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Saturday, March 15, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 541 Views

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


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

February 20, 2015 · 639 Views

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


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 195 Views

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


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

November 5, 2014 · 162 Views

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


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 111 Views

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


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 78 Views

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


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 78 Views

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


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 74 Views

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


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 65 Views

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


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 64 Views

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


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 40 Views

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


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 53 Views

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


TrueAero is up and running

March 13, 2014 · 41 Views

TrueAero received its first consigned A320 “End of Life” aircraft which has completed the part-out process and will now be re-distributed from TrueAero’s 50,000 ft² facility in Sebastian FL. One of the CFM56-5A engines will be placed on lease and the other parted out, significantly increasing the consignors net return.”


Red-Eye secures ATR42-300 for teardown

March 13, 2014 · 36 Views

Red-Eye Aerospace released that it has secured an ATR42-300 for teardown. The first wrench went on the plane this week at Avcraft located in South Carolina.


MTU Aero Engines produces parts by additive manufacturing

March 13, 2014 · 22 Views

Additive manufacturing technology is rapidly spreading from one industry sector to the next. In the field of aero engine construction, Munich-based MTU Aero Engines has achieved a breakthrough: As one of the first companies to use the new technique, MTU produced components for production engines this past May. These parts – borescope bosses for the PurePower PW1100G-JM engine, the Pratt & Whitney engine to power the A320neo – are made by selective laser melting, or SLM. The low-pressure turbine for the PW1100G-JM geared turbofan (GTF) engine will be the first turbine ever to come equipped with borescope bosses produced by additive manufacturing processes. The bosses form part of the turbine case and allow the blading to be inspected at specified intervals for wear and damage using a borescope. “We used to make these parts by casting or by milling them from the solid,” explains Martens. Now they are being manufactured by SLM. With this technique, the first step is to slice up a 3D CAD model of the component to be produced. A laser then builds up the solid equivalent of the model layer by layer from a powdered material, the layer thickness being 20 to 40 micrometers. The powder particles are locally melted and fused together. At the moment, the borescope bosses are still being produced in small quantities only. Things will be different from 2015 on: Once production of the PW1100G-JM engine to power the A320neo ramps up, MTU’s production volumes, too, will go up substantially.


Panasonic sees increase in connectivity installations as radome is bird strike certified

March 13, 2014 · 22 Views

Panasonic Avionics will double the size of its connectivity-equipped fleet by the end of 2014 following FAA certification of a bird strike compliant radome for B777-200 aircraft. The STC (supplemental type certificate) for the B777-200 radome paves the way for approvals on other aircraft types. Panasonic currently has more than 150 B777-200 aircraft scheduled for installation, and further STC approvals are expected in April for the B757, and for the B767 in September.


Comlux America launches new STC project on Bombardier Challenger 600 Series

March 13, 2014 · 18 Views

Comlux America, the completion and service center of the Comlux Group, located in Indianapolis, IN, launched a new Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) project on the Bombardier Challenger CL-600 series. The STC project installs and certifies the equipment required for operation in airspace requiring Cockpit/Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC). The system incorporates equipment from Universal Avionics Systems Corporation (UASC), International Communications Group (ICG), and L-3 Aviation Recorders. The launching customer of this brand-new system has selected Comlux America to perform the installation in the early spring of 2014.


Lead Tech to launch new software to tag UHF tags

March 13, 2014 · 17 Views

Lead Tech, an engineering company and a leading provider of technical services as Technical Publications and Logistic Support, has developed and launched a new, cheap and user-friendly software to tag passive UHF tags. The software, LMS RFID, is fully compliant with ATA Spec 2000 Ch. 9 and Airbus standards for aircraft parts marking and inventory. The LMS RFID software enables operators of the aircraft as well as MROs and repair shops to reduce costs and time of the operations.


TUI Travel and GECAS sign purchase and leaseback deal

March 13, 2014 · 22 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services signed a purchase-and-leaseback agreement with TUI Travel for two new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in May and June 2014 and will become the first 787 models in the GECAS fleet.


Etihad Regional leases four ATR 72-500 aircraft

March 13, 2014 · 19 Views

Etihad Regional announced a multi-million dollar agreement to lease four ATR 72-500 aircraft, which will see the carrier boost its regional fleet to 12 and support its rapidly expanding network. All four aircraft are scheduled for delivery between April and June 2014, with the first touching down at Geneva International Airport on April 1st. The airline currently operates a fleet of eight 50-seat Saab 2000 turboprop aircraft. Etihad Regional will configure each aircraft with 68 seats. Passenger comfort will be second to none thanks to a well-designed cabin and large overhead bins. The lease of the aircraft was arranged by Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), the world’s largest turboprop leasing company headquartered in Billund, Denmark.


Virgin America reports February 2014 operational results

March 13, 2014 · 30 Views

Virgin America reported its preliminary operational results for February 2014 and the first two months of the year. The airline’s February traffic rose 4.2% on capacity that was 2.7% higher than in the same month in 2013. Load factor was 76.8%, up 1.1 points from February 2013.


JetBlue to sell LiveTV subsidiary to Thales Group

March 13, 2014 · 19 Views

JetBlue Airways has agreed to sell its wholly owned subsidiary LiveTV to Thales Group for $400m. The sale which is subject to regulatory and other approvals is expected to be completed in mid-2014. LiveTV is a leading provider of live in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems for commercial airlines. In 2013, LiveTV and its partner ViaSat introduced Ka-band satellite-driven onboard connectivity, a game changing technological advancement. Concurrent with the closing of this transaction, JetBlue will enter into long term agreements with LiveTV to continue providing support for its live TV and inflight connectivity product, Fly-Fi.


Copa Holdings releases monthly traffic statistics for February

March 13, 2014 · 21 Views

For the month of February 2014, Copa Holdings’ system-wide passenger traffic increased 12.9% year over year, while capacity increased 9.7%. As a result, system load factor for February 2014 was 78.5%, a 2.2 point increase when compared to February 2013.


Honeywell and Safran sign up GoAir to support EGTS Electric Taxiing System

March 13, 2014 · 28 Views

Honeywell and Safran have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with GoAir, one of India’s leading low-cost carriers, to support the advancement of the EGTS electric taxiing system, a technology that can save airlines up to 4% block fuel consumption per flight. EGTS uses electric motors on the main landing gear to enable the aircraft to push back autonomously and taxi without using its main engines to improve operational efficiency and reduce emissions. The news follows an agreement with Airbus in December to jointly evaluate EGTS as an option for the company’s A320 family of airplanes. Under the agreement, GoAir will provide data on its taxiing operations to Honeywell and Safran to assist in maturing the system and to define the precise fuel and other operational benefits it would see by using the technology across its fleets. The agreement will also see GoAir assist in establishing the airline standard operational procedures for aircraft equipped with the system.


Air Lease Corporation places new Boeing 777-300ER with KLM

March 14, 2014 · 6277 Views

Air Lease Corporation announced a long term lease agreement with KLM (The Netherlands) for a new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with two General Electric engines, scheduled for delivery in 2016. ALC already leases Airbus A330-200, A330-300, Boeing 777 and 737-800 aircraft to KLM.


Fokker signs $60m deal for engine wiring with Snecma

March 14, 2014 · 12 Views

Fokker Elmo, part of Fokker Technologies, has signed a contract with Snecma (Safran) valued at $60m for the delivery of Engine Build-up Units (EBU) electrical harnesses for the LEAP engine, a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE. The LEAP engine was selected by Airbus for its A320 Neo, by Boeing as the exclusive power plant on the 737 MAX and COMAC for the C919 aircraft models. To date, several thousands of orders have been placed for LEAP engines. For Fokker Elmo the production activities will be related to several LEAP engine variants and work will start immediately in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands, in close collaboration with Snecma.


AVINCO expands its team with appointment of Andreas Schneider as VP Commercial Asia Pacific

March 14, 2014 · 143 Views

AVINCO, the specialist aircraft trading and management company, has further expanded its team with the appointment of Andreas Schneider as Vice-President Commercial Asia Pacific. Andreas Schneider is joining Avinco further to his appointment as Vice-President Commercial Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. Andreas spent the past thirteen years of his career in the aircraft maintenance and overhaul industry. Before joining Avinco he was Senior Manager Product Sales for Lufthansa Technik’s aircraft engine overhaul division in the Asia-Pacific and Australia region based in Singapore.


GMF AeroAsia reaches agreement with Sriwijaya Air and Honeywell

March 14, 2014 · 46 Views

GMF AeroAsia has reached an agreement with Sriwijaya Air and Honeywell International to support the wheel and brake maintenance of the B737-NG and B737-Classic of Sriwijaya Air. The two year partnership is worth US$2.0m. In this agreement, Honeywell as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will produce original equipments for both B737-NG and B737-Classic aircrafts. One of the equipments is wheel and brake. Meanwhile Sriwijaya Air has special privileges in obtaining materials from OEM. These privileges are then entrusted to GMF as maintenance provider of its aircraft to obtain wheel and brake materials from OEM. “ This model of cooperation becomes an appealing breakthrough for GMF, Sriwijaya Air and Honeywell,” said Agus Sulistyono.


Textron completes acquisition of Beechcraft

March 14, 2014 · 13 Views

Textron has closed its acquisition of Beech Holdings, LLC, the parent of Beechcraft Corporation, and that it will bring together its Cessna business and Beechcraft to form a new segment called Textron Aviation. Cessna and Beechcraft together produced about $4.6bn in revenues during 2013. The acquisition brings together three iconic brands, each pioneering many of general aviation’s most notable advances in the past century. Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker bring 200-plus years of combined aviation experience to the market and an installed customer base of more than 250,000 airplanes worldwide. Going forward, Textron Aviation intends to share and leverage best practices across all operations to further its position as an aviation authority. Scott Ernest, who has served as Cessna’s President and CEO since 2011, will lead the Textron Aviation segment as CEO.