Friday, January 09, 2015
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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February 20, 2015 · 542 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 · 640 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 · 195 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 · 162 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 · 111 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 · 78 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 · 78 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 · 74 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 · 65 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 · 64 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 · 40 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 · 53 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.
January 8, 2015 · 105 Views
In December Finnair’s overall capacity decreased by 1.5% and traffic grew by 0.2% year‐on‐year. Passenger load factor for December was 77.0% up 1.3 points.
January 8, 2015 · 523 Views
AJW Aviation announced the appointment of Danielle Kaskel as the new Senior Manager for Business Development – North America, based in the Miami office. In her new role at AJW, Danielle will focus on developing the Company’s relationships with new customers while seeking key opportunities to ensure its corporate success across the competitive marketplace in the Americas. Danielle is an experienced business development professional, with a history of sales and management success. Prior to joining AJW, she was Business Development Manager at AeroTurbine where she first started as sales representative in 2010.
January 8, 2015 · 270 Views
GE Aviation has been selected by Guangzhou Hangxin Company/AVICopter to provide the Health & Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) for their AC313 helicopter fleet in China. The fleet of civilian AC313 helicopters is designed to carry 27 passengers and two crew in the transport role. It also has been designed to be used for VIP transport, medical evacuations, disaster relief, forestry management and for search and rescue operations. HUMS operators experience reduced maintenance and operating costs by avoiding unnecessary spares and minimising dedicated test flights and asset recapitalization. The HUMS increases aircraft availability by enhancing maintenance planning, reducing downtime, improving turnaround times and increasing operational readiness. GE pioneered the development of the world’s first certified Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) in 1991. Since then GE has developed a range of HUMS and combined HUMS/flight data recorder (FDR) systems for more than 25 helicopter types in both civil and military applications.
January 8, 2015 · 313 Views
Thomas Global Systems confirmed its long-term support for the FCD-66 cathode ray tube (CRT) based cockpit display used on the Airbus A319/320/321 and A330/340 aircraft. The FCD-66 is the primary cockpit flight display in these aircraft. The company’s long-term support program for FCD-66 is underpinned by its secure supply of new CRTs and its long track-record in avionic displays. Thomas’ comprehensive FCD-66 solution, which includes market-leading quality, turn-around times and customer service, will ensure operators are well serviced into the future – avoiding potential display obsolescence or major flight deck upgrades. “As technology advances, and OEMs increase their focus on newer technologies, it is important for operators to know that they will have a stable, long-term source of support for their critical CRT-based FCD-66 display units”, says Angus Hutchinson, CEO of Thomas Global Systems. “Based on our secure, long-term CRT supply arrangements, Thomas will support FCD-66 and other CRT display units into the future”.
Air Lease Corporation announces pricing of public offering of US$600m of 3.750% unsecured Senior Notes
January 8, 2015 · 406 Views
Air Lease Corporation announced the pricing of its public offering of US$600m in aggregate principal amount of 3.750% unsecured senior notes due 2022 (the “Notes”). The Notes were offered to the public at a price of 99.289% of par. The sale of the Notes is expected to close on January 14th, 2015, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The Notes will mature on February 1st, 2022 and will bear interest at a rate of 3.750% per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears on February 1st and August 1st of each year, commencing on August 1st, 2015. The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, the purchase of commercial aircraft and the repayment of existing indebtedness.
January 8, 2015 · 156 Views
Republic Airways reported preliminary passenger traffic results for December 2014. Traffic increased 3.0% over the same period in 2013, on an 8% increase in capacity. The load factor decreased 4 points from the same period in 2013.
January 8, 2015 · 142 Views
Boeing and Azerbaijan-based airline Silk Way West announced that the two companies are finalizing terms and working toward a purchase agreement for three 747-8 Freighter airplanes. When finalized, the contract will be valued at more than US$1.1bn at current list prices. The order will be posted on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website once all contingencies are cleared.
January 8, 2015 · 131 Views
Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland, announced that, following an agreement signed on 29th December, it will provide 160 AW189 civil helicopters to the oil company Rosneft by 2025. The supply will be provided mainly through HeliVert, a joint venture between Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters (a subsidiary of the corporation Rostec). HeliVert will be responsible for the final assembly (at its Tomilino plant near Moscow) of the helicopters. The agreement includes the supply of integrated services (maintenance and training) for customers in Russia and CIS countries. With this supply of 160 AW189 civil helicopters, Rosneft will become the primary customer for the AW189 worldwide.
January 8, 2015 · 131 Views
The Lufthansa Group has made a successful start to the new year with the transfer of the Düsseldorf–Zurich route from Lufthansa to Germanwings on Thursday, January 8th, 2015). One of the biggest structural projects ever undertaken by the company has thus been successfully completed on time. The concept of the new Germanwings was presented in December 2012, followed by the market launch on July 1st, 2013. The transfer of the Düsseldorf–Zurich route means that the decision to operate all domestic and European routes under Germanwings, apart from the Frankfurt and Munich hubs, has now been fully implemented as scheduled. In all, Germanwings has taken over 115 routes from Lufthansa in recent months, with the biggest number of routes (52) at Düsseldorf Airport.
January 8, 2015 · 397 Views
Oman Air has launched an efficiency programme, entitled Shape and Size, with the aim of achieving substantial reductions in the airline’s expenditure. The move is timed to coincide with the start of 2015 and the onset of new budgets for the year. The Shape and Size efficiency programme is targeting cost reductions across all activities undertaken by the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman. None of those reductions will affect the airline’s safety or the high standards of service offered to valued customers. A total reduction in expenditure of more than 100 million OMR should be achieved by Oman Air over the next three years, bringing the company to an operational break-even point by the end of 2017. The Chief Executive Officer of Oman Air, Paul Gregorowitsch, said: “We are determined and committed to reshape Oman Air to become a more modern business driven enterprise- one that does not solely rely on financial injections from the Government of Oman.”
January 8, 2015 · 564 Views
David Settergren has joined the AerSale team as Vice President – Sales, Asia Pacific to grow the Company’s global aviation marketing efforts in the Asia Pacific Region. Settergren’s appointment will further enhance AerSale’s global reach within the aviation industry. David most recently served as Vice President – Sales & Marketing with GE Capital Aviation Services where he covered the Asia Pacific Region for the past 13 years.
January 8, 2015 · 173 Views
Last year more than three billion people traveled by airplane. Despite a series of tragic incidents, including the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over the Ukraine, the disappearance without trace of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 and the most recent crash involving Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ850, it is hard to argue against the overall level of safety involved in flying. Research shows that in the 1970s there were 26 deaths per 10 million passengers, 11 deaths per 10 million passengers in the 1980s and 8 deaths per 10 million passengers in the 1990s. The average per year since 2000 has been 3 deaths per ten million passengers. When approached in July 2014 by 22News as to what they were currently doing about aviation safety, the FAA responded by saying:
“Travel on U.S. airlines is the safest it’s ever been. Our impressive safety record is due in part to the aviation industry and government voluntarily investing in the right safety enhancements to reduce the fatality risk in commercial air travel in the United States. The work of the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST), along with new aircraft, regulations, and other activities, reduced the fatality risk for commercial aviation in the United States by 83% from 1998 to 2008. The increasing number of flights requires greater emphasis on acquiring, sharing, and analyzing aviation safety data. Using incident data, CAST is examining emerging and changing risks to identify prevention strategies. We’ve moved beyond the “historic” approach of examining past accident data to a more proactive approach that focuses on detecting risk and implementing mitigation strategies before accidents or serious incidents occur. The goal over the next decade is to transition to prognostic safety analysis and to reduce the U.S. commercial fatality risk by 50% from 2010 to 2025.” The FAA has announced that they now require domestic airlines to implement proactive safety measures designed to identify risks, avoid accidents and make air travel even safer. The making of this FAA rule began four years ago and requires US airlines and freight carriers to submit, what they call a “safety management system” plan, within six months and then subsequently implement it within three. Under these new rules, airlines have to create more of a safety culture, encourage employees to report hazards and analyse operational data that may reveal safety concerns. The FAA identified 123 air accidents between 2001 to 2010 that may have been preventable if these new measures had been put in place, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta indicated, and that 96% of those affected by the rule already gather and share data. While the US FAA rule applies solely to US-based carriers, it is part of a wider effort to make changes globally that are being implemented by the ICAO.