FRNews-20090126flugrevue.de News update - 26 January 2009

Aviation news from Germany, Central Europe, the United States etc. Read our summary every Monday, see the pictures of the week.

Eurocopter delivers 588 helicopters in 2008, sees order drop in 2009
Gutes Ergebnis für Eurocopter
Eurocopter increased its turnover by 7.5 %. In 2008, Eurocopter once again secured its position as the world's No. 1 manufacturer of civil and parapublic helicopters with a total of 588 helicopter deliveries for new military and civil helicopters. This figure constitutes a production ramp-up of 20% percent as compared to 2007 and reinforced its position as a major branded business division within EADS, counting for a consolidated turnover of 4.5 billion Euros.
Order bookings, still showing strong demand for new helicopter models and services, amounted to 4.9 billion Euros. This included 715 new aircraft. The company's total order backlog by the end of December 2008 was over 14 billion Euros or the equivalent of 1,550 helicopters.
Although 2009 economic trends are unpredictable and will see cancellations, Eurocopter is confident that its backlog and unique business model should be major assets in retaining its solidity through 2009 and beyond.
55 percent of the company's turnover achieved in 2008 was related to serial helicopters (equalling 2.48 billion Euros), 32 percent (1.45 billion Euros) derived out of support and services, whereas 13 percent (0.56 billion Euros) were realized from development and other activities. While 55 percent of the turnover derived from civil and parapublic sales, 45 percent was related to Eurocopter's military products. The company thereby retained its healthy balance between the civil and military markets. The export share is 65 percent, with 35 percent achieved in the company's domestic markets (i.e., France, Germany, Spain), proving Eurocopter's successful strategy of expanding its activities to emerging markets.
2008 orders were placed for 715 production helicopters as follows: 85 units of EC120 Colibri, 340 units of the AS350/355 Ecureuil/Fennec/EC130 family, 123 units of EC135, 81 units of EC145, 39 units of the Dauphin/Panther/EC155 family, 35 units of the Super Puma/CougarEC225/EC725 family, 12 NH90.

Fraport: Start of Frankfurt Airport's Expansion Underscores Future Competitiveness
Ausbau des Frankfurter Flughafens beginnt
Fraport AG considers the commencement of work on the capacity expansion of Frankfurt Airport (FRA) "a great day for the entire German aviation industry and a signal to the capital market underscoring FRA's future competitiveness." The company's executive board chairman Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Bender explained, "the expansion keeps Fraport on course for staying competitive in the future." Fraport's CEO said, "the new landing runway and the planned Terminal 3 provide the foundation for economic growth and a noticeable increase in jobs at the airport and throughout the region."
Bender pointed out that FRA is not only one of the biggest construction sites but also one of the most significant investment locations in Europe. Fraport alone is investing more than EUR4 billion in the expansion of Frankfurt Airport. According to Bender, the expansion program is also an important contribution to weathering the economic and financial crisis, will help primarily the construction industry and will secure and create jobs. In this crisis, the German federal government is rightly directing public funds mainly to infrastructure improvement projects. In Frankfurt, a large-scale privately-funded project is being carried out that deserves the support of all political, economic and societal forces.
Expansion of FRA, which has been operating at its capacity limit for years, is urgently required to meet growing traffic demand and to remain the premier international air transportation hub, said Bender. The expanded runway system will allow for up to 700,000 aircraft movements per year compared to currently about 500,000. FRA's coordinated hourly runway capacity will rise from currently well over 80 to 126 slots - representing a 50-percent increase. "This will enable us to offer first-class service as the world's biggest international transfer hub to the 88 million passengers expected in the year 2020," emphasized Bender. Moreover, this will make available a high-capacity infrastructure for the more than three million metric tons of cargo forecast to be handled at Frankfurt Airport in 2020.

ATR registers record turnover in 2008
Gute Geschäfte für den Regionalflugzeughersteller
On the occasion of the ATR annual press conference, which took place in Paris, Stéphane Mayer, ATR CEO, announced a record turnover of US $ 1.3 billion for 2008. Such result continues the strong growth of ATR since the recovery of the turboprop market in 2005, and represents an increase of around 140% in the last three years. “The outstanding annual turnover achieved in 2008 is the recognition to the strong efforts that we have done in a particularly difficult year taking into account the global economic context. Despite such difficulties, we have achieved an important rate of growth, including a doubling of aircraft deliveries in two years, while keeping one of our highest historical backlogs. In such complicated times we are specially gratified by the confidence shown both from our current operators and our new customers”. He added: “We have intensified our worldwide expansion with the aim of being closer to our operators, to support them and to provide them a high-quality service. We are proud of having achieved also a main milestone by powering on and starting the ground tests of the ATR -600 series, the most advanced regional turboprop aircraft under development”. He concluded: “Despite the current difficult times, the demand for turboprops is here for the long term. We will continue to develop our product and our services to maintain our leading position of over 50% in the turboprop market”.
ATR booked orders for 42 new aircraft (see figure 1) and options for 14 aircraft in 2008. 23 of these orders have been booked with carriers in the Asia Pacific region, thus confirming the importance of this zone in the success of ATR since the recovery of the turboprop market. In addition to this, ATR added 5 new customers in 2008, representing almost 40% of the total orders of the year. In terms of deliveries, ATR plans to deliver more than 60 new aircraft during 2009. In order to cope with the current financial situation, ATR will strengthen its activities to assist its clients in order to source the optimal financial arrangements on the market for their aircraft deliveries. For 2009, ATR targets a turnover of over US $ 1.4 billion.

MTU Aero Engines takes stake in GEnx
Beteiligung an neuem Triebwerk vereinbart
MTU Aero Engines is taking an approximate 6.6 percent role in General Electric's GEnx engine to power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental airliner and the Boeing 747-8 Freighter. Germany's leading engine manufacturer will be manufacturing and assuming design responsibility for the engine's turbine center frame. MTU figures the deal can be worth over 11 billion euros in revenue, taken over the life of the program. About 1,150 engines are already on firm order or option. "Our stake in the GEnx program expands our role in the promising widebody segment and further deepens our close, long-standing cooperation with General Electric," emphasized MTU CEO Egon Behle. "It gives us a share in a paramount future engine in the upper thrust category and helps balance the mix of our product portfolio." Widebody commercial transports are considered an appreciably growing segment of the airliner market that is less severely exposed to economic fluctuations than others. As a risk and revenue sharing partner, MTU participates in the engine's sales and profits while simultaneously sharing in the risks involved.
In 2008, MTU inked new program participations totaling some 30 billion euros in projected revenue. "Our participations in geared turbofan engines, most recently the powerplant for the CSeries, have underscored the importance of our cooperation with Pratt & Whitney and provided new impetus for the future," stated Behle, who went on to say: "Never before has MTU signed up for such extensive new program stakes in a single year. That will secure jobs at MTU long-term in production and maintenance."

Air Berlin enters into co-operation with Hainan Airlines
Neue Flüge nach China
Air Berlin is extending its long-range services and will again be offering flights to China in time for the Chinese New Year. This has been made possible by our co-operation with Hainan Airlines, China's fourth-largest airline. Both companies have agreed that from 25th January 2009 they will jointly market flights between Berlin and Beijing. Hainan has been offering this service since September 2008 and operates up to three flights a week to the Middle Kingdom. Air Berlin has arranged connecting flights from Germany (Düsseldorf, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Cologne, Munich, Münster-Osnabrück, Nuremberg, Stuttgart), Austria (Vienna) and Switzerland (Zurich).

Eclipse Aviaton sold
Neuer Eigentümer für Eclipse
Eclipse Aviation announced that Judge Mary Walrath of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved the sale of its assets for a combination of cash, equity and debt under Section 363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to EclipseJet Aviation International, Inc. pending administrative closure on several remaining items. EclipseJet's bid of $28 million in cash, plus promissory notes and equity for the assets of Eclipse Aviation was verbally approved by the judge. Eclipse and EclipseJet will begin working toward the prompt closing of the final sales transaction. In the meantime, Eclipse expects to continue its current operations through the closing date.
EclipseJet is an affiliate of ETIRC Aviation, Eclipse's largest shareholder, and a principal driver of the very light jet (VLJ) industry in Europe. ETIRC Aviation's Chairman, Roel Pieper, became the acting CEO of Eclipse in July 2008 and has served as Eclipse's Chairman since January 2008. On November 25, 2008, Eclipse Aviation filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Since then, Eclipse has continued operations with debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing. Today's sale enables the Eclipse 500 Jet to further solidify its position as the global standard for VLJs.

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