Monday, September 23rd, 2019


Thomas Cook is insolvent

The negotiations on Thomas Cook have failed. The tourism company has filed for insolvency, since Monday morning in Great Britain the aircraft of the airlines are grounded. However, Condor wants to continue flying and is talking to the German government about a bridging loan.

CEO Peter Fankhauser regretted the failure of the talks and spoke in a statement of a "deeply sad day" for the company. Until Sunday evening, negotiations had been held with investors on additional financing of £200 million (€226 million). The company has almost 21,000 employees worldwide.

GA Telesis

CO2 emissions high on agenda for International Civil Aviation Organization assembly

Once every three years the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) holds an assembly of leading aviation authorities and global regulators. This year’s assembly, running between September 24 and October 4, will focus heavily on airlines’ CO2 emissions. Commercial flying is responsible for 2.5% of all carbon emissions, and with passenger numbers estimated to double to 8.2 billion by 2037, experts believe that emissions will rise if no positive action is taken.

At the 2016 ICAO meeting, it fostered the first global industrial climate initiative with a medium-term scheme to aid airlines avoid adding to their net emissions from 2020. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) requires most airlines to either limit emissions or offset them by buying credits from environmental projects. The industry has indicated that around US$40 billion in climate financing will be generated between 2020 and 2035. The aviation industry is targeting a halving of net emissions by 2050 when compared to 2005 levels. However, there is no similar long-term climate target for aviation set by countries in any international agreement, including the 2016 Paris accord. The industry believes the ICAO can help achieve such goals.

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) confirmed last week that emissions from commercial flights are rising up to 70% faster than had been predicted by the United Nations. However, Airlines are adamant they are unable to tackle the problem alone and are pushing for government help for technology, such as alternative fuels.

TAM presents weight saving SAAB 340 Cargo Conversion Generation II

Täby Air Maintenance, TAM, has presented Saab 340 Cargo Generation II, a thorough upgrade of its well-known Cargo Conversion Programme. With about a dozen aircraft converted over the last years, the Saab 340 Cargo Conversion Programme brings extended life and new commercial opportunities for this popular regional airliner.

The new Cargo Conversion package has a focus on weight savings, allowing for increased payload and fuel. Thanks to an extensive use of carbon fibre panelling, the main cargo compartment has been redesigned, and the Cargo Conversion Generation II Programme comprises various refining upgrades, such as:
  • enlarged Cargo Bays by reducing the number of nets installed in five instead of earlier eight positions, giving easier loading and possibility to load larger cargo units as well as reduction of aircraft basic empty weight, allowing for more payload,
  • new Carbon Fibre Window Blanks reduces aircraft basic empty compared to current aluminium window blanks.
  • total savings on aircraft basic empty weight amounts up to 400 lbs (180 kg).
The above upgrades will be standard on coming cargo conversions with most of them also offered for already converted aircraft with a Service Bulletin. The upgrades are based on operational experience as well as customer requirements to further develop Tam's well proven SAAB 340A & B cargo conversion STC.


DAE receives US$1.4 billion investment mandate

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) had been mandated by one of the world’s largest fund managers to source and manage aircraft valued at approximately US$1.4 billion.

DAE will acquire the assets and DAE’s Aircraft Investor Services (AIS) platform will manage the assets on behalf of the investor. The multi-year mandate will involve sourcing and managing the aircraft and assisting the investor with the capital structure for the acquired aircraft. The mandate will primarily target used narrow-body and wide-body aircraft sourced through DAE’s global relationships in secondary market trading and sale-leaseback channels.

The addition of this mandate will bring DAE’s managed portfolio to over US$2.7 billion in assets under management. Coupled with other ongoing projects, DAE fully expects its managed portfolio to grow to its target of US$5 billion.

United Steelworkers at five Alcoa U.S. locations ratify new labor agreement

Alcoa Corporation, a global leader in bauxite, alumina and aluminum products, has reported that members of the United Steelworkers (USW) have ratified a new labor agreement, covering approximately 1,700 active employees at five U.S. locations.

The Company and the union leadership tentatively agreed on August 30 to the terms of the four-year contract, subject to ratification by the union’s members. The USW announced the outcome of that vote on Thursday, Sept. 19.

The new agreement, which is now in effect, covers employees represented by the USW at Warrick Operations in Indiana, Massena Operations in New York, Gum Springs in Arkansas, Wenatchee Works in Washington, and Point Comfort in Texas.

Alcoa expects additional operating expenses only in the third quarter of 2019 of approximately US$10 million (pre- and after-tax) related to the ratification of the agreement.


Skyways Technics A/S acquires CRJ-200 for teardown

Skyways Technics A/S, the Danish regional aircraft MRO, specialist for heavy maintenance and spares support services for ATR and CRJ aircraft, has finalized the acquisition of CRJ-200, MSN 7591, along with two additional CF34 engines.

Teardown will be carried out at Skyways facilities in Sonderborg, Denmark, starting November 2019. The resulting spares and major components from this project will be positioned in Skyways Technics’ recently established warehouse in Miami, Florida, in order to serve the Americas market.

Boeing MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueler completes first test flight

Boeing and the U.S. Navy have successfully completed the first test flight of the MQ-25™ unmanned aerial refueler.

The MQ-25 test asset, known as T1, completed the autonomous two-hour flight under the direction of Boeing test pilots operating from a ground control station at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., where the test program is based. The aircraft completed an autonomous taxi and takeoff and then flew a pre-determined route to validate the aircraft’s basic flight functions and operations with the ground control station.

The Boeing-owned test asset is a predecessor to the engineering development model (EDM) aircraft and is being used for early learning and discovery to meet the goals of the U.S. Navy’s accelerated
acquisition program. Boeing will produce four EDM MQ-25 air vehicles for the U.S. Navy under an $805 million contract awarded in August 2018.

The MQ-25 will provide the Navy with a much-needed carrier-based unmanned aerial refueling capability. It will allow for better use of the combat strike fighters currently performing the tanking role and will extend the range of the carrier air wing.


CataCap to acquire AerFin

Private equity firm CataCap has agreed to acquire U.K.-based AerFin Holdings from U.S.-based CarVal Investors in partnership with management.

AerFin is a leading global specialist in providing cost-saving aftermarket support solutions to the aviation industry. Led by an experienced team of aviation experts, they offer completely bespoke services ranging from whole aircraft and engine sale or lease, through to tailored flight-hour component support solutions based upon used serviceable material.

CataCap will become the majority shareholder in the group, which is expected to generate revenues of approximately DKK 780 million and an operating profit of approximately DKK 115 million in the current financial year.

Together with Founder & CEO Bob James and the management team, CataCap will strengthen the business and make it ready for further international expansion. CataCap has decided to further invest into the aviation sector on the back of the investment in TP Aerospace. The AerFin investment is a separate investment, the third in CataCap Fund II and the first CataCap platform investment outside of Denmark. Long-term CataCap investor Schroder Adveq joins as co-investor on the transaction.

AerFin has managed to gain high growth by extending life of aircraft parts enabling cost-effective solutions for airlines combined with preserving environment re-cycling of parts. This category is growing significantly as focus on cost and impact on the environment growth within the airline sector.

Bombardier MRO

Astronics Corporation appoints Tonit Calaway to Board of Directors

Astronics Corporation has appointed Tonit Calaway to its Board of Directors, effective September 19, 2019. Ms. Calaway is Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of BorgWarner. She was named to that position in August last year after serving as Chief Human Resources Officer since 2016.

Air Lease Corporation delivers one new Airbus A321-200neo LR aircraft to Air Astana

Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has delivered one new Airbus A321-200neo LR aircraft on long-term lease to Air Astana.  Featuring Pratt & Whitney PW1133G engines, this aircraft is the first of seven A321-200neo aircraft scheduled to deliver to the airline from ALC’s order book with Airbus. 

Air Astana is the principal airline and flag carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The airline operates scheduled domestic and international services from its main hub, Almaty International Airport, and from its secondary hubs, Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport and Atyrau Airport.


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