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Saturday, August 31, 2013

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

This is an overview of all articles linked within the selected daily newsletter.
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Emirates reject Delta’s apology regarding Anderson’s 9/11 comments

February 20, 2015 · 542 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 · 640 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 · 195 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 · 162 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 · 111 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 · 78 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 · 78 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 · 74 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 · 65 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 · 64 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 · 40 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 · 53 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.


ESMA Aviation Academy takeover by Hainan Group

August 29, 2013 · 29 Views

Following a 15 months period under chapter 11 during which a massive restructuring policy has been implemented. ESMA is, since the 12th of August 2013, a subsidiary of the Chinese group Hainan Group (HNA) through its subsidiary HNA Europe. HNA Group, whose head office is located in Haikou capital of Hainan province in southern China, includes amongst its many activities (air transport, tourism, real estate, industry) the 4th Chinese airline company operating about 300 aircrafts, essentially to international destinations from China and employs more than 80.000 employees around the world. The strength and the ambition of its new shareholder will allow ESMA, already leader in the field of aeronautical training, to pursue its marketing strategy focused on the domestic market and the North African market (Maghreb). The opening towards Africa, already engaged through the contracts signed with Equatorial Guinea and Chad, together with the advanced contacts with Nigeria and Gabon which will be intensified. New president of ESMA, Olivier Georges, stemming of the banking and financial environment, particularly in the area of large companies financing, has a wealth training experience in the field of economics.


WestJet announces intent to purchase 65 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

August 29, 2013 · 9 Views

WestJet has entered into a letter of intent to purchase 65 737 MAX aircraft from Boeing, consisting 40 737 MAX 8 and 25 737 MAX 7 aircraft, with delivery scheduled to begin in September 2017. The 737 MAX aircraft will be equipped with CFM International LEAP-1B engines, and is expected to reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by 13% as compared with the most fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft currently available. Additional design updates, including Boeing’s Advanced Technology winglets and the Boeing Sky Interior, will also contribute to these improvements in fuel efficiency and WestJet’s overall guest experience. Boeing currently has firm orders from five other airlines in North America for its 737 MAX aircraft.


Transaero Airlines selects Engine Alliance GP7200 engines for Airbus A380 fleet

August 29, 2013 · 21 Views

Transaero Airlines has selected Engine Alliance GP7200 engines to power its four Airbus A380 aircraft. Transaero has also agreed to a 12-year Fleet Management Agreement to cover the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the engines. The engine and Fleet Management Agreement is valued at more than $500m over the life of the agreement. The delivery of the A380 aircraft starting in 2015, will not only be one of the major milestones in Transaero’s history but also for the entire Russian civil aviation market. Transaero is already the largest operator of wide-body aircraft in Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe. The acquisition of the A380 was a strategic decision aimed at improving service on high density routes.The planned passenger capacity of the aircraft will be 640-650 seats, including 12 seats in first-class and 24 in business class.


Air Lease Corporation assigned investment grade rating by Standard and Poor’s

August 29, 2013 · 6 Views

Air Lease Corporation has been assigned an investment grade corporate credit rating of BBB- with a stable outlook by Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services. Additionally, ALC’s senior unsecured notes due in 2016, 2017, and 2020 will also carry the same BBB- rating. Standard & Poor’s highlighted in its press release that the BBB- rating reflects Air Lease Corporation’s position as a rapidly growing provider of aircraft operating leases, its ownership of young and diverse new-technology aircraft with stable asset values, and the expectation that ALC’s growth will make it among the largest players in the industry within the next few years. ALC’s low debt to equity ratio and strong interest coverage ratios were also key to the ratings outcome.


Boeing forecasts increased global demand for airline pilots

August 29, 2013 · 21 Views

Boeing projects the commercial aviation industry will need more than one million new pilots and technicians to support the expanding demand for new airplane deliveries over the next two decades. Projected pilot demand is increasing worldwide, as is demand for technicians in some regions. At an event marking the launch of 787 flight training at the Boeing Flight Services campus in Miami, the company released the 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook. The Boeing outlook indicates that by 2032 the world will require: 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and 556,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians. The 2013 outlook projects significant increases in pilot demand, compared to previous forecasts, in all regions except Europe, which declined slightly over last year’s outlook. Overall, the demand is driven by steadily increasing airplane deliveries, particularly single-aisle airplanes, and represents a global requirement for about 25,000 new pilots annually. Global demand for technicians remains significant, at approximately 28,000 new technicians required annually. However, the introduction of more efficient and smarter airplanes will require fewer mechanics over time, as aging aircraft—which typically require more maintenance—are retired from service. New airplane technologies featuring more advanced components are likely to lead in some areas to lower maintenance requirements and corresponding lower technician demand.


AgustaWestland and UTair sign Service Centre Agreement at MAKS 2013

August 29, 2013 · 18 Views

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, announced the signing of a Service Centre Agreement with UTair Aviation of Russia during an official ceremony held at MAKS 2013. Under the agreement UTair will act as an authorized service station, providing a comprehensive range of support and maintenance services as well as an extensive spare parts inventory for AW139 twin engine helicopters in Russia. UTair is already a certified AW139 helicopter operator with ten aircraft currently in service to perform passenger, corporate and VVIP transport missions in Russia. Aircraft are deployed and operated from bases in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi and from additional bases in Siberia. The programme foresees qualification of approximately 60 pilots and 40 technicians to fly and maintain the AW139.


Airbus and S7 Engineering to develop strategic A320 maintenance training partnership in Russia

August 29, 2013 · 11 Views

During the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2013, Airbus and S7 Engineering, part of Engineering Holding, signed an agreement to develop long term maintenance partnership in the region. As part of this, S7 Engineering, a leading maintenance and repair facility in Russia, will acquire Airbus training skills and standards to provide OEM-backed maintenance training capabilities for its personnel and for A320 Family operators in the region. Additionally, this partnership will leverage Airbus’ latest technology training media and tailor the syllabus for the Russian environment and local language. The scope of the agreement covers the following:

– Complete standardization of S7 Engineering’s instructors and quality processes to enable their integration into Airbus’ maintenance training organisation exposure;
– Deployment of Airbus Competence Training equipped with innovative digital tools, ensuring active learning in virtual aircraft environment;
– Delivery of Airbus type rating and specialized courses;
– Applying Airbus’ optimized standards of courseware, curriculum and examinations.


RUAG grows in civil business and increases profitability

August 29, 2013 · 18 Views

In the first half of 2013, international technology group RUAG increased net sales by 3.4% year-on-year to CHF845m (previous year: CHF817m). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose 13% to CHF44m (CHF 39m). Civil business is gaining further in relation to military business: 56% of sales was generated by civil applications. The fastest growth was seen in RUAG’s international sales in North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Both the increase in civil business and international expansion had a positive impact on profitability. Four out of five divisions reported growth in the first half of the year. Only in the Defence division – the strategic technology partner for land forces – did sales decline compared with the year-back period. Growth in civil business and international expansion are responsible for the 13% rise in EBIT and have thus both proved to be profitability drivers. RUAG generated 56% (53%) of net sales with civil and 44% (47%) with military applications. In the civil sector, particular gains were seen in aerostructures, aerospace and business aviation. Sales to the DDPS (Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport), still the most important single customer, again declined slightly from 34% to 33%.


Jazz Aviation concludes sale of London Ontario facility

August 30, 2013 · 6 Views

Jazz Aviation has completed the sale of its London, Ontario hangar and office facility to Fanshawe College for $3.85m in cash. This transaction follows Jazz’s previously announced decision to consolidate its London and Halifax heavy maintenance bases in Halifax following a comprehensive review of its heavy maintenance requirements. In addition, the divestiture of the London, Ontario hangar and office facility is consistent with the Company’s overall strategy, which is focused on strengthening Jazz’s competitive position by improving efficiencies and operating economics.


Spirit AeroSystems announces salaried and management workforce reductions

August 30, 2013 · 6 Views

Spirit AeroSystems announced additional workforce reductions in Wichita, Kan., to begin next month. The actions are the result of an ongoing workforce assessment designed to balance the workforce, reduce overhead costs, increase efficiency and drive improved performance. Reductions will be accomplished through a voluntary retirement program, a voluntary layoff program, and following the voluntary exercise, a layoff of management and salaried employees.


Alrosa Airlines signs 737 component services contract

August 30, 2013 · 8 Views

At the MAKS fair in Moscow, Eastern Siberian carrier Alrosa Airlines has contracted Lufthansa Technik to provide component support for its new fleet of Boeing 737NG (Next Generation) aircraft. Alrosa, which is headquartered in Mirny and is part of the Alrosa Mining Group, signed a Total Component Support TCS agreement for four new 737NGs. The carrier is currently replacing its fleet of Tupolev 154s with modern Boeing aircraft. Effective immediately, Lufthansa Technik will take on the complete component supply for the new fleet, including all necessary repairs and the provision of spare parts for this aircraft type. Among the destinations Alrosa Airlines serves are Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Krasnodar, Anapa, Gelendzhik, Tomsk and Novosibirsk. The company is currently making substantial investments in its future. Its short-term plans call for the entry into service of the Bombardier Q400 in addition to the Boeing jets.


SR Technics and ADAT strengthen Boeing 787 ICS offering through Moog agreement

August 30, 2013 · 12 Views

SR Technics and ADAT, members of the Mubadala Aerospace MRO network, have signed a long term General Terms Agreement (GTA) with Moog, a worldwide designer, manufacturer and integrator of precision control components and systems. Under the deal SR Technics and ADAT will receive world class support from Moog for Boeing’s 787 MRO work and have the option to establish one of four authorized component repair facilities for Moog’s Boeing 787 spares worldwide, the location of which is still under review. The agreement is in line with the network’s strategy to build close OEM partnerships in order to enhance its customer offering. It further expands the MROs’ ability to support Boeing 787 operators through an enhanced Integrated Component Services (ICS) offering. The companies have also secured a 15-year maintenance and repair contract for Moog’s legacy platform components on Airbus and Boeing spares. In addition, Moog will provide access to spares for SR Technics’ ICS customers out of its seven global Boeing 787 component pools.


GECAS’ AviaSolutions consulting business names John Carter Managing Director

August 30, 2013 · 4 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced the appointment of John Carter as managing director of its AviaSolutions consulting business, which is expanding its services beyond airports to boost its work with airlines. John Carter joined AviaSolutions in 2008 and has more than 20 years experience in the aviation industry. Previously, he worked for the British Airport Authority (BAA plc) in a variety of roles.