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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Major job losses likely at Airbus as world’s leading planemaker targets 40% drop in production

Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury confirmed plans for the world’s largest planemaker to reduce output by 40% over the next two years to counter the drop in demand for aircraft and delivery delay requests resulting from the effects on global travel by the COVID19 pandemic.

The company is now in talks with unions ahead of any formal announcement which is expected at the end of July. Airbus needs to find a balance between job losses and financial aid being offered by European governments. “It’s a brutal fact, but we must do it. It is about the necessary adjustment to the massive drop in production. It’s about securing our future,” Faury told Die Welt, without commenting on details of any cuts, and also stating that: “For the next two years - 2020/21 - we assume that production and deliveries will be 40% lower than originally planned.” He added that while output should be back to normal by 2025, depressed deliveries should have caught up by the end of 2021.

According to Reuters news agency, sources have predicted phased cuts of some 14,000 jobs based solely on the 40% output index, which takes account of labour needed for different models, or 15,000-20,000 on a broader view, which would equate to a cost of between €0.8 billion and €1.2 billion (US$9 billion and US$14.4 billion).

With principal plants located in Germany, France, the U.K. and Spain, respective employment laws will have to be taken into account as voluntary redundancy schemes will have to be exhausted before any forced redundancies can be made. Consequently, Airbus will rely partly on early retirements, with 37% of its 135,000-strong workforce due to retire within the next ten years.


Falko adds eleven CRJ900 aircraft to its portfolio in a sale and leaseback transaction with Delta Air Lines

Falko Regional Aircraft (Falko), an aircraft operating leasing and asset management company focused on the regional aircraft sector, will add eleven Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft to its portfolio. The aircraft are being acquired in a sale and leaseback transaction with Delta Air lines and will continue to be operated as part of the Delta Connection regional network in the United States. 

“We are delighted to have completed this deal which marks a significant expansion in our managed regional aircraft portfolio to 130 aircraft.” said Mark Hughes, Chief Commercial Officer, Falko Regional Aircraft Limited.   “In particular, we are very pleased to have concluded this transaction with Delta, one of the world’s leading airlines which has continued to demonstrate its strong financial position despite significant market disruption due to COVID-19 in recent months.  The speed with which this deal has progressed is a testament to the strong working relationship that Falko has with Delta.  In the last year, Delta has become one of Falko’s most important customers with twenty-five aircraft on long term lease”

Embraer delivers first new, enhanced Phenom 300E on schedule

Embraer has delivered the first of its new, enhanced Phenom 300E — the fast and long-range single-pilot business jet, capable of reaching Mach 0.80 ― to Texas law firm Dunham & Jones, Attorneys at Law, P.C.

The firm, which also owns a Phenom 100EV, took delivery of the
enhanced Phenom 300E last week during a ceremony at Embraer’s Global Customer
Center in Melbourne, Florida.


MAC Aero Interiors' production facility receives Airbus approval to start producing aircraft interiors in Estonia

MAC Aero Interiors, a subsidiary of Magnetic MRO, a global provider of Total Technical Care for aircraft operators and lessors, has had Airbus approved supplier status for many years. As a new milestone, the Magnetic MRO facility has received approval from Airbus to start producing interior elements for Airbus aircraft in its production facility located in Tallinn, Estonia.

MAC Aero Interiors has previously been producing parts for Airbus in the former plant in the U.K. before relocating the production facility to Estonia in early 2020. The manufacturing line in Tallinn has received the approval from Airbus for future production of literature pockets for A380 aircraft.

CDB Aviation and SAS agree on lease of four Airbus aircraft

CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing (CDB Leasing), announced a new transaction with its long-standing customer, Scandinavian airline SAS, for a fleet of four Airbus aircraft, including three A320neos and one A350-900. The deliveries of these aircraft are expected to occur between June 2020 and May 2022.

Torbjørn Wist, SAS Chief Financial Officer, commented: “SAS has worked together with CDB Aviation on several sale-and-leaseback transactions, and we are pleased that we have managed to secure the financing for these four aircraft together with CDB Aviation's Chief Executive Officer Patrick Hannigan and his team during this extraordinary market situation.”

Wist further elaborated that “continuing to add the A320neo and A350 aircraft types into the SAS fleet is an important step in SASˋ ambitious sustainability agenda.”


Airbus successfully concludes Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off and Landing project

Following an extensive two-year flight test program, Airbus has successfully concluded its Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off and Landing (ATTOL) project.

In completing this project, Airbus has achieved autonomous taxiing, take-off and landing of a commercial aircraft through fully automatic vision-based flight tests using on-board image recognition technology - a world-first in aviation.

In total, over 500 test flights were conducted. Approximately 450 of those flights were dedicated to gathering raw video data, to support and fine tune algorithms, while a series of six test flights, each one including five take-offs and landings per run, were used to test autonomous flight capabilities.

The ATTOL project was initiated by Airbus to explore how autonomous technologies, including the use of machine learning algorithms and automated tools for data labelling, processing and model generation, could help pilots focus less on aircraft operations and more on strategic decision-making and mission management. Airbus is now able to analyze the potential of these technologies for enhancing future aircraft operations, all the while improving aircraft safety, ensuring today’s unprecedented levels are maintained.

Airbus will continue research into the application of autonomous technologies alongside other innovations in areas such as materials, alternative propulsion systems and connectivity. By leveraging these opportunities, Airbus is opening up possibilities for creating new business models that will transform how aircraft are developed, manufactured, flown, powered and serviced.


Jet Linx teams with JSSI Parts & Leasing for procurement

Private jet management and jet card membership company Jet Linx is teaming up with JSSI Parts & Leasing, a division of Jet Support Services (JSSI), to support its aircraft parts procurement function.

Nebraska-based Jet Linx provides jet card membership, aircraft management services, and acquisition and sales support to more than 2,300 customers worldwide. The agreement will enable JSSI Parts & Leasing to provide extensive parts procurement, logistics, and billing support through its Supply Chain Solutions service, covering all Jet Linx private base terminals and aircraft. JSSI Parts & Leasing’s dedicated procurement staff will manage the journey of every part request for the fleet of Jet Linx business jets, including logistics support and tracking services throughout the order process, daily parts update reports, shipment updates, and core return support. Invoices and purchase orders will be evaluated and coordinated with venders, and consumption analysis and forecasts will be provided to support advanced planning and accurate cost projections.

With 19 Bases and over 100 business aircraft in its fleet, the agreement will further enable Jet Linx to run its procurement division efficiently and effectively by leveraging JSSI’s scale and infrastructure, allowing internal resources to focus on building their business and developing services for customers.


IAI and Iron Drone collaborate to integrate interception capabilities into IAI’s anti-drone system

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Iron Drone have entered a collaboration agreement for the integration of interception capabilities into IAI’s advanced anti-drone system, Drone Guard. The intercepting drone can be launched during day or night from a docking station that hosts several ready-to-use drones. Several intercepting drones can be launched simultaneously to address several targets or swarms.

To date, IAI’s ELTA Systems, which develops and manufactures Drone Guard anti-drone systems, sold over 100 units that detect, identify, and disrupt the operation of malicious drones. ELTA’s collaboration with Iron Drone is part of its strategy to collaborate with startups to leverage their innovative technologies for their existing systems to improve performance. ELTA is a global leader in remote sensing and RADAR systems. Its product portfolio includes mission aircraft, national cybersecurity administration, ground robotic systems, anti-drone systems, homeland defense systems, and more.

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