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Thursday, May 6th, 2021

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Boeing to open two 737-800BCF conversion lines with COOPESA in Alajuela, Costa Rica

As express and e-commerce markets continue to drive strong demand for production and converted freighters, Boeing has announced a new partnership with a Costa Rica-based maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider to create additional conversion capacity for the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter.

Boeing will open two 737-800BCF conversion lines with Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA) in Alajuela, Costa Rica. The first of the new conversion lines is expected to open in early 2022, with the second anticipated later that year. Boeing forecasts 1,500 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years to meet growing demand. Of those, 1,080 will be standard-body conversions, with nearly 30% of that demand coming from North America and Latin America.

Currently, Boeing converts 737-800 passenger airplanes to freighters at three locations: Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services (BSAS) in Shanghai, China; Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO) in Guangzhou, China; and Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd. (STAECO) in Jinan, China.

To date, the 737-800BCF has won more than 180 orders and commitments from 15 customers on four continents. In March, Boeing re-delivered the 50th 737-800BCF since entering into service in 2018.


Spirit AeroSystems posts operating loss of US$125.9 million in first-quarter 2021

Spirit AeroSystems' first quarter revenue was US$900.8 million, down from the same period of 2020, primarily due to the significantly lower wide-body production rates due to reduced international air traffic resulting from the impacts of COVID-19 as well as lower production rates on the Airbus A320 program. First quarter 2021 revenue includes increased revenue from the recently acquired A220 wing and Bombardier programs as well as defense program revenue. Deliveries decreased to 269 shipsets during the first quarter of 2021 compared to 324 shipsets in the same period of 2020, including Boeing 787 deliveries of 15 shipsets compared to 40 shipsets in the same period of the prior year, and 12 Airbus A350 shipset deliveries compared to 26 in the same period of 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, Airbus A320 deliveries were 130 compared to 188 in the first quarter of 2020.

Spirit's backlog at the end of the first quarter of 2021 was approximately US$33 billion, with work packages on all commercial platforms in the Boeing and Airbus backlog.

Operating loss for the first quarter of 2021 was US$125.9 million, as compared to operating loss of US$167.5 million in the same period of 2020. The decreased loss was primarily driven by lower restructuring costs, excess capacity, abnormal COVID-19 related production costs and SG&A expense in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2020, partially offset by additional forward losses on Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 programs. Included in the first quarter 2021 operating loss were pretax US$5.8 million of unfavorable cumulative catch-up adjustments and excess capacity costs of US$67.6 million. Additionally, the first quarter of 2021 included pretax forward loss charges of US$72.4 million, primarily driven by Boeing 787 engineering analysis and rework to support Boeing's resumption of deliveries and the impact of lower Airbus A350 production rates coupled with higher costs to achieve production quality improvements. In comparison, during the first quarter of 2020, Spirit recorded pretax US$8.2 million of unfavorable cumulative catch-up adjustments, excess capacity costs of US$73.4 million, US$19.7 million of net forward loss charges, restructuring expenses of US$42.6 million and abnormal COVID-19 costs of US$25.4 million.


IAG Cargo airlifts 27 tons of urgent medical aid for India

IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG), and its sister company British Airways, has operated a relief flight to India transporting 27 tons of medical aid as the humanitarian crisis in the country worsens. The Boeing B777-200 was loaded with emergency aid to Delhi to support the Indian government as the country continues to battle rising Coronavirus cases, with dwindling oxygen supplies.

A special project team was formed to organize the flight, which left London Heathrow on Wednesday May 5 at 5pm (BA257F), landing in Delhi at 5.45am (local time) on Thursday May 6, loaded with more than a thousand items from the High Commission of India and charities including Khalsa Aid International and the largest Hindu Temple outside India, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, in Neasden.

The load included hundreds of urgent life-saving oxygen cylinders and shipments of oxygen concentrators, respirators, and blood oxygen saturation monitors. British Airways is also donating care packages for families in need. While IAG Cargo and British Airways have maintained a vital air link between London and India throughout the pandemic, sending aid items on scheduled flights, this air lift is a special charter, fully funded by the two companies.


Rusada launches new maintenance app for ENVISION

Aviation software provider, Rusada, has released a new mobile application for its Airworthiness, MRO, and Flight Operations solution ENVISION.

ENVISION Tasks enables Technicians and Engineers to efficiently conduct maintenance using a tablet device. The app streamlines the execution process by delivering all the functionality users need in one place. Assigned tasks can be viewed, actioned, and signed-off from within the app, and during the process parts and tools can be requested and any findings reported.

The new app also allows users to work offline, in both planned and un-planned scenarios. When offline working is planned, users can download a work package in advance and then perform maintenance tasks without an internet connection. When unplanned, in-progress tasks can still be executed, time booked, spares requested and many other functions, which will then sync back to the main database once a connection is restored.

The app is available on Windows 10, iOS, and Android tablets.

Paul Bolton named Chief Operating Officer of First Aviation Services

First Aviation Services has appointed Paul Bolton as Chief Operating Officer effective immediately. Bolton joined First Aviation in 2013 and has since demonstrated leadership and a commitment to the strategic vision of the company. He is a highly respected member of the senior management team and previously served as the Technical Director for the company’s Piedmont Propulsion Systems, and Aviation Blade Services subsidiaries.

Aaron Hollander, Chairman & CEO of First Aviation said, “In this newly created position Paul will be responsible for bringing a consistently high level of operational excellence across the company’s five subsidiaries. He will also be responsible for leveraging technology and management approaches to improve the internal operations of our firm. Paul’s engineering, business and organizational skills make him well suited for this new role.”


Atlas Air Worldwide reports strong first-quarter 2021 results

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has reported first-quarter 2021 net income of US$89.9 million, compared to US$23.4 million in the first quarter of 2020. On an adjusted basis, EBITDA rose to US$181.3 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared with US$121.2 million in the prior-year period. Adjusted net income grew to US$72.2 million in the first quarter of 2021, compared to US$29.9 million in the prior-year period.

“Our performance was driven by the strength and flexibility of our global business model and our team continuing to capitalize on the current airfreight environment, with demand and yields that are well above typical seasonal levels,” said Atlas Air Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer John W. Dietrich. “Our results also benefited from flying four 747 freighters and one 777 freighter that we reintroduced to our fleet throughout 2020 to serve customer demand."

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