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Friday, August 21st, 2020

Qantas posts massive AU$1.964 billion annual loss as virus now hits domestic Australian travel

Qantas has posted a full-year net loss of AU$1.964 billion for the financial year ended June 30. One of its largest ever losses, this one has been driven by impairment charges and restructuring costs intended to shore up the company during the pandemic.

Alan Joyce, Qantas CE, confirmed that the carrier was operating among the worst conditions ever encountered and that there needs to be a national framework established for domestic flights. He was in full agreement with the necessity for the shut down of the State of Victoria, but failed to see the benefit of shutting down travel between states such as Western Australia and South Australia where there are no reports of community spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. “We’re not saying, ‘open the borders’ blankly,” Joyce made clear, “We’re saying, ‘Let’s have the rules to say what would you have to see in order for those borders to be open.’”

Qantas is operating at 20% of its normal domestic schedule for August, though if all state borders reopened this could increase to 75%. Indicating that he felt international travel will not return with any confidence until a vaccine is found, likely not until mid-to-late 2021, Joyce added that: “We were on track for another profit above AU$1 billion when this crisis struck.”

Qantas took approximately AU$2.8 billion worth of one-off charges, which included a write-down of AU$1.4 billion on its Airbus SE A380 fleet, which is currently lying idle in the Mojave Desert. The carrier’s AU$124 million underlying pre-tax profit in the 12 months ended June 30, was well above the AU$6.5 million average profit expected by analysts. (US$1.00 = AU$1.39 at time of publication.)

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Lufthansa Cargo opens pharma facilities in Munich and Chicago

After a construction period of only five months, the new "Lufthansa Cargo Pharma Hub Munich" has opened at Munich Airport. It offers space for up to 96 pallets and loose cargo in two different temperature ranges (+2 to +8 °C and +15 to +25 °C) and a freezer (down to -18 °C) on almost 1000 m² and on several levels.

A CEIV Pharma-certification by the International Air Transport Association of the new Pharma-Hub in Munich is planned for this fall. This will also be the first pharma-certification by the aviation association at Munich Airport. As a global standard, the certification demonstrates that the facility meets strict criteria for the proper handling and storage of pharmaceutical shipments.

In addition to the new capacities for temperature-sensitive cargo at the southern German hub, Lufthansa Cargo is also expanding these capacities in the United States. The Lufthansa Cargo Pharma Center Chicago at O'Hare Airport was opened there in June. Since the middle of the year, the 750 m² facility has been providing space on several levels for up to 54 pallets and 102 cool containers in two different temperature ranges (+2 to +8 °C and +15 to 25 °C) and in a freezer (down to -18 °C).

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Piaggio Aerospace gets financing from Banca Ifis for €30 million

After having received the final green light from the Ministry of Economic Development and the approval of the Supervisory Committee, Piaggio Aerospace and Banca Ifis have signed a contract for financing - in the form of an advance on contracts and factoring operations - for a total amount of €30 million.

"The agreement, reached at the end of a process that has initially involved other public and private financial institutions, will now allow Piaggio Aero Industries and Piaggio Aviation - the two companies in extraordinary administration that operate under the Piaggio Aerospace brand - to be fully operational", the Extraordinary Commissioner Vincenzo Nicastro said, "thus gradually recalling the workers still in temporary layoffs. The sales process can also be now completed”, he added.

Nicastro - appointed by the Italian Government in December 2018 - recently launched an international tender for the sale of the business complexes of the two companies: 19 entities from all over the world originally submitted their invitation of interest, 11 of which were subsequently admitted to the data room. The primary goal of the Commissioner is to find a new owner by the end of this year.

With the recent award of a new multi-year contract by the Defence for the integrated logistical support of the entire of P.180s fleet operated by the Armed Forces, Piaggio Aerospace has now a backlog equal to €640 million. More orders, for a further amount of €260 million, are in various stages of negotiation. The total order intake should therefore reach €900 million.

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Handover of first Airbus A350 to the German Federal Government's Special Air Mission Wing

Lufthansa Technik AG handed over the first of three new Airbus A350-900s to the German Armed Forces. During a small ceremony in Hamburg, Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer took a first look at the future flagship of the Federal Ministry of Defence's (BMVg) Special Air Mission Wing.

On the way to the final operational readiness of the aircraft, the military certification for the 10+03 designation and various test flights with the new wide-body aircraft will take place in the coming weeks. This is the very first government aircraft of this type and thus also the first Airbus A350 not to be used in commercial airline service.

The factory-fresh aircraft, which was still on the civil register as D-AGAF, arrived at Lufthansa Technik at the beginning of May. It is equipped with a special transitional cabin for political-parliamentary flight operations. The cabin comes with office and conference areas, adjoined by a multifunctional lounge area. The remaining space is available for delegations flying on the aircraft. After sister aircraft 10+01 and 10+02, which are currently under construction, will receive a fully-fledged government cabin from Lufthansa Technik next year, the transitional cabin in the 10+03 will also be exchanged.

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Satair signs commercial agreement with Aviation Clean Air

Aviation Clean Air (ACA), a partner with experience in the aviation industry, specifically in the environmental purification field, and Satair, an Airbus services company, have signed a commercial agreement for the distribution of ACA’s Air Ionization and Purification System applicable for all aircraft types.

ACA offers the only proactive system that immediately improves interior air quality and neutralizes pathogens throughout the aircraft. The ACA airborne unit is a patented Air Ionization and Purification System certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for aircraft installation This technology deactivates airborne pathogens, viruses and bacteria while congruently reducing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and odors.

BOC Aviation reports increased net profit for first half of 2020

BOC Aviation has reported net profit after tax (NPAT) of US$323 million in the first half of 2020, an increase in both NPAT and earnings per share compared with the same period last year. Total revenues and other income rose at around the same pace as its total assets in the first half of 2020, up 11% to US$1,035 million from US$930 million in the first half of last
year. The Board of Directors approved a distribution of US$0.1398 per share by way of interim dividend, which represents 30% of its NPAT in the first half of 2020, which is the same proportion of NPAT that the company distributed as an interim dividend in prior years.

During the six months ended June 2020, BOC Aviation generated positive operating cash flow net of finance expenses of US$555 million compared with US$629 million in the first half of 2019 and ended the half year with US$4 billion in available liquidity.

As of June 30, 2020 the company had a portfolio of 571 owned, managed and committed aircraft.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar