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Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

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Philippine Airlines to return aircraft and delay deliveries as it files for Chapter 11

Flag-carrying Philippine Airlines has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and while debt restructuring and financial reorganization take place, the troubled carrier does not see the arrival at a viable solution by the end of this year. Like many carriers worldwide, Philippine Airlines has been badly hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic and international travel. According to the carrier, the current proposed restructuring plan has been filed with the Southern District of New York and the plan involves returning 22 mainly Boeing and Airbus aircraft currently on lease, as well as reducing borrowing by US$2 billion.

Restructuring will also involve US$505 million in long-term debt equity and debt financing from the airline’s majority shareholder as well as US$150 million of additional debt financing from new investors. However, both the parent company PAL Holdings and PAL Express are excluded from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to the court filing, Lufthansa Technik and Rolls-Royce are two of the largest unsecured creditors, while ongoing suppliers and trade creditors are likely to be unimpaired. In addition to returning the 22 planned aircraft, Philippine Airways has also postponed the delivery of 13 narrow-body aircraft from Airbus.


Boeing names Matt Welch Investor Relations leader

Boeing has named Matt Welch as vice president of Investor Relations. Welch will succeed Maurita Sutedja, who has accepted an opportunity outside of Boeing following more than a decade of leadership within several finance roles at Boeing. Welch's appointment is effective immediately.

Welch will lead Boeing's interactions with the investment community, providing shareholders and financial analysts timely, accurate and transparent information on the company's market environment, business, performance, and outlook.

Welch is a seasoned leader with more than 20 years of deep financial experience across Boeing's operations. Currently serving as vice president of Revenue Management at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Welch has held several roles of increasing responsibility, including in Investor Relations; Financial Planning and Analysis; and program finance.


Airbus delivers first UH-72B Lakota helicopter to the U.S. Army National Guard

Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first UH-72B, the latest variant of its Lakota helicopter, to the U.S. Army National Guard from its production facility in Columbus, Mississippi. This delivery is the first of 18 UH-72B Lakota helicopters currently on order to support the National Guard’s critical missions.

“With the addition of the UH-72B Lakota to our fleet, the U.S. Army increases our capability to save lives, protect communities, and provide disaster relief when it’s needed most,” said Col. Calvin Lane, U.S. Army Project Manager for Utility Helicopters. “The Lakota helicopter has been a staple of the Army for more than 15 years now, and we look forward to benefitting from the latest technologies and performances that the newest 72B variant will provide, at no additional research & development costs for the Army.”

Based on the widely successful H145, the UH-72B incorporates technologies that increase both safety and flight performance, including the five-bladed main rotor, the Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, Safran Arriel 2E engines, and the Airbus-designed Helionix avionics suite. The Helionix suite includes an advanced dual-duplex, four-axis autopilot to provide flight envelope and over-limit protection, automated takeoff, and fully-coupled approaches to hover. 

With nearly 10 different configurations available, the Lakota delivers proven performance, outstanding operational reliability, and unmatched versatility for a broad spectrum of military missions. Airbus Helicopters, Inc. builds the Lakota at its production facility in Columbus, Mississippi, which employs a workforce of nearly 250 employees that is made up of 40% U.S. veterans.


Stratos promotes David Goring-Thomas to Chairman and Lourens Geldenhuys to CFO

Stratos has announced the promotion of David Goring-Thomas to Chairman and Lourens Geldenhuys to Chief Financial Officer.

Goring-Thomas has spent the past year working as a senior advisor for Stratos prior to which he spent over 20 years at DVB Bank, for the most part as Global Head of Aviation. He served as board member of DVB, a publicly listed European bank, from 2016 to 2019 and led the sale and transition of the DVB Aviation business to MUFG.

Stratos also announced the promotion of Lourens Geldenhuys to Chief Financial Officer. Geldenhuys has headed up the Corporate Finance function at Stratos for the past seven years and will assume broader responsibility for finance and strategic initiatives across the group in his new role. Lourens is a chartered accountant and before joining Stratos he spent a decade with the Standard Bank Group in London where he headed up Global Asset Finance.


BBAM and Lufthansa Cargo sign leases for two Airbus A321P2F aircraft

BBAM Limited Partnership (BBAM) and Lufthansa Cargo have signed an agreement for the lease of two Airbus A321 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) aircraft on long-term leases. The Airbus A321P2F aircraft will be leased to Lufthansa Cargo on long-term leases from BBAM.

Lufthansa Cargo wants to offer customers in the eCommerce segment fast intra-European connections. With the converted A321P2F, the company is meeting their customers' growing demand for same-day solutions and further strengthening its dense network of global connections as well as its product offering. The selected aircraft type can transport more than 28t of gross payload per flight, significantly larger cargo volumes than in the short-haul bellies of passenger aircraft. Lufthansa CityLine on behalf of Lufthansa Cargo will operate the two aircraft, which will be stationed in Frankfurt.

The A321P2F (solution of EFW) provides a payload-range capability that can carry up to 28 metric tons. It offers 14 full container positions on the main deck, plus the unique A320 family container (up to 10 container positions) and pallet loading capability on the lower deck. The A321P2F offers the largest usable cargo volume of its category and generation. Optimized weight distribution is allowing empty flights and random loading, providing the full range of flexibility which is a huge added value for express carriers.


Bangalore International Airport appoints Plaza Premium Group to reinvent passenger services

Plaza Premium Group (PPG) has been appointed by Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) to manage Passenger Services at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/BLR Airport). This is in line with BIAL’s vision to provide delightful travel experiences at BLR Airport.

The 10-year full-service management appointment covers the entire portfolio of BLR Airport’s 22 services. The 360-degree airport service delivery scope includes: Service Delivery, Control Center, Training Center, Customer Engagement, Marketing Communications, Sales & Distribution as well as Technology.

The agreement covers a wide range of services, including Meet and Assist, Porter Services, Luggage Storage and Flower Booking, PRM (Persons with Reduced Mobility) Services, Limo Services, Concierge Services, Valet Parking, Car Spa, Travel Concierge, Pet Care Service, Personal Shopper, Robotic Assistance etc. and more services will be introduced to enable an end-to-end and globally connected passenger journey.

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