Tuesday, July 26, 2011

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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Etihad prepared to sell off 7.5% stake in Aer Lingus

March 27, 2015 · 125 Views

Having originally taken a 3% stake in Aer Lingus in May 2012 and increased that by acquiring a further 4.5% last year, Etihad Airways has announced that should the deal to sell Aer Lingus to IAG be backed by the Irish government, they would be prepared to sell off their stake in the airline. The investment in Aer Lingus by Etihad was intended to increase its international reach through local partnerships. If the proposed €1.35bn (US$1.48bn) deal goes ahead, Etihad will profit handsomely from the deal. Whether they will aim to acquire a share in IAG or restructure a code-sharing agreement with them will have to be seen, but Etihad acquired the share in Aer Lingus to increase their European strength to enable them to better compete against other Gulf airlines, as well as to help feed European passengers into Etihad’s onward network to Asia. Etihad has been able to achieve this partly with their 30% stake in airberlin, while they have also recently secured European Union approval to acquire 49% of Alitalia, yet another in a series of acquisitions made by the Abu Dhabi-based airline to expand its worldwide network. However this expansion would seem to no longer include a partnership with Malaysia Airlines, whose head is the former chief executive of Aer Lingus, Christoph Mueller. Etihad Airways’ chief executive, James Hogan, confirmed: “We have a code share with Malaysia Airlines and it is a good relationship.” Whether that relationship will change in time is yet to be seen, but any rescue plans for Malaysia Airlines involving Etihad Airways are now on hold.


Emirates reject Delta’s apology regarding Anderson’s 9/11 comments

February 20, 2015 · 374 Views

The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 233 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 · 189 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 · 123 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 · 89 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 · 126 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 · 96 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 · 101 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 · 108 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 · 49 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 · 82 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.


DVB finances a portfolio of five widebody aircraft for Guggenheim Aviation Partners

July 25, 2011 · 16 Views

DVB Bank reported the successful closing of two separate finance facilities with Guggenheim Aviation Partners (Guggenheim) for two A330-200 aircraft on lease to Jet Airways (India) and three B777-200ER aircraft on lease to American Airlines.
 
The finance facility for the two A330-200 aircraft on lease to Jet Airways closed in late March. Both aircraft were delivered new to Jet Airways in 2008 and were subject to a sale/leaseback with Guggenheim’s managed fund. The finance facility for three B777-200ER aircraft on lease to American Airlines closed in early June. The aircraft were originally delivered to American from 2000 to 2002 and were also subject to a sale/leaseback earlier this year with the Guggenheim fund. DVB Bank provided a back leveraging of this acquisition by the Guggenheim fund.


Avio presents new logo

July 25, 2011 · 14 Views

Avio looks to the future and, as a tangible sign of its thrust for innovation, adopts a new logo. The Group, a leader in propulsion systems, is involved in increasingly challenging industrial projects, such as the next generation aeroengines, expansion in the Chinese market and the Vega satellite launcher, to mention but a few. The new logo chosen for the renewal of its identity reflects the Company’s strong forward-looking attitude while providing a link to its extraordinary past.


B/E Aerospace second quarter 2011 results exceed expectations

July 25, 2011 · 15 Views

B/E Aerospace reported that second quarter 2011 revenues of $608.9 million increased $125.0 million as compared with the same period of the prior year. Second quarter 2011 results reflect the acquisitions of TSI Group, Satair A/S’s aerospace fastener distribution business and LaSalle Lighting (recent acquisitions). Revenue growth for the second quarter of 2011, excluding recent acquisitions from both periods, was approximately 12.8%. Second quarter 2011 operating earnings of $106.7 million increased 35.4% on the aforementioned 25.8% increase in revenues. Operating margin was 17.5% and expanded 120 basis points as compared with the prior year period. Operating earnings growth and operating margin expansion were driven by the higher sales volume, improved revenue mix and ongoing operational efficiency initiatives.  Second quarter 2011 net earnings were $54.8 million.


Southern Air signs ACMI agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines

July 25, 2011 · 18 Views

Southern Air and Saudi Arabian Airlines have signed a definitive agreement under which Southern Air will operate one Boeing 747 freighter on behalf of Saudi Airlines Cargo on an ACMI basis (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance).  The aircraft will begin to be operated for Saudi Airlines Cargo in July 2011 and will be painted in its livery.


Phenom 300 receives type certification in Australia

July 25, 2011 · 39 Views

Embraer has received Type Certification (TC) from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), for the Phenom 300 light jet to operate in the country. Frst certified in December 2009 by Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil – ANAC) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Phenom 300 is now accepted in almost 40 countries including Indonesia, Austria, Denmark, France, Morocco, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, amongst others.


Embraer Defense and Security chooses V2500-E5 engine for KC-390 Transport

July 25, 2011 · 16 Views

Embraer Defense and Security has selected the V2500-E5 engine, manufactured by International Aero Engines AG (IAE), to equip the KC-390 military transport jet. The first deliveries of the V2500-E5 engines for the KC-390 prototypes are scheduled for 2013, and the flight tests for 2014. The aircraft should go into service in 2015.


Rockwell Collins unveils touch-control flight displays for business jets and turboprop aircraft

July 25, 2011 · 12 Views

Rockwell Collins unveiled the industry’s first touch-control primary flight displays for business jets and turboprop aircraft, which will be available on future applications of the company’s Pro Line Fusion avionics system. The announcement was made at the 59th Annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture in Oshkosh.

“These displays demonstrate our focus on empowering pilots with natural head-up, eyes-forward interfaces,” said Colin Mahoney, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Rockwell Collins. “Touch-controlled, icon-based controls on the main displays help keep pilots’ attention focused up and forward for safer and more efficient flying.”


Messier-Bugatti-Dowty strengthens partnership with Airbus

July 25, 2011 · 44 Views

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (Safran group) reported the extension of its supply relationship with Airbus for the nose and main landing gears of the single aisle program to include the contract award of the A320neo family. As the incumbent landing gear supplier for the A320 family, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty will progressively offer enhancements to current single aisle landing gears starting in 2014, in order to ensure a seamless transition into A320neo family deliveries, scheduled for entry in service in 2015. Direct benefits to operators include greater reliability and an extended service interval of 12 years between overhauls.

To date, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty has delivered 4,800 landing gears for the A320 family. The company’s global industrial network delivers 38 shipsets per month to Airbus Final Assembly Lines in Toulouse, Hamburg and in China. Messier-Bugatti-Dowty supplies landing gear to all Airbus families in service or in development, including the entire A330/A340 family, A380 nose landing gear and A350-800/900 main landing gears.