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Friday, October 22nd, 2021

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JAL teams up with Avolon to establish eVTOL rideshare enterprise in Japan

Flag carrying Japan Airlines (JAL) is to team up with international air leasing company Avolon to establish a zero-emissions ride-sharing electric vehicle take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft enterprise in Japan with an intended date of 2025 for commencement of operations.

Avolon’s input will come through its dedicated eVTOL affiliate, Avolon-e, which will help JAL to identify potential local partners, required infrastructure, certification and to produce various business models for a ride-sharing enterprise. JAL will have the right to acquire, through lease or outright purchase, 50 VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft with an option to acquire a further 50 of the aircraft.

Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon CEO, commented: “We continue to identify partners who share the same vision to revolutionize air travel through zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft and shape the future of travel. This latest long-term partnership with JAL aligns us with one of Japan’s leading airlines on its journey to sustainability and to decarbonizing air transport.”

Tomohiro Nishihata, Managing Executive Officer of Japan Airlines, commented: “Today’s announcement represents an important step towards the social implementation of Air Taxi at Osaka Kansai EXPO in 2025. Our partnership with Avolon, lays out the pathway towards achieving Air Mobility revolution in Japan. The introduction of VA-X4 will also contribute to reduce our environmental impact and we fundamentally believe that sustainability will be the engine for future growth across our business and region.”

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical CEO commented: “The VA-X4 will transform how we travel. We are delighted to be working with Avolon and our newest partner Japan Airlines as we bring zero-emissions aircraft to the Japanese market. JAL’s experience will strengthen the certification roadmap in Japan demonstrating our global view as we make eVTOLs a reality.”


Aero HygenX partners with Ethiopian Airlines for deployment of autonomous UV-C disinfecting solution

In a virtual signing ceremony, executives from Ethiopian Airlines Group and Aero HygenX, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining a plan for fleetwide deployment and regional marketing of Aero HygenX’s autonomous UV-C light disinfecting robot, RAY. The signing of this MOU marks a first foray into the African market for Aero HygenX, a Canadian technology company with its safe, efficient, and chemical free solution designed for aircraft cabins and rail cars. 

It is the intent of the two parties to establish local final assembly capabilities for Aero HygenX’s autonomous UV-C disinfecting robot “RAY”, thus creating local employment opportunities and expediting rollout of the chemical-free, pathogen-killing solution for Ethiopian Airlines. The MoU further sets out to foster exchange of expertise and ideas between Aero HygenX and the Ethiopian Airlines Innovation Hub, which leads all innovation activities across Ethiopian Airlines. The purpose of the Innovation Hub collaboration is to further optimize the product and determine where else in the re-travel chain, and indeed the wider region, Aero HygenX’s leading disinfection technology can be useful.

Triumph Group and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance form joint venture, named xCelle Americas

Triumph Group and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) have finalized the formation of their joint venture (JV) under the name xCelle Americas, to overhaul nacelles for new generation aircraft at Triumph's Hot Springs, Arkansas repair facility.

xCelle Americas will perform maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services for "new gen" nacelles on Boeing 787s, Boeing 737MAXs, Airbus A320neos, and Airbus A350 aircraft for operators in North and South America. Acting through its affiliation with AFI KLM E&M, xCelle Americas will perform Boeing 787 nacelle repairs under Air France's license from Rohr (Collins Aerospace), thus expanding Air France's licensed repair capabilities for those nacelles to the Americas.

The formation of xCelle Americas advances important strategic objectives for both Triumph and AFI KLM E&M, expanding the reach of AFI KLM E&M's nacelle MRO capabilities and Boeing 787 license into the Americas and enabling Triumph to be positioned on new gen nacelles business, thus supporting key North and South American customers on the core of their future fleets. With this JV, Triumph and AFI KLM E&M achieve a first step in their strategic partnership and their ambition to provide local support to airlines.


American Airlines posts third-quarter 2021 financial results

American Airlines Group (American) has reported its third-quarter 2021 financial results. The company posted third-quarter net profit of US$169 million, or US$0.25 per diluted share. Excluding net special items, third-quarter net loss was S$641 million, or (US$0.99) per share. Third-quarter revenue was US$9.0 billion, up 20% sequentially from the second quarter of 2021.

American Airlines ended the third quarter with approximately US$18 billion of total available liquidity, after prepayment of US$950 million spare parts term loan during the quarter. The company continues to expect robust demand during peak travel periods in the fourth quarter, with more than 6,000 peak day departures and continues to execute on its plan to pay down approximately US$15 billion of debt by the end of 2025.

American ended the third quarter with approximately US$18 billion of total available liquidity. During the quarter, the company announced its intention to reduce its debt by US$15 billion by the end of 2025. American plans to accomplish this through naturally occurring amortization and by using excess cash and free cash flow to pay down prepayable debt. As part of that plan, the company prepaid in full its US$950 million spare parts term loan facility in the third quarter. In addition, during the third quarter, American had scheduled debt amortization payments of approximately US$649 million and unencumbered 20 Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

Georgios Ouzounidis appointed new LHT Head of Corporate Sales for the Americas

Georgios Ouzounidis, currently responsible for Corporate Sales Western Europe at Lufthansa Technik AG, has been appointed Vice President Corporate Sales for the Americas, effective January 1, 2022. He will succeed Frank Berweger, who will be leaving the company to take on a new challenge outside the Lufthansa Group.

Ouzounidis began his career in the sales support department of Lufthansa Technik in 1999 and has held several positions within the company since then. Corporate Sales for Western Europe has been under his leadership since 2015.

Ouzounidis will move from Hamburg, Germany to Miami, U.S.A., and completes Lufthansa Technik’s corporate sales senior leadership team, consisting of Kai-Stefan Roepke, who is responsible for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Thomas Boettger, who is heading the sales activities for the Asia Pacific region.


Embraer delivers nine commercial and 21 executive jets in the third quarter of 2021

Embraer has delivered a total of 30 jets in the third quarter of 2021, of which nine were commercial aircraft and 21 were executive jets (14 light and seven large). As of September 30, the firm order backlog totaled US$16,8 billion. 

In the executive aviation segment, Embraer delivered its 1,500th business jet. The milestone aircraft was a Phenom 300E, which was delivered to Haute Aviation, a Swiss company focused on charter, brokerage, and aircraft management.

In the commercial aviation segment, Embraer announced the sale of 16 new E175 jets to SkyWest, for operation in the Delta Air Lines network, adding to the 71 E175 jets SkyWest already operates for Delta. The E175 aircraft will fly for Delta under a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA). The value of the contract, which is included in Embraer’s third quarter backlog, is US$798.4 million, based on list price.

In the Services & Support segment, Embraer signed several contracts during the quarter. Porter Airlines signed a major aftermarket support package with Embraer for Porter’s E2 fleet of commercial aircraft, for up to 20 years. Embraer also signed a Pool Program agreement with CommutAir, a United Express carrier, to support the airline’s ERJ 145 jet fleet, and an extension for Pool Program with Cobham, in Australia, to support its three E190s. Also, in Australia, Embraer signed a services agreement with Alliance Airlines, which will provide materials support for the carrier’s fleet of E190s. 


Meggitt PLC signs SMARTSupport agreement with FL Technics

Meggitt PLC, a leading international company specializing in high performance components for the aerospace and beyond, has signed a three-year, multimillion euro SMARTSupport contract with FL Technics to supply MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) services for sensors, valves, actuators, and fire extinguishers to operators across Eastern Europe and the CIS. 

FL Technics is part of the Avia Solutions Group, a global aerospace service provider with a vast network of subsidiary companies, including Jet Maintenance Solutions, who will also be taking part in related projects, and this agreement significantly extends the cooperation potential between the two companies.

This new SMARTSupport contract is in addition to an existing agreement with FL Technics for the rest of Europe and extends Meggitt’s MRO service offering to better support the company’s growing customer base in Eastern Europe.

LCI delivers two AW139 helicopters to Heligo

Aviation leasing company LCI, has placed two Leonardo AW139 helicopters on long-term operating leases with its newest customer, Heligo Charters.

The state-of-the-art aircraft were recently delivered to Heligo’s base at Juhu Airport in Mumbai, from where they will provide crew transfer services for India’s largest energy company, ONGC.

Nigel Leishman, Executive Vice President & Global Head of Marketing at LCI, said: “Heligo is one of India’s foremost providers of onshore and offshore helicopter services, and we are delighted to support its operations. India and the wider Asia-Pacific region is a diverse and fast-growing market for helicopter leasing which today accounts for around a third of our global aircraft placements. We see huge potential for further long-term growth in the region across a range of operating sectors.”

LCI’s rotorcraft fleet is focused on the latest technology medium and super-medium helicopters manufactured by leading helicopter OEMs including Leonardo, Airbus Helicopters, and Sikorsky. These are in operation across four continents in multiple sectors including emergency medical services, offshore wind, search and rescue, maritime pilot transfer, and energy sector transportation.

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Tamar Jorssen
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