Saturday, December 14, 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.
December 12, 2013 · 19 Views
American Airlines has signed agreements with Bombardier and Embraer to purchase 90 new 76-seat regional jets. Consistent with American’s Plan of Reorganization and Merger Agreement, these aircraft will provide much improved economics for the airline as they will replace smaller, less efficient 50-seat regional aircraft scheduled for retirement. American has firm orders for 30 Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, with options for up to 40 more. The CRJ900s will have 12 First Class, 32 Main Cabin Extra and 32 Main Cabin seats, and the firm order of CRJ900 aircraft will be operated on behalf of American by PSA Airlines, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of US Airways. American expects to begin taking delivery of the CRJ900s in the second quarter of 2014. American also has firm orders for 60 Embraer E175 type aircraft with options for up to 90 more. They will feature 12 First Class, 20 Main Cabin Extra and 44 Main Cabin seats, and American expects to begin taking delivery in the first quarter of 2015. The company will determine which regional carrier will fly the E175s at a later date. Both the CRJ900 and the E175 will fly in the American Eagle livery.
Avia Solutions Group becomes exclusive sales partner of Air Livery in Russia, the CIS & the Baltic States
December 12, 2013 · 18 Views
Avia Solutions Group, a WSE listed global provider of one-stop-shop aviation business solutions, has recently signed a partnership agreement with Air Livery, a European aircraft repainting, interior repair and refurbishment service provider. Under the agreement, Avia Solutions Group will operate as an exclusive sales representative of Air Livery in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, the Baltic States as well as the entire CIS region. Based on the new partnership, Avia Solutions Group along with its subsidiaries will promote and sell comprehensive aircraft repainting solutions, including livery design and concept realization, engineering support, cabin interior repainting and mobile repair as well as AOG recovery and mobile graphic application support. The aforementioned repainting solutions will be available for the owners and operators of a wide range of aircraft types, including business & corporate jets as well as all commercial airline aircraft from regional turbo prop and jets up to B747-800. All services are to be delivered throughout the Air Livery’s extensive network of 18 Painting Facilities located across Europe.
December 12, 2013 · 29 Views
Baltic Ground Services (BGS), an international provider of ground handling and into-plane fuelling services, announced the decision to appoint Darius Aleknavicius as the new head of the company. D. Aleknavicius stepped into the role as the new CEO of Baltic Ground Services on December 9th, 2013.
December 12, 2013 · 17 Views
ATC Aerospace and Airline Services Components (ASC) announced a partnership designed to meet and support customers’ APU lease requirements. ATC Aerospace will consign a variety of Auxiliary Power Units to the UK parts specialist. This agreement will allow both parties to widen their customer base and develop closer ties for future collaboration. ASC will take a variety of Hamilton Sundstrand and Pratt & Whitney APU’s on consignment at their main warehouse at London-Gatwick, to cover the A320, B747, B737, Bombardier Dash 8 and Embraer aircraft platforms. ASC will also look to extend ATC Aerospace’s accessible market and distribute throughout ASC’s extensive customer base.
December 12, 2013 · 16 Views
PPG Industries has expanded its aerospace business operations in Japan with the relocation of its application support center to a site in Miyoshi that supports increased production capacity, adds warehouse space and affords new service capabilities. The new site in Miyoshi Kurozasa Industrial Park includes a 1,994 m² manufacturing facility and office as well as an 890 m² stand-alone on-site warehouse. The larger site, near Nagoya, enables PPG Aerospace to expand its capabilities in the region as Japan’s role as a major aerospace center continues to grow, according to Paul Bowman, PPG Aerospace general manager for Asia Pacific. PPG established operations at its former application support center in Handa City in 2005 after serving the Japanese aerospace market from a facility in Tokyo for sealants and coatings distribution.
December 12, 2013 · 27 Views
Eurocopter delivered two EC225s to Waypoint Leasing, a leading global helicopter leasing company. Waypoint has signed an agreement to provide the aircraft to Avincis Group’s subsidiary, Bond Helicopters Australia, to use for offshore crew change missions. Earlier this year, Eurocopter and Waypoint Leasing established a comprehensive commercial and marketing partnership for helicopter leasing, which includes the full capabilities of Eurocopter’s comprehensive Parts-by-the-Hour (PBH) support services.
December 12, 2013 · 23 Views
Direct Maintenance, an independent wide body dedicated line maintenance provider from The Netherlands, has started providing line maintenance support to the B787. The Dreamliner is the most sophisticated Boeing aircraft ever produced and the first commercial wide body jet with its primary structure made predominantly out of composite materials. The first support event took place during the inaugural B787 flight of long standing customer Thomson Airways operating into Mombasa, Kenya (MBA) on December 3rd, 2013. By default Direct Maintenance has now become the first line maintenance provider to support the B787 in Kenya.
December 12, 2013 · 18 Views
Air Canada announced its mainline narrowbody fleet renewal plan that includes commitments, options and rights to purchase up to 109 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The new aircraft will replace Air Canada’s existing mainline fleet of Airbus narrowbody aircraft, creating one of the world’s youngest, most fuel efficient and simplified airline fleets. The agreement with Boeing, which is subject to completion of final documentation and other conditions, includes firm orders for 33 737 MAX 8 and 28 737 MAX 9 aircraft with substitution rights between them as well as for the 737 MAX 7 aircraft. It also provides for options for 18 aircraft and rights to purchase an additional 30. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017 with 2 aircraft, 16 aircraft in 2018, 18 aircraft in 2019, 16 aircraft in 2020 and 9 aircraft in 2021, subject to deferral and acceleration rights. Air Canada continues to evaluate the potential replacement of its Embraer E190 fleet with more cost efficient, larger narrowbody aircraft that are better suited to its current and future network strategy. Consistent with this strategy, the agreement with Boeing provides for Boeing to purchase up to 20 of the 45 Embraer E190 aircraft currently in Air Canada’s fleet. The E190 aircraft exiting the fleet will be initially replaced with larger narrowbody leased aircraft until the airline takes delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The company will be reviewing various options over the next six months for the remaining 25 Embraer E190 aircraft including continuing to operate them or replacing them with a yet to be determined number of aircraft in the 100 to 150 seat range.
December 12, 2013 · 16 Views
Macquarie Infrastructure Company (MIC) released that its Atlantic Aviation business has entered into an agreement to acquire certain of the assets of Galaxy Aviation, including substantially all of the assets of five fixed base operations (FBOs) and one new hangar that is currently under construction at one of the five airports at which the FBOs operate, for $195.0m. The Company said that it expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to proportionately combined free cash flow. MIC expects to fund the acquisition using a combination of cash on hand, a draw on a credit facility of its Atlantic Aviation subsidiary and proceeds from an equity offering launched this morning. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to the receipt of consents from the relevant airport authorities and satisfaction of other closing conditions typically associated with a transaction of this size and type. The acquired FBOs are expected to generate annualized adjusted EBITDA in 2014 of approximately $17.83m including earnings from a hangar currently under construction at West Palm Beach airport. The 75,000 ft² hangar is forecast to be in service late in the first quarter of 2014 and will immediately be occupied by customers who have already signed contracts for the space. Four of the five facilities being acquired are located in Florida.
December 12, 2013 · 24 Views
Pratt & Whitney has opened its new F100 engine overhaul facility in Columbus, Ga. The new 105,000-ft² facility enhances Pratt & Whitney’s capacity to service engines that power F-16 and F-15 fighter aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force and international military customers. Pratt & Whitney, the Development Authority of Columbus and Western Devcon Inc. worked together to develop, design and build the new facility. In April 2013, Pratt & Whitney announced it would move the majority of the F100 engine overhaul work performed at its San Antonio Engine Center to Columbus. Construction on the new facility began in July, with employees scheduled to begin performing F100 engine overhauls in the first quarter of 2014.
December 13, 2013 · 12 Views
Finnair has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with global aircraft leasing and financing company GECAS (GE Capital Aviation Services) on the sale and leaseback of two Airbus 330 aircraft and two ordered Airbus 350 aircraft. The value of the arrangement is approximately €320m. The financial arrangement is a part of the long-haul fleet renewal program, in which the current Airbus 330 and 340 fleet will be replaced by the new generation of Airbus 350 aircraft. The divestment of the existing A330 and A340 fleet as a whole is not expected to have a significant impact on earnings in 2014 and 2015. The sale and leaseback agreements for the two A330 aircraft are expected to be concluded in the first half of 2014 and for the two A350 aircraft in H2 2015, when the first two A350s ordered by Finnair are delivered. The lease term for all four aircraft is 12 years on average and the lease terms have extension options. The proceeds from the arrangement will be used to finance Finnair’s future fleet investments. Finnair has ordered eleven A350s and has options for eight additional aircraft.
December 13, 2013 · 24 Views
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has reached an agreement with French Caribbean carrier Air Caraïbes Atlantique Airlines to lease three new Airbus A350XWB-900s. The aircraft have an anticipated delivery timeline between 2016 and 2018, and will be operated on the airline’s long-haul route network. The A350XWB-900 aircraft are powered by two new generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, and are designed to provide valuable flexibility and efficient performance for long-haul operations. ILFC currently has two A330 aircraft on lease with Air Caraïbes.
December 13, 2013 · 58 Views
JetBlue Airways (JBLU), New York’s Hometown Airline, announced the promotion of Robin Hayes to the position of President, effective January 1, 2014. Mr. Hayes currently holds the position of Executive Vice President – Chief Commercial Officer for the airline. In his new role, Mr. Hayes will oversee a team focused on preserving JetBlue’s unique culture and executing its business plan to expand margins and improve returns by maintaining competitive costs and growing revenue. Prior to Mr. Hayes’ promotion, JetBlue’s CEO Dave Barger held the roles of both CEO and President.
December 13, 2013 · 15 Views
Boeing released it will establish technology research centers in Alabama, California, Missouri, South Carolina and Washington as it continues to lay the foundation for increased competitiveness and future growth. The company will restructure its Boeing Research & Technology organization, the company’s central research-and-development unit, through the establishment of research centers in Huntsville, Ala.; Southern California; St. Louis; North Charleston, S.C.; and Seattle. The new centers will operate independently but cooperatively with one another and with Boeing technology centers in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Spain and Russia. The international centers conduct research to benefit the environment, aviation safety, air traffic management and other areas.
December 13, 2013 · 40 Views
Chorus Aviation and GA Telesis announced that they have signed a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) to form a joint venture to provide supply chain solutions, including component and spare parts support, to Bombardier Q400, DHC Dash 8, and CRJ aircraft operators and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) providers. The joint venture will leverage the considerable expertise of the two companies to form a world-class inventory support provider focused on regional aircraft operators. The business will initially focus on the Q400, and the parties expect to expand the joint venture’s services and offerings to include other regional aircraft types. The LOI is subject to a number of conditions, including entering into a definitive agreement which is targeted to occur in the first quarter of 2014.