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Saturday, July 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 · 541 Views

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


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

February 20, 2015 · 639 Views

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


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 195 Views

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


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

November 5, 2014 · 162 Views

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


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 111 Views

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


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 78 Views

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


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 78 Views

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


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 74 Views

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


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 65 Views

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


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 64 Views

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


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 40 Views

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


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 53 Views

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


Southwest Airlines expands OnPoint Solution agreement with GE

July 24, 2014 · 250 Views

Southwest Airlines expanded its OnPoint solution agreement with GE Aviation to cover a total of 196 CFM56-7B engines which power its Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and up to 100 CFM56-7B engines, that power recently acquired Boeing 737-700 aircraft.


MD Helicopters announces second MD 500E Helicopter delivery

July 24, 2014 · 223 Views

MD Helicopters, a Lynn Tilton company and leading manufacturer of commercial, air-rescue, military and law enforcement helicopters, held a ceremonial delivery of a new MD 500E helicopter for the Polk County Florida Sheriff’s Office (PCSO). The acceptance took place at the MD Helicopters booth, where the aircraft was displayed at the Airborne Law Enforcement Association exposition, in Phoenix, Ariz.


Western Aircraft opens doors to two new buildings

July 24, 2014 · 246 Views

Western Aircraft, a Greenwich AeroGroup company, added two new buildings totaling 26,000 ft² to its 18-acre leasehold. The new construction includes an expanded parts facility as well as a two-story infill building that houses support shops for Western Aircraft’s services operation. Western Aircraft President Jeff Mihalic said that Western’s business expansion was driven in large part by the sales tax exemption on installed parts passed by the Idaho legislature in 2012 and the growth of Western’s capabilities and sales force. The overall expansion includes more than $2.3m in new facilities and more than $2.4m in facility improvements and specialized tooling. Additionally, due to the added business, Western Aircraft has increased staffing from 150 to 200 employees.


MTU Aero Engines presents half-year results

July 24, 2014 · 215 Views

In the first six months of 2014, MTU Aero Engines AG achieved a revenue growth of 2% to €1,815.8m (1-6/2013: €1,774.9m). Operating profit remained stable at €170.7m (1-6/2013: €169.7m), with an EBIT margin of 9.4% compared with 9.6% in the first half of 2013. Net income increased by 4% to €111.0m (1-6/2013: €106.7m). The increase in group revenues in the first half of 2014 is attributable to growth in the commercial engine business, where revenues have risen by 8% from €953.6mn to €1,032.9m. The main source of these revenues in the OEM business, which comprises series and spare parts sales, were the V2500 engine for the A320, the GP7000 used to power the A380, and the GEnx for the Boeing 787 and 747-8, a program in which production rates have been ramped up significantly. Revenues in the commercial maintenance business have fallen by 7% to €572.9m (1-6/2013: €613.4m). The V2500 engine accounted for the largest part of these revenues. Revenues in the military engine business have barely changed, at €225.5m (1-6/2013: €223.2m). The EJ200 Eurofighter engine was the main source of these revenues. MTU’s order backlog increased by 8% to €10,153.9m between January and June 2014, compared with the level reported at the end of 2013 (Dec 31, 2013: €9,374.6m).


EVA Airways to lease six new Boeing 777-300ERs from GECAS

July 24, 2014 · 257 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has signed an agreement to lease four Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to EVA Airways, following a lease of two B777-300ER aircraft in February 2014. Delivery of the six aircraft is scheduled for 2016 and 2017. The B777-300ERs will modernize EVA’s long-range fleet with high fuel-efficiency, more payload capabilities and additional flexibility in serving the nonstop routes stemmed from Taipei, Republic of China.


JetBlue Airways reported results for the second quarter 2014

July 24, 2014 · 264 Views

JetBlue reported record second quarter operating revenues of $1.5bn. Revenue passenger miles for the second quarter increased 5.7% to 9.6bn on a capacity increase of 6.0%, resulting in a second quarter load factor of 84.6%, a decrease of 0.3 points year over year. Operating expenses for the quarter increased 9.8%, or $119m, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 7.5%, or $3m, due to JetBlue’s focus on debt reduction. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the second quarter increased 3.5% year over year to 11.88 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM2 increased 5.1% to 7.51 cents.


United posts second-quarter net income of $919m

July 24, 2014 · 282 Views

United Airlines reported second-quarter 2014 net income of $919m, an increase of 51% year-over-year, excluding $130m of special items. Including special items, UAL reported second-quarter 2014 net income of $789m. Second quarter of 2014, total revenue was $10.3bn, an increase of 3.3% year-over-year. Second-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 3.6% to $9.0bn, compared to the same period in 2013. Ancillary revenue per passenger in the second quarter increased 7.9% year-over-year to more than $21 per passenger. Second-quarter cargo revenue decreased 1.7% versus the second quarter of 2013 to $232m. Other revenue in the second quarter increased 1.7% year-over-year to $1.1bn.


American Airlines Group reports highest quarterly profit in company history

July 24, 2014 · 267 Views

For the second quarter 2014, American Airlines Group reported a record GAAP net profit of $864m. This compares to a GAAP net profit of $220m in the second quarter 2013, for AMR Corporation prior to the merger. The Company believes it is more meaningful to compare year-over-year results for American Airlines and US Airways excluding special charges and on a combined basis, which is a non-GAAP formulation that combines the results for AMR Corporation and US Airways Group. On this basis, second quarter 2014 net profit excluding net special charges was $1.5 billion, a record for any quarter in the history of the Company. This represents a 114% improvement over the combined non-GAAP net profit of $681m excluding net special charges for the same period in 2013. Total revenues in the second quarter were a record $11.4bn, up 10.2% versus the second quarter 2013 on a combined basis, on a 3.1% increase in total available seat miles (ASMs).


China Airlines selects UTC Aerospace Systems for long-term spare parts agreement

July 24, 2014 · 300 Views

China Airlines has selected UTC Aerospace Systems for a long-term detailed spare parts agreement that includes air management, electric, and engineering systems on select Boeing and Airbus aircraft operated by the airline. As part of the five-year exclusive agreement, UTC Aerospace Systems will provide China Airlines with OEM parts for the Airbus A330 and A340 and Boeing B737- 800NG and B747- 400 aircraft.


Bombardier announces new organizational structure

July 24, 2014 · 411 Views

Bombardier announced the implementation of a new organizational structure, comprised of four business segments: Bombardier Transportation, Bombardier Business Aircraft, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services.
Effective immediately, all four business segments will report directly to Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. The heads of the business segments remain Lutz Bertling at Transportation, Eric Martel at Business Aircraft and Mike Arcamone at Commercial Aircraft. The head of the new Aerostructures and Engineering Services business segment will be appointed in the next few weeks. Bombardier Aerospace group functions and the Customer Services division will be absorbed into the three aerospace business segments, generating reductions in cost and overhead.


Aviation Technical Services formally opens KC facility and signs new contracts

July 25, 2014 · 252 Views

Aviation Technical Services (ATS) formally opened its newly renovated 607,000‐ft² MRO complex at Kansas City International Airport (MCI). Hawaiian Airlines and Air Canada, officially committed programs to the ATS‐KC facility. Hawaiian’s agreement for Boeing 767 heavy maintenance was formally signed earlier that week. The contract initially involves two nose‐to‐tail heavy checks beginning in September 2014 and has the opportunity to turn into a longer term, exclusive agreement. ATS recently completed a series of Airbus A330 interior  modifications for Hawaiian Airlines at its facility in Everett, Washington, adding to the partnership. ATS also was awarded Air Canada’s exclusive agreement for Boeing 787 modifications. The four‐year contract solidifies and extends a previous version that had three 787s completed at the ATS facility in Everett, Washington, earlier this year. The remaining 34 events will be inducted into the Kansas City facility starting in September 2014 and extending through 2018.


Southwest Airlines reports record quarterly profit

July 25, 2014 · 238 Views

Southwest Airlines reported quarterly net income, excluding special items, of $485m compared to second quarter 2013 net income, excluding special items, of $274m. Quarterly net income of $465m, which included $20m (net) of unfavorable special items, compared to second quarter 2013 net income of $224m, which included $50m (net) of unfavorable special items. Southwest reported quarterly operating income of $775m, excluding special items, quarterly operating income of $819m, resulting in a 16.3% operating margin.


UTC Aerospace Systems awarded Boeing C-17 Globemaster III MRO landing gear contract

July 25, 2014 · 269 Views

UTC Aerospace Systems has been selected by Boeing to continue to provide landing gear system maintenance services in support of the United States Air Force fleet of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Included as part of the agreement, the company will work with Hill Air Force Base personnel in Ogden, Utah, to jointly manage the C-17 workload.


First Transport Canada FANS retrofit certification achieved

July 25, 2014 · 229 Views

Universal Avionics announces Authorized Dealer, Mid-Canada Mod Center (MC2), has achieved the much anticipated, first Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) Future Air Navigation System (FANS) certification with the UniLink UL-801 Communications Management Unit (CMU). The Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) was issued for MC2’s FANS installation on a Falcon 50EX.