Thursday, October 03, 2013
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October 1, 2013 · 30 Views
Precision Aviation Group of companies has scaled up operations further with the Pentagon 2000SQL system. Additional company operations have been added seamlessly under the system with minimal additional setup and implementation activities required. Chad Lemke, Vice President at PAG, commented that “Pentagon 2000SQL has proven to be a very powerful yet flexible part of our infrastructure. We have been able to support the growth of the business in a very seamless and non-disruptive way. Our initial investment has been leveraged throughout our expansion, so adding additional company operations to the system has been quick and very cost effective”.
October 1, 2013 · 32 Views
The European manufacturer of turboprop aircraft ATR, Indonesia’s national airline Garuda Indonesia and the Danish leasing firm Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) announced an agreement for the introduction of 35 new ATR 72-600 aircraft into Garuda’s fleet. This new deal for 35 ATRs, involving NAC as lessor for Garuda, includes orders for 25 firm aircraft and options for further 10. The order, including the options, is valued at over $840m. The arrival of these new ATR 72-600s will start in November 2013. The aircraft will be configured with 70 seats, and will feature the “Armonia” cabin, giving the ATR ‘-600s’ the highest standards of comfort in a regional aircraft. The aircraft will be used for the development of both tourism and business throughout the Indonesian archipelago as well as to feed Garuda Indonesia’s main hubs.
October 1, 2013 · 22 Views
Commsoft, a leader in aviation engineering and maintenance systems, has signed a new five-year contract with Blue Air AMS, the Romanian low-cost airline, for the continued use of Commsoft’s OASES MRO IT system. Originally founded in 2004, Blue Air was the first Romanian airline to be launched with 100% Romanian private equity and its business was acquired recently by Airline Management Solutions. The business assets of the old company have now been formally transferred to the new owners and the newly-named airline has been awarded an Air Operations Certificate by the Romanian CAA. An OASES user since 2006, Blue Air AMS plans to migrate to the latest AMP and AD/SB software early in 2014 for the on-going maintenance of its current fleet of Boeing 737s, including one 737-300, one 737-500 and four 737-400s. The airline will be supported in its upgrade by Commsoft’s own Bucharest-based implementation team.
October 1, 2013 · 12 Views
BOC Aviation placed six Airbus A321 aircraft with EVA Airways, for delivery between March and August 2015. EVA Air has signed the leases as it renews its narrow-body fleet to expand its regional routes. The aircraft will be equipped with CFM engines.
October 1, 2013 · 25 Views
Euravia Engineering and Greenwich AeroGroup entered into a partnership agreement to provide Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services for Pratt & Whitney’s PT6A and PT6T engines on fixed and rotor wing aircraft in the United States. According to the agreement, Greenwich AeroGroup will provide through its MRO’s (Atlantic Aero in Greensboro N.C., Summit Aviation in Middletown, Del., and Western Aircraft in Boise, Idaho) engine inventory and component storage, logistics and distribution services across the U.S. as well as logistical facilities for shipments to and from the U.S. to the United Kingdom.
October 1, 2013 · 23 Views
Southwest Airlines (LUV) broke ground Monday, September 30th, on a new international terminal at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), marking the official start of construction on the $156m project. Once completed, the five-gate facility will accommodate regional international flights for Southwest Airlines, with service reaching destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the northern cities of South America.
October 1, 2013 · 20 Views
Republic Airways Holdings has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Frontier Airlines to an affiliate of Indigo Partners in an all-cash transaction. Indigo Partners and its principals, led by managing partner William A. Franke, have a history of investing in airline transportation and related industries and creating successful, differentiated companies. Under the terms of the stock purchase agreement, which has been approved by Republic’s Board of Directors, the buyer, an affiliate of Indigo Partners, will acquire all the outstanding shares of Frontier Airlines Holdings in a transaction valued at approximately $145m, of which $36m (subject to certain adjustments under the purchase agreement) is to be paid in cash for the equity of Frontier Holdings and the balance is indebtedness that will be retained by Frontier. In addition, Indigo plans to invest additional funds directly in Frontier after the closing. As part of the transaction, under a separate agreement, Republic will assign to Frontier all of Republic’s rights under agreements relating to the Republic’s Airbus A320neo order in exchange for reimbursement of pre-delivery deposits, which total $32m.
October 1, 2013 · 15 Views
Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace and defense industries, has acquired certain assets and liabilities from AeroSat Corporation, a supplier of aircraft antenna systems, for $12m in cash, plus the potential for an earn out. Astronics expects the earnout will be between $5 and $20m. AeroSat designs and manufactures fuselage and tail-mounted antenna systems for commercial transport, business jet, and military aircraft customers around the world. Its antenna systems are typically used to enable satellite and ground-based communication to aircraft, commonly for broadband and TV applications. AeroSat is currently involved in a range of FAA certification efforts with Gogo Inc. for Ku Band send/receive satellite antennas intended for Gogo’s international airline customers.
October 1, 2013 · 32 Views
Bombardier Aerospace celebrated the opening of the Midparc Casablanca Free Zone, in Nouaceur, with a symbolic groundbreaking on the site of the future Bombardier manufacturing facility. In January 2013 Bombardier began operating out of a transitional facility located at the Mohammed V International Airport in Nouaceur in the Greater Casablanca region, where the company is currently producing simple structures including flight controls for the CRJ Series aircraft, and will employ over 100 workers by the end of December 2013. Construction of Bombardier’s 150 000 ft² permanent facility began earlier in September 2013, and is scheduled to be completed around mid-2014. Bombardier Aerospace intends to invest approximately $200m in equipment, buildings and start-up costs. By the end of 2020, employment at the Morocco facility is expected to reach 850 skilled and trained workers.
October 1, 2013 · 16 Views
Eurocopter Japan has signed a contract to supply Nagoya with an AS365 N3+ Dauphin for operation by the Nagoya City Fire Bureau, as an upgrade for the service’s existing helicopter resources. Delivery of this new rotorcraft is planned in 2015 to the Pacific Coast city of Japan, which is the country’s fourth most populous urban area.
October 2, 2013 · 29 Views
The first joint development of Lufthansa Technik and SCHOTT – the LED cabin lighting solution HelioJet – can now be experienced in normal airline operations: it has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the European aviation authority EASA for the A320 aircraft family, and is currently used for continental flights in an Airbus A319. HelioJet delivers white light for extremely homogeneous and pleasant cabin lighting in passenger aircraft. Another advantage of the system is a significant reduction in maintenance costs.
October 2, 2013 · 28 Views
Next year, Lufthansa Technik AG will equip 20 of Lufthansa’s Airbus A321 aircraft with the BoardConnect in-flight entertainment solution developed by Lufthansa Systems. In contrast to conventional systems, BoardConnect requires no labor-intensive cabling of each seat. Instead, the system relies on an ultra-fast WLAN network that meets the latest WiFi standard. The wireless access points (WAP) were developed by Lufthansa Technik, and are the first access points in an aircraft to support the wireless standard 802.11ac (1.3 Gbps). The system has been optimized for the extremely demanding conditions of an aircraft cabin and enables hitherto unattainable data transmission rates. The new WAPs have their own integrated antennas (3×3 MIMO antenna array): in addition to the simplest possible installation, there is no need for the tuning or adjustments necessary with external antennas. This new WAP technology has already been designed to meet the standards of the latest aircraft generations, such as the Boeing 787 or the Airbus A350. Depending on the aircraft’s size, Lufthansa Technik needs only a few access points in the cabin to enable every passenger to enjoy a wide range of content, including perfectly streamed media. Passengers use WLAN to connect to the aircraft’s infotainment server quickly and easily using their own laptops, tablet computers or smart phones.
October 2, 2013 · 19 Views
Mxi Technologies, a leader in aviation maintenance management software, released that Link Airs, a start-up low-cost regional carrier based in Japan, has selected Maintenix software to provide comprehensive fleet maintenance management. As a start-up with plans to begin operations in early 2014, Link Airs wanted an MRO system that could provide the functional scope and flexibility to meet its immediate needs, then scale in lockstep with the company’s growth. Link Airs will also be the first to operate ATR aircraft in Japan, so the software had to come with a proven track record in inducting and maintaining modern aircraft.
October 2, 2013 · 21 Views
BOC Aviation announced the appointment of Gerard Kenneally as Chief Technical Officer commencing 2nd October 2013. Reporting directly to Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Gerard will be based in the Dublin office of BOC Aviation. Gerard’s appointment helps BOC Aviation add further depth to its management team through a senior professional manager with 24 years’ experience in technical positions with a major aircraft lessor across a wide range of aircraft types.
October 2, 2013 · 31 Views
JETS, the expanding business aviation MRO, owned by the 328 Group, announced the promotion of Phil Grey to Continuing Airworthiness, Planning and Technical Services Manager for its Bournemouth and London Biggin Hill facilities, effective immediately. Since 2008 Phil has held the position of Continuing Airworthiness Manager, Bournemouth responsible for EASA Part M and Sub Parts G and I requirements for the company’s growing range of MRO capabilities. In his newly expanded role covering both JETS’ facilities, he will be responsible for all aspects of technical services and planning in relation to EASA Part 145 operations. He will manage the technical and planning staff across both locations, reporting directly to JETS Managing Director, Alan Barnes.
October 2, 2013 · 30 Views
TAM Airlines will join the oneworld alliance with effect from March 31st, 2014, adding the leading carrier in Brazil – Latin America’s biggest economy and largest market for air travel – to one of the world’s leading quality global airline alliance. Confirmation of its oneworld joining date comes just as LAN Colombia – which, like TAM, is in the LATAM Airlines Group – becomes an affiliate member of oneworld, offering the alliance’s full range of services and benefits from the start of operations on October 1st.
October 2, 2013 · 14 Views
Acro Aircraft Seating reported that it recently received FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) Letter of Design Approval (LODA) award for its seat products. The FAA issues a letter of TSO design approval only for products that meet a minimum performance standard. This formal approval enables Acro to export and install its products on ‘N’ registered aircraft in the United States opening up potentially significant new market opportunities for the company. Acro’s recent expansion has already included considerable US activity and the design approval will undoubtedly further add to the company’s continued growth and success.
October 2, 2013 · 434 Views
GE Capital Aviation Services signed an agreement to lease four new Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft to Travel Service. Two of the new aircraft are scheduled for delivery in early 2018 and two in early 2019. The aircraft are the first leased from GECAS’ order of 75 Boeing 737 MAX models already announced.
October 2, 2013 · 25 Views
Delta Air Lines reported operating performance for September 2013 with System traffic increasing by 1.8%, while capacity increased 1.7%, when compared to the same period in 2012. System load factor for September increased 0.1 point to 83.3%.