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Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

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SAS files for chapter 11 in the U.S.

SAS and certain of its subsidiaries have voluntarily filed for chapter 11 in the U.S., a legal process for financial restructuring conducted under U.S. federal court supervision. SAS’ operations and flight schedule are unaffected by the chapter 11 filing and SAS will continue to serve its customers as normal, although the strike by SAS Scandinavia pilots’ unions will impact the flight schedule.

The company expects to meet its go forward business obligations in the near term. SAS’ cash-balance was SEK 7.8 billion as of June 30, 2022. The strike has a negative impact on the liquidity and financial position of the company and if prolonged, such impact could become material.

The company is in well advanced discussions with a number of potential lenders with respect to obtaining additional debtor-in-possession financing for up to US$700 million (the equivalent of approximately SEK 7.0 billion), to support its operations throughout this court-supervised process. Debtor-in possession financing is a specialised type of bridge financing for businesses that are restructuring through a chapter 11 process.

Anko van der Werff, President and Chief Executive Officer of SAS, said, “Over the last several months, we’ve been working hard to improve our cost structure and improve our financial position. We are making progress, but a lot of work remains and the on-going strike has made an already challenging situation even tougher. The chapter 11 process gives us legal tools to accelerate our transformation, while being able to continue to operate the business as usual. We will continue to build back the network connectivity, products and service our customers expect and we will continue to do so throughout this process and beyond. I am convinced that this process will enable us to become an even better airline for our customers and a stronger business partner in the years to come. Becoming a more competitive airline will require the full team’s effort and burden-sharing from all stakeholders. We urge SAS Scandinavia pilots’ unions to end their strike and engage constructively as part of this process.”

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Etihad Cargo reinforces commitment to China market with 15 direct passenger and freighter flights per week

Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, has reinforced its commitment to the Chinese market with the introduction of 15 direct passenger and freighter flights per week.

Throughout the pandemic, the carrier remained committed to the market with a wide variety of capacity, including reconfigured cargo-only passenger freighters. From July onwards, it will continue to expand operations, focusing exclusively on direct passenger flights and dedicated 777 freighter flights.

In addition to cargo capacity on passenger flights, Etihad Cargo also operates Boeing 777-200 freighter flights daily to Shanghai and six times per week to Hng Kong, bringing the total cargo capacity into and out of China to 2,708 tonnes per week.

Goshawk delivers first A320 to Avion Express

Goshawk Aviation, a leading Dublin-based global aircraft lessor, has delivered one Airbus A320 aircraft to Avion Express, the Lithuanian ACMI operator headquartered in Vilnius, on June 27.

Stephen O’Dwyer, Airline Sales & Marketing EMEA at Goshawk said: “As we commence the European summer season, we are delighted to be delivering this A320 to Avion Express, the first of two aircraft to be leased to the airline by Goshawk. This activity aligns with the start of a new period of growth for Avion Express and we are pleased to support the airline as it responds to unprecedented demand from its customer base.”

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easyJet COO steps down as low-cost carrier continues to cancel numerous flights

Peter Bellew, Chief Executive Officer at easyJet has resigned with immediate effect as the low-cost carrier’s struggle to operate scheduled flights continues. To date easyJet has cancelled thousands of flights, including on the day of departure, as demand for air travel continues to outstrip the ability of many carriers to rehire staff which had been laid off as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to attracting new staff, a major recruitment problem is the approximate two-week delay while appropriate security checks are carried out before new employees can take up their positions.

Trade union Unite last month claimed there was a “lack of leadership” within easyJet, and Bellew should be “taking control of this situation”. Bellew joined easyJet from Ryanair just two-and-a-half years ago and his resignation was submitted so that he could “pursue other business opportunities.”

Partly in response to caps introduced at Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol airports and partly to avoid last-minute flight cancellations, easyJet has decided to scrap thousands of summer flights and although capacity had originally been anticipated to reach 97% of 2019 levels, this has now been readjusted to 90% of that level.

In a statement released after Bellew’s resignation, the low-cost carrier commented that: “EasyJet remains absolutely focused on our daily operation and continues to monitor this very closely, having taken pre-emptive action to build further resilience for the summer due to the current operating environment. The airline continues to operate up to 1,700 flights each day and carry up to 250,000 passengers.” EasyJet has appointed David Morgan – who has been with the airline since 2016 – as interim Chief Operations Officer.

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Deutsche Bahn becomes first intermodal partner of Star Alliance

As of August 1, Deutsche Bahn (DB) will become the world's first intermodal partner of Star Alliance. With this, DB and the aviation industry are sending another strong signal for the environment-friendly evolution of the travel industry. Under the new cooperation, DB customers and passengers of Star Alliance member airlines will be able to start or end their long-distance journey comfortably on the climate-friendly train. Germany is the first market and DB is the world's first partner in the new Star Alliance initiative.

An industry-first, Star Alliance’s intermodal partnership model intelligently combines airlines with railway, bus, ferry or any other transport ecosystem, alliance-wide. It is designed to link loyalty systems and facilitate seamless airport/station/port transit. Star Alliance plans to expand intermodal partnerships in the future.

Jeffrey Goh, CEO Star Alliance: “Today brings great forces together and opens the Star Alliance doors beyond the airline eco-system. Our new model for intermodal partnerships promises seamless co-existence between different modes of transport throughout the alliance. We welcome Deutsche Bahn as our first intermodal partner to Star Alliance.”

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SR Technics’ Business Development team welcomes Leonard Lump

MRO service provider SR Technics has released that Leonard Lump has joined its Business Development team as Vice President for Americas.

Lump has over 23 years of experience as an executive in the aerospace and aviation industry having worked in the areas of aerospace design, manufacturing and the aftermarket on both engine and airframes. Most recently he served on the executive team for ITS as Global Vice President of Sales and Product Line, creating the company's strategy and leading the organisation’s global expansion on airframe and engine component support to airlines.

Before joining SR Technics and prior to ITS, Lump worked for Chromalloy as Global Director on its Small Engine Market segment with the creation of the organisation's strategy and the expansion of business and development of critical engine repairs.

Jetfly partners with Ravenair for UK flying

Jetfly, a leading fractional ownership and aircraft management company with a 50-strong Pilatus fleet, can now offer its UK members domestic flights aboard newly re-registered PC-12NG (G-OJFA), thanks to a new partnership with UK PC-12 business aviation operator Ravenair.

Two more Jetfly PC-12s are planned to join Ravenair’s UK Air Operator’s Certificate to realise increased demand for flights from destinations such as Oxford to Cornwall; Fairoaks Airport to Jersey and Goodwood Aerodrome to the Isle of Man, said Jetfly Sales Director UK Jonathan Clough.

From initial conversations last summer, Liverpool-based Ravenair, an experienced Pilatus PC-12 operator since 2015, oversaw the export of a Jetfly Luxembourg-registered aircraft to the UK. The airworthiness, registration and AOC formalities included a 300-hour scheduled maintenance check undertaken at Jetfly’s Part 145 maintenance facility at Bournemouth Airport, overseen by Ravenair's CAMO.
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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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