Tuesday, January 20, 2015
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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February 20, 2015 · 556 Views
The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.
February 20, 2015 · 655 Views
Snecma (Safran), a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines, and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), a leading aerospace manufacturer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 28th, 2015 in Bangalore to explore establishing a joint venture in India for the production of aero-engine parts. The proposed joint venture will initially focus on the manufacture of high-tech parts for the Dassault Rafale’s Snecma M88 engine, then subsequently contribute to other major aerospace projects of HAL & Snecma, in India and worldwide. Spanning over 30,000 m², the proposed joint venture’s new plant is expected to benefit from substantial investment by the two partners, providing it with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. This agreement marks a major step forward in the long-standing collaboration between Snecma and HAL. The proposed joint venture will further broaden the scope of the excellent relations established over the past 60 years between Safran affiliates and the Indian aerospace industry. For example, Snecma manufactures the M53 engines powering the Mirage 2000H “Vajra” fighters operated by the Indian Air Force.
December 2, 2014 · 197 Views
On the 7th January 2013 a fire was reported on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner while parked at Boston’s airport in the USA. The fire was put down to a problem with one of the plane’s lithium-ion batteries. A week later an All Nippon Airways 787 Dreamliner had to make an emergency landing after smoke was discovered inside the plane which was subsequently traced back to another lithium-ion battery. As a consequence of this incident, all 787 Dreamliners were grounded until April of that year until further acceptable testing and improvements were carried out to the battery system on board the plane. The battery itself was manufactured by GS Yuasa and comprised eight individual cells making up a combined weight of 63lbs.
Nearly two years later and the results of the investigation into the first incident have concluded that the lithium-ion battery installed in the plane should not have received certification by the FAA. The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) were also critical of Boeing who they believed had erroneously ruled out the chances of thermal runaway in its assessment of the battery’s safety. Boeing’s battery tests to obtain original certification included crushing battery cells, driving nails through them and deliberately introducing short circuits to cause failure. Boeing found “nothing adverse happened” while these tests were carried out, and so deemed the battery’s box and internal protection to be of an acceptable standard. Boeing stated that it had followed the certification process set out by the FAA. It would seem that while the cause of the fire has been clearly identified, responsibility for its occurrence has not been accepted in full by anyone.
November 5, 2014 · 164 Views
Back in February this year, Rolls-Royce, the FTSE-100 engine maker, lost over £3bn of its value after shocking the market with its first profits warning in a decade. To announce a second one this October has created considerable concern and Rolls-Royce has decided that over the next 18 months they need to reduce costs by up to £80m a year by axing 2,600 jobs, the majority of which will be in the aerospace sector in Britain and the United States. The focus is on Rolls-Royce’s key Trent engines as they move from the development to the production phase, which consequently requires fewer engineers.
Back in February John Rishton, Rolls-Royce group’s Chief Executive, had admitted that the future was “bumpier than I had expected”, while blaming the current problems on deteriorating economic conditions and a tit-for-tat trade war between the EU and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis which had affected its nuclear and energy business as well as its power-systems unit. This week Rishton has had to admit that “We are taking determined management action and accelerating our progress on cost. The measures announced today will not be the last; however they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company.”
Another consequence of the situation is the unexpected departure of Finance Director, Mark Morris, leaving the company after 27 year without any explanation. He will be replaced by David Smith, who is being promoted from Finance Director of the Rolls-Royce Aerospace division. This second profit warning saw share value fall 11% to 832p, wiping a further £2bn off the company’s value. However, news of the redundancies was well received by investors and the share price rallied by 2%, currently standing at 832p. This is clear confirmation of comments made by Espirito Santo’s analyst, Ed Stacey, who indicated that investors would be expecting a clear message from the new Finance Director and tight control on all finances.
March 25, 2014 · 113 Views
Air France-KLM selected the GEnx-1B engine to power its 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 12 leased 787 aircraft. The total engine order is valued at more than $1.7bn. Air France-KLM and GE Aviation have also signed an agreement that will allow Air France-KLM to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the GEnx-1B engine. Under this agreement, Air France-KLM will be licensed to perform maintenance and overhaul work on the GEnx-1B engine and GE will provide technical support and assistance on overhaul workscoping and component repair licenses, comprehensive material support and training.
March 7, 2014 · 80 Views
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has closed a new senior secured term loan of $1.5 billion. The loan will bear interest at LIBOR plus 275 basis points with a 0.75% LIBOR floor, is priced at 99.5% of par value, and will mature in 2021. The collateral used to support the transaction has an initial weighted average age of 9.1 years. It will be secured primarily by a first priority-perfected lien on the equity of certain of ILFC’s subsidiaries, which directly or indirectly own a pool of aircraft and related leases. ILFC plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including purchasing aircraft and supporting the company’s liquidity cushion.
February 26, 2014 · 80 Views
In 2013, Airbus achieved a new industry record of 1,619 gross commercial orders (FY 2012: 914 gross orders) with net orders of 1,503 aircraft (FY 2012: 833 net orders), excluding ATR. Gross orders comprised 1,253 A320 Family aircraft, 77 A330s, 239 A350 XWBs and 50 A380s. Fourth-quarter orders included Emirates Airline’s agreement for 50 A380s and Etihad Airways’ order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neos and one A330-200F. Airbus Military (now part of Airbus Defence and Space) received 17 net orders (FY 2012: 32 net orders). Airbus’ net order intake increased sharply to €202.3bn (FY 2012: €88.9bn). At the end of 2013, Airbus’ consolidated order book was valued at €647.4bn (year-end 2012: €525.5bn). The Airbus Commercial backlog was worth €627.1bn (year-end 2012: €505.3bn), comprising 5,559 Airbus aircraft (year-end 2012: 4,682 units) and representing over eight years of production. Airbus Military’s order book was worth €20.8bn (year-end 2012: €21.1bn). Airbus series aircraft deliveries increased to 626 aircraft (FY 2012: 588 aircraft, including three A330s without revenue recognition). Airbus Military delivered 31 aircraft (FY 2012: 29 aircraft). Airbus’ consolidated revenues increased seven percent to €42,012m (FY 2012: €39,273m), reflecting higher commercial and military aircraft deliveries. The Division’s consolidated EBIT rose to €1,710m (FY 2012: €1,252m). Airbus Commercial’s revenues rose to €39,889m (FY 2012: €37,624m). The Airbus Commercial reported EBIT was €1,595m (FY 2012: €1,147m) with the EBIT before one-off at €2,216m (FY 2012: €1,669m). Airbus Commercial’s EBIT before one-off benefitted from the improved operational performance, including favourable volume, some better pricing and an improvement in A380 losses. It also included higher A350 XWB programme support costs. Revenues at Airbus Military rose to €2,893m (FY 2012: €2,131m), driven by the A400M ramp-up and higher volumes from both light and medium transport planes and tankers. The EBIT at Airbus Military was €166m (FY 2012: €93m).
January 29, 2014 · 76 Views
Boeing Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $14.7bn and full-year revenue increased to a record $53bn on higher delivery volume. Fourth-quarter operating margin improved to 10.3% and full-year operating margin grew to 10.9% on the higher volume, favorable delivery mix and continued strong operating performance. During the quarter, the company launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments. During the year, the 787 program completed first flight of the 787-9, successfully launched the 787-10 and began operating at a 10 per month production rate in final assembly. The 737 program delivered at a record production rate of 38 per month and has won nearly 1,800 firm orders for the 737 MAX since launch. In 2013, a record 648 commercial aircraft were delivered. In January 2014, the company reached an eight-year contract extension through 2024 with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM). Commercial Airplanes booked 465 net orders during the quarter and 1,355 during the year. Backlog remains strong with 5,080 airplanes valued at a record $374 billion.
January 9, 2014 · 67 Views
The A350 XWB development aircraft, MSN3, is in Bolivia where it will perform a series of tests at the high altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba is around 8,300 feet above sea level, and La Paz is one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet. Operations at such high altitude airfields are particularly demanding on aircraft engines, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and systems. The aim of these trials is to demonstrate and validate the full functionality of engines, systems, materials as well as to assess the overall aircraft behaviour under these extreme conditions. A number of take-offs with all engines operating and with simulated engine failures are being performed at each of the airfields to collect data on engine operating characteristics and validate the aircraft take-off performance. The autopilot behaviour will also be evaluated during automatic landings and go-arounds. Since the A350 XWB’s first flight with MSN1 on June 14th 2013, over 800 flight test hours have been performed in close to 200 test flights by both MSN1 and MSN3. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in Q4 2014.
July 5, 2013 · 66 Views
Firefly, Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary carrier has taken ownership of its first brand-new ATR 72-600. The aircraft is the first of 20 latest generation firm ATRs, plus 16 options, ordered by Malaysia Airlines in December 2012. Firefly currently operates 12 ATR 72-500s, and with the arrival of the new ATR 72-600s will almost triple its exclusively ATR 72 aircraft fleet, taking the total to over 30 aircraft.
June 26, 2013 · 42 Views
Certification testing is underway on the first Passport development engine at GE Aviation’s Peebles Testing Operation in Ohio. The engine began ground testing on June 24th and ran for more than three hours, reaching more than 18,000 lbs. of standard day sea-level takeoff thrust. Eight Passport engines and one core will be involved in the engine certification program. Flight testing on GE’s flying testbed is scheduled for 2014. Engine certification is expected in 2015. The Passport engine certification program follows three years of validation testing. GE Aviation has conducted validation tests on the fan blisk design, including two fan blade-out rig tests, ingestion tests and a fan aero rig test to demonstrate fan efficiency. Testing is complete on the third eCore demonstrator, and GE has accumulated more than 300 hours of testing on eCore demonstrators to date.
May 22, 2013 · 55 Views
Rolls-Royce has won an order from US leasing company CIT Aerospace for Trent XWB engines, to power ten Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and Trent 700 engines to power 13 Airbus A330 aircraft. The Trent XWB engines will power ten CIT A350 aircraft that were announced in January 2013 which were in addition to five A350 XWB aircraft already on order. The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the Airbus A350, is the fastest selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,200 already sold. The engine variant that will power the A350-800 and -900 was awarded European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification in February. The engine will power the first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB this year and the aircraft’s first in-service flight in 2014.
January 19, 2015 · 68 Views
Air Transport Services Group has completed a new agreement that extends its support of DHL’s air cargo network in the United States through at least March 2019. Principal elements of the new agreement include:
• Extended dry leases through March 2019 for the 13 Boeing 767 freighters currently leased to DHL for its U.S. air network.
• New dry leases of two Boeing 767 freighters through March 2019.
• ABX Air’s continued operation of the fifteen Boeing 767 freighters leased to DHL through March 2019.
• Continued incentives for superior operating performance.
• Attractive terms for DHL to broaden ATSG’s support of its global network operations.
Joe Hete, President and CEO of ATSG, said the agreement marks the next stage in ATSG’s more than 11-year relationship with DHL, under which ATSG provides the aircraft assets and services that support the majority of the air freight that moves through DHL’s U.S. network each day, and provides additional freighter support to DHL elsewhere in the world.
January 19, 2015 · 459 Views
AJW Aviation has appointed industry specialist, Shane Tingey, to the newly defined position of Sales Director. His role is to develop pro-active sales strategies for contracted power-by-the-hour, ad-hoc spares sales, component repairs and engine management divisions, as well as support AJW’s dynamic customer relations programme worldwide. His primary and initial focus will be AJW Aviation’s stock sales, brokered sales and exchanges across AJW’s diverse customer base from small start-ups, to national carriers. He is responsible for the Field Sales teams in all markets.
January 19, 2015 · 506 Views
Aircraft cabin lighting specialists, STG Aerospace, reported that Richard Ilett has joined the company in the new role of Chief Operating Officer (COO). nSince undertaking a mechanical engineering graduate apprenticeship with British Aircraft Corporation and Leicester University, Richard has spent most of his career in the aerospace industry. During his 17 years with British Aerospace, he worked initially in Plant Engineering and Site Development and, as Sub Contract Manager, was responsible for the sourcing and delivery of £25m p.a. worth of aircraft components in the international supply chain. This was followed by a period of three years in charge of the Fitting and Hydraulic Operating Centre, managing 230 operators and 50 indirect staff involved in manufacturing engineering, production control and quality inspection.
January 19, 2015 · 246 Views
Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, has reported an operating profit of US$97.7m in 2014, an increase of 35% over 2013 and the highest in the company’s 13 year history. Net profit fell by 62% to US$19.3m owing to a one-off revaluation of external debt of US$49m caused by the devaluation of the Kazakh tengue by 19% in February. Passenger traffic rose by 3% to 3.8 million, whilst revenue fell by 3% to US$932.9m. Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund Samruk Kazyna and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.
January 19, 2015 · 65 Views
MBA Aircraft Solutions, on behalf of its clients, has completed the sale of three Rolls-Royce RB211s to AAR Corp (Wood Dale, IL).
January 19, 2015 · 481 Views
AAR reported that its Airlift division has been awarded a contract by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence for Search & Rescue (SAR) and Support Helicopter services in the Falkland Islands. The contract is valued at approximately US$275m (approximately £180m). AAR Airlift, together with British International Helicopters (BIH) and Air Rescue Systems (ARS), will provide a combined SAR and Support Helicopter service to the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) operations. The program will include AgustaWestland AW-189 SAR helicopters, Sikorsky S-61 support helicopters, flight operations, maintenance, logistics and facilities support at the Mount Pleasant Complex in the Falkland Islands and surrounding maritime region.
January 19, 2015 · 231 Views
Bombardier announced the pause of its Learjet 85 business aircraft program. The pause is due to weak demand for the Learjet 85 aircraft and follows a downward revision of Bombardier’s business aircraft market forecast. This reflects the continued weakness of the Light aircraft category since the economic downturn. As a result, the Company will record a pre-tax special charge in the fourth quarter of 2014 of approximately US$1.4bn mainly related to the impairment of the Learjet 85 development costs. Additionally, Bombardier will reduce its workforce by approximately 1,000 employees at its sites in Querétaro, Mexico, and Wichita, United States. A severance provision of approximately US$25 million will be recorded as a special item during the first quarter of 2015. Bombardier’s Wichita and Querétaro sites remain critical facilities in key markets. Wichita is a multifaceted facility and is the location of final assembly activities for the Learjet 70 and Learjet 75 aircraft, the Bombardier Flight Test Center as well as a Service Center. In addition to contributing to many of Bombardier’s aircraft programs, the Querétaro site recently completed its Global 7000/8000 aft fuselage manufacturing building. Furthermore, following a review of preliminary results compiled by Bombardier for the fiscal year ended December 31st, 2014, it has become clear that certain financial guidance previously provided will not be met. Based on these preliminary results, Bombardier is updating its guidance for 2014. Earnings before financing expenses, financing income and income taxes (EBIT) before special items at Aerospace (BA) is expected to be approximately 4% compared with a previous guidance of 5%. The variation is mainly due to increased provisions for credit and residual value guarantees, pricing pressure on new aircraft sold, as well as a decrease in fair value of used aircraft. EBIT before special items at Transportation (BT) is expected to be approximately 5% compared to a previous guidance of 6%. This variation is mainly due to revised escalation assumptions for some contracts which impacted estimated future revenues. Cash flow from operating activities at Aerospace is expected to be approximately US$800m while net additions to property, plant and equipment (PP&E) and intangible assets are expected to be approximately US$1.8bn, compared with a previous guidance for cash flow from operating activities between US$1.2bn and US$1.6bn and net additions to PP&E and intangible assets between US$1.6bn and US$1.9bn.
RRPF completes first installed engine sale and lease-back transaction with dvb deucalion aviation funds
January 19, 2015 · 111 Views
Rolls-Royce & Partners Finance (RRPF) and DVB Bank SE (DVB) as investment advisor to the Deucalion Aviation Funds have completed a sale and lease-back transaction to finance V2500-A5 engines installed on five A320-200 aircraft. The aircraft were subject to existing leases purchased from Mitsui & Co US and are all on lease in the Americas region. Bobby Janagan, Rolls-Royce & Partners Finance, General Manager, said: “This was the first time that RRPF has completed such a transaction. It shows that we are able to develop new products to support all customers including aircraft investors who are looking to realise the full value of assets approaching the later stages of their economic lifecycle.” The transaction successfully leveraged the complimentary expertise and platforms of RRPF and DVB. RRPF is the market leading spare engine lessor of this engine type, with the ability to extract the maximum value from engine assets. DVB has significant experience of financing, investing in and managing aircraft and as advisor to the Deucalion Aviation Funds has a thirteen year track record of arranging and managing highly structured aviation investments.
January 19, 2015 · 544 Views
Fokker signed an agreement on January 14th, for the delivery of wing components (Flaperons & Outboard Leading Edge Flaps) on the next batches of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Under this agreement, Fokker will be responsible for the manufacturing of the Flaperons & OLEF for the next batches of F-35 aircraft in low rate initial production lot 9-10. Spread over the period from 2015 to the end of 2017 this selection represents an additional value of tens of millions of US$ and secures employment for 100 highly qualified specialists at Fokker in Hoogeveen for the coming years. The F-35’s Flaperons are 3 metre long flaps on the wing trailing edges and the OLEF are flaps on the wing leading edges, both vital for the controllability of the aircraft. The unique design is based on the low maintenance combination of composite and titanium with a better resistance to fatigue and corrosion. The design of the Flaperons & OLEF contributes to improved aircraft performance by saving weight and increasing strength at the same time. Fokker has been manufacturing the Flaperons & OLEF since Low Rate Initial Production Lot 3 for the F-35 aircraft. Fokker also produced more than 2000 sets of flaperons for the Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft type for many years. Production of the F-16 components started in 1978 and is still going on today.
January 19, 2015 · 277 Views
In time for the launch of commercial flight operations of the Airbus A350 to Frankfurt, Lufthansa Technik has received approval of the European airworthiness authority EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) as Maintenance Organization for the new aircraft type (Part 145 approval). The maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider offers now routine maintenance services in Frankfurt. For some time now, Lufthansa Technik has been preparing meticulously for technical support of the Airbus A350. The company’s Frankfurt and Munich facilities will be able to provide airlines with an extensive package of maintenance and repair services, including troubleshooting and the elimination of technical defects, software management, and both the planned and unplanned replacement of components, engines, and auxiliary power units (APU) in addition to routine checks. Lufthansa Technik will also supply spare parts as needed at both hubs. As part of its global network, Lufthansa Technik is currently setting up worldwide material supply for the A350 with component pool sites in Asia and Europe. Future operators of the A350 can already benefit from initial component maintenance capacities for this aircraft at Lufthansa Technik’s workshops in Hamburg, and these capacities will be expanded continuously with the growth of A350 fleets around the world. In addition, Lufthansa Technik is preparing the storage and provision of Rolls-Royce Trent XWB spare engines and Honeywell HGT1700 APUs in and from Frankfurt to ensure fast help for A350 operators in the event of planned or unplanned engine or APU replacements.
January 19, 2015 · 336 Views
January 19, 2015 · 115 Views
At La Guardia Airport, New York, a US FAA inspector was arrested after a firearm was alleged to have been found in one of his bags at a TSA checkpoint, as was revealed by ABC news on Saturday. It would appear the Atlanta-based inspector used a Security Identification Display Area badge allowing him to bypass security at Atlanta Airport earlier in his trip, despite it being discovered at a standard security checkpoint at La Guardia. As a result, the FAA has chosen to suspend the rule where its inspectors were allowed to bypass security checkpoints. Additionally the FAA’s Administrator, Michael Huerta, has been prompted to increase the amount of training its security inspectors undergo now that rule has been suspended for the time being, an agency statement has revealed. The rule in question allowed inspectors to skip checkpoints yet affords them access to secure areas of airports while they carry out their usual duties. Despite the inspector being arrested, the agency has confirmed that he is still with the FAA , though now performing “non-safety related duties”. The TSA stated that it was now investigating the incident in full in conjunction with the Port Authority police and the FAA.