AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

Magnetic MRO expands into Asset Management services with A321 part-out

March 4, 2015

Magnetic MRO, a Total Technical Care MRO organization based in Tallinn, Estonia, completed the acquisition of an A321-131 (MSN555) for part-out. The purchase, conducted on behalf of private investors, is the start of Asset Management practice at Magnetic MRO, which offers comprehensive turn-key value creation services for aviation investors. The services cover asset acquisitions, lease management, lease transitions, green life rebuild, and end-of-life management solutions for aircrafts and engines. The acquired A321 will be parted out in the United States, with warehousing, trading, and exchange management out of Magnetic MRO European locations, supported by 24/7 AOG team. A selected list of parts will be used to expand existing stock in support of comprehensive fleet-wide component programs for Magnetic MRO customers.

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IAG thwarted as Niki returns to founder Lauda’s ownership

January 23, 2018

Despite the best efforts of British Airways’ owner, IAG, the purchase of Niki, the low-cost subsidiary of now defunct Air Berlin, has been secured by the airline’s founder, former F1 World Champion, Niki Lauda.
Several weeks ago, IAG had been announced as the successful bidder for the bankrupt Austrian airline, though at the time, insolvency proceedings were going through German courts. In a motion filed by consumer rights’ group Fairplane, these proceedings were subsequently moved to Austrian courts as there were concerns that the rights of passengers owed money by Niki would not receive fair treatment if insolvency for both Niki and Air Berlin were handled by the same German jurisdiction.
With the transfer of proceedings and Niki subsequently filing for insolvency through Austrian courts, the existing bid of €20m (£18m) and additional liquidity of up to €16.5m from IAG was overturned and it had to then be resubmitted through the appropriate channels.
This provided Niki Lauda, and his company Laudamotion GmbH, the opportunity to make a third, and subsequently successful offer for the stricken airline. From the very onset of the disposal of Niki’s assets, Lauda had expressed a strong interest in reacquiring the airline which he founded in 2003, and which he sold to Air Berlin in 2011. He made his first offer for Niki back in September last year. Laudamotion took over Amir Air, another Austrian Carrier, early in 2016.
The disposal of Niki had proved problematic from the onset. Originally, Germany’s flagship carrier Lufthansa had made a bid of €210 million for the Air Berlin asset, but an EU ruling which indicated that the bid was unlikely to be successful owing to concerns over unfair competition saw it withdrawn.
According to Niki’s administrators, Laudamotion had emerged as the best bidder in a transparent auction process. However, the final price remains undisclosed, and in an interview with local television, Lauda confirmed that an express agreement had been reached with the administrators not to reveal the sum being paid.

Norwegian Air’s plans to minimise strike impact seen as a breach of strike rules

March 4, 2015

Norwegian Air Norway has seen the strike which began with 70 pilots on Saturday extend to 650 pilots on Wednesday, March 4th. The strike began when talks to negotiate equal pay rates for all pilots across the Nordic region failed to materialize. Instead the low-cost carrier, and subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, will see its pilots’ pay remaining based on that of other local subsidiaries and not the main airline. The substantial increase of the number of striking pilots has seen Norwegian Air take a defiant stance by aiming to bring in other air crew and staff, plus aircraft, to minimise the effects of the strike which is expected to see over 35,000 passengers affected this Wednesday with the cancelation of all the domestic flights in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, plus flights between the capital cities of the three countries. Most long-haul flights are not yet expected to be affected by the strike.
However, the unions are unhappy at comments made by Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen, the airline’s spokesman: “We are going to hire planes and staff in the hope that we manage to complete some Europe routes today. When the subsidiary is not able to deliver the services they are supposed to, then we must get it elsewhere.” To the striking pilots these actions are seen as a breach of striking rules and, as a consequence, they are calling on the pilots of other airlines to come out on strike in sympathy of their predicament and the subsequent actions of the airline. “We hope they will come and help us,” head of the Parat union, Hans-Erik Skjaeggestad, is reported as saying. 40 Swedish pilots employed by Norwegian air are believed to be going on strike, in sympathy, on Wednesday as well.

Iberia to take early delivery of A330-200s

March 4, 2015

Iberia and Airbus have reached an agreement over the early delivery of the A330-200s the airline ordered last year, and which will now join the long-haul fleet 14 months earlier than initially planned, between December 2015, and November 2016. The new aircraft will replace the A340-300s, and offer economic and environmental advantages as well as greater comfort and more services for passengers. The earlier delivery dates speed up the upgrading of Iberia’s entire long-haul fleet with the new cabins, fittings, and entertainment and communications systems, for an improved customer experience. Iberia is currently renewing its long-haul fleet and also its long-haul cabins. In recent years the IAG parent has ordered 24 new long-haul aircraft for Iberia, the eight A330-300s delivered in 2013 and 2014; the eight A330-200s; and eight A350-900s to be delivered later.

Alaska Air Group reports February 2015 operational results

March 4, 2015

Alaska reported a 7.9% increase in traffic on a 9.7% increase in capacity compared to February 2014. Load factor decreased 1.5 points to 83.6%.

Horizon reported a 4.3% increase in traffic on a 2.9% increase in capacity compared to February 2014. Load factor increased 0.8 points to 79.6%.

Travel Service signs lease contract for two new Boeing 737 MAX 8 with Air Lease Corporation

March 4, 2015

Air Lease Corporation signed long term lease agreements with Travel Service (Czech Republic) for two new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Both aircraft are from ALC’s order book with Boeing and scheduled for delivery in spring 2018 and 2019.

Boeing, Ryanair announce order for three additional Next-Generation 737-800s

March 4, 2015

Boeing and Ryanair have announced an order for three Next-Generation 737-800s. The order, previously unidentified on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website, is valued at US$280m at current list prices. With this order the Irish low-cost carrier now has unfilled orders for 174 Next-Generation 737-800s and 100 737 MAX 200s.

Rolls-Royce, Alpine helicopters renew Fleet Operator Agreement

March 4, 2015

Rolls-Royce and Alpine Helicopters have agreed to extend a Fleet Operator Agreement supporting the Canadian company’s M250-powered fleet. Alpine Helicopters, based in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, has been providing year-round world class helicopter services since 1961. Alpine specializes in tourism sightseeing, helicopter skiing and commercial operations. Alpine operates a total of 19 helicopters powered by Rolls-Royce M250 engines, including Bell 407 and Bell 206 models. The Rolls-Royce Fleet Operator Agreement offers benefits tailored to Alpine Helicopters. Alpine commits to utilizing only genuine Rolls-Royce authorized parts and repairs through the M250 FIRST network.

Etihad Airways’ Airbus A380 to take flight between New York and Abu Dhabi

March 4, 2015

Etihad Airways’ new Airbus A380 service takes flight beginning December 1st, 2015 for guests traveling between New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport and the airline’s Abu Dhabi home. The A380 features The Residence by Etihad™, the airline’s ultra-luxurious and private three-room suite in the sky, a first in commercial aviation. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The United States is a strategically important part of Etihad Airways’ growing global network and as a result of increased demand from our guests traveling between New York and Abu Dhabi and onto the world, we are pleased to upgrade one of our two daily flights to an A380.“ Etihad Airways will continue to offer double daily service between New York’s JFK Airport and Abu Dhabi. The addition of the A380 will allow Etihad Airways to match capacity with increased demand. In 2014 alone, Etihad Airways’ Business and Economy Class load factors exceeded 80% on the popular route.

GECAS to lease three new Boeing 737-800s to Air India Express

March 4, 2015

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) signed a contract to lease three new Boeing 737-800 aircraft to new customer Air India Express. Deliveries of the aircraft are scheduled for 2016 and are part of GECAS’ existing order book with Boeing. Air India Express is the low-cost subsidiary of Air India and operates a fleet of 17 aircraft to some 30 destinations.

Pastor Lopez appointed as CEO of PEMCO World Air Services

March 4, 2015

PEMCO World Air Services has undergone an internal corporate restructuring in an effort to improve operational efficiencies and continue the company’s growth and success. PEMCO World Air Services (PEMCO) has appointed Pastor Lopez as CEO of the Tampa, Florida-based aviation company. Bringing nearly 30 years of industry experience, Lopez is responsible for the growth and sustainability of PEMCO’s leading maintenance and conversion operations.

MTU Maintenance wins Central American VECA Airlines for V2500 maintenance

March 4, 2015

MTU Maintenance can count VECA (Vuelos Economicos de Centro America) Airlines, a start-up carrier from El Salvador, as a new customer for the maintenance of its V2500 engines. Under the exclusive agreement, MTU Maintenance will be responsible for the airline’s engine MRO as well as on-wing services and engine trend monitoring. In addition, MTU Maintenance will support VECA Airlines’ engine line replaceable units (LRU). To facilitate operations, it will establish a dedicated LRU storage pool directly in El Salvador. Customer training completes the services provided under the company’s unique Total Engine Care (TEC) package. The contract with VECA Airlines will run for ten years and has a value of approximately €170m (in excess of US$200m).

Vector Aerospace and Helisul sign M250 MRO contract at HAI Heli Expo 2015

March 4, 2015

Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services – North America (“HS-NA”) has signed an accordance to provide Rolls-Royce M250 engine overhaul support to Helisul Taxi Aereo. Vector Aerospace will provide Helisul with fixed labour and test pricing, competitive time and materials rates as well as access to its lease and exchange spare asset pool. “We have selected Vector Aerospace to provide M250 engine MRO support to Helisul due to their proven track record for top quality performance as well as their reputation for employing experienced, highly trained technicians,” said Mr. Flávio Costa, supply chain director at Helisul Taxi Aereo.

FAI reports another record year

March 4, 2015

German-based general aviation operator and air ambulance specialist FAI rent-a-jet AG is pleased to announce that it has closed the books for 2014 with record revenue numbers of €73,5m, and a profit before taxes (EBT) of €8,1m. Revenues have been raised by 10 % (2013: €66,1m) and EBT has increased by 30 % (2013: €6,1m). The current fleet, which consists of 21 aircraft including three Global Express, four Challenger 604, seven Learjet 60/60XR, four Learjet 55, a Learjet 40XR and one Learjet 35A models exceeded 12,700 hours of logged air-time. The increased utilisation was generated by a 13% rise in demand for the company’s specialized air ambulance fleet, driven to some extent by the health crisis in West Africa, and a 40% rise in its service provision to the world’s largest Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), which it has been working with for over 11 years.

LCI Helicopters to manage new fleet for SQN Capital Management

March 4, 2015

LCI Helicopters has entered into an agreement with SQN Capital Management, an independent asset manager headquartered in New York City, to manage a fleet of seven recently acquired helicopters. LCI Helicopters, the helicopter leasing arm of the Libra Group, will offer a range of services to SQN including asset management, insurance, rent collection, maintenance oversight, inspections, and remarketing services. LCI’s helicopter division comprises a fleet of 90 delivered and ordered helicopters, including AgustaWestland AW139 and AW189 helicopters, and will shortly be the launch customer for the new AW169. LCI is also the lead lessor for the Airbus Helicopters EC175 and the recently announced Airbus EC225e, for which it is the launch customer. LCI announced almost US$1bn in new orders at the 2014 HAI Heli-Expo and has also attracted investment of more than US$100m from KKR Financial Holdings, to address growing oil and gas sector demand, as well as search and rescue and air ambulance services.

PGI extends distribution partnership with Velox

March 4, 2015

PGI, a market leading specialty materials manufacturer, has made the strategic decision to extend its existing distribution partnership with Velox GmbH in Europe, bringing PGI composites products closer to its customers. Velox, a European leader in the supply of material specialities for the plastics, composites, rubber, paints and coatings industries, will be distributing the PGI proven range of NSN, NLC, VL and REEMAY® surface veils in France, Germany, Scandinavia, Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey. In addition, Velox will also be offering PGI’s MATLINE products in Germany and Turkey, an expansion from the current territories of France, the Netherlands and Belgium. Velox already has a well-established range of resins, additives and reinforcing materials, which it will offer alongside the PGI ranges. The company has over twenty years’ experience in the service and supply levels required in the composites industry, as well as a team of fifty materials experts, making it the ideal distribution partner for PGI.

Component Control signs multiple new contracts for its Quantum MRO and Logistics software

March 4, 2015

Component Control reported that Tempest Aviation Group, an independent helicopter service provider located in Prince George, British Columbia, is planning to expand its services and enterprise using Quantum Control MRO and Logistics software to manage operations. Tempest Aviation Group offers the full scope of MRO services for Bell 412, 212, 205, 206 and Airbus helicopters, and offers over 100,000 aviation parts for sale as well as aircraft brokering.

Northwest Helicopters, the largest helicopter company in the state of Washington, will be expanding its Quantum Control MRO and Logistics software footprint to include the integration of StockMarket, and the addition of manufacturing for Mechanical Specialties, a subsidiary that will manufacture the Bell model 505 cargo hook. Northwest Helicopters, located at the Olympia Airport in Olympia, WA, is a Bell Platinum Customer Service Facility and MD Helicopter Service Center providing parts, service, and component overhauls for all models, and a specialist in the overhaul and refurbishment of the Bell UH-1H helicopter.

Helicopter Engine Repair Overhaul Services or H.E.R.O.S., a provider of repair, overhaul and services for the Model 250 engine series, is running the dual-power of Quantum Control MRO and Logistics software integrated with StockMarket.aero to efficiently grow their business across all sectors of the helicopter industry. H.E.R.O.S. offers on-site overhaul and testing capabilities for Honeywell Fuel Controls and PT Governors as well as engine driven fuel pumps, oil delivery tubes, fuel nozzles, bleed, anti-ice and double-check valves, along with troubleshooting, and field and technical support for routine work as well as same day AOG repairs.

Avialta Helicopter Maintenance, a Transport Canada approved helicopter repair and maintenance shop, has expanded its Quantum Control MRO and Logistics software solution to manage both Avialta Helicopter Maintenance and Aven Helicopters, its helicopter leasing operator. Both companies are located at the Villeneuve Airport, St. Albert AB just north of Edmonton and together provide maintenance, parts sales, component overhauls, and third party maintenance in western Canada.

Commercial Jet names Donald R. Kamenz as Vice President of Sales

March 4, 2015

Commercial Jet welcomed Donald Kamenz as Vice President of Sales. Mr. Kamenz comes to Commercial Jet with over 29 years of experience in global aviation. Prior to joining Commercial Jet, Donald was the Chief Commercial Officer, Co-owner and Vice President of Business Development for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina based AvCraft Technical Services.

China’s anticipated airline growth on track with launch of Jianxi Airlines

March 4, 2015

At the end of 2013 it was estimated that there would be a 31% increase in worldwide airline passenger numbers between 2012 and 2017. Of this increase, 24% was estimated to be from the Chinese market. This figure equates to 195 million local passengers and 32.4 million international ones, making 227.4 million in total. The arrival of 2015 has seen the anticipated growth from the Chinese sector of the market rein back a little, but not enough to stop Boeing from increasing their forecasted demand by China for its planes over the next 20 years, having already increased that rate by 6% in 2013 and 7.8% in 2014. This now stands at an annual delivery of 301 per annum, 6,000 over 20 years, or to put it simply, one every 29 hours!
As part of this anticipated growth, the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) has just approved the launching of Jiangxi Airlines, a new joint-venture between the Jiangxi provincial government and Xiamen Airlines on a 40:60 basis. Jiangxi Airlines will begin by operating five Boeing 737 aircraft on solely domestic routes between Nanchang and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu. It expects to increase its fleet to eight aircraft in 2016, and to over 30 aircraft by 2020. The intention is also to open more international routes to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and Japan, plus long-haul routes to the US, Europe, and Australia.
Xiamen Airlines will likely provide initial aviation professionals such as pilots, cabin crew, and MRO staff, etc. to Jiangxi Airlines. This is a good time for new domestic carriers in China with local governments offering partnerships which also present favorable tax terms and land resources, as well as reduced operating costs for landing and ground handling fees. Local governments are hoping to stimulate economic growth through the launch of airlines such as Jianxi.

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