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Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

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ST Engineering and Temasek to establish freighter aircraft leasing JV to meet growing demand

The wholly owned aviation asset management unit of Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) and the Singapore-headquartered investment company Temasek have announced the intention to create a 50-50 joint venture for freighter aircraft leasing to meet the expanding demand for freighter aircraft as e-commerce and air cargo volumes expand globally.

The JV has set a five-year target of establishing a US$600 million portfolio of passenger aircraft for conversion to highly efficient freighters. Additionally, ST Engineering will provide the associated maintenance, repair and overhaul services to these aircraft and will be the asset and lease manager to the JV.

The portfolio will be made up of narrow-body aircraft, providing an option to operators to reuse older passenger aircraft and give them a new lease of life as more fuel-efficient freighters. The JV will set relevant environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria for its investments and work with prospective clients to help reduce their carbon footprint through the use of sustainable aviation fuels and enhanced engine maintenance programs. The JV will also target the purchase of passenger aircraft at lower prices as their value has fallen owing to the fall-off in passenger demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, the financing of which will be through a mix of equity and debt.

“This joint venture represents a significant step by ST Engineering in growing our aviation leasing business as we expand beyond passenger aircraft and engines to include freighter aircraft assets as part of our portfolio,” said Jeffrey Lam, President/Head of Commercial Aerospace, ST Engineering. Uwe Krueger, Head, Industrials, Business Services, Energy & Resources, Temasek, added, “As an investor and shareholder, we are focused on embedding sustainability in our investment approach. The joint venture with ST Engineering represents an opportunity for both of us to identify solutions for the reduction of carbon emissions, even in a traditionally carbon-intensive industry, by putting capital to work in those solutions.”

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Delta Air Lines and LATAM receive approval of joint venture from Colombia

Delta Air Lines, LATAM Airlines Group S.A. and its subsidiary LATAM Airlines Colombia S.A. have received approval of their joint venture without conditions by the Civil Aviation Authority of Colombia (Aeronáutica Civil de Colombia). The Joint venture will improve air connectivity and provide passengers and cargo customers with a seamless travel experience between North and South America once regulatory approvals have been obtained.

As of Tuesday, May 11, the agreement has also been granted the authorization of regulatory entities in Brazil and Uruguay, while the review process continues in other countries, including Chile.

ATR to optimize Asia Pacific repairs with Skyways Technics

ATR is strengthening its partnership with Skyways Technics’ Malaysian branch, to further support aftermarket needs in the Asia Pacific region. The synergy will offer support and facilitate the management of sensitive structural component repairs such as leading-edge repairs, flight controls and flaps.

David Brigante, SVP Programmes and Customer Support at ATR remarked: “As a manufacturer we are always looking for opportunities to improve our offer to our airlines and customers. This partnership allows us to consolidate and improve our GMA offer. Operators can benefit from the best of both worlds; a specialized repair partner and the manufacturer’s expertise. Skyways Technics’ strong local presence in Asia Pacific also guarantees our operators in the region the best quality leading edge, flap, and flight control repairs, managed in a timely and cost-effective manner.”

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Embraer sells Praetor 600 to Aerodata for flight inspections

Embraer has signed a contract with Aerodata AG, from Germany, to sell a Praetor 600 to be converted into a Flight Inspection Aircraft, to fulfill the full range of flight inspection missions. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to Aerodata in 2022 when they will begin to install the systems and equipment required to execute the intended missions.

The state-of-the-art Praetor 600 aircraft fully complies with the high-level requirements of the end-user and is prepared for the installation of Aerodata’s most modern flight inspection system AeroFIS®.

After the modification, the aircraft will be delivered and operated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Seoul Regional Office of Aviation, Flight Inspection Center in South Korea, which has conducted an international public tender for this acquisition and will be the end-user of the solution. This is the first time Embraer is selling an aircraft for this kind of mission outside of Brazil, opening new market opportunities for Embraer’s innovative solutions using current products.

The contract with Aerodata also includes training for both pilots and mechanics and an initial support package for the final end-user. The aircraft will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, such as head-up displays (HUD), high-end communication systems, paperless operation capability, and additional customized interior features.

The fully configured Praetor 600 Flight Inspection Aircraft will be a state-of-the-art platform able to perform a wide array of flight inspection tasks in the modes of site survey, surveillance, commissioning inspection, periodic inspection, any special inspection, procedure validation, and ADS-B airborne checks.

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YTO Cargo selects Pratt & Whitney for PW4000 engine support

YTO Cargo has selected Pratt & Whitney for support of its new fleet of in-service Boeing 767-300ER powered by PW4000 94-inch engines. A cargo airline headquartered in Hangzhou, China, YTO Cargo will receive a support service package from Pratt & Whitney as part of the agreement for selecting the PW4000. The service package will allow for smooth entry into service of the 767-freighter fleet.

“This agreement with Pratt & Whitney came after careful considerations in terms of engine experience, reliability and supportability within China,” said Hongxiang Li, President of YTO Cargo Airlines. “The support package will help ensure our operations are efficient as we continue to grow our fleet and our business.”

Pratt & Whitney has delivered more than 2,500 PW4000 94-inch engines that have collectively logged more than 140 million flight hours on commercial aircraft around the world. The PW4000 94-inch engines power Boeing 747, 767 and MD-11 aircraft, as well as Airbus A300 and A310 aircraft.

Allegiant to hire up to 200 pilots in response to increasing travel demand

Allegiant Air plans to hire 184 pilots in the coming months, a nearly 19% increase to the company's current roster of approximately 1,000 pilots.

The new hires are part of the company's growth strategy to meet increasing demand for air travel. The first group of pilots will begin training in July, with classes scheduled to run every few weeks through early 2022.

As states have eased pandemic restrictions and the COVID-19 vaccine has rolled out across the country, demand for travel has rebounded. Allegiant, which focuses on linking travelers in small-to-medium cities to world-class leisure destinations, was the first domestic carrier to restore capacity to pre-pandemic levels.

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Airbus resumes work on modernized A320-family FAL in Toulouse

Airbus has resumed work on the modernization of its A320-family industrial capabilities in Toulouse. This will provide Airbus with increased flexibility throughout its global industrial production system to respond to market recovery and future demand. 

The modernized, digitally enabled A320/A321 final assembly line (FAL) will replace one of the original Toulouse A320 FALs. It will be installed in the former A380 Lagardère facility and should be operational by the end of 2022. Initial plans to introduce A321 production capabilities in Toulouse were put on hold at the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, following the decision to reduce commercial aircraft production by around 40%. Now, with market recovery in sight and a potential return to pre-COVID production rates for single-aisle aircraft between 2023 and 2025, Airbus is resuming its activities for the project.

Hamburg, Germany, and Mobile (Alabama), U.S.A., are currently the only Airbus production sites configured to assemble A321s. The modernized A320-family FAL in Toulouse will help improve the working conditions, the overall industrial flow as well as the quality and competitiveness by adding a new-generation assembly line to the Airbus single-aisle production system. This higher level of A321 production flexibility will also support entry-into-service of the A321XLR from Hamburg starting in 2023.

Gamma Aerospace completes US$10 million in capabilities expansion at two locations

Gamma Aerospace has completed a US$10 million expansion of service offerings at its Mansfield, Texas operation and its Rapid Anodizing facility (a wholly-owned company subsidiary) located in Los Angeles, California. Headquartered in Mansfield, Texas, Gamma Aerospace is a specialized, end-to-end provider of engineered airframe and flight components for leading original equipment manufacturers and Tier I suppliers in the aerospace and defense industries.

The capital investment augments existing processes at the Mansfield and the Rapid Anodizing operations, which include machining, forming, heat treating and assembly of aerospace components. The new investment funded expansion into a range of advanced special processing capabilities that include anodizing, priming/painting, chemical conversion coating, and fluorescent penetrant inspection. The new in-house, premium quality special processing services make Gamma Aerospace a total solutions provider: capable of taking in sheet or plate metal, performing all specified processing, producing finished aerospace components, and providing these services in record turnaround times for the aerospace industry.
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Tamar