Tuesday, January 13, 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 12, 2015 · 198 Views
Ascent Aviation Services Corporation announced the opening of a newly constructed 42,000 ft² hangar at its facility adjacent to the Tucson International Airport. The new hangar doubles Ascent’s heavy maintenance capacity with 100,000 ft² of hangar space designed to accommodate four narrow body aircraft. The new hangar is fully operational, and the Company will begin servicing its customers’ aircraft immediately. Ascent CEO Joseph Ng said: “The additional hangar capacity will enhance Ascent’s flexibility and efficiency in maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft to the exacting high standards that our customers and regulatory authorities expect from us.”
January 12, 2015 · 84 Views
Volartec welcomed two new Alkym customers to the APAC region. Both are based in Indonesia and are part of the same group. The MRO company Aero Nusantara Indonesia (ANI) has selected Alkym to replace their existing MRO IT solution. At the same time Xpress Air with their strong links to ANI will also benefit from the fully integrated solution provided by Volartec.
January 12, 2015 · 85 Views
UAL’s December 2014 consolidated traffic increased 0.1% and consolidated capacity increased 2.3% versus December 2013. UAL’s December 2014 consolidated load factor decreased 1.9 points to 83.5% compared to December 2013.
January 12, 2015 · 74 Views
Air Lease Corporation announced that, pursuant to long term lease agreements, ALC will deliver eight new Boeing 777-300ER widebody aircraft to six different airlines in 2015, all from ALC’s order book with Boeing. The following airlines are scheduled to take delivery of these new ALC Boeing 777-300ERs in 2015: Air France (1), Emirates (1), Korean Air (2), EVA Air (1), KLM (1), and Ethiopian Airlines (2). In 2014, ALC delivered five (5) new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on long term lease including two (2) to British Airways, two (2) to Air New Zealand and one (1) to Etihad Airways.
January 12, 2015 · 187 Views
AgustaWestland released that the new generation AW169 light intermediate 4.5-tonne class helicopter has entered full scale production, with the first aircraft now on the final assembly line at its Vergiate facility in Italy. The event marks a major milestone ahead of EASA certification, with deliveries to the first batch of customers set to start in the 2nd quarter of 2015. The AW169 is the first all new aircraft in its weight category to enter the market in nearly forty years. The AW169 flight test programme, utilizing four prototypes, has so far amassed over 1200 flying hours during flight testing in Italy, the UK and USA. A second AW169 final assembly line is planned at AgustaWestland’s Philadelphia plant in the US, while AgustaWestland’s Yeovil plant in UK is already playing a key role in the production of rotor blades and tail rotor transmission system. In parallel to the start of full scale production, AW169 training systems are being established at AgustaWestland’s Sesto Calende Training Academy in Italy, including a level-D full flight simulator and maintenance trainer.
January 12, 2015 · 122 Views
China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC), the leading independent aircraft operating lessor in China, firmed up its contract in December 2014 with Airbus for 100 A320 Family aircraft. The order comprises 74 A320neo, 16 A320ceo and 10 A321ceo. Including this new order, CALC’s total backlog with Airbus stands at 140 A320 Family aircraft. “Adding these A320 Family aircraft, including the latest generation A320neo to our portfolio, means we can fully meet all our customers’ requirements in terms of low fuel burn, high reliability and unbeatable comfort,” said Dr Mike Poon, CEO and Executive Director of CALC. “The A320 Family is without a doubt firmly established as a key asset in our fleet and the cornerstone of our single-aisle offering.”
January 12, 2015 · 86 Views
The newest evolution in Airbus’ market-leading widebody jetliner product line – the A330 with an increased 242-tonne maximum takeoff weight capability – is another step closer to entering service later this year after its successful maiden flight. Taking off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on January 12th, the A330-300 variant carried out an airborne evaluation that concluded with its return to the southwestern France location – which is home to Airbus headquarters and the A330 final assembly line. The increased maximum takeoff weight A330 results from Airbus’ focus on incremental innovation, and will further increase the cost-effectiveness and versatility for its popular twin-engine A330 product line. Operators will benefit from these jetliners’ additional range and fuel-burn reduction, resulting from a combination of improved engine performance and the aircraft’s enhanced aerodynamics. The 242-tonne A330-300 maximum takeoff weight variant launch customer is U.S.-based Delta Air Lines, which is scheduled to take delivery of its first aircraft in the second quarter of this year. The shorter-fuselage A330-200 in the 242-tonne configuration is planned to enter commercial service in early 2016.
January 12, 2015 · 246 Views
Helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca (Safran) is setting up new manufacturing capability at its facility in Bordes (France). After years of maturation and prototype testing, Turbomeca has entered serial production of parts using the latest additive manufacturing, or 3D printing process. Bordes facility is one of the first of its kind to serial produce additive components for aerospace propulsion industry in France. Arrano test and production engines will feature fuel injector nozzles made using Selective Laser Melting (SLM) techniques. This leading-edge manufacturing process will also be used to manufacture Ardiden 3 combustor swirlers. These engines are Turbomeca’s latest models and amongst the most advanced turboshafts ever designed. Additive manufacturing produces parts to a three-dimensional CAD (computer-aided design) model. Unlike traditional manufacturing processes (forging and machining) which are based on material removal, additive manufacturing builds layers, each between 20 and 100-micrometers thick, of fine metal powder to produce complex-shape parts. In the case of SLM, a computer-controlled laser shoots pinpoint beams onto a bed of nickel-based super-alloy powder, to melt the metal in the desired areas. Additive Manufacturing also simplifies the manufacturing process. A traditional fuel-injector nozzle is made up from dozens different pieces. Arrano component is made from one single piece of material and features advanced injection and cooling functions. One SLM machine is already in service, and qualified for mass production, with others to be integrated over the coming years.
January 12, 2015 · 451 Views
SR Technics announced that Frank Walschot, Head of Engine Services, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer as of January 1st, 2015. 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.”
January 12, 2015 · 164 Views
Two weeks after the downing of AirAsia flight QZ8501, the black box, or flight data recorder has finally been recovered and it is also believed the cockpit voice recorder has also now been located. It is perhaps a sensible time therefore for Airbus to begin talks with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in relation to fitting ejectable flight data recorders to Airbus A320 and A330 models in addition to the A350 and A380. The implementation of such a device would certainly have assisted with the earlier location of the AirAsia flight, which was an Airbus A320, and Airbus are certainly keen to lead innovation in this area of air safety.
This type of flight data recorder would also include cockpit voice recording and has been deployed in military planes for many years where ejectable recorders separate from the tail of a plane during a crash on water, subsequently floating while simultaneously emitting a satellite distress signal. While Airbus considers talking to EASA, other worldwide regulatory authorities have been discussing the implementation of such a device across all commercial aircraft. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may well have made such discussions more relevant and necessary as it is nine months on and still nobody is any the wiser as to where the flight came down. A spokesman for the firm stated that “Airbus is working with EASA… and other stakeholders to advance the approval of such a solution industry-wide,” but gave no indication of any specific schedule. “In the future, applicability for our other aircraft products could be likewise considered, but presently we have decided to focus on the A350 and A380,” the spokesman added.