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Monday, November 22nd, 2021

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Israel’s airlines get further bailout of US$44 million to counteract COVID crisis 

Israel’s Finance and Transportation Ministries have issued a joint statement announcing that the country’s cabinet has approved a further round of borrowing for carriers that have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A total of US$44 million will be made available in the form of interest-free, three-year bonds. According to REUTERS news agency, any of the country’s publicly traded carriers will be given the option to convert a bond into shares allotted to the state at maturity, though the state will hold a maximum 24% of any airline’s equity and would have no voting rights.

Israel’s Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli said the proposal provides a balance of the government's responsibilities with those of the controlling shareholders of airlines. It "benefits the Israeli public first and ensures the stability of the companies and their employees," she said.

Flag carrying El Al Israel Airlines, Arkia and Israir have been hardest hit during the pandemic with the country's borders predominantly closed to foreign tourists as of March 2020, though from this November, fully vaccinated tourists are now able to visit the country providing it is within six months of their last vaccination. Since the start of November, tourists who have been vaccinated against Covid can enter the country within six months of their last dose. El Al, which has been negotiating to buy Israir, requested US$100 million from the government in September as compensation for its strict travel policies. The airline has reported losses for three years and incurred additional debt for fleet renewal. It has laid off 1,900 employees, approximately a third of its staff, as part of a recovery plan mandated by the government to receive a US$210 million aid package earlier in the year and reduced its fleet from 45 aircraft to 29. (£1.00 = US$1.34 at time of publication).

Air Canada exits Government of Canada financial support

Air Canada has released that due to its improved liquidity position and ongoing recovery from the pandemic it is withdrawing from further Government of Canada financial support. The support package, announced in April 2021, provided the carrier access to interest bearing loans of CA$5.375 billion through several separate credit facilities. To date, Air Canada has only accessed the facility solely dedicated to refunding customers' non-refundable tickets, while all other remaining facilities totalling CA$3.975 billion have not been used.

"Air Canada's recovery from COVID-19 continues. We are recalling employees, adding new routes and frequencies to our network, and restoring services and, last quarter, we completed a CA$7.1-billion financing. Today, in another convincing sign of our progress, we are announcing our withdrawal from the major funding provisions of our support agreement with the Government of Canada for the CA$3.975 billion in facilities that were never accessed and remain unused," said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer.


Boeing delivers first P-8A Poseidon to Norway

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) has accepted the first of five Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that will be operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF).

Norway's first P-8A aircraft, named Vingtor, was delivered to the NDMA during a ceremony at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. The milestone comes four years after the NDMA entered into an agreement with the U.S. Navy for the P-8A, and two years before the new aircraft are scheduled to begin taking over maritime patrol duties in Norway’s high north.

Norway’s four remaining aircraft are all in advanced stages of production and will be delivered to the NDMA in 2022. The five P-8As will replace the RNoAF current fleet of six P-3 Orions and two DA-20 Jet Falcons and will be operated by 333 Squadron at Evenes Air Station.

Collins Aerospace acquires Dutch Thermoplastic Components

Collins Aerospace has announced the acquisition of Dutch Thermoplastic Components (DTC), a leader in the development and fabrication of structural thermoplastic composite parts. With this acquisition, Collins will expand the use of advanced thermoplastics to make aircraft lighter and more fuel-efficient.

Thermoplastic parts can be manufactured in minutes and the process can be easily automated, which makes thermoplastic composites an ideal material for high-rate aircraft production. Thermoplastics are lighter than conventional aircraft materials and require fewer fasteners, which further reduces weight and required maintenance.

"DTC began in 1998 with the production of the landing flap ribs of the Dornier 328 jet and today we are producing more than 2,000 unique part numbers for more than a dozen commercial and business aviation platforms,” said David Manten, managing director at DTC. “With this acquisition we are adding a new chapter to our story. Our team of driven and skilled experts are all excited to become part of the Collins family and for the opportunity to leverage our technology, knowledge and experience for new and even more challenging projects that will help shape the future for commercial aerospace.”

CMA CGM Group orders four A350F freighter aircraft

CMA CGM Group, a world-leader in shipping and logistics and Airbus have signed a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purchase of four A350F freighter aircraft. The order, which is subject to finalisation in the coming weeks, will lift CMA CGM’s total Airbus fleet to nine aircraft, including five A330-200F. The aircraft will be operated by CMA CGM AIR CARGO, the recently launched air cargo activity of CMA CGM Group.

“We are proud to welcome CMA CGM AIR CARGO into the group of operators for the A350F and we are equally pleased to support the company’s future strategic development,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International. ”The A350F will fit seamlessly into the carrier’s existing fleet of Airbus freighters. Thanks to its composite airframe and latest technology engines, it will bring unbeatable efficiency in terms of fuel burn, economics and CO₂ emissions, empowering the long-term sustainable growth of the Group.” Scherer adds: “Having an early endorsement by such an international cargo powerhouse as the CMA CGM Group is very gratifying.”


GE provides avionics and power systems for new Gulfstream G400 and Gulfstream G800 aircraft

GE Aviation is supplying the data concentration network, advanced power management system and health management system for the recently unveiled Gulfstream G400 and Gulfstream G800 business jets.

The data concentration network for the G400 and G800 is common from the G500 and G600 and builds on GE’s common core system from the Boeing 787 aircraft. The system provides a highly configurable integrated data network for the aircraft and offers a way to seamlessly connect avionics and manage aircraft functions. Using GE’s tool suite, the data concentration network can be rapidly re-configured, enabling efficient integration and significantly reducing cost of change over the life of the airplane.

Working alongside this network on the G400 and G800 is GE’s advanced power management system, also common with the G500 and G600. This system exploits GE’s modular power tile which can be positioned around the aircraft to free passenger cabin space and reduce wiring needs as well as host utility function controls enabling the removal of dedicated, federated boxes.

RECARO Group setting the course for next phase of corporate development

Personnel and structural changes are taking place at the Recaro Group, a provider of high-quality seating solutions, setting the course for the next phase of the company’s development. On January 1, 2022, Dr. Mark Hiller CEO of Recaro Aircraft Seating since 2012, will also become CEO of Recaro Holding GmbH, the Group’s strategic management company. He will be succeeding Recaro Shareholder Martin Putsch in this position.

Peter Müller, as a long-standing member of the Executive Management Team of Recaro Aircraft Seating responsible for Finance & Administration, will additionally assume the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Recaro Holding. Hartmut Schürg is to remain responsible for Brand and Design in the future three-member management team of Recaro Holding. The reorganisation of Recaro Holding’s management is intended to enhance teamwork within the Group, allowing synergies to be harnessed for existing market opportunities.

After 25 years of operational leadership, 20 of which as the head of the Group, Putsch, Chief Executive Officer and Shareholder of the family company in its fourth generation, is moving from Recaro Holding, where he holds the dual position of CEO/CFO, to the Advisory Board of the Recaro Group, where he will take over as Chair. The Advisory Board, which is expanding to seven members and consists of top-flight national and international experts from industry, aviation and science, is the key supervisory and consulting body for the Recaro Group. The current Chair of the Advisory Board, Prof. Burkhardt Funk, will become Vice-Chair.

In addition, Recaro Aircraft Seating’s management team will be enhanced through the addition of Laura Karbach and Denis Altmann, both of whom have been recruited from within the company’s own ranks. Karbach will be responsible for Supply Chain and Sustainability while Altmann will be assuming responsibility for Research & Development. The new position of plant manager will be created for the Schwäbisch Hall site, headed by Mirjam Bruhns, who was also recruited from within Recaro Aircraft Seating.

In addition to this bolstering of the management structure, the shareholding structure of the family company will also be broadened. In the future, the Hiller family will hold a minority stake in the Recaro Group, while the Putsch family remains the clear majority shareholder. This new stake is an expression of the long-standing bond and mutual appreciation between the two families.


OGMA strengthens collaboration with Pratt & Whitney on GTF engine maintenance

OGMA, an Embraer Group company, has signed a new contract with Pratt & Whitney that reinforces the collaboration between the two companies, which began a year ago. This agreement ensures that OGMA will provide maintenance for the PW1900G engine that currently powers the Embraer E190-E2 and E195-E2 aircraft.

In November of 2020, OGMA was announced as an authorized maintenance facility for Pratt & Whitney, one of the world's largest aircraft engine manufacturers. At that time an agreement was formalised that allowed the Portuguese company to launch industrialisation and training to service the Pratt & Whitney GTF™ PW1100G-JM engine. This year, that capability is expanding to include the PW1900G engine.

This was the culmination of a project developed by OGMA, with the support of Embraer, which allowed OGMA to expand its scope of activity in the engine maintenance area, marking the entry of Pratt & Whitney's maintenance, repair and overhaul area in Portugal.

Throughout the project, with a greater impact between 2022 and 2023, the creation of around 300 direct highly skilled jobs is expected. And with this new contract from 2027, it is expected the creation of about 200 more jobs.

OGMA is investing a total of €80 million, mostly in the first four years of the project, in a strategic step that will allow the company to broaden its scope of activity in the engine maintenance area, capture new business over the coming decades and triple the company's turnover, reaching the €600 million per year level. Over the 30-year term of the contract between OGMA and P&W, more than €13 billion in revenue is expected.

J&C Aero receives first EASA Part 145 approval, launches component repair shop

J&C Aero, an international aviation design and production company, has announced the receipt of its first EASA Part 145 approval and the launch of an in-house component repair shop. In addition, the company is set to more than double its production and MRO facilities in early 2022.

Received in October 2021, the EASA Part 145 approval certifies J&C Aero to conduct in-house component maintenance and repairs, covering air conditioning and pressurisation, doors and hatches, electrical power and lights, equipment, windows and structural components. The company will provide in-house component MRO services at its newly launched Component Repair Shop in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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