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Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

Luis Gallego officially takes over the helm at IAG

International Airlines Group (IAG) has confirmed that Luis Gallego, the former chairman of Iberia, one of the Group’s carriers, has officially taken over from Willie Walsh as Chief Executive, effective Tuesday September 8, immediately after the Group’s Annual General Meeting.

Commenting on his new position, Gallego said: “It’s an honour to become IAG’s chief executive, following in Willie’s footsteps and building on all that he has achieved in the past nine years. This is a hugely difficult time for our industry. Not only do we face the immediate challenge of COVID, but we must ensure that IAG is strong and resilient when it emerges from the crisis. The Group was in good shape before COVID with a history of strong profitable growth. We have a portfolio of world class brands, acquired through selective M&A, in which we have invested effectively for the benefit of our customers while keeping costs under control. My goal is to ensure that IAG adapts to the ‘new normal’ in aviation and builds on its strengths to secure a strong future for the Group, our customers, shareholders and employees.”

He became Iberia’s chief executive back in March 2013, turning the fortunes of the Spanish flag-carrying airline round to profitability before the pandemic struck. Previously he had worked at Vueling before joining Iberia Express as chief operating officer in 2009.

HEICO Repair Group is the world’s largest independent component MRO with capability for over 26,000 unique aircraft parts, servicing over 60,000 components annually. www.heico.com

TrueNoord acquires two Embraer E195s from Azul with leases attached

TrueNoord, the specialist regional aircraft lessor, continues its growth path with the addition of two Embraer E195 aircraft on lease to Portugália. Both aircraft, MSN19000407 and MSN19000429, were purchased with leases attached from Brazilian operator Azul.

The project was financed by TrueNoord’s revolving warehouse facility underwritten by Citibank, Société Générale and Royal Bank of Canada.  Legal counsel for TrueNoord on the acquisition was CMS, with Milbank advising on the financing.

With this acquisition, TrueNoord completes another significant milestone and reaches a fleet of 50 modern regional aircraft.

Portugália Airlines is a Portuguese regional airline. It is a subsidiary of TAP Air Portugal and operates scheduled international and domestic services from its bases at Lisbon Airport and Porto Airport under the brand TAP Express.


Cebu Pacific Air adds ATR 72-600 training to exclusive agreement with CAE-Cebu joint venture

CAE has released that Cebu Pacific Air (Cebu) added pilot training for ATR 72-600 to an exclusive 15-year training agreement with its joint venture, Philippine Academy for Aviation Training (PAAT). Under the terms of the agreement, CAE instructors will deliver initial and recurrent training to Cebu’s pilots on a brand-new CAE-built ATR 72-600 full-flight simulator (FFS). The device is deployed to CAE Clark training centre in the Philippines and is the first ATR 72-600 full-flight simulator to join CAE’s network in Asia.  

The ATR 72-600 FFS comes with the most recent standard from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and includes the extended motion envelope allowing trainees to perform Upset Prevention Recovery Training (UPRT).  The ATR 72-600 FFS is a great addition complementing the three Airbus A320 FFS that are already installed and servicing the market. 

As part of the partnership with Cebu, CAE trains the airline’s pilots on the Airbus A320 and A330 platforms at CAE Kuala Lumpur and CAE Hong Kong. The new CAE ATR 72-600 full-flight simulator (FFS) deployed to the CAE Clark training centre will support this new training agreement.

TrueAero announces sale-leaseback for 13 Airbus A320-200 aircraft with JetBlue

TrueAero has acquired, on behalf of its investors, 13 Airbus A320-200 aircraft from JetBlue on sale-and-leaseback.

“We are delighted to establish this new partnership with JetBlue, demonstrating our ability to deliver adaptable solutions despite Covid-19’s disruption to the market.” said Stratton Borchers, President at TrueAero.

TrueAero is a full-service aircraft asset manager and a materials and technical services provider.


U.S. Airline July 2020 passengers decrease 73% from July 2019 but rise 30% from June 2020

U.S. airlines carried 73% fewer scheduled service passengers in July 2020 than in July 2019, according to preliminary data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by 18 airlines that carry more than 90% of the passengers. Despite the large annual drop from pre-pandemic numbers a year earlier (see graphic), when compared to the previous month U.S. airlines carried 30% more passengers in July 2020 than in June 2020.

The 73% decline from July 2019 was the smallest annual decrease since March.

The large airlines carried 21.4 million passengers in July 2020 (preliminary), up from 16.5 million passengers on all U.S. airlines in June 2020 and up from 3.0 million in April 2020, which was the lowest monthly total in BTS records dating back to 1974. The previous low was 14.6 million passengers in February 1975.

AELS acquires A319 from Bellinger Aviation for disassembly

Complementing the airframes currently being dismantled, Aircraft End-of-Life Solutions (AELS) has acquired an Airbus A319 (MSN 1086), from Bellinger Aviation. The aircraft, formerly operated by Brussels Airlines, was flown to AELS’ home-base at Twente Airport, the Netherlands and dismantling has meanwhile begun. USM components will become available from September onwards.

Since 2006 AELS has been buying end-of-life Boeing and Airbus aircraft that the company disassembles at its own facility. AELS handles the entire supply chain for aircraft that reach end-of-life, from disassembly and dismantling, component management to material recycling.


Gloucestershire Airport is “cargo ready”, welcomes first cargo operator

In response for an alternative airport for urgent automotive and “just in time” logistics, Gloucestershire Airport has welcomed its first cargo operator. Global Airlift Solutions operated its PC12NG Cargo aircraft into the airport at the launch of the new service. Visiting cargo aircraft will be handled by Weston Aviation at their FBO facility and private ramp area, offering fast and professional handling enabling the cargo to be on the road within minutes of arrival.

Nick Weston, CEO of Weston Aviation commented, “I have been involved in urgent automotive logistics and handling for 30 years and understand the fine balance between the on-time delivery of cargo and where possible cost savings. As soon as we opened our new FBO facility at Gloucestershire Airport in 2019, we saw the enormous potential for developing cargo handling for JIT operations. Being slightly more southerly than traditional automotive hubs such as Birmingham, with less flying and lower cost and just a 50-minutes drive away, we would be offloaded and on the road before an aircraft arrives at Birmingham.”

The Weston Aviation FBO and ramp is located immediately adjacent to the airport entrance gate and the main North to South West M5 motorway can be accessed within 5 minutes of departing the airport. As a pure business airport, Gloucestershire Airport has no scheduled commercial traffic to
cause any delays and fuel is delivered immediately on request.


Aergo Capital enhances platform capabilities with key hires

Aergo Capital (Aergo) is expanding its aviation platform by significantly developing its Structured Products capabilities. These enhanced customer services will be provided by senior strategic new hires complementing existing expertise.

Aergo’s bold expansion highlights its confidence in the future of aviation, despite the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the industry and further positions the company to take advantage of opportunities going forward. Additional or enhanced client services include capital and financial structuring, joint ventures using its platform strength and lease management capabilities, remarketing assets, acquisition, disposal, technical advisory, and restructuring services.

Joining the Aergo team are David Power as Executive Chairman (Structured Products) and Board Director Aergo Holdings and Paul Naylor as Chief Commercial Officer (Structured Products), each of whom have over 30 years of relevant experience. The Structured Products team will be enhanced by the appointment of Martin Browne as Chief Operating Officer, Jasmine Chan joins as Operations Manager, and the addition of several new team members, both internally and externally.

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