Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019


Norwegian asks bondholders for two more years to pay back US$380m debt

Lossmaking Norwegian Air (Norwegian) has asked its bondholders for an additional two years in which to pay back US$380 million of current debt as part of an attempt to shore up its precarious financial position. In return, as security, lucrative take-off and landing slots at London Gatwick Airport would be pledged.

As Europe’s third-largest low-cost carrier behind Ryanair and easyJet, Norwegian has struggled with a highly competitive and price-sensitive transatlantic market while it has also taken on a substantial and aggressive expansion program which has left it highly in dept with substantial operating losses. The carrier has already turned to shareholders this year to raise US$335 million, though it has confirmed this week that working capital has diminished in 2019, partly as a result of changes to industry rules regarding advanced ticket payments.

With 18 of the aircraft in its fleet, the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX has also compounded problems. If bondholders accept the revised terms, the bonds in question, which are due to mature in December 2019 and August 2020, will be extended to November 2021 and February 2022. A bondholders’ meeting will take place on September 16. “What we are doing now is to make sure that we have sufficient liquidity for the next twelve months,” interim Chief Executive Geir Karlsen told Reuters news agency, adding he expected to repay bondholders with cash on hand.


CAE enters strategic partnership with Directional Aviation Capital

CAE has entered into a strategic partnership with Directional Aviation Capital (DAC). As part of this transaction, CAE will form a joint venture with DAC’s affiliate, Volo Sicuro and acquire a 50% stake in SIMCOM Holdings for approximately US$85 million. In addition, DAC’s affiliated business aircraft operators, which include Flexjet, Flight Options, Flairjet, Sirio, Nextant Aerospace and Corporate Wings will enter into a 15-year exclusive training services agreement with SIMCOM and with CAE.

Together, these aircraft operators have a rapidly growing fleet of approximately 175 business aircraft. In addition, to enhance its training offering, SIMCOM will purchase equipment from CAE’s latest product offering, including five full flight simulators.  The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

Boeing, KLM announce order for two 777 Jets

Boeing and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have released that the carrier has ordered two more 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes as it continues to operate one of Europe's most modern and efficient fleet. The order, valued at US$751 million at current list prices, was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website.

The 777-300ER can seat up to 396 passengers in a two-class configuration and has a maximum range of 7,370 nautical miles (13,650 km).


Kuwait Airways takes delivery of first A320neo

Kuwait Airways, the national carrier of Kuwait, has taken delivery of its first A320neo aircraft. The delivery is a milestone in Kuwait Airways’ 65th anniversary celebrations, marking an important step in the airline’s ambitious fleet renewal and growth plans , which will phase-in 15 A320neo aircraft to its fleet in the coming years, following a purchase agreement signed in 2014.

Kuwait Airways’ new A320neo is powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines and is configured in a spacious two-class layout, including 12 business class and 122 economy class seats.

Trenchard Aviation Group opens facility on island of Mauritius

In order to better serve its long-standing customer, Air Mauritius, Trenchard Aviation Group has opened a new facility on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

Trenchard Aviation Group has long been providing a dry cleaning service for Air Mauritius as well as the cutting and sewing of seat covers from its base in the UK near Gatwick Airport. Now, with its new facility on the island of Mauritius, Trenchard Aviation Group will be able to deliver a full service with a faster turnaround time and at a reduced cost.

Trenchard Aviation Group is a Leading provider of cabin products and services including soft furnishings, carpets and dry cleaning. With its own cut and sew facilities, the company’s expertise covers the manufacture of all types of seat covers and curtains as well as cockpit covers, fire containment sacks and other cabin bags and warning streamers. Trenchard’s team are creating and developing new covers and curtains to match customer specifications and all textile materials used in manufacture are tested in the company’s on-site UKAS-approved vertical burn test chamber.


TrueNoord appoints Julien Millet as Chief Financial Officer

TrueNoord, the specialist regional aircraft lessor, has appointed Julien Millet to the post of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Originally acting as interim CFO, Millet took up this new position earlier in the year, however he has worked closely with the Company since 2016 from an investor and Board perspective in his previous role at Bregal Freshstream, one of TrueNoord’s cornerstone investors.

The formal appointment to CFO is a natural continuation of this deepening involvement and comes at a time when TrueNoord is experiencing rapid growth and the regional aircraft leasing industry is undergoing significant change.

Nordic Aviation Capital reports revenue of US$890 million for financial year 2018/2019

Nordic Aviation Capital DAC (NAC) has announced its financial results for the year ended June 30, 2019.

Total revenue increased by 21% to US$890 million and lease revenue increased by 17% to US $748 million. With a Business Performance result of US$162 million, NAC delivered a 15% return on equity. NAC generated cash flow from operations of US$540 million and made investments of US$1 billion. The company increased its fleet by 43 aircraft to 480 and total assets by 6% to US$8.2 billion.

NAC has announced two new orders at the Paris Air Show for over 100 ATR and Airbus aircraft. The company welcomed GIC as a new shareholder.


Ryanair appoints Eddie Wilson new CEO as low-cost carrier faces turbulent times ahead

Ryanair has announced that Eddie Wilson, the Irish low-cost carrier’s Chief People Officer, is to succeed Michael O’Leary as CEO of Ryanair Holdings’ largest airline, Ryanair DAC. O’Leary will remain as chief executive of the wider-reaching Ryanair Holdings. Wilson has been with the company since 1997 when he joined as head of personnel and is a man who O’Leary stated “has made a huge contribution” to the company’s growth.

Previously he had worked at Gateway 2000 as its human resource manager. Confirming the news, Mr. O’Leary told staff in a note that Wilson would take up his new role immediately, “and this will start a transition process over the next three months of taking over from myself.” However, Wilson is taking over at the helm of Ryanair DAC during a period of uncertainty created predominantly through impending strikes by Irish pilots which the group has so far successfully halted through a High Court order, massive uncertainty over Brexit, and problems created to their 2019 and 2020 operating schedules and growth plans through the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.

Currently, Ryanair has 135 of the 737 MAX variant on order and had anticipated deliveries would start in April this year. With little sign of the 737 MAX taking to the skies before year end, Ryanair has warned that up to 900 pilot and cabin crew positions may go after the summer season.

BOC Aviation signs purchase-and-leaseback agreement with Middle East Airlines

BOC Aviation has signed a purchase-and-leaseback agreement with Middle East Airlines (MEA) for a minimum of five, and up to ten new Airbus A321neo aircraft. The aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower® PW1100G-JM engines, and are expected to deliver in 2020 and 2021.

“We are very pleased to be working with Middle East Airlines once again on their fleet and network expansion plans, building on a long-term relationship that dates back over 20 years,” said Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, BOC Aviation.


Alcoa and United Steelworkers reach tentative labor agreement for five U.S. locations

Alcoa Corporation, a global leader in bauxite, alumina, and aluminum products, has reached a tentative agreement with the United Steelworkers on a new 4-year labor agreement for approximately 1,700 active employees at five U.S. locations.

The union members will now schedule a vote on the proposed contract, the result of extensive negotiations between the Company and the United Steelworkers. On May 15, the parties agreed to honor the existing contract, which was set to expire at midnight on that day, so negotiations for a new contract could continue without a work stoppage.

The United Steelworkers will now set the date for its members to vote on the proposal, which will cover employees represented by the union at Warrick Operations in Indiana, Massena Operations in New York, Gum Springs in Arkansas, Wenatchee Works in Washington, and Point Comfort in

Most of the union members eligible to vote on the proposed Master Agreement are employed at Warrick Operations, where the union represents employees at the aluminum smelter and rolling mill, and at the Massena Operations smelter. The Point Comfort alumina refinery and the Wenatchee Works aluminum smelter are both fully curtailed.


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