Thursday, December 04, 2014
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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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.
December 3, 2014 · 107 Views
Finnair has firmed up the eight Airbus A350 XWB aircraft options in its 2006 A350 order placed with Airbus. The eight A350s will be delivered to Finnair starting in 2018. At Airbus list prices, the value of the additional eight A350 aircraft would be approximately €1.9bn. The firm up of the options increases the total number of Finnair’s A350 orders to 19. Finnair’s current long haul fleet consists of seven A340 aircraft and eight A330 aircraft. The long haul fleet is planned to grow, on average, by one new-generation energy-efficient aircraft per year between 2016 and 2020. Based on the current delivery schedule of A350s Finnair will receive the first four aircraft in the second half of 2015, seven A350s between 2016 and 2017, and eight A350s between 2018 and 2023. Finnair plans to phase out its A340 aircraft by the end of 2017, following the successful delivery and entry into service of A350 XWB. As a part of the deal Airbus has also agreed to acquire four A340-300 aircraft currently owned by Finnair in 2016 and 2017.
December 3, 2014 · 99 Views
WestJet announced November 2014 traffic results with a load factor of 80.5%, an increase of 0.8 points year over year. Traffic, increased 8.0% year over year, and capacity grew 6.9% over the same period.
December 3, 2014 · 86 Views
Alaska reported a 9.8% increase in traffic on a 9.0% increase in capacity compared to November 2013. Load factor increased 0.6 points to 82.8%.
Horizon reported flat November traffic on a 1.4% increase in capacity compared to November 2013. Load factor decreased 1.1 points to 76.1%. Horizon also reported 87.9% of its flights arrived on-time in November, compared to the 90.6% reported in November 2013.
December 3, 2014 · 113 Views
CIT Group, a global leader in transportation finance, announced that CIT Aerospace has signed purchase agreements with Airbus for 15 A330-900neo (new engine option) aircraft and five A321-200ceo (current engine option) aircraft. Deliveries of the A330-900neo are scheduled to begin in 2018 and deliveries of the A321-200ceo are scheduled to begin in 2015. The A330-800neo and the A330-900neo are two new members of the Airbus Widebody Family launched in July 2014 with first deliveries scheduled to start in Q4 2017. The A330neo incorporates latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features.
December 3, 2014 · 111 Views
Boeing has completed the world’s first flight using “green diesel,” a sustainable biofuel that is widely available and used in ground transportation. The company powered its ecoDemonstrator 787 flight test airplane with a blend of 15% green diesel and 85% petroleum jet fuel in the left engine. Sustainable green diesel is made from vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and waste animal fats. Boeing previously found that this fuel is chemically similar to HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) aviation biofuel approved in 2011. Green diesel is chemically distinct and a different fuel product than “biodiesel,” which also is used in ground transportation. With production capacity of 800 million gallons (3 billion liters) in the U.S., Europe and Asia, green diesel could rapidly supply as much as 1% of global jet fuel demand. With a wholesale cost of about $3 per gallon, inclusive of U.S. government incentives, green diesel approaches price parity with petroleum jet fuel.
GE Aviation, Hamble implements series production of in-flight refueling probes for Airbus A400M multi-role military airlifter
December 3, 2014 · 1052 Views
As the Royal Air Force receives its first Airbus A400M Altas at RAF Brize Norton, full-scale production of the refueling probe for the A400M is now well underway at GE Aviation, Hamble, providing key mission capabilities for this new-generation multi-role military transport. The six-meter-long probe is installed on the A400M’s upper fuselage above its cockpit, allowing the airlifter to be refueled in flight. Such refueling capability significantly extends the military transport’s operational range, while also enabling it to take on fuel for the subsequent transfer to other aircraft when serving as an aerial tanker itself. GE Aviation, Hamble is responsible for the metallic refueling probe’s design, manufacture and qualification – including full-scale static, vibration and lightning strike validations. As part of the production package, the company also designed, builds and supplies the carbon composite fairings that ensure smooth airflow at the probe’s interface with the aircraft’s fuselage.
December 3, 2014 · 398 Views
Magnetic MRO launched its Engine On-Wing Maintenance unit as part of the strategy to offer Total Technical Care MRO services. Comprehensive Engine On-Wing Services will cover a wide range of engine line maintenance, as well as extensive LRU/QEC component support programs. The services are aimed to support customers in reducing unplanned engine removals due to foreign object damages, bird strikes, or other unscheduled events, thus improving efficiency and predictability of engine operations. Magnetic MRO´s comprehensive LRU/QEC programs include up to Power by the Hour support for engine components, providing predictability and peace of mind to our customers on potential and future expenses, as well as reducing the risks of engine-related AOG situations. Engine line maintenance team is available to offer AOG rapid response support on customer’s site, at Magnetic MRO hangars in Tallinn, or by remote means, to reduce aircraft downtime and costs, while ensuring the maintenance actions taken are in compliance with national and international requirements. AMM covered tasks are performed within the scope of EASA Part145 Certificate, capability includes all commonly used engine types such as CFM56-3; CFM56-5A; CFM56-5B; CFM56-7B and IAE V2500.
December 3, 2014 · 140 Views
A ceremony was held on December 3rd, at the Airbus (Tianjin) site to celebrate the 200th A320 Family aircraft assembled by the Airbus Tianjin Final Assembly Line (FALC). Daniel Baubil, Airbus Executive Vice President and Head of Single Aisle Family Programme handed over the A319, a member of the A320 Family, to China Eastern Airlines. “The 200th Airbus A320 Family aircraft assembled in Tianjin marks an important milestone of the Airbus partnership with China,” said Airbus China President and CEO, Eric Chen. “We are happy to deliver this aircraft to China Eastern Airlines, and to celebrate this achievement together with the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and AVIC, our partners. We are committed to providing the world’s best aircraft to our customers and keen to continue our win-win cooperation with China.” China Eastern is one of the largest airlines in China and was the first Chinese airline to operate Airbus aircraft (A310) in 1985. Today, China Eastern Airlines operates a fleet of more than 270 Airbus Single Aisle and Wide-Body aircraft. In March 2014, Airbus, TJFTZ and AVIC agreed to extend the successful Joint Venture for another 10 years, from 2016 to 2025. The extension, called “Phase II”, will include the final assembly of the A320neo Family from 2017 onwards for delivery to the Asian region. FALC, inaugurated in 2008, is a joint venture between Airbus, the TJFTZ and AVIC. It is the third A320 Family final assembly line in the world after the FALs in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany and the first outside Europe. The ATDC delivered the first aircraft assembled in FALC to Sichuan Airlines in June 2009.
December 3, 2014 · 157 Views
Airbus Group and Safran announced the creation of their new Joint Venture named Airbus Safran Launchers. With an initial workforce of around 450, starting operations on January 1st, 2015, Airbus Safran Launchers will maintain the outstanding level of quality and reliability of Ariane 5, while working on a new family of state-of-the-art space launchers to foster Europe’s leading role in the space industry. The new company will bring together the expertise of both Airbus Group and Safran in space launchers at key Franco-German industrial sites. The Joint Venture’s headquarters will be located in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris. This first transaction follows the announcement in June 2014 by Airbus Group and Safran regarding their intention to pool their respective space launcher activities to boost competitiveness and ensure the profitability of the European space launcher business in the face of growing international competition.
December 3, 2014 · 234 Views
2015 should bring increasingly good news for customers and passengers of the Lufthansa Group, according to the plans of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board. The Supervisory Board gave the formal go-ahead to the ‘Wings’ concept presented by the Executive Board at its meeting on December 3rd, and approved the lease of up to seven Airbus A330-200 aircraft for the new low-cost operation’s intercontinental routes. The Supervisory Board further approved the development of the ‘Eurowings’ concept, under which – within an umbrella framework – the Lufthansa Group’s Eurowings and Germanwings airlines, along with further flight operations in Europe, should acquire new customers by offering quality products at attractive prices in the form of low-cost short- and long-haul air travel services from the end of 2015 onwards. The new products, which will be primarily aimed at the private travel sector, will help the airlines of the Lufthansa Group secure their strong positions in their home markets of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium in the point-to-point travel segment, too, in the longer term. For the Group’s member airlines, fleet renewals and the completion of a number of major refurbishment projects should provide state-of-the-art aircraft cabins and five-star inflight travel comfort. The first quarter of 2015 will see Lufthansa German Airlines conclude the installation of its new First Class throughout its long-haul fleet; the second quarter will witness the completion of the new Business Class installation program; and the third quarter will see the new Premium Economy available on all of Lufthansa’s intercontinental aircraft. All the new long-haul aircraft of which Lufthansa will take delivery next year will have all the new cabins already installed. And the modernization of the long-haul fleet will be further pursued in 2015 with the arrival of two more Airbus A380s and four new Boeing 747-8s. Also slated for delivery next year are a further Boeing 777F for Lufthansa Cargo and ten short- and medium-haul aircraft of the Airbus A320 family.
December 3, 2014 · 179 Views
Norwegian Air International completed its DOT foreign air carrier permit application in February 2014. It usually takes no more than 6 months for the DOT to reach a decision. However this particular application appeared to be met with considerable opposition. Currently it seems that approaching 90% of transatlantic air traffic is dealt with by three airline alliances that seemingly operate with immunity from U.S. antitrust laws. As a result, airfares have risen considerably as these alliances have tended to limit growth in the number of passenger seats available, allowing U.S. airline profits to reach record levels. In November, Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo) made further approaches to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve its application to operate its Boeing 787s as Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin). The 787s are currently operated by Norwegian subsidiary, Norwegian Long Haul, despite the fact the aircraft are registered in Ireland.
In a November statement from them: “NAI will directly contribute to President Obama’s goal of generating 100 million foreign visitors to the United States by 2021. Norwegian already employs 300 American cabin crewmembers in Fort Lauderdale and New York, and currently is recruiting American pilots at its New York pilot base. Of the 300 cabin crew, for which Norwegian received more than 7,000 applications, the vast majority worked previously for U.S. airlines and chose to join Norwegian for the pay, benefits and team-spirited environment.”The statement continued “NAI meets all statutory and regulatory requirements to serve the United States and is entitled to DOT approval “with minimum procedural delay” under the U.S.—E.U. Air Transport Agreement. Nevertheless, a full nine months after applying to DOT, NAI continues to await a decision that will allow it to begin low-fare transatlantic service to and from the United States.”
The European Commission announced on Tuesday that they have decided the DOT has violated an aviation deal with the European Union by taking too long to grant a license that would allow the budget airline to boost trans-Atlantic flights. The European Executive have stated: “”The European Commission considers that there is a breach of the EU-US air transport agreement by the US authorities… The US authorities are taking too long to process the application.” However that does not mean NAI will now automatically be granted their license, though despite such heavy opposition the application is being backed by Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG.