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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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Emirates reject Delta’s apology regarding Anderson’s 9/11 comments

February 20, 2015 · 556 Views

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


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

February 20, 2015 · 655 Views

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


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 197 Views

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


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

November 5, 2014 · 164 Views

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


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 113 Views

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


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 80 Views

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


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 80 Views

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


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 76 Views

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


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 67 Views

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


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 66 Views

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


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 42 Views

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


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 55 Views

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


Liebherr-Aerospace China receives CAAC’s Maintenance Organization Certificate

January 6, 2014 · 10 Views

Liebherr-Aerospace China, Shanghai (China), recently its Maintenance Organization Certificate per CCAR part 145 from the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC). Liebherr’s new repair station was set up to offer to airlines based in mainland China in-country repair facilities, and thus to improve component support and repair turn-around times. Having started by maintaining Liebherr components installed in Airbus aircraft, it will progressively extend its scope of services to Liebherr components installed on Bombardier, COMAC and Embraer aircraft. With its Shanghai station, Liebherr-Aerospace extends its existing infrastructure in China that had consisted in offering technical support and distribution of spare parts to Airbus aircraft operators, and providing on-site liaison engineering for COMAC’s ARJ 21 and C919. It is a further step the company undertakes in order to strengthen its services for Chinese aircraft operators and to support the robustness, the reliability and the in-service performance of Liebherr-Aerospace systems.


Finnair agrees on sale and leaseback of three new Airbus 321 Sharklet aircraft

January 6, 2014 · 20 Views

Finnair has entered into an agreement with US-based leasing company Jackson Square Aviation, to sell and leaseback three new Airbus A321 Sharklet aircraft. The lease periods are 12 years. Airbus 321 Sharklet aircraft will be used in Finnair’s leisure and scheduled traffic and will replace four Boeing 757 aircraft. The first aircraft included in this agreement was delivered to Finnair on Friday December 20, 2013. Two more aircraft will be delivered in the first half of 2014. Finnair already received two Airbus 321 Sharklet aircraft in atumn 2013.


HAECO Cabin Solutions receives first STC

January 6, 2014 · 21 Views

HAECO Cabin Solutions has received its first Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) on November 30th, for the green cabin completion of a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft for Air Astana. The HAECO Cabin Solutions/ Air Astana contract is for a total of three aircraft. The first two aircraft entered commercial service on international routes on December 12th.


Poland selects Alenia Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainer

January 6, 2014 · 27 Views

The Polish Ministry of Defence has chosen the M-346 trainer aircraft produced by Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, and its ground-based training system to train its Air Force pilots. The contract, which includes training and technical and logistic support, is worth €280m and includes the purchase of eight M-346 airplanes, plus option on four more planes, in addition to flight simulators and training devices.


Fourth Sukhoi Superjet 100 delivered to Interjet

January 6, 2014 · 16 Views

The fourth Sukhoi Superjet 100 landed in Mexico and it has been delivered to Interjet airline.The aircraft (MNS 95036) was rolled out from SuperJet International’s hangar in Venice (Italy) and took off from Venice Marco Polo airport for the ferry flight to Interjet facilities in Toluca (Mexico). During its ferry flight, with technical stops in Keflyavik (Iceland) and Bangor (Maine, USA), the airplane flew to Toluca (Mexico), thus confirming its outstanding performance on longer range routes.


SpiceJet selcects Turkish Technic’s landing gear services

January 6, 2014 · 11 Views

Turkish Technic and SpiceJet expanded their relations with an agreement for Landing Gear Overhaul Services. Turkish Technic will be providing Landing Gear repair and overhaul services including spare support for SpiceJet for its whole Boeing 737-800 fleet between 2013 and 2018. Landing Gear Services will be carried out for a total of 23 sets at Turkish Technic’s facilities in Istanbul, Turkey.


Embraer Executive Jets’ Legacy 450 makes successful first flight

January 6, 2014 · 7 Views

Embraer Executive Jets’ newest aircraft, the Legacy 450, made a successful first flight on December 28th. Embraer test pilots Eduardo Camelier and Eugênio Cará, supported by flight test engineer Carlos Kobayashi, flew the aircraft for one hour and thirty-five minutes, conducting the evaluation of handling and performance characteristics.


Wencor Group announces acquisition of Flight Line Products

January 6, 2014 · 25 Views

Wencor Group announced the acquisition of Flight Line Products. As an authorized Part 145 FAA and EASA repair station, Flight Line Products is a leading provider of both PMA parts and specialized repair services for a wide-range of commercial aircraft seating and interior systems. Flight Line Products further augments Wencor Group’s interior capabilities as it specializes in complete aircraft seat MRO services through innovative engineering solutions, a diverse array of PMA parts and broad repair capabilities. This unique combination of interior offerings allows customers to turn to Wencor Group when seeking a maintenance solution for an entire ship set of seats as well as a broad array of specific interior parts.


Air Algerie fuels growth with three new ATR 72-600s

January 6, 2014 · 29 Views

Air Algerie, one of the biggest North African operators, signed a purchase agreement for three new ATR 72-600s. The contract value is $74.1m at current list price. The entry into service is expected from end 2014 through 2015. When delivered, the 68 seat new-comers will join an existing ATR fleet at the airline that currently includes 12 ATR 72-500s flying primarily on domestic and short regional routes. The new order will take Air Algerie’s ATR fleet to 15 ATR 72s consolidating its position of the largest ATR operator on the African continent.


Constant Aviation receives Aruban certification

January 6, 2014 · 15 Views

Constant Aviation has been awarded the Aruba Certificate of Acceptance. The certification now authorizes Constant’s Cleveland Facility to perform and sign off maintenance for any Aruban registered aircraft.


WestJet reports December load factor of 81.7%

January 6, 2014 · 9 Views

WestJet reported December 2013 traffic results with a load factor of 81.7%, slightly down by 0.2 points. Traffic increased 7.2% year over year and capacity grew 7.4% over the same period.


Southwest Airlines orders Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar winglets

January 6, 2014 · 17 Views

Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) released that Southwest Airlines has ordered Split Scimitar Winglets for its Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft. APB’s newest 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. APB is expecting to receive FAA certification for Split Scimitar Winglets at the end of January.


Boeing closes 2013 with record commercial deliveries

January 6, 2014 · 24 Views

Boeing set a company record in 2013 for the most commercial airplanes delivered in a single year with 648. The company’s unfilled commercial orders stood at 5,080 at the end of the year. Boeing also booked 1,531 gross commercial orders in 2013 and 1,355 net commercial orders in 2013, the second-largest number in company history.


Alaska Air Group reports December operational results

January 6, 2014 · 13 Views

Alaska reported a 6.5% increase in traffic on a 4.5% increase in capacity compared to December 2012. This resulted in a 1.7-point increase in load factor, to 88.0%.

Horizon reported a 3.9% increase in December traffic on flat capacity compared to December 2012. This resulted in a 3.1-point increase in load factor, to 82.5%.


Emirates Airline firms up order for 50 additional A380s

January 6, 2014 · 42 Views

Emirates Airline and Airbus have completed discussions and signed the firm contract for 50 additional A380s originally announced at the Dubai Airshow on 17th November 2013. The contract documents were finalised by Tim Clark, Emirates Airline President, during a visit to Airbus’ Headquarters in Toulouse, France. Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said on the occasion: “The A380 is our flagship aircraft. It is popular with our customers and delivers results for us in terms of operational performance. That is why we have ordered these additional 50 aircraft, to add to our A380 fleet.”


Zhejiang Loong Airlines firms up order for 20 A320 Family aircraft

January 6, 2014 · 35 Views

Zhejiang Loong Airlines, based in Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang province in Eastern China, has signed its first purchase agreement with Airbus, for 20 A320 Family aircraft, including 11 A320ceo and nine A320neo, becoming the lastest Airbus customer. The agreement follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in September at the Beijing Airshow. In addition Zhejiang Loong Airlines has also become the latest Airbus operator in mainland China, having completed its maiden commercial flight with a leased A320.


A350 MSN2 rolls out of paint hangar with special ‘Carbon’ livery

January 6, 2014 · 16 Views

On Thursday January 2nd 2014 Airbus rolled-out its third A350 XWB flight-test aircraft, MSN2, from the paint shop in Toulouse, marking yet another successful milestone on the path to entry-into-service in Q4 2014. As well as featuring a distinctive “Carbon” signature livery to reflect its primary construction from advanced materials, this aircraft is also the first of two A350 flight test aircraft to be equipped with a full passenger cabin interior. MSN2 will join the A350 XWB flight test fleet in the coming weeks and will be the first A350 to transport passengers when it undertakes the Early Long Flights (ELF) later in the year.


Boeing, Air Algerie sign commitment for eight Next-Generation 737-800s

January 6, 2014 · 34 Views

Boeing and Air Algerie announced a commitment for eight Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. When finalized, the order will be worth $724m at list prices and will be posted to the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website. This latest announcement represents a key part of the airline’s continued fleet renewal and expansion.