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Friday, January 16, 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.


Precision Aircraft Solutions awarded first conversion for Asia Pacific Airlines

January 15, 2015 · 283 Views

Precision Aircraft Solutions has begun conversion of the first B757-200PCF aircraft for Asia Pacific Airlines. Said President of Asia Pacific Airlines Mike Quinn: “Asia Pacific had very specific needs for our operating area. We not only had to have Pratt & Whitney engines and Boeing APB winglets installed, but we also had to have an aircraft that could be certified for 180 minutes ETOPS in order to cover the long distances we fly over the Pacific. The Precision team was an absolute pleasure to work with in putting this unique aircraft together. Their STC was flexible enough to handle all of our requirements.” Asia Pacific Airlines currently operates a fleet of three Boeing 727 freighters in the western and southern Pacific areas, carrying primarily the U.S. mail and fresh tuna for the Japanese and U.S. markets.


FL Technics becomes Aeroflot’s approved AOG/CRIT spare parts supplier

January 15, 2015 · 270 Views

FL Technics, a global provider of tailor-made aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, announced the start of a new cooperation with Aeroflot – the flag carrier of the Russian Federation. Under the cooperation the company will act as the carrier’s approved supplier of various spare parts in both scheduled and AOG situations. Having passed Aeroflot’s preliminary qualification for spare parts and materials suppliers, FL Technics will be listed among the carrier’s trusted AOG/CRIT spares suppliers. The company will provide worldwide supply of AOG, CRIT, ROUTINE spare parts and materials throughout 2015. FL Technics will support the carrier’s fleet, including Airbus A320s and Boeing 737NGs, through its network of stock and warehouses in UK, Lithuania, Poland, the Russian Federation, Malaysia, and the USA, as well as sources made available by its partners.


Doric expands aviation team with Fraser Chestney

January 15, 2015 · 493 Views

The aircraft financing expert Fraser Chestney has joined the London branch of Doric‘s aviation team. His primary focus will be on arranging aircraft investments for Doric investors. Before joining Doric, Fraser worked in the aircraft finance business at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe (SMBCE) where he was Head of the Aircraft Finance Group for a number of years. Fraser brings more than 20 years of experience in aircraft finance to Doric.


UAS completes full capabilities for GTCP331-200 series APU with new test cell

January 15, 2015 · 291 Views

Unique Airmotive Services (UAS) has brought on line a new digital state-of-the-art test cell capable of testing the Honeywell APU series GTCP331-200. We will also be expanding our capabilities to also include the piece parts and accessories, including Fuel Controls, Combustors, Atomizers, etc. These additional capabilities will allow UAS to serve our already growing list of Domestic and International Airlines as well as Maintenance and Repair Organizations (MRO’s) for the repair and overhaul of their APU’s and accessories.


Hawaiian Airlines appoints Shannon Okinaka as Senior Vice President and Interim Chief Financial Officer

January 15, 2015 · 554 Views

Hawaiian Airlines has appointed Shannon Okinaka to the position of senior vice president and interim chief financial officer, filling a vacancy left by the departure of CFO Scott Topping. In her new role, Okinaka will have oversight of all of the airline’s financial planning, accounting, treasury and compliance functions. Okinaka has served as vice president – controller of Hawaiian Airlines since 2011. She joined the company as a senior director in charge of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and special projects.


Rolls-Royce selected by Air Europa for Trent 1000 engines and service worth US$1.1bn

January 15, 2015 · 92 Views

Spanish carrier Air Europa has selected Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines and TotalCare long term service support, worth US$1.1bn, for 14 new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Air Europa already has eight Trent 1000-powered 787-8s on order that will enter service in 2016. Juan Jose Hidalgo, President of Globalia, the parent company of Air Europa, said: “We have plans to further expand our long-haul service and the Trent 1000 will deliver excellent economics through its performance and support service.” Rolls-Royce powered the very first Boeing 787 test flight in December 2009, the first 787-8 to enter service in October 2011, and the first 787-9 to enter service last year.


Aeroflot and SCA sign agreement for additional 20 SSJ-100s

January 15, 2015 · 94 Views

JSC Aeroflot and JSC Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCA) have signed an agreement for an additional 20 of the latest Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft. Aeroflot will receive the additional SSJ-100s in full specification, able to accommodate 87 passengers in a spacious dual-class configuration (12 seats in business and 75 in economy) and with a flight range of 2,400 km. The new aircraft will fly on short-haul domestic routes operated by Aeroflot Group subsidiaries, where the Superjet 100 has already proved highly effective. As the Russian domestic market continues to expand rapidly – Aeroflot Group’s domestic traffic increased 23.6% year-on-year in November 2014 – the new aircraft are expected to make a significant contribution to the Group’s future growth. The SSJ-100 is a next-generation regional jet developed and produced by JSC Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCA) in cooperation with the Italian Alenia Aermacchi and with components provided by leading Western companies. The SSJ-100 received certification from the Aviation Register of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC AR) in January 2011. The new agreement is in addition to an existing contract for 30 SSJ-100s, and will bring Aeroflot Group’s fleet of SSJ-100s to a total of 50 aircraft by 2017.


Gogo receives FCC regulatory approval for 2Ku In-flight Connectivity Technology

January 15, 2015 · 86 Views

Gogo (GOGO), a leading global aero communications service provider, has received regulatory approval from the FCC to operate its next generation in-flight connectivity technology – 2Ku. The FCC approval clears a major hurdle in the path to launching the new service. The approval is a blanket approval from the FCC for Gogo to operate its 2Ku system on 1,000 aircraft. The new antenna technology is expected to deliver peak speeds to the aircraft of more than 70 Mbps.


Boeing, Embraer open joint aviation biofuel research center in Brazil

January 15, 2015 · 125 Views

Boeing and Embraer opened a joint sustainable aviation biofuel research center in a collaborative effort to further establish the aviation biofuel industry in Brazil. At the Boeing-Embraer Joint Research Center in the São José dos Campos Technology Park, the companies will coordinate and co-fund research with Brazilian universities and other institutions. The research will focus on technologies that address gaps in creating a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil, such as feedstock production, techno-economic analysis, economic viability studies and processing technologies. Boeing’s biofuel collaboration with Embraer is led by Boeing Research & Technology-Brazil (BR&T-Brazil), one of Boeing’s six international advanced research centers. BR&T-Brazil works with Brazil’s research-and-development community to grow Brazil’s capabilities and meet the country’s goals for economic and technology development while supporting the creation of innovative and affordable technologies for Boeing’s business units. In addition to its collaboration in Brazil, Boeing has active biofuel-development projects in the United States, Middle East, Africa, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia and Australia.


Thomas Vansittart joins AerSale as Director of Airframe Material Sales for EMEA

January 15, 2015 · 564 Views

Thomas Vansittart has joined the AerSale team as Director of Airframe Material Sales – EMEA, to further support the Company’s global footprint in the European and Middle East Regions. Based in the UK, Thomas will be responsible for leading the AerSale airframe materials team that is based in both the London area as well as at AerSale’s Dublin office. Thomas most recently served as Team Leader – Customer Material Group at British Airways.


Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi signs contract with Peruvian Minister of Defence for two C27J Spartan

January 15, 2015 · 608 Views

Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi signed a contract, valued at around €100m, with the Peruvian Ministry of Defense to supply two C-27J Spartan tactical airlifters. The contract, which brings the number of C-27J Spartans ordered by the Peruvian Air Force to four, also includes integrated logistic support and technical assistance. The first two aircraft, ordered in December 2013, will be delivered to FAP in the first few months of 2015, while the second order will be delivered in 2016 and 2017. The aircraft will be operated by 8th Air Group based at Callao, on the country’s central coast.


Increased passenger and cargo demand leads to go-ahead for Chengdu’s second airport

January 15, 2015 · 103 Views

In 2013, Chengdu Shuangliu, Chengdu’s only airport, handled 34.5 million passengers, making it the 5th busiest airport in China, and the busiest in Western China. This number of passenger virtually doubles the number handled in 2005 and takes the airport critically close to its 40 million passengers per annum capacity. It was also the 5th busiest airport in China for cargo transportation. In 2012 it was listed in the top 50 of the world’s busiest airports. Chinese airlines are looking to expand – Chengdu is a major hub for Air China, Sichuan Airlines and Chengdu Airlines. However only recently has the existing airport expanded to three runways and only from August 2014 have direct flights to the USA (San Fransisco) been available.
Throughout China air traffic has been on the increase. Chinese airports dealt with more than 754 million passengers in 2013, an increase of 11 percent from 2012 and 86 percent from five years previously. To deal with this increase Beijing started construction in December on a new USD$14bn airport able to deal with 72 million passengers and 2 million tons of cargo on an annual basis.
Chengdu is now to become China’s third major city to boast a second airport, after Beijing and Shanghai since approval has been given for the construction of a three runway airport capable of handling up to 40 million passengers. It is due for completion in 2025. With such a limited availability of slots at major Chinese airports, combined with China’s restricted air corridors, constant delays are being experienced at Chinese airports which, at some points, have led to riots. It was reported that two Chinese passengers were jailed at the weekend for opening an emergency exit door as the aircraft was taxiing, in a protest at the lengthy flight delay.