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Saturday, March 22, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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


MTU Aero Engines, a technology leader in brush seals

March 20, 2014 · 69 Views

More than 30 years ago, MTU Aero Engines set out to develop its first brush seal. The innovative components are suitable for use not only in aircraft engines – as, for example, in Pratt & Whitney’s successful family of PurePower geared turbofans –, but also in steam and gas turbines, pumps and a variety of other mechanical engineering applications. MTU has established itself as a global leader in the field. The idea behind the technology of brush seals is as simple as it is brilliant: “The construction typically includes thousands of thin bristles forming a very flexible seal which continuously adapts to the moving surface to be sealed,” explains Benjamin Großkurth, who heads up brush seal production at MTU. This way, brush seals clearly outperform conventional sealing systems, such as labyrinth seals. Says Großkurth: “MTU’s brush seals reduce leakages by up to 90%, which boosts the performance of the engine or gas turbine.” Every increase in efficiency improves the eco-efficiency of a propulsion system, resulting in lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. Take a single-aisle aircraft, for example. The innovative seals will save around 1% of the, say, 20,000 tons of kerosene the jet typically burns every year – and that is the equivalent of the amount of fuel carried by ten tank trucks with a capacity of 20 tons each. Moreover, CO2 emissions are reduced by the same percentage as fuel consumption. The latest example of applications that highlight MTU’s capabilities in the field of brush seals is the successful PurePower PW1000G series of geared turbofan (GTF) engines: MTU already contributes three brush seals each to the GTF engines to power Bombardier’s CSeries, Mitsubishi’s MRJ regional jet and Embraer’s E-Jets. Now the company has been selected to also supply its seals for the two additional GTF engine models: both the PW1100G-JM engine to power the A320neo aircraft and the PW1400G engine to power the Irkut MC-21 aircraft will incorporate a total of four MTU brush seals.


Alenia Aermacchi roll-out of first M-346 for Israeli MOD and the Israeli Air & Space Force

March 20, 2014 · 42 Views

The first M-346 advanced trainer for the Israeli Air & Space Force was rolled out in a ceremony held at Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono Superiore, Italy. In July 2012, Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, was awarded a contract from the Israeli Ministry of Defence (IMOD) to supply 30 M-346 advanced jet trainer aircraft, to replace the TA-4 Skyhawk currently operated by the IAF, to include ground based training systems in collaboration with other Israeli and International companies. The delivery of the first M-346 to the Israel Air & Space Force is scheduled for summer 2014.


AgustaWestland and Italian Air Force sign Letter of Intent for training

March 20, 2014 · 57 Views

AgustaWestland and the Italian Air Force announced the signing of a Letter of Intent aimed at further strengthening their already well-established cooperation through the future set up of joint training solutions. The announcement was made on the occasion of the official ceremony for the maiden flight of the first HH-101A CAESAR helicopter for the Italian Air Force held at Yeovil plant, UK. The partners intend to co-develop new capabilities to meet the future rotary-wing training requirements by leveraging synergies between the AgustaWestland Training Organization based at its Frosinone plant, close to Rome, and the Italian Air Force 72nd Wing (72° Stormo). Through this mutually beneficial cooperation, AgustaWestland will further expand the level of service in the training sector to meet the evolving requirements of the customer, while the Italian Air Force will enhance the level of training for its personnel through an innovative, efficient strategy.


Boeing rolls out first Next-Generation 737 at increased production rate

March 20, 2014 · 20 Views

The first Boeing Next-Generation 737 to be built at the increased rate of 42 airplanes per month rolled out of the factory in Renton, Wash. on March 19th. The 737-800 will soon be delivered to Air Berlin and ultimately leased to Transavia France. The airplane will now undergo functional, systems and flight testing over the next three weeks before being delivered. Since 2010, production has risen about 33%, from 31.5 to 42 airplanes a month. As previously announced, the production rate is scheduled to increase to 47 airplanes a month in 2017.


RUAG posts higher earnings despite difficult environment

March 20, 2014 · 21 Views

International technology group RUAG posted slightly higher net sales of CHF 1,752m in 2013 (previous year: CHF 1,741m). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) came to CHF 115m, similar to the previous year’s level (CHF 113m). The EBIT margin (EBIT/operating performance) increased slightly to 6.6% (6.3%), while net profit rose by CHF 16m to CHF 94m. Civil business contributed 56% to sales. With a 56% share of sales (50%), revenue from civil business exceeded that of military business, which contributed 44% (50%) of sales. Cash flow from operating activities came to CHF 142m (CHF 130m). Free cash flow fell to CHF 100m (CHF 150m) owing to the acquisition of Ascom Defense in 2012.


Thales receives U.S. FAA order for Instrument Landing Systems model 420

March 20, 2014 · 23 Views

Thales, a leader in Air Traffic Management, will supply the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with an initial five Instrument Landing Systems model 420 (ILS420s) for deployment throughout the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). This order is the first procurement in a five-year contract. The ILS420 will provide precise vertical and horizontal navigation guidance to pilots for smooth, safe approach and landing. The system is the most advanced ILS on the market today, surpassing the requirements of the FAA and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for Category III operations.


Johan Bank appointed VP Engineering, KLM Engineering & Maintenance

March 20, 2014 · 123 Views

Johan Bank, Director MRO, KLM Engine Services since 2007, has been appointed Vice President Engineering, KLM E&M. Johan Bank began his professional career at KLM Flight Operations as a flight engineer on Douglas DC10s. Subsequently, from 1993 to 2003, he became a flight engineer on Boeing 747s. In 2003, he moved to KLM’s Engineering and Maintenance Division to oversee implementation of Lean Six Sigma projects. For four years he worked as a Lean Six Sigma “Black Belt” in all areas of aircraft maintenance, from components, to engines, and airframes. From 2007 he was Director MRO at KLM Engineering & Maintenance’s Engines Division, tasked with overseeing all production processes and steering the implementation of Six Sigma methodology. Under his leadership, the Division cut CFM56 engine overhaul shop time from 85 to 60 days.


Associated Air Center signs 12th BBJ 12-year inspection customer

March 20, 2014 · 43 Views

Associated Air Center (AAC), StandardAero’s Large Transport Category VIP completion center in Dallas, Texas, has signed its 12th BBJ 12-year inspection with Star Aviation. In addition to having completed to date 24 “green” BBJ interiors, achieving this heavy maintenance inspection milestone makes AAC one of the most experienced BBJ completion center. The work scope for this project includes an airframe overhaul level, 12-year aircraft inspection, in addition to incorporating various avionics FANS upgrades and landing gear overhaul. The project, which began in March, 2014 is expected to be completed by July, 2014.


Precision Castparts Corp. expands aerostructures capabilities with acquisition of Aerospace Dynamics International

March 20, 2014 · 32 Views

Precision Castparts Corp. has agreed to acquire Aerospace Dynamics International (ADI) from The Marvin Group for $625m. ADI is one of the premier suppliers in the aerospace industry, operating a wide range of high-speed machining centers. ADI has developed particular expertise in large complex components, hard metal machining, and critical assemblies. The company has strong positions across high growth commercial platforms, including a significant presence on the Airbus A350. ADI operates from one site in Valencia, California, and employs approximately 625 people. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of fiscal 2015, after which its results will be reported as part of the Airframe Products segment.


AWAS delivers third new A320 passenger aircraft on lease to Vietje

March 20, 2014 · 20 Views

AWAS has delivered on lease to Vietjet, the third of four new A320 aircraft from its new order pipeline. Vietjet is an expanding low cost carrier operating a modern, all A320 fleet from Vietnam’s three major economic and tourist hubs Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hanoi, and is the first private airline in Vietnam to be licensed to operate domestic and international flights. This new sharklet equipped A320 aircraft will assist Vietjet with their plans to expand into ASEAN and North Asian networks which will include regional destinations such as Busan, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Japan, Hongkong and China.


Mesa Airlines and AAR sign LOI for total support of new E175s

March 21, 2014 · 205 Views

AAR has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to provide support for 30 new Embraer 175 aircraft operated by Mesa Airlines. The 12-year agreement will include rotable inventory power by the hour (PBH) support, heavy maintenance, and wheel and brake services. AAR will utilize its broad services offering to provide this comprehensive fleet support under a single program. To support the inventory PBH element of the program, AAR will own and manage a rotable inventory pool in five of Mesa’s locations to meet guaranteed service levels. The heavy maintenance will be performed in AAR’s Oklahoma City MRO facility and the wheel and brake services will be performed in AAR’s Miami location. The estimated total value of the contract is more than $200m.


AAR to establish aviation supply chain hub in Europe

March 21, 2014 · 33 Views

AAR is acquiring inventory and customer contracts from Sabena technics Brussels and expects the transaction to close in the first week of April. The agreement includes ongoing power-by-the-hour support for 13 customers, which AAR’s Aviation Supply Chain division will handle from its new facility at the Brussels Airport. In addition to supporting the customers that will transition from Sabena technics, this 24/7 facility will support AOG and other parts requirements for existing AAR customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In recent years, the U.S.-based commercial aviation and defense contractor has increased its global supply chain infrastructure that now includes operations in Chicago, Singapore, Indianapolis, Toronto, Amsterdam and Brussels.


Avolon delivers a Boeing 737-800 NG to China Airlines

March 21, 2014 · 31 Views

Avolon, the international aircraft lessor, has delivered a Boeing 737-800 NG to China Airlines. This is the first of a two part aircraft placement for Boeing 737-800 NGs with China Airlines.


Robinson Helicopter Company delivers 500th R66 helicopter

March 21, 2014 · 25 Views

R66 Turbine S/N 500 rolled off Robinson’s production line on March 14, 2014, three and half years since the 5-place helicopter was initially certificated in October 2010. The helicopter was delivered to Aviamarket, one of three R66 dealers in Russia, and will be on display at this year’s Heli-Russia Exhibition in Moscow, May 22-24. Aviamarket successfully tested the aircraft’s capabilities last year, first in April when Aviamarket pilots landed R66 S/N 0040 at the North Pole and again in September when the company organized a six week Around-the-World Expedition using two R66 helicopters. To meet expanding market demands, over one-hundred R66 service centers and sixty-eight R66 dealers have been established worldwide. Glass and touch-screen avionics were recently added to the R66’s options list and Robinson-engineered floats and cargo hook are currently undergoing final testing.