Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

EU antitrust regulators call halt on review of Boeing-Embraer deal

European antitrust regulators have been forced to stop the clock on their review of the deal where Boeing hopes to take an 80% controlling stake in the commercial airline and services business of Brazilian planemaker Embraer.

The regulators have cited the fact that insufficient documentation has been provided as the reason the investigation has come to a halt and will not be restarted until such time as it has been provided with all the information it has requested. “Parties must supply the necessary information for the investigation in a timely fashion,” a spokeswoman for the regulator said Monday in a statement. “Failure to do so will lead the commission to stop the clock.”

A Boeing representative said the two firms “continue to co-operate with the European Commission as they assess our transaction and look forward to a positive resolution.” The principal concern for the regulators is that the deal would see Embraer removed as the third-largest global competitor to both Airbus and Boeing, which would have the potential to: “result in higher prices and less choice.” The move by Boeing was to place itself in a strategically stronger position in the regional jet market to challenge Airbus after the European giant acquired Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft, now renamed the Airbus A220.


Leonardo to invest in solar-powered drone capable of perpetual flight with heavy payloads

Leonardo is accelerating the progress of technology and innovation in autonomous flight by investing in Skydweller Aero Inc., a US/Spanish start-up specialising in large-scale solar-powered unmanned air systems. The initiative will result in the development and deployment of the Skydweller drone, the world’s first fully electric unmanned aircraft capable of carrying large payloads with unlimited range and ultra-persistent endurance.

"As the key technological investor and partner of the project, Leonardo will broaden its capabilities in new power systems, autonomous flight, innovative aerostructures, ultra-light materials and eco-friendly technologies to improve the company's competitive advantage in the aerospace business for the next 20 years ", commented Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo.

Thanks to its unique features, Skydweller combines potentially unlimited persistence and range with the flexibility of an aircraft. It will operate from existing airbases around the world, deploy thousands of miles away to areas of high need, and remain overhead for orders of magnitude longer than current aircraft. This revolutionary platform will be used for purposes ranging from land and maritime surveillance to monitoring the environment and infrastructure, from industrial geo-information services to telecommunications and precision navigation. During emergencies and disaster-recovery situations, the system can be rapidly deployed from distant locations to provide backup communications and direct support to first responders.

The system will comply with European export laws and will not be subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) restrictions. This will enable the aircraft to satisfy government and
commercial needs around the world. Leonardo will act as the prime contractor for commercial opportunities in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and NATO.

Development and construction of the aircraft will be carried out at the Skydweller facility in the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain. Leonardo Aircraft division will participate in development and engineering activities via a dedicated team.

Pratt & Whitney secures EngineWise® service agreement with Vietnam Airlines

Pratt & Whitney and Vietnam Airlines have signed a 12-year EngineWise Comprehensive service agreement for Pratt & Whitney GTF™ engine maintenance for the airline's fleet of 20 Airbus A321neo aircraft. Vietnam Airlines' first A321neo entered into service in late 2018.

Pratt & Whitney's EngineWise service portfolio provides engine operators with a variety of aftermarket services to maximize engine performance and fleet availability.

Pentagon 2000

GE Aviation signs 12-year Systems TrueChoice services and support contract with China Southern Airlines

GE Aviation announced a 12-year TrueChoiceTM services agreement with China Southern Airlines for systems support across their Boeing 787 fleet. The agreement includes GE Aviation’s Avionics Systems content and capabilities with the signing taking place at the China International Import Expo with Matt Dillhoff, general manager of Systems Global Services Sales for GE Aviation and Mr. Li Zhigang, senior vice president, Maintenance & Engineering Division, China Southern Airlines Company Limited.

The agreement covers GE Aviation content including the Common Core System and will support all of China Southern Airlines’ fleet of 30 B787 aircraft, the last five of which will be delivered in 2020.

The program for the China Southern Airlines B787 fleet will provide an optimized solution for through-life support and includes repairs, stock holding, inventory management, program
management, configuration control, engineering change control, technical documentation, obsolescence management and reliability trend analysis.

Building on the airline’s minimal B787 parts inventory, GE Aviation will guarantee just in time availability from its pool of B787 components to China Southern Airlines at its main base in Guangzhou and its outstations.

Qantas Group to slash carbon emissions

The Qantas Group will reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in a major expansion of the airline’s commitment to a more sustainable aviation industry. With actions starting from November 11, the national carrier will immediately double the number of flights being offset, cap net emissions from 2020 onwards and invest AU$50 million over 10 years to help develop a sustainable aviation fuel industry. This announcement means that Qantas is the only airline group to commit to cap its net emissions at 2020 levels, and the second to commit to net zero emissions by 2050.

Qantas, Jetstar Australia and New Zealand , QantasLink and Qantas Freight will offset all growth in emissions from domestic and international operations from 2020. This includes offsetting all net emissions from Project Sunrise, the carrier’s plan to operate non-stop flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York, should the project proceed. This will also extend to domestic flying, meaning that growth on key routes like Melbourne-Sydney will be carbon neutral.

The aviation industry, which contributes around 2 per cent of global CO2 emissions, has committed to halving emissions by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. It was the first industry to make such commitments. Qantas had signed up to those commitments but will now exceed them.

Qantas will work with industry, research institutions and governments to develop the long-term solutions to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry over the next three decades.


Alaska Air Group announces senior leadership advancements

Alaska Air Group has announced three key leadership advancements to position Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air for future growth and success: Ben Minicucci, as President of Alaska, will be responsible for all commercial and operational duties including rollout and execution of the company's strategic plan; Gary Beck becomes Alaska's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; and Joe Sprague returns to Air Group in the role of President of Horizon. All appointments are effective immediately.

SIA reports higher first half net profit

The SIA Group has achieved a net profit of SG$206 million in the first half of the financial year, SG$10 million (+5.1%) higher than last year. Revenue rose SG$418 million (+5.3%), primarily from strong growth in passenger flown revenue, partially offset by a reduction in cargo flown revenue, while higher expenditure (+$431 million or 5.8%) reflected enlarged operations. Accordingly, operating profit for the Group was SG$413 million, down SG$13 million or 3.1% compared to the same period last year.

The Group recorded a reduction in share of losses from associated companies (+SG$36 million), mostly from Virgin Australia, and a higher share of profits from joint venture companies (+SG$19 million). These were offset by increased net finance charges (-SG$54 million) due to the recognition of interest expense arising from lease liabilities following the adoption of IFRS 16 Leases and additional financing for fleet renewal and expansion.

Passenger flown revenue for the Group was up SG$514 million (+8.2%), lifted by 7.6% growth in traffic. Load factor improved 1.0 point to 84.6%, a record for the first-half, as uplift outpaced the increase in capacity (+6.4%). Notwithstanding the significant capacity expansion, RASK (revenue per available seat-kilometre) continues its upward trend, improving 1.3% to 7.7 cents for the first half, the highest since the commencement of the Group’s transformation programme. However, cargo flown revenue declined by SG$138 million (-12.5%) as a result of poorer yields (-6.3%) and lower loads carried (-6.5%).


AJW Group appoints Martin Broadhurst as Non-Executive SDirector

AJW Group has appointed Martin Broadhurst as Non-Executive Director.

Broadhurst has been appointed to replace retiring Director, Randeep Grewal, to help oversee AJW Group’s diversification into new markets, predominantly defence, due to his proven track record of growing international organisations and expanding their capabilities.

He has over 15 years of experience running a large engineering organisation, with a total of over three decades of experience in the international aerospace and defence sectors. Broadhurst previously held the title of chief executive and group director at Marshall Aerospace and Marshall of Cambridge, respectively, for fourteen years.

West Star Aviation provides Falcon 2000 baggage modification install

West Star Aviation has been granted STC approval to install the Falcon 2000 baggage modification.

This modification allows West Star to create usable baggage space in the Aft unpressurized area. The forward servicing compartment (FSC) panel enclosure will feature a 21.75 ft² footprint, and 73.5 cu.ft. of usable baggage space.

The installation weight of this modification is 115 pounds and can accommodate 185-275 pounds while still allowing access to all common service and maintenance items with no additional fire detection or suspension needed.

This modification is available to over 500 Falcon 2000 aircraft models and will have a minimal impact on weight and c.g. balance. To date, the experienced West Star teams have already installed five of the baggage modifications to satisfied customers.


Airbus unveils first Canadian-made A220-300 aircraft destined to a Canadian airline

Air Canada’s first Airbus A220 was unveiled last week when it rolled out of the painting hangar at the A220 final assembly line in Mirabel. In December, Air Canada will become the first Canadian airline to take delivery of this Canadian-designed and developed aircraft when it receives the first of its 45 A220s on order. The A220 features an innovative cabin design, as well as significantly lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint.

Now that the aircraft is decked out in Air Canada’s livery, it has moved to pre-flight activities in the A220 flight line hangar in Mirabel, before taking off for its first flight later this fall.

Currently, there are 94 A220 aircraft flying with six operators on regional and transcontinental routes in Asia, America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest family member. The A220 has an order book of 530 aircraft as of the end of October 2019.


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Dubai Airshow
November 17 - 21, 2019 – DWC, Dubai, UAE

EyeforTravel Revenue Optimization and Marketing Summit
November 26 - 27, 2019 – Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City, Amsterdam, NL

Manufacturing World
February 26 - 18, 2020 – Makuhari Messe, Chiba-city, Japan