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Saturday, October 05, 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.


Novulo signs multiyear software agreement with KLM

October 3, 2013 · 12 Views

Novulo has signed a multiyear agreement with KLM Engineering & Maintenance for delivery of web-based software for the planning of KLM’s aircraft maintenance. The Novulo platform will be gradually introduced in all KLM hangars at Schiphol. With the deployment of the Novulo software KLM aims to integrate and optimize the planning of its aircraft maintenance. Novulo has implemented multiple applications for KLM in the field of preparation of maintenance checks, digital handovers for production shifts and the monitoring of material supply. In the close cooperation with KLM staff, the flexible and versatile functional capabilities, the speed in which applications were delivered within planning and budget and the smooth user acceptance were mentioned as characteristic for Novulo.


NAC orders additional 15 firm ATRs and 25 options

October 3, 2013 · 31 Views

Danish leasing firm Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) and the regional turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR have announced the signature to increase the order placed at the 2013 Paris Airshow, by an order for additionally 15 firm ATRs and options for 25 aircraft. The value of the increase alone is $1bn. The cumulative orders placed in recent months by NAC reach 130 ATR aircraft, with 50 firm ATR -600 series aircraft and options for 80.


Belavia to add two E195s to its fleet

October 3, 2013 · 15 Views

Belavia of Minsk, Belarus, has signed a firm contract for two E195s with Embraer Commercial Aviation. The transaction was announced at a press briefing in Salzburg at the annual general meeting of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA – www.eraa.org). The firm order will be included in Embraer’s 2013 third quarter backlog. The aircraft will join two E175s already operating at the airline. The acquisition is part of the carrier’s fleet renewal initiative to replace older aircraft. The first E195 will be delivered in the first semester of 2014.


Aurigny Air Services orders one new E195 jet

October 3, 2013 · 13 Views

Guernsey-based regional carrier Aurigny Air Services has signed a firm contract with Embraer for one E195 jet.  Delivery is scheduled in the first semester of 2014. The E195 is the first jet aircraft to be added to the Aurigny Air Services fleet. The airline currently flies turboprops on six daily frequencies on its principal route between the London Gatwick Airport and Guernsey. With 122 slim seats in single-class layout, the E195 will enable the carrier to increase the number of daily flights to eight and offer much-needed additional capacity.


WestJet reports September load factor of 76.6%

October 3, 2013 · 21 Views

WestJet reported September 2013 traffic results with a load factor of 76.6%. Traffic increased 5.7% year over year, and capacity grew 9.2% over the same period. The airline flew 4.9 million guests in the third quarter, a year-over-year increase of 7.1%.


Garuda Indonesia and ICBC Financial Leasing sign agreement for aircraft financing

October 3, 2013 · 19 Views

Garuda Indonesia and ICBC Financial Leasing signed an agreement for aircraft financing. The agreement features a “sale and lease back” plan for Garuda Indonesia’s five Boeing 777-300ER and an “operating lease” plan for ICBC Financial Leasing’s six Airbus 320-200 for Citilink, valued at US$1.7bn. Garuda Indonesia will receive the five Boeing 777-300ER in May 2014 through September 2015, while the six Airbus 320-200 will join the Citilink fleet in June through December 2014.


Strong orders power CF34 program to new heights

October 3, 2013 · 25 Views

GE Aviation received firm orders for more than 350 CF34 engines since December 2012. CF34-powered aircraft orders include:

· Seven firm E190 orders from Conviasa (June),
· 40 firm E175 orders from SkyWest (May),
· 30 firm E175 orders from United Airlines (April),
· 47 firm E175 orders from Republic Airways (January),
· Five E175 and 15 E190 aircraft from Aldus Aviation (January),
· 40 firm Bombardier CRJ900 Next-Gen Aircraft from Delta (December) and
· Two E175 orders from Fuji Dream Airlines of Japan (December)

The CF34’s growing production backlog is expected to help increase the total in-service engine fleet to more than 7,600 engines by 2020.


Pratt & Whitney and Nordic Aviation Capital sign long-term Fleet Management Programme

October 3, 2013 · 26 Views

Nordic Aviation Capital A/S signed an agreement for a long-term Fleet Management Programme with Pratt & Whitney Canada, in support of their P&WC powered aircraft. Nordic Aviation Capital continually strives to develop creative business solutions to support its clients and assist them to manage costs and maintain profitability. “In partnering with Pratt and Whitney Canada we have developed a Fleet Management Program which allows us to offer several key benefits to our customers, including engine maintenance cost control, basic unscheduled engine repairs (BUER) and relaxed engine redelivery conditions,” said NAC Chief Commercial Officer Jim Murphy. “One very important factor is that these additional services and benefits will be available to any Nordic Aviation Capital customer, including smaller airlines, which haven’t been able to take advantage of Fleet Management Programs in the past.”


US Airways reports September traffic results

October 3, 2013 · 17 Views

US Airways Group released its September 2013 traffic results. Traffic for the month was up 3.5% versus September 2012, while mainline capacity was up 3.8% versus September 2012. Mainline passenger load factor was 84.1% for the month of September, down 0.3 points versus September 2012.


Alaska Air Group reports September operational results

October 3, 2013 · 15 Views

Alaska reported a 4.3% increase in traffic on a 5.9% increase in capacity compared to September 2012. This resulted in a 1.2 point decrease in load factor to 82.8%.

Horizon reported a 3.8% increase in September traffic on flat capacity compared to September 2012. This resulted in a 2.9 point increase in load factor to a September record of 79.7%.


SAS finalizes Airbus long haul aircraft order

October 3, 2013 · 22 Views

On June 25th, 2013, SAS and Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the order of 12 new long haul aircraft. On October 3rd, SAS and Airbus have signed the final long haul aircraft order agreement, comprising 4 A330-300 Enhanced and 8 A350-900 plus 6 options for A350-900. The Airbus A330 will be delivered 2015/16 and the Airbus A350 will be delivered from 2018. The aircraft order has the flexibility to include considerable growth and will be financed inter alia by export credit financing and sale & leaseback.


Airbus develops presence in Malaysia with new services

October 3, 2013 · 15 Views

Airbus is set to develop its presence in Malaysia with the expansion of its joint venture maintenance unit Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE) and the establishment of a new Airbus Customer Services Centre. The developments are the first in a series of projects that will see the manufacturer increase its footprint in the fast-growing South East Asian region and provide more support services for operators of its aircraft. The initiatives in Malaysia were announced at a ceremony at the SAE premises at Kuala Lumpur International airport on October 2nd, to launch construction of a second hangar at the facility. The new hangar at SAE, which specialises in the maintenance and overhaul of Airbus single aisle aircraft, will have a floor area of 13,000 m² and will be capable of accommodating three A320 Family aircraft for major maintenance checks. This will be in addition to the existing hangar, which can accommodate six single aisle aircraft at any one time. The new Airbus Customer Services facility, 100 per cent owned by Airbus, will be located adjacent to SAE. It will be an expansion of the manufacturer’s global network of offices providing 24/7 specialised major aircraft engineering and repair services. Existing offices offering this support are located in Toulouse, Wichita and Beijing.


Bombardier signs Luxair for additional Q400 NextGen airliners

October 3, 2013 · 27 Views

Luxair, the national airline of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, has placed a firm order for a Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner and has also taken an option for an additional Q400 NextGen aircraft. The airline currently operates a fleet of six Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft. Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen airliner, the firm order is valued at approximately $32.2m.


Norwegian reports continued passenger growth in September

October 4, 2013 · 14 Views

Norwegian reported that September capacity increased by 33% and the passenger traffic increased by 30%. The load factor was 78.3%, down 1.7 points from the same month last year.


Boeing delivers first 787 Dreamliner to Royal Brunei Airlines

October 4, 2013 · 20 Views

Boeing and Royal Brunei Airlines celebrated the delivery of the 787 Dreamliner – the first for the flag carrier of the Sultanate of Brunei and for Southeast Asia. The airplane departed Paine Field in Everett October 2nd, for a 6,540 nautical miles (12,112 km) non-stop flight home to Bandar Seri Begawan International Airport in Brunei.


Air Canada reports September load factor of 83%

October 4, 2013 · 14 Views

For the month of September, Air Canada reported a system load factor of 83.2% versus 84.9% in September 2012. System traffic for September increased 1.9% on a system-wide capacity increase of 3.9%.


Garuda Indonesia introduces “Inflight Connectivity” on B777-300ER aircraft

October 4, 2013 · 19 Views

Garuda Boeing Indonesia introduced “Inflight Connectivity” service on a commercial basis on board all the 777-300ER flights the airline operates, starting on October 2nd, 2013. From now on, Garuda Indonesia passengers in the First Class, Executive Class and even Economy Class will be able to access the internet through WiFi throughout the flight.


IAG reports September operational performance

October 4, 2013 · 11 Views

IAG traffic for September increased by 8.8% versus September 2012, Group capacity rose by 8.3% when compared to the same period in 2012. Group laod factor was up 0.8 points to 85.4%.


Ryanair September traffic grows 3%

October 4, 2013 · 16 Views

Ryanair released its passenger and load factor statistics for September 2013; traffic for the month increased 3% when compared to the previous year, while the laod factor increased 1.0 point to 85%.


Northrop Grumman delivers center fuselage for Australia’s First F-35 Lightning II

October 4, 2013 · 19 Views

Northrop Grumman delivered the center fuselage for Australia’s first F-35 Lightning II aircraft to Lockheed Martin on Sept. 23rd. This center fuselage will be integrated into a conventional takeoff and landing variant of the F-35 and represents the first of 100 center fuselages that will be manufactured at Palmdale for the Royal Australian Air Force.