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Friday, January 10, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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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.


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.


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.


AeroRepair awarded Air Wisconsin wheel and tire support contract

January 8, 2014 · 24 Views

AeroRepair Corp has been awarded a multi-year contract to provide wheel and tire support for Air Wisconsin Airlines’ fleet of 71 Bombardier CRJ-200 Aircraft. The contract requires the total wheel and tire repair and overhaul, associated spares and logistics support for Air Wisconsin’s hubs located at Philadelphia, Washington DC – National and Charlotte, NC and aircraft maintenance bases in Norfolk, VA, Columbia, SC, Milwaukee, WI and Hot Springs, AK. Services are to be performed and managed at AeroRepair’s Londonderry, NH FAR Part 145 Repair Station, and at a new AeroRepair satellite facility to be announced. AeroRepair also supports Air Wisconsin’s CRJ-200 Brake repair and overhaul.


Finnair reports decreased traffic for December 2013

January 8, 2014 · 20 Views

In December, Finnair traffic decreased by 2.7% and the overall capacity decreased 0.9% year‐on‐year. Passenger load factor decreased by 1.4 points and was 75.8%.


FL Technics Jets adds Bombardier CL-600-2B19 family aircraft to capability list

January 8, 2014 · 21 Views

FL Technics Jets, a global provider of tailor-made maintenance, repair and overhaul services for business aviation has been granted certificate of approval to provide line and base maintenance services for Bombardier CL-600-2B19 family aircraft. The company has therefore added new aircraft type – a popular Bombardier CRJ100/200/440 and a CRJ200-derived high-class Bombardier Challenger 850 business aircraft to its EASA Part-145 certificate.


Rockwell Collins names Standerski to lead new Information Management Services business

January 8, 2014 · 16 Views

Rockwell Collins reported that its acquisition of ARINC Incorporated will serve as the foundation of a new Information Management Services (IMS) business that combines ARINC with Rockwell Collins’ Flight Information Solutions business and its Ascend family of products and services. Jeff Standerski has been appointed senior vice president of Information Management Services. The new business will report to Rockwell Collins CEO and President Kelly Ortberg, along with the company’s existing Commercial Systems and Government Systems businesses.


Southwest Airlines reports December load factor of 83%

January 8, 2014 · 25 Views

Southwest Airlines released that traffic in December 2013 increased 9.8% compared to December 2012. Capacity increased 3.4% from the December 2012 level, while the load factor was 82.8%, compared to 78.0% in December 2012.


Cargojet announces aircraft fleet renewal

January 8, 2014 · 26 Views

In 2014, Cargojet is phasing out the operation of its older generation B727-200F freighter aircraft on the domestic overnight network and replacing them with newer generation B757-200 Extended Range Freighter aircraft. Cargojet has taken delivery of two B757-200ER aircraft and another two will be entering the fleet at the end of the second Quarter.


Delta to improve passenger comfort on 225 domestic narrowbody aircraft

January 8, 2014 · 21 Views

Delta Air Lines will invest more than $770m through 2016 to refresh the interiors on its Boeing 757-200, 737-800, Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft to provide power at every seat, add new slim-line seats with adjustable headrests, updated lavatories, add more efficient galleys and additional features to improve passenger comfort. This latest capital investment will improve the service consistency provided to Delta’s customers in First Class and Economy cabins as well as increasing aircraft efficiency and overall customer satisfaction of the airline’s domestic narrowbody fleet.


Jerry DeMuro succeeds Linda Hudson as president and CEO of BAE Systems

January 10, 2014 · 236 Views

BAE Systems announced the appointment of Jerry DeMuro as president and CEO of BAE Systems, effective February 1st, 2014. He succeeds Linda P. Hudson, who in August 2013 announced her intention to retire from the company in 2014. He will be appointed as an executive director of BAE Systems plc and will serve on BAE Systems’ Executive Committee, as well as on the board of BAE Systems. DeMuro will report to Ian King, chief executive of BAE Systems plc, and Michael Chertoff, chairman of the board for BAE Systems.


AAR’s Nordisk begins delivery of 900 lightweight ULDs to Vietnam Airlines

January 8, 2014 · 24 Views

AAR’s Nordisk Aviation Products division has begun delivery of 900 Nordisk lightweight cargo containers to Vietnam Airlines. Vietnam Airlines currently has approximately 2,000 Nordisk containers already operating in its fleet. The containers, also known as Unit Load Devices or ULDs, improve operational efficiency, storage and transport of air cargo and luggage.


Wencor Group signs long term PMA contracts with Major U.S. Airlines

January 9, 2014 · 19 Views

Wencor Group has entered into significant long-term supply agreements with two major U.S. airlines. Both agreements leverage Wencor Groupʼs broad Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) parts portfolio and PMA development capabilities to reduce the component maintenance costs for these two leading airline partners. The first contract includes more than 500 PMA parts for use in components, engines, airframe, and cabin interiors and will significantly reduce piece part costs across the aircraft. The major US airline will also benefit from Wencor Groupʼs inventory management programs, which will allow the airline to reduce total cost of aircraft ownership by minimizing inventory investment on select parts.

The second contract is a long term partnering agreement for on-site material supply and new PMA parts development. This unique program provides “power by the hour (PBH)” support that leverages Wencor Groupʼs ability to provide a complete system solution through the use of extensive PMA parts and repair capabilities. The PMAfocused “power by the hour” contract is a complete system solution that maximizes maintenance savings and provides a predictable cost of ownership for the major airline customer.


United reports December 2013 operational performance

January 9, 2014 · 16 Views

UAL’s December 2013 consolidated traffic increased 4.1% and consolidated capacity increased 0.5% versus December 2012. UAL’s December 2013 consolidated load factor increased 3.0 points to 85.4% compared to December 2012.


Air Lease Corporation places two new Airbus A321-200s with Sichuan Airlines

January 9, 2014 · 9 Views

Air Lease Corporation announced long term lease agreements with Sichuan Airlines (China) for two new Airbus A321-200 aircraft with Sharklets powered by IAE V2533 engines, which are scheduled for delivery in May and October 2014.


American Airlines Group reports December traffic results

January 9, 2014 · 17 Views

American Airlines Group (AAL) reported December 2013 traffic results for both American Airlines and US Airways.
American’s consolidated traffic for the month was up 5.0% versus December 2012, while consolidated capacity was up 1.1% versus December 2012. Consolidated passenger load factor was 83.3% for the month of December, up 3.1 points versus December 2012.

US Airways’ consolidated traffic for the month was up 7.0% versus December 2012, while consolidated capacity was up 3.6% versus December 2012. Consolidated passenger load factor was 84.7% for the month of December, up 2.7 points versus December 2012.


Airbus Helicopters takes off

January 10, 2014 · 12 Views

The rebranding of Eurocopter as Airbus Helicopters, effective January 8th, marks a new era in the history of the company, which joins Airbus and Airbus Defense & Space within the new Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters will benefit from and enrich the Airbus brand as it develops, manufactures, markets and supports a diversified and highly capable rotorcraft product line. “This rebranding works hand in hand with our ongoing transformation, which is now bolstered by the Airbus brand’s strong foundation in innovation, quality and industrial excellence,” said Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Helicopters. “Both of these together will serve our ambition of setting the industry standard in terms of safety, mission capability and performance for our operators around the world.”


China Eastern Airlines selects Thales’s entire avionics suite

January 9, 2014 · 7 Views

China Eastern Airlines’ new Airbus single aisle fleet will fly with Thales’s newest avionics solutions. The selection includes surveillance systems, flight management systems and head up displays. Following Airbus’ announcement to integrate Thales’s ACSS T3CAS surveillance platform as the preferred solution on all new single aisle aircraft, China Eastern is the first major Chinese airline to select this new generation system. Also equipped on the aircraft will be TopFlight, Thales’s Flight Management System (FMS). This system, developed with GE aviation, is the number one choice for Airbus single aisle jets with over 60% market share. The Thales Head Up Display (HUD) is the sole solution certified on Airbus aircraft and compliant with the latest Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) roadmap for HUD integration in Chinese registered commercial aircraft.


Associated Air Center signs Boeing 787-8 BBJ custom interior completion contract

January 9, 2014 · 9 Views

Associated Air Center (AAC) has been awarded a new custom interior completion contract for a green Boeing 787-8 BBJ aircraft. The aircraft interior is already under full design review. AAC has also kicked off detailed planning, staffing, training and facilitization in anticipation of the green aircraft’s delivery from Boeing in mid-2014. The completion contract was signed late December, culminating months of discussions and special airframe training requirements from Boeing engineers. The aircraft’s interior was designed by Associated Air Center’s in-house design team using the new Boeing 787 signature periphery as inspiration in creating a comfortable and modern environment.


B/E Aerospace extends and expands agreement with United Technologies Corporation

January 9, 2014 · 12 Views

B/E Aerospace has extended and expanded an agreement with United Technologies Corporation (UTC), to provide aerospace fasteners, hardware, consumables, and logistical services to UTC’s aerospace business units for their global operations. The agreement with UTC is through December 31, 2022 and is initially valued at approximately $950m. B/E Aerospace will supply UTC’s aerospace business units (Goodrich, Hamilton Sundstrand, Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky Aircraft), with aerospace fasteners and hardware as well as a broad range of consumables. In addition, the Company will provide logistical services such as just-in-time delivery, bin management services, integrated supply chain logistics, and airplane-on-the-ground (AOG) support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


IAG reports December load factor of 79.2%

January 9, 2014 · 20 Views

In December 2013, IAG traffic increased by 10.6% versus December 2012 and Group capacity rose by 9.1%. Group load factor was up 1.1 point, to 79.2%.


Norwegian reports continued passenger- and capacity growth in December

January 9, 2014 · 20 Views

Norwegian reported that December 2013 capacity increased 48% and traffic increased 52% compared to the same period in 2012. The load factor was 78%, up 1.9 points from December 2012.


Ryanair December traffic grows 4%

January 9, 2014 · 23 Views

Ryanair released December 2013 traffic statistics, with a load factor of 81%, the same as in 2012 and traffic increase of 4% compared to December 2012.