Saturday, March 24, 2012

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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Legacy of Kingfisher Airlines debacle hangs over repossession row between BOC Aviation and Spicejet

January 23, 2015 · 84 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.

Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

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.

Rolls-Royce forced to axe 2,600 jobs after second profit warning this year

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.

Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

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.

ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

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.

Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

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).

Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

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.

A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

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.

Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

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.

GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

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.

Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

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.

AVIAHELP extends helicopter spares range for Russian MI-8/MI-17 helicopters

March 22, 2012 · 26 Views

Sharjah, U.A.E. based AVIAHELP offers Middle East helicopter operators the opportunity to purchase authentic spares for Russian MI-8/MI-17 helicopters. AVIAHELP extended its helicopter spares range with transmission components and parts for instrumentation and anti-icing systems. AVIAHELP ASIA maintains close long-term business contacts with Russian helicopter original equipment manufacturers. Highly-skilled staff offers helicopter operators current spare part stocks in demand in SAIF-Zone (Sharjah Airport International Free Zone), with the possibility of urgent delivery from Russia. AVIAHELP has got almost 15-years of experience in aircraft and helicopter spare parts supply.

AWAS appoints Chris Monks Vice President Powerplant

March 22, 2012 · 29 Views

Dublin based aircraft lessor AWAS, has appointed Chris Monks Vice President Powerplant as part of the Technical & Asset Management team. Mr. Monks had previously held the title of Powerplant Director at AWAS, having joined the company in November 2010 from Ryanair where he was Power Plant Manager, responsible for the Ryanair fleet of engines.

GA Telesis expands into defense & government support businesses

March 22, 2012 · 14 Views

GA Telesis announced that in conjunction with its current operations, that provide maintenance services for defense and government customers, it has expanded its service offerings to include component support solutions for defense and government applications. The new operation will have its principal headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. “We are now able to provide our military and government customers a dependable choice for a significant amount of their component solutions and maintenance needs,” stated Abdol Moabery, Chief Executive Officer of GA Telesis. “Our track record reflects our ability to quickly integrate into this sector, but we will also initiate a mergers and acquisitions strategy to enable us to make the greatest possible impact.” he added.

STS Component Solutions opens UK office

March 22, 2012 · 14 Views

STS Component Solutions reported the establishment of a new office in the UK. This new office will support its growing global customer base and strategic growth plans in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. David Ikeda will head up this new hub for these geographical markets as the Director of Business Development for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Flying Colours completes first Blackhawk modification on King Air C90

March 22, 2012 · 20 Views

Flying Colours, a leading global aviation service company specialising in aircraft completions, maintenance and refurbishments, has completed and delivered its first turboprop Blackhawk modification, following the signing of a service agreement with Blackhawk Modifications at the NBAA 2011 conference.

Lufthansa Technik Group report revenue increase for 2011

March 22, 2012 · 22 Views

Lufthansa Technik Group, one of the world’s leading providers of technical services for aircraft, ended fiscal 2011 with a slight increase in revenue despite a difficult market. Revenue grew by 1.9% to €4.1bn. In spite of continued pressure on costs, the company’s result fell only slightly below the good result of the previous year. The annual report of the 21 consolidated Lufthansa Technik Group companies shows an operating result of €257m. “Considering the tense economic situation of many airlines, the revenue decline in some markets, and the negative effect on growth in customer business brought about by the valuation of the dollar, Lufthansa Technik maintained its course well in 2011,” said August Wilhelm Henningsen, CEO of Lufthansa Technik AG.

Change at the helm of MTU Maintenance Hannover in Langenhagen

March 22, 2012 · 17 Views

Langenhagen-based MTU Maintenance Hannover will have a new man at the helm: Holger Sindemann has been appointed its Managing Director & Senior Vice President, effective May 1. Sindemann takes over from Dr. Martin Funk, who has led the largest of MTU Maintenance’s companies for almost three years and will now be pursuing new challenges. Since July 2008, Holger Sindemann has been the chief executive of MTU Maintenance Zhuhai, a joint venture with Chinese carrier China Southern Airlines.

Boeing, Airbus and Embraer to collaborate on aviation biofuel commercialization

March 22, 2012 · 24 Views

Boeing, Airbus and Embraer signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels. The three leading airframe manufacturers agreed to seek collaborative opportunities to speak in unity to government, biofuel producers and other key stakeholders to support, promote and accelerate the availability of sustainable new jet fuel sources. Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh, Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders, and Embraer Commercial Aviation President Paulo Cesar Silva, signed the agreement at the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva.

“There are times to compete and there are times to cooperate,” said Jim Albaugh. “Two of the biggest threats to our industry are the price of oil and the impact of commercial air travel on our environment. By working with Airbus and Embraer on sustainable biofuels, we can accelerate their availability and reduce our industry’s impacts on the planet we share.”

“We’ve achieved a lot in the last ten years in reducing our industry’s CO2 footprint – a 45% traffic growth with only 3% more fuel consumption,” said Tom Enders. “The production and use of sustainable quantities of aviation biofuels is key to meeting our industry’s ambitious CO2 reduction targets and we are helping to do this through Research and Technology our expanding network of worldwide value chains and supporting the EU commission towards its target of 4% of biofuel for aviation by 2020.”

“We are all committed to take a leading role in the development of technology programs that will facilitate aviation biofuels development and actual application faster than if we were doing it independently,” said Paulo Cesar Silva. “Few people know that Brazil’s well known automotive biofuels program started within our aeronautical research community, back in the seventies, and we will keep on making history.”

Rodolphe Marchais appointed Chairman and CEO of Sabena technics

March 23, 2012 · 17 Views

The Sabena technics board of directors appointed Rodolphe Marchais Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Following his appointment, Rodolphe Marchais named Jean-Luc Fournel Chief Operating Officer Customers, Philippe Rochet Chief Operating Officer Production, and Stéphane Burton Chief Operating Officer Supply Chain & Support. At the General meeting of Sabena technics’ shareholders, TAT Group has decided to change the by-laws governing its subsidiary. By this decision, Sabena technics is transformed from a limited liability company with executive and supervisory boards (société à directoire et conseil de surveillance) into a limited liability company with board of directors (société anonyme à conseil d’administration).

El Al posts net loss of $49.4m in 2011

March 23, 2012 · 14 Views

El Al Israel Airlines presented the financial reports for the 2011 financial year and for the fourth quarter of 2011. Revenues for the year totaled $2,043.2m compared to $1,972.2m last year, an increase of about 4%. Revenues from cargo operations increased by about 8%, as a result of the increased freight carried and the revenue per ton-kilometer. Operating expenses in 2011 totaled $1,764.9m, compared to $1,584.6m last year, an increase of about 11%. Gross profits for this year totaled $278.3m (a ratio of about 13.6% on turnover), compared to $387.7m last year (a ratio of about 19.7% on turnover). Net loss for 2011 totaled $49.4m, compared to profits of about $57m in 2010. Cash flow from regular activities for the year ending 31st December 2011 totaled $61.9m, compared to a cash flow from regular activities of $203.3m in 2010.

Revenues for the 4th quarter of 2011 totaled $485.4m, an increase of about 1%, compared to the 4th quarter of last year. Net revenues from passengers increased by about 1.5%, while cargo revenues dropped because as of June 2011, only one cargo aircraft was in operation. Operating expenses totaled $402.4m (a ratio of about 82.9% on turnover) compared to $393.8m in the parallel quarter of 2010 (a ratio of about 81.9% on turnover) – an increase of about 2.2%. This was largely the result of increased expenditure on aviation fuel, because of the increase in market prices compared to in the parallel period last year. Gross profits totaled $83.0m, (a ratio of about 17.1% on turnover), compared to $87.2m in the parallel quarter last year (a ratio of 18.1% on turnover). Losses for the quarter totaled $7.8m, compared to profits of $16.3m in the parallel quarter last year.

Atlantic Airways takes delivery of new Airbus A319

March 23, 2012 · 15 Views

Atlantic Airways, the national carrier of the Faroe Islands has taken delivery of its Airbus A319 as part of its plan to increase its capacity, becoming Airbus’ newest operator, equipped with CFM engines. The aircraft is configured in a single economy class layout with 144 seats. All passengers will benefit from state-of-art mood lighting and drop-down screens throughout the cabin. It will be deployed on route from Faroe Islands to Copenhagen, Denmark.

Fokker Services acquires spare parts for Bombardier Dash 8/Q-Series 100/200/300 aircraft

March 23, 2012 · 12 Views

Bombardier Aerospace has strengthened its strategic alliance with Fokker Services to increase the availability and reduce the cost of spare parts for operators of its out-of-production Dash 8/Q-Series 100/200/300 aircraft. Under the agreement, Fokker Services has secured inventory from Bombardier. The initial inventory block was sold to Fokker Services for worldwide distribution in November and encompasses more than 2,600 part numbers. Bombardier will also continue to market and sell Dash 8/Q-Series 100/200/300 parts to operators worldwide.

Albert Li named new General Manager and Head of Bombardier Aerospace China

March 23, 2012 · 27 Views

Bombardier Aerospace announced the appointment of Albert K. Li as General Manager and Head of Bombardier Aerospace China effective April 2, 2012. Born in Hong Kong, Mr. Li holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration (Finance) from the University of Toronto. Since 1988, Mr. Li has held positions of increasing responsibility with the Ford Motor Company, most recently as President, Ford Lio Ho Motor.

Rolls-Royce awarded $275m service contracts from US military

March 23, 2012 · 15 Views

Rolls-Royce has received recent contracts exceeding $275 million to provide support services for the US Armed Services. Rolls-Royce will provide Mission Care service support for AE 1107C, AE 2100 and T56 engines which power a variety of US aircraft, including the V-22, C-130, P-3 and C-2 in operation with the US Air Force, Navy and Marines. The contracts cover work to be delivered in 2012 and 2013.

Firefly selects Messier-Bugatti-Dowty wheels and carbon brakes

March 23, 2012 · 18 Views

Malaysian airline Firefly has selected Messier-Bugatti-Dowty to supply wheels and carbon brakes for its Boeing Next-Generation 737 fleet. The contract covers a total of 63 Boeing 737-800 twinjets, either new or to be retrofitted. Messier-Bugatti- Dowty offers a certified carbon brake for all models in the Boeing Next-Generation 737 family, as original equipment or for retrofit. To date, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty has recorded commitments to equip 750 airplanes.