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Thursday, February 17th, 2022

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AirAsia to lease 100+ Vertical Aerospace VX4 eVTOLs from Avolon

Avolon, the Ireland-headquartered aircraft lessor and provider of lease management services has announced that AirAsia Aviation Group (AirAsia) has signed a non-binding MoU for the lease of a minimum 100 Vertical Aerospace VX4 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Air Asia is looking to revolutionise air travel in the Southeast-Asia region by providing air mobility to a new passenger base.

Through its Avalon-e investment and innovation affiliate, Avolon will also partner with AirAsia to develop a zero-emissions eVTOL industry-leading urban air mobility (UAM) platform in Southeast Asia. The two companies intend to now create a working group focused on obtaining local certification as well as research market opportunities and infrastructure needs for UAM. Together with Avolon, AirAsia will also further develop its AirAsia Super App to build a ride-sharing platform. With Brazil’s Gol and Grupo Comporte ordering 250 Vertical Aerospace eVTOLs, Japan Airlines ordering 100 and now AirAsia ordering 100, Avolon has placed 90% of the 500 VX4 eVTOLs it agreed to purchase from Vertical Aerospace in June 2021.

The four-passenger, one-pilot VX4 should reach speeds of up to 200mph with a range over 100 miles. It will be near-silent when in flight, produce zero operating emissions and offer a low-cost per passenger mile. Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A commented: “Innovation has always been in our DNA and using technology to look at more efficient and sustainable ways of doing things is a core focus across Capital A (formerly AirAsia Group). Dómhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon commented: “Tony Fernandes is an aviation pioneer who has built AirAsia into one of the leading airlines in the world and has now also created Southeast Asia’s fastest growing Super App anchored on travel. We are delighted to partner with AirAsia who share our vision of revolutionising the future of air travel.

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Western Global Airlines expands all-Boeing fleet with first order of new-production freighters

Boeing and Western Global Airlines have announced a firm order for two 777 freighters, the first new-production freighters for the all-Boeing cargo operator based in Estero, Fla. The order was finalised in January 2022 and is currently listed as unidentified in Boeing's order backlog. The agreement also includes an additional purchase option.

Boeing has forecast that the global freighter fleet will grow by 70% in the next 20 years, with freight carriers such as Western Global supporting a rapidly expanding global e-commerce business and evolving supply chains.

Middle River Aerostructure Systems provides “immersive” jet engine nacelle experience at the Singapore Airshow

Middle River Aerostructure Systems’ expertise in developing and producing complex engine nacelles for jet-powered airliners and business jets is taking centre stage at the Singapore Airshow this week with the unique experience of literally stepping into a full-scale nacelle on the exhibit stand of parent company ST Engineering.

In a first display of its type, airshow attendees will have an immersive encounter that highlights the main elements of a nacelle – the external protection for a jet engine, which also contributes to its operating efficiency, along with reducing fuel consumption and lowering emissions and noise.

The display represents a full-sized nacelle for a typical single-aisle jetliner in the 150-200-seat category, and highlights many of the design features and production techniques applied by MRAS. It begins with the air inlet, which is highly refined aerodynamically to reduce fuel burned, incorporating such features as a single-piece inlet lip skin, a single-piece composite inner acoustic barrel and low-weight composite outer barrel.

“Being able to walk inside a full-scale nacelle provides a true experience of the size and inter-relationship of all elements that come together in this complex component on jet-powered aircraft,” explained Terry Vernes, the Director of Process Engineering and Composite Operations at MRAS.

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Eve and Skyports announce partnership to support development of Advanced Air Mobility CONOPS for Japan

Eve UAM, an Embraer company, and Skyports, a leading infrastructure provider for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger and cargo vehicles, have agreed on a partnership that will support the development of a new Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), including Urban Air Mobility (UAM), for the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB). The initiative aims to provide a shared vision of airspace design, operation, infrastructure, and other benefits to enable AAM operation in Japan.

The collaboration involves partners including Kanematsu Corporation, the major Japanese trading company with businesses in the aerospace industry, and Japan Airlines (JAL), the main Japanese passenger airline for domestic and international air transportation.

Eve has partnered with Skyports in multiple and diverse concepts worldwide, forming a cooperation that examines the AAM ecosystem required for distinctive operating environments across the globe. This unique experience benefits the preparation of Japan’s CONOPS and ensures that the needs of users, the Japanese community, and other stakeholders will be taken into account.

Ethiopian Airlines promotes Samson Arega to USA Regional Director

Ethiopian Airlines has announced the promotion of Samson Arega to the role of Ethiopian Airlines Regional Director for the USA.

Arega has successfully led the Ethiopian Airlines Canadian office over the past three years managing several initiatives and bringing greater awareness to Canadians. Already performing many of the functions of a country manager in Canada, this promotion recognises increased responsibility and Arega’s leadership ability to continue to lead in the future growth and success of Ethiopian Airlines in the USA market.  

During his time at the Ethiopian Airlines Canada office located in Toronto, Ontario, Arega excelled in managing essential stakeholder relationships pursuing portfolio growth and identifying opportunities for increased profitability and performance results through many suppliers and partnership relationships.

Arega assumed the new role as USA Regional Director on Jan 20, 2022, at the Ethiopian office in Washington, DC.

Haeco eDM for MRO Europe 2021(OK)

Airbus reports strong full year 2021 results

Airbus has reported consolidated full year (FY) 2021 financial results. The company reported consolidated revenues increased 4% to € 52.1 billion (2020: € 49.9 billion), mainly reflecting the higher number of commercial aircraft deliveries, partially offset by less favourable foreign exchange rates. A total of 611 commercial aircraft were delivered (2020: 566 aircraft), comprising 50 A220s, 483 A320 Family, 18 A330s, 55 A350s and five A380s. Revenues generated by Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities increased 6%, largely reflecting the higher deliveries compared to 2020. Airbus Helicopters delivered 338 units (2020: 300 units), including the first H160, with revenues rising 4% reflecting growth in services and the higher deliveries. Revenues at Airbus Defence and Space decreased by 2%, mainly driven by Military Aircraft, partially offset by Space Systems. Eight A400M aircraft were delivered in 2021.

Consolidated EBIT Adjusted – an alternative performance measure and key indicator capturing the underlying business margin by excluding material charges or profits caused by movements in provisions related to programmes, restructuring or foreign exchange impacts as well as capital gains/losses from the disposal and acquisition of businesses – was € 4,865 million (2020: € 1,706 million).

The EBIT Adjusted related to Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities increased to €3,570 million (2020: € 618 million), mainly driven by the delivery performance and efforts on cost containment and competitiveness.

The financial result was €-315 million (2020: €-620 million). It mainly reflects the net interest result of €-246 million as well as the revaluation of financial instruments and of certain equity investments. Consolidated net income was €4,213 million (2020 net loss: €-1,133 million) with consolidated reported earnings per share of €5.36 (2020 loss per share: €-1.45).

Consolidated free cash flow before M&A and customer financing was€3,515 million (2020: €-6,935 million), reflecting efforts on cash containment and a decrease in working capital, mainly driven by inventory improvement. Consolidated free cash flow was €3,511 million (2020: €-7,362 million).

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Satair and Collins Aerospace sign distribution agreement

Satair, an Airbus Services company, and Collins Aerospace have signed a long-term agreement for the distribution of Collins’s engine mounts, including detail parts and sub-assemblies for the CFM LEAP series on the Airbus A320neo aircraft family. Satair will provide distribution to its worldwide network of airline customers, repair organisations and aftermarket spare parts providers.

With the foundation of an excellent distribution support setup for Collins’s customers, Satair is equipped to deliver integrated aftermarket customer support on a global scale to operators and repair service providers across the A320neo platform, including the A319neo, A320neo and A321neo variants.

SIA Engineering Company to form component MRO joint venture with SR Technics in Malaysia

SIA Engineering Company Limited (SIAEC) has entered into an agreement with SR Technics Switzerland Ltd. (SR Technics) to acquire a 75% stake in SR Technics Malaysia Sdn Bhd (SRT Malaysia), to form a component maintenance, repair and overhaul joint venture (JV). The JV will complement SIAEC’s existing component repair and overhaul services and fleet management programmes.  This follows the earlier announcement on March 1, 2021 of the potential acquisition (in part or whole) of SRT Malaysia, located in Selangor, Malaysia.   

Under the agreement, SR Technics will retain the remaining 25% stake.  The consideration for the acquisition of SR Technics’ 75% stake in SRT Malaysia is US$3.75 million in cash.  This was arrived at after arm’s length negotiations on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis, and after considering, inter alia, the net asset value and financial performance of SRT Malaysia.  Based on SRT Malaysia’s adjusted net tangible assets as at 30 November 2021, the net asset value of the SRT Malaysia shares acquired by SIAEC is US$2.62 million. 

The completion of this transaction is subject to the satisfaction (or waiver) of conditions precedents set out in the agreement with SR Technics.

New generation A350F freighter to join Etihad Airways fleet

Etihad Airways’ has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for seven A350F freighters to add to its existing fleet of five A350-1000 passenger versions. The announcement was made at the Singapore Airshow 2022. Etihad has also selected Airbus’s Flight Hour Services (FHS) to support its entire A350 fleet.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar