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Wednesday, June 30th, 2021

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“United Next” - United Airlines places largest-ever order for 270 Boeing and Airbus jets

As part of its “United Next” campaign, United Airlines (United) has placed a combine order for 270 Boeing and Airbus jets comprising 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 150 737 Max 10s, and 70 Airbus A321neos. Currently, United has over 500 new jets on order and anticipates delivery of 40 in 2022, 138 in 2023, and up to 350 in 2024. In addition, the North American carrier will be upgrading the interior of its entire mainline, narrow-body fleet with its new signature interior look, which will also increase premium seat capacity. By 2026, United plans to have an average of 53 premium seats available on North American flights, up 75% from 2019 premium seat numbers.

According to the carrier, the new aircraft will incorporate the new signature interior that includes seat-back entertainment in every seat, larger overhead bins for carry-on bags, and the industry's fastest-available in-flight Wi-Fi, as well as a bright look and feel through LED lighting. "Our United Next vision will revolutionize the experience of flying United as we accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel," said United CEO Scott Kirby. "By adding and upgrading this many aircraft so quickly with our new signature interiors, we'll combine friendly, helpful service with the best experience in the sky, all across our premier global network. At the same time, this move underscores the critical role United plays in fueling the broader U.S. economy – we expect the addition of these new aircraft will have a significant economic impact on the communities we serve in terms of job creation, traveler spending and commerce."

With the addition of these new aircraft, many of which will be used to replace older, smaller mainline jets and at least 200 single-class regional jets, United also aims to create a further 25,000 unionized jobs.

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GA Telesis Engine Services opens expanded Helsinki Specialized Procedures Aeroengine Hospital (SPAH)

GA Telesis Engine Serviceshas has announced the opening of its expanded Special Procedures Aeroengine Hospital (SPAH) shop. The newly expanded Helsinki facility focuses on specialized aircraft engine repair requiring limited or targeted maintenance. SPAH also supports a mobile response team, concentrating on engine field maintenance and on-wing support.

SPAH is an independent business unit of the GATES facility in Helsinki. The SPAH services line opened in July 2020 and showed immediate success and tremendous growth in its first year of operation, resulting in the expansion. Future demand for SPAH services will be met with the integration of SPAH facilities globally.

OneWeb fully-funded with new US$500 million investment

OneWeb, the global Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, has secured further fund-raising on the anniversary of the successful bid by the U.K. Government and Bharti Global (Bharti) to purchase OneWeb from U.S. Chapter 11, to bring its total funding to US$2.4 billion. OneWeb has completed its transformation with the exercise of a call option by Bharti to invest an additional US$500 million into the company.

This latest announcement comes as OneWeb prepares for its eighth launch on July 1, delivering highly anticipated and strategically valuable Arctic region coverage down to 50 degrees latitude.

The call option is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals. On completion of the call option and with Eutelsat’s US$550 million investment, Bharti will hold 38.6%. The U.K. Government, Eutelsat and Softbank will each own 19.3%.

The final shareholding structure may alter to the extent a member of the shareholders’ group chooses to exercise a part of this call option.

On completion, OneWeb will have secured US$2.4 billion of equity investment, with no issued debt.

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IAI to upgrade Sri Lankan Air Force's Kfir aircraft

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a contract, worth US$$50 million with Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense to upgrade Kfir aircraft for the Sri Lankan Air Force. The deal includes replacing the aircraft's basic avionics with the advanced 4+ generation fighter aircraft avionics in order to one day integrate advanced radar, sensors, communication systems, and new helmets. The upgrade process will also include transfer of knowledge and skills for refurbishment to Sri Lankan Air Force personnel. The upgrades will be completed in cooperation with Sri Lanka's Air Force and in its local facilities.

The Kfir, when first developed, was a game changer on the battlefield with its ability to carry heavy ammunition (thousands of tons) and reach enemy targets in a precise manner. The decision to upgrade the aircraft now, was based in part, on the successful completion of this process in the Columbian Air Force. In 2012 and 2018, the Columbian Air Force's Kfir fleet participated in the United States Red Flag exercise, alongside the U.S. Air Force and other air forces. The Kfir displayed exceptional capabilities throughout the exercise, far better than the F15, F16 and other participating aircraft.

Lufthansa Technik Middle East and Joramco sign Memorandum of Understanding

Lufthansa Technik Middle East (LTME) and Joramco, the Amman based MRO and the engineering arm of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), have signed an MoU to provide technical expertise and several MRO solutions to Joramco.

The agreement will allow Joramco to enhance its in-house capabilities with the help of LTME, and allow LTME to relocate a number of its spares to the Joramco facility for consignment stock and repair capability.

This allows LTME to enhance their MRO business as they are Joramco’s prefered MRO service provider for nacelles, ultimately this benefits Joramco's end-customers, providing the airline companies a cost-effective solution.

The official signing ceremony took place at this year’s MRO Middle East Event 2021, at Joramco’s booth where its CEO, Jeff Wilkinson, and the CEO of LTME, Ziad Al Hazmi signed the agreement.

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Brussels Airlines to add three Airbus A320neo aircraft to its fleet

The Lufthansa Group Executive Board and the Board of Directors of SN Airholding have authorized the allocation of three Airbus A320neo aircraft to Brussels Airlines. With these new state-of-the-art aircraft, Belgium’s home carrier makes an essential step in the further modernization of the airline’s fleet and herewith significantly lowers the CO2- and noise-emissions on its medium-haul network. It’s the very first time in the history of Brussels Airlines, that the company will phase in brand new aircraft, coming right from the manufacturer.  

Investing in the current crisis in new aircraft, underlines the importance for the Lufthansa Group carriers to continue working towards the group’s sustainability target of reducing its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 2019 and to become CO2-neutral by 2050.

In comparison to the to be phased out A319 aircraft, the Airbus A320neo burns in average 11% less fuel and reduces noise emissions by 50%. Thanks to a significantly higher seating capacity (+27%), the fuel use per seat reduces by 30%. Compared to an A320ceo (current engine option), the brand-new model uses 16% less fuel for the same seating capacity and thus reduces the CO2 emissions by 16%.

DAE announces early retirement of US$1.25 billion of Senior Notes

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has delivered a notice of early redemption (the Redemption Notice) to the holders of the company’s US$800 million 4.50% Senior Notes due 2022 (the 4.50% Notes) and US$1,000 million 5.00% Senior Notes due 2024. The Notes are scheduled to be redeemed on August 2, 2021. The outstanding principal amount of the Notes as of the date of the Redemption Notice was approximately US$1,250 million.

The Notes will be redeemed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the applicable indenture at a redemption price equal to 100.000% of the principal amount of the 4.50% Notes and 102.500% of the principal amount of the 5.00% Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any.

In 2021, DAE issued new Senior Unsecured Notes with a combined principal amount of US$2,550 million, with a weighted average maturity of 4.5 years, and has redeemed or announced for redemption Senior Unsecured Notes with a combined outstanding principal balance of approximately US$1,700 million.

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Turkish Technic receives base maintenance authorization for C/D Hangars at Istanbul Airport

Turkish Technic has received base maintenance authorization for its Istanbul Airport C/D Hangars which were opened in October 2020. Following the authorization, Turkish Technic has welcomed its first base maintenance customers, three Airbus type aircraft. The Airbus A321neo has been the first aircraft to be given the certificate of release to service (CRS).

With an indoor area of 60.000 m², C/D Hangars have the capacity to provide maintenance services for three wide and 11 narrow-body aircraft simultaneously. In addition, C/D Hangars are equipped with state-of-the-art technology while all elements in and around the facility are managed by smart automation systems. The hangars meet its water needs through rainwater harvesting and solar energy is being utilized as a part of the energy source. The translucent polycarbonate panels used in the hangars allow the benefits of sunlight last for a longer time.

JSSI acquires SierraTrax

Jet Support Services (JSSI), a leading independent provider of maintenance support and financial services to the business aviation industry, has reported the acquisition of SierraTrax, a leader in aircraft maintenance tracking.

SierraTrax provides maintenance tracking software for business aircraft worldwide through its modern technology interface. As a Textron Aviation recommended provider of maintenance tracking services, the SierraTrax platform is used extensively by Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker operators. The company supports most turboprop, light and midsize aircraft, but will now focus on extending the service into the super-mid and large-cabin segments, to align with JSSI’s coverage of virtually every make and model of business jet, turboprop and helicopter.

“The SierraTrax team has done an incredible job establishing a leadership position in a crowded maintenance tracking space in just five short years,” said Neil Book, chairman and CEO of JSSI. “Their remarkable rate of growth has been fueled by great technology, an easy-to-use interface and a commitment to customer service, innovation and data transparency.”
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