Tuesday, June 24, 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.
June 23, 2014 · 132 Views
Finnair will proceed with cabin service outsourcing according to the plans discussed in the employee consultations in order to achieve its cost reduction target. The company is planning to outsource cabin services on a total of approximately 20 long-haul and short-haul routes in the next two years. The aim is to outsource 1–3 routes within this year. The timetable for the implementation of the plans and the related impacts on personnel will be determined in stages as negotiations with potential partners move ahead. The cost reductions achieved by outsourcing and their timetable will be clarified later as the plans take shape. On March 27th, Finnair announced it was starting employee consultations concerning cabin personnel. The consultations, which were concluded on May 26th, were focused on Finnair’s plans to increase the use of outsourcing in cabin services in long-haul and short-haul traffic. The measures are part of Finnair’s cost reduction program commenced in 2011. Finnair sought €18m in permanent annual cost reductions primarily through negotiations with cabin personnel, but the negotiations did not lead to the desired result.
June 23, 2014 · 88 Views
Virgin America reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2014. The airline significantly narrowed its net loss from the same period in 2013 with a 51.8% year-over-year improvement. Virgin America reported total operating revenue of $313.4m, an increase of 4.0% over the first quarter of 2013. First quarter 2014 operating loss of $13.1m was a $1.9m improvement over Virgin America’s operating loss in the year prior. Operating margin improved by 0.8% year-over-year. Virgin America reported a net loss of $22.4m for the quarter, compared to a net loss a year ago of $46.4m, resulting in a $24.0m year-over-year improvement. Unrestricted cash was $132.9m as of March 31st, 2014, an increase of $74.8m since March 31st, 2013.
June 23, 2014 · 79 Views
Air Lease Corporation announced the delivery of the first of four new Airbus A321-200 aircraft leased to Air China (Beijing). This delivery is part of a large long term lease placement of 13 new aircraft with Air China from ALC’s order book with Airbus and Boeing. Air China also leased nine new Boeing 737-800s from ALC, five of which have been delivered.
June 23, 2014 · 146 Views
Aleris has attained Nadcap accreditation for its new rolling mill in Zhenjiang, China, an industry standard for the production of aircraft aluminum plate and a prerequisite for inclusion on the Qualified Product List (QPL) for major aircraft manufacturers. The certification follows audits performed by the Performance Review Institute in May 2014, with respect to Nadcap requirements for heat treating and non-destructive testing. Aleris’ $350m hot rolling mill unveiled in early 2013 was designed to meet fast-growing national and global demand for technically advanced aluminum plate products for global aerospace and commercial plate customers. With the achievement of Nadcap accreditation, the company is preparing to move into the final stages of qualification with major aircraft manufacturers, with shipments of aircraft plate expected to begin in the third quarter. Once the qualification process is complete, Aleris Zhenjiang is expected to be one of the first facilities in Asia Pacific to produce aluminum plate for the major global aircraft manufacturers. Since opening last year, Aleris Zhenjiang has been shipping orders to commercial plate customers globally. These products serve a number of technically demanding end uses including engineering, transportation, ship-building, and air separation units. As a pre-requisite for these end uses the Zhenjiang plant has also received approval from many certification societies such as TUV, the American Bureau of Shipping, Det Norske Veritas, Class NK, and Bureau Veritas to supply products into ship-building, silo, pressure vessel and other industries.
June 23, 2014 · 225 Views
AAR, a global aerospace, government and defense contractor, has become the first aviation company to land a multi-year deal under the Obama administration’s “Doing Business in Africa” initiative. AAR signed a five-year multi-million dollar agreement with Kenya Airways to provide power-by-the-hour component support for its fleet of 737NG aircraft. AAR will place inventory on site in Nairobi while offering additional rotable pool support from its newly established supply chain hub in Brussels. This deal builds on AAR’s recent progress in establishing a foothold in Africa. Last year, AAR fulfilled a contract to service landing gear on Kenya Airways’ Boeing 777s. AAR also supplies cargo systems for South African Airways and participated in the MRO Africa Conference and Exhibition in Ethiopia, focused on the build-out of Africa’s aviation industry.
June 23, 2014 · 210 Views
DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist within Deutsche Post DHL, has signed a contract with aircraft manufacturer Airbus to provide transportation of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft components and general cargo from the Airbus production site in Hamburg, Germany, to Airbus’ final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. DHL will provide a multimodal transport solution with air, ocean and road freight services beginning in 2015. Due to the sensitivity of the aircraft components, the transportation process is challenging. The parts will be fixed on specifically designed transport racks; abrupt movements need to be avoided and a flat surface should be considered at all times as well. The agreement between Airbus and DHL comprises general cargo, which will be shipped via air and ocean, and major aircraft components including rear fuselage, forward fuselage, wings, and the vertical as well as horizontal tail plane. The major components will be shipped via coaster from the Airbus site in Hamburg to Bremerhaven (Germany), where they will be loaded onto container liner shipping service. After their arrival in Mobile, trucks will take care of delivery to the final assembly line at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.
June 23, 2014 · 131 Views
Astronics Corporation has been selected to provide the primary power distribution system for the Daher-Socata TBM 900 aircraft. The Electronic Power System from Astronics combines alternator, generator, and primary power bus system control into a single unit, allowing semi-automatic start-up. The system also includes an integrated external power control function which allows connection of any power source to the main bus. The system design reduces the number of separate controllers, improving system reliability and reducing aircraft weight.
June 23, 2014 · 144 Views
Boeing has signed separate agreements with the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) and Fokker Technologies to explore advanced maintenance opportunities for Dutch rotorcraft and expand efforts to make the Netherlands a regional hub for military and civilian aircraft support services. Boeing and the RNLAF signed a strategic partnership agreement that builds on an existing support contract for Dutch AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook helicopters to identify new areas of long-term cooperation. Opportunities under consideration include adding components to the existing contract; engaging Dutch suppliers for maintenance, repair and overhaul work; and expanding use of the Logistics Center Woensdrecht, the Ministry of Defence’s center of expertise for military MRO and logistics. Boeing and Fokker Technologies have signed a memorandum of understanding to help advance the goals outlined in the agreement with the RNLAF. It enables the companies to explore collaboration on maintenance, repair and overhaul in the Netherlands for Dutch rotorcraft and other customers.