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Friday, September 12, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 543 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 · 641 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.


AJW Aviation becomes authorised worldwide distributor of aircraft lamps for CML Innovative Technologies

September 10, 2014 · 113 Views

AJW Aviation has signed a global distribution agreement with Chicago Miniature Lighting. Founded in 1931, CML manufactures a wide range of lighting that delivers optimum service life and top quality performance to meet the lighting requirements of aircraft manufacturers and maintenance facilities worldwide. This includes: Instrumental Lighting, Cabin Lighting, Flight Deck Lighting, Navigation and Anti-collision Lighting. CML also have the capabilities to design and manufacture LED solutions for all aircraft, delivering low energy and low maintenance, further reducing airline costs.


Air Lease Corporation announces pricing of public offering of $500m of 2.125% unsecured senior notes

September 10, 2014 · 95 Views

Air Lease Corporation announced the pricing of its public offering of $500m in aggregate principal amount of 2.125% unsecured senior notes due 2018 (the “2018 Notes”) and $500m in aggregate principal amount of 4.250% unsecured senior notes due 2024 (the “2024 Notes” and, together with the 2018 Notes, the “Notes”). The 2018 Notes were offered to the public at a price of 99.650% of par and the 2024 Notes were offered to the public at a price of 99.196% of par . The sale of the 2018 Notes and 2024 Notes is expected to close on September 16, 2014, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, the purchase of commercial aircraft and the repayment of existing indebtedness.


British Airways to bring new A380 to San Francisco

September 10, 2014 · 144 Views

From the Golden Gate Bridge to Tower Bridge, British Airways’ customers can now travel on the luxurious new Airbus A380 aircraft. In service from April 2015, this is the first time that an A380 will be available for customers traveling between San Francisco International Airport and London Heathrow. The Bay area will become the third destination in North America to receive the largest and grandest aircraft in British Airways’ fleet. The new aircraft spans two full decks and can accommodate up to 469 customers across four cabins. With 14 First class suites and 97 Club World business seats, the British Airways A380 will have more full flatbeds than any other flight departing from San Francisco.


SAS posts net income of MSEK 496, for period of May-July 2014

September 10, 2014 · 95 Views

SAS reported revenue of MSEK 10,697 (MSEK 11,593 in 2013) for the period of May-July 2014. Unit revenue declined 7.1% and unit cost decreased 5.6%. EBIT margin was 8.7% (12.1% in 2013). Income before tax amounted to MSEK 756 (MSEK 1,176 in 2013). SAS reported net income of MSEK 496 (MSEK 886 in 2013).


ST Engineering’s Aerospace arm to establish MRO facility at Pensacola International Airport

September 10, 2014 · 168 Views

ST Engineering released that VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering (VT MAE) and the City of Pensacola have signed an agreement to set up an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at the Pensacola International Airport in Pensacola, Florida. This follows the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in December 2013. Under the agreement, the City of Pensacola will construct an aircraft hangar complex on 18.66 acres of greenfield land, and lease it to VT MAE for 30 years. The hangar will be able to accommodate two wide-body aircraft, and is expected to be ready for operations in mid 2016.


Japan National Police Agency orders one AW109 Power for the Kyoto Police

September 10, 2014 · 110 Views

The Japan National Police Agency (JNPA) has ordered one AW109 Power light twin helicopter which will be operated by Kyoto Police. The AW109 Power helicopter will replace an ageing B206 model and will be delivered to the customer in December 2015. The helicopter will be configured for law enforcement missions with role equipment such as a rescue hoist, search light and rappelling kit. The delivery of this aircraft will bring the total of AW109 series helicopters operating in  the law enforcement mission with the JNPA to 27, representing the largest fleet of a single helicopter type in operation with the JNPA and operating prefectures throughout Japan.


Airbus establishes flight operations documentation centre in Bangkok

September 10, 2014 · 140 Views

Airbus has established a new subsidiary in Thailand for the production of flight operations data for use by airlines worldwide. The centre, to be named Airbus Flight Operations Services, will produce electronic versions of the standard flight operations manuals, improving the growing use of the Electronic Flight Bag for all Airbus aircraft types. The centre will offer several additional services, such as data customisation services for individual airlines where required. Airbus Flight Operations Services will begin operations in Thailand early in 2015 and will initially employ some 30 people, almost all of whom will be recruited locally. The team is expected to grow further and will comprise skilled professionals with proven experience in airline flight operations data management.


Amedeo acquires first A380 on balance sheet

September 11, 2014 · 123 Views

Amedeo announced the acquisition of its first owned A380. The aircraft bearing Manufacturer’s Serial Number (MSN) 157 was delivered to Emirates as part of a sale and leaseback transaction on 4th September at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Hamburg and was placed on a 12-year operating lease. The financing was a combination of senior and junior loans provided by a bank syndicate, including Commercial Bank International, Qatar National Bank (QNB), Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac). Westpac acted as the Senior Agent and the Security Trustee and QNB acted as the Junior Agent.


Ameco Guangzhou Outstation undertakes line maintenance for Aeroflot

September 11, 2014 · 167 Views

Ameco Guangzhou Outstation started line maintenance for A330-300 from Aeroflot Russian Airlines on September 1st, 2014. It’s the 8th international 3rd-party customer for Ameco Guangzhou Outstation after Qatar Airways, Egyptair, Air France, Turkish Airlines, Air Madagascar, Garuda Indonesia as well as Iraq Airways. Headquartered in Beijing, Ameco’s international third-party line maintenance business extends to outstations in China with excellent network services in recent years. It performs line maintenance and release work for Aeroflot Russian Airlines in Beijing and Shanghai and with the opening air route of Aeroflot Russian Airlines from Moscow to Guangzhou, Ameco is to provide maintenance and release services for it once a day in Guangzhou.


Intrepid delivers one new Airbus A330-300 to Skymark Airlines

September 11, 2014 · 145 Views

Intrepid Aviation delivered one new Airbus A330-300 to Skymark Airlines. The aircraft is equipped with Rolls Royce Trent 772-B engines and is subject to a long-term lease to the Japanese carrier. This marks the fourth aircraft to be delivered from Intrepid Aviation on lease to Skymark.


Andreas Otto named new CCO of Austrian Airlines

September 11, 2014 · 130 Views

Andreas Otto, currently Executive Board Member for Product and Sales at Lufthansa Cargo in Frankfurt, was named to serve as the new Chief Commercial Officer of Austrian Airlines AG effective October 1st, 2014. He replaces Karsten Benz, who will return to the Lufthansa Group in Frankfurt as of October 1st, 2014.


AWAS delivers second 757-200 freighter aircraft to Cargojet

September 11, 2014 · 187 Views

AWAS has delivered a second 757-200 freighter aircraft on lease to Cargojet, a leading Canadian cargo airline that recently celebrated its 10th year of service. The aircraft is from AWAS’ existing portfolio. Cargojet, the most awarded cargo airline in Canada, is a leading provider of time sensitive overnight air cargo services and operates a network across North America as well as global air charters.


Air France-KLM presents new Perform 2020 strategic plan

September 11, 2014 · 309 Views

Air France-KLM unveiled its new Perform 2020 strategic plan on September 11th. Perform 2020 is the successor to Transform 2015, which represented the first phase in the Group’s turnaround. While maintaining the imperatives of competitiveness and the ongoing strengthening of the Group’s financial position, this growth plan will focus on the following three strategic areas:

– Selective development to increase exposure to growth markets
– A product and services upgrade targeting the highest international level
– An ongoing improvement in competitiveness and efficiency within the framework of strict financial discipline.

Air France-KLM’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alexandre de Juniac, made the following comments: “Transform 2015 will be completed by the year end having fully delivered on its objective of significantly improving the Group’s competitiveness and delivering a €1 billion-plus reduction in costs. Perform 2020, the strategic plan we are launching today, will be supported by two main levers: growth, which we are looking to capture in a number of areas, and competitiveness combined with financial discipline which should continue to ensure firm foundations for the development of Air France-KLM. This is why the ambitious initiatives we are launching today will go hand in hand with redoubled efforts to reduce costs and restructure activities which remain loss-making. By 2020, we will have built an air transport Group focused on a leading long-haul network at the heart of global alliances, with a portfolio of unique brands, restructured short and medium-haul operations with a reinforced presence in the low cost segment in Europe, leadership positions in cargo, maintenance and catering, and a significantly improved risk profile both operationally and financially.”
Medium-term financial targets are: 2017 EBITDAR up by 8% to 10.2% per year between 2013 and 2017, an adjusted net debt/EBITDAR ratio of below 2.5 from 2017, Targets consistent with a ROCE (return on capital employed) of 9% to 11% in 2017.