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Thursday, May 27th, 2021

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Future looks brighter for Norwegian - successfully raises NOK 6 million in capital

Seabury Securities LLC (Seabury), the investment banking arm of Seabury Capital Group LLC, has announced that acting as Lead Financial Restructuring Adviser, it has successfully helped Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (Norwegian) complete its multi-jurisdictional financial restructuring while also raising SEK6 billion in capital. This latest news comes as a culmination of the involvement of courts in Norway, Ireland and the U.S.

Having initially raised NOK 3 billion of debt with the Norwegian Government in mid-2020 through a NOK 10 billion debt-to-equity swap, in November 2020, the Government announced it would not support a second capital injection without further restructuring of the airline. With the support of Seabury as Lead Financial Restructuring Advisor, BAHR AS, as lead Counsel, and Matheson, as Irish counsel, Norwegian entered an Irish Examinership (the Irish version of U.S. Chapter 11) with Kieran Wallace from KPMG as Examiner. In December 2020, Norwegian entered a Norwegian Reconstruction process as well under the leadership of Havard Wiker, from Ro Sommernes, as Reconstructor. After support to the process provided by Norwegian’s shareholders and creditors, judgements validating the successful Irish Examinership and Norwegian Reconstruction was passed in February and March 2020 subject to a minimum recapitalization of NOK 4.5 billion.

A U.S. recognition of those judgement through a U.S. Chapter 15 process has also been undertaken. Today’s NOK 6 billion capital raise comprises NOK 1,875 million of a convertible perpetual bond, a NOK 395 million rights issue, and the remainder as private placement, including a series of strategic Nordic investors. Norwegian will now focus on flying narrow-body aircraft with a fleet starting at 51 Boeing 737NG aircraft but aimed at increasing in 2022 to 70 aircraft. During this restructuring process, the airline has substantially reduced its liabilities mainly through the cancelation of aircraft orders with Airbus and Boeing worth NOK 85 billion. (US$1.00 = NOK 8.36 at time of publication.)

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Airbus gives suppliers heads-up of production plans

Airbus continues to expect the commercial aircraft market to recover to pre-COVID levels between 2023 and 2025, led by the single-aisle segment. The Company is therefore providing suppliers with an update of its production plans, giving visibility in order to schedule necessary investments and secure long term capacity and production rate readiness, in line with the expected recovery.

“The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis”, said Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO. “The message to our supplier community provides visibility to the entire industrial ecosystem to secure the necessary capabilities and be ready when market conditions call for it. In parallel, we are transforming our industrial system by optimising our aerostructures set-up and modernising our A320 Family production facilities. All these actions are set in motion to prepare our future.”

Airbus confirms an average A320-family production rate of 45 aircraft per month in Q4 2021 and calls on suppliers to prepare for the future by securing a firm rate of 64 by Q2 2023. In anticipation of a continued recovering market, Airbus is also asking suppliers to enable a scenario of rate 70 by Q1 2024. Longer term, Airbus is investigating opportunities for rates as high as 75 by 2025.

Currently the A220 production rate is at around rate five aircraft per month from Mirabel and Mobile, the rate is confirmed to rise to around six in early 2022. Airbus is also envisaging a monthly production rate of 14 by the middle of the decade.

The A350-family, currently at an average production rate of five per month, is expected to increase to six by autumn 2022. A330-family production remains at an average monthly production rate of two per month.

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Lufthansa Technik supports Flair Airlines' Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

Lufthansa Technik and Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier Flair Airlines have signed a comprehensive Total Component Support (TCS®) contract covering repair, and overhaul of components for the airline's fleet of Boeing 737MAX 8 aircraft. Up to 24 aircraft from the airline's current and future fleet are included over a period of ten years. Support for the aircraft started in April 2021.

With the Total Component Support TCS® agreement, Flair benefits from an individual supply concept that enables short, rapid transport paths. The new contract also includes support for the aircraft's Engine Related Components (ERC). Component support of the 737 MAX 8 fleet will be ensured through a home base stock in Toronto and Calgary.

Lufthansa Technik already provides component support for Flair's Boeing 737-800 aircraft and has also performed landing gear overhaul for these aircraft in the past.

C&L Aviation Group signs order for multiple ERJ 135/145 semi-private aftermarket modifications

C&L Aviation Services (C&L), a C&L Aviation Group company, has signed an additional contract for multiple ERJ 135 and 145 semi-private aircraft modifications. The upgrades come on the heels of recently completing similar upgrades on a number of ERJ 135 aircraft.

The project consists of converting the aircraft to a 16-23 seat first-class experience complete with in-seat power, LED lighting, WIFI, removal of overhead bins, upgraded leather interior seating, 1X1 seating using C&L’s flat-floor modification STC, and the installation of a premium Bongiovi speakerless cabin audio system.

C&L began upgrading the cabins of ERJ aircraft in 2018 and since then has performed over 20 such projects for multiple customers ranging from 16 to 30-seat conversions. Many of these plans were in place before the onset of the global pandemic, however since that time C&L has begun talks with numerous customers looking for innovative and cost-effective solutions that provide passengers with a luxurious, more comfortable, and socially distanced method of air travel.

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flydocs announces rebrand launch to align with new corporate strategy

flydocs, the digital asset management solution provider has announced its rebrand towards a partner and digital innovation driven approach aligned to its new strategy. The rebrand which includes a new visual identity and brand story marks the next stage of flydocs’ strategic growth. 

After over a decade of being widely recognized as a global leader in digital records management for the aviation sector, flydocs now has ambitions of revolutionizing the future of the commercial aviation asset lifecycle. In this new chapter, the brand identity takes on a more modern and minimalistic view to complement the simplified messaging that flydocs will be driving in the market to support its strategic ambition of becoming the partner of choice for its employees, customers, and the wider aviation industry. 

Speaking on the rebrand, flydocs CEO Andre Fischer said: “This process has been extremely exciting for me personally and it’s certainly an important milestone for all of us here at flydocs. We have now developed a clear strategy which triggered the inception of our new brand story which is all about simple messaging, sustainable partnerships and digital technology. We are very intentional about being customer-centric and driving innovation whilst living our core values of transparency, respect and collaboration. This rebrand really supports us in repositioning ourselves very uniquely as a trusted partner that delivers real value through our global team of experts and our digital solutions.” 

To coincide with the rebrand, flydocs launched a new website that continues the evolution of the new creative identity, vision, mission and values, better aligning to its true value proposition. The website showcases the new flydocs brand identity with a focus on brand experiences of its people, asset solutions and industry partners. 

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Genesis delivers second Airbus A320 to Heston Airlines

Genesis, the Dublin-based aircraft leasing company, has delivered a second Airbus A320 aircraft to Lithuanian-headquartered Heston Airlines. The delivery follows Heston Airlines successfully obtaining its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) approval. Heston Airlines is now poised and ready to take advantage of the recovery in the global market with its first two aircraft ready to enter service.

Reacting to the news, Pat Madigan Head of Commercial at Genesis said “Genesis is delighted to deliver this second aircraft supporting the commencement of operations at Heston Airlines.  We look forward to building on this achievement as markets recover with further expansion in the near future.”

Jonas Rinkauskas, CEO of Heston Airlines said “Heston Airlines has entered into global ACMI and Charter market. We are delighted to offer two Airbus A320 aircraft (LY-FJI & LY-VUT) for commercial operations. Heston Airlines has a real dedicated group of professionals who are hugely talented, and ready to take-off to the skies.”

Airbus A330neo first to receive green light for post-2028 environmental regulations

The A330-900 (neo) has become the first large airliner to be certified by EASA for ICAO’s new CO2 emissions standard. With this milestone, not only is Airbus the first manufacturer to receive such certification for any commercial aircraft world-wide, but this also demonstrates that the aircraft which Airbus produces today, and will continue to produce well into the future, will comply with foreseeable CO2 regulations.

The new requirement, adopted in 2017, has been developed by the UN’s ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) and is now being cascaded to certifying airworthiness authorities worldwide. Moreover, it complements existing aircraft noise and engine emissions standards and will be applicable both to new type-Certified aircraft and to in-production aircraft. By January 2028 all aircraft being produced will need to comply with the ICAO CO2 standard. Existing in-service aircraft, meanwhile, are being covered by separate environmental measures.
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