Friday, August 08, 2014
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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February 20, 2015 · 542 Views
The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.
February 20, 2015 · 640 Views
Snecma (Safran), a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines, and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), a leading aerospace manufacturer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 28th, 2015 in Bangalore to explore establishing a joint venture in India for the production of aero-engine parts. The proposed joint venture will initially focus on the manufacture of high-tech parts for the Dassault Rafale’s Snecma M88 engine, then subsequently contribute to other major aerospace projects of HAL & Snecma, in India and worldwide. Spanning over 30,000 m², the proposed joint venture’s new plant is expected to benefit from substantial investment by the two partners, providing it with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. This agreement marks a major step forward in the long-standing collaboration between Snecma and HAL. The proposed joint venture will further broaden the scope of the excellent relations established over the past 60 years between Safran affiliates and the Indian aerospace industry. For example, Snecma manufactures the M53 engines powering the Mirage 2000H “Vajra” fighters operated by the Indian Air Force.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
August 6, 2014 · 81 Views
Air Transport Services Group, a leading provider of medium wide-body aircraft leasing, air cargo transportation and related services, reported consolidated financial results for the quarter ended June 30th, 2014. Revenues were $149.6m, up $10.7m, or 8% from a year ago. Excluding revenues from reimbursable expenses, revenues increased $4.8 million, or 4%. Net earnings from continuing operations of $9.3m were up 34% from $6.9m a year ago. The Company has operating loss carryforwards for U.S. federal income tax purposes that offset its federal income tax liabilities. As a result, ATSG does not expect to pay significant federal income taxes until 2016 or later. Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, also adjusted for the effect of derivative transactions) was $45.3m, up 26% from $35.9m in the prior-year quarter, and up 17% from $38.8m in the first quarter of 2014.
ATSG also separately announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the purchase of up to $50m of the company’s common shares, with discretion to determine whether and to what extent such repurchases might take place.
August 6, 2014 · 108 Views
Ameco Beijing Shanghai outstation started to perform line maintenance and releasing services for Vietnam Airlines’ A320, twice every day since August 1st. Up to now, the outstation served 6 international customers including Finnair, Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo, and AirBridgeCargo Airlines. Headquartered in Beijing, Ameco has 8 outstations serving over 20 international customers in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Qingdao and Tianjin.
August 6, 2014 · 140 Views
Boeing, South African Airways (SAA) and SkyNRG are collaborating to make sustainable aviation biofuel from a new type of tobacco plant. This initiative broadens cooperation between Boeing and SAA to develop renewable jet fuel in ways that support South Africa’s goals for public health as well as economic and rural development. SkyNRG is expanding production of the hybrid plant known as Solaris as an energy crop that farmers could grow instead of traditional tobacco. Test farming of the plants, which are effectively nicotine-free, is underway in South Africa with biofuel production expected from large and small farms in the next few years. Initially, oil from the plant’s seeds will be converted into jet fuel. In coming years, Boeing expects emerging technologies to increase South Africa’s aviation biofuel production from the rest of the plant. “By using hybrid tobacco, we can leverage knowledge of tobacco growers in South Africa to grow a marketable biofuel crop without encouraging smoking,” said Ian Cruickshank, South African Airways Group Environmental Affairs Specialist. “This is another way that SAA and Boeing are driving development of sustainable biofuel while enhancing our region’s economic opportunity.” In October 2013, Boeing and SAA said they would work together to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in Southern Africa. As part of that effort, they are working with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials to position farmers with small plots of land to grow biofuel feedstocks that provide socioeconomic value to communities without harming food supplies, fresh water or land use.
August 6, 2014 · 148 Views
Air Transport Services Group announced that its aircraft leasing subsidiary, Cargo Aircraft Management, has agreed to purchase two Boeing 767-300ER freighters that ATSG’s airline subsidiary ABX Air currently leases from Guggenheim Aviation Partners. CAM expects to pay Guggenheim $49.9m for the freighters in transactions expected to close at the end of the third quarter. ABX Air operates them under two multi-year operating leases from Guggenheim that end during 2015 and 2017, respectively. Both are deployed with ABX Air customers. ATSG also received an option to purchase one more Boeing 767-300 freighter from Guggenheim in 2015.
August 6, 2014 · 125 Views
WestJet announced July 2014 traffic results with a load factor of 83.3%, an increase of 0.2 points year over year. Traffic increased 6.7% year over year and capacity grew 6.6% over the same period.
August 6, 2014 · 140 Views
Vance Street Capital, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, and its affiliates, have acquired Eirtech Aviation (“Eirtech”), a specialist aviation coating services company headquartered in Shannon, Ireland. Eirtech, together with existing Vance Street portfolio companies Leading Edge Aviation Services and Associated Painters, will form International Aerospace Coatings Holdings LP. The combined entity creates a leading global provider of aviation coating services, including exterior and interior aircraft painting, aircraft refurbishment and provision of aircraft graphics. The principals of Eirtech Aviation will maintain a substantial ownership stake in the combined business. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The newly merged company employs approximately 800 people across Europe and North America. Leading Edge, Associated Painters and Eirtech will continue to operate under their respective brand names and existing management teams in their geographies and provide outstanding aviation services to the world’s leading aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), commercial airlines, private operators, aircraft leasing companies and military customers.
August 6, 2014 · 130 Views
The Airbus A350 XWB has made its debut in Australia, landing at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International airport on August 5th, after flying in from Johannesburg, South Africa. The aircraft is operated by Airbus flight crews and while in Sydney, a representative airline schedule operation has to be demonstrated such as normal airline turnarounds, using airport handling services. The aircraft will also be shown to media and to special guests. On the 5th afternoon, the aircraft will fly to Auckland in New Zealand with VIP passengers. The tests form part of the final trials required for aircraft Type Certification, which is expected in Q3, 2014. A350-900 (MSN 5) is one of five A350 test aircraft one of two with an Airbus cabin with 265 seats (42 business and 223 economy). The A350’s World Tour began on July 24th and involves a series of tests on four different trips. It will visit 14 airports around the world and will end on August 13th.
August 6, 2014 · 192 Views
The 15th P-8A Poseidon built by Boeing arrived at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., where it will help expand the U.S. Navy’s long-range maritime patrol capabilities. The aircraft, delivered on schedule July 31st, joined the other Poseidon aircraft being used to train Navy crews in preparation for deployment. Boeing is currently on contract to build and support 53 P-8A aircraft. The Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8As, which are based on the Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 platform.
August 7, 2014 · 4804 Views
Air Canada reported system load factor of 86.7%, versus 85.6% in July 2013, an increase of 1.1 points on a system-wide capacity increase of 11.4%. On this additional capacity, system wide traffic for July increased 12.7%.
August 7, 2014 · 88 Views
Southwest Airlines released that traffic in July 2014 increased 6.6% compared to July 2013, while capacity increased 2.6%. The July 2014 load factor was 86.7%, compared to 83.5% in July 2013.
August 7, 2014 · 85 Views
Continuing its fleet growth, FLY Leasing, a global lessor of modern commercial jet aircraft, has acquired a Boeing 737-800 to be leased to a leading airline in North America and an Airbus A330-300 on lease to a leading airline in Asia. The Airbus aircraft is the first of three A330s that FLY is acquiring in a sale and leaseback transaction with the Asian airline.
Gogo Receives Certification from the FAA to install Gogo Vision as a stand-alone product for commercial aviation
August 7, 2014 · 113 Views
Gogo has received a supplemental type certificate (STC) from the FAA to install its Gogo Vision wireless in-flight entertainment product on commercial aircraft with or without Gogo’s connectivity service. Gogo Vision, the leading wireless in-flight entertainment product for commercial aviation, allows passengers to stream movies and television shows to their own Wi-Fi enabled devices from a server on the aircraft. Gogo has more than 1500 commercial aircraft on four major airlines equipped with the Gogo Vision Product. This new enhancement to Gogo Vision will leverage most of the existing equipment that is already used for Gogo’s core connectivity product. For airlines, Gogo Vision offers a light weight, low cost alternative to legacy seatback solutions.
August 7, 2014 · 111 Views
The Armed Forces of Malta took delivery of their first AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter during an official ceremony. The aircraft, delivered in June, will primarily be used to perform maritime border control missions.
Astronics Corporation’s Aircraft Interface Device (AID) chosen for Cathay Pacific’s e-enabled aircraft program
August 7, 2014 · 113 Views
Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace and defense industries, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ballard Technology (Astronics Ballard Technology) is a key technology partner with Cathay Pacific Airways and will supply the Aircraft Interface Device (AID) for their innovative new eEnabled Aircraft Program. Aircraft Interface Devices are an essential part of many avionics upgrades, such as electronic flight bag (EFB) and in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems, where they serve avionics data while protecting aircraft control domains from interference and corruption. The Cathay Pacific eEnabled Aircraft solution is an advanced system for connectivity and integration with ground systems. It provides a comprehensive, integrated electronic information exchange, which will replace existing manual processes to record, manage and distribute information for flight operations, line maintenance engineering and cabin defect management.
August 7, 2014 · 135 Views
Spirit Airlines and its flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), reached a tentative agreement for a five-year contract. The tentative agreement, which is subject to ratification by the flight attendant membership, planned for fourth quarter 2014, was unanimously supported by the union’s leadership. The agreement was reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board.
August 7, 2014 · 174 Views
Willis Lease Finance, the premier independent jet engine lessor in the commercial finance sector, reported second quarter 2014 net income was $2.2m, compared to $9.7m in the second quarter of 2013, and $4.3m in the first quarter of 2014. Earnings for the second quarter of 2013 were positively impacted by a one-time $8.6m tax benefit related to a reduction in the company’s deferred tax liability and higher than normal earnings from joint ventures due to the recording of $3.4m of maintenance reserve revenue related to the termination of aircraft leases within the WOLF joint venture.
August 7, 2014 · 226 Views
Ethiopian Airlines has added its ninth Boeing 787 Dreamliner to its expanding fleet. The new aircraft which was received on August 3rd has been named ‘Great Wall of China’. This latest additional aircraft will support the route to Hong Kong from Addis Ababa.