Tuesday, February 03, 2015
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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February 20, 2015 · 542 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 · 640 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 · 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 2, 2015 · 252 Views
Following Aero Technologies, one of the Aero Maintenance Group subsidiaries, Precision Electronics has received the ANAC (ANAC – Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil) certification. This will allow the entire group to supply the Brazilian market with its full portfolio of service offerings. The ANAC certification, an internationally recognized certification for quality and management, is a key asset to AMG ability to offer its top component MRO services to a wider customer’s portfolio within the region. “It is a major step for the entire Group said Christian Tallec, AMG’s Chief Executive Officer. With this ANAC certification, AMG continues to align its resources and capabilities with our customers’ needs. We look forward to increasing our presence in the Brazilian market”. Precision Electronics provides repair of pneumatic, hydraulic, avionic, fuel, instruments and electro-mechanical components and accessories for regional aircraft. Already having a strong presence in North America, the Aero Maintenance Group’s subsidiary focused growth today is turned to Latin America, with Brazil being the biggest market in the region.
February 2, 2015 · 287 Views
Nordic Aviation Capital A/S (NAC), the global leader in turboprop leasing, has closed a landmark US$300m debt facility. The company will use the proceeds to part finance the acquisition of turboprop and regional jet aircraft, which will then be leased to airline partners around the world. Søren M. Overgaard, CFO, added: “This facility, which has unique aspects regarding the assets that can be placed in the portfolio, allows NAC the opportunity to better service our growing client base with the right product for their fleets in a timely manner.”
February 2, 2015 · 245 Views
HAECO Group has entered into a long-term agreement with Airbus to provide maintenance and engineering training in Mainland China and Southeast Asia on Airbus aircraft. Under the terms of the agreement with Airbus, the HAECO Group will deploy “Training by Airbus” standards, dynamic tools and teaching techniques to provide Aircraft Original Equipment Manufacturer-backed maintenance training capabilities to its own personnel and to third-party customers around the region. This collaboration will enable trainees to attain the very highest competence levels, through access to industry-leading technology, training media and optimised courseware. The ground-breaking Airbus Competence Training (“ACT”) concept for maintenance personnel will bring virtual Airbus aircraft right into a “digital” classroom within the HAECO Group’s facilities.
February 2, 2015 · 254 Views
Unison has won a significant order for tube bending machinery from the precision aerospace engineering company, Supercraft. The machinery will help Supercraft to expand operations at its new manufacturing facility in Brough, UK, in preparation for contracts recently secured from major aerospace customers. It will also provide the software flexibility needed to enhance productivity of specialist low volume parts through use of ‘closed-loop’ manufacturing techniques. Supercraft is a leading manufacturer of precision components and assemblies for military and civil aerospace companies – its facility in Brough specializes in the production of pipes and ducting for aircraft wings. The company makes extensive use of CNC tube and pipe bending technology and is capable of fabricating parts involving complex precision bends in tubes up to 100 mm in diameter. Automated bending machines in the workshop at Brough are networked to a central CAD/CAM resource which includes an advanced laser-based coordinate measuring machine (CMM).
February 2, 2015 · 42 Views
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, carried a record number of passengers and cargo in 2014, marking its strongest operational performance to date. Almost 14.8 million passengers flew with Etihad Airways last year, a significant increase of 23% over 2013 levels. The growth in passenger demand continued to outstrip the airline’s capacity increase, highlighting the strength of its long-term growth strategy. In total, Etihad Airways carried more than 74% of the 19.9 million passengers who travelled through Abu Dhabi International Airport in 2014. With the addition of the airline’s equity partners that operate flights into the UAE capital, the combined total rises to a significant 82% of passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
February 2, 2015 · 58 Views
Avinco has arranged the purchase of two ATR 72-500 ( MSN 732 and 733) on behalf of AMUR HFS and Diversified Aero Service (DSI). The two ATR72 were previously operated by Kingfisher.
February 2, 2015 · 308 Views
As a continuation of the strategic Sales department restructure, Avtrade announces the appointment of Natasha Samarina to the role of Regional Sales Director responsible for Russia and Eastern Europe. Educated to degree-level in Economics and Business Administration, Natasha has rapidly established herself as a key member of the Sales team, quickly progressing and gaining promotions since joining Avtrade in 2008. With her native fluency in Russian and Latvian, deep understanding of Eastern European culture and extensive industry expertise, Natasha is well placed to grow Avtrade’s business in this region.
As part of her new role, Natasha will be heading up both the UK based Russia team as well as the Avtrade office in Moscow plus work in close collaboration with Vaidotas Zvirblys, Regional VP Sales – Russia & CIS, who is permanently based in the region.
February 2, 2015 · 49 Views
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Chorus Aviation, parent company of Jazz Aviation, have signed a firm purchase agreement whereby Chorus will acquire 13 Q400 NextGen aircraft and options for 10 Q400 NextGen aircraft. Once delivered, the aircraft will be operated by Jazz under the Air Canada Express banner. The Companies also announced Chorus and Jazz as the launch customer and operator for the industry’s first Dash 8-300 aircraft Extended Service Program that will extend the life of the Dash 8-300 turboprop to 120,000 flight cycles from the original 80,000 flight cycles.
February 2, 2015 · 53 Views
Boeing and Okay Airways celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range). The delivery marks the first 737-900ER to be delivered to a Chinese customer and is the first of eight 737-900ERs that Okay Airways has on order. Okay Airways, the first privately owned airline in China, is headquartered in Beijing with its main hub at Tianjin Binhai International Airport (TSN). Its jetliner fleet includes 13 Boeing 737-800s and one Boeing 737-300 Freighter, which serves more than 100 domestic and international routes.
February 2, 2015 · 295 Views
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the aircraft leasing unit of GE (GE), completed and closed its acquisition of Milestone Aviation Group, the Dublin-based helicopter lessor, for US$1.775bn plus the assumption or payoff of Milestone’s existing debt. “The acquisition of Milestone is a key part of our growth strategy for 2015 and beyond as we add an experienced team and expand into a natural adjacency for us, helicopters,” said Norman Liu, president and chief executive officer. The acquisition also is in line with GE Capital’s strategic plan of growing and enhancing value in core areas aligned with GE’s industrial domains including energy, aviation, oil & gas and healthcare, while reducing the overall size of GE Capital through the disposition of non-strategic assets.
February 2, 2015 · 56 Views
Jazz Aviation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chorus Aviation, released that its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (‘ALPA’) have ratified their tentative agreement reached on January 13th, 2015. The term of this agreement is 11 years expiring on December 31st, 2025. ALPA represents approximately 1380 pilots employed at Jazz. The term of the pilot agreement is consistent with the 11 year term of Chorus’ proposed amended capacity purchase agreement with Air Canada (that remains subject to the completion of certain terms and conditions), and therefore provides long-term labour stability. The new collective agreement also provides for productivity enhancements, cost control measures and incentives to grow at competitive rates.
February 2, 2015 · 291 Views
Esterline Corporation, a leading specialty manufacturer serving aerospace and defense markets, has completed its acquisition of the aerospace and defense display businesses of Belgium-based Barco N.V. for €150m, or approximately US$175m, in cash. The company financed the acquisition primarily using international cash reserves, with the balance funded by borrowings under its existing credit facility. Barco’s visualization solutions feature world-class display technologies for a variety of demanding defense and commercial aerospace applications. The acquired business employs roughly 600 people in Belgium, France, Israel, Singapore and the U.S.
February 2, 2015 · 275 Views
Parker Aerospace, a business unit of Parker Hannifin Corporation, the global leader in motion and control technologies, and its Customer Support Operations have signed a long-term agreement with Emirates Airline to provide a comprehensive maintenance package for its fleet of Boeing 777 and Airbus A330/A340 aircraft and engines. Parker will provide maintenance support to Emirates Airline, covering its hub and various outstations through its worldwide network of repair facilities. The terms of the agreement are part of an enhanced service offering provided to operators and will provide Emirates guaranteed repair turnaround times, access to an in-region inventory pool, and a local support team.
February 2, 2015 · 301 Views
SAS is completing the acquisition of Cimber after meeting all of the terms of the transaction, including approval from the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority. SAS has appointed Kent Hansen as the new president of the airline. He will succeed the current president on March 1st, 2015. SAS has also appointed Kjetil Grønevik as Finance Director. On December 8th, 2014, SAS announced that it had agreed to acquire 100% of the shares in Cimber, that the value of the transaction was MDKK 20 and that the transaction was subject to customary terms including receiving approval from the Danish competition authority. As previously announced, the acquisition means an opportunity for SAS to transfer production by its 12 CRJ900s to Cimber, thereby, allowing more focused and flexible production to be achieved. The transfer is planned to be completed on March 1st, 2015.
February 2, 2015 · 70 Views
In what was described as “an attempt to buy off local opposition to a third runway”, last May it was announced that London Heathrow Airport had put together a compensation package extending to some £550m (US$825m) for the purchase of property blighted by the new runway, that sum to also include £250 million (US$375m) for the sound insulation of homes and schools nearby. That was seen as quite a breakthrough considering that up until then the airport had only spent £30m (US$45m) on sound insulation on properties over the previous 20 years.
This week, Heathrow has now released further and more comprehensive details of their sound insulation package in order to garner further support for its third runway becoming the preferred option for flight capacity expansion for London, as opposed to an alternative Heathrow option, a second runway at Stanstead, or the revival of plans for a Thames estuary airport, the ‘brainchild’ of London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson.
The new details include a substantial increase in funds for sound insulation with the acceptance of a new zone based on a 55 decibel noise contour which is the preferred measure of noise used both by the European Union and London’s mayor. This would bring the policy more in line with other major European airports, but will involve a £450m (US$67.5m) increase in the sound insulation compensation budget alone.
The scheme in fact will cover two proposed zones, and those properties which will be liable for compensation are not solely restricted to those affected the new runway, but the existing runways too. This would mean up to 160,000 houses between Windsor and Richmond would become eligible, more than 35,000 in Hounslow, and all homes in the villages of Wraysbury, Datchet, Sipson, Harmondsworth, Harlington, Colnbrook, Brands Hill and Stanwell Moor. A third party assessment would be carried out to estimate the requirements of each home within the eligible zones, free of charge to all homeowners.