Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Virgin Atlantic in talks for 50 Airbus planes

LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) - Virgin Atlantic [VA.UL] is in talks with European planemaker Airbus (EAD.PA) to buy 50 A350 aircraft from 2014, a company spokesman said on Monday. The spokesman told Reuters it considered the A350 a "strong competitor" to the Boeing 787 (BA.N). He added it was not yet clear how many of the aircraft would be replacements for older planes.
Virgin earlier said it would take delivery of 10 Airbus A330s in a $ 2.1 billion deal. [ID:nLM711546] (Reporting by John Bowker; Editing by Gary Hill)

Ironworks Consulting Attains National Systems Integrator Partner Status in Microsoft Partner Program

RICHMOND, Va., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Ironworks, a management, Web and IT consulting firm, today announced it has attained National Systems Integrator (NSI) status in Microsoft Corporation's U.S. Partner Group, recognizing Ironworks' expertise and impact in the technology marketplace. As an NSI partner, Ironworks has demonstrated expertise with Microsoft technologies and a proven ability to meet customers' needs. The Microsoft NSI designation was established for elite Microsoft partners to elevate their marketing and delivery strategies across multiple geographic and product segments. Microsoft NSI partners receive greater alignment and engagement of Microsoft field resources, collaborative marketing efforts, deeper product team engagement and executive sponsorship, giving them a competitive advantage in the channel.
A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner since 2004, Ironworks holds competencies in Business Intelligence, Custom Development Solutions, Information Worker Solutions, and Service-Oriented Architecture and Business Process. In general, a competency is earned by demonstrating expertise implementing solutions, obtaining client references, and maintaining professional certifications in Microsoft technologies.
"We are extremely pleased to have attained NSI status in the partner program. This will enable us to work more closely with Microsoft across the U.S.," said Will Loving, COO, Ironworks Consulting. "The benefits provided through our NSI Partner status will allow us to be even more effective in the delivery of Microsoft solutions for our clients."
"The NSI designation requires a substantial commitment by the partner to both revenue and technical competencies, as well as providing an excellent customer experience," said Jennifer Bogdalek, Director, National Systems Integrator, Microsoft Corp. "Ironworks' dedication to the Microsoft Partner Program and their proven ability to deliver solutions to large corporations across a wide array of practice areas and geographies makes them an ideal NSI partner."
The Microsoft Partner Program was launched in October 2003 and represents Microsoft's ongoing commitment to the success of partners worldwide. The program offers a single, integrated partnering framework that recognizes partner expertise, rewards the total impact that partners have in the technology marketplace, and delivers more value to help partners' businesses be successful.
About Ironworks Consulting
Ironworks is a management, IT and web consulting firm with one mission - never fail a client. Ironworks offers expertise to clients nationwide in the practice areas of Strategy and Program Management, Business Process Improvement, User Experience, Content Management, Portal Solutions, Enterprise Search, Service-Oriented Architecture, and Business Intelligence. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., Ironworks also operates from offices in Tysons Corner, Va., Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C., and Minneapolis, Minn. For more information, visit www.ironworks.com.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
For more information:
Jen McLane, Marketing, Ironworks Consulting, (804) 591-2555
John Casey, Sales, Ironworks Consulting, (804) 521-1555

UPDATE 1-Air France "black box" signals located - report

PARIS, June 23 (Reuters) - Signals from the flight data recorders of the Air France airliner that crashed into the Atlantic killing all 228 people on board have been located, Le Monde newspaper said on its website on Tuesday.
An Air France spokeswoman said she could not confirm the report. The Transport Ministry and the air accident investigation office could not be reached immediately for comment.
Le Monde said French naval vessels had picked up a weak signal from the flight recorders and that a mini submarine had been dispatched on Monday to try and find the "black boxes" on the bottom of the rugged ocean floor.
The "black boxes" may contain vital information that could help explain what happened when the Airbus A330 aircraft crashed into the sea en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1.
Locator beacons, known as "pingers", on the flight recorders send an electronic impulse every second for at least 30 days. The signal can be heard up to 2 km (1.2 miles) away.
French vessels involved in the search operation include a nuclear submarine with advanced sonar equipment and a research ship equipped with mini submarines.
The remote location in the Atlantic as well as the depth and surface of the ocean floor have made the search especially difficult and the wreckage could lie anywhere between a depth of 1 km (0.6 miles) and 4 km (2.5 miles).
(Writing by James Mackenzie, Editing by Ralph Gowling)

Airbus delivers first China-built plane to new owner

By Kirby Chien
TIANJIN, China, June 23 (Reuters) - Airbus delivered its first plane assembled outside Europe to its Chinese owner on Tuesday, as the world's largest plane maker and rival Boeing (BA.N) seek growth in major developing markets to combat weak demand at home.
European consortium EADS (EAD.PA) handed the A320 plane, which will be operated by Sichuan Airlines, to Dragon Aviation Leasing. Another 10 planes will be assembled this year in China.
"This is a special milestone in our strategic partnership with China," Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders said at a delivery ceremony. "This demonstrates the deep commitment of Airbus to build a strong future for China's aviation industry."
Airbus began assembling the A320 in the port city of Tianjin near Beijing in September from parts shipped from Europe, and plans to assemble four planes a month in China by end-2011.
The plane maker has estimated China would need more than 3,000 large aircraft by 2025, including 180 super-jumbo passenger jets.
"All the forecasts, not only ours, say (over the) next 20 years, there will be at least 2,500-3,000 aircraft needed, passengers and also freighters in this great market," Enders later told Reuters.
"So for us not to be in China would be a mistake."
China Eastern Airlines (600115.SS) (0670.HK), one of the country's top three carriers, said last week it was committed to buying buy 20 Airbus A320 aircraft for $1.45 billion at list price, as part of a 150-aircraft order that China made in 2007.
Chinese firms have ordered more than 700 aircraft from Airbus, the majority of which are in the A320 family.
"We are not just selling aircraft to China, but designing aircraft, manufacturing aircraft and supporting aircraft in China," said Enders.
"China is certainly a centrepiece of our strategy. Chinese demand for modern airlines is immense."
Enders noted that 15 percent of Airbus deliveries currently go to China. "I think that's very impressive and I have no doubt we will get more orders out of the Chinese market."
"We still have a very impressive backlog with Chinese airlines. So we still have lots of aircraft to deliver out of Tianjin," he told Reuters.
China is also building its first regional aircraft, the 90-seat ARJ21-700 jet, that made its maiden test flight late last year and is scheduled for commercial delivery in mid-2010. [ID:nPEK109433]
But the country's broader ambition is to eventually challenge the global dominance of Airbus and Boeing for long haul and wide bodied planes, although analysts say such a goal is lofty and could take decades.
Boeing and Airbus are headed for their worst annual order tally in at least 15 years as struggling airlines cancel or defer almost as many planes as they are buying. [ID:nLJ544908]
The airline industry is expected to lose $9 billion this year alone, according to the International Air Transport Association, battered by weak travel demand in an economic downturn, high fuel prices and the H1N1 flu pandemic.
Airbus has been criticised by European workers and governments that say the move adds to outsourcing fears amid a global recession and could result in the loss of European technology to a potential jet-making rival. (Additional reporting by Reuters Television) (Editing by Ian Geoghegan) ($=6.83 yuan)

Richard Smallwood Named Executive VP, Customer Business at Airborne Systems

On Tuesday June 23, 2009, 1:00 am EDT
PENNSAUKEN, N.J., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Airborne Systems Group, a company specializing in aerial delivery, rescue and survival equipment, and engineering services, announced that Richard J. Smallwood has been named Executive Vice President of Customer Business for the company. He will operate at Group level as a member of the Senior Management Team and will be responsible for all sales and marketing activity worldwide. His primary focus will be to continue the growth of the company by leveraging the products and overall capabilities while continuing to improve the company's customer focus.
"Richard brings an exceptional background of global sales and marketing experience with some of the world's most respected aerospace companies," Elek Puskas, CEO said in making the announcement. "We are confident that Richard's expertise and leadership skills will continue to position Airborne Systems as the preeminent market leader in the design and manufacture of parachutes and related products, while maintaining our aggressive growth rate," he added.
Richard has a wealth of experience in international sales and marketing gained mainly in the aerospace and marine industry. He spent 22 years with Rolls-Royce plc holding a number of senior executive positions including Senior Vice President, Airlines and Business Director, Marine Systems. During his time at Rolls-Royce he also spent three years based in Germany as Managing Director, Business for the joint venture BMW Rolls. Prior to Rolls-Royce, he was with BAE Systems where he worked on both civil and military aircraft programmes. He has an honours degree in Production Engineering from Aston University and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management (University).
About Airborne Systems
Airborne Systems is a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of best-of-class parachutes for military, personnel, and cargo systems, space and air vehicle recovery systems, and deceleration systems for high-performance aircraft. The company also provides airbags, and weapons delivery systems. Airborne Systems has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada and in the U.K. Information about the various Airborne Systems products and services can be found on the World Wide Web at www.airborne-sys.com

Dassault Systemes Launches V6R2010

Furthers V6 Adoption with Extended Industry Solutions and New PLM Express Mid Market Offer
On Tuesday June 23, 2009, 1:00 am EDT
PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dassault Systèmes (DS) (Paris:DSY - News) (NASDAQ:DASTY - News), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today launched V6R2010, the latest release of its new platform. Today’s announcement introduces 42 new V6 products supporting business processes in all industries and a new offer, V6 PLM Express, tailored specifically for mid-market businesses and small teams within large organizations. V6R2010 also includes groundbreaking direct modeling capabilities and realistic simulation solutions for non-experts.
[For more information, please visit http://www.3ds.com/v6]
Odile Desforges, EVP engineering and quality, Renault, comments: “With the objective to transform our engineering processes worldwide, we needed to replace multiple existing solutions with a single, integrated and globally deployable one. We also wanted to concentrate on collaborative engineering for improved efficiency. After about one year of testing, we chose the full V6 portfolio because its integrated PLM environment perfectly responded to our requirements in terms of real-time collaboration and online-enabled design.” Desforges adds: “We will deploy Dassault Systèmes’ V6 solutions worldwide for the development of our future engines and cars from mid-2010. The scalability and openness of the V6 platform, its out-of-the box configurations and its easy-to-use intuitive V6 interface make it appealing. V6’s inherent integration to the supply chain means our teams will be able to collaborate seamlessly with suppliers.”
In recent months Dassault Systèmes’ V6 collaborative platform has been widely adopted in multiple industries such as Apparel (Guess, UnderArmour, Trent Ltd.), Consumer Packaged Goods (Procter&Gamble), Life Sciences (Beckman Coulter), High Tech (Lexmark International, novero), Semiconductor (Dialog Semiconductor, INSIDE Contactless), Energy (Oceaneering, Stork GLT), Aerospace (Piaggio Aero Industries, Eaton Aerospace), Automotive (Eaton, Great Wall Motors, Johnson Controls), Business Services (TÜV Rheinland) and Construction (Skanska).
V6R2010 opens up key PLM 2.0 values to the mid-market, including real-time seamless collaboration, online-enabled design-anywhere functionality, and a single, open scalable platform, in a pre-packaged, ready-to-use environment engineered for rapid deployment. Release 2010 and its mid-market solutions are the latest examples of how DS is continually advancing the simplicity and accessibility of PLM 2.0. PLM Express’ role-based selections of the full V6 portfolio and its out-of-the-box configurations make the solution easy to buy and implement. Because all V6 solutions share the same interface and data model, mid-market users can inherently collaborate and integrate with OEMs. Support for multi-CAD interoperability and hybrid V4-V5 implementations, will be enhanced thanks to V6’s open architecture.
“PLM 2.0 is an enterprise-wide business transformation catalyst integrating both industrial business processes and dedicated applications. V6’s lifelike experience, IP collaboration, modeling, simulation and manufacturing solutions provide customers an agnostic and federating platform that truly accelerates PLM 2.0 transformations,” says Dominique Florack, senior executive vice president, Products, Research and Development, Dassault Systèmes. “V6R2010 delivers the promise of our virtual universes through our unified open architecture and our deep understanding of collaborative and social innovation needs.“
A key differentiator of V6 is to deliver the power of PLM to communities of expert and casual users. CATIA Live Shape introduces a revolutionary direct 3D modeling paradigm. It allows casual users to quickly create design concepts in a lifelike environment and easily modify existing designs, including those from other CAD solutions. SIMULIA V6 DesignSight Structure makes advanced non linear finite element analysis technology available to non-experts.
V6R2010: A new step towards industry performance
High-tech - V6R2010 ready to use business process capabilities enable high-tech OEMs and EMS companies to drive an efficient sourcing strategy and ensure product and component compliance, while enabling “Design Anywhere, Manufacture Anywhere” agility and savings. This release also extends the DS solutions value for the semiconductor industry by connecting digital and embedded software designers working within the Eclipse IDE to their analog and custom design peers working within EDA environments. This single, collaborative design management system leads to improved quality and time to market for complex IC products.
Shipbuilding and Energy - V6R2010 3D equipment catalogs, tubing and piping are the first set of dedicated advanced authoring applications that benefit from the V6 collaborative platform. It also manages transverse processes, optimizing equipment installation simulation, maintenance and revamp operations and real-time project management, with solutions such as “3DVIA Composer Pro” and “ENOVIA Report Generator”.
Life Sciences - V6R2010 enables the management of the increasing complexity of medical devices coupled with growing quality requirements. CATIA Systems links medical devices test scenarios, test results and product versions, all information being managed in the ENOVIA V6 collaboration platform. In addition, the new Life Sciences Accelerator for Product Introduction entitles product management from concept to recycling and ensures compliance with industry regulations at each stage of product development.
Industrial Equipment - Global industrial equipment companies of all sizes face increasing product variability and disruptions in the value chain while delivering ever faster innovative products. With V6 PLM Express, V6R2010 focuses on small and medium size companies with a sales configurator that entitles online component and sourcing management to lower the total cost of ownership.
Consumer Packaged Goods - V6R2010 introduces a new ENOVIA CPG Accelerator. The Integrated Product Management accelerator integrates components and formula raw materials for comprehensive product definition, enabling global change management and dynamic approval to accommodate regulated industry requirements. In addition, V6R2010 SIMULIA is bringing a major step for support of simulation lifecycle management (SLM) processes for the CPG industry.
Consumer Goods - V6R2010 connects apparel sourcing and production offices seamlessly to brand and retail headquarters. The ENOVIA Apparel Accelerator for Sourcing and Production manages not only sampling, testing, RFQ (Request for Quote), and costing activities but also related pre-production activities: Apparel brands can now refine their global sourcing plan strategies to a combination of supplier/ factory/ country of origin (COO) level enabling analysis and implementation of sourcing distribution, budgeting and workload plans. Vendor capacity plans may be generated and validated with the supply base directly. Pre-purchase order related assortment details may be managed by sourcing allowing pre-production related activities to be accurately tracked and managed without the necessity of an FGPO (Finished Goods Purchase Order) to be generated.
Automotive - V6R2010 brings a major breakthrough in the area of Collaborative Engineering and Manufacturing for the Automotive Industry, OEM’s and their suppliers. With a single PLM platform for IP management, V6 offers a seamless product to process integration without any engineering and manufacturing data duplication. This leads to dramatic reduction of end to end business processes such as Body-in-White. V6 ensures traceability along the product lifecycle from requirement to functional breakdown structure, logical architecture, physical engineering and manufacturing engineering. V6R2010 CATIA systems offers multi-discipline engineering in mechatronics and embedded software. DELMIA V6R2010 Robotics enables companies to develop multiple resource layouts for any given manufacturing process plan and provides key decision making tools to assess plant capacity, throughput, efficiency and associated costs. With online creation and collaboration, car makers can quickly exchange with partners and suppliers around the globe.
Aerospace - V6R2010 delivers risk management at the program level, provides real-time views on program status and manages IP protection. These are major assets to an industry, in which the globalization of the aerospace supply chain has created a need for greater visibility, collaboration and enhanced control on overall program activities and deliverables from concept to end of life. The difficult economic environment is driving companies to be more and more demanding. Customers are requiring aircrafts with greater performance at lower cost with on-time delivery while respecting the growing need to be environmentally friendly.
About Dassault Systèmes
As a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, Dassault Systèmes brings value to more than 100,000 customers in 80 countries. A pioneer in the 3D software market since 1981, Dassault Systèmes develops and markets PLM application software and services that support industrial processes and provide a 3D vision of the entire lifecycle of products from conception to maintenance to recycling. The Dassault Systèmes portfolio consists of CATIA for designing the virtual product - SolidWorks for 3D mechanical design - DELMIA for virtual production - SIMULIA for virtual testing - ENOVIA for global collaborative lifecycle management, and 3DVIA for online 3D lifelike experiences. Dassault Systèmes’ shares are listed on Euronext Paris (#13065, DSY.PA) and Dassault Systèmes’ ADRs may be traded on the US Over-The-Counter (OTC) market (DASTY). For more information, visit http://www.3ds.com.
CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, SIMULIA, SolidWorks and 3D VIA are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.
Dassault Systèmes
Derek Lane (DS Americas)
+1 (818) 673-2243
CJ Lin (DS AP)
+86 21 3856 8039
Arnaud Malherbe (DS EMEA)
+33 (1) 61 62 87 73

UPDATE 1-Sea Launch files for Chapter 11 protection

* Cites liquidity concerns, recurring losses from operations
* Lists assets of up to $500 mln, liabilities of over $1 bln

June 23 (Reuters) - Satellite-launch services provider Sea Launch Co and 5 affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing liquidity concerns and recurring losses from operations.
In a filing on Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Sea Launch listed assets of up to $500 million and liabilities of more than $1 billion.
The Long Beach, California-based company said in the filing it intends to explore the sale of one or more of its divisions.
Sea Launch, which offers commercial space launch capabilities from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan, is owned by among others Boeing Co (BA.N), Russia's RSC Energia and Norway's Aker ASA (AKER.OL).
The case In re Sea Launch Co LLC et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware. No. 09-12153. (Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Saeed Azhar)

UPDATE 2-U.S. expected to launch WTO case against China

* Both U.S. and EU expected to announce WTO case
* Case over China's export restrictions on raw materials

By Susan Cornwell
WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk is expected to launch a WTO case against China on Tuesday when he holds what his office called a major news conference regarding U.S.-China trade.
Kirk's office gave no details in announcing the 9:15 a.m. EDT/1315 GMT session with reporters. But industry sources said they expected the United States and the European Union would both announce a World Trade Organization case against China over its export restrictions on raw materials.
The expected action by the United States and the EU follows their failure to persuade China to reduce its export tariffs and raise quotas on materials such as zinc, tin, tungsten and yellow phosphorous.
The first step, which industry sources expect to be announced on Tuesday, would be for Brussels and Washington to formally request consultations with Beijing. If these talks fail, the next step would be to request that a WTO panel hear the complaint, a step that can take years.
"If the U.S. and the EU do indeed file a WTO case against China on raw material export restrictions, we welcome this action," said Tom Gibson, president of the American Iron and Steel Institute.
"U.S. and NAFTA steel producers have long believed that this government of China policy is a WTO violation and that it is benefiting Chinese manufacturers artificially while disadvantaging manufacturers everywhere else," he said.
Western governments say resource-hungry China has continued to restrict exports of raw materials used in steel, semiconductors, aircraft and other products despite Beijing's pledge to eliminate taxes and charges on exports when it joined the WTO in 2001.
They say these quotas and taxes hurt European and U.S. companies while giving Chinese companies an unfair advantage. The export curbs drive down China's domestic raw materials costs at the expense of producers elsewhere in the world.
But taking action at the WTO is expected to further damage already brittle trade relations with China.
The materials expected to be covered by the case include yellow phosphorous, antimony, bauxite, coke, fluorspar, indium, magnesium carbonate, molybdenum, rare earths, silicon, talc, tin, tungsten and zinc.
In a move that may have been an attempt to forestall U.S. and European action, Beijing said on Monday it was cutting export taxes on a range of materials, including some used to make steel.
It said that effective from July 1, export taxes for indium and molybdenum would be cut to 5 percent from 15 percent and the 5 percent export tax on sulfuric acid would be scrapped. Taxes on some steel products and certain tungsten products will also be cut to 5 percent from 10 percent. (Editing by Chris Wilson)