Wednesday, August 17, 2011

AviTrader Daily Aviation News

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Health & Safety concerns raised over increase numbers in airline seat configurations

April 17, 2015 · 83 Views

In a week when Airbus has just announced a new 11 seat-per-row reconfiguration for its A380 superjumbo in Hamburg, Germany, concerns are growing at the current trends of reducing seat size to increase passenger numbers. This is being carried out in an attempt to offset the current effects of lowering prices for flights. However it is coming at a cost, and not just passenger comfort. There was a time when it was accepted that for local domestic and short-haul flights, passengers were prepared to sacrifice comfort for a few hours in return for a cheap flight, as witnessed by airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet.
However these smaller seats are now being rolled out across long-haul flights in economy classes, and this has already seen an increase in incidents of ‘flight rage’, usually resulting from a lack of legroom compounded by reclining seats in front of you. As an example, the new seats in the A380 are increasing capacity to 540 passengers, up from 525. Health & safety regulations regarding passenger numbers regulate capacity through speed of evacuation during an emergency. Airlines are coping with this regulation by increasing and resiting the number of escape hatches to conform, however other concerns have been raised relating to the difficulty in providing medical aid to any passenger in distress. The Director of Facilities at low-cost carrier Allegiant, Keith Hansen, has indicated he does not think higher seat density increases risks during an evacuation. “We don’t believe there’s any increased safety risk whatsoever in an emergency evacuation… These aircraft are all approved and certified by the FAA,” he said.
What is interesting though, is that part of the problem for passengers is as much psychological as it is physical. Back in the 1990s, the average seat width was 18.5”, so the Airbus A380’s 17.8” width is not a huge change. Perhaps the plane with the narrowest long-haul seat pitch is the Boeing 777, popular with United and American Airlines at 27”. Leg room has not shrunk on a number of airlines’ configurations as back in 2003 certain Airbus configurations were offering a seat pitch (legroom) of 32”, while, as an example, todays’ Air Canada A320 offers between 31” and 35” for seat pitch. However ‘cramming’ passengers 11 in a row and row after row occupying a nominal space, creates a greater impression of lack of room, leading to a greater sense of discomfort.
However Spirit’s Airbus A320 economy class seat configuration offers just 28” of legroom and EASA have just offered Type Certificate for a 27” pitch seat for the Airbus A320, enabling capacity to increase to 195 passengers from the current 180. In a move to distract passengers from their more cramped surroundings, seat manufacturers and airlines are now offering more ‘gimmicks’ with these cramped configurations, including USB connections and individual power outlets. Recaro have just unveiled their new economy seat at this week’s aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg which has both a 33cm Panasonic monitor and mood lighting.
“If you’re a dog, you have very specific rules, but if you’re a human being there are no specific rules as to what is humane,”, Travelers United’s Charlie Leocha told a US government advisory committee investigating these trends in Washington.


Comlux Aviation Services promotes Stephen Law to Maintenance Supervisor

August 15, 2011 · 21 Views

Comlux Aviation Services, based in Indianapolis, announced the promotion of Stephen Law to Maintenance Supervisor. Stephen Law has over 23 years of aviation sales experience and held prior positions of A&P Mechanic for AMR Combs, Project Supervisor for Bombardier Aerospace and Maintenance Supervisor for Indianapolis Jet Center.


Kellstrom Defense Aerospace awarded Northrop Grumman support contract

August 15, 2011 · 25 Views

Kellstrom Defense Aerospace, a division of Kellstrom Industries, has been awarded a contract by Northrop Grumman Corporation to support its prime contract with the United States Air Force (USAF) for Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR), providing operational support for the 17 E-8C Joint STARS aircraft at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.  This award is for a five year duration and will include yearly renewals.  For the last ten years, Kellstrom has supported the T-3 test bed aircraft for Northrop Grumman under a similar program from its base in Melbourne, FL.

Under the new contract, Kellstrom will provide specialized warehousing, repair management, purchasing and quality assurance, as well as other functional, infrastructure and systems supportservices to Northrop Grumman and the USAF.  After a transition period, Kellstrom Defense Aerospace will assume all existing support operations effective November 1, 2011. 

Air Lease Corporation finalize order for 737-800s and 777-300ERs

August 15, 2011 · 19 Views

Air Lease Corporation (ALC) have finalized an order for 14 Next-Generation 737-800s, with options for four more, and five 777-300ER (extended range) airplanes. It was previously posted on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website, attributed to an unidentified customer. The order marks the completion of part of an agreement announced during the Paris Air Show in June. At list prices, the order is valued at $2.5 billion.


Saab completes acquisition of Sensis

August 15, 2011 · 18 Views

Defence and security company Saab AB’s acquisition of the U.S. Company Sensis Corporation (Sensis), announced on 29 June 2011, is completed. The acquisition creates a stronger foundation for growth in the North American market for the Saab Group. Requisite reviews by the U.S. Trade Commission according to the antitrust laws as well as by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) have been accomplished and the former Sensis Corporation has been renamed to Saab Sensis Corporation. The company will continue operations in the U.S. as a subsidiary within the Saab Group.

Saab Sensis has a workforce of approximately 600 employees and services a global base of more than 60 customers located in more than 35 countries across six continents. Its customers include 54 of the world’s 100 largest airports. The company generated revenues of about US$173 million in fiscal year July-June 2009/2010 ($158 million in 2008/2009) and EBIT of about $4.0 million in fiscal year July-June 2009/2010 ($7.2 in 2008/2009).The consideration amounted to approximately $150 million (MSEK 975) and an earn-out fee of maximum $40 million (about MSEK 260) by 2014 which is dependent on the achievement of various conditions. The maximum total consideration amounts to approximately0 $190 million (MSEK 1,235). Saab will use existing cash to fund the acquisition.


AAR wins maintenance and modifications contract from Virgin America

August 15, 2011 · 38 Views

AAR CORP. has been awarded an eighteen month contract from Virgin America to provide maintenance and installation services for the airline’s growing fleet of Airbus 320 series aircraft. Through its Aircraft Services facility in Miami, Fla., AAR will perform comprehensive heavy maintenance “D-Checks” on Virgin America’s existing fleet of aircraft and install seating and advanced in-flight entertainment systems (IFEs) on their upcoming aircraft deliveries from Airbus. The Virgin America aircraft feature some of the most sophisticated and feature-rich IFEs in use today, providing passengers with in-flight access to satellite TV, movies, games, Internet and personal mood lighting.


SR Technics appoints new General Manager for the Americas

August 15, 2011 · 24 Views

Sean O’Connor has been appointed General Manager for SR Technics America. He assumed his new position on August 1, 2011. As General Manager, Sean will be responsible for driving the expansion of SR Technics’ business in the Americas.


PT Sky Aviation signs for 12 Sukhoi Superjet 100/95B aircraft

August 16, 2011 · 25 Views

At the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2011 Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and Indonesian regional carrier PT Sky Aviation signed the contract for the purchase of 12 Sukhoi Superjet 100/95B aircraft. At this years Le Bourget Airshow Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and PT Sky Aviation signed the Heads of Agreement (HOA). The order is valued at $379.2 million at list prices. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2012.


FL Technics performs cabin interior modification and reconfiguration on Boeing 737 NG and 737 CL

August 16, 2011 · 28 Views

FL Technics is expanding its capabilities by launching cabin modification and reconfiguration services on two brand new long-range Boeing 737-800 and cabin refurbishment service on Boeing 737-300. Two Boeing 737-800 aircraft reached the FL Technics hangar straight from the manufacturer and underwent full cabin interior refurbishment on the 4th of August. FL Technics specialists equipped the aircraft with brand new business and economic class seats, installed an internal audio system (IFE) for the business class facilities, revised emergency floor path lighting and performed all other cabin refurbishment services. All modification and reconfiguration work was carried out in the FL Technics-owned facilities in Vilnius.


Boeing working with leading Russian airports to increase capacity

August 16, 2011 · 45 Views

Boeing announced at the Moscow Air Show that it has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate toward increasing the efficiency and capacity of leading Russian airports. Boeing will work with the Basel Aero Company, operator of Sochi Airport in Basel and with Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography. The Boeing Flight Services Air Traffic Management (ATM) group and Jeppesen, a Boeing subsidiary, will help the airports analyze and optimize their ground operational plans and introduce new procedures with the goal of improving the safety and efficiency of Russian airspace.

Airport and airspace capacity can be significantly increased using the existing capabilities of the systems on-board today’s commercial jetliners combined with air traffic management technologies. Upon completing definitive agreements, Boeing’s skilled specialists will work with the Russian organizations in modernization initiatives including increasing the capacity of the largest Russian airports and transforming the overall design of the air navigation system in Russia prior to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.


Volga-Dnepr Technics signs maintenance services agreement for Sukhoi Superjet-100

August 16, 2011 · 25 Views

SuperJet International (SJI) and Volga-Dnepr Technics, part of Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group, have signed a Letter of Intent for the provision of maintenance services for the Sukhoi Superjet100 (SSJ100) aircraft. The agreement was signed during the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS 2011 in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region. This LoI confirms the partnership established between SJI and Volga-Dnepr Technics that with its certified aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Ulyanovsk Vostochny airport has joined the SJI’s MRO network of Authorized Service Centers to provide maintenance services to SSJ100 Operators. In Ulyanovsk, Volga-Dnepr Technics is establishing a state-of-the-art multi-functional MRO facility to meet current international operating standards also benefiting from its location within a Special Economic Port Zone.


Qantas Group to place fleet order

August 16, 2011 · 75 Views

The Qantas Group released that it would acquire up to 110 Airbus A320 aircraft, plus 194 purchase rights and options, to support fleet renewal and growth for the next 10 to 15 years. Smart investment in aircraft is part of the Qantas Group’s five-year plan to build a truly modern, customer-focused and competitive global airline business.

The Group has committed to order up to 110 A320s (106 confirmed from Airbus and four additional aircraft, either purchased or leased, subject to availability). These aircraft will facilitate capacity growth across Jetstar’s domestic and international operations, the launch of Jetstar Japan and the establishment of Qantas’ new premium Asia-focused airline – while the purchase rights and options provide the Group with significant flexibility to pursue further growth opportunities on favourable commercial terms.

In addition, as a result of the new strategy and network changes for Qantas international announced on August 16th, Qantas will defer the delivery of its final six Airbus A380s by up to six years, driving substantial capital cost savings. Qantas’ A380 fleet will reach 12 aircraft by the end of 2011 and 14 aircraft by mid-2013. The remaining six A380s will be delivered to coincide with the retirement of Qantas’ last six Boeing 747ER aircraft.

Qantas also announced that it will invest almost $400 million in new international lounges, new inflight entertainment and aircraft refurbishment to improve the customer experience.


Qantas Group, Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi Corporation to form Jetstar Japan

August 16, 2011 · 26 Views

The Qantas Group, Japan Airlines (JAL) and Mitsubishi Corporation announced the launch of Jetstar Japan – a new domestic airline that will bring more low airfares to customers in Japan. The Qantas Group, JAL and Mitsubishi Corporation will each hold 1/3 share in the new company (voting-rights-basis). Jetstar Japan will commence domestic operations by the end of 2012 and expects to fly from Tokyo (Narita) and Osaka (Kansai International), with other destinations under consideration including Sapporo, Fukuoka, and Okinawa. Jetstar Japan also plans to ultimately offer short haul international services to key Asian cities making travel more accessible and appealing to millions more people. The airline will launch with an initial fleet of three new Airbus A320 aircraft, configured for 180 customers in a single class, growing to 24 aircraft within its first few years. Total capitalization commitment for the new airline is up to JPY 12 billion.

Jetstar Japan was officially launched in Tokyo on August 16th by the President of Japan Airlines, Mr. Masaru Onishi, Executive Vice President & Group CEO, Industrial Finance, Logistics & Development Group Mitsubishi Corporation, Mr. Hideshi Takeuchi, and Jetstar Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Bruce Buchanan.


Airbus, Goodrich and VSMPO-AVISMA reinforce their partnership on the A350 XWB programme

August 16, 2011 · 35 Views

Airbus, Goodrich Corporation and VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation, the Russian titanium manufacturer, have signed a long-term agreement for the supply of titanium forgings used for the manufacturing of the A350-1000’s main landing gears. The contract will cover supply until 2020. Goodrich is to develop and provide the main landing gear, based on its experience in incorporating the latest technologies and materials, especially VSMPO’s high-strength titanium alloy. VSMPO has been awarded 100% share in the titanium forgings supplies. VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation will potentially also machine the related titanium forging in the future in order to develop a vertically integrated titanium supply chain, starting from raw materials to finished products.


Sigma Labs receives contract from Messier-Bugatti-Dowty

August 16, 2011 · 22 Views

Sigma Labs received a fourth contract from Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (MBD) to apply Sigma Labs’ In-Process Quality Assurance (IPQA) software to certain critical aspects of MBD’s landing gear manufacturing. This recent contract from MBD’s Canadian division follows three previous contracts from MBD’s UK Division to further introduce our IPQA to specifically address MBD’s next-generation manufacturing needs.