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Tuesday, February 1st, 2022

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Qatar Airways becomes launch customer for Boeing 777-8 Freighter with order for 34 jets

Boeing has launched the new 777-8 freighter and expanded its 777X and freighter families of jetliners with an order for up to 50 aircraft from Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways will be the 777-8 freighter launch customer with a firm order for 34 jets and options for 16 more, a total purchase that would be worth more than US$20 billion at current list prices. The order also supports hundreds of US suppliers from across 38 states, will sustain more than 35,000 US jobs and provide the American economy with an annual estimated economic impact of US$2.6 billion during the contract's delivery period.

With payload capacity nearly identical to the Boeing747-400 freighter and a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs, the 777-8 freighter will enable a more sustainable and profitable business for operators. First delivery of the new freighter is anticipated in 2027.

As part of the agreement, Qatar Airways will convert 20 of its 60 777X-family orders to the 777-8 freighter. Qatar Airways is also ordering two current 777 freighters to capitalize on the buoyant air cargo market.

Boeing and Qatar Airways also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a firm order of 25 Boeing 737-10 aircraft and purchase rights for 25 additional airplanes. The largest model in the MAX family, the 737-10 seats up to 230 passengers in a single-class configuration and can fly up to 3,300 miles. The fuel-efficient jet can cover 99% of single-aisle routes around the world.


TrueNoord secures US$250 million committed financing to boost portfolio expansion

TrueNoord, the specialist regional aircraft lessor, has secured additional support from Citibank, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking, Royal Bank of Canada and Farallon Capital Management which brings total committed and available funds to US$250 million. This will be used by TrueNoord to finance business development and expand its portfolio of 50-150 seat class aircraft which includes regional jets and turboprops from Embraer, Airbus, ATR and De Havilland Canada.

“Regional aviation has performed strongly throughout the pandemic, sustaining important connectivity with remote communities and enabling airlines to rightsize their fleets as payload fluctuated. Continued investor confidence in the regional aircraft leasing sector reaffirms TrueNoord’s specialist focus and underpins our balanced growth trajectory for 2022 and beyond,” says Julien Millet, Chief Financial Officer – TrueNoord.

The growth facility provided by Farallon Capital Management provides significant dry powder for future transactions while improving TrueNoord’s capital structure. Legal advisers Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) acted for TrueNoord, and Latham & Watkins represented Farallon.

Senior warehouse financing continues to be underwritten by Citibank, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking and Royal Bank of Canada. The availability period of this facility, originally raised in September 2019 with a total commitment of US$360m, has been extended to further strengthen the growth of TrueNoord’s portfolio. Citibank is acting as agent and security trustee.

EmbraerX and Jet Flight Service sign services agreement for use of Beacon

EmbraerX has signed an agreement with Jet Flight Service (JFS), a global MRO service provider headquartered in Russia, certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport (FATA). This partnership is supporting Jet Flight Service (JFS) in gaining efficiencies by onboarding its teams into Beacon’s multi-sided platform.

After seeing the market adopt Beacon across Central and Eastern Europe, JFS decided to join the platform, recognizing it as the best alternative for improving coordination during maintenance operations. The main advantages identified by the provider were related to streamlining maintenance cases, reducing out-of-service time, eliminating redundant communications and leveraging data insights to improve the operation.

Incubated by EmbraerX, Embraer's market accelerator for disruptive businesses, Beacon is the maintenance coordination platform for faster return-to-service. It is an innovative platform designed to connect and synchronize industry resources, the aftermarket supply chain and aviation services professionals in a more agile and efficient way to keep aircraft flying. Beacon aims to unleash high-value interactions and business opportunities to multiple stakeholders within the service ecosystem. The platform is initially focused on providing solutions to unscheduled aircraft maintenance interruptions.


Qantas opens news pilot training facility in Brisbane

Qantas has opened a new pilot training facility at Brisbane Airport, with the capacity to train up to 900 pilots a year.

Located adjacent to Brisbane Airport, the Qantas Group Flight Training Centre is home to four state-of-the-art aircraft simulators – Boeing 737, 767F and 787 Dreamliner and Dash-8 Q400 – as well as a Q400 flight training device, all used by pilots to complete their four annual sessions of simulator training and specialised training when moving to a new aircraft type.

The simulators were relocated from Sydney to make way for a major road project and were dismantled, transported by road and re-installed at the new Brisbane centre over a four-month period.

With the majority of Qantas’ pilots based in the three eastern states, the Brisbane centre, along with expanded facilities in Melbourne and a new flight training centre to be developed in Sydney, will provide significant cost savings through training pilots at their home base.

The Brisbane facility will provide reoccurring training for the airline’s 500-plus Queensland-based pilots as well as pilots from other states and many of the new pilots who will join the Qantas Group in the years to come.

The facility also has a commercial dimension to it and will be open to other airlines in the Asia Pacific region to train newly recruited pilots, upskill pilots to new aircraft types and allow experienced pilots to maintain their ongoing training.

AerSale orders six additional Precision 757-200PCF conversions plus four options

Precision Aircraft Solutions (Precision) has been awarded a contract from AerSale for six additional Boeing 757-200PCF conversions plus four options, bringing the total number of potential commitments to sixteen.

AerSale began converting its first 757-200PCF in January 2021 and the sixth unit will be inducted in February 2022. Later this year, AerSale will begin inducting additional Boeing 757-200 conversions in HAECO Xiamen to supplement existing capacity in North America.

Nick Finazzo, AerSale’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said: “Our partnership with Precision addresses capacity contraints of freighter aircraft in the market. Through our collective work, we are able to provide timely relief to the supply chain through converted B757-200 aircraft by leveraging our access to the necessary expertise, feedstock of aircraft and precision conversion kits. Our relationship with Precision is critical to our efforts and we are pleased to work together, both as a customer and maintenance supplier.”


ACC Aviation appoints James Stamp as new Non-Executive Director

ACC Aviation, the global aviation services group, has appointed James Stamp as a Non-Executive Director, effective February 1. Stamp is currently Group Commercial Director of National Express PLC, driving mergers and acquisitions activity, strategy development and new business. He also sits on the Board of National Express Middle East and WeDriveU, its North American employee shuttle operations.

Prior to joining National Express in 2017, Stamp was a Partner at KPMG, where he advised leading transport companies in his roles as UK Head of Transport and Global Head of Aviation. Here he was instrumental in helping the practice grow its market share to 40%-plus, working as lead relationship partner for various established legacy and low-cost airlines. His deep sector experience gained at KPMG, in addition to his current role with a leading international public transport operator, active in the UK, Europe, North Africa, Americas and the Middle East - core markets for ACC Aviation’s aviation services and consulting business - makes for a natural fit. 

C&L Aerospace signs multi-year power-by-the-hour agreement with Legends Airways

C&L Aerospace has signed a multi-year agreement with Legends Airways to provide power-by-the-hour services for its fleet of Saab 340 B+ cargo aircraft. Along with the PBH, Legends committed to a supply agreement that includes rotables, engine LRUs and expendables.

C&L has been working with Legends since 2020 on the sale of six Saab 340B+ aircraft which included a cargo conversion of each aircraft performed at C&L’s MRO facility in Bangor, ME. These six aircraft are the first ever B+ models being converted for cargo operations.

NAC delivers one ATR 72-600 to Air Serbia

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) is pleased to confirm that it has delivered ATR 72-600, MSN 1259, to Air Serbia on lease.

Air Serbia was launched in October 2013 as the national airline of the Republic of Serbia. From three airports in Serbia (Belgrade, Niš, Kraljevo) it flies and plans to fly to 60 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Africa, in passenger and cargo traffic.

The airline also offers long-haul and international destinations in Asia, Australia, North America and Africa via its codeshare partners. Air Serbia’s fleet includes one wide-body, nine narrow-body and five turboprop aircraft.

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