Bonjour à tous,
Un bel article de Reuters faisant le point sur la situation.
On peut noter que l'agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne (EASA) propose un plan de vérifications de 150000 sièges installés sur 1000 appareils principalement des Airbus et des Boeing. Ce plan est en discussion pour deux mois, en particulier sur qui doit endosser la facture de ces vérifications. L'association des compagnies européennes (AEA) pense que Koito Industries doit prendre en charge ces vérifications et elle a peur d'une interdiction pure et simple de ces sièges.
Aux US, la FAA a déclaré que les vérifications devraient concerner 40000 sièges sur 278 appareils pour un coût de 875.000 $.
Si le plan est approuvé, les compagnies devront, dans les deux ans, vérifier leurs sièges ou les remplacer !
Dans ce cas, je ne donne pas cher de Koito Industries car avec un tarif d'environ 2.300 $ pour un siège économique et 150000 $ pour un siège de première la facture sera plus que salée.
Au passage, la page de Koito Industries pour avoir une idée de ce qu'ils vendent, surtout des sièges business et première, et à qui...
Les principaux clients étant Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic et Continental Airlines.
De son côté Airbus a déclaré qu'environ 3 % de ses appereils actuellement en service sont concernés pour tout ou parti de leurs sièges (environ 200 avions).
Ce n'est pas énorme car Koito Industries a largement moins de 10 % de parts de marché, les trois premiers étant, dans l'ordre, l'américain B E Aerospace, le français Zodiac et l'allemand Recaro. Mais s'il faut changer les sièges cela risque d'être très contraignant car je pense que les sièges de première sont parfaitement intégrés et qu'il faudra alors sans doute revoir complétement cette implantation pour les nouveaux sièges (cf les sièges premières des A380 de Singapore Airlines)...
On n'a pas fini d'en parler
Airlines fret over cost of seat safety row
* Koito seat checks may be ordered after safety row
* Checks could affect 150,000 seats on 1,000 planes
* Company says not notified, declines further comment
* Industry body questions whether airlines should pay
By Mariko Katsumura and Tim Hepher
TOKYO/PARIS, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Airlines appeared on a potential collision course with regulators on Friday over the cost of carrying out proposed checks on over 100,000 passenger seats in the wake of a row over questionable safety data.
The proposed safety order comes seven months after Japanese seat manufacturer Koito Industries admitted changing designs without following procedures and faking safety test results, prompting a 33 percent slump in its shares in February.
U.S. and European safety agencies said on Thursday they were proposing mandatory checks on Koito-manufactured seats, estimated to affect 150,000 seats on 1,000 mainly Airbus and Boeing planes.
The plan is subject to a two-month consultation exercise.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said the controls, designed to check protection against injury during emergency landings or the accelerated spread of fire, would affect over 40,000 seats on 278 aircraft registered in the United States.
It estimated the cost of the exercise to U.S. airlines alone at $875,000.
In Europe, an industry body expressed concern over the call.
"We are examining the directive and trying to work out its consequences. It does seem to us very legalistic rather than safety-based," said David Henderson, spokesman for the Association of European Airlines in Brussels.
"The fault is not with (airlines) but with the manufacturer. From that point of view, I would be surprised if the airlines would be happy to pick up the cost. The real worry is that there will be some kind of legalistic ban on using the seats altogether and having to scrap them."
Thai Airways said it had replaced Koito as seat supplier and that it planned to sue the Japanese company for compensation for delayed delivery of seats.
Industry officials said the airline had taken delivery of at least one Airbus A330 without seats while it sought a solution.
Airlines buy seats separately from the rest of the aircraft but usually have them installed by the planemaker before delivery. The seats must be certified as safe by the same safety regulators that provide authority for the aircraft to fly.
Aircraft seats typically cost $2,300 in economy but can cost as much as $150,000 in first class, according to the FAA.
Under the proposed European directive issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), airlines would have to check any seats supplied by Koito within two years or remove them.
A separate FAA proposal would give airlines longer.
The measures mark the first international response by regulators since Koito publicly apologised for supplying false test data in February and said it had received a "business improvement order" from the Japanese transport ministry.
Koito said on Friday it had not received any request from the U.S. or European authorities or anyone else regarding the safety checks, and a spokesman declined further comment.
Koito's shares eased 0.7 percent in Tokyo.
An official from Japan's transport ministry said it was "carefully studying what it can or should do" about the seats.
Koito started business in 1915 making lenses for railway signal lamps and began making car headlamps in the 1950s. It also makes seats for Japan's high-speed bullet trains.
Among major clients, Koito lists Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Continental Airlines.
Its percentage share of the world market for aircraft seats is in the low single digits, according to industry surveys.
However, its seats have been on some high-profile layouts, including the first business class seats to be fitted on the world's largest airliner, the Airbus A380, when the European superjumbo first flew for Singapore Airlines.
Airbus said only 3 percent of its aircraft in operation, or around 200 planes, included Koito seats in any of their cabins.
Japan Airlines would not say how many Koito seats it had, but a spokesman said it was "a large number".
Singapore Airlines "will review the proposed regulatory requirements imposed by EASA and work closely with Koito and the aircraft manufacturers to resolve any outstanding issue", said Nicholas Ionides, vice president of public affairs.
The market for aircraft seats is led by B/E Aerospace of the United States and France's Zodiac, with Germany's privately owned Recaro in third place.
"Recaro has already taken on some orders that Koito was unable to fulfil, and Recaro certainly expects that there will be further requests," a spokeswoman for Recaro said on Friday. (Additional reporting by Tim Kelly, Harry Suhartono, Matthias Blamont, Maria Sheahan, Manunphattr Dhanananphorn; Editing by Will Waterman)