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Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

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Israel Aerospace Industries to establish first passenger-to-freighter conversion site in Europe

Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Aviation Group has agreed to establish a passenger-to-freighter conversion site to convert the Boeing 737-700/800 with Atitech company, at Atitech’s MRO center in Naples, Italy. This, following the rise in demand for cargo aircraft of this model. The cargo conversion site in Italy will join two existing cargo conversion sites in China.

Atitech MRO is a veteran global company with extensive experience in aviation and is certified by the Federal Administration Agency (FAA Part 145) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA Part 145). The MRO center will supply solutions in maintenance and aircraft renovation, converting passenger aircraft to cargo configuration. In addition, it will provide training and support in licensing and registration. The establishment of the center is a testament to IAI's growing impact around the world.

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Sydney Airport in investors’ sights with AU$22.62 billion offer

Taking a longer-term view of the global pandemic’s effect on air travel, the Sydney Aviation Alliance, a consortium comprising IFM Investors (IFM), QSuper and Global Infrastructure Partners, has made an offer of AU$8.25 per Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (SAH) share, a 42% premium to the stock's close on Friday July 4. This resulted in Monday’s early trading of shares at a peak of AU$8.04, before settling back to AU$7.55 as the deal was far from settled. The figure per share offered by Sydney Aviation Alliance is still below SAH shares’ peak price of AU$8.86 in January 2020, just prior to the collapse of the air travel industry and is contingent on the airport receiving no better offer and the offer’s recommendation to shareholders.

SAH is Australia’s only listed company, with all other major airports in the country owned by consortia of infrastructure investors, predominantly pension funds. The airport has long held a monopoly on traffic to and from Australia's most populous city, but that will end in 2026 when Western Sydney Airport opens. Sydney Aviation Alliance said it did not anticipate making major changes to the airport's management, services, operations, or target credit ratings. The consortium said its members invest directly or indirectly on behalf of more than 6 million Australians and collectively have more than AU$177 billion of infrastructure funds under management globally, including stakes in 20 airports. IFM holds stakes in major airports in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. QSuper owns a stake in Britain's Heathrow Airport Global Infrastructure has invested in Gatwick and London City airports.

BOC Aviation delivers seven Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to TUI

BOC Aviation has delivered the seventh of seven new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft for lease to TUI Travel Aviation Finance (TUI). All aircraft are powered by CFM LEAP-1B engines.

Tom Chandler, Managing Director, Fleet and Asset Management, TUI Group, said: “We are very pleased to have expanded our relationship with BOC Aviation through these financing transactions, agreed in two tranches August 2020 and October 2020, with the completion of the deliveries in time for the peak summer season. We look forward to other opportunities to work with BOC Aviation in the future. These additional Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are a valuable addition to our fleet, characterized by considerably lower fuel consumption and noise emissions than the aircraft that they replace. This contributes to our aim to reduce the environmental impact of holidays and to maintain our top ranking among the world’s most carbon-efficient airlines.”

TUI is a world leading tourism group. The broad portfolio gathered under the Group umbrella consists of strong tour operators, 1,600 travel agencies and leading online portals, five airlines with around 150 aircraft, over 400 hotels, 15 cruise liners and many incoming agencies in all major holiday destinations around the globe.

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SWISS names Marco Willa new Head of Regional Sales Switzerland

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has named Marco Willa as its new Head of Regional Sales Switzerland. In his new function, which he will assume on September 1, Willa will be responsible together with his team for the sales, distribution management and distribution services of all the airlines of the Lufthansa Group within the Swiss market. Willa will report to both Jürgen Siebenrock, Head of Area Management Home Markets Lufthansa Group, and SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. He succeeds Jürg Christen, who will be taking early retirement at the end of August.

Marco Willa has been serving in the air transport sector since 2008. He assumed his present position, heading the Lufthansa Group’s sales and distribution team for the U.K., Irish, and Icelandic markets at their London (U.K.) base, in 2017.

MTU expands MRO network with new site in Serbia

MTU Aero Engines has started construction work on its new repair facility for MTU Maintenance Serbia on July 5. With this step, the company is expanding its existing MRO network. At the new site in Nova Pazova near Belgrade, MTU Maintenance Serbia d.o.o., a wholly owned subsidiary of MTU, will focus exclusively on the repair of commercial engine parts. MTU plans to start operations at the end of 2022.

“Commercial maintenance business accounts for more than 60% of our business volume – and the trend is rising. The new facility in Serbia will add efficiency to our high-performance network of MRO locations in Europe, Asia and North America,” explains Michael Schreyögg, MTU Aero Engines' Chief Program Officer. “The ramp-up of this additional capacity in Serbia is an essential element in our ability to offer competitive services in the global market. MTU stands for quality and reliability among partners and customers. The basis for this is professional training and development, which has been the focus of our efforts in Serbia since the beginning of our project. We greatly appreciate the excellent support and partnership of the Serbian government.”

Over the past two years, MTU has worked with the Serbian Ministry of Education to develop the Aviation Academy in Belgrade into a leading training center for aviation professions. In line with the quality standards of the aviation industry, job profiles specially tailored to engine technology were implemented as early as September 2020, and the first MTU Maintenance Serbia specialists have now been trained. Additionally, employees are also already learning additional skills in on the job training at MTU locations in Germany and Poland. At present, MTU Maintenance Serbia has more than 60 employees on board. Over the next few years, the number of employees at the site is expected to grow to around 500.

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Swissport expands U.S.-network with new presence at Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

Starting this July, Swissport will be offering airport ground services at Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). The Texas airport adds to Swissport’s dense U.S.-network of 44 airports in 25 states. Austin is Swissport's first opening of a new U.S. airport location in six years, underlining its growth ambitions as the industry recovers from the pandemic.

With the handling of Aeromexico flight AM 2686, arriving from Mexico City (MEX) on July 1, Swissport has successfully started operations at Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) in Austin, Texas. In Austin, Swissport teams up with its U.S. subsidiary Hallmark, responsible for passenger services like check-in and gate, whereas Swissport's own staff will be serving airline customers on the ramp with services like the loading and unloading of baggage, fueling, aircraft cleaning and movement of aircraft/pushback.

APOC acquires four young Boeing 737 airframes from large U.S. legacy carrier

APOC has purchased four Boeing 737 airframes for teardown from a large U.S.-based legacy carrier. Built in 2008/9 the airframes have single operator traceability and were fully active until COVID-19. The aircraft are currently being parted-out in Marana, Arizona.

According to Jasper van den Boogaard, VP Airframe Acquisition & Trading at APOC, the Company continues to secure investment for the right assets. “APOC was quick to seize this multi-million dollar opportunity and we had secure financing in place to close the deal. Despite the constraints of COVID-19, we are very pleased to have closed this important deal. As airlines seek to right size their fleets to balance demand with new inductions, opportunities will emerge to divest certain assets. When multiple airframe deals are under discussion it is important for airlines and lessors to co-operate with like-minded partners, such as APOC, who understand the dynamics in today’s changeable marketplace.”

The A320 and 737 family aircraft APOC seeks are those equipped with the latest modifications. So, securing young vintage airframes is key to ensuring that the company’s growing parts inventory, which will be located at its stock hubs in The Netherlands, Singapore, and Miami, comprises the most desirable components.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Tamar