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Monday, August 17th, 2020

easyJet strengthens balance sheet with additional US$266m sale-and-leaseback deal

With further problems ahead for one of Europe’s largest low-cost carriers, easyJet has announced it has managed to raise an additional US$266 million through a sale-and-leaseback deal of aircraft.

This brings the total raised for the sale and leaseback of 23 aircraft to US$1.09 billion, which is at the upper end of guidance for proceeds. "easyJet will continue to review its liquidity position on a regular basis and will continue to assess any further funding opportunities," the airline said in a statement.

Although the low-cost carrier has re-commenced flying after a recent total shut-down owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, further uncertainty looms as both France and Spain, two very popular destinations for British travelers, have been added to the U.K.’s list of quarantined countries, where anyone flying into the U.K. from a quarantine-listed country will be required to self-quarantine themselves for a period of fourteen days immediately upon arrival.


Mwant Jet takes delivery of ERJ 145 LG

Skyworld Aviation has placed an ERJ 145 LR aircraft with Mwant Jet, of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Serial number 145601, with temporary registration 2-TEZK, set off on its ferry flight from the U.K. on August 7, and arrived in Kinshasa later that evening. The aircraft will bear the registration 9Q-AYS once accepted in DRC.

This is Mwant Jet's first ERJ 145 aircraft which will operate on mining contract and charter services, as well as scheduled services. The airline already operates a Hawker 850 XP on special flights.

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DLR and MTU Aero Engines study fuel cell propulsion system for aviation

Emission-free flight is a central goal of civil aviation. Emission-free air transport could be achieved in the long-term by converting hydrogen into electricity. This would enable the environment-friendly electrification of propulsion systems.

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and MTU Aero Engines are focusing on a fuel cell propulsion system, which they will jointly develop and validate. A Dornier 228 aircraft will be used as the flight demonstrator. On 5 August 2020, the partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the DLR site in Oberpfaffenhofen.

The MoU was signed by Prof Rolf Henke, DLR Executive Board Member for Aeronautics Research and Technology, and Lars Wagner, Chief Operating Officer at MTU Aero Engines. “Although great progress in the performance and lifespan of fuel cells has been made in recent years, there is still a considerable need for research into their use in aviation,” said Henke. “This planned joint research-industry project is the first of many steps towards emission-free aviation.” Lars Wagner adds: “As things stand today, fuel cells utilising sustainably produced hydrogen offer the greatest long-term potential for realising emissions-free aviation. We believe that they could offer sufficient performance and range for regional, short- and medium-haul aircraft.” 

In order to develop and validate such technology, the partners plan to equip a Dornier 228 aircraft with a hydrogen-powered fuel cell and an electrical, single-sided propeller engine with over 500 kW shaft output, and flight test it over the coming years. Apart from water, fuel cells have no emissions and are highly efficient. The aim of the joint technology project is to develop a complete drive train suitable for aviation (power line) and its cooling (cooling line). The electrification of the powertrain is a core technology that serves to prepare a flying fuel-cell-based propulsion system. The partners are aiming for the maiden flight of the Do228 demonstrator to take place from 2026 onwards.

DLR is managing the flight project and providing and operating the research aircraft. It is also responsible for the integration and certification of the powertrain.


Embraer delivers first Phenom 300E with new Bossa Nova interior

Embraer has delivered the first Phenom 300E with the new Bossa Nova interior to Joe Howley, co-founder of Patient Airlift Services (PALS).

PALS was established in 2010 by a group of pilots in the Northeast United States. In conjunction with the organization’s ten-year anniversary, Howley took delivery of a new Phenom 300E at a ceremony held at Embraer’s Global Customer Center in Melbourne, Florida. The aircraft will be used to advance the organization’s mission to arrange free transportation for individuals requiring medical diagnosis, treatment, or follow-up who cannot afford or are unable to fly commercially.


AeroCentury reports second-quarter 2020 net loss of US$13.5 million

AeroCentury, an independent aircraft leasing company, has reported a second quarter 2020 net loss of US$13.5 million, compared to a net loss of US$0.1 million for the second quarter of 2019. 

In the first six months of 2020, the Company reported a net loss of US$23.7 million, compared to a net loss of US$1.4 million in the first six months of 2019.

Results for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 included impairment losses totaling US$9.7 million.  Those losses arise from appraised values for three regional jet aircraft that are held for sale; estimated sales proceeds for an older turboprop aircraft that is held for sale and which the company expects to sell during the fourth quarter of 2020, and estimated fair value of two regional jet aircraft that are held for lease.

Results for the second quarter of 2020 also included US$2.0 million of charges arising from the conversion of the company’s revolving credit facility to a term loan in May of 2020, including a US$1.5 million write-off of a portion of the Company’s unamortized debt issuance costs included in interest expense and US$0.5 million of costs that is included in professional fees and other.


Airbus Corporate Jets wins first A321LR order for two aircraft

Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) has won the first A321LR order for two aircraft from Lufthansa Technik, highlighting the market appeal and versatility of the A320neo Family. The aircraft will be multi-role capable and can be equipped for various types of missions, such as troop transport, different MedEvac role setups (medical evacuation) and will be operated by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe).

Lufthansa Technik has now placed a total order of five Airbus aircraft on behalf of the German Government: three ACJ350-900s and two A321LRs. The A321LRs will be able to fly up to 163 passengers, up to 6 intensive care patients and up to 12 medium care patients, depending on the installed configuration, with a maximum range of 4,200nm/7,800km or 9.5 flight hours.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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