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Monday, August 6th, 2018



Vintage Junkers crash in Swiss Alps leaves all 20 passengers and crew dead

Swiss authorities have confirmed that all 20 passengers and crew onboard a vintage Junkers JU-52-HB-HOT were killed when the aircraft crashed in the Swiss Alps on Saturday. The plane was flying from Locarno, near Switzerland’s southern border, to the airline’s base in Dübendorf, a suburb of Zurich.
While no early explanation for the cause of the crash has been suggested, the accident happened only hours after a family of four were killed farther west in the Alps when their small aircraft crashed.
JU-Air owns three decommissioned former Swiss Air Force Junkers JU-52 aircraft and all future flights have been suspended. The airline was established in 1982 and with its three mid-century Junkers Ju-52 aircraft provides sightseeing, charter and adventure flights.
According to Reuters, wreckage of the plane was in a basin at 2,450 metres (8,000 feet) above sea level surrounded on three sides by peaks.
The Federal Office for Civil Aviation closed the airspace above the crash site and access to popular hiking trails in the surrounding area has been blocked.

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airBaltic posts 19% higher revenue in first half 2018

The Latvian airline airBaltic has concluded the first half year of 2018 with a total revenue of €180.8 million, which is a 19% increase over the same period last year. At the same time airBaltic has carried 1.9 million passengers, an increase of 20%, and performed 13% more flights during the six months of 2018.
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “For the last few years airBaltic has been showing very strong results, gradually growing the scale of our operations. This year we forecast the operational result higher than previous year. Still, we have to keep in mind such macroeconomic factors as oil price or US dollar exchange rate that might influence the overall situation.”
On May 28, 2018, airBaltic announced a firm purchase agreement for the sale and purchase of 30 Airbus A220-300 aircraft with options for an additional 30 aircraft of the same type. The order complements the existing order of 20 A220-300 aircraft and forms the backbone of the new airBaltic’s business plan Destination 2025 that builds on the successful progress of the current airline’s business plan Horizon 2021, which has laid the groundwork for future expansion.
airBaltic serves over 70 destinations from Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, offering the largest variety of destinations and convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, the CIS and the Middle East. For summer 2018, airBaltic has introduced eight new destinations from Riga to Malaga, Lisbon, Split, Bordeaux, Gdansk, Almaty as well as Sochi and Kaliningrad. In addition, airBaltic launched a new direct route connecting Tallinn and London.

United Airlines announces new nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and Tel Aviv

United Airlines will begin its 20th year of service to Israel with a new nonstop flight between its hub at Washington Dulles International Airport and Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport starting May 22, 2019 - subject to government approval. The new flight will be the first to be operated by a U.S. carrier between the two cities.
United's new route to Tel Aviv will be the carrier's fourth flight to Israel. United currently operates twice-daily service between New York/Newark and Tel Aviv and daily nonstop service between San Francisco and Tel Aviv.


Norwegian reports 14% passenger growth in June

Norwegian has reported that it carried almost 3.5  million passengers  in June, an increase of 14% compared to the same month previous year.
A total of 3,497,286  passengers chose to fly with Norwegian in June, 437,883  more than the same period last year. The total traffic growth increased by 44% and capacity increased by 43% compared to July 2017. The load factor was 90.5%, up 0.8 points.  

IAG reports Group consolidated results for the six months to June 30, 2018

IAG’s operating profit for the six months to June 30, 2018 was €1,115 million before exceptional items, an improvement of €165 million from last year. British Airways made a profit of €868 million before exceptional items (2017 restated: €740 million); Iberia made a profit of €102 million (2017 restated: €87 million); Aer Lingus made a profit of €104 million (2017 restated: €53 million) and Vueling’s loss was €-11 million (2017 restated: loss €-7 million).
Strategic overview British Airways closed its New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS) to future accrual and British Airways Retirement Plan (BARP) to future contributions from March 31, 2018. The schemes have been replaced by a flexible defined contribution scheme, the British Airways Pension Plan (BAPP). The changes resulted in a one-off reduction of the NAPS IAS 19 defined benefit liability of €872 million and associated transitional arrangement cash costs of €192 million.
British Airways successfully launched a US$608.6 million EETC bond issue to fund aircraft deliveries. The bonds were combined with Japanese Operating Leases with Call Option (JOLCO) of US$259 million, bringing the total raised to US$868 million. The transaction includes Class AA and Class A Certificates with an underlying collateral pool consisting of 11 aircraft: two new Boeing 787-9, delivered between March and April 2018, one Boeing 787-8 delivered in September 2017, one new Boeing 787-8 delivered in June 2018 and seven new Airbus A320 NEO aircraft, scheduled for delivery between April and October 2018. The Class AA Certificates ($409.8 million) have an annual coupon, payable quarterly, of 3.800 per cent and the Class A Certificates ($198.8 million) have an annual coupon, payable quarterly, of 4.125 per cent.
On 28 June, IAG launched its new shorthaul low-cost Austrian subsidiary, branded as LEVEL with flights from Vienna starting on July 17, 2018. The new subsidiary has an Austrian Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and will base four Airbus A321 aircraft in Vienna from where it will fly to 14 European destinations.


Aero Norway content with the decision of IATA/CFM International as they sign pro-competitive agreement

As the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has formed an agreement with CFM International (CFM) to improve the opportunities available to third-party providers of engine parts and MRO services on the CFM56 and the new LEAP series engines, authorised CFM repair station Aero Norway is set to be a beneficiary alongside airlines, lessors, other third-party MROs and parts manufacturers. The benefits will accrue for all parties via increased competition in the marketplace for maintenance, repair, and overhaul services on engines manufactured by CFM. The result will be to reduce operating costs.
Glenford Marston, CEO of Aero Norway praises CFM on reaching such a significant agreement with IATA and considers the knock-on effect that their new conduct policies will have across the entire industry.
“Authorised third-party repair shops like Aero Norway are part of a recognised expert supply chain and we are keenly awaiting ratification of the proposed new conduct policies” explains Marston. “These proposed measures mean that we will be able to pass on savings directly to airline customers, by reducing our ‘fully-burdened’ rates which presently include licence fees and a % of revenue per engine – this is our chance to offer more flexible engine MRO solutions and to give something back.”
He goes on to say that maintaining dispatch reliability, and reducing operating costs to ensure that airlines can thrive as businesses by continuing to offer affordable flights, are key aspects of the industry. “As OEMs seek to tighten their hold on the supply chain, operators and lessors of mature aircraft assets face enormous pressure as they seek to maintain, upgrade and transition older aircraft cost-effectively in the face of continued delays in new aircraft deliveries.”
Specifically the agreement covers CFM56 series engines. The CFM56-5B is the engine choice of the global A320 family due to its high reliability and durability, and the CFM56-7B is exclusively powering the B737 NG – making it the most popular engine combination in commercial aviation. However, CFM will apply the agreement to all commercial engines produced by the company, including engines in its new LEAP Series.


Boeing to establish new Aerospace & Autonomy Center

Boeing has announced plans to open the new Boeing Aerospace & Autonomy Center in Cambridge, Mass., becoming the first major tenant of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) new mixed-use district in Kendall Square.
Under the agreement, Boeing will lease 100,000 ft² of research and lab space inside a new 17-floor building at 314 Main Street in Cambridge. The new center will house employees from Boeing and subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, who will focus on designing, building and flying autonomous aircraft and developing enabling technologies.
The investment in the new center follows the recent creation of Boeing NeXt. This new organization unites researchers and projects across the company to shape the future of travel and transport, including the development of a next-generation airspace management system to enable the safe coexistence of piloted and autonomous vehicles. Employees at the center will help develop new technologies in support of Boeing NeXt programs.
The construction of the new research facility is part of MIT's broad strategy to foster vibrancy and diversity in Kendall Square, which is often referred to as the most innovative square mile in the world. Through its Kendall Square Initiative, the university will develop six buildings to house a blend of lab and research, office, housing and retail space.


Rolls-Royce increases annual earnings outlook despite Trent 1000 engine problems

Rolls-Royce has delivered better-than-expected half-year results, allowing the company to raise its full-year earnings outlook.
Pre-tax profit of £81 million was reported for the first half of 2018 compared to a loss of £126 million for the same period last year. Underlying operating profit was reported at £141 million compared to a loss of £84 million for the same period last year. As a result, the Company anticipates being able to post an underlying operating profit on the region of £450 million, give or take £100 million, for the full year 2018.
The news comes on the back of the announcement earlier this year of the shedding of 4,600 jobs over the next two years in a bid to save £400 million, the largest reduction in the company’s workforce since 5,000 jobs and 1,000 contractors were shed in 2000.
Chief executive Warren East commented that: “Financial results were ahead of our expectations, with strong growth from civil aerospace and power systems, and we achieved a number of operational and technological milestones.
“Reflecting our progress to date and growing confidence for the full year, we now expect both underlying profit and cashflow for 2018 to be in the upper half of our guidance range.” He then added that Rolls-Royce continues to be “impacted by the challenge of managing significant Trent 1000 in-service issues”.
A £554 million writedown followed from a raft of technical issues with its engines, having uncovered durability problems with numerous Package C Trent 1000 engines, followed by revelations in June of issues with a small number of its Package B Trent 1000 engines. Rolls-Royce said: “The Trent 1000 in-service engine issues have caused significant disruption for a number of our customers, which we sincerely regret.
“We continue to work hard to remedy this situation and have made further good progress on the implementation of long-term solutions in the first half of the year.” (£1.00 = US$1.30 at time of publication.)

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September 18, 2018 – Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London, UK

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September 19, 2018 – Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London, UK

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October 16 - 18, 2018 – Amsterdam

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November 20, 2018 – Gibson Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
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