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Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

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IAI to establish Boeing 777 conversion facility in South Korea

Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Aviation Group has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), with the Incheon International Airport and Sharp Technics, to establish a Passenger 2 Cargo (P2F) conversion site in South Korea. The facility will specialize in converting Boeing 777-ERSF (Big Twin) from passenger to freighter. Within the framework of the agreement, IAI will convert six B777-300ER and B777-200LR per year, starting in 2024. Establishing more P2F aircraft conversion facilities around the world is necessary in order to meet the expected rise in demand for wide-body freighter aircraft with capacity for long flights.

IAI's Aviation Group is working around the clock during this time to prototype the B777 P2F conversion and is expected to conclude the licensing process during 2023. The B777 model represents the next generation of freighter aircraft, and will join the family of IAI's conversions, including: B747, B767, B737NG, and the B737 classic.

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Bombardier’s predicted Q1 2021 results outpace Wall Street predictions

Canada’s Bombardier, which has recently streamlined its operations to concentrate solely on the production of luxury business jets, has released preliminary results ahead of the official release of the first quarter’s finances on May 6. While, according to IBES data from Refinitiv, analysts had projected first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) at US$89 million, the planemaker expects that figure to be around US$123 million. In summary: Business jet revenues are expected to be US$1.3 billion, an increase of 18% year-over-year. EBIT and adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations are expected to be US$19 million and US$123 million, respectively.

Free cash flow usage from continuing operations is expected to be US$405 million including ~US$100 million of non-recurring cash items. Cash flows from operating activities (continuing operations) are expected to be US$372 million and net additions to PP&E and intangible assets (continuing operations) expected to be US$33 million. Expected pro-forma liquidity of US$2.6 billion remaining after ~US$2.4 billion is expected to be deployed toward balance sheet deleveraging year-to-date.

Business aircraft deliveries for the first quarter is expected to be 26 units, while the company remains on track to deliver an expected 110-120 business aircrafts in 2021. “The preliminary financial results we are sharing today validate the actions we have taken to reposition our business and reflect the progress we are making on our strategic priorities,” said Éric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier. “The first quarter was a strong start to the year, with our cost reduction initiatives beginning to contribute to the bottom line, continued progress of our Global 7500 learning curve and robust demand supporting significant year-over-year margin expansion. Looking ahead, our markets are continuing to show signs of improvement and our plans and financial performance for the year remain on track.”

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Lufthansa Group pushes ahead with fleet modernization, orders ten long-haul aircraft

Lufthansa Group is accelerating the modernization of its fleet. New, highly cost- and fuel-efficient aircraft are replacing older types on short, medium, and long-haul routes. As a result, the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG has decided to buy ten long-haul aircraft: five Airbus A350-900s and five Boeing B787-9. The Supervisory Board approved the purchase on May 3, 2021. As part of the long-standing fleet renewal program, a total of 175 new aircraft will be delivered to Lufthansa Group airlines this decade.

The investment in new aircraft is in line with the framework agreement between the Economic Stabilization Fund of the Federal Republic of Germany (WSF) and Deutsche Lufthansa AG. The investments are also in line with the Group's policy of limiting annual capital expenditures to the level of depreciation and amortization and strictly focusing on increasing company value

Current plans call for an initial fleet reduction, while at the same time extensively modernizing it in the future. The Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350-900 will essentially replace the four-engine A340 long-haul aircraft as part of this process. Plans call for reducing the number of four-engine aircraft in the Lufthansa Group long-haul fleet to less than 15% by the middle of this decade; before the crisis, the share was around 50%. The aircraft purchases are accelerating the reduction of fleet complexity for more efficiency. The new, fuel-efficient aircraft will reduce operating costs by around 15% compared with the models they replace.

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StandardAero awarded multi-year PT6A engine services contract from Air Seychelles

Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has awarded StandardAero a multi-year contract to support the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 turboprop engines powering its fleet of DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. StandardAero will support Air Seychelles with a range of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services from its OEM-authorized PT6A Designated Overhaul Facility (DOF) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

StandardAero has a long history of providing Air Seychelles with PT6A engine MRO services, including engine overhauls, hot section inspections (HSIs), repairs and field service rep (FSR) support. StandardAero’s Johannesburg facility, which is located at Lanseria International Airport, is well known as a center of excellence for the PT6A engine family, supporting 41 variants of the engine up to and including the PT6A-140.

SR Technics to provide LEAP-1B MRO services by 2022

SR Technics has started implementing MRO services on the CFM International (CFM) LEAP-1B engine at its Zurich facility. Following the agreement with CFM which was concluded at the end of 2020, SR Technics targets the authority certification by Q1 2022.

Relying on its strong relationship with CFM International and its parent companies GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines, as well as on its extensive experience of more than 2,200 shop visits performed on CFM56 engines, SR Technics is confident it can establish initial capabilities on the LEAP-1B in less than a year.

“We are tremendously excited about expanding our engine MRO offerings by adding the LEAP-1B to SR Technics’ engine portfolio, and soon will be extending our support to the customers. This comes as a natural and essentially necessary move forward for SR Technics besides the services we already provide for Line Maintenance on the Boeing 737 MAX,” says Florent Leforestier, Vice President New Engines, in charge of the capabilities introduction.

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Lufthansa Group and BASF roll out sharkskin technology

The lower the frictional resistance of an aircraft in the air, the lower the fuel consumption. Using nature as a role model, the aviation industry has been intensively researching ways to reduce aerodynamic drag for many years. Now Lufthansa Technik and BASF have succeeded in making the breakthrough as part of a joint project.

AeroSHARK, a surface film that mimics the fine structure of a shark's skin, is to be rolled out on Lufthansa Cargo's entire freighter fleet from the beginning of 2022, making the aircraft more economical and reducing emissions.

The surface structure consisting of riblets measuring around 50 micrometers imitates the properties of sharkskin and therefore optimizes the aerodynamics on flow-related parts of the aircraft.

This means that less fuel is needed overall. For Lufthansa Cargo's Boeing 777F freighters, Lufthansa Technik estimates a drag reduction of more than one percent. For the entire fleet of ten aircraft, this translates to annual savings of around 3,700 tons of kerosene and just under 11,700 tons of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of 48 individual freight flights from Frankfurt to Shanghai.

"Responsibility for the environment and society is a key strategic topic for us," says Christina Foerster, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG with responsibility for sustainability. "We have always played a leading role in introducing environmentally friendly technologies. The new sharkskin technology for aircraft shows what strong and highly innovative partners can achieve collectively for the environment. This will help us to achieve our goal of climate neutrality by 2050."

In its cooperation with BASF, Lufthansa Technik is responsible for the material specification, approval by the aviation authorities and performance of aircraft modifications carried out as part of regular maintenance layovers. Backed by decades of experience as an approved aviation design organization, the company will obtain a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the 777F from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is required for operation.

Aergo Capital acquires two widebody aircraft by way of sale & leaseback with Singapore Airlines

Aergo Capital (Aergo) has completed the sale and leaseback of two widebody aircraft with Singapore Airlines. The transaction includes the sale and leaseback of new technology fuel efficient aircraft, comprising one Airbus A350-900 aircraft and one Boeing 787-10 aircraft, bearing manufacturers serial numbers 278 and 60282 respectively.

Both aircraft are subject to long-term leases with Singapore Airlines and are financed by way of Sharia compliant funding with Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB).

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