Thursday, November 03, 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 · 55 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.

Boeing CFO James Bell announces April 2012 retirement

November 1, 2011 · 18 Views

Boeing Executive Vice President, Corporate President and Chief Financial Officer James Bell announced plans to retire from the company, effective April 1, 2012. Greg Smith corporate controller and finance vice president, has been elected by Boeing’s board of directors to succeed Bell as executive vice president and chief financial officer effective Feb. 1, 2012; the two will work together over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition. Diana Sands, vice president of investor relations and financial planning and analysis, has been appointed corporate controller, also effective Feb. 1, 2012.

NAYAK becomes MRO partner for Boeing GoldCare program

November 1, 2011 · 19 Views

Boeing Commercial Airplanes selected NAYAK Aircraft Services in Europe to provide Boeing GoldCare maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. The GoldCare program is a maintenance concept Boeing designed to maximize airline operations for the 737 NG and the new 787 Dreamliner aircrafts. NAYAK is one of the largest independent providers of aircraft maintenance in Europe, headquartered in Cologne (Germany) and with offices in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Rome (Italy).

Skytech-AIC appointed to manage seven additional Q400S

November 1, 2011 · 19 Views

Skytech-AIC have been appointed by Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) to act as Lease Managers for seven Bombardier Q400 aircraft recently acquired from Flybe by RMB and leased to South African Express Airways (SA Express). Skytech-AIC and RMB have worked together on a number of aviation transactions over some 15 years and Skytech-AIC already manage five RMB-owned Q400s: three on lease to Flybe and two on lease to SA Express.

Cathay Pacific is first operator of newest Boeing freighter in Asia Pacific

November 1, 2011 · 73 Views

Boeing has delivered a 747-8 Freighter to Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways, making it the second freight operator worldwide to take delivery of Boeing’s newest freighter. With this new addition to its fleet, Cathay Pacific also becomes the first carrier in Asia Pacific to operate the 747-8. The new airplane is the first of 10 747-8 Freighters Cathay Pacific has on order with Boeing.

GE Aviation breaks ground on Auburn facility

November 1, 2011 · 53 Views

GE Aviation hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of its new jet engine components factory in Auburn on October 31st. The 300,000 square-foot advanced manufacturing plant will produce precision, super-alloy machined parts for GE jet engines that will power future commercial and military aircraft, and also to support the vast fleet of GE jet engines already in service.

Following the start of construction, the facility is on schedule to open in late 2012. Limited hiring will begin next year. Additional hiring is slated for 2013 as production begins to ramp up.  GE Aviation’s goal is to employ 300 to 400 people when the plant is at full ramp-up later this decade.

United States Army to receive Turbomeca’s 10,000th Arriel production engine

November 1, 2011 · 2 Views

Turbomeca (Safran group) reported the delivery of its 10,000th Arriel production engine, which will power a United States Army UH-72A Lakota helicopter. During a ceremony at the Turbomeca USA site, Olivier Andriès, Turbomeca Chairman & CEO and Russ Spray, Turbomeca USA President & CEO, presented the United States Army a commemorative plaque to mark this event.

EADS North America was awarded the United States Army’s Light Utility Helicopter contract in 2006 for 345 UH-72A Lakota twin-engine helicopters powered by Turbomeca’s Arriel 1E2. Today, 454 Arriel 1E2 engines have been delivered on schedule for the U.S. Army’s UH-72A Lakota. The U.S. Navy has purchased five additional Lakotas for their Test Pilot School.

FLY Leasing reports third quarter 2011 financial results

November 2, 2011 · 19 Views

FLY Leasing, a global lessor of modern, fuel-efficient commercial jet aircraft, reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2011. FLY’s net income and basic and diluted earnings per share for the third quarter of 2011 were $3.4m compared to $12.2m in the same period of 2010. The decrease in net income is primarily due gains realized on the sale of three aircraft in the 3rd quarter of 2010 and recognition of $2.9m of end of lease revenue also in the 3rd quarter of 2010, neither of which is present in the current period.

At September 30, 2011, FLY’s total assets were $2.0bn, including flight equipment with a net book value of $1.6bn. Restricted and unrestricted cash at September 30, 2011 totaled $392.4m, of which $230.3m was unrestricted. These amounts compare to total cash of $329.0m and unrestricted cash of $164.1m at December 31, 2010.

Rolls-Royce delivers first LiftFan from new advanced facility

November 2, 2011 · 20 Views

Rolls-Royce has delivered the first Rolls-Royce LiftFan, for the F-35B Lightning II, to have been assembled at its new LiftFan Factory near Indianapolis, IN, US. The LiftFan is part of the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem that provides Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) capability for the first aircraft to combine the technology with stealth and supersonic speed. This fifth-generation fighter will provide the US Marine Corps and other future customers with increased capability and the option to deploy from forward bases.

Mubadala Aerospace announces formation of leadership team for global MRO network

November 2, 2011 · 17 Views

Mubadala Aerospace reported the formation of a senior leadership team for its global Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) network, encompassing ADAT in Abu Dhabi and SR Technics, based in Zurich, Switzerland. 

Homaid Al Shemmari will be the Chairman of the Mubadala Aerospace MRO network; Jeremy Chan is appointed Executive Vice Chairman; and James Stewart is appointed Group Chief Executive Officer, leading a highly talented leadership team with long-standing industry experience. Other key members of the leadership team are: Abdul Khaliq Saeed: President, MENA , André Wall: President, Europe, Abdulla Mohamed Shadid: Chief Commercial Officer and Pierre Steffen: Chief Supply Chain Officer

Kaman to acquire Vermont Composites

November 2, 2011 · 15 Views

Kaman Aerospace Group, has entered into an agreement to acquire Vermont Composites Inc., a leader in the design and manufacture of composite aerostructures and advanced composite medical equipment based in Bennington, Vermont. The senior management team of Vermont Composites, including its President and CEO, Patrick J. Wheeler, have agreed to continue their employment with Kaman. Vermont Composites will become part of the Kaman Composites Division, led by President James C. Larwood.

Founded in 1979, Vermont Composites is expected to generate sales of $32m for 2011, and has approximately 230 employees. Vermont Composites has high profile positions on a number of major aerospace platforms including V-22 Osprey, P-8 Poseidon, C-130 Hercules, MH-60 BLACK HAWK and various UAVs.

PAS Technologies Miramar attains accreditation for AS9100C and AS9110A certifications

November 2, 2011 · 20 Views

PAS Technologies has received dual registration by SAI Global for the International Standards ISO 9001:2008 +AS9110A and ISO 9001:2008 +AS9100C certifications for its Miramar, Florida facility.  As a provider of plating services and component overhaul and repair services, these certifications validates PAS Technologies’ commitment to quality, continuous improvement, and provides the Company with performance based analysis aimed toward operational consistency and improved customer satisfaction.

JSC SCA and Aeroflot complete technical acceptance procedure for SSJ100 SN95011

November 2, 2011 · 13 Views

On November 1st, the completion of the technical acceptance procedure, JSC SCA and Aeroflot signed the Acceptance Act for the third deliverable Sukhoi Superjet 100 SN 95011. The document states that the aircraft is technically sound, fully meets the performance criteria without any operational limitations.  On November 7th the aircraft will arrive in Moscow and start commercial operation on Aeroflot’s route network.

Tail section for THAI’s first A380 rolls out of paint shop

November 2, 2011 · 7 Views

The vertical tail section for the first A380 for Thai Airways International (THAI) has been painted with the airline’s orchid logo at Airbus facilities in Hamburg. The painting was completed at the weekend and the section is now being prepared for shipment to Toulouse, where assembly of the airline’s first aircraft is set to begin this month. 

THAI will become the ninth operator of the A380 when it takes delivery of its first aircraft in the third quarter of 2012. The airline has firm orders for six A380s and will operate the aircraft on its premier routes from Bangkok to Europe.