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Saturday, May 11, 2013

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.

Rolls-Royce awarded $35m contract to repair US Navy T56 engines

May 9, 2013 · 20 Views

Rolls-Royce has been awarded a $35m contract extension for repair and overhaul of T56 engines on US Navy aircraft. The services contract covers depot-level repair of the T56 Series III engine modules to support fielded P-3 and derivative aircraft, as well as T56-powered C-130 and C-2 aircraft. The repairs will take place at Rolls-Royce Engine Services Oakland, US (RRESO). In addition to T56 repair and overhaul, RRESO services AE 1107C, F405 and M250 engines for other military customers.

GECAS delivers Airbus A320 on purchase and leaseback with Tiger Airways Holdings

May 9, 2013 · 14 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has delivered a new leased Airbus A320 aircraft to Tiger Airways Singapore to expand the carrier’s fleet. The aircraft is the first of five scheduled for delivery in 2013 as part of a multiple aircraft purchase-and-leaseback transaction with Tiger Airways Holdings.

AMR Corporation reports April 2013 traffic results

May 9, 2013 · 14 Views

AMR reported that consolidated traffic for April 2013 was 1.1% lower year-over-year, on 0.4% more capacity. The consolidated load factor decreased 1.3 points to 81.6% over the same period last year.

Boeing rolls out first 787 Dreamliner at increased production rate

May 9, 2013 · 16 Views

Boeing has rolled out of the factory the first 787 Dreamliner to be built at the increased production rate of seven airplanes per month. The airplane, which rolled out earlier this week, is the 114th 787 to be built overall and the 100th 787 to be built at the Everett, Wash., factory. Boeing’s 787 program is on track to achieve a planned 10 per month rate by year-end. The production rate accounts for airplanes built at the Everett Final Assembly facility, the Everett Temporary Surge Line and Boeing South Carolina. To date, 50 787s have been delivered to eight airlines. The program has more than 800 unfilled orders with 58 customers worldwide.

Bombardier expands maintenance capacity for commercial aircraft in Tucson, Arizona

May 9, 2013 · 21 Views

Bombardier has opened three new lines of maintenance at its Tucson, Arizona aircraft service centre to boost heavy maintenance capacity for Q400 and Q400 NextGen turboprops. The new lines are housed in an existing hangar space on Tucson’s 1,146,901 ft² service centre, complementing existing maintenance capabilities for Q-Series aircraft at Bombardier’s facilities in Bridgeport, West Virginia and Macon, Georgia. Within the past year, Bombardier has secured several long-term heavy maintenance contracts with North American carriers seeking to maximize their operational efficiency. Bombardier’s line and heavy maintenance offering for commercial aircraft is designed to maximize quality and return-to-service speed within a competitive, predictable cost structure. The facilities are backed by Bombardier’s 24/7 technical help desks, in-service engineering teams and support staff deployed around the world.

IAG traffic down 5.6% in April 2013

May 9, 2013 · 6 Views

In April 2013, IAG traffic decreased by 5.6% versus April 2012, while Group capacity was down 2.9%. Group load factor for April was down 2.2 points to 79.2%.

Norwegian reports strong passenger growth in April

May 9, 2013 · 9 Views

Norwegian released that capacity in April was up 40% and traffic was up 36%. The load factor was 73.6%, down 2.2 percentage points.

Bombardier reports first quarter revenues of $4.3bn

May 9, 2013 · 22 Views

Bombardier reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. Revenues totalled $4.3bn for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared to $3.5bn for the same period last fiscal year. Earnings before financing expense, financing income and income taxes (EBIT) before special items totalled $240m, or 5.5% of revenues, compared to $188m, or 5.4%, for the same period last year. On an adjusted basis, net income amounted to $156m for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared to $150m for the same period the previous year. For the three-month period ended March 31, 2013, free cash flow usage (cash flows from operating activities less net additions to property, plant and equipment and intangible assets) totalled $590m, compared to a usage of $695m for the same period the previous year. Available short-term capital resources of $5.1 billion include cash and cash equivalents of $3.7bn as at March 31, 2013, compared to $4.0bn and $2.6bn respectively as at December 31, 2012. The overall backlog reached $63.0bn as at March 31, 2013, compared to $64.9bn as at December 31, 2012.

Alenia Aermacchi delivers first upgraded Tornado ECR to Italian Air Force

May 9, 2013 · 11 Views

Alenia Aermacchi, in collaboration with BAE Systems and Cassidian, its Panavia consortium partners, has delivered the first upgraded Tornado ECR (Electronic Combat/ Reconnaissance) to the Italian Air Force. Alenia Aermacchi, as technical and program leader, is in the process of upgrading the avionics and systems of 15 Tornado ECR. The Tornado ECR MLU is the upgrade of the ECR version currently in use by the Italian Air Force. Its main function is to localize and suppress hostile air defence radar emitter sources by anti-radar missiles. The aircraft upgrade includes several subsystems and functionality additions as well as modifications to the on-board systems, avionics equipment and mission software.

ILFC begins deliveries of A330-343 aircraft to AirAsia X

May 10, 2013 · 18 Views

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has delivered the first of six A330-343 aircraft to AirAsia X, a long-haul, low-cost affiliate of AirAsia. The company will deliver three additional A330-343s to the airline by the end of 2013, while the remaining two aircraft will be delivered in 2014. The aircraft are equipped with Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines. The aircraft will be operated on the airline’s expanding network in Asia Pacific, which includes the markets of Australia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and its surrounding regions.

Air Lease Corporation announces first quarter 2013 results

May 10, 2013 · 12 Views

Air Lease Corporation reported another consecutive quarter of fleet, revenue, profitability and financing growth. Diluted EPS increased by 46% to $0.38 per share for the three months ended March 31, 2013 from $0.26 per share for the three months in 2012. Revenues increased 45% to $192m compared to $133m in 2012. Income before taxes increased 48% to $62m with a pretax margin of 32%, compared to income before taxes of $42m with a pretax margin of 31% in 2012. Air Lease Corporation acquired seven aircraft (including five aircraft from its order book and two incremental aircraft), growing its fleet to 162 aircraft spread across a diverse and balanced customer base of 71 airlines in 41 countries.

Air Transport Services Group’s first-quarter net income up 28%

May 10, 2013 · 15 Views

Air Transport Services Group, a leading provider of aircraft leasing and air cargo transportation and related services, reported consolidated financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. Revenues were $143.3m, a decrease of 1.5%. Total operating expenses were $126.9m, down 3.7%, including a $3.8m reduction in salaries, wages and benefits expense due in large part to reductions in airline related costs prior to the merger of Air Transport International and Capital Cargo International Airlines in March 2013. Pre-tax income was $13.6m, an increase of 26.5%. Net earnings from continuing operations increased 27.6% to $8.5m. Net earnings include a non-cash federal income tax provision. First-quarter Adjusted EBITDA was $37.3m, a 9.5% increase from $34.1m in the same period of the prior year. This non-GAAP financial measure is defined and reconciled to comparable GAAP results in a table at the end of this release. Capital expenditures totaled $59.4m for the quarter, including the purchase of two 757-200 combi aircraft.

Copa Holdings’ April traffic up 18%

May 10, 2013 · 9 Views

For the month of April 2013, Copa Holdings’ system-wide passenger traffic increased 18.3% year over year, while capacity increased 20.0%.  As a result, system load factor for April 2013 was 73.6%, a 1.1 point decline when compared to April 2012.

Finnair releases April traffic results

May 10, 2013 · 6 Views

In April Finnair traffic rose by 5.9% and the overall capacity grew 6.7% year‐on‐year. Passenger load factor fell by 0.5% points and was 75.8%.

AirJet Designs unveils new cabin interior for A319

May 10, 2013 · 17 Views

In January 2013, AirJet Designs completed the design for an Airbus A319 owned by an undisclosed individual from Asia. The project is currently undergoing VIP completion at Sabena technics in Bordeaux, France, with delivery expected for mid-2013. The aircraft is an airliner that is converted in full VIP configuration for the personal use of the owner. The forward section is a VVIP lounge with a Club 2 seating area, a Divan with high-low coffee table, and two Club 4 seating areas.

U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) licenses Pentagon 2000SQL

May 10, 2013 · 14 Views

Pentagon 2000 Software released that the USDOJ- DEA has licensed Pentagon 2000SQL Software for its entire aviation operations. Pentagon 2000SQL will provide total aviation support to the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA will use Pentagon 2000SQL for fully-integrated logistics management of all of their aircraft maintenance, record keeping and flight operations. Pentagon 2000SQL will provide the DEA with the support necessary to sustain the worldwide DEA aircraft fleet in a safe, reliable and fully mission capable condition.

Small Planet Airlines chooses A320 cycle flat rate (CFR) program

May 10, 2013 · 15 Views

TP Aerospace Leasing has been awarded a contract to provide its full service and all inclusive Wheels & Brakes Cycle Flat Rate (CFR) Program to the Polish division of Small Planet Airlines. TP Aerospace Leasing will provide highly flexible, cost effective and tailor made Component Maintenance, Pool Access, Onsite Lease Inventory and Logistics Program in support of Small Planet Airlines’ current and planned fleet of A320 aircraft operating on the Polish charter market. Small Planet Airlines, under recent new ownership, is in the midst of restructuring and renewing its entire fleet.