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Company Watch - Boeing.

New York (AirGuideBusiness - Company Watch) Oct 11, 2009

In February 2010, Aerolineas Argentinas will operate 12 new Boeing 737-700 airplanes waiting for receiving next year 9 Embraer E-190 units of 20 of them , meanwhile the long distance fleet will be enriched with the gradual arrival of seven Airbus 340 and six Airbus 330. Oct 7, 2009

Air India has invited tenders to dry lease out seven of its aircraft, three Boeing 777-200LRs and four Airbus A310 freighters. It hopes to dry lease out the 777s for 24 months or more, and the A310s for 18 months or more, says Air India. Air India would prefer to lease out the 777s starting from the third quarter of 2010, it says. All three 777s are owned by Golden State Aircraft LLC, according to Flightglobal's ACAS database. The A310s are available immediately and all four are owned by Air India, according to ACAS. On 29 September Air India said it aims to achieve cost savings of 13 billion Indian rupees (USD 272 million) in the remaining six months of its fiscal year. Oct 6, 2009

Airstream International arranged the sale of one ex-KrasAir 767-200ER to Aero Africa. Oct 8, 2009

AirTran Airways has begun evaluating replacements for its 117-seat Boeing 717-200s as its oldest aircraft of that type reach the 10-year mark. The low-cost operator likes the size of the 717 and would probably not go smaller, AirTran senior director of strategic planning and scheduling John Kirby said at Boyd Group International's Aviation Forecast Summit in Lexington, Kentucky earlier this week. He adds that the carrier is interested in a seating range between 100 and 120. The Bombardier CSeries is under consideration and the Embraer E-190/E-195 is "logical", but Kirby says the carrier is not ruling out the possibility that Boeing might introduce another aircraft. Boeing ended 717 production in 2006. AirTran, the 717 launch customer, currently operates 86 of the type, according to Flightglobal's ACAS database. Oct 7, 2009

Singapore-based aircraft lessor BOC Aviation has mandated two financings that total USD 597 million for 16 aircraft to be acquired between October 2009 and March 2010. One financing is for USD 301 million, the other is for USD 296 million, says BOC Aviation. Both are facilitated by Citigroup. The USD 301 million financing is guaranteed by European Export Credit Agencies. It covers eight Airbus A320s to be delivered from October 2009 to March 2010, say BOC Aviation. The USD 296 million financing is guaranteed by the US Exim Bank and covers eight Boeing 737s to be delivered from October 2009 to February 2010. BOC Aviation adds that it has an option to replace this initial financing with a US Exim Bank guaranteed capital markets issue at a later date if market conditions are attractive. Oct 8, 2009

Boeing said Tuesday it delivered 113 commercial jets in the third quarter, up from 84 in the same period last year. The Chicago aerospace giant said 737 deliveries rose to 90 from 67 last year, 767 deliveries rose to four from two and 777 deliveries rose to 19 from 11. However, 747 deliveries fell to zero from four last year. The decline in air traffic has pressured some customers taking new aircraft this year to defer deliveries, but so far other customers have stepped up to purchase the planes. But it's expected to get tighter next year: Boeing has announced cuts to its 777 program in 2010 and ramp-up delays for its 767 and 747-8 jets. Shares of Boeing rose less than 1 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday to USD 52.66. Oct 6, 2009

Boeing has announced a fresh delay to the first flight of the 747-8 freighter, to the first quarter of 2010, and revealed that it will not now deliver the first aircraft until the fourth quarter of next year. First flight had previously been scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year, and first delivery for the third quarter of 2010. Boeing is in addition taking a pre-tax charge of "approximately USD 1 billion" against its third quarter results due to "increased production costs and the difficult market conditions" affecting the 747-8 program. The company says USD 640 million of the charge reflects "higher estimated costs to produce 747-8 airplanes at both Boeing and supplier facilities. As the program assembled major components of initial 747-8 freighters during the third quarter, it became clear that late maturity of engineering designs has caused greater than expected re-work and disruption in manufacturing. Oct 6, 2009

As a Bellevue man admitted Monday to hiding USD 1.8 million in a Swiss bank, authorities appeared poised to continue an investigation into thousands of Americans who may have used the bank to dodge taxes. Accused of hiding the investments from regulators, retired Boeing sales manager Roberto Cittadini pleaded guilty Monday to failing to report income hidden in a UBS AG bank account from 2001 to 2003. His admission followed a string of similar pleas by former UBS clients indicted across the country. Like Cittadini, those defendants found themselves caught in the wake of an investigation into UBS that, according to court documents, saw the bank agree to pay the U.S. government USD 780 million for its role in arranging illegal tax shelters for wealthy Americans. Federal prosecutors have filed indictments against Raoul Weil, a senior executive with UBS, and Bradley Birkenfeld, a private banker with UBS who pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States in June 2008, as well as others with ties to the bank. Filing criminal charges against the bank in February, federal prosecutors alleged that 17,000 to 20,000 U.S. clients concealed the existence of their UBS accounts from the IRS with the bank's assistance. UBS employees, prosecutors contended, claimed the bank's largess -- it was, at the time, the largest Swiss bank -- and lobbying clout would protect clients' assets from the IRS. UBS managers, prosecutors claimed, "referred to the United States cross-border business as 'toxic waste' because they knew that it was not being conducted in a manner that complied with United States law." Prosecutors alleged that UBS-assisted clients hoped to keep profit-generating investments concealed from the IRS. Those investments included stakes in U.S. companies, profits from which are subject to taxation. The bank, facing federal prosecution, entered into an agreed resolution with the Department of Justice. In exchange for a promise from the government not to pursue the prosecution against it, the bank agreed to cooperate with individual prosecutions. That cooperation is believed to include a list of American clients who, like Cittadini, used the bank to dodge tax obligations. That effort has apparently begun in earnest and may ultimately lead to charges against dozens of former clients and bankers. The prosecution has already spread beyond UBS, with charges filed in recent weeks against Swiss banker Hansruedi Schumaker -- who is accused of helping Cittadini move about USD 1.86 million from UBS into a Hong Kong corporation in an effort to hide the funds -- and lawyer Matthias Rickenbach, whom prosecutors allege directed the Hong Kong company. Oct 5, 2009

Boeing could propose developing a "purpose-built" airframe as one of several options to replace the US Air Force's fleet of Northrop T-38 jet trainers, say industry officials. The potential Boeing offer throws a twist into the competitive field for the T-X contract, which could be worth USD 10 billion and which the USAF has suggested could range from 350 to 500 new jets. Sep 30, 2009

Continental Airlines is set to introduce its first newly configured Boeing 777-200ER with its BusinessFirst flat-bed seat by the end of October. Brian Roland, engineering project manager for Continental Airlines said that 777 Ship 13 (N78013), which is currently being moidfied, will be the first to feature the new 50-seat business class cabin. The seat, which is made by B/E Aerospace, features a full 180-degree, 198.1 cm (6-ft, 6-in) lie-flat seat, as well as Panasonic IFE system with hand controller and US compatible power plug. The airline also plans to feature introduce the flat-bed seat on its Boeing 787 aircraft, along with its existing 767-400ER, 767-200 and 757-200 fleets. The installation of the new seats on the 777-200ER fleet is expected to be completed by August 2011, with the remainder of the existing fleet a year later. Continental operates a fleet of 20 777s and holds orders for an additional eight. Oct 6, 2009

DHL Express has introduced the first of six new 59t payload Boeing 767-300Fs on transatlantic flights. The inaugural flight from Leipzig, Germany to New York Kennedy on 23 September was operated by UK-based DHL Air. The aircraft will replace shared capacity of a Boeing MD-11F operated through a joint venture with Lufthansa Cargo. DHL is due to receive all six aircraft by the end of 2012. The company plans to operate one aircraft between Germany and the New York, and a second on flights from Cincinnati to New York with continuing service to East Midlands airport in the UK. Sep 30, 2009

Emirates Airline has ruled out ordering the Boeing 747-8I passenger variant as it focuses on building its fleet of Airbus A380s. However, it is "very keen" to hear Boeing's plans to develop the 777. "With the A380 as it is today, and as popular as it is today, why would you go back to the 747?" says Emirates Airline president Tim Clark. The Dubai carrier had been pushing Boeing to develop a version of the 747-8I with the range capability to operate year-round services between its base and Los Angeles with an economic payload of around 370 passengers. In parallel with Airbus's A380 weight reduction effort, Emirates has been working on its own savings says Clark. "On our own we've already taken out about 2.2t of operator items." This was partly due to a reduction in the potable water carried for the two on-board showers. Through Airbus's effort, Clark believes that "by 2012 [deliveries] the manufacturer's empty weight of the A380 will be a minimum of 2t lighter on top of our 2.2t". However, he thinks the A380 will "always be challenged" to serve Los Angeles from Dubai. Oct 8, 2009

Emirates Airline, the Middle East's largest carrier, is pressing U.S. planemaker Boeing to improve its 777 aircraft or develop a new long-range jet that can be used on its Dubai to Los Angeles route, the airline's president said Sunday. "We've been in dialogue with Boeing for almost four years about this, but recently we felt that the impetus from Boeing to improve the 777 extended range had slowed," Tim Clark told Zawya Dow Jones in a telephone interview. "We continue to remind them that we want an improvement to the extended range per se, or a new airplane." A spokesperson for Boeing in the Middle East couldn't immediately be reached for comment Sunday. Emirates, which will be the biggest user of Boeing's 777 widebody jet, currently operates a Boeing 777-200 LR (long range) nonstop from Dubai to L.A., but says that the aircraft is inefficient. Clark thinks that Boeing may be working on something "privately", but said that delays to the planemaker's 787 program have hampered efforts. "The problem has been the financial commitment because of the 787 program," he said. "Once the Dreamliner has made its first flight, I think we'll see a huge release of funds and resources, and the plane maker will be able to focus on other programs." In June, Clark told Zawya Dow Jones that he wasn't too impressed with Boeing's decision to put a larger wing on its wide-bodied jet. Clark said that he wasn't interested in buying Boeing's 747-8, a larger plane than earlier versions. The airline isn't likely to make any aircraft orders at the Dubai airshow next month, Clark said, but added that there were some "very good deals" for aircraft at the moment. "If the opportunities are right, then we'll take them," he said. Clark said Emirates' traffic was "holding up" and that load factors were good. "It's a difficult time, but we're keeping our head above water," he said. Oct 9, 2009

Emirates said yesterday that it issued a USD 413.7 million US bond offering guaranteed by the US Export Import Bank to finance the delivery of three 777-300ERs. The secured notes are due Aug. 21, 2021, and payable in installments of principal and interest on a quarterly basis, the airline said. "This transaction is very important for the industry as it represents the first offering of its kind directly into the global public capital markets," Senior VP-Corporate Treasury Brian Jeffrey stated. "We believe bond markets represent an important source of capital for the airline industry in general and for Emirates in particular." Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Calyon Securities acted as joint bookrunners and joint structuring agents. Oct 9, 2009

The ongoing delays of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has rocked relations between the US-based plane manufacturer and East African airlines with the 787 on their order book. Ethiopian Airlines already broke its own monopoly relation with Boeing, which existed for many years, to order Airbus models, and by recent reports, Kenya Airways (KQ) now too is in discussions with Airbus along the same lines for the potential purchase of A330 models. It appears that KQ had ordered as many as nine wide-bodied aircraft from Boeing, several of the 787 type, and may now switch this order to Airbus for A330 models. Kenya Airways was in fact flying a fleet of A310s, but replaced them with in an effort to upgrade its fleet. Ethiopian needs the new aircraft to both cut costs as well as expand their route network and frequencies, while they continue to race for domination in the African skies with their main competitors Ethiopian and South African. Oct 3, 2009

FedEx Express announced on 6 October plans to install a new automatic fire suppression system on all 59 McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighters and new Boeing 777Fs. A FedEx special projects group developed the proprietary system to solve the problem of suppressing most types of cargo fires on the main deck for up to 3h on ocean-crossing flights, a spokesman says. The system is certified to suppress flames caused by paper or lumber, gasoline or kerosene and combustible metals such as lithium. Fires caused by electrical equipment, however, must still be extinguished by halon bottles. FedEx will carry electrical cargo in isolation in lower-deck compartments. The new suppression system detects fires using a network of heat-seeking sensors. After alerting the crew, the system cues an injector system that pierces a cargo container, and sprays an argon-based, biodegradable foam that extinguishes flames within minutes. If the fire starts inside a package of palletized cargo, the entire pallet is covered by a fire-retardant blanket. Oct 7, 2009

ILFC last week announced the following lease deals and deliveries with 21 airline customers: Two new A330-200s to Garuda Indonesia for 84 and 86 months respectively, one new 777-300ER to V Australia for 148 months, one used 737-500 to Aerosvit for five years, one used 737-300 to Sharjah-based AVE.com for five years, one used 747-400F to Air Atlanta Icelandic for 54 months, two used A320-200s to Moscow Vnukovo-based Avianova for 58 and 59 months respectively, one used 757-200ER to Madrid-based charter carrier Mint Airways for four years, one used 737-800 to Sun Country Airlines for 51 months, one used A321-200 to Ural Airlines for seven years, two used A321-200s to Istanbul Ataturk-based charter carrier Turkuaz Airlines for 57 months each. One used 757-200ER to Moscow Sheremetyevo-based charter carrier Nordwind Airlines for 47 months, one used 737-800 to Gol for five years, one used 737-500 to Belavia for two years, two used 737-400s to Tailwind Airlines of Turkey for five years each, one used 767-200ER to Las Vegas-based Vision Airlines for five years (scheduled for October delivery), one used A320-200 (scheduled for November delivery) and one used A330-300 (scheduled for March 2010 delivery) to Vladivostok Avia for six years each, one used A330-300 to Turkish charter carrier Saga Airlines for six years, one used A330-300 to Air Transat for six years, one used 767-300ER to Air Seychelles for three years, one used A330-200 to Jakarta-based Batavia for six years, one used 767-300ER to LOT Polish Airlines for two years. Sep 28, 2009

A slip of up to one month is expected in the delivery of the first Israeli Aerospace Industries' 767-300ER freighter conversion. Officials at the government-owned IAI's Bedek division earlier this week said first flight of the prototype 767-300ERBDSF would now take place on 18 October, several weeks later than previously expected. Bedek is teamed with Mitsui as M&B Conversions for the oversight and marketing of the programme. At the Cargo Facts conference in Seattle in mid-September, Bedek officials had said the prototype aircraft, owned by Portuguese wet-lease carrier Euro Atlantic, would complete first flight by the end of September and receive its supplemental type certificate (STC) by the end of November. IAI is now saying the STC will be complete by year's end. Oct 8, 2009

Investigations have begun after a Jat Airways Boeing 737-300 came off the runway at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. The aircraft, registered YU-ANV, is a 21-year old jet which Flight's database ACAS lists as being owned by the carrier. Images from the scene show that the twin-jet came to a halt on a grassy incline with its right-hand engine close to the ground, although the undercarriage appears to be deployed and intact. It is unclear whether the aircraft has sustained damage, but all those on board - said to total 125 passengers and six crew - were reportedly uninjured. The aircraft is reported to be 50m off runway 06/24. Weather details at the time of the incident have yet to be confirmed. Jat Airways has just resumed operations following a technicians' strike last week which grounded the carrier. Oct 2, 2009

Lufthansa Technik signed a 10-year total component support contract with Air Canada for six 777-200LRs and 12 777-300ERs Sep 30, 2009

Midwest Airlines of Oak Creek will permanently ground its Boeing 717 jets on Nov. 3, leaving the remaining Midwest pilots and flight crews without jobs. OWhile there will still be airplanes flying with OMidwestO written on them, there will no longer be any of the pilots who truly provided Othe best care in the airO operating them,O said Anthony Freitas, chairman of the Midwest Airlines unit of the Air Line Pilots Association. OAll of the original Midwest flight crews are being outsourced in the final phase of dismantling our airline.O The remaining Boeing 717 aircraft will be returned to the manufacturer on Nov. 3 and all of the remaining Midwest pilots will no longer fly any Midwest aircraft, according to the union. OMidwestOs new owner hopes that if they keep the same paint scheme and cookies, no one will notice that the crews who helped build our airlineOs well-deserved reputation for award-winning customer service are gone,O Freitas said. The move to lower-cost pilots will be OdevastatingO to Midwest pilots and their families, he said. Midwest is replacing its nine remaining Boeing 717 aircraft with Embraer 190 aircraft. Last October, Midwest entered into an agreement with Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings to replace Midwest's Boeing 717s with Embraer aircraft flown by pilots employed by Republic subsidiary Republic Airlines. Oct 1, 2009

MTU Maintenance Hannover, an affiliate of MTU Aero Engines, said it secured engine maintenance contracts worth approximately EUR 50 million (USD 73.6 million) "over the past few weeks." Largest deal is with Air New Zealand covering MRO on 38 CF6-80C2s used to power its 747-400s. MTU did not identify the remaining customers. Sep 28, 2009

Northrop Grumman beat rival Boeing to win a USDUSD 3.8 billion contract to maintain and service the US Air Force's fleet of KC-10 refueling tankers, the Pentagon said. Boeing holds the current contract for servicing the aircraft, which expires in January, and has provided support for the KC-10s for more than a decade. Boeing said it was disappointed by the Pentagon's decision. "We presented a competitive proposal that leveraged Boeing's tremendous experience from over 80 years of building and maintaining tankers as well as inventing boom technology," Boeing spokesman Forrest Gossett said. "We now need to review the Air Force's selection decision and process before deciding on our next course of action." Large Pentagon contracts are often appealed to the US Government Accountability Office, the audit arm of Congress. The Air Force had planned to award the contract in June 2008, but a decision was delayed because bidders submitted insufficient cost and pricing data. "This is a stunning upset," said defense analyst Loren Thompson with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute. Boeing has been servicing this plane since it was first introduced, Thompson said, adding "so for Boeing to lose to Northrop is truly amazing." Northrop, with its European partner, Airbus, is also in a battle with Boeing to win a contract to supply at least 179 new tankers to the Air Force, work that could be worth up to USDUSD 50 billion. The Air Force's oldest tankers are the KC-135s, some of which are 50 years old. The Air Force's refueling fleet includes nearly 60 KC-10s, which were purchased in the 1970s and are modified DC-10 aircraft made by McDonnell Douglas, which was bought by Boeing in 1997. Oct 2, 2009

TUI Travel is to cancel 10 of the 23 Boeing 787s which the tour operator has on order, but plans to add purchase rights for another 13. The company became one of the first European customers for the jet when First Choice Airways - with which TUI subsequently merged - committed to the type in 2004. First Choice firmed an initial order for six 787s in 2005, and became the launch customer for the General Electric GENx engine on the twin-jet. It had firmed another six options by March 2007, when the merger with TUI was unveiled. These were combined with a previously-undisclosed 787 order from TUI giving the combined company, TUI Travel, a total of 23 of the jets. Sep 29, 2009

Turkish Airlines is looking to add two Boeing 777 and two Airbus A330 cargo aircraft to its fleet, while a decision on purchasing 787 and A350 XWB passenger airliners is expected next year. "At the moment, we have four Airbus A310 aircraft for cargo - we want to increase capacity by adding more long-range freighters," says Turkish Airlines chairman Candan Karlitekin. "Turkish Airlines needs new-generation, fuel-efficient aircraft - we are looking for two Boeing 777 and two Airbus A330 freighters. Turkish operates 777s and A330s. So adding both two types will not cost too much." No date has been given for the acquisition. Karlitekin adds the long-term decision on long-haul aircraft replacement will be made next year. "Our aim is to shape the fleet of Turkish Airlines in 2023," he says. Oct 6, 2009

Turkish Airlines inked a six-year leasing agreement with Celestial Aviation Trading 66 for two 737-700s Oct 7, 2009

United Airlines Chairman and CEO Glenn Tilton told reporters in Washington yesterday that the company "expects to get further information for manufacturers by the end of the year" regarding its request for proposals to Airbus and Boeing covering a large order for widebody aircraft. Oct 1, 2009

The head of Vietnam Airlines expressed concern on Monday about production delays to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and said the group had not made up its mind whether to cancel any of the 16 aircraft it has ordered. Vietnam Airlines has eight of the next-generation passenger jets on order and a leasing affiliate, Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company, has ordered a further eight. Production of the plane has fallen about two years behind schedule after a series of technical hitches. Asked whether Vietnam Airlines might cancel any of its 787 orders as a result of the delays, he said; "We have not yet made any decision". He declined to say whether Vietnam Airlines would receive penalty payments for the delays. The executive was speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony organised by Boeing's chief rival EADS, the parent company of European planemaker Airbus. Vietnam Airlines has ordered 10 A350s, the Airbus model designed to compete with the 787 but which is not due to reach the market until the middle of next decade. Sep 29, 2009

Vietnam Airlines expressed concern about 787 production delays and is considering cancelling some of its 16 orders. VN has eight 787s on order while its leasing affiliate, Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Co., has an additional eight. President Pham Ngoc Minh told Reuters that the airline is "not happy about the constant delays. We expected to get our planes in 2009, then 2010, and now nobody can confirm to us which is the exact delivery date. I can be patient but it gives us a lot of headaches." Sep 29, 2009

Viva Macau is looking to launch services to a second destination in Australia and northeast Asia after adding a third Boeing 767. The 767-300ER has been leased from AWAS, the same company that supplied its first two 767s, says Teegan Huynh, the Macau-based carrier's chief financial officer. Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Melbourne are the options in Australia, she adds. Viva Macau serves Sydney thrice-weekly, and the new destination will increase its services to Australia to five or six times a week, says Huynh. Huynh says that cities like Brisbane and Melbourne are appealing because these are under-served, and there is an opportunity to have people from Australia transit through Macau and travel on Viva Macau to northeast Asia. In northeast Asia, Viva Macau already serves Tokyo Narita. Huynh says that the carrier is looking at serving a second destination in Japan, and adds that "South Korea is always of interest". Macau is next to Hong Kong and markets itself as a destination in its own right, as well as an alternative gateway to Hong Kong and China's Guangdong province. Oct 1, 2009

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Date:Oct 12, 2009
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