenger 604 as well as interior refurbishment and new exterior paint. It is anticipated that delivery to the customer will take place in mid-December. The interior is being refurbished in new luxurious leathers and fabric, custom carpet and includes the installation of a four-place conference grouping which will result in increased passenger capacity, up from 10 to 12. The aircraft’s exterior is being refinished in a stylish custom metallic paint scheme.
November 26, 2014 · 89 Views
Bangkok Airways took delivery of its first ATR 72-600 at a special ceremony in Toulouse, France. The handover marked a key milestone in the carrier’s development as it plans to take delivery of nine new ATR aircraft from now until 2017. The new-comer will join Bangkok Airways’ existing fleet of ATR 72-500s and will be operated on the airline’s expanding network of domestic and regional services. The introduction of these new 70-seat ATR 72-600s, the most fuel efficient aircraft in their category, will contribute to Bangkok Airways’ economic performance in the long run as the airline expands its fleet capacity and widens the scope of its activity. These new generation ATRs are equipped with a new full-glass cockpit and feature a high comfort layout with larger overhead bins.
November 26, 2014 · 163 Views
Abu Dhabi International Airport passenger traffic increased by 17.4% in the month of October. A total of 1,689,983 passengers passed through Abu Dhabi International Airport in October 2014, compared with 1,439,356 in the same month of 2013. There were 13,700 aircraft movements in October 2014, representing a 15.2% increase over the 11,891 movements that took place in October 2013. Cargo activity in October 2014 was 72,170 tonnes handled at the airport’s three terminals, a 16% increase when compared to October 2013. Commenting on the latest passenger figures, Eng. Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Abu Dhabi International Airport continued to see double digit growth in passenger numbers in October and was especially busy at the start of the month for the Eid Al Adha holiday and the hajj season. The airport will continue to invest in enhancing its services and connectivity to attract more traffic to the capital. In late October, we unveiled the newly renovated Al Reem Lounge, a further example of our commitment to offering travelers the best possible experience as more and more of them visit Abu Dhabi.” In October 2014, the top five routes from Abu Dhabi International Airport were Bangkok, Doha, London Heathrow, Manila, and Bahrain. The top five routes accounted for 17% of all traffic through the Capital’s airport.
November 26, 2014 · 330 Views
Dassault Falcon Service has announced plans to build a heavy maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport in southwestern France. The 7,200 m² facility will be built on a parcel of land adjacent to the Dassault Aviation manufacturing plant and will serve Falcon 7X, 8X and 5X large cabin aircraft. It will complement DFS’s existing MR&O installations at Le Bourget Airport near Paris. The new facility, capable of accommodating six aircraft, is expected to commence operations in mid-2016, in time to handle initial C Checks for the fast-selling Falcon 7X, and will eventually employ up to 70 specialists and technicians. More than 230 Falcon 7X’s are now in operation and the fleet leaders (the oldest aircraft in the fleet) will begin requiring heavy maintenance by 2016. The decision to locate the new maintenance facility in Merignac was motivated by the large pool of skilled aviation workers and subcontractors in the Bordeaux area and the multiple benefits offered by the nearby Dassault Aviation assembly plant, such as paint shops.
November 26, 2014 · 96 Views
Willis Lease Finance Corporation (WLFC), the independent jet engine lessor in the commercial finance sector, and China Aviation Supplies Import & Export Corporation (“CASC”), China’s leader in aviation supplies trade, distribution and logistics, hosted a grand opening ceremony on November 7th to celebrate the launch of their new engine leasing joint venture, CASC Willis Engine Lease Company (CASC Willis) in Shanghai, China. CASC Willis Engine Lease Company (“CASC Willis”) is a 50/50 joint venture between Willis Lease and CASC. The new company is dedicated to supplying Chinese airlines with the best engine support solutions and creating an engine resource sharing platform. CASC Willis is based in Shanghai and is positioned to meet the fast growing demand for leased commercial aircraft engines and aviation assets in the People’s Republic of China.
November 26, 2014 · 413 Views
B/E Aerospace board of directors has approved the separation of its Consumables Management Segment, consisting of B/E Aerospace’s aerospace distribution and energy services businesses, which will be known as KLX (KLX), through a dividend distributing all of the shares of KLX common stock on a pro rata basis to the holders of B/E Aerospace’s common stock. For every two shares of B/E Aerospace common stock held, B/E Aerospace’s shareholders will receive one share of KLX common stock. No fractional shares of KLX will be issued. Shareholders will receive cash in lieu of fractional shares. The Board has set a record date of December 5th, 2014 and a distribution date of December 16th, 2014. The distribution of KLX common stock will complete the separation KLX from B/E Aerospace. After the distribution, KLX will be an independent, publicly-owned company and B/E Aerospace will not own any shares of KLX common stock.
November 26, 2014 · 119 Views
Intrepid Aviation delivered one new Airbus A330-300 to Sichuan Airlines. The aircraft is powered by Rolls Royce Trent 772C engines and is subject to a long-term lease to the Chengdu-based airline. Intrepid Aviation is a privately held commercial aircraft lessor, which owns commercial aircraft leased to airline operators worldwide. Intrepid Aviation focuses primarily on twin-engine widebody equipment, such as the Boeing 787, 777 and the Airbus A330. “With this delivery, we are delighted to be further expanding our commercial relationship with Sichuan Airlines, one of China’s most successful carriers. With three new A330-300 aircraft delivered to Sichuan Airlines in less than 12 months, Intrepid Aviation demonstrates once again its continuing growth within the Asia-Pacific region, and confirms its reputation as a reliable partner for the supply of the most in-demand widebody aircraft”, said Andy Beer, Intrepid Aviation Senior Vice President and General Manager Asia Pacific.
November 26, 2014 · 1205 Views
Boeing delivered the sixth P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to India, on schedule, on Nov. 24th, arriving at Naval Air Station Rajali to join five others being used by the Indian Navy. The P-8I is part of a contract of eight awarded in 2009. The final two deliveries are scheduled for 2015. Based on the company’s Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, the P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing builds for the U.S. Navy. The P-8I incorporates not only India-unique design features, but also Indian-built sub-systems that are tailored to meet the country’s maritime patrol requirements. The P-8I features open systems architecture, advanced sensor and display technologies, and a worldwide base of suppliers, parts, and support equipment.
November 26, 2014 · 136 Views
The Aviation Register of Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC AR) issued a Supplemental Type Certificate for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100), permitting the usage of Vertical Navigation (VNAV) functionality at all stages of flight. The Sukhoi Superjet 100 represents the first Russian built aircraft to achieve VNAV certification at all stages of flight. IAC AR confirmed that VNAV functionality can be used on Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft in its Basic version. The VNAV will be possible at all stages of the SSJ100 flight, as well as in the airports with non-precision approach. The VNAV or vertical navigation is an aircraft function that calculates a vertical profile of the flight in accordance with the assigned path, considering aircraft performance, as well as all speed and height restrictions applied to a specific path. VNAV functionality provides vertical profile keeping recommendations to pilots during climb and cruising. It also ensures a fully automatic control during descend and approach.
November 26, 2014 · 789 Views
Lufthansa Technik AG appointed Antonio Schulthess as new Chief Executive Human Resources. On March 15th, 2015, Schulthess will take over the position from Dr. Johannes Bussmann, who is replacing August Wilhelm Henningsen as Chairman of the Executive Board. On this date, Henningsen is retiring.
November 26, 2014 · 225 Views
On March 8th this year Malaysian Airlines flight M370 disappeared without trace. Initially the search started in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea and then extended to the Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea. Thereafter the search began to concentrate on the southern part of the Indian Ocean, west of Australia. An analysis of potential routes was conducted which identified a 600 km long by 90 km wide area roughly 2,000 km west of Perth, Western Australia as the most likely location of the aircraft. Once accepted as the most probable location, an underwater search of this area began on October 5th, 2014 and which has so far covered an area of 6,900km². This search will likely last for up to a year if the plane’s wreckage is not found beforehand, and the expected cost will be in excess of AU$50m.
This area has been agreed on by all international members of the search team, including Boeing, Thales, the US NTSB and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation. However Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Chief Commissioner, Martin Dolan, has commented about rumours of a disagreement in the camp after a new report released last month specified two new high-priority search areas located further to the south: “There is no disagreement, just the deliberate application of differing analysis models.” he said.
The Australians are working on a new drift model to increase the geographical area in which wreckage from plane may come ashore. Given that they had initially identified the correct location for the missing plane, debris should have started to come ashore on Western Sumatra after approximately 123 days. This was not the case, however Peter Foley, the search coordinator, has indicated that “We are currently working… to see if we can get an updated drift model for a much wider area where there might be possibilities of debris washing ashore.” Foley stated the research centre received reports of debris washed up on the Australian coastline at least once a week, but nothing has so far been identified as having come from the missing aircraft.