Wednesday, July 09, 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.
July 7, 2014 · 56 Views
In June 2014 Finnair’s overall capacity and traffic, both decreased by 0.6% year‐on‐year. Passenger load factor was 83.4%, the same as the previous year.
July 7, 2014 · 109 Views
Ethiopian Airlines has added an eighth Boeing 787 Dreamliner to its rapidly expanding fleet. The new aircraft was delivered on June 26th. This latest additional aircraft will support the increased frequency of flights between London Heathrow and Addis Ababa as the airline moves to a daily schedule from London Heathrow on July 8th.
July 7, 2014 · 155 Views
GA Telesis added two on-lease A320 aircraft to its GAIN Investment platform. Earlier GA Telesis had announced it raised $500m from institutional and private clients advised by Wafra Capital Partners to establish a new aviation investment vehicle focused on aircraft and engine investment opportunities. The vehicle, named GA Telesis Aviation Investments (“GAIN”), also utilizes GA Telesis’ existing credit facilities thereby increasing GAIN’s capacity for investments to $1bn. Specifically, GAIN acquired two (2) Airbus A320-200 aircraft on long-term lease to Air New Zealand. These two aircraft constitute the youngest aircraft in the GA Telesis fleet, and reinforce the company’s move to invest in newer generation aircraft. GAIN will continue to make investments in commercial aircraft, engines and new generation component inventories, for long-term or short-term lease. GAIN will also acquire assets for immediate disassembly and resale of the components and parts. GAIN has broad flexibility to make investments with a variety of durations in a wide range of asset types and capital structures.
July 7, 2014 · 141 Views
The ATR Assembly of Members has appointed Giorgio Moreni as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of ATR. He succeeds Eric Baravian, whose four-year mandate according to ATR’s statutes has expired in June 2014.
July 7, 2014 · 56 Views
SAS reported that June traffic increased by 9.6%, while capacity increased 5.9%, when compared to the previous year. The load factor for June was up 2.8 points to 83.0%.
July 7, 2014 · 53 Views
WestJet announced June 2014 traffic results with a load factor of 77.4%, an increase of 0.6 points year over year. Traffic, increased 5.0% year over year and capacity was 4.3% higher over the same period.
July 7, 2014 · 42 Views
For the month of June Air Canada reported a record system load factor of 85.7%, versus 85.0% in June 2013, an increase of 0.7 points on a system-wide capacity increase of 9.8%. On this additional capacity, system wide traffic for June increased 10.6%. Air Canada reports traffic results on a system-wide basis, including Air Canada rouge, which began operations on July 1, 2013, and regional airlines from which Air Canada purchases capacity.
July 7, 2014 · 181 Views
The Fuel Cell, a leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul of jet aircraft fuel components, has expanded its licensing agreement with UTC Aerospace Systems to include the repair and overhaul of main fuel pumps for the GE CF6-80 engines. The Fuel Cell currently provides fuel component maintenance, repair and overhaul services to many of the world’s major airlines and offers expansive capabilities on Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and GE engine fuel components, for Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Airbus and Lockheed aircraft.
July 7, 2014 · 180 Views
Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa, and Song Zhiyong, President and Executive Director of Air China, signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance the commercial partnership as part of a joint venture, during German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel’s state visit to China. As members of the Star Alliance, Lufthansa and Air China have been connected for a number of years. The memorandum of understanding should pave the way for the creation of a commercial joint venture between the German airline and Air China. This partnership will add to the existing joint ventures with United Airlines and with Air Canada between Europe and North America (since 1998) and with ANA (since 2012) on routes between Europe and Japan. The agreement with Air China will allow the Lufthansa Group to provide its airlines with even better access to the world’s second largest aviation market after the USA. The new partnership agreement should come into force as early as the start of the winter flight timetable in late October 2014.
July 7, 2014 · 162 Views
American Airlines will break ground on the Robert W. Baker Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth on July 8th. Earlier this year, American announced plans to consolidate the current American Airlines operations center in Fort Worth and the current US Airways operations center in Pittsburgh. The new facility will be located near American’s headquarters and Flight Academy south of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The state-of-the-art Integrated Operations Center will serve as the nerve center of American’s global network and will house more than 1,400 employees who plan, oversee and dispatch the airline’s more than 1 million annual mainline flights serving more than 140 million customers.
July 7, 2014 · 119 Views
AgustaWestland and Australian Helicopters reported the signature of a contract for AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopters that will be operated for Ambulance Victoria under a 10 year agreement to perform Emergency Medical Service (EMS) missions. The aircraft, which are expected to enter service in January 2016, will be based at Essendon, Bendigo, Latrobe Valley and Warrnambool airports. The new fleet will replace Ambulance Victoria’s present five helicopters and includes a dedicated back-up aircraft to maintain services when heavy aircraft maintenance is required.
Airbus Helicopters signs 123 rotorcraft over five years with three general aviation operators in China
July 7, 2014 · 153 Views
Airbus Helicopters signed a record 123 civil helicopters with three customers from various Chinese provinces on July 7h. The rotorcraft will be used for general aviation activities covering multiple missions including utility work, aerial tours, passenger transport, business aviation, emergency medical services and search and rescue. The three contracts were signed with Fujian Xinmei General Aviation Co. (GAC), Guangdong Baiyun GAC and Yunnan Fengxiang GAC. The total fleet of 123 helicopters comprises mainly light single-engine helicopters from Airbus Helicopters’ Ecureuil family, as well as the light twin-engine EC135.
July 8, 2014 · 104 Views
Services Air Cargo has signed a deal with JorAMCo to provide the Congo based carrier with base maintenance services for one A310 aircraft. The maintenance check is planned to take place during July and August this year. This agreement demonstrates the strong capabilities that JorAMCo has on the A310 aircraft type, offering competitive priced and high quality maintenance solutions. Services Air is one of Dem. Rep. of Congo’s leading private sector cargo airline in its formative stages based in Kinshasa (DRC). It is well organized to take advantage of a specific gap in the short-haul domestic freight transportation market.
July 8, 2014 · 101 Views
Avolon, the international aircraft leasing group, issued a trading update for the second quarter of 2014. Avolon took delivery of 13 owned and 2 managed aircraft in the second quarter, secured additional debt commitments of US$920m and ended the period with an owned, managed and committed fleet of 202 aircraft.
July 8, 2014 · 130 Views
Turkish regional airline Borajet has ratified an agreement to acquire four E190s as part of an initiative to gradually upgrade its turboprop fleet, add capacity and frequencies, and grow its network from its base at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. The airline is acquiring the 100-seat, single-class E190s through a third party lease agreement. The first E190 revenue flight is slated to begin this month.
July 8, 2014 · 143 Views
NetJets Business Aviation Limited, a joint venture among NetJets and a consortium of Chinese investors, has obtained its Part 145 Repair Station Certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). This approval allows NetJets China to commence operation as a repair and service station, and is separate from the Part 135 certification which allows NetJets China to begin full scale operation providing private jet services for customers in China. While working through the certification process, NetJets China has continued preparing for the start of flight operations. NetJets China has hired its principal staff, established the necessary internal structures and processes for safe flight operations, and begun forming relationships with key vendors. Additionally, the company has purchased and imported two aircraft into China to offer charter services as soon as the government grants its approval.
July 8, 2014 · 96 Views
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, in partnership with Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes is now offering travellers greater access to South America, following the implementation of a codeshare partnership agreement. Subject to regulatory approval, the codeshare agreement will allow Etihad Airways to place its EY code on Gol-operated flights across the Brazilian airline’s extensive domestic network, as well as to other destinations in South America.
July 8, 2014 · 182 Views
SOFIA, a modified Boeing 747SP that is operated jointly by the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) as a “Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy”, is undergoing a major overhaul at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg. The DLR and NASA have selected Lufthansa Technik to perform a major overhaul of the aircraft on account of its claim to have the widest and longest experience at maintaining this aircraft type. SOFIA is the world’s only flying observatory, and in the course of some 90 scientific flights carried out since 2010 it has, amongst other things, investigated how Milky Way systems develop and why stars and planetary systems developed out of interstellar molecular and dust clouds. Integrated into the fuselage is a 17-ton telescope with a mirror diameter of 2.7 meters that was developed in Germany and commissioned by the DLR space management.