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Thursday, March 10th, 2022

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Lufthansa Technic returns to profitability in 2021

Lufthansa Technic has released its financial report for 2021 in which it has shown it has begun to shake off the effects of the pandemic-related aviation crisis. Through a combination of extensive restructuring and further development of its product portfolio the company was able to increase revenue by 7% to €4.003 billion (previous year: €3.747 billion) and again generated a clearly positive adjusted EBIT of €210 million (previous year: €-383 million).

The company also attributes much of the successful turnaround to its RISE programme which was instigated in 2020 to streamline Lufthansa Technic to five principal business units instead of the existing eight, together with the sale or closure of maintenance and overhaul sites. Much of the profitability can also be put down to the extensive government aid provided, for example the short-time working allowance in Germany. However, with an uptick in travel demand and a recovery in global air traffic, the maintenance sector of the business saw a strong increase in demand.

The Aircraft Component Services business which depends heavily on the number of hours flown, saw significantly better capacity utilisation in its workshops. On the obverse side of the coin, there was only modest recovery in the engine business, primarily due to airlines taking advantage of ‘green time’ service life of parked engines in 2021 so they can avoid overhauls. Over the course of 2021, the sales organisation won 42 new customers and signed over 620 contracts with a total volume of €4.7 billion. Among the new customers were numerous start-up airlines, which Lufthansa Technik supports with extensive expertise in setting up their technical operations. At the end of the 2021 fiscal year, the company had exclusive contracts governing over 4,200 aircraft operated by more than 800 customers. (£1.00 = 1.19 at time of publication).

ANA HOLDINGS unveils "AirJapan" the new international airline brand

ANA HOLDINGS and Air Japan have unveiled "AirJapan", a new airline brand for medium-haul international routes.

In fall 2020, ANA Group announced a new airline brand as part of the transformation of its business model to pursue sustainable growth and the ability to quickly respond to a wide range of customer preferences. The Group announced that the brand name, logo, and aircraft design have now been finalised and preparations are underway to prepare for its launch in the second half of 2023. The exact routes and specific dates of the scheduled first flight is still under consideration as ANA is closely monitoring trends in the recovery of demand for international flights.

"We are excited to begin unveiling AirJapan and the selectable service and comfortable cabin experience it will offer passengers," said Hideki Mineguchi, President of Air Japan. "By focusing on medium-haul international routes, the ANA Group will be better equipped to meet emerging trends for international travel at a competitive price. We are proud to be part of the team that is increasing options for travellers while also bringing the same commitment to quality and safety found across the ANA Group."

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Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air launch Ascend Pilot Academy

Alaska Airlines and its regional partner Horizon Air are teaming up with Hillsboro Aero Academy, a premier flight school in the Pacific Northwest, to launch the Ascend Pilot Academy (APA). This new development programme, designed for aspiring pilots, provides a simpler, more financially accessible path to becoming a commercial pilot at Horizon and eventually Alaska. The programme is part of a larger effort to address a growing pilot shortage coupled with increased travel demand.

In partnership with Hillsboro Aero, the two airlines will register and train up to 250 students a year. Once enrolled, cadet pilots will be eligible for low-interest financial aid, a US$25,000 stipend to cover the cost of a commercial pilot license, mentorship and guidance from Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air pilots and a conditional job offer at Horizon Air, with an opportunity to fly with Alaska Airlines after meeting certain criteria.

An industry-wide shortage of pilots has emerged during the pandemic. Over the past two years, thousands of pilots at major airlines took early retirements, accelerating a pilot shortage that was already on the horizon. In 2022 alone, mainline airlines are expected to hire more than 10,000 pilots – twice the amount hired in 2019. With 80% of these hires anticipated to be sourced from regional airlines like Horizon Air, a more robust talent pipeline is critical to maintaining operational efficiency and business growth.

Combined, Alaska and Horizon estimate they will need to hire 500 pilots a year, or 2,000 by 2025. The Ascend Pilot Academy is one part of building that diverse talent pipeline.

SmartLynx Airlines to introduce first Airbus A330-300 Freighters to its fleet

In a move to bolster its position as a leading air cargo carrier, SmartLynx Airlines has signed an agreement with Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) to be one of the first customers to take delivery of six Airbus A330-300 P2F converted cargo freighters under the terms of a six-year lease.

SmartLynx Airlines is an integral part of Avia Solutions Group, a leading global aerospace services group providing aviation services and solutions worldwide, for whom the introduction of the new A330-300 P2F will reflect the company’s commitment to operating a modern and environmentally friendly fleet.

With the first of the aircraft due to join the SmartLynx fleet in 2023, the A330 type offers the benefits of unmatched operational economics and versatility, with over 1,500 orders on Airbus’ books and over 1,100 units operational for 110 operators worldwide, the aircraft is historically one of the most popular widebody aircraft ever to come into service.

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Embraer reports earning results for fourth-quarter and fiscal year 2021

Embraer has released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 results.

Embraer delivered 55 jets in the fourth quarter, of which 16 commercial aircraft and 39 executive jets (26 light and 13 mid-size). In 2021, a total of 141 jets were delivered comprised of 48 commercial aircraft and 93 executive jets (62 light and 31 mid-size).

Firm order backlog at the end of the fourth quarter was US$17.0 billion. This is the highest quarter backlog since 2Q18, driven by solid order activity, particularly in the Executive & Commercial segments. Book to bill in excess 2:1 for Commercial and Executive.

Revenues reached US$1.3 billion in the quarter and US$4.2 billion in 2021, in line with the company guidance for revenues of US$4.0 – US$4.5 billion.

Adjusted EBIT and EBITDA margins for 2021 reached guidance of 3.0% – 4.0% and 8.5% – 9.5%, respectively driven by enterprise efficiencies, better prices and mix volumes from Commercial, Executive and Services & Support segments.

Significant improvement in Free Cash Flow (FCF) in the fourth-quarter 2021, with cash generation of US$452.6 million, leading to full-year FCF of US$292.4 million in 2021, surpassing FCF guidance of US$100 million or better.

Net Debt/EBITDA ratio decreased from 5.6x in 2019 to 3.5x in 2021, with strong FCF and EBITDA recovery.

Guidance for 2022 (without Eve): commercial jet deliveries of 60-70 aircraft, executive jet deliveries of 100-110 aircraft, revenues in a range of US$4.5 to US$5.0 billion, Adjusted EBIT margin of 3.5% to 4.5%, Adjusted EBITDA margin of 8.0% to 9.0%, and free cash flow of US$50 million or better for the year.

Airbus partners with Spirit AeroSystems to develop wings of CityAirbus NextGen

Airbus has signed an agreement with Spirit AeroSystems through its subsidiary for the development of CityAirbus NextGen’s wings. This partnership will support Airbus’ exploration of disruptive aircraft design while complying with the most stringent regulations.

Spirit AeroSystems will be responsible for developing and manufacturing CityAirbus NextGen’s wings in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Both partners’ ambition is to achieve a minimum weight solution while ensuring the highest levels of safety. The structural concept of the eVTOL’s fixed wings will be able to transmit the related aerodynamic loads while being optimised for the right balance between hover and cruise efficiency. CityAirbus NextGen’s distributed propulsion system will contribute to reducing the influence of air turbulence.

“The partnership with Spirit AeroSystems is an important step for the development of CityAirbus NextGen and its wings are key structural components for flight efficiency,” said Jörg Müller, Head of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) at Airbus. “To build this vehicle, we are proud to work with Spirit as a strategic partner who benefits from a proven track record in this field, and extensive experience in component quality and airworthiness.”

The fully electric CityAirbus NextGen is an eVTOL prototype equipped with fixed-wings, a V-shaped tail and eight electrically powered propellers as part of its distributed propulsion system. CityAirbus NextGen is being developed to fly with a 80km operational range and to reach a cruise speed of 120 km/h, making it perfectly suited for a variety of missions. Airbus is developing a UAM solution with eVTOLs not only to offer a new mobility service in urban areas and beyond but also as an important step in its quest to reduce emissions in aviation all over its product range.

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GE and Bristow Group sign services agreements for S-92 and AW189 fleets

GE and Bristow Group have signed ten-year TrueChoice Flight Hour agreements for Bristow’s CT7-8A powered Sikorsky S-92 fleet and its CT7-2E1 powered Leonardo AW189 fleet. This consolidates the multiple TrueChoice agreements held by Bristow Group following its June 2020 merger with Era Group into just two, long-term agreements.

Bristow currently operates 67 S-92 and 18 AW189 helicopters for a variety of missions, including its UK Search and Rescue (SAR) contract and Oil & Gas (O&G) and SAR services globally. GE and Bristow have a long-standing relationship for CT7 engine support.

TCI galleys will fly with Canada’s newest airline, Lynx Air

Lynx Air (Lynx), Canada’s newest ultra-affordable airline, has entered an agreement with TCI Cabin Interior (TCI) for the design and manufacturing of its cabin interior products. The airline, headquartered in Calgary, AB, will use the Galleys and Monuments produced by TCI in its fleet of 40 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

TCI, founded in 2010, is the joint venture of TA, Turkish Airlines and Turkish Technic. In line with Turkey’s aviation goals and 2023 vision, it has been gaining ground in engineering, quality and certification since its foundation and completed its first Boeing and Airbus programme deliveries in 2014. By the end of 2015, TCI was listed in Boeing’s Global Offerable list. Along with the projects conducted with Boeing, Airbus, and Stelia, TCI became the global supplier of many airlines and leasing companies such as Turkish Airlines, SunExpress, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Azerbaijan Airlines, Donghai Airlines and Anadolu Jet.

TCI operates in the MRO Center at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport with more than 160 employees. TCI has been increasing its expertise in the design, testing, certification and manufacturing of aircraft cabin interior products such as galleys, monuments, lavatories, overhead bins and windscreens. It aims to increase its product range in the near future with other industrial products like cargo containers, cargo pallets and trolleys, while continuing to export significantly with its domestic subcontractors in the aviation industry.

JMC Group expands North American presence

JMC Group, a trusted provider of aviation manpower and engineering services, headquartered in Southwest UK, is strengthening its North American activity, having launched in Canada in June 2021. Experienced Recruiter Patrick Ramsey joins the business in Montreal, bringing nearly five years’ experience as Senior Recruiter.  

Ramsey previously managed a team of recruiters supporting clients in Canada, the USA and Mexico. Customers included major global aircraft manufacturers and suppliers. He will be working with France Caissy, who leads JMC Group in the region.

JMC Group founded in 2008, is a trusted global provider of recruitment and engineering services to the aviation and aerospace industries. It supplies fixed price, permanent and contract candidates to a portfolio of airlines, OEMs, MROs, leasing and asset management companies and component overhaul organisations.   

Headquartered at Exeter Airport, UK, with complementary bases in London Stansted, Canada, Malta, Budapest and Sofia, it is managed by highly experienced professionals with expertise in civil and military aviation, as well as the recruitment sector.  

WINGX expands into helicopter fleet tracking in partnership with Parapex Media

WINGX and Parapex Media are officially launching a joint venture to provide their combined market intelligence on the global helicopter market.

This venture combines the long-standing and deep expertise of Parapex, a leader in helicopter fleet ownership and deployment for over 20 years and the business insight platforms developed by WINGX across the global business jet fleets.

By blending their relative capabilities, Parapex and WINGX aim to create and distribute valuable insights to stakeholders in the global helicopter business, including operators, sales and charter brokers, service providers and investors.

Covering every civil-operated turbine helicopter in the western world, the business insight is provided by a combination of graphs, maps, data tables and downloads. Each user can select from the flight activity data based on a wide combination of factors including country, type of operation, operator, aircraft type, engine type and many others.

Richard Koe, MD of WINGX, said “We think this is a great opportunity to materialise the obvious synergies between our two businesses and good timing, given the emerging and exciting convergence of business aviation and next-gen short-haul and eVTOL operations”.
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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar