Thursday, August 29th, 2019


Thomas Cook secures bailout from Fosun, banks and bondholders

Thomas cook has announced a comprehensive restructuring deal that will save the struggling travel agent and airline operator. China’s Fosun Tourism will acquire a 75% stake in the Group Tour Operator and a 25% stake in the Group Airline, which includes German carrier Condor along with U.K., Spanish and Scandinavian operations, for £450 million. Additionally, lenders’ debt will be converted into equity, with banks and bondholders consolidating and converting £450 million of debt into a 25% stake in the Group Tour Operator and a 75% stake in the Group Airline.

While the deal guarantees the survival of Thomas Cook, the recapitalization plan is subject to a legally binding agreement between the parties, but shareholders will be left with a severely diluted holding in the Group. In May 2018 shares in Thomas cook were trading at £1.50, but today were trading at just above £0.06, having dropped 12% once news of the deal was confirmed.

Established in 1841, Thomas Cook is the oldest surviving name in the travel industry and was responsible for the introduction of the first ‘package holiday’. However, an unusually hot summer in 2018, combined with high levels of debt and a highly competitive marketplace saw the Group struggle to survive. Current debt levels meant that Thomas Cook had to sell three million holidays a year purely to cover interest payments on the Group’s debt.

Fosun Tourism is no stranger to the leisure industry as it is also the owner of Club Med. Fosun International was co-founded by billionaire Guo Guangchang and is one of China’s biggest conglomerates which has invested billions of dollars over the past decade in tourism, healthcare and fashion companies in Europe and the United States.


Elbe Flugzeugwerke and Airbus Helicopters take on maintenance activities for the Bundeswehr’s NH90 fleet

Airbus Helicopters as prime contractor will work together with Dresden-based Elbe Flugzeugwerke to maintain a substantial part of the German Armed Forces’ (Bundeswehr’s) NH90 fleet. Airbus and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) signed the corresponding 10-year support contract on August 27.

The services to be rendered at a fixed price under this contract comprise scheduled maintenance, 1,200 flight-hour inspections as well as on-demand repairs. Work will begin at Airbus Helicopters in Donauwörth during the first quarter of 2020 and at Elbe Flugzeugwerke in Dresden in early 2021.

Dresden as the subcontractor will be the Bundeswehr’s second major industrial centre alongside Donauwörth; the addition of this facility will greatly expand the Bundeswehr’s capacities for maintaining its helicopters. The German Army currently has 74 NH90 TTH helicopters; all 82 will have been delivered by 2021. The German Navy will start to receive its 18 helicopters in October 2019 – the maintenance of these is also covered by the contract. The German Army’s NH90s will be used as tactical transport helicopters (TTH), while the German Navy’s NH90s will be used as naval transport helicopters (NTH) – this helicopter type will also be known as the Sea Lion.

Semmco wins contract with JetBlue Airways

Semmco, an innovative engineering company that designs and manufactures a wide range of aviation maintenance solutions, with a US manufacturing base in Arlington, Texas, has signed a contract with JetBlue, a major carrier in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Semmco will be supplying access platforms and ground support equipment to JetBlue line stations across the U.S. The contract will be delivered over the next 12 months and represents Semmco’s first major order since opening its U.S. office and manufacturing facility in January 2019.

Semmco’s bid proved successful in the competitive contract process and was recognized for its complete range of equipment and capabilities for the Airbus A320 family. Semmco’s equipment is designed by engineers for engineers and offers new innovations in aviation maintenance for the American market.

In June, Semmco delivered eight access platforms to its first line station in Palm Beach, Florida. This forms part of the total order of 151 units that Semmco will be providing to 11 line stations in states across America, including California, Virginia, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.


AeroGuard Flight Training Center signs training agreement with Phoenix Police Department

AeroGuard Flight Training Center (FTC) will be serving as the exclusive fixed-wing flight training contractor for the Phoenix Police Department’s Air Support Unit.

A Phoenix institution since 2000, AeroGuard FTC has long been committed to community involvement. For AeroGuard, the newly announced training agreement with the Phoenix Police Department represents an exciting opportunity to have a positive impact on the city that they have
called home for almost 20 years.

Regarded as one of the premier flight schools in the nation, AeroGuard FTC offers the Phoenix Police Department a dependable way for their pilots to receive high-quality, safe, fixed-wing training. The newly announced agreement is slated to last for five years with AeroGuard.
AeroGuard provides training for certifications ranging from Private through Flight Instructor, as well as specific training for currency or upset recovery. Ultimately, the goal is to assist the Phoenix Police Department with making their pilot's mission ready for any operations.

American’s maintenance base in Tulsa to hire more than 400 new team members

American Airlines is expanding the work conducted at its maintenance base in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Tech Ops – Tulsa), resulting in the need to hire more than 400 new team members.

Over the next few months, additional maintenance work will be sent to Tech Ops — Tulsa, including scheduled maintenance work on the Boeing 787 fleet. This work will require the skills of more than 400 new Tech Ops team members in various areas to assist with the additional work coming to the base.

The new team members, primarily Federal Aviation Administration-licensed mechanics, will focus on various maintenance areas, including aircraft overhaul, landing gear overhaul for the Boeing 737 and 777 aircraft, CFM56 engine maintenance and Airbus A321 interior modifications. In late
2019, the base will receive their first 787 aircraft to undergo scheduled maintenance checks. Additionally, the base will increase its 777 and 787 maintenance work, and will make investments into the Landing Gear Shop enabling greater production.

More than 5,200 people currently work at the base with 22 buildings on the main base, including 3.3 million ft² of hangar and shop space sitting on 330 acres.

Bombardier MRO

BBAM and Nomura Babcock & Brown close first aircraft in a US$1.12 billion combined EETC JOLCO transaction with British Airways

BBAM Limited Partnership (BBAM), alongside its long-term partner Nomura Babcock & Brown Co., (NBB), have closed a Japanese operating lease with call option (JOLCO) transaction with British Airways for an A350-1000. This is the first JOLCO closing in a US$1.12 billion transaction combining senior secured enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETC) and JOLCO equity in relation to a number of new generation British Airways operated aircraft.

The transaction will provide financing for six A350-1000 aircraft and two A320neo aircraft. The deal allows the aircraft to be financed by the proceeds from the British Airways 2019-1 EETC certificates and JOLCO equity arranged by NBB and BBAM.

Rusada appoints Neil Andrews as Chief Technology Officer

Rusada, the global aviation software provider, has appointed Neil Andrews as Chief Technology Officer.

During his 30+ years in software development Andrews has worked for the likes of Open GI, Experian and most recently SSP, where he held the position of Head of Delivery for their Pure Broker and Sector product lines.

At Rusada, Andrews will be responsible for the ongoing development of the company’s MRO &
Flight Operations software ENVISION, using his extensive experience to drive the continuous improvement of its quality, functionality and accessibility. He will be based at the company’s Banbury office in Oxfordshire, UK and will report directly to Rusada CEO, Julian Stourton.


Second five-bladed H145 prototype performs maiden flight

The second prototype of the new five-bladed H145 helicopter, took off for its maiden flight at the Airbus Helicopters site in Donauwörth, at the beginning of August. The helicopter will be used for additional flight tests to achieve EASA certification of the new five-bladed H145 in early 2020. The first prototype is currently performing a high altitude test campaign in South America. The second prototype will be mainly used for autopilot testing, performance and airframe structural validation.

The new H145, that was unveiled at Heli-Expo this year in Atlanta, offers 150 kg of additional useful load, while also raising the bar for in-flight comfort, simplicity, and connectivity.

FACC manufactures radomes for Airbus A220

Austria-based FACC, a leading technology partner of the aerospace industry, has been commissioned by Bombardier Aviation to manufacture radomes also for the Airbus A220, in addition to the Bombardier Challenger and Global business jet families. Deliveries for the A220 commercial aircraft are scheduled to start in 2020.

Bombardier and FACC can look back on a long-standing partnership as the Upper Austrian aerospace company has been collaborating with the Canadian aircraft manufacturer ever since it was founded 30 years ago. Over the years, FACC has developed into a renowned partner to Bombardier through continuous innovation and efficient state-of-the-art manufacturing processes.

FACC will start delivery of the radomes in 2020 and will manufacture them for the Airbus A220 under a life-of-program contract. Radomes are part of the cockpit section, protecting  the radar antenna. Stability, weight, reliability as well as minimal attenuation of the signal transmitted or received by the antenna are critical features of these components. In addition, parts must have high-strength properties to protect the radar antenna in the event of a bird strike or hail at high speeds.

Component Control

FAA signs Memorandum of Understanding with PWI

The Federal Aviation (FAA), Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) and PWI entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), effective July 22, 2019. This MOU streamlines the existing working relationship between the Federal Aviation Administration FAA and PWI.

PWI has manufactured quality lighting products since 1972, beeing the original supplier of fluorescent lights for Gulfstream, Falcon, Citations and Learjet jets. PWI was granted the MOU based upon its previous qualifications and adhering to the directives and policies issued by the FAA.


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