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Friday, February 14th, 2020

Airbus and the Government of Québec become sole owners of A220 program

Airbus, the Government of Québec and  Bombardier have agreed upon a new ownership structure for the A220 program, whereby Bombardier transferred its remaining shares in Airbus Canada Limited Partnership (Airbus Canada) to Airbus and the Government of Québec. The transaction is effective immediately.

This agreement brings the shareholdings in Airbus Canada, responsible for the A220, to 75% for Airbus and 25% for the Government of Québec respectively. The Government’s stake is redeemable by Airbus in 2026 - three years later than before. As part of this transaction, Airbus, via its wholly owned subsidiary Stelia Aerospace, has also acquired the A220 and A330 work package production capabilities from Bombardier in Saint-Laurent, Québec.

This new agreement underlines the commitment of Airbus and the Government of Québec to the A220 program during this phase of continuous ramp-up and increasing customer demand. Since Airbus took majority ownership of the A220 program on July 1, 2018, total cumulative net orders for the aircraft have increased by 64% to 658 units at the end of January 2020.


Sine Draco acquires one Airbus A321-200 for P-F prototype development

Sine Draco Aviation Development (Sine Draco) has acquired an Airbus A321-200, MSN 963, for its passenger-to-freighter conversion program (SDF). The aircraft will serve as the prototype for Sine Draco’s supplemental type certificate (STC) development.

Sine Draco anticipates approval of its STC for the A321-SDF in mid 2021. The Company began feasibility analysis and engineering development several years ago. Sine Draco will design and certify the conversion solution, produce the conversion kits, and perform the conversions in partnership with a world-wide network of industry leading partners. The prototype aircraft will be converted and certified at a U.S. MRO facility and the company expects to establish multiple conversion sites in the U.S. and China.

“We have the right team in place and intend to provide the best market solution to the industry. The Sine Draco A321-SDF will be successful and beneficial for all of our partners and customers.” said Alex Deriugin, CEO of Sine Draco.

The DAES Group announces new business partnership at Singapore Airshow 2020

DAES Group, a global aerospace solutions provider, has announced a new business partnership with MDS Aero, a supplier of turnkey test solutions for engine and engine components. The agreement was signed on February 12, during a private meeting at the Singapore Airshow.

MDS Aero designs, builds, and upgrades aero engine test facilities all over the world. Leveraging 35 years of industry experience and in-house technical expertise, MDS has been the solution partner of choice for aviation industry leaders such as Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, GE, Airbus, Air France, Air Canada, Snecma, and more.

MDS Aero adds value to its customers by maximizing test operation uptimes, integrating state-of-the-art technology, and project managing the execution of complex projects. In fact, MDS Aero is currently constructing the largest aviation engine test facility for Rolls Royce, which is scheduled for completion this year. 

HEICO Distribution is a world leader in technical sales and the distribution of aerospace components. These parts are stocked and distributed globally to support our customer requirements. www.heico.com

Green Africa Airways signs MoU with Airbus for 50 A220s

Green Africa Airways, Nigeria’s Lagos-based airline, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 50 A220-300 aircraft, one of the major orders to be placed globally for the A220 program and the largest ever from the African continent.

Babawande Afolabi, Founder & CEO of Green Africa Airways said: “Together with Airbus, we are incredibly proud to announce the largest order ever for the A220 from the African continent. The Green Africa story is a story of entrepreneurial boldness, strategic foresight and an unwavering commitment to using the power of air travel to create a better future.”

Airbus posts full year 2019 net loss of €-1,362 million

Airbus' net commercial aircraft orders increased to 768 aircraft (2018: 747 aircraft), including 32 A350 XWBs, 89 A330s and 63 A220s. At the end of 2019, the order backlog reached 7,482 commercial aircraft. Airbus Helicopters achieved a book-to-bill ratio by value above 1 in a difficult market, recording 310 net orders in the year (2018: 381 units). This included 25 helicopters from the Super Puma family, 23 NH90s and 10 H160s. Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake by value of € 8.5 billion was supported by A400M services contracts and key contract wins in Space Systems.

Consolidated order intake in 2019 increased to €81.2 billion (2018: €55.5 billion) with the consolidated order book valued at €471 billion on 31 December 2019 (end December 2018: €460 billion).

Consolidated revenues increased to €70.5 billion (2018: €63.7 billion), mainly driven by the higher commercial aircraft deliveries and a favorable mix at Airbus, and to a lesser extent the favorable exchange rate development. A record 863 commercial aircraft were delivered (2018: 800 aircraft), comprising 48 A220s, 642 A320 Family, 53 A330s, 112 A350s and 8 A380s. Airbus Helicopters recorded stable revenues supported by growth in services, which offset lower deliveries of 332 rotorcraft (2018: 356 units). Revenues at Airbus Defense and Space were broadly stable compared to the previous year.

Consolidated EBIT Adjusted increased to €6,946 million (2018: €5,834 million), mainly reflecting the operational performance at Airbus, partially offset by Airbus Defense and Space’s performance and additional ramp-up costs.

Airbus’ EBIT Adjusted increased by 32% to €6,358 million (2018: €4,808 million), largely driven by the A320 ramp-up and NEO premium, together with good progress on the A350.

Consolidated EBIT (reported) was €1,339 million (2018: €5,048 million), including Adjustments totaling a net €-5,607 million. These Adjustments comprised €-3,598 million related to the penalties; €-1,212 million related to the A400M charge; €-221 million related to the suspension of defense export licenses to Saudi Arabia by the German government, now prolonged to March 2020; €-202 million related to A380 program cost; €-170 million related to the dollar pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation; €-103 million related to Premium AEROTEC’s restructuring plan launched to improve its competitiveness; €-101 million of other costs, including compliance costs partially offset by positive capital gains from the Alestis Aerospace and PFW Aerospace divestments.

Consolidated reported loss per share of €-1.75 (2018 earnings per share: €3.94) includes a negative impact from the financial result, mainly driven by the revaluation of financial instruments. The financial result  was €-275 million (2018: €-763 million). The consolidated net loss( was €-1,362 million (2018 net income: € 3,054 million).


Rolls-Royce starts manufacture of largest fan blades for next-generation UltraFan demonstrator

Rolls-Royce has started manufacture of the world’s largest fan blades, for its UltraFan® demonstrator engine that will set new standards in efficiency and sustainability.

As a set the composite blades have a 140-inch diameter, which is almost the size of a current narrow-body fuselage and are being made at the company’s technology hub in Bristol, U.K. The milestone also marks the official start of production of parts for the demonstrator.

UltraFan will set new standards in efficiency and sustainability, offering a 25% fuel reduction compared to the first generation of Trent engine and deliver the same percentage reduction in emissions.

Part of that efficiency improvement comes from UltraFan’s composite fan blades and fan case, which reduce weight on a twin-engine aircraft by 700kg, the equivalent of seven people traveling “weight free”.

UltraFan, which will start ground tests in 2021 and be available towards the end of this decade, is a scalable design from 25,000lb all the way up to 100,000lb.

Turkey’s AtlasGlobal airline closes down – blames costs of operating from new Istanbul Airport

Turkey’s AtlasGlobal low-cost airline has finally thrown in the towel and declared bankruptcy after a stop-start period that began on 26 November last year when it temporarily canceled all scheduled flights and stopped all booking of flights while it underwent restructuring.

Scheduled flights resumed earlier than anticipated, on December 16, though charter flights using two Airbus A321s serving Turkish destinations had continued. The carrier then changed focus to concentrate more on chartered flights. However, on January 29, 2020 the carrier announced that both its Airbus A330-200s that were on lease had been returned to the lessors and, as of February 12, AtlasGlobal filed for bankruptcy.

The carrier had previously expressed concerns over the cost of transporting cargo to and from the airport as it had to be carried exclusively by passenger planes. Since the opening of the new Istanbul Airport, many companies have been demanding a cut in costs. The airport was opened just over a year ago with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan anticipating it will become the world’s largest airport once all phases have been completed.

Currently, the airport has been hard hit by teething problems relating predominantly to inadequate transport infrastructure, while IGA, the airport’s operator, allegedly has serious financial problems and is looking to restructure billions of dollars of debt.


AVIAA and LOFT will offer Citation and CJ training

AVIAA, the expanding group purchasing organization for business aviation, has added LOFT as another strategic partner for its membership. For the past 15 years, LOFT has provided experienced flight instruction to Cessna Citation and CJ pilots through the entire training process. Its unique Part 142 simulator training program, based in Carlsbad, California, will now be offered to the growing number of AVIAA members operating Citation C Series business jets.

LOFT recently added a new Cessna 560 Level D simulator at its location in Southern California. Offering a wide variety of training courses as well as scheduling options, LOFT flight instructors are career aviators and professional pilots.

Leidos and Rusada team up to deliver Aviation MRO and Flight Operations Software

Leidos, a FORTUNE® 500 science and technology leader, has signed a partnership agreement with Rusada to become a systems integrator for ENVISION, Rusada’s Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and Flight Operations software.

ENVISION is used by aircraft operators, MRO providers and manufacturers to efficiently manage their maintenance and airworthiness activities. The web-based software utilizes the most up-to-date technologies to empower aviation decision-makers, providing them with helpful and informative data that adds value to their organization.

Under the agreement, Rusada will continue to be the software product developer. Leidos’ Airborne Solutions Operation (ASO) will serve as the systems integrator providing services to install, configure, operate and apply the software for customer’s aviation business.

Finnair will add extra frequencies to New York JFK airport for summer 2020

Finnair is adding additional frequencies to its popular New York JFK route for the upcoming summer 2020 season. Between April 4 and October 24, Finnair will operate three additional weekly frequencies on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Between May 4 and October 24, a fourth additional frequency will be added on Tuesdays. Furthermore, a fifth additional frequency will be flown on Sundays for the peak summer season between June 8 and August 30.

Finnair has flown to New York for over 50 years and currently flies daily flights to JFK airport.
With these new frequencies, Finnair is adding a total of 250 flights between both destinations. The new frequencies will be operated primarily with an Airbus A350 aircraft.

SIAEC to invest in Pos Aviation Engineering in Malaysia

SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) has entered into an agreement with Pos Aviation (Pos Aviation), a wholly owned subsidiary of Pos Malaysia Berhad (Pos Malaysia), to acquire a 49% stake in Pos Aviation Engineering Services (PAES).

Under the agreement, Pos Aviation will retain the remaining 51% stake. The indicative consideration for the acquisition of Pos Aviation’s 49% stake is MYR10.087 million in cash. Based on PAES’s adjusted net assets as at July 31, 2019, the indicative net asset value of the PAES shares acquired by SIAEC is MYR10.087 million.

PAES has operations in Kuala Lumpur International Airport and nine other stations in Malaysia. These stations will complement SIAEC’s existing network of Line Maintenance International stations, which will grow to 46 airports in nine countries including Singapore.

Royal Thai Air Force joins H135 military training operators

Airbus Helicopters has signed an order for six H135 military training helicopters from the Royal Thai Air Force, as part of its pilot training enhancement program.

The very first military training helicopters ever ordered by the Royal Thai Air Force, these new twin-engine H135s will be utilized for an array of training missions, including ab-initio flight training. They will complement the Royal Thai Air Force’s existing H225M fleet, bringing its Airbus fleet to 18 units.

Equipped with Airbus Helicopters’ state-of-the-art Helionix avionics suite, the H135 offers optimal safety conditions for basic and advanced mission training, while providing a platform for easy and safe pilot transition onto more advanced helicopters.


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

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

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