SOUTHWEST PUTS MORE AIRCRAFT AGAINST HEDGES
Weak passenger demand and the impact of oil price fluctuations on its fuel hedging portfolio triggered a $91 million first quarter loss for Southwest Airlines, compared witha $34 million profit in the year-ago quarter. As part of a strategy to limit the amount of cash it must post with its fuel hedging counterparties, Southwest has expanded the number of aircraft offered as collateralto 49.
SAFRAN REPORTS MIXED FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
Snecma parent group Safran posted first quarter consolidated revenue up 2.4% to €2.49 billion ($3.28 billion), with a significant rise in defence and security operations making up for a 4.4% revenue drop to €1.33 billion in aerospace propulsion. First-quarter aircraft equipment revenue rose 6.4% to €700 million, while service operations for civil aircraft engines also posted growth.
AIRBUS SIGNS LONG-TERM RUSSIAN TITANIUM DEAL
Airbus has signed an 11-year deal with VSMPO-AVISMA for the supply of titanium and die forging parts for all existing Airbus aircraft, including the A350 XWB programme, and for other EADS divisions until 2020. The deal with the world's largest titanium producer is Airbus's longest-term contract with Russian industry.
SOUTH KOREA MULLS SALE OF KAI STAKE
South Korea's government may sell its 30% stake in Korea Aerospace Industries. Korean Air parent Hanjin could be a bidder as it is keen to develop an aircraft manufacturing business, according to domestic news reports. KAI's main business is military products but it is also a supplier to Airbus and Boeing commercial aircraft. Sales in 2008 were about 900 billon won ($675 million).
INMARSAT COMPLETES STRATOS PURCHASE
Inmarsat has acquired aeronautical satellite communications provider Stratos Global, whose management will remain in place. Inmarsat chief executive Andrew Sukawaty says the acquisition was part of a strategy "to develop opportunities for increasing market penetration of our global services".
CLEAN TECHNOLOGY TURNS PROFIT AT GTE
Gas Turbine Efficiency, a maker of energy saving and performance enhancing systems, nearly doubled group revenue to $35.1 million last year and turned a 2007 pre-tax loss of nearly $2.9 billion to a pre-tax profit of $931,000. In GTE's aviation division, which is the exclusive supplier of engine wash systems to Pratt & Whitney, revenue was up by one-third to $6.9 million.
AEROSPACE A BRIGHT SPOT FOR EATON
Aerospace was a first quarter bright spot for diversified manufacturer Eaton, as segment operating profits rose 13% to $71 million, despite a 3% slip in sales to $418 million. Slumping global automotive markets dragged the group to a pre-tax loss of $63 million as sales dropped 19% to $2.81 billion.
SPACEX LAUNCH SETBACK
Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX has had to postpone a launch from Kwajalein Atoll owing to a potential compatibility issue between its Falcon 1 rocket and ATSB's Razaksat satellite. Separately, California's $76 billion space industry is the world's largest, accounting for 44% of the US market and 21%of the global markets, according to California Space Authority figures.