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Saturday, October 11, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

This is an overview of all articles linked within the selected daily newsletter.
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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.


Vector Aerospace signs contract to supply Royal Thai Air Force with engine and component parts

October 9, 2014 · 157 Views

Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services – North America has signed an agreement with the Royal Thailand Air Force (“RTAF”) to provide PT6T engine accessories including fuel control units and governors and combining gearboxes for the RTAF’s fleet of Bell 412 aircraft. The agreement runs over the next 12 months, with automatic contract renewals subject to meeting certain performance requirements.


Dennis Hercules, Vice President of Global Human Resources at PAS Technologies, to retire

October 9, 2014 · 82 Views

PAS Technologies reported that Dennis C. Hercules, Vice President of Global Human Resources, will retire on December 31st, 2014. Frank Tracano, Jr. succeeds Hercules, effective immediately, and has been appointed Vice President of Business Development, Global Human Resources and Contracts for PAS Technologies. In his new role, Tracano reports to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Thomas C. Hutton, and will work with Hercules through year’s end to ensure a smooth transition.


Norwegian selects Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines again

October 9, 2014 · 86 Views

Norwegian has selected Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines for nine additional leased Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. This brings the total number of Norwegian’s Trent 1000-powered Boeing 787 Dreamliners to 17. All of the engine sales are already accounted for in the Rolls-Royce orderbook. In addition, the airline has also ordered long-term TotalCare service support for engines powering the nine aircraft, worth $440m. The leased aircraft will be powered by the latest version of the Trent 1000, the Trent 1000-TEN.


GA Telesis signs MOU for worldwide distribution of Ontic components

October 9, 2014 · 144 Views

GA Telesis has signed an MOU to distribute and sell serviceable LRU components for Airbus and Boeing platforms stocked by Ontic, a BBA Aviation company. The partnership between the companies will ensure that Ontic’s customers are covered worldwide by GA Telesis’ expansive sales and distribution network. While the initial focus of the partnership will be on the Airbus 320 family and Boeing 777 platforms, the program will soon be expanded to include all platforms supported by Ontic. All parts offered will be repaired at Ontic’s FAA and EASA certified repair stations located in Chatsworth, CA; Cheltenham, UK; and Singapore.


Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi selects Williams International FJ44-4M to power M-345 HET

October 9, 2014 · 170 Views

Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi selected Williams International FJ44-4M to power the new M-345 HET (High Efficiency Trainer) aircraft. FJ44-4M is the fully aerobatic version of FJ44-4A engine. It is a modern two–spool co–rotating turbofan engine with medium bypass ratio, mixed exhaust, and high cycle pressure ratio. FJ44-4M is in the class of 3400 lbs thrust with low fuel consumption, and takes advantage of Williams well recognized track in maintenance services in order to further reduce operating costs. The two Companies already started joint activities to finalize the collaboration framework which will lead to integrate the engine into M-345 HET aircraft in the next couple of years.


United reports September 2014 operational performance

October 9, 2014 · 76 Views

UAL’s September 2014 consolidated traffic decreased 0.2% and consolidated capacity decreased 0.4% versus September 2013. UAL’s September 2014 consolidated load factor increased 0.2 points to 82.9% compared to September 2013.


John W. Dietrich appointed new President and Chief Operating Officer of Atlas Air,

October 9, 2014 · 118 Views

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has appointed John W. Dietrich as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Atlas Air, the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, effective October 15th, 2014. Mr. Dietrich will retain his role with the parent holding company and continue to report to William J. Flynn, Atlas Air Worldwide’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Furthermore Michael T. Steen has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company’s wholly owned dry-leasing subsidiary, Titan Aviation Holdings, effective October 15th, 2014.


CFM’s LEAP engine takes to the skies

October 9, 2014 · 129 Views

CFM International’s LEAP engine took to the skies for the first time on October 6th, on a modified 747 flying testbed at GE Aviation Flight Test Operations in Victorville, California, launching the next phase of testing for the advanced engine program. The engine behaved well and completed multiple aeromechnical test points at various altitudes during the nearly three-hour first flight. Over the next several weeks, the engine will complete a comprehensive test schedule that will gauge engine operability, stall margin, performance, and acoustics. The LEAP-1A/-1C variants are on track for engine certification in 2015.


Red Wings selects Sukhoi Superjet 100

October 9, 2014 · 148 Views

Russian airline Red Wings and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company signed a rental agreement for three Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft. The aircraft will be handed over to the airline by the end of 2014 for one year with the possibility of extension. Red Wings airline plans to operate Sukhoi Superjet 100 in Russia: from Moscow to Ufa, Makhachkala, Chelyabinsk, Sochi and Mineralnye Vody.


AerCap Holdings completes 134 aircraft transactions during third quarter 2014

October 9, 2014 · 143 Views

AerCap Holdings completed 134 aircraft transactions during the third quarter of 2014 and signed lease agreements for 84 aircraft. The company delivered 26 aircraft under contracted lease agreements and purchased nine new aircraft, including five Boeing 787-8s, three Boeing 737-800s and one Airbus A321-200. AerCap also executed sale and part-out transactions for 15 aircraft, including: one Airbus A300-600F, one Airbus A340-300, eight Boeing B737 classics, one Boeing B767-300ER and two MD-11s from AerCap’s owned portfolio. One Boeing 737 classic and one Airbus A320-200 from AerCap’s managed portfolio.


Air Canada signs key contract with AFI KLM E&M

October 9, 2014 · 184 Views

EPCOR has signed a long-term contract with Air Canada covering maintenance of the APS 5000 APUs installed on its fleet of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners already in revenue service or scheduled for delivery through to 2019. The contract also provides for spares provisioning through a dedicated pool of APUs. Repairs will be carried out at EPCOR’s Amsterdam facility, which has been repairing the APS5000 since early 2014.


All Lufthansa long-haul aircraft will be equipped with Premium Eco

October 9, 2014 · 173 Views

Lufthansa Technik AG has now equipped the newest Lufthansa aircraft with a Premium Economy cabin. The Boeing 747-8 “Yankee Quebec” arrived – fresh from the factory in Seattle – on August 30th in Frankfurt, where it received its new Premium Economy Class in mid-September during a layover for the completion of the cabin interior. By late summer 2015, Lufthansa Technik AG will have equipped a total of 101 Lufthansa long-haul aircraft with this new cabin class during these short layovers of three days. The modifications of the Airbus A380, A340-600, A340-300, and A330 aircraft types and the Boeing 747-8 and 747-400 will take place primarily at Lufthansa’s two hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, but modifications will also be performed during planned layovers in Hamburg, Manila and on Malta. An initial modification, including EASA approval, is required for each aircraft type before the complete fleet of that type can be equipped with a Premium Economy Class cabin. The number of seats in the Premium Economy Class varies by aircraft: while the A330, for example, seats 21 passengers, the Airbus A380, with 52 seats, will offer the largest Premium Economy Class.


A win-win situation lies on the horizon for Airbus and Dassault Aviation

October 9, 2014 · 136 Views

Clearly Airbus listens to its advisers. Last year Activist hedge fund TCI described the Airbus stake in Dassault “a poor use of capital” and suggested Airbus should sell it. Soon afterwards Airbus set about creating a strategy where they could relinquish a percentage of their holdings in the company in as profitable manner as possible. Currently Airbus owns a 46 percent stake in Dassault Aviation and they are currently weighing up the possibilities of placing a 10% stake in the business with financial institutions.
Dassault Aviation is currently controlled by the family holding company, Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault, which owns 50.55 a percent stake in the company which is estimated to be worth €10 billion. However in response to the possibility of Airbus releasing the tightly-traded stock, the family controlled Dassault Aviation agreed to buy back 10% of the previously traded stock. With the release of 10% to financial institutions, that would see 20% of the stock already taken care of.
Airbus Group’s head of corporate communications Rainer Ohler said: “That provides an obvious route for a partial exit…. We believe, however, that longer-term value objectives might be better served through combining a sale to Dassault with the placing of a meaningful amount of shares in the market, enough for there to be much improved liquidity, and so we continue to review our options in this respect”
In July, Airbus decided to end a longstanding arrangement to warehouse their stake in Dassault on behalf of the French government and made it very clear it was more a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. Airbus had inherited their stake in Dassault from Aerospatiale together with a substantial headquarters building in Paris. The sale of this building for €60 million this year certainly helped boost Airbus profits in a year after their stock value fell 10.6% in comparison to Dassault’s increase by 3.6%.
Rainer Ohler made it abundantly clear that Airbus had received “numerous expressions of interest from investors” while it has been made clear the Dassault family want to expand the market float, bring in new investors, and progress while still retaining control of the company.


Aviation Technical Services and Qantas Partner to reduce maintenance cost

October 10, 2014 · 158 Views

Aviation Technical Services (ATS) and Qantas recently entered into an Engineering Services Agreement, which focuses on improving efficiency and reducing the maintenance cost of Qantas’ fleet of more than 75 Boeing 737 aircraft. The program will enhance elements of Qantas’ aircraft maintenance program through multiple phases of improvement that target everything from availability of material to utilization of personnel. For this project’s work scope, ATS will draw upon its extensive Boeing 737 maintenance, overhaul and engineering experience.


AWAS closes first Private Placement for $350m

October 10, 2014 · 105 Views

AWAS has closed its first Private Placement Term Loan. Aviation Finance Company (AFC) acted as Lead Arranger and Sole Book Runner, with CACIB, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo as Co-Leads and BNP Paribas as Manager. The proceeds from the transaction were used to repay the existing debt on ten young narrow-body aircraft and for general corporate purposes. This new facility rated BBB by S&P will have a 7-year term at a 4.87% coupon. Clifford Chance acted as legal counsel on behalf of AWAS and Vedder Price on behalf of AFC and the Co-Lead Arrangers.


Embraer breaks ground on Legacy 500/450 assembly facility

October 10, 2014 · 132 Views

Embraer broke ground on its Legacy 500 and Legacy 450 assembly complex in Melbourne, Florida, on October 9th. At the ceremony the Company celebrated this significant addition to its existing 212,000 ft² campus at Melbourne International Airport. The new 236,000 ft² facility is expected to be operational by 2016. It will feature four new buildings: an assembly hangar, a paint facility, a completion center and flight preparation facility, and a new dedicated delivery center. Embraer will add 600 new hires to its almost 400 employees in the area in a ramped up mode over a period of four years beginning in 2016.


Alaska Airlines and its flight attendants tentatively agree on five-year contract

October 10, 2014 · 123 Views

Alaska Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants have reached tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 3,300 flight attendants. “We are delighted to have reached a tentative agreement that recognizes the outstanding contributions of our flight attendants and will provide for enhanced productivity for the future,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines’ executive vice president of operations and chief operating officer. “Our sincere thanks to the negotiating team from the Association of Flight Attendants for their patience and creativity as we worked to resolve issues raised in the prior agreement.” Once the tentative agreement is approved by the union’s leadership, Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants will conduct a ratification vote that is expected to be completed in December.


Spring Airlines to become first customer for Sharklet retrofit in China

October 10, 2014 · 146 Views

Spring Airlines, a low-cost carrier based in Shanghai, China, has signed an agreement with Airbus for Sharklet retrofit of its A320 aircraft in operation to become the first Chinese airline to perform retrofit of the latest fuel saving device. Thanks to this aerodynamic upgrade, Spring Airlines’ retrofitted aircraft will benefit from a reduction in fuel costs by up to 4%, an annual 900t reduction in CO2 emissions, an increased mission range by up to 100 nautical miles and improved performances at high elevation airports. Spring Airlines took delivery of its first A320 with Sharklets in September 2013. Since then the operator has been evaluating the effect of Sharklets on the operational performance of its fleet of six Sharklet-equipped A320s. Based on the proven operational advantage observed from more than 8500 accumulated flight hours, Spring Airlines has decided to select Sharklets for all its new deliveries and now has decided to expand the option to its in-service fleet.


BAE Systems announces potential job losses in its Military Air & Information business

October 10, 2014 · 277 Views

BAE Systems announced 440 potential managerial job losses within its Military Air & Information (MAI) business. This proposal is driven by the organisation’s continuous drive for efficiency. Chris Boardman, Managing Director of BAE Systems MAI, commented: “It is always regrettable when you have to announce potential job losses. However, we believe that by implementing changes to our management structure we will become a more efficient and effective business, and be better placed to meet the needs of current and potential customers in what is an increasingly competitive market. “We have a strong order book with Hawk, Typhoon and F-35 in production across our business and this, aligned with our extensive and growing in-service support work with the Royal Air Force and our overseas customers, provides a strong foundation for a long-term sustainable business.


Why are airways reacting so slowly in trying to contain the Ebola virus outbreak?

October 10, 2014 · 206 Views

Modern air travel means that any viral disease is a threat to any country served by an airline. In other words, nowhere is safe from any form of human-to-human transmittable disease. However airlines seem to react in remarkably different ways depending on how a disease or virus can be transmitted. The current Ebola outbreak, the largest ever known with over 3,800 deaths to date began back in Guinea in December 2013 and quickly spread to Lagos and Sierra Leone. That was nine months ago, yet only now has the UK announced a screening procedure for passengers entering the country who have recently been in West Africa.
This is bizarre as Ebola is highly contagious when the disease’s symptoms appear, yet a carrier of the disease can remain infected, but not infectious for up to 21 days while the disease incubates. Already cases of civilians catching Ebola outside Africa are emerging, and one fears this may be the tip of what is hopefully a very small iceberg. Yet why is everyone so slow to react to such a virulent and deadly disease, the current strain appearing to have a 50% mortality rate? In the US five major airports are now screening passengers from West Africa, but more serious problems are arising with airplane cleaning staff now taking action over being provided with a lack of personal protection against the virus. Ebola is spread through contact with blood, sweat or saliva of a victim who has the fully-blown disease – and the most likely area for transmission of this disease is in the aircraft’s toilets.
Nowhere do we hear of specialist cleaning teams working on board aircraft in either the US or the UK, yet both these countries have airports which are major crossroad terminals for international travellers. However go back to 2003 and the aviation world nearly went in to meltdown after a Canadian who was returning from the Far East was diagnosed as having the SARS virus. Yes, SARS is highly contagious and is a disease which is carried in an airborne manner through a cough or sneeze from an infected person. However the death rate for SARS is only around 10% and is usually most dangerous to those whose health is already impaired, or the elderly. In 2003 SARS never turned into the worldwide epidemic everyone feared because measures were taken instantaneously. One wonders how many more victims of Ebola there have to be, especially outside West Africa, before someone wakes up and says we must put the world’s health higher in importance than the finances of airline companies whose executives, in their safely sanitized offices, will make decisions based on commercial as opposed to humanitarian reasoning for as long as they can.