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Thursday, July 29th, 2021

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After approval of EU Commission: Attestor invests €200 million in Condor, airline orders 16 Airbus A330-900neo aircraft

The European asset manager Attestor has acquired a 51% stake in Condor as planned. The transaction has been approved by both anti-trust officials and the EU Commission, which also issued state-aid approval for the acquisition of Condor through Attestor. The decisions cleared the way for Attestor to invest €200 million in fresh equity capital in Condor. Additionally, another €250 million will be invested in the modernization of the leisure airline’s fleet.

Thus, with the approval of the Supervisory Board, Condor has decided to order 16 Airbus A330-900neo of the latest generation. As the German launch customer for the Airbus A330neo, Condor is thus focusing on latest technology, maximum efficiency, and the highest level of customer comfort. Fuel consumption per passenger per 100 kilometers will be 2.1 liters, which makes Condor the European frontrunner on long-haul flights. The first aircraft is expected in autumn 2022, whilst the replacement of the entire long-haul fleet is scheduled to be completed by mid-2024.

“We are introducing the two-liter aircraft into our operations and will be setting new standards: with our modern long-haul fleet, we will inseparably combine sustainability and holidays with Condor in future. On board the quietest cabin in the world on an aircraft of this size, our guests can also expect the highest level of comfort in a brand-new Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class,” says Ralf Teckentrup, CEO of Condor. “With our fleet modernization we reach another milestone in our company’s history and take the next step towards the future.”

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Boeing posts profit for first time in nearly two years - anticipated staffing cuts on hold

Boeing Co’s shares rose 5% on the news that the American planemaker posted a first-quarter profit, the first in approaching two years. The company had been severely hit by two major crises, the COVID-19 pandemic and the grounding of its 737 MAX jet. As a consequence, previous plans to trim down the company’s workforce by 10,000 by the end of 2021 has been put on hold.

With the 737 MAX taking to the skies once again, Boeing has still to overcome the costly hurdle of China’s failure to approve the latest solutions to identified safety problems. China had become a major purchaser for the 737 MAX, accounting for approximately 25% of the jet’s sales. Stronger regulatory scrutiny of the delayed 777x mini-jumbo and ongoing safety problems with the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing currently plans to reduce production of the 787 to fewer than five jets per month. Meanwhile, production rates for the 737 program have increased to 13 units per month, while 31 units per month has been targeted for the beginning of 2022, having delivered 130 units since the MAX was cleared to fly again.

Boeing's core operating profit was US$755 million for the second quarter as opposed to a loss of US$3.32 billion in 2020. Revenue rose 44% to approximately US$17 billion. Boeing's commercial airplanes division reported a quarterly loss of US$472 million, while its defense business generated revenue of US$958 million and its services division US$531 million.

HAECO Xiamen completes first Boeing 737-800SF cargo conversion

HAECO Xiamen, together with Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) partner Aeronautical Engineers, have re-delivered the first Boeing 737-800SF converted freighter to Aviation Holdings. HAECO Xiamen has been an authorized AEI Conversion Center since 2020, and this first Boeing 737-800SF redelivery marked yet another milestone in the continued development of HAECO Xiamen’s capabilities.

To minimize downtime, HAECO Xiamen conducts full freighter conversions in parallel with heavy maintenance checks and other modifications. Its on-site quality assurance teams prepare daily reports as part of a comprehensive quality control process to ensure that work is conducted to the highest standards.

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Airbus reports first-half 2021 results

Airbus has reported consolidated financial results for the half-year (H1) ended June 30, 2021.

Consolidated revenues increased 30% year-on-year to €24.6 billion (H1 2020: €18.9 billion), mainly reflecting the higher number of commercial aircraft deliveries compared to H1 2020. A total of 297 commercial aircraft were delivered (H1 2020: 196 aircraft), comprising 21 A220s, 237 A320 Family, seven A330s, 30 A350s and two A380s. Revenues generated by Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities increased 42%, largely reflecting the increased deliveries. Airbus Helicopters delivered 115 units (H1 2020: 104 units) with revenues up 11%% reflecting growth in services and higher volume in civil helicopters. Revenues at Airbus Defence and Space were broadly stable compared to a year earlier, with two A400M military airlifters delivered in H1 2021.

Airbus reported consolidated net income of €2,231 million (H1 2020 net loss: €-1,919 million) with consolidated reported earnings per share of €2.84 (H1 2020 loss per share: €-2.45).

Consolidated EBIT Adjusted – an alternative performance measure and key indicator capturing the underlying business margin by excluding material charges or profits caused by movements in provisions related to programmes, restructuring or foreign exchange impacts as well as capital gains/losses from the disposal and acquisition of businesses – was €2,703 million (H1 2020: €-945 million).

The EBIT Adjusted related to Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities totalled €2,291 million (H1 2020: €-1,307 million), mainly driven by the delivery performance and the company’s focus on cost containment and competitiveness.

Airbus Helicopters’ EBIT Adjusted increased to € 183 million (H1 2020: € 152 million), driven by services, program execution and lower Research & Development (R&D) spending.

EBIT Adjusted at Airbus Defence and Space increased to €229 million (H1 2020: €186 million), mainly reflecting the division’s ongoing cost containment and competitiveness efforts as well as increased volume in Space Systems.

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Dassault Aviation selects GE for electrical power distribution and control on Falcon 10X

Dassault Aviation has selected GE Aviation to provide the primary and solid state secondary electrical power distribution and control system for the recently launched Dassault Falcon 10X aircraft.

GE will utilize its Electric Power Integration Center (EPIC) in Cheltenham, U.K., where it will employ state of the art dynamic software modeling, simulation and analysis to predict how the system and its individual components will perform, including full system testing within a copper-bird environment. GE will perform all electrical power system certification testing within the EPIC, on behalf of Dassault, preparing and delivering the necessary documentation as part of Dassault’s aircraft certification submission to EASA.   

Dassault Aviation’s new Falcon will feature a range of 7,500 nautical miles and a top speed of Mach 0.925, the Falcon 10X will fly nonstop from New York to Shanghai, Los Angeles to Sydney, Hong Kong to New York or Paris to Santiago. The Falcon 10X will enter service at the end of 2025.   

CUSTOMCELLS to produce high-performance silicon-anode batteries for Lilium's 7-seater jet

Lilium has partnered with CUSTOMCELLS, the German manufacturer of customer specific lithium-ion battery cells.

CUSTOMCELLS, which supplies international aviation, automotive and military customers, will be one of Lilium’s prime suppliers, manufacturing lithium-ion batteries at scale for the all-electric 7-Seater Lilium Jet. Utilizing Lilium’s licensed technology, CUSTOMCELLS will industrialize battery cells for high-quality series production at its Tübingen location. At the Tübingen site, CUSTOMCELLS, together with partner and equipment manufacturer Manz AG, offers one of the most modern battery cell production lines in Europe.

Bringing together two German innovators in energy and aerospace, with guaranteed production capacity at CUSTOMCELLS’s state-of-the-art research and production sites in Germany, this partnership will play a crucial role in scaling up production of the 7-Seater Lilium Jet ahead of planned commercial launch in 2024.

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Vallair augments MRO capability with introduction of in-house NDT

Franco-Luxembourgish aviation company Vallair has augmented its MRO capability with the introduction of in-house NDT (Non-Destructive Testing). The capability will not only be available at Vallair’s specialist MRO facility in Montpellier and the Aerostructure repair shop in Châteauroux, but also away from these locations worldwide, with both Form 1 and 8130 release available.

NDT techniques are necessary to determine whether an aircraft is airworthy. It is a broad category of inspection techniques, and is an important tool in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). NDT includes the inspection of an airframe structure and engine for surface and sub-surface cracks, impact damage, corrosion, and other irregularities. These inspections must be done without having to dismantle components therefore minimising downtime.

Vallair’s NDT capability will comprise eddy current inspections, ultrasonics inspections as well as penetrant testing and will be overseen by Renaud Chastel, NDT manager for Vallair. Renaud recently joined Vallair to head up the program and has accrued more than ten-years’ NDT experience in companies all around the world including ATR, Airbus and most recently G2 Metric.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Tamar