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Tuesday, July 12th, 2022

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Frontier digs in and confirms it has made its ‘last, best and final offer’ for Spirit Airways

The ongoing bidding war for Spirit Airlines Inc. (Spirit) between Frontier Group Holdings Inc (Frontier) and JetBlue Airways seems to be drawing to a close as Frontier has announced that it will not be increasing its offer of US$4.13 per share and 1.9126 Frontier shares in its cash and stock offer. In addition, if the offer is accepted, Frontier will prepay US$2.22 per share as a cash dividend to stockholders, while increasing its reverse termination fee to US$350 million.

In a letter to Spirit, Frontier Chief Executive Barry Biffle said the Florida-based ultra-low-cost carrier should consider last month's revised merger agreement as its "last, best and final offer." Based on last Friday’s trading figures, the cash and stock offer from Frontier was valued at US$24.69 per share.

It is understood that Spirit shareholders are more in favour of the deal with JetBlue, though there have been concerns that the deal may fall foul of antitrust scrutiny, though the deal with Frontier could suffer the same fate. Whichever ultra-low-cost carrier is successful, the result will be the creation of America’s fifth-largest airline. Spirit shareholders are due to vote this Friday on their preferred deal.

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CALC places first B737-800SF freighter conversion order with AEI

Aeronautical Engineers (AEI) has announced that Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) has signed a contract for its first AEI B737-800SF freighter conversion. The aircraft (MSN: 30516) will commence modification at the end of July and will be redelivered to CALC in October 2022.

Touch labour and maintenance requirements will be accomplished by the authorised AEI Conversion Center, STAECO, located in Shandong, P.R. China.

AEI is currently the only conversion company to have ETOPS 180 approval on the 737-800 freighter conversion. Additionally, AEI can convert all 737-800-line number aircraft, including those with Split Scimitar winglets.

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Safran and HAL to create joint venture to develop new helicopter engines

Safran Helicopter Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have signed an agreement to create a new joint venture intended to develop helicopter engines. Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed by both companies, Safran and HAL will extend their long-lasting partnership by establishing a new aero-engine company in India. It will be dedicated to the development, production, sales and support of helicopter engines and one of its main objectives will be to meet the requirements of HAL and India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) future helicopters, including the future 13-ton IMRH (Indian Multi Role Helicopter).

This MoU demonstrates once again the commitment of both Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL to the Indian Government’s vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, or achieving self-reliance – particularly in defence technologies.

Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL have already multiple partnerships, including the Shakti engine, which powers HAL-produced helicopters, including the Dhruv, Rudra and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). The Ardiden 1U variant also powers the new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). More than 500 Shakti engines have already been produced.

Through HE-MRO joint venture in Goa, Safran Helicopter Engines and HAL will also provide MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) services for TM333 and Shakti engines in service with Indian Armed Forces. It will be operational by the end of 2023.

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Nordic Aviation Capital signs multiple new lease agreements

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) has released that it has signed new lease agreements with Loganair, MTU and Airlink. The company has executed a lease agreement for one ATR72-500F with Loganair, based in Glasgow, Scotland and signed a lease agreement for six CF34-10E engines with MTU MLS for its rental pool. MTU MLS is a wholly owned subsidiary of MTU Aero Engines, a leading aircraft engine manufacturer and service provider based in Munich, Germany.

Furthermore, the company confirmed that it has executed a lease agreement for three Embraer E195 aircraft with Airlink, based in Johannesburg.

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AFG Aviation Ireland acquires one Airbus A330-200 aircraft

On July 11, 2022, AFG Aviation Ireland Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aircraft Finance Germany, has completed the acquisition of one Airbus A330-200 aircraft bearing MSN 926, from a subsidiary of French shipping giant CMA CGM S.A.

The aircraft will shortly be ferried to Teruel Airport (Spain) for storage while it awaits conversion with Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW).

AFG‘s Peter Koster, Head of Freighter Lease and Trading, commented: „We are very pleased with our acquisition of this strong asset from CMA CGM. We are bullish regarding the long-term outlook for the air freight industry and this aircraft will perform nicely post conversion as a full freighter.“

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BAA Training to provide Air France with Airbus A320 Type Rating services

BAA Training, a family member of Avia Solutions Group, has signed a partnership agreement with Air France under which BAA Training will be providing the French carrier with Airbus A320 Type Rating services.

Fulfilling the agreement, BAA Training will prepare more than 170 pilots Type Rated on A320 for Air France. The students will be trained at BAA Training simulator centres in Barcelona, Spain and Vilnius, Lithuania, using both full-flight simulators (FFS) and flight training devices (FTDs). Innovative developments, such as Virtual Reality technology and an FFS/FTD mix add complementary value to the training courses. The first pilot group begins training in September 2022.

BAA Training is expanding its presence in the French aviation market by building a new simulator training centre near Paris in partnership with Transavia France, the low-cost subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group. The new facility featuring six simulator bays will start operations in January 2023. Full-flight simulators modelled on narrow-body aircraft – A320 and B737 – and the wide-body will join the fleet.

In addition, FTD Level 2 devices, Virtual Reality technology and full-scope cabin crew training equipment, such as  RFFT, Door trainers CEET, slide, etc., will extend the range of equipment available.

BAA Training has also launched an Ab Initio training programme in cooperation with Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC), the only aviation-oriented university in France. This pilot training programme is tailored to individual clients and the airlines.

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Digital platform AVIATAR now operates carbon-neutral

AVIATAR, Lufthansa Technik's digital operations suite, now operates carbon-neutral. The Digital Fleet Services business segment has had this certified by standardised reporting and offsetting via the certified compensation platform SQUAKE. AVIATAR is thus a pioneer among digital tech ops platforms in the aviation industry as well as among Lufthansa Technik's business segments.

At AVIATAR, the achievement of carbon neutrality is based on two pillars. On the one hand, the emissions caused by the technical cloud and office infrastructure as well as by the employees were already massively reduced in the past years. While 152 metric tons of CO2 equivalents were still emitted in 2019, this figure was almost halved in 2021, to just 77 metric tonnes. This corresponds to the average annual footprint of just seven people. The halving of emissions is all the more remarkable given the significant increase in the number of customers over the same period and a tripling of the number of aircraft serviced on the AVIATAR platform. AVIATAR will continue to vigorously pursue the goal of reducing its real emissions.

On the other hand, AVIATAR's carbon footprint is already neutral today, thanks to full financial compensation of the remaining emissions through a broad portfolio of social and environmental projects. These include, for example, the installation of wind turbines in India, reforestation of rainforest in Nicaragua, support for sustainable food production in Burundi, and the procurement of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The compensation of emissions is carried out in close cooperation with SQUAKE. The IT start-up, a spin-off from the Lufthansa Group's Innovation Hub, automates the emissions accounting and enables AVIATAR to operate the calculated compensation exclusively via certified projects. This ensures that the emissions generated are offset in a complete, transparent and verifiable manner. In addition to the annual compensation of future emissions from now on, AVIATAR has decided to also compensate its emissions from the past three years (319 tonnes of CO2 equivalent) via SQUAKE.
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Tamar Jorssen
Vice President Sales & Business Development
Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
Phone: +1 (788) 213 8543
Tamar