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Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Rolls-Royce upbeat on recent advances despite COVID-19 outbreak

Rolls-Royce rounded off 2019 on a positive note having overcome most of the problems which had particularly beset its Trent 1000 TEN engine variant which powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with durability issues.

With the roll-out of fixes progressing and increased confidence in a new engine blade due for production next year, the number of grounded jets requiring inspection or repairs to engines should drop to single digits by the end of the second quarter this year, which, according to Warren East, Rolls-Royce CEO, is in line with forecasts.

Rolls-Royce reported a £852 million operating loss for 2019, predominantly owing to a £1.4 billion charge for the Trent 1000, without which, core underlying profit rose 25% to £810 million. Cash flow increased to £911 million, led by higher profit and Trent 1000 insurance receipts worth £173 million. East confirmed that Rolls-Royce had delivered a record 510 wide-body aircraft engines in the year and secured about two out of three orders for new wide-body engines.

Meanwhile, the British engine maker sees the COVID-19 outbreak as an “unknown unknown” with regard to both scale and duration. However, it confirmed that its supply chain, including that from China, had not experienced any disruptions. According to Reuters news agency, Rolls-Royce currently expects core operating profit to grow by about 15% this year, with at least £1 billion of free cash flow. (£1.00 = US$1.28 at time of publication.)


New Head of Human Resources at SWISS

Christina Trelle has been named the new Head of Human Resources at SWISS with effect from today. She takes over from Christoph Ulrich, who will oversee strategic HR projects.

Trelle has played a pivotal role in Human Resources at SWISS as Head of HR Management for CCO and CFO Divisions. From 2003 to 2012, when she joined SWISS as Head of People Development and Training, Trelle held various functions at Lufthansa Cargo, including Head of Exports and Head of People Development.

Finnair revises outlook for financial year 2020

In conjunction with its 2019 financial result publication on February 7, 2020, Finnair announced that the direct financial impact of coronavirus during Q1 2020 would be relatively limited, even if the mainland China cancellations continued until the end of Q1 2020. At that time, Finnair forecasts that its capacity would increase by approximately 4% in 2020.

Due to the fast-developing situation with the coronavirus and its wider than originally estimated impact on the global aviation market, Finnair is now revising its financial outlook:

Due to lower demand for air travel caused by the coronavirus situation, Finnair’s comparable operating result in Q1 2020 is expected to be lower compared to Q1 2019.

Finnair currently estimates that the coronavirus situation will decrease demand resulting in a negative impact on revenue for Q2 2020. Based on the current demand estimate, Finnair’s comparable operating result will be significantly lower in Q2 2020 than in the corresponding period of 2019. Thus, Finnair expects a significantly lower comparable operating result in 2020 than in the previous financial year.

Finnair withdraws its capacity guidance of approximately 4% growth for 2020 and will adjust its network and capacity over the next months to fit the air travel demand. This will lead to a decrease in Finnair’s flight related costs, such as jet fuel, airport and other fees, in accordance with the capacity development.

In addition to making changes to its capacity and network, Finnair is looking into adjusting its other costs to mitigate the negative financial impact. Finnair will evaluate how to adjust its costs by 40 - 50 million euros, with measures relating to personnel, sales and marketing activities, development initiatives and other projects. Evaluated personnel measures, if realised, may include for example temporary layoffs or similar measures involving all personnel, as well as recruitment adjustments.


Textron Aviation signs purchase contract with Pel-Air for King Air 350 air ambulance aircraft

Textron Aviation has signed a purchase contract with Pel-Air, based in New South Wales, Australia, for five Beechcraft King Air 350 air ambulance turboprop aircraft. The aircraft, configured for multi-stretcher operations, will be equipped with the aft cargo door and heavy weight options for additional performance capabilities. Deliveries are expected to begin later this year and run through 2021.

The five King Air turboprops will be used by Pel-Air to provide contracted air ambulance service to NSW Air Ambulance, a government agency providing emergency services in New South Wales as part of NSW Health Service. The new aircraft, which will be based in Mascot at Sydney Airport, will replace the current mixed fleet of King Air B200 and B350 aircraft that have been used to support
NSW Ambulance to date.

Boeing appoints new Chief Information Officer

Boeing has named Susan Doniz as the company's Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Information Technology and Data Analytics, effective in May. She will succeed Vishwa Uddanwadiker, who has served as an interim capacity since October 2019.

In this role, Doniz will oversee all aspects of information technology, information security, data and analytics for the company. She also will support the growth of Boeing's business through IT- and analytics-related revenue generating programs. She will report to Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun, serve on the company's Executive Council and be based in Chicago.


First Airbus A350-900 for Aeroflot

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot, a member of the SkyTeam alliance, has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the launch operator of the latest-generation widebody aircraft in Eastern Europe and CIS. Aeroflot’s A350-900 features a distinctive new livery embracing its almost 100-year heritage. Aeroflot has a total of 22 A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 126 aircraft (107 A320 Family and 19 A330 Family aircraft).

Aeroflot’s A350-900 features a brand new elegant cabin design, offering unrivalled passenger comfort. The aircraft has a spacious three-class cabin layout with 316 seats: 28 private Business Class suites with full-flat seats, 24 Comfort Class with extra legroom and 264 Economy Class. In addition, the latest-generation Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system, HD screens and Wi-Fi connectivity will ensure enhanced experience for all passengers on long-haul flights.

Aeroflot will operate its A350-900 from Moscow to a number of destinations including London, Dubai, New York, Miami, Osaka and Beijing.

CFM logs more than 2,100 engine orders in 2019

CFM International received orders and commitments for a total of 2,148 engines in 2019 at a value of more than US$30.7 billion, at list price, including 180 CFM56 engines (commercial, military and spares) and 1,968 LEAP engines (including spares).

Since the first LEAP engine orders in 2011, CFM has garnered more than 19,010 total installed and spare engine orders and commitments through December 2019 at a value of more than US$275 billion at list price. The company also signed long-term Rate Per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreements with airlines to support their LEAP engine fleet operations.

The company delivered 1,736 LEAP installed and spare engines in 2019 compared to 1,118 engines in 2018, along with 391 CFM56 engines.

"2019 was a solid year for CFM, The LEAP family continued to be the engine of choice for new single-aisle aircraft – we surpassed 19,000 total orders - and the continued confidence our customers have shown in our products is humbling. The engine continues to earn that trust every
day by delivering the world-class fuel efficiency and utilization we promised. " Gaël Méheust, president and CEO of CFM International.


Spirit Aerosystem reports lower profit in 2019

Spirit’s fourth quarter 2019 revenue was US$2.0 billion, up from the same period of 2018. This increase was primarily driven by higher production volumes on the Boeing 737, 787 and Airbus A350 programs, higher revenue recognized on the Boeing 787 program, and increased Global Customer Support and Services (GCS&S) activity, partially offset by lower revenue recognized on the Airbus A350 program in accordance with pricing terms. Revenue for the fullyear increased to US$7.9 billion, primarily due to higher production volumes on the Boeing 777, 787 and Airbus A350 programs, higher revenue recognized on the Boeing 787 program, increased GCS&S activity, and favorable model mix on the Boeing 737 program.

Spirit’s backlog at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019 was approximately US$43 billion, with work packages on all commercial platforms in the Boeing and Airbus backlog. Earnings Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2019 was US$96 million, down compared to US$244 million in the same period of 2018, primarily driven by the forward loss recognized on the Boeing 787 program as a result of Boeing’s recently announced production rate decrease from 12 APM to 10 APM, performance on the Boeing 737 program, lower margin recognized on the Airbus A350 program in accordance with pricing terms and higher acquisition-related expenses.

Operating income for the full-year was $761 million, down compared to US$843 million in 2018, primarily due to higher acquisition-related expenses, reduced profitability on the Boeing 737. Non-GAAP financial measure, largely resulting from the 737 MAX grounding, and the forward losses recognized in the third and fourth quarter driven by Boeing’s announcements to decrease the 787 production rate, partially offset by higher production volume on the Boeing 737 and 777 programs.

On January 30, 2020, Spirit announced it had agreed on a production rate with Boeing to produce 216 Boeing 737 MAX shipsets in 2020. On February 6, 2020, Boeing and Spirit executed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that memorialized the production rate agreement, subject to any changes in requirements by Boeing. In addition, the MOA provides that Boeing will pay US$225 million to Spirit in the first quarter of 2020, consisting of US$70 million in support of Spirit’s inventory and production stabilization, of which US$10 million will be repaid by Spirit in 2021, and US$155 million as an incremental pre-payment for costs and shipset deliveries over the next two years. Other terms include extending the repayment date of the US$123 million advance received by Spirit under the 2019 MOA to 2022, and extending the 737 MAX pricing terms through 2033 (previously, pricing was through December 31, 2030).


Delta temporarily suspends Milan service

Following elevated U.S. State Department travel guidance, Delta is temporarily suspending its daily flight between New York - John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP).

Delta’s last east-bound flight from JFK to Milan will depart on Monday, March 2, and the last west-bound flight from Milan to JFK will depart on Tuesday, March 3. Service to and from Milan will resume starting on May 1 and May 2, respectively.

The airline’s daily flights between Rome and both JFK and Atlanta continue to operate as scheduled.

Delta has put in place numerous processes and mitigation strategies to respond to COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns. As always, Delta remains in constant contact with the foremost communicable disease experts at the CDC, WHO and local health officials to respond to the coronavirus as well as ensure training, policies, procedures and cabin cleaning and disinfection measures meet and exceed guidelines.

American Airlines to invest US$550 million in Tulsa maintenance base

American Airlines will invest US$550 million at its base maintenance facility in Tulsa (Tech Ops – Tulsa). It is American’s largest base maintenance facility and is an integral part of operating the carrier’s fleet of nearly 1,000 mainline aircraft safely and reliably.

Tech Ops – Tulsa is home to more than 5,500 team members — 600 of those positions were added in 2019 — and conducts nearly half of the airline’s overall maintenance work. The new project includes construction of a new widebody-capable hangar and base support building. The investment also provides for improvements to the existing infrastructure, including roof replacements, utility and IT upgrades, and ramp repairs.

This investment underscores American’s long-term commitment to the Tech Ops – Tulsa team, State of Oklahoma and City of Tulsa by making improvements to ensure success.


AFG Aviation Ireland acquires one Airbus A320-214 from Vermillion Aviation

AFG Aviation Ireland has completed the acquisition of one Airbus A320-214, bearing MSN 4865, from Vermillion Aviation (Nine) - managed by AMCK Aviation Holdings Ireland.

AFG offers tailor-made commercial aircraft solutions to its investor base and aircraft operators alike. The company has closed over 100 aircraft transactions in recent years valued in excess of US$4 billion.

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

Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset 2020
April 21, 2020 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Maintenance Reserves Seminar 2020
April 22, 2020 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

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