Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

Leonardo buys 100% of Swiss helicopter company Kopter from Lynwood

Leonardo has signed a contract with Lynwood (Schweiz) AG to acquire 100% of Kopter Group AG (Kopter). This move allows Leonardo to further strengthen its worldwide leadership and position in the rotorcraft sector; leveraging innovation, new capabilities and engineering skills which have been developed by the young, agile Swiss Company.

Kopter’s SH09, a new single engine helicopter, is a perfect fit for Leonardo’s state of the art product range offering opportunities for future technological developments. The Swiss company’s competencies will boost future developments towards more disruptive technologies, mission capabilities and performances, including innovative hybrid/electrical propulsion solutions. This acquisition will replace the planned investment aimed at the development of a new single engine helicopter. Within the Helicopter Division of Leonardo, Kopter will act as an autonomous legal entity and competence centre working in coordination with Leonardo.

The purchase price, on a cash and debt free basis, consists of a US$185 million fixed component plus an earn-out mechanism linked to certain milestones over the life of the programme, starting from 2022. The closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions and is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2020.


Airbus prepares to settle bribery case for around US$3 billion

Airbus has confirmed its intention to settle allegations of bribery brought about by three countries – the U.S., the U.K. and France at the end of a four-year investigation involving the U.S Department of Justice, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office and France’s Parquet National Financier.

The agreement is still subject to approval by the courts in the three countries and should be confirmed by the end of February this year, at the very latest. Shares in Airbus rose, despite the size of the proposed settlement, by up to 3% and Airbus has confirmed it has the cash to make the settlement.

The allegations related to Airbus’ use of intermediaries to secure orders for its aircraft as it sought to compete head to head with Boeing, it’s major rival. It was the then CEO of Airbus, Tom Enders, who launched an internal probe into how Airbus was securing orders for its jets, the result of which saw a massive reshuffle of senior positions within the European planemaker. Enders retired at the end of last year after “cleaning the house”, while Kiran Rao, who was due to take over from sales chief John Leahy, has also left the company, as has Leahy, who has retired. Fabrice Bregier, Enders’ long-time second-in-command and a candidate to become CEO, was also forced out.

banniere fixe 600x192 partie 2 x5

Boeing-Embraer deal gets go-ahead from Brazil antitrust regulator CADE

Brazil's Administrative Council of Economic Defense (CADE) has approved Boeing’s acquisition of Brazilian planemaker Embraer’s commercial aviation division without placing any restrictions on the deal, though CAD’s principal administration council could still reconsider the situation and settle the case through a vote. It follows clearance from jurisdictions such as the USA, China, Japan, South Africa, Montenegro, Colombia, and Kenya so now, Boeing only has to wait for approval from the European Commission.

After halting the process in November 2019, the European body resumed its work on the probe on January 6, 2020, setting April 30 as the deadline for the decision. However, on January 21, 2020, the investigation was suspended once again. The Boeing-Embraer joint venture has two elements to it. One will comprise commercial aircraft and services, with Boeing holding 80% and Embraer 20%. The other joint venture will develop markets for Embraer’s C-390 Millennium tactical transport, in which Embraer will own 51% and Boeing 49%.


Helicopter lessor LCI seals new partnerships with two financial institutions

Helicopter lessor LCI, the aviation division of the Libra Group, has sealed new partnerships with two leading financial institutions as it continues to grow its fleet.

The lessor has just taken delivery of a Leonardo AW169 helicopter with financing arranged from new partner, Investec. The state-of-the-art aircraft is being placed with a leading European provider of B2B helicopter services on a long-term lease.

LCI has also concluded an asset-backed financing arrangement for one of its fleet of Leonardo AW189 helicopters in a transaction with new financial partner Grupo Santander for an aircraft valued at over US$15 million. The aircraft is currently on a long-term lease to a European operator.

This start to the new decade follows 2019 in which LCI concluded over US$400 million of financing and refinancing arrangements. LCI’s fleet now comprises of approximately US$1 billion of assets in service, on order and under management, focused on the latest technology medium and super medium helicopters manufactured by leading helicopter OEMs including Leonardo, Airbus and Sikorsky.


Avia Solutions Group to acquire Bluebird Nordic

On January 24, Avia Solutions Group has signed an agreement with the BB Holding ehf., advised by Barons Capital Partners, to acquire 100% of the shareholdings of Bluebird Nordic.

Gediminas Ziemelis, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Avia Solutions Group expressed his contentment, "I am utterly pleased to have had an opportunity to acquire such a competent and reputable company. With this new acquisition, Avia Solutions Group steps into the narrow-body ACMI cargo business. "

Cargo airline Bluebird Nordic, headquartered in Iceland, uses a fleet of six Boeing 737 freighters - one Boeing 737-300 and five Boeing 737-400 and operates scheduled as well as charter flights under its own brand. The airline also offers cargo export and import services from and to Iceland, serving more than 100 locations worldwide. As a part of Avia Solutions Group, Bluebird Nordic is expected to develop further, expand its existing service portfolio and improve its operation.

WeatherTech becomes launch customer for Advanced Autopilot System for H125/AS350

StandardAero and Thales have announced WeatherTech as the launch customer for their advanced 4-axis Compact Autopilot System for the Airbus Helicopters H125/AS350 platform. Derived from certified transport category solutions, the Lightweight Compact Autopilot brings advanced, state-of-the-art 4-axis capability, performance and enhanced levels of safety to the light helicopter market, while eliminating the need for a traditional dedicated flight control computer.

David MacNeil, Founder and CEO of the well-known automotive accessories company WeatherTech, has decided once again to confer his aircraft upgrades to StandardAero by selecting Thales Compact autopilot for his fleet. “I have been pleased
with the support received from StandardAero in modifying our H125 helicopters, and as we look to make additional safety and avionics upgrades to enhance these machines, the decision to include the Thales unique Compact Autopilot technology was an easy one to make,” said MacNeil.


Finnair suspends Nanjing and Beijing Daxing routes until end of March

Due to the recent suspension of all group travel from China, Finnair will cancel its three weekly flights between Helsinki and Beijing Daxing International Airport between February 5 and March 29, and its two weekly flights between Helsinki and Nanjing between February 8 and March 29.
Finnair continues to operate daily to Beijing Capital Airport and to Shanghai, twice a day to Hongkong, and twice a week to Guangzhou.

“These cancellations are needed to manage the impacts of the recent suspension of group travel by Chinese authorities, which have a pronounced impact on the load factors of our Beijing Daxing and Nanjing flights,” says Jaakko Schildt, Chief Operating Officer, Finnair. 

AJW appoints TTC as sole sales representative in Japan

AJW Group is expanding its presence in the Japanese aviation market with the appointment of Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) as its sole sales representative.

This partnership will enable AJW Group to expand and increase its capacity to support Japanese customers. TTC will act as a partner to supply aircraft components, support contracted services, including PBH, engine services, and deliver maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) related activities in Japan.

This partnership is also aligned with AJW Technique’s growth strategy and bolsters the Group’s growing presence in the Japanese aviation market.

AJW Technique was the first independent component MRO to achieve Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) approval under the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) between Transport Canada (TCCA) and JCAB. This was awarded on the January 24, 2019 and has made AJW Technique the best fit for the Japanese MRO market in compliant with the JCAB regulations.

This partnership will enable AJW and TTC to establish a new global MRO network hub whilst supporting the expansion of the Japanese aviation market. It allows AJW to leverage TTC’s global network and logistics know-how to expand its presence in Japan.


Scandinavian Airlines Ireland implements SkyBreathe® to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions

Scandinavian Airlines Irelan, the Irish subsidiary of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), announced the successful implementation of OpenAirlines’ SkyBreathe® eco-flying solution to pursue its commitment to sustainable development.

SkyBreathe® Fuel Efficiency is an innovative solution using big data algorithms, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to automatically analyze billions of data points from flight recorders. By combining them with data from the actual flight conditions (payload, weather conditions, flight path, ATC constraints, etc.), the software identifies the most relevant saving opportunities.

Based on this information, SAS Ireland benefits from an accurate and deep understanding of fuel usage through all phases of flight to implement the most efficient procedures without compromising safety. 

SAS Ireland joins a large community of airlines adopting SkyBreathe® to improve their fuel efficiency, including Norwegian, Malaysia Airlines, Transavia and Atlas Air.


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