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Thursday, February 12, 2015

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

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.

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

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.

Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

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.

Rolls-Royce forced to axe 2,600 jobs after second profit warning this year

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.

Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

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.

ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

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.

Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

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).

Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

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.

A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

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.

Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

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.

GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

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.

Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

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.

Ameco Beijing provides engine PBH services for the first time

February 11, 2015 · 279 Views

In February of 2015, Ameco signed an engine Power-by-the-Hour (PBH) contract with Shanghai Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines. Based on the contract, Ameco will provide engine overhaul, repair and other value-added services on 14 PW4000s from six Boeing 767s of Shanghai Airlines. This is the first time for Ameco to provide engine services under a PBH model. Under an engine PBH service model, the MRO suppliers will charge the airlines based on engine flight hours and other indexes. In comparison to a single charge business model, the flat rate of the PBH is beneficial for airlines to stabilize their maintenance costs and let them focus on their core business. Ameco is capable of providing PW4000 and RB211 engine overhaul. It is also developing overhaul capability on a new engine type.

STG Aerospace receives STC approvals for next generation, photoluminescent, emergency floorpath marking system

February 11, 2015 · 243 Views

STG Aerospace has received STC approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its next generation, photoluminescent, emergency floorpath marking system. safTglo SuperSeal UltraLite (SSUL) is now FAA and EASA approved for Airbus 320 and EASA approved for Boeing 747, 757 and 737 airplanes. STG Aerospace first launched safTglo in 1995. With its unique, patented fully-sealed design that eliminates fluid ingress, safTglo is a low-cost, low-weight improvement over electrical emergency systems that can reduce maintenance costs by up to 80%. Hard wearing and long lasting, it requires no power source and can be easily retrofitted to almost any aircraft. Indeed, it has been approved and certified for installation on virtually every aircraft type and is the emergency floor path system of choice for over 300 global airlines and 9,000 aircraft worldwide. SuperSeal UltraLite (SSUL) represents the next generation safTglo product, and incorporates the same benefits of previous designs but is 70% lighter – helping to reduce airline fuel costs – and 17% brighter.

OEMServices celebrates opening of new Service Center in Dubai – Jebel Ali Free Zone

February 11, 2015 · 257 Views

OEMServices has celebrated the opening in Dubai of its new service center dedicated to the aerospace market. Located in Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), near Dubai (DWC and DXB) and Abu Dhabi (AUH) airports, this new center will benefit from a strategic location in the Middle East. “In the name of OEMServices, I am very proud, in front of such a prestigious audience, to celebrate the opening of this new service centre, in cooperation with one of our shareholders, Liebherr-Aerospace. This development highlights how OEMServices has been growing for a few years, in particular in the Middle East region. This modern facility is now a new step and the opportunity for OEMServices to consolidate our position in this strategic region and develop a wider range of services corresponding to the evolving needs of our customers,” declared Didier Granger, President of OEMServices. The nearly 1000 m² warehouse, fully furnished and air-conditioned, will host the OEMServices operations (AOG Desk and Customer Support 24/7/365) and storage of aircraft parts. This platform will support the growth of expected airline fleets in the region, with the progressive introduction of new aircraft types during the year (Airbus A350 XWB and Boeing 787). The platform will serve as the coordination center between the original equipment manufacturers station networks and airlines. OEMServices is a joint venture founded by four major OEMs: Diehl Aerospace, Liebherr- Aerospace, Thales and Zodiac Aerospace.

TrueAero purchased two CF6-80C2B1F engines

February 11, 2015 · 169 Views

TrueAero purchased two CF6-80C2B1F engines. After disassembly, parts will be distributed from the Sebastian FL facility as the company continues to support numerous Airlines and MRO’s worldwide.

AV8 MRO acquires Hawker Landing Gear inventory

February 11, 2015 · 250 Views

AV8 MRO have acquired a multimillion dollar inventory of Hawker Landing Gear and parts, substantially increasing their parts inventory and bringing the number of complete ship sets of landing gear for all series to 13. By entering into a formal agreement with Duncan Aviation, AV8 MRO will acquire Duncan Aviation’s Hawker landing gear inventory and provide high quality landing gear exchange and overhaul options to Duncan Aviation and their customers. AV8 MRO offers three unique solutions for all Hawker landing gear needs including the option to have the customer’s landing gear sent in, overhauled and returned; an overhaul exchange; and independent of an overhaul, AV8 MRO can repair and or provide the specific parts needed to repair the landing gear. Located in Houston, TX, AV8 MRO is an FAA and EASA-Approved Repair Station with the in-house capabilities to repair and overhaul all series of Hawker landing gear and major component parts.

Asiana Airlines to order 25 A321neo aircraft

February 11, 2015 · 100 Views

South Korea’s Asiana Airlines has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Airbus for the purchase of 25 A321neo single aisle aircraft as part of its ongoing fleet modernisation programme. Seating 180 passengers in a two class layout, the new aircraft will be operated on the carrier’s regional services, as well as on selected domestic routes. Asiana will make a decision on its engine of choice for the aircraft at a later date. The A321neo will join an existing fleet of A320 Family aircraft operated by Asiana Airlines and its low cost subsidiary Air Busan, with the A321 set to become the primary single aisle type at both units.

Spring Airlines receives its 50th A320

February 11, 2015 · 109 Views

Spring Airlines, an all Airbus A320 Family operator and China’s first low cost airline, has taken delivery of a new A320 at Airbus (Tianjin) Delivery Centre on lease from ICBC Financial Leasing, a leasing company owned by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The newly received aircraft brings the carrier’s total Airbus A320 fleet to 50. The aircraft, the 210th A320 Family aircraft assembled at the Airbus Tianjin Final Assembly Line, is powered by CFM 56 engines and is configured in an efficient lay-out with 180 economy class seats. Based in Shanghai, Spring Airlines has been an Airbus operator since July 2005.

Boeing opens propulsion systems facility in South Carolina

February 11, 2015 · 270 Views

Boeing celebrated the opening of its new propulsion engineering and assembly facility in North Charleston. The team of engineers, manufacturing and support personnel at Propulsion South Carolina (PSC) are responsible for the design and assembly of the 737 MAX engine nacelle inlet, the design of the 737 MAX engine nacelle fan cowl and the design and engineering integration for the 777X nacelle. PSC employees have worked in other Boeing South Carolina facilities while the new building was under construction. Propulsion South Carolina was established in May 2013 to build capability and capacity in integrated propulsion system design and assembly to support growth and enhance the performance of future airplanes. Boeing has relied on its supply chain to perform the majority of propulsion system design and assembly during the last 10 to 15 years, but is strategically bringing some of that work in-house. The 225,000 ft² (20,903 m²) facility will include state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment to efficiently assemble the 737 MAX engine nacelle inlets when production begins later this year. It also provides office space for engineering design, production and support staff.

Waypoint Leasing signs purchase and leaseback agreement with RLC in Gulf of Mexico

February 11, 2015 · 142 Views

Waypoint Leasing (Ireland), one of the largest independent global helicopter leasing companies, has closed on a multi-aircraft agreement with RLC, the largest privately held helicopter operator in the Gulf of Mexico. The initial transaction includes the purchase and leaseback of 10 helicopters, including the Bell 407 and Bell 206L4, supporting near-shore shelf production of natural gas in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. This transaction brings Waypoint’s portfolio to a total of 95 aircraft valued in excess of $1.1 billion and operating in 22 countries.

Air Canada reports full year 2014 net income of CA$105m

February 11, 2015 · 271 Views

Air Canada reported full year adjusted net income of CA$531m compared to adjusted net income of CA$340m in 2013, an improvement of CA$191m. EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and aircraft rent) amounted to CA$1.671bn compared to EBITDAR (excluding the impact of benefit plan amendments) of CA$815m, an increase of CA$196m from 2013. The airline reported net income of CA$105m in 2014 compared to net income of CA$10m in 2013. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Air Canada recorded operating income of CA$106m compared to operating income of CA$135m in the fourth quarter of 2013, a decrease of CA$29m. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Air Canada recorded a reduction of CA$82m in operating expenses related to benefit plan amendments while no such adjustment was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014. Air Canada recorded an operating margin of 3.4% compared to an operating margin (excluding the impact of benefit plan amendments) of 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2013, an improvement of 1.6 points. For the fourth quarter of 2014, adjusted net income of CA$67m increased CA$64m from the same quarter of 2013. The airline reported fourth quarter EBITDAR of CA$319m compared to fourth quarter EBITDAR (excluding the impact of benefit plan amendments) of CA$277m in 2013, an improvement of CA$42m.

Embraer delivers first E-Jet to American Airlines

February 11, 2015 · 193 Views

Embraer delivered to American Airlines the first of 60 firm order E175 jets under the contract signed between the two companies in December 2013. The contract also included options for another 90 E175s, taking the total order potential to 150 aircraft. American Airlines selected Compass Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Trans States Holdings, to operate the first 20 E175 aircraft under the American Eagle brand. The E175s will be configured with 12 First Class, 20 Main Cabin Extra and 44 Main Cabin seats, for a total of 76 seats.

29 pilots suspended after last week’s fatal TransAsia crash of flight ATR 72-600

February 11, 2015 · 289 Views

It has been made public that during the fatal crash of TranAsia’s flight GE235, after the first engine failed the pilots on board shut down and then tried to restart the working engine – a move which is believed to have caused the plane to stall and then crash into the Keelung River in Taipei, killing 42 passengers and crew. As a consequence, a number of pilots working for TransAsia were orally tested on what should happen in the event of an engine failing on the turboprop ATR 72-600. The result is that the Civil Aviation Administration has ordered the immediate suspension of 10 pilots who failed the test, and the suspension of another 19 pilots who were unable to be present to take the test.

As speculation mounts that pilot error may well have played a massive part in the accident, Chen Jian-Yu, the Transport and Communications Minister made it clear that: “The lunar Chinese new year holiday is coming… We’ll ask every local airline to check their flight safety.” As we have previously reported, this was the second crash in seven months involving TransAsia, the previous one involving an ATR 72-400. It is also the fifth fatal crash involving TransAsia since 1995, which creates questions about overall safety levels at Taiwan’s third largest airline.

A TransAsia pilot confirmed that the tests had been conducted by a CAA official and also a pilot from Uni Air, a rival carrier and subsidiary of EVA Airways. “Some of us have stayed up all night to prepare for the tests. The result will affect our career developments significantly,” they said. “Those who failed will be suspended for one month. They will be given another month for preparation. If they fail again, they will be fired,” Reuters were told.

Fifteen passengers survived the accident, while one is still sadly missing. TransAsia has cancelled over 142 flights since the crash happened.