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Monday, June 22nd, 2020

U.K. and Spanish employee furloughs extended by Airbus as COVID-19 lingers

Airbus has announced that it will be extending staff furloughs in various company sectors in both the U.K. and Spain. In the UK, some 2,200 Airbus workers will have their period of furlough extended up until August 9, while in Spain, most of the Company’s SL employees will be furloughed until September 30, which extends to approximately 3,100 people.

“Airbus Helicopters and Airbus DS employees in Spain are not impacted”, a spokesman said. In France, 29,500 of Airbus employees are working at an approximately 30% reduced capacity and the company anticipates that once the furlough period is over, there will be “deep” job cuts because of the knock-on effects f the coronavirus pandemic. The company had advised senior staff it must be “resized” in plans to be set out around end-June.

Towards the beginning of the month, France announced a 15-billion-euro ($16.76 billion) support package for its aerospace industry to protect a massive number of jobs were at stake amid a slump in air travel demand due to the coronavirus. According to the French government the total included 7 billion euros (US$7.8 billion) of aid previously announced for Air France and an acceleration of existing orders for Airbus tankers and other military kit.

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Frankfurt Airport offers 175 destinations worldwide from end of June

The cancellation of travel warnings for most of Europe is also clearly visible at Frankfurt Airport (FRA). During the second half of June, the number of flights from Frankfurt to the classic holiday regions in the Mediterranean has been increasing sharply. The number of weekly connections to Mallorca has increased from 6 to 26. For the first time since March, the Greek islands will also be served via FRA:  with nine weekly flights to Heraklion on Crete planned from June 29. In total, Frankfurt Airport will be offering some 175 destinations – including about 50 intercontinental routes – at the end of June.

The small increase in flight offerings to some long-haul destinations in the Far East and South America is also planned.  In addition, further destinations to North America will also be served again via the Frankfurt global hub from June 29.

The capacity planned via FRA will increase to 219,000 seats for the last week of June 2020 – representing a gain of 10% at the beginning of June and a gain of about 20% of the previous year's level. With a view to the start of the summer vacation period, Fraport (the operator of Frankfurt Airport) expects a gradual expansion of flight offerings during the coming weeks. Due to the corona pandemic, FRA’s total traffic volume will continue to be noticeably below the 2019 level. Therefore, all passenger handling processes are currently concentrated in FRA’s Terminal 1 only.

IAI secures contract with DHL International to convert additional passenger aircraft

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will convert an additional three B767-300 passenger aircraft to cargo aircraft, with the potential for a fourth aircraft. This contract marks another major milestone for IAI’s aircraft cargo conversions program and the broadening of business for IAI’s Aviation Group.

Over the last decade, converted B767 have been the backbone of the cargo aircraft market. To maintain IAI's future dominance in this market and to offer new solutions, IAI’s Aviation Group signed a contract with GECAS to design, develop, and certify the B777-300 passenger to cargo conversion.

IAI’s Aviation Group was established in January 2019 by combining the company’s commercial and military aircraft activities. IAI’s Aviation Group is one of the world leaders in the design, development, and certification of passenger to cargo aircraft conversions.

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EASA certifies five-bladed Airbus H145 helicopter

Airbus Helicopters’ five-bladed H145 has been certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), clearing the way for customer deliveries towards the end of summer 2020. The certification covers the full range of capabilities, including single-pilot and instrument flight rules (IFR) and single engine operations (Cat.A/VTOL), along with night vision goggles capability.

This latest upgrade of the H145 family adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg (330 lbs.). The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew. Certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will follow later this year. The certification for the military version of the five-bladed H145 will be granted in 2021.

American Airlines plans to raise US$1.5 billion by selling shares and convertible senior notes due 2025

American Airlines, has announced a proposed private offering of US$1.5 billion aggregate principal amount of secured senior notes due 2025 (the Notes). The Notes will be guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by American Airlines Group (the Guarantor). The company also announced it intends to enter into a new US$500 million Term Loan B facility due 2024 concurrently with the closing of the offering of the Notes.

The Company expects to use a portion of the net proceeds from the offering of the Notes and borrowings under the Term Loan to refinance its delayed draw term loan facility which the Company and the Guarantor entered into on March 18, 2020 and is scheduled to mature on March 17, 2021, with the remainder for general corporate purposes and to enhance the company’s liquidity position. The final terms and amounts of the Notes and the Term Loan are subject to market and other conditions, and may be materially different than expectations. Neither the closing of the Notes offering nor the Term Loan is conditioned upon the closing of the other financing.

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Chapman Freeborn acquires Arcus Air Logistics

Chapman Freeborn, a global aircraft charter specialist and company of the Avia Solutions Group (ASG), has signed an agreement to acquire Arcus Air Logistics and Arcus Air OBC from the Arcus Air Group.

Offering ad-hoc air cargo charter and on-board courier services primarily to the automotive industry, Arcus Air Logistics is a respected and established supplier with a brand history of over 45 years. The company provides cargo charter services with its own fleet of two Dornier 228-212 aircraft, and a variety of additional aircraft. Over the 2015-2019 period, Arcus Air Logistics’ average annual sales were €22 million (US$24.6 million).

Arcus Air Logistics is a valuable addition to Chapman Freeborn’s service portfolio. It brings significant synergies in the emergency cargo logistics space where Chapman Freeborn is a leading player with ambitious plans for future growth. “We are proud to welcome the highly experienced teams of Arcus Air Logistics to our growing family. This is an opportune time to join forces given the trends in the global cargo logistics space. I believe Arcus Air Logistics will further strengthen our group’s business as we continue our strategy of growth through diversification in the niche aircraft charter industry”, says Russi Batliwala, CEO of Chapman Freeborn.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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