Tuesday, October 07, 2014
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October 6, 2014 · 88 Views
Flights on the world-wide fleet of CF34-powered regional jets in service have risen an average of 6% year-over-year during the last decade. Since 2004, daily passenger flights powered by CF34 engines have increased yearly, reaching more than 11,400 flights per day world-wide in 2013. Annual passenger flights with CF34 engines have grown to more than 4 million flights worldwide from 2 million flights in 2004. “With outstanding durability and 99.95% reliability, the CF34 engine has played a significant role in the growth of regional jet travel worldwide,” said Kathy MacKenzie, general manager of Regional Engines & Services at GE Aviation. “CF34 operators recognize the proven performance of the engine line, and we continue to see an increase in orders for CF34-powered aircraft.” During the last 18 months, GE received more than 640 CF34 engines orders as airlines continue to grow their regional jet fleets. GE has delivered more than 6,000 CF34 engines to the regional segment and has continuously invested in product enhancements since the engine entered service in 1992. Today, CF34 engines are in service with 120 operators in more than 60 countries. The engines have accumulated more than 108 million flight hours on Bombardier CRJ and Embraer E-Jet aircraft.
October 6, 2014 · 59 Views
Vector Aerospace Engine Services – Atlantic (ES-A), a subsidiary of Vector Aerospace Corporation, announced that its MRO facility in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada has received AS9110B certification. AS9110B is the standard that was developed by aerospace professionals to meet the specific requirements of Aerospace Maintenance Organizations. AS9110B incorporates the requirements of ISO 9001: 2008 and specifies additional requirements for a quality management system for Aerospace Maintenance Organizations that must maintain or repair aviation or aerospace related products. “We are one of only fifteen companies in Canada to hold this approval and the first in Atlantic Canada,” says Jeff Poirier, president of ES-A. “The AS9110B is much more than a Quality Standard. It is truly an organizational business tool that will allow us to increase our efficiencies, produce a quality product, and remain competitive in a challenging aviation marketplace. This certification will also help us to increase our market share by gaining access to large and global military markets.”
October 6, 2014 · 86 Views
Boeing and China Airlines celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 777-300ER (Extended Range). The new airplane is the first of 10 777-300ERs that the Taiwanese flag carrier plans to introduce in the coming years. China Airlines will introduce a new, state-of-the-art cabin interior onboard its 777-300ER designed by award-winning Taiwanese architect Ray Chen. The airline configured its 777-300ER to seat 358 passengers in a three-class layout highlighted by the new ‘Family Couch’ seats in economy class, where three seats convert into a flat surface for rest and relaxation.
October 6, 2014 · 50 Views
For the month of September, Air Canada reported a system load factor of 84.7%, versus 83.2% in September 2013, representing an increase of 1.5 points on a system-wide capacity increase of 7.3%. On this additional capacity, system wide traffic for September increased 9.2%.
October 6, 2014 · 77 Views
Alaska Airlines, Seattle’s hometown airline, continues to invest in the long-term success of its business and the region it calls home. Alaska, which exclusively flies Boeing airplanes, announced the purchase of 10 additional Boeing 737-900ER aircraft. This order represents a significant investment in the long-term success of Alaska Airlines, and supports one of the largest employers in the region.
October 6, 2014 · 94 Views
B/E Aerospace reported the appointments of Joseph T. Lower as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of B/E Aerospace and Michael F. Senft as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of KLX. Mr. Lower will initially join B/E Aerospace as Vice President, Finance and be appointed Vice President and Chief Financial Officer upon the effectiveness of the separation of KLX from B/E Aerospace.
October 6, 2014 · 134 Views
TES Aviation Group announced the signing of a long term engine support agreement with Privilege Style (Madrid/Palma, Spain). The engine management program consists of a bespoke selection of tailored service modules which have been developed from TES’ already established Engine Management programs, allowing TES to fulfil the exact requirements of the airlines engine management needs and indicates a new service offering to the airline community. The program will support the established Spanish private charter airline with 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.
October 6, 2014 · 85 Views
Air Canada has reached a new agreement with the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA), subject to ratification, on collective agreement terms for ten years. “This new, ten-year agreement with the Air Canada Pilots Association is an important development which, if ratified, will allow us to further accelerate the implementation of our business strategy and support long term profitable growth for the benefit of Air Canada and our pilots,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, Air Canada. The agreement is subject to ratification by the Association’s membership comprising the airline’s approximately 3,000 pilots as well as to certain openers and benchmarks over the 10 year period. Details of the agreement, reached before the expiration in April 2016 of the current collective agreement, will not be released pending ratification by the Association and approval by the Air Canada Board of Directors.
October 6, 2014 · 76 Views
WestJet reported September 2014 traffic results with a load factor of 75.9%. Traffic increased 6.0% year over year, and capacity grew 6.8% over the same period.
Aberdeen International, Edinburgh Airport and Glasgow Airport sign contract with Rockwell Collins for ARINC vMUSE
October 6, 2014 · 91 Views
Rockwell Collins announced that Edinburgh Airport, Aberdeen International Airport and Glasgow Airport have signed agreements to install ARINC vMUSE Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) workstations in the airports. The ARINC vMUSE system will enable the airports to support multiple airline applications running concurrently on the same workstation. This will reduce costs while processing passengers faster and more efficiently.
October 6, 2014 · 129 Views
It took eight years of investigating to bring seven past and present executives of Airbus Group to trial, and only a matter of hours for that trial to come to a grinding halt. The reason? The French court in question, headed by lead Magistrate Bénédicte de Perheus, has decided that the whole concept of a trial needs reviewing by a higher judicial system in France, the Court of Cassation, to decide whether this trial is even constitutional. Part of the problem facing the prosecution is that some five years ago the French stock market regulator had cleared EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company), as Airbus Group was then called, of any wrongdoing.
It would appear the case is not just against seven individuals, but also two major companies, Germany’s Daimler and Lagardère, a French-owned company, who were selling off a certain amount, but not all of their holding in EADS around the time in 2006 which this trial is centered on. From what we can gather though, this isn’t a clear case of establishing what was and what was not known at the time shares were sold. The principal complication arises from when EADS was first formed in 2000 and a right given to those executives with share options to exercise them in 2006, which they promptly did, and as is not unusual with stock options. According to the New York Times, “The biggest problem that some of the individual executives are said to have known about when they sold their stock involves mounting delays and cost overruns for the twin-deck A380 “superjumbo,” the world’s largest passenger jet. Troubles linked to the design and installation of the A380’s electrical wiring eventually snowballed into a devastating three-year delay in deliveries, leading to a management reshuffling, the elimination of 10,000 jobs and more than $6 billion in losses.”
With a combination of many stating that critical information was widely known and not the sole knowledge of the seven executives, the stock options being exercised at a logical time, and the French stock market regulator already clearing EADS of any wrongdoing, one has to question whether there really is a constitutional case after all. If not, after eight years of investigation and the assembly of major prosecution and defense teams, somewhere there is going to be a very big bill to pay, presumably picked up by the taxpayer as usual.
October 6, 2014 · 112 Views
AAR’s Nordisk Aviation Products, in partnership with Airbus, has developed an AMV main deck cargo container exclusively for the A330-200F, A300-600 and A310-300 converted freighter. Hong Kong Airlines recently purchased the customized unit devices (ULDs) for its fleet of Airbus 330-200F aircraft. The AMV accommodates side-by-side positioning, allowing maximum use of space. The AMV has a base dimension of 96-by-125 inches and is contoured to match the fuselage sidewalls. Previously, the only way to maximize air freight capacity was to use pallets and build up the load to match the contour of the aircraft. With the new AMV containers, cargo build-up will be faster and easier.
October 6, 2014 · 113 Views
GKN Aerospace’s Alabama leadership joined state and local officials today to officially break ground on an addition to the company’s Tallassee facility that will house an engineering design centre. U.K.-based GKN Aerospace announced the Alabama engineering design centre at the Farnborough International Airshow in July. This event signified the beginning of construction work on a permanent, 10,800-ft² base for the centre, where design and analysis engineers initially will focus on composite technologies for rotorcraft. “The new composites design engineering centre in Alabama will enable our global company to expand the high level of design/development engineering support we provide to customers,” said Jeff Barger, vice president and general manager of the GKN Aerospace Advanced Composite Structures (ACS) facility. “In addition, this project will significantly increase the number of highly skilled engineering personnel based at the growing facility in Tallassee.” The engineering design centre is now housed in a temporary location at the Elmore County plant, which concentrates on aerostructures made from composite materials for industry partners such as Bell Helicopter, HondaJet, and Airbus. Initial recruiting has begun for the centre, which will have a maximum headcount of 30.
October 6, 2014 · 185 Views
Right on time for the market launch of the Airbus A350, Lufthansa Technik is offering operators of this new twin-engine wide-body aircraft a comprehensive, flexible portfolio of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for this aircraft type. The spectrum of services covers the entire life cycle of the A350 and includes production inspections, material supply, maintenance and maintenance management as well as engineering services, entry-into-service support and LRU and engine maintenance. A particular focus of services for the A350 is aircraft IT management, since the aircraft and its maintenance systems are much more cross-linked than those of previous aircraft generations. In addition to Lufthansa´s experience in both flight operations as well as maintenance on the A380, Lufthansa Technik is investing in the extensive involvement in the development program for the A350. Since 2008 Lufthansa Technik engineers have worked on behalf of Lufthansa, which will take delivery of its first A350s in 2016, with teams of airline experts known as Customer Focus Groups.
October 6, 2014 · 110 Views
Ryanair reported September traffic increased 5% compared to the previous year, while the load factor for the month increased 5.0 points to 90%.