Tuesday, February 17, 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 16, 2015 · 202 Views
Sanad Aero Solutions GmbH (Sanad), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, has increased its leasing portfolio of spare engines and components with Etihad Airways through the addition of new assets valued at US$100m, including spare GEnx and GP7200 engines and spare landing gear and nacelles, to support the airline’s growing fleet of B777, B787, A320 and A380 aircraft. With the additional assets, the overall value of Sanad’s leasing relationship with Etihad Airways now exceeds US$450m. Sanad’s relationship with Etihad Airways began in 2011 through the financing of 11 GE90 and Rolls-Royce Trent spare engines, and the two companies extended this in 2013 through the financing of rotable component spares valued at over US$125m.
February 16, 2015 · 250 Views
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has completed acquisition of a UK and Germany-based aircraft company, 328 Support Services GmbH (328), owner of the type certificate and intellectual property (IP) rights for design, manufacturing, maintenance and certification of the 200 existing Dornier 328 (D328) prop and jet aircraft. In addition, SNC holds IP rights and supplemental type certificates (STC’s) for modernization technologies that allow the Dornier 328 aircraft to be used by the U.S. for multi-mission applications ranging from transport and cargo to surveillance and medical use. SNC is making a major investment in European markets to expand globally through modern commercial aircraft technologies. During the past decade alone, SNC’s combined capabilities have grown to include design, manufacturing, modification, certification (FAA, EASA and military), integration and support of approximately 400 aircraft for customers worldwide. 328 is headquartered in London with its main operations at Oberpfaffenhofen Airport, near Munich, Germany. It employs more than 150 aviation experts. The 328 management team has significant, relevant experience in customer support, aircraft completions and VIP/Corporate operations, as well as business growth and improvement strategies. SNC anticipates a close working relationship between 328 and its subsidiary, Kansas-based 3S Engineering, in the areas of design and type certification.
February 16, 2015 · 247 Views
Universal Asset Management (UAM), a leader in aviation asset management, aircraft disassembly and commercial aviation aftermarket component sales, announced the promotion of Troy Molitor to Vice President of Strategic Markets. Troy joined UAM in August 2014 from ILFC where he was the Vice President of Technical Aircraft Lease Negotiations and Airline Transfers. In his new position, Troy will be responsible for leveraging opportunities with airlines, MROs and OEMs worldwide to further enhance the already growing footprint of UAM’s international clientele by embedding UAM in strategic markets worldwide for major assets such as landing gear, thrust reversers, inlet cowls and flight controls.
February 16, 2015 · 322 Views
C&L Aerospace has been appointed a sales and service center under the Michelin Alliance Partner Program. Aside from warehousing Michelin’s full line of tires for regional and business jet aircraft at their three stocking locations, C&L Aircraft Services will provide tire and installation services at their expanded 120,000 square-foot complex in Bangor, Maine. C&L will also install Michelin tires on all of their overhauled wheel assemblies. C&L Aerospace is a leader in both the regional and business jet industries in servicing, maintaining, and supporting carriers. In addition to aircraft and engine sales and leasing programs, C&L Aerospace offers parts support, heavy maintenance, interior refurbishment, aircraft painting, aircraft teardown, disassembly services, and aircraft management.
February 16, 2015 · 262 Views
Airbus has signed an agreement with Bengaluru based Dynamatic Technologies to be the single source supplier of flap-track beams for the wide body A330 Family aircraft. The agreement is the largest manufacturing contract between Airbus and a private sector company in India and elevates Dynamatic to a global tier-1 supplier. Dynamatic has manufactured flap-track beam assemblies for Airbus’ single-aisle A320 Family on a global single source basis as a Tier-2 supplier, since 2010. In phase one of the agreement, Dynamatic will assemble all the Flap Track Beams from its Bengaluru facility. In the second phase, Dynamatic will be responsible for the entire supply chain for the Flap Track including sourcing materials, manufacturing and final assembly. With this new business award Dynamatic will be established as a centre of excellence for the production of flap-track beams. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in Airbus sourcing from India, with more than US$400m worth sourced in 2014.
February 16, 2015 · 215 Views
AgustaWestland received approval of the FlightSafety International Learning Centre in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA as an AgustaWestland Authorised Training Centre. FlightSafety International has been providing AW139 Training since May, 2013. Courses for the popular AW139 intermediate helicopter delivered from the Learning Centre benefit from an AW139 Level D qualified Full Flight Simulator which features FlightSafety’s electric motion and control loading technology and new VITAL 1100 visual system. The advanced VITAL 1100 visual system provides highly realistic visuals designed for comprehensive training scenarios. It is optimized for training low level flight operations, offers increased scene content, vastly improved weather features and enhanced levels of detail for optimum cueing. VITAL 1100 delivers the ability for helicopter pilots and crews to be completely immersed in all training requirements. The level D device is complemented by a comprehensive suite of courseware and training aids. The establishment of FlightSafety by AgustaWestland as an Authorised Training Centre represents the Company’s commitment to strong training partnerships and to its expanding global support and training services.
February 16, 2015 · 244 Views
The modernisation of Lufthansa Cargo’s fleet continues: on February 12th, 2015, the fifth Boeing 777F of the cargo airline landed in Frankfurt for the first time. On a flight lasting approximately nine hours, the crew under chief pilot Claus Richter had transferred the Triple Seven safely from Everett near Seattle to its new home airport. As part of its strategic program “Lufthansa Cargo 2020”, the freight airline has ordered a total of five new Triple Seven aircraft. In November 2013 the first machine entered regular service. In addition, Lufthansa Cargo has options for five further Boeing 777Fs with delivery to be split over the years until September 2020. “In our opinion, the Boeing Triple Seven is the best aircraft for our fleet structure. Its performance already far exceeded our expectations last year”, said Peter Gerber, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa Cargo.
February 16, 2015 · 232 Views
With the installation of a new Greek government has come a substantial amount of financial juggling regarding the previous government’s efforts to reduce the country’s debt. One of the major problems facing the Greek economy was the failure to reduce the debt from unpaid taxes, a figure which back in 2013 and the cause of much of the nation’s problems had reached €40bn, with a further €18bn owed in police fines and non-repayment of government subsidized loans.
Under the previous government a 40-year lease had been agreed in principal for Germany’s Fraport, in conjunction with Greek energy firm Copelouzos, to run 14 of the country’s airports, including Rhodes, Crete and Corfu. The leasing deal was set at a figure of €1.2bn, with the anticipation that €330m would be spent over the next four years upgrading the facilities. The deal was expected to be sealed by the end of October.
However the privatization of state-owned property was seen as a ‘crime’ and the new government has decided to review not only this agreement, but also any other privatization contracts that had recently been signed. State Minister Alekos Flabouraris made the current situation abundantly clear when talking on television: “”The deal has not been sealed. We said it will be halted and we will review it. For us, airports are not a package to be sold, like the others did. Some of them can be run by the municipality, others by private individuals, we’ll see.”
At the time of writing Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is attending the Eurogroup meeting at the EU Council building in Brussels where the terms of the EU and EMF bailout are high on the agenda. The new Greek government are keen to renegotiate the terms of the original agreement, but part of the current bailout agreement payments depend wholly on Greece continuing to meet the previously agreed terms.