Thursday, June 13th, 2019


Boeing delivers 56% fewer planes this May - FAA confirms 737 MAX will fly again by December

Boeing has delivered 56% fewer airplanes compared to May 2018, citing the continued suspension of the 737 MAX as the main culprit for the low figure. Having delivered 68 planes in May 2018, the U.S. planemaker delivered only 30 last month. For the first five months of 2019 net orders now stand at a total of minus 125. For the same period, Airbus delivered 81 aircraft, an increase of 59% compared to May 2018, making a total of 313 aircraft for the year, up 40% on the same period in 2018.

However, it is not all bad news for Boeing as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced on Wednesday, June 12, at an aviation safety conference in Cologne, Germany that, without giving a precise date, the beleaguered 737 MAX will be flying again by December. While the FAA is “under a lot of pressure,” Ali Bahrami, the U.S. regulator’s associate administrator for aviation safety said the Max will be returned to service “when we believe it will be safe.”

The timing of the news from the FAA could not be better for Boeing who would normally look to the forthcoming Parish Air Show, beginning June 17, as a major opportunity to secure sales in what is
always a very competitive arena with its close rival, Airbus. It is estimated that the highly prized commercial wide-body jet market is currently worth around US$10 billion, and Boeing has long been in negotiations with Chinese carriers over a potential deal worth an estimated US$30 billion before customary deductions and finalizing of jet types. Boeing is hoping to boost sales of the 777-9 which has suffered a slump in sales, along with the 787 Dreamliner, with an order of what is believed to be 100 aircraft. However the trade war between the U.S and China, instigated by President Trump, has proven to create a stumbling block for any current deal to be struck.


Willis Lease Finance expands US$890 million revolving credit facility to US$1.0 billion

Independent jet engine lessor Willis Lease Finance has expanded its US$890 million revolving credit facility to US$1.0 billion. The facility has a 5-year term and is structured with the flexibility to support WLFC’s growing business.

Willis Lease and its subsidiaries will use the expanded credit facility to continue growing its lease portfolio, which included nearly US$2.0 billion of owned and managed assets as of March 31, 2019. The US$1.0 billion revolving credit facility has a US$300 million accordion feature allowing for expansion up to US$1.3 billion.

The facility is provided by a syndicate of seventeen banks including: MUFG Bank, Ltd./MUFG Union Bank N.A., as Administrative Agent, Joint Lead Arranger, Joint Bookrunner, and Security Agent; Bank of America, N.A. as Joint Lead Arranger, Joint Bookrunner and Syndication Agent; Wells Fargo Securities, LLC/Wells Fargo Bank, National Association as Joint Lead Arranger, Joint Bookrunner and Documentation Agent; and U.S. Bank National Association, City National Bank, and The Huntington National Bank as Senior Managing Agents.

JetBlue Airways reports May load factor of 86%

JetBlue Airways has released its preliminary traffic results for May 2019. Traffic in May increased 5.7% from May 2018, on a capacity increase of 5.4%. Load factor for May 2019 was 86.0%, an increase of 0.2 points from May 2018. JetBlue’s preliminary completion factor for May 2019 was 99.7%.


SMBC reports full year profit before tax of US$344 million, up 8%

Aircraft leasing company SMBC Aviation Capital, has posted its results for the financial year ended March 31, 2019. The company reported profit before tax of US$344 million for the financial year, an increase of almost 8% year over year and overall income of US$1.1 billion from continuing operations.

SMBC has reported the placement of 47 aircraft from its order book, the sale and leaseback of 40 aircraft and the sale of 30 aircraft. New technology aircraft now comprises 37% of its portfolio up from 22% in 2018 and 11% in 2017.

Total aircraft assets stood at US$11.9 billion (up from US$10.3 billion). The company placed a major aircraft order in December 2018 for 65 A320 NEO family aircraft for delivery between 2023-2025 to meet future growth requirements.

Sikorsky receives contract to build six Presidential Helicopters

Sikorsky will build six production VH-92A Presidential Helicopters under a contract from the U.S Navy. These helicopters are part of the 23 aircraft program of record for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Under the terms of the contract, known as Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 1, Sikorsky will begin deliveries of six VH-92A helicopters in 2021. The remaining production aircraft will be delivered in 2022 and 2023. The contract also provides spares and training support.

The contract award follows an affirmative Milestone C decision on May 30 from the U.S. Navy moving the development program into production.


Dallas Airmotive joins MRO Insider’s network of maintenance providers

Aviation maintenance quoting website MRO Insider has announced that Dallas Airmotive has joined their list of subscribed marketplace facilities. Dallas Airmotive is the company’s second international MRO, with facility locations in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Andy Nixon, Co-founder and VP of Sales commented, “Adding Dallas Airmotive to our network allows us to continue to expand the resources available to our growing list of over 600 registered corporate aircraft.” He also commented that “Despite having a handful of engine maintenance providers already subscribed, we hope to really begin to ramp up the number of engine and APU work being requested through the site, especially the TFE731, JT15D, and PW300/PW500 lines”.

Embraer to showcase multi-mission airlift KC-390 at Paris Air Show

At this year's Paris Air Show International, in France, Embraer will showcase the first KC-390 multi-mission airlift, configured to operate with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).

The aircraft, number 004, will be in the static area from June 17 to 23 at the Le Bourget airport. Also the KC-390 will perform flight demonstrations on the first two days of the show. In agreement with the FAB, the airplane will return to Brazil right after the air show when it begins the acceptance and delivery process.

The KC-390 program has already reached important milestones, such as Brazil's Civil Aviation Agency's (ANAC) Type Certificate and the production of the first series aircraft that performed its first flight in October 2018. To date, the flight test campaign has surpassed 2,200 flight hours.


IAG May traffic up 6%

International Airlines Group (IAG) traffic in May increased by 6.0% versus the same period last year while capacity rose by 5.3% versus the same period last year. The load factor for May increased 0.5 points to 82.3% when compared to May 2018.

Nathaniel Pieper joins Alaska Airlines as senior vice president of fleet, finance and alliances

Nathaniel Pieper will join Alaska Airlines on August 1, as senior vice president of fleet, finance and alliances. With more than 20 years in the airline industry, Pieper brings a wealth of aviation finance and global airline alliance experience.

Pieper will have a broad scope of responsibilities including the acquisition and financing of Alaska's mainline and regional aircraft and oversight of the company's treasury activities.

Prior to joining Alaska, Pieper worked for 20 years in aircraft, commercial, financial and strategic roles at Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, most recently as senior vice president of Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, and as senior vice president of Global Alliances. Pieper and his family will relocate to Seattle from Paris.

Airbus Helicopters delivers Nakanihon Air Service’s 20th H135

Nakanihon Air Service’s has taken delivery of its 20th H135 from Airbus Helicopters.

This new light-twin helicopter will join Nakanihon Air Service’s growing fleet of H135s to support emergency medical service (EMS) missions throughout the country. One of the largest aircraft operators in Japan, Nakanihon operates 45 Airbus’ helicopters – about two-thirds of its rotorcraft fleet – for a wide spectrum of activities including EMS, electronic news gathering, as well as passenger and goods transportation. Nakanihon Air Service also operates an Airbus approved
maintenance centre for H135 helicopters.


Bii appoints new Commercial Manager, James Burley

Specialist aircraft component support provider Bii.aero has announced the appointment of James Burley as their new Commercial Manager.

Capitalising on his previous sales experience, Burley will focus on establishing and managing the strategic growth of Bii’s broad inventory of Boeing and Airbus aircraft spares. He will also play a key role in developing and enhancing Bii’s use of analytics to support company growth.

Burley’s previous positions include roles with
AvTrade, AJW Aviation and Aircraft Leasing & Technical Management Ltd.

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Managing Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset & Maintenance Reserves Seminar Training Seminar
June 11 - 12, 2019 – Novotel Barcelona City Hotel, Barcelona, Spain

Paris Air Show 2019
June 17 - 23, 2019 – Le Bourget, Paris, France

Advanced Engineering 2019
October 30 - 31, 2019 – NEC, Birmingham, UK