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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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Emirates reject Delta’s apology regarding Anderson’s 9/11 comments

February 20, 2015 · 541 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 · 639 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 · 195 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 · 162 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 · 111 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 · 78 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 · 78 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 · 74 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 · 65 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 · 64 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 · 40 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 · 53 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.


BOC Aviation places order with CFM International to power A320 aircraft

January 26, 2015 · 59 Views

BOC Aviation is pleased to announce the signing of a new contract with CFM International (“CFM”) for firm orders of CFM 56 engines to power 10 new A320 aircraft, part of its existing order with Airbus. “This new engine order signifies our continued confidence in CFM 56-powered A320 aircraft, delivering a reliable airframe and engine combination to our global customer base,” said Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BOC Aviation, at a ceremony today. “It represents yet another key step in our established partnership with CFM to meet the needs of our customers.”


MTU Maintenance wins Sky Airline from Chile for CFM56-5B maintenance

January 26, 2015 · 246 Views

The Chilean low-cost carrier Sky Airline has awarded MTU Maintenance an exclusive total engine care maintenance contract covering their fleet of CFM56-5B engines. The contract has a duration of eight years. Apart from core maintenance, MTU Maintenance will provide the airline with spare engines via its recently founded engine lease company MTU Maintenance Lease Services B.V. as well as on-site repairs and MTUPlus Engine Trend Monitoring. Sky Airline is therefore benefitting from MTU’s all-encompassing Total Engine Care (TEC) program. The engines will be overhauled at MTU Maintenance’s Asian location in Zhuhai, China. Sky Airline is Chile’s second-largest airline and the country’s largest low-cost carrier. The airline was founded in 2001 and operates a fleet of 16 Airbus A319 and A320. Sky Airline serves 14 destinations within Chile as well as additional locations in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru.


DAE and Azul announce completion of sale leaseback transactions

January 26, 2015 · 49 Views

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Ltd. and Azul Brazilian Airlines announced today that they had recently completed the delivery of 5 ATR 72-600s to the airline. DAE Managing Director Khalifa H. AlDaboos said: “We are delighted to include AZUL as one of DAE’s new clients in Latin America. We look forward to a mutually rewarding long-term relationship with Azul in this rapidly expanding market. We intend to continue to develop our business and increase our fleet through sale and lease-backs of targeted aircraft, such as the ATR 72-600 aircraft.” In 2014, DAE placed a direct order with the manufacturer for up to 40 ATR 72-600s. The total portfolio at year-end 2014 is approximately US$3.6bn.


Precision Aircraft Solutions awarded tenth conversion for SF Airlines

January 26, 2015 · 266 Views

Precision Aircraft Solutions has begun conversion of a Rolls-Royce-powered 757, MSN 25886, for Chinese cargo carrier SF Airlines. The conversion marks the 10th Precision conversion to join the SF air operation since 2009. Air China Technics is performing the conversion at Chengdu Aircraft Maintenance Base.


American Airlines welcomes first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

January 26, 2015 · 71 Views

American Airlines officially welcomes its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. American took delivery of the airplane, a 787-8 with registration number N800AN, on January 22nd, at Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington. American has placed firm orders for 42 Boeing 787 aircraft, with the right to acquire an additional 58. American will take delivery of both the 787-8 and 787-9 as part of the 42 firm orders. American expects its first 787 to enter revenue service in the second quarter, flying domestically between American’s hubs for several weeks before being launched on international flights.


Parker Aerospace selected by AVIC Aircraft to provide flight controls

January 26, 2015 · 288 Views

Parker Aerospace has been selected by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China’s AVIC Aircraft to supply the flight control actuation and hydraulic system for the new MA700 regional aircraft. Parker Aerospace will provide fly-by-wire actuators for the new twin turboprop MA700. Part of the bill of material will be provided by Parker’s partner AVIC FACRI (Flight Automated Control Research Institute). Fly-by-wire flight controls will replace the conventional hydro-mechanical flight control actuators that accept electrical commands from the flight control electronics to link pilot commands to flight control surfaces. Fly-by-wire provides increased functionality and easier installation. The MA700’s hydraulic system will be designed and manufactured by Parker, providing the functionality necessary to power and control the aircraft’s flight control system, landing gear and steering system and brakes.


FLY Leasing acquires two new Airbus A321s

January 26, 2015 · 87 Views

FLY Leasing has agreed to purchase two new Airbus A321 aircraft in a sale and leaseback transaction with a leading European airline. The first aircraft has already been delivered and the second will be delivered in the coming months. Both aircraft are on long-term leases. “FLY continues its growth trajectory with the acquisition of two new aircraft,” said Colm Barrington, CEO of FLY. “For the past two years, we have focused on acquiring newer aircraft and divesting of older models, which has driven revenue growth while lowering the average age of our fleet and improving our average lease term. FLY has now grown its fleet value to more than US$3.5bn. In addition, we have consistently monetized older aircraft at premiums to book value, demonstrating the strong inherent value in our fleet.”


PacAvi Group inducts first Airbus A320 for Passenger-to-Freighter conversion

January 26, 2015 · 324 Views

PacAvi Group has delivered to HAITEC Aircraft Maintenance GmbH its prototype Airbus A320 (MSN 293) for conversion from passenger to freighter (P2F) configuration, in order to finalize regulatory approval by the FAA, EASA, and other governmental authorities. Initial work has commenced on the prototype, which will be fully converted P2F on an aggressive schedule.  HAITEC CEO Frank Rott said: “The Airbus A320 passenger-to-freighter conversion program is an ideal addition to our value-added range of services, as we continue to expand our facilities and capabilities.  We will be opening a new 12,000-m² hangar with Airbus A380 capacity in 2016, in addition to our Erfurt hangar dedicated to our VIP customers that opened last fall.  It is exciting to be producing the first narrowbody Airbus freighters. These A320 freighters represent technologically highly advanced products, which will hit the marketplace just when demand is at a peak.”


Major boost for Australian and Chinese airlines with new air services agreement

January 26, 2015 · 73 Views

After nearly ten years of discussions, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott and China’s President Xi Jinping concluded negotiations for a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) on 17th November 2014. The Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb and Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng signed a Declaration of Intent to work towards signature of the Agreement. ChAFTA creating the historic foundation for a new phase of Australia’s economic relationship with China. ChAFTA unlocked significant opportunities for Australia as China is Australia’s largest export market for services and goods. It accounts for over 30% of all exports, and is a growing source of foreign investment.
China and Australia have now established an air services agreement which has massive repercussions for the airline industry. In the last financial year approaching 800,000 Chinese tourists spent AU$5bn (US$4bn). On the reverse side of this, part of ChAFTA has seen the Chinese government guaranteed that Australian service suppliers can now construct, renovate and operate wholly Australian-owned hotels and restaurants in China. Additionally Australian travel agencies/tour operators can establish wholly Australian-owned subsidiaries in China offering tours throughout China for both domestic and foreign travelers.
“Last year, 100 million Chinese travelled abroad, and this is set to double to some 200 million by 2020,” Andrew Robb, Australia’s Trade and Investment Minister said, continuing, “Tripling aviation capacity from China into Australia over the next two years will ensure we are well placed to capture this growth.” This becomes feasible as a consequence of this new agreement which allows both countries’ carriers to immediately add 4,000 extra seats a week between Australia’s gateway cities and Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, with a further 7,000 seats being phased in over the following two years.
Traffic rights for airlines to fly beyond the two countries by October 2016 now paves the way for new routes while allowing airlines from both countries identical increases in capacity between other gateway cities besides Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, though unlimited current passenger services between China and Australian Cairns, the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Darwin will continue. It is also important to note that this new agreement additionally eliminates the requirement for Chinese government approval of airfares.