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Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

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StandardAero signs definitive agreement to acquire Signature Aviation’s Engine Repair and Overhaul business

StandardAero, a provider of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Signature Aviation’s Engine Repair and Overhaul (ERO) business. The transaction is expected to close mid-2021, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Like StandardAero, ERO is an engine MRO provider primarily for business jet and rotorcraft platforms made up of the following five entities: Dallas Airmotive, H&S Aviation, W.H. Barrett Turbine Engine Company, International Governor Services (IGS) and International Turbine Service (ITS). ERO is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with two overhaul facilities (one in Dallas and the other in Portsmouth, England), ten regional turbine centers, one component MRO site and two parts/distribution facilities.

ERO employs around 1,100 people with 2020 annual revenue around US$500 million. Customers include regional airlines, commercial transportation providers, corporate flight departments, private operators, government agencies and defense departments.

Services include MRO for the majority of turbine engine models powering fixed and rotary wing aircraft used for business aviation, and many of the engines used in government, military and commercial applications.

Upon closing, ERO will significantly expand upon StandardAero’s current capabilities for providing MRO services for a number of Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce and General Electric platforms. The acquisition also brings new capabilities to StandardAero’s MRO portfolio including services for PW200, PW500, Spey & Tay engines and PW901 APUs. In addition, ERO also expands StandardAero’s component repair capabilities, parts distribution channels and mobile field services for our combined customers.


RECARO Aircraft Seating signs extension contract with Airbus for delivery of SWIFT SFE seats

Recaro Aircraft Seating has signed an extension contract with Airbus for the delivery of SWIFT economy class seats. Since 2016, the premium seat provider has been equipping Airbus A320 Family aircraft with pre-defined economy class seats BL3530. This contract extension aims to enlarge the supplier furnished equipment (SFE) catalogue with the latest RECARO products.

The SWIFT program was created to target lessors and airlines that require a short lead-time of four months or less via a SFE process. The last-minute flexibility without compromising seat quality has resulted in a popular solution for airlines in a post-pandemic environment.

Recaro currently offers pre-defined and pre-certified versions of its BL3530, BL3710, and CL4710 seats, and provides various dual-class cabin configurations of the SWIFT family of seats. Optional seat features range from comfort packages and in-seat power solutions to tablet holders and leather colors. The SL3710 is  the lightest seat in the market, and is slated  to join the Airbus SFE catalogue soon.

Finnair completes lease financing arrangement for next A350 aircraft delivery

As part of Finnair’s rebuild program, the company has finalized a lease financing arrangement for its next A350 aircraft delivery, with JLPS Holding Ireland Limited as the lessor and lease servicer. In the arrangement, Finnair will assign the purchase of the Airbus A350 aircraft to a third party, and then lease it back for its own operation. The aircraft is expected to be delivered to Finnair in the second quarter of 2022. The operating lease period is a minimum of 12-years, including a storage period expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2021, concurrent with the aircraft‘s sale.

The total positive cash effect of the arrangement for Finnair in 2021–2022 is in excess of US$100 million compared to a situation in which the aircraft had been purchased and owned by Finnair.

Finnair has ordered a total of 19 new A350-900 XWB aircraft from Airbus, of which 16 have been delivered as of September 1, 2020; the aircraft concerned will be the 17th. The remaining two A350 aircraft are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2025.


F/LIST joins research consortium to bring renewable materials to aviation interiors

Composites for aviation that are made from 100% renewable raw materials, and which not only have excellent properties, but are also decorative: that’s the goal of the BioForS project consortium. The aim is to replace conventional fire-resistant lightweight components for aircraft interiors, which include sheets made from fossil raw materials.

"We aim to make aviation more sustainable. In this project, we tackle the challenge of bringing green and renewable structural materials into the aircraft cabin,” explains Patrick Domnanich, Director Research & Development, F/LIST.

This approach entails great challenges as materials and components used in aviation must be able to withstand extreme loads while being as light as possible. So-called organo sheets have increasingly been used in the past. These are fiber composites that can be produced quickly and easily and have excellent mechanical properties. Currently they are still made from fossil raw materials, which opens up the potential for replacement by renewable resources.

Since the beginning of 2018, a large project team including partners from science and industry has been researching the production of bio-based organic sheets for the visible parts in aircraft interiors. The materials used are biodegradable and vegetable oil-based polymers in the form of films, which incorporate flame retardant and natural flax fibers as a matrix. Besides base material development, the project deals with designing the composite assemblies and setting up efficient manufacturing and molding processes. Since these sheets are intended for elements in the aircraft interior that can be seen and touched, the feel and look must also be optimal. The sheets are therefore equipped with a specially developed bio-based and fire-retardant decorative layer including real wood veneer.

F/LIST contributes to the project with its extensive expertise in aircraft engineering, certification and material development. The company’s in-house test facilities, which include a flammability laboratory, ensure that all innovations meet the highest specifications.

MAAS Aviation opens new aircraft paint shop in Kaunas, Lithuania

MAAS Aviation, recognized expert in aircraft painting and exterior coatings, has opened a new purpose-built paint shop at Kaunas Airport (KUN).  The facility, which is the first of its kind in Lithuania, grows MAAS Aviation’s global footprint to eleven paint shops and increases its overall MRO capacity in Europe by 40%. Designed to achieve the highest industry quality standards, the facility features the very latest technologies, including systems to ensure safe and secure operations and to manage the environmental impact of the company’s activities.  

Following a multi-million-euro investment by MAAS Aviation, the ultra-modern Lithuanian facility is a twin-bay narrow-body paint shop capable of accommodating up to two A321 sized aircraft simultaneously.  All MAAS Aviation facilities are certified to EN9100, ISO9001 and ISO14001 standards and the Kaunas shop will operate to these standards from the outset. 

In the build up to establishing this new facility MAAS Aviation experienced a dynamic growth trajectory. In 2015 the company had just three paint shops in two locations, 130 aircraft were painted, and turnover was approximately US$10 million. This year MAAS will have eleven paint shops three in Hamburg, two in Kaunas, two in Maastricht, one at Fokker Woensdrecht, and three in Mobile, Alabama. The organization is forecasting painting up to 300 aircraft with turnover expected to exceed US$28 million.


IBA sees major structural downshifts in values of current generation widebodies

New generation widebody and narrowbody aircraft have seen only modest declines in their market values despite the enormous challenges of COVID-19, according to aviation industry consultant IBA.

In its latest Aircraft Values webinar, IBA made no base value changes to new generation widebody aircraft. It ascribes only modest market value changes and the quickest recovery for this aircraft group. However, there are near-term risks due to aircraft insolvencies and restructurings which could increase supply. Data from IBA’s Insight.iQ platform shows that market values dropped between just 5% and 8% for all new Boeing 787, Airbus A330neo and A350 models except the Boeing 787-8 which dropped 13%.

In the new generation narrowbody segment, Airbus outperformed Boeing from a value perspective. Although neither OEM’s models saw a base value change, the market values of new A320neo family and A220 aircraft declined between just 3% to 8%, whilst new Boeing 737 MAX models declined 11-12% with values and lease rates for this type expected to remain under continued pressure.

Conversely, the values of previous generation narrowbodies have seen the A320ceo fall further than the Boeing 737NG, although IBA believes the 737NG’s more stable position is a temporary one, upheld by the small number of 737 MAX aircraft currently in operation.

Of the A320ceo family, the A321 has performed best from a value perspective, with a market value fall of just 17% for a five-year-old aircraft, due to higher utilisation and greater attractiveness for freighter conversions. With over 30% of the A320ceo fleet still in storage, market values for a similar age aircraft have dropped 20% with lease extension rates holding well but secondary placement rates under significant downward pressure.

Market values of the most popular Boeing 737NG, the 737-800, have fallen by 17% -  less than the A320ceo. Just over 20% of 737-800s are in storage – a position sustained principally by the grounding of the 737MAX. As supply levels of the MAX increase, IBA forecasts further falls in values and lease rates for the 737NG.

Phil Seymour, President of IBA, says: “Whilst COVID has negatively affected the values of all aircraft types, current generation widebodies have suffered most reflecting the pandemic’s impact on long-haul and business travel. New generation aircraft, and in particular narrowbodies, are proving much more resilient, with the A320neo continuing to lead that marketplace from a value and operational perspective.”

Current generation widebody aircraft have all seen downward adjustments to both base and market values. Of these, the Airbus A380 is worst affected, with a combination of the largescale grounding of the global fleet and the forthcoming end of production driving market values down by over 50% for aircraft of all ages.

The Boeing 777 has fared better, seeing its market value fall by 19% for a five-year-old aircraft – a position sustained by ‘preighter’ activity, its potential for freighter conversion, its retention in service by airlines who favour it over larger types such as the A380, and delays to the Boeing 777X.

Values of the A330ceo have continued a downward trajectory that started before the onset of COVID-19. With significant oversupply in the marketplace, driven partially by the failure of numerous airlines with A330s in their fleets, market values have dropped 19% for a five-year-old aircraft, and part of an ongoing trend that has seen values halve since 2018.

Oversupply remains a significant issue for the turboprop marketplace, although IBA has made no changes to the base values of the segment’s two principal types – the Dash 8/Q400 and the ATR. Of the two types, the ATR is set to recover more quickly with a market value drop for a three-year-old aircraft of 2-7% depending on the variant, whereas a Dash 8/Q400 of the same age has dropped 13%.

In the regional jet marketplace, high storage levels of certain types, particularly the Embraer E190, is depressing values, with demand present but at suppressed pricing. However, IBA forecasts a recovery in utilisation and values as domestic and regional markets re-open.

Embraer Praetor 600 earns Canadian Type Certificate

Embraer's Praetor 600 super-midsize business jet was granted a type certificate by Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA).

The Praetor 600 is surpassing all its main design goals and becoming capable of flying beyond 4,000 nautical miles in long-range cruise speed or beyond 3,700 nautical miles at Mach .80 from runways shorter than 4,500 ft, complemented by an outstanding payload capability. Also, it offers unparalleled performance from wet and contaminated runways (snow, standing water) which are very common in the intense Canadian winter.

The Praetor 600 is now the farthest-flying super-midsize jet, able to make nonstop flights between Toronto and London, Montreal and Paris, Calgary and Honolulu, Vancouver and San Juan. An aircraft of many firsts, the Praetor 600 is the first super-midsize jet with full fly-by-wire technology, which powers turbulence reduction that not only makes every flight the smoothest but also the most efficient possible, being able to reduce maintenance downtime by as much as 40% compared to conventional control.

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