Airbus to ask airlines to check wings of older A380s for cracks

A wing-crack debacle in 2012 cost Airbus millions of euros in repair and service costs. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 July 2019

Airbus to ask airlines to check wings of older A380s for cracks

  • A report dated July 5 said that “occurrences have been reported of finding cracks” in certain parts of the wing on in-service A380 aeroplanes
  • The directive does not yet ground any aircraft for the moment

PARIS: European aircraft maker Airbus will ask airlines operating 25 of its oldest A380 super-jumbo jets to inspect their wings after cracks were found in some models, the EU’s Aviation Safety Agency said.
The EASA said in an airworthiness directive dated July 5 that “occurrences have been reported of finding cracks” in certain parts of the wing on in-service A380 aeroplanes.
“This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the wing,” the EASA said.
“To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus plans to issue the SB (service bulletin) to provide inspection instructions.”
The directive does not yet ground any aircraft for the moment.
The French daily Les Echos reported that the EASA, which is based in Germany, advised ultrasonic testing on 25 of the 234 A380 aircraft in operation, notably those built more than 15 years ago.
“This airworthiness directive is considered an interim action, limited to the 25 oldest wing sets,” the EASA said.
“Based on inspection findings, further AD action may follow to address additional in-service aeroplanes.”
It is not first time that the A380, the world’s biggest passenger aircraft, has experienced such problems.
A wing-crack debacle in 2012 cost Airbus millions of euros in repair and service costs.
In an emailed statement, Airbus said that “airworthiness directives are standard in aviation and demonstrate the regulatory process working well. Aviation is one of the most regulated of any sectors. Safety is the top priority in aviation.”
Airbus announced in February that it would stop building the A380, a double-decker jet which earned plaudits from passengers but failed to win over enough airlines to justify its massive costs.
US planemaker Boeing is still reeling from the grounding of its 737 MAX whose automatic flight handling software was seen as a factor in two crashes involving Ethiopian Airlines and Indonesia’s Lion Air.


Saudi Aramco sets IPO share price between 30-32 riyals

Updated 17 November 2019

Saudi Aramco sets IPO share price between 30-32 riyals

  • Saudi Aramco intends to buy $1 billion worth of shares for employee

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco’s multibillion-dollar initial public offering (IPO), probably the biggest in history, shifted to full gear as its share price was announced and subscription to the world’s biggest oil company commenced on Sunday.

Saudi Aramco set an indicative share price between 30 and 32 riyals for the 1.5 percent of its oustanding shares – or about 3 billion shares of its 20 billion regular shares – that it would offer for the domestic part of its public offering. The blockbuster IPO could be worth least $24 billion, and values the state-owned oil giant at up to $1.71 trillion.

The offering – or book-building – period for institutional subscribers, which started today, closes on December 4 while the retail offering for individual investors will begin on November 21 and will end on November 28. Individual investors will subscribe based on a price of 32 riyals, the top end of the price range, the company noted in a document.

The final pricing for the Aramco shares would be announced on December 5, and Saudi Tadawul  – the Kingdom’s stock exchange – would make an announcement when initial trading day would be, the company added.

___

For more of our coverage of the Aramco IPO, click here.

To view key Aramco IPO documents, click here.

___

Samba Capital & Investment Management Company has been designated as issue manager while National Commercial Bank, Saudi British Bank, Samba Financial Group, Saudi Investment Bank, Alawwal Bank, Arab National Bank, Albilad Bank, Aljazira Bank, Riyad Bank, Al Rajhi Bank, Alinma Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi and Gulf International Bank were named as receiving banks.

If there are applications for more than the 0.5 percent on offer — amounting to 1 billion shares — allocations to private investors will be scaled back proportionate to demand; if there are fewer applications than the 0.5 percent when all maximum applications are satisfied, private investors can have the over-payment refunded either in cash via the receiving banks or in the form of extra shares in Aramco.

There is an incentive mechanism in the IPO whereby Saudi investors will receive a bonus one-for-ten allocation of shares, up to a maximum of 100 shares, if they do not sell shares in the market for a period of six months after dealings begin in December, at a date still to be determined.

Saudi Aramco also intends to buy $1 billion worth of shares for employees under a plan to incentivize executives and staff members alongside the IPO next month.

The plan — which was disclosed in the IPO prospectus — will involve Aramco buying the shares from the government and making them available for employees under special terms.