Friday, April 6th, 2018



U.S.-China Trade War May See China Eastern Change Routes and Aircraft

As U.S. president Donald Trump ramps up pressure levels on a looming trade war with China, China Eastern has made it clear that if events affect passenger and cargo volumes, it is not afraid to alter routes and also the type of passenger jet it is prepared to purchase.

DBS analyst Paul Yong stated that: “If the trade war escalates and is widened, we should expect that international travel, especially between China and the US, will be affected.”

China Eastern China’s second-largest carrier by passenger volume, has just released 2017 financial year figures revealing its best profit in 20 years at CNY6.35 billion (US$1.00 billion) on the back of strong performance by the yuan and the rapidly increasing demand from the Chinese for worldwide travel. Caution is urged with regard to fuel costs, which account for 25% of the carrier’s running costs.

On Wednesday Wu Yongliang, China Eastern’s chief financial officer, confirmed that rising aviation fuel prices were “likely to put some pressure on company operations”. Wu also commented that China Eastern would be willing to buy into the Shanghai crude oil futures market “when the right timing and opportunity arise”.

As far as adopting a tit-for-tat attitude to tariffs currently being levied by the Trump administration on Chinese imports, Ma Xulun, China Eastern’s chief executive officer made it clear the carrier would take whatever measures necessary if the spat escalates, which could include switching its allegiance from Boeing to Airbus when it buys new aircraft.

China Eastern currently flies approximately 20 Boeing-777 aircraft, each carrying between 314 and 396 passengers, so Ma’s suggestion might mean they would be replaced, over time, by Airbus 330-200s, of which the carrier operates around 45.

TP Aerospace

Ryanair March traffic grows 6%

Ryanair has released that March traffic increased 6% to 10.0m customers compared to March 2017 and the load factor for the month was up 1.0 point to 95%. Rolling annual traffic to March grew 9% to 130.3m customers.

British Airways finalises new pension scheme

International Airlines Group’s subsidiary British Airways has closed its New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS) to future accrual and its British Airways Retirement Plan (BARP) to future contributions from March 31, 2018.

The schemes have been replaced by a flexible benefits scheme, incorporating a new defined contribution pension scheme, called the British Airways Pension Plan (BAPP). It offers a choice of contribution rates and the ability to opt for cash instead of a pension.

The annual costs for BAPP are expected to be approximately £80m lower than the equivalent NAPS and BARP costs in 2017.
The next full NAPS actuarial valuation is due as at March 31, 2018. It will reflect the closure to future accrual, as well as the normal detailed review of the circumstances at the valuation date, including financial and demographic assumptions.

Steve Gunning, British Airways’ chief financial officer said: “This is an important step in managing the risk in NAPS and ensuring the airline has an appropriate cost-base for the future. The new arrangements include a market-competitive defined contribution scheme and will stop the build-up of further liabilities and risk in NAPS. This will help to improve the security of existing benefits.”


Bombardier and PSA Airlines extend heavy maintenance agreement for CRJ Series aircraft

Bombardier Services Corporation and PSA Airlines of Vandalia, Ohio have signed a three-year extension to the parties’ heavy maintenance agreement. Under this contract, heavy maintenance tasks for the airline’s fleet of Bombardier CRJ200, CRJ700 and CRJ900 aircraft will be performed at Bombardier’s West Virginia Air Center. Bombardier has conducted heavy maintenance for PSA Airlines since 2005.

PSA Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group operates a fleet comprised exclusively of 126 CRJ regional jets. The airline operates the aircraft under the American Eagle regional brand.

JetSMART selects NAVBLUE’s ROPS system for its fleet

Airbus subsidiary NAVBLUE will provide Chile’s low-cost carrier JetSMART with the Airbus Runway Overrun Protection System (ROPS).

Under the agreement, which was signed at the FIDAE Air Show in Santiago, Chile, NAVBLUE will equip 100 aircraft, including retrofit of three aircraft already in operation. As a result JetSMART’s entire A320 Family fleet will be equipped with ROPS by the end of 2026.

Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) is an on-board cockpit technology which Airbus and NAVBLUE have pioneered over several years. It is an alerting system which reduces exposure to runway overrun risk, and if necessary, provides active protection. It compares remaining runway length to expected stopping distance in real time to prevent runway overrun. So far, ROPS has been installed on more than 900, single-aisle and widebody aircraft and many more are awaiting delivery.

SR Technics

Boeing expands services engagement in Latin America with GOL Airlines and Aeromexico

Boeing is expanding its commercial services capability in Latin America with new customer orders from GOL Airlines to use Boeing's Airplane Health Management for its 737 MAX fleet and from Aeromexico to use Boeing's landing gear exchange program for its 787 fleet.

According to Boeing's 2017 Services Market Outlook, the Latin American commercial aviation services market is currently growing at five percent per year. Boeing expects the total aviation support and services market in the region to be worth US$530bn by 2036.

GOL Linhas Aereas S.A., Brazil's largest domestic carrier, signed an agreement adding Airplane Health Management to its 737 MAX fleet. GOL will take delivery of its first new 737 MAX 8 starting this year. Employing Airplane Health Management will empower GOL to improve MAX fleet management, especially on its international expansion.

Aeromexico, the largest airline in Mexico, operates one of the most technologically-advanced fleets in the region and is a leading regional operator of the 787 Dreamliner. It will use Boeing's Landing Gear Overhaul and Exchange Program for 17 aircraft in its 787 fleet, as well as AOG access. Through the program, operators receive an overhauled and recertified landing gear from an exchange pool maintained by Boeing, with stocked components and supporting parts shipping within 24 hours.

Aeromexico will also start using AerData's Engine Fleet Planning and Costing tool for its Boeing fleet, which helps customers optimize engine maintenance planning, engine spares availability and budgets. Using Boeing AnalytX capabilities, the tool analyzes in hours what typically takes an airline weeks to examine using other methods.

Component Control

Spirit AeroSystems celebrates Fabrication Center of Excellence grand opening at McAlester, Okla., site

Spirit AeroSystems has unveiled its second center of excellence focusing on the fabrication of complex commercial and military aircraft parts. The facility, located at the company's McAlester, Okla., site, will support current customer contracts while accommodating new work in the global aerostructures market.

"We announced plans last year to create a three- and four-axis fabrication center of excellence to support the growth of our fabrication capabilities to a billion-dollar business for the company," said Spirit President and CEO Tom Gentile. "Rather than moving work to Mexico, we imported 18 new machines from a shop in Juarez, Mexico. We began producing parts for customers in McAlester last year, and the site has capacity to bring in more machines as demand increases."

The purchase and installation of new equipment began in 2017, augmenting the company's existing capabilities as one of the world's largest fabricators of aerospace parts. Since production began, more than half of the 1,000 parts scheduled for production in McAlester have been through their first article inspection.

The new McAlester center specializes in small- to medium-sized parts and will generate millions of dollars in new revenue for Spirit.

Universal Avionics FMS selected for U.S. Army’s Black Hawk FANS program

Universal Avionics, in partnership with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Engineering Development Center (AMRDEC), Prototype Integration Facility (PIF), and prime contractor Redstone Defense Systems, has integrated an IFR capable Flight Management System (FMS) for the U.S. Army’s Sikorsky HH/UH-60L/M Black Hawk Federated Advanced Navigation System (FANS) program.
This meets the program’s requirement to integrate a Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) FAA certified navigational system for the incorporation of Required Navigation Performance Area Navigation (RNP/RNAV) and Global Position System RNAV (GPS/RNAV) requirement.

To meet the GPS/RNAV requirement, H-60 aircraft will be fitted with a single UNS FMS with 4-inch Flat Panel Control Display Unit (FPCDU).


Hi Fly takes delivery of first Airbus A380

Hi Fly, a European Airline specialized in widebody Aircraft Wet Lease to other airlines and governments on a global basis, is taking delivery of its first Airbus A380, the world’s largest and most spacious airliner. The arrival is a major event for the Company, making it the 1st Portuguese and the 4th European airline operating the model.

This first A380-841 will join Hi Fly’s fleet in mid-2018 and will be operating worldwide. According to president Paulo Mirpuri, “it is a very proud moment for Hi Fly. The Airbus A380 is the largest and most advanced airliner flying today and certainly the aircraft of choice for the most discerning air travellers. This acquisition has been part of our company’s plans for a while. We are extremely happy to welcome the first A380 to our fleet.”

The double-decker aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines and will seat 471 passengers distributed between three classes. The main deck is fully reserved for Economy class carrying a total of 399 passengers while the upper deck has Business and First class seats carrying 60 and 12 passengers respectively. In a high density version the aircraft can carry up to 868 passengers.

Airbus Helicopters signs largest HCare Smart contracts in Latin America for two H225M fleets

Both the Brazilian Armed Forces and the Mexican Air Force have placed their trust in Airbus Helicopters’ HCare Smart by the hour maintenance programs for a total contract value of more than €125m.

The contract with the Brazilian Armed Forces covers the entirety of the 50 H225Ms currently on order, of which 30 have already been delivered, for the Brazilian Army, Navy and Air force. The aircraft belong to the H-XBR program, signed in 2008 with the Ministry of Defense to provide 50 H225M for the three Armed Forces. The contract with Mexico includes comprehensive support for the 11 H225M aircraft in operation by the Air Force.

Both contracts are fully customized for each customer to cover material support for all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. They will deliver enhanced aircraft availability through highly responsive material support backed on strong commitments.

The HCare Material Management program ensures predictability and management of spare parts and Repair & Overhaul services for a higher fleet availability and budget control. It facilitates customer management and planning and streamlines logistical and administrative flow.



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The Road Ahead for Asset Management 2018
April 18, 2018 – Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset 2018
June 5, 2018 – Jury’s Inn Hotel, Prague

Maintenance Reserves Seminar 2018
June 6, 2018 – Jury’s Inn Hotel, Prague

Engine Leasing Seminar
September 18, 2018 – Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London, UK

Transactional Support & Risk Management Seminar, London
September 19, 2018 – Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London, UK

Aircraft Economic Life Summit 2018
November 20, 2018 – Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
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