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Saturday, August 10, 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.


Volartec and Aerosapience pen partner agreement

August 8, 2013 · 31 Views

Volartec have signed a new partnership agreement with Hong Kong-based Aerosapience Limited. With the simultaneous appointment of a new Regional Sales Manager in the region it opens new channels for Alkym in the APAC region. The partnership will see Aerosapience provide authorized sales representation and implementation support for Alkym Management and Control System for Aircraft Maintenance.


PAS Technologies announces appointment of new Director of PXP/Lean

August 8, 2013 · 26 Views

PAS Technologies reported that Gene V. Flenke has joined the management team of PAS as Director of Performance eXcellence Process (PXP)/Lean reporting to Thomas C. Hutton, CEO. In this role, Flenke will lead, drive and sustain the cultural and technical changes necessary to further PAS Technologies’ commitment to Lean manufacturing. Flenke comes to PAS Technologies with more than 34 years of experience in the aerospace industry in operational and executive roles serving most recently as Manager of the Pratt & Whitney’s Global Supply Organization Continuous Improvement Team.


MTU Maintenance celebrates 1,500th CF6-80 engine overhaul

August 8, 2013 · 15 Views

MTU Maintenance, an independent maintenance provider for commercial aircraft engines, has completed the 1,500th overhaul of a General Electric CF6-80 engine. The engine was delivered to U.S. based operator US Airways with whom MTU is celebrating a 20-year business partnership this year. “We are very happy to be sharing this special moment with one of our longest and closest customers,” said Dr. Stefan Weingartner, President Commercial Maintenance at MTU Aero Engines. “The maintenance of the CF6-80 is one of our key services. The engine has been overhauled in Hannover, MTU’s first maintenance location and centre of competence for medium to large aircraft engines, for almost 25 years. We are very confident that we will continue our success with this engine over the next years.”


Copa Holdings reports traffic up 14% in July

August 8, 2013 · 27 Views

For the month of July 2013, Copa Holdings’ system-wide passenger traffic increased 14.4% year over year, while capacity increased 11.3%. As a result, system load factor for July 2013 was 80.8%, a 2.2 point increase when compared to July 2012.


United reports July 2013 operational performance

August 8, 2013 · 16 Views

UAL’s July 2013 consolidated traffic decreased 1.1% and consolidated capacity decreased 1.8% versus July 2012. UAL’s July 2013 consolidated load factor increased 0.6 points to 87.2% compared to July 2012.


Fokker signs additional contract with Airbus for A350-1000 composite Outboard Flap

August 8, 2013 · 41 Views

Fokker Aerostructures has signed an important contract with Airbus for the development and manufacturing of the Outboard Flap for the A350-1000, the largest variant of the A350 XWB family of aircraft. Outboard flaps increase the surface-area as well as the camber of the wing during take-off and landing. The design of the A350-1000 composite flap has been customized because of the new wing design of this variant and because of the enlarged fuselage. Development activities have already started in close collaboration with Airbus in Bremen, where a team of Fokker engineers is co-located on-site with the Airbus team. First hardware deliveries are scheduled for 2015. The new contract means employment for 50 highly qualified specialists at Fokker. The Outboard Flap for the A350-800 and A350 -900 variants has also been designed by Fokker and is currently in production in Papendrecht. The awarding of this contract further expands Fokker’s position as supplier of the outboard flaps for all variants of the Airbus A350 XWB family and is therefore considered to be a significant milestone.


ThyssenKrupp Aerospace acquires business activities of The Waterjet Group

August 8, 2013 · 21 Views

ThyssenKrupp Aerospace, via its UK subsidiary, has acquired the business activities of The Waterjet Group, based in Darton, South Yorkshire/UK. The closing took place on July 31, 2013. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The Waterjet Group (around 40 employees) was established in 2002 and is a leading UK waterjet cutting company for the aerospace industry. The company has several waterjets and related value add equipment, a large number of aerospace approvals and to a smaller extent also serves other high-tech industries, including the medical technology sector. The Waterjet Group operates out of a site near Leeds. With its equipment the company is able to process a wide range of materials and sizes for the European and international customer base. ThyssenKrupp Aerospace has been working with The Waterjet Group for many years and will be integrating its employees, equipment and technical expertise into the ThyssenKrupp Aerospace global network.


Comlux named GE Authorized Service Center for CF34-3 engines

August 9, 2013 · 39 Views

GE Aviation named Comlux as an authorized service center for GE’s CF34-3 engines that power the Bombardier Challenger series. With this agreement, Comlux can perform line maintenance inspections and routine installed engine maintenance, including removal and replacement of engines and engine components. This authorization also allows Comlux to provide OnPoint solution and GE’s new engine warranty support. ”Working as a Bombardier Approved facility since 2008, we are extremely pleased to receive this approval from GE Aviation for the engines of the Challenger series,” said David Edinger, president and CEO of Comlux in the US. “This new agreement demonstrates our know-how and experience and allows us to further guarantee to our customers the highest level of quality and reliability in the maintenance service we provide on their VIP aircraft.”


IBA manages sale and transition of one Boeing Business Jet

August 9, 2013 · 29 Views

IBA has completed the sale and transition of an ex-Privatair BBJ serial number 34303. IBA was mandated in 2012 to exclusively remarket the aircraft for sale worldwide, and IBA’s technical team was also engaged to manage the redelivery back to the owner client.


Air Lease Corporation announces second quarter 2013 results

August 9, 2013 · 16 Views

Air Lease Corporation reported that revenues in the second quarter increased 31.4% to $207.9m for the three months ended June 30, 2013 compared to $158.2m for the three months ended June 30, 2012. Income before taxes increased 51.1% to $66.3m with a pretax margin of 31.9% for the three months ended June 30, 2013 compared to income before taxes of $43.9m with a pretax margin of 27.7% for the three months ended June 30, 2012. Air Lease Corporation acquired twelve aircraft (including ten aircraft from its order book and two incremental aircraft), growing its fleet to 174 aircraft spread across a broad customer base of 78 airlines in 44 countries.


FLY Leasing acquires 2013 Vintage Boeing 737-800

August 9, 2013 · 16 Views

FLY Leasing, a global lessor of modern commercial jet aircraft, acquired a 2013 vintage Boeing 737-800. The aircraft is on a long-term lease to a leading carrier in China. The purchase was financed with FLY’s unrestricted cash and its aircraft acquisition facility.


Milestone Aviation Group secures $600m revolving credit line

August 9, 2013 · 1382 Views

Milestone Aviation Group, a global leader in helicopter leasing, has closed on a five-year, $600m revolving credit line that includes an unfunded revolving accordion feature to expand the borrowing capacity up to $750m. This revolver represents the largest-ever debt facility for a helicopter lessor and will be used to fund growth initiatives and acquisitions. Since its launch, Milestone has grown its business to best meet the needs of the global helicopter community. Over the past three years, the Company has acquired more than 100 aircraft valued at over $1.5bn, and closed leases with 22 operators in over 20 countries. The company placed future firm helicopter orders and secured options valued at more than $2.2bn and raised more than $500m in equity capital and $2.4bn in debt commitments from leading banks in North America, Europe and Asia, as well as insurance companies and the US capital markets.