Friday, January 10th, 2020

Willie Walsh retiring from IAG, Iberia CEO Luis Gallego to take over

Willie Walsh has announced he is to retire from International Airlines Group (IAG), officially on June 30, and will be stepping down as Group CEO and Chairman of the Board on March 26. Walsh is responsible for the creation of IAG through the merger of British Airways with Iberia, followed by Aer Lingus, Vueling, low-cost hybrid Level and, shortly, to include Spanish carrier Air Europa.

Irishman Walsh began his long relationship with the airline industry as a pilot with Aer Lingus back in 1979, rising through the ranks to head the Irish carrier in 2001 where he successfully dealt with various challenges presented by the then new low-cost carrier Ryanair. In 2005 Walsh became CEO of British Airways.

IAG will now be run by current Iberia CEO Luis Gallego who began his career in the Spanish Air Force. He has a long history indirectly connected with IAG carriers having worked with Iberia franchise partner Ad Nostrum between 1997 and 2006. He then transferred to Clickair just prior to its merger with Vueling. In 2006 Gallego was made CEO of Iberia Express before becoming Iberia CEO in 2013 and also its Chairman in 2014.


Wesco Aircraft acquired by affiliate of Platinum Equity

Wesco Aircraft Holdings has reported that the expected acquisition of the company by an affiliate of Platinum Equity has been completed in a transaction valued at approximately US$1.9 billion. At closing, Wesco Aircraft was combined with Platinum Equity portfolio company Pattonair, a provider of supply chain management services for the aerospace and defense industries based in the United Kingdom.

The combined company, which will be headquartered in Valencia following closing, becomes a US$2.4 billion business with a global footprint in 17 countries and more than 4,000 employees. The combined company will serve more than 8,400 customers, including many of the world’s leading aerospace and defense original equipment manufacturers and their subcontractors. The combined company’s comprehensive portfolio of aerospace products will comprise more than 644,000 SKUs that are used in the production of commercial and military aircraft, including airframes, engines, hydraulic units, actuation systems and landing gear.

Rolls-Royce opens new facility in Bristol, U.K.

A new Rolls-Royce facility which will develop jet engine technologies set to transform flight, reduce emissions and set new benchmarks for efficiency has opened in Bristol, U.K. The composite technology hub will develop fan blades and fan cases which significantly reduce weight in a jet engine, lowering fuel consumption and emissions.

The fan blades and fan cases being made at the facility are a feature of the Rolls-Royce UltraFan®
engine demonstrator, a revolutionary new engine design which will reduce fuel burn and CO2 by at least 25% compared to the first Trent engine.

The new facility will use low-energy, very low emissions processes and features state-of-the-art automated manufacturing methods and materials. It will maximise the use of raw materials, reducing waste. Rolls-Royce has pledged to achieve zero emissions at its operations and facilities by 2030*.

Rolls-Royce has a crucial role in the transition to a net zero carbon economy and has a three-part environmental approach: reducing the impact of existing technologies; pioneering electrification in aviation; and working with the industry to accelerate the use of sustainable fuels.

*Excluding power generation and test operations


Pattonair appoints two senior roles in global innovation team

Pattonair, the global aerospace and defence supply chain provider, has welcomed Kieran Murphy and Martin Cole into the newly-created positions of Innovation Manager at its Derby headquarters.

Their appointments come at an exciting time for the company, which has embarked on a US$1.9 billion merger with US-based Wesco Aircraft Holdings and acquired aircraft spares company Adams Aviation. 

Murphy has more than 20 years’ experience in the industry and has a widespread knowledge of digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI). A previous role saw him working at Rolls-Royce’s R2 Data Labs identifying and implementing opportunities for digital transformation within the business.

Cole brings more than ten years’ experience in the automotive, nuclear, aerospace and defence sectors to his new role.

Both men are joining a team of seven innovation and data specialists and will report to Jason Rance, Pattonair’s Global Innovation Director. Their appointments build on the company’s commitment to recruit the best talent in the region to maintain its position as the aerospace sectors leading provider of innovative supply chain solutions.

AerCap leased, purchased and sold 353 aircraft in 2019

AerCap has announced its major business transactions during the full year and fourth quarter 2019:

Full Year 2019 transactions included signed lease agreements for 192 aircraft and the purchase of 65 aircraft. AerCap executed sale transactions for 96 aircraft in 2019 and signed financing transactions in the amount of approximately US$9.5 billion.

During the fourth-quarter AerCap has signed lease agreements for 29 aircraft, including 7 wide-body aircraft and 22 narrow-body aircraft. The company purchased 21 aircraft, including 14 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft, 1 Airbus A350, 2 Boeing 787-9s and 4 Embraer E2s. AerCap executed sale transactions for 32 aircraft, including 8 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, 5 Airbus A330s, 2 Airbus A340s, 7 Boeing 737NGs, 1 Boeing 737 Classic, 1 Boeing 757, 2 Boeing 767-300ERs, 1 Boeing 777-300 and 1 Boeing 787-8 from its owned portfolio, and 2 Airbus A320 Family aircraft and 2 Airbus A330s from its managed portfolio.

AerCap continues to manage 6 aircraft that were sold from its owned portfolio during the quarter and signed financing transactions for US$5.1 billion.


Willis Lease Finance orders up to sixty CFM LEAP engines

Willis Lease Finance Corporation has placed an order with CFM International for up to sixty LEAP engines with a value of nearly US$900 million at list prices. This includes both firm and option orders for LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B engines, which the Company will use to support its customers operating Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. These newly ordered engines will begin delivering in 2020 and add to the eight LEAP engines the Company currently owns.

“As we have said before, our customers continue to express their preference to borrow spare engines when they’re needed, rather than owning a large number of engines that will generally be underutilized,” said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO. “This preference has supported utilization of the LEAP engines we already own, and we believe our ConstantAccess program, among others, will continue to drive efficiency, and thus value, for our customers. We are excited to show confidence in the market, support the LEAP program and invest in jobs, both domestically and abroad, by placing the largest order in the Company’s nearly 40-year history.”

Air France/KLM Group report 3.5% traffic increase in December

The Air France / KLM Group (Air France, KLM and Transavia) has released its traffic figures for December 2019. Group traffic increased 3.5% compared to December 2018, while capacity was up 2.6%. Group load factor increased 0.7 points to 86.4%, compared to the previous year.

Aero Controls approved as cylinder requalification facility

Aero Controls has officially been approved as a cylinder requalification facility by the Department of Transportation (DOT), using the “hydrostatic” test method. This is to support its capability development for slides, rafts, fire bottles, oxygen bottles and other emergency equipment.


BEDEK receives AS9110C Standard Certification

BEDEK, Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Maintenance Organization, has received the AS9110C Standard Certification for the management of maintenance and continuous airworthiness for aircraft, either civilian or military, that are in need of Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services.

This standard is specifically tailored to the regulatory requirements, aviation law, and global aviation regulations, with the understanding that the intended lifespan of aircraft is fifty years or more after production, and therefore a high level of maintenance is crucial to its safe and continuous operation.

The certification to the new standard (from the previous AS9100D), will streamline business and operational efficiency within the organization, and drive an increase in business as part of IAI’s strategy. The certification, provided by the NSF Certifying Body, demonstrates IAI’s continued commitment to the highest standards and quality of work within the aerospace industry. 

Nearly 2 million passengers traveled with SAS in December

SAS Scandinavian Airlines has released that the total capacity increased by 0.9% in December 2019, while traffic increased by 2.6%, driven by growth in demand on SAS scheduled traffic. As a result, the passenger load factor improved by 1.2 points to 71.1%. Currency adjusted unit revenue and passenger yield increased by 3.1% and 1.2% respectively.


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MRO Latin America
January 22 - 23, 2020 – Cartagena, Columbia

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

Operating Lease & Aviation Finance Seminar
March 24 - 26, 2020 - London, UK