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Friday, January 24, 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.


JSC UTair Aviation once again selects AJW Aviation for additional power-by-the-hour support

January 22, 2014 · 22 Views

AJW Aviation has once again been selected by Russian airline JSC UTair Aviation to extend its power-by-the-hour support contract for an additional twenty A320 and three B767 aircraft. The initial contract which was signed in April 2013 was to provide power-by-the-hour support for the airline’s fleet of thirty-seven B737-500 and B737-400 aircraft.


GECAS delivers two new leased Embraer E190s to Air Costa

January 22, 2014 · 13 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS) reported the delivery of two new leased Embraer E190 aircraft to Air Costa, a new Indian airline focused on regional operations. Air Costa is promoted by the LEPL Group – a major urban infrastructure player in India. Air Costa started operations in October 2013 and currently flies to six destinations in India.


JetBlue and Etihad Airways announce codeshare plans

January 22, 2014 · 14 Views

JetBlue Airways, New York’s Hometown Airline, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, announced plans to begin codeshare operations and provide customers with enhanced travel options worldwide. The agreement, which is subject to government approval, will see Etihad Airways place its “EY” code on JetBlue-operated flights, initially facilitating connections between the two airlines at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD). In the first stage of the partnership, Etihad Airways will codeshare on 40 JetBlue routes within the US. Further codeshare services are planned on JetBlue flights once Etihad Airways commences daily flights to Los Angeles from June 2014. Subject to US and foreign government approval, Etihad Airways also plans to codeshare on JetBlue flights between New York and select destinations in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Colombia.


EPCOR drives LEAN MRO operations with Quantum Control

January 22, 2014 · 13 Views

EPCOR, a wholly owned AFI KLM E&M (Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance) subsidiary dedicated to total support of Auxiliary Power Units (APU) and Pneumatic Components, is driving LEAN MRO operations with Quantum Control. EASA and FAR 145 accredited, EPCOR’s engineering experts continuously work on APU and APU component development while also providing repair and overhaul for air cycle machines, environmental control system components, engine starters, leading edge flap drive units, and other pneumatic components, all supported by a worldwide logistics network.


JetBlue names David Campbell Vice President Technical Operations

January 22, 2014 · 32 Views

JetBlue Airways appointed David Campbell to the position of Vice President, Technical Operations, effective immediately. In this role, Mr. Campbell will ensure efficient operations, manage the safety of the fleet and lead the airline’s technical operations team. Mr. Campbell will report directly to the airline’s senior vice president of operations, Jeff Martin.


ILFC concludes 281 lease transactions and orders 165 new aircraft in 2013

January 22, 2014 · 14 Views

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group (AIG), completed a total of 281 lease transactions in 2013 including both extensions and new leases of aircraft from ILFC’s portfolio. Furthermore, during 2013, the company ordered 165 new aircraft, purchased 38 aircraft (including the aircraft delivered on sale-leaseback agreements), sold 40 aircraft, and committed 14 aircraft to part-out. In 2013, ILFC enhanced its regional presence by expanding offices in Dublin and Singapore and further optimized the utilization of AeroTurbine in the sale and part-out of aircraft.


Upcoming Senior Management changes at Triumph Group

January 22, 2014 · 8 Views

Triumph Group released that M. David Kornblatt, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will transition from that position in February 2014, to become the company’s Director of Corporate Development. He will be succeeded as Chief Financial Officer by Jeffrey L. McRae, currently President of Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division, upon formal election by the company’s board of directors, which is also expected to occur in February.


Three Saab 340B’s sold on behalf of Sverigeflyg Leasing AB

January 23, 2014

On behalf of Sverigeflyg Leasing AB of Sweden, Skyworld Aviation has arranged the sale of three Saab 340B aircraft to NextJet, also of Sweden. Serial numbers 176 (SE-KXI), 215 (SE-LJS) and 221 (SE-LJT) have been on lease to NextJet since 2010 and the sale contract was concluded at the end of last year. Skyworld Aviation has previously leased/sold three Saab 340 aircraft and two CT7 engines on behalf of Sverigeflyg Leasing AB. The specialist leasing company is owned by Braathens Aviation and is shortly to change its name to Braathens Leasing Sweden AB to reflect its ownership. Braathens Aviation also owns Malmo Aviation, the CSeries launch customer.


First two Dassault Falcon 900B operators take delivery with Universal Avionics’ flight deck upgrade

January 23, 2014 · 4 Views

Universal released that the first two Dassault Falcon 900B aircraft with a flight deck upgrade through a partnership program with Authorized Dealer, Duncan Aviation, have been completed and delivered. The back-to-back aircraft deliveries demonstrate the successful integration and installation capabilities of Universal Avionics and Duncan Aviation’s partnership. With the program gaining significant momentum, it is evident the demand for new technology for Falcon 900B operators is high.


STS Component Solutions expands footprint in Latin America

January 23, 2014 · 11 Views

STS Component Solutions, a division of STS Aviation Group, announced the opening of its new regional office in Brazil, South America to support its expanding team and customer portfolio. This new office reinforces STS Component Solution’s strategic position in this increasingly important area of Latin America. By better servicing customer requirements efficiently and in real time, STS is able to promote future business growth with this investment and expansion.


ATR increases turnover by 13% in 2013

January 23, 2014 · 14 Views

ATR ended 2013 breaking new annual records. The manufacturer increased its turnover to US$1.63bn, an increase of 13% compared to the previous year (2012: $1.44bn). Meanwhile, ATR continued to increase the pace of its deliveries, allowing it to achieve a new record with 74 aircraft delivered to customers during the year; an increase of 16% compared with 2012 deliveries (64) and 37% compared with 2011 deliveries (54). Alongside these results were sales of a total of 195 aircraft (89 firm orders and 106 options), giving ATR a backlog of 221 firm aircraft orders as of 31 December 2013.


PEMCO completes first B737-400 Freighter for Air Incheon

January 23, 2014 · 50 Views

PEMCO World Air Services (PEMCO) announced the redelivery of its first 737-400F Air Incheon aircraft. Redelivered in late 2013, the conversion was completed at PEMCO’s partner and major MRO provider STAECO, based in China. Located at the largest cargo airport in Seoul, Korea, Air Incheon specializes in air cargo transport of heavy equipment for oil and gas industries between Korea and Russia. The airline focuses on underserved markets such as Russia’s far east (Khabarovsk region), but also flies to China (Qingdao), Japan (Haneda) and Mongolia (Ulan Bator).


GA Telesis Component Repair Group Southeast enhances starter testing capability

January 23, 2014 · 335 Views

GA Telesis Component Repair Group Southeast (“GATCRGSE”) has developed a pneumatic aircraft engine starter test facility utilizing state-of-the-art technologies. By introducing a modern dynamometer, digital data acquisition and automation, the new test facility allows for simulation on multiple engine platforms with various load specifications. “Deviating from older practices and applying new innovative inertial simulation technologies is an exciting and necessary development for our company,” said Nicholas Gimbel, Engineering Manager for GATCRGSE. “Introduction of this equipment allows us improved testing reliability and remarkable efficiencies that older-generation technology could not deliver,” added Gimbel.


United posts full-year and fourth-quarter 2013 profit

January 23, 2014 · 35 Views

United Airlines (UAL) reported full-year 2013 net income of $1.084bn, an increase of 84% year-over-year, excluding $513m of special charges. Including special charges, UAL reported full-year 2013 net income of $571m. UAL generated $38.3bn of revenue in 2013, an increase of 3.0% year-over-year. The company reported fourth quarter 2013 net income of $298m excluding $158m of special charges. Including special charges, UAL reported fourth-quarter 2013 net income of $140m. For the fourth quarter of 2013, total revenue was $9.3bn, an increase of 7.2%, ear-over-year.


Southwest Airlines reports full year net income of $805m

January 23, 2014 · 18 Views

Southwest Airlines posted fourth quarter net income, excluding special items, of $236m compared to fourth quarter 2012 net income, excluding special items, of $65m. This exceeded the First Call consensus estimate of $.29 per diluted share. Fourth quarter net income was $212m which included $24m (net) of unfavorable special items, compared to net income of $78m in fourth quarter 2012, which included $13m (net) of favorable special items. For the full year net income, excluding special items, was $805 million compared to full year 2012 net income, excluding special items, of $417m. Full year net income of $754m, which included $51m (net) of unfavorable special items, compared to net income of $421m in full year 2012, which included $4m (net) of favorable special items.


Asiana Airlines signs FHS components contract with Airbus for A380 fleet

January 23, 2014 · 18 Views

Asiana Airlines has selected Airbus’ Flight Hour Services (FHS) to provide components support for its A380 fleet. The FHS agreement, which will run for 10 years, provides an extensive scope of A380 line replaceable units (LRUs), guaranteed spare parts availability through pool access service and on-site stock at customer main base and selected outstations, as well as repair to Asiana Airlines. South Korean carrier Asiana Airlines will become the twelfth operator of the A380 when it takes delivery of its first aircraft in the second quarter of this year. The airline has firm orders for six A380s and will operate the aircraft on its primary routes from Seoul to the US.


Horizon Air takes delivery of the airline’s 51st Q400 turboprop airliner

January 23, 2014 · 7 Views

Horizon Air took delivery of the airline’s 51st Q400 turboprop airliner. The aircraft, which is a NextGen model, is the last of three ordered by Horizon Air in June last year, solidifying the airline’s position as the world’s largest operator of Q400 aircraft. Established in 1981, Horizon Air was acquired in 1986 by Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines. At its start, the airline operated two aircraft and served three destinations in Washington state.