Saturday, September 20, 2014
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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February 20, 2015 · 541 Views
The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.
February 20, 2015 · 639 Views
Snecma (Safran), a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines, and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), a leading aerospace manufacturer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 28th, 2015 in Bangalore to explore establishing a joint venture in India for the production of aero-engine parts. The proposed joint venture will initially focus on the manufacture of high-tech parts for the Dassault Rafale’s Snecma M88 engine, then subsequently contribute to other major aerospace projects of HAL & Snecma, in India and worldwide. Spanning over 30,000 m², the proposed joint venture’s new plant is expected to benefit from substantial investment by the two partners, providing it with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. This agreement marks a major step forward in the long-standing collaboration between Snecma and HAL. The proposed joint venture will further broaden the scope of the excellent relations established over the past 60 years between Safran affiliates and the Indian aerospace industry. For example, Snecma manufactures the M53 engines powering the Mirage 2000H “Vajra” fighters operated by the Indian Air Force.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
September 18, 2014 · 153 Views
TES Aviation Group announced the signing of a long term engine support program with VIM Airlines (Moscow, Russia). The Engine Management program will support the established Russian airline with all off-wing technical and commercial engine management activities, including reliability programming, fleet forecasting, financial modelling, maintenance planning and repair event management, with the objective of reducing the cost of engine operations and to manage the residual value of the fleet. The agreement will support the Vim operation with the establishment of a robust maintenance program whilst providing transition support and knowledge transfer to accommodate the successful growth of the western engine types.
September 18, 2014 · 111 Views
FL Technics, a global provider of tailor-made aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, has successfully passed EASA certification and was granted with an extended Design Organization Part 21J STC approval which allows aviation maintenance service providers to perform major cabin interior modifications. The newly received Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) extended approval confirms that FL Technics has not only united the team of qualified and competent MRO professionals but also significantly developed its internal procedures allowing to perform both minor and major cabin interior modifications under the EASA Part 21J approval. The STC Major Modification approval allows FL Technics to perform Major Cabin Changes (Modifications), which involves a change to the cabin, such as monument adjustments (galleys, class dividers, toilets etc), VIP conversions and various avionics upgrades, including Mod S EHS (Enhanced Surveillance Systems), In Flight Entertainment (IFE), Fixed (ELT) Emergency Locator Transmitter installations, etc.
September 18, 2014 · 146 Views
KLM UK Engineering has obtained its FAA Approval this year. KLM UK Engineering is one of the first UK based MRO’s to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration since the US Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration prohibition stopping the FAA issuing any new foreign repair station certifications was lifted early this year. Arjan Meijer Managing Director of KLM UK Engineering comments “KLM UK Engineering has always had the expertise and facilities to accommodate the required work. It has been a long process, but now we are very pleased to have obtained FAA certification. This new approval allows us to expand and develop our current maintenance activities and we look forward to welcoming new customers to our hangars”.
September 18, 2014 · 230 Views
Baltia Air Lines has signed a Line Maintenance Agreement with F&E Aircraft Maintenance, to provide contract line maintenance (Licensed Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics) to Baltia Air Lines at JFK International Airport. Baltia Air Lines is America’s newest airline, currently undergoing Air Carrier Certification. Baltia’s principal base of operations is at Willow Run Airport, Michigan. Upon Certification, Baltia will operate Boeing 747 aircraft across the Atlantic, from the U.S. to Europe.
September 18, 2014 · 191 Views
VistaJet, a leading global business aviation company, is adding $320m worth of new aircraft to its fleet as part of its ongoing worldwide expansion strategy. This represents the largest number of wide-body business jets to be delivered by Bombardier to a single customer within a 30-day period. The eight new jets include three Bombardier Global aircraft valued at $174m, as well as three Challenger 605 jets valued at $93m, and 2 Challenger 350 jets valued at $53m. This is in addition to five Global aircraft added in the first half of the year. VistaJet plans to take delivery of a further 12 jets including three Global 6000, four Challenger 350 and five Challenger 605 aircraft at a total value of $447.5m, by the end of the fourth quarter.
September 18, 2014 · 147 Views
In light of the continued strong financial performance of easyJet and confidence in the future, the Board has decided to increase the payout ratio for the ordinary dividend from one third of profit after tax to 40% of profit after tax from the financial year ending 30 September 2014. Additionally easyJet has reached agreement with Airbus to exercise existing purchase rights over 27 current generation A320 aircraft for delivery between 2015 and 2018. This provides easyJet with the flexibility to continue to execute its proven strategy of disciplined growth and to take advantage of profitable market opportunities. The additional aircraft will augment easyJet’s highly cash generative model and the Board will continue to keep the balance sheet under review and intends to make further returns of capital to shareholders in the coming years. In addition, they will continue to improve easyJet’s cost advantage as a current generation A320 aircraft delivers a cost per seat improvement of between 7% and 8% compared to a current generation A319 aircraft. These aircraft are subject to a very substantial price discount from the list price and are expected to be funded through a combination of easyJet’s internal resources, cashflow, sale and leaseback transactions and debt.
September 18, 2014 · 153 Views
AAR signed an agreement with Air Nostrum, based in Valencia, Spain, to overhaul landing gear on its CRJ900 aircraft fleet. The contract builds upon AAR’s existing relationship and experience servicing landing gear on the airline’s entire fleet of CRJ200s over the past seven years. AAR is performing the work at its landing gear repair station in Miami. This agreement expands AAR’s global maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities on regional jets. Last month, the company signed an agreement with Utah-based SkyWest Airlines to overhaul landing gear on its fleet of 40 Embraer 175 commercial passenger jets.
September 19, 2014 · 89 Views
GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes, the largest low-cost and best-fare airline in Latin America, announced that on September 18th, 2014, it has priced an offering of US$325m 8.875% Senior Notes due 2022, in a transaction exempt from registration under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”). Gol LuxCo intends to use the proceeds from the offering primarily to purchase for cash any and all of Gol LuxCo outstanding 10.750% senior notes due 2023; Gol Finance outstanding 9.250% senior notes due 2020; and Gol Finance outstanding 7.50% senior notes due 2017, tendered in connection with the previously announced tender offers.
September 19, 2014 · 119 Views
JetBlue Airways announced that Robin Hayes, the company’s current President, will succeed Dave Barger as Chief Executive Officer, effective February 16th, 2015. Barger will serve on the JetBlue Board of Directors until February 15th, 2015, and Hayes is expected to join the Board on February 16th, 2015.
September 19, 2014 · 186 Views
GKN Aerospace has agreed a major risk and revenue sharing partnership (RRSP) with Pratt & Whitney, covering the supply of key components for the PurePower PW1900 Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine – which will power the Embraer 190 and the 195-E2 narrow body, medium range aircraft. The agreement, under which GKN Aerospace will take a 7% share in the engine programme, could be worth approximately $2.5bn of GKN sales over the life of the programme, subject to engine sales. GKN Aerospace has already demonstrated its technological leadership in key engine components for other Pratt & Whitney GTF engines. This agreement ensures that GKN Aerospace has a strong industrial presence on all GTF engines. Manufacture of all components will be undertaken at GKN Aerospace’s facilities in Sweden, Norway and Connecticut, USA. First delivery of development parts is scheduled to take place early in 2015. Under the RRSP agreement, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems will assume responsibility for the design and manufacture of the turbine exhaust case (TEC) and intermediate compressor case (IMC) for the PW1900G engine along with the manufacture of the engine’s low pressure turbine (LPT) shaft and fan case mount rings. GKN Aerospace also takes responsibility for cross-programme production of the same set of structures for the PW1700G engine which will power the Embraer 175-E2.
September 19, 2014 · 171 Views
Lufthansa Technik is investing almost €60m in the construction and equipment of a new wheels and brakes shop at Frankfurt’s East Harbor. The new building will be put into service at the beginning of 2017. It will enable Lufthansa Technik, as a world leading provider of technical services for the aviation industry, to continue to grow in the segment of wheels and brakes maintenance. Lufthansa Technik is thus securing the 130 qualified jobs that already exist in Frankfurt and is also creating opportunities for further growth. The aim is to equip the building with state-of-the-art technology in order to exceed the requirements of the German Energy Saving Ordinance by 30%. From spring 2015, an ultra-modern workshop with a gross floor area of 14,500 m² will be built on a 35,000 m² plot at Frankfurt’s East Harbor. Operations are scheduled to commence as early as the beginning of 2017. Thanks to optimized processes, tailored logistics and state-of-the-art plant equipment, the new site optimizes the supply of wheels and brakes for Lufthansa’s flight operations. In addition, this opens up opportunities for further growth with customers outside the Lufthansa Group which is already strong. The workshop’s layout, together with a high degree of automation and optimum machine utilization, will further enhance Lufthansa Technik’s competitiveness.
September 19, 2014 · 128 Views
Amentum, the Dublin based commercial aircraft leasing company, has arranged the acquisition of two factory new 737-900ER aircraft for investor customer Archway Aviation (an Irish based operating lessor) in a sale & lease back transaction with Lion Air. The first aircraft (MSN 39880) was delivered on September 15th. The second aircraft (MSN 39878) will be delivered later this month. Both aircraft are funded with commercial debt and are subject to long-term leases to the airline group’s main Indonesian carrier Lion Air.
September 19, 2014 · 146 Views
AWAS has placed three widebody 767-300ER passenger aircraft with current customer Boliviana as part of the airline’s plan to commence long-haul service from Cochabamba to Miami in the US, and Madrid, Spain. Two of the three aircraft will be placed into immediate service to launch the Miami and Madrid destinations, while the third will be allocated for the provision of spare engine and parts support to the fleet. These routes represent important markets for the airline and will allow significant improvement of services as well as travel options for the Bolivian passenger.
September 19, 2014 · 216 Views
As part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) ongoing efforts to improve its responsiveness to the U.S. aviation industry as it certificates new products and operators, the agency took an important step today to streamline the aircraft certification process to help the industry get products to market faster and retain competitiveness. The FAA is replacing project sequencing with a new process to prioritize all U.S. aircraft certification projects. While the new process continues to use a project’s safety benefit and complexity to prioritize and allocate resources, it now offers applicants increased predictability and a commitment to a response time for the review of the applicant’s compliance data. The time it takes for certification depends on the complexity of the project and the experience of the company. Once an application package has been accepted, applicants will be able to initiate projects without delay; particularly if they have an Organization Designation Authorization (PDF) or are using FAA approved individual delegated engineering representatives. This new process responds to the recommendations from the Aircraft Certification Process Review and Reform Aviation Rulemaking Committee formed in accordance with Section 312 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. Due to limited resources, the FAA began sequencing certification projects in 2005. The agency was unable to tell applicants when a project would start which often resulted in long project delays until resources became available. Last year, the FAA certificated approximately 10,000 aviation products. There is currently no backlog or queue for certification projects.