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Friday, November 13th, 2020

Rolls-Royce to test 100% SAF in Trent engine

Rolls-Toyce has announced that it is to run a series of ground tests with the Trent gas turbine engine using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at its Derby, UK premises. The fuel is being produced by World Energy, a low-carbon fuel specialist based in Paramount, California, sourced by Shell Aviation and delivered by SkyNRG. This unblended fuel has the potential to reduce carbon lifecycle emissions by over 75% when compared to traditional jet fuel, and by an even greater amount in the years to come.

According to Rolls-Royce, the aim of the test is to show that their current engines can operate with 100% SAF as a full “drop-in” option, laying the groundwork for moving such fuels towards certification. At present, SAF is certified for blends of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel and can be used on all current Rolls-Royce engines. The jet engine that will be used in the ground tests will also incorporate ALECSys (Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System) lean-burn technology. ALECSys is part of the UltraFan® next generation engine demonstrator programme, which offers a 25% fuel saving over the first generation of Trent engines.

Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce Chief Technology Officer, said: “Aviation is a tremendous force for good, keeping the world connected, but we have to do that sustainably. These tests aim to show that we can deliver real emissions reductions. If SAF production can be scaled up – and aviation needs 500 million tonnes a year by 2050 - we can make a huge contribution for our planet.”

Gene Gebolys, Chief Executive Officer and founder, World Energy, said: “World Energy exists to empower leaders to innovate by providing the world’s most advanced low carbon fuels. Rolls-Royce is putting their technological prowess to work to understand how to maximise their potential in engines and we are proud to support them.”

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Boeing forecasts strong growth in China’s aviation market

Boeing expects China’s airlines to acquire 8,600 new airplanes valued at US$1.4 trillion and commercial aviation services valued at US$1.7 trillion over the next 20 years, reflecting an expected robust recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. Boeing shared its annual China market forecast on November 12, as part of the 2020 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), which shows anticipated demand for commercial airplanes and services.

China’s rapidly growing middle class, increased economic growth and growing urbanization are all factors in the Boeing forecast, suggesting the country will lead passenger travel globally in the next few years. Since 2000, China’s commercial jet fleet has expanded sevenfold, and approximately 25% of all aviation growth worldwide in the last decade has come from China. Boeing forecasts this trend will continue over the next 20 years.

“While COVID-19 has severely impacted every passenger market worldwide, China’s fundamental growth drivers remain resilient and robust,” said Richard Wynne, managing director, China Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Not only has China’s recovery from COVID-19 outpaced the rest of the world, but also continued government investments toward improving and expanding its transportation infrastructure, large regional traffic flows, and a flourishing domestic market mean this region of the world will thrive.”

Despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic, China’s projected airplane and services market represents a nearly 7% increase over last year’s 20-year CMO forecast. These increases are driven by continued high demand for single-aisle airplanes and China’s expanding share of passenger widebodies to support international routes, along with a large replacement cycle as China’s fleet matures. Boeing also anticipates growth in Chinese demand for new and converted freighters and digital solutions to help carriers further innovate and succeed.Boeing forecasts China’s annual passenger traffic growth to be 5.5% over the next 20 years

Boeing estimates operators will need more than 6,450 new single-aisle airplanes in China over the next 20 years. Single-aisle airplanes, such as the 737 family, continue to be the main driver of capacity growth.

In the widebody market, Boeing forecasts demand for 1,590 deliveries by 2039 in China. Widebody airplanes will account for 18% of China’s deliveries during the 20-year period, down 4% from last year’s forecast due to an anticipated slower recovery in global long-haul traffic.

China has the world’s highest e-commerce growth rate but significant room for development of air express shipping, presenting an opportunity for robust freighter demand.

Long-term aviation industry growth in China is expected to drive the need for 395,000 commercial pilots, cabin crew members and aviation technicians to fly and to maintain the country’s airplane fleet.

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GA Telesis Engine Strategy Group names Katy Zhao Director of Business Development China

GA Telesis (GAT) has appointed Katy Zhao as Director of Business Development China with the Engine Strategy Group. Zhao is one of several industry pros recently to join the Engine Strategy Group as the scope of Turbine Vision 2020 grows.

Zhao gained wide-ranging experience in the aviation jet engine business through her 20 years in China with General Electric Aviation and CFM International. She began her career as a GE Field Service Representative and later moved to the CFM leasing division. Her most recent positions included sales and services responsibility with the airlines and MROs in the South China region.

TAM delivers two ATR 72s to Siberian regional carrier KrasAvia

Täby Air Maintenance, TAM, has finished a major overhaul and refurbishment on two ATR 72 aircraft for Russia’s regional carrier, KrasAvia, based in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, some 700 km north-east of Novosibirsk. The two ATR’s will be the first on the Russian register, complementing some 40 Russian- and Czech-built regional airliners like the Yak-42, An-24/26 and the Let 410.

With more than three decades of qualified airliner maintenance experience, TAM has come to be a well known provider of high-quality technical services for the worldwide fleet of Saab 340 and Saab 2000.
This spring, TAM expanded its service portfolio to include the ATR 72-family, thus building a firm platform for continuous future expansion. With the first two ATRs coming into the workshops this spring, this current delivery of the two aircraft to KrasAvia is the first to a Russian airline.

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Fly Leasing reports third quarter 2020 net loss of US$8.1 million

Fly Leasing (FLY) is reporting a net loss of US$8.1 million for the third quarter of 2020. This compares to net income of US$51.7 million for the same period in 2019. The decrease in net income is primarily due to the non-recognition of revenue for certain lessees and no aircraft sales in the current quarter.

Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was US$39.6 million, compared to net income of US$150.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. Adjusted net loss was US$9.0 million for the third quarter of 2020, compared to adjusted net income of US$59.8 million for the same period in the previous year. For the nine months ended September 30, 2020, adjusted net income was US$45.9 million compared to US$168.9 million for the same period last year.

On September 30, 2020, FLY’s total assets were US$3.5 billion, including investment in flight equipment totaling US$3.0 billion. Total cash was US$307.5 million, of which US$285.1 million was unrestricted. The book value per share on September 30, 2020 was US$29.28. FLY's net debt to equity ratio was 2.1x, compared to 2.3x at December 31, 2019.

On October 15, 2020, FLY closed a new US$180 million Term Loan to be secured by 11 narrow-body aircraft. The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including the repayment of debt. At the end of September FLY had 86 aircraft and seven engines in its portfolio. The company's aircraft and engines are on lease to 39 airlines in 24 countries.

ACC Americas appoints VP Commercial Sales

Aviation service provider ACC Aviation has appointed Mike Jennings to the role of Vice President, Commercial Sales.

The organization, which established its North American subsidiary at the end of 2018, has seen substantial growth despite the challenges faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has brought Jennings on board to further accelerate its development in this region and across the Americas.

Jennings joins ACC following successful roles as Director of Charter Operations for Eastern Air Lines and, most recently, Chapman Freeborn. Throughout his career, he has managed charter programs for high-profile clients, including meetings and incentives, professional and collegiate sports, marine industry, travel management and government agencies.

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EME Aero completes first series of Pratt & Whitney GTF shop visits

EME Aero, the engine services joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and MTU Aero Engines, has recently completed the first regular maintenance visits of Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM Geared Turbo Fan (GTF™) engines. Since January, when the first engine arrived in line with Pratt & Whitney’s low-pressure turbine (LPT) retrofit program, a total of 21 engines were successfully delivered back to different customers. Moreover, EME Aero has now become an official member in the Pratt & Whitney GTF MRO network. 

After completing the LPT retrofit program, whose 15 engines were used to smoothly start-up operations in the facility, EME Aero has now already completed another six regular customer engine shop visits. “Despite all the obstacles and additional challenges due to the Covid 19 situation, we are still right on track with our ramp up,” said Derrick Siebert, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Business at EME Aero. “The entire team is proud of reaching another important milestone by completing the first series of shop visits of GTF engines. This proves that EME Aero has now achieved full operational readiness.” 

EME Aero is one of the most advanced and largest shops for the latest generation of commercial aircraft engines. With only 18 months from construction to Entry into Service, it was questionable if the challenging ramp up program could be met. Yet, in December 2019 the state-of-the-art engine shop, including a fully operational test cell, was ready to start operations as an MRO facility.

FLYdocs extends Lease return services partnership with Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines, the flag carrier and largest airline of Belgium, has recently signed a contract with FLYdocs, extending their partnership for end-of-lease (EOL) return services for an Airbus A330 aircraft.

For the two subsidiaries of the Lufthansa Group, this latest project includes a build and audit as well as a digital migration of the A330’s records before delivery back to its lessor.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar