Wednesday, October 19, 2011

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

This is an overview of all articles linked within the selected daily newsletter.
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Health & Safety concerns raised over increase numbers in airline seat configurations

April 17, 2015 · 110 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.

Doric’s aircraft portfolio grows to 25 aircraft valued at $3.8 billion

October 17, 2011 · 5 Views

Doric Asset Finance reportec the addition of a 10th Airbus A380 aircraft to its aircraft portfolio under management. Doric Nimrod Air Two Limited (“DNA2”) took delivery of MSN 077 at the Airbus delivery centre in Hamburg. The aircraft is leased to Emirates for a period of 12 years. The Airbus A380 was purchased for US$ 234 million, of which about US$ 151 million was financed through a 12-year fully amortising senior loan. DNA2 was listed on 14th July 2011 on both the London Stock Exchange (“LSE”) and the Channel Island Stock Exchange (“CISX”). The company’s sole objective is to own and lease three Airbus A380 aircraft to Emirates.

Brussels Airlines selects Lufthansa Technik Malta for Airbus A330 base maintenance

October 17, 2011 · 72 Views

Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa Technik Malta have signed a base maintenance contract for the Airbus A330 fleet of the carrier. Lufthansa Technik Malta will provide C-Checks for the five A330s of Brussels Airlines starting from now on. Additionally Lufthansa Technik Malta has been selected to do a full cabin retrofit of the aircraft starting in February 2012.

CPI Aerostructures announces $2.3 million agreement with Sikorsky Aircraft

October 17, 2011 · 27 Views

CPI Aerostructures has received a schedule agreement from Sikorsky Aircraft valued at up to approximately $2.3 million to manufacture gunner window assemblies for the BLACK HAWK helicopter. This new agreement is a follow-on to the $2 million agreement announced in late 2010. The windows are of two-piece construction located just behind the pilot seat on each side of the aircraft. They slide open for use by the machine gun operator. Deliveries are expected to commence in the first half of 2012 and end in early 2013.

Virgin Australia inaugurates ATR 72-500 services

October 17, 2011 · 17 Views

Virgin Australia launched commercial services with the first of its new ATR 72-500 turboprop airliners. The inaugural flight of Virgin Australia’s first turboprop – and Australia’s first ATR 72 – was also the airline’s first flight from Brisbane to the regional industrial city of Gladstone. Perth-based Skywest will operate the new ATR services on behalf of Virgin Australia, with a fleet of eight 68-seat ATR 72 aircraft. The airline has orders for four of the series 500 model – three of which have now been delivered – and four of the next-generation series 600 model. Skywest also has options to acquire another five ATR 72-600s, all of which it will operate for Virgin.

EMBRAER delivers 28 commercial and 18 executive jets in 3Q11

October 17, 2011 · 23 Views

Embraer closed the third quarter of 2011 (3Q11) having delivered 28 commercial and 18 executive jets. The firm order backlog totaled 16 billion. In the months of July, August and September, Embraer closed the sales of 17 E-Jets: two EMBRAER 190s to GECAS and another ten to Kenya Airways, as announced in June during the Paris Air Show, as well as five EMBRAER 195s to Lufthansa, in Germany. China Southern Airlines became the newest E-Jets operator and also received the commemorative 800th delivery, belonging to China’s CDB Leasing which ordered a total of  20 jets. In early October, Embraer announced the sale of six more EMBRAER 190s to GECAS, which will be added to the Company’s backlog in the fourth quarter of 2011. With this order, the U.S. leasing company will have a portfolio of 101 E-Jets.
The executive aviation unit delivered eight Phenom 100 and nine Phenom 300 jets in 3Q11, for a total of 17 light jets, as well as one Legacy jet. During the quarter, the Company showed a positive net balance in its orders. The highlight was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s Minsheng Financial Leasing for the sale of up to 20 airplanes from the entire line of Embraer Executive Jets. At the beginning of October, Misheng sealed an agreement for the purchase of 13 Legacy 650 jets, which will be added to Embraer’s backlog in the fourth quarter of 2011. 

Airbus signs new deal with Messier-Bugatti-Dowty

October 17, 2011 · 75 Views

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty was chosen once again by Airbus to supply the nose and main landing gear for the A320 family, including the A320neo family. The European aircraft manufacturer currently accounts for 60% of Messier-Bugatti-Dowty’s landing gear activity as it supplies landing gear to the entire Airbus single aisle program as well as A330, A340 and A380 nose landing gears and A350-800/900 main landing gears.

Simon Caldecott new President and CEO of Piper Aircraft

October 17, 2011 · 23 Views

Simon Caldecott has been appointed the new interim President and CEO of Piper Aircraft, Inc., effective immediately. Caldecott joined Piper in 2009 and is the former Vice President of Operations responsible for Manufacturing Operations, Manufacturing Engineering, Quality and Supply Chain. Caldecott replaces Geoff Berger, who joined as the previous interim CEO in mid-2010. Former Executive Vice President Randy Groom has left the company.

TAP M&E Brazil certified to perform maintenance on FAB’s F-5 fighters

October 18, 2011 · 19 Views

TAP Maintenance and Engineering Brazil (TAP M&E Brazil) was certified by the Diretoria de Material Aeronáutico e Bélico – DIRMAB, the head of the Brazilian Air Force Logistics System, to perform periodical inspections on the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) F-5E/FM aircraft. The FAB is using this aircraft since 1974, and due to its quality and advanced performance platform, the Brazilian fleet was recently modernized in avionics and weapons systems, receiving the most up-to-date embedded technology.

Ramco Systems wins order from T’way Airlines, South Korea

October 18, 2011 · 5 Views

Ramco Systems, the Global Aviation Maintenance & Engineering (M&E) and Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) software provider, announced its agreement with T’way Airlines for Ramco’s Series 5 Aviation M&E software. Under the agreement, Ramco will deliver the complete web based Series 5 M&E system, including Maintenance Programs, Supply Chain Management, Maintenance Execution for Line, Shop and Heavy operations and Reliability.

T’way Airlines is the first official low-cost start up airline based in Seoul, South Korea, offering scheduled flights between Seoul Gimpo Airport and Jeju International Airport, operating an all Boeing 737-800 fleet. The airline was established in 2004 as Hansung Airlines and was renamed T’way Airlines in August 2010.

Air Lease Corporation reports additional acquisitions and lease placements

October 18, 2011 · 22 Views

Air Lease Corporation reported continuing lease placements and acquisitions of 12 additional aircraft. 

ALC has concluded the following lease placements from its order book:
– one new Airbus A330-300 leased to Asiana Airlines (Korea).
– two new Boeing 737-800s (MSNs 41299 and 41300) leased to Korean Airlines
– two new Embraer 190 LRs leased to Aeromexico.
– One Boeing 737-800 (MSN 37772) leased to Air Berlin 

ALC has additionally acquired the following aircraft: 
– two Airbus A320-200s (MSNs 4681 and 3203) leased to Vueling (Spain)
– one Airbus A330-200 (MSN 1016) leased to Avianca (Colombia)
– one Airbus A330-200 (MSN 456) leased to Thomas Cook (United Kingdom)
– one Boeing 737-800 (MSN 33027) leased to Gol Airlines (Brazil)
– one Boeing 737-700 (MSN 30279) leased to Southwest Airlines

Pierre-Henri Gourgeon resigns as CEO of Air France and Air France-KLM

October 18, 2011 · 18 Views

Pierre-Henri Gourgeon has resigned from his duties as Chief Executive Officer of Air France and Air France-KLM.  Alexandre de Juniac has been appointed as his successor. The appointment will be subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of Air France and will become effective after the opinion of the ethics committee.

A350 XWB’s Trent engine rolls-out for initial flight tests

October 18, 2011 · 8 Views

Airbus has completed installation of the first Rolls-Royce Trent XWB flight-test engine on the A380 “flying-testbed” aircraft (MSN 001). The aircraft and engine will now be prepared for the flight-test campaign commencing in the coming weeks. The Trent XWB engine, which is the largest Rolls-Royce turbofan with a 118-inch diameter fan, has been specially designed to power all members of the new Airbus A350 XWB Family with maximum efficiency.

CIRCOR Aerospace to supply actuation packages for Messier-Bugatti-Dowty

October 18, 2011 · 24 Views

The CIRCOR Aerospace Products Group has been selected by Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (Safran Group) to manufacture a complete suite of 20 actuators for multiple business and regional aircraft platforms. CIRCOR Aerospace will perform the manufacturing, final assembly and testing of these actuators at its Corona, California facilities.  CIRCOR Aerospace was previously awarded several design and development and legacy program contracts for landing gear actuators by Messier-Bugatti-Dowty.

Peter Somers appointed as President Fokker Services

October 18, 2011 · 25 Views

Peter Somers will succeed Roland van Dijk, with effect from 1 November 2011, as President Fokker Services and will form part of the Executive Board. Peter Somers is a senior airline executive with a proven track record at Air France-KLM, who together with his management team, will lead Fokker Services further with the aim of achieving success and profitability of the defined key growth areas. Roland van Dijk will be appointed with effect from 1 November 2011 as Vice President Strategy & Solutions of Fokker Technologies.

FLY Leasing closes acquisition of 49 aircraft

October 18, 2011 · 22 Views

FLY Leasing completed the acquisition of a $1.4 billion portfolio of 49 aircraft. These 49 aircraft increase FLY’s fleet to a total of 109 aircraft on lease to 53 airlines in 29 countries. The purchase price was fully funded from FLY’s existing unrestricted cash and the assumption of existing non-recourse debt. The portfolio consists of 23 Airbus A320 family aircraft, 3 Airbus A340, 6 Boeing 717 and 17 Boeing 737 aircraft.