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Friday, August 19th, 2022

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US$500 million recapitalisation of CHC Helicopter completed

CHC Group LLC (CHC) has announced that through a comprehensive US$500 million recapitalisation, subject to regulatory approvals, it will now be able to significantly reduce its funded debt obligations.

The global rotary wing aviation company specialises in providing transportation services to offshore oil and gas platforms, civilian search and rescue and air medical evacuation services and helicopter maintenance repair and overhaul services. As part of the recapitalization, a substantial portion of CHC’s existing debt and equity holders agreed to provide over US$100 million in new money and liquidity enhancing commitments, consisting of US$60 million in an initial funding, an additional US$30 million of available commitments and US$10 million from adjustments to its aircraft financing facilities.

The recapitalisation represents the outcome of extensive negotiations with CHC’s key financial stakeholders. CHC is confident that this transaction will provide the liquidity and sustainable long-term capital structure needed so that it can focus its efforts on continued operational excellence. CHC’s global reach extends, for example, from operating the marine search and rescue for the Irish Coastguard at Shannon, Waterford, Sligo and Dublin airports to providing helicopter services in Australia for the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia, Victoria Police and the Ambulance Service of New South Wales. (£1.00 = US$1.19 at time of publication)

VAS Aero Services acquires four Airbus A330-300 airframes and 11 PW4168 engines from American Airlines

VAS Aero Services, a global leader in aviation logistics and aftermarket services, has acquired four Airbus A330-300 airframes and 11 Pratt & Whitney PW4168 engines from Fort Worth, TX-based American Airlines (American).

The four Airbus A330-300 wide-body aircraft were retired from American’s fleet in 2020. Adding to the breadth and depth of VAS’ already significant aftermarket parts inventory, the airframes will be allocated for teardown and the surplus parts distributed through VAS’s worldwide airline operator customer base.

The Pratt & Whitney PW4168 engines will be placed with VAS’ aftermarket services partner, SR Technics, for engine lease pool support and ultimately disassembled to increase their used serviceable material (USM) availability. The addition of the PW engines further strengthens VAS’ supply programme with SR Technics and offers major end users favourable green-time leasing options and vital USM solutions.


Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft joins U.S. Forest Service's aviation fleet

Textron Aviation has delivered two Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft to the U.S. Forest Service. The aircraft will perform wildfire mapping missions. 

The King Air 260 aircraft have been modified for the installation of the latest infrared (IR) sensing technology, the Overwatch Imaging TK-9 Earthwatch Airborne Sensor, along with legacy U.S. Forest Service sensors, that can accurately map wildfires, even at night and through smoke. This information is critical for firefighters to have when the exact extent of a fire is not known due to darkness, smoke, size of the fire, rapid spread, or complex terrain. IR mapping aircraft can also be used to detect new fires started by lightning when they are very small.

Hawaiian Airlines, Honolulu Community College partner to increase access to aviation maintenance technician careers

Hawaiian Airlines and Honolulu Community College (HonCC) have formed an innovative partnership to graduate more local students as highly skilled aviation maintenance technicians, a field experiencing soaring demand. When the fall academic semester begins, some Hawaiian Airlines aviation maintenance technicians will trade the carrier’s aircraft hangar for HonCC’s facilities as instructors. Hawaiian’s Bill Kinsley and Jason Anderson will teach classes for HonCC’s Aeronautics Maintenance Technology (AERO) programme, allowing it to double enrolment to 100 students by Fall 2023.

HonCC graduates will be prepared with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to obtain the FAA Airframe and Power Plant Maintenance certification and pursue high-paying aviation jobs. It is estimated that 610,000 aviation maintenance technicians will be needed over the next two decades to support growth in the global aviation industry.


IonQ, Airbus sign agreement to collaborate on aircraft loading project using quantum computing

IonQ, an industry leader in quantum computing, has announced a collaboration with Airbus to explore the potential application and benefits of quantum computing for aerospace services and passenger experiences. The Quantum Aircraft Loading Optimisation & Quantum Machine Learning project will be a 12-month project that culminates in the development of a prototype aircraft-loading quantum application, hands-on collaboration and coaching sessions for Airbus developers and engineers and an exploration of future integrations of quantum computers for Airbus and its customers.

In response to the ongoing supply chain crisis, aerospace companies are investing in the latest technologies to understand areas for improved efficiencies – cargo loading being one of them. Airbus’ partnership with IonQ is the first step toward developing smarter algorithms based on quantum computers that can potentially lead to cost savings due to more optimised distribution of cargo on flights.

Looking long-term, Airbus hopes to use quantum algorithms to improve other areas of air travel, including reduced fuel consumption, better aerodynamics and optimised trajectories.

Canada Jetlines receives air operating certificate from Transport Canada

Canada Jetlines, the new, all-Canadian, leisure airline, has received its air operating certificate (AOC) from Transport Canada, granting approval to initiate operations out of its travel hub at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Securing the AOC confirms that Canada Jetlines has all required professional capabilities and adheres to all safety regulations needed for aircraft operations. Canada Jetlines looks forward to its inaugural flight and will be releasing new destinations and updated scheduling shortly.


SkySelect provides eProcurement-as-a-service platform to Azul Brazilian Airlines

Now, more than at any other point in commercial aviation’s history, it’s imperative for airlines to be cost-conscious and efficient. Airlines have been faced with the ebbs and flows of passenger demand, congested airports, supply chain issues and socio-political issues while trying to maintain operations as usual with a shrinking labour force. That’s why the airlines that are the fastest to adopt digital technologies and processes will be the ones to come out on top and flourish instead of simply surviving. Azul Brazilian Airlines (Azul) took an enormous step forward by innovating its MRO department by reshaping how it procures aircraft parts.

By moving its parts procurement onto SkySelect’s ePaaS, within just two months, Azul has been experiencing superior results, including substantial cost savings of 6%, 95% on-time delivery performance and automating the purchasing of 65% of the material requirements from request-to-delivery. SkySelect’s unique ePaaS model combines experts and technology, overcoming the slow technology adoption problem and bringing instant access to artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and the cloud to enhance the visibility of the aircraft parts’ supply chain.

Britten-Norman works with Garmin to bring engine electronic flight instrumentation to Islander turbine range

UK aircraft manufacturer, Britten-Norman, is working with avionics technology company Garmin to develop the TXi Engine Indication System (EIS) for its Islander turboprops.

The development and distribution agreement signed between the parties is for creating a CAA-approved supplemental type certificate applicable to both new and retrofit turboprop aircraft that will complement the existing STC for the piston variants.

The TXi EIS includes many innovative safety features such as engine timers, exceedance recordings, dynamic engine indications and wireless data logging to reduce pilot workload, improve engine efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.

The first installation will be this August, with a worldwide rollout following within six months.

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Tamar Jorssen
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Email: tamar.jorssen@avitrader.com
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