AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

Magnetic MRO launches engine on-wing maintenance and LRU/QEC support services

December 3, 2014

Magnetic MRO launched its Engine On-Wing Maintenance unit as part of the strategy to offer Total Technical Care MRO services. Comprehensive Engine On-Wing Services will cover a wide range of engine line maintenance, as well as extensive LRU/QEC component support programs. The services are aimed to support customers in reducing unplanned engine removals due to foreign object damages, bird strikes, or other unscheduled events, thus improving efficiency and predictability of engine operations. Magnetic MRO´s comprehensive LRU/QEC programs include up to Power by the Hour support for engine components, providing predictability and peace of mind to our customers on potential and future expenses, as well as reducing the risks of engine-related AOG situations. Engine line maintenance team is available to offer AOG rapid response support on customer’s site, at Magnetic MRO hangars in Tallinn, or by remote means, to reduce aircraft downtime and costs, while ensuring the maintenance actions taken are in compliance with national and international requirements. AMM covered tasks are performed within the scope of EASA Part145 Certificate, capability includes all commonly used engine types such as CFM56-3; CFM56-5A; CFM56-5B; CFM56-7B and IAE V2500.

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IAG thwarted as Niki returns to founder Lauda’s ownership

January 23, 2018

Despite the best efforts of British Airways’ owner, IAG, the purchase of Niki, the low-cost subsidiary of now defunct Air Berlin, has been secured by the airline’s founder, former F1 World Champion, Niki Lauda.
Several weeks ago, IAG had been announced as the successful bidder for the bankrupt Austrian airline, though at the time, insolvency proceedings were going through German courts. In a motion filed by consumer rights’ group Fairplane, these proceedings were subsequently moved to Austrian courts as there were concerns that the rights of passengers owed money by Niki would not receive fair treatment if insolvency for both Niki and Air Berlin were handled by the same German jurisdiction.
With the transfer of proceedings and Niki subsequently filing for insolvency through Austrian courts, the existing bid of €20m (£18m) and additional liquidity of up to €16.5m from IAG was overturned and it had to then be resubmitted through the appropriate channels.
This provided Niki Lauda, and his company Laudamotion GmbH, the opportunity to make a third, and subsequently successful offer for the stricken airline. From the very onset of the disposal of Niki’s assets, Lauda had expressed a strong interest in reacquiring the airline which he founded in 2003, and which he sold to Air Berlin in 2011. He made his first offer for Niki back in September last year. Laudamotion took over Amir Air, another Austrian Carrier, early in 2016.
The disposal of Niki had proved problematic from the onset. Originally, Germany’s flagship carrier Lufthansa had made a bid of €210 million for the Air Berlin asset, but an EU ruling which indicated that the bid was unlikely to be successful owing to concerns over unfair competition saw it withdrawn.
According to Niki’s administrators, Laudamotion had emerged as the best bidder in a transparent auction process. However, the final price remains undisclosed, and in an interview with local television, Lauda confirmed that an express agreement had been reached with the administrators not to reveal the sum being paid.

European Commission decides DOT has breached aviation deal in delay over decision regarding NAI

December 3, 2014

Norwegian Air International completed its DOT foreign air carrier permit application in February 2014. It usually takes no more than 6 months for the DOT to reach a decision. However this particular application appeared to be met with considerable opposition. Currently it seems that approaching 90% of transatlantic air traffic is dealt with by three airline alliances that seemingly operate with immunity from U.S. antitrust laws. As a result, airfares have risen considerably as these alliances have tended to limit growth in the number of passenger seats available, allowing U.S. airline profits to reach record levels. In November, Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo) made further approaches to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve its application to operate its Boeing 787s as Norwegian Air International (NAI) (Dublin). The 787s are currently operated by Norwegian subsidiary, Norwegian Long Haul, despite the fact the aircraft are registered in Ireland.
In a November statement from them: “NAI will directly contribute to President Obama’s goal of generating 100 million foreign visitors to the United States by 2021. Norwegian already employs 300 American cabin crewmembers in Fort Lauderdale and New York, and currently is recruiting American pilots at its New York pilot base. Of the 300 cabin crew, for which Norwegian received more than 7,000 applications, the vast majority worked previously for U.S. airlines and chose to join Norwegian for the pay, benefits and team-spirited environment.”The statement continued “NAI meets all statutory and regulatory requirements to serve the United States and is entitled to DOT approval “with minimum procedural delay” under the U.S.—E.U. Air Transport Agreement. Nevertheless, a full nine months after applying to DOT, NAI continues to await a decision that will allow it to begin low-fare transatlantic service to and from the United States.”
The European Commission announced on Tuesday that they have decided the DOT has violated an aviation deal with the European Union by taking too long to grant a license that would allow the budget airline to boost trans-Atlantic flights. The European Executive have stated: “”The European Commission considers that there is a breach of the EU-US air transport agreement by the US authorities… The US authorities are taking too long to process the application.” However that does not mean NAI will now automatically be granted their license, though despite such heavy opposition the application is being backed by Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG.

Lufthansa Executive Board approves new concept of low-cost-airline “Eurowings”

December 3, 2014

2015 should bring increasingly good news for customers and passengers of the Lufthansa Group, according to the plans of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board. The Supervisory Board gave the formal go-ahead to the ‘Wings’ concept presented by the Executive Board at its meeting on December 3rd, and approved the lease of up to seven Airbus A330-200 aircraft for the new low-cost operation’s intercontinental routes. The Supervisory Board further approved the development of the ‘Eurowings’ concept, under which – within an umbrella framework – the Lufthansa Group’s Eurowings and Germanwings airlines, along with further flight operations in Europe, should acquire new customers by offering quality products at attractive prices in the form of low-cost short- and long-haul air travel services from the end of 2015 onwards. The new products, which will be primarily aimed at the private travel sector, will help the airlines of the Lufthansa Group secure their strong positions in their home markets of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium in the point-to-point travel segment, too, in the longer term. For the Group’s member airlines, fleet renewals and the completion of a number of major refurbishment projects should provide state-of-the-art aircraft cabins and five-star inflight travel comfort. The first quarter of 2015 will see Lufthansa German Airlines conclude the installation of its new First Class throughout its long-haul fleet; the second quarter will witness the completion of the new Business Class installation program; and the third quarter will see the new Premium Economy available on all of Lufthansa’s intercontinental aircraft. All the new long-haul aircraft of which Lufthansa will take delivery next year will have all the new cabins already installed. And the modernization of the long-haul fleet will be further pursued in 2015 with the arrival of two more Airbus A380s and four new Boeing 747-8s. Also slated for delivery next year are a further Boeing 777F for Lufthansa Cargo and ten short- and medium-haul aircraft of the Airbus A320 family.

Airbus Group and Safran launch Joint Venture

December 3, 2014

Airbus Group and Safran announced the creation of their new Joint Venture named Airbus Safran Launchers. With an initial workforce of around 450, starting operations on January 1st, 2015, Airbus Safran Launchers will maintain the outstanding level of quality and reliability of Ariane 5, while working on a new family of state-of-the-art space launchers to foster Europe’s leading role in the space industry. The new company will bring together the expertise of both Airbus Group and Safran in space launchers at key Franco-German industrial sites. The Joint Venture’s headquarters will be located in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris. This first transaction follows the announcement in June 2014 by Airbus Group and Safran regarding their intention to pool their respective space launcher activities to boost competitiveness and ensure the profitability of the European space launcher business in the face of growing international competition.

Airbus celebrates 200th aircraft assembled in Tianjin

December 3, 2014

A ceremony was held on December 3rd, at the Airbus (Tianjin) site to celebrate the 200th A320 Family aircraft assembled by the Airbus Tianjin Final Assembly Line (FALC). Daniel Baubil, Airbus Executive Vice President and Head of Single Aisle Family Programme handed over the A319, a member of the A320 Family, to China Eastern Airlines. “The 200th Airbus A320 Family aircraft assembled in Tianjin marks an important milestone of the Airbus partnership with China,” said Airbus China President and CEO, Eric Chen. “We are happy to deliver this aircraft to China Eastern Airlines, and to celebrate this achievement together with the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and AVIC, our partners. We are committed to providing the world’s best aircraft to our customers and keen to continue our win-win cooperation with China.” China Eastern is one of the largest airlines in China and was the first Chinese airline to operate Airbus aircraft (A310) in 1985. Today, China Eastern Airlines operates a fleet of more than 270 Airbus Single Aisle and Wide-Body aircraft. In March 2014, Airbus, TJFTZ and AVIC agreed to extend the successful Joint Venture for another 10 years, from 2016 to 2025. The extension, called “Phase II”, will include the final assembly of the A320neo Family from 2017 onwards for delivery to the Asian region. FALC, inaugurated in 2008, is a joint venture between Airbus, the TJFTZ and AVIC. It is the third A320 Family final assembly line in the world after the FALs in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany and the first outside Europe. The ATDC delivered the first aircraft assembled in FALC to Sichuan Airlines in June 2009.

GE Aviation, Hamble implements series production of in-flight refueling probes for Airbus A400M multi-role military airlifter

December 3, 2014

As the Royal Air Force receives its first Airbus A400M Altas at RAF Brize Norton, full-scale production of the refueling probe for the A400M is now well underway at GE Aviation, Hamble, providing key mission capabilities for this new-generation multi-role military transport. The six-meter-long probe is installed on the A400M’s upper fuselage above its cockpit, allowing the airlifter to be refueled in flight.  Such refueling capability significantly extends the military transport’s operational range, while also enabling it to take on fuel for the subsequent transfer to other aircraft when serving as an aerial tanker itself. GE Aviation, Hamble is responsible for the metallic refueling probe’s design, manufacture and qualification – including full-scale static, vibration and lightning strike validations. As part of the production package, the company also designed, builds and supplies the carbon composite fairings that ensure smooth airflow at the probe’s interface with the aircraft’s fuselage.

Boeing conducts first flight with ‘green diesel’ as aviation biofuel

December 3, 2014

Boeing has completed the world’s first flight using “green diesel,” a sustainable biofuel that is widely available and used in ground transportation. The company powered its ecoDemonstrator 787 flight test airplane with a blend of 15% green diesel and 85% petroleum jet fuel in the left engine. Sustainable green diesel is made from vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and waste animal fats. Boeing previously found that this fuel is chemically similar to HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) aviation biofuel approved in 2011. Green diesel is chemically distinct and a different fuel product than “biodiesel,” which also is used in ground transportation. With production capacity of 800 million gallons (3 billion liters) in the U.S., Europe and Asia, green diesel could rapidly supply as much as 1% of global jet fuel demand. With a wholesale cost of about $3 per gallon, inclusive of U.S. government incentives, green diesel approaches price parity with petroleum jet fuel.

CIT signs purchase agreements with Airbus for 15 A330-900neo and five A321-200ceo aircraft

December 3, 2014

CIT Group, a global leader in transportation finance, announced that CIT Aerospace has signed purchase agreements with Airbus for 15 A330-900neo (new engine option) aircraft and five A321-200ceo (current engine option) aircraft. Deliveries of the A330-900neo are scheduled to begin in 2018 and deliveries of the A321-200ceo are scheduled to begin in 2015. The A330-800neo and the A330-900neo are two new members of the Airbus Widebody Family launched in July 2014 with first deliveries scheduled to start in Q4 2017. The A330neo incorporates latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features.

Alaska Air Group reports November 2014 operational results

December 3, 2014

Alaska reported a 9.8% increase in traffic on a 9.0% increase in capacity compared to November 2013. Load factor increased 0.6 points to 82.8%.

Horizon reported flat November traffic on a 1.4% increase in capacity compared to November 2013. Load factor decreased 1.1 points to 76.1%. Horizon also reported 87.9% of its flights arrived on-time in November, compared to the 90.6% reported in November 2013.

WestJet reports November load factor of 80.5%

December 3, 2014

WestJet announced November 2014 traffic results with a load factor of 80.5%, an increase of 0.8 points year over year. Traffic, increased 8.0% year over year, and capacity grew 6.9% over the same period.

Finnair firms up orders for eight additional A350 aircraft

December 3, 2014

Finnair has firmed up the eight Airbus A350 XWB aircraft options in its 2006 A350 order placed with Airbus. The eight A350s will be delivered to Finnair starting in 2018. At Airbus list prices, the value of the additional eight A350 aircraft would be approximately €1.9bn. The firm up of the options increases the total number of Finnair’s A350 orders to 19. Finnair’s current long haul fleet consists of seven A340 aircraft and eight A330 aircraft. The long haul fleet is planned to grow, on average, by one new-generation energy-efficient aircraft per year between 2016 and 2020. Based on the current delivery schedule of A350s Finnair will receive the first four aircraft in the second half of 2015, seven A350s between 2016 and 2017, and eight A350s between 2018 and 2023. Finnair plans to phase out its A340 aircraft by the end of 2017, following the successful delivery and entry into service of A350 XWB. As a part of the deal Airbus has also agreed to acquire four A340-300 aircraft currently owned by Finnair in 2016 and 2017.

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