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Thursday, February 05, 2015

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

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.


Snecma and HAL to create joint venture and build a new production facility in India

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.


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.


David Jurkowski joins Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group

February 4, 2015 · 269 Views

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group in Canada announced the appointment of David Jurkowski to the position of Vice President Government and Industry Relations. David served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 30 years as a fighter pilot, commander of operational formations and steward of domestic and international operations. Following his retirement as a Brigadier-General, he spent 13 years in business development and government relations at the Military Aviation Training and Specialized Aircraft Groups at Bombardier Aerospace.


Allegiant Travel Company announces forward purchase of four A320 aircraft

February 4, 2015 · 56 Views

Allegiant Travel Company has entered into an agreement to purchase four additional A320 aircraft. The aircraft are currently being operated in Europe and are scheduled to enter the Allegiant operating fleet in 2017. These aircraft are expected to begin service in the second half of 2017. The purchase of the aircraft will take place upon delivery in 2017 and will not impact 2015 CAPEX, which is still expected to be US$175 to US$185m.


Titan Aviation Holdings chooses AerData’s CMS and STREAM software packages

February 4, 2015 · 57 Views

AerData, the provider of lease management, records management and engine fleet planning software, reported that Titan Aviation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide, has chosen AerData’s CMS and STREAM software. CMS (Corporate Management System) is the leading lease and asset management solution used by the majority of the world’s aircraft, helicopter and engine leasing organizations. STREAM (Secure Technical Records for Electronic Asset Management) is the industry’s foremost web-based solution used by some of the world’s largest airlines, lessors and MROs to manage aircraft and engine records.


FL Technics Defence becomes approved spare parts provider for Sri Lanka Armed Forces

February 4, 2015 · 272 Views

FL Technics, a global provider of tailor-made aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, is further expanding the range of its services and customers by becoming an approved spare parts and MRO provider for the Armed Forces of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. FL Technics will support Sri Lanka Air Forces with Antonov An-32 and Lockheed C-130 Hercules MRO solutions.


Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines worth US$140m selected by new customer Lion Air

February 4, 2015 · 57 Views

Rolls-Royce has been selected by Indonesian airline Lion Air to supply Trent 700 engines worth US$140m at list prices, to power three Airbus A330ceo aircraft. This is the first time that Lion Air has selected Rolls-Royce engines. Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Large Engines, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lion Air, a fast-growing airline serving a dynamic market, to the Trent family of operators. This is further demonstration of the market’s continued demand for both the A330ceo and the Trent 700, which delivers outstanding economics for operators.”


Gogo to bring ATG-4 In-flight Connectivity technology to Business Aviation

February 4, 2015 · 65 Views

Gogo, a leading provider of in-flight connectivity and entertainment solutions to the global aero market, announced that it will bring its next generation ATG-4 air-to-ground connectivity technology to business aviation. ATG-4 will be available for business aircraft via a new equipment package called ATG 8000. First shipments are expected in April 2015. Particularly well-suited for large business aircraft in corporate shuttle configurations, ATG 8000 will help passengers realize a significant increase in connectivity speed and capacity when compared to the company’s other Gogo Biz equipment packages, which currently include ATG 2000, ATG 4000 and ATG 5000. Currently flying on more than 650 commercial aircraft, Gogo’s ATG-4 technology has been successfully meeting the connectivity needs of commercial airlines for nearly three years. ATG-4 technology employs three industry-leading innovations: directional antennas on the aircraft, dual modems on the aircraft and EV-DO (Rev. B) technology on Gogo’s airborne and ground networks.


SAS Transfers ”Slot-Pair” at London Heathrow and generates positive earnings impact of US$60m

February 4, 2015 · 268 Views

SAS has entered into a slot transaction with a major international air carrier that will take over one slot-pair at London Heathrow from SAS at the beginning of the summer traffic program on March 29th 2015. The transaction will generate a positive earnings impact of the equivalent of US$60m for SAS to be accounted for during the second quarter of the fiscal year 2014/2015 with a corresponding cash effect during the fiscal year 2014/2015. SAS is the fifth largest airline operating at London Heathrow measured in number of departures and had before this transaction 21 daily slot-pairs at London Heathrow, which now will be reduced to 20 daily slot-pairs. SAS operates from London Heathrow to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo, Stockholm and Stavanger. Even after the transaction, SAS will continue to offer a strong and comprehensive network between Scandinavia and London Heathrow. The intention is to keep the seat capacity to/from London Heathrow through the use of larger aircraft on remaining departures. Furthermore, SAS will consider the use of other airports in the London-region.


UTC Aerospace Systems receives FAA approval to ship product made in India

February 4, 2015 · 270 Views

UTC Aerospace Systems released that the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has officially approved a product manufactured by UTC Aerospace Systems affiliate entity in Bengaluru, India. With this approval, the Bengaluru unit is among the first Indian entities to domestically produce and export an aviation product to aircraft manufacturers in the United States. UTC Aerospace Systems is a unit of United Technologies. The approved product is a four-person life raft.  The compact, lightweight raft enables passengers and crew in the aircraft to evacuate in case of an emergency landing on water.


Mesa Airlines signs agreement with Bombardier for purchase of seven new CRJ900 NextGen aircraft

February 4, 2015 · 93 Views

Mesa Airlines has reached an agreement in principle, subject to definitive documentation, with Bombardier for the purchase of seven new CRJ900 NextGen aircraft to operate under a long-term capacity purchase agreement with a major U.S. airline. The aircraft will be purchased new from Bombardier and will bring the total number of CRJ900 aircraft operated by the Company to 64. The Company expects delivery of the seven additional aircraft in 2015. The agreement also includes an undisclosed number of options to purchase additional CRJ-900 aircraft. Mesa was the launch customer for the CRJ900 aircraft in 2001 and is one of the largest operators of CRJ900 aircraft in the world.


Airbus appoints new Programme leaders, assigns new responsibilities

February 4, 2015 · 316 Views

Following the nomination of Didier Evrard as Airbus Executive Vice-President, Programmes, in December 2014, the following top management appointments are effective as of March 1st 2015:

Patrick Piedrafita, currently Head of the A330 Family Programme, is appointed Head of the A350 XWB Programme. Eric Zanin, currently Head of Procurement Operations, is appointed Head of the A330 Family Programme. Klaus Roewe, currently Head of A320neo Programme, is appointed Head of the A320 Family Programme and succeeds in this role Daniel Baubil. Daniel Baubil will take over the responsibility of Senior Advisor to Didier Evrard. Daniel will be in charge of the cross programmes competitiveness projects within the programme organisation. Following Patrick Piedrafita’s appointment as Head of A350 XWB Programme, and with the necessary full focus required by this strategic priority, Charles Champion, in addition to his current role as Executive Vice-President Engineering and Member of the Airbus Executive Committee, is assigned the role previously held by Patrick Piedrafita, of “Président Délégué & Directeur Général of Airbus Operations SAS”. In this specific role, Charles will report to Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO.


Spirit AeroSystems reports full-year 2014 net income of US$359m

February 4, 2015 · 312 Views

Spirit AeroSystems’ operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2014 was (US$273)m compared to operating loss of (US$321)m in the fourth quarter of 2013. Net loss for the quarter was (US$106)m compared to ($587)m in the same period of 2013. The current quarter includes a pretax charge of (US$471)m for the divestiture of Gulfstream programs and (US$30)m negative impact for deferred tax asset valuation allowance not associated with the Gulfstream programs. This is compared to pretax (US$546)m of forward loss charges in the same period of 2013, and a (US$381)m negative impact due to the establishment of a valuation allowance against U.S. net deferred tax assets. Revenue for the full-year 2014 increased 14% to US$6.8bn. Operating income for the full-year was US$354m compared to operating loss of (US$364)m for the prior year. Full-year net income was US$359m compared to net loss of (US$621)m in 2013.


31 dead and 12 missing as TransAsia flight GE235 crashes into Taipei’s Keelung river

February 4, 2015 · 116 Views

At least 31 passengers of a TransAsia twin-engine turboprop ATR 72-600 aircraft, flight number GE235, have died after it crashed into Taipei’s Keelung river shortly after take-off from the city’s Songshan airport on February 4th, according to latest reports from the island’s official news agency, CNA. Of the original 58 passengers on board, aside from the 31 who have died, which included both pilots, 15 are now in hospital and 12 are still unaccounted for. Two others were injured on the ground, including a taxi driver who received non-life-threatening head injuries as the plane clipped his vehicle at the time it also clipped the Nanhu Bridge.
Early reports indicate that the pilots had sufficient time to issue a distress call “Mayday Mayday engine flameout”, according to an air traffic control recording. An engine flameout is usually the result of a fuel supply interruption to an engine or when there is faulty combustion, basically resulting in an engine failure. Twin-engined aircraft are normally able to continue flying if already traveling at a sufficient velocity, however in the case of turboprop engines and according to aviation expert David Learmount, operation and safety editor at Flight Global, “If engine power is lost, the un-powered propeller can cause a lot of drag by windmilling, making the aircraft difficult to handle. Under those circumstances the crew would normally “feather” the propeller to cut the drag.” The question that investigators will want to ask is why the plane was not flying at a sufficient speed to cope with a one engine flameout. The plane’s black box has already been recovered from the crash site.
Dramatic footage of the last moments of the flight were captured by a car’s dashcam on the Nanhu bridge and subsequent news footage showed the rescue operation in full flow, particular joy coming from the rescue of a young child seemingly unharmed.
This particular plane, the ATR 72-600 was one of the first of eight such planes ordered back in 2013 and is the latest variant of the turboprop aircraft. With a maximum seating capacity for 72 passengers, the aircraft are popular for domestic flights between the capital, smaller cities and outlying islands. In this particular instance 31 of those on board were tourists from the city of Xiamen, which is situated near to Taiwan’s Kinmen Island, according to China’s Taiwan Affairs Office. Last year, an older TransAsia ATR 72 crashed, resulting in 48 deaths while attempting to land in the Taiwanese Penghu Islands.