Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Bombardier bows out of commercial aviation market as MHI set to acquire CRJ Program

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has agreed to purchase the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) Program, a move which will see the Canadian plane and train maker now focus its entire operations on profitable business jets and passenger rail cars. MHI has agreed to pay US$550 million for the CRJ Program while also taking over a US$200 million debt.

Pursuant to the agreement, MHI will acquire the maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing, and sales activities for the CRJ Series aircraft, including the related services and support network located in Montréal, Québec, and Toronto, Ontario, and its service centres located in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Tucson, Arizona, as well as the type certificates. The CRJ production facility
in Mirabel, Québec will be retained by Bombardier, which will continue to supply components and spare parts, assembling the current CRJ backlog on behalf of MHI. CRJ production is anticipated to conclude in the second half of 2020 after the delivery of the current backlog of aircraft.

The move is strategically beneficial for MHI, which has been beset with certification delays for the former MRJ, now renamed SpaceJet, a sub-100-seat jet and the first commercial airliner to be manufactured in Japan since the 1960s. With its launch originally planned for 2013, this has been postponed several times, and delivery to its launch customer, ANA Holdings Inc, is now set for 2020. Commenting on the transaction, Seiji Izumisawa, President & CEO of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., said: “As we outlined during the recent Paris Air Show, we are working hard to ensure that we provide new profit potential for airlines and set a new standard for passenger experience. This transaction represents one of the most important steps in our strategic journey to build a strong, global aviation capability. It augments these efforts by securing a world-class and complementary set of aviation-related functions including maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), engineering and customer support.”


Sonaca Montreal opts for long-term partnership with thyssenkrupp Aerospace

Sonaca Montreal, specialized in the manufacturing of large aluminum aerostructures, has opted for a long-term partnership with thyssenkrupp Aerospace and has extended its contract, which has been in effect since 2016. Through 2023, thyssenkrupp's aerospace experts will be responsible for warehouse and supply chain management as well as comprehensive processing services for the just-in-time materials required for the Sonaca location in Mirabel, Quebec.

In order to meet the increased requirements and ensure just-in-time deliveries on a daily basis, Sonaca has invested in additional storage space and processing equipment. At the heart of this is the new waterjet cutting machine, which enables aluminum plate to be cut exactly to customer specifications.

Finnair to transfer Delhi route cabin service to OSM aviation

Finnair is expanding its cooperation with Norway-based OSM Aviation. Cabin services in the Delhi route will be transferred to OSM Aviation during the last quarter of 2019. In the future OSM Aviation will be the cabin service provider for the route and all service will be in English. 85% of customers on the Delhi route are international.

The regional cabin crew, employed by Global Aviation and operating the cabin services on Delhi route, will be offered an option to transfer to OSM Aviation. OSM Aviation has been responsible for the cabin services in Finnair’s Singapore and Hong Kong routes since 2015.

The change does not affect the current Finnair crew in Finland. Finnair has recruited 290 cabin crew members in Finland in 2018 alone. We have currently 2230 cabin crew members based in Finland and 180 local Finnair cabin crew members based in Korea, Japan and Spain.

OSM Aviation crew operating the cabin service on the Delhi route completes the Finnair trainings at Finnair Flight Academy in Finland.


Airways New Zealand simulates Lebanon skies

Airways New Zealand, a leading commercial Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Lebanon officially opened an advanced air traffic control (ATC) simulation facility – future-proofing ATC training in Lebanon for decades to come.

Airways International, the commercial arm of the New Zealand air navigation service provider, has completed installation of a TotalControl LCD tower simulator and two radar/non-radar simulators at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport after a 12-month project. The facility, to be used to train DGCA’s ATC controllers and students using simulated scenarios that mimic the real world, is now fully commissioned after the completion of site acceptance testing. The contract to build and install the simulator was between Airways International and ICAO on behalf of DGCA Lebanon.

TAT Group sells majority interest in its subsidiary Sabena technics

TAT Group has sold its majority interest in its subsidiary Sabena technics, one of the European leaders in the field of aircraft maintenance and modification, to the funds Sagard, Bpifrance and TowerBrook.

This shareholder evolution is an important step for Sabena technics’ development by reinforcing its growth opportunities while accompanying it in the successful implementation of its strategic plan. This development will also give the Group significant resources to expand its offer through external growth, with the constant goal of better serving its customers using skills or locations that complement its own.

TAT Group will remain a minority shareholder and its current chairman, Rodolphe Marchais, will take over the presidency of Sabena technics’ supervisory board. Philippe Rochet will become the executive CEO and shareholder of the Group alongside the group’s senior executives, Jean Marc Schaefer, Gilles Foultier, Philippe Delisle and Fabrice Dumas, all confirmed in their positions.

Evolving in a dynamic market and at the heart of all civil and military aircraft operators’ challenges, Sabena technics’ Group has always been able to transform and adapt itself to the evolutions of this sector in order to put three key fundamentals back to its center strategy: customer satisfaction, industrial performance and economic performance. The company generated a turnover of approximately €450 million in 2018 with 2,800 employees.

With the support of its new shareholders, each contributing to a specific expertise that is useful for the Group’s future growth, Sabena technics will be able to pursue this voluntary development policy which has recently translated into the creation of the Toulouse painting facility for Airbus aircraft as well as the opening of the ATR and Airbus aircraft component repair facility, in partnership with Air
France and more recently the acquisition of a new facility in Perpignan.

Component Control

Boeing and Kitty Hawk to collaborate on urban air mobility

Boeing and Kitty Hawk have announced a strategic partnership to collaborate on future efforts to advance safe urban air mobility. The strategic partnership will bring together the innovation of Kitty Hawk’s Cora division with Boeing’s scale and aerospace expertise.

“Working with a company like Kitty Hawk brings us closer to our goal of safely advancing the future of mobility,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt, an organization that is laying the foundation for a next-generation mobility ecosystem in which
autonomous and piloted vehicles can safely coexist. “We have a shared vision of how people, goods and ideas will be transported in the future, as well as the safety and regulatory ecosystem that will underpin that transportation.”

“Kitty Hawk was started to advance technology in flight and bring new innovations to life,” said Sebastian Thrun, co-founder and CEO of Kitty Hawk. “I am excited about our companies working together to accelerate making safe electric flight a reality.”

The agreement with Kitty Hawk Corp. is part of Boeing's disciplined, long-term strategy of entering into value-added partnerships that enhance and accelerate growth and deliver key differentiators for customers.

Kitty Hawk, headquartered in Mountain View, California, builds electric transportation solutions to free people from traffic and decrease carbon footprint. The company gets its name from the beaches of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina where the Wright Brothers took flight for the first time in 1903. The company’s portfolio of vehicles includes Cora, a two-person air taxi and Flyer, a vehicle for personalized flight.

Diehl Aviation Gilching designates SR Technics as exclusive Authorized Repair Station in Asia Pacific

SR Technics has been selected as the exclusive authorized repair station for Diehl Aviation Gilching in Asia Pacific. Starting immediately, SR Technics will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services for Diehl Aviation Gilching’s Asian Pacific customers.

As the exclusive authorized repair station, SR Technics Malaysia provides Diehl Aviation Gilching with an in-region repair facility to bring them closer to their customers in Asia Pacific. SR Technics
is already a recognized MRO service provider in the region and can now support its customers with quality value-added services on Diehl Aviation Gilching components, with the backing of an OEM.


Prague Airport selects future operator of duty free shops

The winner of the concession procedure for the operator of duty free shops at Václav Havel Airport Prague is Lagardére Travel Retail. It will acquire a contract to lease 24 business units with a total area of 4,372 m². On the other hand, Prague Airport will acquire a globally strong duty free operator who will bring a much wider offer tailored to individual passenger segments, new exclusive brands, stylish and modern shop design, digital sales elements, new sales channels and, last but not least, the expansion of the local range of products. The decision on the selection of the winner was based equally on the quality of the offered services and range of products and on the offered amount of rent.

The basic duration of the contract for the new duty free operator is ten years and it can be terminated after seven years due to the development project of Terminal 2. The total amount of rent for the ten-year contract duration is up to CZK 8 billion. The contract also includes the operation of the walk-through zone in Terminal 1, whichLagardére Travel Retail already operates, as well as some other units.

United Technologies appoints Christopher T. Calio President for Pratt & Whitney

United Technologies has appointed Christopher T. Calio as president of Pratt & Whitney, effective upon the retirement of Bob Leduc in early 2020.

Chris Calio will assume leadership of Pratt & Whitney after serving as president of its commercial engines business since 2017.

As president of Pratt & Whitney's commercial engines business, Calio is responsible for the development, program management, sales, customer support and aftermarket services of the company's portfolio of large commercial engines, including the P&W GTF engine family.

Previously, Calio served as chief of staff to UTC Chairman and CEO Greg Hayes. He joined United Technologies in 2005 and served in positions of increasing responsibility across the corporation. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Trinity College, and MBA and law degrees from the University of Connecticut.


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