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Saturday, December 06, 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.


Iberia wins contract to support repair of avionics and OEM aircraft components in CAE simulators located in Europe

December 5, 2014 · 311 Views

Iberia will support the repair of avionics and other OEM aircraft components for the cockpits of full-flight simulators located in Europe and belonging to CAE, a world leader in simulation and training for both civilian and military aircraft.The three-year contract covers the inspection and repair of avionics components such as the multipurpose control display unit and flight management guidance computers. It also allows the use of spare parts held by Iberia. Iberia Maintenance has a specialised avionics workshop, as well as facilities specialising in pneumatics, hydraulics, engine accessories, instruments, entertainment systems, and other parts pertaining to the Airbus A320, A330, and A340 aircraft families, and CRJ aircraft. In the January-August period of this year Iberia Maintenance serviced a total of 40,700 parts.


LAN takes delivery of first A321

December 5, 2014 · 149 Views

LAN Airlines, part of LATAM Airlines Group celebrated the arrival of its first A321 on December 5th, at Santiago’s Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport. This marks a significant milestone as LATAM Airlines affirms its regional and global presence as the largest A320 operator in Latin America. The aircraft, the first of 48 of its kind ordered by the airline, will be operated on domestic routes within Chile and joins LATAM Group’s existing fleet of nearly 230 A320 Family aircraft in operation. The A321 aircraft ordered by LAN have a one-class configuration with 220 seats and feature a new LATAM Airlines Group’s cabin, which is a blend of LAN and TAM cabin designs.


Air France pilots approve agreement on development project for Transavia France

December 5, 2014 · 230 Views

Air France welcomed the positive outcome of the consultation with all its pilots on the draft development agreement for Transavia France. With a very high participation rate, 53% of Air France pilots approved the agreement, reaching 60% for members of the majority union SNPL. This result will be approved by the Union Council of the SNPL (National Union of Airline Pilots), which will meet tomorrow Thursday, December 4. To date, more than 200 Air France pilots have volunteered to fill the 72 positions available at Transavia France.


Collaboration appointed to transform Europe’s airspace

December 5, 2014 · 174 Views

The modernisation of European airspace took a major step forward today with the appointment of a unique aviation industry partnership to coordinate and synchronise €3bn worth of upgrades to the continent’s air traffic management infrastructure. The European Commission has tasked the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) Deployment Alliance, an unprecedented cross industry partnership made up of four airline groups, operators of 25 airports and 11 air traffic control providers, to plan and coordinate a wholesale modernisation of European airspace, making it fit for the 21st Century. It has been appointed to the European Commission-mandated role of SESAR Deployment Manager. Europe’s fragmented airspace structure is inefficient and costs more to operate than equivalent regions around the world. The European Commission’s Single European Sky initiative, of which SESAR deployment is an important pillar, will improve efficiency, lower delays and raise environmental performance. The modernisation is not only vital for the future competitiveness of Europe’s aviation industry, but for the wider health of its economy. Aviation supports 11.7 million jobs in Europe, equating to one person in every 40 people employed, generating €452bn per annum of European GDP. However, with air traffic forecast to increase by 50% by 2035 to approximately 14.4 million flights, Europe’s aging air traffic control technologies and infrastructure will begin to undermine its position as a leading aviation hub if nothing is done to address it. The SESAR Deployment Manager will ensure that new technologies and solutions that have already been tested and validated through the SESAR Joint Undertaking are delivered into everyday operations across Europe, delivering significant benefits to airspace users and the environment. The SESAR Deployment Alliance, comprised of the A6 Alliance of ANSPs, the A4 airlines and the SESAR-related Deployment Airport Operators Group (SDAG), will coordinate and synchronise for an initial 6-year period the work of ensuring Europe maintains its competitive edge.

The A6 Deployment Manager Alliance is formed of five ANSP members of the SESAR JU – , DFS (Germany), DSNA (France), ENAIRE(Spain), ENAV (Italy) and NATS (UK), working with PANSA of Poland and a group representing ANSPs members of the COOPANS alliance including AustroControl (Austria), Croatia Control, IAA (Ireland), LFV (Sweden) and Naviair (Denmark).  Collectively, they control more than 70% of European air traffic and 72% of the investment in the future European ATM infrastructure. Five of Europe’s nine Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) – the geographic pillar of SES – are also represented within the A6 DM Alliance.

Air France-KLM group, easyJet, IAG and Lufthansa Group, the four airline members of the EC’s Aviation Platform, created the A4 Group of Airlines at the end of 2012. Their aim is to help accelerate operational improvements in ATM and to coordinate airline participation in the SESAR Deployment Manager to ensure performance driven implementation of new ATM procedures and technologies.Air France-KLM group, IAG and Lufthansa Group together represent more than 588,357 million revenue passenger kilometres of a total 836,556 million within AEA. EasyJet is the second largest low cost carrier in Europe and represents more than 1200 flights of a total 4361 flights within ELFAA.


Intrepid Aviation acquires B777-300ER on lease to Air France

December 5, 2014 · 198 Views

Intrepid Aviation announced the acquisition of one Boeing 777-300ER. The aircraft was manufactured in 2012, is equipped with two General Electric GE90-115BL powered engines and is on long-term lease to Air France. With this aircraft, Intrepid consolidates its existing relationship with Air France, one of the world’s largest operators of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.


Virgin America reports November load factor of 78.8%

December 5, 2014 · 248 Views

Virgin America  reported its preliminary operational results for November 2014. The airline’s traffic  increased 9.8% on capacity that was 1.3% higher than the same month in 2013. Load factor was 78.8%, up 6.1 points from November 2013. The number of onboard passengers increased 9.8% from the same month last year.


French Government sells off 49.99% stake in Toulouse-Blagnac Airport

December 5, 2014 · 201 Views

Back in July this year it was announced that the French government were selling off a minority 49.99% stake in Toulouse-Blagnac airport, located in the south west of France. At the time the government held a 60% stake in the airport, while the local Toulouse chamber of commerce held a 25% stake and a variety of local government offices held the remaining 15%. The right to dispose of a remaining 10.01% holding was not exercised. Last year the airport handled in excess of 7.5 million passengers, subsequently generating a revenue of EUR€117.4m, with a net profit of EUR€10.6m. The sale of the share in this airport will likely be followed by others. The sale of France’s regional airports has been on the cards for a while, with those in Lyon and the French Riviera city of Nice often mentioned as potential candidates. The French government’s reasoning behind the liquidation of certain assets is the intention to purchase a 20% stake, and become the majority shareholder, in the French company Alstom SA. The purchase of shares in the maker of power equipment and bullet trains is intended to be from Alstom’s core shareholder, Bouygues SA, at a maximum of €28 a share, though this has proved difficult as Bouyges want a significant premium on top of the then current share price in order to finance the restructuring of their telecoms unit. Part of the success of the deal depended on General Electric’s successful and outright acquisition of a major part of Alstom – the option agreed by the French government to buy shares would last for 20 months from the date of GE’s successful bid. As this has now gone ahead, the government has set itself a target of liquidating assets to the value of €10 billion over the next 18 months.
This week it has been announced that the 49.99% stake in Toulouse-Blagnac airport has been sold to a consortium made up of Chinese companies, Shandong Hi-Speed Group, and Friedmann Pacific Asset Management, for the sum of €308m. Other companies understood to have been interested in acquiring a share in the airport included Australia’s Macquarie, Spain’s Ferrovial, France’s Vinci, along with CDC Infrastructure and EDF Invest, as well as French airport operator ADP and the insurer Predica.