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Friday, April 16th, 2021

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Qantas Group projects domestic capacity to return to 90% of pre-COVID levels in Q4 FY21

Qantas Group has released encouraging projections for Q4 FY21, ending June 30, highlighting its recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel. While Group domestic capacity should reach 90% of pre-COVID levels for the last quarter, subsidiary Jetstar looks likely to exceed 100% thanks to a strong leisure demand. Forward projections into FY22 should see Qantas operating at 107% pre-COVID level and Jetstar at 120%.

According to Group CEO Alan Joyce: “Corporate travel, including the small business segment, is now back to around 65% of pre-COVID levels, and increasing month-on-month.” The Group had been hard hit by lockdowns during Christmas and the New Year which cost it an estimated AU$400 million (EBITDA), while the Easter lockdown that effected Brisbane cost the Group an estimated AU$29 million (EBITDA).

The Group continues to respond to new travel demand patterns, which has led to 34 new domestic routes being added since July last year. This continued focus on maintaining its strategic and competitive position, including its network and frequency advantages, puts the Group’s market share at around 70%. During this fourth quarter, 90% of the Group’s aircraft will be active, compared with just 25% at the height of the national lockdown in mid-2020. Qantas and Jetstar will have more aircraft operating on domestic and resources markets than pre-COVID, including all Boeing 737s and Airbus A320/A321s.

Preparations for the reopening of international borders and the resumption of international flights in late October (beyond flights between Australia and New Zealand) are continuing, including reactivating aircraft and training employees. “This is the longest run of relative stability we’ve had with domestic borders for over a year, and it’s reflected in the strong travel demand we saw over Easter and the forward bookings that are flowing in each week from all parts of the market,” said Joyce, adding that: “The Australian Government’s half-price fares program is having a direct and indirect impact on the sector.” In relation to international flights, Joyce commented: “The vaccination program is absolutely key to restarting international flights in and out of Australia. While there have clearly been some speedbumps with the vaccine rollout, we are still planning for international flights to resume in late October. We remain in regular dialogue with the Government.”

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Delta Air Lines reports first-quarter pre-tax loss of US$2.9 billion

Delta Air Lines has reported financial results for the first quarter 2021, posting AN adjusted pre-tax loss of US$2.9 billion excluding US$1.2 billion of benefit related to the first payroll support program extension (PSP2), which is partially offset among other items, by the debt extinguishment charges incurred when pre-paying its US$1.5 billion slots, gates and routes term loan

Delta reported adjusted operating revenue of US$3.6 billion a decline of 65% on 55% lower sellable capacity versus the first quarter of 2019. Total operating expense, which includes the US$1.2 billion benefit related to PSP2, decreased US$3.9 billion over the first quarter of 2019. Adjusted for the benefit related to PSP2 and third-party refinery sales, total operating expense decreased US$3.1 billion or 33% in the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2019, driven by capacity- and revenue-related expense reductions, lower salaries and related costs and strong cost management across the business

During the first quarter, cash burn averaged US$11 million per day and turned positive in the month of March with cash generation of US$4 million per day. At the end of the first quarter, the company had US$16.6 billion in liquidity, including cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and undrawn revolving credit facilities. The company had total debt and finance lease obligations of US$29.0 billion with adjusted net debt of US$19.1 billion, which was higher than prior guidance as a result of aircraft financing decisions.

France orders eight H225M helicopters and one VSR700 prototype

The French Minister of Armed Forces, Florence Parly, has announced that the Armament General Directorate (DGA) has signed an order to purchase eight additional H225M helicopters and a second VSR700 prototype. The H225Ms will be operated by the French Air and Space Force. The VSR700 is an unmanned aerial system being developed for the French Navy in partnership with Naval Group. This order is part of a stimulus plan to support the national aeronautical industry announced by the French government in 2020. For Airbus Helicopters, the plan also includes an order for two H145 helicopters for the Sécurité Civile and ten H160 helicopters for the French Gendarmerie Nationale.

Like the rest of the aeronautical industry, the helicopter industry has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 saw the worldwide market decrease by 50%. The support of the French government will help secure 960 jobs during the next three years for Airbus Helicopters and its suppliers.

These contracts will benefit the French helicopter industry as a whole, including other key French aerospace providers such as Safran Helicopters Engines with the H225M’s Makila 2A engines, Safran Power Units with the Saphir 20 auxiliary power unit, Safran Electronic Defense with the electro-optical system Euroflir 410M NG and the Sigma inertial navigation system, and Thales with the VUHF radio TRA6034 and IFF transponder TSC4000. But with more than 300 French Tier 1 suppliers involved in the H225M’s supply chain, the contract will also benefit a variety of small and medium enterprises. The VSR700 is based on the Cabri G2 light helicopter built by local SME Hélicoptères Guimbal.

First deliveries of the H225Ms are planned to start in 2024 and will fulfil the Air and Space Force’s operational needs and the long-awaited replacement of the Puma fleet.

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Kellstrom Aerospace partners with Valcor Engineering and its subsidiary Electroid

Kellstrom Aerospace, a global commercial aftermarket OEM distributor, providing a comprehensive range of aircraft lifecycle solutions, has announced an aftermarket partnership with Electroid, a wholly owned subsidiary of Valcor Engineering Corporation, to offer a 100% yield overhaul exchange program for OEM Air Separation Module (ASM) Part Number 2030157-102, which is the original equipment installed on production Boeing 737NG aircraft manufactured after 2008.   

The Air Separation Module is an integral component of the On-Board Inert Gas Generator System (OBIGGS) for fuel tank inerting to protect against explosions by sources of ignition such as electrical shorts, bonding failures, mechanical failures of fuel pumps and lightning protection. The 100% yield overhaul exchange program on P/N 2030157-102 ASM offers the OEM part number in overhauled condition with a dual release FAA/EASA 8130-3 airworthiness release. This offering represents the best value solution for continued airworthiness of the Air Separation Module requiring no retrofit of alternative part numbers, no aircraft modifications and no approval of an FAA/PMA top assembly as opposed to other options being offered in the market, some of which require costly aircraft modifications. P/N 2030157-102 ASM is eligible for installation on all 737NG models including 737-600s, 737-700s, 737-800s,737-900s, 737-900ERs.

Aviator Finland introduces fully electrical chassis

Aviator, a Nordic one-stop shop for aviation ground handling services, has announced the introduction Vestergaard electrical chassis, able to carry a number of Ground support equipment (GSE) applications, such as water and lavatory carts, increasing the base’s operational capability and reducing Aviator’s environmental footprint.

Vestergaard Company’s fully electric 12-ton chassis is equipped with a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery with enough capacity to drive up to approximately 50 km and operate for around 12 hours. The machine is composed of tried and tested high quality industrial, electronic components. Aviator has chosen the version with a fully enclosed cabin with heat and air-conditioning. The unit can also be delivered without doors in an open configuration.

The introduction of this new GSE marks Aviator’s next step towards more sustainable and eco-friendly operations, under the company’s sustainability plan. Vestergaard electrical chassis allows Aviator to operate equipment in closed gate areas with zero emission, no small particle pollution, and with practically eliminated equipment noise.

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Atlas Air flight attendants ratify five-year labor agreement

Atlas Air Worldwide has released that its provider of flight attendant services, Flight Services International (FSI), has reached a five-year agreement with the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) Local 591, which represents flight attendants who support Atlas Air’s passenger services. This is the first labor contract with FSI flight attendants since they organized with TWU.

FSI provides Atlas Air with over 400 flight attendants to serve its thousands of passenger flights a year. Customers include U.S. military service men and women, sports teams, entertainers and other VIP passengers. Atlas Air has worked with FSI since 2012.

Chorus Aviation and Cobham Aviation Services sign aircraft leasing transaction

Chorus Aviation Capital (CAC) has leased one Dash 8-400 aircraft (MSN 4224) to National Jet Express, a subsidiary of Cobham Aviation Services (Cobham). The aircraft, which CAC re-possessed in 2020, was modified and re-purposed by Chorus’ subsidiary, Voyageur Aviation, to support Cobham’s operations to both paved and unpaved runways at remote sites throughout Australia.

Cobham Aviation Services provides fly-in, fly-out services in support of mining, oil and gas projects, critical freight, and VIP charters. Cobham also conducts aerial border surveillance and search-and-rescue operations spanning the country’s exclusive economic zone and SAR region.

Aerogility appoints Martin Taylor to board of directors

Aerogility has released that Martin Taylor, a 40-year veteran of BAE Systems, is joining its Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director. Taylor is, and remains, Managing Director, Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS), at BAE Systems – Air.

He began his career as an Aerodynamicist at British Aerospace Military Aircraft Division. During his time at the organization he was promoted to Head of Project for the Harrier program before moving to Fort Worth, Texas, as the BAE Systems Program Director on the Joint Strike Fighter Program (now known as F-35).
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar