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Thursday, October 10, 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.


Universal Asset Management acquired by Keri Wright

October 8, 2013 · 44 Views

Universal Asset Management, a global leader in aviation asset management, aircraft disassembly and commercial aviation aftermarket component sales, announced that UAM Holdings, a corporation wholly owned and operated by Keri Wright, has acquired 100% of Universal Asset Management and its wholly owned subsidiary, Universal Air Repair. The transaction will enable Universal Asset Management to build upon its customer focus, drive continued organic growth, and pursue aviation asset acquisition opportunities. In conjunction with the acquisition, company founder and CEO Steve Manley announced his retirement from Universal Asset Management.


Finnair releases September traffic statistics

October 8, 2013 · 30 Views

In September, Finnair traffic rose by 7.4% and the overall capacity grew 4.0% year‐on‐year. Passenger load factor improved by 2.6 points and was 81.1%.


Air Lease Corporation improves terms of $170m of secured debt

October 8, 2013 · 16 Views

Following Air Lease Corporation’s investment grade ratings and strengthened credit profile, the company announced that one of its banks has agreed to revise and improve the terms for approximately $170m of secured debt related to the financing of six ALC aircraft. Under the terms of the agreement, the bank has agreed to reduce the interest rate, extend the loan maturities and improve the principal amortization profiles of the loans. ALC has also extended two of the leases involved, one Boeing 737-800 and a Boeing 777-200ER, with their respective lessees in Europe.


United reports September 2013 operational performance

October 8, 2013 · 25 Views

United Airlines reported September 2013 operational results. UAL’s September 2013 consolidated traffic increased 1.0% and consolidated capacity increased 0.2% versus September 2012. UAL’s September 2013 consolidated load factor increased 0.6 points compared to September 2012 and was 82.7%.


Jazz Aviation appoints Kal Rebin to VP, Maintenance and Engineering

October 8, 2013 · 24 Views

Jazz Aviation announced the appointment of Kal Rebin to Vice President, Maintenance and Engineering effective immediately. In his new role, based in Toronto, he will have responsibility for the overall management and direction of Jazz’s maintenance and engineering division.


CIRCOR Aerospace celebrates grand opening of Corona, California Machining Center

October 8, 2013 · 24 Views

CIRCOR Aerospace celebrated the grand opening of their Corona, California Machining Center of Excellence on Friday, September 20th. The state of the art machining facility holds the critical machining processes for the West Coast fluidic control, actuation, and landing gear product lines. Completed in June of 2013, the new facility has 72,000ft² of manufacturing floor space. CIRCOR’s two Corona facilities feature a combined footprint of over 187,000ft² and include Engineering, Design, Research and Development, Manufacturing, and Assembly and Test.


Boeing delivers 5th Canadian CH-147F Chinook helicopter

October 8, 2013 · 23 Views

Boeing has delivered the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) fifth CH-147F Chinook helicopter one month ahead of schedule and only three months after the arrival of the first in June, expanding Canada’s military cargo capability while continuing the Chinook program’s history of excellence. Boeing is scheduled to deliver two more CH-147Fs this year and another eight by June 2014 to provide Canada with its full complement of 15 rotorcraft. Boeing is also providing in-service support to the CH-147F fleet for the next 20 years under a Performance-Based Logistics contract, with Canadian industry playing a key role.


Lufthansa Technik Malta expands overhaul capacity

October 8, 2013 · 21 Views

Lufthansa Technik Malta (LTM), a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik, is expanding its hangar capacity for maintenance and overhaul work on Airbus widebody aircraft. With the addition to the smallest of the three hangars in Malta, which has been used to date only for narrowbody aircraft, the building will be able to accommodate aircraft up to the size of an Airbus A330 or A340. The additional, flexible maintenance dock in the enlarged hangar means that engineers and mechanics at the company’s site at Malta International Airport in Luqa can work on up to three widebody aircraft simultaneously.


Jetstar takes delivery of first 787 Dreamliner for Australia

October 8, 2013 · 27 Views

Boeing and Jetstar Airways celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first 787 on October 8th, which is also the first Dreamliner for Australia. “Today is a historic milestone for the Qantas Group and Jetstar as we welcome the most advanced passenger aircraft ever constructed to the fleet,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce. “In just 10 short years, Jetstar has grown to be the largest low fares carrier in the Asia Pacific, carrying more than 100 million passengers. The 787 will set up the airline for another decade of growth.”


EAM Worldwide utilizes MAINtag as supplier for first dual-memory RFID-enabled life vests on Airbus A320

October 9, 2013 · 32 Views

MAINtag, leading provider of aerospace flyable RFID chips and tags, is providing EAM Worldwide and its EAM RFID Solutions division with FLYtag fiber dual RFID tags for life vests. EAM’s first delivery of life vests with dual-memory tags is for Airbus A320 aircraft owned by European airline easyJet. Airbus announced in 2012 that they will require all life vest suppliers to comply with the dual-memory tag criteria outlined by the ATA Spec 2000 committee. This committee establishes the data format standard for RFID flyable tags. EAM Worldwide, a featured vest supplier for Airbus, is the first company to fulfil this requirement. FLYtag fiber dual covers both single- and dual-record formats and embeds ATA Spec 2000-compliant aerospace silicon chips.


New Boeing 777/200LRS to support Etihad Airways’ accelerated growth plan

October 9, 2013 · 32 Views

Etihad Airways announced its intention to purchase from Air India five Boeing 777-200 LRs, the longest range passenger aircraft in operation to support its accelerated network growth plan. The two carriers signed a letter of intent in Mumbai earlier this week paving the way for the deal. The 777-200 LRs will be used on the airline’s new route between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles which starts on June 1, 2014. Etihad Airways currently flies to New York, Chicago, Washington DC and Toronto in North America, and to São Paulo in Brazil, and has stated its ambition to add new services to both continents. Subject to approvals, the aircraft will be delivered to Etihad Airways from the beginning of 2014 and each will be re-fitted in a three class cabin configuration consistent with similar aircraft in the Etihad Airways fleet. It is expected that the first aircraft will enter service in April 2014. The purchase comes as Etihad Airways finalises details on a new fleet order which will meet its organic growth and expansion requirements to 2025 in line with its rolling network plan.


ACLAS GLOBAL advances aftermarket support with Quantum Control and StockMarket.aero

October 9, 2013 · 31 Views

ACLAS GLOBAL, a global leader in the supply of aircraft consumables, rotables and airframe spares, has gained significant enhancements in customer support and work productivity since selecting both Quantum Control and StockMarket.aero from Component Control as its primary operations and online marketing support software. A highly regarded aviation specialist for ATR, Boeing and Airbus spares and component support, ACLAS GLOBAL has a 20-year history of providing innovative inventory solutions for global clients through its locations in the UK, France, and the United States.


Transaero to purchase passenger seats for nine B777-200 aircraft

October 9, 2013 · 90 Views

Transaero Airlines, the first private airline in the Russian Federation, has signed with Aviointeriors, Italy, a LOI to purchase passenger seats for nine B777-200 aircraft, which soon will be part of the airline’s fleet. Transaero selected Venus, Perseus and Columbus Three seat models respectively, for their B777 First, Business and Economy Class. According to the LOI, the seat retrofit program will start in April 2014 to be concluded within the end of the year.


Boeing delivers EL AL Israel Airlines’ first Next-Generation 737-900ER

October 9, 2013 · 33 Views

Boeing has delivered EL AL Israel Airlines’ first Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range) airplane. The delivery is the first of six 737-900ERs the Israeli flag-carrier has on order and is the latest addition to EL AL’s all-Boeing fleet.


Copa Airlines orders Split Scimitar Winglets

October 9, 2013 · 28 Views

Aviation Partners Boeing announced the order of up to 100 Split Scimitar Winglet Systems for Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft by Copa Holdings, S.A. This program is the culmination of a five year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet structure, but adds new strengthened spars, aerodynamic scimitar tips, and a large ventral strake. This advanced technology winglet is the ultimate winglet in terms of performance, without increasing existing wing span.


Aegean Airlines wins EU approval to buy Olympic Air for €72m

October 9, 2013 · 24 Views

The European Commission announced its decision to approve the acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean Airlines. The acquisition creates the conditions for the establishment of a sustainable Greek carrier, competitive within the Region and capable of supporting a growth momentum which will benefit Greek Tourism and the local economy. Following EU approval, the acquisition of the shares of Olympic Air and the assumption of management by AEGEAN is expected to be completed by 18/10/2013. The total consideration for the transaction has been set at €72 m., of which €20 m. have already been paid. Upon the completion of the acquisition, Olympic Air will become a subsidiary of the listed AEGEAN, while the process of unification of the support functions will begin immediately. The two brands and logos of the companies will remain with each one retaining distinct aircraft and flight activity.


Virgin America reports September 2013 operational results

October 9, 2013 · 16 Views

Virgin America’s September 2013 traffic decreased 8.4% on a 7.3% decrease in capacity, when compared to the same period in 2012. Load factor was 76.3%, a 0.9 point decrease from the same month a year earlier.


Malaysia Airlines reserves WheelTug delivery slots

October 9, 2013 · 19 Views

WheelTug plc announced the execution of a Slot Purchase Agreement with Malaysia Airline System Berhad Airlines for 68 737NG Systems. With the new reservations the order book of WheelTug aircraft drive systems grows to 641 delivery slots reserved by twelve airlines from Europe, America, the Middle East and Asia. Seven of those airlines are flag carriers. Current commercial aviation practice utilizes a tug for aircraft gate pushback, while forward taxi is powered by the aircraft’s engines. The electric WheelTug unit drives the aircraft without using the engines.


Embraer selects Thales IFF systems for military aircraft upgrades

October 9, 2013 · 23 Views

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has awarded Thales a contract to supply IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) transponders for the upgrade of A1M fighters and E-99 AEW surveillance aircraft in service with the Brazilian Air Force. A total of 48 aircraft will be retrofitted with the new IFF transponders. Thales will supply its TSC 2030 and TSC 2050 transponders, which are part of the company’s BlueGate range of IFF products and provide a digital identification capability in line with NATO’s MKXA standard. The aircraft equipped with the new IFF systems will be fully interoperable to overcome risks of friendly fire.