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Monday, May 16th, 2022

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Norwegian struggles with fuel prices to limit losses, but protects cash position

Low-cost carrier Norwegian has released its first-quarter results of 2022 in what is a seasonally weakened quarter. Combined with the impact of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus and the effects of the war in Ukraine on the aviation industry the result was an operating loss (EBIT) of NOK849 million, though the company was able to keep its cash level robustly high at NOK7.5 billion. The carrier booked a net loss of NOK1 billion, compared to a net loss of NOK1.2 billion for the same period in 2021.

Norwegian carried 2.2 million passengers during the quarter, a significant increase on the 200,000 for the same period last year. Production (ASK) was 3.9 billion seat kilometres, while passenger traffic (RPK) was 3.0 billion seat kilometres. The load factor increased to 76.9%, up from 38.5% in the same period last year. In April passenger numbers rose 50% compared to the month of March.

During the quarter, Norwegian announced an agreement to lease 10 new and fuel-efficient 737 MAX 8 aircraft with delivery in the spring of 2023. In addition, Norwegian is in the process of leasing an additional five 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which will bring the fleet to 85 aircraft by the summer 2023 season.

“We have adapted to fluctuations in demand quickly and efficiently, and we have managed to protect our strong liquidity position even through a challenging period. The increase in bookings ahead of the summer season is significant and we look forward to welcoming our customers on board the close to 280 routes we have for sale. I am pleased to note that our corporate travellers are starting to return to air travel. We know they place high value on our attractive route network and strong on-time performance record,” said Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian. (£1.00 = NOK11.99 at time of publication).

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Modern Aviation to acquire three Sacramento, CA FBOs

Modern Aviation has executed a definitive agreement to acquire Superior Aviation Company’s (SACjet) three Sacramento, CA FBO operations from Sacramento International Jet Center Incorporated (operating as Capitol Jet Center) at Sacramento International Airport, Mather Jet Center, Inc. (operating as Mather Jet Center) at Mather Airport, and Patterson Aviation Company (operating as Executive Jet Center) at Sacramento Executive Airport.

Modern Aviation’s CEO, Mark Carmen, said, “We founded Modern Aviation to develop a national network of FBOs. The opportunity to acquire SACjet’s three Sacramento FBOs and build upon their well-deserved reputation for client service is another important milestone in executing our strategy. SACjet has a world class staff of professionals at these airports where customers receive world class service every day. Modern intends to hire all of SACjet’s current operational employees. One of the benefits of our consolidation strategy is that it creates more career growth opportunities for our team members and more touchpoints for our customers.”

Since their first acquisition in early 2018, Modern has grown to nine locations today, which includes two locations in NY pending airport approval. The three Sacramento FBOs will bring Modern to twelve locations.

Modern expects the acquisition to close in the second quarter or early in the third-quarter 2022 following the review and approval of appropriate government agencies.

Textron Aviation inks order for three Cessna Citation jets with Turkish Aerospace Industries

Textron Aviation has received an order from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAS) for one special mission Cessna Citation Longitude and two special mission Cessna Citation Latitude jets. The aircraft will be fitted with special flight inspection calibration equipment and will be used by the DHMI (General Directorate of State Airports Authority) in Turkey to inspect regional airport navigation aids. 

DHMI began using two Cessna Citation V aircraft for flight inspection in 1993, which were replaced by Cessna Citation XLS aircraft in 2009.

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Safran and ATR develop “Smart Lander”, a service to analyse hard landings

Safran Landing Systems, Safran Engineering Services and regional aircraft manufacturer ATR have developed ‘Smart Lander’, an innovative landing gear diagnostics service that uses state-of-the-art knowledge in data analysis to optimise the manufacturer's response times in the event of hard landings and enable aircraft to be quickly returned to service.

This extremely innovative service, the first of its kind in the aviation industry, is based on machine learning technology. Based on hundreds of thousands of hard landing simulations, Smart Lander issues recommendations to operators on the maintenance actions to be taken according to the hardness of the landing and to the load level sustained by the landing gear. Aircraft can subsequently be permitted to continue their commercial operations or alternatively, be sent to a maintenance base. This process takes less than an hour, compared to over a week previously.

David Brigante, ATR Customer Support and Services Senior Vice-President, stated: “Our former process could take up to 10 to 20 working days. It required analyses from both the ATR Design Office and Safran Landing Systems to decide whether the aircraft was fit to return to service. With Smart Lander, we will be able to massively reduce ATR response times, therefore boosting aircraft availability, reducing costs for customers and enhancing customer satisfaction, while maintaining the same level of analysis quality.”

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Coulson Aviation to sell one B737 FIRELINER to the Provincia de Santiago del Estero in Argentina

Coulson Aviation U.S.A. has announced the sale of one of its Boeing 737 FIRELINER large airtankers to the Provincia de Santiago del Estero, Argentina. 

The B737 FIRELINER is the only large airtanker that can transport passengers and its multi-role capability will be fully utilised by the Santiago del Estero province while not conducting airtanker operations. “Our 737 FIRELINER’s continue to solidify its pole position of the jet-powered large airtanker fleet worldwide” said Britton Coulson, President of Coulson Aviation.

The B737 FIRELINER is the newest-generation of large airtanker and the first to be FAA-certified to do both firefighting and passenger transport. The FIRELINER packs 15,150 litres of fluid with unmatched performance in distance, speed and altitude while retaining the capability to transport up to 72 passengers.

Miguel Mandrille, the Minister of Production, Natural Resources, and Land said the new large airtanker’s main base will be at Las Termas De Rio Hondo and that government plans to build a hangar for maintenance and training of the personnel in charge of handling the aircraft as well as a loading base to fill the airplane. Minister Mandrille also added “This is important not only for the province but also to the rest of the Argentinean provinces and neighbour countries that might need it.” 

SITA appoints Matthys Serfontein President, Americas

SITA has appointed Matthys Serfontein as President, Americas. Serfontein returns to SITA after a two-year hiatus to drive SITA’s growth in the Americas, where travel has rebounded sharply in the wake of the pandemic. Serfontein will be key to bringing SITA’s vision of greater agility, efficiency and sustainability to the air transport industry through digitalisation.

Serfontein has many years of experience in the aviation sector addressing portfolio and business development, previously having served as President of Air Travel Solutions at SITA, where he oversaw the development of SITA’s airport and border solutions. Prior to that he served as Regional Vice President for Airport Solutions in Africa. Before joining SITA, he held several senior management positions at Airports Company South Africa, e.Airports Ltd, and OSI Airport Systems.

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Emirates Group reports 2021-22 results

The Emirates Group has released its 2021-2022 results, which shows strong recovery across its businesses. dnata (Dubai National Air Travel Agency) returns to profitability and significant revenue improvements were reported across both Emirates and dnata as the Group rebuilt its air transport and travel-related operations which were previously cut-back or curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the financial year ended March 31, 2022, the Emirates Group posted a loss of AED 3.8 billion (US$ 1.0 billion) compared with an AED 22.1 billion (US$ 6.0 billion) loss for last year. The Group’s revenue was AED 66.2 billion (US$ 18.1 billion), an increase of 86% over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance was AED 25.8 billion (US$ 7.0 billion), up 30% from last year mainly due to strong demand across its core business divisions and markets, triggered by the easing of pandemic-related restrictions.

Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity increased by 47% to 36.4 billion ATKMs in 2021-22, as the airline continued to reinstate passenger services across its network in line with the lifting of pandemic-related flight and travel restrictions.

From 120 destinations at the start of the financial year, to increased operations and capacity growth across over 140 destinations by March 31, 2022, Emirates was able to respond dynamically to serve customer demand wherever opportunities arose, thanks to the resilience of its people and business model. In July, the airline launched a new route to Miami, bringing its total passenger gateways in the U.S. to 12.

To serve the strong rebound in travel demand, Emirates deployed its flagship A380 aircraft to even more cities during the year, bringing its A380 network to 29 destinations as of March 31, 2022.
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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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Tamar