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Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Chaos continues at London Heathrow after Storm Dennis and massive technical failure on Sunday

With winds up to 90 mph and a month’s rainfall in a 48-hour period, conditions at Heathrow Airport were already precarious for the half-term holiday weekend with the cancelation of hundreds of flights when, on Sunday, the airport was hit with a major system failure for check-ins and provision of flight information which caused further cancellations and delays at all terminals. Automated baggage operations were also affected by the glitch.

British Airways was hit particularly hard by what was the second technical foul-up the carrier had witnessed in six months after a glitch involving online check-ins and flight departures caused the cancellation of over 100 flights and delay of a further 200 last August. On Sunday, 73 arrivals and 60 departures from various carriers were canceled. Today, Monday February 17, a Heathrow spokesman confirmed that: “Following yesterday’s technical issue, Heathrow’s systems are stable, and the airport is operating as normal. We apologize for the inconvenience this caused our passengers. Our teams continue to closely monitor our systems and will be on hand across our terminals to provide assistance to passengers.”

However, there was still a knock-on effect from Sunday’s problems, the result being a further 58 cancellations of arrivals and the grounding of 30 outgoing flights, all of which were operated by British Airways.


Collins Aerospace and Lufthansa Technik sign A320neo nacelle MRO license agreement

Collins Aerospace Systems and Lufthansa Technik have signed a licensing agreement for nacelle Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services on A320neo aircraft. Collins Aerospace, the original equipment manufacturer for the A320neo PW1100G nacelle, has more than 1,100 nacelles in service on this aircraft platform. 

The agreement, which continues the collaboration between Collins Aerospace and Lufthansa Technik, calls for Collins Aerospace to provide Lufthansa Technik with technical and repair process information, access to OEM tooling, and rotable asset pools to support a full suite of A320neo nacelle MRO services. Building upon Collins Aerospace's eight strategically located nacelle MRO facilities, the agreement now opens A320neo operators to Lufthansa Technik's expansive MRO network around the world.

Access to this expanded MRO network together with in-region asset presence and the enhanced ability to conduct on-site repairs around the world will reduce aircraft downtime, passenger delays, and transportation costs incurred by the airline.

Norwegian reports full year 2019 net loss of NOK 1,609 million

Norwegian has reported its full year and fourth quarter 2019 results. Year on year, unit revenue increased in nine consecutive months, driven by maturing routes and the optimization of Norwegian's global route network. The punctuality has improved considerably during the past six quarters, and in the fourth quarter 2019 it was up 3.1 points to 82.6%.

Figures were negatively impacted by the global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and ongoing Rolls Royce engine issues. The net loss was NOK 1,609 million in 2019, while the underlying operating result before ownership costs doubled to NOK 6.5 billion.

In 2019, Norwegian secured significant financial milestones that further strengthened the airline’s move to profitability. The internal cost-reduction program #Focus2019 delivered on target with cost
reductions of NOK 2.3 billion for the full year and NOK 444 million in the fourth quarter. In addition, the company has postponed aircraft deliveries, sold aircraft, sold its shares in Norwegian Finance Holding and sold its domestic operation in Argentina as well as raised new capital to strengthen the liquidity.

Significant costs caused by the global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX and the ongoing Rolls Royce engine issues on the Dreamliner fleet meant the company was forced to wetlease additional aircraft to avoid cancellations and delays throughout the network.

The company’s total revenue in 2019 was NOK 43.5 billion, an increase of eight percent compared to 2018, driven by improved unit revenue and increased ancillary revenue per passenger. EBITDAR excluding other losses/(gains) of NOK 436 million (-118) in Q4 and NOK 6,468 million (3,165) in 2019

Norwegian’s shift in strategic focus from growth to profitability resulted in a production growth (ASK) of one percent while unit revenue increased seven percent. The load factor was 86.6% and more than 36 million customers chose to travel with Norwegian.


Farsound Aviation continues to grow U.S.A. operations

Back in the summer of 2018 Farsound Aviation Limited (Farsound) had acquired Sterling Aircraft Products, based in Toronto, Canada. With the re-branding to Farsound Aviation, the North American facility has gone from strength to strength, working closely with OEMs and their sub-tiers to deliver reliable, cost effective supply solutions.

Lee Kelsey, Farsound Aviation’s Group Sales Director, notes: “We are currently uniting all our global facilities into one company.  All our facilities will be sharing and utilising our in-house systems and processes making the service to our customers even better, faster and seamless wherever they are in the world as we strive for perfection.  With the company growing to over US$75 million revenue, we have decided this year to revamp the Group. A new logo, company strap line, website and a new company look and feel with exciting cutting-edge stand designs at global trade exhibitions. Naturally still with our bright orange colour!”

Willis Lease to manage phase-out of SAS’ 737NG installed engine fleet

Willis Lease Finance Corporation has entered into an agreement with Scandinavian Airline System (SAS) to manage the phase-out of SAS’s Boeing 737NG installed engine fleet over the next four years.

“The Willis orchestrated phase-out may allow for SAS to realize superior returns from the monetization of its assets over time relative to an outright sale today,” said Austin C. Willis, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. “Willis Lease is uniquely positioned to manage such a program due to its industry leading lease remarketing and part out capabilities, Part 145 repair stations, power plant engineering capabilities and its successful history of profitably managing third party assets.”


Avia Solutions Group acquires Aviator from Accent Equity

Avia Solutions Group (ASG), a global multipurpose aviation services company, has signed an agreement on February 14, to acquire Aviator, a full-range aviation services provider for the Nordic region, from the investment fund Accent Equity 2008 L.P.

Offering flexible and cost-effective solutions that meet the demand for high-quality support services of a wide range of airlines, Aviator is a valuable addition to Avia Solution Group’s portfolio.

“As the newest member of the ASG family, Aviator will further strengthen our presence in the European markets and expand the network of Avia Solution Group’s ground handling stations. This acquisition adds further scale and value to ASG’s aggregated ground handling business, now consisting of Aviator and Baltic Ground Services (BGS) “, says Gediminas Ziemelis, Chairman of the Board of Avia Solutions Group.

CEO of SIA Engineering Company to retire April 1, 2020

SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) has announced the retirement of Png Kim Chiang, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company with effect from April 1, 2020. He will relinquish his Directorship of SIAEC and continue as advisor to the Company on the same date.

The Board of Directors has named Ng Chin Hwee, who is a Non-executive Director on the Board of SIAEC and the Executive Vice President Human Resources and Operations of Singapore Airlines, to succeed Png as CEO on April 1, 2020.

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Air Lease Corporation posts fiscal year and fourth-quarter 2019 results

Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has reported financial results for the year and three months ended December 31, 2019.

ALC has reported revenues of US$549 million for the three months ended December 31, 2019, an increase of 21.9% and US$2.0 billion for the full year 2019, an increase of 20.1%. Diluted earnings per share was US$1.42 for the three months ended December 31, 2019, an increase of 14.5% and US$5.09 for the full year 2019, an increase of 10.7%.

Since ALC's inception in 2010, the company has built a leasing platform in size and scale exceeding US$50 billion, consisting of approximately US$22 billion in assets, US$27 billion in aircraft orders and US$3 billion in managed aircraft.

During the fourth quarter of 2019, ALC took delivery of 11 aircraft from its order book and purchased one aircraft from the secondary market, representing US$825 million in aircraft investments. As of December 31, 2019, the company owned 292 aircraft in its operating lease portfolio, with a net book value of US$18.7 billion, a weighted average age of 3.5 years and a weighted average lease term remaining of 7.2 years.

Air Lease Corporation has finalized agreements to purchase an additional 102 aircraft comprised of 25 Airbus A321neo aircraft, 27 Airbus A321neo XLR and 50 Airbus A220 aircraft, with a purchase option for an additional 25 Airbus A220 aircraft. ALC entered into 145 leases, lease extensions and letters of intent in 2019, ending the year with a customer base of 106 airlines in 59 countries.

To date, ALC has placed 89% of its contracted order book positions on long-term leases for aircraft delivering through 2021 and 79% through 2022.

The company has ended the year with US$29.1 billion in committed minimum future rental payments consisting of US$14.1 billion in contracted minimum rental payments on the aircraft in its existing fleet and US$15.0 billion in minimum future rental payments related to aircraft on order.


Elix Aviation Capital delivers one ATR 72-500 to SkyJet Airlines

Elix Aviation Capital (Elix) has delivered one ATR 72-500, MSN 748, on lease to SkyJet Airlines.  Through this delivery, Elix supports SkyJet Airlines’ fleet expansion to increase inter-island connectivity to grow tourist passenger numbers across the Philippines.

Founded in 2012, leisure airline SkyJet Airlines is one of the young and fast-growing carriers providing transportation solutions between islands across the Philippines. SkyJet provides scheduled passenger and cargo routes, passenger and cargo charters, and more.


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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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