Saturday, March 29, 2014
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 27, 2014 · 27 Views
Japan Airlines (JAL) has selected Panasonic Avionics for a major expansion of in-flight Wi-Fi for its international fleet which includes Boeing 787s, Boeing 777-200ERs and Boeing 767-300ERs. The commitment comes after a successful introduction of Panasonic’s broadband Wi-Fi service on 13 of Japan Airlines’ 777s that have been flying international routes since July 2012. The carrier has become one of the first airlines to offer internet access, email services, and more on flights between Japan and Europe and across the Pacific to North America.
March 27, 2014 · 17 Views
MidairUSA signed an aircraft maintenance agreement with Aircastle Advisor, which included the first in a series of lease return MRO services and a heavy C check. For over a decade Midair exclusively provided support for Transaero Airlines, Russia’s second largest carrier. The Rome, New York/Melbourne, Florida based operations have successfully maintained services for Transaero aircraft, facilitating the sustainability and bolstering growth of the fleet from 3 to over 100 aircraft. Along with an increased operation in 2014 at Melbourne, Florida that includes an 82,000 ft² hangar project, Midair has secured several new contracts resulting in the hire of an additional 125 new employees within next six months. This totals a compliment of over 500 employees by the year’s end.
March 27, 2014 · 38 Views
STS Component Solutions, a division of STS Aviation Group, has closed its acquisition of an additional PW4056-3 Engine. The asset is a serviceable engine that was previously operated by Malaysia Airlines. The Pratt & Whitney PW4000 is a family of high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines with certified thrust ranging from 52,000 to 99,040 lbf (230 to 441 kN). Built as the successor to the JT9D series engines, it powers the Airbus A310-300, A300-600 aircraft, Boeing 747-400, 767-200/300 as well as MD11 aircraft and is certified for 180-minute ETOPS if used in twinjets. This engine acquisition enhances the growth and further broadens STS Component Solutions engine component service offerings.
March 27, 2014 · 22 Views
BOC Aviation achieved a record net profit after tax in 2013, marking an unbroken run of 20 years of profitability since it was founded in November 1993. For the financial year ended 31st December 2013, the Company earned US$277m in net profit after tax, 23% higher than the previous year. Total assets were US$10.2bn, rising 12% from US$9.1bn at the end of 2012. BOC Aviation ended the year with US$501m in unencumbered cash and US$2.3bn in unutilized committed credit facilities. In 2013, BOC Aviation took delivery of 48 new aircraft, and sold 21 owned aircraft. The year-end portfolio comprised 226 aircraft, of which 206 were owned and 20 were managed, in service with 56 airlines in 31 countries worldwide. The Company has one of the youngest fleets in the industry with an average owned aircraft age of less than four years. BOC Aviation placed a new order for 25 Airbus A320 family aircraft. The Company finished the year with a commitment to purchase 114 aircraft through to 2019.
March 27, 2014 · 22 Views
Finnair is started employee consultations with its personnel. The consultations concern employees working in administrative and support functions as well as cabin attendants. The measures are part of the savings program started in 2011, which aims at breaking Finnair’s loss-making cycle. The company still hopes that by achieving cost reductions in ongoing negotiations the redundancies could be avoided for the most part. Finnair plans to rationalise its administration and support functions, which could lead to a reduction of approximately 140 employees at this stage. Possible need for further reduction in these functions will be estimated during the rest of the year. The reductions would concern some operative, commercial and common corporate support functions that employ altogether some 800 persons in various tasks. At the end of last year Finnair concluded new collective labour agreements in line with the Finnish Employment and Growth Pact. At the same time, the parties agreed on cost reduction negotiations that would be concluded with cabin attendants by the end of April 2014 and with pilots by mid-June. When Finnair announced its loss-making results for 2013, the company stated that it must assess other options for reaching its targets, in case the necessary agreements on cost reductions are not reached through negotiations. Although the company’s priority and preference is to reach agreement with personnel at the negotiation table, it is now obliged to draft optional plans to increase outsourcing of flight crew. Finnair now begins employee consultations with personnel representatives on the topic.
March 27, 2014 · 26 Views
WestJet has converted five of its 25 options to firm orders for Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft, scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2015. The first of the five will arrive in June 2015. With the conversion of these options, WestJet will have a fleet of 25 Q400s by the end of 2015. The airline has further options for 20 more Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft between 2016 and 2018. “From our fleet of nine Q400s today, this growth will enable us to expand and strengthen our network,” said Ferio Pugliese, President, WestJet Encore. “These aircraft will serve new markets, increase frequencies between existing cities, and strengthen our network by creating new connections between existing markets and optimizing capacity by time-of-day. We also anticipate new transborder opportunities as we continue to grow.
March 27, 2014 · 17 Views
Japan Transocean Air (JTA) announced the purchase of CFM56-7B engines to power 12 Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. The engine order is valued at $260m at list price. JTA will have the flexibility to switch to the LEAP-1B-powered Boeing 737 MAX. Based in Naha, Okinawa, JTA is a member of the Japan Airlines Group and a long-time CFM customer. The airline currently operates a fleet of CFM56-3-powered 737-400 airplanes on domestic routes linking Okinawa with major Japanese cities as well as other islands within Okinawa.
March 27, 2014 · 320 Views
MTU Maintenance has signed a new contract with the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Saudi Aramco for the maintenance and on-wing support services of its General Electric CF34-8E engines. The contract covers all engines powering Aramco’s Embraer ERJ-170 fleet and has a duration of five years. MTU Maintenance has been a reliable provider for the maintenance of Saudi Aramco’s CFM56-7B engines since 2003 and is pleased to enhance its growing partnership with this reputable company with the maintenance of its CF34-8E fleet. Saudi Aramco, officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Company, operates its own fleet of more than 40 aircraft for passenger and cargo carriage as well as medical evacuation and oil spill spraying.
March 27, 2014 · 35 Views
Embraer inaugurated a new Service Center for its executive jets, on March 27th, at Bertram Luiz Leupolz (SOD) Airport, in the city of Sorocaba, Brazil. The Company’s new facility, which involved an investment of more than US$25m, is expected to generate up to 250 direct and specialized jobs over the coming years. The 20,000-m² area of the Service Center has two hangars, one of which is dedicated to maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of executive jets manufactured by the Company, and the other to support the operation of business aircraft (Fixed-Base Operations – FBO). The Center comprises a passenger boarding and arrival terminal, providing airport services, meeting rooms for customers, and rest areas for crew members – all equipped with TV, Internet access, and telephony.
March 27, 2014 · 32 Views
ANA selected 40 Boeing widebody airplanes for its strategic fleet renewal, including 20 777-9X (powered by GE9X engines), 6 777-300ER (powered by GE90-115B engines) and 14 787-9 airplanes. The agreement with the Japanese airline is valued at approximately $13bn at list prices, the combined engine orders are valued at $2bn list price. ANA also selected 30 A320 neo Family aircraft (seven A320neo and 23 A321neo).
March 28, 2014 · 42 Views
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has entered into an agreement with Donghai Airlines Co., Ltd for the lease of two used Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which have already been delivered to the airline.
March 28, 2014 · 32 Views
Embraer Executive Jets selected Universal Aviation, the ground support division of Universal Weather and Aviation, to operate the Fixed Base Operation (FBO) of the Company’s new Service Center at Bertram Luiz Leupolz Airport (SOD) in Sorocaba, 50 miles west of São Paulo’s state capital. Universal Aviation will serve the Company’s current customers, as well as other business aviation operators flying into Sorocaba, with aircraft ground support and hangar services.
March 28, 2014 · 25 Views
Romanian aerospace company Aerostar has won a contract from Tanzanian-based low-cost carrier Fastjet for the heavy maintenance of two of the airline’s fleet of three Airbus A319 airliners. The first of the aircraft arrived at Aerostar’s Bacau facility in February for its annual ‘C’ check and was redelivered on March 13, with the second aircraft arriving at Bacau on March 14. This major new contract from one of Africa’s newest airlines underscores the growing market reputation that Aerostar is building across Africa for the quality, cost-effectiveness and on time delivery of its MRO services.
March 28, 2014 · 25 Views
Kenya Airways has selected AFI KLM E&M to provide component support services for a total of nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners currently on order and scheduled for delivery between March 2014 and end-2015. Billed power by the hour, the contract also includes pool access and a Main Base Kit pre-positioned at the client’s Nairobi base.
March 28, 2014 · 34 Views
Lufthansa Technik AG and LIST components & furniture GmbH have founded the joint venture company INAIRVATION, in which each of the two companies holds a 50% stake. The new company combines the experience of Lufthansa Technik as one of the world’s leading providers of VIP aircraft cabin conversions and manufacturer of in-flight entertainment electronics with the expertise of LIST as an internationally acclaimed and sought-after manufacturer of high-end cabin interiors for private and business jets, luxury yachts, cruise liners and private residences. INAIRVATION will offer innovative complete solutions for business and private jet cabins. Up to now Lufthansa Technik has supplied the cabin management system (in-flight entertainment electronics) and LIST cabin components such as galleys, armrests, fold-out tables etc. as independent suppliers to the aircraft manufacturer. In the future when commissioned by a customer the two companies will together implement innovations that follow the theme of “Technology meets Cabin”, with the aim of blending entertainment electronics, furniture and lighting together in an advanced design.
March 28, 2014 · 29 Views
Component Control announced its collaboration with the Independent Fixed Base Operators Association (IFBOA) to provide special membership benefits for the aviation industry’s leading MRO and Logistics software, Quantum Control. As the aviation industry standard, Quantum is a comprehensive and fully integrated software solution for expertly managing aviation service operations. Quantum streamlines and coordinates maintenance practices so that teams are working efficiently while maintaining the highest level of safety and reliability for their customer’s aircraft. Quantum facilitates work packages, inventory requirements, exchanges, rotables, and more for corresponding warranty claims, flight line, and heavy maintenance contracts while simultaneously invoicing and tracking critical parts’ history and regulatory data requirements.