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Monday, August 16th, 2021

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Embraer returns to profitability in Q2 – pushes forward with new turboprop design

Embraer, the Brazilian manufacturer of military and business jets, has restored its guidance after returning to profit in the second quarter of 2021. Additionally, the company anticipates delivery of between 45 and 50 aircraft plus the handing over of between 90 and 95 business jets. Consolidated revenue is estimated to lie between US$4 billion and US$4.5 billion.

Second-quarter deliveries of 14 commercial and 20 executive jets took the first half year’s total to 23 and 33, respectively. 4 commercial and 13 executive jets were delivered in the second quarter of 2020. Revenue reached US$1.13 billion. Additionally, Embraer is to take further forward steps in the development of a turboprop aircraft, the first in decades. That type of aircraft is seen as being more fuel-efficient on short-haul flights, an attraction during periods of high oil prices. The initial designs indicate the plane will be designed with rear-mounted as opposed to the more traditional wing-mounted engines as Embraer looks to compete against ATR, the European manufacturer of 50-to-70-seat aircraft. Embraer had hoped to develop a new turboprop aircraft in partnership with Boeing, but that fell through when the American planemaker decided not to invest in Embraer in the early development stages of the pandemic.

According to Reuters news agency, Chief Financial Officer Antonio Carlos Garcia said on a call with analysts that Embraer is poised to post a stronger performance next year, and he is "very optimistic" about finding a partner for the turboprop. Revenue, which more than doubled in the second quarter to US$5.922 billion, is likely to be between US$4 billion and US$4.5 billion, with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 8.5% to 9.5%. Free cash flow should be at breakeven, with a cash burn of up to US$150 million seen this year.

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Alaska Airlines names Donald Wright VP Maintenance and Engineering

Alaska Airlines' board of directors has elected aviation veteran Donald Wright Vice President of Maintenance and Engineering, effective August 23, 2021. Wright will assume the role formerly held by Constance von Muehlen who was appointed Chief Operating Officer on April 3. In his new role, Wright will lead 1,346 employees, including the technical operations team, and oversee the safety, compliance and operational performance of the airline's mainline Boeing and Airbus fleet.

Wright is joining the company after recently retiring from United Airlines, where he served as vice president of maintenance operations, responsible for more than 6,500 line maintenance employees at 45 stations as well as third-party aircraft maintenance vendors globally.

Jackson Square Aviation closes sale-leaseback financing of three Airbus A320neo aircraft to Spirit Airlines

Jackson Square Aviation (JSA) has closed the sale-leaseback-financing of three new Airbus A320neo aircraft to Spirit Airlines. JSA now has a total of 11 aircraft under operating lease with the airline, representing a strong, growing relationship between the two companies.

“We are delighted to continue to support Spirit Airlines as the carrier further expands its young and fuel-efficient fleet, and wish the airline every success with these aircraft,” said Alfredo Sarria, JSA Senior Vice President, Marketing. He added, “Spirit Airlines is well positioned to take advantage of its unique offering from its Florida base to destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, and we are delighted to play a part in supporting the airline’s growth expansion within these regions. We look forward to further building on our partnership with Spirit in the years ahead.”

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Air Canada completes refinancing transaction exceeding CA$7.1 billion

Air Canada has closed its previously announced private offering of CA$2.0 billion of 4.625% senior secured notes due 2029 and US$1.2 billion of 3.875% senior secured notes due 2026. Air Canada also closed its previously announced US$2.9 billion new senior secured credit facility, comprised of a US$2.3 billion new term loan B maturing in 2028 together with a new undrawn US$600 million revolving credit facility maturing in 2025.

Air Canada received aggregate gross proceeds of approximately CA$7.1 billion from the sale of the Notes and from the Senior Secured Credit Facilities. Air Canada applied the proceeds from the sale of the Canadian Dollar Notes, together with the proceeds from the Term Loan, to satisfy and discharge all of the company's outstanding CA$200 million aggregate principal amount of its 4.75% senior secured notes due 2023 and redeem all of the Company's outstanding CA$840 million aggregate principal amount of its 9.00% second lien notes due 2024, repay all of the company's US$1,178 million of indebtedness outstanding under the loan agreement dated as of October 6, 2016, which is comprised of a syndicated secured US dollar term loan B facility and a syndicated secured US dollar revolving credit facility and satisfy applicable transaction costs, fees and expenses.

The balance of the proceeds is being retained for working capital and other general corporate purposes of Air Canada and its subsidiaries. The revolving facility is undrawn as of the date hereof, and any future borrowings thereunder are also intended to fund working capital and other general corporate purposes of Air Canada and its subsidiaries.

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HAECO Engine Services celebrates 700th engine output

HAECO Engine Services (Xiamen), a member of the HAECO Group has delivered its 700th GE90 engine output. The company also announced the completion of its engine test cell upgrade, marking a significant milestone in the long-term development of HAECO’s engine services.

HAECO Engine Services operates a state-of-the-art engine test cell rated to 150,000 pounds of engine thrust. This is capable of testing GE90 series engines, which are currently the world’s largest commercial aircraft engines in service. To prepare for the future entry of the GE9X series into the market, the company commenced a major modification of its engine test cell in April, introducing various enhancements such as upgrading the intake and exhaust stack to accommodate greater airflow, installing new noise reduction infrastructure, and adding an extra safeguard structure on the thrust stand. Following the modifications, a shakedown test and full correlation test were conducted to correlate the modified engine test cell and confirm its serviceability and accuracy.

Louise Bergström appointed Vice President of Investor Relations at SAS

SAS has appointed Louise Bergström as new Vice President of Investor Relations at SAS. She has both domestic and international experience from the financial markets and joins SAS from Bluestep Bank, where she has been Head of Investor Relations. 

SAS is committed to maintaining an open, and professional dialogue with the equity and debt markets, as well as receiving vital feedback to the company.

Bergström has valuable experience in this regard. She has a BA in European Business Administration from London, and has worked for more than ten years as Head of Investor Relations at both Intrum and SBAB. Prior to that she worked within the fixed income area at London based banks.

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Embraer’s electric demonstrator aircraft begins flight test campaign

On the journey to a net zero-carbon emissions future, another initiative of Embraer has reached a new stage with the beginning of the flight test campaign of the electric demonstrator aircraft. Developed to evaluate new technologies and solutions that enable 100% electric and more sustainable aeronautical propulsion, the demonstrator conducts tests at Embraer's facility in Gavião Peixoto, in São Paulo, Brazil.

This is another promising step in the successful scientific and technological cooperation that has brought together Embraer and two renowned providers of electric mobility solutions, WEG and EDP. The open innovation strategy has accelerated the development of the needed technologies to increase the future aircraft´s energy efficiency through the use and integration of electrical devices into an innovative propulsion system.

Power, performance, control, thermal management, and operation safety were the primary features evaluated in these manned first flights. The goal is to demonstrate real flight conditions through results obtained from computational simulations, lab tests and ground integration of technology, which have taken place since the second half of 2019.

The knowledge acquired on the electric demonstrator aircraft tests will allow Embraer to develop innovative new products in line with the company’s continuous search for a sustainable future. This is the case of eVTOL (electric vertical landing and take-off aircraft), also known as EVA (Electric Vertical Aircraft or electric vertical aircraft), developed by Eve, Embraer's Urban Air Mobility company.

StandardAero to provide CF34-8C engine support services for Lufthansa CityLine

German airline Lufthansa CityLine has selected StandardAero to provide support for its GE Aviation CF34-8C turbofan engines powering its fleet of MHI RJ Aviation (formerly Bombardier) CRJ900 regional jets.

Under the exclusive seven-year agreement, StandardAero will support Lufthansa CityLine with a range of CF34-8C services from its overhaul facility in Winnipeg, MB, Canada. StandardAero will also be qualifying its European field service team based in Rijen, the Netherlands to support the CF34, thereby assuring Lufthansa CityLine of responsive local airside assistance.

Lufthansa CityLine is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa, operating feeder flights from hubs at Frankfurt Airport and Munich Airport.

StandardAero was first appointed as a GE Aviation Authorized Service Provider (ASP) for the CF34-3 and CF34-8 engines in 2001, and in 2013 was named by GE as the first independent TRUEngine authorized MRO provider for the CF34 engine. In 2020, the company celebrated its milestone 3,000th CF34 engine workscope.
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