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Saturday, July 13, 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.


Etihad Airways orders first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Full Flight Simulators

July 11, 2013 · 22 Views

Etihad Airways has purchased seven state-of-the-art full flight simulators (FFS) which will be based at the airline’s world class training academy in Abu Dhabi. The deal with Canadian manufacturer CAE, worth more than US$200m at list prices, will see Etihad Airways take delivery of its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 FFS, and will support the airline’s growing training requirements. In total Etihad Airways has ordered three Boeing 787 FFS, one Airbus A380 FFS, one Airbus A350 FFS, and two Airbus A320 FFS. All are CAE 7000 Series models. The airline currently has four CAE FFS: one Boeing 777, one Airbus A320 and two Airbus A330/340s. A multimillion dollar extension project is currently being undertaken at the training academy and is due for completion in early November 2013, with the first of the new FFS, an A320, scheduled for delivery later that month. The remaining FFS will arrive during the following 12 months.


Sunrise Airways unveils new maintenance facility in Santiago, Dominican Republic

July 11, 2013 · 19 Views

Sunrise Airways, a new start-up airline based in Port-au-Prince, recently opened a dedicated Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility located at Cibao International Airport (STI) in Santiago, Dominican Republic, becoming the only Haitian airline with its own, in-house maintenance capabilities. Measuring 8,000 ft² in size, the facility has the capacity to store three of the carrier’s flagship 19-seat Jetstream 32 EP aircraft. More than 2,200 line items of Jetstream 32 parts are stored between the Sunrise MRO in Santiago and its headquarters in Port-au-Prince, minimizing controllable service disruptions.


ALPA hails new qualification standards for airline copilots

July 11, 2013 · 23 Views

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) hailed the announcement by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the agency is increasing the minimum qualification requirements for first officers (copilots) who fly for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines. The new regulations, which go into effect on August 1, reflect ALPA’s efforts on several fronts and incorporate several ALPA recommendations. In addressing ALPA members about the significance of the new rule, the Association’s president, Capt. Lee Moak, noted, “ALPA was instrumental in helping to develop these regulations through its participation on the related FAA-industry Aviation Rulemaking Committee, by working with the FAA and airline industry stakeholders, and by submitting extensive comments on the proposed rule. “The Association’s top concern remains safety,” he stressed, “but ALPA will do all in its power to make the transition to the new pilot qualifications rule as smooth and seamless as possible for our members.”

Directed by Congress, the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010 called for increased minimum requirements for airline first officers. The new rule mandates that airline first officers hold an air transport pilot (ATP) certificate or the new “restricted ATP.” An ATP certificate requires, among many other qualifications, that the pilot be at least 23 years old and have logged at least 1,500 hours of flight time.

The “restricted ATP” will require pilots to be at least 21 years old with

  • 750 flight hours if they are military-trained and qualified,
  • 1,000 flight hours if trained in a four-year college or university-accredited aviation training program leading to a bachelor’s degree, or
  • 1,250 flight hours if trained in a two-year college aviation program leading to an associate’s degree.

Pilots who obtain their certificates and ratings via non-structured general aviation flight training can qualify for the restricted ATP at age 21 with 1,500 hours of flight time.


Alaska Airlines pilots ratify five-year contract

July 11, 2013 · 17 Views

Alaska Airlines pilots on July 10th approved a new five-year contract. With nearly 94% of 1,343 eligible pilots casting a ballot, 67% voted in favor of the agreement. The contract increases pay by nearly 20% over the life of the agreement and contains job security and work rule improvements. It also protects pilots’ retirement and insurance benefits.


Silk Way Airlines orders two 747-8 Freighters

July 11, 2013 · 32 Views

Boeing and Silk Way Airlines, a cargo carrier based in Baku, Azerbaijan, announced an order for two Boeing 747-8 Freighters valued at $704m at current list prices. Silk Way Airlines currently operates Boeing 747-400 Freighters and 767-300 Freighters. It is considered as one of the leading cargo airlines in Central Asia providing full-fledged services to Europe and the United Kingdom and the Middle East, as well as the Far East including Korea, China and Hong Kong. In addition, it also serves international destinations through a network of alliances.


easyJet firms up order for 100 A320neo and 35 A320ceo aircraft

July 11, 2013 · 23 Views

Following its shareholders’ approval, easyJet has firmed up the purchase of 135 Airbus A320 family aircraft (100 A320neos and 35 A320ceos). The initial agreement was announced earlier in June. The agreement was concluded following a thorough technical and economical evaluation. The order by easyJet sustains nearly 2,500 jobs as well as some 7,500 in the extended supply chain in the UK.


Bombardier names Ethiopian Airlines as Authorized Service Facility for commercial aircraft

July 11, 2013 · 15 Views

Bombardier Aerospace added further bench strength to its fast growing support network in Africa by naming one of the continent’s leading carriers, Ethiopian Airlines of Addis Ababa, as an Authorized Service Facility (ASF) for commercial aircraft. Bombardier has signed a Letter of Intent to authorize the airline to perform line and heavy maintenance on Q400 and Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft. The agreement is expected to take effect by late August. Ethiopian Airlines operates modern and complete aircraft, engine and component overhaul and repair facilities at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. The facility employs an all-Ethiopian workforce of over 750 licensed technicians and support staff.


GA Telesis announced disassembly of Boeing 777-200ER, 767-200ER and 757-200ER

July 11, 2013 · 52 Views

GA Telesis has started the dismantling process for three Boeing aircraft, including one 777-200ER (TRENT 800) (MSN 28418) ex-Malaysia Airlines, one 767-200ER (CF6-80A) (MSN 22326) ex American Airlines and one 757-200 (PW2000) (MSN 25276) ex-United Airlines. All aircraft have entered the GA Telesis disassembly production line in the USA, and the aircraft dismantling and remarketing efforts will be led by the GA Telesis supply chain and global sales teams respectively.


GECAS delivers leased Airbus A320 to new customer Tianjin Airlines

July 11, 2013 · 24 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced delivery of a leased Airbus A320 to new customer Tianjin Airlines to expand the carrier’s fleet. Tianjin Airlines operates a fleet of more than 75 aircraft to some 60 destinations in China.


JetBlue Airways reports June traffic

July 12, 2013 · 20 Views

JetBlue Airways reported its preliminary traffic results for June 2013. Traffic in June increased 7.8% from June 2012, on a capacity increase of 8.0%. Load factor for June 2013 was 85.7%, a decrease of 0.2 points from June 2012.


GE Aviation seals commitment to advanced manufacturing in North Carolina

July 12, 2013 · 38 Views

GE Aviation has finalized plans to break ground this year on an advanced composite component factory near Asheville in Western North Carolina. The new 125,000-ft² (next to an existing GE Aviation machining plant) will produce engine components made of advanced ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials. GE could begin hiring at the new CMC components plant as early as 2014. Within five years, the workforce at the plant is expected to grow to more than 340 people. The new facility will be part of a larger commitment by GE Aviation to invest $195m across its North Carolina operations through 2017. GE Aviation has more than 1,300 employees in North Carolina at sites in Durham, West Jefferson, Wilmington, and Asheville. Overall, the new CMC facility, combined with plant and equipment upgrades at existing sites across North Carolina, will create 242 additional GE jobs by 2017.


Delta Air Lines opens first Latin American technical operations line maintenance in São Paulo

July 12, 2013 · 24 Views

Delta Air Lines reported the establishment of its first Latin American Delta Technical Operations Line Maintenance Division (TechOps) at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The operation deployment will involve 26 new employees including technicians, supervisors, material services and one manager. “We are committed to continue growing in the Brazilian market and across Latin America. Earlier this year, we relocated our commercial headquarters from Atlanta to Sao Paulo. The establishment of technical operations in Sao Paulo is a logical next step in our commitment to become the best U.S. carrier in Latin America,” said Nicolas Ferri, Delta’s vice president—Latin America and Caribbean. Delta has a presence of line maintenance at more than 50 airports across Delta’s global system to provide Delta’s fleet with technical support and reinforce a safe and on-time operation for customers.


Jet Aviation Basel signs narrow-body completions agreement for a BBJ1

July 12, 2013 · 25 Views

Jet Aviation Basel was recently contracted by an undisclosed client for the VIP cabin interior completions of a BBJ1 aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered green to the Basel Completions Center in the first quarter of 2014. “The customer has selected the Basel Completions Center based on the scope of our in-house capabilities and the depth of our skills and experience in this distinguished market,” said Ruedi Kraft, vice president, Market Development & Completions Sales, Jet Aviation Basel. “We are very excited about the prospect of transforming this empty aircraft into a fully functional, certifiable and unique V.I.P. aircraft interior.”


Pattonair appoints news Head of Quality for Europe

July 12, 2013 · 25 Views

Pattonair, a leading global aerospace and defence supply chain service provider, announced that Sara Wynne joined the company as Head of Quality – Europe. Based at Pattonair’s European Hub in Derby and reporting to Richard Hawkins, Group Quality Director, Sara will be responsible for ensuring that all European customers, continues to receive the level of service on which the Pattonair reputation is built.