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Monday, August 15th, 2022

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SAS may avoid bankruptcy after securing US$700 million in fresh financing

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has confirmed that it has entered into an agreement with Apollo Global Management to raise US$700 million which it hopes will enable the stricken carrier to complete its restructuring process under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

The news comes hot on the heels of an announcement that Norwegian, Danish and Swedish pilots have agreed to accept a collective bargaining agreement which has guaranteed there will be no further strike action taken. The recent 15-day strike by pilots had cost the Scandinavian carrier roughly US$145 million and had affected over 380,000 passengers during what is usually a peak travel period. The airline grounded some 3,700 flights during the strike, saying last week its number of passengers fell 32% in July from June and capacity by 23%.

The strike also accelerated the carrier's need to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy according to SAS Chief Executive Anko van der Werff. Moving forward, as SAS was unprofitable even before the global pandemic owing to keen competition from low-cost carriers, it would now need to substantially slash running costs as well as raise additional finance in order to survive. While the Swedish government has openly rejected SAS' plea for financial help, the Danish government is adopting a more flexible approach and has indicated it might consider injecting fresh funds if SAS can find support from private-sector investors.

SAS anticipates receiving court approval for the US$700 loan by the end of September and hopes to complete the Chapter 11 restructuring process in nine to 12 months. (£1.00 = US$1.21 at time of publication).

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Malaysia Airlines to acquire 20 A330neo for wide-body fleet renewal

Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), parent company of Malaysia Airlines, has selected the Airbus A330neo aircraft for the carrier’s wide-body fleet renewal programme. The initial agreements cover the acquisition of 20 A330-900 aircraft, with ten aircraft to be purchased from Airbus and ten to be leased from Dublin-based Avolon.

The announcement was made at an event in Kuala Lumpur, attended by MAG CEO Izham Ismail and Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International Christian Scherer, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the aircraft to be ordered from Airbus. The agreements with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and Avolon were also signed at the ceremony.

Powered by the latest Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the A330neo will join the carrier’s fleet of six long range A350-900s and gradually replace its 21 A330ceo aircraft. The carrier will operate the A330neo on its network covering Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East. Malaysia Airlines will configure its A330neo fleet with a premium layout seating 300 passengers in two classes.

CAE reports first-quarter fiscal 2023 results

CAE has reported revenue of CA$933.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2023, compared to CA$752.7 million in the first quarter last year. First-quarter net income attributable to equity holders was CA$1.7 million compared to CA$46.4 million last year. Adjusted net income in the first quarter of fiscal 2023 was CA$17.6 million compared to CA$55.6 million last year.

Operating income this quarter was CA$39.4 million (4.2% of revenue), compared to CA$86.2 million (11.5% of revenue) last year. First-quarter adjusted segment operating income was CA$60.9 million (6.5% of revenue) compared to CA$98.4 million (13.1% of revenue) last year. Adjusted segment operating income excluding COVID-19 government support programmes, of which there have been none since the first quarter of fiscal 2022, was also CA$60.9 million (6.5% of revenue) compared to CA$84.8 million (11.3% of revenue) last year. Adjusted segment operating income this quarter included CA$28.9 million in unfavourable contract profit adjustments in defence, involving two programmes in the U.S.

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Qantas Freight to increase domestic fleet with six Airbus A321 aircraft

Qantas Freight will increase its domestic fleet with six Airbus A321 aircraft to meet growing e-commerce demand from its customers.

Since the onset of COVID-19, the national carrier’s freight division has seen a step change in cargo volumes driven partly by a structural shift to online shopping.

The six A321 freighters, which are expected to progressively arrive between early calendar year 2024 and mid-2026, will replace the long-term fleet of five Boeing 737 freighters that are approaching the end of their economic life.

Each A321 freighter can carry 23 tonnes of cargo, nine tonnes more than the older 737s, and are around 30% more fuel efficient per tonne of freight carried.

The aircraft will be sourced on the open market and converted from carrying passengers to cargo, subject to commercial negotiations. The model designation is A321P2F, which stands for ‘Passenger to Freighter’. This conversion work will include removing seats and the installation of a cargo handling system.

Qantas currently has three A321P2Fs and replacing the remaining 737 freighters with these newer aircraft will simplify Qantas Freight’s fleet, bringing extra efficiency in training and maintenance.

Customers are expected to benefit from increased reliability, network flexibility and a net increase in Qantas’ freight carrying capacity.

Qantas is also converting two wide-body A330s to freighters, one of which will be used on the domestic network and will continue to supplement its fleet with wet-leased aircraft.

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HEICO Corp. acquires leading aircraft antenna company

HEICO Corporation has released that its Electronic Technologies Group has acquired all of the stock of Sensor Systems, Inc. (Sensor) for a combination of cash and approximately 575,000 HEICO Class A Common Shares. Further financial details were not disclosed. HEICO stated that it expects the acquisition to be accretive to its earnings in the year following the acquisition.

Chatsworth, CA-based Sensor is one of the world's leading designers and manufacturers of airborne antennas for commercial and military applications. Recognised as an international standard for many of its antennas, Sensor's products include, among others, Aircraft Direction Finding (DF), Altimeter, Glideslope, Global Positioning System (GPS), L-Band, Marker Beacon, satellite communications, Total Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), Very High-Frequency (VHF) and Very High-Frequency Omni-directional Range (VOR) antennas.

Sensor's antennas are found on nearly all large commercial transport aircraft built in the last 50 years, along with numerous business and military aircraft.

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Delta appoints Alex Antilla as VP Latin America

Delta has appointed Alex Antilla as Vice President, Latin America. Based in Santiago, Chile, he will oversee Delta’s business and customer experience strategy throughout Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, as well as the airline’s partnerships with the LATAM Group and Aeromexico.

Antilla has worked with Delta for 16 years in the trans-Pacific, trans-Atlantic and Latin American regions and in this new role he will focus exclusively on Latin America. Before this new position, he served as Managing Director, Latin America Pricing and Revenue Management, leading a team of professionals focused on optimising and maximising revenue and profit for Delta’s Latin America portfolio. He has also held roles in network planning, sales and alliances and has worked extensively on several of Delta’s joint ventures.

ORIX Aviation delivers package of 12 B737 MAX 8 aircraft to Sky Leasing

ORIX Aviation has successfully concluded the sale and delivery of a package of twelve B737 MAX 8 (powered by LEAP 1B engines) on behalf of the secured financiers of the aircraft to funds managed by Sky Leasing.

Since early 2021 ORIX Aviation has managed all twelve aircraft, overseeing their return from five different locations throughout Europe, ensuring appropriate maintenance and storage while the re-marketing process was carried out. All twelve aircraft were previously operated by Norwegian Air Shuttle.
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