Thursday, May 24th, 2018



Private search for missing flight MH370 to draw to a close

In January this year, Texas-based Ocean Infinity began a new search for Malaysia Airlines’ missing flight MH370 a year after the original search had been called off.

Ocean Infinity had been working on a ‘no cure no deal’ basis and had originally intended to perform the search for 90 days, ending in April. However, they made two successful requests for extensions of the agreement, which will finally come to an end at the end of May this year.

Malaysia’s transport minister, Anthony Loke confirmed that: "There will be no more extensions. It cannot continue forever. Let's wait until May 29 and we will then decide how to proceed." The initial deal was for the Malaysian government to pay Ocean Infinity up to US$70 million based on the size of the area searched if the mission was successful within three months. Officials felt there was an 85 percent chance of finding debris in a new 25,000-square-kilometer (9,650-square-mile) search area which had been identified by experts.

There have been fears of “possible falsification” or the extraction/omission of maintenance records which may have hampered the initial search for the missing jet. However, Loke has indicated that the new government, which took power after the May 9 elections, is committed to transparency and will release details for public scrutiny at some point in the near future.

Theories that either the pilot or co-pilot deliberately downed the jet have been gathering momentum; fears the flight disappeared as the result of a “rogue pilot” appeared almost immediately, and Malaysian officials believed the disappearance was the result of a “deliberate act.”


Allegiant receives its first U.S.-produced Airbus aircraft

Allegiant Air has taken delivery of its first U.S.-produced A320 aircraft from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. On hand for the occasion were executives from Airbus and Allegiant Air, a team of Allegiant employees, and representatives of the more than 380 Airbus employees at the production facility.

The Airbus Manufacturing Facility in Mobile is delivering A320 Family aircraft at a rate of four per month – with the Allegiant delivery marking the facility’s 69th aircraft delivered since operations began in 2015.

The entire operation requires a team of dedicated employees of which more than 80% are from the Gulf Coast region with nearly one third being U.S. Military Veterans. In addition to supporting hundreds of local jobs, the Mobile area has seen many Airbus suppliers open new facilities in the region, providing even more employment and a parallel boost to the local economy.

Lufthansa sells long-haul flights without free baggage allowance

As of summer 2018, Lufthansa Group passengers will be able to book a so-called Economy “Light” fare on routes to North America served by Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines. As the basic rate, the new fare is the least expensive option for price-conscious passengers only travelling with carry-on luggage and who do not require any ticket flexibility. For an additional fee, passengers will be allowed to add one piece of luggage or request a seat reservation on an individual basis. Meals and drinks will continue to be served to passengers on board free of charge.

Lufthansa has been testing a Light fare since October 2017 on selected routes between Scandinavia and North America. Passengers can buy a basic rate with carry-on luggage on flights between Sweden, Denmark, Norway and selected North American destinations.


Ratification of U.S.-Brazil Open Skies agreement

The United States and the Brazilian government have finalized an Open Skies agreement that will allow for increased air service between the two countries.

U.S.-Brazil Open Skies will pave the way for the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve American’s proposed joint business with LATAM Airlines Group. The American-LATAM joint business, which was announced in January 2016, will cover all travel between the U.S. and Canada and Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

The joint business will give customers an improved route network with increased connectivity and capacity, access to lower fares, and a seamless travel experience between American and LATAM flights. The joint business previously received regulatory approval from Brazil in October 2017, Colombia in May 2017 and Uruguay in November 2016.

Xiamen Airlines takes delivery of first 737 MAX jet

Boeing has delivered the first 737 MAX airplane and the 200th Boeing jet to Xiamen Airlines, a fast-growing Chinese carrier that has doubled its fleet in less than five years and has plans to double it again to serve more domestic and international passengers.

Established in 1984, Xiamen Airlines, headquartered in Xiamen in southeastern China, began operations with two leased 737s serving three cities. Today, the airline operates 400 routes across China, Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania.

In addition to its rapid growth, Xiamen Airlines has achieved 31 consecutive years of profitability while operating an all-Boeing fleet of 737s, 757s, and 787 Dreamliners. The carrier took delivery of its 100th Boeing airplane in November, 2013.

Xiamen will introduce the new 737 MAX 8 into its fleet and is one of the launch customers for the new 737 MAX 10.


ACJ320neo Family enters production

Manufacture of the first ACJ320neo has begun, with elements taking shape across Europe and final assembly due to begin in June, followed by the first delivery of the “green” aircraft to Acropolis Aviation of the UK in the last quarter of this year. A second ACJ320neo will follow by year-end.

Deliveries of the first ACJ319neo, for K5 Aviation, will begin in the second quarter of 2019, marking a further step in the creation of the new corporate jet family. Orders for the ACJ320 Family now total nine aircraft, comprising three ACJ319neo and six ACJ320neo aircraft.

Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) is highlighting the ACJ320neo Family, which also includes the ACJ319neo, at the EBACE show.

“New engines and Sharklets enable the ACJ320neo Family to link even more of the world nonstop, in a large and comfortable cabin that is the envy of other business jet manufacturers,” says ACJ President Benoit Defforge.

The ACJ319neo can fly eight passengers 6,750 nm/12,500 km or 15 hours, while the ACJ320neo can transport 25 passengers 6,000 nm/11,100 km or 13 hours.

Southeast Aerospace appoints new Senior Program Manager

Southeast Aerospace, a leading Aerospace Solutions company, has welcomed Ron Symonette, as new Senior Program Manager.

Symonette brings over 25 years of aviation industry experience, with 21 years at United Rotorcraft (a division of Air Methods). As a Program Manager at United Rotorcraft, he oversaw an Emergency Medical Services interior and avionics STC development for Airbus EC130 T2, ushering in the first EMS STC to the market for this airframe.

Symonette also managed the design upgrade to legacy multi mission interior kits, initially designed for the US Army Blackhawks, to integrate into the new Sikorsky UH-60M for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) projects.

Symonette is well versed in program management for Bell 407, Airbus EC 130/145 and Airbus AS 350 airframes.

Beach Aviation Group

Prague Airport and Incheon International Airport Corporation sign new partnership agreement

An extensive international partnership agreement between Prague Airport and Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC), the operator of Incheon International Airport located close to Seoul, South Korea, was signed at Václav Havel Airport Prague on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. The new Memorandum of Understanding follows the original agreement signed in 2013, specifying particular areas in which the exchange of information and experience is to take place. From now on the main focus will be on airport operations and development, security improvements and customer experience as well as sustainable growth. The treaty also considers the development of new technologies. Specialists of both airports are also willing to cooperate in the area of digitalisation and new technologies, such as biometrics and robotics.

Cobalt Air in-flight entertainment goes live

Cobalt Air, Cyprus’ expanding airline, has enhanced its onboard experience for all its passengers with the introduction of in-flight entertainment (IFE) across its Airbus A319 and A320 fleet via portable wireless IFE platform, Bluebox Wow.

Cabin crew training was completed last week in readiness for the system to go live this week, across Cobalt’s route network.

Bluebox Wow, from Bluebox Aviation Systems in Scotland, delivers wireless media content streamed to passengers’ own devices - including phones, laptops, and tablets.

Cobalt passengers can enjoy Movies and TV shows, with music, games and magazines to follow later, all accessed simply through a web browser.

Cobalt Air has specified three Bluebox Wow boxes per aircraft, which are conveniently secured in overhead lockers, ensuring that every passenger can access IFE content throughout their flight.

Bluebox Wow is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit. Each box’s single, swappable rechargeable battery can deliver up to 15 hours of streamed video content.

Bristol Associates

CMB Financial Leasing concludes refinancing debt facility for six Airbus A320neo narrowbody aircraft

CMB Financial Leasing concludes refinancing debt facility for six Airbus A320neo narrowbody aircraft

CMB Financial Leasing has concluded a refinancing debt facility for six Airbus A320neo narrowbody aircraft. These aircraft are currently on operating leases with Indian airline IndiGo.

The debt facility is coordinated by DVB Bank, who is also a lead arranger in the facility together with Landesbank Hessen-Thueringen (Helaba). Other lenders in the bank syndicate include Westpac and KfW IPEX-Bank. DVB also acted as agent and trustee for the facility.

The borrower’s counsel for this transaction is BLP, while WFW acted for the banking group.

IAG plans to make third offer for Norwegian

According to Expansion (the Spanish financial newspaper), after two unsuccessful attempts, IAG, is outlining a third offer, this time €1.520 billion (US$1.778 billion) for Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (Norwegian), a proposal that values the carrier’s shares at NOK330 (US$40.6), which represents a 32% increase over last Friday’s share price. On Tuesday May 22, Norwegian‘s share price rose 9,18% with the news of the potential third offer. This latest climb in Norwegian’s share price brings its capitalization to €1.300 billion (US$1.521 billion). Since IAG’s interest leaked out a month ago, its fluctuating share value has rallied by over 50% on the stock market.


Sundown Aircraft completes sale of 767-300ER to Kalitta Air

Sundown Aircraft (TN) has completed the sale of one 767-300ER (MSN: 26238), to Kalitta Air (MI). The aircraft will be converted to freight by Israel Aircraft Industries Mexico, starting June 15th.



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Technical Aspects of a Leased Asset 2018
June 5, 2018 – Jury’s Inn Hotel, Prague

Maintenance Reserves Seminar 2018
June 6, 2018 – Jury’s Inn Hotel, Prague

Engine Leasing Seminar
September 18, 2018 – Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London, UK

Transactional Support & Risk Management Seminar, London
September 19, 2018 – Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London, UK

Aircraft Economic Life Summit 2018
November 20, 2018 – Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
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