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Monday, September 19th, 2022

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One-day strike by French ATC causes travel chaos for thousands of passengers

A one-day strike by French air traffic control union SNCTA resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of flights and many hundreds of thousands of passengers left with either flight delays or flight cancellations.

While Air France was only able to operate 45% of local and regional flights, and 90% of long-haul flights, further afield Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair was forced to cancel over 420 flights, affecting over 80,000 passengers. British Airways was forced to cancel 22 flights and easyJet 76 flights.

The strike involves a row over a demanded pay increase to cover the effects of rising inflation and many European flights were affected which were neither flying to or from French airports, but which would normally fly over French airspace.

French laws only protect domestic flights and not ones which fly over the country. Many scheduled flights were able to take off, albeit delayed, on new routes that would bypass French airspace. The flight cuts affected the whole of France, the French civil aviation authority DGAC said, adding at the time that it was currently working with the European air travel regulator Eurocontrol to help airlines avoid the country's air space.

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TrueNoord secures US$400 million financing facility

TrueNoord has closed a new revolving warehouse finance facility of US$400 million which will be seeded with 17 aircraft already owned by TrueNoord and can be extended further by an accordion feature. The facility will be used by the specialist regional aircraft lessor to finance business development and expand its portfolio of 50-150 seat aircraft which includes jets and turboprops from Embraer, ATR, Airbus, MHI-RJ and De Havilland Canada.

The new facility is provided by Citibank, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking, Royal Bank of Canada, and NordLB. It will be used to fund new acquisitions and supports TrueNoord’s targeted growth strategy which is endorsed by cornerstone investors: Freshstream, BlackRock, Aberdeen and others. Legal advisers Clifford Chance acted on behalf of TrueNoord, Milbank represented the banks, and Flynn O’Driscoll acted as Irish counsel.

“This new revolving warehouse facility will finance TrueNoord’s regional aircraft acquisitions going forward. It will give us the funding to react quickly on market opportunities and build up a portfolio of new and used aircraft on a flexible basis for our customers” comments Anne-Bart Tieleman, CEO. “These four banks further augment the strong group of financiers and investors that are supporting TrueNoord’s dynamic growth trajectory.”

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ST Engineering secures contract for Boeing 737-800 component MRO from Nok Air

ST Engineering's Aerospace arm has secured a five-year component maintenance-by-the-hour (MBH) contract to service the Boeing 737-800 fleet of Thai budget carrier, Nok Air.

Under the multi-year component MBH contract, ST Engineering will provide a full suite of component support solutions covering component repair management, pool support and dedicated consignment stock in Bangkok for the airline’s entire fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The contract is a renewal of the partnership in component MRO between Nok Air and ST Engineering.

Wutthiphum Jurangkool, Chief Executive Officer of Nok Air, said, “We are happy to renew our partnership with ST Engineering and look forward to a mutually beneficial working relationship. Our decision was based on the good reputation and quality services of ST Engineering.”

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Heathrow flights disrupted on Monday as local airspace to close during funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

London Heathrow Airport has announced major changes to Monday’s flight schedule, confirming that all take-offs and landings on Monday will be delayed for 15 minutes before and after the two-minute silence at the end of the funeral.

Following that, there will be no arrivals between 13:45 and 14:20 during the procession of the hearse, and no departures between 15:03 and 16:45 for the ceremonial procession via the Long Walk to Windsor Castle. Between 16:45 and 21:00, departures will be reduced to support the committal service at St George's Chapel. Flights will also be diverted around Windsor Castle "to minimise noise during the private family service and interment", it said.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has issued advance notification and guidance that these flight delays and cancellations will be deemed “extraordinary circumstances” and, as such, affected passengers will not be entitled to any financial compensation. However airlines are offering affected passengers a seat on an alternative flight or a refund of the cost of their ticket.

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NAC signs multiple new lease agreements with VOEPASS, Braathens and Wideroe

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) has released that it has signed multiple new lease agreements in the last week. The company will lease two ATR 72 aircraft to VOEPASS, a leading regional carrier based in Ribeirao Perto, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Another agreement was signed with Braathens Regional Airways AB, a scheduled carrier based in Stockholm, Sweden, for two ATR 72-600 aircraft.

Furthermore, NAC confirmed that it has executed a sale agreement for two DHC8-400’s and a lease agreement for three DHC8-400’s with Wideroe Flyveselskap AB, based in Bodo, Norway.

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West Star Aviation names Vince Ruscitti as Program Manager for Government Affairs

West Star Aviation has named Vince Ruscitti as Program Manager for Government Affairs. He will be responsible for building and leading the government projects aircraft maintenance programme at the Cahokia, IL hangar and will serve as the primary point-of-contact to manage all aspects of aircraft maintenance, repair and delivery.

Ruscitti has over 38 years of experience in the aviation industry with his B.S. degree in Business Administration from Almeda College, an A.A. degree in Aviation Technology from the University of Phoenix and a master certificate in Organizational Leadership and Business Analysis as well as a Six Sigma Green Belt from Villanova University. Vince also has active U.S. Government secret clearance.
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