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Thursday, August 26th, 2021

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Two leased 737-800BCFs from GECAS will see Karko Express ramp up capacity

GECAS, the aviation lessor and financier, has announced that it intends to lease two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF) to Kargo Xpress, the M Jets International start-up. The two jets will be delivered in October 2021 and January 2022, substantially increasing capacity for the newest freight carrier in Malaysia.

Cargo Xpress commenced scheduled flights in June with one 737-400F, so this added capacity will allow the operator to provide fast, timely and efficient delivery of goods as they expand into Northern China and Western India, as well as serving certain thinner, underserved routes. 

Gunasekar Mariappan, Managing Director, M Jets International, said, “Kargo Xpress appreciates the close working relationship with GECAS to induct our initial two 737-800 BCF. We are focused on developing a robust, reliable, cost-effective network within Asia, centered around a fleet of 737 freighters. Our goal is to be the provider of choice for express e-commerce shipments, as well as point-to-point delivery, trans-shipment and flight-truck services for our time-to-market sensitive customers within Asia.”

Richard Greener, SVP and Manager, GECAS Cargo said, “Thanks to its versatility, efficiency, and reliability, the 737-800BCF is well suited to Kargo Xpress’ planned growth strategy.  At GECAS Cargo, we are pleased to support Kargo Xpress as they look to develop more routes and expand their operations.”

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Boeing unveils F-15 Qatar advanced jets

Boeing, in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), have celebrated the naming and rollout of Qatar’s advanced F-15, the F-15QA jet. The first set of F-15QA jets will ferry to Qatar later this year following the completion of pre-delivery pilot training.

“The Qatar F-15QA program further enhanced next-generation technologies in the advanced F-15 such as the fly-by-wire flight controls, an all-glass digital cockpit and contemporary sensors, radar and electronic warfare capabilities,” said Prat Kumar, Vice President of the F-15 program. “Driven by digital engineering and advanced manufacturing, these aircraft represent a transformational leap for the F-15. The F-15QA will enhance the superiority of the QEAF with more speed, range and payload than any fighter in the world.”

Boeing has been providing maintenance and logistics support for the QEAF during pre-delivery pilot training, which began earlier this year. In addition, Boeing will establish and operate an aircrew and maintenance training center for the QEAF at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar through 2024 while also providing in-country spares and logistics support once aircraft are delivered.

Gatwick Airport plans to bring existing Northern Runway into routine use

Gatwick Airport has announced that a public consultation will start on September 9, 2021, on plans to bring its existing northern runway into routine use alongside its main runway. The scheme will help secure the airports long-term growth, generating approximately 18,400 additional jobs by 2038 and an additional expected £1.5 billion GVA to the region. While passenger numbers currently remain low due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gatwick is taking its plans for growth forward now as it still expects to be capacity constrained in  the time it would take to secure approvals, complete construction and start operations.   

The proposed plans would allow the airport’s northern runway to be brought into routine use, for departing aircraft, by repositioning its center line further north by 12 meters. This would enable dual runway operations with then airport’s main runway whilst meeting all international safety standards. The plans would add resilience to Gatwick’s operations (reducing delays and congestion), bring new global connections and allow an increase in passenger capacity to approximately 75 million passengers per annum by 2038. Other elements of the proposals include improved airport access, highway improvements, as well as additional landscape/ecological planting and environmental mitigation. 

The project proposals are low impact and are in line with Government policy of making best use of existing runways. The project will be delivered in a sustainable way which helps to achieve the Government’s overall goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

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Storm Aviation acquires Chevron Technical Services

Storm Aviation Limited (SAL), a global provider of line and base maintenance and aviation training services, has acquired Manchester-based Chevron Technical Services (CTS), and its Prestwick-based subsidiary Chevron Aircraft Maintenance (CAM) providing aerospace solutions to the aircraft maintenance industry.

SAL, a subsidiary of FL Technics, which is part of Avia Solutions Group (ASG), will create a significant presence in Scotland’s Glasgow Prestwick Airport while adding new capabilities, including wide-body aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), aircraft component maintenance, EASA Part-21G workshop production, engine services, fuel tank repairs, and recruitment services. Additionally, Storm Aviation Limited will assume operation of two line maintenance stations – at Glasgow Prestwick Airport and, through a joint venture, at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Together with FL Technics, Storm Aviation Limited already has access to 68,000 m² of bay hangar space at five locations in Europe, China, and Southeast Asia, and offers airline clients access to one of the largest independent line maintenance networks covering more than 70 airport locations worldwide.

The acquisition of Chevron Technical Services’ Glasgow Prestwick Airport-based facility will add a 6th location with 6,000 m² of hangar space and three aircraft bays with the capacity to house wide-bodied aircraft up to Boeing 747. CTS’s aircraft component maintenance and production workshops along with aviation recruitment services are based in Manchester and will be offered as new services to SAL’s existing clients.

Jet Aviation gains approval in Geneva for Gulfstream aircraft registered in Turkey

Jet Aviation has announced that it is providing further support for Gulfstream models registered in Turkey. The company has received approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in Turkey to support G450, G550 and G650 series aircraft carrying TC registrations at its maintenance facility in Geneva.

With this new approval, the company’s Geneva MRO facility is authorized to provide line and base
maintenance to G450 series, G550 series and G650 series aircraft that are registered in Turkey. This builds
on Jet Aviation’s existing Gulfstream capabilities for Turkish-registered aircraft in Basel.

Jet Aviation in Geneva also offers full heavy maintenance for Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) and Bombardier
Global Express.

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Qantas posts substantial loss for financial full year 2021 - prepares for restarting international flights

The Qantas Group has posted a substantial full year loss as a result of the COVID crisis. Total revenue loss from COVID reached AU$16 billion as the full year impact of minimal international travel and multiple waves of domestic border restrictions continued to hit travel demand.

The Group’s underlying PBT loss was AU$1.83 billion. The statutory loss before tax – which includes one-off costs such as redundancies and aircraft write downs – was AU$2.35 billion. Underlying EBITDA was AU$410 million, in line with guidance provided in May.

Periods of open domestic borders in the second half saw significant cash generation by Qantas and Jetstar, which helped the Group to reduce net debt from AU$6.4 billion in February 2021 down to AU$5.9 billion by the end of June. Throughout the year, cash flow was underpinned by continued strong performance by Qantas Loyalty and significantly higher international yields for Qantas Freight.

As well as delivering an essential service under very challenging circumstances, the Group made significant progress towards its recovery program. Planned rightsizing is largely complete and much restructuring has been implemented. Central to these changes has been the ability to better manage costs in the face of sudden border closures. Cost benefits from the recovery program were ahead of expectations for FY21 at AU$650 million.

Group International (including Freight) posted an Underlying EBITDA loss of AU$157 million, increasing to an Underlying EBIT loss of AU$1.0 billion after depreciation and amortization.

Qantas and Jetstar’s international flying remained largely grounded for most of FY21 due to the continued closure of Australia’s borders. A travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand saw some flying return but ongoing outbreaks meant this corridor was heavily restricted at various stages; Qantas’ capacity reached an average of 40% of pre-COVID levels during quarter four.

The Qantas Group is preparing for restarting its international flights, with plans linked to the vaccine rollout in Australia and key overseas markets. On current projections Australia is expected to reach National Cabinet’s ‘Phase C’ vaccination threshold of 80% in December 2021, which would trigger the gradual reopening of international borders.

Similarly, key markets like the U.K., North America and parts of Asia have high and increasing levels of vaccination. This makes them highly likely to be classed as low risk countries for vaccinated travelers to visit and return from under reduced quarantine requirements, pending decisions by the Australian Government and entry policies of other countries. This creates a range of potential travel options that Qantas and Jetstar are now preparing for.

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Astronics signs cooperative agreement with Aerotec Concept

Astronics Corporation has signed a cooperative agreement with Aerotec Concept of Toulouse, France. The agreement will provide both companies the opportunity to offer a greater breadth of new technologies, applications, and/or modifications requiring EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) and FAA (U.S. Federal Aviation Administration) certifications to the marketplace. More specifically, the cooperative agreement provides Astronics the means to expand its comprehensive design, development, analysis, substantiation, certification, kitting and manufacturing capabilities further into the aerospace market in Europe.

Astronics and Aerotec have a rich history of successful collaborative efforts including qualification of The Edge, Astronics’ newly launched fully scalable Cabin Network IFE Platform, certification of large radome installations and power solutions for portable electronic devices.

“Aerotec’s expertise in testing, engineering and certification along with our integrated connectivity and data solutions make this an exciting partnership, and we look forward to supporting the European market as it continues to recover from the impact of COVID-19.” says Mike Kuehn, President of Astronics CSC.

JSSI Parts & Leasing appoints Ben Edwards as regional sales manager for EMEA

JSSI Parts & Leasing (JSSI), has appointed Ben Edwards to the role of regional manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), highlighting a move to bolster the company’s presence and service offering across the region.

Edwards brings with him a decade of experience as head of sales at U.K.-based aircraft parts supplier Allaero, as well as more than seven years as an engineer with the Royal Air Force. In his new position, he will be responsible for driving the strategy for JSSI Parts & Leasing throughout the EMEA region.

“Since its founding in 2014, JSSI Parts & Leasing has enjoyed a growing presence in the business aviation aftermarket, primarily focused on North America,” said Benjamin Hockenberg, president of JSSI Parts & Leasing. “With Ben’s leadership, we will not only be positioned to deliver enhanced support to our local parts customers in EMEA with strategically located inventory and expertise, but also to provide localized maintenance event assistance to our colleagues supporting JSSI’s hourly cost maintenance clients.”
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar