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Saturday, August 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 · 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.


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

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.


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.


Japan Airlines to add up to 27 E-Jets to its fleet

August 28, 2014 · 104 Views

Embraer S.A. has signed a firm order with Japan Airlines (JAL) for a total of 15 E-Jets comprising the E170 and the E190 jets models, as well as for an additional twelve E-Jets family options. The value of the firm order is estimated at US$677m, based on 2014 list prices. The order will be included in Embraer’s 2014 third-quarter backlog. All aircraft will be operated by Japan Airlines’ wholly owned subsidiary, J-Air, which has headquarters at Osaka’s Itami Airport. This order is added to the existing 15 E170s that the airline currently flies. New deliveries of E-Jets are scheduled from 2015.


Odyssey Airlines passes £1m raised on Crowdcube

August 28, 2014 · 118 Views

Odyssey Airlines, the new UK-based business-only carrier, has successfully raised its minimum target of £1m via crowd funding on the UK-based platform Crowdcube. As of Augus 28th, Odyssey’s Crowdcube investor pitch has raised £1,049,230, or 104% of its target on the site. Odyssey has already raised over £5m in seed capital, including having engaged Freedman & Partners to raise £2.185m via the ThinCats platform in 2013, and the company will be targeting a raise of £60m via a round of traditional institutional fund raising in the first half of 2015.


JAL orders CF34-engines to power EMBRAER E-Jets

August 28, 2014 · 109 Views

JAL Group (JAL) ordered CF34-engines to power their EMBRAER E-Jets. Maintenance, repair and overhaul services for the new CF34 engines will be provided through multi-year OnPoint solution agreements. The engine order and OnPoint solution agreements are valued at more than $550m over the life of the contract.


Pietro Rosa TBM partners with Rolls-Royce

August 28, 2014 · 205 Views

Pietro Rosa TBM, a leading manufacturer of compressor airfoils for jet engines and complex aero – structural components, has signed a long term contract with Rolls-Royce for the production of a new concept airfoil for the Trent XWB engine. This contract is the result of more than three years research and development joint effort between Pietro Rosa TBM R&D team and Rolls-Royce advanced manufacturing team.


GuestLogix signs 4-year renewal & expansion agreement with Carrier in Asia Pacific

August 28, 2014 · 98 Views

GuestLogix, a leading global provider of ancillary-focused merchandising, payment and business intelligence technology to airlines and the passenger travel industry, signed a 4-year renewal agreement for the continued use of the Company’s retailing technology, including platform and POS handheld device upgrades, onboard a flag carrier in Asia Pacific. The Company’s Ancillary Insights platform will also be deployed to improve transparency and optimize the airline’s onboard store performance.


Air Canada announces new executive appointment

August 28, 2014 · 112 Views

Benjamin Smith , previously Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer, is appointed to the new role of President, Passenger Airlines. In addition to his current responsibilities, Mr. Smith will now have cost as well as revenue oversight for passenger airline activities, with a view to optimizing the operating profitability of Air Canada, consistent with organizational structures at other large U.S. and European airlines. Mr. Smith continues to report to Mr. Rovinescu in this role.


Aegean Airlines adds two additional aircraft to previous A320ceo order

August 28, 2014 · 125 Views

Aegean Airlines, Greece’s largest airline, has signed a firm contract with Airbus for two additional A320ceo aircraft, adding to a previous order for five A320s aircraft placed in September 2007. All aircraft will be equipped with Airbus “Sharklet” fuel saving wing tip devices and will be powered by IAE V2500 engines. The aircraft will also be the first A320s in Aegean’s fleet to feature the enhanced take-off weight capability of up to 78 tonnes, thus enabling the carrier to expand its route network with even longer range operations.


Bombardier delivers first 86-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft to Nok Air

August 28, 2014 · 154 Views

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Nok Air of Bangkok, Thailand announced the delivery of the carrier’s first Q400 NextGen turboprop at Bombardier’s facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where the aircraft is manufactured. The milestone aircraft, the first Q400 NextGen airliner to be delivered in the new extra capacity seating configuration, is part of Nok Air’s purchase agreement for up to eight Q400 NextGen airliners that was announced on November 19, 2013. Following the exercise of options and purchase rights, Nok Air has firm orders for six Q400 NextGen aircraft and retains two purchase rights from the original contract.


FL Technics to support Ural Airlines in Armenia, Russia and Tajikistan

August 29, 2014 · 109 Views

FL Technics, a global provider of tailor-made aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, is further developing its cooperation with CIS-based air carriers by signing a Line Maintenance agreement with Ural Airlines. According to the documents, FL Technics engineers will be providing on-call support to the carrier’s aircraft in 5 airports across Armenia, Russia and Tajikistan. Under recently signed contracts, FL Technics specialists will be providing comprehensive on-call line maintenance services to Ural Airlines’ Airbus A320 Family aircraft at Khudjand International Airport (LBD), Kulob Airport (TJU) and Qurghonteppa International Airport (KQT) in Tajikistan, as well as at Khrabrovo Airport (KGD) in Russia and Zvartnots International Airport (EVN) in Armenia.


Silk Way Airlines takes delivery of two 747-8 Freighters

August 29, 2014 · 136 Views

Silk Way Airlines took delivery of the airline’s two 747-8 Freighters. The first airplane delivered in the third week of August and the second airplane delivered on August 28th. Both new 747-8 Freighters will bring new levels of efficiency to the Baku, Azerbaijan-based cargo carrier. Silk Way Airlines is considered as one of the leading cargo carriers in the region, providing full-fledged services to Europe, the United Kingdom and Middle East, as well as the Far East including South Korea, China and Hong Kong. In addition, the carrier also serves international destinations through a network of alliances, operating 747-400 Freighters and 767-300 Freighters.


Jeppesen appointed by Gulf Air to provide FliteDeck Pro on iPad

August 29, 2014 · 113 Views

Jeppesen, a part of Boeing Commercial Aviation, recently signed a new three-year service contract with Gulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier, to provide the airline with Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro electronic flight bag (EFB) services on iPad.  The agreement allows Gulf Air to continue its digital transformation by eliminating paper-based flight information on the ground and in the air. “Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro provides all essential flight information and operations materials on iPad, which allows our crew to complete essential preparation tasks where convenient and increases situational awareness in flight,” said Captain Nasser AlSalmi, Gulf Air Chief Operating Officer.  “We look forward to going completely paperless in our operations and FliteDeck Pro will allow us to reach this goal.”


JAL decides to introduce MRJ as next-generation regional jet

August 29, 2014 · 131 Views

Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to order thirty-two Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft, as the next-generation regional jet for the JAL Group. JAL plans to deploy the MRJ on domestic routes from 2021, operated by J-AIR, the group’s 100% owned regional airline subsidiary. Mitsubishi Aircraft has made steady progress on the development of the MRJ, Japan’s first passenger jet, which is scheduled for first delivery in 2017. As a network carrier that also operates regional jets, JAL aims to contribute to the birth of this passenger jet that Japan boasts to the world, by not just operating the MRJ, but also providing comprehensive support.


SR Technics announces strategic investment in Armac Systems

August 29, 2014 · 240 Views

SR Technics announced a strategic investment in Armac Systems, a leading provider of aircraft MRO inventory planning and optimization software and solutions. The investment will result in a close strategic partnership between the two companies, enabling customers to benefit from a turn-key planning solution that will continuously optimize component inventory asset investment and maximize component availability. SR Technics and Armac Systems have successfully collaborated for several years providing significant benefits to SR Technics and its customers. Combining both companies’ core competencies will allow SR Technics to continue delivering enhanced inventory management and optimization solutions to its customers.


Qantas posts pre tax loss of $646m for 12 months ended June 30th, 2014

August 29, 2014 · 156 Views

Qantas reported an underlying loss before tax of $646m and a statutory loss after tax of $2.8bn for the 12 months ended June 30th, 2014. The Underlying PBT result was driven by the cumulative impact of two years of industry capacity growth ahead of demand, leading to a $566m decline in FY14 revenue, and by record Australian dollar fuel costs of $4.5bn – up $253m from FY13. In response, Qantas is driving an earnings recovery and de-leveraging the Group’s balance sheet to shape a profitable future and build long-term shareholder value. The $2bn accelerated Qantas Transformation program announced in February is permanently reducing costs and laying the foundations for sustainable growth in earnings. Transformation benefits totalled $440m in FY14, including $204m of second-half benefits from the accelerated Qantas Transformation program. A further $900m of accelerated transformation projects are in the implementation phase, with more than $600m of benefits from these projects to be realised in FY15.