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Saturday, March 08, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

This is an overview of all articles linked within the selected daily newsletter.
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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.


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.


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.


Air Transport Services Group announces 2013 results

March 6, 2014 · 31 Views

Air Transport Services Group, a leading provider of aircraft leasing, and air cargo transportation and related services, reported consolidated financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2013. For the fourth quarter of 2013 revenues increased 2% to $157.0m, compared with the fourth quarter of 2012, attributable mainly to increased airline operations for DHL in the U.S., and greater aircraft leasing revenues than a year ago. Results for the fourth quarter included a non-cash impairment charge of $52.6m, related to the write-off of goodwill associated with ATSG’s 2007 purchase of Air Transport International. Excluding the impairment charge, fourth-quarter adjusted earnings from continuing operations were $9.7m, down from fourth-quarter 2012 earnings of $12.2m. Including the impairment charge, ATSG’s loss from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2013 was $42.8m. Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, also adjusted for the impairment charges and derivative gains) was $44.2m, up 4% from the prior-year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA increased in each of the last two quarters of 2013, and totaled $157.5m for the year, within the company’s previously announced targeted range. 2013 revenues decreased 5% to $580m compared with 2012, due primarily to reduced international operations. A loss from continuing operations of $19.6m for the year, compares with earnings from continuing operations of $41.6m in 2012. Excluding the effects of the impairment charge, ATSG’s adjusted earnings from continuing operations for 2013 were $33.0m. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 3% to $157.5m.


AEI delivers first Aeronaves TSM MD82SF 12 pallet conversion

March 6, 2014 · 30 Views

Aeronautical Engineers (AEI) delivered the first of two MD82/83SF freighters to Aeronaves TSM based in Saltillo, Coahuila México. The aircraft is a high gross weight MD82SF (MSN 49342) built in 1987 and was converted at Commercial Jet’s Miami facility, which is one of five authorized AEI Conversion Centers worldwide. This is AEI’s 3rd of an anticipated 30+ freighters to be delivered in 2014.


Vector Aerospace UK’s Mobile Repair Team build civil on-wing capability

March 6, 2014 · 40 Views

Vector Aerospace UK, a leading provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services continues to develop its civil client portfolio following the completion of another contract for a major fixed wing operator. The recent contract delivery saw the Mobile Repair Team (MRT), based at Vector Aerospace’s Almondbank facility located near Perth in Scotland, complete the on-wing plating repair to a high specification and to the airline’s satisfaction. The company’s growing, civil fixed wing portfolio has coincided with an investment in a site based composite repair capability, allowing an expansion of the MRT to offer customers on-wing welding, sheet-metal, NDT, brush plating and composite repairs. Vector Aerospace’s five year growth strategy has highlighted the civil and commercial aviation market as a prime sector for development – leveraging its experience and knowledge in defence to achieve similar results in this target market.


Boeing and Hainan Airlines expand pilot training agreement

March 6, 2014 · 20 Views

Boeing and Hainan Airlines announced a five-year pilot training agreement to support Hainan’s recent introduction of the 787 Dreamliner to its fleet. Under the agreement, Boeing Flight Services, a unit of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, will extend the airline’s existing contract for flight training at Boeing’s Singapore and Shanghai training campuses on three Boeing models — the Next-Generation 737, 767 and 787. The 2013 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, a respected industry forecast of required aviation personnel, cites a demand for 192,300 new commercial airline pilots and 215,300 new technicians in the Asia Pacific region through 2032.


FLY Leasing posts decreased fourth quarter net income

March 6, 2014 · 13 Views

FLY is reporting net income of $13.4m for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to net income of $31.0m for the same period of 2012. The fourth quarter 2013 results include a transactional impairment charge of $8.8m associated with an aircraft that will be sold in 2014. The Company anticipates that this impairment charge will be largely offset by end of lease revenue associated with this aircraft in the second half of 2014. Fourth quarter 2013 operating lease revenue includes no end of lease revenue, whereas there was $14.0m of end of lease revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012. In addition, the fourth quarter 2013 results include $18.6m in net gains associated with refinancing transactions. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2013 was $52.5m compared to $47.7m for 2012. 2013 operating lease revenue of $359.4m includes $47.6m of end of lease revenue as compared to 2012 operating lease revenue of $376.4m which included $49.8m of end of lease revenue. For the year ended December 31, 2013. Adjusted net income was $57.4m compared to $116.3m for the year ended December 31, 2012.


United Airlines opens new widebody hangar at Newark Liberty

March 6, 2014 · 29 Views

Just weeks after opening its new Global Services reception lobby at Newark Liberty International Airport, United Airlines unveiled its latest investment in the New York area’s largest hub airport – a new widebody aircraft maintenance hangar. United invested $35m to construct the facility, which will help support the airline’s widebody aircraft, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350-XWB, which United will begin flying in 2018. The hangar also expands United’s maintenance capability for widebodies by 33% at Newark Liberty.


Malaysia Airlines inks IT solutions deal with Ramco Systems

March 6, 2014 · 26 Views

Malaysia Airlines signed a strategic partnership with Chennai based Ramco Systems, an IT solutions provider, for a suite of critical enterprise-wide engineering solutions that includes aircraft maintenance, maintenance service sales, operational, human resources and financial functions. This advanced solution which integrates business processes and people, company-wide, will serve the entire engineering functions for Malaysia Airlines group including Firefly, MASwings and MASkargo, and also support its Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services. The implementation allows Malaysia Airlines to operate state-of-the-art aviation business processes to improve and optimise fleet management and give advance updates on MRO and engineering matters, facilitating decision-making on both desk-top and mobile devices. Malaysia Airlines opted to include Ramco’s integrated solutions for service sales contract management, maintenance and engineering, procurement, advanced planning and optimization, advanced reliability and Loadable Software Aircraft Parts (LSAP).


IAG report February load factor of 75%

March 6, 2014 · 22 Views

In February 2014, IAG traffic increased by 11.4% versus February 2013 while Group capacity rose by 11.2% compared to the same period in 2013. The laod factor for the month was up 0.1 point to 75.3%.


Ryanair February traffic grows 7.0%

March 6, 2014 · 27 Views

Ryanair reported February traffic increase of 7.0% compared to the same period in 2013, while the load factor for February increased 1.0 point to 78%.


DHL Express and Southern Air start expansion of Boeing 737-400 network fleet

March 7, 2014 · 23 Views

International express provider DHL, is adding five Boeing 737-400 aircraft to expand its service routes within the Americas as part of a multi-year service agreement with US cargo carrier Southern Air. The aircraft will provide delivery to routes in a fuel-efficient manner, in keeping with DHL’s Go Green commitment to environmental protection. The five aircraft will be rolled out during the first half of 2014, expanding the fleet already in place along key growing trade routes in the Americas. “Right now we are planning to get the first aircraft in service in early April and the last one by August 1,” said Red Alexander, Vice President of Aviation for DHL Express Americas. “There will be two aircraft based in Venezuela and three aircraft in the U.S.”


SAS posts traffic figures for February 2014

March 7, 2014 · 21 Views

SAS reported that February traffic decreased by 0.1% compared to the same month in 2013. Capacity for the month was up 3.1% and the load factor for February was down 2.0 points to 64.8%.


SriLankan Airlines to join oneworld on May 1st

March 7, 2014 · 21 Views

SriLankan Airlines will join the oneworld alliance on May 1st. The national airline of Sri Lanka will offer the alliance’s complete range of services and benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem Plus points across SriLankan’s network of 32 destinations in 20 countries across Asia, Europe and the Middle East.


WestJet reports February load factor of 84.6%

March 7, 2014 · 12 Views

WestJet announced February 2014 traffic results with a load factor of 84.6%. Traffic increased 7.3% year over year and capacity grew 9.2% over the same period.


MCAP choose AerData’s CMS and STREAM software packages

March 7, 2014 · 21 Views

MC Aviation Partners (MCAP), the commercial aircraft lessor, has chosen AerData’s CMS and STREAM software. CMS (Corporate Management System) is the leading lease and asset management solution used by the majority of the world’s aircraft, helicopter and engine leasing organizations. STREAM (Secure Technical Records for Electronic Asset Management) is the industry’s foremost web-based solution used by some of the world’s largest airlines, lessors and MROs to manage aircraft and engine records.