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Thursday, February 11th, 2021

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United to work with Archer Aviation to accelerate production of advanced, short-haul electric aircraft

United Airlines has completed an agreement to work with air mobility company Archer as part of the airline's broader effort to invest in emerging technologies that decarbonize air travel. Rather than relying on traditional combustion engines, Archer's electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are designed to use electric motors and have the potential for future use as an 'air taxi' in urban markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, United will contribute its expertise in airspace management to assist Archer with the development of battery-powered, short-haul aircraft. Once the aircraft are in operation and have met United's operating and business requirements, United, together with Mesa Airlines, would acquire a fleet of up to 200 of these electric aircraft that would be operated by a partner and are expected to give customers a quick, economical and low-carbon way to get to United's hub airports and commute in dense urban environments within the next five years.

With today's technology, Archer's aircraft are designed to travel distances of up to 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and future models will be designed to travel faster and further. Not only are Archer's aircraft capable of saving individuals time on their commute, United estimates that using Archer's eVTOL aircraft could reduce CO2 emissions by 47% per passenger on a trip between Hollywood and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), one of the initial cities where Archer plans to launch its fleet.

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Spirit Airlines ends fourth- quarter with net loss of US$157.3 million

Spirit Airlines has reported fourth quarter 2020 results. Total operating revenues for the fourth quarter 2020 were US$498.5 million, a decrease of 48.6% year over year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely affect demand for air travel.

For the fourth quarter 2020, total revenue per passenger flight segment decreased 14.5% year over year to US$94.64. Fare revenue per segment decreased 25.6% to US$39.22 while non-ticket revenue per segment only decreased 4.5% to US$55.42.

For the fourth quarter 2020, total GAAP operating expenses were US$658.4 million, a decrease of 22.1% year over year. Adjusted operating expenses for the fourth quarter 2020 were US$659.4 million, a decrease of 21.5% year over year. These changes were primarily driven by a decrease in both fuel rate and volume compared to the fourth quarter last year.

Spirit Airlines ended the fourth-quarter with a net loss of US$157.3 million.

Mesa Air Group reports first quarter fiscal 2021 results

Mesa's first-quarter 2021 results reflect net income of US$14.1 million, compared to net income of US$10.8 million in the first quarter of 2020. Mesa's pre-tax income in the first quarter was US$18.9 million, compared to US$10.8 million for the first quarter of 2020. Adjusted pre-tax income was US$18.0 million, compared to US$14.3 million in the previous year. Mesa's first quarter 2021 results include, per GAAP, the deferral of US$5.2 million of revenue, all of which was billed and paid by American and United during the quarter and will be recognized over the remaining terms of the contracts.

The primary reason for the US$3.7 million increase in adjusted pre-tax income from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021 was US$11.3 million of benefit from the Payroll Support Program (PSP) under the CARES Act offset by the US$5.2 million of deferred revenue and the impact of a 26% reduction in Contract Revenue related to reduced flying as a result of COVID-19.

Additionally, Mesa's Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2021 was US$47.4 million, compared to US$47.4 million in the first quarter of 2020, and Adjusted EBITDAR was US$57.5 million, compared to US$58.8 million in the previous year.

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Bahrain International Airport's new passenger terminal includes SITA Smart Path biometrics and SITA Flex

Backed by SITA's state-of-the-art technology, Bahrain International Airport's (BIA) newly-opened passenger terminal is better prepared to respond to the changing demands of travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ultra-modern facility positions BIA as the most advanced boutique airport in the Gulf, increasing its capacity to 14 million passengers per year.

A key focus for Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), the airport's operator and managing body, was to optimize the passenger experience and operations to quickly recover from the pandemic through 2021 and beyond.

Using SITA's Operations at Airports portfolio, the airport benefits from real-time insights, improved stakeholder collaboration, and increased agility to optimize operations. The solution includes SITA's Flight Info Displays Systems (FIDS), providing a dynamic platform for communicating important information and managing the passenger flow.

SITA is also providing Flex, its advanced cloud-based passenger processing solution. Flex allows airlines and the airport to develop new cloud-native applications for passengers and airport workers that transform the passenger experience and create new revenue opportunities. Flex will be delivered with SITA Smart Path kiosks enabling a low-touch mobile and biometric-enabled check-in experience that combats COVID-19 by reducing the passengers’ and staff’s risk of contracting the virus.

The SITA solution also includes a baggage reconciliation system to help manage the delivery of passengers' bags end to end.

GA Telesis appoints Jessica Matthews Managing Director, GAT Logistics Solutions

GA Telesis (GAT) has appointed Jessica Matthews as Managing Director of GAT Logistics Solutions. Matthews will be tasked with leading all aspects of strategy, sales, operations, contracts, revenue, and margin targets, as well as managing all future partnerships in the logistics space. She will also be responsible for growing the GAT Logistics Solutions network globally.

The growth and emphasis on GAT Logistics Solutions is part of a larger strategy of the Flight Solutions Group’s (FSG) ability to offer comprehensive, vertically integrated support solutions to its customer base worldwide.

Spanning over 15 years, Matthews brings a wide range of management experience gained throughout increasing levels of responsibility in brand name corporate level logistics and 3PL commodity management.

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Astronics secures new inflight connectivity equipment order from Collins Aerospace

Astronics Corporation (Astronics) was awarded an order of approximately US$11 million from Collins Aerospace (Collins) for business jet connectivity equipment. The order is a follow on to previous orders for inflight connectivity (IFC) hardware that Astronics has been providing to Collins.

Astronics’ equipment supports the growing interest in the business jet connectivity services offered by Collins Aerospace. Having received many strong customer reviews, Collins’ system provides unparalleled high-speed world-wide connectivity that enables a broad variety of remote conferencing services as well as streaming entertainment.

“We are excited to extend and expand the relationship with Collins Aerospace to provide best-in-class connectivity equipment for its customers,” stated Michael Kuehn, Astronics CSC President. “We believe this order validates the success of Collins Aerospace connectivity services and the performance of Astronics connectivity hardware. Improved connectivity for the business jet market has become an imperative and we are committed to providing the best connectivity capability available for aircraft with our technologies.”
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