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Wednesday, December 10, 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.


Embraer and FlightSafety International complete training of first class of pilots for the Legacy 500

December 9, 2014 · 185 Views

Embraer and FlightSafety International completed the training of the first class of pilots for the new Legacy 500 executive jet. These pilots, trained to operate customer jets, benefited from the complete customer support and services structure with advanced training technology. The simulator was qualified as Level C by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and by Brazil’s ANAC (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil). Training is being conducted at FlightSafety International, in St. Louis, Missouri in the U.S. FlightSafety International is also Embraer’s training service provider for Legacy and Lineage executive jets, in addition to the E-Jets commercial aircraft. The Legacy 500 received certification from ANAC in August and from the FAA in October. EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certification is imminent. The Legacy 500 is now able to operate in Brazil, United States, and in countries that require FAA certification. The first Legacy 500 was delivered to a Brazilian customer last October.


Air Canada to launch non-stop service to Dubai

December 9, 2014 · 100 Views

Air Canada said that it will launch non-stop service between Toronto and Dubai beginning in November 2015. The new route will extend the airline’s international network farther into the Middle East at a time of increased travel between North America and the region. The new route will increase Air Canada’s presence in the Middle East by providing its customers with direct, non-stop access to Dubai, complementing its other services in the region. Air Canada currently serves the region primarily through an extensive joint venture with its JV and Star Alliance partner Lufthansa over Frankfurt and Munich. In addition, the new route will build on Air Canada’s existing codeshare relationship with Etihad Airways, with whom it codeshares on three flights a week between Toronto and Abu Dhabi, in the UAE. Since last December, Air Canada has announced new international service to Delhi, Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro, Osaka, Tokyo-Haneda and Panama City. Including Dubai, Air Canada now serves or has announced service to a total of 66 international destinations on five continents from its Toronto global hub.


National Airline of the Maldives leases Airbus A321-200 from Air Lease Corporation

December 9, 2014 · 94 Views

Maldivian, the national airline of the Maldives, and Air Lease Corporation announced the long term lease contract of one Airbus A321-200 (MSN 2599). The aircraft will deliver in the first quarter of 2015 and will join the Airbus A320 already operated by the airline, also on long term lease from ALC. “Maldivian will operate the A321 on lease from ALC on its growing network connecting Male, Maldives with cities in South Asia, China and Southeast Asia,” said Kishore Korde, Senior Vice President of Air Lease Corporation.


United reports November 2014 operational performance

December 9, 2014 · 148 Views

UAL’s November 2014 consolidated traffic decreased 0.3% and consolidated capacity decreased 0.4% versus November 2013. UAL’s November 2014 consolidated load factor increased 0.1 points compared to November 2013.


GA Telesis Engine Services hits stride in 2014

December 9, 2014 · 231 Views

GA Telesis Engine Services (GATES) continues to build on its successes with another strong year in 2014. The Helsinki, Finland based Engine MRO has added three new customers to their clientele this year, in addition to completing overhaul services on a heavily work-scoped CF6 engine in a shop-record time of just 57 days. GATES was also able to complete performance restoration on a CFM56-5B engine in a turnaround time of 38 days. The company will continue to expand its customer base and improve production efficiency in the upcoming year. Starting in January 2015, GATES will officially launch a dedicated on-wing field team (GATES On-Wing or “GO”) to complement its offerings in the aviation marketplace.


PPG Aerospace to supply Gulfstream windows, assemblies for G500, G600 jets

December 9, 2014 · 404 Views

PPG Industries’ aerospace transparencies group has been selected by Gulfstream to supply windshields, side cockpit windows and passenger-cabin window assemblies for the G500 and G600 business jets, that will provide superior performance for operators and maximum efficiencies for Gulfstream. The passenger-cabin windows will use OPTICOR advanced transparency material to maintain optical clarity and provide a quieter cabin. The equipment has been proven through its use on the Gulfstream G650 program.


Aviation Technical Services acquires Texas Air Composites

December 9, 2014 · 484 Views

Aviation Technical Services (ATS) has acquired Texas Air Composites (TAC), a Domestic 145 Repair Station specializing in composite structural fabrication, support and repair for regional, commercial and military aircraft. Located in Fort Worth, Texas, TAC has an experienced team of over 100 employees and operates over 138,000 ft² of climate‐controlled facilities. TAC fits into ATS’ strategy to grow and diversify its customer base, capabilities and geographic reach. Today, ATS is principally serving commercial airlines and OEMs; TAC adds a focus on regional airline and military customers. In addition, TAC specializes in advanced composite repair on Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer fleets, while ATS provides a suite of component, engineering and airframe services on primarily Boeing product lines. Finally, the Dallas Fort Worth area is a hub for both the aerospace and aviation industries, and it is in close proximity to ATS’ new heavy airframe maintenance facility in Kansas City, Missouri. The TAC leadership team is staying in place and will continue to run the business as a subsidiary of ATS. Several partners assisted with the transaction. ATS’ financial advisors were Jefferies, LLC and AeroConsulting Partners and legal advisor was WickPhillips. TAC’s financial advisor was FBR Capital Markets and legal advisor was Baker Botts. The purchase price was not disclosed.


Air New Zealand selects additional Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines

December 9, 2014 · 138 Views

Air New Zealand has selected Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines and long-term TotalCare support for two additional Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The airline has firmed up options on two of the aircraft, which will bring its total Trent 1000 powered fleet to 12. Air New Zealand was the first airline to order Trent 1000 engines in 2004. In July this year it became the first airline to receive a Boeing 787-9 aircraft.


Airbus Defence and Space wins A400M support contract from France and UK

December 9, 2014 · 1170 Views

Airbus Defence and Space has won a contract from France and the UK to provide a wide- ranging and innovative in-service support (ISS) package underpinning the entry into service of the A400M Atlas new-generation airlifter. The contract was awarded by the UK’s procurement agency Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), and the French Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) through the OCCAR international programme management organisation. Elements of the contract, including in particular a pooled spares agreement, have been developed together with the two countries and are expected to lead to a range of joint support activities. Under this contract, Airbus Defence and Space is performing a wide variety of maintenance, technical, materiel and operational support functions. The UK and France have ordered respectively 22 and 50 A400M Atlas aircraft.


Frank Walschot promoted to COO role at SR Technics

December 9, 2014 · 645 Views

SR Technics is pleased to announce that Frank Walschot, Head of Engine Services, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Commenting on Frank Walschot’s appointment, SR Technic’s CEO André Wall said: “There is no doubt that Frank is the right person to ensure that our global operations will be based on known and valued safety and quality standards. SR Technics is a business with big ambitions and a clear strategy for growth. His appointment allows me to spend more time driving innovations and strategic relationships with customers and partners as we take our global corporate strategy forward.”


Spirit announces transfer of Gulfstream wing programs to Triumph Group

December 9, 2014 · 525 Views

Spirit AeroSystems has reached an agreement to transfer the Gulfstream wing work packages at Spirit’s facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Triumph Group, the transfer includes both the G650 and G280 wing programs. Spirit employees who are currently working on the Gulfstream programs will be offered positions with Triumph. “The Triumph Group emerged as the preferred owner of the Gulfstream wing programs following a rigorous bid process, and the deal offers compelling positives for both companies,” said Spirit AeroSystems President & CEO Larry Lawson . “We thoroughly evaluated all of our options and made the best decision for the company, our people and our customers. Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in 2014. The agreement provides for Spirit to make a cash payment to Triumph at closing in the amount of US$160m. The transaction is an estimated loss in the range of US$205m to US$235m (US$1.45 to US$1.65 per diluted share). The Company estimates that the transaction will generate a cash tax benefit of approximately US$220m to US$230m which, if the closing occurs in 2014, will be fully realized in 2014 and 2015, with an overall favorable cash result of the transaction, including estimated closing costs, realized in the same period in the range of US$55m to US$65m. Spirit’s 2014 full year financial guidance, which was updated last quarter, of US$6.8 -US $6.9bn in revenue, US$3.35 – US$3.45 earnings per share, and approximately US$275m in free cash flow, excludes the financial impact of the work transfer and the impact of the deferred tax asset valuation release as a result of this transaction.


UTair’s woes continue as it faces bankruptcy lawsuit

December 9, 2014 · 179 Views

It was back in July that UTair began its cost-cutting program, Impulse, through which it was aiming to reduce annual running costs by 5bn roubles per annum (US$140m). The airline had intended to cut management staff by 30%, optimize route networks, reduce airport handling time between flights and automate MRO plans. The Russian airline had also intended to implement IATA’s New Distribution Channel as well as improve sales channels. It is this last point that has seen UTair and other Russian airlines hit hardest after sanctions were levied over the Ukraine crisis, a problem exacerbated by the devaluation of the rouble and general downturn in the Russian economy. UTair is a fair-sized airline with 123 aircraft and a further 75 on order. It covers many internal destinations in Russia as well as offering flights to Germany, Turkey and Central Europe. It is controlled by the pension fund of oil firm Surgutneftegaz

However it would appear these plans were implemented a little too late for the airline which now faces a bankruptcy lawsuit brought about by Availeasing relating to overdue leasing payments and interest extending to 3.5m roubles (US$65,000). UTair had little to say on the matter other than to indicate that its operations would not be affected by this situation, despite this not being the airline’s only debt and in November the airline failed to meet its obligation to repurchase RUB2.68bn (US$50m) of bonds and as a consequence they have taken on Raiffeisenbank to assist them in restructuring a credit portfolio. Overall the situation does not look good for Russian airlines in the forthcoming months. In addition to the devaluing of the rouble, the price of oil – which is pretty much essential to the Russian economy – is falling, so fiscal problems are likely to get worse before they get better.