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Thursday, June 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 · 542 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 · 640 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.


Embraer concludes preliminary design review of the E190-E2

June 24, 2014 · 160 Views

Embraer concluded the Joint Definition Phase (JDP) of the E190-E2 jet, at the end of May, by conducting the preliminary design review. The Company has also completed the wind tunnel tests of the E190-E2, which will be the first model of the second generation of the E-Jets family of commercial jets for the 70 to 130-seat segment, the E-Jets E2, which are planned to enter service in 2018. The next step in the development of the E190-E2 is the critical design review, when the product’s maturity will be validated, enabling the production of the prototypes to begin. Furthermore, Embraer’s engineering team has already flown the airplane through virtual simulations, which enable the evaluation of its flight characteristics and provides engineers with many virtual flight hours, well before the aircraft ever leaves the ground. Derived from the E190-E2 and scheduled to begin revenue service in 2019, the E195-E2 entered its Joint Definition Phase in May 2014. Concurrent with these developments, Embraer has concluded the concept studies of the E175-E2, which is expected to enter service in 2020, commencing the preliminary studies as well as the aerodynamic wind tunnel tests. The E175-E2 model will have wings and engines that are optimized for the aircraft’s size, distinctly different from the configuration that was adopted for the E190-E2 and E195-E2.


Further ERJ-145 sale concluded by Airstream

June 24, 2014 · 135 Views

Airstream has arranged the sale of an ERJ-145EU to Novoair of Bangladesh. This is the third ERJ145 aircraft that Airstream has sold to Novoair, a newly established operator flying scheduled services linking major centres in the region. The aircraft, serial number 300, was originally acquired by British Regional Airlines in the UK under a finance facility arranged by Airstream back in 1999. It was then the subject of a sale and leaseback with FlyBe, also arranged by Airstream. Airstream then placed the aircraft with lessees bmi Regional and Eastern Airways on behalf of the new owner before negotiating and completing the sale to Novoair. Novoair is one of several operators new to the ERJ-145 that Airstream has successfully secured.


Sukhoi Superjet 100 achieves certification for CAT IIIа ICAO

June 24, 2014 · 122 Views

On June 20, 2014 the Aviation Register of Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC AR) confirmed the capability of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft to execute automatic landing under CAT IIIa ICAO. This Supplemental Type Certificate allows the SSJ100 landing in complicated weather conditions when runway visibility does not exceed 175m, including landing with up to 10 m/s flank wind, when the airport has the respective certification and crews are certified to perform flights under CAT IIIa minimum. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company successfully performed wide range of tests to evaluate the SSJ100 aircraft characteristics in respect of automatic landing under CAT IIIa using all combinations of operating weights and centers-of-gravity, with simulation of crucial engine failure at different segments of descent path and at stiff wind.


Star Alliance Chief Executive Board approves Air India Membership

June 24, 2014 · 91 Views

At its Chief Executive Board (CEB) Meeting held in London on June 23rd, 2014, the CEOs of the Star Alliance network unanimously approved the membership of Air India, clearing the way for the National carrier to become the first Indian airline to join a global airline alliance. The integration teams at Air India, Star Alliance and its member carriers will now complete the last necessary work in order to ensure that Air India can offer all Star Alliance customer benefits from July 11th, 2014 onwards.


AWAS reaches milestone with 300th aircraft in fleet

June 24, 2014 · 137 Views

AWAS has reached an important milestone in its almost 30 continuous years of serving global airlines’ fleet needs: the addition of the 300th aircraft into its active fleet with the recent delivery of a new Airbus A320-200 with factory-fitted, end of wing sharklets to Thai Airways.


ADSoftware delivers aviation maintenance solution on Cloud to Heliconia

June 24, 2014 · 118 Views

Heliconia Group has chosen to implement ADSoftware’s AirPack MRO software solution, following the company’s latest Business Intelligence and Data Exchange technology upgrade. Heliconia has implemented all the six AirPack modules with the main focus being on maintenance management, logistics and airworthiness management in accordance with EASA and FAA standards. “ADSoftware’s solution has given us a lot of comfort and security when it comes to airworthiness management, because everyone anywhere can access the needed information in real time”, says Valéry Nabholtz, CFO of Heliconia.


Etihad Airways to acquire 49% equity stake in Alitalia

June 25, 2014 · 176 Views

Alitalia and Etihad Airways have agreed the principal terms and conditions of a proposed transaction whereby Etihad Airways will acquire a 49% equity stake in Alitalia. The airlines will now move to finalise the transactional documents, that will include the agreed upon conditions, as soon as possible. The conclusion of the investment is subject to final regulatory approvals.


CIRCOR Aerospace & Defense selects Paul Devaux as President for CIRCOR Chemille

June 25, 2014 · 86 Views

CIRCOR Aerospace & Defense has selected Paul Devaux as President for CIRCOR Aerospace & Defense French business unit, CIRCOR Bodet. Devaux will report directly to CIRCOR Aerospace & Defense Europe General Manager, Allan Goodbrand. He will have full responsibility for the implementation of CIRCOR Bodet’s growth, productivity and factory execution strategy for the Chemillé and Pau, France and Morocco businesses. Devaux comes to CIRCOR from United Technologies Aerospace Systems in Indonesia where he held a General Manager position for the past 3 years. Furthermore, CIRCOR Aerospace & Defense promoted Allan Goodbrand to General Manager for the CIRCOR Aerospace & Defense Europe business and Don Stinnett to General Manager for the CIRCOR Aerospace & Defense California business.


AFI KLM E&M modifies and provides component support for GainJet 737-400

June 25, 2014 · 176 Views

GainJet Aviation S.A. contracted AFI KLM E&M to carry out cabin modifications on a Boeing 737-400 68 seats VIP configuration, which they acquired from the AIR FRANCE KLM group in order to expand their fleet of VIP aircraft. The VIP aircraft charter operator will also rely on the expertise and reliability of AFI KLM E&M to provide component support for the same aircraft. The aircraft is the third Boeing 737 to have entered service in GainJet’s expanding private executive fleet including a VIP Boeing 757. AFI KLM E&M’s subsidiary KLM UK Engineering, specializing in base maintenance (C-check) and cabin modifications on regional and single-aisle passenger aircraft, carried out the work at its Norwich facility to transform the aircraft into a comfortable business jet. The aircraft cabin has been completely refurbished and can now carry 68 passengers in reclining, leather-upholstered Business Class seats, while the baggage hold has been adapted to contain up to 5.7 tons of baggage.


Flying Colours Corp. achieves Qatar maintenance approval

June 25, 2014 · 123 Views

Flying Colours Corp., the Canada-based completions, refurbishment and maintenance specialists, has received approval from the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) to carry out maintenance work on business aircraft registered in the State of Qatar. The approval, which was awarded on June 17th, means that a full range of regular and line maintenance work can be undertaken at Flying Colours Corp’s Peterborough, Canada-based facility on business jets  originating from this Middle East region. QCAA status enables Flying Colours Corp. to undertake continuing airworthiness and maintenance work on aircraft, including all those under its Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) approval including the full Bombardier Challenger range, Bombardier Global Express, and the Dassault Falcon family.


Piedmont Aviation Component Services signs four year APU maintenance agreement with ExpressJet Airlines

June 25, 2014 · 352 Views

Piedmont Aviation Component Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TAT Technologies, has signed a four year APU maintenance agreement with ExpressJet Airlines covering its CRJ-200 fleet of 88 aircraft 36-150RJ APU. The agreement’s total value may reach $12m. For many years, Piedmont has been an industry leader in providing MRO services to the series 36-150 APU’s as an Authorized Honeywell Service Center.


First South Korean F-16s arrive at BAE Systems for upgrades

June 25, 2014 · 137 Views

BAE Systems has begun to upgrade 134 South Korean F-16 aircraft in partnership with the U.S. Air Force. Two of the F-16s recently arrived at the company’s modification facility at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, where they will be equipped with advanced weapons and next-generation avionics, including advanced mission computers, new cockpit displays, and advanced radars and targeting sensors. The work is part of a Foreign Military Sales program for the Republic of Korea’s fleet of KF-16C/D Block 52 aircraft over several years. With a contract now in place, the program marks the first time a non-original equipment manufacturer is performing a major upgrade for a 4th-generation U.S. fighter jet. The company is also offering similar capabilities to other countries around the world in need of F-16 upgrades.


Bombardier receives FAA certification for Challenger 350 aircraft

June 25, 2014 · 162 Views

Bombardier Aerospace has received certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its Challenger 350 business aircraft. Transport Canada certification was granted on June 12, 2014.