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Thursday, April 15th, 2021

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Norwegian Air to raise additional NEK6 billion before exiting bankruptcy protection

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian) has increased its target of cash being raised prior to exiting bankruptcy protection. Courts in both Dublin and Oslo had recently agreed for the airline to convert debt to stock, but only on the condition that it raised a further NEK4.5 billion. However, that figure has been increased to NEK6 billion in fresh capital to shore up its resources prior to exiting bankruptcy protection, despite the precarious situation being faced by commercial airlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, Norwegian’s Chief Executive Jacob Schram said in a statement: "We want to take a conservative approach at a time when the pandemic and travel restrictions continue to create unpredictability in the travel sector," adding that: "We must take this uncertainty into account in our forward planning strategy. At the same time, we have also taken into consideration feedback from investors, as well as dialogue with our board."

Norwegian has decided to cancel all long-haul flights and dispose of much of its fleet of aircraft as it looks to concentrate on the European market, though it faces stiff competition from Wideroe, SAS, and new start-up Flyr which is due to commence operations in mid-2021. Norwegian has confirmed that certain investors have agreed to inject NEK2.86 billion via a share issue, while current creditors were expected to buy new perpetual bonds worth at least NEK1.8 billion. Separately, Norway's government has said it is willing to invest NEK1.5 billion in hybrid capital. Norwegian's debt will be cut to between NEK16 billion and NEK20 billion, NEK62 billion to NEK65 billion less than end-2019 levels. (US$1.00 = NEK 8.44 at time of publication.)

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ALC delivers one new Airbus A321-200neo LR to Air Arabia

Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has delivered one new Airbus A321-200neo LR aircraft on long-term lease to Air Arabia. This aircraft, featuring CFM International LEAP-1A32 engines, is the sixth of six new A321-200neo LRs to deliver to Air Arabia from ALC’s order book with Airbus.

ALC also disclosed that Air Astana has taken delivery of one Airbus A321-200neo LR aircraft, featuring Pratt & Whitney PW1133G engines. This is the fifth new A321-200neo LR to deliver to Air Astana from ALC’s order book with Airbus. In addition to the five A321-200neo LRs, Air Astana also has one A320-200, two A320-200neos and one A321-200neo on long-term lease from ALC.

IndiGo and AFI KLM E&M extend cooperation for component support

The Airline-MRO AFI KLM E&M and India‘s leading airline operator IndiGo have signed an agreement to extend their component support contract covering over 350 aircraft. The range of services to be delivered by AFI KLM E&M includes component repairs, dedicated pool access, provision of a Main Base Kit (MBK) at the hub of IndiGo‘s airline operations in Delhi, as well as logistics support.

By signing this long-term contract, the two companies are extending and strengthening a business relationship that began with the creation of IndiGo in 2006 and has been growing significantly over the past years, driven by the strong fleet growth and network expansion of IndiGo.

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JetBlue appoints news Chief Digital and Technology Officer

JetBlue has appointed Carol Clements to Chief Digital and Technology Officer, effective April 26, 2021. In this role, Clements will be responsible for the New York-based airline's information systems and technology strategies. She succeeds Eash Sundaram, who retired from JetBlue earlier this year after nearly a decade at the helm of innovation and technology strategy for the airline.

Clements comes to JetBlue with more than a decade at Southwest Airlines, where she led the company-wide technology initiative to enable all commercial and operational capabilities for the carrier’s first-ever international expansion. During her time at Southwest Airlines, Clements also held leadership roles in e-commerce, reservations, and loyalty technology, and business intelligence. More recently, Clements served as chief technology officer for Pizza Hut.

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GA Telesis receives orders for four additional 737-800 freighter conversions with Aeronautical Engineers

GA Telesis (GAT) has received four additional firm orders for 737-800SF freighter conversions with Aeronautical Engineers (AEI). The contract was executed by GAT’s LIFT (Leasing, Investments, Finance & Trading) Group. The first of the two originally contracted passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions was completed in March and delivered to Ethiopian Airlines. The second freighter aircraft is expected to be completed in May 2021.

The additional order will be comprised of three conversion slots in the second half of 2021, with the remaining conversion slot reserved for early 2022. All work will be performed by authorized AEI Conversion Center, Commercial Jet, in Dothan, Alabama. LIFT will continue to evaluate additional 737SF slots and other freighter aircraft models to support the global air cargo industry's expanding main deck freighter needs.

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Viva Aerobus to digitize aircraft records with FLYdocs

Viva Aerobus, Mexico´s ultra-low-cost carrier, recently signed a deal with FLYdocs to digitize maintenance records for its fleet of 47 aircraft. Through the three-year agreement, Viva Aerobus is expected to benefit from full digital aircraft compliance on-demand by taking advantage of the FLYdocs® platform’s enhanced integration with M&E software AMOS.

Francisco Morgado Morfín, Engineering and Maintenance VP at Viva Aerobus said: “Last year we committed to becoming the greenest airline in Mexico as sustainability is at the heart of our operational strategy. Our partnership with FLYdocs will undoubtedly add value and strengthen those efforts by allowing us to utilize digital technology to drive a paperless approach to our maintenance records. As the first airline in the Americas to resume 100% of its operational capacity in such a challenging climate, we are optimistic that the team at FLYdocs and the platform’s unique integration with AMOS will help us maintain our resilience and adaptability as we continue to propel Mexico’s air travel industry in a safe and responsible way.”

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APOC partners with Bonus Tech to complete third engine teardown

APOC Aviation is collaborating with Bonus Tech, part of the Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance network, to disassemble its third engine in recent months. The CFM56-7B engine components will be integrated into APOC’s stock in April, ensuring the leasing, trading and part-out specialist is well positioned to support customers as market recovery ramps up.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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