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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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Emirates reject Delta’s apology regarding Anderson’s 9/11 comments

February 20, 2015 · 541 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 · 639 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.


Bristol Associates completes sale of one 2000 vintage B767-224ER aircraft

September 16, 2013 · 20 Views

Bristol Associates representing United Airlines, has completed the sale of a 2000 vintage B767-224ER aircraft (MSN 30431, N73152) to Wells Fargo as Trustee. UTAir (Russia) will operate the aircraft.


Embraer on Schedule with Jacksonville A-29 Super Tucano assembly facility

September 16, 2013 · 28 Views

Embraer Defense & Security announced that the company is on schedule with its Jacksonville, Florida, assembly facility to begin deliveries in mid-2014 of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to the U.S. Air Force for the Light Air Support (LAS) program. On March 26th, a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the presence of government officials and local leaders marked the opening of the 40,000-ft² assembly hangar located at Jacksonville International Airport. Hiring has commenced at an accelerated pace from the local Jacksonville community where, as of today, 40 critical positions have been filled for areas encompassing Production Engineering, Quality Engineering, Logistics, and A&P technicians. According to Daniel W. Culleton, Jr. General Manager, “This facility will perform pre-equipping, mechanical assembly, structural assembly, systems installation and testing, and flight testing of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft. It is the latest in a series of recent expansions by Embraer in Florida and the first for Defense & Security.”


A2B Heli Maintenance launches helicopter MRO/CAMO services with new London Oxford Airport base

September 16, 2013 · 13 Views

A2B Heli Maintenance, a newly established EASA Part 145 independent commercial helicopter maintenance company, has formally opened its doors at London Oxford Airport. Headed by Andy Bloxham, Managing Director, A2B Heli moved into the newly refurbished hangar on 19th August and will specialise in the support of leading commercial helicopter types. In its first week of operation, A2B Heli supported three helicopters in Europe by providing short notice troubleshooting and scheduled maintenance. A2B Heli, part of the expanding A2B Aero Group, comprises a team of five dedicated OEM factory trained certifying staff with experience on a wide range of Eurocopter, Bell, Agusta and Sikorsky models. The offering is supported by a unique global network of support, enabling it to offer customers support all around the world.


Mesa to operate Embraer 175 aircraft and extends CRJ 700 agreement for United Express

September 16, 2013 · 14 Views

Mesa Air Group signed a new agreement with United Airlines that extends the term of its existing fleet of 20 Bombardier CRJ 700 aircraft to 2019 and adds 30 new United owned Embraer 175 aircraft. Under the terms of this agreement Mesa will place the new Embraer 175 jets into service over the next two years. Mesa will hire approximately 350 pilots, 300 flight attendants, and 200 maintenance and other support personnel to support the additional aircraft.


Virgin America reports decreased August traffic

September 16, 2013 · 17 Views

Virgin America’s August 2013 traffic decreased 5.1%, while capacity decrased 5.0%  when compared to August 2012. Load factor was 82.2%, which is unchanged from the same month a year prior.


Harbin Composite Manufacturing Centre delivers 1st major A350 part

September 16, 2013 · 21 Views

Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Centre (HMC), a joint venture between Airbus and its Chinese partners, has started to deliver elevators for the Airbus A350 XWB programme. A ceremony was held in Harbin for the delivery of the first ship set of elevators on September 16th. The elevators manufactured at HMC are delivered to Spain-based Aernnova Aerospace (ANN), who will deliver them to the Airbus plant in Getafe, Spain, where they will be integrated into the A350 XWB horizontal tail plane. ANN is a major supplier of aerostructures to Airbus. Under a contract signed by HMC and ANN in 2010, HMC is responsible for manufacturing and assembling the complete set of carbon fibre elevators (an elevator is a movable control surface in the horizontal tail plane that makes the aircraft pitch up or down to increase or reduce its flight altitude). During the initial phase the A350 elevators were solely produced at ANN. Production in China started in 2012. After a period of transition, during which the elevators are produced at both ANN and HMC, the Harbin Manufacturing Centre will become the sole supplier of A350 XWB elevators. According to an agreement signed in 2007 between Airbus and the Chinese government, Airbus agreed to allocate five percent of the A350 XWB airframe to be manufactured in China. The work packages to be carried out by HMC are a significant part of the five per cent.


ATR and LIAT sign Global Maintenance Agreement

September 16, 2013 · 21 Views

The European manufacturer of turboprop aircraft ATR and the Caribbean carrier LIAT have announced the signature of a Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA) for the airline’s new fleet of ATR -600 aircraft. Signed for an initial period of 10 years, the contract will cover the four ATR 42-600s and four ATR 72-600s that will be operated by the airline in the near future. LIAT has already started introducing its new ATR -600s into its fleet. As set out in this GMA, ATR will manage all aspects of maintenance and repair for some equipment for the airline’s ATR ‘-600′ fleet. This equipment includes LRUs (Line Replaceable Units), propeller blades and landing gears. By entering into the agreement, ATR guarantees LIAT the permanent availability of these spare parts from its logistics center in Miami. The airline will also benefit from ATR’s expertise for all of its maintenance procedures. Close to 300 ATRs currently in operation are covered by GMAs with ATR. This represents nearly a third of ATR’s total operational fleet.


Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz not available for further term

September 16, 2013 · 28 Views

Christoph Franz has informed Deutsche Lufthansa AG that he is not available for an extension of his contract as Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO. His current contract runs until 31 May 2014.


Swedish Maritime Administration takes delivery of first AW139

September 16, 2013 · 17 Views

AgustaWestland reported that the Swedish Maritime Administration has taken delivery of its first AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopter during an official ceremony held at Vergiate plant (Italy) on September 10th. The aircraft is the first of seven AW139s on order which will be equipped for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in Sweden and the customer is expected to receive the second helicopter shortly and the third aircraft by year end, with all deliveries to be completed within 2014. The Swedish Maritime Administration, the authority responsible for Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue Services in Sweden, will operate the AW139 helicopters from 5 bases across the country.