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Saturday, June 21, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 543 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 · 641 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.


Timco opens new line services locations

June 19, 2014 · 152 Views

TIMCO Aviation Services, a subsidiary of the Hong KongAircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO), posted that it launched new line maintenance and cabin services operations at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in mid-May, and at San Francisco International Airport in early June. The new locations add to TIMCO’s existing network (now 18 airports served), with base operations located adjacent to the company’s headquarters in Greensboro.The new locations offer a range of services to new and existing customers including line maintenance transit checks, overnight scheduled cabin maintenance and aircraft-on-the-ground recovery support. Each location is also fully supported by TIMCO’s airframe operations to provide special MRO capabilities as needed.


Hughes Broadband Satellite Technology selected by Thaicom for in-flight connectivity services

June 19, 2014 · 76 Views

Hughes Network Systems, one of the global leader in broadband satellite solutions and services, announced that it has signed a contract with Thaicom Public Company, a leading satellite communications provider in Asia Pacific, to provide its broadband satellite technology for in-flight connectivity services, in partnership with Global Eagle Entertainment. This contract follows the announcement last fall of an agreement between Thaicom and Global Eagle Entertainment to jointly develop, implement and support in-flight connectivity for airlines in Thailand and SE Asia. Hughes satellite technology has been deployed in conjunction with Global Eagle Entertainment’s in-flight connectivity system to provide in-cabin services on more than 550 aircraft globally.


Sierra Nevada Corporation and FLYHT announce renewed strategic relationship

June 19, 2014 · 118 Views

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and FLYHT Aerospace Solutions reported that the companies have renewed their strategic relationship by updating their license and manufacturing agreement and adding a value-added reseller agreement. The relationship involves FLYHT’s Automated Flight Information Reporting System, or AFIRS product and services. The AFIRS system operates on multiple aircraft types and provides functions including aircraft position, on-demand streaming of black box data, voice and text messaging, and data collection and transmission. AFIRS sends that information to its companion, UpTime, the ground service product, which stores and transfers the data to the customer in real time. Aircraft operators can use this information to increase safety, improve service, and enhance profitability. FLYHT will continue to lead sales and service activities in all civil aviation markets, and SNC will lead sales in the United States and NATO military and government manned and unmanned aircraft markets.


New Canadian North route takes flight

June 19, 2014 · 128 Views

Canadian North released the launch of its new seasonal, non-stop service between Iqaluit, Nunavut, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, with same-plane service to St John’s, Newfoundland. This new route that links these communities and creates new tourism, investment and trade opportunities in both Iqaluit and Atlantic Canada and opens up opportunities for business, tourism and travel.


Gazpromneft-Aero starts refuelling Meridiana Airlines in Domodedovo

June 19, 2014 · 216 Views

Gazpromneft-Aero has started supplying aviation fuel to Meridiana at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow. The airline has regular direct flights to the Italian cities of Cagliari, Olbia and Naples on Airbus A320 planes. Meridiana has become the thirteenth foreign airline that is refuelled by Gazpromneft-Aero in Domodedovo. In the first 5 months of the year Gazpromneft-Aero supplied around 50,000 tons of aviation fuel to refuel foreign airlines in Domodedovo, which is the same amount as for the whole of 2013.


L2 Consulting Services, names Douglas Mailat as Manager of Sales and Business Development

June 19, 2014 · 210 Views

L2 Consulting Services, a leading provider of avionics integration, engineering and installation services, is pleased to announce the appointment of Douglas Mailat as Manager of Sales and Business Development. With a career spanning 20 plus years in business development, marketing, sales and promotion, Douglas will be responsible for managing current and prospective L2 customer relationships in addition to expanding the recognition of L2 company services within the industry. Prior to joining L2, Douglas worked for Laversab as an Aviation Products Sales Manager, where he identified, developed and expanded business opportunities among the Military OEMs for the fixed-wing, rotor-wing and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle markets. Most notably, Doug was the Associate Publisher at Access Intelligence helping to oversee the Avionics and Aviation Maintenance brands and worked at PennWell Corporation as the Sales Director/Associate Publisher for the Aerospace & Defense Media Group.


Cronus Partners unveils aviation services transaction

June 19, 2014 · 276 Views

Cronus Partners posted, it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Boreas Holdings, in a refinancing through an extension of credit facilities provided by TD Bank, N.A. Boreas is the parent of multiple affiliated aviation services operating companies. Cronus continues to be a valued financial partner in the growth, enabling to continue the company’s expansion.


ROLLS-ROYCE announced £1bn share buyback

June 19, 2014 · 385 Views

Rolls-Royce committed to a share buyback of £1bn subject to the completion of the sale of its Energy gas turbine and compressor business to Siemens. The sale announced on 6 May this year, is expected to complete by the end of 2014. As no material acquisitions are planned, and reflecting the strength of the balance sheet, they will return the proceeds of the Energy sale to there shareholders. This announcement coincides with an investor briefing at which Rolls-Royce will provide an update on Group strategy, capital allocation, financial guidance framework and TotalCare accounting.


Fokker released introduction of composite technology in Mexican Facility

June 19, 2014 · 490 Views

Fokker Aerostructures, a business unit of Fokker Technologies, has announced, that as a result of successful collaboration with the regional government, the company will expand its world class composite technology to the Mexican Facility. Composite components for business jet tails that will be manufactured in Chihuahua will now also be locally assembled. Fokker has a leading position in the aerospace market in the application of high-end composite components for large aerostructures. The Dutch Fokker facilities are internationally recognized as the centers of excellence for composite parts. Manufacturing in Chihuahua since 2012, the facility with 6.600 m² now employs 100 qualified staff. Supported by the certified Fokker production and quality system they have shown excellent results in the manufacturing of business jet tails. The major advantages for the application composite technology on aerostructures for OEM’s and operators are affordability, weight reduction (up to 30%), manufacturability, lower operational- and maintenance costs, low susceptibility to damage and noise reduction.


Sensor Systems appointed Avio-Diepen as authorized worldwide distributor

June 20, 2014 · 265 Views

Sensor Systems has appointed Avio-Diepen as an authorized worldwide distributor of their innovative range of antennas for aerospace applications. Sensor Systems antennas can be found on most major commercial, military and business aircraft applications. One of Sensor System’s major contributions to the industry is a patented, all-metal, one-piece-cast antenna which eliminates “P” static. It offers high electrical efficiency, greater mechanical strength and longer service life than fiberglass antennas. Another important feature of the company’s products is the inclusion of D.C. grounding circuit, to provide lightning protection. The addition of Sensor Systems products allows Avio-Diepen to add yet another high-quality product line to its wide portfolio of avionics. To ensure the shortest lead-times and to assist the customers in reducing their inventory costs, Avio-Diepen will provide worldwide stock availability of frequently used Sensor System parts.


Narrowbody aircraft MRO: is under capacity on the horizon?

June 20, 2014 · 468 Views

With the prospect of new single-aisle jets to replace B737s and A320s still at least 15 years away, the heavy maintenance industry is preparing to offer continued support for the existing fleet. As a result, in the 2014 the airframe MRO of Airbus’ and Boeing’s popular jets will account for over $7bn worldwide. However, due to rapidly increasing demand for heavy maintenance of these aircraft, the MRO industry is equivocal about the actual capacity it can offer, especially as concerns adequate supply of qualified workforce to handle the work. The airframe MRO market – including heavy checks, line maintenance and modifications – for the narrowbody aircraft is expected to reach approximately $9.1bn in 2014. Aviation Week’s data shows the biggest drivers of narrowbody airframe MRO in 2014 to be the A320 family (including the A318 through A321) and Boeing 737 (-300 through -900 series), which are expected to generate over $7bn.


Bahrain Airport Company to host Routes MENA event

June 20, 2014 · 260 Views

It was announced that in 2015 the Routes MENA will take place in the Kingdom of Bahrain, hosted by Bahrain Airport Company, late November 2015. This inaugural event will see route development professionals from across the MENA region gather to discuss air service development to, from, and within the region. Bahrain, which is located in the Arabian Gulf, has a history of aviation that dates back to the early 1920’s. Historically it has acted as a gateway between the East and West providing a natural transit destination for early trade routes and a strategic hub for the Northern Gulf.


From Seattle to sunshine, Alaska Airlines takes off for Tampa

June 20, 2014 · 151 Views

Alaska Airlines launched daily round-trip service between Seattle and Tampa, Florida. Known for white sand and sunshine on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area offers activities and attractions, indoors and out, for people of all ages. Alaska Airlines is the only carrier offering nonstop service between Seattle and Tampa, which will save hours of travel time and get people to their destination faster. Flights will operate daily, year-round. The Seattle-Tampa flights also will connect customers with cruise ships in opposite corners of the country.