Thursday, January 22, 2015
AviTrader Daily Aviation News
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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 21, 2015 · 266 Views
MTU Maintenance, one of the leading engine MRO providers worldwide, has signed an exclusive maintenance agreement with the Japanese low-cost carrier Solaseed Air which covers all 24 CFM56-7B and -7BE engines powering the airline’s fleet of 12 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The contract will run for twelve years and has a value of about €200m (US$260m). In addition to engine maintenance, MTU Maintenance will provide Solaseed Air with spare engine and on-site support. The engines will be overhauled at MTU Maintenance’s Asian location in Zhuhai, China. For MTU Maintenance, this is the largest agreement from a Japanese customer since the company entered the Japanese market in 2010.
January 21, 2015 · 232 Views
The year 2014 ended for ATR beating last years’ records in sales; deliveries, turnover and backlog. The aircraft manufacturer’s sales increased to 160 aircraft, along with 120 options, exceeding the previous 2011 record (157 firm sales and 79 options). ATR also achieved a record turnover in 2014, reaching US$1.8bn dollars (US$1.63bn in 2013), and increased its deliveries to 83 aircraft (compared with 74 in 2013). As a result of the extraordinary commercial year experienced by ATR, 2014 ended with 280 aircraft in its backlog, an end-of-year level never reached until now. In 2014, ATR signed the largest cumulative order of its history, with a contract that brings the number of firm aircraft orders from the Indonesian airline Lion Air to one hundred. ATR also reached a major milestone in its history with the signing of the 1000th order for the ATR 72 which will fly the flag of Airlines PNG, the Papua New Guinea airline. The 160 firm sales and 120 options represent nearly half the total sales of regional aircraft of below 90-seat capacity for the year. It reinforces the position of the ATR-600 as the regional aircraft of choice of airlines and leasing companies across the world. For the turboprop aircraft segment, these sales account for 80% of all the orders for the year.
January 21, 2015 · 484 Views
American Airlines promoted Vasu Raja to vice president – International Revenue Management. In this new role, Raja will lead a high-performing team responsible for overseeing all revenue generated from the company’s international business. His responsibilities will include overseeing the Atlantic joint business alliance with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair, as well as the airline’s Pacific joint venture with Japan Airlines.
January 21, 2015 · 292 Views
While the use of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) has become a mainstay in aircraft production, many are unaware that there is more than one type that can be leveraged. In its continuing role as an innovation and environmental leader, Airbus is working to take maximum benefit of “thermoplastic” CFRP material – which holds several key advantages over the “thermoset”-type CFRP that is more commonly used across the air transport sector, including its 100% recyclability. CFRP materials – both thermoplastic and thermoset – are created when thousands of carbon filament threads are bundled together before being combined with a matrix to form a “composite material.” A ply or layer is made to the specified size and orientation, and then more layers are added until the piece has the necessary properties to support the loads it will carry. The resulting material is composed of approximately 60 per cent fibres and 40% resin. Jean-Florent Lamèthe, an engineer from Airbus’ Materials and Processes team, explained that thermoplastic CFRP has excellent fatigue and damage tolerance properties, along with shorter manufacturing cycles and lower moisture absorption. It can even be welded, which cannot be done with thermoset-type CFRP. The key difference between thermoplastic and thermoset CFRP, according to Lamèthe, is what happens during their individual curing processes. “When you put ‘raw’ thermoset material into an autoclave and ‘cook’ it, there’s a chemical reaction – the actual chemical composition of the material changes,” he said. “With thermoplastic composites, you can melt a finished piece and reshape it and it still has the same chemical composition.”
January 21, 2015 · 469 Views
Boeing veteran Mike Emmelhainz is returning to Oklahoma City to lead the company’s operations there while Bryan Scott is succeeding Emmelhainz as head of Boeing’s San Antonio activities. The moves are effective at the end of January. Both executives will report to Scott Strode, vice president and general manager of Aircraft Modernization & Sustainment in the company’s Global Services & Support business. The changes are prompted by the retirement of Steve Goo, whose 38-year Boeing career culminated with his term in Oklahoma City.
January 21, 2015 · 56 Views
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft welcomed leasing company Elix Aviation Capital Limited (“Elix”) to the family of Q400 aircraft owners and operators. Elix is taking an assignment of three Q400 NextGen aircraft previously booked by an existing Bombardier customer. Dublin-based Elix was launched in September 2013 with the equity backing of Oaktree Capital Management, a premier global alternative investment firm managing funds in excess of US$90bn.
January 21, 2015 · 80 Views
A Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft joined the fleet of Russian airline — Red Wings. The aircraft with tail number RA-89021 was ferried from the Delivery Center of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company to Domodedovo International Airport — home base of the airline. In just a couple of days the SSJ100 delivered to Red Wings will be put into operations to start flights from Moscow to Makhachkala and Grozny in the South of Russia. Red Wings is planning to use the SSJ100 to perform flights to other cities of Russia. In accordance with the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft lease agreement signed in October 2014 between Russian airline Red Wings and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, the leasing period for three SSJ100 will be for three years with possible extensions. The aircraft is being delivered to Red Wings in 93-seat two-class cabin configuration.
January 21, 2015 · 96 Views
Fokker Services, part of Fokker Technologies, reported that a total of thirty-six Fokker aircraft were placed with four new as well as nine existing Fokker operators during 2014 by their respective aircraft sellers and lessors. These comprise thirteen Fokker 50s, ten Fokker 70s and seven Fokker 100s. In addition, leases were extended on two Fokker 50s, as well as four Fokker 100s.
January 21, 2015 · 290 Views
GKN Aerospace has agreed a long term agreement with Rolls-Royce to supply components for the latest version of the Trent 1000 engine – a capability enhancement of the existing Trent 1000 engine for the Boeing 787. This LTA is estimated to be worth more than US$200m over the life of the agreement. The agreement gives GKN Aerospace responsibility for the supply of the outer guide vane (OGV) mount ring and the rear fan case for the engine. Manufacture is taking place at the company’s sites in Newington, Connecticut, El Cajon, California and Mexicali, Mexico from where delivery of initial development units is already taking place. When in full production GKN Aerospace expects to supply up to 150 engine sets annually.
January 21, 2015 · 351 Views
Israel Aerospace Industries'(IAI) Bedek Aviation Group signed an agreement with Air Canada to fulfill the airline’s B787 line maintenance requirements at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel-Aviv. Alan Butterfield, Air Canada’s Vice President, Maintenance and Engineering, stated: “We are very pleased with the line maintenance work performed and the excellent working relationship that has developed with IAI’s Bedek Aviation Group. This contract assures Air Canada of a quality solution for our B787 line maintenance needs at Ben Gurion International Airport through IAI Bedek’s extensive and proven capabilities in this field.”
Lufthansa Technik and Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras sign comprehensive long-term component supply contract
January 21, 2015 · 123 Views
Germany based maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider Lufthansa Technik and the Brazilian low fare airline Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras have signed a comprehensive long-term component supply contract for the airline’s Airbus A330 fleet of seven A330-200 aircraft. The contract will run until end of 2019. Azul, Brazil’s largest airline by number of cities served, commemorated its first international flight within December 2014, using its newly acquired A330 fleet. The Total Component Support TCS agreement covers component maintenance, repair, overhaul and engineering services as well as pooling and Home Base Lease at the airline’s home base in Campinas/Viracopos. The component supply will be realized via the Lufthansa Technik component network in the United States and Europe.
January 21, 2015 · 387 Views
SR Technics and Germania Fluggesellschaft GmbH have entered into an exclusive long-term agreement for engine services. Valued at US$180m, the agreement is effective immediately. It covers engine services for Germania’s fleet of Airbus A319 and A321 as well as Boeing 737-700 planes. The engines involved are CFM56 series -5B and -7B produced by Snecma (Safran) and GE, the world’s leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines. Under the terms of the contract, the engine services will be carried out at SR Technics’ facilities in Zurich, where it has extensive CFM56 series maintenance, repair and overhaul experience and know-how.
Furthermore, SR Technics and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) have signed a contract for the completion of seven cabin modifications on the airline’s Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft. The US$15m one-year contract covers all the design engineering and certification, material provisioning as well as installation work. The modifications involve the replacement of Business, Premium Economy, and Economy class seats. In addition, the In-flight Entertainment (IFE) and in-seat power systems will be replaced. The new IFE system Zodiac Inflight Innovations’ RAVE™ solution in combination with Panasonic Avionics’ Global Communication Suite (GCS) enables wireless communication in the cabin. Furthermore, new galleys and stowage will be installed along with moodlight cabin-dim lights. While the modification work is being carried out, a heavy maintenance check (C-check) and repainting of one of the aircraft will also be performed. Carrying out such tasks simultaneously cuts the time this aircraft spends on the ground, which reduces SAS’s costs from having it out of service. All the work will be carried out at SR Technics’ Center of Excellence in Zurich, with completion planned for fall 2015.
January 21, 2015 · 110 Views
January 21, 2015 · 127 Views
In a move that is doubtless intended to show international air safety bodies that Indonesia has woken up to the fact they have been lax in their air safety policies, Indonesia’s Minister of Transport, Ignasius Jonan, has announced that a number of new safety rules have been put in place since the crash of AirAsia’s Airbus A320 over three weeks ago. These new rules relate both to flight permits as well as checks on the health and wellbeing of both air crew and flight controllers. Mr Jonas also stated: “It is a habit among airlines that they sometimes sell tickets before they have obtained a route permit,” adding, “Now route permits must be obtained 4 months before the flight and airlines will not be allowed to sell tickets before that.”
At the time of the crash it was known that AirAsia did not have a permit for the flight between Surabaya and Singapore, and the results of subsequent investigations have been revealed by Ignasius Jonan indicating that six specific airlines under the Department of Transport’s jurisdiction, had “committed violations” relating to their permits to fly specific routes. These airlines included Garuda Indonesia, Susi Air, Lion Air, TransNusa, Indonesia AirAsia and Wings Air (a subsidiary of Lion Air). Lion Air was by far the biggest culprit with 35 route violations plus 18 violations via its Wings Air offshoot.
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has requested an immediate overhaul of the Indonesian aviation sector. It is without doubt one of the fastest-growing in the region but has been susceptible to airlines with less than perfect safety records. Safety will have to be improved as the industry expands to cater to the increasing demand from a burgeoning middle class. In addition to safety, the welfare of workers is also being closely examined, with pay increases are being offered to a number of employees, including maintenance and safety inspection officials.