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Friday, August 01, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

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.


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

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.


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

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.


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

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.


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

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.


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

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.


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

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).


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

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.


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

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.


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

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.


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

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.


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

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.


Clean Sky 2: MTU Aero Engines takes on the role of lead partner

July 31, 2014 · 171 Views

Early July marked the official launch of the European Clean Sky 2 Joint Technology Initiative. The new program is substantially broader in scope and more ambitious than Clean Sky, its predecessor. MTU Aero Engines, too, is stepping up its activities under the initiative: Germany’s leading engine manufacturer is one of the 16 lead partners from the aeronautical industry in Europe, working on the further optimization of low-pressure turbines and high-pressure compressors. “With Clean Sky 2, the European Commission sends out a strong political signal recognizing the need to support the European aviation industry and secure its international competitiveness,” comments Dr. Rainer Martens, MTU Chief Operating Officer. MTU concentrates its efforts on the low-pressure turbine and high-pressure compressor, two technology areas in which the company excels. The primary focus of its activities is on the development of new, lighter-weight, more temperature-resistant materials and improved aerodynamics for second-generation geared turbofan engines. “What’s new about the approach is that we don’t just look at the individual components or modules, but focus on integrated systems,” adds Martens. Take the low-pressure turbine, for example, where the challenge will be to further optimize low-pressure turbine technology while also taking inlet and exit case designs into consideration. Similarly, optimizing the high-pressure compressor will involve making improvements to the low-pressure compressor and inter-turbine case too. To validate the new technologies, MTU uses demonstrators, which will be tested between 2017 and 2019.


Embraer releases second quarter results

July 31, 2014 · 135 Views

In the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14), Embraer delivered 29 commercial and 29 executive (22 light and 7 large) jets. The Company’s firm order backlog ended 2Q14 at US$18.1bn. As a result of aircraft deliveries, coupled with revenues from the Company’s Defense & Security business, 2Q14 revenues were US$1,761.3m, for year-over-year growth of 13.1%. Year-to-date (YTD) revenues in the first six months of 2014 were US$3,003.6m, representing year-over-year growth of 13.6%. EBIT and EBITDA margins were 10.6% and 14.8% respectively, in 2Q14, and for the first six months of 2014 were 9.3% and 13.7%, respectively. 2Q14 net income attributable to Embraer Shareholders and Earnings per basic ADS totaled US$143.4m and US$ 0.7829, respectively. For the first half of 2014, net income attributable to Embraer Shareholders was US$254.0m and earnings per basic ADS was US$1.3867.


AMES adds Airbus models to maintenance capabilities

July 31, 2014 · 151 Views

Airborne Maintenance & Engineering Services (AMES), a subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group, has been granted approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to perform heavy and line maintenance services on Airbus A318, A319, A320, and A321 aircraft. The capability for Airbus complements the broad range of services in heavy maintenance, line maintenance, engineering, component repair and overhaul, manufacturing, and material sales that AMES already provides to Boeing 737, 757, 767, and MD-80 customers.


Gogo closes $75m credit facility add-on

July 31, 2014 · 199 Views

Gogo, a leading global aero communications service provider, has obtained a $75m increase to its existing $248m credit facility arranged by Morgan Stanley. Gogo intends to use the proceeds of the debt financing for general corporate purposes.


All Nippon Airways finalize order for 40 widebody airplanes

July 31, 2014 · 149 Views

Boeing and All Nippon Airways (ANA) finalized an order for 40 widebody airplanes – 20 777-9Xs, 14 787-9 Dreamliners and six 777-300ERs (Extended Range) – as part of the airline’s strategic long-haul fleet renewal plan. The order, valued at approximately $13bn at list prices, was originally announced as a commitment in March.


Aircastle reports 2nd quarter net income of $3.1m

July 31, 2014 · 135 Views

Aircastle reported second quarter 2014 net income of $3.1m and adjusted net income of $47.7m The second quarter results included lease rental and finance lease revenues of $187.1m versus $162.0m in the second quarter of 2013. Aircastle sold 17 aircraft and designated for sale two 747-400 freighters; net pre-tax contribution of $8.2m


Precision Aviation Group acquires Aviation Controls

July 31, 2014 · 186 Views

Precision Aviation Group, a leading provider of products and value-added services to the worldwide aerospace and defense industry announced the acquisition of Aviation Controls, Inc. (ACI). ACI is a leading global provider of Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Services (MRO) for engine accessories, specializing in components and accessories for the GE J-85, Honeywell LTS-101, and Rolls Royce 250 engines. David B. Mast, President & CEO of PAG stated, “The acquisition of ACI further diversifies PAG’s MRO capabilities by expanding our services into engine accessories. Our investment in ACI allows us to provide our customers additional capabilities which will improve service levels and facilitate more streamlined purchasing operations. We are excited about the opportunity to provide ACI’s MRO services to our customers.”


Airbus Helicopters starts delivery of EC145 T2 with DRF Luftrettung

July 31, 2014 · 186 Views

The handover of the first EC145 T2 to DRF Luftrettung marks yet another milestone for Airbus Helicopters in the successful program for the BK117/EC145 family. In spring 2014, the latest addition to the family received certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency EASA and is now ready to take on a wide variety of missions. More than 100 orders have already been placed for the new helicopter, which was developed and manufactured in Donauwörth.


ANA to become first A320neo operator in Japan

July 31, 2014 · 203 Views

ANA Holdings has firmed up an order for 30 A320neo Family aircraft (seven A320neo and 23 A321neo). The initial agreement was announced in March 2014. Deliveries will start from 2016. ANA’s A320neo Family will be equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines.


Bombardier releases financial results for second quarter 2014

July 31, 2014 · 208 Views

Bombardier Aerospace’s revenues amounted to $2.5bn for the three-month period ended June 30th, 2014, compared to $2.3bn for the same period last fiscal year. EBIT totalled $141m, or 5.6% of revenues, compared to EBIT before special items of $107m, or 4.7%, and EBIT of $138m, or 6.1%, for the same period last fiscal year. Free cash flow usage amounted to $363m (including net additions to PP&E and intangible assets of $509m) for the second quarter, compared to a usage of $459m (including net additions to PP&E and intangible assets of $534m) for the same period last fiscal year. Bombardier Aerospace delivered a total of 62 aircraft during the second quarter, compared to 57 for the same period last fiscal year, and received 48 net orders, compared to 82 for the same period last fiscal year.


EASA approves winglet-modified converted freighters and combis from Precision Aircraft Solutions

August 1, 2014 · 154 Views

Precision Aircraft Solutions has received approval from EASA to convert 757-200 passenger aircraft with winglets to freighter and combi configurations. The authorization allows European customers to benefit from the significant fuel savings and enhanced payload capacity derived from Precision’s winglet-compatible conversions. This EASA approval is Precision’s first since restructuring earlier this year. Today with five subsidiaries, Precision provides comprehensive aircraft modification services and support while continuing to pioneer its signature aircraft conversion program.


Monarch Airlines launches personal in-flight entertainment system

August 1, 2014 · 220 Views

Monarch, a leading scheduled airline to leisure destinations announces the launch of MPlayer – an industry leading, personal inflight entertainment service. MPlayer allows customers to connect to the on-board wireless network via their own iOS or Android smartphone or tablet and access a wide range of free and pay-to-access in-flight entertainment content. Passengers will need to download the free MPlayer app to access the system before their Monarch flight.


AAR wins U.S. Army contract to overhaul APUs on UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters

August 1, 2014 · 312 Views

AAR has been selected by the U.S. Army to upgrade and overhaul Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) for its UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The work will be performed at AAR’s Aircraft Component Services facility in Garden City on Long Island. The five-year contract, valued in excess of $23 million, will initially cover work on 60 APUs from the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., with a maximum of 520 APUs over the life of the contract.


Safran reports strong performance for first-half 2014

August 1, 2014 · 186 Views

Safran reported first-half 2014 adjusted revenue was €7,208m, up 4.4% year-on-year (5.3% organic).Adjusted recurring operating income at €981m (13.6% of revenue), up 16.5% year-on-year. After one-off items totalling Euro (10) million, profit from operations was €971 m. Adjusted net income – group share of €632m (€1.52 per share) compared with €658m in 2013 which included a capital gain of €131m from the sale of Ingenico shares. Consolidated (non-adjusted) net income – group share at €650m (€1.56 per share). Net debt position of €1,797m as of June 30th, 2014, with positive free cash flow generation (€41m) while heavily investing in R&D and the transition to LEAP.


Liebherr-Aerospace delivers first flight test bed components for Bombardier Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jet

August 1, 2014 · 227 Views

Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse SAS has delivered the first set of bleed air system components for the engine flight test bed of the Global 7000 and Global 8000 aircraft program, Bombardier’s latest ultra long-range business jets. The testing activities will be performed on GE Aviation Passport engine. Bombardier has selected Liebherr’s center of excellence for air management systems to develop and supply the bleed air, the cabin pressure control, the air-conditioning, the wing anti-ice and the fuel tank inerting air preparation systems. The qualification tests are currently performed at Liebherr-Aerospace’s test center in Toulouse.


AWAS places one A330-200 aircraft with new customer BH Air in Bulgaria

August 1, 2014 · 5145 Views

AWAS has agreed to the lease of one Airbus A330-200 aircraft with BH Air, an established charter operator based in Sofia, Bulgaria. This widebody aircraft is from AWAS’ existing portfolio and has delivered on July 31st. The aircraft is the first of its type as well as the first widebody aircraft for BH Air.


IAG converts eight A350 XWB aircraft options into firm orders

August 1, 2014 · 232 Views

Rolls-Royce reported that International Airlines Group (IAG) converted eight Airbus A350-900 options into firm orders, powered by Trent XWB engines. The engines will have long-term TotalCare service support. The A350-900 aircraft will go into service with IAG’s Spanish airline Iberia, which will become a new operator of the Trent XWB. In April 2013, IAG ordered 18 A350-1000 aircraft with TotalCare support to be operated by British Airways. The A350-1000 is powered exclusively by the higher-thrust Trent XWB-97 engine.