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Monday, September 21st, 2020

Rolls-Royce looks to raise £2.5 billion to counteract effects of COVID-19

Rolls-Royce, the British jet engine manufacturer, has announced its intention to raise approximately £2.5 billion in an attempt to strengthen its balance sheet as the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic affect demand both for jet engines and ancillary services.

One of the options being considered by the company is a rights issue, though debt and equity issuances are also being considered. According to the Financial Times newspaper, Rolls-Royce is in discussion with several sovereign wealth funds, including that of Singapore’s GIC, in a bid to raise funds. In a statement the company said that: “We continue to review all funding options to enhance balance sheet resilience and strength,” while adding that the first weeks in October are planned for the launch of the campaign.

In an earlier attempt to mitigate the lack of demand for its products and services, Rolls-Royce laid off 9,000 staff back in May, while it announced its intention to sell off assets, including ITP Aero, it’s Spanish operation. Having burned through £3.0 billion in the first half of 2020, Rolls Royce expects to burn through an additional £1.0 billion in the second half of the year. (£1.00 = US$1.29 at time of publication.)


Delta and LATAM receive approval in Brazil for joint venture

Delta Air Lines and LATAM Airlines Group S.A. and its affiliates (LATAM) received regulatory approval for their trans-American Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) from Brazil’s competition authority, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE).

The proposed JVA between Delta and LATAM, which was presented to the CADE on July 14, 2020,was approved without conditions, following an evaluation of free competition considerations and taking into account the unprecedented economic impact of COVID-19 on the airline industry. This is the first approval for the JVA between Delta and LATAM Airlines Group and its affiliates (LATAM) since it was signed in May 2020.

The JVA aims to connect the carriers’ highly complementary route networks and provide customers with a seamless travel experience between North and South America, once all regulatory approvals are secured.


Air Lease Corporation delivers one new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to Virgin Atlantic

Air Lease Corporation (ALC) announced the delivery of one new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft on long-term lease to Virgin Atlantic.  Powered by Trent XWB-97 engines, this aircraft is the first of four A350-1000s confirmed to deliver to the airline from ALC’s order book with Airbus. 

“We are pleased to announce this first new A350-1000 aircraft delivery to Virgin Atlantic,” said Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation.  “Our A350-1000s will replace Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 747 aircraft on routes from London across the Atlantic to modernize the airline’s long-haul fleet.” 


Norway goes live with Airways simulators

Avinor Air Navigation Services has gone live with Airways International's TotalControl simulator at Oslo Airport in Norway, after successfully completing remote site acceptance testing (SAT).

With border restrictions still in place due to COVID-19, travel to Norway wasn’t possible for Airways International (AIL). The key challenge was to meet an October 1, go-live-date for the simulator and enable Avinor ANS to commence its training as air traffic ramped up again.

Creative solutions were needed by AIL to meet this challenge. A COVID-19 mitigation plan was enacted which included remotely performing factory acceptance testing; AIL specialists guiding local technicians through the installation of hardware from New Zealand; using AIL’s bespoke virtual platform Airways Knowledge Online (AKO) to deliver training to the Avinor ANS team; and undertaking SAT remotely.

The successful completion of SAT for the Oslo Airport simulator signals the end of a five-month development and testing process. Remote factory acceptance testing occurred in August at Airways’ Christchurch base, using innovative technology to enable the Avinor ANS team to participate from Norway. This process was further refined leading up to SAT, with Avinor ANS reporting that hands-on participation was more engaging than a typical face-to-face SAT and cemented their simulator training.


Collins Aerospace announces new orders for C-130 NP2000 propeller system

Collins Aerospace Systems has been selected to deliver NP2000 propeller systems for an additional 30 Lockheed Martin C-130H aircraft for the U.S. Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve (AFR).

With its eight composite blades and digital Electronic Propeller Control System (EPCS), NP2000 offers a number of benefits compared to legacy systems including: a 20% thrust increase during take-off, a 20db sound reduction in the cockpit and a 50% reduction in maintenance man-hours. Along with C-130 variants, NP2000 has been in service with U.S. and international customers on the Northrop Grumman E-2 and C-2 since 2004, and is planned for use on the Lockheed Martin P-3.

With the receipt of this new order, bringing the total order to 55 C-130H aircraft to date, Collins Aerospace continues to make progress toward USAF’s plan to retrofit approximately 160 C-130H aircraft with NP2000.


EasyJet appoints Kenton Jarvis as new CFO

EasyJet has appointed Kenton Jarvis as its new CFO. He will replace Andrew Findlay who announced in May to exit the company after an unsuccessful attempt of owner Stelios Haji-Ioannou to vote him out of the company.

Jarvis is currently chief executive officer of aviation at Tui Group, having worked at the travel company for around 17 years.

No date has been announced yet for the start of Jarvis' tenure.


Boeing receives order for two 737-800 BCFs from unidentified customer

Boeing has received a firm order from an unidentified customer for two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF), as well as agreements to open additional conversion lines in Guangzhou, China, and Singapore to meet strong market demand.

Based on the Next-Generation 737, the 737-800BCF offers operators new technology, low fuel consumption and high reliability. Primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short-haul routes, the airplane is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tons (52,800 pounds) and flying up to 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 kilometers).

The 737-800BCF now has 134 orders and commitments.

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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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