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Tuesday, September 09, 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.


SAS reports August load factor of 82.9%

September 8, 2014 · 71 Views

SAS reported August total traffic increase of 6.3%, when compared to the previous year, while capacity increased 3.2%. The load factor for August was up 2.4 points to 82.9%.


Boeing launches 737 MAX 200 with Ryanair

September 8, 2014 · 125 Views

Boeing launched the newest member of the 737 MAX family on September 8th, with a commitment from Ryanair for 100 airplanes. Europe’s leading low-cost carrier will be the first airline to operate the 737 MAX 200, a variant based on the successful 737 MAX 8 that can accommodate up to 200 seats, increasing revenue potential and providing customers up to 20% better fuel efficiency per seat. In addition to the commitment, valued at $11bn at current list prices, Ryanair has options to purchase another 100 737 MAX 200s. Boeing developed the 737 MAX 200 in response to the needs of the fast growing low-cost sector, which is forecasted to account for 35% of single-aisle airline capacity by 2033. While the heart of the single-aisle market will remain at 160 seats, the 737 MAX 200 will provide carriers like Ryanair with up to 11 more seats of potential revenue and up to 5% lower operating costs than the 737 MAX 8, driving economic growth and increasing access to air travel. With the addition of the 737 MAX 200, the 737 MAX family offers the right capacity to meet the needs across the single-aisle market. Standard across the 737 MAX family, Ryanair’s 737 MAX 200s will be configured with the passenger inspired Boeing Sky Interior, featuring modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins.


Finnair reaches negotiation result with pilots

September 8, 2014 · 53 Views

Finnair and the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL) have reached a result in the negotiations related to Finnair’s savings program. The agreement brings Finnair €17m in permanent annual savings. Approximately €11m will materialize gradually over the 2-year CLA period. Approximately €3m will materialize in the coming few years through growth and the remaining €3m in the future through changes to pensions and the employment terms of new pilots. In return, Finnair gives pilots protection for redundancies for the next two years. It has been additionally agreed that Finnair will study an incentive plan for pilots. The savings agreement is contingent on the realization of this incentive plan that will be formulated during autumn. The savings agreed with SLL are mainly reached through changes to salary and working time. Finnair and SLL agreed in June on transferring to a new wage model. However, the savings solution was finally developed based on the current wage model.


JBT Corporation awarded $5m military equipment orders

September 8, 2014 · 55 Views

JBT Corporation (JBT) has been awarded related contracts from a U.S. based customer with a combined value exceeding $5m to supply compressed air, air conditioning and electrical power carts designed to service the environmental control systems and avionics of fighter aircraft. The order also includes a service and parts package for ongoing maintenance support of the equipment. The equipment order combines JBT AeroTech’s technical expertise in aircraft-related air conditioning systems and the generation of suitable electrical ground power. “The military sector is a continuing opportunity and important area of focus for JBT,” noted Dave Burdakin, President, JBT AeroTech. “While there are similarities and design overlap with our commercial products, each military order presents unique engineering challenges that allow us to significantly expand our technical leadership in the conditioned air and power markets.” JBT anticipates shipping the equipment starting late 2014.


Cessna Citation CJ3+ gains FAA certification

September 8, 2014 · 72 Views

Cessna Aircraft Company received type certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for the Cessna Citation CJ3+. Certification, awarded September 4th, comes less than six months after the company introduced the new model in March. The Citation CJ3+, with seating for up to nine people, is certified for single pilot operation, featuring a number of new systems designed to reduce pilot workload. Building on the popular Citation CJ3, the CJ3+ features an integrated avionics suite from Garmin, the G3000, an automatically controlled cabin pressurization system, and an advanced fault and maintenance diagnostic system. With a range of up to 2,070 nautical miles, the CJ3+ is perfectly suited for the light jet market segment and can fly passengers nonstop from Washington, D.C., to Mexico City; from London to Moscow; from Shanghai to Bangkok; or from Lima to São Paulo.


Fraport wins Ljubljana Airport privatization

September 8, 2014 · 85 Views

Fraport AG and a consortium headed by the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SDH) have reached agreement for the purchase of Ljubljana Airport (Aerodrom Ljubljana) in the capital city of Slovenia, southeastern Europe. Winning against strong international competition in a closed bidding process on July 4th, Fraport was selected by the seller side to participate in exclusive negotiations on the sale of Aerodrom Lubljana d.d., the company that operates the airport. Under the agreement, Fraport AG will pay €177.1m for a 75.5% stake in Aerodrom Ljubljana d.d. The acquisition will be financed from current liquid funds. As part of the privatization process, Fraport intends to acquire 100% of the Ljubljana airport company and, thus, will submit a takeover bid to the remaining shareholders, in accordance with legal and statutory requirements. In 2013, Ljubljana Airport (IATA Code: LJU) welcomed about 1.3 million passengers, up from 1.2 million in 2012.


Dubai Airports get approval of $32bn DWC airport expansion plan

September 8, 2014 · 110 Views

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, endorsed the AED120bn (US$ 32bn) expansion of Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC), which will ultimately accommodate more than 200 million passengers a year. The development is anticipated to be the biggest airport project in the world and will be built in two phases. The first phase includes two satellite buildings which will collectively be able to accommodate 120 million passengers annually, receive 100 A380 aircraft at any one time and will take between six and eight years to complete. The entire development will cover an area of 56 km². More than its size, the new airport’s uniqueness lies in a radically new approach to ensure that the latest technology and efficient processes will cut the time spent completing travel formalities and reduce walking distances, enabling passengers to make fast and efficient connections between hundreds of destinations worldwide. With passenger traffic expected to reach almost 100 million at Dubai International by the end of 2020, the further development of DWC will be a vital step towards providing the necessary facilities to accommodate passenger and cargo growth in the decades ahead and pave the way for Emirates to relocate their intercontinental hub operations to DWC by the mid-2020s.


Bombardier CSeries aircraft back in the air

September 8, 2014 · 111 Views

Bombardier confirmed that the CSeries aircraft resumed flight testing with flight test vehicle two (FTV2) taking flight on September 8th, at Bombardier’s facility in Mirabel, Québec. The flight follows an in-depth review and analysis of the engine-related incident that occurred during stationary ground maintenance testing involving CSeries aircraft FTV1 on May 29th, at the Mirabel facility. Pratt and Whitney alongside Bombardier, has taken appropriate measures to address the issue, including the modification of the engine’s oil lubrication system. “We are pleased to see the CSeries aircraft back in the air. The geared turbofan (GTF) engine has over 10,000 hours of ground and flight testing and we’re confident that it will enter into service meeting or exceeding the fuel burn, emissions, thrust and noise specifications, as promised by Pratt & Whitney,” said Rob Dewar, Vice President, CSeries Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. The CSeries aircraft’s entry-into-service remains on track for the second half of 2015.


Embraer Engineering & Technology Center opens its doors in Melbourne, FL

September 8, 2014 · 121 Views

Embraer celebrated the opening of its newly constructed Engineering & Technology Center in Melbourne, FL., on September 9th. The 75,000 ft² state-of-the-art facility is the first of its kind outside Brazil, where the Company is headquartered, and part of Embraer’s strategy to expand its global footprint. The new Center will conduct engineering and development activities for both product and technology development across Embraer’s business lines with the first assignments primarily focused on executive jet interiors. It will include a laboratory for the development and testing of materials and interior components. Features include 3D Computer Aided Design, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Finite Element Modeling, 3D Virtual Reality Center, prototype capabilities and sophisticated laboratories and test equipment. Some 70 engineers have already been hired and have been operating in a temporary facility near the airport since 2012. Employment is scheduled to ramp up to a total of 200 by 2016.


Flying Colours Corp. KSUS bolsters approvals

September 8, 2014 · 98 Views

Flying Colours Corp., KSUS, the St Louis-based, USA, sister facility of Canadian headquartered completions, refurbishment and maintenance specialist company Flying Colours Corp. has expanded its service offering through a range of new approvals and status upgrades. The US facility now has approval for maintenance work on the latest aircraft types from Bombardier, the Challenger 350 and the Learjet 70/75. This follows the company’s continued investment in tooling, on-going training and an adherence to strict operating procedures which saw it originally gain its status as a Bombardier Authorised Service Facility. Buoying up its support for the new Challenger 350 Flying Colours Corp. KSUS has also been authorised by Honeywell to work on the HTF7350 engine, which is used on the latest member of the Challenger family.