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Friday, June 14, 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.


Republic Airways reports May 2013 traffic

June 12, 2013 · 13 Views

Republic Airways released that traffic in May 2013 decreased 1% from May 2012, on a 2% reduction in capacity. Consolidated load factor increased one point to 84% from May 2012.


The SAS Group traffic figures May 2013

June 12, 2013 · 8 Views

SAS Group’s capacity was up by 4.7% and the Group’s traffic increased by 1.5% when compared to May 2012. The SAS Group’s load factor decreased by 2.3 points to 73.0%.


Icelandair reserves WheelTug delivery slots

June 12, 2013 · 13 Views

WheelTug reported the execution of a Slot Purchase Agreement with Icelandair. With the new reservations the order book of WheelTug aircraft drive systems grows to 573 delivery slots reserved by eleven airlines from Europe, America, the Middle East and the Far East. Icelandair becomes the first carrier to reserve WheelTug Delivery Slots for 737MAX aircraft. The WheelTug electric drive system uses high-performance electric motors, installed in the nose gear wheels of an aircraft, to provide full mobility while on the ground, without the use of the aircraft’s jet engines or tugs for both pushback and taxi operations.


Delta TechOps receives Japan Civil Aviation Bureau certification

June 12, 2013 · 13 Views

Delta TechOps, the maintenance division of Delta Air Lines, has received the Approved Organization Exposition (AOE) certificate of the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), creating opportunities for Delta TechOps to offer its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to operators licensed by the JCAB. The JCAB approval covers Turbine Engines (initially CFM56-5B series and CFM56-7B series), as well as Boeing 737NG aircraft components (Mechanical Instruments, Gyroscopic Instruments, Electronic Instruments, Mechanical Accessories, Electric Accessories, Electronic Accessories, Radio Communications Equipments, and Other Aircraft Parts) for Japanese commercial operators.


Fokker Services successfully completes (K)DC-10 cockpit upgrade program for RNLAF

June 12, 2013 · 8 Views

Fokker Services successfully completed the (K)DC-10 Cockpit Upgrade Program (“CUP”) for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (“RNLAF”), a key milestone as this is the second upgraded aerial refueling tanker to come into operation. In 2005 Fokker Services signed the agreement with the Defense Materiel Organization (“DMO”) who managed the modification of the DC-10 (transport aircraft) and two (K)DC-10’s (aerial refueling tanker) for the RNLAF. Fokker Services partnered with Boeing for the design to enhance the (K)DC-10’s to meet the current and future requirements of the civil aviation regulations to operate and access global air space and meet demanding current and future military mission requirements. The first aircraft (DC-10) was re-delivered on April 2011 after completion of a development phase by Fokker and Boeing to integrate next generation technology (avionics) which meet the RNLAF system requirements. As the design for the two tanker aircrafts contained minor variances compared to the DC-10, the modification was accelerated resulted in re-delivery of the remaining two aircraft within 18 months.


Aviation Finance Corporation and Natixis complete $263m Pre-Delivery Payment financing

June 12, 2013 · 18 Views

Aviation Finance Corp. (AFC) and Natixis have completed the first ever multi tranche debt capital market $263m Pre-Delivery Payment (PDP) financing for 8 Airbus A330 aircraft to Synergy Group, majority owner of Avianca a leading Latin America airline conglomerate. Airbus will deliver eight A330-200s to the airlines. The aircraft will operate in the groups’ expanding network around the globe. Global Hunter Securities acted as placement agent for the junior tranche debt.


Brit Air selects Liebherr-Aerospace for CRJ 700/1000 components repair

June 12, 2013 · 19 Views

Liebherr-Aerospace and Brit Air have signed a Repair-by-the-Hour agreement for components of the integrated air management systems (ATA 21, 25, 30, 36) on board the airline’s CRJ 700/1000 regional aircraft. Brit Air is a fully owned subsidiary of HOP, Air France’s regional carrier based in Morlaix (France). The five-year agreement ensures Brit Air component availability, securing the maintenance costs for the airline in the long term with guaranteed turnaround times. The repairs will be carried out at Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse SAS, Toulouse (France), which is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the CRJ 700/1000 air management systems.


StandardAero receives Honeywell certification for TFE731-50 testing

June 12, 2013 · 14 Views

StandardAero Business Aviation has been certified as an authorized testing facility for the Honeywell TFE731-50 engine. The new testing capability is being offered at StandardAero’s Houston, Texas (IAH) facility. StandardAero conducted its first TFE731-50 engine test in April. The TFE731-50 is the most recent engine certified by Honeywell. StandardAero is the only facility, other than the OEM, who has TFE731-50 test capability. The TFE731-50 powers the Hawker 900XP aircraft and there are over 350 engines currently in service.


LIAT takes delivery of its first ATR-600

June 13, 2013 · 7 Views

Regional airline LIAT Limited has started its fleet upgrade with the first new ATR 72-600 aircraft delivered on June 13th. This first ATR in LIAT’s fleet is being leased from the lessor GECAS (GE Capital Aviation Services). This is the first of a total of eight ATRs (four 68-seat ATR 72-600 and four 48-seat ATR 42-600s) that will be introduced into LIAT’s fleet.


GE Capital Aviation Services delivers seven new leased Boeing 737-800s to SAS

June 13, 2013 · 7 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), has delivered seven new leased Boeing 737-800s to Scandinavian Airline Systems (SAS) to expand and modernize the carrier’s fleet. The aircraft were delivered during the period April 2012 to May 2013 and came from GECAS’ existing order book with Boeing. Additionally, GECAS is scheduled to deliver two new leased 737-800s to SAS in 2014.


Dutch airline, ArkeFly, chooses IFE Services as in-flight entertainment provider

June 13, 2013 · 7 Views

IFE Services is supplying the Dutch leisure airline, ArkeFly, with a selection of Hollywood and local movies as well as popular TV shows, radio channels and music albums. The content is accessible to passengers via the airline’s seat-back, overhead and portable in-flight entertainment systems across its fleet of B737s and B767s. IFE Services will also take care of ArkeFly’s digital encoding and AVOD file management requirements. To help promote the IFE offering to passengers in-flight, IFE Services will produce some short promo videos that will play on the IFE screens at regular intervals. Based in Amsterdam, ArkeFly flies to more than 70 destinations worldwide including popular holiday sites around the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, North and South America.


Cebu Pacific takes delivery of first A330-300

June 13, 2013 · 4 Views

Cebu Pacific has taken delivery of its first A330-300 during a special ceremony in Toulouse. The aircraft is the first of four A330s being leased by Cebu Pacific from US lessor CIT and will be used to launch the carrier’s new long haul low fare operations.


Bell Boeing awarded contract for 99 V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor aircraft

June 13, 2013 · 4 Views

The Bell Boeing V-22 Program, a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter Textron and Boeing, has been awarded a five-year U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) contract for the production and delivery of 99 V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, including 92 MV-22 models for the U.S. Marine Corps and seven CV-22 models for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. Valued at approximately $6.5bn, the contract is structured to provide nearly $1bn in savings to the U.S. government compared with procurements through single-year contracts. The contract also includes a provision permitting NAVAIR to order up to 23 additional aircraft.


Virgin America reports May load factor of 83%

June 13, 2013 · 9 Views

Virgin America’s May 2013 traffic rose 4.8% on a 1.0% decline in capacity, when compared to May 2012. Load factor for May 2013 was 82.9%, up 4.6 points from May 2012. The number of onboard passengers rose 10.6 percent from the same month in 2012.


David M. Brantner named president, Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines

June 13, 2013 · 18 Views

Pratt & Whitney appointed David Brantner president, Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines, and Matthew Bromberg president, Pratt & Whitney Aftermarket, both reporting to Paul Adams, chief operating officer. Brantner and Bromberg succeed Todd Kallman who announced his intent to retire from UTC.