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Friday, August 29th, 2022

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Air New Zealand still struggling with COVID-19 effects – posts full-year pre-tax loss of NZ$810 million

Despite ending the financial year strongly, New Zealand flag carrying airline Air New Zealand has reported an operating revenue of NZ$2.7 billion, advising that this figure reflects the considerable extent to which the carrier had been affected by pandemic-related travel restrictions. The carrier posted loss before other significant items and taxation of NZ$725 million for the 2022 financial year, consistent with guidance provided to the market in June. The statutory loss before taxation was NZ$810 million compared to a loss of NZ$415 million in the prior year.

New Zealand’s borders began a phased reopening back in March, but the airline has subsequently been hit by the increase in fuel costs. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran stated that cargo revenue continued to be a major contributor to the company’s performance, up 32% to NZ$1.0 billion. Additional flying under the New Zealand and Australian government airfreight schemes contributed NZ$403 million of that revenue.

With borders now largely reopened, the Australian scheme has ended and the New Zealand scheme is tapering off and will cease by the end of March 2023. As at August 23, 2022, the airline has available liquidity of NZ$2.3 billion, consisting of approximately NZ$1.9 billion in cash and NZ$400 million of available funds on the unsecured standby loan facility with the Crown. The cash balance includes NZ$200 million of issued redeemable shares which the airline intends to redeem once it has recovered further.

The Board does not expect to consider payment of dividends before the airline’s earnings substantially recover and in the context of a supportive and sustained broader economic environment and recovery. As far as the outlook for 2023 is concerned, total flying capacity for the 2023 financial year is expected to be in the range of 75% to 80% of pre-COVID levels. (£1.00 = NZ$1.90 at time of publication).

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U.S. Air Force takes delivery of four Boeing MH-139A test helicopters from Boeing

Boeing has delivered four MH-139A Grey Wolf test aircraft to the U.S. Air Force as the service prepares to replace its aging fleet of UH-1N helicopters. 

The Grey Wolf is a multi-mission aircraft – based on the proven commercial AW139 helicopter – designed to protect intercontinental ballistic missiles and transport U.S. government officials and security forces. Boeing was awarded a US$2.4 billion contract in September 2018 for 80 helicopters, training systems and associated support equipment. 

The delivery milestone follows receipt of the Federal Aviation Administration-issued supplemental type certificate, required to commence deliveries. With aircraft in hand, the Air Force will now proceed with military utility testing as the programme progresses toward Milestone C. 

Goshawk delivers second A320 to Avion Express

Goshawk, the Dublin-based aircraft lessor, has announced the delivery of one A320 aircraft to Avion Express. The A320 was successfully delivered on the August 24. This is the second aircraft to be delivered to Avion Express by Goshawk, as the two companies continue their valuable partnership.

Ruth Kelly, CEO at Goshawk said: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Avion Express with the delivery of our second A320. The busy summer months represent an exciting period of recovery for the airline industry, and we look forward to what the future holds alongside our partners, Avion Express.”

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São Paulo-Guarulhos and RIOgaleão airports will upgrade passenger processing technology with SITA Flex

São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU Airport) and RIOgaleão – Tom Jobim International Airport (RIOgaleão) are the first airports in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to deploy SITA Flex to provide mobile passenger services to speed up check-in, bag drop and boarding. It forms part of a wider five-year contract awarded to global air transport IT provider, SITA, to renew the common-use services at the two airports.

Travel is rebounding fast in Brazil following the COVID-19 pandemic. According to IATA, domestic passenger volumes were up 133.3% year on year in April 2022. Brazil’s domestic passenger market is now the fourth-largest in the world. It spells good news for the country’s economy hit hard by the pandemic. However, airlines and airports operating in Brazil will need to act quickly and in an agile way to cope with the travel surge and reduce airport bottlenecks.  

GRU Airport and RIOgaleão are the two key airport operators in the region; respectively, they handled around 43 million passengers and 13.5 million passengers a year pre-pandemic, utilising SITA’s passenger processing technology. Carriers operating at GRU Airport and RIOgaleão can now leverage SITA Flex – an innovative next-generation common-use technology – to help speed up passenger processing as passenger volumes rebound.

SITA Flex better equips airports and airlines to meet the current challenges of capacity, resource constraints, and disruptions, as the cloud-based platform takes them beyond the limitations of traditional common-use infrastructure. Instead of fixed check-in counters or kiosks, for example, airlines and airports can deploy more mobile passenger services, such as roving agents on tablets or the ability for passengers to use their mobile phones to manage their travel fully. The application programming interface (API) architecture of SITA Flex allows the adoption of existing and future passenger processing innovations, helping to future-proof airport operations.

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Virgin Atlantic partners with Bii.aero to manage substantial surplus aircraft parts programme

Virgin Atlantic has appointed Bii.aero, a leading provider of aircraft parts and services for the commercial aviation sector, to oversee the consignment and storage process of its large surplus inventory of B747-400, A340-600 and A330-200 assets now that the airline no longer operates these fleets of aircraft. The top-quality material covers all ATA chapters and includes engines, APUs and avionics. Virgin Atlantic is the latest airline to consign its inventory to Bii as the company augments its portfolio of new and used serviceable material to meet global demand.

Following the competitive tender process Bii was chosen based on the organisation’s highly experienced team and its reputation for specialist consignment management. In a mutually beneficial agreement, Bii will store, manage, market the material to secure revenue from the excess stock. The material is desirable, already certified and ready-to-go. Bii will sell, exchange and loan the parts, in accordance with customer requirements.

The stock will transition across 90 days from Virgin Atlantic’s Cardiff stores to Bii’s ultra-modern warehousing facility close to LGW. After inspection by Bii, a small percentage of unserviceable material will require re-tagging – this will be managed by Bii’s in-house repair management team through audited MRO shops worldwide.

HAECO appoints Chief Commercial Officer

HAECO has announced the appointment of Gerald Steinhoff as Chief Commercial Officer effective January 1, 2023. He will succeed Richard Kendall who will be retiring from Swire Group, the parent company of HAECO, at the end of the year.
Steinhoff has been Managing Director of the HÜBNER Group since 2020. Prior to that, he had extensive experience in the aviation industry covering roles in sales, business development and finance during his 13-year tenure with Lufthansa Technik AG, following 11 years at MTU Aero Engines GmbH.

Steinhoff has worked in Singapore, U.S.A. and Germany. He graduated in Economics from Justus-Liebig University Giessen. He will join the HAECO Group Leadership team headed by Chief Executive Officer, Frank Walschot.

Steinhoff will lead commercial strategies, customer relations, market development and global sales activities for HAECO products and services across the group.
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