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Tuesday, December 17, 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.


GE Honda Aero Engine’s HF120 Turbofan engine receives FAA certification

December 16, 2013 · 9 Views

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded Part 33 certification to GE Honda Aero Engine’s HF120 turbofan engine, certifying its airworthiness and setting the stage for the production of this all-new engine. The HF120 engine’s airworthiness certification follows an extensive ground and flight test program that involved 13 engines. During its certification program, the HF120 engine accumulated more than 14,000 cycles and 9,000 hours of testing. Assembly is currently under way at GE’s facility in Lynn, Mass., which is responsible for initial production. Production will transition to the Honda Aero Inc. facility in Burlington, N.C., next year. GE Honda is establishing its customer service and support operation. The support model will consist of a network of GE Honda Authorized Service Providers, a 24/7 GE Honda Operations Center, dedicated Field Technical Managers (FTMs) and Customer Team Managers (CTMs), among other support operations. GE Honda will offer long-term engine service agreements with Enhanced and Comprehensive maintenance and support services that go above and beyond the basic engine warranty, with coverage of both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance events.


Avation PLC firms order for 5 additional ATR 72-600s

December 16, 2013 · 7 Views

Commercial passenger aircraft leasing company Avation PLC and European regional turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR signed an agreement for the purchase of five additional ATR 72-600s. The aircraft purchase, which involves the exercise of five options, is valued at some $120m, based on catalogue prices. Deliveries of these five firm aircraft will take place in 2015. It is intended that these five aircraft will be delivered to new and existing leasing customers of Singapore-based Avation PLC. The company is seeing strong continued demand for this aircraft type, which was important in its decision to exercise the purchase options. Including this new order for aircraft, Avation PLC today has fourteen firm ATR72-600 aircraft to be delivered before the end-2015. As of today, thirteen ATR 72 aircraft have already been delivered on lease. In addition, Avation now has a total of 27 further options remaining to purchase additional aircraft under the agreement.


TEXL completes 100th engine

December 16, 2013 · 6 Views

Taikoo Engine Services (“TEXL”) has completed its 100th GE90-110/115B engine output, marking a significant milestone in the HAECO Group / GE Aviation partnership. The GE90 engine powers Boeing 777 and the 100th engine is destined for a Cathay Pacific aircraft. TEXL commenced operations in 2010, specialising in the repair, overhaul and testing of GE90 engines. The company is a licensed GE90 Centre of Excellence, GE90 authorised service provider and the sole holder of a GE90 Branded Service Agreement (“GBSA”) in Asia. TEXL has completed 100 engine outputs for 11 airline customers, namely, Cathay Pacific, EVA AIR, Air India, GE Capital Aviation Services, China Cargo Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines, Jet Airways and Thai Airways.


David LeClair joins GA Telesis Composite Repair Group

December 16, 2013 · 18 Views

GA Telesis Composite Repair Group appointed David LeClair as Vice President of Service Sales at GATCRG. Mr. LeClair’s prior experience includes more than 20 years of management experience in the aviation aftermarket distribution and commercial MRO marketplace. In his new capacity, Mr. LeClair will be responsible for further developing global service support nacelle repair strategies for GATCRG as well as GA Telesis’ SNAP business.


Brazilian State of San Paulo orders one GrandNew Helicopter

December 16, 2013 · 11 Views

AgustaWestland released that the Government of the State of San Paulo in Brazil has placed an order for a GrandNew light twin helicopter. The aircraft will be operated by the Military Police of the State of San Paulo to perform environmental and forest patrols and airborne surveillance missions in the State of San Paulo and will be delivered in 2014. The contract also includes a comprehensive logistic support and maintenance package which will be supplied by AgustaWestland do Brasil, headquartered in San Paulo.


Asiana Airlines’ first Airbus A380 performs maiden flight

December 16, 2013 · 1 View

Asiana Airlines’ first A380 has successfully completed its maiden flight. The A380 flew on December 13th from Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse, France to the aircraft manufacturer’s site in Hamburg, Germany, where it will undergo painting and cabin furnishing. Asiana Airlines will become the twelfth operator of the A380 when it takes delivery of its first aircraft in the second quarter of 2014. The airline has firm orders for six A380s and will operate the aircraft on its primary routes from Seoul to the US.


Boeing plans South Carolina expansion activities

December 16, 2013 · 13 Views

Boeing will begin construction in the second half of 2014 on a new paint facility on its main campus in North Charleston, S.C. The company expects to begin painting fully assembled 787 Dreamliners in South Carolina in mid-2016. The approximately 230,000 ft² (21,368 m²) facility will be used to apply customer liveries to Boeing South Carolina (BSC)-built 787s. Today all BSC-built 787s are flown to Fort Worth, Texas, for final paint and then flown back to South Carolina for customer delivery.


AirAsia receives RNP Operations Approval with GE Aviation’s Support

December 16, 2013 · 15 Views

AirAsia received approval to fly Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight paths in Malaysia, with support from GE Aviation. The Malaysia Department of Civil Aviation Authority (DCA), the regulator and air navigation service provider, granted the nation’s first RNP operations approval November 28th following a successful RNP flight validation conducted at Penang October 18th. GE Aviation, AirAsia and the DCA have collaborated on the nation-wide flight path program since 2012 to improve operational efficiency at 15 airports in Malaysia. To date, GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services has delivered flight procedures for seven airports; Penang, Kuching, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Miri, Sibu and Kota Bharu, with the remaining eight airports to follow.


Alaska Airlines and its flight attendants tentatively agree on five-year contract

December 16, 2013 · 20 Views

Alaska Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants have reached tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 3,300 flight attendants. Once the tentative agreement is approved by the union’s leadership, Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants will conduct a ratification vote that is expected to be completed in mid-February 2014. The current contract became amendable on May 1, 2012. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire. Once they become amendable, the current contract remains in effect until a new agreement is ratified.


ILFC to lease Airbus A320-200 aircraft to Aircalin

December 16, 2013 · 11 Views

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has signed an agreement with Air Calédonie International (Aircalin), New Caledonia’s international airline, for the lease of a used Airbus A320-200. The aircraft will support the airline’s efforts to meet growing demand for air travel in the region. The aircraft is scheduled for delivery in the middle of 2014 and will mark the addition of the second Airbus A320 to the airline’s fleet. The aircraft will be equipped with IAE V2500 engines and configured to have 8 business and 150 economy class seats.


Alcoa signs long-term agreement with Airbus

December 16, 2013 · 20 Views

Alcoa (AA) has signed a multi-year supply agreement with Airbus valued at approximately $110m for value-add titanium and aluminum aerospace forgings. Alcoa will produce the parts using its recently modernized 50,000-ton press in Cleveland, Ohio. This press uses state-of-the-art controls to meet stringent aerospace specifications and is uniquely capable of producing the world’s largest and most complex titanium, nickel, steel and aluminum forgings. Alcoa will supply titanium parts, including forgings used to connect the wing structure to the engine, for the A320neo, Airbus’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle jet. The agreement also includes several large aluminum forgings for the A330 and A380—including the A380 inner rear wing spar, which is the largest aerospace forging in the world— that will be made using Alcoa’s proprietary 7085 alloy intended specifically for large structural aircraft components. Most of these forgings support the wing structure where strength-to-weight ratio is critical to efficient flight performance.


Werner Aero Services sells four V2500-A5 engines in Q4

December 16, 2013 · 24 Views

Werner Aero Services’ Jet Engine Division has completed the placement of four of its V2500-A5 engines this quarter with a major commercial customer. The engines were part of Werner’s Engine Division pool prior to the sale. Werner’s Jet Engine Division provides engine solutions to its customers around the world, focusing primarily on V2500, PW2000 and CFM56 engines. These solutions include sales, lease and exchanges.


AerCap acquires International Lease Finance Corporation

December 16, 2013 · 22 Views

AerCap Holdings N.V. has entered into a definitive agreement with American International Group, (AIG) under which AerCap will acquire 100% of the common stock of International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIG. Under the terms of the agreement, AIG will receive $3.0bn in cash and 97,560,976 AerCap shares. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014. The cash portion of the consideration is expected to be funded through a combination of new debt financing and cash of the combined company. The combined company will retain the name AerCap, and ILFC will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of AerCap. In connection with the transaction, AIG will be entitled to nominate two directors for election to the Board of Directors of AerCap. Based on the closing stock price of AerCap’s shares on Friday, December 13, 2013, the total consideration has a value of approximately $26bn including the assumption of the outstanding ILFC net debt of $21bn. Upon closing of the transaction, AIG will own approximately 46% of the combined company, while the existing AerCap shareholders will own approximately 54% of the combined company. The AIG shares will be subject to a lock-up period which will expire in stages over a 9 to 15 month period, post closing of the transaction. In connection with the acquisition, AIG has entered into agreements with AerCap regarding voting restrictions, standstill provisions and certain registration rights. As part of the transaction, AIG will provide AerCap with a committed five-year $1.0 bn unsecured revolving credit facility. In connection with the transaction, AerCap and AIG will make an election under Section 338(h)(10) of the Internal Revenue Code that will enable AerCap to step up the tax basis of ILFC’s aircraft and other assets to their fair market value.