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Wednesday, August 28, 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.


Anssi Komulainen, Head of Customer Service, leaves Finnair

August 26, 2013 · 36 Views

The Head of Customer Service, Anssi Komulainen, has announced he will leave his duties as the head of Customer Service and as a member of Finnair’s Executive and Management Boards on August 31, 2013, and continue as a senior advisor until the end of February, 2014. Komulainen has worked at Finnair since 2001, most recently as Senior Vice President, Customer Service since 2010. Finnair will not recruit a successor for Komulainen, which means that there will be one less member on the Executive Board.


GECAS completes delivery of eight new ATR72-600s to Azul

August 26, 2013 · 14 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS) announced it delivered an eighth new ATR72-600 to Brazil’s Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S/A. This leased aircraft came from GECAS’ existing order book with ATR. Three of the new ATRs leased to Azul came from GECAS’ order book. Five of the ATRs came from Azul’s order book with the manufacturer and were part of a purchase-and-leaseback transaction with GECAS. Azul operates a fleet of some 118 aircraft to more than 103 destinations.


Pan Am International Flight Academy purchased by All Nippon Airways

August 26, 2013 · 12 Views

American Capital released that its portfolio company Pan Am Holdings, and its subsidiaries, including Pan Am International Flight Academy, were sold to ANA Holdings, parent company of All Nippon Airways. American Capital and its affiliated funds received $94m in debt and equity proceeds and realized a gain of $12m from the transaction, subject to post-closing adjustments. Of the total proceeds, American Capital received $79m, realizing a gain of $7m from the transaction, subject to post-closing adjustments.  The combination of Pan Am and All Nippon Airways makes for a strong partnership and positions the new entity to meet the increasing demand for trained pilots worldwide. Pan Am is one of the world’s largest independent providers of flight simulation and aviation training services and has the second largest number of flight simulators used for training. Airlines and individuals from across the globe, including North and South America, Europe and Asia rely on Pan Am for flight training services. All Nippon Airways plans to expand Pan Am into Asia by providing training to other Asian airlines, partner firms and subsidiaries.


Boeing rolls out first 787-9 Dreamliner

August 26, 2013 · 23 Views

Boeing has completed the first 787-9 Dreamliner. The second member of the super-efficient 787 family rolled out of the Everett, Wash., factory on August 24th to the flight line, where teams are preparing it to fly later this summer. At 20 feet (6 m) longer than the 787-8, the 787-9 will extend the 787 family in both capacity and range, carrying 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 km). The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8 such as its exceptional environmental performance — 20% less fuel use and 20% fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes — and passenger-pleasing features. With the second and third airplanes in final assembly, Boeing and the 787-9 are on track. First delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand is set for mid-2014.


UTC Aerospace Systems to provide Sunwing Airlines with service on major nacelle components

August 26, 2013 · 16 Views

UTC Aerospace Systems’ Aerostructures business has been chosen by Sunwing Airlines to service nacelle components for its fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft. Under the five-year agreement, UTC Aerospace Systems’ Alabama Service Center in Foley, Ala. will perform maintenance, repair and overhaul of the inlets, fan cowls and small components for the CFM56-7 engines that power Sunwing’s fleet of 24 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The agreement also provides the airline with access to UTC Aerospace Systems’ pool of rotable nacelle components, which will help ensure operational reliability for the airline. The Alabama Service Center is part of UTC Aerospace Systems’ Aerostructures business headquartered in Chula Vista, California.


ATR approved for unpaved runway operations in Russia’s Siberia and Far East

August 26, 2013 · 7 Views

ATR obtained the company’s receipt of fleet-wide approval for new generation ATR aircraft to operate from 3 more unpaved runways in the remote parts of Russia. Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) delivered the approval in late June this year. This certification brings to 4 a total number of runways already approved for use and operations: Mys Kamenny, Lensk, Bodaibo and Igrim, the latest being certified last year. The certification allows ATR aircraft to operate from gravel, dirt and grass strips. This significant upgrade to ATR’s outstanding performance package was accomplished runway per runway, each of which had undergone extensive and thorough operational expertise and testing performed by ATR engineering team. More unpaved air strips are being assessed to gain approval for ATR operations.


Xiamen Airlines finalizes order for six 787 Dreamliners

August 26, 2013 · 20 Views

Boeing and Xiamen Airlines have finalized an order for six 787-8s. Originally announced by Xiamen Airlines in May 2011, the order is valued at $1.3bn at list prices. As China’s only all-Boeing fleet carrier, Xiamen Airlines has earned a profit for 27 consecutive years, one of the most consistently successful financial performances in the industry. The airline’s expanding international network currently focuses on southeast and northeast Asia. With the introduction of the 787 Dreamliners beginning in 2014, the airline plans to launch new long-haul routes from Fujian to Europe, North America and Australia.


First China-assembled Legacy 650 successfully completes maiden flight

August 26, 2013 · 14 Views

Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry (HEAI), Embraer’s joint venture with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), reported that the first Legacy 650 large executive jet assembled in China, successfully completed its maiden flight August 26th. Delivery of the first Legacy 650 is scheduled for the end of 2013. Embraer’s test pilots flew the aircraft for about two hours and thirty minutes, assessing its handling and performance characteristics. The aircraft’s systems were evaluated, including flight control, communication, and navigation.


ILFC registers aircraft with Aruba

August 27, 2013 · 18 Views

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has registered with the Aruban Civil Aircraft Registry an A330-223 with registration marks P4-TWM. The aircraft was registered under the “Storage-Between Leases Program” while in transition to be leased from Malaysia Airline System Berhad to Aerolineas Argentinas S. A. During the transition period the aircraft is currently located at MAS (Malaysia Airline System Berhad MRO) in Subang airport Kuala Lumpur. A second A330-223 is expected to register with Aruba under the same program by mid September 2013.


Acro Aircraft Seating to equip KLM Cityhopper’s entire Fokker 70 fleet

August 27, 2013 · 1 View

UK-based passenger aircraft seat manufacturer Acro Aircraft Seating has announced that KLM Cityhopper (KLC) and Fokker Services have signed a contract to replace the seats on the airline’s entire Fokker 70 fleet with its new Acro Ultra seats. Distinguished by its light weight and slim design of the seatback, this is the first time that KLC has ordered this particular model. The order marks an important win for Acro which includes 26 shipsets and seating for a total of 2080 passengers. Installation is already completed for the first four shipsets and completion of the order is anticipated in October, ahead of the 2013 winter schedule. KLC selected the Acro seats in order to introduce a new Economy Comfort-zone Class on its Fokker 70 fleet, similar to its Boeing fleet in Europe. By installing the new seats, a reconfiguration of the front section of the aircraft has been made possible. Consequently, KLC passengers can then (winter 2013/2014) enjoy an extra four centimetres of legroom compared with Economy Class, whilst European Business Class passengers enjoy an extra eight centimetres in pitch.


Ural Works of Civil Aviation to become a Repair and Overhaul facility for Turbomeca engines

August 27, 2013 · 21 Views

Turbomeca (Safran) announced the signature of a MRO Licence Agreement with Ural Works of Civil Aviation (UWCA), paving the way for UWCA to become a Repair and Overhaul Facility in Russia for Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 and Ardiden 3G engines, powering Ka-226T and Ka-62 Helicopters respectively. Ural Works of Civil Aviation will be approved for performing the Repair & Overhaul and test of engines and accessories. Turbomeca will supply tools and spares, provide training, technical assistance and technical publications to UWCA. The authorization of Ural Works of Civil Aviation for MRO of Arrius2G1 is expected during the second half of 2015 with approval for Ardiden 3G MRO to come later on.


Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and UTair Aviation sign contract for six Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft

August 27, 2013 · 18 Views

On August 27 a three-party delivery contract for six Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft was signed by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC), UTair Aviation and VEB-Leasing at the International Aviation Space Salon MAKS. The delivery of the aircraft is scheduled for 2014. Pursuant to the contract VEB-Leasing purchases from SCAC six Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft totaling $217.2m for further delivery to UTair Aviation based on terms of financial leasing. The contract represents the first implementation stage of the leasing contract signed earlier.


Ilyushin Finance Co signs firm order for 20 SSJ100

August 27, 2013 · 24 Views

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and Ilyushin Finance Co (IFC) signed two firm contracts for the delivery of 20 Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft. The first contract included five SSJ100 LR aircraft in 103-seat configuration. An increased passenger capacity will be provided by means of slimmer seats installation. The first deliveries are expected at the end of 2015. The second contract for customers in the South-East Asia and the Middle East region, was concluded for fifteen Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft in its Basic version. The first deliveries are expected in 2015 as well.


UAS receives EASA approval

August 27, 2013 · 27 Views

Unique Airmotive Services (UAS) announced that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has given UAS their EASA certificate (Cert #EASA.145.6499). This approval will allow UAS to pursue a number of International Airlines as well as International Maintenance and Repair Organizations (MRO’s) for the repair and overhaul of their APU’s and Accessories.