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Saturday, October 12, 2013

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 542 Views

The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.


Snecma and HAL to create joint venture and build a new production facility in India

February 20, 2015 · 640 Views

Snecma (Safran), a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines, and Hindustan Aeronautics  (HAL), a leading aerospace manufacturer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 28th, 2015 in Bangalore to explore establishing a joint venture in India for the production of aero-engine parts.  The proposed joint venture will initially focus on the manufacture of high-tech parts for the Dassault Rafale’s Snecma M88 engine, then subsequently contribute to other major aerospace projects of HAL & Snecma, in India and worldwide. Spanning over 30,000 m², the proposed joint venture’s new plant is expected to benefit from substantial investment by the two partners, providing it with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. This agreement marks a major step forward in the long-standing collaboration between Snecma and HAL. The proposed joint venture will further broaden the scope of the excellent relations established over the past 60 years between Safran affiliates and the Indian aerospace industry. For example, Snecma manufactures the M53 engines powering the Mirage 2000H “Vajra” fighters operated by the Indian Air Force.


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 195 Views

On the 7th January 2013 a fire was reported on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner while parked at Boston’s airport in the USA. The fire was put down to a problem with one of the plane’s lithium-ion batteries. A week later an All Nippon Airways 787 Dreamliner had to make an emergency landing after smoke was discovered inside the plane which was subsequently traced back to another lithium-ion battery. As a consequence of this incident, all 787 Dreamliners were grounded until April of that year until further acceptable testing and improvements were carried out to the battery system on board the plane. The battery itself was manufactured by GS Yuasa and comprised eight individual cells making up a combined weight of 63lbs.
Nearly two years later and the results of the investigation into the first incident have concluded that the lithium-ion battery installed in the plane should not have received certification by the FAA. The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) were also critical of Boeing who they believed had erroneously ruled out the chances of thermal runaway in its assessment of the battery’s safety. Boeing’s battery tests to obtain original certification included crushing battery cells, driving nails through them and deliberately introducing short circuits to cause failure. Boeing found “nothing adverse happened” while these tests were carried out, and so deemed the battery’s box and internal protection to be of an acceptable standard. Boeing stated that it had followed the certification process set out by the FAA. It would seem that while the cause of the fire has been clearly identified, responsibility for its occurrence has not been accepted in full by anyone.


Rolls-Royce forced to axe 2,600 jobs after second profit warning this year

November 5, 2014 · 162 Views

Back in February this year, Rolls-Royce, the FTSE-100 engine maker, lost over £3bn of its value after shocking the market with its first profits warning in a decade. To announce a second one this October has created considerable concern and Rolls-Royce has decided that over the next 18 months they need to reduce costs by up to £80m a year by axing 2,600 jobs, the majority of which will be in the aerospace sector in Britain and the United States. The focus is on Rolls-Royce’s key Trent engines as they move from the development to the production phase, which consequently requires fewer engineers.
Back in February John Rishton, Rolls-Royce group’s Chief Executive, had admitted that the future was “bumpier than I had expected”, while blaming the current problems on deteriorating economic conditions and a tit-for-tat trade war between the EU and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis which had affected its nuclear and energy business as well as its power-systems unit. This week Rishton has had to admit that “We are taking determined management action and accelerating our progress on cost. The measures announced today will not be the last; however they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company.”
Another consequence of the situation is the unexpected departure of Finance Director, Mark Morris, leaving the company after 27 year without any explanation. He will be replaced by David Smith, who is being promoted from Finance Director of the Rolls-Royce Aerospace division. This second profit warning saw share value fall 11% to 832p, wiping a further £2bn off the company’s value. However, news of the redundancies was well received by investors and the share price rallied by 2%, currently standing at 832p. This is clear confirmation of comments made by Espirito Santo’s analyst, Ed Stacey, who indicated that investors would be expecting a clear message from the new Finance Director and tight control on all finances.


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 111 Views

Air France-KLM selected the GEnx-1B engine to power its 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 12 leased 787 aircraft. The total engine order is valued at more than $1.7bn. Air France-KLM and GE Aviation have also signed an agreement that will allow Air France-KLM to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the GEnx-1B engine. Under this agreement, Air France-KLM will be licensed to perform maintenance and overhaul work on the GEnx-1B engine and GE will provide technical support and assistance on overhaul workscoping and component repair licenses, comprehensive material support and training.


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 78 Views

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has closed a new senior secured term loan of $1.5 billion. The loan will bear interest at LIBOR plus 275 basis points with a 0.75% LIBOR floor, is priced at 99.5% of par value, and will mature in 2021. The collateral used to support the transaction has an initial weighted average age of 9.1 years. It will be secured primarily by a first priority-perfected lien on the equity of certain of ILFC’s subsidiaries, which directly or indirectly own a pool of aircraft and related leases. ILFC plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including purchasing aircraft and supporting the company’s liquidity cushion.


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 78 Views

In 2013, Airbus achieved a new industry record of 1,619 gross commercial orders (FY 2012: 914 gross orders) with net orders of 1,503 aircraft (FY 2012: 833 net orders), excluding ATR. Gross orders comprised 1,253 A320 Family aircraft, 77 A330s, 239 A350 XWBs and 50 A380s. Fourth-quarter orders included Emirates Airline’s agreement for 50 A380s and Etihad Airways’ order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neos and one A330-200F. Airbus Military (now part of Airbus Defence and Space) received 17 net orders (FY 2012: 32 net orders). Airbus’ net order intake increased sharply to €202.3bn (FY 2012: €88.9bn). At the end of 2013, Airbus’ consolidated order book was valued at €647.4bn (year-end 2012: €525.5bn). The Airbus Commercial backlog was worth €627.1bn (year-end 2012: €505.3bn), comprising 5,559 Airbus aircraft (year-end 2012: 4,682 units) and representing over eight years of production. Airbus Military’s order book was worth €20.8bn (year-end 2012: €21.1bn). Airbus series aircraft deliveries increased to 626 aircraft (FY 2012: 588 aircraft, including three A330s without revenue recognition). Airbus Military delivered 31 aircraft (FY 2012: 29 aircraft). Airbus’ consolidated revenues increased seven percent to €42,012m (FY 2012: €39,273m), reflecting higher commercial and military aircraft deliveries. The Division’s consolidated EBIT rose to €1,710m (FY 2012: €1,252m). Airbus Commercial’s revenues rose to €39,889m (FY 2012: €37,624m). The Airbus Commercial reported EBIT was €1,595m (FY 2012: €1,147m) with the EBIT before one-off at €2,216m (FY 2012: €1,669m). Airbus Commercial’s EBIT before one-off benefitted from the improved operational performance, including favourable volume, some better pricing and an improvement in A380 losses. It also included higher A350 XWB programme support costs. Revenues at Airbus Military rose to €2,893m (FY 2012: €2,131m), driven by the A400M ramp-up and higher volumes from both light and medium transport planes and tankers. The EBIT at Airbus Military was €166m (FY 2012: €93m).


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 74 Views

Boeing Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $14.7bn and full-year revenue increased to a record $53bn on higher delivery volume. Fourth-quarter operating margin improved to 10.3% and full-year operating margin grew to 10.9% on the higher volume, favorable delivery mix and continued strong operating performance. During the quarter, the company launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments. During the year, the 787 program completed first flight of the 787-9, successfully launched the 787-10 and began operating at a 10 per month production rate in final assembly. The 737 program delivered at a record production rate of 38 per month and has won nearly 1,800 firm orders for the 737 MAX since launch. In 2013, a record 648 commercial aircraft were delivered. In January 2014, the company reached an eight-year contract extension through 2024 with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM). Commercial Airplanes booked 465 net orders during the quarter and 1,355 during the year. Backlog remains strong with 5,080 airplanes valued at a record $374 billion.


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 65 Views

The A350 XWB development aircraft, MSN3, is in Bolivia where it will perform a series of tests at the high altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba is around 8,300 feet above sea level, and La Paz is one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet. Operations at such high altitude airfields are particularly demanding on aircraft engines, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and systems. The aim of these trials is to demonstrate and validate the full functionality of engines, systems, materials as well as to assess the overall aircraft behaviour under these extreme conditions. A number of take-offs with all engines operating and with simulated engine failures are being performed at each of the airfields to collect data on engine operating characteristics and validate the aircraft take-off performance. The autopilot behaviour will also be evaluated during automatic landings and go-arounds. Since the A350 XWB’s first flight with MSN1 on June 14th 2013, over 800 flight test hours have been performed in close to 200 test flights by both MSN1 and MSN3. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in Q4 2014.


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 64 Views

Firefly, Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary carrier has taken ownership of its first brand-new ATR 72-600. The aircraft is the first of 20 latest generation firm ATRs, plus 16 options, ordered by Malaysia Airlines in December 2012. Firefly currently operates 12 ATR 72-500s, and with the arrival of the new ATR 72-600s will almost triple its exclusively ATR 72 aircraft fleet, taking the total to over 30 aircraft.


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 40 Views

Certification testing is underway on the first Passport development engine at GE Aviation’s Peebles Testing Operation in Ohio. The engine began ground testing on June 24th and ran for more than three hours, reaching more than 18,000 lbs. of standard day sea-level takeoff thrust. Eight Passport engines and one core will be involved in the engine certification program. Flight testing on GE’s flying testbed is scheduled for 2014. Engine certification is expected in 2015. The Passport engine certification program follows three years of validation testing. GE Aviation has conducted validation tests on the fan blisk design, including two fan blade-out rig tests, ingestion tests and a fan aero rig test to demonstrate fan efficiency. Testing is complete on the third eCore demonstrator, and GE has accumulated more than 300 hours of testing on eCore demonstrators to date.


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 53 Views

Rolls-Royce has won an order from US leasing company CIT Aerospace for Trent XWB engines, to power ten Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and Trent 700 engines to power 13 Airbus A330 aircraft. The Trent XWB engines will power ten CIT A350 aircraft that were announced in January 2013 which were in addition to five A350 XWB aircraft already on order. The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the Airbus A350, is the fastest selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,200 already sold. The engine variant that will power the A350-800 and -900 was awarded European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification in February. The engine will power the first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB this year and the aircraft’s first in-service flight in 2014.


airberlin first airline to develop new software for aerodynamic optimisation

October 10, 2013 · 17 Views

As part of its eco-efficiency programme, airberlin has developed a new measuring tool aimed at optimising air flow. No such software has ever appeared on the market before; this innovation demonstrates once again the pioneering work of airberlin in the field of fuel efficiency. Small blemishes, rough paintwork or even a one millimetre gap between the landing gear doors: any small irregularity on the surface of the aircraft affects its aerodynamics and leads to greater air resistance, which in turn means higher fuel consumption. airberlin’s new tool guides aircraft technicians through a standardised procedure, inspecting the entire surface of the aircraft and helping them measure and classify any imperfections. The software also calculates how much additional fuel consumption will result from that increased air resistance. It then generates a list of priorities for the maintenance schedule of each individual aircraft, so the areas concerned can be made good during subsequent maintenance.


Pentastar Aviation launches hosted version of Commsoft’s OASES

October 10, 2013 · 1 View

Pentastar Aviation has become the launch customer for the hosted version of Commsoft’s OASES maintenance management software, having utilized the system for several months, in a previously-unannounced deal. Pontiac, Michigan-based Pentastar Aviation has been able to access a version of OASES hosted by a data centre on behalf of Commsoft itself, meaning that it avoided initial set-up costs related to hardware and licensing. Pentastar Aviation provides comprehensive management services for a single McDonnell Douglas MD-83 in a 64-seat luxury business shuttle configuration that is operated under FAR Part 125 by a local professional sports team.


Lufthansa LEOS signs development contract for eSchlepper

October 10, 2013 · 20 Views

Lufthansa LEOS, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik AG, will deploy electrically powered hybrid towbarless aircraft tugs. A development contract for the project was signed with Kalmar Motor AB from Sweden on October 9th, 2013, on the occasion of the inter airport Europe exhibition in Munich. The electrically powered tug, or eSchlepper, is capable of moving aircraft with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of up to 600 tonnes. The powerful eSchlepper will primarily be used for repositioning and hangar towing operations involving heavy long-haul aircraft, towing them over distances of up to seven kilometers. The all-wheel-drive electric vehicle will be powered by lithium-ion batteries, externally charged from the electricity network. Where necessary, the batteries can also be charged during operation by using a fully integrated diesel motor, the Range Extender. The eSchlepper is therefore purely electrically powered, whilst the integrated diesel generator is exclusively there for safety-related redundancy purposes.


FL Technics signs PBH support agreement with Indonesian Cardig Air

October 10, 2013 · 22 Views

FL Technics, a global provider of integrated aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, is further extending its cooperation with Asia-Pacific carriers by signing a PBH-support agreement with Jakarta-based cargo operator Cardig Air. Under the agreement FL Technics will provide spare parts supply for the carrier’s Boeing 737-300F fleet. According to the three-year long agreement, FL Technics will provide component, parts and consumables supply as well as other relevant spare parts support for the carrier’s fleet, including its current three Boeing 737-300 freighters and the upcoming fourth Boeing 737-300F which will be delivered to the carrier in autumn 2013. The services will be provided on the Power-By-the-Hour (PBH) basis. Amongst other services, the PBH program will cover stock positioning and management at FL Technics’ warehouse in Malaysia, as well as comprehensive component repair support. The services will be provided at Cardig Air’s main hub at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (Jakarta, Indonesia), as well as other locations on the carrier’s route map.


MTU Aero Engines’ Supervisory Board renews Reiner Winkler’s contract

October 10, 2013 · 17 Views

MTU Aero Engines AG’s Supervisory Board unanimously voted to extend the contract with Chief Financial Officer Reiner Winkler. The new, five-year contract will run from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2019. On January 1, 2014, Winkler will take over the helm of MTU Aero Engines AG as its new Chief Executive Officer, a role he will serve in addition to his duties as CFO. Winkler has been a member of MTU Aero Engines’ Board of Management since May 2005 and has so far been responsible for finances, human resources and IT.


Etihad increases stake in Virgin Australia to 19.9%

October 10, 2013 · 17 Views

Etihad Airways confirmed its equity stake in Virgin Australia Holdings had reached 19.9%. This follows a series of on-market purchases of Virgin Australia shares over recent weeks. The Abu Dhabi-based airline now holds more than 515 million shares in its equity partner airline. At 19.9%, Etihad Airways has reached the threshold approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board in June 2013.


BOC Aviation leases six B737-800 aircraft to SpiceJet

October 10, 2013 · 23 Views

BOC Aviation has agreed to lease six Boeing 737-800 aircraft to SpiceJet to expand its routes in the Indian domestic market. SpiceJet has just taken delivery of the first of the six aircraft, with the balance to be delivered in 2014.


Ameco Beijing names new Executive Director of Operation Division

October 11, 2013 · 30 Views

Dr. Hans-Juergen Loss was appointed as the Executive Director of Operation Division of Ameco Beijing since 1st July 2013. Dr. Loss obtained doctorate in mechanical engineering. Joining Lufthansa in 1985, he held various management positions in Lufthansa and Lufthansa Technik, among other he was V.P. Technical Operation for Lufthansa German Airlines throughout 6 years and V.P. Quality Management for the Lufthansa Technik Group from 2005 until this year.


KKR invests in Weststar Aviation Services

October 11, 2013 · 31 Views

Weststar Aviation Services reported that KKR, a leading global investment firm with more than US$83.5bn in assets under management, has invested approximately RM642m (US$200m) for a substantial minority equity stake in the Company. This will be KKR’s first investment in Malaysia. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2003, Weststar is a leading provider of offshore helicopter transportation services to the oil and gas industry. With a large and modern fleet of world-class helicopters and a stable of blue chip oil and gas companies as customers, Weststar focuses on providing quality offshore helicopter services and is the largest of such providers in Southeast Asia.


Aeroflot introduces new low-cost airline – Dobrolet

October 11, 2013 · 17 Views

Aeroflot Group now includes a budget airline named Dobrolet. Originally, it was the name of the joint-stock company established in 1923, a predecessor of today’s Aeroflot. Dobrolet will be based in the Moscow region. The fleet of the new airline will consist of Boeing- 737-800NGs in one class configuration. It is assumed that the low-cost carrier will start operating in spring of 2014. At the initial stage the airline will fly to the most popular destinations in the European part of Russia. JSC “Aeroflot” owns 100% of shares in the new company. An estimated investment in the project will be around $100m over the first two years. The airline will operate 8 aircraft in the year of the launch; the annual fleet growth is planned as an average of 8 aircraft per year. Vladimir Gorbunov is appointed the Director General of Dobrolet.


Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines expand wire harness production

October 11, 2013 · 10 Views

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines signed an agreement to double wire harness production at Ethiopian Airlines’ Wire Harness Facility. The Wire Harness Facility, based in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, opened in 2009 and currently supplies seat-to-seat wire harnesses for all Boeing commercial airplane programs. Following this latest announcement Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines will place additional work at the facility, which will double its output by the end of 2014. With support from Boeing, Ethiopian will manufacture more varied and complex wire harnesses, expanding its value as an aerospace supplier.


Swissport International acquires minority stake in SAS´ ground handling services

October 11, 2013 · 11 Views

Swissport International and Scandinavian Airline Systems signed an agreement by which Swissport acquires a 10% stake in each of SAS’ three ground handling companies. The acquisition which has insignificant impact on profitability and liquidity of the SAS Group is effective as of 1st November 2013. The divestment and outsourcing of ground handling is an important part of SAS´ strategy to further increase operational flexibility and effectiveness. The agreement Swissport and SAS have now signed marks an important step in the implementation of this strategy. In March 2013, SAS and Swissport announced the signing of a Letter of Intent paving the way for continued negotiations between SAS and Swissport related to the complete outsourcing of SAS ground and cargo handling services in Scandinavia. The parties have agreed to put these negotiations on hold until after completion of Swissport’s acquisition and integration of Servisair (subject to merger clearance).


First production AW189 performs maiden flight

October 11, 2013 · 15 Views

AgustaWestland released that the first production AW189 8 tonne class twin engine helicopter performed its maiden flight at Vergiate plant (Italy) on October10th. The aircraft is expected to be delivered to Bristow Helicopters by year end to carry out offshore transport missions in the North Sea, with operational readiness planned in early 2014. Additional two AW189 helicopters are currently under assembly in Vergiate.


Airbus predicts world freighter fleet to reach almost 3,000 aircraft in next 20 years

October 11, 2013 · 18 Views

According to Airbus’ new Cargo Global Market Forecast, world-wide air freight traffic will grow by an average of 4.8% annually over the next 20 years, almost doubling the required global freighter fleet to nearly 3,000 aircraft. This projected growth is driven by numerous positive global trends in economic activity, including world trade, private consumption, and industrial production. The forecast shows that the overall worldwide air cargo demand by the year 2032 will require around 2,700 new and converted aircraft. Over half of these will be needed for fleet replacement – driven by current old aircraft retirements – with the remainder being for growth. Of these 2,700 aircraft, 870 will be factory-built freighters worth approximately US$234bn, while around 1,860 will be converted from passenger aircraft. A further 175 in 2032 will be aircraft which are already in service as freighters today. Belly freight usage in passenger aircraft is taken into account – which will remain largely unchanged at around half of commercial air freight on international traffic.