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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 556 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 · 655 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 · 197 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 · 164 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 · 113 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 · 80 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 · 80 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 · 76 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 · 67 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 · 66 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 · 42 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 · 55 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.


TrueAero acquires three CFM56-5C4/P engines

September 15, 2014 · 161 Views

TrueAero reported that it acquired three CFM56-5C4/P engines. The first engine will immediate be part-out in support of the parts re-distribution business while two will remain on lease to the operator and will be parted out at a later date.


Air Maintenance Estonia rebrands to Magnetic MRO‎ as part of new strategy

September 15, 2014 · 425 Views

Air Maintenance Estonia (AME) – Aircraft Maintenance and Repair Organization headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia, is rebranded to Magnetic MRO, effective from 15th of September 2014. Magnetic MRO starts fresh with the new strategy to provide Total Technical Care MRO solutions for airlines, asset owners and distribution partners, develop a wide range of MRO services and capabilities, and expand operational geographies.‎ Magnetic MRO is expanding its existing Heavy and Line Maintenance capabilities by adding comprehensive Components, Engines, and Engineering solutions to form a Total Technical Care suite of services for its customers. The company also plans to enter new markets and operational geographies as part of its new business strategy.


MTU Maintenance Zhuhai achieves 1500th shop visit milestone

September 15, 2014 · 230 Views

MTU Maintenance Zhuhai has completed its 1500th shop visit since it commenced operations in 2003. The milestone was achieved through the scheduled shop visit of a CFM565B from an overseas customer. This highlights both the strong recent growth of this engine program and the increasing global reach of MTU Maintenance Zhuhai. In 2013 the company repaired and overhauled over 200 engines. Of which about one third came from overseas; mainly from operators in the Americas. For engines inducted over the course of 2014 so far, this share has grown to above 40%. MTU Maintenance Zhuhai, a 50:50 joint venture between MTU Aero Engines and China Southern Air Holding Company, is China’s market leader for engine MRO services. The company focuses on the repair of V2500 and CFM56 engines. In order to meet the growing expectations of the global aviation market, the company extended its main engine repair shop by the end of 2012 to increase the overall capacity by 50% from 200 to 300 shop visits per year.


Life Flight Network takes delivery of 15th AW119Kx

September 15, 2014 · 93 Views

AgustaWestland has built and delivered from the Philadelphia assembly line the 15th AW119Kx for Life Flight Network, the latest addition to their Pacific Northwest-based fleet of aircraft. The AgustaWestland engineering and production teams acheived tremendous success by integrating the Garmin G1000HTM flight deck system into the proven AW119 platform, certifying the new avionics suite, and delivering 15 helicopters to launch customer Life Flight Network in less than two years. The new avionics system includes a synthetic vision system, moving map, highway in the sky and obstacle/terrain avoidance systems for enhanced situational awareness and safety.


Lufthansa Technik appoints new chairman of Executive Board

September 15, 2014 · 204 Views

During its meeting on September 15th, the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa Technik appointed Dr. Johannes Bussmann the new Chairman of the Executive Board for the company. Dr. Bussmann will take over the position from August Wilhelm Henningsen on April 1st, 2015, with Mr. Henningsen due to retire in the coming year.


GECAS completes purchase-and-leaseback deal with TUI Travel for two GEnx engines

September 15, 2014 · 145 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing arm of GE, reported that its engine leasing unit completed a purchase-and-leaseback transaction with TUI Travel for two new GEnx engines. The engines will be used as spares to support the TUI Travel airlines’ Boeing 787 fleet.


Boeing delivers 5th P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft to India

September 15, 2014 · 124 Views

Boeing delivered the fifth P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to India, on schedule, on Sept. 9th as part of a contract for eight aircraft to support the Indian Navy’s maritime patrol requirements. The aircraft arrived at Naval Air Station Rajali, after a flight from Seattle’s Boeing Field, and joined the four previously delivered P-8Is. Boeing is building India’s aircraft through a contract awarded in 2009. Based on the company’s Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, the P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing builds for the U.S. Navy.


Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

September 16, 2014 · 79 Views

Pratt & Whitney, together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center (HMC) at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, celebrated another significant milestone – qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex (OC-ALC). OC-ALC – which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform maintenance and repair work on F135 fan modules – is on target to complete the remainder of its F135 qualifications and be fully activated as the first F135 depot by the fourth quarter of 2015. Pratt & Whitney and the U.S. Air Force partner to perform depot maintenance on F117, F119 and F135 engines at OC-ALC, in addition to special technology coatings operations. Under the partnership arrangement, Pratt & Whitney provides the overall management, technical support and materials management at the HMC while the Air Force provides highly capable mechanics and extensive back shop capabilities.


United Airlines and AFA to offer enhanced early out program for flight attendants

September 16, 2014 · 101 Views

United Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) announced that United will offer its Flight Attendants an Enhanced Early Out Program, which allows participants a one-time opportunity to voluntarily separate from the company and receive a severance payment. United also announced that it is recalling all Flight Attendants who are on voluntary and involuntary furlough. United will offer lump sum payouts of up to $100,000 for Flight Attendants who apply for the early out and meet certain service and eligibility qualifications, and the company will award early outs in seniority order. United has achieved joint collective bargaining agreements with a majority of its represented work force, including pilots, dispatchers, fleet service, passenger service, reservations and storekeeper workgroups. The company is engaged in expedited negotiations with the AFA and is in mediation with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), representing United’s technicians.


FLYHT announces retirement of CFO Thomas French

September 16, 2014 · 84 Views

FLYHT Aerospace Solutions reported the retirement of its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Thomas French, CGA, effective September 15th, 2014. The Board of Directors has approved the appointment of Ms. Nola Heale, CA as the new CFO effective September 15th, 2014. Mr. French will remain with the Company until December 31st, 2014 to assist in the transition and complete projects for the Board.


Gogo wins bidding to provide In-flight Connectivity Services for Vietnam Airlines

September 16, 2014 · 109 Views

Gogo, a leading global aero communications service provider, has received a bid award letter from Vietnam Airlines to provide in-flight connectivity services on Vietnam Airlines’ fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft and a majority of Vietnam’s Airbus A350 aircraft. The aircraft will be outfitted with a mix of Inmarsat’s new GX Aviation Ka-band service and their proven SwiftBroadband connectivity. The parties are currently negotiating a definitive agreement, with the GX service currently expected to launch in the second half of 2015.


Bombardier to deliver Honeywell’s High-Speed “JetWave” connectivity hardware for Business Jets

September 16, 2014 · 121 Views

Bombardier Business Aircraft will be the launch business aircraft manufacturer for Honeywell Aerospace’s JetWave Ka-Band satellite connectivity system. Honeywell’s JetWave hardware exclusively supports Inmarsat’s forthcoming Jet ConneX (JX) service which, when it goes live in 2015, will provide business jet passengers with high-speed, in-flight connectivity virtually anywhere in the world. Bombardier will be the first business aviation manufacturer to equip JetWave and plans to offer the technology across the Global 5000, Global 6000, Global 7000 and Global 8000 platforms. A retrofit offering will also be available for all Global aircraft currently in service.


StandardAero signs partnership agreement with Airteam in South Africa

September 16, 2014 · 143 Views

StandardAero and Airteam, of Pretoria, South Africa, have signed a partnership agreement to provide PT6 engine maintenance through a co-branded foothold in the Southern African region. The new partnership is expected to be fully up and running by the end of September, 2014 and all engine services will be performed at either Airteam’s Wonderboom Airport Facility or at StandardAero’s Tilburg, Netherlands or Winnipeg, Canada facilities. Airteam is an aviation company that specializes in contract flying throughout the world. Airteam performs its own aircraft maintenance, third party maintenance, aircraft sales as well as ad hoc local charters. The company, along with its maintenance department, also provides a parts supply business that imports and supplies aircraft parts throughout Southern Africa. Airteam is based at the Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria, South Africa.


AWAS delivers two additional new A320 aircraft to Spring Airlines and one new A320 to Vietjet

September 16, 2014 · 127 Views

AWAS has delivered an additional two new A320 passenger aircraft on lease with Spring Airlines in China. These aircraft come from AWAS’existing pipeline order with the manufacturer and will assist with Spring’s growth needs: domestically and to new, planned-regional routes such as Singapore.
AWAS also delivered on lease to Vietjet, the fourth planned new A320 aircraft from its new order pipeline. Vietjet is an expanding low cost carrier operating a modern, all-A320 fleet from Vietnam’s three major economic and tourist hubs – Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hanoi, and is the first private airline in Vietnam to be licensed to operate domestic and international flights.