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Thursday, August 14, 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.


Embraer Executive Jets expands service network into Brazil’s Northeast

August 12, 2014 · 94 Views

Embraer Executive Jets is expanding its customer support and service network into the Brazilian Northeast. AeroMecânica, located at Coroa do Avião airfield, in Igarassu, metropolitan Recife, will be the first Authorized Service Center for line maintenance, scheduled inspections, and remote services for Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 jets, in the region. Customers in the region already have the support of a co-located Embraer field service engineer.


Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO) reports 2014 interim results

August 12, 2014 · 204 Views

The HAECO Group reported an attributable profit of HK$283m for the first six months of 2014. This compares with a profit of HK$359m for the equivalent period in 2013. Earnings per share decreased by 21.2% to HK$1.70. Turnover increased by 65.6% to HK$5,337m, with the acquisition of TIMCO accounting for 61.8% of the increase. The Group continued to invest in order to expand its facilities and technical capabilities and to improve and widen the range of services it can offer to customers. Total capital expenditure during the first half of 2014 was HK$3,259 m (including expenditure on the acquisition of TIMCO of HK$2,942m). Capital expenditure committed at the end of June was HK$997m.


Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group chooses Abbotsford as North American office hub

August 12, 2014 · 184 Views

Marshall Aerospace Canada, part of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, has increased its in-country presence and strengthened its commitment to focused new business development in North America, with the purchase of a 4,343 ft² building at Abbotsford Airport in British Columbia. The building will become Marshall’s Canadian head office, out of which the company’s comprehensive Air, Land and Sea engineering and maintenance capabilities will operate to serve current and future military and civil contracts and customers. The Abbotsford base will also act as Marshall’s base for strategic growth in Canada and North America. The new office in Abbotsford can accommodate up to 35 personnel, the majority of which will be engineers and technical staff. This office will further consolidate Marshall Aerospace Canada as an integral part of Marshall’s United Kingdom global operations, where Marshall is a Design Authority for a number of platforms, and has fully approved procedures and practices in place that allow the company to undertake and certify OEM-type work on a variety of components, systems and structures. Currently, Marshall supports more than 10 air forces around the world.


AerCap Holdings N.V. reports second quarter financial results

August 12, 2014 · 181 Views

AerCap Holdings N.V. announced that its adjusted net income was $212.4m for the second quarter of 2014. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.29 for the second quarter of 2014, an increase of 118% over the second quarter of 2013. On May 14, 2014, AerCap completed the acquisition of International Lease Finance Corporation (“ILFC”) from American International Group (“AIG”). The results of ILFC have been consolidated in AerCap Holdings N.V.’s income statement and cash flow statement for the second quarter as of May 14th, 2014, the completion date. As of June 30th, 2014, AerCap had committed to purchase 350 aircraft with scheduled delivery dates up to 2022. Over 90% of its committed aircraft purchases delivering 2014 through December 2016 and approximately 50% of its committed aircraft purchases delivering 2014 through 2022 are placed, either under lease contract or a letter of intent. AerCap executed 122 aircraft transactions during the second quarter of 2014. Targeted aircraft sales of ~$1bn per year on average are ahead of plan: ~$2bn completed since the ILFC transaction announcement in December 2013. 90% of the ILFC aircraft have been transferred to AerCap’s existing operations in Ireland. Available liquidity of $6.5bn as of June 30th, 2014. Since the announcement of the transaction $7bn of funding has been raised: unsecured revolver, term loan and ILFC acquisition related take-out financing.


ITI Air launch Alkym in Asia

August 12, 2014 · 206 Views

Volartec announced Island Transvoyager (ITI Air) to be the launch customer in South East Asia. With the latest ATR 42-500 addition to the fleet, ITI sought a suitable Maintenance Management System to manage its expanding fleet. The first ATR 42 will be added to Alkym Management and Control System for Aircraft Maintenance as part of the implementation project which is currently under way. With the project team onsite at ITI this month they will have the first aircraft loaded and Alkym in a Live operating environment by the end of August.


Sikorsky, Boeing selected to build Technology Demonstrator for future vertical lift

August 12, 2014 · 226 Views

Sikorsky Aircraft and Boeing have been selected to build a helicopter for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator Phase 1 program (JMR TD), paving the way for the next generation of vertical lift aircraft. The U.S. Army Aviation Technology Directorate (AATD) selected the Sikorsky-Boeing team to continue the development of the SB>1 Defiant, a medium-lift helicopter configured to Sikorsky’s X2 coaxial design, through flight testing. First flight for the program is expected in 2017. The Defiant aircraft will feature counter-rotating rigid main rotor blades for vertical and forward flight, a pusher propeller for high-speed acceleration and deceleration and an advanced fly-by-wire flight control system.


AeroCentury reports second quarter 2014 results

August 13, 2014 · 108 Views

AeroCentury, an independent aircraft leasing company, reported its operating results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014.  The Company reported a net loss of $3.9m for the second quarter of 2014, compared to net income of $1.3m for the second quarter of 2013.  The Company reported a net loss of $3.6m for the first six months of 2014, compared to net income of $5.2m for the first six months of 2013. Total revenues were $7.9m and $15.9 for the second quarter and six months ended June 30th, 2014, respectively, compared to total revenues of $7.9m and $20.0m, respectively, for the same periods a year ago.


Finnair reveals cabin design for next-generation Airbus A350 XWB aircraft

August 13, 2014 · 151 Views

As the European launch customer of the next-generation Airbus A350 XWB (extra wide body) aircraft, Finnair has completed the cabin design of its new flagship longhaul product due to enter service next year. Created by top Helsinki firm dSign Vertti Kivi & Co, also the designer of Finnair’s new Premium Lounge at Helsinki Airport, the A350’s bright and spacious cabin features large panoramic view windows and comfortable seating arrangements in both classes. The 297-seat configuration includes 46 seats in Business Class in a 1+2+1 layout, ensuring direct aisle access to all Business Class passengers. The Zodiac Cirrus III seats convert to fully flat beds, while a 16-inch touch-screen inflight entertainment system comes programmed with films, TV shows, music and other digital content on demand in numerous languages. Seats in Business Class also come equipped with AC and USB power outlets. The Economy Class cabin features comfortable Zodiac Z300 slim-line seats with a 31-inch seat pitch in a 3+3+3 layout. At the front of the Economy Class cabin are 43 Economy Comfort seats, with comfier headrests, high-quality headphones and four extra inches of leg room. All seats in Economy include an 11-inch touch screen inflight entertainment system and USB power outlets. Finnair plans to begin operating its first A350s in the second half of next year, initially serving Shanghai, Bangkok and Beijing, with Hong Kong and Singapore A350 service to be added in 2016. Finnair has 11 firm orders and 8 options for A350 aircraft, which will form the backbone of the company’s long-haul fleet and drive expansion plans.


Airstream arranges lease of one DHC-8-Q300

August 13, 2014 · 126 Views

Airstream International Group has arranged, on behalf of a large US based Lessor, the dry lease of one DHC-8-Q300, MSN557 (8Q-IAK), to Island Aviation Services of the Maldives.  MSN557 was previously owned and operated by Caribbean Airlines before being purchased by the lessor in 2013 as part of a five aircraft package, a transaction that was also arranged by Airstream. 8Q-IAK is the third aircraft Airstream has placed with the airline.


Surf Air places order for largest Pilatus PC-12 fleet with 65 new aircraft

August 13, 2014 · 199 Views

Surf Air announced a total order of up to 65 new Pilatus aircraft (15 firm orders and 50 options) to be delivered over the next five years, with a total order value of approximately $312m. The first 15 aircraft are being financed by a $65m senior facility from White Oak Global Advisors, alongside an additional $8m equity round from new and existing investors, bringing the total equity raised to $17m. With this order the company has formed an unprecedented exclusive partnership with Pilatus Aircraft whereby Surf Air will be the only membership-based operator to utilize the PC-12 NG in the United States.


Embraer’s Legacy 500 Executive Jet awarded Brazilian certification

August 13, 2014 · 241 Views

The Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil – ANAC) granted type certification for the Legacy 500 executive jet during a ceremony at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE), in São Paulo, Brazil. Embraer expects to receive certification from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in the upcoming weeks and certification by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) thereafter. The flight test program comprised four prototype aircraft, which have carried out extensive function and reliability testing. The Legacy 500 test fleet completed over 1,800 flight hours. Over 20,000 hours of tests were conducted in laboratories with rigs for aircraft avionics, electrical, hydraulic, and environmental systems. Production of the Legacy 500 has already begun and the first delivery is scheduled for September. Up to six aircraft will be produced in 2014, and production of the Legacy 500 will increase throughout 2015.


ST Engineering’s Aerospace arm secures wide-body VIP completion contract

August 13, 2014 · 199 Views

Singapore Technologies Aerospace’s (ST Aerospace) VIP completions brand ‘AERIA Luxury Interiors’ (AERIA) has secured a nose-to-tail cabin completion contract for a wide-body VIP aircraft, from an undisclosed customer. This follows shortly after clinching a green aircraft completion deal for a VIP 737 BBJ in February this year. The aircraft interior will be elegantly designed by AERIA’s own cabin design team. The wide-body aircraft will have a lifestyle-oriented floor plan personalised to the customer’s tastes and expectations, and outfitted with the finest materials and furnishing. he aircraft is scheduled to arrive in AERIA’s remodelled hangar for cabin completion in the third quarter of 2014, with redelivery planned in the fourth quarter of 2016.


Mesa Air Group completes $30m working capital draw loan

August 13, 2014 · 226 Views

Mesa Air Group has closed on a $30m working capital draw loan through Tennenbaum Capital Partners. The funds are available for up to two years and have a five year term. The funds will be used to support current aircraft purchases and growth-related expenses as well as anticipated future growth opportunities. In the past sixteen months Mesa has added 19 CRJ 900 aircraft to be operated for American Airlines and 6 Embraer 175 aircraft to be operated for United Airlines with an additional 24 Embraer 175 aircraft being delivered over the next 24 months.