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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

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.

Dennis Orzel rejoins PAS Technologies as Chief Operating Officer

January 13, 2015 · 450 Views

PAS Technologies announced that industry veteran Dennis Orzel has rejoined the company’s senior leadership team as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Mr. Orzel will be responsible for all product development targeting top line growth while leading the engineering and program management functions. He will be based in Middletown, Connecticut. PAS Technologies specializes in providing cost-effective original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) products, services and solutions for the commercial and military aerospace, Industrial Gas Turbine (IGT), and oil and gas (O&G) markets.

Kalstar Aviation becomes first E-Jets operator in Indonesia

January 13, 2015 · 69 Views

Two Embraer E195s will start operations with Kalstar Aviation, a regional operator based in the Indonesian province of Kalimantan on Borneo Island. The two aircraft are being sourced from Aldus Aviation, Ireland. Established in 2007, Kalstar Aviation, named after ‘Kalimantan Star’, has been connecting passengers to cities in the province of Kalimantan – an area known for mining and agriculture. The E195s will operate to and from Kalimantan on routes within Indonesia. These routes will be announced by Kalstar Aviation in due course.

Avtrade Sales department restructure paves the way for continued global expansion

January 13, 2015 · 93 Views

Avtrade reported a strategic restructure of its Sales department to strengthen its continuing global expansion. The first stage of this restructure sees the creation of a number of new sales positions including the appointment of three new Regional Sales Directors. The newly appointed Directors will be responsible for setting the company’s overall sales strategy within their respective regions, as well as building strong relationships with new and existing customers. Another notable position to have emerged is that of Stock/AOG Sales Director. The purpose of this role is to enhance Avtrade’s AOG support department and ensure greater stock availability for fast and effective responses to all AOG enquiries 24/7, 365 days a year. As part of the restructure, the company’s external marketing functions will also be incorporated within the overall goals of the Sales department.

Magnetic MRO launches full aircraft painting services in May 2015

January 13, 2015 · 196 Views

Magnetic MRO announced the start of its final preparations to offer full aircraft Painting Services in Tallinn, Estonia by May this year. “Painting services capability has been an eagerly anticipated service by our Customers”, says Andrius Norkevičius, COO of Engineering Services, Magnetic MRO. “We now have strong partners from UK, Spraybooth Technology Ltd (STL) and Paint Services Group Ltd (PSG), guaranteeing rapid project deployment and confidence to perform our first full painting project in May 2015. Magnetic MRO´s focus is to provide the highest quality repainting services to our customers, offering painting materials and technology of different producers and solution providers. Non-chrome and chrome systems will both be available to match the needs and requirements of either 30 year-old aircraft or those of the latest generation.” Whether stripping or sanding the old paint or applying the finish coatings, with strict environmental requirements in mind, Magnetic MRO will ensure the painting services comply with the requirements of ISO 14001 and all the relevant environmental legislations, including Environmental Protection Act 1995 and Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999.
Based on Magnetic MRO´s extensive maintenance experience of older type aircraft, exterior preparation and stripping to bare metal or heavy sanding, corrosion removal and treatment, as well as resealing of all production joints, painting projects will be performed to the highest standards to ensure long and durable finish will remain intact for years of aircraft operations. Comprehensive additional on-site services in Tallinn, Estonia, include pre-flight and bare metal skin inspection, rudder rebalance, aircraft weight and balance updates, line maintenance daily checks assistance or aircraft storage and release to service certification.

Jazz reaches new 11 year tentative agreement with pilots

January 13, 2015 · 70 Views

Jazz Aviation has reached a new tentative agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association (“ALPA”) who represents Jazz pilots. The proposed term of this tentative agreement is 11 years expiring on December 31st, 2025 , and is consistent with the term of the amended CPA announced on January 13th with Air Canada. The new labour agreement is subject to ratification by the majority of Jazz pilots and the requirements of a pilot mobility agreement being met. Details of the agreement will not be released pending ratification which is expected to be completed by February 1st, 2015 .

Airbus launches A321neo with true transatlantic capability

January 13, 2015 · 101 Views

Airbus has officially launched the A321neo with 97 tonnes Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) having secured the first commitment from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). The Los Angeles based lessor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 30 more A321neo, upsizing its commitments at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow from 60 to 90 and becoming the launch customer for Airbus’ increased range option. The A321neo 97t will have, with 4,000nm, the longest range of any single aisle airliner available today, making it ideally suited to transatlantic routes and will allow airlines to tap into new long haul markets which were not previously accessible with current single aisle aircraft.

HAITEC set to continue its MRO expansion

January 13, 2015 · 230 Views

HAITEC is well positioned in 2015 following a successful 2014. “We have reached all our objectives”, confirms Frank Rott, HAITEC’s newly appointed CEO replacing Michael Bock as outgoing Managing Director. “We utilized our manpower and hangar capacity in 2014 to the maximum and set the course for HAITEC’s future”, says Rott. HAITEC’s pilot project „P2F“ (A320 Passenger to Freighter Conversion) commenced in autumn 2014, which is expected to result in 12 conversions a year. “The initial planning phase for the construction of HAITEC’s second, 12,000 m² hangar with A380 capacity is well under way“, explains Rott. The official construction phase will commence in April 2015. HAITEC’s intention is to welcome the first customer to the new hangar in summer of 2016. In addition, HAITEC will continue to welcome VIP customers to its hangar in Erfurt that recently opened in autumn 2014. From January 2015, HAITEC is in a position to offer a wider span of commercial and VIP MRO services to its existing and new customers at various locations in Germany. HAITEC’s focus is on narrow and wide-body Boeing and Airbus aircraft types.

Boeing selects GKN Aerospace to assemble 737 MAX winglets in Washington State

January 13, 2015 · 285 Views

Boeing has awarded GKN Aerospace a contract for final assembly and paint of Advanced Technology (AT) Winglets for the new 737 MAX. This adds to GKN Aerospace’s existing work package with Boeing and brings additional jobs to Washington State. The final assembly and paint work will be carried out at a 57,000 ft² facility that GKN Aerospace will operate in Sumner, Wash., near Boeing’s 737 MAX Final Assembly in Renton, Wash. The facility will open in late 2015 and employ approximately 75 people when full rate production is achieved. Staff recruitment will begin early in 2015 with the majority of the new team being drawn from the highly skilled workforce based in the state.

Lufthansa Technik opens new sales office in Santiago de Chile

January 13, 2015 · 291 Views

Lufthansa Technik, a world leader in technical services for commercial aircraft, is opening a new sales office in the Chilean capital Santiago – a step that acknowledges the growing importance of the South Latin American aviation market. Air traffic and related technical services are permanently growing in the region. “Having a population of around ten airlines within the region, the southern part of Latin America offers us great potential. We want to be a reliable partner to our customers, and geographic proximity plays an important role in that regard”, explains Joerg Femerling, Sales Director at Lufthansa Technik. Carlos Sotomayor, office manager in Santiago, adds: “With the support of this new office, we want to get closer to our customers within the region and be available to them any time they need us. That’s the best approach to convince potential customers of our advantages.” Among others, the Lufthansa Technik group maintains relationships to the LATAM Airlines group, Sky Airline, Aerolineas Argentinas, Austral, GOL, Azul and Avianca Brazil. Out of the regional sales office the complete Lufthansa Technik group portfolio is being tendered to respective customers.

United Airlines seeks to trim staffing levels by outsourcing 2,000 more jobs

January 13, 2015 · 137 Views

After its merger with Continental Airlines, United Airlines set about a course of cost cutting exercises to reduce debt. Early in 2014 it closed its hub in Cleveland, while in July 2014 it announced its intentions to outsource 630 union jobs at 12 airports. The carrier, which has more than 85,000 workers, reported a wider first-quarter loss in April as revenue fell and costs increased, resulting in this course of action. Today United has announced a second round of job cuts, this time aiming to outsource up to 2,000 jobs at airports across the States.
This intended outsourcing indicates another step the carrier intends to take in order to meet the goal laid out in 2013 to cut its costs by US$2bn per annum. United made it very clear in an investor update last Friday that it anticipates 2014 unit costs to increase by up to 1.4% year-over-year, not including fuel and other special charges. Remaining competitive is crucial for United’s survival in such a competitive market. One of its major problems is that unlike its competitor, Delta Airlines, the majority of United’s employees are represented by unions. In particular, any member of the airline employed before April 2006 cannot be furloughed, and this applies to many of those 2,000 personnel earmarked. As a consequence they have to be offered jobs elsewhere in the airline.
In a bulletin posted on their website at the weekend, Rich Delaney, a union official, made it clear that the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents those likely to be affected by this new review, found out a few months ago that United had requested contractors submit proposals to perform ground handling work at several stations. Talks between United and the unions are expected to commence on January 13th.