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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 541 Views

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


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

February 20, 2015 · 639 Views

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


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 195 Views

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


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

November 5, 2014 · 162 Views

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


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 111 Views

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


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 78 Views

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


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 78 Views

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


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 74 Views

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


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 65 Views

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


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 64 Views

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


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 40 Views

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


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 53 Views

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


GA Telesis announces Dale Karraker as Director of Government and Defense Programs

April 28, 2014 · 74 Views

GA Telesis welcomes Dale Karraker as new Director of Government and Defense Programs. Dale Karraker joins the company from Chromalloy, where he held the position of Country Manager for Saudi Arabia and was responsible for management and project development. At Chromalloy, Karraker worked directly with Ministries of Defense and private industries in the Middle East for military, commercial aviation and industrial gas turbine portfolio offerings.


JorAMCo performs C-checks for Jazeera Airways aircraft

April 28, 2014 · 18 Views

JorAMCo signed a contract with Jazeera Airways to provide the Kuwait-based low-cost carrier with C-check for three A320s aircraft of its fleet that are due for maintenance services this year. Two of these aircraft are redelivery checks leased to TAP Airlines including other maintenance services to be provided by JorAMCo such as: C5 tasks, cabin modifications, full exterior paint in addition to SBs and Ads.


Official opening of Rex’s flight simulator

April 28, 2014 · 27 Views

Regional Express (Rex) celebrated the official opening of its SAAB 340 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) on April 28th. The opening ceremony was held in Wagga Wagga at its cadet pilot academy, the Australian Airline Pilot Academy (AAPA), in conjunction with a Rex Cadet graduation ceremony. The simulator was acquired from FlightSafety International in May 2013. A purpose-built training facility has been constructed at AAPA where the simulator is installed. It obtained certification from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on 16 April 2014. The new simulator centre is a further investment by Rex in its pilot training academy in Wagga Wagga. Rex has invested $28.5m in its academy, making it the most modern pilot training facility in Australia.


Etihad Airways backs Airberlin’s accelerated fundamental restructuring programm

April 28, 2014 · 22 Views

Etihad Airways welcomed airberlin’s decision to accelerate structural change within the airline to target sustainable profitability. airberlin announced a strategic review of its long-term business model as it reported its 2013 annual financial results. The predominant objective will be to restructure the airline and shape a robust business model that is fit for purpose in today’s competitive market conditions. For this purpose airberlin will strengthen its management board with the appointment of a Chief Restructuring Officer. In support of this restructuring, Etihad Airways will subscribe to a €300m eight per cent perpetual subordinated cumulative convertible guaranteed bond. This will form part of a recapitalisation which is intended to strengthen and assist in the reorganisation of airberlin’s capital structure and secure the improved long-term prospects for the business and its stakeholders. Etihad Airways’ stake in airberlin will remain unchanged at 29.21%. airberlin will issue a further bond of a minimum of €150m for general corporate financing purposes. airberlin reported operating losses for the year ended at December 31, 2013 of -€231.9m. The German carrier was successful in reaching its €200m cost reduction and revenue contribution target for the year, achieving key elements of its ‘Turbine’ turnaround program and reducing available seat kilometres, a key measure of capacity, by 5.1%. Business and cost synergies achieved with Etihad Airways played an important part in these savings.


Air Lease Corporation places three new Boeing 737-800s with China Airlines

April 28, 2014 · 32 Views

Air Lease Corporation announced lease agreements with China Airlines for three new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which are scheduled for delivery in 2015 and 2016. These aircraft are from ALC’s order book from Boeing.


UTC Aerospace Systems receives Nadcap accreditation for composites

April 28, 2014 · 36 Views

UTC Aerospace Systems’ Engineered Polymer Products (EPP) facility in Jacksonville, Fla. recently received Nadcap (national aerospace and defense contractors accreditation program) accreditation for manufacture of aerospace composites. The company’s EPP team specializes in designing, manufacturing, testing and servicing acoustic and structural composite products for both military and commercial applications. Nadcap is a worldwide cooperative program comprising aerospace prime contractors to ensure competency, capability and consistency of companies performing “special manufacturing processes.” The Performance Review Institute (PRI), which governs the Nadcap program, conducts 5,000 audits of manufacturing processes around the world annually, providing independent accreditation. EPP’s Composites accreditation is the second such accreditation earned – it follows a Chemical Processing accreditation achieved in August 2013. Both accreditations certify to customers that EPP meets the most stringent aerospace industry quality standards.


Air Berlin reports operating loss of €231.9m for 2013

April 28, 2014 · 23 Views

airberlin closed the 2013 financial year with an operating loss (EBIT) of €-231.9m (€70.2m in financial year 2012). EBITDAR amounted to €432.7m in financial year 2013 (financial year 2012: €736.4m), EBITDA to €-146.7m (financial year 2012: €144.3m). The Turbine efficiency program achieved the desired contribution of €200m to the cost and turnover side and a number of performance indicators delivered positive results. However, the company was faced with an unexpectedly sluggish summer season due to high temperatures in Central Europe, followed by the traditionally difficult winter period. With a reduced capacity offer of 5.1%, group revenues fell by 4% to €4.147bn. The yield (revenue per passenger) increased by 0.8% to €121.0 (previous year: €120.1). Revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) increased in 2013 by 1.3% to 7.24 euro-cents (previous year: 7.15 euro cents while the costs per available seat kilometre (CASK) rose by 3.5% including fuel and restructuring charges.


AirAsia X and GE sign MOU for CF6 engines for Airbus A330 fleet

April 28, 2014 · 49 Views

AirAsia X, the long haul, low fare airline affiliate of the AirAsia Group and GE Aviation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the selection of CF6-80E1 engines to power AirAsia X’s 25 new firm Airbus A330-300 aircraft, with options for an additional three A330 aircraft. These engines will be covered by a multi-year OnPoint solution service agreement for engine maintenance, repair and overhaul. The list price for the engines and the service agreement is valued at more than US$1.5bn over the life of the agreement.


AJW Aviation extends power-by-the-hour support programme with Germania

April 28, 2014 · 36 Views

AJW Aviation has extended its on-going ten year power-by-the-hour contract with Berlin-based airline Germania, to now cover an additional five aircraft, including four A321s and one A319. The addition of these takes the number of aircraft under contract with AJW to a total of twenty-three Airbus and Boeing commercial jets. Germania anticipates future fleet additions as part of its growth strategy and these will also be covered by the PBH agreement with AJW.


Finnair’s savings negotiations with SLSY proved unsuccessful

April 28, 2014 · 16 Views

Finnair’s saving negotiation with the Finnish Flight Attendants’ Association (SLSY), which were agreed upon as a part of the national Finnish Employment and Growth Pact on November 15th, 2013, has proven unsuccessful. Savings negotiations with the Finnish Aviation Union (IAU) and the Trade Union PRO concerning the technical personnel still continue. Finnair targets more than €30m savings in the personnel costs of these three personnel groups as a part of its wider €200m cost savings program. The deadline for savings negotiations was April 28th, 2014. Finnair was prepared to offer SLSY, IAU and PRO’s members protection for layoffs for the next two years if permanent savings had been achieved in full. SLSY members were also offered protection against further outsourcing for the next two years. Following the unsuccessful negotiation with SLSY, Finnair is now pursuing the targeted savings in the cabin crew costs in the employee consultation negotiations commenced on April 2nd, 2014 and is looking for alternative operating models to lower its costs.