New York (AirGuideBusiness - Company Watch) Sep 23, 2012The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that it did not plan to issue an emergency directive regarding Boeing jets equipped with a specific General Electric engine. "The FAA will soon issue an airworthiness directive and will take appropriate action," the FAA said in a statement. Previously, the FAA had alluded to issuing an emergency directive, which could have led to the grounding of Boeing 787 and 747-8 jets powered with GE engines. Concerns about the engine began July 28, when a Boeing 787 Dreamliner equipped with a GEnx engine experienced engine failure during pre-flight taxiing in Charleston, S.C. Sep 20, 2012 The Federal Aviation Administration has updated its policies regarding inspections for more than 1,600 737 Boeing jets. The move was prompted by concerns about undetected cracks in fuselages and bulkheads of the jets. The new rule extends a previous requirement to inspect older 737s to include more jets that are later models, likely leading to extra inspections every few months of many 737s. Sep 19, 2012 Arizona, home to plants run by Raytheon Missile Systems, Boeing and other defense firms, is bracing for the potential effect of federal sequestration defense cuts. In 2009, Arizona's defense industry employed about 40,000 and contributed $300 million in local and state taxes. Some experts fear the cuts could spread to smaller suppliers that serve large companies. Sep 19, 2012 Air France (AF) has detailed plans to invest Oseveral hundred million eurosO in an upgrade of its long-haul first- and business-class cabins. OThese investments, made possible by the agreements signed within the framework of the Transform 2015 business plan, will be used to redesign the OLa PremiereO and OBusinessO cabins on board the companyOs Boeing 777 aircraft as from 2014,O AF said at the IFTM-Top Resa fair in Paris. AF will offer passengers free newspaper and magazine downloads from 2013 and long-haul style meals on medium-haul services from this winter. The moves come as AF faces intense competition from the Gulf carriers. OThe entire company is fully mobilized to reposition our offer at the best possible global level and regain our leadership position,O AF CEO Alexandre de Juniac said. Sep 19, 2012 Air France spat with Rolls-Royce seen dragging on. A dispute over engine maintenance between Air France-KLM and Rolls-Royce that has delayed a $7 billion Airbus plane order for a year already could take several months more to resolve, a senior airline executive said. Air France-KLM placed the provisional order for 25 wide-bodied A350-900 passenger jets on Sept 16, 2011, at the same time as ordering 25 Boeing (BA) 787 Dreamliners. Although the Boeing order has since been confirmed, the Airbus part of the deal remains incomplete because Air France-KLM and engine maker Rolls-Royce cannot agree over who should maintain the engines on the Airbus aircraft. "The issue is service and maintenance. We have a solid engine maintenance operation and Rolls has a policy of doing the maintenance itself," Alexandre de Juniac, chief executive of the Franco-Dutch group's French network Air France, told reporters on Tuesday. Asked how long it would take to resolve the dispute, he said, "In the next few months. We are not in a hurry." Air France, traditionally a customer of General Electric (GE.N) engines, wants to expand its involvement in servicing engines, not only for its own fleet but also for other airlines to try to boost profits. Like most engine makers, Rolls-Royce makes much of its civil engine profit margin in after-sales service and maintenance. The UK company declined to comment on the Air France talks. "We don't comment on commercial discussions," spokesman Richard Hedges said. Air France said in late August it was studying opening a maintenance plant in China. As traffic rises, pushing up the volume of regular maintenance visits, Air France is banking on maintenance growth to boost the airline's restructuring plans. Sep 18, 2012 Boeing is "gun-shy" for 777X launch, Air Lease CEO says. Air Lease chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy said Wednesday that he expected Boeing to bump the launch of its 777X jet program to 2013 and instead focus on the 787-10 for the end of this year. "The 787 experience has been so overwhelmingly complex that Boeing is trying to be thoughtful and conscious of what is involved in launching what amounts to a new airplane," Udvar-Hazy said. "Boeing is gun-shy about promising an airplane." Sep 20, 2012 U.S. says it has complied with WTO Boeing subsidy orders. The U.S. Trade Representative's office says the U.S. has complied with a World Trade Organization order to withdraw funding for Boeing. The WTO ruled that $3 billion to $4 billion in research grants and other awards constituted unfair subsidies for Boeing. The case will also be examined by the European Union, which may file a challenge. The U.S. has already challenged EU compliance with a similar WTO ruling regarding subsidies for Airbus. Sep 22, 2012 AMR bondholders demand payment, say planes neglected. Holders of $450 million in American Airlines bonds plan to ask a U.S. bankruptcy judge for an order to help ensure they get paid, claiming that the 143 planes that are collateral for their investment could lose too much value. The bondholders' agent, U.S. Bank, is expected to argue at a Thursday hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan that the airline unit of AMR Corp (AAMRQ.PK) has neglected its planes, and failed to make hundreds of repairs. They fear that this and other costs could force the value of the planes to sink too low to cover the bonds. The value "will continue to erode as a result of the costs to insure, store, ferry, market and sell the aircraft," U.S. Bank said in court papers. Most of the planes are older-model aircraft, including Boeing 757s and MD-82s and MD-83s made by McDonnell Douglas. Payment on the bonds is due October 15. Sean Collins, a spokesman for American Airlines, on Wednesday disputed the bank's claim, saying there has been "no change in American Airlines' maintenance policies and procedures that would impact the value of the aircraft." AMR declared bankruptcy last November and is unloading older portions of its aircraft fleet. The company has said it must save more than $1 billion in labor costs to become profitable. The company on Tuesday issued notices to more than 11,000 workers, warning of possible layoffs as a result of its bankruptcy filing. U.S. Bank is seeking to bolster safeguards for the bonds under bankruptcy rules designed to protect secured creditors from declines in the value of collateral. It wants to file a top-priority bankruptcy claim to ensure bondholders are paid ahead of other creditors, to offset any decrease in value from AMR's alleged delay in making nearly 500 repairs to cabins, engines and plane structures. U.S. Bank believes it would fetch just $501 million - including $40 million of previously frozen cash collateral to which it seeks access - if it seized and sold the planes. That's barely above the $491 million in principal and interest that it said bondholders are owed. But AMR said in court papers that U.S. Bank's request "borders on -- if not crosses the line of -- being frivolous." Collins on Wednesday added that U.S. Bank is "well aware the aircraft are being maintained in compliance with all applicable FAA regulations." A lawyer for U.S. Bank declined to comment. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane denied a similar request on behalf of the bondholders in February, but said they could renew the request if circumstances changed. In court papers, U.S. Bank justified its action, saying AMR recently missed a $36 million interest payment, and that many of the planes could be mothballed if the carrier merged with a healthier rival. US Airways Group Inc (LCC) has moved aggressively to buy AMR, but AMR has said it would rather emerge from bankruptcy as an independent company before considering a merger. The case is In re AMR Corp et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-15463. Sep 19, 2012 Atlas Air Worldwide Announces Placement of Its Next Two Boeing 747-8 Freighters with DHL Express. Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (AAWW), a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services, today announced that it has reached an agreement with DHL Express for placement of its sixth and seventh Boeing 747-8 Freighter aircraft. These aircraft will be operated by Atlas Air WorldwideOs unit, Atlas Air, Inc., in the Polar Air Cargo Worldwide express network under an ACMI arrangement for the benefit of DHL Express commencing in the fourth quarter of 2012. These aircraft will be the first of their type to be flown for DHL Express and will operate in DHLOs Asian and transpacific markets. These aircraft will replace two Boeing 747-400 Freighters that are currently in service for DHL Express. OWe are very pleased to announce these placements. With these new 747-8 freighters, DHL Express will have increased capacity and revenue-generating capability in one of the fastest developing regions of the world,O said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Air Worldwide. Mr. Flynn continued, OThis development reflects DHLOs continuing commitment to high-quality service, supported by our world-class cargo fleet and our proven ability to deliver global operating scale and consistent service excellence to our customers.O Atlas Air expects to receive an additional two 747-8Fs in the first half of 2013, for a total of nine aircraft, completing the delivery of its order program. Sep 20, 2012 Atlas Air Worldwide GEnx Engine Inspection Program. Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (AAWW) today issued the following statement in response to inquiries about the General Electric GEnx-2B engines serving the companyOs Boeing 747-8 Freighter fleet: Atlas Air WorldwideOs industry leadership and...
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