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Thursday, August 13th, 2020

TUI to receive additional €1.2 billion stabilization package from KfW

TUI, the world’s leading integrated tourism group, has received backing from the German government for an additional tranche of €1.05 billion that extends its exiting tranche with KfW, the German state-owned development bank based in Frankfurt.

The extension of the existing credit line by €1.05 billion will be subject to TUI issuing a Convertible Bond in the amount of €150 million to the Economic Stabilisation Fund (WSF) and a waiver by the Bondholders of the Senior Notes which are due in October next year. The new stabilisation package will strengthen the Group’s position, providing it with sufficient liquidity – cash and credit facilities of €2.4 billion – to cope with volatile market conditions.

TUI CEO Fritz Joussen commented: "The additional stabilisation package allows us to focus on the operations and at the same time to drive forward the realignment of the Group. Already before the pandemic, we had initiated the next transformation of TUI: the transformation into a digital platform company. This transformation will now be significantly accelerated. Our integrated business model is intact. Summer holidays are taking place again in all markets. We introduced massive cost reductions early and implemented them quickly and consistently. However, no one knows at present when a vaccine or medication will be available and what effects the pandemic will have in individual markets in the coming months. Therefore, it is right and important to take further precautions together with the German Federal government."

As with the first KfW loan of €1.8 billion, which was granted in April, the second KfW loan is topping up the existing bank credit facility ("Revolving Credit Facility", RCF). The first KfW loan is subject to conditions, including that TUI may not pay any dividends during the term of the loan and that restrictions apply to share buybacks. The stabilisation measure provides for further restrictions, for example on investments in other companies and on the remuneration of the members of the Executive Board, as long as the WSF remains invested. The additional KfW loan is also subject to the provision that the holders of the bond maturing in October 2021 waive any future limitation of TUI's indebtedness. (€1.00 = US$1.18 at time of publication.)

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Gulfstream doubles down on cabin air purification

Gulfstream Aerospace has announced an additional enhancement to its signature Gulfstream Cabin Experience, further investing in customer health through plasma ionization. The air purification system, which complements Gulfstream’s already 100% fresh-air environment, has proven in lab tests to kill pathogens and allergens.

Gulfstream’s plasma ionization system, which operates whenever the aircraft environmental control system is active, works by emitting positive and negative oxygen ions that actively seek out and inactivate harmful molecules in the air and on surfaces. This process neutralizes particulate matter — not just bacteria and viruses, but also unpleasant odors from organic material like cigarette smoke. 

Even when running solely on an auxiliary power unit, the system produces thousands of ions throughout the entire aircraft, ensuring that cabin air remains pure and surfaces are disinfected while aircraft are prepared by preflight caterers, cleaning crews and FBO technicians alike.

Air France signs majority agreement with SNPL for development of Transavia France on domestic network

The Air France-KLM Group is taking an important step in its development, with the signing of an amendment to the group's “Air France-Transavia pilot agreement” allowing Transavia France to operate domestic routes within France.

This agreement has been signed between Air France and Transavia's management and the SNPL Air France-Transavia, the union representing a majority of Air France pilots, following a referendum submitted to its members. A turnout rate of 82.63% - and with 90.37% of those votes being in favour of the proposal - reflects the responsibility the pilots are taking during this crucial juncture and the overall desire to provide Air France with the means to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and emerge stronger by transforming its domestic network. This network has been loss-making for years despite continuous ongoing restructuring since 2000, and it is faced with strong competition: the constant growth of both low-cost airlines and the TGV high-speed train network.

This agreement permits Transavia to operate routes within France, and adjusts pilot guarantees pertaining to European network activity in line with the levels of activity expected on the domestic network over the coming years. In September 2019 an agreement was signed lifting restrictions on the growth of Transavia's fleet.

Launched in 2006, Transavia France is the low cost airline of the Air France Group (comprising Air France, its regional subsidiary HOP! and its low cost subsidiary Transavia. The Air France Group is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group).

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GA Telesis Engine Services introduces innovative new technologies RTIS and EIERRIS® for maintenance inspections

GA Telesis Engine Services OY (GATES), the engine heavy maintenance unit of global aviation integrator GA Telesis, has announced a significant upgrade to its customer support services by introducing an innovative Remote Table Inspection Solution (RTIS) to its current and future customers.

As a countermeasure to the global travel difficulties and social distancing resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and as an alternative to an on-site table inspection of engine parts, GATES now offers the Remote Table
Inspection Solution. GATES parent, GA Telesis has also commenced developing Enhanced Integration Extended Reality Remote Inspection Solution (“EIERRIS®” pronounced eye·rus) where the Customer will be remotely connected to GATES via a visual device using augmented and mixed reality interactions. The EIERRIS® system will overlay digital information on top of physical objects so users can “see” both at the same time in the context of each other.

The Company plans to integrate EIERRIS® in its MRO Services business units as well as its Specialized Procedures Aeroengine Hospital (SPAH) field services operations. The Company’s long-term vision is to generate millions in savings for customers by leveraging EIERRIS® to optimize maintenance operations and improve both plant and field service outcomes.

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Nordic Aviation Capital delivers one ATR 72-600 to Windrose Aviation

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) has confirmed the delivery of one ATR 72-600 aircraft, MSN 1450, on lease to Windrose Aviation Company.

Windrose Aviation is one of the leading companies of tourist air traffic in Ukraine with a market share of 21%, according to the State Aviation Service of Ukraine. In 2019, Windrose transported 1.4 million passengers, making 28 flights a day on average. Windrose is included in the IOSA airline registry and operates a fleet of five Airbus A321 aircraft, one Airbus A320 aircraft, three Embraer ERJ-145 EU / EP / LR aircraft and three Hawker aircraft.

Starting from April, the Ukrainian carrier launched a domestic scheduled program connecting the six largest cities of Ukraine – Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Lviv, Odesa, and Mykolaiv on ATR72-600 aircraft. Windrose is currently operating two ATR72-600s on its domestic program.

Chorus Aviation reports second-quarter 2020 results and market update

Chorus Aviation has announced second-quarter 2020 financial results and an update on the impact of COVID-19.

In the second quarter of 2020, Chorus reported adjusted EBITDA of CA$91.0 million, an increase of CA$5.3 million over the second quarter of 2019.
The Regional Aircraft Leasing segment's adjusted EBITDA increased by CA$8.2 million primarily related to the growth in aircraft earning leasing revenue partially offset by a CA$1.1 million expected credit loss provision related to management's assessment of its lessees' credit risk. The Regional Aviation Services segment's adjusted EBITDA decreased by CA$2.9 million.

“The global aviation industry continues to be significantly challenged by the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic. Our focus remains on ensuring the safety of our employees and passengers and maintaining ample liquidity. The team has dramatically reduced costs, curtailed capital investment and raised new funding. With CA$228 million in liquidity, we are well positioned to manage through an extended recovery period and to participate in the growth of the aviation industry in the future,” stated Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus.

“Since the start of this crisis, we’ve had to make very difficult but necessary decisions, including the reduction to our workforce by approximately 65%, or almost 3,200 employees. At the end of the second quarter, Air Canada announced the discontinuation of 21 Air Canada Express regional routes operated by Jazz, and the closure of eight Jazz-managed stations at regional airports."

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Further woes for Rolls-Royce as cracks found in Trent XWB engines

While the British engine manufacturer struggles to deal with the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s Trent XWB engine has been hit with technical problems.

Having incurred costs approaching £2.4 billion (US$3.1 billion) as a consequence of problematic turbine blades fitted to its Trent 1000 engine which powers the Boeing 787, this is seen as only a small-scale problem. By that, Rolls-Royce estimates the costs to put right the cracking issue in the XWB engine, which powers the Airbus A350 jet, to be in the low-to-mid-tens of millions of pounds.

Rolls-Royce is currently struggling to deal with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic as with so many planes stopping flying, the company’s revenues it receives from flying hours has diminished dramatically. Rolls-Royce pre-emptively issued a statement concerning the problem with the XWB engine, having found wear in one or two blades of the Intermediate Pressure Compressor in a few engines which had been in service for between four and five years.

Currently there are believed to be approximately 100 of the Trent XWB engines in service, none of which had reported any flight abnormalities prior to this fault being discovered. Rolls-Royce said wear on the Trent XWB-84 engine will be subject to an Airworthiness Directive from regulator EASA.
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