Friday, January 23, 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 22, 2015 · 262 Views
United Airlines (UAL) reported full-year 2014 net income of US$1.97bn, an increase of 89% year-over-year, or $5.06 per diluted share, excluding US$834 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported full-year net income of US$1.13bn, or $2.93 per diluted share. UAL reported fourth-quarter 2014 net income of US$461m, an increase of 86% year-over-year, or $1.20 per diluted share, excluding US$433m of special items. Including special items, UAL reported fourth-quarter 2014 net income of US$28m, or $0.07 per diluted share.
January 22, 2015 · 239 Views
Alaska Air Group reported fourth quarter 2014 GAAP net income of US$148m compared to GAAP net income of US$78m in 2013. Excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge gains of US$6m (US$4m after tax) a benefit related to the curtailment of certain postretirement benefit plans and a one-time gain associated with the settlement of a legal matter for US$30m in aggregate (US$19m after tax), the company reported record fourth quarter 2014 net income of US$125m, compared to net income, excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge gains, of US$77m in 2013. The company reported full-year 2014 GAAP net income of US$605m, compared to US$508m in the prior year. The company reported record net income of US$571m for 2014, compared to net income of US$383m 2013.
January 22, 2015 · 473 Views
Following the recent strategic Sales department restructure, Avtrade announced the appointment of two new Regional Sales Directors; James Cristal and Sudi Patel. As part of their new roles, James and Sudi will be jointly responsible for heading up the company’s sales operations in Europe. In addition, Sudi has responsibility for North Africa whilst James Cristal will also lead development of Avtrade’s sales operations in the Americas.
StandardAero signs five year contract to provide PW126 engine MRO Services for West Atlantic Cargo Airlines fleet
January 22, 2015 · 351 Views
StandardAero signed an exclusive five year contract, with a five year renewal option on January 1st, 2015, to maintain, repair and overhaul West Altantic Cargo Airline’s PW126 engines, modules, components and parts. The agreement will cover West Atlantic’s owned fleet of 41 BAE ATP aircraft powered by PW126 engines serving the cargo mail and express industries. Services will be provided predominantly at StandardAero’s Tilburg, Netherlands European Service Center (ESC). Additional services will also be available at StandardAero’s Winnipeg, Canada facility as well as on site at West Atlantic’s Malmo, Sweden and Coventry, United Kingdom locations. The agreement also includes field service provided by StandardAero technicians. Headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, West Atlantic is one of Europe’s largest cargo airlines and the most experienced provider of unique, integrated ground to air logistics for the mail industry.
American Airlines receives approval to begin service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Beijing on May 7th
January 22, 2015 · 100 Views
American Airlines will begin operating its new daily service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) on May 7th, marking the airline’s sixth daily flight to Asia from DFW and the only nonstop flight connecting DFW and Beijing. With the addition of this service, American will offer 11 routes between the U.S. and Asia.
January 22, 2015 · 347 Views
Southwest Airlines’ fourth quarter 2014 total operating revenues increased 4.5% to US$4.6bn, while operating unit revenues increased 2.0%, on a 2.4% increase in available seat miles, all as compared with fourth quarter 2013. The growth in operating revenues was largely driven by strong fourth quarter 2014 passenger revenues. Operating income in fourth quarter 2014 was US$621m, compared with US$386m in fourth quarter 2013, resulting in a 13.4% operating margin. Excluding special items, operating income was US$679m in fourth quarter 2014, compared with US$418m in fourth quarter 2013, a 62.4% increase year-over-year. For 2014, total operating revenues increased 5.1% to US$18.6bn, and total operating expenses were US$16.4bn, resulting in operating income of US$2.2bn, compared with US$1.3bn in operating income for 2013.
January 22, 2015 · 91 Views
Boeing and Thai Airways International (THAI) celebrated the Thai flag-carrier’s 75th direct delivery of a Boeing airplane. Marking the milestone delivery, Boeing and THAI collaborated to transport 1,000 wool blankets onboard THAI’s newly delivered 777-300ER (Extended Range). The blankets, donated by Another Joy Foundation, will be distributed by the airline to people in need in Thailand during the colder winter months.
January 22, 2015 · 113 Views
It was back in 2012 that Air France-KLM agreed the implementation of Transform 2015 in a bid to return the airline to profitability. At that time 5,100 job cuts were expected to be the solution after fiveyears of running at a loss. The French Government owns a 15.9% stake in the airline and the socialist government at the time were towing a hard line on the wages front. Air France’s wages are some of the highest within European airlines and account for approximately one third of the airline’s outgoings.
In September 2103 Air France announced a further round of job cuts extending to 2,800 jobs, the equivalent to 5% of its workforce. Those areas targeted in Air France were going to predominantly be voluntary departures and from those taking early retirement. At the time Mr. Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM admitted that the plan announced in 2012 had not gone far enough. The 2013 measures — which de Juniac vowed were sufficient — were expected to yield an additional US$534m to US$601m in cost savings by the end of 2014.
Now Air France have announced another 800 job losses, these again predominantly voluntary. In an Air France statement it was said that the voluntary redundancy plan would affect “approximately 800” cabin crew and ground staff, and would be coupled with “wage moderation and productivity efforts.” An Air France spokeswoman refused to supply further details or make comment on the financial targets of the new measures, but they will include revenue and purchasing initiatives. The current cost-cutting exercise also includes a “downwards revision in fleet and capacity growth.” Air France is still expected to take delivery of three Boeing 777s in 2015, but from 2016 onward further deliveries could be delayed. More information is anticipated with the release of Air France-KLM’s full-year results on February 19th.