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Friday, March 4th, 2022

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WestJet to acquire Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing

WestJet and Sunwing have reached a definitive agreement under which the WestJet Group of companies will acquire Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines. The transaction will bring together two distinctly Canadian travel and tourism success stories to deliver new travel options and greater value for travellers in the rapidly expanding leisure and work-from-anywhere travel markets. The combination will enable both companies to protect and create jobs and rebuild strength in the Canadian travel industry at a critical time.

Following the close of the transaction, a new tour operating business unit will be created under the WestJet Group, to include both Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations and will be led by Sunwing CEO Stephen Hunter. Sunwing's current shareholders will become equity holders in the WestJet Group.

Canadian travellers will have access to more competitive airfares and affordable vacation packages through the combined strength of the companies. The tour operator business will be headquartered in Toronto, with a Quebec head office in Laval and the business will continue to market the Sunwing brand alongside WestJet Vacations. The WestJet Group will maintain its head office in Calgary.

The WestJet Group of companies will expand to include Sunwing Airlines. This will add increased capacity, dedicating otherwise seasonal aircraft to operate year-round in Canada, instead of Sunwing supplementing seasonal demand with imported aircraft, which translates into more jobs for Canadians. This acquisition will improve the WestJet Group's ability to offer more affordable fares by immediately expanding its low-cost footprint in Canada.

"This is an exciting moment for WestJet, Sunwing and Canada's travel industry," said Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO of WestJet. "We are bringing together two highly complementary businesses with powerhouse brands to strengthen our successful leisure business and deliver greater value to our guests."

Lufthansa Group 2021 revenue up 24% - cuts operating loss by two-thirds

Deutsche Lufthansa AG (Lufthansa Group) has released its financial report for 2021, seeing considerable improvement in most sectors compared to 2020. In summary, summer capacity on short- and medium-haul routes had virtually returned to 2019 levels, with Easter and summer bookings ahead of pre-crisis levels. Adjusted EBIT before restructuring expenses stood at €-1.8 billion compared to €-5.2 billion in 2020. Lufthansa cargo posted record figures with an adjusted EBIT which had doubled to €1.5 billion.

The Group had also achieved substantial structural cost reductions with over 75% of planned annual savings already secured. Annual revenue was €16.8 billion, a 24% increase on 2020 revenue of €13.6 billion. An increase in passenger numbers, restructuring of the company and associated cost reductions resulted in a significant improvement in earnings. For 2021, the operating loss was greatly reduced, despite the pandemic wave and associated travel restrictions. Adjusted EBIT in 2021 was €-2.3 billion (2020: €-5.5 billion). The Adjusted EBIT margin improved to -14.0% (2020: -40.1%). Compared with the pre-pandemic level, the structural decrease in personnel expenses, excluding one-off restructuring expenses, effects from short-time working and temporary measures, amounted to 10%. With the implementation of additional planned measures, the decrease will be 15 to 20 percent.

At the end of 2021, the Lufthansa Group had approximately 105,000 employees, over 30,000 fewer than before the start of the pandemic. The Group net income improved by 67% to €-2.2 billion (2022: €-6.7 billion).

"2021, was a challenging year for the Lufthansa Group and its employees. And 2022 also begins with developments that worry us as citizens of this continent. Our Airlines connect people, cultures and economies. We stand for international understanding and peace in Europe and around the world. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and with our colleagues on the ground, to whom we are providing every possible support,” said Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.


MTU Aero Engines now positioned to provide overhaul services for PW1500G and PW1900G engines

MTU Aero Engines and Pratt & Whitney have signed an agreement to grow the company’s MRO capabilities for all Pratt & Whitney GTF™ engines in service today. MTU is now positioned to supply overhaul services for two additional engine models: the PW1500G for the Airbus A220 family and the PW1900G for Embraer E190-E2 and E195-E2 aircraft. The contract further expands MTU’s role in the GTF MRO network beyond PW1100G-JM for the Airbus A320neo family. In the future, EME Aero, a maintenance joint venture between MTU and Lufthansa Technik that is based in Rzeszów, Poland, will perform shop visits for PW1900G in addition to PW1500G engines.

Beyond that, MTU is also a part of the Pratt & Whitney network for repair services. The contract is set to run over the lifespan of the engine programme.

Spirit Airlines to add crew bases in Miami and Atlanta

Spirit Airlines has reported the addition of new pilot and flight attendant bases at Miami International Airport (MIA) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) for a total of nine crew bases across the network as the airline continues to add new planes and new airports. The crew bases are projected to initially open this summer once advance preparations are finalied. Spirit expects to locate more than 100 pilots and more than 200 flight attendants at each base initially, with additional crew, supervisors and support functions to follow later in the year. 

Crew Bases, also known as Home Bases, are the various airport stations where commercial pilots and flight attendants normally begin and end their duty periods. The new bases will complement Spirit's existing crew bases in Atlantic City (ACY), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Las Vegas (LAS) and Orlando (MCO).  

Spirit's presence at MIA started in October 2021 with service to nine destinations and grew to a total of 30 nonstop domestic and international routes in January 2022. Spirit's big entrance at MIA made it the second largest carrier at the airport. At ATL, Spirit currently ranks as the third largest carrier for number of Guests flown and operates nonstop flights to 19 destinations.


ACN Aero Teknik signs US$10 million agreement with International Airport West Java to build Kertajati Aircraft Maintenance

ACN Aero Teknik, an Asia Cargo Network subsidiary, has signed two Head of Agreements on March 2, with local government enterprise Bandarudara Internasional Jawa Barat (BIJB) owners of Kertajati International Airport, West Java.

The first of the agreements lays out plans to establish a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility at Kertajati International Airport. Whilst the second agreement is for the development of a one-stop experience facility including an airport transit hotel, shopping mall, food court and exhibition centre at the facade of the airport building covering 15,000 m² of land space.

Kertajati Aircraft Maintenance will be the first MRO hangar present at Kertajati International Airport and the second such hangar facilities in West Java after Bandung. It will be built on an area of ​​9-hectares and Asia Cargo Network has agreed to make an initial investment of US$10 million to carry out the first phase of construction which is targeted for completion in the next eight months.

This commercial decision is in line with strategic plans to expand not only the development of Kertajati International Airport as a travel hub in West Java, but also plans to expand operations to include MRO capability in West Java. Asia Cargo Network will be integral to these expansion plans in the first phase.

In phase two, an area covering ​​5-hectares will be subsequently developed to increase and add more hangar growth, and further investments will be made over the coming years.

The ratification of the two Head of Agreements is significant and signals the enlarging of operations and service capabilities for the region, given the closure of Bandung Husein Sastranegara International Airport earlier last year.

The total land size for the MRO is 84-hectares and Asia Cargo Network’s entry is seen to be the start of major redevelopment plans for the airport as it positions itself to become the logistics hub and aircraft maintenance centre facility of Indonesia.

According to the DKUPPU of the Ministry of Transportation, some 46% of aircraft in Indonesia conduct their MRO activities overseas, thus leaving an opportunity for growth in the local market. By essentially growing MRO capabilities outside Jakarta and westward, costs can be made more efficient, and the opportunity for growth is made more possible.

Shawn Black appointed President of Defense for GKN Aerospace

GKN Aerospace has announced the appointment of Shawn Black as President of Defence, bringing significant aerospace and defence leadership experience to the business.

Black started his career as a United States Marine Corps Officer before moving into the industry 22 years ago. During that time, he has achieved a consistent record of strong financial and operational performance growth in senior leadership and operational roles across military and commercial markets. His background includes senior roles with companies such as Leonardo DRS, Cobham Plc, and Cobham’s Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES) where he served as COO then CEO.


Sabre terminates distribution agreement with Aeroflot

Software and technology company Sabre Corporation, has terminated its distribution agreement with Aeroflot, the largest government-majority owned carrier in Russia. Sabre is taking immediate steps to remove Aeroflot flight content from its global distribution system (GDS), a marketplace used by travel agencies, travel websites and corporations around the world to shop, book and service flight reservations.

“Sabre has been monitoring the evolving situation in Ukraine with increasing concern. From the beginning, our primary focus has been the safety of our team members in the impacted region, as well as doing our part to support the much-needed relief efforts,” said Sean Menke, CEO of Sabre. “We are taking a stand against this military conflict. We are complying, and will continue to comply, with sanctions imposed against Russia. In addition, today we announced that Sabre has terminated its distribution agreement with Aeroflot, removing its content from our GDS.”

The Company will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and will evaluate whether additional actions would be appropriate, taking into account legal considerations and any counter measures that could be implemented in response.

To help support humanitarian programs in the region, Sabre, which has approximately 1,500 team members in Poland, has donated US$1 million to the Polish Red Cross, a 100-year charity that does exemplary work in conflict zones and for supporting displaced people. The funds donated by Sabre will be used by the Polish Red Cross to purchase, among other materials, much-needed food, hygiene products and sleeping bags, and will support the provision of medical assistance to those seeking shelter in Poland.

Embraer and German Airways sign pool programme extension agreement

Embraer has signed a multi-year contract extension with German Airways for the pool programme. With this agreement, German Airways will receive support for a wide range of repairable components for the airline’s fleet of five E190 jets. Currently, Embraer’s pool programme supports more than 50 airlines worldwide.

German Airways is a German airline and a leader in the European wet-lease market. Currently, it serves several European airlines all of which utilise comfortable, highly economic and modern E190 jets.

Embraer provides support to airlines worldwide, with its technical expertise and its vast component services network. The results are significant savings in repair and inventory carrying costs and a reduction in warehousing space and resources required for repair management, while ultimately providing guaranteed performance levels. Embraer Services & Support’s portfolio offers a wide range of competitive solutions designed for each customer to support the growing fleet of Embraer aircraft worldwide and deliver the best after-sales experience in the global aerospace industry.

Jet Aviation gains EASA approval for Gulfstream G650 maintenance in Vienna

Jet Aviation's maintenance facility in Vienna has received approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to perform line maintenance on Gulfstream G650 aircraft.

Jet Aviation Vienna is a factory authorised service facility for Gulfstream series aircraft. The company received EASA approval for G500/G600 series aircraft in September 2021, shortly after redelivering its first base maintenance check on a Gulfstream G550. The maintenance facility operates from a 4,000 m² hangar facility, supporting scheduled and unscheduled maintenance as well as off-site AOG services for a wide range of mid-size business aircraft.

Jet Aviation is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics with some 4,000 employees and 50 locations worldwide. Jet Aviation’s offerings include aircraft management, aircraft sales, charter, completions, defence, FBO, maintenance and staffing.

Pentagon 2000 Software releases upgraded PickMaster mobile app

Pentagon 2000 Software, a provider of fully-integrated MRO and supply chain software solutions for the Aerospace & Defense industry, has released an upgraded version of the PickMaster mobile app.

The PickMaster app supports both pre-assigned picking operations as well as manual user designated picking. Users can sort their picking assignments by Pick Ticket or Warehouse Code. And the app displays information about the customer, part number and description to assist users during the process.

A variety of transactions are supported by the app that include Pick Ticket, Purchase Shipper, Vendor Claim, Warehouse Transfer, Work Orders and Aircraft Maintenance. Inventory integrity and picking accuracy is maintained for quality control through scanning of barcode Unique Identifier labels (UID). For customers that operate in a multi-company environment, the PickMaster app supports both single and multi-company operations while maintaining user security and audit controls. The PickMaster mobile app operates on all current generation Apple iPhone and iPad devices connected by WiFi or Cellular networking to Pentagon 2000SQL™.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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