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LATEST NEWS

Thursday, June 18th, 2020

Qatar Airways CEO puts halt on aircraft deliveries until 2022, cancels order for 30 737 Max jets

Akbar al-Baker has confirmed that Qatar Airways will be suspending delivery of all aircraft on order from Boeing until 2022 and that deliveries beyond that will be based on the knock-on effect of these delays owing to the effects on air travel resulting from the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Gulf carrier has billions of dollars’ worth of jets on order from the world’s top-ten planemakers, Airbus and Boeing, but instead of growing its fleet, it now intends to reduce it to approximately 200 aircraft. “Quite a lot of (deliveries) will be deferred. We have already notified both Boeing and Airbus that we will not be taking any aeroplanes this year or next year,” al-Baker said in an interview on Britain’s Sky News. “All the other aircraft that we have on order that were supposed to be delivered to us within the next two or three years, will now be pushed back to as long as nearly eight to 10 years.”

Al-Baker was also forthright in his approach to the planemakers, advising them that if they refused to comply with his wishes, then this would likely affect any future business, thus playing each of the two manufacturing giants against each other. “If they don’t oblige to our requirements, (then) we will have to review our long term business relationships with them,” he said, adding the airline no longer needed the 30 firm orders for Boeing’s 737 MAX it had placed. “We have already informed Boeing that we will have to replace them with some other type of aeroplanes ... we will not require any more of the 737 MAXs.”

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Air Lease Corporation announces pricing of public offering of US$850 million of senior unsecured medium-term notes

On June 17, 2020, Air Lease Corporation has announced the pricing of its public offering of US$850.0 million aggregate principal amount of 3.375% senior unsecured medium-term notes due July 1, 2025 (the Notes). The sale of the Notes is expected to close on June 24, 2020, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

The Notes will mature on July 1, 2025 and will bear interest at a rate of 3.375% per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears on January 1 and July 1, of each year, commencing on January 1, 2021. The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, the purchase of commercial aircraft and the repayment of existing indebtedness.

BofA Securities, Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, MUFG Securities Americas Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering of the Notes.

Boeing delivers first F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets to U.S. Navy for flight test

Boeing has delivered the first two F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets to the U.S. Navy for flight testing. One jet is a single-seat E model and the other is a two-seat F model.

The Navy will use the aircraft to familiarize pilots with the advanced cockpit system’s new 10-inch-by-19-inch touchscreen display and test the capabilities delivered with the enhanced network capability.

In addition to these enhancements, the Block III configuration adds capability upgrades that include longer range, reduced radar signature and an enhanced communication system. The fighter’s life also will be extended from 6,000 hours to 10,000 hours.

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Klaus Eberhardt to continue as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of MTU Aero Engines AG

Klaus Eberhardt will continue to lead the Supervisory Board of MTU Aero Engines AG. This was decided unanimously by the Supervisory Board at its meeting on June 17. Maintaining continuity at the helm of the Supervisory Board is a response to the special challenges presented by the coronavirus crisis.

The Supervisory Board has also decided unanimously to raise the previously valid age limit for Supervisory Board members in general to 75. Given a general increase in life expectancy, this step will contribute to being able to secure valuable expertise and experience especially in MTU’s long-term business model.

Gulfstream winds down production of iconic G550 business jet

Gulfstream Aerospace has sold the last commercially available Gulfstream G550™ jet, clearing the way for production of the award-winning business-aviation icon to wind down. The final commercial aircraft will be delivered to a customer in 2021.

“The G550 set the standard for subsequent aircraft and the industry,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “With more than 600 in service, the G550 has earned its place as a leader in business aviation. Its technological innovations and safety enhancements earned the G550 development team the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy in 2003. While manufacturing of the G550 will end, our industry-leading support of the aircraft will continue. With more than 30 company-owned and
factory-authorized service centers on five continents as well as the ability to produce and procure parts, we are well-prepared to continue offering G550 owners the highest level of support.”

Announced in 2000, the G550 entered service in 2003 as the launch platform for the transformational Gulfstream PlaneView™ flight deck. Its tremendous range and high-altitude capabilities put the aircraft at the top of its class as evidenced by its more than 55 speed records.

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Finnair and Sabre renew distribution agreement

Finnair, the Finnish flag carrier focused on connecting Europe and Asia, and Sabre Corporation, the software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, have announced a new worldwide distribution partnership.

Following the agreement, Sabre will resume distributing competitive global Finnair content to hundreds of thousands of travel agents and thousands of corporations worldwide through Sabre’s travel marketplace.

“As we ramp up our operations globally, it is imperative that customers have choice and flexibility in booking through their preferred direct or indirect channel”, says Ole Orvér Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair. “Travel agents contribute significantly to helping people regain the confidence to travel, which is absolutely essential for our industry as a whole. We truly value the commitment of our travel agency partners and are happy that we can connect to them through Sabre’s marketplace.”

Bell Textron selects GE Aviation for Aircraft Health Awareness System

GE Aviation was selected by Bell Textron to provide the Aircraft Health Awareness System as part of Team Invictus for the Bell 360 Invictus competitive prototype, a part of the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program.

The health awareness system integrates decades of GE’s proven health management technologies on rotorcraft with its vehicle management system on fixed wing to drive increased operational safety and availability of the fleet.

GE Aviation’s Health Awareness System is an end-to-end solution that advances traditional rotorcraft Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) capabilities by combining it with proven fixed-wing aircraft health management solutions. The system includes autonomously gathering and transmission of rotorcraft system configuration, health, usage and maintenance data.

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Magnetic MRO conducts first virtual aircraft inspection

Magnetic MRO, a Total Technical Care and asset management organization, has announced the recent successful completion of its first virtual inspection of an aircraft, as part of pre-lease preparations. This inspection signifies the industry's resilience and ability to adapt to the changed norms in the aviation industry.

Since the global COVID-19 hit the globe and paralyzed air traffic, aviation industry became one of the hardest-hit industries. As many countries imposed the lockdowns, asset sales are almost frozen – this also includes some procedures that previously were deemed as a routine for MROs. Process of asset liquidation is just one of the areas that were challenged by the restriction of movement; however, modern tools and innovative solutions can be adapted in order to proceed with such tasks at least to a certain extent. That is the approach taken by Magnetic MRO – the company has recently completed its first virtual inspection as physical inspection was not possible during the given times.

Performed by the company's engineering department, the inspection was executed with the preparation of video material of both the airframe and interior. During the virtual inspection, a structured file system was implemented, allowing a potential customer to efficiently locate and analyse any aircraft section. As a company representative states, this test inspection allows clients to receive all needed information without physically being present and will be used for the future inspections both when travel restrictions are in place and in other cases when physical inspections are not possible.

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FAI completes "Project Pearl" Global Express refurbishment

Germany-based MRO, FAI Technik, part of the FAI Aviation Group, has completed its latest refurbishment, “Project Pearl“, a pre-owned Bombardier Global Express – D-AFAL (MSN 9016). The multi-million-euro project represents one of the most extensive refurbishment projects for the type.

The project, which took approximately 10,000 manhours to complete, includes 15/30/60, 120 and 240-month inspections. The Global features an all-new cabin with the latest cabin management and entertainment systems. This includes Collins Aerospace's VenueTM enabling passengers to watch HD movies and listen to enhanced digital audio throughout the cabin and Honeywell's Ka-Band broadband technology, delivering ultra-high-speed satellite connectivity. The aircraft's custom interior was designed by FAI's design partner, award-winning German design specialist, Tim Callies. Callies is well known for his work on Boeing BBJ’s, Airbus ACJ’s and Global Express business jets.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar