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Monday, July 11th, 2022

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ANA finalises purchase agreement for 30 Boeing 737-8 aircraft

ANA HOLDINGS (ANA HD) has reached an agreement with Boeing to convert two orders for the Boeing 777-9 aircraft to Boeing 777-8F cargo aircraft and finalised its existing purchase agreement for 30 Boeing 737-8 aircraft. The announcement reflects ANA HD's plan to further expand its cargo business through securing large freighters and to replace the domestic fleet's smaller planes with more fuel-efficient aircraft that will serve as the foundation for future growth.

ANA HD decided to convert two of the 20 Boeing 777-9 aircraft that had been initially announced on March 27, 2014, with Boeing 777-8F cargo aircraft. The aircraft will be introduced into service on/after fiscal year 2028. The Boeing 777-8F is a state-of-the-art freighter that has the largest cargo capacity of any twin-engine aircraft and has reduced CO2 emissions and operational costs that uses less fuel per ton.

The ANA Group finalised its agreement for the purchase of Boeing 737-8 aircraft (20 confirmed and 10 optional), which was previously announced on January 29, 2019. The introduction of the aircraft is scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2025.

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Rolls-Royce secures funding to build Direct Air Capture demonstrator

Rolls-Royce has secured £3 million from the UK Government to build a demonstrator Direct Air Capture (DAC) system, which could play a vital role in keeping global temperature rises to below 1.5C by removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

The demonstrator funding comes from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and helps deliver on the UK Government’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution. It follows initial Phase 1 funding of £250,000 awarded in 2021, that allowed Rolls-Royce to design the demonstrator in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

The demonstrator, to be built in Derby, UK, will be operational during 2023 and be capable of removing more than 100 tonnes of CO2 per year from the atmosphere. CO2 removed from the atmosphere by such systems can be stored ensuring that it no longer contributes to global warming. It can also be recycled to make fuel for hard to decarbonise sectors such as aviation, enabling the more rapid phase out of fossil fuels.

A full-scale version of this plant could remove 1 million tonnes per year. The UK’s target is to remove 25 million tons of CO2 per year by 2030; and the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that 980 million tonnes a year will need to be removed globally to limit global warming to 1.5C.

Jess Poole, Direct Air Capture Lead for Rolls-Royce, said: “Every credible climate change model requires us to decarbonise today’s emissions, as well as removing CO2 already in the atmosphere via carbon negative technologies such as DAC. Our system combines our expertise in moving large quantities of air efficiently and integrating complex systems, which have been gained from designing world-leading jet engines, with novel DAC technology developed by CSIRO."

“Together the system works like a giant lung, sucking in air, absorbing the CO2, and releasing what is not wanted. We use a water-based liquid to wash around 50% of the CO2 from the captured air. Our technology is distinctive because very little water is used and the liquid is recycled at low temperatures, making it energy efficient. Other technologies consume a lot of water and require substantial amounts of energy to generate heat for the separation of the CO2."

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Ireland-based lessor SMBC chalks up US$1.6bn loss on 34 jets stranded in Russia

Owned by a consortium which includes Japan's Sumitomo Corp and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Ireland based aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation Capital (SMBC) has recorded a US$3.6 billion impairment over 34 jets that became stranded in Russia after sanctions were put in place following the country’s invasion of Ukraine that basically saw all leases terminated.

According to Reuters news agency, over 400 planes were left stranded in Russia after sanctions took effect. SMBC confirmed that the write-off was based on full carrying value as the planes could not be recovered within a reasonable period of time. The lessor anticipates making significant financial recoveries through its insurance coverage. Currently Russia is still flying the planes either on domestic routes or to airports where enforced recovery would not be possible.

Excluding the sum written off, rather than making a loss of US$1.1 billion the lessor would have posted a US$336 million profit, almost at the same level as pre-pandemic 2019 when the company recorded a profit of US$365 million. SMBC remains optimistic with the current state of the market, having sold 23 aircraft in the year ending March 2022, making a US$68.3 million profit, while having also placed a combination of 41 Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle jets from its order book. SMBC has also confirmed it anticipates its US$6.7 billion acquisition of Goshawk Aviation in the final quarter of the year. (£1.00 = US$1.20 at time of publication).

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IndiGo selects Recaro BL3710 seats for new A320neo and A321neo aircraft

Recaro Aircraft Seating has released that its BL3710 seat was selected to outfit IndiGo’s brand-new A320neo and A321neo aircraft. The low-cost airline will be the first to feature the economy-class seat in the Indian sub-continent. The BL3710 economy-class seat will be installed on 75 Airbus aircraft starting from January 2023.

“Our new partnership with IndiGo demonstrates our commitment to not only building a distinct product with a sustainable lifecycle, but also our comprehensive approach to customer service,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, CEO at Recaro Aircraft Seating. “The BL3710 is an excellent product that will serve both IndiGo and its passengers for many years.”

A Red Dot Design Award winner and iF Design Award winner, the BL3710 was specifically created for short- and medium-haul flights. The combination of the ergonomic design and weight of less than 10 kg per pax has made the economy-class seat a bestseller since it first entered the market in 2019.

Hawaiian Holdings appoints Wendy Beck and Craig Vosburg to Board of Directors

Hawaiian Holdings, the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines (Hawaiian), has announced the appointment of Wendy Beck and Craig Vosburg to its board of directors.

Beck has extensive finance leadership experience in the consumer and travel industries, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

Vosburg, Chief Product Officer at Mastercard, has specialised in driving cultural and technological transformation to develop new products and businesses. He has spent the last 16 years in various leadership roles at Mastercard, previously held management positions at Bain & Company, A. T. Kearney and CoreStates Financial Corporation.

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SAS receives all court approvals necessary to continue operating its business

SAS AB (SAS) has received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for all of its “First Day” motions as part of the company’s voluntary chapter 11 process in the U.S.

The approvals granted by the court confirm that SAS is authorised to continue to operate its business in the ordinary course throughout the chapter 11 process in accordance with the court’s orders.

The court specifically authorised SAS to, among other things, continue to: pay all employee wages and benefits; operate the airline in the ordinary course; honour existing customer programmes, including the EuroBonus loyalty programme; honour various pre-petition obligations owed to certain of its critical travel agency partners, vendors and suppliers; pay vendors and suppliers in full under normal terms for goods received and services provided on or after July 5, 2022 and to pay all taxes, insurance and other regulatory fees in the ordinary course.

Anko van der Werff, President and Chief Executive Officer of SAS, said, “These court approvals confirm that our operations will continue as usual as we begin our restructuring process in the U.S. We remain focused on providing the service our customers are used to, while accelerating our efforts to implement key elements of our comprehensive business transformation plan, SAS FORWARD. Ultimately, our plan is about improving our financial position and continuing our more than 75-year legacy as Scandinavia’s leading airline.”

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Airbus delivers 7,000th Ecureuil helicopter

Airbus Helicopters has delivered its 7,000th helicopter from the Ecureuil family. The light single-engine H125, which was assembled in Marignane, France, was handed over to Blugeon Hélicoptères, a French company specialised in sling work at high altitudes.

This new H125 will join Blugeon´s existing fleet of five H125 helicopters located at three different bases in the French Alps and a fourth one in the Pyrenees. Each of them flies an average of 600 hours per year performing passenger transport, power line surveillance, filmmaking, preventive avalanche maintenance, mountain rescue and large-scale hoisting.

"Since the first Ecureuil took to the skies in 1974, this family of aircraft forever changed the light helicopter market and the way aerial work is performed," said Axel Aloccio, Head of the Light Helicopters programme at Airbus Helicopters. "Designed to be a simple, practical and competitive aircraft, the secret of its success lies in its excellent performance and its incredible ability to adapt to operators' needs. It is precisely thanks to the confidence of operators like Blugeon that we are celebrating the milestone of the 7,000th delivery today.”
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