Friday, February 13, 2015
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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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.
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.
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 12, 2015 · 216 Views
Norwegian’s 2014 results are characterized by strong revenue and capacity growth as well as major investments for future expansion. Fuel hedging for 2015 for the amount of NOK459m was a considerable cost in 2014. Consequently, major costs for 2015 have already been covered. The company reported a net loss of NOK-1,050m compared to net profit of NOK322m in 2013. The company’s total revenue was NOK19.5bn – an increase of 25% compared to 2013. The production growth (ASK) increased by 35%, while the load factor remained high at 81%, up three percentage points from the year before. Norwegian carried 24 million passengers in 2014, an increase of 16% from previous year. The company’s total turnover in the fourth quarter was NOK4.6b, an increase of 22% from the same quarter previous year. The net loss was NOK-958m compared to net profit of NOK194m the year before. The airline carried 5.65 million passengers during the fourth quarter, which represents a passenger growth of eight percent. The capacity growth (ASK) was 21% and the load factor increased by one percentage point to 81%.
February 12, 2015 · 245 Views
MTU Aero Engines has once again beaten its previous records. In the financial year 2014, revenues grew by 10% to a new all-time high of €3,913.9m (2013: €3,574.1m). MTU’s operating profit rose from €377.4m in 2013 to €382.7m. Earnings after tax amounted to €253.3m (2013: €238.6m).
The commercial engine business recorded the highest revenue growth in 2014, from €1,891.3m in 2013 to €2,116.8m, an increase of 12%. The main sources of these revenues were the V2500 engine for the A320, the GP7000 for the Airbus A380, and the GEnx for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 747-8. Revenues in the military engine business increased by 6% to €531.5m (2013: €500.7m), with the key revenue driver being the EJ200 Eurofighter engine. Revenues in the commercial maintenance business rose by 7% to €1,298.9m (2013: €1,213.7m). The key revenue driver in this case was the V2500. MTU’s total order backlog amounted to €11,176.5m at the end of 2014 (2013: €9,374.6m), which corresponds to a production workload of around three years. “The order backlog in the OEM operating segment rose to a new record high of nearly €6.8bn,” commented Reiner Winkler, CEO of MTU Aero Engines AG. “The PW1000G family and the V2500 engines are the main contributors to orders and to future growth.” The PW1000G family will be deployed in the Airbus A320neo, the Bombardier CSeries, the new generation of Embraer E-Jets, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the Irkut MS-21.
February 12, 2015 · 240 Views
BAE Systems has won business from two more European operators of Boeing 737 and Boeing 757 aircraft to upgrade existing Traffic Collision and Avoidance Systems (TCAS). The new business comes from Romania’s flag carrier TAROM and Turkish-based MGA MaviGok Aviation and covers a total of 22 aircraft. Referred to as TCAS 7.1 the upgrade covers all models of the Boeing 737 from the Classic (Series 300-500) to the New Generation variants (Series 600-900) and also all models of the Boeing 757 (Series 200/300 and Boeing 757PF). TCAS 7.1 is the latest standard of this anti- collision software system and introduces two primary changes to the software logic to further improve safety in situations where two aircraft are either ascending or descending simultaneously, or to improve pilot responses when they are required to adjust vertical speed. This upgrade is a new standard that is mandatory from December 1st, 2015 for all aircraft flying in European airspace. TAROM’s upgrade is for eight Boeing 737s comprising Boeing 737-300 Classics and Boeing 737-700 New Generation aircraft. These aircraft are used intensively on routes from Bucharest across Europe and to Africa and the Middle East. MaviGok Aviation’s upgrades covers a fleet of 14 Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 757-200s that are operated by UTAIR Russia JSC, Katekavia (doing business as Azur Air) and UTAIR Ukraine as Air Operator Certificate holders on behalf of ANEX Tours to provide flights from Russia and Ukraine to holiday destinations in Europe, the Middle East and South-East Asia.
February 12, 2015 · 126 Views
LCI, the aviation leasing arm of The Libra Group, has committed to expand its helicopter fleet with firm orders for a further 11 AgustaWestland aircraft valued at US$125m (€110m). The new aircraft, which are converted from options held by the helicopter lessor, are made up of a mix of AW139, AW169 and AW189 aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered between 2015 and 2016, and take LCI’s total fleet to approaching 90 aircraft. LCI’s helicopters are already in service supporting deep sea oil and gas production, along with aero-medical transport and search & rescue roles.
February 12, 2015 · 209 Views
Vincent Bourguet has been named the Chief Executive Officer of SLCA, the Aircelle (Safran) affiliate specialized in the design and manufacturing of complex aerostructures – with expertise in composites. Bourguet comes to SLCA from the Sagem company, where he was head of the Airborne Control Units’ Center of Industrial Expertise in manufacturing and supply chain.
February 12, 2015 · 132 Views
Boeing and Transavia Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Air France KLM Group, announced an order for 17 Next-Generation 737-800s, including options for three additional airplanes. The order, valued at US$1.6bn at current list prices, was previously booked and attributed to an unidentified customer on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website. The order will significantly support the growth of Transavia’s operations from France and the Netherlands. The airline currently has a combined all-Boeing fleet of 45 Next-Generation 737s. Transavia Company has six bases, with Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and Paris-Orly Airport as its main hubs, serving 110 destinations in Europe and North Africa. Passenger numbers reached 10 million in 2014.
February 12, 2015 · 141 Views
Pratt & Whitney PurePower engines will provide exclusive power for 32 Mitsubishi Regional Jets (MRJ) under an agreement announced by Japan Airlines (JAL) and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation. PW1200G engines will power the aircraft and Pratt & Whitney will provide fleet management support services for the engines. Pratt & Whitney was previously selected as the exclusive engine provider for the MRJ. The Mitsubishi Regional Jet is a family of 70~90-seat next-generation aircraft featuring Pratt & Whitney’s revolutionary PurePower engine and state-of-the-art aerodynamics to significantly reduce fuel consumption, noise and emissions, while offering top-class operational benefits, an outstanding cabin designed for heightened passenger flying comfort and large overhead bins.
February 12, 2015 · 167 Views
Air Lease Corporation delivered one new ATR 72-600 aircraft to APEX Airlines (Myanmar), a new customer for ALC. This aircraft is from ALC’s order book with ATR. “ALC is pleased to add APEX Airlines as a new customer. This fuel efficient ATR 72-600 will support APEX’s growth in Myanmar’s rapidly expanding commercial aviation industry,” said Chi Yan, Vice President of Air Lease Corporation.
February 12, 2015 · 249 Views
Copa Holdings reported net income of US$35.9m for 4Q14 as compared to net income of US$113.2m in 4Q13. Excluding special items, which for 4Q14 includes a non-cash loss of US$89.1m associated with the mark-to-market of fuel hedge contracts, and a US$0.4m loss related to devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar, Copa Holdings would have reported adjusted net income of US$125.3m compared to adjusted net income of US$141.8m or adjusted EPS of US$3.20 in 4Q13. Net income for full year 2014 reached US$371.4m compared to US$427.5m for full year 2013.
February 12, 2015 · 257 Views
Bombardier reported that Mr. Laurent Beaudoin is retiring as Chairman of the Board of Directors after more than 50 years at the helm of the Corporation. He will remain on the Board with the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus. Mr. Pierre Beaudoin is appointed Executive Chairman, while Mr. Alain Bellemare becomes President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. These appointments will all be effective February 13, 2015.
February 12, 2015 · 160 Views
LUXAIR Société Luxembourgeoise de Navigation Aérienne S.A. (“Luxair”), the national airline of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, signed a firm purchase agreement for three Q400 NextGen aircraft and options on an additional two Q400 NextGen aircraft. Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately US$100.3m and could increase to US$169.5m should Luxair exercise all its options.
February 12, 2015 · 203 Views
Back on the 5th December last year we reported on the incident where Heather Cho, the daughter of the Chairman of Korean Air, Cho Yang-ho, created more than just a commotion over the incorrect presentation of some peanuts on board her flight. Rather than simply admonishing the member of the cabin staff for the error, she demanded the plane return to the terminal and the Chief Steward be removed after being struck by her several times with her tablet computer and also being forced to kneel and beg forgiveness from her.
At the time, Heather Cho held the position of Vice-President Korean Airlines, Chief Executive of KAL Hotel Network, Wangsan Leisure Development, and Hanjin Travel Service, and she was also a Board Director of Korean Air. Initially the airline issued an apology stating that her actions were in accordance with her role of inspecting in-flight service and airplane safety. However this appeased few, and her father was soon to follow up the incident by publically apologising for his daughter’s actions, blaming himself for the way he had raised her. He not only removed her from her position with Korean Air, but also from all other positions she held in any of her father’s companies.
One of the problems in South Korea is that many of the major companies are family-owned organizations, known as chaebols. Some of the families operating these businesses have often been accused of high-handedness and acting with impunity, of which this was a prime example. The incident in question involved a flight attendant who served her a bag of nuts still in their original packet, as per the airline’s protocol. However as a first class passenger Heather Cho felt the nuts should have been served to her in a bowl. She rebuked the attendant, but demanded the chief steward be removed from the flight.
As the plane had already left the departure gate (but not taxied far), this caused a delay in the flight’s departure from New York’s JFK airport as the plane had to return and the chief steward be removed. However Heather Cho did not take into account how her actions and demands would be seen by the public and how the South Korean Government would view the situation. Shortly after the event she was charged with obstructing aviation safety.
Sentencing her to one year in prison, Judge Oh made it very clear he felt she had not shown sufficient remorse since she had submitted letters of apology to the court. The judge indicated that Cho had treated the flight “as if it was her own private plane”, adding that “It is doubtful that the way the nuts were served was so wrong.” He rejected her defense’s plea that the plane was still being pushed away from the entrance gate and therefore there was no safety issue. Judge Oh felt that from the moment the plane left the departure gate it was considered to be ‘in flight.’