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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 542 Views

The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.


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

February 20, 2015 · 640 Views

Snecma (Safran), a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines, and Hindustan Aeronautics  (HAL), a leading aerospace manufacturer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 28th, 2015 in Bangalore to explore establishing a joint venture in India for the production of aero-engine parts.  The proposed joint venture will initially focus on the manufacture of high-tech parts for the Dassault Rafale’s Snecma M88 engine, then subsequently contribute to other major aerospace projects of HAL & Snecma, in India and worldwide. Spanning over 30,000 m², the proposed joint venture’s new plant is expected to benefit from substantial investment by the two partners, providing it with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. This agreement marks a major step forward in the long-standing collaboration between Snecma and HAL. The proposed joint venture will further broaden the scope of the excellent relations established over the past 60 years between Safran affiliates and the Indian aerospace industry. For example, Snecma manufactures the M53 engines powering the Mirage 2000H “Vajra” fighters operated by the Indian Air Force.


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 195 Views

On the 7th January 2013 a fire was reported on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner while parked at Boston’s airport in the USA. The fire was put down to a problem with one of the plane’s lithium-ion batteries. A week later an All Nippon Airways 787 Dreamliner had to make an emergency landing after smoke was discovered inside the plane which was subsequently traced back to another lithium-ion battery. As a consequence of this incident, all 787 Dreamliners were grounded until April of that year until further acceptable testing and improvements were carried out to the battery system on board the plane. The battery itself was manufactured by GS Yuasa and comprised eight individual cells making up a combined weight of 63lbs.
Nearly two years later and the results of the investigation into the first incident have concluded that the lithium-ion battery installed in the plane should not have received certification by the FAA. The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) were also critical of Boeing who they believed had erroneously ruled out the chances of thermal runaway in its assessment of the battery’s safety. Boeing’s battery tests to obtain original certification included crushing battery cells, driving nails through them and deliberately introducing short circuits to cause failure. Boeing found “nothing adverse happened” while these tests were carried out, and so deemed the battery’s box and internal protection to be of an acceptable standard. Boeing stated that it had followed the certification process set out by the FAA. It would seem that while the cause of the fire has been clearly identified, responsibility for its occurrence has not been accepted in full by anyone.


Rolls-Royce forced to axe 2,600 jobs after second profit warning this year

November 5, 2014 · 162 Views

Back in February this year, Rolls-Royce, the FTSE-100 engine maker, lost over £3bn of its value after shocking the market with its first profits warning in a decade. To announce a second one this October has created considerable concern and Rolls-Royce has decided that over the next 18 months they need to reduce costs by up to £80m a year by axing 2,600 jobs, the majority of which will be in the aerospace sector in Britain and the United States. The focus is on Rolls-Royce’s key Trent engines as they move from the development to the production phase, which consequently requires fewer engineers.
Back in February John Rishton, Rolls-Royce group’s Chief Executive, had admitted that the future was “bumpier than I had expected”, while blaming the current problems on deteriorating economic conditions and a tit-for-tat trade war between the EU and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis which had affected its nuclear and energy business as well as its power-systems unit. This week Rishton has had to admit that “We are taking determined management action and accelerating our progress on cost. The measures announced today will not be the last; however they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company.”
Another consequence of the situation is the unexpected departure of Finance Director, Mark Morris, leaving the company after 27 year without any explanation. He will be replaced by David Smith, who is being promoted from Finance Director of the Rolls-Royce Aerospace division. This second profit warning saw share value fall 11% to 832p, wiping a further £2bn off the company’s value. However, news of the redundancies was well received by investors and the share price rallied by 2%, currently standing at 832p. This is clear confirmation of comments made by Espirito Santo’s analyst, Ed Stacey, who indicated that investors would be expecting a clear message from the new Finance Director and tight control on all finances.


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 111 Views

Air France-KLM selected the GEnx-1B engine to power its 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 12 leased 787 aircraft. The total engine order is valued at more than $1.7bn. Air France-KLM and GE Aviation have also signed an agreement that will allow Air France-KLM to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the GEnx-1B engine. Under this agreement, Air France-KLM will be licensed to perform maintenance and overhaul work on the GEnx-1B engine and GE will provide technical support and assistance on overhaul workscoping and component repair licenses, comprehensive material support and training.


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 78 Views

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has closed a new senior secured term loan of $1.5 billion. The loan will bear interest at LIBOR plus 275 basis points with a 0.75% LIBOR floor, is priced at 99.5% of par value, and will mature in 2021. The collateral used to support the transaction has an initial weighted average age of 9.1 years. It will be secured primarily by a first priority-perfected lien on the equity of certain of ILFC’s subsidiaries, which directly or indirectly own a pool of aircraft and related leases. ILFC plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including purchasing aircraft and supporting the company’s liquidity cushion.


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 78 Views

In 2013, Airbus achieved a new industry record of 1,619 gross commercial orders (FY 2012: 914 gross orders) with net orders of 1,503 aircraft (FY 2012: 833 net orders), excluding ATR. Gross orders comprised 1,253 A320 Family aircraft, 77 A330s, 239 A350 XWBs and 50 A380s. Fourth-quarter orders included Emirates Airline’s agreement for 50 A380s and Etihad Airways’ order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neos and one A330-200F. Airbus Military (now part of Airbus Defence and Space) received 17 net orders (FY 2012: 32 net orders). Airbus’ net order intake increased sharply to €202.3bn (FY 2012: €88.9bn). At the end of 2013, Airbus’ consolidated order book was valued at €647.4bn (year-end 2012: €525.5bn). The Airbus Commercial backlog was worth €627.1bn (year-end 2012: €505.3bn), comprising 5,559 Airbus aircraft (year-end 2012: 4,682 units) and representing over eight years of production. Airbus Military’s order book was worth €20.8bn (year-end 2012: €21.1bn). Airbus series aircraft deliveries increased to 626 aircraft (FY 2012: 588 aircraft, including three A330s without revenue recognition). Airbus Military delivered 31 aircraft (FY 2012: 29 aircraft). Airbus’ consolidated revenues increased seven percent to €42,012m (FY 2012: €39,273m), reflecting higher commercial and military aircraft deliveries. The Division’s consolidated EBIT rose to €1,710m (FY 2012: €1,252m). Airbus Commercial’s revenues rose to €39,889m (FY 2012: €37,624m). The Airbus Commercial reported EBIT was €1,595m (FY 2012: €1,147m) with the EBIT before one-off at €2,216m (FY 2012: €1,669m). Airbus Commercial’s EBIT before one-off benefitted from the improved operational performance, including favourable volume, some better pricing and an improvement in A380 losses. It also included higher A350 XWB programme support costs. Revenues at Airbus Military rose to €2,893m (FY 2012: €2,131m), driven by the A400M ramp-up and higher volumes from both light and medium transport planes and tankers. The EBIT at Airbus Military was €166m (FY 2012: €93m).


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 74 Views

Boeing Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $14.7bn and full-year revenue increased to a record $53bn on higher delivery volume. Fourth-quarter operating margin improved to 10.3% and full-year operating margin grew to 10.9% on the higher volume, favorable delivery mix and continued strong operating performance. During the quarter, the company launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments. During the year, the 787 program completed first flight of the 787-9, successfully launched the 787-10 and began operating at a 10 per month production rate in final assembly. The 737 program delivered at a record production rate of 38 per month and has won nearly 1,800 firm orders for the 737 MAX since launch. In 2013, a record 648 commercial aircraft were delivered. In January 2014, the company reached an eight-year contract extension through 2024 with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM). Commercial Airplanes booked 465 net orders during the quarter and 1,355 during the year. Backlog remains strong with 5,080 airplanes valued at a record $374 billion.


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 65 Views

The A350 XWB development aircraft, MSN3, is in Bolivia where it will perform a series of tests at the high altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba is around 8,300 feet above sea level, and La Paz is one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet. Operations at such high altitude airfields are particularly demanding on aircraft engines, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and systems. The aim of these trials is to demonstrate and validate the full functionality of engines, systems, materials as well as to assess the overall aircraft behaviour under these extreme conditions. A number of take-offs with all engines operating and with simulated engine failures are being performed at each of the airfields to collect data on engine operating characteristics and validate the aircraft take-off performance. The autopilot behaviour will also be evaluated during automatic landings and go-arounds. Since the A350 XWB’s first flight with MSN1 on June 14th 2013, over 800 flight test hours have been performed in close to 200 test flights by both MSN1 and MSN3. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in Q4 2014.


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 64 Views

Firefly, Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary carrier has taken ownership of its first brand-new ATR 72-600. The aircraft is the first of 20 latest generation firm ATRs, plus 16 options, ordered by Malaysia Airlines in December 2012. Firefly currently operates 12 ATR 72-500s, and with the arrival of the new ATR 72-600s will almost triple its exclusively ATR 72 aircraft fleet, taking the total to over 30 aircraft.


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 40 Views

Certification testing is underway on the first Passport development engine at GE Aviation’s Peebles Testing Operation in Ohio. The engine began ground testing on June 24th and ran for more than three hours, reaching more than 18,000 lbs. of standard day sea-level takeoff thrust. Eight Passport engines and one core will be involved in the engine certification program. Flight testing on GE’s flying testbed is scheduled for 2014. Engine certification is expected in 2015. The Passport engine certification program follows three years of validation testing. GE Aviation has conducted validation tests on the fan blisk design, including two fan blade-out rig tests, ingestion tests and a fan aero rig test to demonstrate fan efficiency. Testing is complete on the third eCore demonstrator, and GE has accumulated more than 300 hours of testing on eCore demonstrators to date.


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 53 Views

Rolls-Royce has won an order from US leasing company CIT Aerospace for Trent XWB engines, to power ten Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and Trent 700 engines to power 13 Airbus A330 aircraft. The Trent XWB engines will power ten CIT A350 aircraft that were announced in January 2013 which were in addition to five A350 XWB aircraft already on order. The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the Airbus A350, is the fastest selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,200 already sold. The engine variant that will power the A350-800 and -900 was awarded European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification in February. The engine will power the first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB this year and the aircraft’s first in-service flight in 2014.


airberlin cancels order for 33 Boeing aircraft

September 29, 2014 · 169 Views

airberlin has reached an agreement with Boeing that orders for 18 Boeing 737 and 15 Boeing 787 aircraft at a price of currently some $5bn be rescinded. The termination agreement for these 33 aircraft does not include any compensation to Boeing from airberlin group, and represents a further important step in the gradual harmonisation of the airline’s narrow-body fleet. Ulf Hüttmeyer, Chief Financial Officer at airberlin, said: “Not taking on the 33 aircraft ordered will significantly reduce future capital expenditure for airberlin and improve our balance sheet”. “Our collaboration with Boeing has always been excellent, and this will remain so. 45 Boeing 737 NG aircraft will remain in service on European short and medium-haul routes. In order to operate more flexibly in the future and further reduce costs, standardisation of our fleet is a key element of our restructuring”, Ulf Hüttmeyer continues. The transition to a uniform narrow-body fleet should be completed by the end of 2016. airberlin group will continue to dynamically adapt the existing fleet to its needs by purchasing or leasing suitable aircraft, although this will be on a smaller scale than originally planned.


EASA allows electronic devices to remain On and Connected throughout the flight

September 29, 2014 · 109 Views

EASA allows European airlines to permit use of mobile phones following the aircraft landing. Airlines can also allow the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) throughout the flight, after a safety assessment process. As a result, passengers will be able to use their PEDs just like in any other mode of transport: throughout the trip. The new guidance allows airlines to permit PEDs to stay switched on, without the need to be in ‘Airplane Mode’. This is the latest regulatory step towards enabling the ability to offer ‘gate-to-gate’ telecommunication or WiFi services. PEDs include any kind of electronic device brought on board the aircraft by a passenger such as smartphone, tablet, laptop, e-reader, MP3 player, etc. It is up to each airline to decide to allow the use of PEDs. In order to do this, the airline will have to go through an assessment process, ensuring aircraft systems are not affected in any way by the transmission signals from the PEDs. For this reason, there may be differences among airlines whether and when PEDs can be used. Passengers must at all times follow the airline crew instructions. Safety always comes first onboard of an aircraft. This measure follows the initial action from EASA in December 2013, toward permitting the use of PEDs through almost all stages of flight, when the ‘Airplane Mode’ not transmitting was allowed.


Etihad Airways rolls out first Boeing 787-9 aircraft

September 29, 2014 · 96 Views

Etihad Airways and Boeing celebrated the roll out of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner at an event in Seattle, Washington. The aircraft featured Etihad Airways’ new ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery which was unveiled in Hamburg, Germany this week. James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways Aviation Group, said the airline was proud to be one of the world’s largest customers for the B787 Dreamliner. “We have firm orders for more than 100 Boeing wide-body aircraft which include 41 787-9s and 30 787-10s. “Our new fleet of B787s will set customer service expectations for the airline industry, delivering the highest levels of comfort and choice across all classes of service.”


Macquarie AirFinance selects Bombardier CSeries aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower engines

September 29, 2014 · 65 Views

Pratt & Whitney will provide exclusive power for up to 50 Bombardier CSeries aircraft ordered by Macquarie AirFinance (part of the global diversified financial services institution Macquarie Group) announced on September 29th, by Bombardier. Macquarie AirFinance intends to take delivery of 40 Bombardier CS300 aircraft, with an option to purchase an additional 10 aircraft. These aircraft will be leased to airline operators around the world. The PurePower Geared Turbofan engine family has more than 6,000 orders and commitments, including options, from more than 60 global customers.


Esterline to acquire cutting-edge Aerospace/Defense Display Technology from Belgium-based Barco N.V.

September 29, 2014 · 66 Views

Esterline Corporation, a leading specialty manufacturer serving primarily aerospace and defense markets, has agreed to acquire the aerospace and defense display businesses of Barco N.V. These operations are recognized globally as best-in-class designers and manufactures of high-technology, harsh-environment displays and visualization solutions, holding well-established positions in Avionics, Defense, Air Traffic Control, and Training and Simulation markets. The transaction is expected to close in December or January, contingent upon Hart-Scott-Rodino approval, completion of French employee protective rights procedures, and other customary closing conditions. The acquisition purchase price of €150m, or approximately USD$200m, will be funded primarily by international cash reserves. The acquisition is a strategic bolt-on for Esterline; upon closing, the acquired operations will be integrated into Esterline’s Avionics & Controls business segment. The addition of Barco’s high-quality visual processing solutions is expected to enhance Esterline’s position as an innovative supplier of human-machine interface products primarily for aerospace customers in both commercial and defense markets. With annual revenues of approximately $200m, this acquisition will significantly expand Esterline’s existing business in the display category.


Aleris attains qualification to supply Bombardier from Zhenjiang, China

September 29, 2014 · 91 Views

Aleris reported that its new rolling mill in Zhenjiang, China has attained qualification to supply aluminum aerospace plate to Bombardier Aerospace. The achievement of this milestone represents a significant step for Aleris towards supplying aluminum plate from its Zhenjiang mill for use in the production of various Bombardier aircraft. Aleris has supplied aluminum aerospace plate to Bombardier from its Koblenz, Germany site for several years. Aleris Zhenjiang, which was opened in early 2013, was modeled after the Koblenz facility to meet the needs of both global and regional aircraft manufacturers by establishing a local supply of commercial aluminum aircraft plate in Asia Pacific. In June 2014, Aleris announced the Zhenjiang plant’s achievement of Nadcap accreditation, which allowed the company to move into the final stages of qualification with Bombardier and other major aircraft manufacturers. Shipments of aircraft plate are expected to begin in the fourth quarter. Aleris Zhenjiang is believed to be one of the first facilities in Asia Pacific qualified to produce aluminum plate for a major global aircraft manufacturer.


WestJet streamlines aircraft maintenance records management with AirVault cloud-computing service

September 29, 2014 · 105 Views

WestJet has licensed and implemented the AirVault Mx Records Management Solution to provide it with a new, web-based aircraft maintenance record management system.  WestJet needed an innovative, cloud-computing method to provide paper-less management of their aircraft maintenance records to increase aircraft maintenance efficiency for their rapidly growing fleet, while enhancing safety and compliance. WestJet currently has one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in North America, operating 113 aircraft comprised of jet and turboprop aircraft, including the Boeing Next-Generation 737-600, 737-700 and 737-800 as well as the Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop.


United Airlines Names Linda Jojo Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer

September 29, 2014 · 126 Views

United Airlines announced that Linda Jojo will become its Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, responsible for the development, implementation and management of technology strategy and solutions to support United’s global business. Jojo joins United from Rogers Communications, Inc., where she served as executive vice president and chief information officer. Previously, she served as chief information officer for Energy Future Holdings Corporation, Flowserve Corporation and GE Silicones.


Turbomeca signs SBH contract with Aero Asahi Corporation

September 29, 2014 · 111 Views

Aero Asahi Corporation and its subsidiary Central Helicopter Service, have signed with Turbomeca (Safran) a 5 year extension of the SBH (“Support By the Hour”) contract covering their fleet of Arriel 2 and Arriel 1E2 engines. More than 50 engines powering AS350B3/AS365N3/S76C+ and BK117C2 helicopters are now maintained through the SBH program and used for all type of missions, from Utility to EMS, as well as VIP transportation. Part of Toyota Motors Group of Companies, Aero Asahi is a leading Helicopter operator in Japan.


Turkish Technic authorized to carry out full-servicing and testing for all Honeywell auxiliary power units on Boeing 737 aircrafts

September 29, 2014 · 124 Views

Turkish Technic, the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) arm of Turkish Airlines, and Honeywell Aerospace have extended their long term aftermarket partnership. Based at Istanbul’s Atatürk and Sabiha Gokcen Airports, Turkish Technic  will now offer depot-level MRO services for all Honeywell 131-9B APUs on Boeing 737 aircraft worldwide.  The new contract builds on the existing agreement between the two companies to deliver industry-standard and round-the-clock MRO services to the airlines based in Turkey, and expands the authorization to worldwide coverage to provide airlines around the world with fast, state-of-the-art and authorised servicing capabilities.