Tuesday, March 6th, 2018



Airbus to Discus Job Cuts with European Works Council

As a result of continued poor interest in both the Airbus A380 commercial passenger jet and the A400M turboprop military aircraft, Airbus is being faced with making substantial reductions in the workforces associated with these two aircraft.

According to a Company press release: Airbus has a policy of first addressing workforce issues with its social partners before any public disclosure. The company will continue to abide by this policy.
As a consequence, Airbus senior management have scheduled a meeting with the European Works Council on March 7 to discuss the implications of a reduction or transfer of what is understood to be up to 3,600 members of staff across the two aircraft programs.

In addition, Airbus’ statement issued on Monday this week made reference to leaks about job cuts which the media had seized upon: "Airbus deeply regrets that the process on the current subject matter has been disturbed by leaks to the media, which resulted in excessive reporting about alleged job cuts in its four home countries." Airbus has indicated that it will say no more on the matter until after the meeting has taken place.

The A400M has proved a costly venture for Airbus, predominantly through development program delays and cost overruns. Last month the Company took a hit of 1.3 billion euros (US$1.60 billion) on the turboprop.

Back in mid-January, the A380 program was given a ten-year lifeline with an order for 20 of the jets and an option for 16 more from Gulf carrier Emirates, with deliveries due to start in 2020. However, sales of the jet have been slow.

Monarch Aircraft Engineering doubles size of apprenticeship scheme for 2018

Independent MRO provider Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL) has announced it will double its intake of apprentices in 2018.

First launched in 1971, MAEL’s renowned four-year Apprenticeship Scheme has already produced over 750 high calibre engineers for both the company and the wider aviation industry, and this year will double its intake from 20 to 40 apprentices.

The expansion of the Apprenticeship Scheme is an integral part of MAEL’s development as a leading, independent MRO provider following its establishment as a stand-alone business in October 2017.

Successful applicants will begin their training at MAEL’s Engineering Training Academy at London Luton Airport, before moving to one of MAEL’s bases for “On-the-Job” training in either aircraft mechanical or avionics systems.

Chris Dare, Managing Director at Monarch Aircraft Engineering, says: “Our people are our greatest asset and doubling the size of our Apprenticeship Scheme is an investment in our future as a leading, independent MRO provider.

“The skills and training that we impart to our apprentices represent a blend of many years’ experience with the latest thinking and innovation in aircraft engineering, and has become recognised as a benchmark for our industry.”

MAEL apprentices will study towards the EASA Part-66 ‘A’ basic licence category to ensure that they graduate with the technical expertise necessary to be an aircraft engineer.

All of the apprentices who took part in last year’s scheme were offered positions at MAEL’s aircraft maintenance facilities at London Luton, Birmingham and Gatwick airports following graduation.

Seeker Aircraft reports partnership with African-based Ecoalpha Services

Seeker Aircraft has announced that Seeker, a one-of-a-kind, purpose built light observation aircraft, specifically designed and developed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, will now be available for purchase from aircraft dealer Ecoalpha Services based in Accra, Ghana. This partnership marks a new expansion effort by Seeker Aircraft into Africa and the Middle East.

“Ecoalpha is well suited to represent Seeker in our efforts to expand marketing, sales and services into Sub-Saharan Africa, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and, the United Arab Emirates”, said Ed Lundeen, President of Seeker Aircraft. “Ecoalpha intends to have a mission configured Seeker aircraft in their territory for demonstration purposes and plans on establishing a services base for parts and support for fielded aircraft.”

Ecoalpha seeks to expand their market offering with the addition of the cost-effective Seeker aircraft for not only ISR missions but also for powerline and pipeline patrol in the energy rich African continent. Ecoalpha’s current offerings include helicopter-based services, asset management, and heavy load movement.

IAG reports February load factor of 79.7%

International Airlines Group (IAG) traffic in February increased by 5.8% versus February 2017, while Group capacity rose by 3.5% year over year. The load factor for February increased 1.7 points to 79.7%.

New nonstop Delta service between Chattanooga and New York-LaGuardia

Delta is bringing the Big Apple nonstop to Chattanooga customers, thanks to new nonstop service to be flown six times weekly beginning July 9.

The flights will be operated by Delta Connection carrier Endeavor Air on CRJ-900 aircraft with seating for 12 in First Class, 20 in Delta Comfort+ and 44 in the main cabin. Complimentary beverages and snacks will be served and customers will have access to inflight Wi-Fi.

The new LaGuardia service will complement existing Delta service, offering 12 peak-day departures from Chattanooga with global connections via the airline’s hubs at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Aviation Capital Group announces formation of new Aircraft Financing Solutions group

Aviation Capital Group (ACG) has announced the formation of its new Aircraft Financing Solutions (AFS) group. The AFS initiative will focus on the development and marketing of credit-enhanced financing structures that provide airline customers more alternatives and greater access to additional sources of capital for aircraft purchases, while providing improved risk-adjusted returns for lenders and capital providers.

“This initiative provides ACG with a compelling complement to its core operating lease services, enabling us to offer a broader set of fleet financing solutions to airlines,” said Khanh T. Tran, president and CEO of ACG. “Our AFS group will work closely with ACG’s marketing team to expand the services we offer to airline customers on a wide range of aircraft types.”

To help launch the AFS initiative, Robert Roy, Andrew Falk and Robert Lewandowski will be joining ACG as managing directors and will together help lead program development, transaction underwriting and management. All three executives were previously with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank), collectively serving over 50 years as key members of EXIM Bank’s aircraft finance team. Together, they helped create and run EXIM Bank’s highly successful aircraft finance program, which supported over US$100bn of financings, covering more than 1,700 commercial aircraft.

Mr. Roy, Mr. Falk, and Mr. Lewandowski will join ACG in late March 2018 and will be located in ACG’s Newport Beach office.

Andreas Berger named new CEO of RUAG Defence

The Board of Directors of RUAG has chosen Andreas Berger as the new CEO of RUAG Defence. He has already been managing the division on an interim basis since October 2017 and is now taking over this role permanently.

Andreas Berger is an electrical engineer who started his career with RUAG in 2010. Until 2017, he was Senior Vice President at RUAG Defence with operational and strategic responsibility for the management of the Network Enabled Operations Services business unit.

A double roll-out for the first A330neo operator, TAP Air Portugal

The initial two A330neo jetliners destined for TAP Air Portugal, have rolled out of the paint shop bearing the red and green livery of the carrier, which will become the launch operator of this new member in Airbus’ A330 family.

Both aircraft received the Portuguese airline’s branding at paint facilities in the Toulouse region of southern France – location of the A330 final assembly line and home to Airbus headquarters. These jetliners include the “A330neo / first to fly” wording on the fuselage, underscoring their upcoming role as the first to enter commercial airline service.

When in operation, the aircraft will join TAP Air Portugal’s already large fleet of Airbus-built jetliners, composed of A330s, A340s and A320 Family versions. TAP Air Portugal has ordered 10 A330neo aircraft and will operate a similar number on lease.

Leonardo receives helicopter orders at HELI-EXPO 2018 of nearly €140m

Leonardo announced further combined orders for helicopters at HELI-EXPO in Las Vegas for a total of 17 aircraft valued at almost €140m for several customers in various countries and for a range of commercial and public service applications. Contracts include a mix of AW119Kx single engine, AW109 GrandNew and AW109 Trekker light twins, AW169 light-intermediate, AW139 intermediate and AW189 super medium types, confirming the strong competitiveness of the Company’s modern product portfolio.

A total of seven emergency medical service helicopters (EMS) to be operated in Europe have been sold, including four AW169s and three AW139s. One AW169 in particular has been purchased by Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) in the UK, which has already received seven aircraft and plans to bring the total fleet of AW169s to 12 in the future.

One AW169 has been ordered by HeliService International GmbH (HeliService) of Germany to perform missions in the North Sea. HeliService’s fleet already includes two AW169 in service and their initial orders in 2015 and 2016 marked the first AW169s for this application and the entry of the new model into the German helicopter market. Growth in the offshore transport market was achieved with the sale of one additional AW139, plus one option, to Travira Air in Indonesia. This is the fourth aircraft of this type sold to this operator in the Southeast Asian country.

In the UK, Sloane Helicopters, official distributor of Leonardo helicopters with more than 75 aircraft sold in the UK and Ireland, placed an order for one AW109 GrandNew VIP and one AW109 Trekker. Sloane becomes the first customer for the recently EASA-certified AW109 Trekker in Northern Europe, following international market success for the new type which has so far logged orders for over 40 units. Another AW109 GrandNew has been ordered by Japanese official distributor Kaigai Corporation while an AW139 will be used for shuttle service operations in Spain. In Argentina, Flight Express placed an order for an AW119Kx and an AW169 in VIP/Corporate configuration.

Mitsui Bussan Aerospace of Japan and Leonardo have signed a renewal of the Distributorship Agreement for the next three years covering the AW169, AW139 and AW189 models, also including an order for one AW189 super medium helicopter. Furthermore, the partners have also signed the renewal of the Basic Ordering Agreement for an increasing stock of spare parts to further strengthen customer support services in Japan.

Finally, the Tianjin Municipal Public Security Bureau has chosen the AW139 for law enforcement emergency response, security, traffic control, search and rescue (SAR), and other public utility duties, expanding the presence of Leonardo in China for law enforcement roles. The Company has already delivered more than 20 aircraft of various models to Chinese operators for this task to date, including 9 AW139s.

These orders follow an earlier contract announcement made at Heli-Expo 2018 with Sino-US of China, for 26 aircraft across AW119Kx, AW109 Trekker, and AW139 models.

XL Airways extends cooperation with AFI KLM E&M

AFI KLM E&M and XL Airways have extended their existing contract covering component support (repairs and pool access) and A checks for the French airline's four Airbus A330s from its Paris-Charles de Gaulle base at Roissy. The scope of the contract could eventually be broadened to include support for other aircraft, depending on the growth of the XL Airways fleet.

The two groups have worked together for around ten years, giving complete satisfaction to XL Airways. Based at Paris-CDG, close to AFI KLM E&M's facilities and maintenance shops, XL Airways has always benefitted from ultra-responsive support right on its doorstep, guaranteeing operational continuity.



click here to download the latest PDF edition


click here to download the latest PDF edition

click here to subscribe to our other free publications


click here to view in PDF aircraft and engines available for sale and lease


Operating Lease Seminar 2018
March 20, 2018 – Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, Dallas

Aircraft Records & Total Asset Management Seminar 2018
April 18, 2018 – Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset 2018
June 5, 2018 – Jury’s Inn Hotel, Prague

Maintenance Reserves Seminar 2018
June 6, 2018 – Jury’s Inn Hotel, Prague

twitter linkedin