Friday, November 1st, 2019

Bombardier agrees sale of aerostructures business to Spirit AeroSystems

As part of its continued move away from commercial aviation, Bombardier has announced that it is to sell its aerostructures business to Spirit AeroSystems (Spirit) for US$1 billion in cash and debt. The deal is expected to finalize in the first half of 2020.

Spirit will acquire Bombardier’s Belfast plant, another in Morocco and a smaller third plant in Dallas. “This transaction represents another strategic milestone in the reshaping of our portfolio to focus on our strong business aircraft and rail franchises,” Bombardier Chief Executive Officer Alain Bellemare said in a statement.

Analysts have identified this acquisition as a good strategic move for Spirit in order to diversify its customer base away from Boeing. While Spirit may be Boeing’s largest supplier, it intends to expand its business footing with Airbus. The deal will immediately provide Spirit with a backlog of work including long-term contracts on Airbus A220 and A320neo planes, along with business and regional jets of Bombardier – the Belfast plant is currently producing wings for the Airbus A220 which currently has an order backlog of 435 of the 110-to130-seat jets.


American Airlines to add 165 Tech Ops positions in Tulsa

American Airlines is hiring an additional 165 aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) and support positions in 2019, resulting in more than 1,000 new Tech Ops positions added to the company in 2019.

The newest positions will be at the airline’s maintenance base in Tulsa, Oklahoma called Tech Ops — Tulsa. American has recently announced 400 new Tech Ops positions to assist with additional work coming to the base.

The new team members, primarily Federal Aviation Administration-licensed mechanics, will focus on interior modifications to Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A321 aircraft to drive operational reliability and create a consistent product across American’s fleet.

"The work we do in Tulsa is an important part of maintaining and delivering safe and reliable aircraft for American’s customers and team members,” said Erik Olund, Managing Director of Base Maintenance for American. "With these additional positions, we’ll be situated to provide the best operational performance and consistent experience that our customers expect and deserve.”


Helvetic Airways takes delivery of first E190-E2 jet

Zurich, Switzerland-based Helvetic Airways officially received its first E190-E2 jet from Embraer. The airline has a contract for a firm order of 12 jets of this model, and purchase rights for a further 12 E190-E2, with conversion rights to the E195-E2, bringing the total potential order up to 24 E-Jets E2s.

This E190-E2 aircraft marks the start of Helvetic’s fleet renewal program. The purchase rights for a further 12 aircraft (E190-E2 or E195-E2) will enable Helvetic Airways to grow according to market opportunities. Helvetic Airways is configuring the E190-E2 in a single class layout with 110 seats and will deploy the aircraft on several domestic and international routes.

AES Global awarded Zero Passenger Configuration STC

Aerospace Engineering Solutions (AES Global), a UK and EU aerospace design and certification organisation, has been awarded EASA Supplement Type Certificate (STC) for Zero Passenger Configuration.

This latest STC (No.10070986) issued by EASA applies to Boeing 737 and Boeing 757 variant aircraft types and allows the operator and lessors to fly aircraft legally with a Zero passenger configuration. This STC is based on the latest EASA guidance regarding the approval of Incomplete Passenger Cabins as detailed in proposed EASA Certification Memorandum CM-CS-010-001.


Air France KLM 3rd-quarter net income down €420 million

In the third quarter 2019, the Air France-KLM Group posted an operating result of €900 million, down by €165 million compared to last year, impacted by trading environment and fuel bill increase. Net income amounted to €366 million in the third quarter 2019, a decrease of €420 million compared to last year, including non-operating cost impact related to Airbus A380 phase-out of €100 million and effects on currency hedge portfolio related to a stronger US dollar and Japanese Yen.

The fuel bill including hedging amounted to €1,512 million for the third quarter 2019, up €135 million. This increase is mainly explained by a hedging loss of €50 million in this quarter compared to a hedging gain of €100 million last year, and a negative currency effect on the fuel bill of €48 million due to a stronger dollar. Currencies had a positive €92 million impact on revenues and a negative €20 million effect on costs (ex-fuel) including currency hedging.

Volotea selects Airbus to train pilots for its growing fleet of Airbus A319s

Barcelona-based airline Volotea, has chosen Airbus to train all its pilots following the signature of an exclusive five-year contract. The training, which will commence in January 2020, includes Type-Rating as well as long-term Recurrent training linked to Volotea's growing fleet of Airbus A319s – which will exceed 50 aircraft in 2023. The organisation of the training plan is currently on-going, paving the way for the “go-live” next year.

Volotea’s trainees will benefit from long-term use of Airbus’ full-flight simulators – located throughout Airbus’ Training Centre Network – and will be taught by a pool of expert pilot instructors, drawn from both Airbus and Volotea. The flexible training scheme will benefit from the cross-fertilisation of both Volotea’s and Airbus’ respective expertise and standards. To this end, the airline is initially inducting four of its pilot instructors into Airbus’ training regime, while in parallel, Airbus is aligning around 20 of its own instructors in collaboration with Volotea’s operational requirements. As the airline progressively expands its A319 fleet, the size of the joint instructor pool is expected to commensurably increase. Volotea has selected the Airbus A319 as the model for its planned fleet expansion.


Embraer delivers 17 commercial and 27 executive Jets in third quarter 2019

Embraer has delivered a total of 44 jets in the third quarter of 2019 (3Q19), of which 17 were commercial aircraft and 27 were executive jets (15 light and 12 large). As of September 30th, the firm order backlog totaled US$16.2 billion.

In the beginning of 3Q19, Embraer has signed a contract with SkyWest, for a firm order of seven E175 jets in a 70-seat configuration. SkyWest will operate the aircraft for Delta. The order has a value of US$340 million, based on 2019 list prices, and was already included in Embraer’s 2019 second-quarter backlog as an “undisclosed” customer. Deliveries are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019.

In the third quarter, Embraer also delivered its first E195-E2, the largest of the three members of the E-Jets E2 family of commercial aircraft. The recipients were AerCap, the aircraft leasing company, and Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras. Azul is the global launch operator for the E195-E2 and had placed firm orders for 51 of the type. The airline will receive another five aircraft in 2019.

In the Executive Jets segment, Embraer has announced a purchase agreement with Flexjet for a fleet of Praetor 500, Praetor 600 and Phenom 300 jets. The announcement was made during the 2019 National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), in Las Vegas, Nevada. Valued at up to US$1.4 billion, at current list prices, this deal was included in the 2019 second quarter backlog, with deliveries starting in the fourth quarter of 2019.

TrueNoord adds US$360 million financing facility to support further portfolio growth

:TrueNoord has closed a new revolving warehouse finance facility of US$360 million with an uncommitted US$150 million accordion feature. This will be used by the specialist regional aircraft lessor to finance business development and expand its portfolio of 50-150 seat aircraft which includes regional jets and turboprops from Embraer, ATR and deHavilland Canada.

The new facility is underwritten by Citibank, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking and Royal Bank of Canada – and it supports TrueNoord’s targeted growth strategy which is endorsed by its cornerstone investors Bregal Freshstream, BlackRock and Aberdeen Standard. Citibank will act as agent and security trustee under the facility. Legal advisers Milbank acted for TrueNoord and Clifford Chance represented the banks.


King Aerospace names new Senior Proposal Manager

Noel Quinn has been named Senior Proposal Manager for King Aerospace’s government services. He has more than 15 years of experience in CONUS and OCONUS aviation maintenance, management and modification; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); launch operations; and logistics.

Previously, Quinn served as proposal manager for Vertex Aerospace, L-3 Vertex Aerospace, AECOM Government Services and DynCorp. For almost 22 years, he worked for E-Systems/Raytheon/L-3 Communications in such roles as information technology team lead and business development specialist.

C&L Aerospace completes sale of Saab 340B+ to Montrose Global

C&L Aerospace, a C&L Aviation Group company, has completed the sale of one Saab 340B+, MSN 365, to Montrose Global Aircraft Leasing who has plans to lease the aircraft to Air Rarotonga based out of the Cook Islands. This is the second Saab 340 B+ sold by C&L, that will be utilized by Air Rarotonga in the last year.

MSN 365 is one of ten Saab 340B aircraft C&L agreed to purchase from Japan Air Commuter (JAC) as part of its fleet renewal. Deliveries began in 2016 and will run through early 2020.


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