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Monday, September 12th, 2022

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Scandinavian Airlines gets all-clear for US$700 debtor-in-possession financing

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), the flag-carrying airline of Norway, Denmark and Sweden, has successfully obtained U.S. court approval of its proposed US$700 million (£603 million) debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing credit agreement.

DIP financing is a specific form of financing used when a business has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court and is also going through a re-organisational process. The funds will enable the carrier to still meet its financial obligations as an operating airline. The carrier’s restructuring has been detailed in its SAS FORWARD business transformation plan.

The US$700 million credit agreement is with Apollo Global Management, a leading alternative asset manager headquartered in the U.S. which provides companies with innovative capital solutions and support to fund their growth and position businesses for long-term success.

“With the court’s approval of our DIP financing, we are making important progress in our chapter 11 process. The DIP financing agreement with Apollo followed an extensive and competitive process that we conducted to achieve the best financing outcome for SAS, and we are pleased that the Court has approved it,” said Anko van der Werff, President and Chief Executive Officer, SAS.

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Amit Ray expands his responsibilities at LOT Polish Airlines

Amit Ray, Director DACH Markets, India and Italy at LOT Polish Airlines, will be additionally appointed as Head of Global Corporate and Strategic Sales at the Polish Star Alliance member with immediate effect.

The Global Corporate and Strategic Sales unit at LOT Polish Airlines is responsible for the creation, negotiation and administration of all global corporate contracts as well as for all key strategic decisions in the corporate travel segment.

The Global Account Managers, under Ray’s leadership, will manage relationships with corporate partners and their respective agencies of record, with industry consultants focused on corporate travel and foster the collaboration with trade organisations. The globally based team members will also focus on programme efficiency, contribution to sustainability goals, improving the business travel experience and keeping contracted partners engaged and informed.

Ray has been working for the airline since October 2014 and had a leading role in expanding LOT Polish Airlines' presence in the German-speaking market and Italy as well as spearheading the airline's successful market entry in India since 2019.

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HiSky signs lease agreements with ALC for two Airbus A321neo LR aircraft

Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has announced long-term lease placements for two new Airbus A321neo LR aircraft with HiSky. Scheduled to deliver to the European carrier in March 2023 from ALC’s order book with Airbus, these two new A321neo LRs join one Airbus A319 and four A320s currently on lease to the airline from ALC and its managed vehicles, Blackbird I and II.

“The addition of these two new A321neo LR aircraft is the right ingredient to sustain our growth strategy in 2023,” said Iulian Scorpan CEO of HiSky. “We are grateful to ALC for the opportunity to operate the industry’s most modern aircraft offering top performance, range, and fuel-efficiency. Starting in April 2023, HiSky passengers will benefit from several long-range nonstop flight solutions to be announced this autumn.”

HiSky is an EASA-certified airline that operates in Romania and Moldova from three operational bases: Bucharest, Cluj and Chisinau. HiSky combines charter and scheduled flights and expects, in the coming months to celebrate the transportation of its first one million passengers since the inception of operations in March 2021.

Teleport expands fleet with addition of three A321 freighters

Teleport, the logistics venture of Capital A (formerly AirAsia Group Berhad) has announced the expansion of its fleet with the addition of three Airbus A321 freighters (A321F). This increases Teleport’s cargo-only fleet to four freighters in total, in addition to over 200 exclusive AirAsia passenger aircraft belly. 

The three A321 freighters will be operated by AirAsia and will be delivered in stages starting in Q1 of 2023. The addition of the freighters into Teleport’s fleet provides the unique load ability and body composition where it allows for containerised loading in both the main deck and lower deck. 

These narrowbody freighters will greatly strengthen Teleport’s cargo network and address the diversifying market demand within Southeast Asia and the overall Asia-Pacific region.

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SITA opens door to new partners as it embarks on new path to grow

SITA, a leading IT provider to the air transport industry, has announced the launch of a partnership programme aimed at joining hands with key partners as it embarks on a new path to growth.

Through the new partner platform, Launchpad, SITA has outlined four key areas where it seeks to build new partnerships: digital identities, advanced analytics and data management, security and safety at airports, and sustainable alternative energy sources. Each of these areas is in response to the changing demands of air travel today and where SITA has already made notable strides in innovation and development.

Over the past two years, airlines and airports have faced significant challenges and changing passenger behaviors, requiring the industry to adapt how it operates. Surging fuel prices and volatility have increased sharply while passengers demand the same digital experience when traveling that dominates every aspect of their everyday life.

To meet this demand, SITA is accelerating its investment in new solutions that deliver smarter ways of working using existing and new technologies. At the same time, SITA is looking to collaborate with partners inside and outside the air transport industry to complement SITA's expertise, drive innovation, or trial new sustainable solutions within their operations.

David Lavorel, CEO of SITA, said: "We are committed to enabling the growth of the air transport industry through smart technology and solutions. We have looked carefully at the market and identified key areas where we can have a significant impact and help our customers work smarter. We have a strong investment and innovation program to support these areas which are central to the growth of SITA. To accelerate this program, we are inviting new partners working in these four areas to join us so we can reshape the air travel industry together."

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Wencor announces exclusive, multi-year defence channel partnership with AMETEK Sensors and Fluid Management Systems

AMETEK Sensors and Fluid Management Systems has selected Wencor as its exclusive distributor supporting global military and government aftermarket. The agreement includes aircraft and engine sensors for temperature, pressure, flow, fluid level, acceleration, proximity, speed and position, supporting key military platforms in the aerospace and defence market segments.

“We are excited to partner with AMETEK SFMS and its market-leading offerings. Its diverse product and technical engineering capabilities, combined with our extensive defence portfolio and value-added services will expand our opportunities to the defence markets. We pride ourselves in our ability to provide innovative solutions that enable reliability, material availability and cost efficiencies for our customers and this partnership will enhance these deliverables,” said Wencor President of Defence, Scott Herndon.

Elaine O’Neill, Vice President and Business Unit Manager of AMETEK Sensors and Fluid Management, noted: “This partnership allows us to effectively service the military aftermarket with our broad product offering of highly engineered technology solutions.”

AMETEK Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annual sales of US$5.5 billion.

MNG Airlines receives second A330-300 P2F aircraft following its conversion at EFW

MNG Airlines, which holds a significant share of the air cargo industry in Turkey, is looking to use its experience to expand its services and flight network. After having converted Turkey's first passenger-to-freighter (P2F) aircraft last year, MNG Airlines has completed the conversion of its second aircraft and TC-MCN is ready to take to the skies again with a much higher structural and volumetric payload capacity.

With vision of continuous improvement, MNG Airlines was the first Turkish company to invest in the acquisition and conversion of the A330 into a freighter aircraft in December 2020. Turkey’s first converted A330-300P2F left Elbe Flugzeugwerke's (EFW) facility in November 2021 and joined the MNG Airlines’ fleet as TC-MCM. Since then, it has completed nearly 3000 flight hours and carried over 12000 tonnes of cargo in the last nine-months to maintain a sustainable network between China-Türkiye and Europe. The second A330-300, TC-MCN was sent to EFW for the same P2F conversion process. The passenger-to-freighter conversion took seven months from February to September 2022. TC-MCN is already scheduled to begin commercial operations in mid-September.
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