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LATEST NEWS

Monday, May 25th, 2020

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries closing down all U.S. SpaceJet facilities


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, parent company of Mitsubishi Aircraft, has announced that all facilities in America associated with the development of its SpiceJet aircraft are to close with the loss of approximately 600 jobs.

The recently rebranded SpaceJet project has been beset with problems since it was first launched as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet in 2008 and is many years behind schedule as well as frequently bleeding cash. In 2019 development costs ran at US$1.3 billion.

Closures involve the Renton and Moses Lake plants in Washington, with the loss of 400 and 200 jobs respectively. Mitsubishi’s aviation operations have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, especially its supply of major parts for Boeing jets.

“Due to the budget directives, Mitsubishi Aircraft will close its overseas locations and consolidate activities at its headquarters in Nagoya, Japan,” company spokesman Jeff Dronen told The Seattle Times via email. “This will impact the majority of our employees in the United States,” he said, adding: “We have had to make difficult decisions that will significantly reduce our global activities and will have a major impact on our organization.”

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Air New Zealand updates international schedule to end of August

Air New Zealand is extending the timeframe for its significantly reduced network, with its minimal international operations to continue through to August 31, 2020.

In response to government travel restrictions and low demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline previously announced a limited international network through to June 30, to keep air links open for essential travel and cargo movement on key trade routes.

This schedule will now apply through to August 31, 2020, with a few exceptions which extend beyond this date. All services are subject to change as governments change travel and border restrictions.

Overall international capacity has been reduced by 95% from pre-COVID-19 levels.

Air Canada's new summer schedule includes nearly 100 destinations in Canada, the U.S. and worldwide

Air Canada is offering customers a choice of nearly 100 destinations in Canada, the U.S. and around the world with an abridged schedule this summer. To ensure customers can book with confidence, the airline has implemented the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosecurity program and is introducing new cancellation options retroactive to March 1, 2020, to give customers greater flexibility and choice should their travel plans change for any reason.  

"Air Canada has put in place an abridged summer schedule offering a choice of nearly 100 destinations across Canada, in the U.S. and internationally. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, during which as much as 95 per cent of our flights stopped operating and which has left us flying to less than half last year's destinations, our customers are expressing their eagerness to travel,  where it is safe to do so. We are accordingly gradually opening for sale flights for the summer and beyond as we rebuild our network, leveraging our strong position as a global airline. Air Canada is ready for take-off, and we look forward to welcoming our customers onboard," said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection orders two Beechcraft King Air 350CER aircraft

Textron Aviation has been awarded a contract for two additional Beechcraft King Air 350CER turboprop aircraft for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO).

After mission modifications by Sierra Nevada Corporation, these two Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) will join a fleet of 23 other King Air 350 aircraft used to safeguard the United States homeland as part of the coordinated application of CBP’s aviation and maritime law enforcement resources.

The Beechcraft King Air 350CER aircraft is an extended range version of the King Air 350i twin-engine turboprop aircraft configured with an optional cargo door, resulting in enhanced mission flexibility. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A or optional factory installed PT6A-67A turboprop engines with Hartzell four blade propellers power the King Air 350CER aircraft, and a fully integrated Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite provides pilot(s) with state-of-the-art touchscreen controls.

CAE posts first-quarter net income of CA$78.4 million, down 36%

CAE has reported strong annual performance despite the COVID-19 impact during its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020. Annual revenue was CA$3.6 billion, up 10% over the prior year. Annual segment operating income was CA$537.1 million compared to CA$480.6 million in fiscal year 2019.

Annual segment operating income before specific items was CA$590.4 million, up 21% compared to CA$487.4 million in the prior year. Annual net income attributable to equity holders was CA$311.4 million compared to CA$330.0 million in fiscal year 2019. Net income before specific items  was CA$359.7 million compared to CA$335.2 million last year, which represents a 7% EPS increase over the same period last year.

Fourth quarter fiscal 2020 revenue was CA$977.3 million, down 4% from the fourth quarter last year. Fourth quarter net income attributable to equity holders was CA$78.4 million compared to CA$122.3 million last year. Net income before specific items in the fourth quarter was CA$122.3 million, compared to CA$127.5 million the previous year.

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Austrian Airlines agrees with flight crew and ground staff on crisis contribution

Austrian Airlines has reached an agreement with its technical and commercial staff. This includes the stations as well as technical and administrative employees, comprising close to 3,000 of the 7,000 people working for Austria’s national carrier.

Austrian Airlines anticipates a very slow recovery after the crisis. In order to retain as many employees as possible during a period of low demand, an agreement was reached with the works council on a long-term application of the short-time work model until 2022. There will be no customary annual salary increments or adjustments for inflation during this period.

After short-time work, salary will be waived for all employees. The company and employee representatives agreed on a temporary reduction of current salaries for the ground staff in the period March 20, 2022 until December 31, 2023. The pay cuts are socially staggered and equal between two and fifteen percent. Furthermore, the social compensation plan which has been in effect for many years will be extended until December 31, 2025. The package of measures will be subsequently voted upon. In turn, the cockpit and cabin crews will forego between 5.9% and 12.7% of their salaries in the years 2022 to 2024 as well as pension fund contributions. This will be complemented by various savings and flexibilization measures in the ramp-up phase.

On balance, the 7,000 employees will bear the brunt of some €80 million in annual savings, enabling personnel costs to be reduced by 20%. Accordingly, their cumulative contribution will equal €300 million by the year 2024.

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Ryanair closes Lauda-base in Vienna

Ryanair subsidiary Lauda, is closing its base at Vienna International Airport after a dispute with the Vida trade union. According to the company, 300 jobs will be affected. The base will be closed on May 29.

The airline had last given the union an ultimatum. However, the union refused to sign a new collective bargaining agreement due to the Corona-crisis, with substantial wage cuts for employees.

"We didn't sign this and we're not going to sign", quotes the daily newspaper "Die Press" a Vida spokesperson. She said they would not be blackmailed and do not sign a contract which is subject to a net starting salary of €848 for Flight attendants clearly below the minimum security level in Vienna.

Lauda Air has spread its 28 Airbus A320s over a total of five bases: Palma de Mallorca, Zadar (Croatia), Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and just Vienna.
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