Thursday, August 30th, 2018



Laudamotion doubles fleet size as Ryanair secures 75% stake in Austrian carrier

EU regulators recently gave Ryanair the go-ahead to buy 75% of Laudamotion, in which it intends investing €100 million. As a result, Austria-based Laudamotion confirmed on Wednesday, August 29, that it will acquire nine new Airbus A320 aircraft next summer, doubling the size of its fleet to 18.

According to the Ryanair website, changes and improvements will include:

• A new aircraft livery which reflects Laudamotion’s Austrian heritage
• New Vienna offices to accommodate more, high paid, high quality jobs
• Pilot pay increases and basic pay guarantees
• Guaranteed Captain starting basic pay of €90,000 p.a.,
• Up to €180,000 total Capt. pay p.a. including flight pay/allowances
• Guaranteed First Officer starting basic pay of €46,000k p.a.,
• Up to €70k total First Officer pay p.a. including flight pay
• Roll out of a stable winter roster 5 days on, 3 days off (a bank holiday every weekend)
• A new Personnel Director Christian Euler Rolle who starts on 1st Sept 2018.

Commenting on events, and speaking in Vienna, Laudamotion’s CEO, Andreas Gruber, said:

“Laudamotion now faces the future with great confidence, backed by the enormous financial strength of Ryanair, our new majority shareholder and Europe’s largest airline. Laudamotion has already achieved load factors over 90% in its first summer season, thanks to the efforts of over 500 Laudamotion colleagues. These 9 additional 2019 Airbus deliveries ensure that Laudamotion will grow again by at least 20% in 2019 to 5m guests p.a. We look forward to offering even more low fare choices to Austrian and German customers.”
(€1.00 = US$1.17 at time of publication.)


GOL debuts first 737 MAX airplane

Boeing and GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes have unveiled the carrier's newly outfitted 737 MAX 8 during a celebration in Sao Paulo. The leading Brazilian carrier also announced plans to fly the more fuel-efficient and longer-range 737 airplane on international routes.

The Brazilian airline took delivery of its first 737 MAX 8 this year and has been improving onboard products and services, such as adding wireless internet to the popular Boeing Sky Interior cabin. The airline is now outfitting its second 737 MAX airplane – which it received last week – with the same cabin amenities.

As part of its strategic fleet renewal program, GOL has placed multiple orders for the 737 MAX, including a new order last month at the Farnborough International Airshow. In all, GOL is on track to become the largest MAX operator in Latin America with a fleet of 135 MAX airplanes.
The first MAX airplanes arriving at GOL are the MAX 8 variant, which seats up to 186 passengers in GOL's configuration. The airplane will reduce GOL's fuel use and emissions by 15% and can fly farther than its predecessor. With the additional range, GOL said it will begin regular service from Brazil's capital Brasilia and Fortaleza to Miami and Orlando. GOL also plans new international routes to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, with the MAX.

CIB Leasing converts CRJ Series order to add five 90-Seat Q400

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Industrial Bank Financial Leasing Co., (CIB Leasing) have agreed to convert a previously announced order for 10 Bombardier CRJ Series aircraft to five 90-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprops, and five Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets.
“As we work alongside CIB Leasing to explore market opportunities for regional fleet growth and network expansion in Asia, we are pleased to see that more 90-Seat Q400 turboprop will be available in the region,” said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “With 15% lower cost per seat than the 78-seat version, our 90-seat turboprop aircraft has unique capabilities and unbeatable productivity, and we are confident that our leasing partner and potential operators will extract tremendous value from it.”


SkyWest reports second quarter 2018 profit

SkyWest has released financial and operating results for the second quarter 2018, including net income of US$76 million compared to net income of US$50 million for the second quarter of 2017. Pre-tax income of US$98 million increased 21% from the previous year and was primarily due to SkyWest’s ongoing fleet transition. Since the second quarter 2017, SkyWest has added 23 new E175 aircraft and removed 34 CRJ700/CRJ900 aircraft and 32 CRJ200/ERJ145 aircraft.
Revenue was US$806 million in the second quarter, up from US$792 million in 2017. The increase in revenue included the net impact of adding 23 new E175 aircraft and other economic improvements within SkyWest’s fleet mix since the second quarter 2017, partially offset by the removal of unprofitable or less-profitable aircraft over the same period.
Operating expenses were US$679 million, down from US$685 million in 2017. The decrease in operating expenses was primarily due to the reduction in direct operating costs with the net removal of 43 aircraft from service.

SkyWest has signed a new agreement to operate 20 new CRJ900s for Delta Air Lines under a nine-year term, replacing 20 CRJ700s expiring from contract and a new agreement to place 20 used CRJ700s with American Airlines under a four-year term. Furthermore SkyWest has signed a three-year extension on 19 CRJ700s scheduled to expire in 2019/2020 with United Airlines and has reached a new agreement to place 20 internally-sourced CRJ200s under a three-year contract with United.

Finnair continues strong growth in Asia with additional frequencies for summer 2019

Continuing its strong growth in key Asian markets, Finnair has announced it will be adding frequencies on many popular Asian routes for next summer, including double-daily flights to Hong Kong and additional flights to Japan.
Finnair will add flights on several of its Japanese routes, increasing its capacity to Japan by 15% for the summer season. Three weekly flights will be added on the Helsinki-Osaka route, meaning Finnair will now fly a total of ten weekly frequencies during the summer season starting on March 31, 2019. The new departures will now offer an alternative departure for customers with two daily frequencies on selected days.

Continuing on the success of the double-daily flights to Tokyo during the summer of 2018, Finnair will operate double-daily flights on the Tokyo route for the entire summer season in 2019 and will also add a third daily flight during Japan’s Golden Week holiday. With these changes, Finnair is increasing its capacity to Tokyo by 9% compared to the 2018 summer season.
In addition, Finnair is also adding capacity on the Nagoya route by flying the Airbus A350 from May 5th onwards.

Finnair operates all flights to Japan in cooperation with its joint business partners: Japan Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. Including the joint business flights with Japan Airlines, Finnair will now offer up to 41 weekly frequencies to Japan during the summer 2019 season.


Virgin Australia converts 10 orders for 737 MAX 8 to MAX 10 variant

The Virgin Australia Group is adding the largest and most efficient member of the 737 MAX family to its growing single-aisle fleet. The carrier has converted ten orders for the 737 MAX 8 for the larger MAX 10 variant.

The airline, which has a number of 737 MAX 8s on order, said it saw the value of adding the MAX 10 to the mix as the aircraft will provide additional capacity and flexibility.
Virgin Australia Group Chief Financial Officer Geoff Smith said, "We are pleased to be welcoming the 737 MAX 10 aircraft into our expanding fleet in 2022. The addition of the 737 MAX 10 will provide us with additional flexibility and capability to support our network and operations. We are proud to become Australia's first operator of the 737 MAX and we look forward to the opportunities that operating this type of aircraft will open up to us."

With its headquarters in Brisbane, Australia, the Virgin Australia Group is the country's second-largest airline with a fleet of more than 130 aircraft. The Next-Generation 737 has formed the backbone of the Group's fleet with more than 80 currently in operation and the 737 MAX is expected to bolster the Group's fleet.

Italian airline Topjets Worldwide chooses OASES

New Italian scheduled airline, Topjets Worldwide, has chosen OASES, an industry-leading MRO IT system from Commsoft, to support its planned operations. Currently in the process of submitting its CAME for approval by the airworthiness authorities, Topjets Worldwide has recently acquired an ex-Etihad Airbus A340-642 for use on long haul flights from Northern Italy to India and other destinations.

Offering an industry-leading technical sophistication whilst still being intuitively user-friendly, OASES is structured in a modular format to allow for maximum flexibility and scalability. Topjets Worldwide has opted for the Core, Airworthiness, Materials and Planning modules with an option to access the Line Maintenance Control module at a later date.
All the modules will be implemented in Commsoft’s Private Cloud service, removing the need for the airline to invest in any additional hardware.

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Chinese insurance and finance group Ping An new strategic partner for AviaAM Financial Leasing China

AviaAM Leasing, a global aviation holding company engaged in commercial aircraft acquisition, leasing and sales, has announced that its joint venture with the Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Company (HNCA) – AviaAM Financial Leasing China Co., has gained a new strategic partner. It is insurance and finance group Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China.
The giant of the Chinese finance industry has invested US$44 million (around €38 million) to AviaAM Financial Leasing China Co., through its relevant investment platforms. The transaction was finalized on August 27, 2018.

The bank belonging to Ping An group has already participated in one of the biggest projects of the joint venture by financing the purchase of a Boeing 777 aircraft, worth US$140 million, powered by GE90-115B engines.

Vitaly Saveliev re-elected as CEO of Aeroflot

The Board of Directors of PJSC Aeroflot has re-elected Vitaly Saveliev as CEO for a term of five years. The appointment was approved on August 28, 2018 at a meeting of the Board of Directors chaired by Mikhail Poluboyarinov, pursuant to a Directive from the Russian government.
Vitaly Saveliev has led Aeroflot since his appointment on April 10, 2009. At that time, the Company was considered a regional carrier by global standards with passenger traffic of 8.6 million (11.1 million including subsidiaries).


Boeing predicts Asia Pacific region will command one-third of demand for pilots, technicians and cabin crew

The Boeing 2018 Pilot and Technical Outlook has revealed the company expects the Asia Pacific region will account for of the global need for pilots, 34 percent for technicians, and 36 percent for cabin crew over the next 20 years, coupled with the greatest demand for new civil aviation personnel. It also predicts that 40% of new passenger aircraft deliveries over the same period will be to the Asia Pacific region.

According to the Boeing outlook:

The 20-year demand for new commercial sector pilots in the region remains strong at 240,000. While demand decreased five percent, this was driven by regional trends that indicate a peak in pilot retirements in the first decade of the forecast and a softening of replacement demand in the later years, due to a younger generation entering the pilot ranks long before reaching mandatory retirement age.

New commercial technician demand decreased five percent to 242,000. This is due to advancements in product development on the 737 MAX, which have resulted in increased maintenance efficiencies. Overall, maintenance hours required over the life of the airplane will be reduced. New commercial cabin crew demand increased three percent to 317,000 due to anticipated fleet mix, cabin configuration and regulatory requirements.

For the first time, the outlook included the helicopter and business aviation markets. The inclusion of these sectors increases the region's demand to 261,000 pilots, 257,000 technicians and 321,000 cabin crew.

Leading the region in projected demand for new pilots, technicians and cabin crew:
  • China: 128,500 pilots; 126,750 technicians; 147,250 cabin crew
  • Southeast Asia: 48,500 pilots; 54,000 technicians; 76,250 cabin crew
  • South Asia: 42,750 pilots; 35,000 technicians; 43,250 cabin crew
"Strong demand for pilots in the region continues, and we expect that this will continue for the next several years," said Keith Cooper, vice president of Training & Professional Services for Boeing Global Services.

"Through our pilot training solutions, including the Pilot Development Program, we are helping to ensure a pipeline of pilots is ready to meet the industry's demand."


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