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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

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Boeing pares back 777X firm orders by 118 as buyers hedge their bets

Boeing’s 777X program has been hit by another blow as its fourth-quarter 2020 accounting standard assessment has adjusted firm orders from 309 to 191. Firm orders are those which the company feels confident will result in a completed sale and purchase. Only last week the American planemaker was forced to take a US$6.5 billion charge on the 77X, partly as a consequence of the reduction in demand as a result of the global pandemic, and partly because of delays in the certification process.

With Boeing’s certification processes now under close scrutiny, together with the involvement of the FAA, the 777X certification process will likely see the wide-body jet now enter into service a year later than planned, in 2023.

“Delays on the 737 MAX and 777X programs have resulted in, and may continue to result in, customers having the right to terminate orders and or substitute orders for other Boeing aircraft,” the manufacturer said in a regulatory filing. Orders for the 777X have come from Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, Singapore Airlines Ltd, ANA Holdings Inc and Lufthansa.

Boeing Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith said last week on an earnings call that the company’s order backlog had fallen during the fourth quarter of 2020, including the revised schedule for the 777X.


NAC delivers first of fifteen Embraer E190 to Breeze Airways

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) has delivered one Embraer E190, MSN 19000070, to Breeze Airways on lease. This is the first aircraft to deliver as part of a fifteen E190 aircraft lease agreement made with Breeze Airways and represents a significant vote of confidence in the E190 and in NAC’s TrueChoice Flight Hour agreement with GE for the CF34-10E engine.

NAC is delighted to begin this new partnership with Breeze and continue its long-standing relationship with veteran aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman, who has a proven track record of success having founded five commercial airlines, including Azul Airlines in Brazil and JetBlue Airways. His latest venture will be based in the United States and is dedicated to making the world of travel simple, affordable, friendly, and convenient.

Philip Scruggs Chief Commercial Officer of AerCap to retire

AerCap has released that Philip Scruggs, President and Chief Commercial Officer, will retire in March 2021 and that Peter Anderson will take over as Chief Commercial Officer.

During his 26-year career with AerCap, Scruggs has held a number of positions within the company — lawyer, leasing executive, Chief Commercial Officer and President. Over the past ten years, he has led the commercial business of the company, managing a fleet of over 1,000 aircraft that has generated on average over US$4 billion per year in revenue and purchasing over US$27 billion of new equipment from Airbus, Boeing and Embraer.

Peter Anderson brings to the role two decades of global experience in aircraft leasing and structured finance, having worked in Dublin, Singapore, London and Sydney. He is a member of the Group Executive Committee of AerCap and is currently responsible for AerCap’s leasing activities across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior to his current position, Anderson opened, developed and led the Asia Pacific office of AerCap’s predecessor ILFC, transitioning to the Head of Asia Pacific during AerCap’s acquisition of ILFC in 2014.


AJW Group opens new 35,000 ft² warehouse in EU

AJW Group has opened a new 35,000 ft² warehouse in Milan to primarily support easyJet’s EU operations as part of the recently signed complete supply chain solution contract.

The new EU facility located adjacent to Malpensa airport, Milan, holds significant inventory of over 10,000 lines of stock across 3,000 part numbers of rotable, repairable and C&E items. With 30 staff delivering a 24/7/365 operation and operating under easyJet’s part 145 approval, the EU network will be fully supported by a bespoke logistics service from this new facility.

Despite global travel restrictions and numerous local lockdowns, AJW has succeeded in implementing the project on schedule, with physical infrastructure, IT and recruitment completed, and further training ongoing. The facility was added to easyJet’s MOE in December 2020 and the stock transition was performed throughout December and early January.  The facility went live on January 28, supporting the easyJet network.

The opening of the new EU facility will ensure an ongoing efficient delivery of spares to easyJet aircraft across Europe and will speed up operational recovery with improved logistic links by supporting network locations close to the hub.

Airbus sites gear-up for A321XLR’s major component assembly phase

Industrialization and parts production for the first A321XLR is underway across Airbus sites and its wider supply chain, paving the way for the major component assembly of the first forward fuselage, centre and rear fuselage sections and the wings, to begin in 2021. By the start of this year, a large proportion of the engineering design drawings had been released.

“The production of components for the first A321XLR flight-test aircraft is progressing through the sites all across the world, for large and small components as well as systems,” notes Gary O’Donnell, Head of the A321XLR program. “In parallel many parts are already being tested and demonstrated – on both the aircraft structure and on the systems side – to validate the functionality of all those first aircraft components.”

While all major sections of the A321XLR contain significant design changes versus the current A321neo/A321LR baseline aircraft, the major component assembly with extensive design and manufacturing differences is the center and aft fuselage. This is especially due to the center and aft fuselage's totally new integral rear center fuel tank and associated fuel management systems – which is key to the aircraft’s “eXtra Long Range” performance capability, while retaining operational commonality with the baseline A321neo.

Airbus’ own factory in Hamburg, which will host the major component assembly operations for the rear fuselage equipped with the new rear center tank, is preparing the necessary jigs and tooling in a new dedicated pilot production line in “Hangar 260”. This operation is deliberately decoupled from the rest of the A320 line, so that starting from next year this pilot line will enable a gradual ramp-up of the A321XLR’s new rear fuselage – to attain maturity without impacting Hamburg’s existing single-aisle production operations.


APOC Aviation strike landing gear exchange deal with Avion Express Malta

APOC Aviation’s specialist landing gear division has concluded its first landing gear deal with Avion Express Malta, the Maltese-based ACMI and aircraft leasing operator.  A freshly overhauled A321-200 from stock replaced its ran-out gear which APOC took in exchange. With several A320 family and B737NG assets already out on lease, or in active exchange programs, the company worked closely with Avion Express Malta to finalize the deal.

Currently around 40% of APOC’s LDG stock is leased, 30% is allocated to exchange programs and the remaining 30% is set up for additional lease opportunities, part-out projects and sales.  “We’re looking to purchase prime LDGs for stock and plan to increase our inventory by about 50% over the next 6 months” remarked Karolis Jurkevicius, VP Landing Gear Trading - APOC Aviation.  “Identifying suitable assets is always challenging, however we do consider LDGs with leases attached if they fit with our asset criteria of the highest quality.”

Avianor and Kenya Airways collaborate on Boeing 787 cargo conversion

Kenya Airways (KQ), Kenya’s national carrier, and Montreal-based Avianor, a leader in MRO, integration and interior finishing of commercial and military aircraft, have reached an agreement to collectively repurpose its aircraft cabins into cargo transportation on the Boeing 787.

The repurposed cabin has been certified to carry up to 16 tons of cargo, potentially enabling the aircraft to reach its maximum payload while in cargo operation of 46 tons. The repurposing began in December 2020 and was completed in January 2021.

This new collaboration demonstrates the airline’s confidence in Avianor, an affiliate of DRAKKAR Aerospace & Ground Transportation. KQ currently has nine Dreamliners in its fleet, which are primarily used for passenger flights. In 2020, Kenya Airways used some of its Boeing 787 aircraft for cargo transportation, aircraft seats remained, limiting the space for an increased freight capacity. With its expertise and engineering certifications, Avianor supervised Kenya Airways’ modifications on the full cabin repurposing of two of their B787.

The repurposing of this first Dreamliner has since been completed and Kenya Airways has received air worthiness approval from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCCA) and Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and will soon begin cargo flights.


VSE Aviation signs five-year distribution agreement with Triumph Systems & Support

VSE Aviation has entered into an exclusive, five-year distribution agreement with Triumph Systems & Support as part of its new Aviation Landing Gear initiative.

The agreement, which took effect in January, has a total estimated value of approximately US$100 million over five years. Under the terms of the agreement, VSE will be the exclusive distributor for more than 150 line-replaceable units and 1,600 landing gear accessories supporting current, in-production Boeing and Airbus platforms. VSE will provide support to global commercial airline and MRO customers through distribution centers in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

This agreement enhances VSE’s existing presence in the hydraulic landing gear components market. Landing gear vertical is an attractive space given the mission-critical, high-value nature of the parts and components being supplied, and VSE’s unique ability to offer bundled solutions comprising product distribution and repair capabilities.

Under VSE’s new, multi-year Landing Gear initiative, the company is developing a comprehensive landing gear suite of solutions for global airline and MRO customers. This suite will include services such as gear sales, exchanges and repair management as well as the distribution of proprietary and specialty products, kitting and other just-in-time value added services, including 24/7 AOG service. VSE believes that this solution suite will simplify the supply chain process and reduce working capital requirements for customers.

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