10.02.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-02-10 - News in briefNews in brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> NASA announced a $17.6 billion budget for fiscal year 2009 to continue exploring the solar system, building the International Space Station, studying Earth from space and conducting aeronautics research. NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale said the increase for NASA's 2009 budget demonstrates President Bush's commitment to the agency's missions.

With the increase, NASA still accounts for less than 1 percent of the federal budget. The NASA budget includes $5.78 billion for the space shuttle and space station programs, $4.44 billion for science, $3.5 billion for development of new manned spacecraft systems and $447 million for aeronautics research. NASA has 55 science missions currently in space, about half involving international partnerships, with 15 additional missions scheduled for launch by the end of 2009. In aeronautics, NASA is helping address fundamental research needs facing the Next Generation Air Transportation System, aimed at making U.S. air travel safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly.
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The governments of France and the United States have signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the sale of Lockheed Martin's precision-strike laser-guided HELLFIRE II missiles to France. The agreement authorizes the sale of multiple warhead variants of the modular HELLFIRE II, with options, for the French Army's Hlicoptre d'Appui Destruction (HAD) Tiger attack helicopter fleet. Contract value and missile quantities were not disclosed. Eurocopter, under contract with the multi-national European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation, has already begun integration of HELLFIRE II onto the HAD Tiger at its facility in Marignane, France, with Lockheed Martin's support. Ground tests began in October 2007, with flight tests scheduled to begin in March 2008.
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UK freight carrier Atlantic Airlines has signed agreements with BAE Systems Regional Aircraft for the long-term lease of a further six ATP Freighters. The addition of the six leased ATPFs will bring the airline's operational fleet of this 8-tonne freighter aircraft type to eleven. The first two leased aircraft (msn 2012 and 2013) were delivered in the last quarter of 2007 to Atlantic Airlines' engineering facility at Coventry Airport, following conversion into a Large Freight Door (LFD) variant at the Romaero plant in Baneasa, Bucharest.
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EUROCONTROL, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, has accepted the SESAR Air Traffic Management (ATM) Deployment sequence for developing and deploying the ATM Target Concept. The document, known as D4, proposes three successive implementation packages covering the period from 2008 to 2020 and beyond. The first Implementation Package which covers the period 2008 to 2012 (IP1) lays the foundations for the ATM Target Concept. Its objective is to implement short term initiatives and to disseminate best practices that will ensure that latent network capacity can be released and additional capacity generated. It also looks at expanding information-sharing, enabling more environmentally sustainable performance-based operations. Another objective is to increase efficiency and capacity gains at airports and terminals as well as for flights en-route. The second package which will run from 2013 to 2020 (IP2) will deliver the 2020 ATM Target Concept. This will result in a more efficient ATM network across Europe. It will focus in particular on increasing network cost-effectiveness and efficiency. This will be achieved through improving the Trajectory Management process, providing a wider and more dynamic information-sharing environment. More precise aircraft-based meteorological data will also be made available. Capacity benefits will be gained at airports and terminals as well as en-route through the introduction of more advanced automated tools. Operational flexibility for both civil and military users will enable a far better response to military airspace requirements. The third package which goes beyond 2020 (IP3) aims to ensure that the long-term goals of SESAR will be met. Its main characteristics will be the introduction of the most advanced features of the SESAR Concept of Operations, such as the full application of Airborne Separation Assistance System (ASAS) self separation and 4D Trajectory Contract.
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Boeing announced an order from Romanian low-cost airline Blue Air Transport Aerian for two Next-Generation 737-800s and purchase rights for two more. The airplanes will join the airline's all-Boeing fleet to provide extra capacity in a fast-growing market. The order is valued at approximately $150 million at list prices. "We have doubled our passenger traffic every year since starting our operations. Looking toward the future, the Next-Generation 737-800 is the most capable airplane on the market with a proven and impressive track record. It is the right airplane for our forecasted growth in this region," said Gheorghe Racaru, general manager of Blue Air. Blue Air will begin operating a Boeing 737-800, acquired through a lease agreement, later in 2008.
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Having reached key labor agreements with its pilot and flight attendant unions on the introduction of new aircraft, Hawaiian Airlines announced that it has signed a definitive purchase agreement with Airbus to acquire 12 new long-range wide-body aircraft and secure purchase rights for an additional 12 aircraft. The transaction, which follows a Memorandum of Understanding announced in November 2007, is the first step in a phased fleet plan designed to replace Hawaiian's current wide-body fleet of 18 aircraft, expand its long-range fleet, and enable it to open new routes to more distant markets on a nonstop basis from Hawaii. Under the signed Purchase Agreement, Hawaiian is acquiring six wide-body A330-200 aircraft and six A350XWB-800 (Extra Wide-Body) aircraft, and purchase rights for an additional six A330-200s and six A350XWB-800s. The agreement has a total list-price value of approximately $4.4 billion if all of the purchase rights are exercised.
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Air Astana, the flag carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, achieved record growth during 2007, with available seat kilometers up by 42% to 6.5 billion compared with 2006. Passengers carried increased by 46% to 2.13 million, with associated revenue up by 48% for the year. The Air Astana fleet grew to 18 aircraft during 2007 following the delivery of two Boeing 767-300ERs, two Airbus A320s and two A321s. The fleet is destined to grow further with the arrival of additional Boeing and Airbus aircraft during 2008. Air Astana is a joint venture between Samruk State Holding (51%) and BAE Systems (49%). The airline commenced regular flight operations in May 2002 and currently operates a network that serves 25 domestic and 21 international destinations from its hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. Air Astana is a full member of the International Air Transport Association and is the only airline in Kazakhstan with EASA Part 145 aircraft maintenance certification. 
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BAE Systems has been awarded a $42.5 million contract by the U.S. Strategic Command to develop and maintain new capabilities for an air-strike mission planning system. The Air Vehicle Planning System program will run through July 2012, and includes system design, development, maintenance, and testing. The Air Vehicle Planning System provides rapid, automated mission planning for the Air Force's bombers, cruise missiles, manned and unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, and air-refueling tanker support aircraft.  The system also develops force-level plans for operational and test missions of strategic strikes.
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Northrop Grumman has received a contract to deliver LITENING Advanced Targeting (AT) systems to the Finnish Air Force (FiAF) for its F-18 Mid-life Update 2 Program. Under the terms of the $30 million contract, Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division will deliver 10 LITENING AT systems to the FiAF under the U.S. Government Foreign Military Sales program beginning in late 2008 and continuing through 2009. To date, almost 500 LITENING pods have been ordered by the FiAF, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Air Force, Israeli Air Force, and Italian and Spanish Navies. More than 440 systems have been fielded, the largest number of any advanced targeting and sensor system. LITENING AT is combat proven on the AV-8B, A-10, B-52, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft. Together, all variants of the LITENING pod have amassed more than 780,000 flight hours, with over 380,000 hours logged under deployed or combat conditions.
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During a series of customer demonstration flights for a South American potential customer in January 2008, the Orbiter mini UAV, developed and manufactured by Aeronautics, was launched from an altitude of 13,700 ft above sea level and, within 10 minutes, reached the impressive altitude of 18,050 ft., thus breaking the previous world record, which stood at 15,000 ft. The flight exceeded one hour in duration, and was performed in winds of more than 30 knots. The Orbiter's two-meter flying-wing design and powerful electric motor provides this high level ISR gathering platform with unique flight characteristics in terms of flight speed variation (25-75 knots), operational altitude, and the ability to fly in harsh weather conditions. During other flights in the demonstration series, The Orbiter mini UAV system performed day and night missions, in cooperation with soldiers and vehicles from of the potential customer's land forces. In addition, two Orbiters were flown simultaneously from one Portable Ground Control Station, to demonstrate another unique capability of the Orbiter system.
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The Joint Standoff Weapon Extended Range missile moved one step closer to powered flight testing when Raytheon successfully conducted a second ground test of the JSOW-ER engine at the facility of Hamilton Sundstrand. The Raytheon- and Hamilton Sundstrand-funded test evaluated a flush inlet, engine and exhaust design. This test keeps the JSOW-ER on track for further functional ground tests, a captive carry flight test in 2008, and a free- flight demonstration in 2009. JSOW-ER, which comprises a portion of Raytheon's response to the Air Force's request for information for alternative solutions to the Joint Air-to- Surface Standoff Missile, is a proposed variant of the combat-proven JSOW, with a price goal of $350,000 per unit.
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While passenger surveys continue to have a weak track record of predicting demand, both positively and negatively, the cost to supply wireless services to air travelers continues to fall. Airborne picocells have dropped in price along with their terrestrial counterparts, in spite of additional R&D investments in aeronautical systems to ensure that their logic and memory chips function properly at cruise altitudes. In turn, this has improved the economics, and reduced the weight requirements, of deploying passenger wireless systems on commercial airliners, according to a soon-to-be-released study from Freesky Research. While many airlines will deploy either 802.11 or 3G picocells, a large number will not go fleet-wide over the next four years. "For all the reductions in equipment costs, airlines are still reluctant to invest in systems that they cannot amortize over at least five years of flying," said David Gross, author of the report. "Well over half of the deployments will be on three aircraft families. Widebodies with over 10,000 cycles that fly highly profitable routes are still seen as questionable places for GSM and Wi- Fi installations. Additionally, CRJs remain a particular challenge, because there is strong reluctance by both large airlines and their regional partners to install a wireless system on a jet that could be flying under different colors in 2010." GSM picocells will roll out quickly on aircraft registered in European, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries, with text messaging remaining one of the most cost-effective connectivity services airlines can offer. Wi-Fi picocells have already made significant inroads with crew applications, particularly for updating approach charts and for accessing management networks while parked at the gate. However, some airlines will continue to use Wi-Fi for cabin surveillance and for Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) without deploying passenger systems.
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Vector Aerospace announced that its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Vector Aerospace International Limited, has entered into a definitive purchase and sale agreement with The Secretary of State for Defence in the United Kingdom (MOD) to acquire the Defence Aviation and Repair Agency (DARA) Rotary Wing and Components Businesses in consideration of (pnds stlg)17 million, subject to a usual working capital adjustment. The assets included in the transaction include the helicopter repair facilities located at Fleetlands near Portsmouth, England and the helicopter component and repair facilities located at Almondbank, near Perth in Scotland. The transaction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2008, and is subject to usual closing conditions. The Fleetlands facility in Portsmouth provides maintenance, repair and overhaul support for the MOD Chinook (CH-47), Lynx and Sea King helicopters. The Almondbank facilities provide maintenance, repair and overhaul and component support for these helicopter platforms and other platforms within the United Kingdom, both for MOD and other customers.
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The Board of Directors of SAS AB has decided on the future structure of SAS Ground Services (SGS), SAS Technical Services (STS) and Spirit (terminal management within SAS Cargo). Until further notice, SGS will remain an independent subsidiary of the SAS Group, provided that the company can improve a number of quality and profitability targets, which have been agreed by management and the trade unions, within 18 months. One of the requirements is an improvement in costs within SGS of approximately SEK 400 M. At STS, heavy maintenance of the Boeing 737 Classic will be conducted outside Scandinavia in future. The SAS Board has decided that Spirit Air Cargo Handling, which is part of SAS Cargo, will be divested. 
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The Swiss-based Jet Aviation Group has completed the acquisition of U.S.-based maintenance and completions company Savannah Air Center (SAC). All parties agreed that further details about the transaction, including the transaction size, will not be disclosed. "The acquisition of SAC supports Jet Aviation's strategic objective of expanding its global services network," said Peter G. Edwards, CEO of the Jet Aviation Group, adding "SAC's excellent reputation, skilled workforce and state-of-the-art facilities make it a good fit for the Jet Aviation family of companies." For Jim Ziegler, Jet Aviation's COO for the Americas, this acquisition is a much needed expansion of the company's operations in North America. "This will give us the capacity to support our growing maintenance and completions business while broadening our geographic reach here in the U.S."
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Bell Helicopter announced that 2007 saw another double digit increase in the number of commercial helicopters delivered. Bob Fitzpatrick, Bell's senior vice president for Marketing and Sales stated, "Over the past few years we have been expanding our capacity in response to the marketplace demand for our products. In 2007 our deliveries increased 14% over 2006, which, in turn, was a 29% increase from 2005."We ended December with a total of 181 new helicopters delivered to our customers. These deliveries represent every market segment and region of the world. Additionally we delivered 14 Huey II kits that provide significant new capabilities for our customers flying this aircraft," Fitzpatrick added. Bell also said that 2007 was a banner year for helicopter orders with a total of 365 total orders taken. Bell's model 407 continues to lead the way as Bell's most popular commercial product, followed by the new 429, the 412EP and the 206L4. Bell's also sold 26 Huey II kits. These kits represent a popular way for customers to get the latest performance upgrades in a cost-effective manner and extend the life of their Huey fleets.
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GKN Aerospace has delivered the first blended winglet for the Boeing 737-300/500, well ahead of scheduled delivery dates in the first quarter of this year.  The agreement, with Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) was finalised in April 2007. The multi-year winglet agreement with APB covers the supply of 200 737-300/500 blended winglet aircraft sets. Each of these winglets is 7' long. The agreement also covers the design, development and manufacture of 300 sets of 11' long winglets for the Boeing 767-300ER. These winglets will be produced at GKN Aerospace facility on the Isle of Wight, UK. 
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Hawker Beechcraft Acquisition Company reported 150 business and general aviation aircraft deliveries for its fourth quarter and 430 for the year 2007. Deliveries for the full year 2007 include those delivered by Raytheon Aircraft, the predecessor business to HBAC, in the first calendar quarter of the year. Among the aircraft delivered were: Hawker 900XP (32), Hawker 850XP/800XP (35), Hawker 400XP (41), Premier IA (54), King Air 350 (53), King Air 200/200GT (58), King Air C90GT/C90GTi (46), Baron G58 (38), Bonanza G36 (73).
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Cessna has completed wing mate on the first Citation CJ4. First flight of the newest member of the CJ family is scheduled later this year, with entry into service planned for the first half of 2010.
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The U.S. Air Force recently awarded United Launch Alliance a $505 million contract to provide launch services for three National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) satellites aboard Delta IV rockets under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. The EELV Launch Services Contract provides for the production, hardware integration, assembly and checkout of the launch vehicle. Two of those missions are heavy configurations. Of the three missions, two will launch from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and the third will launch from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Launch dates for the missions will be determined at a later time
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SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, said it looks forward to enhancing its customer offering and increasing its presence at London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) next month as the EU-U.S. open skies agreement takes effect. "SkyTeam applauds the progress made with the first-stage transatlantic Open Skies agreement between the EU and the U.S," said Leo van Wijk, chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board. "We are pro-competition and strongly believe that greater liberalization in the aviation industry opens up new opportunities for travelers, as well as airlines and their employees." As of March 30, 2008, SkyTeam travelers will have access to more route and flight options than ever before. The alliance will offer in total 11 new daily frequencies through eight new nonstop routes - never before available to passengers traveling within the SkyTeam network - between the U.S. and LHR.
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Sagem Défense Sécurité (SAFRAN Group) received an order from OCCAR for STRIX observation and sighting systems for 64 Tiger HAD European combat helicopters in France and Spain. The first deliveries will take place in 2009. With high-performance optronic sensors, the STRIX gyrostabilized system will provide the Tiger HAD with observation, identification and engagement capacities at long range both day and night.
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Rolls-Royce made strong progress in 2007, delivering underlying sales and profit growth across all its businesses and good cash flow despite the continuing challenges of a weak US dollar and increased unit costs. The consistent strategy pursued by the Group over many years, has created a business which is delivering increasing predictability of future revenues as a result of the breadth of the portfolio, the access to growing global markets and the strength of the aftermarket. Our access to growing international markets resulted in a strong order intake across all our businesses. By the end of the year, the order book had increased by 76 per cent to a record £45.9bn. Sales increased by four per cent to £7,435m. Underlying sales grew by six per cent relative to 2006 after allowing for the benefit of our hedge policy. Underlying profit before tax increased by 13 per cent to £800m (2006 £705m), reflecting increased trading profits across all our businesses. This was achieved despite a further 8 cent deterioration in the achieved US dollar rate, at a cost of £92m in 2007, and increased unit costs. The published profit before tax reduced to £733m from £1,391m in 2006. The increase in operating profits is more than offset by reduced benefits from the unrealised fair value of derivative contracts, lower benefit from foreign exchange hedge reserve release and the recognition of past service costs for UK pension schemes, all of which are excluded from the calculation of underlying performance. This is explained further in note 2 on page 17.
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Pratt & Whitney Canada has launched its next-generation 10,000-pound-thrust-class engine family, designated the PW800. The first engine, the PW810, has been selected by Cessna to power its new Citation Columbus business aircraft. "We are very pleased that Cessna has selected P&WC for its large-cabin jet, and we are equally excited to be growing our product offering with this all-new, greener engine family for customers in the large, long-range business aircraft segment," said Alain M. Bellemare, President, P&WC and Executive Vice President, Pratt & Whitney Group Strategy & Development. "We are clearly committed to the business aviation market and are investing to maintain our leadership. This win, which represents a multibillion opportunity for us in potential orders over the life of the program, opens doors to both the large-cabin, long-range corporate and the regional jet markets." "Based on a very rigorous and competitive selection process involving a number of engine suppliers, we are convinced that Pratt & Whitney Canada offers the best solution for our large-cabin Citation business jet," said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack J. Pelton. "We now look forward to launching into this exciting new market together."
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Boeing announced it has entered into an agreement with India-based TAL Manufacturing Solutions Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors Ltd., for manufacturing structural components for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner airplane program. Under the agreement, TAL Manufacturing Solutions will build floor beams for the 787 using new technology with advanced titanium and composite materials. These floor beams will be used on the 787 Dreamliner and provide for a best-value solution and significant weight savings. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
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The foundation stone laid for a new aircraft engine overhaul hangar in Hamburg, represents an expansion by Lufthansa Technik AG of its production capacities in Germany. Almost 50 million euros will be invested at the company's home base over the next few months. The first engines are to be overhauled at the new facility as early as the beginning of 2009. This investment secures the long-term future of over 2,000 jobs in Hamburg. The foundation stone was laid by Ole von Beust, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, together with August W. Henningsen, Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Technik, and Dr. Burkhard Andrich, Senior Vice President Engine Services. Von Beust pointed out: "Securing engine maintenance activities at this location in the long term is yet another success for Hamburg as a centre of the aviation industry, and testifies to the high dynamics of this growth sector in our city. Even today, over 35,000 people in the Hamburg metropolitan area are employed in the aviation industry – and their numbers are growing daily. Hamburg is a centre of the aviation industry, and ranks among the world's leading hubs in the aircraft development and construction sectors. When it comes to maintenance of aircraft, their engines and instruments, we are number one."
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EADS and Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) signed an agreement value 9,7 million euros for HAI's designing center development. This was agreed in a contract signed by HAI's CEO Mr. Tassos Philippakos and by Mr. Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of Military Air Systems, which is an integrated business unit of the EADS Defence & Security Division. By this agreement, HAI will obtain all the essential technological infrastructures and the know – how in order to establish the capability for airframe structure design and development.
HAI's design capability development constitutes a part of the designing center program that HAI is generating with the Ministry of Defense support.
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Boeing was awarded a $1.25 million concept refinement contract for the U.S. Navy's EPX program. EPX is a manned airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting aircraft that will replace the Navy's EP-3 signals intelligence (SIGINT) platform.  As part of the five-month contract, Boeing will work with partner Argon ST to help define program requirements and develop initial system concepts for the EPX multi-intelligence system. Argon ST, based in Fairfax, Va., is a leading designer and developer of SIGINT sensors and information operations systems.
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AeroVironment announced that the U.S. Army has ordered additional RQ-11B (Raven) small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and associated services by the exercise of an option under an existing contract.  Each Raven system typically consists of three aircraft, a ground control station, system spares, and related services.  The total award value is $45.8 million and is fully funded. The option was submitted under the existing U.S. Army joint small UAS program of record for AV's Raven and will provide systems for the Army and Marine Corps.  This program allows for contract additions from the Army, Special Operations Command and other U.S. military services.  The items provided under this one-year option on the multi-year contract are scheduled to be delivered within one year of the contract award date.
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Embraer has signed a firm order with JJH Capital, owned by Juan Jose Hidalgo, President of Air Europa and Globalia, for six EMBRAER 195 jets, plus purchase rights for another six aircraft. The total value of the deal is US$ 237 million, at list price, based on January 2008 economic conditions, and could double, if all purchase rights are confirmed. This deal is already included in Embraer's fourth quarter firm order backlog as "undisclosed". "This contract with JJH Capital is very significant for Embraer. We are extremely proud to break into the extremely active Spanish airline market," said Mauro Kern, Embraer Executive Vice President, Airline Market. "I'm sure the EMBRAER 195 will fulfill all Universal Airlines' expectations, offering a unique combination of excellent economics, high operating flexibility and distinctive passenger comfort." The EMBRAER 195s will be flown by Hidalgo's newly created air carrier, Universal Airlines, serving domestic and intra-European network routes. The first delivery is scheduled for May 2008, and Universal will be the first operator in the world to fly the EMBRAER 195 in a single-class 122-seat layout, which translates into a unique product with highly competitive cost-per-seat against larger narrowbodies.
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India has signed its biggest military deal yet with the US to buy six Super Hercules C130J special role aircraft in a $1 billion-plus package deal. Air Chief Marshal FH Major, Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force (IAF), told India Strategic website and defence magazine that a Letter of Agreement (LOA) was signed on January 30 in New Delhi for six aircraft, infrastructure, spares and spare engines, related equipment, and operational and maintenance training. "It's a package deal with the US government under its Foreign Military Sales Programme (FMS), and India has retained options to buy six more of these aircraft for its special forces for combined army-air force operations," the IAF chief said. Lockheed Martin India chief executive officer Douglas A. Hartwick said that the company would begin supplying the aircraft within 36 months of the signing of the LOA.  
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Tests are under way at the Benefield Anechoic Facility here on the X-51 Scramjet-Waverider's antennas to ensure all of the X-51's antennas and communication systems are working properly. The X-51 is an autonomous vehicle with a scramjet engine enabling the aircraft to travel at a hypersonic speed -- faster than six times the speed of sound. The testers are looking at two different types of antennas -- a flight termination system antenna and telemetry antenna -- that streamline all data from the X-51, including performance, air and engine data. The 412th Test Wing Hypersonic Flight Test Team, Electronic Warfare Directorate and Boeing began month-long testing Jan. 28. "We have to make sure we have good receiving and transmitting antennas before we actually fly the aircraft," said 1st Lt. Richard Paek, the X-51 lead project engineer. "We also have to make sure we have good coverage of antenna patterns, spectrum of frequencies and bandwidth."  
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Ryanair announced third quarter after tax profits of Euro 35m, a 27% decline over the comparable quarter last year, and in line with previous guidance. This profit figure excludes a Euro12.1m profit from aircraft disposals. Traffic grew by 21% to 12.4m, yields fell by 4%, as revenues rose by 16% to Euro569m. The prior year Q3 comparable was distorted by a one off €10m contract termination penalty received from a previous hotel partner.   Excluding this one off prior year Q3 receipt reveals an underlying profit decline of 10%.   Unit costs were flat in the quarter due primarily to a doubling of airport charges at Stansted, significant cost increases at the Dublin Airport monopoly, combined with longer sector lengths, offset in part by lower cost fuel hedges. Announcing these results, Ryanair's CEO, Michael O'Leary said: "This net profit of Euro35m is a creditable performance in very adverse market conditions. It reflects Ryanair's 21% traffic growth, a 4% decline in yields, flat unit costs and a strong ancillary sales performance. Ancillary revenues (excluding a one off €10m termination payment in the prior year) grew by 30% to €111m. Ancillary penetration continues to increase, and we are on target to achieve our ancillary sales objective of 20% of revenues over the next 3 years. Inflight mobile phone services will be tested on 25 aircraft – subject to regulatory approval - during the April-June quarter and we are optimistic that passengers will quickly adopt this service to make/receive calls and texts on their mobile phones and blackberries. Whilst unit costs were flat during the quarter, excluding our fuel hedges they rose by 6% due to the unjustified doubling of airport charges at the Stansted Airport monopoly, significantly higher charges at the even less competitive Dublin Airport monopoly and 7% longer sectors. Costs were positively impacted by our decision to reduce Winter capacity at Stansted by 7 aircraft, while staff costs rose by 18% to €67m due to an increase in cabin crew ratios which will continue through the remainder of this fiscal year. Looking forward to the end of the current fiscal year ('07/'08) we now have sufficient visibility over Q.4 bookings and yields to enable us to maintain our previous guidance of net profit growth of 17.5% to approx. €470m for the full fiscal year, (07/08). We expect the decline in average fares this Winter will be close to 5% and within the range previously guided. Our ability to grow net profits, in a year when most of our competitors are suffering declines or losing money is testament to the continuing strength of Ryanair's guaranteed lowest fare business model across Europe."
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Iridium Satellite has recently upgraded the satellite phones used by Russian cosmonauts when returning to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS). The Russian authorities are replacing the older 9505 Iridium handsets, which have been in service since 2003, with new-generation 9505A units. "The Iridium phones provide a critical safety link for communicating with the returning cosmonauts," said Greg Ewert, executive vice president of Iridium Satellite. "The Soyuz descent vehicles often land in very remote regions of Russia, which are not covered by terrestrial telecommunication networks. The Iridium phone, coupled with a highly accurate GPS receiver, helps the search and rescue teams locate and recover the spacecraft and crew without delay."
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The U.S. Navy has awarded a study contract to Northrop Grumman, working with L-3 Communications, for the Navy's EPX aircraft program. EPX is envisioned as a shore-based, manned aircraft providing intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (ISR&T) support to carrier strike groups and theater, combatant and national commanders. The contract is valued at $1.25 million. The Navy initiated a competition in November 2007 to study the replacement of its EP-3E signals intelligence aircraft fleet and the expansion of its mission capability. This contract, the first step in the Navy's multiyear selection process for the EPX system, calls for development of a preferred system concept and analysis of the associated risks and requirements. "This competition is about more than replacing an aircraft," said Patricia McMahon, vice president of Information Operations and Electronic Attack for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "It's about transforming Navy warfighters' ability to perform the ISR&T mission and share that information with joint and allied forces. EPX will develop the capability to execute an evolving set of missions, and no one understands those missions better than Northrop Grumman and L-3."
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Northrop Grumman is taking the first steps toward giving the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber the ability to destroy moving targets under a current contract with the U.S. Air Force. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the B-2, the flagship of the nation's long-range strike arsenal. Under a one-year, $9.33 million contract, the company has begun preparing the B-2 to carry and deploy small, precision-guided weapons such as the 250-pound class Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II). The company's work is focused on upgrading the aircraft's current display and weapon interfaces to accommodate this class of weapons. The SDB-II is currently in development and source selection. "This new Moving Target Kill (MTK) capability is the latest in a series of upgrades defined by the Air Force/Northrop Grumman-led industry team to increase the lethality and fighting effectiveness of the B-2," said Dave Mazur, vice president of Long Range Strike for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "It will allow commanders to deal decisively with an increasingly decentralized and mobile enemy under all weather conditions."
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Air Berlin got off to a good start in the new year. In January, Air Berlin (including its subsidiaries LTU and Belair, and the airline company Walter) transported a total of 1,781,556 passengers, i.e. 14 percent more than in the corresponding month of the previous year (1,562,459 passengers). Fleet capacity utilization improved from 65.2 percent in January 2007 to 69.1 percent in January 2008 (+ 3.9 percentage points). Flight revenue per available seat kilometer (ASK) remained unchanged at 4.06 Eurocents.
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FLUG REVUE 12/2016

FLUG REVUE
12/2016
07.11.2016

Abonnements
Digitalabo
E-Paper
Heft-Archiv
Einzelheft bestellen


- Neue Junkers F 13 fliegt
- Dreiteilung airberlin
- Flughafen Lyon
- Erprobung Pilatus PC-24
- Wonsan Air Festival
- Brennstoffzellen im Alltagstest
- Extra Raumfahrt

aerokurier iPad-App