Monday, December 9th, 2019

Boeing threatened with US$3.9 million FAA fine over defective 737NG parts

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released that it has proposed a civil penalty of more than US$3.9 million against The Boeing Co. for installing nonconforming components on approximately 133 aircraft, which Boeing subsequently presented as ready for airworthiness certification.

The FAA alleges that Boeing failed to adequately oversee its suppliers to ensure they complied with the company’s quality assurance system. The agency contends that this failure resulted in the installation of slat tracks that were weakened by a condition known as hydrogen embrittlement that occurred during cadmium-titanium plating. The FAA further alleges that Boeing knowingly submitted aircraft for final FAA airworthiness certification after determining that the parts could not be used due to a failed strength test. The agency alleges that the affected slat tracks were processed by Southwest United Industries (SUI), a third-tier supplier to Boeing, on June 29, 2018. SUI subsequently shipped the parts to Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. (Spirit), which then delivered the parts to Boeing. The FAA also alleges that SUI notified Kencoa Aerospace, LLC, on July 6, 2018, that a batch of the slat tracks had failed a quality test indicating the presence of hydrogen embrittlement. Kencoa passed that information to Spirit on or about Aug. 3, 2018. The FAA alleges that Spirit informed Boeing of the situation on or about Sept. 11, 2018, and subsequently proposed that Boeing accept the parts as delivered. On Oct. 9, 2018, Boeing rejected that proposal and instructed Spirit to submit a Notice of Escapement. Spirit filed that notice on Feb. 14, 2019, according to documents.

The FAA further alleges that from Aug. 16, 2018, through Oct. 9, 2018, Boeing certified approximately 48 aircraft potentially equipped with those slat tracks as airworthy. Between Oct. 10, 2018, and May 2, 2019, Boeing knowingly certified an additional 85 potentially affected aircraft as airworthy.

The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) on June 10, 2019, mandating inspections proposed in a Boeing service bulletin dated June 4, 2019, of the affected aircraft. The AD specified various actions based on the ability to identify the slat tracks. The FAA alleges that identification of the defective parts was hindered because SUI did not apply a protective coating over the part identification mark that is required to be displayed on the slat tracks. As a result, those part identification marks became either obscured or invisible, making it difficult to identify the affected parts. The FAA alleges that Boeing failed in this instance to maintain its quality assurance system to ensure suppliers adhered to Federal Aviation Regulations.


Recaro Aircraft Seating breaks ground on new expansion project

Recaro Aircraft Seating has broken ground on its latest expansion project, which features a new customer service area, a flame lab and crash facility. In total, Recaro has acquired additional 45,000 m² and will invest €40 million in the new buildings.

The customer service area will improve operational processes by connecting all production, administration and logistic areas via a central meeting axis.

Scheduled for a spring 2021 launch, the new flame lab will ramp up the facility’s testing capabilities by seamlessly integrating the fire test chambers with the flame certification tests.

By 2021, the new crash facility will be able to run 300 dynamic crash tests a year at the site for the certification and development of passenger seats .

Recaro Aircraft Seating is looking towards a confident future. For the first time in company history, Recaro has earned more than €600 million in revenue by October 2019.


Miami-Dade Fire Rescue orders AW139 helicopters

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) has signed a contract for four AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters. The aircraft will be used to perform a range of missions—primarily fire suppression, emergency medical services (EMS) and search and rescue (SAR)—and will have special equipment including a cargo hook, rescue hoist and Bambi bucket.

The first helicopter is expected to be delivered from Leonardo’s Philadelphia facility in the third quarter of 2020. A comprehensive five-year support, maintenance and training package will be provided with the possibility of a further extension to a total of 15 years. 

Located along the southeast tip of the Florida peninsula, Miami-Dade is the most populous county in the state. It encompasses more than 2,000 square miles with one-third of the county located in Everglades National Park. Because of the scope of its operations, Miami-Dade Air Rescue is frequently requested to provide mutual aid support to neighboring counties including Monroe, Collier, Broward and Lee. 

SAS to open direct route to Tokyo Haneda International Airport

Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) will introduce a direct route to Tokyo Haneda International Airport from Copenhagen Kastrup. The route gives travelers better access to downtown Tokyo and with All Nippon Airways (ANA), a fellow Star Alliance member, the route will increase connectivity to 30 domestic destinations in Japan. The direct Copenhagen-Haneda route will be served by SAS’ new Airbus A350 aircraft.

In connection with the route between Copenhagen and Haneda, SAS will discontinue the service between Copenhagen and Tokyo Narita Airport. More capacity between Japan and Scandinavia will be added in spring 2020 when All Nippon Airways opens a new route between Haneda and Stockholm.


Lufthansa Group and gategroup conclude purchase agreement

The Lufthansa Group and gategroup have concluded a purchase agreement for the European business of the LSG Group. The parties have agreed not to divulge the financial details of the transaction. The sale is also subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities.

addition to the LSG Group’s European catering operations, the purchase agreement extends to its lounge business, retail convenience food specialist Evertaste, the SPIRIANT equipment business and the retail outlets and operations of the Ringeltaube brand.

The businesses concerned currently employ some 7,100 personnel and generated revenues of around €1.1 billion last year – about a third of the LSG Group’s total revenue volume. The transaction will not have any major impact on the EBIT or the net profit of the Lufthansa Group for 2019 or 2020.


American Airlines plans new investments at DFW airport

American Airlines has announced plans to build a new, larger catering kitchen at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The new facility is part of American’s long-term growth strategy at its largest hub and will allow the airline to better serve customers as it grows.

American also plans to break ground in January 2020 on a new Central Fulfillment Center that will house aircraft parts for line maintenance support across its network. The 390,000-ft² facility will enable the airline to fulfill requests for parts up to 75% faster, minimizing potential maintenance delays. Locating this facility at DFW enhances American's ability to distribute parts for overnight maintenance throughout the network.

S7 Technics completes implementation of AMOS MRO Edition software

Aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider S7 Technics has completed the implementation of AMOS MRO Edition, the innovative software application developed by Swiss Aviation Software (Swiss-AS).

S7 Technics has thus become one of the first maintenance service providers to successfully implement AMOS MRO Edition as a primary information system for the continued airworthiness and MRO of aircraft operated by both Russian and foreign customers.

In the short-term, S7 Technics is planning to start managing its hangar capabilities using AMOS MRO Edition, and the introduction of the software’s mobile edition, AMOS Mobile, is scheduled for 2020.


JetHQ receives IADA accreditation

JetHQ, the aircraft transaction and brokerage company, has become a member of the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA).

IADA conducts the world’s only aircraft dealer accreditation program, which requires companies to undergo a thorough and rigorous vetting process. Only 3% of all aircraft dealers earn IADA membership, but IADA dealers account for more than 50% of all pre-owned aircraft sales.

"IADA is very pleased to welcome JetHQ into the ranks of IADA-accredited aircraft dealers," says IADA Executive Director Wayne Starling. "JetHQ joins an elite group of professionals who have met and surpassed rigorous standards to achieve recognition as highly skilled dealers at the top of their

Formed in 1991, the IADA was created to assure aircraft buyers and sellers of the highest level
of ethics, experience and standards. IADA members must agree to commit themselves to the association’s code of ethics, which include points on integrity-based transactions, commissions and aircraft representation.

NAC delivers one ATR 42-500 to Manaus Aerotaxi Participações

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) has confirmed the delivery of one ATR 42-500, MSN 581, to Manaus Aerotaxi Participações (MAP) on lease. MAP intend to use the aircraft for an oil and gas contract they were awarded with earlier this year. NAC are delighted to welcome MAP as a new customer.

MAP is a domestic airline based in Manaus, Brazil, founded in 2011 authorized to operate regular and non-regular charter flights within Brazil. MAP was recently acquired by Passaredo Linhas Aéreas, a regional company based in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. Together, the companies currently operate 35 destinations in all regions of Brazil.

In September 2019, the companies announced the evolution of their trade name to VOEPASS, along with the start of 158-slot operation at Congonhas Airport, the most coveted airport in Latin America. The companies operate a fleet of ATR 42 and 72 aircraft, and currently employ 900 people, projected to carry 1.5 million passengers over the next 12 months.


CAE and Emirates extend partnership on Boeing 777X training suites

CAE and Emirates announced the sale of two Boeing 777X full-flight simulators and associated training suites of the CAE XR Series models. The carrier also has options for four additional training suites.

With orders of 126 Boeing 777X aircraft, Emirates is the biggest customer of the new upgraded 777 aircraft.

CAE has won 4 out of 5 airline training programs for the new Boeing 777X aircraft. Emirates’ first brand-new Boeing 777X FFS will be delivered by the beginning of 2021. CAE announced in 2017, the sale of the world's first airline-operated Boeing 777X FFS to Lufthansa Aviation Training. In 2018, CAE sold three Boeing 777X FFSs to Qatar Airways and most recently CAE sold a Boeing 777X FFS to an undisclosed Asian airline.

Norwegian’s unit revenue increased by 18% in November

Norwegian’s traffic figures for November have shown an increased unit revenue for the eighth consecutive month and was up 18% compared to the same month in the previous year. At the same time, total capacity decreased by 27% which is in line with the company’s strategy and total passenger traffic decreased by 23%. The load factor was 83.0%, up by 4.2 points compared to the previous year.


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