Friday, January 17th, 2020

Profit warning sees Bombardier share price plummet by over 38%

With the announcement on Thursday by Bombardier Inc that problematic rail contracts in Europe will mean 2019 profits will be lower than expected, and because it may also have to write down the value of the joint venture with Airbus for the former C Series commercial narrow-body jet, the company’s share price fell by up to 38.6% at one point as a consequence.

The company has been hit hard by a US$350 million charge over three European rail projects it is struggling with, while it also feels that the joint venture with Airbus over the renamed A220 will need further investment and may therefore be subject to a writedown during the fourth quarter’s results, which are due to be published next month. Bombardier now expects 2019 adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to be in the region of US$400 million as opposed to a previously estimated range of between US$700 million and US$800 million. Free cash flow, a metric closely watched by investors, is expected to be negative US$1.2 billion in 2019, compared with the previously forecast negative US$500 million. The yield on Bombardier’s U.S. dollar bond due March 15, 2025 surged more than 150 basis points to 8.4%.

Based on Refinitiv data, Bombardier has US$9.7 billion in outstanding bonds. According to Reuters News Agency, Bombardier also said it is “reassessing” its minority stake in the A220 jet program, which will require additional cash investment to ramp up production. Bombardier could agree to sell its 33.58% stake in the A220 program (Airbus holds a majority 50.6% stake and the Canadian province of Quebec holds the remaining 16.36%) as this would be less of a financial strain for Airbus to invest further to increase production, Bombardier’s current cash flow not being helped by the fact that delivery of four of its Global 7500 jets, at an individual list price of US$73 million, has been delayed to the first quarter of this year.


Airbus demonstrates first fully automatic vision-based take-off

Airbus has successfully performed the first fully automatic vision-based take-off using an Airbus Family test aircraft at Toulouse-Blagnac airport. The test crew comprising of two pilots, two flight test engineers and a test flight engineer took off initially at around 10h15 on December 18 and conducted a total of 8 take-offs over a period of four and a half hours.

Rather than relying on an Instrument Landing System (ILS), the existing ground equipment technology currently used by in-service passenger aircraft in airports around the world where the technology is present, this automatic take-off was enabled by image recognition technology installed directly on the aircraft.

Automatic take-off is an important milestone in Airbus’ Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off & Landing (ATTOL) project. Launched in June 2018, ATTOL is one of the technological flight demonstrators being tested by Airbus in order to understand the impact of autonomy on aircraft. The next steps in the project will see automatic vision-based taxi and landing sequences taking place by mid-2020.

Ryanair contracts Magnetic Leasing for landing gear lease

Magnetic Leasing, an international aviation asset management company, has signed a deal with European carrier Ryanair, for a landing gear lease. The agreement covers an eight-month lease period during which the landing gear will be used on different aircraft based on the carrier’s demand.

Magnetic Leasing has already delivered its landing gear to Ryanair’s maintenance base at London Stansted (STN), where it has been installed on one of the carrier’s Boeing 737-800s. The leased nose and main gears will be used as a spare set to cover the overhaul period of the airline’s multiple landing gears.


Alcoa Corporation reports fourth quarter 2019 net loss of US$303 million

Alcoa has posted a net loss of US$303 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with a net loss of US$221 million in the third quarter of 2019.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, the Company took several actions in alignment with its strategic priorities, including taking the first steps in a multi-year portfolio review and continuing work to strengthen the balance sheet. The announced closure of the Point Comfort alumina refinery in Texas and additional actions taken on pension and other post-employment benefits were the primary drivers of the US$246 million in special items for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Excluding the impact of special items, adjusted net loss was US$57 million a sequential improvement of 30% from adjusted net loss of US$82 million, in the third quarter of 2019.

Adjusted EBITDA excluding special items fell 11% sequentially to US$346 million from US$388 million in the third quarter of 2019. The change was primarily due to lower alumina and aluminum prices, partially offset by lower raw material prices.

Alcoa reported fourth quarter 2019 revenue of US$2.4 billion, down 5% sequentially, due primarily to lower alumina and aluminum prices.

Alcoa ended the quarter with cash on hand of US$879 million and debt of US $1.8 billion, for net debt of US $921 million.

Brian Znotins becomes Vice President of network and schedule planning for American Airlines

Brian Znotins has been named Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning for American Airlines. In this role, Znotins will guide the development and implementation of American’s global network and hub strategy, including all route planning, slot management and long-range planning efforts. Znotins will report to Vasu Raja, American’s Senior Vice President of Network Strategy.

Znotins joins American from WestJet, where he spent the past three years as the airline’s Vice President of Network, Alliances and Corporate Development.


Vaclav Havel Airport Prague handles 17.8 million passengers in 2019

Based on the latest operating results, Prague Airport has handled a total of 17,804,900 passengers in 2019. That means that approximately one million more passengers passed through the airport than in 2018, which is a 6% year-on-year increase.

Throughout the entire year, 71 airlines provided regular connections from Prague to a total of 165 destinations, of which 15 were long-haul. The airport reported a significant increase in the number of passengers also on long-haul routes, overall by 10.9%. This positive trend is supposed to continue in 2020, during which two more long-haul destinations will be added  ̶  to Chicago and to Hanoi. Traditionally, the busiest routes last year were to the United Kingdom and the highest number of passengers were headed to London. The biggest year-on-year increase in the number of handled passengers was to Antalya.

Over the past year a total of 154,777 take-offs and landings were performed (flight movements) at Václav Havel Airport Prague. Even though the number of passengers increased, the number of aircraft movements decreased last year, namely by 0.5%. The main reason for this result are higher passenger load factors (capacity utilisation) and the use of aircraft types with higher seating capacity.

Ideagen secures software project with Saudi Arabia’s first flying academy

UK-based, global software firm, Ideagen, has secured a project with a Saudi Arabian flying academy which will see it provide software to help it meet regulatory and operational requirements.

OxfordSaudia, owned by the Saudi National Company of Aviation (SNCA), will implement Ideagen’s Coruson system for quality management with additional functionality and capability for safety and risk.

The flying academy is the kingdom’s first ever, and is an authorised training partner of the CAE, a global leader in training for the civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare markets.

OxfordSaudia was launched in 2017 following a joint announcement by the CAE and SNCA at that year’s Dubai Air Show event. It has ordered 60 aircraft, will staff around 200 instructors and is aiming to attract between 1,000 and 2,000 students with 400 graduates a year.

OxfordSaudia, based at King Fahad International Airport, has also been tasked with bringing through more than 2,000 pilots – as part of the Kingdom’s ‘Vision 2030’ Saudization programme.


Pratt & Whitney GTF™ engines power Air Canada Airbus A220 entry into service

Pratt & Whitney, along with Airbus and Air Canada celebrated the entry into service of Air Canada’s first A220 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF™ engines. Passengers will be welcomed aboard the A220-300 on January 16, 2020, on its maiden commercial flight between Montreal and Calgary. This entry into service marks a significant milestone for Air Canada as it becomes the first Canada-based A220 operator.

Final assembly of Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G engines, which power the A220 aircraft, is completed in Canada.

StandardAero’s Summerside, PEI, Canada MRO Facility inducted over 1,000 engines for overhaul during 2019

StandardAero’s engine overhaul facility in Summerside, PEI, Canada finished 2019 on a high, inducting over 1,000 Pratt & Whitney PW100, PT6A and JT15D engines during the course of the year.

This record figure was achieved following the recent expansion to the facility, StandardAero’s commercial turboprop engine MRO Center of Excellence, which saw the site expand its shop floor area to over 226,000 sq. ft of leased space. The facility, located at the Summerside airport in Slemon Park, also grew its workforce to approximately 500 employees as a result of the recent expansion.

The 1,000th engine to be inducted was a PW121 for long-standing regional airline customer Air
Creebec, in support of the airline’s fleet of de Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop aircraft. Air Creebec is based in Val-d'Or, Quebec, and operates regularly scheduled flights, charter and freight services to 16 destinations in Quebec and Ontario.


click here to download the latest PDF edition


click here to download the latest PDF edition

click here to subscribe to our other free publications


click here to view in PDF aircraft and engines available for sale and lease


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