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Saturday, April 26, 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.


China Airlines goes live on Maintenix Version 8

April 25, 2014 · 56546 Views

Mxi Technologies, a leader in aviation maintenance management software, reported that China Airlines has successfully gone live with a full-fleet upgrade to the Maintenix version 8 (v8) stream. Deployed across a maintenance and engineering network of more than 1600 users, Maintenix v8 offers China Airlines a scalable platform that will facilitate organizational expansion, business process efficiencies, and the seamless adoption of new features and usability enhancements.


AfBAA announces new agreement with Commercial Aviation Association of South Africa

April 25, 2014 · 542 Views

The African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) announced a Memo of Understanding with the Commercial Aviation Association of South Africa (CAASA). The purpose of the agreement is to ensure that both parties provide continued support to each others’ ongoing promotion of Business Aviation as an efficient and safe mode of transport across the continent of Africa. The announcement of the agreement took place during day one of the inaugural AfBAA Expo event, Africa’s first dedicated business aviation exhibition, taking place at the Marrakech FRA Airport, 23 – 26 April 2014. This is the first time AfBAA has formed an alliance with a commercial aviation association and exemplifies its commitment to its original primary objective of promoting the understanding and benefits that Business Aviation provides for the continent’s economic development and prosperity. The unique agreement will enable both parties to maximise the opportunities presented by jointly advocating for, raising awareness of, and supporting the aviation sector, through collaboration on a variety of projects, events and ideas which will take advantage of the collective knowledge of their individual members.


AgustaWestland and Heliconia Aero Solutions sign distributorship agreement for Morocco

April 24, 2014 · 44889 Views

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Heliconia Aero Solutions, the flagship Company of Heliconia Group in Morocco, announced the signing of a Distributorship Agreement for AgustaWestland helicopters models in Morocco. Both companies are also pleased to announce that Heliconia has placed a first order for two AW139 intermediate twin helicopters, plus a number of options, to perform offshore transport missions in Morocco. Pending delivery of the two helicopters, set for June/July this year, Heliconia has meanwhile started its offshore transportation missions with two AW139s leased from Agusta Westland since end February 2014.


Bombardier sells two Q400 NextGen airliners to operator in the Middle East and Africa Region

April 24, 2014 · 25 Views

Bombardier Aerospace released that a customer in the Middle East and Africa region, who has requested to remain unidentified at this time, placed a firm order for two Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners. Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen airliner, the order is valued at approximately US$62m.


Azul Brazilian Airlines becomes new Rolls-Royce customer

April 24, 2014 · 52073 Views

Azul Brazilian Airlines became a new Rolls-Royce customer with the announcement that it is to operate 11 Trent-powered Airbus aircraft. The airline has also signed an agreement worth $400m for TotalCare engine service support. Azul, formed in 2008, will operate six Airbus A330-200 and five Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft powered by Trent 700 and Trent XWB engines respectively. The Airbus A350 aircraft will be leased from ILFC.


United announces first-quarter 2014 results

April 24, 2014 · 21 Views

United Airlines reported a first-quarter 2014 net loss of $489m, excluding $120m of special items. Including special items, UAL reported a first-quarter 2014 net loss of $609m. For the first quarter of 2014, total revenue was $8.7bn, a decrease of 0.3% year-over-year. First-quarter consolidated passenger revenue decreased 2.3% to $7.4bn, compared to the same period in 2013.


American Airlines Group reports first quarter 2014 net profit of $480m

April 24, 2014 · 44 Views

For the first quarter 2014, American Airlines Group reported a record GAAP net profit of $480m. This compares to a net loss of $341m in the first quarter 2013. The company’s GAAP results for the first quarter 2013 reflect AMR Corporation prior to the merger. On a combined basis, total revenues in the first quarter were a record $10bn, up 5.6% versus the first quarter 2013 on a 2.0% increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Driven by a record yield of 17.03 cents, up 3.2% year-over-year, combined consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) was also a record for the first quarter at 13.67 cents, up 2.9% versus the first quarter 2013. “We are very pleased to report a record profit in our first full quarter as a merged company,” said Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines Group. “Our team of dedicated professionals did an excellent job of taking care of our customers despite particularly difficult weather conditions throughout the quarter. We are excited for the future and expect our synergies to build as we continue to integrate our operations.”


Southwest Airlines reports record first quarter profit

April 24, 2014 · 47047 Views

Southwest Airlines reported its first quarter 2014 results with first quarter net income, excluding special items, of $126m, compared to first quarter 2013 net income, excluding special items, of $53m. First quarter net income of $152m, which included $26m (net) of favorable special items, compared to net income of $59m, in first quarter 2013, which included $6m of favorable special items. First quarter operating income of $215m; $242m excluding special items. The Company’s first quarter 2014 total operating revenues increased 2.0%, year-over-year, to $4.2bn, despite an estimated $45m reduction to revenues from weather-related cancellations. Operating unit revenues increased 3.1%, on a 1.1% decrease in available seat miles and a 2.6% increase in average seats per trip, all as compared to first quarter 2013.


C&L expands distribution of Barry Controls engine mounts

April 24, 2014 · 32 Views

(Bangor, Maine) C&L Aerospace, through a partnership with Barry Controls, has expanded its distributorship of vibration isolation engine mounts to include two new airframes, the Beech 1900C /D and the Twin Otter Dash 6. C&L has been an authorized distributor and stockist for a range of Barry Controls parts for the Saab 340 aircraft since 2009. C&L will stock Barry Controls products at its three global facilities in Europe, Australia and the United States. Exchange and sale programs are available for time expired parts.


Jingcheng receives China’s first S-76D helicopter

April 24, 2014 · 486 Views

Sikorsky Aircraft reported that Yunnan Jingcheng Group accepted delivery of the first S-76D aircraft that will operate in China. The aircraft is configured for transportation of corporate and government VIPs. Sikorsky recently announced at the 2014 Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) had issued a validation type certificate for the S-76D aircraft, allowing Sikorsky to begin delivering the commercial helicopter to customers in China.


Fully configured MC-27J multi-mission tactical transport aircraft completes first flight

April 25, 2014 · 957 Views

Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, in partnership with ATK, announced that the demonstrator of a fully configured MC-27J multi-mission tactical transport aircraft completed its first flight from the company’s Turin Test Flight Centre. The demonstrator aircraft was modified with an L-3 Wescam MX-15Di Electro-Optical and Infrared Turret that was mounted under the nose of the aircraft and is optimized for ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) and SAR missions (Search and Rescue); and with Link-16 datalink software and hardware provisions that will prepare the aircraft for the ATK palletized mission system installation. Provisions for upgraded Selex ES communication system with crypto capability have been also set up. The installation of both the ATK developed modular roll-on/roll-off mission and weapon system, and a modified side door for the GAU-23 30 mm cannon installation will be completed in May. In June 2014, a new series of flight tests, including firing the side-mounted cannon, will be completed.


GECAS delivers new leased Boeing 737-800 to transavia.com

April 25, 2014 · 536 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services delivered a new leased Boeing 737-800 aircraft to Transavia France to expand the carrier’s fleet.
The aircraft is the second of three aircraft GECAS is leasing to transavia.com for delivery in 2014. The third aircraft is scheduled for delivery in May. Low-cost carrier Transavia France operates an all- Boeing 737-800 fleet to more than 30 destinations.


Alaska Air Group reports first quarter 2014 net income of $89.0m

April 25, 2014 · 1006 Views

Alaska Air Group reported record first quarter net income, excluding special items, of $89m compared to adjusted net income of $44 million in the prior-year quarter. Recorded net income for the first quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $94m, compared to net income of $37m in 2013. Reported record adjusted pretax margin for the first quarter of 11.8%.