Saturday, December 13, 2014
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
This is an overview of all articles linked within the selected daily newsletter.
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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 12, 2014 · 133 Views
Aeronautical Engineers (AEI), has successfully delivered a third 11 pallet position B737-400SF to Switzerland based, FARNAIR Group. The aircraft is planned to join the South East Asia K-Mile operation as the second aircraft. Built in 1998, the aircraft (MSN 29000) was converted at Commercial Jet’s Dothan, Alabama facility and was delivered on November 28th, 2014. This is the third conversion of a four aircraft agreement. The AEI B737-400SF is the only passenger to freighter conversion product that offers operators ten full height 88” x 125” container positions. This unique capability is achievable due to AEI’s Main Deck Cargo Door location, which is approximately 40” further back than the competition. The additional container position increases AEI’s volumetric carrying capability by 10% which places the freighter in a class by itself.
December 12, 2014 · 561 Views
Avolon announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 13,636,363 common shares at a public offering price of $20.00 per share. The shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “AVOL” on December 12th, 2014. All of the common shares are being offered by the selling shareholders. The selling shareholders have granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 2,045,454 additional common shares to cover nover-‐allotments, if any. Avolon will not receive any of the proceeds from the offering. The offering is expected to close on December 17th, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.
December 12, 2014 · 223 Views
As a part of its US$2bn investment to give customers a world-class travel experience, American Airlines will upgrade its regional fleet by adding Gogo inflight wireless services to all two-class regional jets. Nearly 250 of American’s regional aircraft will have inflight wireless Internet service installed by 2016. “We’re investing in a more competitive and consistent customer experience across our regional, domestic and international network,” said Andrew Nocella, American’s chief marketing officer. “Adding inflight Wi-Fi to our two-class regional jets will give our customers what they want – comfort, connectivity and a world-class travel experience. We have new regional aircraft entering our fleet every month, and combined with the amenities and services we’re adding to our existing fleet, American is going to deliver a regional product that’s better than our competitors.” American currently has nearly 850 aircraft with Gogo services and leverages Gogo’s air-to-ground (ATG) service and its next generation ATG-4 technology. Approximately 70 of these 850 aircraft are two-class regional jets.
December 12, 2014 · 714 Views
SAS has secured a Pre-Delivery Payment Financing Facility (PDP Facility) covering a portion of the pre-delivery payments that SAS is making under the aircraft order with Airbus. The PDP Facility covers certain payments in relation to two Airbus A330-300 Enhanced and six Airbus A320NEO aircraft and is structured as a revolving credit facility under which SAS may draw up to US$74m in total, with a maximum of US$54m outstanding at any one time. The loans under the PDP Facility will be repaid upon delivery of each aircraft to SAS. The aircraft will be delivered during the latter part of 2015 through to the early part of 2017. DVB Bank SE is the sole arranger and financier of the facility.
December 12, 2014 · 781 Views
Dr. Stefan Weingartner, Member of the Executive Board of MTU Aero Engines AG and President MTU Maintenance, will leave the company on his own request in order to take on a new professional challenge. Against this background, the Supervisory Board of MTU Aero Engines AG has decided in its meeting today to reduce the Management Board to three Members. The tasks of Weingartner – who will accompany and support the change process – will be transferred to the other Board functions. The responsibility for the locations of MTU Maintenance will be combined in the leadership of Dr. Rainer Martens as Chief Operating Officer. Sales and Marketing of MTU Maintenance will be integrated in the Board function of Programs headed by Michael Schreyoegg. The new structure will become effective at the beginning of 2015.
December 12, 2014 · 677 Views
Alpha Star Aviation Services and AFI KLM E&M signed an amendment to the component support contract covering Alpha Star expansion group’s airbus fleet. The deal was closed during the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) 2014 trade show in Dubai. The two partners signed in 2013 an agreement covering support for repairs and access to a spares pool for Alpha Star Aviation Services’ four A320 family aircraft and its A340. In 2014 an additional A320 was delivered and integrated into the fleet of the Saudi VIP key market carrier, which had decided to maintain its trust in AFI KLM E&M as regards component support for the new aircraft. The client has even decided to extend that trust by concurrently extending the scope of the support and increasing the number of components handled, since some 650 part numbers are now covered by the contract.
Airspace over London and other parts of the UK closed for nearly 2 hours owing to computer glitch at NATS in Swanwick air traffic control centre
December 12, 2014 · 217 Views
All flights in and out of London were cancelled for nearly two hours on Friday afternoon owing to what has been confirmed as a major computer glitch at the NATS Swanwick air traffic control centre. Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, stated that: “Disruption on this scale is simply unacceptable and I have asked NATS for a full explanation of this evening’s incident.” Initially thoughts were that such a major crash could only be the result of a power outage, but despite robust safety measure in place, it was in fact a computer crash which caused the chaos. Not only did news get out that the whole of London’s airspace was closed to air traffic, but much of the UK’s airspace was affected from as far as Exeter in Devon up to Aberdeen in Scotland. It was at 1536hrs that the initial announcement was made, yet by 1625hrs NATS were reporting that the problem had been fixed. However an hour’s delay can create untold chaos for both departing and incoming flights. By 1655hrs NATS stated that flights from Stanstead had restarted. It would appear that up to 50 flights out of London were canceled, though one has to remember that many inbound international flights were delayed and so it is not just the UK that has been affected by this computer crash. By 1730hrs it had been announced that long-haul international flights would be given priority, followed by European flights, and then finally internal flights in an attempt to clear the backlog. At 1620hrs, NATS Managing Director of Operations Martin Rolfe defended his organisation’s handling of the chaos. “It was a technical failure at our Swanwick centre which handles 6,500 flights a day. We went through our backup systems and restored things relatively quickly but not without delays to passengers, which we hugely regret. “These things are relatively rare. We are a very busy island for air traffic control, so we’re always going to be operating near capacity. “What we’ve seen today is a very quick response. We didn’t close any airports, we didn’t close any airspace. We reduced the flow to make sure everything could be handled safely.”
At 1940hrs it has been estimated that the knock-on effect for flight delays may well stretch into the weekend