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Monday, May 23rd, 2022

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Air France-KLM considering €500 million private equity loan to pay off state aid

Air France-KLM has announced that it is in negotiations with private equity Firm Apollo Global Management over a potential €500 million capital injection which will be used to partially repay French state aid connected to one of its engineering and maintenance units which owns a pool of engines. The deal will not involve any equity and is being viewed as an alternative to a more traditional sale-and-leaseback deal involving the spare engines.

The Dutch finance ministry, a shareholder in the airline group, said it supported the proposal. "Attracting private investors is good for the financial position of the company. We have a common interest that it frees itself of state aid," the ministry told Reuters news agency.

Back in February this year Air France-KLM indicated it was looking to raise €4 billion to repay pandemic-related support, while this month the carrier announced that it was considering measures such as a capital increase and quasi equity instruments to speed up payments to the French state, its top shareholder. Shipping firm CMA CGM announced that it would be taking an equity stake in Air France-KLM. (£1.00 = €1.18 at time of publication).

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GE Aviation completes testing of Passport engine using 100% SAF

GE Aviation has completed successful testing of its Passport long-range business aviation engine using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), a lower carbon alternative jet fuel.

The Passport engine today can operate on approved SAF and the recent testing shows the capability of the engine to run on 100% SAF. It was the first time the Passport engine was tested with 100% SAF.

Currently, SAF approved for use is a blend of petroleum-based Jet A or Jet A-1 fuel and a SAF component with a maximum blend limit of 50%. ASTM International, an organisation that develops technical standards, has not yet qualified 100% SAF. One of GE’s fuel experts chairs an international task force to develop standardised industry specifications supporting adoption of 100% drop-in SAF, which does not require blending with conventional jet fuel.

“As our testing shows, the Passport engine, like all GE engines, can operate on approved Sustainable Aviation Fuel today and in the future. Our customers can be confident that the Passport engine can help meet their sustainability goals to reduce CO2 emissions in flight, thanks to the Passport’s more fuel-efficient technologies compared to previous-generation business jet engines and ability to operate on lower-carbon fuels,” said Melvyn Heard, president of the Passport engine programme for GE Aviation.

Ground testing was conducted with one engine over several days in March at GE Aviation’s Peebles Test Operations in southern Ohio. The purpose of the test was to assess the performance and operability of the engine technology with 100% SAF compared to conventional Jet A.

The type of SAF used in the testing, HEFA-SPK, is the most widely available SAF today and can be made from cooking oil and other waste fats, oils and greases. Preliminary test results of the Passport engine are favourable, with the engine performing similarly to when it runs on petroleum-based jet fuel.

Textron Aviation adds mobile service location in Madrid

Capitalising on its continued growth in Europe, Textron Aviation has opened a new mobile service location in Madrid, Spain. The Madrid-Barajas Airport location will act as an extension of its factory service centre in Valencia, to initially support in-region customers who own Cessna Citation jets and Caravan turboprops. This new location will offer additional flexibility to customers and complement the company’s Aircraft on Ground (AOG) response.

The mobile service location can conduct minor service tasks including troubleshooting and AOG support at any given time. With this expansion, Textron Aviation is increasing its team support in Madrid with the addition of two technicians and one office administrator. The company has more than 450 Textron Aviation employees in Europe providing customers local access to factory-direct expertise.

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Leonardo introduces C-27J Spartan Next Generation with new Fire Fighter configuration

Leonardo’s C-27J Spartan Next Generation reaffirms its versatility for multi-mission capabilities with a new Fire Fighter configuration, equipped with a second generation, roll-on/roll-off Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS II).

Dealing with environmental emergencies is an increasingly complex challenge that requires integrated problem-solving management and the implementation of multiple, latest-generation, strategic and technological tools to protect people and the territory.

The Fire Fighter configuration proposed by Leonardo is a flexible solution, ideal for enhancing the capabilities of the C-27J Next Generation multi-mission aircraft and has significantly lower purchasing and operating costs than a dedicated firefighting platform.

The system consists in the installation of a removable tank with a capacity of over 8,000 litres of water or 7,600 litres of fire-retardant liquid in the aircraft’s cargo bay. A complete set of tools that includes a pressurised tank, an outlet nozzle, a pressurised door, and a ground support system.

In around 90 minutes, the C-27J can be transformed from a tactical transport aircraft to an aerial firefighter, thanks to the palletised Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS II), developed by United Aeronautical Corporation, a world leader in advanced aerial application systems.

But this solution is not just limited to fighting wildfires, it can also be used for prevention. In fact, the “reclamation” of high-risk territories, which are identified using existing or Leonardo’s in-house prevention, control and early warning systems, can be performed from the C-27J Fire Fighter by dropping water over an extensive surface area, reducing the possibility of a wildfire outbreak in fire-prone areas.

FAI Technik completes another complex Bombardier Global Express refit project

Nuremberg, Germany-based MRO, FAI Technik GmbH, part of the FAI Aviation Group and subsidiary of German special mission operator, FAI rent-a-jet has completed another Bombardier Global Express refit project, following the successful completion of its award-winning Project Pearl in 2020. The project also included 30/60/120/240-month inspections and new paint. Following 20,000 manhours of work, it is anticipated that this latest Global Express (D-AFAU) will be available for charter and lease from June 2022.

The multi-million-euro project which received its EASA STC certification in April, marks the first and only installation of an original Global XRS cabin into a classic Global Express. The custom interior refurbishment, designed by FAI’s inhouse team features an all-new cabin with VIP seating for 12 passengers in tasteful cream leather, complemented by a stylish black and cream striped designer carpet and striking dark chocolate high gloss piano style wood surfaces with rose gold metal plating throughout. Elegant beige stone floors adorn the galley as well as the VIP lavatory area which features Jets vacuum toilets. The luxury interior is complemented by Collins Aerospace Cabin Electronics System (CES) V7. Exterior paint was also undertaken by FAI Technik.

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Pegasus Airlines appoints Onur Dedeköylü as Chief Commercial Officer

Onur Dedeköylü, who has been working as Senior Vice President for Marketing at Pegasus Airlines since 2010 and has made significant contributions to the company’s ancillary product management, digital transformation and to building the Pegasus brand, has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer. He will manage the commercial division, consisting of sales, network planning, marketing, revenue management and pricing, guest experience and cargo departments. 

Dedeköylü is a graduate of Industrial Engineering from Boğaziçi University and holds an MBA degree in marketing and finance from Georgia State University in Atlanta. He began his career at Gillette working in the fields of sales and marketing. After working at the global headquarters of Kimberly Clark’s health products division in Atlanta, U.S.A., he continued his career in the UK. He worked in the fields of market research, product development and brand management at Hasbro’s European headquarters in the UK. He continued his career at the Coca-Cola Company, managing the Coca-Cola brand in Turkey.

In 2010, Dedeköylü joined Pegasus Airlines as Senior Vice President. In this role, he was responsible for brand management, ancillary product development and management, digital channels management, data analytics and loyalty management functions. He started his new role as Chief Commercial Officer on May 13, 2022.

BOC Aviation delivers first of seven Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to Turkish Airlines

Aircraft lessor BOC Aviation has delivered the first of seven new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft for lease to Turkish Airlines. All seven aircraft are part of the company’s existing order book and will be powered by CFM LEAP-1B engines.

“We are delighted to build on our 18-year relationship with Turkish Airlines and to support the airline in its fleet development plans with the most fuel-efficient, technologically advanced aircraft,” said Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, BOC Aviation. “This transaction illustrates our strategy of long-term, sustainable growth by building a portfolio of latest technology aircraft.”

Turk Hava Yollari Anonim Ortakligi, also known as Turkish Airlines, is a company incorporated in Turkey and its shares are listed on the Borsa Istanbul. Its principal business is the operation of scheduled airline services, which is conducted from its primary hub at Istanbul Airport. Turkish Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance and currently operating a fleet of 372 aircraft.

MTU Maintenance Hannover puts extension buildings into operation

MTU Maintenance Hannover has inaugurated its extensive plant expansion with an opening ceremony. The new extension consists of a workshop for engine maintenance and a modern office building. The construction time was about two years in each case. Construction of the factory hall began in autumn 2019. MTU gradually ramped up operations from November 2021 to April 2022. Ground-breaking for the office building took place in March 2020. The first employees moved in March 2022. The expansion had become necessary because of the growing demand for engine maintenance.

“This expansion will allow the Hannover site to continue its decades-long success story and offer its customers first-class MRO services”, said Michael Schreyögg, Chief Program Officer of MTU Aero Engines. “The new buildings at the site exemplify how impulses emanate from Hannover throughout the entire MRO network of MTU”.

Founded in 1979, the Hannover site is the heart of MTU Maintenance. In the immediate vicinity of Hannover-Langenhagen Airport, mainly larger engines are maintained; these include the GE90, which powers the Boeing 777 and the PW1100G-JM, which is used on the Airbus A320neo family.
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