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Thursday, May 20th, 2021

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Airbus looks to close one of two Spanish plants with demise of Superjumbo

Having announced back in February 2019 that the Superjumbo – the double-decker A380 and largest commercial airliner – would cease production in 2021, Airbus is now faced with having to merge operations of two production plants in Spain as there will now be insufficient work for them both.

On March 17, 2021 the final Airbus A380 (manufacturing serial number 272) made its maiden flight from Toulouse to Hamburg for cabin outfitting. The intention is to avoid forced layoffs and the plant in question has yet to be agreed upon, though workers in Spain have already held protests over the potential closure of the Puerto Real plant which assembled the horizontal stabilizers for the A380. There are a potential 460 jobs currently at stake and Airbus intends to reintroduce a voluntary severance plan which it had previously utilized after announcing 15,000 job cuts last year.

Airbus has also been holding discussions with unions over last month’s announcement to overhaul parts production. A plan to hive off a German unit specialized in detail parts has been opposed by unions, and Airbus said in a statement that while it continues to favor a separate entity with an external partner, it will also consider ideas from unions on how to keep the unit within Airbus.

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SIA Group posts SG$4.3 billion net loss after toughest year in history

The Covid-19 pandemic, which began to spread globally in February 2020, resulted in unprecedented restrictions on international air travel at the start of the financial year. Successive waves of Covid-19 infections and more virulent strains emerged over the course of the 12 months. As a result, the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group’s passenger traffic shrank 97.9% in the financial year ended March 31, 2021 from a year before. Group revenue fell by SG$12,160 million (-76.1%) year-on-year to SG$3,816 million due to the plunge in passenger flown revenue across Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot – the three passenger airlines within the Group.

This was partially offset by higher cargo flown revenue, which rose by SG$758 million (+38.8%) year-on-year to SG$2,709 million. Improvements in freighter utilization, deployment of passenger aircraft for cargo-only flights, and removing seats from passenger cabins to create additional volume for cargo partially mitigated the loss of passenger aircraft belly-hold capacity during the pandemic. Strong air cargo demand, especially in key segments such as e-commerce, pharmaceuticals and electronics, provided strong support for both cargo load factors and yields amid tight industry cargo capacity.

The Group swung into an operating loss of SG$2,513 million in FY2020/21, a reversal of SG$2,572 million from the SG$59 million operating profit recorded last year.For the financial year ended March 31, 2021, the Group reported a net loss of SG$4,271 million, a deterioration of SG$4,059 million against last year. This was driven by both the weaker operating performance and non-cash impairment charges, partially offset by a SG$623 million increase in tax credit due to the higher net loss recorded by the Group.

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Shandong Airlines implements Sabre’s fares management solution

Sabre Corporation has announced that Shandong Airlines has successfully implemented its fares management solution to support the China-based airline’s efforts to drive revenue optimization and accelerate recovery as it looks to launch new services and increase frequencies during summer 2021.  

Shandong Airlines, which is owned by Shandong Airline Group, is now using Sabre AirVision Fares Manager and its Contract Manager capability to manage millions of the airline’s fares, and proactively sense and respond to changing market conditions, while optimizing and publishing fares and rules with minimal latency. 

With an extensive domestic network and serving destinations across Asia, Shandong Airlines has plans to launch 26 new services and to increase frequencies on 13 existing services during the 2021 summer season. The successful launch of Sabre AirVision Fares Manager for Ji’nan-headquartered Shandong Airlines means the carrier will now be able to use the solution to help the airline boost revenue opportunities, minimize revenue leakage, and support improvement of analyst responsiveness and productivity through advanced decision support and automation, proactive and dynamic competitive fare response and strategic fare optimization. 

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Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen resumes investments into new capabilities

With the recovery of the Chinese aviation market, Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen (LTS) has resumed its investments into new capabilities. The company is currently converting its bonded warehouse to a 2.100 m² maintenance workshop as well as climate controlled material storage.

The corresponding conversion measures are scheduled to be completed in June 2021 and will enable LTS to further build up its capabilities. These will include providing component repair services for more than 70 Honeywell-shipped components onboard the Airbus A350, for which the company will be the only licensed facility in Asia-Pacific.

The increase of capabilities will also include a cooperation of LTS with its partner TAT Technologies. LTS will soon provide the Asia-Pacific market with the largest capability of heat transfer component repairs, overhaul, and core replacement services, supporting most major platforms and components on the environmental control, bleed air and fuel inerting systems.

Additionally, LTS also plans to build up service capabilities for components of Meggitt fire & safety systems, valves, sensors, and fuel systems, with LTS serving as Meggitt OEM center of excellence in China.

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New VP of Flight Operations at Chicago-Area aviation firm

Chicagoland aviation firm sage-popovich has promoted Shawn Farrington to Vice President of Flight Operations. Farrington has been with the company for over five years, and in that time has quickly ascended from a ground-level position to management. He joined sage-popovich in 2016 as an aircraft detailer before becoming a ground/line service and maintenance support tech. From there, he transitioned to the company’s parts distribution center where he participated in inventory audits and inspections for various airlines, OEM’s, part distributors, and resellers. Additionally, he was involved on various liquidations sage-popovich was engaged with for bankruptcy court proceedings.

ST Engineering signs LOI to lease up to five A321P2F aircraft to Global Crossing Airlines

ST Engineering's Aviation Asset Management unit has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to lease up to five Airbus A321 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) aircraft to Global Crossing Airlines (GlobalX). As part of end-to-end aviation asset management solutions, ST Engineering will also provide maintenance services to these aircraft for GlobalX over the period of the lease.

Subject to the signing of definitive agreements, ST Engineering will acquire the five Airbus A321 passenger aircraft on its own or through its joint venture companies, and finance these aircraft through a mix of equity and non-recourse debt. These aircraft will be converted and maintained at ST Engineering’s global facilities, with the first A321 aircraft to be converted in April 2022 and placed on lease in 4Q2022. The remaining four P2F aircraft will be converted and leased to GlobalX progressively.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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