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Friday, February 26th, 2021

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Australia first Asia-Pacific region to lift ban on Boeing 737 MAX

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has lifted the temporary suspension on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operating to or from Australia.

While no Australian airlines currently operate the Boeing 737 MAX, two foreign airlines flew these aircraft types to Australia before the COVID-19 pandemic – Singapore-based SilkAir (now Singapore Airlines) and Fiji Airways.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recently issued return to service airworthiness directives for the Boeing 737 MAX.

CASA’s Acting CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Graeme Crawford said the initial suspension had been in the best interests of aviation safety. “CASA was one of the first civil aviation regulators in the world to suspend Boeing 737 MAX operations. We took early action based on the information we had to ensure our skies remained safe while the cause of the accidents was investigated,” Crawford said.

“We have accepted the comprehensive return-to-service requirements specified by the FAA as State of Design for the 737 MAX and are confident that the aircraft are safe. Our airworthiness and engineering team has assessed there are no additional return to service requirements for operation in Australia."

“With COVID-19 continuing to disrupt international air travel, there is currently no indication when Singapore airlines and Fiji Airways will resume their operations to Australia,” Crawford said.

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Qantas prepares to resume international flights from late October

Qantas and Jetstar are planning to restart regular international passenger flights to most destinations from October 31, 2021 – a four-month extension from the previous estimate of July, which had been in place since mid-2020. The date change aligns with the expected timeframe for Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout to be effectively complete.

Capacity will be lower than pre-COVID levels, with frequencies and aircraft type deployed on each route in line with the projected recovery of international flying. International capacity is not expected to fully recover until 2024.

The Group remains in close consultation with the Federal Government around the reopening of international borders and will keep customers updated if further adjustments are required.

Qantas is assessing the use of digital health pass apps to help support the resumption of COVID-safe international travel. The CommonPass and IATA Travel Pass smartphone apps are being trialed on the airline’s international repatriation flights.

Fly Leasing reports fourth quarter net loss of US$107.0 million

Fly Leasing (FLY) is reporting a net loss of US$107.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2020. This compares to net income of US$75.2 million for the same period in 2019. The decrease in net income is primarily due to flight equipment impairment of US$115.0 million. Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2020 was US$67.4 million compared to net income of US$225.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.

Adjusted net loss was US$115.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to adjusted net income of US$77.0 million for the same period in the previous year. For the year ended December 31, 2020, adjusted net loss was US$69.4 million compared to adjusted net income of US$245.9 million for the same period last year.

On December 31, 2020, FLY’s total assets were US$3.2 billion, including investment in flight equipment totaling US$2.8 billion. Total cash on December 31, 2020 was US$161.5 million, of which US$132.1 million was unrestricted. The book value per share on December 31, 2020 was US$25.88. Compared to the prior year, FLY's net debt to equity ratio on December 31, 2020 remained at 2.3x.

FLY recognized flight equipment impairment of US$115.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, of which US$106.0 million is related to two Airbus A330-300 aircraft expected to be returned by the lessee in 2021. These widebody aircraft are the only aircraft of their type in FLY's portfolio. The balance of the impairment charge is related to seven narrow-body aircraft that FLY expects to sell in 2021.

On December 31, 2020, FLY had 84 aircraft and seven engines in its portfolio. FLY's aircraft and engines are on lease to 37 airlines in 23 countries.

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IAG Cargo reports strong financial results for 2020

IAG Cargo has reported its 2020 full year results, reporting commercial revenues of €1,306 million over the period from January 1 to December 31, 2020, an increase of 18.5% on 2019 at constant currency.  Overall yields for the year were up 94.6% on the same time last year at constant currency. Sold tons were down 34.9%.   

IAG's top priority was to maintain a broad network and product proposition for cargo customers despite the pandemic. Without a freighter fleet, the company adapted its operations and established a comprehensive network of scheduled cargo-only flying, using the group’s passenger aircraft. Markets most in need of air cargo supply were identified, where the demand could support the yields required to cover the costs of cargo-only-services.

In March IAG assembled a charter team to develop dedicated capacity solutions for customers and governments. During the year it operated over 1,000 charters and removed the seats from five passenger aircraft to create even more capacity for its customers.

The business saw a very strong end to the year with Q4 commercial revenues of €389 million up 36.6% at constant currency. Q4 saw higher demand leading up to Christmas, benefitting from e-commerce, pharmaceuticals and automotive shipments.

With the international focus on fighting COVID-19, IAG moved over 20,000 tons of PPE in 2020 and large quantities of sanitizer, ventilators, and COVID-19 testing kits alongside its regular movements of food, medicines, high tech, and parts for industry.

StandardAero signs multiple long-term agreements to perform components MRO services for Honeywell accessories and LRUs

StandardAero Component Services has signed multiple, long-term distribution and license agreements with Honeywell Aerospace, authorizing the company to perform OEM approved repairs on Honeywell hydromechanical units and fuel controls as well as a large portfolio of Honeywell pneumatic valves, actuators, regulators, starters and fuel pumps across a comprehensive range of aircraft applications.

Operating as an officially licensed Honeywell Authorized Warranty and Repair Station (AWARS), StandardAero will perform repairs at its Hialeah and Fort Myers, Florida locations (formerly Safe Fuel Systems and Accel Aviation Accessories). As part of the agreement, StandardAero will collaborate with Honeywell and have full access to all relevant technical manuals and spare parts, allowing for a more competitive offering.

“This is a significant agreement as we will receive OEM support necessary to offer competitive and high quality repairs performed on a multitude of legacy platforms including the A320, B737, B747, B757, B767, B777, CRJ, ERJ, CFM56-5, CFM56-7B, CF6-80 and CF34 as well as next generation platforms such as the A320neo, B787, 747-8, B737 MAX, GEnx and LEAP” said Mike Rezman, Vice President for LRUs & Accessories within StandardAero’s Component Services business unit. “In conjunction with the MRO licenses, StandardAero acquired a significant amount of LRU and accessory inventory, enabling us to support exchange programs while decreasing our repair turn-around times for our customers.”

StandardAero acquired Safe Aviation Solutions (including Safe Fuel Systems, Accel Aviation and B&E ACR), formerly the MRO services subsidiary of the B&E Group, during summer 2019. The acquisition expanded the company’s MRO capabilities to include comprehensive testing, repair, overhaul and modification of engine fuel system components, pneumatic/hydraulic/actuation systems and aircraft power generation systems for airlines, freight companies, OEMs and other MRO providers.

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Munich Airport working towards climate neutrality

ACI EUROPE the association of the European airport industry, together with other leading European aviation associations have presented a strategy paper to the European Commission in Brussels, detailing the route by which all system partners – from airports and airlines through aerospace manufacturers all the way through to air traffic controllers – can work collectively to achieve net zero CO² emissions in Europe’s aviation sector. With the position paper “Destination 2050 – A Route to Net Zero European Aviation,” the European aviation industry is presenting a roadmap to making sustainable aviation a reality. In 2019, over 200 European airports already pledged to deliver net zero airport CO² emissions by 2050. Munich Airport was one of the first airports in Germany to sign this “Net Zero carbon” resolution.

Munich Airport has been following an ambitious climate action strategy since 2009 and has been systematically reducing its CO² emissions year after year with the aim of achieving CO²-neutral airport operations by no later than 2030. Munich Airport is investing a total of €150 million between now and 2030 to help it achieve its climate targets.

While passenger numbers in Munich rose from 28.6 million in 2005 to 48 million in 2019, CO² emissions per passenger were reduced by 46 percent in the same period. To achieve the set target of CO²-neutral airport operations by 2030, between now and then the CO² emissions attributable to the airport will be progressively reduced by 60% and the remaining 40% offset through compensatory measures, preferably right here in the region.

More than 280 individual measures under this target have already been implemented successfully. Among other things, the airport is investing substantially in expanding electric mobility. It already has a 38% share of electric and hybrid vehicles. Munich Airport was the first major commercial airport to switch all of its apron lighting to energy-saving LED technology, which reduced energy costs considerably.

The long-term target is the complete reduction of all CO² emissions to “net zero carbon” by no later than 2050. Between now and then, the intention is to make airport operations mostly CO²-neutral. Any CO² emissions that are still produced at the airport by this date will then no longer be offset, but removed from the atmosphere by technological means.

Jost Lammers, CEO of Munich Airport and President of ACI EUROPE, considers both the European aviation industry and Munich Airport to be well on the way toward climate neutrality: "Regardless of the enormous challenges we are currently facing due to the global pandemic and its consequences, the development toward sustainable air transport remains our most important project for the future. With the initiative launched at European level and the extensive measures we have already implemented or initiated in Munich, we can also achieve our ambitious goals."

West Star Aviation acquires additional hangar space at Chattanooga facility for enhanced Embraer program

West Star Aviation has acquired additional hangar space at its Chattanooga, TN (CHA) facility. The additional space will accommodate the growth of the Embraer program while being able to accommodate additional customers with their maintenance and scheduling needs.

The Chattanooga location is a one stop shop for Embraer maintenance, as well as being the only OEM authorized Phenom 100 and 300 landing gear overhaul facility. With combined experience of over 102 years, the Embraer team has the expertise to complete scheduled/unscheduled maintenance, landing gear overhaul, interior and paint refurbishments or complete customization as requested.
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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