Monday, January 13th, 2020

Iran admits to “unforgivable mistake” as it confirms its military shot down Boeing 737-800

In a massive and rapid U-turn, the Iranian authorities have now confirmed that its country’s forces mistakenly shot down a Ukraine International Airlines’ Boeing 737-800, flight 752, last Wednesday. The incident occurred shortly after take-off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran, when the plane was en route to Kyiv, Ukraine. All 176 passengers and crew on board perished when the plane crashed just outside Tehran.

Having initially and vehemently denied any possibility of the aircraft having been hit by a ground-to-air missile, Iran has now admitted to the incident being a “drastic mistake” which occurred during a period of heightened tensions following the drone strike by U.S. Forces which killed the al-Quds force leader, Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad on January 3, and Iran’s retaliatory missile strike on U.S. troop positions a few hours prior to the downing of the jet.

The plane was mistaken for a hostile target after it turned towards a sensitive military center of the Revolutionary Guards, according to a military statement on the official IRNA news agency. “The military was at its highest level of readiness” amid the heightened tensions with the US, it said, adding: “In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit.”

Iran has invited investigators from Canada, Ukraine and from Boeing to visit the crash site, while also confirming it would welcome representatives of other countries whose citizens were killed in the crash. Of the 167 passengers on board, 82 were Iranian, at least 57 were Canadian, 11 were Ukrainian and three were British.

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David L.Calhoun new President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing

Starting today, David L. Calhoun is taking the helm at the Boeing company. He oversees the strategic direction of the Chicago-based aerospace company, with roughly 150,000 employees across the United States and in more than 65 countries.

Calhoun has served as a member of Boeing’s board of directors since 2009 and served as chairman of the company’s board of directors from October to December 2019. He succeeds Dennis Muilenburg who had to step down in December 2019, after two deadly 737 Max crashes.

Prior to leading Boeing, Calhoun served as senior managing director and head of portfolio operations at The Blackstone Group from January 2014. During his time with the investment firm, he focused on creating and driving added-value initiatives with Blackstone’s portfolio company CEOs.

Spirit breaks ground on US$250 million headquarters

Spirit Airlines has held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of its new corporate headquarters in Dania Beach, Fla. Spirit is investing up to US$250 million for the creation of a corporate campus of up to 500,000 ft² of space, and the airline plans to add 225 additional jobs over the next five years.

In 2022, approximately 1,000 employees are planned to move from the company’s current facilities in Miramar to the new Dania Pointe site just minutes away from Spirit’s largest operating base, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). The development will include corporate offices, a new crew training facility with flight simulators, and a corporate training residence all designed for more streamlined workflow and quick access to the airport.

Spirit recently completed the purchase of land from Kimco Realty , the owner and principal developer of Dania Pointe, to secure the land. Gensler will be the architectural firm, and Jones Lang LaSalle was selected as the project advisor.

Airbus delivers 863 aircraft in 2019

Airbus has delivered 863 commercial aircraft to 99 customers in 2019, outpacing its previous output record set in 2018 by eight percent. In the 17th yearly production increase in a row, Airbus progressed on the transition to all NEO variants and by year end Airbus had delivered 173 wide-body aircraft, its highest number in a single year.

Airbus had a strong year of sales with a total of 1,131 new orders. Net orders reached 768, compared to 747 in 2018, underlining customer endorsements in all market segments and taking Airbus’ overall historical cumulative net orders over the 20,000 mark.

The A220 achieved 63 net orders and the A320 Family continued its success with 654 net orders including an outstanding market response for the new A321XLR. At year end, the current Airbus wide-body offering comprised sales and repeat orders of 32 A350 Family and 89 A330 Family aircraft. Cancellations of 363 reflect specific airline situations in 2019 as well as the decision to end A380 production. At the turn of the year, Airbus’ backlog stood at 7,482 aircraft.


Woodward and Hexcel announce merger

Aircraft and industrial parts maker Woodward and Hexcel Corp , a composites technology company, have announced a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals to create a premier integrated systems provider serving the aerospace and industrial sectors. The combined company will focus on technology-rich innovations to deliver smarter, cleaner, and safer customer solutions.

Under the terms of the agreement approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, Hexcel shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.625 shares of Woodward common stock for each share of Hexcel common stock, and Woodward shareholders will continue to own the same number of shares of common stock in the combined company as they do immediately prior to the closing. The exchange ratio is consistent with the 30-day average share prices of both companies. Upon completion of the merger, existing Woodward shareholders will own approximately 55% and existing Hexcel shareholders will own approximately 45% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. In connection with the transaction, Woodward is increasing its quarterly cash dividend to $0.28 a share. The merger is expected to be tax free for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

The combined company, to be named Woodward Hexcel, will be among the top independent aerospace and defense suppliers globally by revenue. It will have more than 16,000 employees, manufacturing operations in 14 countries on five continents, and a diversified customer base across multiple markets. For each company’s respective fiscal year 2019 on a pro forma basis, the combined company is expected to generate net revenues of approximately US$5.3 billion and EBITDA of US$1.1 billion, or a 21% EBITDA margin.

DAE reports 2019 highlights

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has released 2019 key strategic and operational highlights for its leasing division, DAE Capital.

DAE Capital has delivered and committed to deliver over US$1.75 billion in aircraft assets, the company's managed and committed to manage assets portfolio grew to over 125 aircraft valued at US$3.5 billion.

DAE Capital isued US$1.9 billion of new unsecured debt; unsecured Debt-To-Total Debt: 61.5%.

The company has repurchased US$807 million of common shares and has reduced notes receivable from shareholder by US$700 million.

DAE Capital has purchased 13 aircraft in 2019, has sold 41 aircraft and has completed 35 lease transactions. The company's fleet size exceeds 400 aircraft.


Airbus to increase production rate of A320 family aircraft at Mobile, Alabama, facility

As part of Airbus' plan to produce 63 A320 Family aircraft per month in 2021, the company will expand its industrial footprint in the U.S. by increasing the production rate of A320 family aircraft at its Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile to seven per month by the beginning of next year.

This increase, and continued recruiting for the A220 manufacturing team, will result in a further 275 jobs added at the Alabama-based facility over the next year. The company will also invest another US$40 million through construction of an additional support hangar on the site, bringing its total investment to more than US$1 billion in the Gulf Coast city.

Airbus’ announcement comes on top of huge growth in 2019, when the company added 600 new jobs at the manufacturing site. With plans already in place for production of four A220 aircraft per month in Mobile by the middle of the decade, Airbus is on track to produce more than 130 aircraft in Mobile each year for its airline customers.

Turning Rock Partners make investment in Next Level Aviation

Turning Rock Partners, a private investment firm based in New York, U.S., on Wednesday January 8, 2020, announced the closing of a US$15 million preferred equity investment in Next Level Aviation, based in Sunrise, Florida. Turning Rock’s investment in Next Level Aviation closed in December 2019 with the potential for follow-on investments, as the company continues its expansion.

Next Level Aviation is an ASA-100 accredited and FAA Advisory Circular 00-56B compliant supplier stocking commercial aircraft/jet engine used serviceable material (USM) for all Boeing and Airbus aircraft platforms and associated jet engines. Next Level specifically focuses on stocking spare parts for the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 Familie of aircraft and its associated jet engines, which currently make up about 70% of the global commercial fleet.

Founded in March 2013 by Jack Gordon, Mike Dreyer and Matt Dreyer, Next Level Aviation employs 14 people and has grown into a leading global supplier of commercial aircraft/jet engine used serviceable material, generating approximately US$30 million in annual revenues in 2019.


ANA receives third FLYING HONU A380 from Airbus

All Nippon Airways (ANA) will be launching the third of its specially designed "FLYING HONU" Airbus A380s, allowing for ANA to offer both daily flights between Narita and Honolulu on these unique aircraft.

ANA currently provides two flights daily on the Narita-Honolulu route, with 10 flights served by Airbus A380s and four operated by Boeing 777s. Starting on July 1, 2020, ANA will begin simultaneously operating its three Airbus A380s to support the increase in round trips on these aircraft from 10 to 14 per week.

Domodedovo Airport launches online Customs Declaration Service

Domodedovo Airport has introduced a new online platform to declare goods and currencies, designed for individuals, crossing Russia’s customs border.

The paperless technologies make the declaration procedure as convenient as possible. To go through customs, a passenger provides an officer with a reference number of the e-declaration for the review. Passengers can submit their declaration on the official website of Moscow Domodedovo Airport.

The airport strives to improve passenger experience, implementing new innovative services. In 2019, Domodedovo started serving DragonPass cardholders, opened a PRM Lounge, and introduced free baby carriages at the terminal to ensure seamless traveling experience


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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