Friday, August 30th, 2019


Norwegian Airline Widerøe to partner with Rolls-Royce on zero-emissions aviation program

With the Norwegian government aiming for zero emissions domestic aviation by 2040 and Scandinavian airline Widerøe, hoping to ‘electrify’ its current regional fleet of approaching forty Dash-8 aircraft by 2030, the announcement of a joint research program between the airline and engine maker Rolls-Royce at a Clean Aerospace event at the British Embassy is a further notable step towards such targets.

The aim of the program will be to develop an electrical aircraft concept. Rolls-Royce’s comprehensive electrical and systems design experience will see them able to advise on all aspects of the concept. The first phase, which is already underway, involves operational studies and concept proofing. The research is being supported by the Norwegian Government and Innovation Norway, and the Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen, who has on several occasions put forward the suitability of the Norwegian STOL network as a test bench for the development of zero-emissions aircrafts. “We are aiming to have emission-free commercial flights in the air by 2030. Partnering with Rolls-Royce for this research programme puts us one step closer to reaching that goal,” said Andreas Aks, Chief Strategy Officer, Widerøe. Alan Newby, Director, Aerospace Technology & Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce added, “We’re delighted to be part of this electrical aircraft research program and applaud the high level of ambition that Norway is adopting toward zero-emissions aviation.”

The joint program is expected to last for 2 years. “The development of electric aviation looks promising, but we need to progress faster. We are therefore pleased to have the world’s most renowned engine manufacturer onboard with us on this pioneering green journey” said Andreas Aks, Chief Strategy Officer at Widerøe.


NR Investments closes Chisinau International Airport purchase

NR Investments, the Guernsey, Channel Islands investment vehicle, completed its purchase of Komaksavia Airport Invest, the Cyprus-incorporated owner of a 95% shareholding in Moldovan company, Avia Inves, the concession company of Moldova’s Chisinau International airport, on August 28. This marks a significant next step in the airport's development under a public-private concession agreement.

The culmination of this transaction follows an extensive engagement with key stakeholders, including Moldova's Minister of Economy & Infrastructure Vadim Brinzan and incoming Prime Minister Mrs Maia Sandu.

Central to the investment decision was NRI’s view of Moldova as an attractive and predictable investment destination. It is NR Investment’s desire to work closely with the Government to grow the airport and ensure its quality in line with the best European gateway benchmarks.

thyssenkrupp Materials Services expands use of digital platform toii

In 2017, thyssenkrupp Materials Services began to digitally connect its machinery network, using their self-developed IIoT platform toii. Now that the product has successfully proven its value, thyssenkrupp plans to make the potential of digital networking available to other industrial companies in the future. "From the beginning, we built toii not as a project, but as a product," says Axel Berger, Head of Digital Transformation at Materials Services. "toii has a modular structure, so it is highly scalable and suitable for use by other companies dealing with the challenges of Industry 4.0"

More than 30 thyssenkrupp locations are now working with toii - including companies from Materials Services, Components Technology and Steel Europe. Nearly 300 machines have been integrated into the system, including numerous slitting and cut-to-length lines, slitting lines for steel slabs, packaging lines, band saws, measuring systems and high-bay warehouses. In addition, there are numerous cranes, forklifts, wheel loaders and other vehicles in the network. In total, toii encompasses thousands of "Things" from the individual machine control panels to sensors to the manual measuring devices. The advantages are reflected in concrete figures. For example, a single plant in the production of slit strip and sheet can expect an increase in annual production of up to 10,000 tons. In other areas, production line downtimes have been reduced by up to 10%.

Although Materials Services developed toii especially for its own requirements, the platform can be easily integrated into the processes of other companies. "Now that we have brought digital change to our facilities, the next step is to offer toii to our customers and other industrial companies," said Klaus Keysberg, CEO of Materials Services.

ASI Aero

Skyways Technics Asia branch obtains CAAM Approved Maintenance Organization certificate

Skyways Technics Asia branch obtained CAAM (Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia) approval to become an Approved Maintenance Organization. This new certification will enable its ATR-focused composite and leading edges repair shop activities to be in full compliance with Malaysian operator's quality requirements, and also constitute the first step towards other foreign approvals to be applied and received over the next coming months.

SAS posts improved operational performance for third quarter

SAS has reported that total revenue ended at MSEK 13,552, representing an increase of over 3% compared with the same quarter last year. The decline in capacity caused by the pilot strike was compensated by increased passenger revenue. Moreover, SAS posted a continued positive trend in the sale of EuroBonus points and ancillary revenue. Net income for the period was MSEK 1,162 (2018: 1,570).

Earnings before tax and items affecting comparability, came in at MSEK 1,495, a decrease of MSEK 513 year-on-year. The decline was mainly attributable to increased fuel costs, the Swedish krona’s continued weakness against the US dollar, as well as the pilot strike at the beginning of the quarter.

VAS Aero

PowerJet delivers 400th SaM146 engine to SCAC

Less than ten years after the first SaM146 delivery, PowerJet has delivered the 400th engine to Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) final assembly line. PowerJet supplies to SCAC an integrated propulsion system purposed-designed to power the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 regional jet. Over the years, PowerJet has continued to develop and extend its capacities to deliver SaM146 engines in line with the requirements of SCAC.

Within PowerJet, Safran Aircraft Engines develops the high-pressure core, the accessory gearbox, and the control system. The French company is also responsible for propulsion system integration and flight tests. UEC Saturn develops the fan module, the low-pressure compressor and turbine and is responsible for final engine and ground tests in its facility in Rybinsk, Russia.

Since starting revenue service in 2011, the SaM146 has logged more than 1.3 million flight hours with about 15 operators around the world. The fleet leader engine operated by Yakutia has logged more than 9,600 flight hours without removal.

TBD to deliver towable passenger stairs to Silk Way Ground Handling branch

TBD, the British manufacturer renowned for professionally engineered ground support equipment and specialist access solutions for the global aviation industry, has delivered eighteen sets of towable passenger stairs to the Ground Handling branch of Silk Way Airlines in Azerbaijan. The total order, worth over £500k, was focused on a general upgrade for Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku.

In addition to towable passenger stairs, TBD has recently supplied a significant quantity of baggage trailers, container dollies and pallet dollies for Silk Way’s ground handling needs.

TP Aerospace

Apollo and Athene to acquire PK AirFinance from GECAS

Apollo Global Management (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, "Apollo"), Athene Holding and GE Capital, the financial services arm of GE have entered into a definitive agreement for Apollo and Athene to purchase PK AirFinance, an aviation lending business, from GE Capital’s Aviation Services (GECAS) unit. In connection with this transaction, Apollo will acquire the PK AirFinance aircraft lending platform and Athene will acquire PK AirFinance’s existing portfolio of loans.

PK AirFinance is a leading aircraft lending business that serves airlines, aircraft traders, lessors, investors and financial institutions globally with loans to borrowers in more than 40 countries. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, although the US$3.6 billion of PK AirFinance financing receivables that were held for sale in the second quarter of 2019 are being sold at a premium to book value in this transaction.

Alec Burger, GE Capital President & CEO, said, “Apollo’s vast lending experience, complementary platforms, and exceptional track record across diversified assets and geographies make it the ideal partner to accelerate PK AirFinance’s growth. This sale is aligned to GE Capital’s overall strategy to become smaller and simpler, and our commitment to reduce our assets by US$10 billion in 2019 is now more than halfway complete. We continue to focus on shrinking GE Capital’s balance sheet, achieving a debt-to-equity ratio of less than 4x by 2020, and supporting GE Industrial growth through our remaining GECAS, Energy Financial Services, and Industrial Finance businesses.”

The completion of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2019.


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, U.K. and will report directly to Rusada CEO, Julian Stourton.

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.


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

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