Thursday, October 31st, 2019

Deal involving Nordic arm of defunct Thomas Cook saves over 2,000 jobs

Billionaire Petter Stordalen, a Norwegian businessman, hotel and property developer has, together with private equity firms TDR Capital and Altor, purchased the Nordic arm of the now failed Thomas Cook travel agent and airline.

The triumvirate has acquired the Ving Group, which includes such brand names as Globetrotter, Spies and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia, which will now be renamed Sun Class Airlines. Stordalen’s Strawberry Group and Altor will each take a 40% stake in the new venture, with TDR Capital taking a 20% share. The deal is also expected to see some 2,300 jobs of previous Thomas Cook employees saved.

Strawberry Group said Thomas Cook Northern Europe, which employs 2,300 people, is the Nordic region’s most successful travel company and called it a “crown jewel”. Mr Stordalen said: “Today is a big day for a man who loves the travel industry". Altor partner Harald Mix said: “It is a fantastic business that has ended up in a very unfortunate situation."

The deal will enable the new owners and other financiers to inject as much as 6bn Swedish krone (US$618) to keep it afloat.


BA trials green driverless vehicles at Heathrow Airport

As part of its ongoing £6.5bn investment for customers, British Airways is trialling autonomous, emissions-free baggage vehicles at its home at Heathrow, to help the airline further improve punctuality and depart every flight on time.

British Airways currently operates up to 800 flights a day to and from Heathrow, transporting around 75,000 bags back and forth between its baggage halls and aircraft.

Now, in what is believed to be a world first, the airline, in conjunction with Heathrow Airport and autonomous vehicle specialist, Aurrigo, is trialling driverless baggage vehicles, which are known as dollies.

Carrying up to 40 bags in one journey, the driverless dollies use the latest navigating technology to memorise the airfield to determine the shortest route to transport luggage. Unlike the current vehicles, the new autonomous dollies will depart for the aircraft as soon as each one is full, speeding up the aircraft loading process. In addition to improving operational efficiency, the trial also forms part of the airline’s wider environmental commitment to run an emissions-free air side operation.

If successful, the dollies could transport customers’ baggage to and from the aircraft by 2021.

Air Premia announces commitment for five Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets

Korean startup Air Premia plans to buy five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner airplanes, following an agreement to lease three 787-9 jets from Air Lease Corporation earlier this year. Air Premia, which plans to launch operations in 2020 is poised to become South Korea’s second Dreamliner operator.

With its base at Seoul Incheon International Airport, the carrier will initially operate regionally in Asia before expanding its network to Los Angeles and San Jose by 2021.

The commitment, valued at US$1.4 billion at list prices, will be reflected on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website when it is finalized.


Airbus reports nine-months 2019 results, updates delivery outlook

Airbus has reported nine-months 2019 consolidated financial results and provided full-year guidance.

Consolidated revenues increased to €46.2 billion (9m 2018: €40.4 billion), mainly driven by higher deliveries, a favorable mix and foreign exchange rate development. A total of 571 commercial aircraft were delivered (9m 2018: 503 aircraft), comprising 33 A220s, 422 A320 Family aircraft, 34 A330s, 77 A350s and five A380s. Airbus Helicopters delivered 209 units (9m 2018: 218 units) with its stable revenues supported by growth in services and reduced by program phasing. In September, the 1,000th Super Puma helicopter was delivered. Higher revenues at Airbus Defense and Space were mainly driven by Military Aircraft activities. Consolidated EBIT Adjusted increased to €4,133 million (9m 2018: €2,738 million), mainly reflecting the commercial aircraft performance at Airbus. Airbus’ EBIT Adjusted increased sharply to €3,833 million (9m 2018: €2,340 million), largely driven by the A320 ramp-up and NEO premium, progress on the A350 financial performance and foreign exchange improvement which already materialized in H1 2019.

“Our nine-months results are mainly driven by the performance in commercial aircraft, reflecting both the A320neo ramp-up and progress on the A350,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury. “We are focused on the A320neo ramp-up and improving the industrial flow while managing the higher level of complexity on the A321 ACF in particular. Our nine-month delivery numbers and the updated delivery outlook for the year reflect the underlying actions to secure a more efficient delivery flow in the next years as we progress to rate 63 per month for the A320 Family in 2021. The full-year free cash flow guidance has been adjusted to reflect the revised delivery outlook while the EBIT Adjusted target is maintained. We are focused on meeting our customer commitments and preparing the production system for the future.”

On the A320 program, NEO aircraft represented 338 out of the total 422 deliveries. The production ramp-up continued for the Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF) version of the A321, which remains challenging. The ACF program will further ramp up in Q4 2019 with efforts continuing throughout 2020 to improve the industrial maturity of the program. Airbus also continues to study different options to increase the share of the A321 in current A320 Family production capacity. The ramp-up of the A330neo continued and represented 26 of the total 34 A330 deliveries over the nine-month period. Airbus continued to make good progress on A350 recurring cost convergence with the program on track to reach the breakeven target for the year.

As the basis for its 2019 guidance, the Company expects the world economy and air traffic to grow in line with prevailing independent forecasts, which assume no major disruptions. The 2019 earnings and Free Cash Flow guidance is before M&A. Airbus now targets around 860 commercial aircraft deliveries in 2019, which reflects the updated delivery schedule. Airbus maintains its expected increase in EBIT Adjusted of approximately +15% compared to 2018. Airbus now expects FCF before M&A and Customer Financing of approximately €3 billion.

TP Aerospace

GKN Aerospace strengthens Executive Committee with two new leadership appointments

GKN Aerospace has appointed Krisstie Kondrotis as President of Defense effective November 1, and Julie Smyth as General Counsel effective November 25, 2019. In their new roles, both will join the GKN Aerospace Executive Committee reporting to Hans Büthker, GKN Aerospace Chief Executive Officer.

In her newly-created role, Krisstie Kondrotis will lead GKN Aerospace’s growing Defense business and will be based in Dallas, USA. Kondrotis joins GKN Aerospace from Spirit AeroSystems where she was Senior Vice President Defense Programs and Business Development.

As General Counsel, Julie Smyth will be based in London, U.K., and will be accountable for legal, risk, compliance, and governance matters across the global aerospace business. Smyth joins GKN Aerospace from BAE systems where she was Chief Counsel for the Air Sector.

VAS Aero

Munich Airport International and ADB SAFEGATE join forces

The international business arm of Munich Airport – the 100% subsidiary Munich Airport International (MAI) – has signed a cooperation agreement with ADB SAFEGATE.

The collaboration combines MAI’s worldwide expertise in airport development, management and operations with ADB SAFEGATE’s global presence and insight into airfield, apron and tower systems. As a single source for technology upgrades and process improvements, the cooperative efforts of both parties will support airports to meet the immense challenges posed by growing demands for air travel including capacity constraints and difficulties in expanding infrastructure.

Dr. Ralf Gaffal, Managing Director MAI, views the agreement as a logical next step after successfully working on joint projects in the past: “ADB SAFEGATE’s intelligent solutions add significantly to our expertise and we look forward to working together on exciting new projects. This unique combination of skills will help airports obtain maximum capacity, revenue and cost savings out of their existing infrastructure.”

TAP takes off with AMOS

The Portuguese flag carrier TAP together with TAP Maintenance & Engineering has inked agreements with Swiss-AS to manage in future the company-wide fleet maintenance activities with AMOS.

During the in-depth evaluation phase, all details of AMOS were extensively analyzed and questioned by TAP in order to make sure that it is the best fit for the airline as well as the M&E unit. Customer visits were organized, tender documents were exchanged and several workshops had taken place before the decision was finally taken.

Portugalia Airlines (PGA) next door, being a subsidiary of TAP and using AMOS since 2012, allowed TAP the unique opportunity to see AMOS live in production and benefit from PGA’s long-term experience with AMOS and Swiss-AS.

By choosing the AMOS MRO Edition including AMOSmobile and relying on the Swiss-AS Cloud Hosting solution, TAP will take advantage of the latest features and services offered by Swiss-AS. In the future, AMOScentral may well become a cornerstone for TAP to facilitate easy and safe communication and data exchange between TAP, its subsidiary Portugalia Airlines and beyond.

Beach Aviation

China Airlines to lease one Boeing 747-400F aircraft from ASL Aviation Holdings

AMS Aircraft Services (AMS) and EastMerchant Capital GmbH (EastMerchant) have announced the placement on operating lease of a Boeing 747-400F aircraft, msn 30762, with China Airlines as Lessor and ASL Aviation Holdings as Lessee.

AMS and EastMerchant acted as joint remarketing agent for China Airlines. China Airlines is the national airline of Taiwan and is a member of the SkyTeam alliance.

GAMECO, Boeing sign partnership agreement on 737-800 Boeing converted Freighter

Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company (GAMECO) and Boeing announced plans to launch a 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter production line at GAMECO’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport hangar, as the 737-800BCF program responds to growing demand.

Boeing’s newest freighter has achieved 130 orders and commitments since it was launched in 2016. The program is on pace to deliver 17 737-800BCFs in 2019, more than doubling last year’s output.

Alvey Pratt, Boeing Global Services’ director, Boeing Converted Freighters, said, “This partnership is great news for our customers. GAMECO is a world-class MRO provider with the proven ability to complete complex modifications on schedule, with the highest quality.”

Component Control

Pattonair Japan strengthens presence with new office in Nagoya

Pattonair Japan has strengthened its presence in Japan’s aerospace industry with the official opening of a new office on October 30, 2019. Pattonair Japan’s new permanent location in Nagoya signifies the global aerospace and defence supply chain service provider’s commitment to local support for its growing customer base.

The move follows on from the establishment of Pattonair Japan as a Japan Trading Company in
November 2018. This represented a key development in the company’s global expansion strategy extending Pattonair’s footprint in Asia where it also operates a facility in Singapore and an office in China.

Pattonair Japan supplies both OEM and MRO customers with supply chain services primarily in support of civil aircraft engines. Over the last 12 months, Pattonair Japan has signed new contracts with three major OEM sub-contractors to expand its existing customer base.


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