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Saturday, April 05, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 556 Views

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

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

February 20, 2015 · 655 Views

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

Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 197 Views

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

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

November 5, 2014 · 164 Views

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

Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 113 Views

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

ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 80 Views

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

Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 80 Views

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

Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 76 Views

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

A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 67 Views

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

Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 66 Views

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

GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 42 Views

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

Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 55 Views

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

Sabena technics develops Sharklet retrofit capability

April 3, 2014 · 236 Views

Sabena technics develops its Sharklet retrofit capability. The Sharklets will allow fuel efficiency improvement, payload/range capability increase, and environmental impact reduction thus bringing notable benefits to the customers’ operations. Constantly looking to improve aircraft operational use, Sabena technics has already developed the capability to perform the production retrofit on sharklet-ready wings on the Airbus A320 aircraft family and will be able to provide the In-service Sharklet retrofit modification on the Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. The installation of this value-adding technology will be carried out in Sabena technics’ facilities in Bordeaux. Sabena technics is also considering the possibility of combining this modification with scheduled base maintenance activities, cabin reconfiguration and/or painting in order to optimize the aircraft grounding time and provide the customers with an offer tailored to their needs.

Air Serbia reports positive progress since its launch 5 months ago

April 3, 2014 · 31 Views

Air Serbia, the national airline of Serbia, reported positive progress after the five months since its launch in October 2013, outlining network and fleet growth and the creation of new jobs in Serbia. With a focus on comfort, Air Serbia leased eight modern Airbus A319 and two Airbus A320 aircraft to replace the ageing fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft. The two Airbus A320 aircraft will begin service in early April 2014 to complete the interim fleet renewal program. In November Air Serbia announced that, in a deal valued at more than US$1bn at list prices, ten next-generation A320neo aircraft were confirmed for its fleet between 2018 and 2020.

BAE Systems awarded EASA approval for TCAS 7.1 upgrade for Boeing 737 and 757 models

April 3, 2014 · 26 Views

BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has obtained European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval to upgrade all previous TCAS 7.0 installations on Boeing 737s and Boeing 757s to the new TCAS 7.1 standard, and has won business from three airlines. For retrofit aircraft this new standard is mandatory from December 1st, 2015, for all aircraft flying in European airspace. The TCAS 7.1 (Traffic Collision and Avoidance System) approvals for BAE Systems cover all models of the Boeing 737 from the Classic (Series 300-500) to the New Generation variants (Series 600-900) and also all models of the Boeing 757 (Series 200/300 and Boeing 757PF). This new development builds on the EASA approvals granted last year for TCAS 7.1 upgrades to the BAe 146/Avro RJ regional jet and which has resulted in Swiss and TNT Airways S.A purchasing the modification covering their combined fleets of 36 aircraft. BAE Systems always intended that it would offer this upgrade solution to third party aircraft types as part of its business development strategy and the Boeing 737/757 approvals are the first concrete steps in that direction. BAE Systems has so far received orders covering upgrades for 60 Boeing 737/757 airliners. The two latest customers to select the BAE Systems upgrade solution are Spanish carrier Alba Star for its Boeing 737 Classic fleet and Swedish/UK freight carrier West Atlantic for its three Boeing 737-300Fs.

WestJet reports March load factor of 84.0%

April 3, 2014 · 29 Views

WestJet announced March 2014 traffic results with a load factor of 84.0%, down 2.1 points compared to March 2013. Traffic increased 3.9% year-over-year, and capacity grew 6.6% over the same period.

Boeing qualification of AkzoNobel base coat/clear coat system

April 3, 2014 · 34 Views

AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings announced Boeing qualification of the Aerodur 3001/ 3002 Base Coat/Clear Coat system. The newly approved Aerodur Base Coat/Clear Coat system is qualified by Boeing to both the BMS 10-72, Type 10 and BMS 10-125, Type 4 specifications and is applicable for use on all Boeing legacy models (777, 747, 737, 767) under BMS 10-72 as well as the Hybrid Laminar Flow areas of 787-9 model aircraft per BMS 10-125. To date, Aerodur 3001/3002 Base Coat/Clear Coat has been applied to well over three hundred new and repainted aircraft.

Dassault’s Falcon 2000S & 2000LXS approved for London City Airport

April 3, 2014 · 32 Views

Dassault’s Falcon 2000S and 2000LXS twin jets recently received approval to operate at one of the world’s most challenging airports, London City, located in the heart of Europe’s financial hub. Dassault is the only business jet manufacturer to have its entire current production fleet certified to operate at London City.

Alaska Air Group reports March 2014 operational results

April 3, 2014 · 20 Views

Alaska reported a 4.0% increase in traffic on a 4.6% increase in capacity compared to March 2013. This resulted in a 0.6 point decrease in load factor to 87.7%.

Horizon reported a 1.6% increase in March traffic on a 2.6% increase in capacity compared to March 2013. This resulted in a 1.0 point decrease in load factor to 79.9%.

Key leadership changes in Bombardier’s parts services team

April 3, 2014 · 687 Views

Bombardier Aerospace released that Diane De Souza, Vice President of its Parts Services team, will retire after 28 years with Bombardier Aerospace, effective this summer. She is succeeded by Bill Molloy, previously Director of Customer Services & Support for the CSeries aircraft, who assumed his new role April 1st.

Telair delivers 400th lower deck cargo system for Airbus A330 series

April 3, 2014 · 34 Views

Telair International, a subsidiary of U.S.-based aerospace and defense contractor AAR, announced delivery of the 400th advanced lower deck cargo system to the Airbus fuselage production line in Hamburg. Telair has been a supplier of individual components involved with cargo loading systems for the Airbus aircraft since the 1970’s and will become the single-source supplier for the complete lower deck cargo handling systems for the Airbus A330-200 and -300 series of aircraft. The advanced cargo handling system uses only one type of power drive unit (PDU) to provide the required tractive force to move ULD’s in and out of the aircraft and within the cargo hold to its final parking position. With currently more than 360 advanced systems in-service, the system has proven to be reliable. A similar system will be provided for the Airbus A350 XWB family of aircraft, extending Telair’s support of the Airbus fleet.

US Airways joins merger partner American Airlines in transatlantic joint business with Finnair, Iberia and British Airways

April 4, 2014 · 11 Views

American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair celebrated a key milestone as US Airways becomes the fifth airline – and fifth oneworld alliance member – to join the airlines’ transatlantic joint venture. As part of the joint business, established by American, British Airways and Iberia in October 2010 and joined by Finnair in 2013, the five airlines can cooperate commercially on transatlantic flights, which includes a revenue sharing agreement in which member airlines have permission to coordinate schedules and pricing on North Atlantic routes. These benefits provide customers traveling between North America and Europe increased choices and access to a more comprehensive network. US Airways will add 28 transatlantic routes to the joint business including new nonstop service between 18 European destinations and the United States. With combined operations, the joint business enables seamless travel from cities all over Europe to more than 240 destinations in North America. The joint business hub airports include New York’s JFK, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Heathrow, Madrid, Helsinki, Phoenix, Charlotte and Philadelphia. From Helsinki, dozens of cities in North America from Vancouver to Charlotte are only a one-stop itinerary away as a result of the joint business.

Minsheng Financial Leasing choose AerData’s CMS lease management software

April 4, 2014 · 16 Views

AerData, the provider of software and services for the aviation industry announces that Minsheng Financial Leasing (MSFL) the Chinese-based financial leasing company has chosen AerData’s CMS software. CMS (Corporate Management System) is a leading lease and asset management solution used by the majority of the world’s aircraft, helicopter and engine leasing organizations.

HAECO ITM and Thai embark on aircraft component repair collaboration

April 4, 2014 · 27 Views

HAECO ITM (HXITM) and Thai Airways have embarked on a long-term collaborative initiative in aircraft component repair. Drawing on collective strengths, the collaboration enhances product offering of the two companies. Under the initial business collaboration framework, HXITM has identified a list of aircraft components that will be repaired at THAI’s technical facilities at Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok. “We continuously seek to improve our supply chain in tandem with the expansion of our third-party Inventory Technical Management business,” said Richard Reed, Executive General Manager of HXITM. “By working with a strategic supplier in the region like THAI, we are able to enhance the value proposition to our customers by optimising repair costs and cycle times and therefore offering better material availability through our pool inventory in Hong Kong,” Mr. Reed added.

Air Canada reports March traffic results

April 4, 2014 · 21 Views

For the month of March, Air Canada reported a system wide traffic growth of 1.4% on a capacity increase of 3.6%. Air Canada’s system load factor was 81.7%, versus 83.5% in March 2013, a decrease of 1.8 points.

Lufthansa Technik’s interior shops are upgrading

April 4, 2014 · 46 Views

The interior shops of Lufthansa Technik Base Maintenance in Hamburg are relaunching its services at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. The base maintenance workshops, which up to now primarily offered backbone support to Aircraft Base Maintenance, will in future offer full-scale modification services for commercial airlines directly from a single source. Headed up by Arne Bruhn, the workshops are working in close collaboration with the company’s Engineering department, the Original Equipment Innovation division and Lufthansa Technik’s VIP workshops. For example, instead of having to buy expensive new seats, thanks to this in-house capacity, Lufthansa Technik’s Hamburg shops can provide commercial airlines with low-cost, ultra-flexible, fast solutions that involve modifying existing parts of the cabin. Thanks to the separate wiring workshop, it is even possible to undertake complete electrical and electronic upgrades of existing configurations within next to no time. All electrical cabling can be fabricated complete. Specialists in another discipline can adapt the cabin design to the airline’s new look using foils or paintwork.

IAG releases traffic and capacity statistics

April 4, 2014 · 31 Views

In March 2014, IAG traffic increased by 10.2% versus March 2013, Group capacity rose by 13.2%. Group load factor for March was down 2.2 points to 77.6% when compared to the previous year.

Norwegian reports 25% passenger growth in March

April 4, 2014 · 19 Views

Norwegian carried more than 1.8m passengers in March 2014, an increase of 25% compared to the same month last year, total passenger traffic increased by 52%, while capacity increased by 51% this month. The load factor was 77.8% in March, up 0.2 points.

Ryanair March traffic falls 4%

April 4, 2014 · 22 Views

Ryanair released that traffic for the month of March was down 4%, while the load factor in March 2014 increased 1.0 point to 80%.