Thursday, November 03, 2011
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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January 23, 2015 · 85 Views
India’s Spicejet airline is coming under increased scrutiny and financial pressure with the news that BOC aviation have demanded the return of three leased Boeing 737s. This comes in the same week that Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) had put the troubled carrier on cash-and-carry mode since January 20th. This move followed after the airline allegedly failed to clear its earlier dues, sources said. In addition, these sources said that the net outstanding balance currently stood at approximately Rs 5 crore (US$800,000), while MIAL wants a further Rs15 crore (US$2.4m) in the form of bank deposit towards surety. MIAL had en-cashed SpiceJet’s Rs15 crore (US$2.4m) on December 19th, last year as a consequence of dues piling up. An MIAL official stated, “We are now cautious after the closing down of Kingfisher Airlines which owed several crore of rupees to us and therefore are taking no chances this time.”
Robert Martin, BOC Aviation’s MD and CEO, is quoted as saying that “SpiceJet is a very frustrating situation,” continuing, “Obviously when we lease planes we like people to pay us. And if they don’t pay us, then generally the way an operating lessor reacts is by moving its planes to somewhere else in the world.” It was reported this week in India’s Economic times that lessors wanted the return of 11 planes in total. BOC is among half a dozen firms currently exposed to the financial problems at Spicejet, with Canada’s export credit agency, which has financed 15 Bombardier Q400s, another concerned party, though they had not yet indicated a desire for these planes to be deregistered.
The Bank of China leasing arm has warned that India’s fast-growing airline industry may now find it more difficult to attract investment funds if India fails to uphold a pact designed to protect the owners of leased jets, one which is currently used across the world. The case of Spicejet is being monitored more closely than the demise of Kingfisher as unlike Kingfisher, Spicejet’s operations are covered by what is referred to as the Cape Town Convention of 2001. In an effort to assist new airlines in emerging markets a 10% reduction in leasing fees would be given, but with the proviso that owners could retrieve planes in the event of default on payment.
The current situation, according to Sanjiv Kapoor, SpiceJet’s Chief Operating Officer in a recent email, indicates that “In general with the imminent change of ownership and re-capitalisation, we expect all matters related to payables to be resolved soon in co-operation with our partners and suppliers, and are in regular contact with them.”
BOC Aviation’s Robert Martin, however, has greater concerns, indicating that ignoring the pact would be detrimental to other Indian carriers, saying “It means the industry will be less interested in leasing planes to India, relative to other jurisdictions”. Airlines have 60 days to return planes, but relevant officials have stated that SpiceJet still had enough time to meet the deadline.
December 2, 2014 · 184 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.
November 5, 2014 · 145 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.
March 25, 2014 · 99 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.
March 7, 2014 · 70 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.
February 26, 2014 · 70 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).
January 29, 2014 · 65 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.
January 9, 2014 · 61 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.
July 5, 2013 · 58 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.
June 26, 2013 · 35 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.
May 22, 2013 · 46 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.
November 1, 2011 · 7 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.
November 1, 2011 · 8 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).
November 1, 2011 · 7 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.
November 1, 2011 · 9 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.
November 1, 2011 · 7 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.
November 1, 2011
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.
November 2, 2011 · 7 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.
November 2, 2011 · 8 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.
November 2, 2011 · 7 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
November 2, 2011 · 5 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.
November 2, 2011 · 9 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.
November 2, 2011 · 3 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.
November 2, 2011
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.