Friday, December 6th, 2019

Major transition at United Airlines sees Kirby assume role of CEO, Munoz becomes Chairman

Having taken over the role of CEO at United Airlines (United) in September 2015, Oscar Munoz is to become Chairman of the Board of Directors and current President, J. Scott Kirby will take over Munoz’ role, both new positions to take effect after the shareholder’s meeting on May 20, 2020.

As CEO, Munoz has been responsible for a considerable change in the fortunes of United and only on Tuesday of this week did the carrier announce its intention to acquire 50 new Airbus A321 XLR to begin replacing its ageing fleet of Boeing 757-200s at the beginning of 2024. Kirby, a highly-regarded industry leader, has played a pivotal role in enabling United's cultural transformation and successfully executing the company's strategic growth plan. Kirby was recruited to United Airlines by Munoz in August 2016, after a three-decade career in the commercial airline business.

"When I joined United as CEO, I laid out ambitious goals to build a new spirit of United by regaining the trust of our employees and customers – and I'm proud of how far we've come. Along with the successful implementation of the plan our team laid out in January 2018, United's operational and financial performance isn't just better – it's better than ever. By instilling a culture of 'proof, not promise,' we have transformed United even faster than we expected and there's an incredible sense of excitement about the future," Munoz commented.

"I am honored to be named the next CEO of United and to succeed Oscar, whose leadership has been truly transformational for United Airlines," Kirby said. "I look forward to working with Oscar, the Board, our established leadership team and every United employee as we drive forward our proven strategy and focus on being the airline customers choose to fly and return to time and again."


Aero K to adopt Rusada’s ENVISION

South Korean start-up, Aero K Airlines, has signed up for Rusada’s MRO and Flight Operations software, ENVISION. Aero K is scheduled to commence passenger flights as of March 2020 serving destinations across Asia, including China, Japan and Vietnam.

Aero K will use ENVISION to manage the airworthiness of its fleet and line maintenance activities as well as its human resources, finance and accounting and more, adopting seven modules in total. Rusada will begin the implementation project immediately so that everything is in place for Aero K’s launch next year.


China Airlines selects Pratt & Whitney GTF™ engines to power order of A321neo aircraft

China Airlines has selected the Pratt & Whitney GTF™ engine to power an order of up to 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft. The order includes 25 firm A321neo aircraft with purchase options for an additional five aircraft and represents a combination of new aircraft purchases from Airbus and leased aircraft from ALC and CALC.

Pratt & Whitney will provide China Airlines with engine maintenance through a long-term EngineWise® Comprehensive service agreement.  The order announcement was commemorated with a signing ceremony hosted in Singapore with Pratt & Whitney and China Airlines representatives in attendance.

"We are confident that the Pratt & Whitney GTF engines will provide our airline with the reduced noise, environmental consciousness, and fuel efficiencies we look for to support our operation to various destinations in the future.” said Su-Chien Hsieh, Chairman of China Airlines. 


Trenchard Aviation Group promotes Neil Watkins to Group Sales & Marketing Director

Trenchard Aviation Group, a well-known partner in aircraft cabin component design, manufacture, repair and on-wing maintenance, has appointed Neil Watkins to Group Sales & Marketing Director. The primary focus of his new role will be the development of a single sales strategy for the entire Group – comprising Aero Technics, Airbase, Servecorp, and Reheat International – and the growth of both revenue and margins.

Watkins will continue to hold his current responsibilities for the oversight of Reheat International, part of the Trenchard Aviation Group and a leading provider of galley, lavatory, cabin and cockpit security equipment, maintenance and repair.


Finnair traffic performance in November 2019

In November, Finnair carried 1,084,000 passengers, 10.6% more than in the corresponding period of 2018. The overall capacity increased in November by 9.4%. Finnair's traffic increased by 13.1% and the Passenger Load Factor (PLF) increased year-on-year by 2.5% points to 77.1%. 

Pratt & Whitney invests US$30 million in West Virginia facility for maintenance, repair and overhaul of PW800 engines

Pratt & Whitney has reported a US$30 million investment in its engine services facility in Bridgeport, West Virginia for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of PW800 engines. Specifically, the site will service the PW814GA and PW815GA engines that power the Gulfstream G500 and G600 aircraft, respectively, with the capacity to expand its capabilities to other PW800 engine models in the future.

“As part of the next phase of the successful entry into service of the PW800, we have chosen the Bridgeport facility to provide MRO services for the engine family. This decision was based on the site’s
wealth of technical expertise in business aviation engines and its excellent record in providing quality, speed and value for our customers,” said Satheeshkumar Kumarasingam, vice president, customer
service, Pratt & Whitney. “Adding the game-changing PW800 engine to their repertoire of business aviation engines will equip and upskill the facility with high value service engineering jobs.”


Panasonic Avionics teams up with Eutelsat

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), a market leader in in-flight entertainment and connectivity, has signed a multi-year agreement for Ku-band capacity on two multi-beam payloads on the EUTELSAT 10B satellite, due to be launched in 2022.

This contract with Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) will enable Panasonic to provide multiple gigahertz of new extreme throughput (XTS Ku-band connectivity to airlines and their passengers flying over a wide area across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Panasonic will continue to optimize its worldwide network and add more state-of-the-art satellite capacity in high-density regions to ensure it can deliver very high performance everywhere its customers fly. This satellite also provides high performance over lower density area such as Africa.

EUTELSAT 10B will be the second XTS satellite to join Panasonic’s connectivity network which has been developed to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers and is designed to place capacity where it’s most needed across the globe to meet demand.

GECAS and Sculptor Capital Management close STARR 2019-2

GECAS and Sculptor Capital Management (Sculptor) have announced the closing of STARR 2019-2. Under the terms of the transaction, GECAS is selling twenty in-production Boeing and Airbus narrowbodies to START III Ltd.

The diversified portfolio has an average aircraft age of 8.4 years and includes aircraft currently on lease to 17 airlines in 14 countries, with a total appraised value of approximately US$539 million.

is financing its acquisition through its issuance of 144A/Reg. S debt and equity. Similar to the STARR 2018-1 transaction – the first aircraft portfolio purchase to include 144A tradeable equity and a dedicated asset manager for equity investors – and STARR 2019-1, an affiliate of Sculptor will serve
as an asset manager and GECAS will continue to service the portfolio.


BOC Aviation delivers second of ten Airbus A320neo aircraft to Air China

BOC Aviation has delivered the second of ten new Airbus A320neo aircraft to Air China. This aircraft is the 100th aircraft to be delivered to Air China’s Southwest branch.

SAS unsatisfied with full-year earnings

SAS had an unsatisfactory full year result, significantly lower than last year, due to headwinds from higher jet-fuel costs, unfavorable currency movements and a strike. Despite these challenges, SAS’ customer offerings and operational efficiency improvements together with reduced market capacity, especially in the fourth quarter, led to a positive result for the full-year 2019.

During the fourth quarter, the total number of passengers grew 2.3%. In addition, sales of charter capacity and attached revenues also increased. Altogether, total revenues increased over 6% to MSEK 13,463.

Earnings before tax and items affecting comparability also developed favorably in the quarter and ended at MSEK 1,226, up MSEK 404 year-on-year. The improved earnings were mainly driven by increased revenues which were partially offset by higher operational expenditures from negative currency developments. Net income for the period amounted to MSEK 861 (MSEK 623 in 2018).

The full fiscal year 2019 was characterized by significant headwinds for SAS, including higher jet-fuel costs, unfavorable FX-rates and a seven-day strike. However, strong demand shown in passenger and attached revenues led to a total revenue increase of SEK 2 billion. Despite the increase, full-year earnings regrettably declined MSEK 1,350 due to the negative headwinds stated above.

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January 22 - 23, 2020 – Cartagena, Columbia

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February 26 - 18, 2020 – Makuhari Messe, Chiba-city, Japan