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Monday, October 26th, 2020

Pratt & Whitney plans US$650 million investment in turbine airfoil production facility in North Carolina

Pratt & Whitney has announced plans to invest at least US$650 million through 2027 in a world-class turbine airfoil production facility in Asheville, North Carolina. The new, 1,000,000-ft² facility will house an advanced casting foundry for the production of turbine airfoils as well as conduct machining, coating and finishing of airfoils onsite.

The investment is intended to create 800 new jobs through 2027 in Buncombe County. The new, state-of-the-art facility will implement best-in-class manufacturing technologies and processes exemplifying industry 4.0 manufacturing principles and will complement existing turbine airfoil work that is done across Pratt & Whitney’s facilities.

This investment directly supports Pratt & Whitney’s goal to transform its business and strengthen its position by implementing modern solutions to prepare for the future, while reducing structural costs to emerge from the pandemic stronger.


China’s Spring Airlines bucks global trend with 50% year-on-year capacity increase

Shanghai-based Spring Airlines (Spring)has announced that compared to 2019, 2020’s September capacity rose by 50%, with the low-cost carrier operating at approaching 90% of seats occupied having redirected planes from closed international routes to meet demand for domestic flights.

Recent operations show that Spring has virtually doubled its share of the market from 2% in 2019 to 4% today. Unlike most Chinese carriers which are state owned, Spring is a private airline. It is anticipated that low-cost domestic flight numbers will recover far sooner than international and corporate flights.

Japan Airlines, which has a joint venture with Spring, will also be bolstering its low-cost operations. According to CAPA Centre for Aviation Data, as quoted by Reuters news agency, low-cost carriers held just a 10% market share in the domestic Chinese market, and 17% in Japan in 2018, compared with a majority share in South Korea, India, Malaysia and Vietnam, according to CAPA Centre for Aviation data.

“We do see low-cost carriers (LCCs) rebounding the fastest out of all airlines across most regions, not just China,” BOCOM International analyst Luya You said. “The reasons are that LCCs can offer lower prices due to lower costs as well as fill their planes more efficiently than full-service carriers.”

Spring is China’s only stock market-listed low-cost carrier, and while its share value has returned to pre-COVID levels, the three principal state-owned carriers have seen their share value drop by approximately 25%. “We can see Spring’s offerings for a lot of their domestic routes are even lower than fares on high-speed railway trains,” Chinese aviation expert Li Xiaojin said. “Flying with them is faster and cheaper, which helped bring in a lot of customers.” Since May, Spring has added more than 60 domestic routes, and will add another 20 in the winter/spring flight season, saving on costs by having a single-type fleet of 103 Airbus A320 family narrow-body jets.

SRT_09 (2020-10-05)

IAG reports preliminary third quarter results and update

International Airlines Group (IAG) has reported its preliminary results for the third quarter of 2020 and capacity outlook for the fourth quarter.

Total revenue declined by 83% to €1.2 billion compared to €7.3 billion last year. Operating result before exceptional items was a €1.3 billion loss compared to a €1.4 billion profit last year.
Passenger capacity declined by 78.6% in the quarter, while traffic declined by 88.0%. Seat load factor declined by 38.8 points to 48.9%.

On September 10, IAG announced a reduction in capacity from -74% to -78% in the third quarter of 2020 and from -46% to -60% in the fourth quarter of 2020, as a result of the levelling off of bookings following the reintroduction of quarantine requirements by many European governments.

IAG now plans for capacity in the fourth quarter of 2020 to be no more than 30% compared to 2019. As a result, the Group no longer expects to reach breakeven in terms of net cash flows from operating activities during the fourth quarter of 2020.

As of September 30, 2020, the Group had total liquidity of €6.6 billion, comprised of €5.0 billion of cash, cash equivalents and interest-bearing deposits and €1.6 billion of undrawn and committed general and aircraft facilities. In addition, €2.74 billion of gross proceeds from the capital increase were received in early October for a total pro-forma liquidity of €9.3 billion.

Airbus delivers first U.S.-assembled A220 from Mobile, Alabama

Airbus has delivered its first U.S.-assembled A220 aircraft from Mobile, Alabama, underlining the aircraft manufacturer’s role as a global aircraft producer and heralding the arrival of a new era in Airbus aircraft production in the United States. The aircraft was delivered to Delta Air Lines.

Several milestones led up to this historic moment. From the groundbreaking of the Mobile A220 Final Assembly Line in January 2019, through the official start of A220 production in August 2019, and the inaugural flight of this aircraft in June, the A220 teams in Mirabel (Quebec) and Mobile worked closely together to make the A220 production in the U.S. a success.

SPL_04 (2020-01-17)

Heston Aviation launches Heston Airlines

Heston Aviation launches Heston Airlines, an all - A320 family fleet operator focused on charter and ACMI markets. Commencing early 2021, the newly launched airline is ready to offer high quality customized services for tour operators and airlines within the EMEA region.

Heston Airlines is in the process of receiving Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and plans to start its European operations with three 180-seater Airbus A320s, with plans to grow its fleet to seven aircraft by 2022.

The airline will be led by an experienced and dedicated management team, with Jonas Rinkauskas as the company's CEO, who will position Heston Airlines to have strong emphasis on client needs, flexibility, and reliability of services.

Heston Airlines is part of Heston Aviation, which is a consolidated group of companies, focused on aviation assets leasing, trading, maintenance, repair, and overhaul. The group offers MRO services through Heston MRO (Australia), one of the largest independent MRO companies in Australia and the West Pacific. Its asset leasing and trading projects are captured by Heston Aviation DAC (Ireland) and other European vehicles.

Austrian Airlines and Vienna Airport launch trial for rapid Covid-19 antigen tests

Austrian Airlines has commenced the first trials for using rapid Covid-19 antigen tests in close cooperation with Vienna Airport. In the initial phase, all passengers on flight OS 229 to Berlin will have the opportunity to take such a rapid test prior to departure in the period October 23 - November 8, 2020, initially. The tests are free of charge and are carried out on a voluntary basis.

For this purpose, Vienna Airport has set up a testing center in the check-in area of Terminal 3. After taking the test, passengers will receive their results within 10-15 minutes, either via SMS or, upon request, after personal inquiry. The boarding card is only activated if the test results are negative, enabling the passenger to gain entry to the security area and gate. If the test results are positive, the affected passenger will be taken care of by the airport medical service in order to fully clarify the individual’s medical condition. Further steps will be specified with the responsible health authorities. In this case, the passenger will be able to rebook or cancel his or her Austrian Airlines flight free of charge.


The Italian Air Force takes delivery of its most advanced Eurofighter Typhoon

Taking off from Leonardo’s plant in Caselle (Turin), the final and most advanced Eurofighter Typhoon of the Italian Air Force was handed over during a ceremony on October 23, becoming one of the defence aircraft assigned daily to the protection of the Italian skies.

The Eurofighter was designed as an open architecture, with a well-defined program of technological updating and improvement that guarantees its competitiveness throughout its life cycle. Constantly evolving technologies, both on board the aircraft and in the context of logistical support, increase its operational effectiveness, survivability, and efficient management. The Eurofighter program is a cornerstone in the development of European aerospace and defence technologies and provides the industries involved with technological leadership that will guarantee competitiveness for many next generation programs.

Leonardo represents with its activities about 36% of the value of the entire program, with its key role in the aeronautical components and in the on-board electronics, which sees the company responsible for two primary sensors (radar and IRST) as well as other fundamental avionic technologies.

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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
Phone: +1 (788) 213 8543