Saturday, April 12, 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.
April 10, 2014 · 27 Views
Wencor Group announced the acquisition of XTRA Aerospace. As an authorized Part 145 FAA and EASA repair station, XTRA Aerospace is a leading provider of specialized repair services for a wide variety of electrical and mechanical systems across in-production commercial aircraft. XTRA Aerospace further augments Wencor Group’s electrical repair capabilities as it specializes in electrical components throughout the cockpit and interior of commercial aircraft. This strategic combination will enable XTRA to leverage Wencor Group’s PMA and DER capabilities in order to bring additional savings to its broad base of airline and MRO customers.
April 10, 2014 · 10 Views
Aeronautical Engineers has delivered the first of five B737-400SF freighters to Southern Air who will operate for DHL Express in the Americas. The first aircraft is a standard gross weight B737-400SF (MSN 29487) built in 1999 and was converted at Commercial Jet’s Dothan facility, which is one of five authorized AEI Conversion Centers worldwide. The aircraft was sourced, and financing provided thru Strategic Air Finance LLC. This is AEI’s 6th of the anticipated 30+ freighters to be delivered in 2014.
April 10, 2014 · 10 Views
Regional Express (Rex) has purchased 18 latest generation Saab 340Bplus aircraft which came off lease on March 25th, 2014. These aircraft were part of the 25 aircraft it had on lease and the other seven were purchased earlier at their lease expiry on July 1st, 2013. The acquisition was partly funded by Rex’s operating cash flows with the rest from bank financing. The purchase means that Rex now owns its entire fleet of Saab 340 aircraft which is 51 strong.
April 10, 2014 · 16 Views
Air Seychelles, the national carrier of the Republic of Seychelles, posted net profit of US$3m for 2013, exceeding by 171% its profit of US$1.1m reported in 2012. Revenue increased by 107% to US$88.7m (2012: US$42.8m).
April 10, 2014 · 70 Views
Gama Engineering, the Fairoaks Airport, UK based EASA Part 21J and UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Design Approved Organisation Status company, has been awarded a contract to supply the design solution and major parts for a Traffic Alerting System, GPS and 8.33kHz VHF Comms upgrade to a number of Airbus Helicopters’ Gazelle helicopters for the British Army. The upgrade will include GPS, Comms and Traffic Advisory equipment from Garmin and an electronic Primary Flight Display from Aspen Avionics. Gama Engineering has previously worked with both equipment manufacturers on a significant number of civilian Supplemental Type Certificate programmes, but this is the first such venture on a military platform.
April 10, 2014 · 13 Views
Mexican based low-cost airline VivaAerobus, has chosen AJW Aviation to provide component power-by-the-hour support for its fleet of fifty two factory-new A320 aircraft, including forty A320 NEOs. Prior to the first deliveries from Airbus in 2015, VivaAerobus will have an additional six interim A320s joining their fleet during 2014 and these also form part of the comprehensive contract with AJW. An extensive inventory of A320 components will be placed in Mexico at Monterrey, Cancun and Guadalajara. AJW will also provide pool inventory support from its hub in Miami – this strategic location proving to be a vital part of the support network for VivaAerobus. Additionally, AJW Technique, the AJW Group’s component MRO located in Montreal, will underpin the service delivery with its specialist Airbus repair and overhaul expertise.
April 10, 2014 · 41 Views
IAE International Aero Engines has awarded Volaris, a low-cost airline based in Mexico, the Pure-V designation for V2500 engines currently powering its 46 A320ceo family aircraft. Volaris recently selected the V2500 engine to power its order for an additional 14 A320ceo aircraft. The order included engines, spares and aftermarket services.
IAE also awarded Avianca the Pure-Vdesignation for its V2500 engines. Avianca (as a result of its merger with Taca El Salvador) currently has 33 V2500-powered A320ceo family aircraft in service.
April 10, 2014 · 33 Views
IAE International Aero Engines has signed an exclusive, 10-year V-Services Fleet Hour Agreement (FHA) with Cathay Pacific Airways to manage 48 V2500 engines operated by its wholly owned subsidiary Dragonair. The agreement will cover installed engines on 15 A320ceos and seven A321ceos, in addition to four spare engines.
April 10, 2014 · 73 Views
Aircelle (Safran) has signed a nacelle services contract with Interjet to provide support for the nacelles and thrust reversers on this Mexican-based airline’s fleet of Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jetliners equipped with Powerjet SaM146 engines. Under terms of the four-year agreement, announced at the MRO Americas 2014 conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Aircelle will provide access to large-sized nacelle components – including thrust reversers and engine cowls – for lease or exchange by Interjet. Aircelle has full design, production and integration responsibilities for nacelles on the twin-engine regional airliner’s PowerJet SaM146 engines. These nacelles are composed of the air inlet, fan cowl doors, nozzle and engine mounts, along with Aircelle’s Papillon (butterfly) two-door thrust reverser. Interjet is based in Mexico City and currently operates six Superjet 100s, with a total of 20 on order and options for 10 more.
April 10, 2014 · 25 Views
Gogo, a leading aircraft communications service provider to the global aviation industry, has agreed to a technical services agreement (TSA) with Boeing to evaluate Gogo’s suite of technology solutions on Boeing commercial aircraft. The agreement initiates the evaluation process for potential installation on new Boeing aircraft orders. Gogo is targeting to have line-fit evaluations completed for its ATG-4 in 2015 and satellite solutions in 2016. In addition, Gogo currently has an agreement in place with Boeing for line-fit provisions for its ATG-4 technologies on 737NG aircraft.
April 10, 2014 · 15 Views
The new Airbus A350 XWB has made its first ever landing on British soil, visiting Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire as part of routine certification tests. The aircraft, MSN3, was flown by London-born experimental test pilot, Frank Chapman, and is one of the four A350 test aircraft currently flying and undergoing rigorous testing in preparation for the A350’s certification and entry into service later this year. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft.
April 10, 2014 · 27 Views
Rolls-Royce has started assembly of the first higher-thrust version of the Trent XWB which will exclusively power the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. The Trent XWB-97, a 97,000lb-thrust version of the engine, will run for the first time later this year, with first flight scheduled for the end of 2016 and entry into service in 2017. The increased thrust is achieved through a combination of new high-temperature turbine technology, a larger and scaled up engine core and a higher-flow fan enabled by advanced aerodynamics. This has allowed Airbus to increase the A350-1000 payload range and maximum take-off weight. Meanwhile, manufacture is continuing on the first production 84,000lb-thrust Trent XWB engines that will power the first A350 XWB into commercial service with Qatar Airways in 2014.
April 10, 2014 · 19 Views
Bombardier’s Learjet 85 aircraft successfully completed its first flight, achieving a major milestone in a business aircraft development program that will redefine the midsize segment. This first flight marks the start of the Learjet 85 aircraft’s flight test program leading up to the first customer delivery. During its maiden flight which lasted approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, the Learjet 85 aircraft reached an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,144 metres) and an air speed of 250 knots (463 km/h; 287 mph). All flight controls were exercised with the systems and aircraft performing as expected.
April 11, 2014 · 16 Views
Travel Service a.s. (TVS), the largest airline in the Czech Republic, and Lufthansa Technik signed an enlargement of the already long lasting cooperation in respect to engine services which now comprises the whole Boeing 737NG fleet. The German company will look exclusively after the current 56 CFM56-7B engines of TVS’ entire rapidly growing 737NG fleet. The new contract, which extends until the end of 2020, covers maintenance, repair and overhaul, logistics and on-site support by Lufthansa Technik’s Airline Support Team.
April 11, 2014 · 8 Views
Boeing Australia will take delivery this month of a GE ClearCore Engine Wash System for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fleet of E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft. The RAAF operates a fleet of six E-7A, which are based on the Boeing 737 airframe and powered by CFM56-7B27A engines.
April 11, 2014 · 21 Views
Avolon, the international aircraft leasing group, issued a trading update for the first quarter of 2014. At the end of the quarter, Avolon’s committed fleet reached 202 aircraft, up from 167 aircraft at end of the first quarter 2013, serving 47 customers globally. Committed fleet increased by 20 aircraft in the first quarter, valued at $1.3bn at base value. Avolon sold 12 aircraft in the past 12 months, 21 aircraft cumulatively in the past 24 months. The international aircraft leasing group sourced US$800m of debt commitments in the first quarter of 2014, bringing total debt raised to US$6.1bn.
April 11, 2014 · 40 Views
Mesa Air Group took delivery of its first Embraer E175 at a celebratory event at Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. The aircraft is the first of 30 on order by United to incorporate into Mesa’s growing United Express fleet. Mesa currently operates as United Express from hubs in Washington Dulles and Chicago O’Hare with a fleet of 20 Bombardier CRJ-700 regional aircraft. The first E-175s will enter service in June 2014 and are configured in the United Express dual class 76-seat layout.
April 11, 2014 · 5255 Views
Air Canada has priced its previously announced private offering of senior unsecured notes. The offering was upsized from the previously announced US$300m aggregate principal amount as Air Canada entered into a purchase agreement with a syndicate of initial purchasers relating to US$400m of 7.75% senior unsecured notes due 2021 (the “Notes”). The Notes will be sold at par and will provide for interest payable semi-annually. The Notes will be senior unsecured obligations of Air Canada, and will be guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by one of Air Canada’s subsidiaries. The offering of the Notes is expected to close on April 15, 2014 , subject to customary closing conditions. Air Canada intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Notes for general corporate purposes.
April 11, 2014 · 78 Views
Lufthansa Technik and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico announced an agreement to create a new aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (“MRO”) facility in Puerto Rico, which will service short-haul and medium-haul aircraft. Agreements to this effect have now been signed with the government of Puerto Rico and the responsible port authority and the company plans to start work in the next three months on the construction of the new facility. “We are very grateful to establish with our partner a new overhaul facility in Puerto Rico. Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico will be a very important element in the long-term strategy of Lufthansa Technik’s presence in the American market,” said August Wilhelm Henningsen, CEO of Lufthansa Technik. This is a major new step for Lufthansa Technik to expand its involvement in America. The new company, Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico (LTPR), will be based at Rafael Hernández International Airport in Aguadilla, a former U.S. Air Force Base located on the northwest of the Island. The Airport’s 11,700-foot runway and 3,900 acres of land makes it an ideal location for the new facility. The company will employ up to 400 workers and run a total of five overhaul lines. Initially it will operate two lines for Airbus A320 C-checks and D-checks. The first layover is due to take place in 2015. Leader of the project is Elmar Lutter, who currently is Managing Director of the European overhaul facility Lufthansa Technik Budapest.