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Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

Major blow to Norwegian as government withdraws support

Norway’s Industry Ministry and the Ministry of Transportation said in a statement on Monday that there would be no further funds made available to Norwegian Air (Norwegian) as the stricken airline struggles to cope with crippling debt and financial problems exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The low-cost carrier has been a pioneer of cheap transatlantic flights, but a rapid expansion policy left it struggling with a debt of approximately US$8 billion by June this year. Creditors and lessors took over control of the airline in May with a financial rescue package that enabled the carrier to access state-guaranteed loans of 3 billion Norwegian crowns (US$441 million) as the company sought to operate a pared-back service.

"That the government has decided to reject the request for funds is disappointing and feels like a punch in the gut for everyone at Norwegian," Norwegian Chief Executive Jacob Schram said.

"Norwegian Air has asked for billions of crowns in additional support and the government has concluded that this would not be a responsible use of public funds," said Industry Minister Iselin Nyboe.

"Norwegian is evaluating the effects of the current situation with the aim of safeguarding the interest of all stakeholders," the company said, according to Reuters news agency. The company has indicated that further funding could come from the sale of aircraft, conversion of more debt to equity or from its owners and the Norwegian government, while declining to specify the amount it might seek.

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Engine Lease Finance Chief Commercial Officer, Joe O’Brien, to retire

Joe O’Brien will retire at the end of this year as Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer of Engine Lease Finance (ELF). O’Brien joined the company in September 2006 after sixteen years with the then parent
company, BTMU Capital Corporation, including serving as a Board Member of ELF from 2000. Since joining the company as EVP Sales and CCO he led the sales team to more than US$3 billion in engine acquisitions through sale and leaseback, OEM orders and various collaborations.

Julian Jordan, Executive Vice President and Head of New Business has assumed responsibility for all engine acquisitions and management of the sales and marketing team. Joe Hussar, Executive Vice President and Head of Portfolio has assumed responsibility for all remarketing efforts in addition to his roles managing engine sales, collaboration with INAV and capital markets.

VAS Aero Services to disassemble Airbus A330 aircraft from Hi Fly Airlines

VAS Aero Services and Hi Fly Airlines have announced an agreement for VAS to manage the disassembly of one Hi Fly A330 aircraft (MSN 262) and associated engines.

The airframe teardown will be conducted by VAS’ European services partner, Tarmac Aerosave, at the Tarmac facility in Tarbes, France. The aircraft’s two Pratt and Whitney PW4000-100 engines will be disassembled by SR Technics (SRT) at the SRT facility in Zurich, Switzerland, and will support the two company’s Exclusive Supply Program agreement.

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Meggitt PLC secures pioneering radome contract with BAE Systems

Meggitt PLC, a leading international company specialising in high performance components and subsystems for the aerospace, defence, and selected energy markets, has secured a £4.2 million contract with BAE Systems for the supply of innovative nose radome technology to enable the effective operation of a pioneering Multi-Function Array radar system on the Typhoon.

The U.K. has committed to developing game-changing technologies which will equip RAF Typhoons with a world-leading electronic warfare capability, in addition to traditional radar functions, including wide band electronic attack. BAE Systems and Leonardo are on contract to deliver the European Common Radar Systems Mk 2 (ECRS Mk 2) which equips RAF pilots with the ability to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming.

As part of this program, Meggitt has used its advanced composite expertise to design a new higher and broader bandwidth radome to protect the instrumentation from environmental effects, prevent electromagnetic interference whilst being aerodynamically stable and highly transmissive for the AESA radar system’s operational modes.

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Lufthansa Technik reduces Executive Board

As part of the restructuring program RISE, Lufthansa Technik AG will change the structure of its Executive Board responsibilities. In future, the Executive Board will consist of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), a Chief Operating Officer (COO) and a Board member for Finance and Human Resources.

The COO will then carry responsibility for all operating divisions. As part of this reorganization, Constanze Hufenbecher (currently Chief Financial Officer and responsible for the VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services business unit) and Antonio Schulthess (currently responsible for human resources, lean and process management and the Engines and Aircraft Systems business units) have decided to leave Lufthansa Technik at the end of the year to pursue new entrepreneurial challenges.

The Supervisory Board will soon decide on the appointment of the new Executive Board member for the Finance and Human Resources departments. Dr Johannes Bussmann remains CEO of Lufthansa Technik, while Soeren Stark will continue in his responsibility for the operational business as COO.

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AeroGround becomes biggest ground handler at new BER airport

With the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) on October 31, 2020, AeroGround Berlin GmbH, a subsidiary of AeroGround Flughafen München GmbH, commenced ground handling services at the new location.

By gaining the Lufthansa Group and Eurowings as new clients at the capital city airport, AeroGround has significantly expanded its market position. AeroGround Berlin has thus become the market leader in ground handling services at the Berlin airport following its relocation.

The long-term handling agreement with Deutsche Lufthansa also includes the subsidiaries Swiss, Austrian Airlines, and Brussels Airlines and comprises a handling volume of around 20,000 to 30,000 aircraft movements a year. The range of services provided by AeroGround Berlin covers aircraft and baggage handling on the apron, fresh water and toilette services, bus transport on the apron for passengers and crews, and baggage tracing.

In addition to apron services for aircraft and baggage handling, AeroGround’s commission for handling Eurowings passenger flights also covers all passenger handling, including check-in, gate support, and other services such as baggage tracing and ticketing. As well as the roughly 8,000 to 10,000 Eurowings passenger flights each year, AeroGround is also taking on the handling of overnight airmail flights.

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Zhejiang Loong Air and CFM sign Rate-Per-Flight-Hour agreement

Zhejiang Loong Air has signed a 12-year Rate-Per-Flight-Hour agreement with CFM International (CFM) for the LEAP-1A engines, powering the airline's leased fleet of 19 Airbus A320 and A321neo aircraft. Additionally, the deal includes an order for four spare LEAP-1A engines. This adds to the long-term service agreement signed last year at the Paris Air Show to cover 36 A320neo aircraft, powered by LEAP-1A engines. Loong Air has already taken delivery of 21 LEAP-1A-powered A320neos.

RPFH agreements are part of CFM's portfolio of flexible aftermarket support offerings. Under the terms of the agreement, CFM Services guarantees maintenance costs for the airlines LEAP-1A engines on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.

LEAP-1A engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.
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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
Phone: +1 (788) 213 8543
Tamar