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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 543 Views

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


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

February 20, 2015 · 641 Views

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


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 195 Views

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


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

November 5, 2014 · 162 Views

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


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 111 Views

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


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 78 Views

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


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 78 Views

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


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 74 Views

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


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 65 Views

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


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 64 Views

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


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 40 Views

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


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 53 Views

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


Embraer Executive Jets delivers 25th Phenom 300 to NetJets

July 28, 2014 · 149 Views

Embraer Executive Jets delivered the 25th Phenom 300 to NetJets, a Berkshire Hathaway company. A purchase agreement for 50 Phenom 300, plus 75 options, was signed in October 2010. The total value of the deal may exceed US$1bn, if all options are exercised.


Brazil orders Airbus C295 search and rescue aircraft

July 28, 2014 · 149 Views

Brazil has signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space for the acquisition of three Airbus C295 search and rescue (SAR) aircraft. The three aircraft will progressively be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) from the end of this year under the terms of an agreement which also includes a five-year Full In Service Support (FISS) contract. In Brazilian service the SAR aircraft will join 12 transport-configured C295 aircraft, taking the total FAB C295 fleet to 15.


Airbus Helicopters wins tender for two medical helicopters in Russia

July 28, 2014 · 161 Views

As recently announced by the Moscow Health Department, following an open tender, Airbus Helicopters Vostok was awarded a contract to supply two medical helicopters for the Health Department’s Scientific and Practical Centre of Emergency Medicine. The tender documentation requires two new medical helicopters to be delivered in 2015 and to be equipped with an oxygen tank, resuscitator, and defibrillator, as well as with a reanimation complex and neonatal intensive treatment (including incubator and lung ventilator for newborns). The deliveries are expected as early as next year.


China Eastern Airlines selects Messier-Bugatti-Dowty

July 28, 2014 · 187 Views

China Eastern Airlines has selected Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (Safran) to supply MRO services and wheels and brakes for its respective A330 and A320 fleets. The MRO agreement will entail landing gear overhaul, loan and standard exchange services for 20 A330 aircraft. The overhaul activity will take place from 2015 to 2018 at Messier-Bugatti-Dowty’s MRO facility in Singapore. Earlier in 2013, MBD was selected to provide landing gear MRO services for its fleet of A340-600 aircraft plus an extended A320 family contract to include another 12 A320 and 4 A321. In addition, China Eastern Airlines has also selected MBD wheels and carbon brakes for its entire A320 fleet of 165 aircraft. Messier-Bugatti-Dowty has provided wheels and carbon brakes to the Chinese market for 25 years, starting with China Eastern Airlines as launch customer for its A300 and A310 widebody twins.


AWAS leases one 737 – 800 passenger aircraft to Air Italy – Meridiana Group

July 28, 2014 · 6378 Views

AWAS have placed one 737-800 passenger aircraft on lease with Air Italy, a scheduled service airline, and integral part of the Meridiana group based in Sardinia. This aircraft comes from AWAS’ existing portfolio and has been delivered on July 24th.


ICON Aircraft constructs and flies first production A5

July 28, 2014 · 177 Views

At EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, ICON Aircraft unveiled the first production A5, an aircraft the company refers to as Engineering Serial Number 1 (ESN-1). This is the first A5 built from the production design, with production tooling, and using production methods and components. ESN-1 was built over a five-month period, from January to June of 2014, and successfully completed its first flight on 7 July 2014 in Tehachapi, California. This aircraft is one of three that will be used to verify performance and complete FAA approval prior to the start of customer deliveries in May of 2015. A second production prototype, ESN-2, is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion and structural testing this fall. The first three aircraft built will support the FAA approval process, and the third aircraft will be delivered to the first customer after that process is complete. ICON recently announced that it would begin operating in its new 140,000-ft² facility in Vacaville, California, in early 2015. The company is currently readying the factory and offices to begin full-scale manufacturing. Once at full production rates, the factory will be capable of producing more than 500 aircraft per year.


The Monarch Group appoints new Chairman and CEO

July 29, 2014 · 162 Views

The Monarch Group, the UK’s leading independent travel group, announced the appointments of Sir Roy McNulty, currently a Non-Executive Director, as Group Chairman and Andrew Swaffield, currently Managing Director of Monarch Airlines, as Group Chief Executive. They will assume the responsibilities of Iain Rawlinson, Executive Chairman, who steps down from the Board after five years with the Group. Andrew Lavery has been appointed Chief Financial Officer.


Air Seychelles to take delivery of Airbus A320

July 29, 2014 · 323 Views

Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, will take delivery of its first Airbus A320 aircraft in December 2014, heralding significant enhancements to its international flight schedule at the same time. The changes, effective December 1st, include increased weekly frequencies between Seychelles and Abu Dhabi, more capacity on flights to Mauritius, and revised schedules for routes to and from Johannesburg, Mauritius, and Paris.


Air Comm Corporation expands its Quantum Control footprint to manage operations for fixed-wing ECS

July 29, 2014 · 111 Views

Air Comm Corporation (ACC), an industry leader in the design, development, production and certification of Environmental Control, Air Management and Thermal Management Systems for fixed and rotary wing aircraft, is expanding its Quantum Control software footprint to manage manufacturing and repair service operations at the company’s Dallas location. ACC currently leverages Quantum at its facility in Colorado. This expansion with Quantum will bridge best practices and standardization for efficient operations across the company enterprise. “Dallas is an important repair hub in the United States and last year’s acquisition of Meggitt’s Keith Products Division gave us a great opportunity to expand our capabilities with a repair center specific to our ECS customer needs. Quantum helped us in Colorado to further integrate and streamline Operations, Program / Project Management, and Accounting so that we are able to provide an even higher level of service to our customers. Our Dallas facility is now utilizing the same best practices across all of our services through Quantum,” said Keith Steiner, CEO at ACC.


Matt Eaton joins C&L as Senior VP of MRO Marketing & Sales

July 29, 2014 · 197 Views

C&L Aerospace has hired Matt Eaton, a proven leader in the industry, as Senior Vice President of MRO Marketing and Sales. Eaton has more than 30 years of experience in Commercial and General Aviation and will focus on business development for maintenance, interior and painting at C&L.


Boeing delivers ANA’s first 787-9 Dreamliner

July 29, 2014 · 119 Views

Boeing and All Nippon Airways celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner. ANA will become the world’s first airline to operate both the 787-8 and 787-9 variants of the Dreamliner family when the airline launches 787-9 services on domestic Japanese routes in August. With this delivery, ANA will have 29 787s in its fleet, more than any other operator in the world.


WestJet reports record second quarter net earnings

July 29, 2014 · 149 Views

WestJet announced its second quarter results for 2014, with net earnings of $51.8m as compared with the net earnings of $44.7m in the second quarter of 2013. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 13.7%, consistent with the 13.7% reported in the previous quarter.


Spirit Airlines’ second quarter 2014 adjusted net income increases 45.2%

July 29, 2014 · 163 Views

Spirit Airlines reported adjusted net income for the second quarter 2014 increased 45.2% to $66.5m compared to $45.8m the second quarter 2013. GAAP net income for the second quarter 2014 was $64.8m compared to $42.1m in the second quarter 2013. For the second quarter 2014, Spirit achieved an adjusted pre-tax margin of 21.3% compared to 17.8% over the same period in 2013. On a GAAP basis, pre-tax margin for the second quarter 2014 was 20.8% compared to 16.4% in the second quarter 2013. Spirit ended the second quarter 2014 with $567.2m in unrestricted cash.


FLY Leasing continues to grow

July 29, 2014 · 191 Views

FLY Leasing Limited, a global lessor of modern commercial jet aircraft, has signed agreements with a leading Asian airline to purchase and lease back three Airbus A330-300 aircraft. Under the terms of the agreements, FLY will purchase the first of the aircraft in the coming weeks and the two remaining aircraft later this year. Two of the aircraft were manufactured in 2013 and the third in 2014. In a separate transaction, FLY has purchased a B737-800 on a long-term lease to a leading European carrier. FLY now has a fleet of 118 aircraft on lease to more than 65 airlines in over 35 countries.


Rolls-Royce confirms termination by Airbus of Skymark order for six Airbus A380 aircraft

July 29, 2014 · 208 Views

Rolls-Royce notes the termination by Airbus of an order for six Trent 900-powered Airbus A380 aircraft from Skymark Airlines of Japan. The aircraft were due for delivery between 2014 and 2015. The airline had also selected TotalCare service and support for the engines. This cancellation reduces the Group’s order book by £351m which represents 0.5% of the Group’s order book of £71.6bn as at 31 December 2013. Rolls-Royce announced on 15 September 2011 that Skymark had signed a letter of intent for the six Trent 900-powered aircraft. On 18 December 2012 Rolls-Royce announced that Skymark had signed a contract for Trent 900 engines with long-term TotalCare service support.


WestJet Encore orders five new Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft

July 29, 2014 · 226 Views

Calgary-based WestJet Encore has signed a firm purchase agreement for five Q400 NextGen airliners. This transaction is a conversion of a batch of five options booked by the carrier’s parent company WestJet and follows the first conversion of five option aircraft announced on March 27, 2014, bringing the number of option aircraft exercised to 10. The initial total of 25 option aircraft was part of the original contract announced on August 1st, 2012 that included WestJet’s firm order for 20 Q400 NextGen airliners.